Grow, Business, Grow!

Once again, I have been neglecting the world of wordpress… I am guilty.  But, with good reason! I promise!  Besides all of my wedding planning craziness , I have also been trying to create more and get my pottery out there.  I do have my Etsy shop, Oak Leaf Crafts, but I also wanted to try to get my work in a real shop.  Guess what??  I did!! Keepin' It Local  Morganza, MD

Keepin’ It Local is a fun shop in Morganza in Southern Maryland.  I grew up in the area and passed the building that houses the local shop often.  However, it was not always a local goods and art shop.  The building was built in 1900 and was used as the local general store, bar, and post office all at the same time.  I personally remember it as an old abandoned building. I was so thrilled to see that someone purchased the old post office and made it into a local goods shop, keeping the history alive.  After visiting the shop and seeing that other local artists had their work in the shop, I had to try.  And they accepted!  Now some of my pottery is in the shop!  There are so many interesting things there and I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area!!

I have also made a page for Oak Leaf Crafts on Facebook (with the help from the fiance of course).  I am trying!!!  One day maybe I will be able to make even more work… who knows!

Some of my pottery :)

Some of my pottery 🙂

My first Keepin' It Local paycheck!

My first Keepin’ It Local paycheck!

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So I went back… again….

I posted before that I had visited the Orthopedic doctor for my back.  He spoke to me at length about my symptoms, he decided that we would not try physical therapy again because it did not work previously, and prescribed an MRI.  FINALLY.  I have wanted to get an MRI done for a long time now and hadn’t been able to get a doctor to agree with me that I needed it.

The dark gray disc towards the bottom of my spine is the herniated disc.

So on Monday I went in for my first MRI (which wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be) and got my scans there and then.  Of course that night I looked them over – the amazing radiologist that I am- and froze when I spotted a huge white blob next to my spine.  I was positive that I had a tumor/ cancer.  The following day I was a wreck.  My next Ortho appointment wasn’t until Thursday and it was only Tuesday.  It felt forever away to figure out my actual results… but then a co-worker told me that I could call the radiologist and request copies of my written results within 48 hours of my MRI.  Perfect.  I was scared, but I called and requested them.  I booked it over to the radiologist and picked up my results 30 mins before they closed.

I opened them.

I didn’t have cancer.

Thank you, God.

What it did say though was that I have two herniated and ruptured discs pressing against my spinal cord, affecting my nerves (Stenosis).  Well crap.  I was so happy that I didn’t have what I originally thought, but what is this??

Today was the official appointment with my Ortho doctor.  Basically what he said was that this will never go away.  My options at this point are all to just alleviate the pain and numbness.  Steroids, Cortisone shots, or surgery to remove the part of the disc that is pressing into my spinal cord.

I really do feel lucky and blessed to be spared from the big “C”.  I was so worried and, being the pessimistic person I am,  was POSITIVE that is what I had.  I can still hike, camp, throw, teach, etc- as long as the pain is gone.

So I finally went…

… To the back doctor.  Or Orthopedic doctor.
For those of you who are potters, artists, or teachers you probably know the feeling.  I have really been putting off going, but my back has gotten so bad that it is hard to do every day things.  Like getting dressed… or sleeping.  Or walking.  Or bending over to pick something up. Or…. the list goes on and on.
So, long story short, I have had back problems for quite some time now.  I went to the same doctor months ago and he prescribed physical therapy, but did not diagnose my issues.  So I went, but with no positive results.  Needless to say, I stopped going to PT and kind of forgot about going back to the doctor.  (Secretly I was hoping that this would all go away…
Now fast forward more than a few months and here I am.  Back is worse.  Pinching and numbness.  So what does he think now?  I have a pinched nerve.  Oh what joy.  Curse you, pottery!!  (Not really… I still love you.) So now I am going to get an MRI on Monday to confirm that is the correct diagnosis.
It sounds bad, but I am almost thankful that he figured out what was wrong.  I have been this way for so long that I thought that maybe it was all in my head- I was crazy.
So there will more than likely be an update next week as to what is going on.
WORD TO THE WISE- go to the doctor.  Don’t abuse your body.

Well… It’s been a while.

Hello again.

Yea, yea… I know.  I fail.  Again.  So just like last school year I am having problems posting on here.  A ton has been happening with wedding planning, school work, and attempts at selling things on Etsy.

Really at this point I want to promote my Etsy shop- Oak Leaf Crafts.  I have posted several new items and would LOVE for people to check them out! Stay tuned for more posts…. but for now…. SHOP!!

Eat Food. Series Bowls

Ceramic Tumblers Set

Small Cappuccino Bowls

Artistic Things are Happening!

With the help of Labor Day I have a three-day weekend!! Woo hoo!  These are the times that you look back and say “Oh how I love my job… the job that allows me to have absurd amounts of holidays”.   So far the three-day weekend has been eventful.  We went to an apple festival, possibly will go to the Renaissance Festival tomorrow, and I have been creating some artful things!  I try to take as many opportunities as possible to craft and create.

Today I began making owl cake toppers for weddings.  I will be putting them on Etsy once they are complete.  (If you are interested let me know!)  I am very excited about them…. so cute!  I am not yet done, but I included a sneak peek in this post.

I also started working on my Sketchbook Project journal today as well.  I had drawn a picture of our dog, Moose, but then school started and I lost some time as I was preparing for the coming of the students.  I love the page that I started today.  Again, I am not done with it, but I think that it is hilarious so far!

