Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brookside Pottery Will Be Moved by August 31

OK, I am at it again. I must be scaled down in my shop behind my shop by August 31. Sort. clean, toss. It is about 17 years of collected stuff and project ideas.
I confess it is a scary thing and my shop still feels like it is mine and like it cannot change a whole lot. Thank goodness my friends tell me they see big changes every time they come.
Change happens and I gotta do it. There is no way with the construction, gas prices competing and the doubled rent that I can stay where I am. Gotta move to the back.
After a visit with friends at the reunion and the family reunion I am ready to charge forward again.
All my art gallery neighbors except for the art gallery on the corner will be gone by Thursday, July 31st. So. please spread the word, I have not moved yet. I had several calls thinking I am gone now too. I'm here till August 31!
I find more stuff to put on sale every day. What is left will be donated to neighbor to neighbor and Habitat for Humanity to help the community and for a tax deduction.

I may send out a call to friends to come and help for an hour or two once I am ready to move the bigger or significant stuff. Call and tell me if you want to volunteer an hour or two. I could use the help but don't want to abuse my friends. I will make a sign up sheet so no one has to sweat too much. Once I know where everything goes this should not be too difficult. We are getting there!

Visiting Home, Tennessee

I am back in Tulsa again after a quick high school and family reunion in Tennessee. I am amazed when I look at the scenery how similar it is to the Hawaiian lush greenery. I had not related the two but now I see it in the photos. Who knew I grew up in a Tennessee rain forest?

These photos show a part of my design history, the greens, the rock like feel and the lushness of the surface. Rocks, woods and water are three basic elements in my design inspiration.

Now I look west. I would like to live near the desert mountains in Santa Fe but this is where I came from. It took a long time to get over the homesick feelings I had for Tennessee. I drew the soft mountain lines of the horizon on my plates and platters. The cool blues found their way onto my pots.

Now I belong on this side of the Mississippi River. Tennessee and the Appalachian Mountains will always be a part of me but I look westward and want to go there and live there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

View Mount Brookside outside my shop or one more reason we had to move

Doubled rent, new construction, my sign fell half down, the electric bill increased and tennis elbow and higher gasoline prices competing with pottery sales "those are a few of my favorite things."

It is OK. I will nest happily in my new smaller area. I did realize today it is just like childbirth. I am birthing a new pottery shop. Ouch. Oh it hurts and the contractions are horrible but oh when the new baby gets here it is worth the pain. Soon, when I know where stuff is going I will call on my wonderful brigade of friends to help save the day and play house in the back. It is fun to build a new studio after the contractions of the birth of a smaller studio. I should be there soon, just a few more pushes. Please dear friends, I hope you will answer your phones when I call and take you up on those offers to help me move. Then maybe I will stop waking up at the "hour of the Goddess" when all of us wake up for a few hours and worry. If only we knew who was up and we could tell each other to go back to bed.

So here are a few photos to show you this great view out my business window.

I so hoped Venture would just raise the rent a little so we could all stay until December. We just cannot take the construction on top of everything else. If you come to sale Saturday, park in the back so you don't pick up any extra nails or screws from the construction. Venture Properties has been nice to me they just had to pay for what they just bought, my building.

Class Information at Brookside Pottery

Just call and join in to fit your summer schedule. Classes are on going and easy to join in at any level with a new demonstration every class.

Brookside Pottery Classes

3710 South Peoria Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74105
918. 747. 7574
Linda Coward, Teacher

These classes are designed for beginners and those getting back into clay. Students will learn how to make pinch pots, slab pots, coiled pots and hollowed-out forms and how to create pots using a combination of these techniques. Students will also get an introduction to firing and will glaze their own pots. During each class, students will watch a demonstration of a new technique and then work to complete their own forms. The atmosphere will be relaxed and productive. Come join the fun!
Advanced or repeating students will be given more challenging versions of the above projects or they may repeat any project they desire.

