Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Dragon

The New Year Dragon has landed in the lime tree to wish everyone a Happy and Joyful New Year!

It feels like just yesterday the world was going nuts over millenium meltdown!

Never a Christmas morning,
Never an old year ends,
But someone thinks of someone,
Old days, old times, old friends!

Thanks to all my readers and followers.....see you next year!

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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

The Christmas Dragon has come to visit and wish a Merry, Merry Christmas to all my friends, readers and followers.

May everyone enjoy peace, love and joy today and throughout the year.

Thanks to everyone for a great year!

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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

The Shortest Day

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 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 promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks
And dearly love their friends
And hope for peace.
And so do we her, now,
This year and every year,
Welcome Yule!

Susan Cooper
written for The Christmas Revels

A happy Solstice to one and all at this turning point of the year.

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow and......


We spent yesterday afternoon and this morning hanging curtains....well, long strips of fabric to block off most of my studio thus creating a small space that I can heat and work in this winter.  I'm am so over having to move stuff upstairs for the winter.  I decided that if I could make it work today.....hasn't gone above 20 F. all day.....it would work over the rest of the winter......which hasn't officially started yet!  The space has started warming up nicely....particularly after we fixed the latch on the window....3/4 of an inch gap open to cold air does not lead to warmth!

I even found room for my tile.  Proge's father gave it to me for my birthday back when I had just come back to clay and we were still together.  It was collected by his grandparents when they went on a grand tour of Europe and other parts of the world around the Mediterranean.  I know very little about it.  I think it's Persian.  Any way I enjoy looking at it.  It tells me stories.

This is Aloysius sitting on the back of the chair watching the birdies.  Kiki was with him until I picked up the camera.  She like to sit by the glass slider and occasionally try try to penetrate the force field that is keeping her from the deck.

Four o'clock and it's getting dark.  I hope no one is getting snowed in too badly or experiencing any of the fires on the west coast.

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

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I was going through some of my various sketchbooks and notebooks this morning, looking for a croissant recipe.  I came across this sketch in a book dated 7/02 on the spine.   I think it's based on a U-shaped candle...."I burn my candle at both ends..." which I adapted to a holder.  On the other hand I may have seen something along these lines in a catalog.  It was eleven years ago and I made no note of its origins, if indeed there are any.  I suppose it's possible that I dreamt it.  I do note things I have dreamed of, but I have no memory of this one.  If it weren't so obviously done in my style with my writing I might even doubt that I drew it.

I do remember that I had several pairs of hand dipped candles that were this shape.  They were beeswax in soft colors and burned beautifully.  There is nothing like beeswax for a long burning even light.  Plus it has that wonderful scent.

We are a having a spell of cold weather; it hasn't gone above twenty all day.  It generally doesn't get this cold until mid January.....but you never know around here.  It has been snowing softly since mid morning.  I don't think there has been an inch accumulation.  Because it's so cold it sweeps away easily.  I think it's supposed to get heavier and possibly change to rain near morning.  I just hope we are not in for a winter where it starts out snow, turns to rain, then the temperature drops and freezes everything.  Stepping out the door can be treacherous in those conditions.  I can remember at least two winters that we slogged through in that weather pattern.

Meanwhile we have water inside, plenty of wood, a small gas burner and the power inverter if the electricity goes out.

This will probably do in our sales tomorrow.  People in this area tend to stay home even under slightly threatening conditions.  If the roads are bad I'll wait to go over to restock.

Aloysius is sleeping in his favorite box.....he's still in love with the green packing material you sent, Linda.  I think he looks like he was put together without reading the instructions!

I'm going to try to post this to Mud Colony's Facebook page, once I figure out how to do it......that may not happen until tomorrow!

Update:  Did a short post on Facebook....look for Suzi Caswell.  Boy! That thing can really suck you in!

Happy 3rd Advent.  As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*

Friday, December 6, 2013


I was decorating pots last nights and got to thinking about how often I repurpose stuff.

I rarely use hairspray but I find it invaluable in the studio.  I spray it on the raw glaze before I start painting to provide a stronger surface.  When I am mixing colors on the pot I use hairspray instead of water to move the color around.  I also spray lightly before I begin adding the black outlines.

Nylon coffee baskets are so useful for sieving small amounts of slip, clay, terra sig that I have at least six of them.  When I'm working I hate to stop and clean so they get dumped in a bucket of water until the end of the day.

And I can't forget popsicle sticks, I buy them by the thousand at craft stores when they go on sale.  They are strong enough to make small wooden tools, yet not so precious that I can't throw them out when they get worn.

When I was still teaching my students would often say that Benny's, the local hardware/auto supply store, was my favorite pottery supply.  Chamois and sea wool sponges, for example, are always much cheaper than ordering through a pottery supply place.

Here is our post Thanksgiving turkey hot off the grill.  I took this in the dark with my little fill flash.  I am always surprised that it's possible to stake photos at night.  Last night I made turkey lasagna with a sauce made from leftover creamed onions, mushrooms, ricotta with a layer of parmesian and cheddar on top.  I still think no boil lasagna noodles are one of the great gifts to the modern cook.

Sadly this is the last week of Mud Colony. Go over and see what we are up to in the world of clay.

 Kudos and thanks to Adriana for providing such a wonderful site......and we can still meet up on Facebook!

Enjoy the holidays you celebrate;  there seems to be something to celebrate every day.....Not least of which is clay buddies around the world.

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