A cuppa by the Aga…

A cuppa by the Aga…

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Back home and enjoying a cuppa by the Aga. Shoes off, and breathe … After a most overwhelming, successful few hours on Create & Craft with my dear buddy Paul Church, it is good to be back home. We doubled the stock levels, you know, to try and keep the shows going, (and we started with plenty!), but still it wasn’t enough. What a testament to our SHAC friends, to our SHAC designs, eh?!!

If you were watching at the start of the 6pm launch yesterday, you’ll have caught me have a little emotional wobble. Thank goodness my good friend Dawn was presenting; she steadied me and carried the show for a little while – for which I am so grateful. And that was it, you know. Believe it or not, it never even crossed my mind that I would have a weepy moment. Never entered my head. Then as soon as I opened my mouth to speak, whoosh. It was the wave of gratitude which took me out at the knees. I was hit by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am so lucky, you see, and at so many levels, that just in that moment it caught me out. Gulp. Thank you so much for cheering. I knew you were there too.

Did I feel wiped out afterwards? Not at all. But that was enough for me too, and I was quite happy to sell through and leave the building early. It’s always nice to get home when it’s still light, don’t you think? Paul was the driver; I just watched the countryside roll by in the sunshine.

There’s not much will move me from a cuppa by the Aga, except the cats at the kitchen window, begging to come in, or another cuppa. With one great exception: THE KILN. I have been known to get up at 5 in the morning and run across the garden in my pyjamas to check THE KILN. With Dave right behind me! So I was just chillin’, when I remembered I had set the kiln to slow bisque something special before I left for the TV studios! Straight out to the garage to check on Norman and his two mates!!

Perfect. White slip exactly right. And even the thin bow and arrow bits came out in one piece!

This sculpture that I worked on before Christmas has been waiting patiently for me. Thing is, when clay is bone dry but not fired, it is also at its most fragile. So despite it being rather extravagant, firing up the kiln just for Norman and his two mates, I decided not to risk breakage.

Next step? Oxides. But that can wait now, until I’ve done some testing. Once something’s bisque fired to 1000ºC, it’s toasted hard. Safe. What is it, this thing that it is? No idea. Art. Has it got a function? Does it need one?

Oh. And I cleared up my pottery studio on Tuesday evening. It was such a mess.

Now it is asking me to get out there and try out my new CLAYPRON – birthday gift from Grace…

Check out the amount of clay I have stashed under the wedging table!! And if you look underneath the table by the kiln in the photo above, you’ll see a load of black packs.. they’re the porcelain. Yep. It’s an addiction alright.

Like I said. I am so lucky. So much to be grateful for.

Quote for today? The lovely presenter Joe Remblance quoted a great one today. Now let me see if I can remember…ah yes.

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great

Zig Ziglar

Love always,

Barb xxx

PS. I know just the thing for us to doodle on Monday, when the Bus No. 300 leaves the SHAC Depot at 10am ! You’ll love it. I thought of it in hospital…

48 thoughts on “A cuppa by the Aga…

  1. Hi Barbara, so lovely to see you back on telly. if you hadn’t been emotional I would have been very surprised. Getting back to some kind of ‘ normality’ and of course at the same time adapting to changes in your life….you’re bound to have moments.
    I will be joining the Shac brigade next week ad I can see it just bevery therapeutic.
    Well done talented Lady ! X

  2. PS. Very envious of your Pottery studio. studied ceramics at college loved it but life took over 🤣🤣🤣

  3. Hi Barb exceptional tv shows and so so pleased you had sell outs, knew they would fly. Pleased you got home early and able to chill out. Love your piece of pottery, look forward to seeing the end result. Yes looking forward to meeting up on the number 300 bus on Monday and to be in the Shac with you and all the Shackers. It will be another emotional reunion so tissues at the ready. X

  4. lovely to see you on telly, lovely to see you at home looking so happy.
    Love your art and pottery

  5. What a lovely positive blog. I’m so pleased that your return to telly world was so successful. Not a dry eye in the Shac shack for sure! We were all there with you and you looked great!

    I loved the Shac stamp range so versatile – will suit all styles.

    How wonderful to see your ready to return to your hobby. Enjoy yourself but be careful you don’t do too much! Love the special Apron.

