Well, winter happened, then spring. Now its June the garden is going like crazy and I'm working on new product lines for the Festival of Art in Stout Park again! I've got a few birdbaths going, mostly because the cats will be very entertained when I set one up outside the window (evil grin) and because I'm curious to see how they go over. Then I've also got a new line of slab vases/containers that has just hit firing that I'm hoping will be nice! Next step is to get some fired up and ready to photograph!
Well, its been a long hiatus, time to get back to it I think! I've moved again to a permanent rental (if there is such a thing!) with a garage that will work for a studio, a packing/storage/photography room, and a yard I can garden in! It worked out to be a year and a half camping in the mansion by the sea, but the place finally sold and it was time to find my way here.
Things on Etsy have been slow, so I'm working on lining up a job, hopefully soon, to pay for kibble for me and the furkids. We'll see. At the moment I'm working on trying to re-discover how the blog/site works! They have, of course, changed things in the past couple years!
This planter is one of my newest additions to the shop, its a stoneware clay with bark textures, done in a tan stoneware with stain and a bit of glaze to pop the rivets. I'm really excited about these, and I LOVE how this rabbit-foot fern Kokedama looks in it!
I came home almost three weeks ago, went upstairs past the bathroom door and turned on the computer. My normal routine, checking email and such. I was just getting everything running, when I realized something smelled like burnt plastic, so I assumed the computer was overheating.... Well, a few minutes of sniff testing revealed it was NOT the computer so I followed the smell downstairs, only to find flames shooting out across the space under the stairs in the bathroom (where the hot water heater, washer, and dryer live) and lapping at the ceiling. Somehow in the ensuing confusion, I managed to shut the bathroom door, call 911, run back upstairs and rescue the computer, call for kitties who were in deep hiding and having NONE of this rescuing, turn off the main breaker, and decide it was time to get the H*LL out due to smoke.
It was an... interesting... evening. The fire department got there, eventually made it in and got the fire out, pulled one of the cats out from deep hiding hissing, spitting and generally attacking anything and everything. She calmed right down when I got ahold of her, thank goodness, and the other kitty came out of hiding after the first round of commotion was over and I got back in and popped a can of food.
In round one, for those keeping score, the fire department broke out the bathroom window and tossed a bunch of stuff out the window, knocked out the fire, then assured me it was out according to their fancy thermal scanner, and I was safe going back in after things and kitty #2.
BUT... they forgot to check the stuff out the window. Round two was that pile (mostly clothing and books) going up in flames on the OUTSIDE of the window. This resulted in another session of flashing lights, strange noises, and half the town watching my underwear burn as the ancient Doug firs and side of the equally ancient barn I live in got toasted by flames shooting up the side of the building.
Insurance is a good thing. It means everything I own is being removed from my house, sorted, cleaned, and returned in boxes. Let me tell you, 20 years of less than stellar housekeeping, plus various other moderately good excuses, can lead to a lot of clutter. So help sorting is going to make a huge difference going forward, but meanwhile back at the ranch, misery.
I'll update soon, the first two weeks were a lot of hurry up and wait, and oh, the cleaning people need to go for training for 3 days so only one real day of digging out happened the first week. We've managed to dig almost everything out in the bathroom now and it looks, if anything, even more... yecky... with all the smoke shadows on the walls.
One of the things I've found that really helps people visualize what they can do with these little kusamono planters, particularly at shows, is to use a kokedama (or moss ball planting) and set it in the different pots. These are nothing special, really, but they're very effective. The first planting is a small planting, the ball is about the size of a tennis ball and it fits a lot of the small kusamono pots. The other three are larger, about the size of a softball and they work with the larger kusamonos and most of the bonsai pots. The tricky part is having them in good shape for the show! The sea thrift was just starting to pop at the end of the show, and a tiny English Daisy that I dug out of the driveway is a few days from blooming and just not looking as good as it could.
A scratching post, that is! This one is ...DONE... courtesy of my furry house-mates. Its got history! I got this one used, but in good shape close to 20 years ago, and I've had cats all that time. However, the current two are particularly fond of sharpening their weapons.
In my own defense, I have been looking for a replacement in the same style for a while now, and haven't found one. I finally found something that will work, I hope, although I might end up replacing the rope on this one.
Ok, so these are not the most up to date photos, but they're the last ones I have at the moment! I'm going to be shopping for a new camera I think. Sigh. She's got a navel now, and most of a waist. I did a bunch of work on support inside, and reworked a couple areas that were not quite where they needed to be.
So far she's looking good! I'm still not happy with how long this is taking though....
Seems like they keep changing things around here! Of course I suppose I should update the blog a bit more often... er, um... ok! Been working on catching up on my yard (its about 2 months behind due to an insane work schedule this spring...) and a few things for the store. I spent 2 hours working on pulling dead grass out of the gravel driveway and clipping back some brush today. What fun!
The other day I spent about 4 hours ripping out blackberries, then I watered the bonsai in the side yard. After I was done I walked around the corner and found this guy eating the nice tender tops out of the brush pile I'd just created! WHY can't they eat them when they're still in the ground??? Sigh... worst of it is he was about 10 feet away from me as he was munching away.
Its not OVER, not by a long shot though! The 3 week temporary part time job helping a friend of a friend turned out to be an 8 week 50 hours a week job at the end, but that's done. That'll clear out a LARGE block of time to catch up on the stuff I let slide, like the yard that is horribly out of control, restocking the Etsy shop, painting the house I'm care-taking for, and getting a certain sculpture done.
I'll be posting an update on the sculpture soon, but meanwhile this is a blurb from the local arts blog, where they keep up with whats going on in the local art community! Its got some photos of me working on the sculpture showing a view I don't normally get. The photo links to the wildriverscoastart blog (if I can get the darn link to work!). My normal Saturday schedule has me teaching the pottery group Saturday afternoons, and for Art Walk week we clear out of the room early. This week however the Manley Art Center (where the pottery peeps - aka the mudslingers, meet) had no demonstrators and was featuring artists from the Azalea Festival Art Show. So, I stuck around to work on the coiled sculpture, and entertain the mobs while getting work done, with the excuse that I had some stuff displayed from my art show entries. I got a first and a second place ribbon at the art show, but out of a small group of entrants so to me the ribbons were nice, but not... overwhelming, if that makes any sense! _
A few of the local deer! I got back from working at the art center today and these guys were bedded down between the barn and my driveway. I spooked them but they just trotted off to the side yard, where they let me grab the camera and tripod to take these. I was about 10 feet away for most of these, and these guys were obviously really concerned.
Clay has always fascinated me, its many colors and textures, the shapes you can create using it, even the feel of it squishing in my hand. Even after years of playing in the mud I find myself exploring new ideas and I hope my work shows this.