Thursday, September 29, 2011

And down I went

I had a great work day, I ran out to go to the post office to ship some orders and when I returned home I threw a several vases on my wheel and did some hand building. After I finished working in my studio today that little voice in my head that I should never listen to said "Denise... you should mow the lawn". So off I went to the garage to get the mower. I should add that I never mow. I started the push mower up with no problem and I was in business. I mowed about 80% of the front yard which has a slope. I walked down the slope and lost my footing and BAM! I hit the ground, still holding on to the mower. The front of the deck was in the air with the engine still running, I'm laying on the ground in pain. The mower has that safety feature, when you let go of the handle it shuts off, nothing in my brain said "let go" my natural reaction was to hold on. I tried to get up and I spun the mower deck back toward myself and I think holy crap! when it came near me, so I spun it back around as I made it back up on my feet and I continued to push it back up the hill *cursing* and I parked that damn mower back in the garage and I will NEVER touch it again. Ever. At no time during this whole dramatic / traumatic experience did the mower shut off because if you fall your natural reaction is to hold on, right?
So I luckily walked away with a bruised knee, bruised and very sore hip, sore elbow and the palm of my hand got a bit scraped up.
Lessons learned:
#1 Don't listen to the voice in my head
#2 Holding on while you fall is not always a good thing.
#3 Lawn mowers are to be avoided

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The result

Good morning! I slept really well last night with my sock bun. I took it out and this is what I ended up with.I ran my fingers through it and waalaa...
I fixed my bangs and I'm ready to walk out the door :o)

Friday, September 23, 2011

No title :o)

My girlfriend Shelly's birthday was 2 weeks ago so I decided to make her something special. She's a gardener so I stuck to that theme and I made her this wreath for her front door.
Pretty cute, ya think :o)
My youngest son Levi (age 19) finally got his drivers license. He refused to get it when he was younger because that's just how he is. So after he got his license we had to make a stop off at the college and would you just look at this parking job.
Haha! I can't tell you how much we laughed over this.

I learned a new braid, the fishtail braid. It's a bit messy but that's how I like it, it's a few hours old in this picture.

Tonight I decided to try a new trick *drum roll* "the sock bun". Allegedly if you do this sock bun thing to your hair it will leave your hair with curls that will last all day so I got my bun on after dinner tonight, this is what it looks like, get ready to laugh...

If I do one on each side of my head, you'd have Princess Leia hair
It's a granny bun lol BUT if I did this right I'll have loose wonderful curls in the morning and I won't have to do a thing to my hair and that would be awesome. You sleep with your hair like this and because it is on the top of your head it doesn't interfere with your sleep because you aren't sleeping on a massive hair wad.  Just so you know, I literally have a sock in my hair holding that bun together. It's pretty comfortable I must say, I'm a bit surprised by that really. I'll let ya know what the outcome is.

I've been working a lot lately, I'm fixing to leave town for a bit to visit my family. My son Levi is leaving for the Army November 6th and he wants to see his grandparents before he goes, so that's the reason for the trip.
 I'm trying to get caught up on orders. I'm seriously considering shutting down my Etsy shop so that I can get some work done.
Christmas orders are piling up and it's starting to get a little stressful. So I'm thinking if I shut down online sales for a week or two I'll be able to get ahead and not feel like a complete ass for not answering emails immediately. I hate being one of those people and that's just what I've become here lately (a slow responder). Right now it can't be helped, when you are a one woman show and there are only so many hours in the day. So that may be my plan, a brief shut down so I can create. I have so many wonderful ideas and very little time to try them. So I'm gonna make some time :o)

But right now... It's Ninja time!
It's been chilly and damp here the past few days which means miserable in my studio. The cold damp air and my joints don't get along well, so I moved my working area into the house and I took over the kitchen table.
I'll have this load of mugs ready this weekend :o) I'd like to get some Ninja plates done as well, but they may have to wait.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cornbread bakers

I noticed someone had visited my blog looking for instructions on how to use cornbread bakers.
The directions for cornbread bakers are as follows,

 Coat the pan with baking spray, pour your batter into the pan. Place it in a cold oven *do not pre heat the oven* turn the oven on whatever temperature the cornbread direction calls for and waalaa...
The only thing you have to get use to is not preheating the oven, which is great for me because I've never been big on preheating.
 I threw more of these last week, I should have them ready within the next few weeks.

Breaking stuff feels good sometimes

I'm not at all happy with my last kiln load of pottery, the glaze I used blistered, cratered and pin holed on almost every single piece. I used a commercial glaze, "Sea Spray", it's an Opulence glaze put out by Mid-South Ceramics. Out of the 3 glazes I have by them this was the only one acting correctly when fired. I was having trouble with their "Blue Moon" glaze running off the pots and all over my kiln shelves so I emailed them to ask for help and if I could add something to it to make it more stable, they never responded... shame on them. I know the problem didn't stem from my bisque firing because I had pieces with the same clay, same bisque firing same shelf with the glaze I mixed and those pieces were beautiful with no problems, only the Opulence glaze had problems. This will put an end to my using commercially made glazes forever. It's heart breaking to put so much time and effort into something and have it get ruined because of something stupid.
I had the pottery spread out on top of my 2 kilns and 2 tables so I could be pissed off about if for a few days. Then when I had enough I broke all of it, piece by piece, it made me feel a bit better in a way I guess. On some of these I used Sea Spray with the rim dipped in their antique iron glaze. The same problems occurred on the pieces glazed only with sea spray and that where rim dipped in antique iron. It's all crap!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Zombies and potato's.

