Friday, May 26, 2017

Playing 'catch-up'...

My oldest son and his family are in the process of moving to Hawaii. They have always loved visiting and planned to retire there when the time came. However, opportunities arose that allowed them to make this move now. So here are some pics just sent to us.

I'm not sure exactly where the pics were taken, but I know it is on the island of Oahu.

And DH and I just spent the last weekend in the Houston, TX and Lake Jackson area... visiting family. We ate at some great restaurants   (mostly seafood and Cajun), but also found a wonderful breakfast place where they serve fantastic grits (I love grits when they are cooked right!) and beignets (not the same as New Orleans, but very good!) And we found a place that served American Hot Chocolate, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and European Hot Chocolate! Since we were familiar with the first two, we decided to try the third. Wow! European Hot Chocolate was thick and rich... and like ambrosia (or as a Chocoholic, what I'd think ambrosia to be). We will return for more of that next time we visit.

We also went to the NASA Space Center as we hadn't been there since the kids were very young.  Took a few pics.

DH and brother by Space Shuttle
Space Pod

 and the next pic is of the NASA Command Center:

It was a fun visit! We got to spend time with family, eat very well, and see a few sights.

However, we did miss youngest grandchild's dance recital here at home while we were gone. We were sent this pic of her in her dance outfit. Haven't heard how she did yet, but probably will soon. She does look cute!

The cats are all doing fine. Tux, Julie, and Ghost are getting used to all the activity in the house that has taken place since the big move to Hawaii began. Actually Tux and Julie don't pay much attention, but Ghost stays under the bed a lot.

The outside ferals are all doing well. The mama with her 5 babies seems to have left them in the care of Cisco and Poncho (the 2 young cats that hang together) in the back yard. The little ones are eating and drinking on their own, but still try to nurse on Cisco... he/she and Poncho don't seem to mind and are surprisingly good with them.

Going to leave you with a picture of one of the box turtles eating with a feral. 

turtle and feral having breakfast

Don't know if I'll get a chance to post anything else this weekend, so I'll just wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day now! Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New baby chicks!... and baby kittens, etc.

Daughter sent me this pic this week of newly hatched baby chicks at her house. Says mom is a new mom and being a bit mean and overprotective.... but they are precious. If you look closely (may want to enlarge the pic), you can see that one is dark, one is light, and the one on top is 'silverish'. I love baby chicks and chickens, but with all the feral cats around here, we could never have them.

Mentioning feral cats, a young mother showed up at our back door just this morning with 5 little black kittens. They look about 5 weeks old. They ate, played on the porch for a bit, then disappeared. I imagine she's got them someplace on the property or at a neighbor's.

DH and I walked at the mall this week and came across this hanging plant arrangement. 

We thought it was really an attractive display. This pond area also has ducks and turtles. The kids love it!

BTW, my friend and I went to see "Beauty and the Beast" yesterday. It was her birthday and she wanted to see it. I hadn't heard much about it myself. But it was very enjoyable and Emma Watson ('Hermione' from Harry Potter) as Beauty and Dan Stevens ('Matthew' from Downton Abbey) as the Beast did a great job.

And here's a pic of a neighbor's front walk with her yellow day lilies:


Well, that's about my news. Perhaps I'll close with this pic of my youngest grand daughter trying on heels at Macy's.

She's a hoot!

Have a good weekend... and Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 5, 2017

a correction... and pottery sale results

First of all... a correction... that last pic on recent post ("monkey mind strikes again") was NOT Julie, but Julie's deceased brother, Jack. I hurriedly looked for a picture to put at the end of my post and grabbed that one (Julie and Jack are very similar although Julie is half Jack's size and has that 'martingale' marking across her chest).  DH saw the pic pulled up on my computer where I had left it... and said, "Oh, I miss our Jack..." and I looked closely, and said, "Oops! I just posted that as Julie".  So correction noted! And here is a pic of Julie hiding out on my desk as we speak.

She found me...

Our Student pottery sale was this past Tuesday on campus. It was a one day sale (not like the 3 day one in November). It wasn't terribly successful as we aren't allowed to advertise much... so it's there for anyone (usually students and faculty) that happen to pass by.

We did OK. I sold my rooster, several chickens, and a fox... as well as a few functional pieces. But the best part of it was getting feedback from the buyers of what they seemed to like and buy. I was asked if I had any tiny roosters (like my chicken size)... which I didn't (but will next time). Someone bought one of my small goblets and wanted to know if I had any more (I did... at home, but had brought mostly larger ones with me - who knew?). And the man who bought my tiny fox was thrilled with it, had me sign it,  and wanted to know if I had made any more (I told him 'only one other and that one had gone to a friend in Canada').

Here are a few pics of the student sale:

Some of the potters have been throwing and hand-building for years. Others (like myself) took it up later in life, but still enjoy it immensely. 

They say Art is Life and Life is Art... and I never really thought about this until recently. Now I seem to see it everywhere. TV shows and movies are constantly depicting what is happening, has happened, or likely to happen... Art is Life and Life is Art.

I've seen art that I didn't understand, didn't feel the emotion that the Artist felt when the piece was created... and wondered why it was considered 'good'?  Now I realize that Art is as individual as the next person... everyone won't 'see' it  - but some WILL - And that is something extraordinary. Someone put something from themselves into a form (written, sculpted, painted, etc.) and someone else 'felt,  saw, or simply appreciated it. Amazing! 

Part of this thought came to me when one of the other potters bought one of my chickens and said, "I have to have him, he keeps talking to me..." I laughed and said, "Yes, I've taught them to do that... ".

OK, time to get on with my day... so much to do, so little time. 