    Take care stay well !!! Xxx

  6. Great to see you on C & C, yesterday, had to record todays show, as at work today. Ordered the Groovi set from Clarity yesterday, despite telling myself I needed to sit on my hands this time! Nice for you to get home early and celebrate with a cuppa. Love the pottery. Hoping to be at the station to catch the bus on Monday. Have a lovely evening. xx

  7. It’s good to see you back, Barbara – we were all there, supporting you and spurring you on. We even felt the emotion at the same time as you – tissues prepped and ready. You were, of course, fabulous, and we cheered – you probably heard us!
    “This is the way”
    Bravo, Barbara! xxx ❤️
    Debbie Lee

  8. aawww it was so lovely to see you back on the telly and also nice to see you back home having a nice cuppa and a sit down! – Can’t wait to see the Shac on Monday albeit I’ll have to watch it later in the day. Didn’t think it would take you long to be back doing what you love doing but please go careful, adrenaline is a wonderful drug and mask to keep you going and feeling OK but still rest too otherwise the adrenaline will stop and so will you! xx

  9. oh my God it was great to see you do you remember last Christmas wanting to loose weight well you did it ha ha won’t follow your diet but if I lived near enough I’d be bringing you cake lots of it you looked really well so good take care can’t wait till Monday had to watch the show on catch up as you got me in tears much love going to buy my bus ticket now lots of love 💕

  10. I’m not the least bit surprised you and Paul had to take an early bath the Shac Shac designs are lovely and to think all us Shacers drew these in one way or form. Having the stamps and groovi plates just makes the job quicker. Can’t wait to get on the bus on Monday providing everything pans out OK for you. Have a good rest until then xx

  11. As you say always nice to get back home in the light & even nicer that it was because all the stock flew off the shelves.
    Love you new apron & hopefully you will soon be putting it to good use. Your stash of clay & porcelain is a bit like my Clarity stash. I have just unpacked my sale orders & snook it all in with the rest so its not a noticeable difference in volume when you look very quickly!!
    Looking forward to seeing what you have lined up for us on the bus next Monday. Pen & paper at the ready !!

  12. I loved that quote Barbara- it was great to see you back where you belong and such lovely memories of the Shac. Your pottery studio looks amazing, so pleased you’ve got something to do to destress. Looking forward to the 300th Shac on Monday xx

  13. Looking forward to the start of our next bus journey, although, as my motor has to go for service and MOT on Monday morning. I might not get back to join in live, but I can always catch up.
    Great to see you back at your wheel for some fun.
    xxx Maggie Craner (Silvercrafter)

  14. Glad you are home safe and warm and back into your wonderful pottery studio. I bet that apron won’t be so clean next time we see it!
    I watched the 6pm show at 6am today and, like everyone else, shed a tear with you. But they were happy tears. What a successful launch too and amazing samples from the DT. X

  15. So wonderful to see you looking so fab and so slim Barbara – I bet you have loads more clothes to choose from now!!!
    Glad you are taking things slowly and carefully – very wise.
    I will definitely be there on Monday for SHAC 300 – wouldn’t miss it for the world, just hope that pesky work doesn’t get in the way!

  16. oh my I was as was everyone else so pleased to see you back, we was all there for you, I Don,t think there was a dry eye last night, great shows and great demonstrations, i tried not to buy nowt but just had to order the groovi plates from Clarity also the other set 😀,
    but so pleased you are back safe and well, but please take it easy, I do miss my rayburn anyway live you take care I,m looking forward to Monday stay safe enjoy your pottery love from Chris xxx

  17. Dear Barbara, it was wonderful to see you on TV and I was cheering you on with a big grin, then getting the tissues out! I’m so pleased the shows were a sell out, everything is absolutely beautiful. It’s lovely to see the photo of you in your happy place. Enjoy. Much love xx

  18. So lovely to see you looking well and happy. We have all missed you so much, the shows were amazing and the ODS was beautiful. No surprise it was a sell out.
    Looking forward to receiving mine.
    Will be one the many friends joining the Shac bus on Monday.
    Take care and continue to look after yourself.
    Much love

  19. Truly wonderful to see you in full swing. Very positive blog too. Laid up in bed with nasty infection but you cheered me up. Looking forward to Monday. Lots of love

  20. Well what can I say that hasn’t been said in all the previous comments. Amazing shows, and that stock that flew off the shelf, not surprised in the slightest.
    We’ve all been patiently waiting for your healthy return.
    Cry I can collectively say we all were balling with you. We felt your emotion through the TV. We were all so relieved to see your beautiful smile and what a perfect come back.
    We just want you to travel gently, no over doing it, take your own advise now, we are a patient bunch and just want a well bus driver to guide us safely on our journeys.
    loads of love always.

