Connie Norman
Connie Norman

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Here comes the circus!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

A few weeks ago we went to the Family Fun Circus.   I was very surprised when we pulled up and the circus was in the extremely old tent, it was a one ring circus, the benches were wooden and I’m pretty sure that they were around in the 1930’s.  Now that we have a child I have taken Van to the Shrine Circus every year and they rent out the Laramie County Community College horse area.  It’s very much a modern day three ring circus, and the parents pay at every turn.

I really felt like I was stepping back in time when I walked into the circus tent.  There were no bad seats in the tent, but we were in the front row.  And there was not much in the way of seating anyway; they had very few benches to sit on.  I felt like when we walked out of the tent we would be transported back to the 1940’s, where every man wore a hat and the ladies all had victory rolls and pin curls in their hair.  Here are some pictures of the performers.

“Look! The Stylish Blogger???” “Really…Where?”

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Wow, I am so honored to be picked for the Stylish Blogger Award.  But I’m really surprised!!!  Style and I don’t really know each other very well.  So that’s why I’m so surprised. Thank you to Meredith at Whynot Pottery and Cindy Shake at Art Making in the North, I can’t believe I ended up on both of their lists.  I do love and read both these blogs.  They make blogging look easy.  And both these blogs would be on my list of recommended blogs if they hadn’t given it to me. 

 Before I get started here is what the award requests!  And I hope everyone who reads this finds some new blogs and old ones to follow and read. 

This Award has 4 Requests:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award, by providing a link to their site.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself that other bloggers might not know.
  3. Give the Award to 15 newly discovered or interesting bloggers.
  4. Notify each of those bloggers to present the Award.


Here is seven things about me that have not been on my blog.

1. My husband is incredible.  I don’t give him enough credit about all the stuff he does for me.  He helps me so much.  I would lose my head if it wasn’t for him.  He is (and now also Vander) the heart and soul of my life. 

2. I’ve been to Japan 13 times and I was born in Japan and lived there until I was 2ish.  My parents couldn’t afford to fly to the states when my Dad got stationed to Fayetteville, NC, so they took a cargo ship.  I mostly go to Japan to visit my relatives.  But while I was in college I did a summer residency program with  IWCAT International Worksop of Ceramic Art in Tokoname.  I did a post about it, a while back

 3.       I’ve had a passport my entire life.   Here are the pictures from my passports. 

This is my current passport.

4. I love to travel!!  Before I die I am determined to visit all seven continents.  I have been to five.  I still have to go to Australia and Antarctica.  My husband has two sisters who live Down Under, one who is married to an Aussie and the other is getting her master’s degree.  I figure that I will get there eventually.  I worry about not making it to Antarctica.  I often research how to get to Antarctica.  I have looked into being a cook at Palmer Station and looked at  ship cruises there.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I have a friend who goes to Palmer Station to study the fiber optics in plants in the Antarctic.  I quizzed him about the types of jobs there I could do.  (unfortunately not many)

 5. I didn’t know about Alfred University’s reputation until I got there.  When I decided to leave the University of Wyoming to study ceramics.  I didn’t know where to go.  I just knew that U.W. did not have the program for me.  So I started looking at tons books with pottery.  (This is way before the internet.) And then I found out where my favorite artists went to school, the majority went to Alfred.  So I announced to my parents I was applying to go to art school in upstate New York…. so the story goes…

 6. I  HATE bananas!  I can’t stand the way they smell.  If someone is so kind to buy me a blueberry muffin and it is put in to the same bag as the banana muffin, I’ll be able to smell the banana.  I gag repeatedly if I smell banana bread cooking. 

7. I’ve had three spinal cord surgeries; two of them have been emergencies. I have donor bone in my neck and lower back.  I have cards that show all the metal in my back just in case I set off the TSA metal detectors.  Here are parts of my TSA cards, to show I’m not smuggling in contraband on the plane. 


Here is my list of blogs, in no particular order.  I hope I did not over lap to much.  But I’m sure I did and some of the bloggers just haven’t posted thier Stylin’ Stuff yet. 

Chad Blakely – Whatcha Lookin at?

Matt Flint

Ethiopian Orphan Relief Blog

(Mud) Bucket

Spirit of Clay – Laurie Edman

Ron Philbeck Pottery

Mel Robson – Feffakookan

Tales of Red Clay Rambler – Ben Carter

Nancy E. Schindler -  The Rabbit Muse

Diane Kenney

Jen Mecca Pottery

Lucy Fagella Pottery

Deborah Britt Pottery

Aime Dolich –  Artsyville

Jim Gottsuo – Sofia’s Dad’s Pots

Kelly Daniels – Dancing Clay


Second helping of SPAM: An update of sorts.

