Friday, January 1, 2016

First Day of 2016

Hairy Woodpecker
It was 49 degrees F and overcast today at 1pm. Apparently the unseasonably mild weather will be ending soon. We certainly did enjoy it while it lasted. Chris has been painting his shed, and I went to the zoo w/ some of the grandkids on the day after Christmas. It was short sleeve weather!

 The bird feeder has been a great source of entertainment, as usual. A hairy woodpecker has been coming around to the great annoyance of the resident downy woodpecker. A local Cooper's hawk has decided to include our bird-feeders in its rounds and seems to have made a meal of one of the wrens as well as a mourning dove. The Coopers is a beautiful bird but I'm really unhappy that it's going after "our" birds. Chris has taken to shooing it away whenever he sees it.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Sales in my Etsy store left much to be desired this year. Among the many changes Etsy made last year was getting rid of "ceramics and pottery" as a category. Pottery is now found in "home decor" and "kitchen and dining" and it really gets lost among all the other stuff. Lucky for me (and many other Etsy potters), Amazon launched its Handmade on Amazon site just in time for the holidays. I opened an Amazon store in October and was really pleased with the results. In fact, sales on Amazon more than made up for the shortfall on Etsy. Also, I found that Amazon shoppers tend to buy higher-priced items.

People were out doing some serious shopping at the City of Fairfax Holiday Show in mid-November and the City of Falls Church Holiday Show in early December. I had my best shows ever this year. My ornaments and trinket dishes are big sellers. Although these are low-price items people buy them by the dozen and more. Several people bought between $60 and $100 worth of ornaments at one time. That's a lot of ornaments!

Cooper's Hawk
So all in all, it turned out to be a very good year. I ended up making a small profit even after paying for the new L&L kiln I got in September.

It was 64 degrees F in the studio with the space heater on low. I pugged 50 pounds of BMix5 together with about 25 pounds of Little Loafers reclaim. That got my blood flowing! Afterwards I carved two Starry Nights lamps. It took me about an hour and 45 minutes to get the two lamps done. That's a lot of work. I think I'm going to raise the prices again because, as it is, I have a hard time keeping them in stock. I still have 3 more blanks ready to carve.

This is happening in the studio today.

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