Our First Anniversary at Black & Smith Country General

Three years ago (as Facebook reminded me, with one of my "memories") we put an offer in on our first home.

I joke (only partially) that buying this house was both the best and worst decision that we ever made. The worst decision because it has been a HELL of a lot of work to fix up (and we're still fixing it), with just about every conceivable problem arising at some point in the process. It has been an exercise in patience, a challenge for our relationship, and continues to be a project that we spend hours on each week. We are two people who are driven by growth. Our home is growing, it's thriving, it's changing. It's not what either of us had expeceted. But that's why buying this place was also the best decision we ever made.

Though an exercise in patience, our workshop/store/home/garden has taught us a lot, and given us a purpose - many goals to work towards, milestones to meet, and barriers to break down. Sometimes when I look at pictures of this place when we first bought it, I don't even recognize it. I don't really recognize me at that time either.

Last year (after two years of paying commercial property taxes, and staring at a giant empty room) we decided it was time we did something with this space of ours. We opened a shop. It started as a showroom for my pottery and a space to highlight the work of some other local makers. We had organic jam and nut butters, soaps, pillows, some wooden toys, coffee and tea. That was about it.

Since this time last year, the shop has expanded to carry a wide and carefully curated selection of all the things we love, all the things that (I believe) will help you to live a more beautiful life. These objects bring joy to the everyday, delight to the mundane. They brighten up your living space, and (I speak from experience on this one) can bring hope to some of the darkest days in your life. They are made by Canadians - handmade by artists with families and homes of their own - lives they are supporting by creating beautiful things.

We're celebrating our first anniversary of being open, our "First Birthday" if you will, on December 3 + 4.

Please join us for the celebration. Help us to celebrate the good work that all our makers do.
Join us in celebrating Canadian craft.
Sharethe love of handmade this holiday season.

... and tell a friend! (:

Thank you (:

I hosted my annual Open House and Pottery Sale on the weekend and was delighted to have so many visitors! It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new neighbours who happened across the sign outside. Thank you to everyone who came!

POTTERY SALE 002

A special thank you goes to my family who helped me set up, keep everyone full of food and drink, and spread the word! My partner was great and distracted the dog for most of the day - he only managed to swipe half a pound-cake over the entire 7 hours. I think that's a record.

An extra big thank you to my dear friend Alicia who not only markets the hell out of my business, but showed up for the entire show and kept me company. There are not many exceptional people like you.

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List

I have really gotten behind with this blog. It seems like bi-weekly there is something worthy to write about, but I: 1. Run out of time to post, and then 2. Forget

or

1. Just forget.

Then by the time I have a moment to spare, and REMEMBER to write something, I feel like those many worthy tidbits have long since passed, and are no longer current, or fresh.

Anyway, I digress. So, maybe I'll make this post a list of some of those tidbits. I do indeed, like lists.

1. A friend bought these pots to use in one of her upcoming thriller/horror films. I'm not sure of the title yet, but I'll keep y'all posted.

MOVIE

2. My partner brought my kiln home from the West coast with him! I had the kiln surgeons at PSH do some maintenance and she is now ready to rock-and/or-roll. All I need is a house to put her in (and a name for her). That leads me to:

3. We are house-hunting. This means my focus on the studio has been distracted by duplexes and bungalows all over the Hamilton Region. Instead of coming home and spending hours looking at pots, I am now looking at dozens and dozens of houses.

4. I have set a date for my annual Open House. It will take place November 30 from 10am-4pm. There will be refreshments and snacks all day long, so come by and visit. I will be posting more information, along with directions, as soon as possible.

5. I will also be participating in Studio Huddle's annual Pop-Up-Shop this December. The shop will open December 4th and close December 22nd. More details to follow.

6. We've had beautiful weather over the past few weeks, and I've managed to make it on a few hikes amongst the autumn leaves. Bentley loves this weather too - he still can't help but jump into the creek and then make me wash him and pick burrs out of his fur later.

HIKE

7. We went to see the annual Demolition Derby at the Rockton World's Fair for Thanksgiving. Our idea of wholesome family fun is watching cars smash into each other. Fire and smoke are added excitement. The goats and sheep were pretty adorable too.

demo derby

7. The pots are being made, despite the house/hiking/show-prep/kiln distractions.  I've got boards of espresso cups and mugs at home that need to be decorated. I'm going to make some serving bowls this week.

Happy Monday!