Monday, December 31, 2012

On The Seventh Day

Of Christmas,
My true love gave to me 
Seven colorful socks

Six laughing cows

Five gold fish


Yes, I do like crazy socks.....these are just a few of what's in my drawer.

I always think my cow creamers look like they are singing or laughing.

The fish are swimming under the leaf mesh and a thin layer of ice.  I think the ice makes them clearer and easier to photograph.

More tomorrow; in the meantime....


As always, thanks for stopping by.........*s*

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My That Was Fun!

We spent yesterday morning doing some last minute clean up in the yard.  We made sure we knew the locations of shovels and blooms.  It started with freezing rain around 1:30 PM and switched to snow a few hours later.  At seven the electricity went out for about an hour, came back on for twenty minutes, went out, came back on after two hours, stayed on for half an hour and then went out and stayed out.  By this morning the power company was promising power would be on by 8:30 AM......this was at 10:00!  The entire southern part of the state was out, which is not big in square miles, but it  has many rural areas and difficult to access stuff that hasn't been totally put back in order since Sandy!

Again I was reminded that waking at 5:00AM, in the dark totally sucks!  I just was not up for going out and hooking up the power inverter to the car battery.  Six inches of snow to be cleared...not fun!  Since Sandy I have been keeping five gallon jugs of water in my studio, so we had plenty of drinking water and the gas burner.   I had tea but Proge couldn't grind any coffee beans.  He's thinking of some sort of emergency hand grinder.  We didn't bother to get electricity from the car as we were hopeful that it would be quickly restored.

We're fine now.  The photo below is of Winter in the snow last night.  I took it with our big flashlight and the flash on my camera.  I'm amazed that I can get photos as night.  It's never too late to learn something new.........I guess! 

I've gotten behind with my Twelve Days entries.  I'll play catch up tomorrow.  I just don't have the energy to do it now.

Stay warm, play in the snow!

As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*

Friday, December 28, 2012

On The Fourth Day

Of Christmas
My true love sent to me

For more cool planets click on link and follow links to gallery and planets.

We're off to do a little more seasonal celebrating!

As always, thanks for stopping by.....*s*

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On The Third Day

Of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three tired Santas,

We have had several days of celebrating Christmas.  Proge's presents of the first two seasons of Boardwalk Empire.  I gave him The fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire;  A Dance With Dragons.  And I got Linda Arbuckle's cd Majolica Decoration.  It's kind of fun to stretch the holidays.

It snowed last night for several hours.  Winter saw her first snow.  I have to say she did not appear to be thrilled with the whole idea.  It turned to rain about midnight and then back to sleet by morning.  Thankfully we did not have to go anywhere today. The photo was taken by flash and light on the deck.  I'm a little surprised that I got anything......the wonders of modern technology!

I began cleaning my studio today.  I'm not sure how I have managed to accumulate so much stuff since I did a big clean up in September.  The stuff does pile up.

I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow.  We can always use rain, but does it have to come down all at once?

Duck soup for dinner tonight.  I never took any photos of our celebration dinner.  We ate it up too quickly!

As always, thanks for stopping by.........*s*

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On The Second Day

Of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Two whistling birds,

Yes it's Wordless Wednesday but it's Christmas and Boxing Day which we don't celebrate here in the U.S.A.....but we should.  It's probably not celebrated because this country was for the most part founded by a bunch of Puritans who were not big on frivolity!

For a wonderful explanation of Santa go Lisbeth's and scroll down to yesterday's post.  It's on Google too, but this way you also get to see some pretty photos too.

We had a lovely quiet day.  The weather was not great so we decided to cook the dinner inside instead of on the grill on the deck.  Roasting a bird when there is a foot of snow on the ground is one thing; doing it in cold mist is quite another.  It was delicious!

It's a bright sunny day.  We're off to the Post Office to pick up a few late arriving presents, and then some yard work before it starts snowing, sleeting, raining this evening.

Happy Boxing Day, one and all!

As always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On The First Day

Of Christmas, 
My true love sent to me
A dragon in a Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas!......Joyeux Noel!.....Feliz Navidad!......God Jul!

May your day be filled with peace, joy, and happiness!

As always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Last Mud Colony 2012

This will be the last Mud Colony post for 2012.  I discovered the site in the last part of 2012, I think through Linda Starr.  I've loved the feeling of connection to potters across the world.  Thanks Adriana!