Monday evenings,all levels, pottery, 6:30-9 p.m. Class size: 12 maximum.(smaller classes this fall)

Tuesday evenings all levels, 6:30-9:00 p.m. Class size: 12 maximum

Kid’s and Adults, together or separately Class to be arranged. Find 5 kids and we will start a class just for you. Fee: $25 introductory visit with materials furnished.. Preferred ages 5-14. Bring a friend and have fun!

Saturday mornings: Open workshop for former students. $25 per session, 10 a.m.-Noon. Call first to make arrangements.

Tutoring for throwing $50 per hour. Need help and special attention when learning to throw? This is one to one trouble shooting for the beginning and intermediate throwing student. By appointment only.

Open studio open to previous students. $25 per session by appointment.

We also host scout groups and help them acquire badges and birthday parties.

Fee: The class fee is $25 each time we meet, plus materials. You should sign up for 4 classes at a time saving the last to glaze. and includes of six pieces.

No class on: July 22, 28,29 And August 4 and 5. Regroup in new shop in September

Email sent to those on my mailing list

Hi everyone!
This is an invitiation to everyone to come by Saturday from 9-3 or so. for a fun garage sale. Yes, I am still working on scaling down and fitting into the garage behind the pottery. It is not easy but it must be done by August 31.

So you all need to come and take advantage of this situation. As most of you know my rent has doubled and I am scaling down to the space behind my old shop. I am going from about 2500 square feet to 740 square feet. I will contine to sell clay tools and glazes and will annouce my new hours later. I hope to work on more special orders and more one of a kind sculptures (like the good old days) and have theme openings about every 6 weeks or so. And I want to have more of a real life and spend more time with friends and family.

Brushworks is closing July 31 and will also have a garage sale the same day from about 9-1. Floating World Gallery is also closing July 31. Many others have left our block as well because of the rent increase.

So, come enjoy our sale of interesting stuff. Park in the back. Construction in the front is a real pain. Enter my garage sale in the shop from the back door for your convenience.

What's on sale? Pots, fixtures, art materials, rolling pins, 6 foot folding tables at $20 each, a few other tables, odds and ends of funiture, shelves, extra work boards, forms to use as molds, gift items, project stuff, stools, work tables, display items good for shows, bags and wrapping stuff, beads, jewelry, stainless utensils, and a whole lot more. I probably won't have the glaze chemicals sorted yet.

So see you soon I hope. There will be another final sale with glaze chemicals etc before August 31 and then we will party and open the new shop officially.

So come and get first choice. Starts Saturday at 9 and lasts until 3 at my shop. It has been a fun 17 years building Brookside Pottery. Change happens.

Thanks! Linda Coward 747-7574

And don't forget to visti my blog that works like a website at LindaCowardPottery.blogspot.com
There you will find the latest news from the shop and personal life. It is pottery journal.

Big Sale This Saturday at Brookside Pottery

Oh yes. There will be a lot of art supplies, store fixtures and gift items and studio supplies garage sale style this Saturday from about 9-3 or so.

Brushworks is also having a garage sale so we should have a lot of great stuff that you want.
I am moving to the garage behind me by August 31. Brushworks and Floating World are moving by July 31. Many others on our block have already moved. Our rent has doubled.

Park in the back and come in through the back door. The massive construction project in Brookside continues on in front of our shops. I have a giant pile of rocks and several large yellow machines with men in hardhats, smoking and talking on their cell phones everyday outside my front door.

If I have a chance I will put up a few photos and price lists of items for sale. If you want to get ahead of the crowd come just before I close at 5:30 on Friday.
This should be fun and I look forward to seeing a lot of old friends as well.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mongel, the movie

John and I went to our favorite theatre and only theatre in Tulsa, The Circle Cinema. I gave John a membership to the theater a few years ago for his birthday. It is a great independent and foreign film kind of place in Tulsa.

The movie Mongol was playing and it was terrific. I have not seen a blockbuster style movie in a long time and it was thrilling. The photography was great and the story way fascinating, Genghis Khan on the big screen. Love blood and guts. I usually don't like that much war but it was fascinating and believable as we look back into the 1100-1200ad time frame. It was a great escape into another way of life. The actors were intense and realistic. I have not seen a movie that kept me on the edge of my seat like this since I was a little girl watching those Saturday afternoon movies on TV.

