Thursday, April 24, 2014

Making the time and taking the time....it's all worth it!


Well it has been way too long since my last post!  September 2013! WOW. Really!  Have I actually been that busy?  I don't think so, but then again maybe I have!!  I wish that time would slow down a bit for me. As I ponder that thought, I wonder if taking more time out for long and intentional conversations,  spending more time relaxing around a table with friends, and just sitting back and enjoying life,  would slow life down some?  My approach to life has always been to be go, go, go.  I love to be going and doing and accomplishing but I am starting to think that my definition of "accomplishing" may be a wee bit off.  

I remember when my kids were much younger, I had met with a good friend for coffee, she is about 10 years older than me and I always gladly found myself being a sponge during our conversations.  I remember her saying, as she scanned her hand across the table at Starbucks: "Rhodena, this is where things are accomplished; in intentional relationship, spending quality time with one another! Its these talks and these times together where things happen!" Then she gave a sweet little chuckle for what seemed like a dramatic effect, or at least it had a dramatic effect on me. At the time, her comment caused me pause, and in all honesty I am not sure it really sunk in until a couple weeks later.  It has, however, always stuck with me, and yet I know that I haven't always lived with that being a reality in my life.  And when I haven't I have missed out.  

It's not the phone calls accomplishing business or the brief conversations held in the grocery store or foyer at church on a Sunday morning where relationship is "accomplished" (though these times are great and nice and can be very meaningful).  Its not even the small talk banter between us moms at our son's soccer games where relationship is "accomplished".  It is getting together with friends for the sole purpose of relationship.  So, though I have been busy and in busy banter with others, I realize that I haven't been intentional about relationship over these last several months.  Now, intentional relationship has happened, but I am thinking, and believing, and learning that this intentional relationship thing should be a regular occurrence.  Not to freak you all out in our technological age, but I am thinking weekly! Yep, weekly. That's what I did when my kids were young.  I needed that to keep afloat. Why has it changed?  (Should I go for bi-weekly???? See, even I am freaking out a bit here).  Yep, weekly around a table and not with the family at dinner (though that is equally important,) but time with friends, with BFF's!  In thinking on this I realize that I haven't had a Girls Night Out with my BFF's since January. (Thanks Erin, from all of us, for the Jeff Foxworthy GNO. It was awesome!!!) We are normally better than that.  Sure we've called---more like texted which is even less relational--and we've been there for one another, but I am feeling the pull back to the good ole' days of going out for coffee, going out for dinner, real live conversations, vulnerable conversations and a whole lot of fun. Getting together just does that.  

To add to all this,  even though Dave and I have chitted and chatted briefly with friends at church, and sat with other mom's and dad's at soccer games where we have laughed and joked, we haven't, as a couple, just kicked back and relaxed, ate, drank and had fellowship with another couple, around a table, with no other agenda but relationship, for close to the same amount of time!  WOW. (That may have been an incredibly long run on sentence.)   Maybe we've been a little more faithful as a couple but it is so sporadic I feel we are missing out!  That should be a regular occurrence as well.  No wonder it feels like time has just slipped by me since September.  I think I have allowed it to by letting life take over and us not being intentional to "accomplish" relationship. Not to say we have not done anything, the opposite would be true, we've taken a few trips, had a couple hubby and wife weekends away, I've checked a whole lot of things off my to-do list, poured myself into non-profit work, have been busy with normal mom stuff, and of course have spent much needed time in the studio keeping the local shop that carries my pieces supplied with items to sell. (The shop, by sheer coincidence, is called "Table Talk"--they apparently get it!) So its not like I've been selfish or we've been selfish with our time but, for me,  I sure have been unbalanced, and I miss balance!  I miss casual conversations over dinner, or a cup of coffee, dessert and drinks.  No agenda but enjoying friends and doing life together.   I don't even think I realized how much I missed it until I started writing this post!!  