"... always time to nap"

Sunday, April 30, 2017

my monkey mind strikes again...

Sunday morning breakfast

This is how DH and I started off our Sunday morning... crepes!  He had the Strawberry Cheesecake crepe and I had the Mixed Berry cream crepe - both delicious! 

Have had a lot on my mind lately. I've always called this my 'monkey mind'... when too many thoughts invade. This caused me not to sleep very well last night. Finally got up, did a few things, had a cup of tea and returned to bed just as the storms came through our area. Thunder and lightning didn't help either...  the storm did set off the truck alarm which added to the night's restlessness. But we were lucky here and didn't get the tornadoes that hit in and around Canton. We do keep those people in our thoughts and prayers... as there but for the grace of god, go any one of us.

My tiny container garden is doing OK. So far there's only red bell pepper, curly parsley, and basil. I still need to get some trailing rosemary to hang out front.

container garden

Oh, and I made some espresso shortbread cookies this afternoon to send to my daughter for her birthday. Haven't made these in a while and they are her favorite. We usually go down to visit her around this time, but since we were there for Spring Break have decided to put the trip off until later in the summer.

Espresso shortbread cookies

Also I've finally decided to 'put myself out there' (so to speak) and take a watercolor class this summer. I've always wanted to do this, and have dabbled in it on my own, but would love to know some real 'watercolor techniques'. The next 2 pics are ones that I absolutely love... (not my work!!... I wish it were) but would love to be able to create this type of watercolor on my own.

I have a fascination with seagulls and how they fly and land.  So I always try to capture their movement (perhaps it's a Jonathon Livingston Seagull thing...).

I did the following watercolor years ago... (please don't laugh, it is amateurish, and again I'm dabbling on my own). 

may have to enlarge it so see it well... colors are very  light

Anyway, I've been sketching gulls again recently, but want more instruction as to how to watercolor them. Here are a few of my gulls in flight.

And... we have a Student Pottery Sale coming up in a few days at the Studio. So much to do... (but as you can see, I'm never bored).  Have to decide what to put in the sale, get it all packed up, priced, and then work the sale from 8 to 4.  

Then there are other things going on within the family... moving, graduation, a trip to visit relatives... all coming up in the near future. So no wonder my mind is too busy to sleep on occasion. 

On a good note: when I do get up in the middle of the night, the cats are always happy to see me. Julie comes and sits where-ever I'm working and watches.  

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

much ado about nothing...

Julie sitting with my art supplies

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but things have been a bit busy.  Had a few doctors' appointments to take care of... and a tooth that was giving me trouble. Luckily all that is behind me now and it's just a matter of finishing up the semester's pottery projects in the next few weeks. 

The picture at the top is one of Julie helping me do a little touch-up on a few things. She is one of those cats that needs to be 'in the mist' of it whatever you're doing. If I'm quilting, she has to sit on the fabric, if I'm knitting, she has to keep an eye on that moving yarn, etc.  I think that's why she stations herself on the kitchen counter - so she can keep an eye on the goings on around her.

We have a bay leaf tree in our yard. On occasion I cut branches down to hang around the kitchen. It's great to keep moths away as well as to use in actual cooking. Julie likes to supervise the cutting.

checking out Sunday comics

And as you can see, this is her, "enough already..." look!
So I guess I'll close.

Happy TGIF tomorrow!!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

a prelude to Easter 2017...

Hi there!

Isn't this the cutest pic?  While I was sitting here trying to think of something to write about, I was going through pics and came across this one. With Easter just a few days away, I decided it would be appropriate.

Here's a few others that I took over on campus. As I was leaving the pottery studio yesterday, I saw this little family out on the water... enjoying the beautiful weather.

a closer look shows 8 little goslings!

I thought they might swim off when I got closer, but they were actually turning towards me. Guess they are used to students on the campus... maybe hoped to get some bread?

When I left the studio, the finished pieces on my shelf were as follows:

a strange looking pitcher

a few bowls and cups  

                       ... and more of my little critters

And on the greenware cart, I left a few mugs and items that I was playing around with.

These pieces need to be fired for me to see what I plan to do with them next. The mugs are made with a clay called Spectacular... which comes out spotted. the other items are made with paper clay.

And lastly, here's my darling Tux... making himself comfortable in the middle of my messy computer room floor.

Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Still playing with clay...

It's Wednesday and DH and I are home. And for various reasons we can't walk at the mall nor do our neighborhood crime patrol. But we did make a run to the grocery earlier where I picked up 2 lovely red bell pepper plants to start a veggie area on the south side of our house. We've never been able to grow much in the back (...except feral cats and kittens) due to all the trees and shade, but I decided that perhaps I would do a "potted" garden on the south side by our driveway. It's fenced in and it would give me a chance to see if things would grow there.

And of course since I'm stuck at home (and it's too soon to do any heavy Easter cleaning), I'm playing around with clay a bit. 

clay nesting chicken

clay chicks

roughed out clay duck

Sometimes I *rough out* a critter and then decide to leave him that way...  I may do that with this duck.

While I was playing with the clay in the front room (which still has the remnants of my quilting recently), Julie and Tux made themselves comfortable on the big chair by the fireplace. They looked so comfy that I took a picture to share with you. 

Julie and Tux

And I have to show you this because I love it so...  a very good friend of mine that has pushed me for years to have some things published actually used Word Publisher and made me a copy of one of my stories. 

my book!!

I've had manuscripts around here for years of stories I've written, but never wanted to go to the trouble of marketing. But I have to admit it is an amazing feeling to see your work in *book form*... with your name (Sheri Hart is my pen name) on it.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!