OK I'm ready

Full speed ahead. I'm gonna get this move underway. It was nice to have a little time off over the week-end to regroup.
I drove by the block today and was taken aback by the for rent signs I think there are 4 now. There will be more. Our wonderful art block has come to an end, quickly. I hope I won't be forgotten in the little space behind my old shop.
This week was the low point, I think. Mount Brookmore, big pile of rocks and several yellow tonka trucks in front was disturbing. The water faucet blew off leaving me with only water from the air conditioner condensing and the vent in the bathroom is falling down and still the rent doubles?
It is ok. I like my new space and I am looking forward to being able to concentrate on fewer projects in a quieter environment. I can travel some too and not have to be there all the time. I should have a very interesting little shop and I look forward to it. I want to do some projects I have been thinking about for a while and will probably have mini shows of my most recent projects, maybe once a month or every 6 weeks and we will have openings with wine cheese and my white tent right outside the door. Yes it will be fun little openings with cool stuff.
Tomorrow my friend Tom comes by from Costa Rica and we will talk about my future trip there and he is bringing an arm Doctor with him whom he says is really good and will give me more arm advice. That is good news too!
So, I am ready now. I am rested and ready to dig in again. Less is more!

Forgive me for whining here and there. It is all about this pubic journaling biz. I will try and keep the subjects more interesting.

And, thank you all friends and customers who braved the heat and construction to come and buy a little here and there and offer moral support during these big changes.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I went to work today and know I should start the real move. My daughter's boyfriend pulled up the toxic carpet in the little room in my studio. That was a real gift. The carpet was full of fertilizer and insecticide left over from the last renters a hardware store. Now I can begin to move into that room as my own private studio.
However, I had so many visitors today it was impossible to accomplish anything toward the moving experience. It was good to check in with others and some people really needed me but the day passed away. Rats.
I am not a space planner and all this scares me. It is not a good day for me. Tomorrow must be better. One friend was able to offer some good moving suggestions and was extra helpful picking up a package from Fed Ex who thinks I have already moved. What? I wish!
I keep remembering what my friend from Costa Rica said. "Store the stuff you want, sell the rest and get you ass down here to rest and a plan will come to you naturally." He is right. I will go to Costa Rica as soon as possible.

I am overwhelmed today. It is the first day to really start moving stuff I want to the back. I want to cry. I look for the inner strength to get this done. I don't want to own anything.
I gave away a couple of fun things today. One was s sweet little basket rescued in a garage sale and another was an inspirational postcard of the woman in a dress who climbed Mt Rainer many years ago, in her dress. They rescue souls today that still cannot make climb up in one piece today. And there she was and by grannies, she did it and did it her way.
My great grandmother could stand in a bucket and throw a bail of hay to the second story of the barn in Indiana. Thank you for those strong German genes. Good teeth (well maybe used to be), strong bones and stamina. The men on the farm in Indiana could not do this.

Stamina, strength. I can do this.

I will be stronger tomorrow. I will get this done. But first, I am tired and I need a nap. Some days are better than others. I am glad to have such wonderful friends. So many have offered to help if I get in a pinch.
Tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back to the Move and Sale

I am back in Tulsa now, after a short trip to Columbia Missouri for freshman orientation for my daughter Rachel.
It is good to have a break before jumping in to moving the pottery. There should be a lot of interesting "extras" for sale starting tomorrow. Rachel's boyfriend ripped up a bunch of dusty old carpet out of the garage I am moving into so I can "get with it" again tomorrow.
So, here we go again. Sale, sort, give away and throw away.
There are a lot of pottery magazines at half price. All jewelry is 50% off. Great stainless serving spoons and spreaders at 25% off. Geodes and stones are marked down and so is a lot of my pottery.
And, we are letting people join in the pottery classes as you please. The classes are fun and we have a new project every class.
Still no water in the back. It should happen soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BODY mind soul

I walked 11,268 steps today. That is the most since Hawaii. This is good. Gotta give the body a chance to balance with the mind and soul. And, it is just plain good to walk.

