Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to make a clay stove.wmv

I just have to say, I am humbled by this simple and straightforward approach to clay work. Not holy, hey folks, it's just clay.
Plus this woman was funded by one of my favorite organizations, Kiva.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Boring Weaving Warp

So, I am weaving the most boring piece of fabric. I wanted to put this chenille on my loom and just see what happened. Well, it is terribly boring. No interesting color or pattern. I couldn't figure out why I hated this so much and I didn't really want to think about it until I remembered a post by Life Looms Large (hi Sue) and she had to figure out something like this. It felt good to understand why I was in such misery. I don't know if I am a color or a structure person but without either one...yawn. I blamed the chenille and it was me...I made the color selections and the weaving pattern.

I am itching to understand how to use my book "The Handweaver's Pattern Directory" by Anne Dixon. There are over 600 weaving patterns for the 4 harness loom. Weaving challenges my visual perceptions...this book shows me just what the result looks like when woven properly. I have sort of given up on making myself a jacket for now. My calculation skills are stretched when trying to figure it all out.

I've been getting email notifications from this company and it intrigues me...wish I knew more about yarn weights, things like that. They have cashmere, is the price good? I don't know! what gorgeous colors they have!

Betty is going to live in Palm Springs. I haven't told her yet and I'm heart broken to part with her but I know the buyer is just as crazy for her as I am and she's going to a good home. M. (the new owner) knows about Betty's proclivities and still wants her. Sob. Maybe I'll get a bike for my hilly terrain...but what I really need is a kiln hooked up in Vegas so that's what the $$ will probably go toward. I had an electrician quote me nearly $1,000.00 for a hook up. Gah...

I've had quite a few people read and respond to my post about the problem I had with Best Brand They have had the same trouble. I have read them all and posted most of your responses but I am cautious about posting some of them...good luck to everyone; if I helped anyone, "YAY".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Morning of Beachcombing

My camera captures blue incorrectly, it loves blue more than I do it seems. Who cares, to me right now this is eye candy.

It was cold, cold, cold and the beach was deserted; just 2 of us together bent over searching to see what the ocean gave up that morning.

Sometimes people start making totems or whatever other cultures call them. As I pass by I too add my own small find. Eventually they disappear and are replaced by other totems.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome to The City

If you don't live in S.F. or even if you do I suppose, it is The City. BART takes me there. It was a cold day in The City. I did remember to bring my camera although I didn't take it out much...

This one is so happy and colorful and 1950's I wanted to capture it. And the palm trees remind me of Herb Caen who was aghast at the idea of putting palm trees at the Embarcadero. He felt they were too L.A. So, I think of him as I see them thrive.

The last photo...hmm, I certainly don't understand really. These public toilets have escaped my attention. I do remember some type of controversy about them, I believe it had to do with homeless people using them but I'm not sure. What intrigues me is the symbol for a fallout shelter on them....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Goodbye Betty....I Think

I am trying to bid goodbye to my friend Electra Betty. She is a good kid, black with pink flames all over, I am gaga for her. I don't use her, she sits in the garage, she was actually hung up until this afternoon when I took her down and dusted her off and took her picture. She's a nice beach cruiser, 3 speed but too heavy to push up my hill after I am finished riding. It was suggested to me that I should just get a bike rack and take her to flat ground.
I put an ad on Craigslist and will have some one be here with me if anyone shows up to buy her. I have only had one weirdo so far; I won't bore you with it but I did tell him I couldn't ship it because since The Accident I didn't have a car and could also not ride Betty anymore. Hey, I was just following his lead!
I probably rode her for 50 times, my husband says 20. It must have seemed like 50 as I pushed her up my hill...
I dusted her off and felt like crying (for a variety of reasons I suppose). Anyway, who could not want a bike like this???

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm Out on Bail

But seriously, that Go To Jail card could be the next one in the deck. I went to jail once when I worked for the Department of Commerce. It was census 2000 and I worked as the assistant office supervisor in the "Special Places". We counted everyone in hospitals, rehabs, group homes, fire stations (they thought we were crazy and they were right), NSOL, I think that was the acrynym standing for non-sheltered outdoor locations (we couldn't say homeless), shelters and prisons and jails.

