Saturday, October 21, 2017

the week before Halloween...

finished pumpkins and stretching cat

These are the finished pieces that I just picked up from the Studio. I think they came out fine... all in one piece too!

Have been playing with the idea of using a spray glaze for the over-sized mugs. I haven't used this technique before, but have seen others do it. I hope to spray the mugs one color and then perhaps due a light detail spray on top in another color. We'll see...

Also... today is my oldest son's birthday!

happy and content... at One Year!

He and his family moved to Hawaii this past summer. I love this next picture... to me it shows how much he likes it there.

happy and content... Now!

Just went outside to check on my small container garden.

parsley and remaining red pepper

I believe that the red bell pepper plant has produced it's last pepper... and it's almost ready to pick. But our curly parsley is enjoying the cooler weather and is looking good. You can't see the basil on the far right, but it has pretty much gone to seed. 

We also have a huge bay leaf tree in the back. It produces enough bay leaves to keep us, family, and friends in a constant supply for cooking, as well as a bug deterrent.

I keep branches of it hanging from my kitchen ceiling as well as in the pantry... it deters bugs.

Well, that's the news here. Weather is definitely cooler here in North Texas and supposedly we're in for some possible rough weather and rain later tonight. We could use the rain... but don't need any more 'rough weather'. 

Leaving you with 3 pics... one of Julie and Tux cuddled together in a basket. Julie has been a bit needy lately (wanting to be be played with more than usual and snuggling in with Tux whenever she can??)

Julie is in front cuddling... Tux is tolerating

Ghost on lying on old quilt... 

not exactly a happy face...

and one of a black feral lying in the pumpkin on our front porch.

feral in pumpkin

It's a large pumpkin...

front porch

Have a wonderful weekend! 
And as always, thanks for dropping by!

Oh... forgot to mention that I just updated one of my other blogs, "Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate" if anyone's interested.  My other blogs are listed to the right at the top here. I've neglected them pretty much in favor of this all inclusive one, but did update just recently...

Friday, October 13, 2017

paraprosdokians... and finished pieces

Have you ever heard of "paraprosdokians"? I hadn't. My cousin sent me a few in an email. Apparently they are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and frequently humorous. (Supposedly Winston Churchill loved them)

Here are a few:

1. Where there's a will... I want to be in it.
2. If I agreed with you... then we'd both be wrong.
3. We never really grow up...we only learn how to act in public.
4. War is not to determine who is right... only who is left.
5. You do not need a parachute to skydive... you only need a parachute to skydive twice.

I thought these were pretty good.

Now... I finished my gray kitty (based on our Ghost) and my red fox. Here are pictures of the finished pieces.

gray kitty

red fox

Today I'm working on underglazing mama chicken with her chicks... and a few others. Stretching kitty and lounging kitty are still in kiln.  Hopefully they will emerge without incident. Small pieces with thin extremities tend to get broken easily during firing. And I've a new piece (kitty hanging over cup) that is awaiting kiln time.

This next is a new greenware piece I'm working on... not sure what I'm going to do with it (just put mama chicken's chicks inside until I decide). May put a seagull on it... and/or some fishing gear?


Oh! Exciting news! Just got a round trip flight to New Orleans for $87!!  How about that? Southwest has these specials off and on all year round, but few get under $100. I keep an eye out for them... and try to scoop them up when they become available. That way I can afford to visit family there and get my N.O. cafe au'lait and beignet fix. Usually almost all seats are sold out on the first day, but luckily I found one. Let's just hope that hurricane season is over (it's not officially over... but gesh, it should be).

And look! My red peppers are turning...


and we got this picture yesterday of our pretty black feral that stays in the front of our house... (he's starting to get his winter coat)

Have a great weekend! And as always, thanks for dropping by...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

a quiet Sunday... more or less

DH went off to buy a Sunday paper and pick up some hot Krispy Kreme donuts this morning. I had awakened early (around 4:30 or so) hungry. I had been to the pottery studio from 9 to about 4 Saturday with only a cup of tea and toast before I left. This isn't unusual as I don't generally eat while working, and did have some chicken wings and home-made garlic coleslaw at 4pm. But I guess that by 4 Sunday morning, I needed another cup of tea. So after making myself one, I sat with the cats in the den and watched re-runs of Murder She Wrote until about 6:30 when I returned to bed until 8.

For once it wasn't my 'monkey mind' keeping me awake... but my stomach wanting food (or tea). 

So perhaps my hunger prompted me to make a roast for Sunday dinner. DH had purchased a 2 lb eye of the round at Central Market Friday... so I defrosted it, stuffed it with garlic cloves, browned it in bacon grease, and added Yukon gold potatoes, yellow onions, fresh carrots, sliced green pepper, a bay leaf, basil, parsley, and S and P. Cooked it in the 450 oven for 15 mins, the 350 oven for 30 mins, and then left it all in the covered casserole in the 250 oven until about 5 pm when we took out the roast, cut it up, added gravy, and put it all back together until 6... when I served it over brown rice. Needless to say, it was very tender and delicious. We don't eat a lot, so have dinner for at least one if not 2 more nights.

Sunday roast and veggies

For those of you who may not remember, the reason for the oven changes is that we have an AGA... which is a little different way of cooking.  There are no knobs to control temperature. It had 4 ovens which are always heated to 150, 250, 350,  and 450. 

our AGA

I did text our family in New Orleans and on the coast of Mississippi to check on how they fared with Hurricane Nate... and all did fine... no flooding thank goodness. 