Watching Students Grow

My daughter starts photo journalism at the Univ of Missouri this fall. I am excited for her and I must say as we attend the Freshman Orientation for students and parents, they have done their homework.
It is fun to watch this new generation of college students. I think they may be one of the special generations. They have so many challenges as the government has messed up our economics and social morals as we continue down the road of the super power. I find it scary. How do we undo all the wrongs?
Every now and then we have a special generation. I think this may be one. I always thought the young adult women around 1900 were in that category. With their enthusiasm and wisdom we gained the right to vote and produced a lot of good artists and writers. And of course the writers and artists around Thomas Wolfe's time including Scott and Zelda Fitgerald's and Georgia O'Keefe' and Steiglitz were incredible. The arts emerge sometimes. It is exciting when that happens.

When I was with Jamie and her boyfriend Steve in Hawaii, I saw science and art meeting again. I love it when that happens. Steve said it is all about evolution. When there is dissatisfaction and things don't work, change must happen. That is when art changes as well. Maybe he is right. His father was an evolutionary scientist and his mother was a potter.

This generation is different, somehow. It might be the dissatisfaction and the change we need to survive and grow. It is time for art and science to meet again to make things happen. I was pleased to hear the chemistry teacher give his enthusiastic talk about what teachers expect from student and what students expect from teachers. It was very philosophical and once again brought art, science and life together.

He quoted Naylor from The Search of Meaning saying:
"A community is a grouping of people dedicated to the nurturing of each other, mind , body heart and soul." I will have to look into this book and I saw it on Amazon. Hmmm.

The young strong bodies and minds give me hope. It is nice to share the energy of life. I think maybe this new generation can handle it. They seem to be technocrats that think and move quickly and have insight as well.

I have always thought my daughter is a wise old soul. And now I get the pleasure of watching her grow: mind, body, heart and soul.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rachel's Freshman Orientation at University of Missouri

We are in Missouri for Rachel's freshman orientation. Mizzou looks great but the orientation dorm room was a bit bleak. Lucky for Rachel this is not her dorm this fall. This dorm will be renovated soon and that is a good idea.
Rachel is looking forward to starting her new college life this fall in photo journalism. This should be a fun couple of days for her!

Raku in July

Smoke and Fire come hand in hand while raku firing

Ian watches the temperature of the firing as we wait for the glazes to mature

Margaret Jackie and Betty brought brownies, watermelon and more goodies for the hot summer day

Waiting in the heat

Cold rags, head cools

Kent and Ian reload the kiln

Smoke and staying cool, keep those shirts wet

It was hot and we fired anyway. When it gets cooler we will have a big firing in my backyard and everyone will be invited. Ian fired 35 pots and Margaret fired some too. Kent was a great help and brought jambalia and fresh corn for our feast. Come by the shop and see Ian's new pots.

80 something the new 20 something!

Ok. So the Doctor told me I was just old. Well, here is the good news. On Sunday, July 7th we did a raku firing in my back yard with just a few interesting souls to keep it simple in the 90 something degree heat.
This lovely and loving lady in the photo is Betty Lloyd is one of my students and she is 80 something and she is a fine example for us all. She makes 80 something as pleasant as 20 something and maybe better. She fired with us all afternoon and is a real trooper. "I'll have what she is having!"
A fine healthy and positive life with a terrific attitude. I love her. She is grateful for every day and always has a big smile on her face and lots of hugs. She has survived a lot. She had breast cancer and lots of other aches and pains as well. Now she is fighting back pain. She never whines. She stays so positive.
When her loving husband died she started taking pottery and has fun making cool pots for her children and grandchildren.
She sets an incredible example for us all. Betty enjoys nearly every day of her life.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"You're Just Old"

I am officially diagnosed by a specialist, OLD.
Yep, that is what the Doctor Specialist told me. "You're just old."
Harrumph, he is 10 years older than me.

My poor old arm. He said, " You are just old and you overwork it and you cannot have anymore physical therapy and you should not get an operation (like I would go for that) and go away and live with it and when you can't stand it anymore come back and get another steroid shot."

Never mind that the physical therapy was helping even though it was slow.

