2017 is a year that most of us on this website will be glad to see it gone. It seemed like family health took more of our energy and did not allow anything left over to be creative.
I did have a large mural order to fill which kept me going, and this week I finally got it finished. It is in a home where the wife is a caterer and the husband is known for his delicious apple pie. The mural is to go in the range area and it is too large for me to get a complete photo, but here it is in two separate photos of each side.
This past week the Lady Fingers potters had a get-together and decided that it was time to start having fun again. Happiness brings creative juices flowing. We will end 2017 on a high note as we look forward to 2018.
How I Landed Twice in Less Than an Hour at the San Juan, Puerto Rico Airport
The adventure began around 4:30 am when we got up quietly in our Georgia mountain home. My daughter and I would fly from Greenville S.C. to Charlotte, NC taking flights hours apart. She was bound for Ft. Meyers, Fl., I was headed to San Juan.
I have been many places including Europe and Africa, but never to San Juan. On top of that, everywhere I had ever gone I was able to get along with my French and English. I do not speak Spanish. I was on my way to care for a sick relative I had not seen in several years. I was not sure of my welcome. He had adamantly refused to have anyone in the house except nurses who were rotating out on 8-hour shifts.
Furthermore, I do not drive in the city. Presuming on my age and frailty, friends take me to the city or drive when we go on road trips. Years of damage to my upper neck have left me with a limited range of motion. I do fine in our mountain areas where a traffic jam might be 15 or more cars and only 5 traffic lights in the entire county.
At 4:30 pm our plane landed without incident at the San Juan Airport. We deplaned and I responded to a text from the lady who was to pick me up and drive me the last part of my destination.
The wait for baggage was interminable – almost 30 minutes. I corralled my bags, adjusted my carry-on and stepped out of the terminal headed for section B which I believed was next to C. But, B must have been around the corner, I stepped off the sidewalk to avoid jarring my bags over the curb. Maybe it was the corrugated pavement. Maybe I was just lightheaded from fatigue but the next step I was on my face –yes, my face in the street.
Dazed I waited minutes then struggled to sit up. People were beginning to gather around me. Maybe someone pulled me to a sitting position. Then I was aware I was bleeding from my nose and my head or some place on my face. There were lots and lots of blood.
The lady who had come to pick me up arrived about then, moved her car close and the paramedics moved in. They got me into the front seat of the car. I was bombarded with questions. I kept saying English. My ride rattled in Spanish. They checked everything they could without disrobing me. The bloody nose would not stop.
My ride and the EMTs discussed my condition and decided if I were their grandmother they would take me to the hospital. That said I was loaded onto a gurney and into an ambulance. Actually, I believe it was a large metal can and somewhere in it, rocks were jangling against the walls. Bleeding was not so bad but the ambulance hit every pothole, bump and speed table from the airport to a hospital somewhere near the older part of San Juan. Since I had been sure I would be car sick on the ride I was just glad it had ended.
I was wheeled into emergency. The EMTs assured me the airport was paying for anything required to get me well. My ride – now almost a friend, arrived with of all things - a blanket and bottled water. I was not allowed the water until my condition was determined.
I was glad for the blanket. The room was very cold. As a footnote here let me add that all the hospitals I have now been in Puerto Rico keep the temperature at between 60 and 65 degrees to keep germs from flourishing. Therefore staff all wear down jackets, hoodies, sweats and any other overgarments to fend off cold. Footnote 2, in Puerto Rico you are responsible for your linens, sheet, blanket, comforter, pillow, and towel and wash cloth. Bring your own sanitary products, wipes, pampers etc. too. That can be a financial plus since you are not billed at hospital rates for the above.
Once in the emergency, my bloody nose was probed to assure no clot would run down my throat and choke me – so I just dripped slowly. My right eye was sore and swelling. I was sure I had loosened some teeth, and my lips were distorting from swelling. My ride/friend laughingly took some pictures of me on her cell.
Back in the emergency, many interviews, translated by my ride/friend/ translator. Then I was taken for a CT scan followed by quite a few x-rays of my face, nose etc. I was tired, cold, thirsty, hungry and I’ll admit scared. I was not sure I would even be allowed in the designated home. Finally, a very handsome older doctor came in and announced he was not going to suture the gash above my eye, but would butterfly it. The butterfly stitching was no more than ¾ if an inch long, but apparently had little barbs that would seal the cut till it healed. Then he assured me that following the healing if I used vitamin e on the wound there would be no scar. Meanwhile no getting it wet, "no, nunca, nada."