Room is ready… but am I?

ImageWell… It is ready (the classroom that is).  Both of my schools are set for the new school year, but in my mind it is kind of a dream.  It feels a bit surreal actually.

I might sound a little bit crazy, but I am really excited about being organized this year.  I made a HUGE data notebook for myself for one of my schools (complete with art progress sheets, behavior management sheets, attendance, seating charts, etc). I also made each student their own notebook for warm ups with the art room rules inside and their reward sheets for daily classes.

Image In an attempt to keep the room clean and the materials organized, each table has their own bin for supplies and pencil box for their colored pencils and #2 pencils.  I also created an “Artist of the Month” wall as well!  My principal at one of my schools had given me this giant frame last year randomly and I had no idea what to do with it…. so it lived in my small storage closet all year.  This year that was not an option for me, so I decided to do something with it!  I am pretty happy with my decision.

ImageNot only did I add an “Artist of the Month” wall…. we also got a Promethean board!!  It was a huge surprise when the music teacher and I saw it this past Monday.  It will be a great tool to use for both art and music.

Although I am excited to be organized, I am nervous that my organization won’t last because of everything that I will be doing this year.  Dan and I are planning our wedding, I will be teaching between two schools every day again this year, and I just found out that I will be presenting at the MAEA conference this year in October! AH!  (Just a little stressed.)

ImageImage

So it Begins…

Our new Promethean Board!!

Well, it is that time of year again when all good little children must return to school and teachers must also go back.  Unfortunately this also means that summer break is over.  It is also unfortunate that I am so not ready for the year to begin again.

Last year was my first year teaching and I am not going to lie, it was difficult.  I am hoping that this year will not be quite as hard since I have one year under my belt and I know what is expected of me/ what to expect from my students.  Today was my first day back, but this week is Pre-Service week in Montgomery Co., so the students have not come back yet.  They will all start back next Monday.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

I am currently in the process of organizing myself and my classroom.  The key to success for me is definitely ORGANIZATION.  Last year I really tried, but everything just kind of got away from me.  This year I will be more focused and try my hardest to stay organized at both of my schools (if you don’t know, I teach ceramics at a high school and general art at a special needs school- every day).  Wish me luck!

Bins, Boxes, and Books…

 

New Etsy Listings! Check ‘Em Out!

I recently posted some new listings on my Etsy shop and wanted to take a chance to promote them.  I know that I listed a sneak peek in a previous post, but I wanted to show them off a little bit more!!

Hand Drawn and Hand Stamped Stationary and Cards:

I have been drawing and creating cards for friends and family for a very long time now.  Dan asked me why I wasn’t selling them.  Well… I didn’t really know how to answer that, so here are some card creations!  I hand stamped some of them and drew the others.  I am currently working on a custom stationary card set for a friend (Hand drawn Lotus flowers).  These are great for gifts, you can use them for weddings, use them for thank you cards, birthdays, you name it!  I love custom orders, too!!

Wedding:

I wrote about my thumbprint tree book that I drew in a previous post on my blog.  I had really wanted to do this for our wedding for some time now, and after I made ours I realized that people were selling them on Etsy.  I decided that I would put mine up just to see if I could get any sales.  I love drawing trees!  I love weddings!…. What could be better?  I am hoping that someone would be interested in purchasing one of my hand drawn trees because I think that it would be wonderful to be a part of someone’s special day.

I also have been making little rose earrings for brides and their bridal party.  The pair of earrings that I have listed are white roses with blue ribbon.  I can also make roses with ribbon to match the wedding colors.  Smaller earrings can also be made for your flower girls.  These are great gifts for your bridesmaids and flower girls, or if you need a little gift for your bride… this is perfect!

I have listed these plumeria clips (and I have earrings listed) under wedding.  I thought that these would be wonderful to add to the theme of a tropical wedding, or they would be great for a tropical destination wedding.  I use Sculpey polymer clay and chalk dust.  I paint the uncooked Sculpey with the chalk dust to add the color.  I can make them to fit our wedding colors!  Wonderful for birdal wear and bridesmaids alike!

Dog Days:

Some of my more unique pieces that I am currently selling are my dog leash bracelets.  I have two styles listed on the shop page, but I am also accepting custom orders.  People can send me their dog’s leash (as long as it is 1 inch wide) and I can make a bracelet for them.  This is great if you have a dog like mine who chews through every leash that you buy for them, or if your beloved pet has passed on and you would like something to remember them by.  I am very excited about my recycled dog leash bracelets and I hope that other people will be, too!

Octopus Arms:

The last things that I wanted to show off is my Octopus arm necklace.  I wanted to promote these because they took me a very long time to make, and I think that they are really quirky and unique.  Again, these are made from Sculpey Polymer clay.  This clay has a little bit of a sparkle to it.  The suckers on the arm is really what took the longest to do.  Each sucker was created by rolling tiny spheres and using a paper clip to attach them to the arms.  It might sound easy, yes, but it is extremely tedious!  Again, great for a gift for a friend… or even for yourself!!

Check out all of my other listings on my Etsy Shop Page:  Oak Leaf Crafts!

About Me.

Oh hi.

My name is Allison.

I am an art teacher based in Maryland.

I enjoy art, ceramics, sketchbooking, dancing when no one is around, singing in the car, decorating.. and redecorating, cooking, people-watching, and random music.

I am engaged to the love of my life... I can't wait to be married to him.

I like learning about new things.

I find people to be interesting.

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