Saturday, March 31, 2012

To paint or not to paint, that is the question.

Definitely a painting day today.

I'm thinking I prefer the collage, which is the second photograph.
I love the little man in the boat, riding the waves :)
He looks so serious in the collage. Wonder where's he's headed to.
Maybe, he's just trying to remain calm. It looks a bit bumpy out there.

I want to finish these,

Or, I might get the pastels out.

But, I think the other people in the house want to go to the cinema today. So, I'll have to see. If something happens in the middle of the day, (and the cinema will be), it tends to throw me for a loop, as I'm a get in there and stay in there kind of worker. I can't seem to manage if something else has to happen inbetween. Weird I know, but just trying to tell it as it is.

saturday notes:
saw the hunger games yesterday with n. i enjoyed it. i went in with low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. i always try for the low expectations trick so that i'm not disappointed. sometimes it doesn't work as i get too excited without even knowing it, bummer. 
afterward, we picked up spencer's thyroid medicine. what can i say, the cat has one eye, we have to look after him somehow. 

Here's a picture of his paw, (I'll lead you in gently to the eye ...)

he has beautiful paws.

and, now for the head shot. He's turned his good side for you ... and giving the sneaky, i might just have one eye, but i know how to use it, look.
bless his heart. he's pretty old now and must be wondering what else we're going to take away from him.

love you spence. you're our hero ...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Just a note.

thursday notes:
took lunch to j in hospital this afternoon. knee replacement. impressive scar. ouch. i've decided i'm going to exercise my knees now because that's pretty intense stuff, right there. 
my knees are aching as i type. (don't think i ever mentioned here that i'm a bit of a hypochondriac ... )
came home and had to rest.

i got a new phone as ours broke. actually it turned out that the phone was fine, it was the line that was broken, but our phone was really, really old so i got a new one under the pretense/delusion that it was broken. 
yes, i lied to myself, but, now i have a new phone. 
there's a woman, on the phone, that tries to tell us who is calling. scared the @#%!^&* out of us when she first did it. who knew phones did that? annoying thing is we can't understand a word she says. when it's a toll free call, she thinks joe is calling. we don't even know a joe.
i'm going to have to read the booklet now and figure out how to turn her off. it's driving us nuts.

i will leave you with a photo of my babies.

they might not look much to you, but it's been five days now, and they are still alive ...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday morning.

I'm up and ready with all good intentions today.
Jewelry I think, although the painting has a pretty strong call right about now.
First I am going to check on my babies, i.e. the herbs, although I'm pretty sure they're going to look exactly as they did yesterday evening when I last looked in on them.
So, I'm feeling pretty good. It's a glorious day. Going to be a high of 83º today. (O.K. here's something. This is my second Mac, I've been using one since forever, and I just found out how to type the degree symbol! Cool and not cool all at the same time.)

This week I am going to try to list something on Etsy every day. I figured if I list something everyday for a year that will be about $73 (well, not about, exactly actually. I used a calculator ...). It costs me $150 for the art festival I do which is for one day, so I think $73 for a whole year is an o.k. investment when it comes down to it. I might just list on weekdays, however. I don't want to flood the market ...

Here's what I listed today.

A beautiful pair of sterling silver and opal earrings, for your delight. If you so wish, you can find them here.

I will leave you with a few pages from my sketch book. 

I'm thinking quilts maybe. Don't really know at this point.

monday notes:
i'm reading.

poor gamache, i think i love him. (that's kind of sad, though, as he doesn't exist). i also love inspector serrailler in susan hill's books. except he's blonde, and i don't really go for blondes. but he is an artist, that's a plus. he reminds me of inspector dalgliesh in p.d.james' novels. i liked him more. he was a poet. there's something about poets ...
o.k. off to the studio.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coming soon.

I just listed this on my Etsy site

I was really pleased with the way it came out. It's the first time I went all out and used tons of silver. 