  21. Wow Barbara! Sell outs, early home and a fantastic piece of pottery! Well done! Thought you would be tired, but not you! Hugsxx

  22. So good to seeing you looking so well and happy on TV. I teared up too, such an emotional time for you but you aced the show with Dawn at your side. I couldn’t decide which set to order so I ordered the lot and just hope hubby doesn’t see the order !!!!
    Paul was great with the Groovi plates and I was disappointed that there wasn’t an afternoon show today. Nevertheless it was good for you to get home early and have a cuppa by the Aga.
    The pottery studio looks very clean and tidy, like the apron, but I bet it won’t stay that way for long. The statues look interesting and I would loved to see the finished articles.
    Try to relax over the weekend to boost your energy ready for Monday. I won’t be able to join you as we will be at the hospital all morning but I will catch up when I can.

  23. Brilliant shows. Great to see you back.Looking so well and as always your lovely smile. Tears from all of us Shacers too. It was very emotional all round. So pleased for you and Clarity that you sold out
    Looking forward to Monday. I’ll have to watch in the evening,but will be there in spirit at 10.am x😀😀


  24. Wonderful shows Barbara so lovely to have you back but the 6pm show ,well think everyone was in floods of tears. Glad you were able to go home early new you’d sell out . Been busy cleaning as ironing today as I don’t want anything to stop me catching that bus on Monday morning.❤

  25. After two days in the TV studios to remember, Barb, you give us three knights in your pottery studio to remember! 😄
    Brilliant sculpture, brilliant SHAC goodies, brilliant DT samples, and brilliant demos! Welcome back, Barb, you’ve been missed!
    See you on Monday for trip no. 300 on the SHAC bus, can’t wait!

  26. How lovely to see you back on TV Barb. I was expecting a wobble as I know how thrilled, excited and overwhelmed you must have felt. The shows were amazing; I did panic when one was cancelled, but guessed it might be due to stock levels. How wonderful that all your fans/customers were there supporting you. I loved the designs, but will have to wait having overspent in the sale and the Floral Delights, but I know I will give in to desire soon. Great to see you at the wheel, you are SO artistic. Pottery is something I long to try one day.
    I hope you won’t feel too whacked out tomorrow. We will all be thinking of you, I am sure.
    With love, Ros

    1. Hi Barbara
      Dawn is so sweet, I was so pleased she was there for you yesterday. Great quote from Joe. I was hoping for an early finish for you so you could get home to rest and rcover over the next few days. What a lovely photo … you look so happy and I love your “claypron” I don’t think it will stay clean for long and your TV nails will be gone too hehe 🤭 Such a beautiful sculpture, reminds of our SHAC days in Camelot 😍Looking forward to being with you on and everyone on Monday. Much love and hugs Nahid xXx 🦋💕

  27. it was a brilliant show – the sell out is testament to how great Clarity designs products are! So glad to see you had a fun day today doing more of what you enjoy. Take care and don’t overdo it! xx

  28. Hope you’ve applied for the pottery show next year? That sculpture is amazing! You have to start to be great – one of my favourite quotes.

  29. We were all there with you and I’m sure there won’t be a seat on the Bus Monday either, but we’ll squeeze in anyway. Have a good rest.

  30. You can be very pleased with yourself Barbara, huge success on Create and Craft shows, looking so much better, then success in your lovely pottery. All joyful stuff.. brilliant. Rest up now! Xx

  31. Hi Barbara, it was so lovely to see you back on TV and yes, I cried along with you! You looked really well and soon got back into the groove. The stamps are beautiful, I had to be very good and resist buying them but they will be in my basket soon! I’ll be at work on Monday but I’ve promised myself I will watch on catch up and try and get back on the bus again. The pottery is amazing, you really are talented. Sleep well tonight.
    Love Diane xxx

  32. Good to see you back on the saddle! You have been such an inspiration to me, teaching me so much! I can’t believe you will get doing episode 300 of the SHAC. I am currently in Hawaii (episode 67!). Think I’d better get a wriggle on! Take care x

