Monday, September 24, 2007

Yes indeed, a new Hobby!

As if I needed one more, but I have always been intrigued by pottery and have had a yen to try my hand at it, but was deterred by the equipment needed, the mess it entails and not to mention expense of having all that equipment, rollers, kiln, etc. so it has been in the back of my mind. Well as luck and no little coincidence would have it, ---in March of this year while shopping at this lovely gift shop for a wedding present,I spotted the most gorgeous and expensive mugs I had ever seen in cream and black that would be beautiful in my red, black and cream kitchen and red dining room and oh how I wanted them! They were much too expensive and I just could not bring myself to buy them and embarked upon my usual test, "if after a long period of time, I am still longing for something, I really need to have it!" ---I thought often about them and the longing was still there, then five or six months later, after getting encouragement from many friends regarding money and short lives, yadda yadda yadda, I made up my mind. I said to myself: "self, cruise on over there again and if those mugs are still there, they are meant for you!" Well, they were and I bought them and brought them home. I still didn't take them out of the box, but looked at them whenever I could wondering how I could find other pieces to accompany them--"if only" I could get my hands on the clay, etc. Well, the potter that makes them is Mary Rose Young in England and nowhere on the internet did I find anything like these mugs, etc.
Then very coincidentally, two friends with whom I took water aerobics were going to head down to this place to get information about a kiln operation and pottery in general. I went along for the ride and boy was I impressed! The lessons offered were wonderful and affordable and the equipment available to use was just "everything" and the workshop was bright and cheerful and the people there warm, friendly and extremely helpful. I was sold, and what you see after four weeks are the two triangular boxes I made in the style of my mugs. They were made (formed) in our very first lesson and I had intended to try to see if I could replicate the look. I was not sure how they were going to turn out, but when at the last class they popped out of the kiln I was very pleased and now inspired to make other pieces to match my mugs and many more projects floating around in my head! There is one more larger box made at the first class but having a huge mess during the glazing process which I "thought" would have ruined the piece. But a very talented artist working there at the time helped me and assured me that all was not lost, the glaze was washed off along with the underglaze and last week I redid it and it is awating dipping in clear glaze and the last firing. It is not a hobby for those wanting instant gratification, clay must be shaped (I am doing handbuilding for now and might learn throwing later), then drying the greenware, then firing at bisque level, then decorating, glazing and firing again, a total process that can take weeks, but there is always some new piece in each of the various stages which appeals to me. I have learned so much already in just a short period of time, as you can tell I am quite excited and pleased that all this has come together. I need a tile tray for behind my stovetop in the kitchen and that project design is floating around in my head along with all the others. Stay tuned----

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lycoris Radiata almost finished Blooming

This year has been a good year for my Lycoris Radiata, hurricane lilies, or spider lilies.  I look forward to them every year in my southern NC garden, they always surprise me.  They pop up and bloom so quickly, I hardly ever notice their emergence from the ground.  I was able to pluck a few and stick in a quick arrangement which included one of my newest favorites for this time of year, "Limelight Hydrangeas" with a few stems of white flowering chives and a bit of greenery,  the arrangement was complete.  Seeing them this way, up front and personal, I was again reminded of their value in the garden.  They don't bloom long as with most perennials, but I wouldn't miss them for the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feet Week Redux

OK, so I am a nut, had my camera pointing down and saw my feet and decided to do a little walk about.  The wonderful thing about blogland is there is at least one, maybe a hundred nuts around just like me.  While uploading this video, I was checking around some of my favorite blogs and discovered that feet week (according to mecozy blog) was Sep 3 through the 7th, and I didn't even know til I discovered these.   So a couple of weeks late, here is my homage to feet week:


with Music credit to: Peter Mulvey, Brady Street Stroll

Monday, September 03, 2007

Thinking about Christmas already

In my other blog I shared with you my project using up my boxwood clippings.  I am making really good progress with only two more to go!  Here is a picture of the lineup of boxwoods all in a row, just need to keep them watered til Christmas and decide how I will be using them.

One other project which jumped at me last week was to handpaint the ornaments seen below.  I was inspired by the holiday plates I preordered from