During this week I will also be listing this,

and some of these,

and I will continue to work on these,

sunday notes:
this afternoon, n and i planted tomatoes, jalapenos and herbs. i can't wait to see if they make it. i'm not tremendously good at watering. texas weather beats me. i grew all sorts of veg at home, in england, but here, i can barely make it out to the garden without wilting. i have promised myself, and the veg, that i will make an effort, however. also, i am going to talk with the gardener about putting a couple of those tiny hoses off the sprinkler system in the boxes. actually, we wont really be talking as he doesn't speak a word of english, and i don't speak spanish, so there will be lots of hand signals and facial gestures. we will both come away thinking the other understood what was 'said', the results of which can be quite exciting ...

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I began a painting.

Strange for me but I'm really into these drab colours at the moment.

Then, when I started to get worried about the painting, (oh, and I needed a cup of tea), I stopped painting and took some photographs of some older pots, just in case I decide to put them on Etsy.

Not sure if the outside photographs are as good as the inside ones though. (Or vise versa).

The outside ones seem a little washed out and the inside ones seem a little drab (and not in the good painting way).

I've always had trouble photographing the pottery. I seem to be o.k with the jewelry, I don't know, but I never can get a good pic with the ceramics. 
I did get a little tent thingy for Christmas, and a sweet little baby tripod for my camera, and a light. I tried it all but the photo's of my jewelry were even worse than the ones I take now. (o.k. I only tried the tent once, sorry Santa. Maybe I should get it out again and stop whining.) At this point, however, I think I would rather blame the camera. It's not that old but all the other people in my family have bigger, better cameras than I do, so that must be the cause of my boring photographs. Right?

This is a small dish.

This is a paper weight.

A shallow dish.

And a large bowl.

I think perhaps I'll have to come up with more interesting labels for Etsy however :)

thursday notes:
if i don't get my hair cut tomorrow, nobody is going to recognise me. i went two weeks ago and she was sick. i've not quite managed to get back there since. to be honest, i just can't seem to tear myself away from the studio, but, it's not good when you have short hair that seems to grow at twice the speed of everybody else's hair. that's one of the, 'not fair', moments in life, unless, of course, you're bald. then i'm sorry ...

friday update: 
i think i'm going to go with the outdoor photographs. maybe because i'm going to get my hair cut now, which always makes me feel happier afterwards, and, in the light of a new day, they don't seem to be that boring after all.
also, i think yesterday i had a mild case of camera envy ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Quite, but Almost.

As I suspected, I was disappointed with the kiln load.
(Really, or did I just expect to be?)
It kind of gets old always anticipating failure, so, I'm going to work on that.

These pots didn't come out too badly but I still want to work on perfecting them.

There are five of these. I did them for the Houston Empty Bowl donation but the small art festival I hope to do comes up first. If I can sell them there the money will still go to charity, so I might try that first.

This one needs more working on. There's just something about it.

I don't know what it is that I want out of my pottery. I just want it to be good. I like always striving to get better but I think I need to put some distance between opening the kiln and making hasty judgements.

wednesday notes:
i'm sick :( just a head cold but enough to put everything in 'poor me' mode. i think it was cleaning the kitchen yesterday. i knew that nothing good could come from housework ...
still recovering from opening the kiln. kind of feel a bit blah now. all that lead up and then, poof. like spending half the day cooking christmas dinner for it to be devoured inside fifteen minutes.
waiting for the iron man to come. our two big dogs peed on our wrought iron fence for ten years and rotted it away (take note if you ever want to break out of jail) so it needs replacing. the dogs both passed :( so this one should be safe. he was supposed to come yesterday but didn't show. this is his second chance. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rain. Cleaning. Mystery.

Well, the kiln is on.

I was going to go into the studio this morning as I felt a jewelry making moment coming on, but it's a raining, dark day today and for some unfathomable reason I started to clean the kitchen instead. 
I know, right! What is up with that!
And the more I cleaned the kitchen, the more it needed cleaning, so I just made an executive decision and put the kiln on.
I can't work in the studio when the kiln is on as it gets very hot in there (obviously) and smelly. 
So, there you have it. Tomorrow all will be revealed. Will we have some nice pots - or wont we?