So to my precious hubby, if you read this blog.....if you don't, no worries I got us covered--he's probably freaking out right now :)......we need to reign ourselves and our little schedules in a bit, kick back, relax, get back to "accomplishing" relationship, enjoying life and living it the way God intended for us to live it. Yep, that's what He wants, for us to enjoy life and enjoy the company of the friends He has put in our path!!!  Just as I want my kids to enjoy their lives and be intentional about relationships, our Heavenly Father wants the same for us.  It's been a very eventful winter (extremely eventful!!!), and we now have Spring knocking at our door, so I personally am going to get back to making relationships a priority.  Not just "hey, how ya doing?" relationships or a call or text (way too many texts!!), but table time! Yep, table time.... conversations, kicking back, having fun, experiencing the kind of growth that only friends can inspire us too, and simply enjoying the relationships and friendships that I am sooooo blessed to have.  

Well, I didn't start out with this in mind as a post.  It kind of just went there after I wrote the first sentence.  However, for me personally, it was a good eye opening post!  I am going to share a few pictures of some gems from the kiln----even though the pictures aren't related to anything in the post I will share them anyway! Ha!! I hope you enjoy.  Think about going out for dinner with some friends, or having them over for dinner this weekend and maybe even the next as well.......(now we have to work on Dave's schedule so he has weekends off..... Forgot about that!!!  Oh well, its easy to work around that and it doesn't affect my ability to have a coffee and/or dinner with the BFF's).  

Au Revoir! 
Rhodena


This color combination is amazing.  My favorite blue. 


The always amazing RED!

And these I made for the Lake.  On our last trip up I realized "WE HAVE NO BOWLS!!"





Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Challenge....you can win prizes too!


I think as mom's we are always looking for ways to "do our job" better.  I, for one, want to be the best mom I can be.  I want to teach my children to honor God, I want to model God's love, I want to give them a safe haven in our home, I want them to have the best of me and so on and so on!   If you are a mom, you can relate.


So, in perusing through my Pinterest account, when I came across this challenge for making your home a haven, I thought I would share it.  I am not always great with follow-through on challenges and sometimes I find that with only one left at home, and he being a wonderful 16 year old with a busy schedule, that I can't even begin to do as suggested.  However, I am always encouraged by posts like this and try to take what is applicable and apply it to our home to the best of my ability. So check it out, and I hope in someway you to can be encouraged and maybe get some good ideas to take away and apply in your home.  


Making Your Home a Haven week 1
http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/09/making-your-home-a-haven-fall-challenge-is-back-with-an-ipad-mini-giveaway/











Soy Candle, Devotional Candle, Scripture Candle, Your choice of Fragrance, Color and Wick type
Oh, and if after reading this, you want a good great candle to burn--or if you don't read it and still want a great candle to burn-- I LOVE Good Neighbors Candle Company on Etsy.  She has a scripture candle you can order in any scent you want.  You can also change up the color and the wick type.  Personal favorites of mine are the Pumpkin Pie Spice and also the French Lavender.  These are really great when you burn them together.....actually she is making me a candle that is a combination Pumpkin and Lavender, just because I asked.  She really is awesome!  I will see if that smells as good as when I burn them at the same time.  It is a great combination for this time of year......and has an added bonus; Google the wonderful benefits of the Pumpkin and Lavender scent--nudge, nudge, wink, wink!  Enjoy.  Here is a link to Becky's awesome candles. 



http://www.etsy.com/shop/GoodNeighborsCandle


Blessing ~ Rhodena

Friday, September 13, 2013

More Pictures for Pintrest

I met with Jim and Tony of Table Talk, Senoia, GA, today and we did a little "photo shoot" for an ad in Fayette Woman Magazine--coming out in October.  (Photo shoot sounds a little goofy but I honestly couldn't think of another way to put it!).  I have to say I really like Jim and Tony.  Tony is decorator extraordinaire.  I suggested he offer his services over the Christmas season to decorate homes for the holidays.  He told me that he actually DOES do that.  Hmmmm.....I think my house would look magnificent if he could have the afternoon arranging and rearranging....it's a cool thought at least.

I brought to the store a few new pieces, two of the new luminaries that I pulled out of the kiln last week, they are amazing, (well I think so and Jim too because he held onto them to sell).  They really look great with the flameless candles in them, I keep the candles on timer so they go off every night when it gets dark. Again, one of those special little things that adds a smile to your face.  Jim also kept some of the yellow pieces that I brought in.  A client had placed a custom order for yellow, so I brought in a cream and sugar set as a sample to clear the color with her.  Jim liked the cream and sugar set so he held on to it.