So now what? He and I did agree it is hard to know when it is well enough to try and build strength. It is a fine line.

He said he cannot run anymore from his aches and pains and cannot weed eat because of the same tennis elbow and it is common for us old people to have these pains.

I heard sawing and yelling in other parts of the office making me a bit wheezy and then I realized they were sawing off casts like the red one in the trash. Guess I could not get out of there fast enough after that. I told him the acupuncture really helped a lot last week so he said "Well go try that some more."

So does this mean 56 is the new 86? I don't think so. Watch me! I don't go down this easy. Guess I should have slugged him in the shoulder with my bad arm as I left. I bet my bad arm is still better than his good arm.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Stuff replacement saving stuff

When I was given this great bottle of champagne, I took it on several trips and could not find an event special enough to open the bottle. I finally decided the event was drinking this $130 gift bottle of champagne. So, guess what? It tasted a bit flat. It tasted like a good apple cider. Moral of the story, you snooze you lose. Don't wait to long to drink a good bottle of champagne. I finally drank it on its second trip to Santa Fe while wearing my Hawaiian sarong. Could this be a bit risque? Loved it anyway. Second moral of the story, drink faster.

I just visited a dear friend who moved her life and her shop. A month ago she had nothing leaving husband and all behind and now she has her own duplex in a desirable part of town and guess what? She has a washer, a dryer, and a refrigerator and a new radio for $1.98 even though the volume is not controllable and plays loudly. It is on and loud or it is off. And, she is living comfortably. She just lost 155 pounds, the weight of her ex husband.
This gives me hope. Not the ex husband stuff, rather the replace of essential items that keep you from going to the laundry mat. When I was forced to go to the laundry mat I heard incredible life stories, one after another. I was a sounding board for America. I guess I had this free therapist look on my face. I could hide behind any magazine while waiting for the clothing to get fluffy but still, put the mag down, I wanna tell you my history. It is great writing material.
I was on a plane leaving Switzerland and my seat buddy began telling me all about his wife and their best friend's husband dieing of cancer and he went to help and well...you know what happened and now how could he live with himself or tell his wife. His sympathies were too strong and things got out of control and well...more peanuts and coke please. I never saw him again and he was released from a bit of the stress and I have never let it go...The laundry mat stories are much more dramatic and usually involves a small shared house and maybe a baby and a boyfriend and a husband. I gotta have a washer, always.

Back to my friend, what scares me is her shop is smaller than mine and completely filled a duplex. I know I can do this. I look right and I see a very cleaned out area. I look left and I see a million small items I have not dealt with lately. I just gotta give crap away. The dumpster is full for a few days until the take it away dump truck comes. I remember the friend's smart alick husband who was a bit of a bossy neat control freak coming in my shop and saying "What the hell are you gonna do when you have to move?" Unforgivable words in my book.

So when we give stuff up, more comes.

I love empty spaces.

Less is more.

If worse comes to worse, I invite my friends to line up in the alley and I will fill their cars with interesting small stuff and they can drive it off into the sunset. OK?

Fourth of July, Squash and Corn and Eudora Welty

For the first time in my life I did not go to the fireworks nor did I miss them.

One of my favorite authors is Eudora Welty and if we still had a record player, "WHAT'S THAT? It is older than a walk man!", I would have kicked up my feet and listened to my favorite 4th of July story, "Why I Live at the P.O." It is my tradition to hear or read it every 4th. Well, I missed it this year but I heard NPR talking about her and they played an exert of one of her lectures. Read the short story. I love it.

Both of my children being mostly grown, have their own lives including fireworks and friends. Even as a child I did not like the sound of fireworks exploding. Like the cats, I want out the front door, hear the noise and cling to screen to get back in. The colors in the sky are lovely but the noise and fiery smells remind me of war. It is kind of like the song, "Onward Christian Soldiers" is that the right way to think? I have never understood why anyone would celebrate fighting in the name of Christianity. I guess I am more of a Quaker.