Discharged We went on to get my prescription. I later realized I had been too tired to show my prescription card and paid full charge – oh well….
I do not think Puerto Ricans ever get too tired to get in the car and drive around. It was after 10 pm. I looked like a train wreck survivor. But my friend insisted we go to her sister’s home, where I received keys and a beeper to get into where I hoped to stay. Then to her home to collect my bags, and then a nice shoreline drive and interstate tour to San Patricio.
Louis was asleep and night nurses welcomed me, showed my bed and where to make a sandwich and a cup of tea. Next day I was officially welcomed by my bewildered relative. I certainly did not look like anyone he recalled all blue and purple and a fat lip. But he and staff got a laugh about his relative who landed twice in an hour at the San Juan airport.
PS : Given the open air location of my event , the fact that at least ½ a dozen EMTs cared for me, and that staff and friends of my new friend know half of the population, where ever I go folks extend a hand and say, “Aren’t you the lady who had that awful fall.”
Patti wrote this story but never had time to publish it. I ask her permission to do so. Patti never leads a dull life and she is a great storyteller even when you know she was in great pain, but she made the story a fun read for everyone who loves her. At this time Patti is still in Puerto Rico and we all miss her very much.
Last time I showed you photos of putting the wet clay vessel into the kiln. The weather turned rainy and it took about 10 days of Susan Holmes going out and candleing it for about an hour a day until it was dry enough to fire. Candleing is when you only turn one set of electric coils on at a time and it slowly drys out the piece you are working on. Finally, Susan was able to fire the vase and bless her husband's heart he helped her lift it out of the kiln and put it in her studio.
The three of us painted on the vase all one afternoon.
Finally, it was coffee break time. All that was left was for Susan to fire in the kiln. Oops, I hope Susan doesn't fire in the kiln! Hopefully, she will fire the pot in the kiln.
This is turning into a very fun adventure as the three of us (Susan Holmes, Missy Whitlock, and Jaymi Hampton) work as a team creating our first really big vase. Last week I showed photos of our building two huge halves in my studio.
We had to let them harden overnight so that we could transport them to Susan's home to put in her big kiln.
They were too heavy for us to carry down the steps at Susan's home so I called my son Chip Hampton to come over and carry them for us. He, of course, did it with ease and had to show off in the process. After we got the bottom half of the vase in the kiln we stored the top half under plastic in Susan's studio until the next day. With relief, having accomplished a major step in the process, we headed back home.
Susan's kiln is under her covered back patio. Ten minutes after we left this is the photo she took of her porch very near to where we had all been standing ten minutes earlier.
They call the bear bb butt because Missy's husband shot him in the butt with a bb gun thinking it would scare him off their porch. Instead, he has decided he is just part of the family now and goes merrily between Missy and Susan's homes.
In the photo with Chip, you can see one of the hands we have put on the vase. The symbol of Resurrection Episcopal Church is the butterfly and when finished the vase will have butterflies flying out of the two hands and up over the mountains and river that will also be on the vase.
Part 3 of this adventure coming up in the next day are two.
Follow us on our latest adventure of working as a team to make a really big vase. Russ Keen ask us if we would make a large vase for him to give to the Church of the Ressurection as a gift from him. We are working in Jaymi's studio for the first shaping of the two halves. Then we will transport it to Susan Holmes' studio so we can put the two halves together inside the kiln. We will keep adding photos as we go until we have a great finished product. Please pray to the kiln God's on our behalf.
During the month of May, I am putting everything in my Etsy Shop on sale. I am doing my spring cleaning. Type in the code "springcleaning" when you check out and receive a 30% discount on your purchases.
This is a rambling story that I started writing in April and here it is the first of May. Hopefully, my "Jaymi" brain doesn't take till the first of June to finish this. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.
In April I wrote: This has been a very interesting year when it comes to weather. Just the other day I put my winter PJs in the drawer, and now I have had to pull them out again. Maybe we should take a lesson from the weather and be willing to change and keep everyone guessing as to what our next creation will be. I'm all for that.
April has been interesting as I started the month taking a trip to Fairhope Alabama with my friend Linda Lloyd. We ate enough fried seafood to last us a year, but it sure was good. Now I have to go on a diet to get back to my original curvy fluffy body because the day after Easter I leave on a 10-day excursion to Texas. For my birthday my daughter and son-in-law are taking Charles and Me on a trip to see the Texas wildflowers. What I really wanted to see will be long gone due to the warm weather Texas has been having. The Bluebonnets, how I do love them.
