Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowy and Slippery Saturday

4" of snow and then sleet and now 25 and snowing very lightly. I was hoping for about 14" of snow! Oh well. It is pretty out. We took Bacchus out for a walk (all decked out in his NH winter outfit) and went over to Jugtown, so that I could take a shot for Nancy.

Nothing like a big (huge) pot of green chile on a cold day, and lots of food for the birds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reduction Fired

Here are some pieces that I have been working on.
Several of the stones came out of the recent reduction firing, some in for the first time and many in for the second time. Those are the ones that really look nice. Too bad I am not a better photographer!

Several of these will be going out to a gallery in SC this week. If you are in Greenwood, SC stop at Hands Gallery for a look!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let the Gardening Begin

I got my order of seeds from Peaceful Valley last week! Even though we have quite a few seeds in the garage, I couldn't hold back on the ordering. I bought some different lettuces, Tatsoi, another chard, beets, carrots, eggplants, tomatoes....

The jasmine has started it's flowering, right on schedule out in the sunroom and it's beautiful scent inspired me to start the plantings. So far I have Italian eggplants, Sweet Red Bell Peppers, Brandywines, Amish Pastes, Jalapenos and Nardello peppers planted. We had such a wonderful success with the red peppers last year that I have enough seeds to fill a field, so we will be doing a heavy planting of them this year. I am going to try to start some leeks soon too. I think we will be sowing some seeds outside utilizing the tunnel that the lettuce is in. It is doing great, and the arugula and broccoli are looking good too! We may have enough broccoliettes to have dinner for two!

And we have a big bunch of this stuff. It comes up each year when the cilantro starts its winter push, and seems to masquerade as cilantro.( When I first saw it, I thought it was cilantro.) Can anyone tell me what it is??

And I am back at the bench making jewelry! I've had several orders to fill and hope to soon have some new items to show here. The first show of the year will be in April in Norwood, NC. I will be at the International Horse Trials at a beautiful horse farm, b&b. More on that soon! I've opted not to do the Catawba Valley Show for the first time in 10 years and I think this show will be an excellent replacement.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stop the Madness, I Want to Get Off

This is a departure (to start off) from my regular topics, but one that many people don't pay attention to.

It's January. Do you know where your thyroid is? This is from

Your thyroid is actually your master gland of metabolism and energy. January is thyroid awareness month, but every month should be. I know, being a hypothyroid suffer.

My friend, Susan, told me about the web site after I realized late last year that I was feeling really tired and out of sorts. I thought it was all the hours being spent on the Celebration and trying to fit in some jewelry making on the side. I've been on Levoxyl for years, letting my Doctors tell me if my TSH was within range and prescribing my dose. After spending a LOT of time perusing this site I pulled out my lab results and discovered, yes my TSH was in the "normal" range, but my FT3 and FT4 were no where near the bottom of the normal range. Well levoxyl is a T4 synthetic only. Can't produce FT3? Then you are probably feeling bad, and you would be AMAZED at the range the symptoms can take. I learned how important it is to be your own health advocate with these things, especially as many Drs., including endocrinologists, are not all that well trained on things.

I have a fantastic Doctor that works with me and knows the research that I put into this. I told her I wanted to try Natural Dessicated Thyroid. OK! Prescribed a dosage that ended up being too low (by about 1/2), but WOW, even with a low dose I felt a lot better within a day. A day!! Then two weeks later, most all the US pharmacies ran out. But, not to worry the pharmacy could compound me something similar (so they said, but all synthetic something). 4.5 weeks later: I'm feeling like I was feeling last fall, icky, crabby, tired, vision off, foggy brained, fat(ter and fatter), unfocused. Turns out, I, like many people didn't absorb any of the expensive compounded stuff for over a month.

Talk about some bad numbers, did you know your TSH (normal range 0.5-3.0) can go over 75. My Dr. said you can become comatose at the levels I was at-I almost felt that way. What to do, still no NDT in any of the pharmacies.

Thank you again for the web sites and facebook's Save Natural Thyroid. Canadian pharmacies have plenty of NDT, and everyone says it is like the original Armour. Back to my Dr., worried she'll say no, not Canada, but as always she was right there for me. So now I have a new script on the way. I can't wait! It was magical the difference that I felt (and Wes immediately saw it too) when I started NDT. I might feel really good again and it has been quite a few years since my FT3 and FT4 were in a normal range. Hopefully once the brain fog lifts new things will be coming fast!!

I do have new ideas though and am working on them. Stage 1 in a totally new endeavor worked pretty well, so progressing down that road. No announcements yet but hopefully by Feb.

Wes and I have lots of ideas for the garden and new endeavors there too, now that he will be retiring this spring. Stayed tuned to that one too!

2010, buzz words are FOCUS and progress on JLK Handcrafted (Jewelry and more) and the garden! So, stop all the madness of 2009, I'm getting off that crazy roller coaster, this is a new decade and a brand new focus for me!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Day Gardening and Ideas

Wes and I decided to try an experiment in the garden. We built this tunnel over our lettuce patch on New Year's Day. We also did a more make-shift one over the Swiss chard. In anticipation of this week of cold weather we wanted to see if we might be able to prolong our produce harvest. I looked in this morning after two nights in the teens and the lettuce looked great. So did the Chard.

I harvested the baskets on New Years Day. Arugula, cilantro, daikon and turnips.

I am slowly breaking back into work, starting with phone calls and editing and uploading holiday photos! I've got lots of new ideas for many things I would like to accomplish this year and add to my line this year and so will be working on my business plan as well. Time to turn my focus back to creating my work.

This year I hope to do some different shows. I have been invited to do a show in Dunwoody, GA in May. The producer of this new event created and produces the Norcross Art Fesival. These shows are by invitation only so I am looking forward to exhibiting there, as I have long wanted to do a show in Atlanta. I have also been asked to set up in the beginning of April at a large International Horse Trials event not too far from here and a beautiful stable and B&B. As I have done some equestrian jewelry in the past that will give me another new outlet for ideas!

I have some other ideas percolating as well incorporating other media than clay and metals, or should I say adding another media to those. I need to test my skills and buy some equippment first though on that front.

So here I sit at work, plotting out the future as Tasha and Chester lounge behind the Jotul (the best gift they could ever have received) and Bacchus takes a snooze. Our pets are not spoiled, not at all!