Here's a photo of an earlier plate.

If they come out anything like this one I will be fairly satisfied. This plate, however, had black glaze underneath the underglazes instead of white. I like both effects but I might just get the black out again and paint some more before the next kiln load.

tuesday notes:
love storms, although this one seems to have passed for now. almost finished with the kitchen, so, what to do now? i'm thinking, watercolours. haven't done that in a long time. however, inspector gamache is beckoning from, the brutal telling, by louise penny. things are getting going now to the point where i need to know what's going to happen next so perhaps i can indulge in an hour this lunchtime with him.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Who's on First?

I have two plates on the go. The second one is coming along nicely, the first one is stuck in stage one - well pre stage one actually, 

- except that doesn't make sense. 

So, revising that, if we say,
stage one is wedging and throwing, or handbuilding, etc. (i.e. making the pot)
stage two is glazing. (i.e. glazing the pot)

really, that would make the first plate at the beginning of stage two, rather than pre stage one. Stage one of stage two in fact. Whereas plate two is now at the end of stage two of stage two and is ready to proceed to stage three of stage two as soon as I get out to the studio. 


Let's start with plate two (as that always makes sense).

Here we can see that it has completed stage one of stage two.
(the first glaze coat)

And here it is still not completely dry from the final touches of stage two of stage two
(the second glaze coat)

Stage three of stage two will be when I put the third and final coat of glaze on. Then it will be ready to fire. (Always mixed feelings at this stage of the game).

At this point I should mention that there probably should be a few more stages thrown in there, like the first firing stage, and the second firing stage, oh, and the fact that I put two coats of white glaze underneath the underglazes and the glaze colours, etc., etc., but I think to add any more stages might be confusing...

So, here is plate one, untouched from when I took this pic a couple of days ago. 

It sits on the table taunting me as it is being painted with glazes and I'm having trouble remembering just how the colours will come out. Therefore it is still in stage one of stage two as I'm waiting for this one, 

which is finished, to be fired first. Then I will know what to do next with plate one and my hands wont get all sweaty when I try to make a decision as to where exactly the next colour should go. (If only I stuck to the pottery I wouldn't have to forget all this stuff).

This is the second plate - again.

This one is being painted with underglazes, and pretty much what you see is what you get. Much easier to work with as all the glaze colours, regardless of what their end result will be, tend to be shades of maroon and rust ...

So I hope that helps clears up where I am with the pottery progress. I think you can see from this that my life is often complicated but, at the same time, very interesting. It definitely keeps me on my toes ...

saturday notes: s didn't go back to school yesterday, as planned, but he did eat my dinner. he promises to go back today. actually, i will miss him more now than had he gone yesterday. i know. weird right. i can't explain it but it probably has something to do with writing about the plate. the whole thing is just messing with my mind now ...
so, i feel a bit low. all my babies gone, except n. she will have to do for now. and, as she does do wonderfully, that's fine by me. (she makes excellent tea actually. always made with love, as i've taught her, so it tastes better, and she has the uncanny knack of knowing exactly which mug to make it in and when. all part of the finesse of english tea making ...) 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chain links (shortened version) and things to come.

I was thinking (always a problem) that my previous post on chain links was a bit too wordy, so here's a shortened version ...

10.5 mm links

Find the extended version here, but, be warned, there are lots of words, some configured in ways previously unknown to man. (Perhaps this is why I'll never be a famous author. Oh well...)
Disclaimer - see side bar.

A taste of things to come ...

Stay tuned.

friday notes:
p is fishing again. n was supposed to go with him, but, as usual, found it hard to get out of bed. s is leaving to go back to school this morning (b already left). and, to my constant amazement, i'm not worried about it. i love them but boy is it nice to get my life back ... also, the ones that are left eat my food without complaining. always a plus.