Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silver Lining

They say there's a silver lining in every cloud, and at the risk of being trite, most times I've found there really is a silver lining in every cloud. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember the silver lining part, especially at this time in my life, but today I was reminded to focus on the silver lining. Be sure to read all the way to the end to find out about the acrylic crystal light and the silver lining awards.

We told ourselves we'd never buy a house that needed work, but as things often go, we were forced to make some compromises. We have so much work to do stripping wall paper, painting, pulling up carpet, and on and on. We've been feeling a bit frazzled, overwhelmed, isolated, and wondering why in the heck we moved here. Besides the fact we moved across the country and we don't know a soul here.

Before we moved in we knew our home had mauve carpet and we planned to pull the carpet up and put laminate flooring down. After we moved in we realized what a big job pulling up all the carpet was going to be, especially since Gary would have to do most of the work himself. I told Gary someone would probably take the carpet, but Gary said no one would want that color carpet. I thought to myself surely there is someone who could use the carpet which is slightly worn but not stained and seems to be a good quality. Habitat for Humanity said they'd take it but we'd have to pull it out and our poor old bones just couldn't do that. I put an ad for the carpet and amazingly a few people called.

First one person called and said they'd take all of the carpet. Then they didn't show up. Then someone else didn't show up. Then one person said they'd take one room of carpet but they'd have to come and look at it in a week or two. I'd just about given up and Gary purchased a carpet knife to cut the carpet up. Then the first people who called, called back again and said they were coming to get it all. I didn't believe them, but amazingly they showed up and they pulled every bit of carpet up and all the pad and took it away. After they left I realized they had saved us a ton of work. Actually saved Gary a ton of work. Having someone take all the carpet at once and pull it up themselves was a silver lining indeed.

On the way home from the paint store this weekend we were feeling sorry for ourselves and wondering how we would get all the work done around here. Then we saw a sign for a Greek festival. The festival was right around the corner from our house, so we decided what the heck we'll go even if we we're in our grubby clothing. We had a wonderful time and we didn't even have any ouzo, just a Greek beer. I had the best dolmas I've ever had. We also heard traditional Greek music and saw traditional Greek dancing and chatted with folks who live nearby and were feeling much better by the end of the day.

The biggest silver lining of the day for me was that I met several potters at the festival which was the last place I would have expected to meet a potter. I met Patrick Bates who does raku and horse hair pottery and his parents Barrie and Len who make functional and handbuilt pottery. They were so friendly (what potter isn't) and shared their time and knowledge of the area with us. And we've been invited to their next raku party and I told them I'd like to invite them to a barrel firing party here as soon as I get organized.

We placed an ad on craigslist to sell our motorhome and our travel trailer. Several people called and a few came to look at the motorhome, but no one called about the trailer. The folks that looked at the motorhome all wanted us to reduce our price way too low. We were thinking we might never sell the motorhome, let alone the trailer. We wanted to sell the motorhome first since the registration is due in May. Also we need a roof and pool repairs and the sale will help defray those costs.

Yesterday I changed the ads to another city thinking I'd have better luck. Two times someone flagged our ads and they were removed. Both times I retyped the ads and reloaded all the photos. I was getting really angry since there was no reason my ads should have been flagged. Finally I gave up and put the ads back in the other city listings. Meanwhile someone called and said they were coming to look at the motorhome and never showed up. Then today one of the people who had offered a really low price, came and bought our motorhome for what we wanted to sell it for. Another silver lining.

I really hate to throw things away, so I put an ad on craigslist for some funky light fixtures we replaced. Yes we had four matching acrylic crystal hanging lights. One of them is shown in the top photo. These are the ones I thought no one would ever want. Then when not one person called, I was thinking to myself I was right, no one wanted them.

We noticed if we put recycle items beside the trash can the guys who pick up the trash will take those items and put them inside their truck. I thought about putting the acrylic lights out with the trash this morning, but forgot to do so. Then not ten minutes ago a woman sixty miles away called and asked about the acrylic lights, hoping I didn't sell them. She sounded almost desperate for them. I told her where I lived and thought for sure she wouldn't drive all that way. The woman and her sister are driving 60 miles to get the acrylic crystal lights tomorrow. Apparently they are just what they want. Surely these four matching acrylic crystal lights are a silver lining for them.

Oh, I met two more potters via telephone today and each one is willing to fire my work till I decide which kiln to get and have it wired. So I should have some work to show in a week or so. Finally I'll be able to see what will happen with all the work I did in the RV for the past four months.