I took a few photos and started to post them on Pinterest when I decided it would be so much easier to just upload them to the blog and then link from the blog to Pinterest.  So that is what I am doing.  I may end up completing  this over the next couple of days.....or I may get them all posted today, depends on how much time I can carve out to do this.  But either way here are a few to start out with.......

Simple and pure pieces.  
they add so much to any setting.  
Simplicity is beautiful....ahhhh..... 


Citrine creamer and sugar bowl.

Summer's glow creamer and sugar bowl.  Larger version than the Citrine set.

Turquoise on dark clay.


A River Runs Through It creamer and sugar bowl with lid. 



Ravishing Red Sponge Holder.  
Sponge holders are the bomb and so functional!  Trust me they keep your sponge nice...no smellies...and they look good too!



  


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

THE CUP I ADORE!



So my latest new love has been the "cup" I made.  Well, it started out a coffee mug but got a little off center while I was throwing and therefore, did not quite make the final coffee mug cut.  Since it was a little imperfect, and I didn't want to waste the clay,  I thought "I will make it into a vase and experiment with it". (Novel idea, all my mishaps are now vases.)  Given it was an experiment I went all out, added some slip as texture (sorry for the technical term but that's what I did) and glazed it with a bunch of random colours.  I was curious about how the colours would look combined, how they would react over the slip, and how they would react with each other. This was the perfect piece to try everything out. When I was done, into the kiln it went.

In all honesty when I opened the kiln I had all but forgotten about my experiment.  I unloaded the top shelf, then came to the second shelf and there sat the experiment.  I picked it up and looked at it.  Since I really had no idea what to expect I looked at it and thought "cool--really cool"(and it is, the colors and texture are amazing).  I brought it in the house and sat it on the counter.  It sat there for a couple of days and I just looked at it.  During those couple of days I happen to read a post by a potter who makes his own cups and goblets.  He talked about how he enjoys drinking from his pottery cups.  He said that he uses them for everything from OJ in the morning, to a glass of red wine at night and everything in between.

The Original Cup
Hmmmmm, I looked at my experiment and thought, "this could be a really cool cup!"  I wondered what it would be like to use a pottery cup, I had never done that before. I gave it a try and....ok, can I say I LOVE IT!!!!!  Love, love, love it.  I love it so much I made 2 more.
The 2 new cups

I use my original cup for everything!  Morning, noon or night. It is awesome! It also works great to put some yogurt in the bottom, layer some granola and berries on top and --Bon Apettit!


 Now, when I made the other two cups I wanted to duplicate the first one as close as possible.  I didn't have anymore of the original clay, or the slip that I used, but I had written down the glaze combination.  So, I threw two "random" cups (random because I experimented with the shape and size), glazed them with the same glaze combination as the first and put them in the kiln.  Voila.  Now I have 3 cups!  I still only use the first one---I have been know to have favorites-- but the other two turned out so cool as well.  I am going to "experiment" and make a few more in some bright colors, maybe some yellows or reds, maybe both.  But I have to tell you pottery cups are the bomb!  I think everything tastes better. Seriously!
See the different clay, the original is on the left


The Sunlight shows the colors and texture best. They look great with the yellow!

They look great with the blue green combination as well.  Hello Fall!!!! Yay!



So as we enter into this INCREDIBLE fall season--incredible because I love this time of the year, my absolute favorite!--find something special that brings a dose of joy into your everyday life.  Whether it be a cool pottery mug for hot chocolate or, my new found joy, a pottery cup for sipping something special or eating yogurt parfaits.  It really is the little things in life that make our everyday experiences bring a smile to our face.
Happy Fall!
~Rhodena

 


 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer, Summer

On Sunday we returned from our Roatan vacation.  We left rainy Atlanta, it's pretty much rained here all summer--so far--and headed for Honduras.  Nope, not for a mission trip, simply for some R&R and some sunshine, and we got both!  After two days of snorkeling, our desire to venture on out and see more of the world under the sea, was peaked.  The idea to take a Discover Scuba class became the forefront of our thoughts....well except for my daughter who had her reservations--naturally.  However, after one day of contemplating the SCUBA option we were ready to go, we could do it.  Off we went.  We headed into West End, hit the Coconut Tree Dive shop (which everyone raved about) and signed up for the next available "Discover SCUBA" class. "Discover SCUBA" consists of classroom time, skills practice in the shallow water just off the beach and a deep water dive. We got all signed up and we ready to go. When our SCUBA day arrived we excitedly, well maybe apprehensively, headed back to Coconut Tree Dive shop.  We tackled our classroom time, learned how to get our gear checked out and on--it is heavy!!!!, practiced our skills in water about 8' deep, came back, had lunch and then headed on out for our "deep" water dive. Ok, WOW.  Can you say Incredible!!!!