Anyway, back to the subject, my day stayed in the theme of exercise, cleaning and cooking.
I sorted through stuff at home realizing my basement is now so full I cannot even get around it with a vacuum cleaner. So I looked at the ever so important life junk and either tossed it if it had too much cat hair and dust or if it was usable decided to share it with others, mostly. I could be the ultimate star of the TV cleanup show. My nose is full of mold and dust and I still have a long way to go. I did get slowed down with a deep cut to my thumb and a band aid.

I guess it is a phase of life. Change. Can't do anything different if life is too cluttered with junk.

In the name of abundance in America, I cooked. I made too delicious casseroles instead of watching explosions. I made a squash casserole and a corn casserole. What could be more all American? Corn and Squash.

Squash Casserole a Southern Living cook book (good but not the Cowgirl Restaurant in Santa Fe's version I was aiming for)

Squash casserole
2 1/2 pounds of yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup butter (I used a healthier 1/2 butter and 1/2 canola blend)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 -4oz jar pimentos, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup red pepper (instead of green)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp of salt
10 round buttery Ritz crackers crushed (or a few more)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
and I threw in some shredded Parmesan cheese as well

*Cover an cook squash till softish and drain well, and try to get extra water removed
*Combine squash and butter in a bowl till butter melts then and mash and stir in the rest of the ingredients except cheese. Pam a 2 quart bowl and pour it in and bake 30 min at 325 and then add cheese and bake another 5 min and eat it and enjoy the fact that it took longer than you thought it would.

While looking for squash recipes I came across this one in one those group lady cook books and because I confess I had jiffy corn bread mix in the cabinet and it does not have canned Campbell soup in it I made this too. I refuse to use canned salty soup in homemade casseroles.

Corn Casserole
1 stick of healthy butter
1 8 1.2 box Jiffy Corn Mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. lite sour cream
1 can whole corn and juice
1 can cream style corn and juice (not quite canned soup but pushing it)
2 T chopped green onion
2 T chopped red pepper instead of green
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and bake at 350 for about an hour and it is not goopy.

If it was not so late and if I had not been fooled by someone leaving an empty butter box in the fridge, I would have also made baked brie. I bought the puff pastry but ran out of energy.

Alright dear diet friends, a should have eaten the squash raw and avoided the eggs, sour cream and butter but it wast he 4Th of July and I did walk 8957 steps which may have walked off one bite.

Julia Child would say it is OK as long as you don't eat too much. So here is to Julia!

Eat well, Love well, Enjoy Life or something like that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ying Yang of downsizing

Yes it feels good but it drives me crazy. We (Kristine and I) made big fast progress in the back clearing out crap. Oh my word. I love empty space. But! There is so much more. Sell it, it is good stuff, give it away and throw it in the dumpster. The dumpster is full again. This is difficult.

And there is the never ending threat it is still only month to month. Oh well, this is step one. If anyone reading this has anything at my shop, come and get it now or it might disappear. I sometimes feel like getting rid of it all. It would be easier.

The latest items for sale are 4- 6 foot folding tables $25 each or all four for $90.
I have a lot of jewelry racks. Shelves and three really nice glass shelf fixtures for $200 each or all three for $475. I have several wooden cup stands. Pictures soon. First come, first serve. Cash or credit cards on these items only.

Venture's timing is terribly bad for us all. Peoria is a mess and those of us who are left have no business. What a time to raise the rent. Today my lane in front was blocked all day with giant trucks and men with hard hats busting concrete. There is no parking in front. One section of the alley was closed to get to parking in the back while the city puts in new drains on 37th street. It is open now. Even 36th is blocked from Norfolk to Peoria going east.
I miss Amanda. I loved our regrouping with tea in the afternoons. She has moved out. Mikey and Claudia are closing at the end of this month and Tom at Floating World Gallery is shutting down as well. Am I the last one rearranging the chairs on the Titanic?

Plus Southminster Church is building a monster building in front of my house and it is looking much larger than I imagined. They start drilling holes into steel really early in the morning.

Tomorrow is a new day and the weekend offers lots of time for getting ahead sorting and tossing.

Stay tuned for more de-cluttering tips and more items for sale.

Tip for the day: Let go of the past and think of the future. Less stuff makes life sweeter.