Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade Wish List

My mom has been asking me what I want for Christmas, so I thought it would be fun to make a little collage of handmade gift ideas for a girl like me. I wouldn't mind if any of these showed up under the tree with my name on it! ;) Maybe you will see something that you can add to your wish list, too!

Print- YellowHeartArt : Slouch Hat- YesJess : T-Shirt- Allora Handmade : Lip Tint- orange thyme
Scarf- Rare Bird : Necklace- Allora Handmade : Clutch- Scout & Catalogue : Soap- Ellie's Handmade Soap
Do you have a favorite handmade shop or item? Please share!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Unexpected Places

Source: news.yahoo.com via Natalie on Pinterest
Little trees don't usually grow through cracks in the sidewalk, but how many of us would even notice if we were cruising down the road and drove passed it? We have so much on our minds, especially this time of year in the midst of the holiday season. Are we distracted by everthing that we have to get done and everything that we are wishing for that we fail to notice the little miracles that God puts all around us? Do we take note and praise Him for all His blessings?

I want to encourage you to wait expectantly for God and look for Him in places that we would normally just pass by. He's working all around us, trying to get our attention, but are we tuned in to what He's trying to say?

"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Promotion

The official kick-off of the holiday shopping season IS HERE and I am SO EXCITED to share the promotion that I've got going on! Drumroll, please...


That's right! For every $20 you spend (excluding shipping) from midnight Thursday until midnight Monday, you will be entered into a drawing for a $50 shop credit, which will be good from November 29 through January 31. The order deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery in the United States is Saturday, December 17, so that gives you plenty of time to do MORE (free!) Christmas shopping if you win (or maybe get that little something you've been eyeing for yourself if Santa doesn't put it under your tree! *wink*)

Here's a little NS Pottery gift guide for the lovely people in your life:

Deluxe Toad House $38, Herb Markers (set of 5) $25, Ikebana Vase $16 
Trinket Dish $14, Teabowl $15, Earrings $20
Soup Bowls $72, Garlic Jar $30, Apple Baker $16 (Sold Out, more comin' in 12 days!) 
Ring $22, Earrings $20, Ikebana Vase $16
Post Earrings $16, Snowflake Ornaments $24, Soap Dish $25
Pitcher $30, Gingerbread Men Ornaments $24, Teapot $75
Wouldn't you rather give (and get) gifts that you know were handmade with love and care rather than cranked out in factories by poor Chinese workers? I know I would. And I can guarantee that every single item in my shop was made by my own loving hands. ♥

Happy shopping!!

Photobucket

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

In honor of Thanksgiving, I compiled a list of things that I am thankful for from this past year. I am very thankful for everyday things- healthy food, a place to live, heat, running water, etc. that I know many people in the world do not have. I don't want to take those things for granted, but I want to go beyond the basics.


MY SHOP: I feel so blessed to be doing what I love. I still get a little giddy with excitement with every sale and word of affirmation from customers, bloggers, and tweeters!

LIFE: It is a human tendency to take life for granted, but it really is so short, and we never know when we might have to say goodbye to someone we love. "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." ((James 4:14))


THIS DOG: I love him more than words can express.

YOU: I feel like we are on this little journey together and I love it. Thank you for joining me! I can't wait to meet you all some day, whether on this earth or some day in heaven. Maybe God will have a special room just for bloggers. *wink*

GRACE: No matter how many times I fail, there is One who will never leave me. Each day is a chance to start over. His mercies are new every morning.


What are YOU thankful for this year?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Different

Source: alifeofbeautyandgrace.tumblr.com via Natalie on Pinterest
In Sunday School, we've been going through The Unshakable Truth video series by Josh and Sean McDowell, and the last one was on Christ's second coming and living in light of it.

Josh shared about how when he wears button-down shirts, he has one button that is a different color than all the rest. When people notice, he tells them that his wife is color-blind (ha!). But you know why he does it?

Source

To remind himself to be different.

As Christians, I think it's super tempting to blend in with the world, and often I wonder how different we really are.

It's so easy to get caught up in the things the world gets caught up in and to think that Jesus isn't coming back any time soon. After all, people have been waiting for a loooooong time, and it hasn't happened yet. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) 

Every day is a step closer to his return and a new chance to share the good news.

Are you living for what is truly important?

Are you sharing Jesus and the gift of salvation with the people that God has placed in your life?



I think we, as bloggers, have a enormous capacity to share Jesus. There's no telling what God can do with the things that we write.

Are you living, and blogging, for Him?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ma Nouvelle Mode- a guest post

When I came across Natalia's blog for the first time, I was in love. It is beautiful, she is beautiful, her family is beautiful, and I was ready to move to France...



Hello NS Pottery Readers!
 
I am so happy to be here.  As I am sure it is with you all, I just love Natalie.  She is always so sweet and sincere.  Well, first let me introduce myself.  My name is Natalia and I blog over at Ma Nouvelle Mode.  I am married to my big, Bahamian husband, we have two beautiful handsome boys and live in France!  Yep, you read it right!  My husband plays professional basketball and so we live over here for 8 to 10 months out of the year.  It is really sooooo pretty and I love it here.  