Now we only went down 28 feet (My son went on two dives, his second dive he went down 40 feet.....I am so jealous!!) but even at 28 feet, the world underneath the water was mesmerizing.  It is one thing to see it at an aquarium or in videos or in pictures, but it is another thing to see God's awesome creativity, of this other world, up close and personal.  The colors.....breathtaking.  The creatures......amazing and intricate.  Just when I think I am getting an understanding of God and how wonderful and incredible HE is, HE shows me more.  This time HE showed me more in a very physical and tangible way.  Not just by showing HIS goodness but it was like HE was showing me a little bit of HIMSELF personally (yes, I know HE is not a person but I don't know how else to state it). Truly amazing. 

I don't know how this transitions into pottery, expect that it definitely expands my desire to be creative.  I am reminded that God is creative--very creative--and we are created in HIS image, so we all have that creativity and that love of beauty within us. The ability to create is from HIM, the love of beauty is from HIM!  We all have it.  Not everyone thinks they do, but hey, YOU DO!!!  Use it.  Find an outlet where you can give it a try.   


Romans 8:22 tells us that all creation groans and is eagerly waiting on God.  ("For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.).  I never really totally could relate to that, however, it is starting to become alive to me, I can see and say that there is a spiritual aspect to ALL of HIS creation. 

Ask God to show you what you can do to let that artistry and passion that is within you flow out.  Remember it is in you, you have HIS nature and it is in HIM.  Then when HE leads you, or sends you opportunity, or puts something across your path or in your thoughts, PURSUE IT! Kill Fear. GO FOR IT.   Remember, wanting to do something and actually doing it are two different things.  Wants mean nothing--well, actually, they mean frustration--until they are acted upon.  Happy Creating!!

~~Rhodena      
(Just in case you're curious:  http://www.coconuttreedivers.com/ )

Here are some of my latest "creations". 





Sunday, June 16, 2013

Working on color and texture

Its summer time which means not much time for blogging!  But that's ok, I would much rather be spending time with my hubby, kids and friends,--well, lately it seems mostly my kids friends, but that's good too.

It's funny how as your kids get older their season in life seems to direct your season in life.  I guess they are really all interrelated.  When our children where young we took them everywhere with us, they learned to adapt to our lives and our schedules, it was our friends who dictated their friends and our lives dictated their lives.  And it was good, I believe it gave our kids the ability to function in an adult world, to be other person centered, to be confident and to not intimidated to go down the paths in life that were presented to them.

And now, as they embark on their lives as young adults (sophmore in college and Junior in high school) I am seeing that things have shifted a bit. Yep, Dave and I have moved from being focused or centered around our friendships to being focused around our children's (young adults) friendships. For example:   "Mom, Dad, can so and so come to the lake with us?".  "Mom, Dad, can so and so come over?"  "Mom, Dad, I am home for the weekend, what do you want to do?"  You see all of a sudden its not Dave and I telling them who is coming to the lake with us and what we are doing this weekend as a family, nope, it is Dave and I giving of ourselves to make room for the emerging adults and their friends. Ha!  I think I actually like it though.  It is for but a season, I realize this, and, I for one, am going to enjoy this season in life with as much joy and gratitude that I enjoyed the others.  Well, maybe a bit more joy and gratitude because I am older and wiser and am more able to see the times as fleeting.

In a couple of years it will be back to Dave and I having a little more say in things, but for now.....I will gladly enjoy the fruit of some of our labor and enjoy watching the two young adults we raised be young adults.  What a blessing.  I am so thankful to God for HIS steady hand through all the "rough patches", because there were some rough patches, and I am so thankful to for a greater understanding of HIS unwavering love.  It is amazing sometimes to think that God cares for lil' ole' me and my lil' ole' family.  But HE does.  Man does HE ever.