This is getting to be a real long post, but I really do have an important message. Before we sold our motorhome this morning, Gary was feeling kind of worried about not selling the motorhome and I was feeling bad that he was having to do so much work around here and then I got a message to look at Kittie's blog, The Block. Low and behold I got a Silver Lining award for my blog. Thank you so much Kittie for giving me the award and for reminding me to focus on the silver lining in my life each and every day. If you haven't stopped in to Kittie's blog, The Block, you are in for a real treat. Kittie weaves her tales like no one else; she has such beautiful thoughts about everyday life; and, well, I can't say it as well as Kittie can, so be sure to visit her blog regularly, you will be glad you did.

Now in keeping with my silver lining award I am going to pass on the silver lining award to more bloggers. Before I do, I just want to say that starting my blog has had a silver lining for me in so many ways. I started my blog to learn and share about clay, but along the way I have found the real silver lining is in the people I have met through my blog. Each and every person has enriched my life through their blogs and their comments and their generosity. Thanks so much to all of you for your support, your comments, and for your blogs. I wish I could give the award to all the blogs I read, but here are just a few of the ones which have a silver lining to me. All those awarded below should give the same award to as many bloggers, spreading silver linings all the way.

Amy's Clay Ventures
Artmaking in the North, Cindy
Kittie's Spanish Studio
Off Center Productions, Joan
and Joan's other blogs:
A Wild Patience
Path With Heart Workshop

Peter's Pottery
Sister Creek Pottery, Gay
The Inquisitive Magpie, Barbara
Through the Sapphire Sky
Tracey Broome
Whynot Pottery Blog, Meredith


  1. Linda: Thank you kindly for the silver lining award. I sure felt the same this week while firing my Raku kiln. My turquoise glaze that always comes out, so reliable, has decided it doesn't want to be turquoise anymore and is now coming out of the firings a beautiful copper red. Sorry to not have the blue but silver lining- the copper is gorgeous! How is the kiln search going? So happy you are meeting potters in your new home. The first people I met here in Chapel Hill five years ago were potters and they are still my good friends. Truly silver linings there!!

  2. Great post Linda, and thanks for passing on the silver lining award. Reading about your silver lining was very interesting, we had the same sort of thing here in Granada when we moved in there were 28 A3 pictures of Christ dotted around the house. Along with the acrylic candelabras and the plastic flowers so adored by the Spanish. Finding homes for most of these things was fairly easy as we brought our northern European taste into the casita. But 28 pictures of Christ was a tough one and I have my own Christ picture and stuff too.
    A tentative few went to the neighbours, but we couldn’t make a move to offer them all until I had established my own catholic credentials in case they though us heathens. So I started going to mass which I luckily had a huge portion of it in Latin, otherwise I would have been completely lost. But although my roots were there, I really had moved away from that sort of organised religion; except for catastrophes when you always revert to type!!!! Well, I got rid of most of the pictures eventually; Andrew had a need to keep the one depicting the son of God as David Beckam, complete with bleeding heart and pontiff salute.
    To me, I think silver linings are a sign of synchronicity and that in turn is a sign that you are on the right path. So keep walking Linda, your going the right way!
    Meantime I have a stranded English traveller in my home, he is going to try and get off this Iberian peninsular on Saturday by plane (some hope). I have a ferry ticket for the 5th May to England with the work for the show thankfully.
    Oh and now you have the pair of us Kittie and Kitty - you got to get our spellings right!!!!!!!

  3. Hi Tracey, thanks, I've been looking at a few used kilns, I think I decided against the Olympic gas kiln, now I heard about an Olympic electric but no auto controller, not sure about that and a Jen-Ken kiln, don't know a thing about them. I just need to get over to Bennett's pottery and talk to them about a new one which would probably be best in the long run. Just been busy trying to sell the RVs first which took precedence. At least one is gone now, a load off of our minds.

    Hi Kitty, thanks, sorry about the misspelling, I was typing late last night and somehow I got it wrong. The 28 pictures of Christ would have been a bit much for me too. I guess everyone has to have a collection. I'm feeling a little better about moving here as the days go by; I have to keep in mind it is stressful not matter what moving to a new location. I just need to get a kiln connected up and do some firing and then I'll be fine. Somehow the clay evens it all out. Good luck with your show coming up; I know you are madly working.

  4. Awwwww! Thank you Linda :o) I have to say your Blog always makes my day. I love your sincerity and you always seem so much braver than I could be. I heard once that all of our ups and downs are just "life stuff" and without "life stuff" how empty our days would be!
    So glad it all is working out (it really is) and what we do without Cr@igslist -besides paying a bazillion dollars for simple, little ads -ha! YOU GO GIRL, I know swimsuit shots of you and Gary are coming soon -right?!

  5. Hi Cindy, thanks, well I sure don't have empty days, just filled with what I don't want - home repair - which is needed to get what I do want - my studio organized, and start working in clay again. You might see some pool shots and Gary, but none of me in my suit, too many lumps and bumps for that, Ha!

