Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lucky Peach

This little mama showed up with her kittens about a week ago.  We think she had them under a low rooflet that shelters a lot of my clay.  The area behind the buckets is very dry with lots of cozy leaves.
She began bringing them out about four days ago. 

 We have no idea what she has been eating but she was pretty skinny so of course we put food out for her.  We still can't get close to her, but now we have figured out a way to put out food without scaring her away.

She will look at us curiously when we look out the second floor windows.  She looks like she wants to come but is just too skittery.

So yesterday I told her she looks like a little peach, then began calling her Lucky Peach.  Now mama has a name.  We hope to keep her and take the kittens, when they are weaned, to a no-kill shelter.


I think cats have secret signs they post that let others know that this a good place for kitties.

As always thanks for stopping by............*s*

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

YES! I'M BAAAAAACK!!!

It's been quite a month.

I finally found a car I am happy with.

Caterpillars ate almost everything I planted earlier in the spring so at some point I gave up.  However, they are now dead!  And it looks like we have had a population crash........toes crossed.

Lilies and day lilies have been delight.  All our spring and continued damp have made everything grow like gangbusters.

I have been finding many petunia sports which I have been nursing along, also cleome so there will be some flowers.

I have been rehabbing the pool; it looked and smelled like something out of a bad horror movie!  Lots of pool shock and algicide is doing the trick.  We should be able to swim in a few days. 

This is Aloysius's favorite napping spot.  In the sun.  On his foam core pad.  Go figure!

I've been starting some fish and mermaids; there will be more later. 

As always thanks for stopping by............*s*










Monday, June 19, 2017

Try Out

This is one of the first tripod mugs I made last year.  I decided this morning that before I make a bunch of them I really should see if they stand as sturdily with beverage in them as they do when empty.


So far so good.    It seems to be very stabile.  Holds eight ounces with room for milk or cream.  I haven't tried it in the microwave yet.  I personally never put mugs in the zapper but I know people do so I like to know what will happen.

I'm okay with the design.  The base is glazed in a low fire Spectrum metallic; I have no idea wich one!  I meant to glaze the interior with clear, but used the clear with a little Mason Red-Brown that I use on terra cotta.  Live and learn!

We have had another period of heavy showers.  I am hopeful that it will clear enough for me to finally plant my dahlias.  Last year the caterpillars devastated them, so I decided to hold off until they were pupating.  With our wet, chilly spring they have not done well at all.  HURRAH!



as always, thanks for stopping by.....*s*

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sun! At Last!

Spring, or perhaps I should say early summer, has arrived.  At last we are having warm, sunny days.

Yellow flags, white flags, and poppies are in full bloom.  At last we are having a good year of poppies.  I covered them during the last week of rain because they are so fragile that one good shower reduces to soggy masses of tissue paper.

Due to the continued rain, chill, and most particularly the various caterpillars the gardens, pond and pool are in a sorry state.  Now to play catch up!





We had many praying mantis egg sacs last fall.  Two days ago we found babies had hatched from one of them.  I managed to get a shot of this little guy before it took off.  This is a much enlarged photo.  It was about one quarter the size shown and almost transparent.



As always, thanks for stopping by........*s*







Monday, June 5, 2017

Farewell Red Rabbit

My Toyota 4RUNNER, the Red Rabbit, has finally bitten the dust.  Took it in for inspection and the verdict is that even if I were willing to spend the thousands to fix it there is no way to to put new parts into the rusted underbody.  The rear end is gone.  I can't really complain as it has over 250000 miles on it, half of which I put on in all the years I have had it.


The photo is the little whistle I mad in its honor many years ago.

Now to get a replacement.  My car guys think they can find something within the week!

Toes crossed........we'll see, grasshopper............we'll see.............

As always, thanks for stopping by.....*s*

Thursday, June 1, 2017

HARES AND RABBITS!!!

Some say White Rabbit.  I am sure there other variations to wish good luck on the first day of the month, or year, or millenium.