Well having said all that I have a couple pictures to post.  I've been working on some great glaze combinations.  I love the Robin's Egg blue with the honeycomb accents on the two prep bowls that I did.  I have them sitting on my kitchen counter and the more I look at them the more I love them.  The blue is a matte finish and the inside honeycomb and random honeycomb color on the outside is a gloss, beautiful.

Hope you enjoy the photos. I have some really neat hand built peices I am working on and will be firing them next week with the kids camp pieces.  Until then here is my new favorite color combo.

And now I just have to share a picture of the latest Salsa/Condiment bowl....for me, it makes you want chips and salsa just by looking at it.  If I hadn't just eaten a great Father's Day dinner I could go for Mexican!  Bon Appetit.

So, have some friends over next weekend (maybe for some pulled pork on the bar-b and some chips and salsa), whether it be your friends or your kids friends.  Embrace the life God has given you, relax, give to others, know God loves you unconditionally, (HE desires you to know that) and....enjoy some pottery!!!! (either making it or admiring it.)  There is nothing better than nurturing the God given desire to create, after all we are made in HIS image and HE loves to create!!

                       ~Rhodena



Monday, April 29, 2013

Finishing Touches on the Studio

For the next couple of weeks my kiln is officially out of business. So sad!  Last week I pulled the last load of pottery out of the kiln, unplugged it and put a cover over it--well actually Dave put a cover over it.  It was the final run for a bit, the kiln will not be up and running again until the drywall is up, the walls are painted (me) and the flooring is in (Dave and I). Yay!  Sounds like fun.  I don't know how much time I'll have to do any pottery between painting the walls and installing the floor (yikes!), but I am sure I will make some time to work on the wheel or hand build a few items and get them ready to fire. Pottery is my reprieve and by the sounds of things I will need a reprieve.  

Here are some of the results of the last run of the kiln before it was forced into taking a vacation. The pieces turned out beautiful!  Leaves me wondering if an Etsy store is in order...hmmmmm?  My original intent was to provide an open studio, a place for fellowship and creativity, a place to nurture the soul,  but maybe the addition of an Etsy storefront is not a bad idea.  :)  Something to think about. 

Here is a sampling of the finished pieces.  These colors turned out amazing.  Absolutely stunning!  I adore  turquoise blue, no matter where it is used or how it is used turquoise adds a spark so I decided to add it to my pottery.  WOW!  Makes me want to go on a tropical vacation.  These are so perfect for summer, they put me in the mood for the beach!    

Casserole/Serving dish



Salad Bowls




6 ounce coffee mugs....for an afternoon pick me up


I will get some more pictures posted through out the week.  Thought this would be good for today.  On such a beautiful spring day I wanted to bring a little taste of summer your way.

This makes me think on the fact that life to is made up of seasons (It's been a very reflective day). I know I have been guilty of thinking some seasons are forever (the good and the bad), but that is not true.  Good or bad, this too shall pass. That sounds fatalistic but it definitely doesn't mean that things always get worse--though they may for a time.  There are seasons I have gone through that I thought were the BEST, now looking back on the other side I have come to know they weren't.  They may have been the BEST at the time, but in my journey with God, HE has lead me to BETTER.  Not to say I didn't go through some rough waters to get there. And in dealing with the rough waters, no question about it, they are rough!  For me, if I can remind myself to keep my eyes focused on HIM and then lean back into HIM and trust HIM, the waters loose some of their fury and I can tap into HIM to pull me through. I guess James said it well when he said "consider it all joy when you encounter trials..."  That really is the key, find joy or rejoice in the midst of it all.  (On a side note: I absolutely hate rough waters!!! Just for the record. )

Having said all that--mostly as a reminder to myself--- I want to be one who enjoys each and everyday that God has given me.  To make knowing HIM and knowing HIM in my day my highest priority.  When I do that it makes the good days and good seasons even better and it adds light to the bad days or bad seasons....much like the Turquoise does I guess, adds some light, a reminder that summer is right around the corner.  Keeping my eyes on God and trusting HIM gives a peace and a confidence in the midst of a storm, helps me to know that over the horizon the sun is shinning.