I wanted to work for the census again because I had such a love/hate relationship with government work. I tested a year ago and scored a nice score but I guess I got too stupid for them in the last 10 years since they didn't rush to the phone to call me to work! I was called recently to see if I was still interested. I said yes but I'm not sure. My interest in the census started after doing genealogy and reading the old census reports, it seemed kind of romantic and patriotic. Not.

So, enough already. I miss whining and ranting here soI had to get back to it.
Ok, I have to say I do NOT like chenille (my weaving adventures turned ugly).

And the other thing is that I decided to link my Etsy shop to my blog even though I wanted it to stay pure in the beginning. Hey, things change.
The fun colorful pitcher is earthenware. Not sure if it's me or not...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ragnar Relay Race

I'm told that this happened at about 4:30 a.m.:

Henderson Police say 25-year-old Joshua Salayich is facing several charges including, DUI with death, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting an officer. Police say Salayich hit and killed a 33-year-old Jeremy Kunz from Utah.
Kunz was among 2,400 runners in the Ragnar Relay Las Vegas Race. He was struck by Salayich and killed early Saturday morning, relay officials confirmed in a statement released Sunday.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Stephanie and Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson. Police and rescue vehicles responded immediately. Ragnar Relay co-founder Dan Hill said, "Our deepest sympathy goes out to the runner's family."
"We appreciate the rapid response from Las Vegas authorities and ask that all our runners keep the family in their thoughts and prayers," said Hill.
Amy Brewster was part of a team also participating in the race. "We were all just having a good time and then you hear this and the first thing is the shock and horror," she said.
According to authorities, Kunz was standing on the side of the road early Saturday when Salayich alleged hit and killed him before overturning his vehicle. "Once the car came to rest, the driver fled the scene. Luckily police were able to catch him about a half a mile from the scene of the accident," said Keith Paul with Henderson Police Department.
News of Kunz's death spread quickly for runners across the area, including local running shops. Like others, they're left stunned and offer advice to other runners. "Make sure that you wear a light, preferably a red or yellow flashing light, and be very aware," said John Griffin with Village Runner.
Police say alcohol wasn't the only factor in this accident. They say the driver was also speeding, but it's still unclear just how fast he was going.

On another note, we DID have that huge storm, no power at my house all day until the evening on Tuesday! I'll leave the sad gutter story alone for now. :(

And I DID finish the weaving with the 20/2 yarn! I'm still working on my book, I am reading "The Remains of the Day" another great book by Kazuo Ishiguro

Monday, October 12, 2009

Goodbye Cruel World

Is it just our newcasters or is it the same everywhere? Big storm, big storm coming our way, sandbags; 10 per home limited, PG & E cutting tree limbs hoping to avoid power outages, winds at 40-60 mph coming our way. OK, they got my attention, the matches are located, the candles are handy, flashlights ready.

I've got plenty of books, lots of weaving to do and the kiln was fired today so I got that done. Laundry is in right now washing away. If nothing comes of it, well, that's ok too but this Boy Scout is kind of ready.

Our house is one of the last ones to ever get the power back because Nobody Understands. My post titled What a Dump shows the photo of our tv/telephone and power line. It serves only 2 houses.

So, here is a pic of the weaving still on the loom. I'm still practicing with the fine 20/2 yarn. I don't think I want to use it for the jacket I want to make; it is TOO thin. My slevedges are improving I think, I see that same spot is pulling too much, there are some threads caught in the "spokes" things...grrr! Next I may make some small guest towels for the bathroom while I work on planning the jacket.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Las Vegas Ragnar Race

I told my daughter I'd keep her close to my heart tomorrow. If anyone else that isn't busy for a few minutes I hope you'll do the same! She amazes me more the older she gets, I am amazed at her wisdom and love and her smarts and NOW her intestinal fortitude! At age 40 she began doing short triathalons after sitting behind a desk or on the couch for all her life. Now she will be doing a Ragnar Relay Race tomorrow. OMG is all I can say. Lots of people do these but not my child. I am very happy for her and hope the race is a lot of fun. I don't "get it"; the race is dubbed Cereal Killers and they dress up goofy like breakfast cereal, don't ask me how, I don't get it. What I do "get" is that this race is a relay, thank goodness and it is 180 miles.
It was going to be really a great pot; it's ok but not what I was aiming for. I'll spare it the hammer-fate since it has its ok points...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Now Brown Cow?