  33. Hi Barbara
    The last thing we do is read your blog together at night, so imagine Jackie’s excitement when she saw it was about pottery. She has been looking for a particular glaze for some time having tried to mix it with limiting success we finally bought one from a company called Hot Clay so with some trepidation she gave it a go. It was like Christmas morning when we checked the kiln and it was exactly what she needed. She is also grateful that she has her own space to work in as am I. Nice to see you getting back to pottery.
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  34. You’re amazing. I can’t believe how quickly you have bounced back. So good to have you back with all your great tips and tricks and enthusiasm. Thank you. Don’t overdo it though. You could go backwards just as quickly. Easy does it! Love the quote! xx

  35. Hi Barbara
    Dawn is so sweet, I was so pleased she was there for you yesterday. 🥰 Great quote from Joe. I was hoping for an early finish for you so you could get home to rest and rcover over the next few days. What a lovely photo … you look so happy and I love your “claypron” I don’t think it will stay clean for long and your TV nails will be gone too hehe 🤭 Such a beautiful sculpture, reminds of our SHAC days in Camelot 😍Looking forward to being with you and everyone on Monday. Much love and hugs Nahid xXx 🦋💕

  36. I know a lot of people had a terrible lockdown but mine was great because I had the SHAC shack to look forward to every day throughout that weird and scary time. I’ve not managed to find the bus in the last year but I’ll be back on the top deck again on Monday. I can’t wait to board it again. Thanks Barb – aka Lockdown saviour xxx

  37. Hi Barb. Great to see you back up and running and feeling better. Very emotional, we understand why. Can’t wait for bus 300. Enjoy the weekend resting and doing what you love. See you Monday in the SHAC! (Sounds good eh)? 😘

  38. Hello Barb, I watched the shows, they were great, and you were as always fabulous. Why apologise for emotion, it is natural after all. Sending a big hug. Love the look of Norman and his mates and what a lovely gift from Grace. I am going to try join in the Shac bus on Monday, if I can get a space on the footplate and convince my boss I am working! Take care and stay warm everyone. Bx

  39. Hi Barbara – great to see you back in the saddle

    Wow to your studio – having watched this year’s Pottery Throwdown and enjoyed every show, am very envious of your space. I was never any good at it at school, but the throw down makes you want to have a go, as they explore all forms of clay work and let their imaginations run riot. Sadly no local clubs near me….. are you running a class or two;)

    Take Care


  40. Oh Barbara, it was soooo good to see you back on TV. So pleased it went so well for you and, like everyone else, I joined in with a tear or two – well done Dawn for covering for you. It’s good to see you back home safe and sound and feeling well, but please do still be careful and don’t over-push yourself.
    The new stamps and Groovi plates are beautiful and are on my purchase list for the Clarity Open Day – I’ve bought my tickets and am hoping Heidi will come with me.
    Take care. xx

  41. Hi Barbara
    Loved the show yesterday, had to buy the stamps and groovi plates. Looking forward to Monday, and Groovi Tuesday with Paul please take care and don’t overdo it too soon.
    PS had to buy extra storage for all my Clarity stuff.
    Love Janet xx

  42. Love Norman and his friends and so pleased you are ‘potting’ again. Love the apron too. I was able to watch your last show but have recorded the others and I will be there on Monday pencil ready. Off to place an order now for the beautiful stamps even though I drew them all in SHAC. Take care.

  43. wat hed Create and Craft yesterday. Soo lovely to see you on tv. Will catch up again on Monday. Have a realixing weekend.

  44. Haven’t seen much of Dawn as I “fell out” with the old C and C but what a star she was! Only managed to catch up yesterday as been busy with my dad in hospital . What a brilliant show. And love that sculpture it’s so beautiful xx

  45. I missed your show as on holiday with no internet.. so great for you to go back to c and c, a wobble, just keep pacing and you will be fine.
    Love Fiona h.

  46. I was diagnosed with breast cancer early days after start of lockdown my life changed and found I was unable to use my car go to work and had two lots of surgery you were and are my saviour, I’m so pleased to see you returning, travel gently lovely lady I still watch, buy and hope, look forward to the Shack, thank you Barbara don’t overdo it xxxxxxx

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