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the cow jumped over the moon

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happy holidays!

I celebrated the Winter Solstice with Denise and a bunch of her friends. Women only. It was fabulous. I got there early (hurrah for a reliable vehicle!) so I could spend some time with Denise, and we talked and talked while she was cooking, and then her friends started to show up around 6:30, with lots and lots of good food. We ate and talked.  Made our head wreaths and then wrote our New Year's wishes on small pieces of paper, and then burned them as offerings in her wood stove.

A pottery student gave me a selfie stick on our last class (when we took that photo of us all with our Empty Bowls, I had joked that we needed one to take a good photo of all of us) so I was playing around with it, and finally got a good photo of us all!

happy holidays!
oops!

happy holidays!
That's better - but now I have to figure out how to take a good photo in low light on my phone.
Here's Sephora on Christmas Eve Eve:

happy holidays!

Christmas morning, I picked up my Mom from Mass. She was staying with my Brother C and his wife for the weekend, and since they were at their church, I was able to pick Mom up and take her back to their home.  Again, thank goodness for this reliable vehicle!

happy holidays!

Before we painted our bedroom, there was a built-in cabinet on one wall. When we tore it out, we found some old wallpaper still on the back wall.  So we saved the best square of it.  For my holiday present this year, Robert found a frame, and without the glass, attached it to the wall.  Then he mounted a cross-stitch portrait of Clara Bow that a friend had made years ago.  I love it!

happy holidays!

We keep our holiday decorations up until the Feast of the Magi.  Today, I am doing laundry, putting away paperwork, and we watched the Liverpool/Stoke game on TV. Here's a view from my chair.

happy holidays!


Wishing you all the best during this
holiday season!

happy holidays!
Dried tangerines for stained-glass-ish decorations


car and bowls

Wow, two posts in one week!

Here's the promised photo of me in our new-to-us car, with our cool peace sign seat covers that were part of the deal!

car and bowls


Today, a bunch of my former and current students (some of them made the bowls last Saturday) came to the studio in the morning to help glaze the Empty Bowls bowls. I loaded them into the kiln for the glaze firing; will unload on Monday and get them to the community services center for their Tuesday event.

car and bowls
Some of the bowls getting ready to be put in the kiln.
Afterwards, I came back home, and Robert made us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and we have been watching soccer all day long.  I did do a load of laundry.  The MLS Cup starts in about 45 minutes - I'm not sure who to cheer for, so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the game.

I really need to finish painting the woodwork around the windows.  Sheesh! Seriously, it's been five days just to paint this one window!  I'm hopeless.  My excuse is that I can only paint when it's light, because it's hard to see at night even with the lamp on.  (hahahaHAHAHAHAhahahaa) I only need to do touch-ups!  Okay maybe I'll finish tonight when I'm watching the game.

car and bowls
The top photo shows the light-green color of the woodwork;
we, or I should say I am painting it off-white instead.

what has happened...

What has happened since my last post?  Two big things happened to England* recently, and with regard to one of those things I say - go Iceland!

what has happened...

And what has happened around here since my last post, you may ask?

Well, Chalk Walk happened. I wasn't chalking this year, just enjoying!

what has happened...

And beans are growing (on a discarded futon frame):

what has happened...

And Sephora went to the vet - she has a little bump on her eyelid that we're keeping an eye on (no pun intended) to see if it is an infection or something else.

what has happened...

We had dinner with P and M (the artists) at their place (you may have seen their place before, here) Friday night. Ahhhhhhh!

what has happened...

It's summer and it has been a beautiful one so far! We have a three-day weekend here in the US as Monday is the Fourth of July.  I'm kind of happy that it might rain on Monday - the fireworks scare Sephora so a more subdued Fourth is okay with us.

*Yes, I know that Brexit affected the entire UK, not just England - and it affected much more than that, too.

I took a walk through the reservoir last week...it's just a few blocks south of our home and I don't take nearly enough advantage of it.



The moon - the night before the Summer Solstice (taken from our back yard)


Watching too much soccer - both the Euros and Copa (ughhh, US got beat by Argentina - I had hoped that they would have scored at least ONE goal...sigh.)  and not getting enough done around the house. I think it's just a way for me to zone out - been quite concerned about current events, upcoming elections and thinking about all my British friends with this upcoming Brexit vote.