Never knew what that meant but we used to like saying it when we didn't know what else to say. Well, maybe I'm the only one but, "How Now?"

More from the kiln!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Photographing My Stuff

When I took watercolor classes the instructor had a Polaroid camera ready and she photographed work as it progressed and studied it. That was a looooong time ago, then a few years ago I read "The Girl With The Pearl Earring" and guess what? Not a new trick at all, I was so surprised!

What I'm saying is that I see where I can progress and change and grow with the ceremonial/ritual vessels (ahem) by studying them in the previous blog post. It's different than looking at them on the computer, they are sort a place, well, see, I can't explain. It just helps.

Everything is bisque fired, time to make a new batch and I have some "new and improved vessels" I hope!
The vessels on this post are Native American and beautiful, my aim is not to try to recreate the authentic but to create my own sort of fantasy artifact pieces that fit into a modern life. Is that it? Well, whatever it is, it is!! I can't figure myself out sometimes but that's ok too.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Different Direction

Just because I want to try it all!

After seeing some ceremonial-ritual/artifact looking pottery....well, I had to give it a try.It's not exactly "Is it real or is it Memorex" but I'm having a good time with the process. Feedback welcome; I'm all alone in pottery land and it's getting cold out here.

This guy was not a favorite but upon completion I think he looks very sweet in a r2d2 kind of way. If I named my pots or "vessels" (does that sound snooty?) this one would be r2d2. Maybe it would hold holy water for babies under the age of 2.
On the loom I am practicing with very fine yarn 20/2 warp. I was expecting a lot more trouble than I had. I'm using some 10/2 and 5/2 for weft. I keep forgetting that mixing the weights of the weft makes the piece go narrow, bigger, narrow, bigger. Oh well, it's still teatowels....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Handcrafters Peacock Loom

I couldn't resist. It didn't cost much, it's for my grandaughter. My daughter asked me on the phone, "So, how big IS it?" "A large breadbox," I told her. I think that's right. I'll clean it up and give it to her at Christmas time; all warped and wonderful, ready to go. I'll replace the shoelaces with some smaller cord I have and see if I can get the rust from the harnesses and hettles. I've put feelers out for an instruction book for it.
The wood is dried out but it works just fine I think. This warp was already on it when I got it. It is made by Handcrafters, Waupun, Wisconsin. Such a nifty little bugger!
This is a work, work, work week. Throwing pots, making tiles, firing the kiln, buying looms...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shopping Cart Drivers

This cracks me up! See the man with the shopping cart? He's making a left-hand turn; at least he's in the proper lane. Who says Californians can't drive? I notice the car on the right is giving him a wide berth! Musn't get too close to the cart drivers...
If I'm going to participate in the Pedro Point Firehouse sale; Madrigalli Market then I'll be selling these shaving mugs I guess. Just waiting to hear if there was room for me. I opted for just one day, my stock of pottery is not huge right now. I'm planning to make some more shaving mugs and tiles for my boxes. I'm having trouble finding the time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Skyline College Parking is a Pain in the ...

Devils Slide eventually will be bypassed when the tunnel is complete. This is the road I take to south to go to Princeton, Montara or Half Moon Bay.


So glad to be taking time away from classes or I'd have been there for the lock-down while conducting open studio.

The parking situation is tense. There is construction going on and even less parking than usual and it is never good, always tense and cut-throat. The parking lot has been a dangerous place, speeders, parking spot hogs, tempers flaring. Someone was shot in the behind (the maximus gluteous behind) and the shooter got away. I understand there was some kind of manhunt going on but he escaped. Gee, hope he didn't run over the hill eastward or he'd be right at the San Francisco County Jail, or maybe I do hope he ran that way. Maybe it was a she but I doubt it.

Once again, they didn't listen to me. I did my fair share of whining every day telling everyone that the parking was brutal and dangerous. See what happens.... This was probably not about parking but it could be, huh?