Whatever you do or don't say, here's to a great June!

We even have sunshine, and the yellow flags are starting to bloom.

As always, thanks for stopping by................*s*

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mug Feet

I've been looking at my mugs again and have decided to work on the feet on my handbuilt mugs

In one style of mug I leave the edge of the bottom slab visible.  Other times I blend it into the form and mark a bottom ring with a squiggly line.  I've emphasized these with black underglaze so I can keep track of them more easily.  I am experimenting with indenting the bottoms to form a foot or at least a ring.  This makes for a steadier cup.  Because my majolica glazes are so stable I can glaze the indented center.  This can lead to a nice little surprise on the bottom.

This all thanks to Tim See, who talked about feet and the bottoms of pots in the workshop he did at S.C.A.A. last month.



I also took a good look at my favorite Linda Arbuckle mug.  In addition to having huge admiration for the way she decorates her work, I like the way she pays special attention to all the little details in the foot ring, the decoration and her signature inside the foot, and the interior of the mug. The eye for all these little details and the way they add up to a sum greater than the items is what makes her work so exciting. 








As always thanks for stopping by............*s*




Monday, May 8, 2017

Testing

I am currently testing different terra cotta bodies.  In this state they all look alike; it will be interesting to see what happens in the glazing and firing process.

Sheffield terra cotta on right; Miller #20 on left. 

We'll see, grasshopper......we'll see.........

As always, thanks for stopping by........*s*

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunny Sunday

Here are some columbine and white bleeding heart to enjoy on this spring day!




As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Foo Foo

Little Bunny Foo Foo showed up among the daffodils by the house yesterday.  He/she spent all days hiding in the foliage, but was gone this morning.

It was hard to get any sort of a picture due to the bright sun.  

Winter, who goes nuts over chipmunks in the yard, ignored it completely!  Go figure!


As always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spring Surprise!

About a week ago I found a bud stalk in the midst of all the amaryllis greenery.  I staked it as it was in danger of breaking.  By yesterday it was in full bloom.

Although I have had them bloom midsummer, I generally think of them as a dead of winter flower.

I have no idea where this came from.  I have no memory of ever purchasing this color.  I think it is many years old and only decided to bloom this year.  I wish`I could figure out what I did during their growing/dormant season last year. Toes crossed that I can bumble my way into the same good fortune this year!


Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

As always, thanks for stopping by.........*s*

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tea with Tim See

Tim See mug (Well, it doesn't have a handle, but I am using it as a mug) I bought at his Earthworks workshop on Sunday, April 10 at SCAA.

This is one of Tim's robots, facing out.  I'm not sure what it is planning, but i am sure it will be interesting.  As in, "May you always live in interesting times!"


I took lots of photos before my battery ran out.  I will be sorting and posting them as I get to them.

Meanwhile, it is finally spring (toes crossed) and things are beginning to grow!

As always, thanks for stopping by......*s*

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday With Sun?

Monday is for mugs!  I seem to have inadvertently started a collection of what I call SIPPERS.They all hold about four to five ounces.  Just the right size for a bit of whisky or brandy.

The best collections are the ones that happen on their own.   


Although it has not been terribly warm the crocuses have begun blooming.  I can only assume that spring is on the way.


We may be able to do a bit of yard work this afternoon.  That's if we have the energy to do anything after braving the Monday Market!

As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday 'Mug'



Not really a mug at all.  It holds about three ounces.

I used to make these many years ago at the end of throwing off the hump sessions.  I would keep them for glaze tests.  This is rust with yellow over brown speckle clay.

I know I made it in my first year because it's a ^6 clay body and glaze before I switched to majolica.

I also remember signing these with the signature I now use.  I used a different one when I started so I would not associate my early work with later stuff.


We are in the middle of a rainy, cloudy spell.  It's warmed up a bit from last week.  But I still have one very lonely daffodil shivering in my garden.



Toes crossed for some sun this week.