  6. Linda, thanks for lengthy post.. wow. we redid the house we live in - it took 8 months wallpaper, bad lights, urined carpet etc etc

    all worth it though.

    Thanks for award. my gardens are starting to show a silver lining and my knees work better this year another silver (titanium ) lining.

    I am so glad you did sell the RV; best of luck with all your challenges. Keep taking time for fun in the midst of work.Hugs, Joan T

  7. Moving is always such a challenge -- but you are brilliant in seeing the 'silver - lining' in all that you do. I hope you do get a chance to go to Bennett's. You will really like them -- Joan is the best. I bought my kiln & wheel from them. When you are at Bennetts you are only about 10 miles from where I used to live in Windermere.

  8. Hi Linda!
    I have been trying to catch up on blogs and decided to skip quite a few and run over here to find out what is going on with your new house and all!
    I was enjoying reading about how well things were working out for you and low and behold there I am on your list!
    Thanks! It might take me a day or two to get back around to picking this up and sending it to others.
    Gosh! I am happy how things are going so well for you!
    You are a bright spot for me!

  9. Thank you Linda for the Silver lining award nomination, it is really nice of you to think of me. I will accept it, but will put it into the system next post in a few days as...I have just got around to accepting a Kreative Award that I was nominated for some time ago.

    I did pop over recently and see the crystal tiles (but was too tired at the time to put together a comment). It is interesting seeing tiles done that way. I did have one or two thoughts about trying some of my own, so I might give it a go now that I have seen it is possible!

    You both are very busy. It is a strange and difficult time, having moved so far to a new place where you don't know a soul. I can well imagine that you have times when you feel very isolated and wonder why you came. It took us a few months here before many people spoke to us (and they are nice folk here too, just cautious!). Now, 20 years on, when I walk up the street to buy one or two things from the local shop, I have to allow quite a lot of time as I usually end up in long conversation with someone!

    I am so pleased to read that you are making contact with potters, and have offers from them of firing your work. Also nice that you have an invite to a Raku party.

    Best Wishes to you and Gary

  10. Hi Joan, thanks, it's just that we did this to our last house for five years and were so tired of remodeling and now this one Ugh, but we plan on getting it all done asap and then I'll have more time for clay.

    Hi Judy, thanks, I am planning on going to Bennets this week as I am out of clay and I just have to do something in the evening or I am going to go crazy without the clay ha. Besides I can talk Gary into going because he wants to say he put his foot in the Atlantic ocean.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, I'm glad my blog can brighten your day, no rush on the silver lining, otherwise it isn't a silver lining.

    Hi Peter, thanks, several of the neighbors have been quite friendly but we feel pulled to get the house done rather than visit, we want to get it all out of the way quickly before the hot weather comes along and we are sweltering in the heat.

    I do hope you try the crystal tiles. I could just envision them in a bathroom as these particular ones reminded me of bubbles under water. the crystals were spread out and not too fractured as those in your work, not knowing much about the various crystals, these may not be a crystal and perhaps just a bubble look glaze? I'll have to re-examine them. Still and all I think the crystals would be nice on some tiles as a wall hanging or modern art piece or something similar. Ah well so many ideas and so little time.

  11. Well, I must first say thanks. You are so kind. I also must admit that when the days are long (most are these days) I often just look at a few posts on my blog list as I don't have time for reading all of the updates and yours is one of a small handful that I check out. I stay updated because it's quite apparent that you are so creative, brave, and you just think out of the box. You're tenacious too. Thanks for the encouragement, especially on today, a day that it is needed. Hang in there with all the adjustments to moving. The experts say that moving is about the most stressful event. Good things take time. Hope I get to meet you someday- and maybe do a barrel firing! I'm not at all surprised that you met potters at the festival! You're so well connected...
    Take care! Thanks for all the blog posts...

  12. Hi Amy, thanks you are so kind and I feel we are kindred spirits in many ways. I too hope we get to meet. At this point I can't travel far in my car but I'm getting better every day and hope to be able to make it up to that area before the snow flies that's for sure. I am trying to network more than I did in my last place and hope I can develop some clay and other friendships in this area.

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  14. Thank you so much for the award, Linda. I appreciate it! This post is very inspiring! And I thought the same thing as Kitty Shepherd said: silver linings are a sign of synchronicity. I think they are good signs! I'll write about my gratitude later on my blog but in a little bit different way. Thank you again.

  15. Hi Sapphire, thanks, looking forward to your post. I have had more good signs, will post abou them later and looking forward to your post as always.

    Peter, I looked at the tiles again and they are crystals in those tiles.

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