What a funky Monday this has been. I stopped at a little store with my son and his girlfriend to grab some lunch. For whatever reason, the lady taking our order and I were not communicating very well over potato wedges. It was way too stressful for a order of potato wedges, I may have to boycott that store because of it.
We decided to eat dinner at Wendy's tonight, Mike and I both order a baked potato with broccoli and cheese. We get home and discover we got baked potato's with broccoli and chilli... Who in the hell eats or would order a baked potato with broccoli and chilli? I think maybe there was a language barrier with the cook or he/she is on crack. WTH Wendy's!?

On another note...I've decided  I MUST have this
Zombie Garden Gnomes! OMG!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fresh from the kiln

A few goodies fresh from my kiln today. Everything in this load was hand built from slabs of clay or thrown on my pottery wheel.
Just opened and still warm
A small birdbath for the garden
a sponge holder
soup bowl with a cracker pocket
hand built tumbler from a slab of clay
My new glaze "floating blue"
The last picture I used a glaze that I mixed, it's called floating blue, it's really nice, it breaks a pretty root beer brown color, has a very good feel to it and is very stable, I've used it several times and it has never run, probably one of my favorites at this point.
The recipe is:

Floating Blue

Nepheline Syenite – 47.3

Gerstley Borate – 27.0

EPK – 5.4

Silica – 20.3

Red Iron Oxide – 2

Cobalt Carbonate – 1

Rutile – 4

Bentonite – 2

Monday, September 5, 2011

The worst craft fair ever and a fun trip to the flea market.

Saturday my husband and son left to go backpacking in the smokey mountains with some friends and I had the house all to myself which means... girl time! Shelly came over Saturday night and we had some wine and some deep girl talk and laughed, oh my lord we about laughed ourselves silly. The following day, Sunday I went to a "arts and crafts festival". I went alone and I'm so glad I did, It was the worst attempt at a festival I have ever seen, I was actually embarrassed for them. It was free to get in but you had to pay $2.00 to park. I was half tempted to ask for my $2 bucks back... yes it was that bad. I even took a picture.
Yep... that's it. No lie.
 So I headed home, on the way I passed by a small flea market that I usually ignore but feeling a bit disappointed in the fair, I figured what the heck, after all it's just down the street from my house and not out of my way.
 The first vendor I encounter sharply barks out "2 dolla" and holds up 2 fingers at me as I pick up an old glass citrus juicer that was coated in dirt, I looked at  him and held the juicer up and asked "does the dirt come with it?" you could tell he was a little taken back by my question and he replied, "uh.. yeah" so I said to him, "well... I'm not interested in the dirt but I'll give you one dollar for the dish", he said ok and I happily went on my way with it. I'd been thinking and talking about making some out of clay and this would be an excellent model for inspiration.

So I moved on and I met 2 of the silliest elderly gentlemen who were both vendors, in fact their booths were next to each other. I walked up and started looking at the first man's flea markety treasures and before I knew it he was out of his seat and talking to me (I'll call him Fred for this story). So Fred say's to me, "Hey how ya doin?" I replied "just fine, you?" then he says, "everything here is for sale, I have a lot of stuff for sale but no one wants it" and he giggled, just then I look up and Fred has the biggest silly grin on his sweet wrinkled face and he only has like maybe 4 teeth, so I giggled too. As I'm leaving and going to his buddy's booth with him on my heals still talking my ear off, his buddy (I'll call him Jack) Jack looks at me and Fred and hangs his head and laughs to himself as Fred is asking me, "where ya from?" I said "Rossville", he replied "Rossville huh? I use to know where Rossville was (it's down the street mind you from where we are now). Being the smart ass that I am I said "yeah? well they haven't moved it, it's still in the same place", Jack is obviously enjoying the banter because he hasn't stopped chuckling. Fred seems to be hung up on Rossville because he's rambling on and on while I'm looking over Jack's junk table. Fred say's to me, "hey now isn't Rossville over yonder?" and he nods his head in the wrong direction so I reply, "no... it's down yonder" and nod in the other direction, Jack tips his hat down and looks at his feet and he is giggling harder then ever. I reach my hand into a bin that held 2 items, a ceramic fish and a odd shaped piece of pottery *bing* I get Jack's attention as soon as I reach out, "That there is just what you need, that fish" said Jack. I cocked my head and looked at him and I said, "now what I'm gonna do with a fish?" (yeah I know... "what I'm gonna do" but that's what I said). Jack laughs and says, "more then I'll do with it, heck I can't get rid of the thing", So my hand slips by the fish and I pick up the odd shaped pottery piece and Jack says, "I don't know what that is, but it can be yours for fifty cents". I said "Sold", as I'm handing him a dollar bill and he starts rooting around in his pocket for change he tips his hat and give me the most curious look and say's in almost a whispering voice, "whatcha reckon that is? a candle holder or something?" I laughed and said, "nope, that there would be a handmade vase", then I told him to keep the change and consider it a tip. Meanwhile Fred is still going on about Rossville, "oh I remember when Rossville burned" he said, I replied "well that's before my time, where are you from?" Just then Jack tightens up and is holding back the laughter which he lets loose when Fred answers my question with "Rossville". We all three just burst into laughter, I told them to have a great day and I giggled the whole way to my car. I just love meeting characters like these guys.  Here is a few shots of my odd little pottery find.

It's a bit strange, but I kinda like it, and at .50 cents, I couldn't say no :o)
After I returned home I went straight to my studio and got to work, I had to fire some custom order pieces and I ended up putting in 14 hours of work, time flew and for whatever reason I decided to glaze some  pottery that I had made, some of it had been sitting around for a year on my shelf, shame on me! (59 pieces in all). I got everything I wanted to get glazed done and made it to bed at 4:10am. 
At 9am my sweet 10 year old niece sends me a text message that woke me up, the message said "Happy Labor Day!" I couldn't help but laugh and I replied with "Happy Labor day to you too!" I do believe that is a first for me, I've never been told happy labor day lol gotta love it.