As always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Friday, March 17, 2017

Now and Then

Five years ago today we drove to Connecticut and brought Winter home.  She weighed all of eleven pounds.  Since then she has grown up to be a big girl of twenty-eight pounds.


I usually take a picture of her sitting in the daffodils.  This year the is still ice covering the garden with green spears sticking up.  Winter was having no part of sitting on ice for a portrait.  So we compromised and settled on her couch with blanket.  She is rather suspicious about this whole photography thing.


Although the daffodils are not anywhere near flowering, the petunias I wintered over indoors have begun to bloom in profusion.  Spring flowers are spring flowers wherever they bllom!


I made a loaf of my favorite Soda Bread in honor of the day.  This is a plain loaf which is very nice with butter and lemon marmalade, and a cup of tea.


I finally remembered to stop in a Michaels to buy some foam sheets.  I'll be making more templates this weekend.

I go to Michaels because it's convenient, but I like A.C.Moore much better.  Not so much better tha I am willing to drive an extra fifteen miles to go there.

Toes crossed that it really will warm up a bit this weekend!

As always, thanks for stopping by....*s*

Friday, March 3, 2017

Follow Up

As a follow-up to my last post here are some of the forms I use, and the mugs I make from them.






I also like to use balloons.

As always, thanks for stopping by....*s*

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Handbuilt Mug

Here is a pictorial on how I make mugs using slabs with a form.


Materials: form, (Be sure it's cylinder or the bottom is smaller than the top.),slab rolled to even thickness, newspaper to cover form and make template, various tools and items for decoration.


Cover form with two layers of paper, leave enough overhang to cover the bottom Tape in place on side and bottom.  DO NOT tape paper to the form.  Using measured template cut slab for walls; allow for overlap of about 1/4 - 1/2 inch.
 
 Roll slab carefully around the form.


Overlap and attach edges.  The seam can be blended in or left as part of the decoration.  Trim edges at the seam to even out.


Cut circle slightly larger than the form for the bottom of the mug.


Fold edges of circle onto wall of mug and attach firmly.  Again this edge can be blended in or left as part of the decoration.


Roll a coil for the handle.  Drop coil gently to form flat side. Tap ends against work surface to make them fatter. Curve so the flat side is the inside of the handle.  It may take several tries to get one that works with the mug form.


Score clay on mug and handle and attach firmly.

Decorate the mug as desired.  Remove the form when the clay is set up enough to support itself.  Any extra paper at the top should be damp and tear away easily. When the clay is the consistency of firm leather and can be handled with distorting it, clean the rim and any other areas.  Remove the paper when the mug is completely dry.

Because I used wetter than usual clay for this project I did not need any slip to attach edges and bottom.  A good slip is a mix of vinegar and water.  Score and slip edges before attaching.

If there are any questions please respond below or PM me on FaceBook at Suzi Caswell.

Oh and because it is March 4........HARES AND RABBITS!

As always thanks for stopping by.............*s*

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sign of Spring!

  • Sun and clouds with temps in the sixties.  What a treat!

  • I took my first real morning morning walk around the yard, looking at what needs to be done. And I raked the leaves off the crocus bed.  The daffodils are up enough so that I will use the leaf blower to get the dead stuff away from the house.

  • I found this little viola blooming in one of the pots I didn't empty last fall.  Their hardiness is always a surprise!




The fish are swimming sluggishly  The water is still pretty cold..  Proge left the small pump in last fall to provide a bit of circulation.  It appears to have helped.  We don't usually take the net off until the trees are leafy and some of the water plants are covering a bit of the surface.  Otherwise we have visits from Hawk, Owl, and Heron, to say nothing of raccoon and fishercat!

Warm weather this early can be chancy.  The wild blueberries are apt to bloom then freeze if we get down to more normal temps.  We'll see, grasshopper....we'll see.....

Toes crossed that all are enjoying weather throughout the world.

As always, thanks for stopping by......*s*