Spoke to my son and grandson in Hawaii and they are all doing well too... enjoying the weather and culture on Oahu... and getting used to a slower way of life.

Decided to make a few more clay chickens and after thinking how to make them 'different'... came up with making a mama hen and some baby chicks under her wing. I already did a mama on her eggs in a nest...

mama hen and eggs on nest

but this would encompass a mama hen with her little ones under her wings  (I should do one with her baby chicks climbing on top of her... my daughter has sent me pictures of this from her own hen house).

This is what I came up with... again still greenware. Clay has to dry, be under-glazed, fired, blackbird added, then fired again.  

view 1

view 2

Think you can see them better in view 2. They will be more obvious once underglazed. 

That's about the news here.  (Well, we almost took in an old dog that was going to be euthanized at the Animal Shelter this week. Someone saw him there and put his picture on our neighborhood website asking for a foster home for him until a permanent one could be found. His name was Chester and he's apparently an old beagle (with heart worms to boot). But look at this face... our cats would not have been happy, but they could live with it. I was working on DH when another post came in that someone had taken him.  

Isn't that the sweetest face?

Have a wonderful week! And as always, thanks for reading...

(oh, almost forgot... when I was up drinking my tea at 4am, I went to the front window to look out and see what the weather was like... and there in the front of the house running up and down the street in the dark was a coyote... very thin, but a fairly good size. I knocked on the window and he stopped, looked at me for a minute, and then took off in the opposite direction. We see them quite a bit around here since the creek and greenback run behind the houses.) 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

nothing especially interesting... just life as I know it

geese on campus

On the campus where the pottery studio is there are geese... lots of geese!  I took this pic as I walked out on the back patio and was looking through the gate. There were more than you can see in the picture but my panoramic shots don't work very well. Anyway, I counted about 24. I like them, but they are noisy... and will chase you if they get the chance. 

Last Spring there were lots of little gooslings (?), but they seem to have disappeared. Someone said that the large number of water turtles in the lake (in the background) may have eaten them... (yuck!). 

OK... back to my bookshelf barnyard:

my chickens are growing in number

one chicken escaped to join 'the reader'...

these are awaiting bookend that is currently in kiln

Once my bookend base is fired (its in the kiln), I plan to put 'the reader' on it... with or without chicken.

and lastly, with Fall approaching, I sculpted a few pumpkins - just for the fun of it.


These need another coat of underglaze, then need to be fired, and blackbird stain applied. I will post a picture when they are finished.

My red bell peppers are just starting to turn red. There are 4 on the plant. Hopefully they will all make it. I seem to have better luck when I take them off when they are green, but am trying to wait until they turn at least partially red. Then they can ripen the rest of the way on the kitchen windowsill.

starting to turn red

and my parsley that seemed to be dying due to the August heat has revived and is looking well again. Basil has gone to seed. 

Almost time to put out the Halloween decorations! We don't do much - just a few pumpkins and a seasonal sign or two.  Will probably put these out this weekend. But I will post a pic my son had on Facebook of grand daughter playing around last Halloween.

Halloween 2016

As you can see, we all like cats!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

a few more 'visitors'... and clay stuff

butterfly (maybe swallowtail) on Cashmere plant

I took this picture through the french doors this week as this butterfly was flittering around the cashmere plant in the backyard. I'm surprised it came out as well as it did with it's wings fluttering a mile a minute and the panes in our French doors so dirty from little raccoon paws... see below.


 visiting raccoons.. 

And the next picture was sent to me via iPhone from my friend who lives about 45 minutes north of here. She said this little guy was pecking so hard on her kitchen window that she thought it was going to break. 


I'd never seen one up close, so was glad to get the picture. He (or she) is a pretty good size.

We also had a sort of 'confrontation' in our back this morning as several raccoons, one little possum, and a very inquisitive kitten came face to face.  Usually they ignore or give each other a wide berth, and the raccoons and possum did this... but the kitten decided he wanted to play with the possum's tail. This didn't go well with the possum... and even though he is smaller than the kitten, he started to go after it. DH intervened and chased them all off (or at least gave them all a time out). 

I'm feeling better these last few days. Think it was a flare-up of my IC (Interstitual Cystitis) which causes low back pain and low grade fever on occasion. Of course this morning I woke up with my eyes messed up.... due to ocular migraine (migraine with aura). This happens ever so often too. It seems to be how my migraines evolved with age. It isn't accompanied by the intense pain anymore... generally just affects vision and sometimes affects clear thinking.  It does however make it difficult to read, write, or drive during an epidode. But episodes only last 10-15 minutes (usually). So... since I'm 72 years old and in relatively good health, these minor inconveniences are simply to be dealt with. 

And now I'm going to bore you with a few more pics of clay projects in progress. 

kitten, fox, and chicken waiting for 2nd firing
2 mugs in center
These 2 mugs in center of shelf are mine and are waiting for the reduction kiln. I've a combination of glazes on them that I've never tried (prussian blue, celedon, and temaku (sp?) - as well as some blackbird stain.  We shall see how they come out...

cat hanging on bowl view 1

cat hanging on bowl view 2   

These last 2 pics were just taken as I'm just underglazing... silly cat hanging on side of bowl. 

Well, time to get on with 'other things'... promised DH I would make some home-made granola this afternoon. Here's wishing everyone out there a lovely Sunday... and a healthy stress free week! 

PS: Poldark returns tonight on PBS!