The goblets below were some I made about twenty-five years ago.  I discovered them when I was sorting more stuff (to put it kindly) left from when I sold my back house.  Most of it was crap that went for of the advantages to working in low-fire; it breaks down well for fill.  I like these goblets well enough to plant a bunch of impatiens seedling in them.  They will probably start setting buds in February, just about the time I want more blooming plants inside.

I always like to repurpose pots that are seconds or otherwise not so great.  My prototype platter/servers make great bird feeders and bird baths.  I don't think I'm alone in this; clay people recycle and repurpose.  It's in the blood.

I never send old pots to the dump a.) because I can find my own use for them and b.) because once potter friends of one of my teachers sent a bunch of stuff to the dump and later found it for sale in a shop!  Some people will stoop to unimaginable depths.

The little Santa is a prototype pot hanger I made.  He also hangs quite nicely on a tree branch, if it's sturdy enough.  Santas are in abundance at this time of year!

The two photos below are of a reproduction ornament my brother and sister-in-law sent me when they were living in Germany.  I like him so much that for years I have worn him as my Christmas pendant.  At first I just used a ribbon; then Proge found the chain and Santa has been on it ever since.  I like that he has a sack full of toys on his back.  All in all a fine fellow.

The weather is its usual strange variety for this part of the world.  Yesterday we had almost two inches of driving rain.  Today we have had fits and starts of snow showers.  It's New changes.

Remember to go over to Mud Colony and check out the last gathering for 2012.

Good Yule and Joy in the New Year!

As always, thanks for stopping by.........*s*

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us-listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promis wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now.
This year and every year,
Welcome Yule!

copyright Susan Cooper

The little angel cat was originally meant to be to go on a pull cord or zipper.  My sister gave it to me about twenty years ago.  I have no idea where she found it.  I generally use it as a small bauble in this, the Winter Season.

I hope everyone enjoys the Winter Solstice......through snow and rain.

As always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Good and The Ugly

The Good...

I baked this oatmeal batter bread on Saturday.  It's a tasty loaf but I've decided I don't really like batter breads.  They are too soft and tend to assume strange shapes while baking.  I'll make this recipe again but will add a few more cups of flour so it becomes a soft kneadable dough.  With a short knead time not too much gluten will develop so it should still be fairly soft.

We'll see, grasshopper, we'll see.......

The Ugly......

is providing the impetus to finish the tiles for the wood stove surround.  We went ahead and put the stove in with just the wonderboard up.  Necessary as it is getting too cold to have the electric heat coming on to keep us minimally warm.

 Wonderboard (cement board) is just about as ugly as it comes.  It's so awful that I am not going to photograph it until we are ready to put up the tiles, so I have a Before and After record.  This part will happen next spring and summer.

Of course the temps are going to be in the fifties with lots of rain for the next few days, but last night it was nice to be warm and not have to dress in many layers to stay warm.....uhhhhh......I'm being a little dramatic here!  The cats are quite simply ecstatic and are basking away like sloths.

On a more somber note, I have made no comments on the horror of Newtown, CT.  I'm very simply unable to achieve any sort of understanding of such an act......but this is beyond understanding.

As always, thanks for stopping by......*s*

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Solstice Is Coming

Before Christmas comes the Solstice...The Dark Of The Year.  I've been putting up various little decorations around the house.

Below is the Catfish in holiday garb.  Sometimes I think he looks a little insulted at the way I decorate him.  Hey!  At least I am not decorating the cats..........yet!

Here is the Mermaid, waiting to celebrate.  Mermaids enjoy a cup of good cheer as much as anyone.

And last, but not least here is putti puss.  I made him as an answer to all the horrible, garish, plastic angels that were everywhere a few years ago.  I love beautiful, well made angels like Mariette has on her blog......when you look at her angels you understand where they started from!

Tomorrow we put up the the Pink Pig Wreaths and decorate the lime tree with my hand blown ornaments.  It's in a spot this year where the cats can't get at it and Winter (pup) is too small to wag anything off.

This post will also be over at Mud Colony.  Go take a look at what is happening in the world.

Enjoy the week end, wherever you always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ups and Downs of Sales and Sun

The sun is out.  We've had days of gray mist.  Yesterday it rained torrents, more like early spring rains.  It would have been a blizzard had the temp not been 65 F.  Yes, 65!  We can blame global warming but southern New England weather is strange.  I can remember a number of holiday seasons with unseasonably warm weather.  There was one Christmas when I was a kid which started with five inches of snow and by ten AM had warmed up to 70.  We watched the snow melt before our eyes and played in the snow in shorts!