My love of Bluebonnets started because back in the early 1900's my grandfather purchased bags of bluebonnet seeds and spread them on the highways of Mason County. He ran a trucking line and he wanted his County to be the prettiest one in Texas. Even though the roads have been widened I like to think that the fields of bluebonnets throughout Mason County are the offspring of what my Grandfather planted many years ago.
May 2017- Back home from Texas and oh what I pleasure it was to drive through Mason County in the hill country of Texas. There were still patches of bluebonnets covering the roadside, but what made them even more beautiful were the Indian Blankets and Indian Paint Brushes that surrounded them. The colors ranged from blues to dark red to bright yellow. It was a beautiful time to be in my home state.
The cactus was in bloom and my daughter climbed up the embankment to get me a close up of the flower. Her husband was not happy because bees were flying all around her.
When we got back in the car and looked at the photo she had taken it wasn't bees! The flower was covered with beetles.
Wildflowers were not our only reason for going to Texas. We wanted to visit with my oldest living relative. Aunt Dorothy is 95 years old and still gets up every morning and puts on full face makeup and goes to the beauty parlor every week. She is beautiful both inside and out. She still lives in her home that sits in front of my cousin's home so he and his wife check on her every day, but she is a very independent lady.
The trip included visits to my sister and another cousin's home so I have a lot more stories to tell as well as photos galore to share. My cousin Gary's place is very interesting as he raises exotic animals. So stay tuned I have only begun to tell my stories.
Our Lady Fingers Potters were recently selected to be featured artists at Helen Arts and Heritage Center. Our work is on display and would love for you to stop by and check out our pottery. Below are some pictures of our hand built pottery on display.
Why? How often do you ask that? Next question: Why does it matter?
Since October of 2016, it has been something I have talked about and especially thought about. This past week I took "Why" and started doing something with it.
Last October we had our yearly Church women's "Bible study weekend" and the Priest from the Episcopal Church in Toccoa GA lead us in a program of asking ourselves "Why?". Such as: "like why we do something". Is it because it is expected of us, or because we really wanted to do it. At the end of the weekend, she asks one last question of each of us. "Think of a time in your life that was perfect, and why would you want to go back to that time?"
When it came to my turn to talk I said I would like to go back to the years between 55 and 60. The ladies died laughing as most of them were in that time frame of their lives and none of them thought it was the greatest time of their lives.
When I was 54 Charles and I moved from Florida to the mountains of Georgia. Charles had built us a huge studio on our property. Half was mine for my pottery and tile painting and the other half was for his woodworking hobby. I still had quite a lot of tile business still being shipped to Florida and Georgia, but most days I was free to create whatever I wanted to in clay. I joined the Sautee Nachoocee Community Center which had a fledgling little art gallery. The first year I served on the board and by the second year I was chairman of the art committee and the art center was really growing and able to hire a curator. During that time I was daily in my studio creating large sculptures. At some point, I was asked to be the featured artist at the gallery. I had a number of large sculptures all in the $300.00 range. One was $325. My hubby says, "Jaymi, it will not sell anyway so why not change the 3 to an 8. So that is what I did. The next day before the grand opening party I went in and there was a sold sign on the piece.
Over the next couple of years, I had two ladies who purchased all of the sculptures I produced. It was a great time when I let my hands be free to create whatever they wanted. Both ladies died within a couple of years of each other, but by then I had become the director of the non-profit Georgia Heritage Center for the Arts, and I no longer had time to be in my studio.
That was 1997, and In 2014 I closed The Georgia Heritage Center for the Arts Gallery and started playing in the clay again. This time I started selling my art on Etsy as Eastburn Originals. I started making more commercial pieces such as mugs and dishes.
Now it is 2017 and the business continues to be good, but after the women's Bible Study weekend, I began to ask "Why?".
Questioning myself brought back a memory from when my son was around eight and he was not happy so we decided to put him with a counselor. Only that means Charles and I also had to be counseled. One day the physiologist ask Charles what is the one thing you dislike about Jaymi. His answer was she starts things but never finishes. The physiologist's answer changed my life. He said, "Jaymi is an entrepreneur, all great business people and millionaires are entrepreneurs who start something then either sell the business or surround themselves with people to do the finishing as they move one to create something new."