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I am very grateful to Kelly Curtis, my website designer, coming to my rescue all the time.  I’ve learned heaps since I’ve started my blog, but still need her help. My first blogging attempts Kelly had to give me many tutorials through email, to get a post on the blog.  I don’t think I’ve asked for help in almost a year, maybe even longer, until the whole SPAM explosion.  Now what I’ve learned is the spammers were hitting the images with comments.  I’ve had Askimet on my blog since the beginning, which I knew.  (Thank you to all the emails I received about Askimet, I put them on my comments for other bloggers, if they ever needed the information.)  Since Kelly worked on my blog, I haven’t received any SPAM.  It’s been great!  Thanks Kelly for all the incredible work you do!!

The Spamers found me!!

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010


The last few weeks it’s been really hard to sift through all my email because of all the spam that has been attacking me from my blog.  I tried really hard to figure out how to deal with it myself, reading about CAPTCHA, looking for a program that will work for me.  But I really only confused myself.  (CAPTCHA  stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart)  So I emailed Kelly Curtis my amazing web designer for help.  She installed a CAPCHA program for me and installed a plugin for the images.  Now when you click on an image a lightbox appears, rather going to the page with a post. 

I haven’t been a fan of jumping through the CAPCHA hoops.  But I quickly got tired of sorting and deleting my mail.  I don’t get massive amounts of comments, but I really do love it when I get comments from readers who have enjoyed a post.  So I am sorry that I am making you prove your humanness.  I hope this doesn’t discourage my readers from making comments. 

If are a blogger, what have you done to combat SPAM? 

I did a google search trying to learn about CAPTCHA and I borrowed the explanation below, for more info click here.

What is CAPTCHA? Why Do I Have To Type In Those Crazy Letters?

Answer: They are called CAPTCHA, and they are a human response test.

The reason websites have CAPTCHA is spam. Those crazy letters are a way to check if the person registering or trying to comment is a real live human being as opposed to a computer program attempting to spam the site. Yes, it’s the same reason most of us have some form of spam blocker on our email.

Spam is the modern day equivalent of junk mail. But, if the spammers were in charge, the junk mail wouldn’t just be in your mailbox or tied to your doorknob. It would litter your yard, bury the car parked in your driveway, plaster every side of your house, and cover your roof.

So, next time you run up against one of those images and get a little frustrated trying to tell a Q from an O, just remember not to vent your frustration at the website. Focus it on the spammers, because they are the reason we have to squint at our screen almost every time we want to register at a new website.

I am the MASTER of my own BLOG!!!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

I found out last week I won this blog award!!!  I’m glad that at least ONE person out there is reading my blog!!!!  I have no idea how I got on the list, but it made me smile.  If you’re interested in pottery blogs and don’t know where to find them.  Go to the link there are tons of great blogs on the list.  Lots of them are ones that I read and follow.


Molly Run For Your Life!!

Friday, September 24th, 2010


Our friend Jeff Lee made this collage after our comical adventure last weekend. 

Last weekend Todd, Vander and I had quite the adventure.  We were on our way to Laramie, but were going to do a little hike with Vander at Vedauwoo, but unfortunately Van fell asleep on the way.  When we got there I volunteered to stay in the truck and let Van finish his nap, while Todd took Molly our Golden Retriever on a hike.  We were parked in parking lot/picnic area; you wouldn’t think a place to view a lot of wildlife.  As you guys can image sitting in a truck with a sleeping toddler is not the most exciting thing to do, so I pulled out a book.   After about 30 minutes or so, I hear Todd yelling MOLLY! MOLLY! MOLLY!  AND OTHER EXPLETIVES I don’t even look up from my book; I assume Molly is rolling in a fresh cow pie.  Since this is a passion of hers.   Then Todd runs up to the truck completely out of breath, I thought, “Oh, I didn’t realize Todd was going for a run.”  Todd looks at me and says, “I just got charged by a moose, with two calves.  Did you see?  Did you see the moose?”  I thought, “No, how could I see that? Moose don’t come out in the middle of day, especially in the parking lot.”  The story is moose was right in front of the truck, as Todd walked up the moose charged him running past the side of the driver’s side, to charge Molly.  That’s when Todd was yelling, then the moose saw Todd started charge him instead, Todd fell down, the moose ran right up to him, then veered off just as the she got to Todd.  I could have seen the whole thing, but I was sitting reading my book.  I was sitting just a few feet away from all the action and I missed everything.