Last week a student at San Mateo High School went out of control too. What is happening I wonder?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Running on Empty

This mailbox is filled with "Return To Sender" letters, all to the same person (if I remember right). It is made of clay and so are the letters, they look very realistic. I took this at CCACA last May.

Running on empty. That's me. Time for fuel.

sit back, stop pushing so hard, smell the ocean(?), read, write, pay the bills, no, no not that. Just remember the good and learn from the less than good. This fully loaded kiln ready to fire is eye candy for me!

I haven't taken any pictures for a while so I'm posting some that I like from the past.

I'm thinking about going to Washington DC next summer. Looking at flights, looking at hotels, making copies of ideas for this trip for others that may be interested in coming along.

Summer is pretty wretched there, I remember living really, really close to the Mississippi River just off the Great River Road for more than one summer and that was wretched, can it be worse than that? Ugh, or what about Mt. Pleasant, S.C.? Oh, the humidity and the bugs!

My sister has been searching for the perfect place to live. She and her husband have been retired for quite some time and started this search, I'm interested to hear what they finally decide!! I love it here on my little edge of the world but it has its drawbacks too. It may just be time to go to the woods, if only I could remember how to get there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Progress on My Happy Place

I've decided to name it My Happy Place because I am goofy.

My tarp arrived and I was worried that I ordered the wrong size. I measured the floor width (about 10') and ordered a 12x20 tarp. I should have measured the pitch of the roof, not the pitch but the size of each side of the roof. BUT, ta-daaa, it worked fine. I did have to wrestle with it a while of course. Couldn't make most of the auger-things corkscrew into the ground but got 2 in just in case it gets windy sometime before I finish battening down the hatches.

I guess I'm a closet hillbilly because I love bluegrass music. My grandmother was born in West Virginia, something I didn't know until we moved there for a few years while my husband was transferrred there on a job. Sooooo I must come by it naturally. My grandmother never grew up in West Virginia, no, they headed to the Dakotas to people the plains as the railroad was being built. The story I heard was that the railroad wanted families; big, solid, religious families to inhabit the new railroad territory. So, off they went. I don't know if it's true or not but, hmmm, they were a huge, religious family. The point is that there is going to be a Bluegrass Music hoe-down in Golden Gate Park. As much as I have trouble in crowds...I really would like to be there!


The last day of the stay for the grandkids we visited one of the San Francisco Fire Department stations. They rode in a tanker truck and helped reload the water when they were finished with the ride and demonstration. Their faces just glowed inside the truck they were so thrilled! Yay, and thank you SFFD - you are the best!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seductive and Ruthless?

Gee, just when I was ready to retire for the night in my flannel pj's. I ran across this "What does your name mean thing". When I typed in my name, I couldn't stop laughing, EEK, if this is me I have some serious character flaws to work on! Uh, the photo is the ruthless Mata Hari boys and girls...
Here it goes:

You Are Seductive and Ruthless
You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. You have the classic "Type A" personality.

Odd, it doesn't mention my list junkie habit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Must Make More Lists to Be Productive!

I don't really like marigolds but I can grow them. It took me a long time to finally do something with my fish, it had a variety of troubles. Also, in the yard I dug out 2 big jade plants, they grow like weeds, I put something in that said, "Drought tolerant". Pink somethings.
This fall I hope to make a jacket like the one in the photo. I'll use a wool/silk blend. I am going to have Whirlygig Yarns at Etsy help me. She is going to dye the yarn for me. Initially I wanted an out-there color but...I'm rethinking that. My first thought isn't always my best.
The work on the studio is slow. I have ordered a huge clear tarp to prevent the leaks I have. It should be here later this week. Guess a few those things that corkscrew into the ground along with bungee cords should work. I ordered the tarp at Creative Shelters, they had the best prices that I could find. It's kind of creepy that I just finished reading "The Road" and here I am shopping at a place called Creative Shelters...
And yes, I do agree with my friend that declared "The Road" a very depressing book but a good depressing book...
My list junkie tells me that if I don't make lists I don't get things accomplished. Note to self: make more lists.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

San Mateo County Fair

It was kind of disappointing because it was so small compared to 5 years ago. We ended up going on Seniors Day, they were being bussed in from everywhere and the sad/funny thing is that no one even ASKED for our ID's; we got in free too. Oh, well.

