Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It is a conscious effort I have undertaken, to learn new things in 2009; to try and keep my mind sharp and to be a more interesting person, not so self-absorbed. In line with the new plan, I am reading all I can find by and about Ernest Hemingway. This book is a reasonable biography hitting the high points of his life and including many wonderful old photographs! I love looking at them! This will soon be finished and my next Amazon purchase will be a good copy of "A Moveable Feast", a set of memoirs by Hemingway about his years in Paris. Curious thought; two posts in a row referencing Paris. How strange. A secret wish?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DANSE PARISIENNE DE RUE - (street dancing in Paris)

My experiment in painting (without any glue, fabric, beads, string, weeds,yarn,etc.) is complete. It measures 27" x 33". I learned a lot and enjoyed the journey. Here is an interesting fact I discovered as I was putting away the paints. There are 17 different colors in the background. I still have lots of paint, so I am thinking about the next one!
This is dedicated to my sister, Kathy who challenged me to do this and was quite sure it would be a success. Thanks Kath! And, thanks to Vanessa for the French translation!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


There will be Physical Therapy twice a week for the next few months to repair an injured and presently useless left shoulder. This, a project I had not anticipated, but a necessary one as I have no intention of being crippled and I need to get back to doing the things I love to do. So, Roy and I travel the 100 miles round trip to fix me. Between the three times a day exercise sessions, I will continue to do some painting. It does not tire the left arm and is really a lot of fun! Stay tuned for the next post showing the latest work. The title is "Danse Parisienne de Rue".

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Recently we loaned our tile cutting saw to a neighbor who was needing to do some tile work in her house. She returned the saw yesterday along with these. They smell so good! And, we see so little in the way of flowers here; mostly cactus flowers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Last night was the Pottery Class Show where we all got to share our creations with friends. I am having a great time, made even better by those painted jeans! By the way, have you painted your jeans yet??
And, this is Roy explaining something to Dean, who is a truly creative potter! His masks are wonderful!


I do love the combination of fabric and paint! This piece will find a home on the wall tomorrow but for now is sitting on my sewing desk. It measures 38 inches across and 41 inches top to bottom. It is painted fabric wrapped around a frame that Roy made for me. I am ready to do the next one! Enjoy!


The top was glazed with a red, the base with a purple and the underside is a dark blue.
My cake stand is ready for a cake!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yes, a bottle tree, created by a rancher transplanted from New England. Who knew he possessed such whimsy.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Those of you who have been reading my blog know I don't have a soapbox. I don't often feel the need to proclaim or protest. But, I found a soapbox recently and today I will use it. You and I need to change something. We need to stop this. We need to eliminate the great American pasttime of The Eating Contest. These take place all across our country, from street festivals to county fairs and to the mecca of them all, Coney Island Park. We start out early by taking school children and lining them up at a long table, their hands obediently clasped behind them. At the sound of the whistle, they go face down into foil pie tins full of custard and whipped cream. It is not cute. It is not funny. They look like piglets at the trough. The child who can eat the most in the fastest time gets that trophy. And here begins another generation of Fat Americans. Gluttony is rewarded.

Clear that mess off the table and have a better competition. Give each child a big box of popsicle sticks, some paper clips and some glue. Watch them use math and science, physics and a large amount of creativity and let them build. The child who creates the tallest Piece of Artwork wins that trophy. How proud he or she would be! A trophy worthy of the center space on the mantle. The adults who participate in these Eating Contests train for them. They eat large amounts of food, stretching their stomachs for competition day. Then, with both fists, they stuff hotdogs, or dill pickles, or wings or giant turkey legs into their mouths until they can't eat any more. They eat so much they get sick, but do make it back to the table to get that trophy. How proud they must be? A result of this Disgusting Practice is yet another negative image of the Ugly American. People around the world who hate us for any number of reasons can add gluttony to our sins. The millions of hungry people will, sooner or later, see this display of arrogance and disrespect for food; that commodity they need so badly. We must stop this. Here's your trophy.


Apparently the great "natural manipulator" is the rain. We recently had our first rainfall of 2009 and the changes to the art piece are now quite evident. Compare to day one.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


African Kaguru name meaning "the first".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Today was the culmination of all our creative efforts in the pottery studio. It was a beautiful day for outdoor firing; a gentle breeze enough to keep the smoke moving and bright sunshine to keep us warm. I did notice when we returned home that my clothing smelled like I had slept around a campfire for a week. And we did miss the perfect opportunity to toast marshmallows!
Here are a few of the photographs I took to mark the event. They show various pieces in the process as well as images of both raku and sawdust firing.
This shows Tomas adjusting the gas that fires the kiln. Before putting the pieces into the kiln we placed them on top to begin warming them. After they spend at least 30 minutes or so in the kiln they are quickly pulled from there and placed in containers of sawdust and newspaper. This step gives them a blackened and aged look. Flames shoot up as soon as the pieces touch the paper and sawdust. Then the metal containers are closed to allow the smoke to darken and stain the pieces. Here you can see my mask ready to be pulled from the sawdust and paper can, fully blackened and looking exactly how I hoped it would look! Here you can see the pieces set out to cool Aren't the wonderful ?!Then we set up the straight sawdust firing that takes many hours to complete. Individual pieces are placed in a metal can filled with sawdust. It has various holes drilled around the sides to facilitate air flow. After the pieces are embedded, a thin layer of newspaper is placed on top of the sawdust and then dried twigs are placed on the paper. This is lit and blazes away until only sawdust embers remain. A loose fitting lid is placed on the can and it is left to smoulder. I don't know guys. You think we're doing this right? And, Tomas, did you lose your gloves??? Again??So here are the teacher and students, all quite happy with today's results. Tomas, Deb, Dean and me.

And here I am with my very first mask. I do love it and want to make more! In a future post I will show you this guy fully embellished and hanging on a wall. (Huh. It looks like that sling on my left arm is not doing a lot of good. I'll probably be in trouble for that.)

Tomas, if I have any of this information incorrect, please chime in with a comment so I don't mislead my readers!