Over at my place, I like to blog about the craziness that is my life and the cool things we get to see and do while we are here.  I also love to do hair and makeup tutorials and some fashion!  Being the only girl in our little family, this is my attempt at staying feminine.  My husband is thankful. 


Today I am going to tell you a little bit about my life in France.  As you might imagine, just like anyone's life, there are good and bad things.  I'll start with the ones that are a little bit of a bummer so we can end on a happy note!!

1.) The language.  I speak French, but I am not yet fluent.  And it's haaaaarrdd!  I like the challenge of learning another language, but man it is difficult.  I wish there was a program I could just download in my brain and be fluent!

2.) Of course I miss my family.  Obvious.

3.) I miss American food!  But the 10 pounds I loose each year when I get here, doesn't!

Okay now the fun stuff.  

1.) It's beeeautiful here!  I mean gorgeous.  France is such a pretty country.  I don't even live in Paris, which is hands down one of the most romantic places on earth.

Annecy, a beautiful city nearby

2.) We are so close to everything! I love to travel and it is so nice to be so close to so many other countries! We are 2 hours from Switzerland, 4 from Germany, quick flight to London, you get the picture. It's awesome!


3.) The culture here is entirely different from America. People walk everywhere.  Most people are healthier because they don't have as many fast food options as we do. 

4.) We are already intercultural and interracial, it is really neat to expose our kids to yet another culture.  We think it is important so they can have a broader view of the world.  Like there is more to this world outside of America!!


5.)  It's our life.  I know sometimes it's hard and I miss things about home.  But we're here. My husband and boys are here together enjoying life.  I choose to be happy about it all, because when you allow yourself to think on the negative and the difficult, things become more negative and more difficult!


I hope you enjoyed a little window into my crazy Frenchie life.  You can get caught up on more of my hair tutorials here.  And of course I would just love it if you stopped in for a visit!  Make sure you introduce yourself, I love meeting new people!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Over Coffee



If we had coffee together, maybe I would tell you...

Source
-I made apple pancakes last night. I love breakfast for supper.

-I'm working on some new necklace designs(!)

Source
-The other day, someone told me I look like Scarlett Johansson (I don't see it, but hey, I'll take it) :)

-There's a law against playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving in my house. You better believe I will be blasting it on November 25. This is my favorite album.


-Buster loves going on car rides with me to the bank. The teller in the drive-thru has given him a treat twice recently, so he was sniffing the air in anticipation yesterday while we waited. He was so disappointed when they didn't send one out. :(

-I've been loving the Needtobreathe station on pandora.

-This getting dark at 5:00 thing is getting old. I miss the sun.


-I've been trying to throw a special order large salad bowl with seven pounds of clay for weeks now. Still trying.

-I was at the dentist this past weekend, and he asked me what grade I was in. (Uhhh... I'm 23).
    -The dental hygienist lady thought it was funny.
    -She also told me that if I marry someone with good teeth, our kids will have very good teeth.


-I dream of creating a lookbook for my pottery and jewelry but don't know where to begin.

-I don't drink coffee, but we'll just pretend.

What would you tell me?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Season of Death

I know, I know, my title sounds really morbid.

I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately.


Yesterday I didn't get my doggie-walk in until 5:00, and IT WAS GETTING DARK ALREADY. It seems like the days are zipping by and I'm not being so productive.

Spring is a season of renewal and new-growth, but what is fall? A season of death? All the leaves on the trees and plants in the garden are dying. Everything is starting to turn brown. I'm afraid we've got a looooong winter ahead of us.


I feel like this should be a really exciting time- the holidays are coming, I've been given a lot of AMAZING opportunities lately (my shop is here, here, and here!), and I have more special orders right now then I've ever had(!) But honestly, I feel less then excited. (I hope that's ok to admit.)

I have ideas up in this head of mine, but I'm afraid they're too big to attain. I think blogging would be so much easier if we all had personal photographers following us around everywhere, wouldn't it?

Source: hiphipgingin.com via Natalie on Pinterest

I have this hankering... I don't even know if I can describe it. I long for a blog filled with amazing photos, to design a lookbook for my pottery and jewelry, to feel like I have the "branding" part of my business down.

I can't do it on my own.


How do you find inspiration in the dead seasons? (Please, tell me you have them, too.) How do you make your dreams a reality?

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39




love.
Natalie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Forgetting Christmas

If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you may have heard that I am an official blogger for Gospel for Asia. (Yay!) Every month, they will send me a topic to blog about, and this month's is SO important for this time of year!


The holiday season is just upon us, and I know for a lot of people, it is the busiest time of the year. But why?

Sure, you have gifts to buy and wrap, decorations to put up, food to prepare, parties to attend.

Is this what Christmas is really about?

Stop and think about it.