A brother (Brother M) and a nephew flew in from Minnesota for the big Cavs parade in Cleveland today!  I won't be at the parade - too many people, plus Sephora needs to go to the vet (she has a stye on her eye lid that needs looking at) and I have to be at work, too - but it will be fun to see all the photos and videos and TV coverage about it!

The win by the Cavs was a HUGE thing for Cleveland - we haven't had a major championship win in ANY major sport here since 1964. (Though this year, our AHL - minor league hockey- team won their championship, and they'll be included in the parade today!)


I joined Instagram - I'm challenging myself to post a photo every day and having a blast using my new fancy phone- so if you are also over there, here's the link to me.   I'm also reacquainting myself with focusing/calming/attention techniques, using a few decks like a hand-made oracle deck that a bunch of us made about 10 years ago, my 1990s Universal Waite tarot deck and my new Lenormand deck.


The morning is flying by, so I'll post this now and get ready for the day.




The slaughter of 50 people plus 50+ more hurt in Orlando is absolutely horrific.  Even this morning, I am still trying to understand what is going on with this world and this country.

In my viewpoint, this awful devastating act was not terrorism but hate. The guy was a hateful person, no matter what religion he proclaimed to be. You can argue with me about definitions -  you can say "hey, ISIS claimed responsibility" Yeah, I'm sure they did - they'll claim any responsible for chaos and fuel flames. That guy was a hateful person - who used religion as an excuse for what he did.

And all those Bernie supporters -  you may not be thrilled with HRC but maybe, just maybe, she can get something done about gun control if we band together.  You know that the other one won't.  His tweet after the Orlando massacre was downright narcissistic.And his continued rhetoric about this situation is disgusting.

I would be happy if all the guns in the world got melted and made into something else.  I know that won't happen - and a part of me understands that people like to hunt, have rights, etc etc etc.
Stricter gun control and enforcement needs to happen.

But since nothing happened after Sandy Hook, why would I ever think anything would happen after Orlando?

And also, dear gawd, hooligan-ism with the Euros, give it a rest, would you?



what's the buzz...

Weather: It's been a chilly April so far - we had snow over the weekend, and yesterday the powers-that-be cancelled the Cleveland Indians (baseball) Opening Day.Windchill of 18 degrees and snow/rain.  Not that I was planning on going to the game.  Baseball isn't my favorite sport to view (same with basketball), though if I have to watch any baseball, I prefer minor league, or folks at a pick-up game.

Television: Over the weekend, there are so many soccer and hockey games on television, esp. now that we have access to NBC Sports Network. By Saturday evening, after watching a ton of soccer, we started watching a hockey game, and I was fed up with myself. See, usually I knit while watching TV but I'm in between knitting ideas, and I had to do something, so I started making some very simple watercolor greeting cards, using masking tape, round stickers, and micron pen. I felt better about myself.

what's the buzz...

I enjoy sending and receiving cards in the mail, so I'll continue to play around with this idea.

Oh, and regarding television shows - I'm still not happy with the season finale of The Walking Dead- I am this close to being done with it, but I have to say I'm a bit interested in The Kingdom. Hinterland season 2 is on Netflix, so we'll be watching that at some point. Happy about Grantchester (season 2) and another season of Call the Midwife. And I'm still enjoying some sitcoms.

Pottery: I'm teaching some at-risk high school students on Tuesday afternoons for six weeks, and starting Wednesday night I have a new four week hand-building class.

I splurged on a new book - 500 Cups! I was able to find it for $10.00. I really want 500 Bowls, but cannot find that one cheap (yet).

what's the buzz...
My favorite mug at the moment.
Reading: Just finished a Mrs. Pollifax - enjoying these cozy mysteries these days.  Still reading The Art of Eating - I started it in August of last year. I'm on page 687 and I'm only now warming up to the author.

Garden: I'm using the weather and other (stressful) things as excuses, but truly, I should have started seeds weeks ago. Maybe this weekend.

