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!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

3 day pottery workshop...

This past week we had a visiting Artist give a 3 day workshop on crystal glazes. Since I've only been into pottery for a few years, most of what he said was 'beyond' me, but his lectures and demos were very entertaining and interesting. Here are a few photos of some of the test tiles and pieces done with our experimental glazes.

cooling in kiln

Some of the pieces where the crystal glazes came out well...

A few more pieces that I particularly liked

The next pic is of one of my Raku pieces that was done a few weeks ago ... not anything special, but I was pleased with how it came out. Raku is kind of unpredictable

You can't see it very well, but the cone, beak, and side of the face came out kind of copper colored.

I've only tried Raku one other time about a year ago. Some didn't come out too great, but 2 came out interesting.

And before I sign off for the evening, these 2 young feral cats come to our back kitchen door every morning. Their little faces pop up like clockwork when we walk into the kitchen for our coffee. We have started calling them Cisco and Poncho as they are always hanging out together. Aren't they sweet?

Cisco and Poncho     

Sunday, March 19, 2017

a few more Hill Country pics... and 2 questions

my friend sitting on porch

Sitting on the wrap around porch in the morning and evening was very pleasant... there's always a cool breeze blowing.  The dogs and chickens usually sat with us. 

view from porch to the stables

... more views
chicken shadows

 and a few pics that I forgot yesterday:

Das Peach Haus in Fredericksburg

and the Magnolia Silo Market in Waco, Texas.  We tried to get in there as we both watch Fixer Upper on TV with Joann and Chip, but with Spring Break it was just too crowded. There were cars and people everywhere... so we just drove by and took a pic of the Silos on our way home. 

If you aren't familiar with Fixer Upper and Joann and Chip, they have basically put Waco, Texas on the map. Google Magnolia Market at the Silos and it will explain it all.

And I have a question... we often find this flower on my daughter's property and don't know what it is. Looks kind of like a violet - of some sort?

What do you think? 

Oh, another thing... DH came home with the movie, "Arrival" on DVD yesterday evening (he does this when there's nothing good on TV that night).  Anyway, we watched it and it was interesting (to say the least)... and a bit confusing. I told him that I needed to watch it again today to see if I understood what it was saying. 

So... if any of you have seen it, this is what I got:
The language expert (a woman) starts off the show saying that it all started when THEY arrived. She and the Scientist are helping humans try to communicate with the newly arrived Alien ships. During the time they are trying to learn their language, she has visions/dreams(?) of a birth, a young child, and that child dying.

As it turns out, she finally determines that they are giving humans *a gift*... and in return will need humans to help them in 3000 years. The gift is their own  language... (they explain in the movie that language in general does something to the brain - and determines how you think).  The Alien language is not vocal/spoken and maybe because of the way it uses the brain, looks at time differently and allows one to know the future. They give this gift to the language expert (the woman)... and it is given in 12 parts (one part from each of 12 Alien ships that have landed all over the world). It is given this way to let humans know that the whole world must work together/co-operate. Once the gift is given, the ships disappear.

If anyone else has seen this movie, I would love to know if this is even close to what you got.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring Break in the Texas Hill country...

I spent the last  5 days 'house-sitting' in the Texas Hill country while my daughter and her family took a short vacation. My friend and I stayed at their house and fed their horses, chickens, etc. and used their place as a base while day-tripping to the cute little towns of Marble Falls, Gruene, Fredericksburg, and Wimberly.

We started off stopping in Marble Falls at the Bluebonnet Cafe... a well known local favorite that also has a "pie happy hour". However... as usual the place had a line to get in around the parking lot, so we didn't stay. Hopped over to a little coffee shop across the way called, "Choccolatte's" and got some coffee for ourselves and some dark chocolate English Toffee for DH.

Next stop was my daughter's place in Bulverde where we visited and spent the night. The next morning, after they left for the area around Austin, we headed out to Gruene, a little German town on the Guadalupe River. Shopped a few places and ended up eating at the Grist Mill - a great hulking restaurant that winds around the river and is open to viewing it all. It also has beautiful fireplaces (hence, the following pic of my grand daughter who decided to go to Gruene with us). They have the 'best ribs' that I've ever eaten (and I 'm not even a meat person).

grand daughter at the Grist Mill in Gruene

The following day we drove to Fredericksburg... another little German town where we visited our favorite places (yes, we've been before); der kuchen laden (think that's right - a very well-equipped kitchen store), Chocolat (a chocolate shop that specializes in chocolate with whiskeys, bourbons, Irish cream, etc. inside), and The Pie Shop (where they make on site dozens of fresh delicious pies each day and simply close when they run out).

the Pie Shop in Fredericksburg

Of course we visited other stores, but these are our favorites! We did stop at Der Peach Haus on the way home. The Wisteria outside was gorgeous.