Wyoming State High School Art Symposium

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Symposuim at the Casper Event Center This year I was able to take my students the Wyoming State High School Art Symposium, this is the first time in five years I was able to take my kids.  In the past I was the Congressional Art Award Chairman for the state and had to ask my dear co-workers to my students.  

The Wyoming State Art Symposium, in its 42 year, is the largest of its kind in the United States and takes place at the Casper Events Center.  It’s a three day event for High School students; we take the ninth graders who are in third year art classes up for the day. Setting up

The Symposium features 4,000 pieces of student art by 1,500 high school art students from 48 high schools. Every high school in the state sends students and artwork.  No other state dreams of doing what we do.  It’s more like an athletic event, the students can’t put up their artwork until a designated time, and then it’s all out chaos.  Space is first-come, first served. The students are told to find a bright space as close to eye level as possible — but every other art teacher tells their students to do the same.  Just imagine a bunch of teenager, starting the Boston marathon, but in this scenario they are scrambling around the event center clutching artwork.   Then two and half days later it all comes down, in almost the same manner, as a teacher you hope you’re bring everything home with you.  Etch a Sketch competition

Students will get to participate in organized art competitions, workshops and demonstrations throughout the weekend.   Also, seniors interview with colleges and compete for scholarships, go to workshops about how to present their portfolios.  There is also a huge banquet for all the students, and a dance.  The kids get many opportunities to meet other students from around the state, and have a great time. 

For the five years I ran the Congressional Art Award for Wyoming, so Idd3f9208-282f-5da8-8c70-f3f0407a6daf_image was at Symposium for the entire time.  I worked with the Representatives office and the Symposium committee.  I asked three art professionals to be jurors, to pick 25 pieces of two-dimensional artwork, out of the 4000 submitted, and then the Wyoming Representative, with the jurors picked one artwork to go to Washington D.C. to represent the best of Wyoming’s art students. 

Although I missed doing it this year, I was glad not to be away from my son, Vander. 

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Amongst the living again!!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I am really glad that I am once again amongst the living.  I have just went through five horrible days with stomach flu.  Just before I got sick I loaded a kiln with a glaze load and didn’t open the kiln to see how things turned out.  I have never done that before, I’m usually so excited to see how my pots came out I’m checking the temperature every half an hour so I can open it.  When I finally came out of my fog, I went down to check out my kiln and it was 58 degrees, four days after it went off.   I’m going to try to take pictures tonight, and post them tomorrow.

Team Nora

Friday, February 26th, 2010


The reason I’m posting this, is my dear friends Kristy and Justin’s little girl Nora has Rett Syndrome. They are trying to raise money for a cure.  Please donate to, so one day Nora and all the other little girls can lead a normal life.  

“There are just a handful of disorders that only affect females. Breast Kristy, Nora, Coen, and Justin cancer is the most prevalent. Rett Syndrome is just as devastating, and affects a potential one in 5,000 girls. Condemned to an entire lifetime of struggles, these girls have been robbed of their ability to speak, walk, crawl, use their hands. They depend on others for every part of their day. Complications include seizures, sudden death in their sleep and scoliosis. Today, there is no cure. But Rett Syndrome is CURABLE! Amidst the mass confusion going on within their central nervous systems, they are smart, strong, and waiting patiently for us to unlock the door to their recovery.” (I copied this from the Dress 2 cure website.)

Rett Syndrome has never allowed Nora to talk or walk, and has taken a lot of purposeful hand use away from her, but she fights it every day.  And she’s still a sweet, little girl even through the struggles she faces each day.

Thank You in advance for helping!!!

Love An Ugly Box! Reduce * Reuse * Recycle

Thursday, January 14th, 2010


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My very good friend Daren Clary designed this logo for me to stamp on my very Ugly boxes.  I’ve decided to try to reduce my carbon foot by reusing what I can.  I am recycling all my boxes when I ship my pottery.  I really struggled with reusing my boxes, when a customer purchases one of my pots, I want to look professional, and make a good impression when it arrives at it’s new home.  Yes, a brand new box looks prettier, but seconds after the moment of excitement, you probably break it down and throw it away.  

With the help of my husband Todd, and with Daren’s great logo.  I feel much better about sending an Ugly box to my customers.  So now I say, “This box may be ugly, but you know that it’s been reused and to me reducing our carbon foot print is more beautiful than even the nicest packaging!!!