Politics:  Don't even get me started.

first week in march

We recently watched Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and all I have to say is - what? (apologies to anyone out there who is a huge fan), though there was something about them that I did enjoy. I'm reading an Inspector Gently book now - to see if I'm just 21st century jaded. I'm also getting annoyed with television shows recently - for instance, I cannot wait until we are done with the last episode of Downton Abbey (we DVRed it) - I think it jumped the shark years ago. EDIT:  We just watched the final episode - very well done! And The Walking Dead, which I normally enjoy, is bugging me too. In case you all think I'm a total curmudgeon (I'm only partly curmudgeon!), there are some television shows I find enjoyable. Like Life in Pieces and Brooklyn Nine Nine. Guess I need some light-hearted laughs.

And speaking of TV, we found out that we now get NBC Sports Network and oh dear - we watched soooo many soccer games this weekend. But that's really okay for now as you know I knit while I'm watching TV, and it is nice to sit and relax a bit with Robert. What else?  Oh, we went to the hospital again on Wednesday because Robert is having severe muscle/neck/head pains probably due to how he's holding himself since his surgery. The PA (physicians assistant) told me to stop following him around all the time - that there is really nothing I would be able to do if he fell, anyway. I'm in such fear of R falling down and splitting open his sternum, and I would trail along after him in the house.  He had a few tests done at the hospital, and I waited in a pretty waiting room at that hospital.  Another good thing about his check-up on Wednesday - now that he has been given the go-ahead to walk around freely, he can also cook a little.  Whoot!

first week in march
See, the hospital can do nice-looking waiting rooms.
The PA gave him the go-ahead to have massages, so we went on Friday (our pal Scott has his office in a building overlooking the square) and while R was getting his massage, I took this photo of the square, and then went to the post office. I don't think I have posted any photos of the so-called winter we have had this year. In fact, I think we had the most snow this winter on Friday, and by Sunday all of this snow was melted away. Hey, I'm not complaining.

first week in march
Friday: early March snow in the town square
I was asked to teach a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute once-a-week for six weeks pottery class to some high school students from Cleveland. Now to figure out what high school students like. I haven't taught that age group in a long time. This class starts in two weeks - better get researching.

Went back to work (at the non-profit) on Tuesday after some vacation time/being with the husband, so I took some photos in the bathroom there. Linked to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog for her Visible Monday post.
first week in march
Second-hand top (long-sleeved shirt and vest) and very very old scarf from somewhere, 
and matching brown specs.I had a good hair day and had to document it.

the elephant in the room

I just have to say that it's difficult for me to write about every day things when there is so much crap happening in the world and specifically in my country. I rarely write about politics and current events on my blog but I have been quite upset with racism and fear-mongering and shootings and and and that it is hard not to.

I try very hard not to have knee-jerk reactions to things. I have a long way to go, I know, as I still blurt out things when I should hold my tongue, calm down, and get all the pertinent information. But you would think that the 'media' and some bigwigs would try just as hard.

Okay - now onto trivial things:

I stopped in the library yesterday and picked up a few books. (Here's the link to get to my Goodreads profile if you're interested).  Even though I have been reading The Art of Eating and What the Dog Saw, I wanted something else. I like to read fiction and then a bit of non-fiction, kind of like palette cleansing. Sometimes I think I read too much too fast - and that I should savor more. Remember back when you would buy an album and play it over and over and over again, and really live with it? With the various ways of consuming music nowadays, does anyone really live with a piece of music anymore?

the elephant in the room

Gosh I am navel-gazing this morning. Maybe the fog has something to do with that.  And maybe I should stop reading murder mysteries.

the elephant in the room

I can smell Robert cooking our late breakfast!!! so I'll finish up this post. Plus a soccer game is on so I'm signing off for now. 

the first of december

December already? How did that happen? The weather is so very odd - nearly 60 degrees and rainy. Not what you would think for the beginning of this month.