The next day was to be a "rest" day - sitting on the front porch enjoying the scenery, collecting eggs, picking veggies from their vegetable garden, feeding horses, chickens, dogs, and cats, etc. We had brought our quilting, so we did a little of that...

daughter's house

The town of Wimberly, TX was our next stop. Had lunch at the Wimberly Cafe's open seating area (captured 3 honeybees in Styrofoam cups that kept circling our table), visited the shops, and then picked up some coffee to go for our trip back to Bulverde.  Turned out to be Anderson's coffee (had never heard of it, but it was very good!)

That evening we finished off the Chocolate Cream pie we had bought at the Pie Shop in Fredericksburg. And headed back home  yesterday. Fun trip! Daughter and hubby had returned home and had had a wonderful (albeit short) get away for themselves. Worked out well for all!

Oh... and by the way... Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pictures that make me happy...

Have you ever noticed that certain pictures make you smile... and I don't necessarily mean pictures of your children or grandchildren (or your pets - although all of these indeed make me smile). But just pictures you *happen upon*. Here are a few that do it for me...

feels like I'm looking out of light house keeper's cabin - very peaceful

and this one...

this reminds me of my grand daughter's room with the tree outside her window

and here's another...

memory of looking down out of a castle window on Wye River

Then there are watercolors like...



love this!

Would love to be able to watercolor like this... the feeling is wild and free

OK, enough of my wishful thinking...  and back to reality.  DH and I have been busy lately. We just picked up our window shade order, bought security cameras, and just this week got my new Rx glasses. (I haven't had any glasses since my cataract surgery in September. and yes, I still need them.) It's been very odd these last few months not being able to see well and needing over the counter reading glasses to get by. And the reason I was waiting is because if these were possibly the last Rx I would need (probably not, but one can hope), I wanted blue frames this time (not sure why), and the new Spring frames that were coming in would have more colored options (or that's what I was told). 

Anyway, they're here and I have them. Do I love the blue frames? Hmm... not sure... BUT for what the glasses cost, I WILL love them. And at least I can see well again. That I'm thankful for!

Oh, I have to show you 2 more pictures that make me smile... and these I don't even know why... but they do.

purple door knob

Isn't this just great? It reminds me of "magic"... would love to have a purple crystal doorknob. It probably wouldn't fit on my front door, but perhaps I could use it on my "she-shed" (if I ever had one one day - like a pottery/watercolor studio out back?).

and then I saw this...

and it speaks to the Tom Sawyer child in me

Well, that's all I have for today. The weather has been warm and windy... so we've been leaving the windows open... which the cats love!  It's Spring Break this week also... so Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Welcome to my world...

wonderful window view
welcoming window

Why is it that *certain things* attract us?  Like open windows, shady paths, cozy fireplaces, etc.?  They draw us in... and welcome us. I see a picture (many of which are posted on "A Brit in Tennessee" blog) and something inside says, "... aww, I like that".  I know it can't be true for all, but apparently it's true for a good bit (or in this case, a good Brit!).

Lately I've been looking around on Pinterest and have found so many really cute idea pictures... the kind that make you want to create that, or go there, or just plain fantasize. 

And there's this place in Mousehole, West Cornwall, England that is shown on a blog called "A Joyful Cottage".... it's called the Oyster Catcher's Cottage and it's such a perfect spot to spend a holiday. Check it out and see what you think. 

Kitchen in Oyster Catcher's Cottage (see the white aga on the left)
Bedroom in Oyster Catcher's Cottage (see the view of the water  from the window)

And then there's also another cottage shown on The Joyful Cottage that's called, "The Stack"... that is so-oo interesting. However, you must be able to climb stairs as each room is on a different floor.

kitchen in the Stack - isn't it adorable?

It's also in Cornwall... (guess I have a hankering for Cornwall?).

Outside view of The Stack

Then... while surfing through Pinterest the other night, I came across some humorous posters. One had me laughing so hard, I cried. Wish I could find it again... as I haven't had a good laugh like that in ages.

Well, that's the dreaming part of my post finished. Going to relate a little story next that has taken up a good part of our week. First, DH and I set out to order some room darkening shades for our front room.  Plain ol' shades... nothing fancy, right? Well, of course none of the ready made ones came in the sizes we needed, and the ones they can cut to order didn't come in the color we wanted. 

So-oo we tried 3 different places to custom order. First place had an associate there, but she didn't know anything about ordering shades. Second place, there were simply no sales associates in the area, and even though we went up front and were told one was coming, 20 mins later no one had shown up, so we left. 

Last place was very accommodating, and had a lovely salesperson who really knew her stuff (so rare these days). We took home the book with the various swatches, then went back and ordered the next day. Unbeknownst to us, the sale was off the next day, but our sales lady called a Supervisor explaining that we basically made the order the day before, but had to take samples home to be sure of the color before continuing. She gave us the sale price. 

It just astounds us that so many stores don't have enough help... or don't educate the ones they have.  Maybe it's our age, but it seems that work ethics and management systems have suffered over the years.

Sorry this post is a bit rambling... but it seems to be the way my mind works lately. Closing this with a picture I came across of a black cat that I think is just beautiful... (very possibly photo-shopped, but still). How can people not like black cats?)


Of course our Ghost is beautiful too... in her own way

Her response: "Give it a rest..."