No, I never became a millionaire businessperson, but I no longer feel bad about myself when I choose to turn a corner and go in another direction.
February 2017 I attended a clay conference
and one of the artists who was demonstrating talked about his walk through his clay life and how he went from commercial to creative and how it changed his life. I came home and thought "OK, twice I have been hit square in the head with "Why". Why are you doing what you are doing creating functional pieces of art?
So, I'm taking a new path and I am going back to creating not what will sell but whatever my hands decide to create. Over the last two weeks I have been in the studio again creating all new pieces and in May watch this space, I will be introducing a whole new line of art.
I'm only 79 so who knows how many new paths I have yet to adventure down.
These are just two of the sculptures I did. The first one was when Tiger Woods first hit the golf world and the press was like vultures hanging over his head. The second one was a sculpture of the womb symbolizing the birth of Christ. I rarely took photos of my work because when I finished one I was already over it and working on the next one. Two I wish now that I had photos of is the one I called "Barnyard Ballet" (you can imagine what the animals were wearing) and the second one was a rock mountain. On one side climbers were scaling the mountain and on the other side, there was a tram and people were riding to the top. I called it the Will to succeed. Different people do it different ways.
I love to write about my interest and experiences and most often I take a fact and expand on it just for the fun of it. Over the next few articles, that I write you can decide if they are truth or fiction.
I’ll start with one phrase that my husband and I always say, “We are God blessed”. Every Thursday we do Meals on Wheels and we deliver to about 10 people who are either just old or have health problems. We are, in a lot of cases, delivering to people who are younger than we are. Most of the ladies are really lonely, and the only people many of them see each day is the person who delivers their lunch to them. We try to spend time with the ones who are really lonely. If you want to feel God Blessed, then volunteer to help the poor or the lonely.
We have been blessed with two wonderful children, our daughter, Eebie, and our son, Chip. They are in their 50’s now and I keep saying I’m not old enough to have kids that old. Each of them has their own families and have made their way successfully in the world. My Mother thought men were pretty stupid. So when my sister and I ended up with only male grandchildren we used to tease her saying it was her fault we didn’t have any girls. In a later story, I will write about my Mom who was indeed a lady who walked to a different drummer.
This is called a tease so you will keep coming back to read my stories.
When I was but a wee person I had asthma and at that time they did not know how to treat it. When I would have an attack they would wrap me in a handmade quilt and put me in a rocking chair in front of the door thinking the fresh air would help me breathe. Well, I was allergic to everything that blossoms at night so it is amazing I survived at all. I think that the health problems and the fact that it turned out I have dyslexia probably formed the basis of why I am an artist.
When I was director of an art non-profit promoting artists, as well as writers, I realized that most artists and writers have some form of disability that they have used their creativeness to overcome their problems. Probably the one time it was blaring in my face was a writers’ workshop that had many successful retired people attending. The writing was absolutely amazing. Then one session the instructor asks each of us to read a paragraph out of a book and not one of us could read without hesitation. It was an eye opener and also a wonderful revelation that many of our creative successful people are also the ones who have overcome or worked around a disability.
I hated school because I would think I had made an A on a test and it would come back C, D, F. Many years later I realized it was because I was mixing up my letters as I wrote. I managed to keep a C average and did get accepted into college. Luckily I met my husband in my sophomore year and quit and got married. Of all the stupid things I was working on a Bachelor of Science degree. Obviously, I thought very highly of myself.
I realized that I had dyslexia when my son was diagnosed in the second grade. When they explained his problems it was quite an eye opener, but at last, I knew I wasn’t stupid. Thank God for spell check, because I can now express myself and only be laughed with and not at when it is my choice.
I’ve been in the arts since 1964 but never thought about being successful are “famous” until one day a lady I had sculpted a piece for turned me down and later told a neighbor, "I didn’t buy her piece because she is not famous."
That is the first time in 20+ years of selling my art that I sat down and wrote a bio of everything I had accomplished. I said “Damn I’m good!” and closed the book and kept on creating and having fun doing exactly what I want to do. To be happy you only have to see yourself as being famous to heck with what other people think.
I used to say life begins after 55, but now I realize it gets better and better each year. So next year I will say life begins at 80. I thank God every day for my family, but more than that I thank him for bringing these friends into my life. They keep me young in spirit.
I truly am God Blessed in every way.
PS: When I showed my pottery friends the photo of Charles and I they said, "We recognize Chuck, that doesn't look like you!". I still don't know how to take that.