Our sale ended on Sunday.  I did about twice as much as I expected to...which made me happy!  On the other hand, one of my reindeer (of course the favorite) was stolen.  Bummer!  It had to have been someone with a lot of gall because it was in a secure area.  We are thinking about how to implement better security....that goes without saying!  I'm sure I'm not the only one....which means the SCAA is losing money too.  It's discouraging as this is a major fund raiser.

We are switching wood stoves today and tomorrow.  We've been waiting for good weather as it will entail many open doors.  It should have been done a few months ago, but life got in the way!

There have been requests for the Cuban Bread recipe.  Just click the link.  I wrote the whole thing out....along with a few ladybugs!

It looks like it will be a good day to finish up some outside stuff....Winter just tried a roll of paper towels as a good chewy toy.

Have a sunny always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last of the Mermaids

I brought this lady in from her place on the pool deck this afternoon.  It was quite balmy with temps in the 50's and intermittent sun, but it is time to admit that Autumn is over and winter is on its way.

I am finally feeling well enough to spend a little time in my studio.  I only glazed a few mugs and laid out the basic design on a pitcher, but I have to start somewhere.  In the next day or so I will roll out a few slabs.  I like to let them sit for a day or two if I have the time.  It may be pure superstition on my part but I think they handle more easily if they have had time to age a bit under plastic.

I baked a loaf of my old stand by Cuban bread today.  It's really a loaf and a half.  I used the other half to make pecan sticky buns.  They got eaten before I thought to take a photo.

Our Christmas Sale is over tomorrow.  I have not had the wherewithall to even inquire about sales.  I'll go over in the afternoon to pack up my stuff.  I think I'll pretty much pass on the party though.

With all the interesting times we have been having since Hurricane Sandy I have not even begun to do anything for Christmas.  Fortunately we are in for some relatively  benign weather so things should come together quite easily and quickly.

This post will also be over on Mud Colony.  Take a look and see what is happening in the world wide community.

I hope everyone has enjoyed a pleasant week end filled with sales, or relaxation.

As always.........thanks for stopping by....*s*

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Here!

This is just a quick post to thank everyone for all the kind thoughts and wishes.

The tooth (a molar) was pulled before I was really aware of it.  With a local anesthetic the worst part was the sound of crunching.

Right now I have expected swelling which makes me look as though I have a large orange stuck in my mouth.  I'm not feeling much inclination to get into my studio but I am coming up with some ideas for future work.

I am down to Tylenol for pain so things are going reasonably well there.

I'll do another posting later in the week.  Meanwhile, thank you all!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Many Things

I'm leading off with a new cup I bought at the Christmas Sale at the South County Art Association..It's by Jason Fong the new gallery manager at SCAA.  The interior is called ice blue.  I wish my photography could properly show the subtlety of the glaze.  It looks wonderful with tea, with or without milk, in it.  

It was fired in The Glauworm Kiln that Thomas Ladd (click on Process) developed.  There's also a Youtube video that has been very iffy about downloading.  It's a fascinating process, that almost makes me want to try wood firing.

This is the low fire glaze, Taffe.  In the top photo the pot was fired to a low ^05.  The glaze application is a little thin, but it has always had this smooth matte surface.

Below is the same glaze fired to ^04.  It's much shinier, not glaringly so but definitely shiny.  The white is a little colder than I like, but a little rutile should warm it up.  Very old low fire glazes had a warm, yellowish color due to the lead in them.

It seems to work equally well whether it's brushed or dipped.  Of course these are all small test bowls.  Things don't always work out on larger pots, but I am definitely going to do more testing with this one.


It turns out that I lost the filling I mentioned in my last post because the tooth has broken in half.  Nothing for it but to pull it!  It's in the back of my mouth and will not cost anything near what a root canal and crown would cost.  Monday morning will see me at the oral surgeon....whoopee!

I'm not anticipating any problems....we'll see, grasshopper, we'll see.

I'm starting to think about what I want to explore and experiment with in the dull days of January and February.  I want to try some larger shoe whistles and of course the Taffe glaze.....maybe more as ideas come.

This posting will be on Mud Colony and Artists In Blogland.  Click the links and see what's going on.  There's always something interesting to see and read.

Enjoy the weekend and, as always...........thanks for stopping by........*s*