Two thousand years ago when Jesus was born (remember... that IS why we celebrate (I hope)), I don't think it was crazy-chaotic. I imagine it actually being a quite peaceful night. Mary and Joseph could hardly find a half-decent place for the Savior of the world to be born, but I would gather that they had peace about it. God was in control. Why shouldn't we have that same peace?



  
(via http://www.forgottenchristmas.org)


On average, we each spend over $500 on Christmas every year. What if we would set aside just a little of the money to give to people who truly need it?

I got this Christmas catalog in the mail a few weeks ago. (Shop the online version here). 


Don't those bunnies just melt your heart? While I'm not one for eating rabbits, I understand that they are an easy source of nutrition for people in Asia who don't have a lot of space. No worries, you don't have to buy rabbits, though, there are TONS of other animals and equipment you can give that are desperately needed for survival. They even have sewing machines and weaving looms for families to be able to support themselves through their crafts! (If they had potter's wheels, I would be all over that!) :) I also must add that Gospel for Asia doesn't take any of your donation for administrative expenses, so you can rest assured that 100% of your gift will go where you want it to!

Maybe you can buy something from the catalog with your family instead of buying each other as many presents, or maybe you could buy something in the honor of that "hard to shop for" person. 

Just remember this Christmas season, slooooow down. Remember the reason you are celebrating- the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

...................................................................................................................................................

The winners of the ornament giveaway are...









Yay! Congrats ladies!! Send me an email (schlabachpottery[AT]yahoo[DOT]com) with the 4 ornaments you would like and your addresses!

Have a great weekend everyone!

love.
Natalie

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dealing with Self-Doubt


As you may remember, I had my first ever trunk show last weekend. I didn't really know what to expect since I've never done a show on my own before. I didn't know how many people would come and out of those people who came, how many would actually be my customers (and not just customers of the salon).

I was happy with how I did on Friday and was looking forward to Saturday when the salon was "supposedly" busier with lots of appointments.

Saturday came.


Saturday c.r.a.w.l.e.d. by. It seemed like the longest day of my life. There weren't even that many appointments (at least it didn't seem like it to me).

Cue self-doubt.

"Why am I doing this?"

"This was a bad idea."

"How can I expect to 'make it' as an artist."


I'm sure we have all dealt with these kind of thoughts and feelings at some point in our lives or our businesses.

What are we going to do about them?

Are we going to let them stop us in our tracks? Thrown in the towel? Give up?

OR are we going to let them propel us to earnestly seek the will of God? To remember the little signs He has given us that we are on the right track? (because I'm betting that if you are on the right track, He has given you those signs. Don't forget them.)

Don't let the devil steal your confidence and peace.


I read this post the other day, and it reminded me of the importance of taking risks. Of stepping out of my comfort zone.

We will never grow our businesses or our lives without taking risks.


The past few years, I've been learning to live without regrets, especially in the area of my business. Even when it seems like something was a bad move, you never may know the impact that it has down the road. Results are not always immediate.

Pray, then act.

love.
Natalie

P.S. There's still time to get in on my Christmas ornament giveaway if you haven't yet!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday Reflections: Love So Amazing

http://crumplerkebabtoy.tumblr.com
When I see the cross, I see unexplainable love, all welled up and being poured down like rain upon the dry, weary, and broken. We are so sinful and wretched. Yet God, out of His great love for us, gave His Son as the perfect and holy sacrifice for our sins, to restore His relationship with us. Nothing else will save us, no matter how "good" we try to be. I can't even fathom the kind of love that He has for us, for you, for me.

"Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."


love.
Natalie

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pottery Christmas Ornaments

Don't worry- this is from last year :)
Many of you have probably not started thinking about Christmas yet, but it is seriously right.around.the.corner- just over 7 weeks! And you know how fast a week goes by!

Did you see the ornaments I put in my shop this week? (Well, if not, you will have to check back on Saturday night, because my shop is closed today and tomorrow for my trunk show!) 

Snowflakes, Gingerbread Men, and Folk Art Stars, available in a "You Pick Two," box of 4, or whatever custom quantity your little heart desires. ;)



There are SO many things you can do with these ornaments! Here are a few of my suggestions:

The obvious one, hang them on your tree!


Or how about a little gift tie for some added pizazz?


Or what about hanging them in a window or wreath?


My mom and and her sister used to bake gingerbread men cookies to hang as ornaments on their trees, and one time when my brother was little, he went around my aunt's tree and took a bite out of every gingerbread man. While my mom thought it was kinda funny, I don't think my aunt was very amused. *teehee* She should have had pottery ornaments! Seriously, these will last you a lifetime! 


To get you all in the Christmas spirit, I am giving away a box of 4 ornaments to 2 readers! (You choose which ones you want!) Yay!!!

TO ENTER (leave a comment for each):
(1) Tell me which ornaments you would choose!
(2) Be a public follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect
(3) Follow me on facebook
(4) Follow me on twitter
(5) Facebook the giveaway
(6) Tweet the giveaway

Winner's will be chosen some time next week!

love.
Natalie