Tomorrow is my last class for awhile. I have mentioned that there are some issues with clay/glaze fitting. Lots of crazing and some pinholes, too. Spent a bunch of time over the Thanksgiving weekend researching and asking questions (also eating turkey, and watching sports - we were especially jazzed by the MLS/soccer conference finals which were, in our opinion, better than any of the Premier League games we watched)

Denise came by on Sunday and I was in the midst of a meltdown about all the glazing problems, but it was great to have her here, as she listened to me rant and rave and gave me comfort, and I felt a lot better after awhile. Robert makes me feel better, too, but it's nice to have other's sympathy! One good thing is that I haven't made and fired a ton of my own personal pieces- that would have shattered me (pun intended).

At class on Monday, I looked at some demos from the spring that I have sitting around the pottery room, and some of those had crazing, too. I had a discussion with the students about testing and living with your pieces (eating and drinking from them, washing them, etc) to make sure that the work will hold up, highlighting these problems we have been having. Thank goodness for this nearly year-long teaching gig I have had because we have been able to see what is happening over time.

Also, I called or emailed the glaze companies and asked a lot of questions and received some helpful suggestions - the first thing I'll try is to slow down the firings and see if that will help.

(Even on my simple pots, there are glaze issues...*deep calming breath* ... )

the first of december
Not only did this outside glaze pit, but the inside is a white matte, and cutlery marks show....sigh
I will figure out these problems!  I am determined to find a way to make my pieces work and look great. May take awhile, but I'll keep you posted on the results.

blabbing about pottery

Because my November morning hand-building class didn't fill, and because my October wheel throwing students are keen on continuing classes with me, I'll be teaching them in November, too! Yay!!! So I have two classes this month.

We were able to get another electric wheel, which means for advanced pottery classes, I can now have four in my class.

Now, the arts center does have other wheels - a treadle and three hand-made kick wheels. For beginners, I can have as many students as wheels (which until recently, we only had three electric so that means I could have seven students in the beginning wheel classes.)  You never know what type of wheel a student will love, plus it is a good thing for students to experience all three types.

In this past year and the nine? wheel classes I have taught, nearly all the students prefer the electric wheel. There have been two or three throughout the year that will throw on the treadle or the kick wheel, but in general, the vast majority of students who continue on with more classes want electric. So getting that fourth wheel is a very good thing!

I have found more time to do more of my own work - mostly because I am getting better at managing my time! I can spend hours just sgraffito-ing my pots - it is just so much fun and so relaxing. These two pieces haven't been fired or glazed yet - I'll post finished photos when that happens.

blabbing about pottery
This is a silly  thing - I threw it off the hump and it is tiny (maybe four inches tall)
and I have no idea what it could be used for!
blabbing about pottery
An ice-cream bowl, perhaps?
The kiln shelves have always been horrible, and last week when we had some glaze mishaps on some brand-new kiln shelves, I was a bit miffed. (I wasn't upset w/the students - I was upset that our brand-new shelves weren't so brand new anymore!)  So on Friday, J (a student I taught during the year, and who uses Open Studio a lot) helped me with sanding/cleaning up some kiln shelves. Some of them were so bad that I had to throw them away. Previous to getting the four new kiln shelves, loading the kiln was tricky and annoying(for you non-potters out there, if glaze drips on a kiln shelf and you cannot clean/scrape/sand it off, you have to make sure that pieces you put on the shelf don't come in contact with old drips as the piece will get stuck! You can use stilts, or just not place a piece where the old glaze spill is, which wastes space and energy).

blabbing about pottery
J sanding a kiln shelf - this was one of the brand new ones.
I am going to be throwing some more pots today, and get a lidded jar started because I'll be demo-ing those in wheel-throwing class tomorrow. There's a Premier League game, and a bunch of MLS games on TV today, and a Cleveland Browns football game, too. I am glad I got up so early, even though I am not a fan of Daylight Saving Time (though I guess now it is standard/real time) because I have a lot to do. I also have to go to a Town Hall meeting later - our City Council is up for election on Tuesday and the Town Hall will have all the candidates there - not only do I want to go for my own voting knowledge, but also as a representative of the non-profit.

Gotta scram - see you later!






happy holidays!car and bowlswhat has happened...what's the buzz...first week in marchthe elephant in the roomthe first of december blabbing about pottery

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