No horses, very few cattle, no weaving, lot of quilts though. The quilters were there in force, good for them!

Well, we made it to the pig races, then a treat and off to the carnival to lose the treat (almost anyway).
The bumper cars were so much fun the grandkids had to go twice. A robotic section was also a huge hit!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Learning More About the Loom

My old loom is so beautiful, aren't they all though? Well, her name is Sabina and I've never changed the treadle/shaft relationship. For my doubleweave experiment I had to mix them up. I found out that my treadles don't make my harnesses work the way I thought they did. Harnesses 123 are supposed to rise so I hooked them up the the treadles I wanted to use for that and I had the 4th harness rise. Proof positive that my mind thinks backward.

And!!! Double weave is sort of like magic, the kind of magic that happens when pulling a cylinder on the wheel. What fun, the kids will go home with a book bag or a tube if they just want a reminder of their week here.

I am getting worn out but it's a good worn out, we have gone to the beach numerous times, the county fair, learned to play mah jong (and they beat us the stinkers), and learned to weave in just 3 days. See my little weavers go! My granddaughter is so helpful, if her brother was tired of weaving, she offered to help him finish his project. Sounds like there is a weaver in the making. Clay tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Double Weave Made Easy?

Ok, I was told by someone on the Internet that to double weave, double the sett and thread a straight draw (ha, I think I'm learning weaver lingo). Then do a few shots of tabby followed by: 1, 123, 3, 134. Can it be just that simple?
The grandchildren are coming to stay and I thought that a weaving project for idle times would be good - a book bag would go quickly and they could go home with a complete project. Sounds just fine. Too late I read that the weft should be twice as thick as the warp. Well, they are going to be the same size.

I hope that the yarn I selected will lend itself to colors they both like. My grandaughter can use some purple, burgundy and lavender weft and my grandson can use darker greens, browns, etc. Of course they can use what ever I have and they like....any colors at all. I got some chunky kind of yarn so it will weave quickly. I have never woven with this size, it will be fun to see the results.

Still no word from my weaving teacher, I hope he's ok.
Sun, sun, sun, a perfect day in paradise. Life is good, very, very good. I worked a few hours on the "studio" and ouch is all I can say! Ouchy hands and feet...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Absolved of Sloth

Believe it or not, this is progress, slowly I am making headwayon the studio scene.

All is forgiven, it was a mistake, I am not guilty of sloth, LifeLoomsLarge has heard my confession and counseled me. Thank you! It's just time to get to work out there in the greenhouse. Neglect over several years and one big project on top of that left it a mess.


I wanted a ton of pea gravel; 1.25 c/y (engineer talk from my hubby), he helped me understand how much pea gravel that is. I want it anyway, a person can't have too much pea gravel can they? Instead I got a couple of 75#-ers and will spread it to see if my space needs a ton.

What do I want? A studio that doesn't leak (hahaha) - I can work on that, my nephew has offered to help me. A studio large enough to do wheel work, handbuilding, etc. with enough shelves - Lowes or Home Depot or Craigslist or even Freecycle can help. The space is sufficient but more shelves would be great. Water - have that but it needs some fine tuning.

Do I want to mix my own glazes? ????I don't know. It sure saves money...I was sort of trying to go the earthenware route for a while though...well, I'd just need the right frit I suppose.

It's vintage, can I sell it on E Bay??? Out it goes, last week my garbage can weighed a LOT, I put many bags of dried out clay into it as well as lots of other stuff like this E Bay vintage lot.

My girly basket from JoAnn, I think I can rinse my tools off and it will drain!

A girl needs some music, it looks funny I know. I'm going to see if I can find a decent station and just push the off or on button thru the paper. I have trashed 3 radios so far, this one is four. I saw a nice one with an ipod deck - there would go my ipod probably...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Shameful Sin of Sloth

Been thinking; always dangerous...why aren't I getting the message to be more careful when buying online? When will I learn? This will be my last whining session about poor me and my woes with my Internet buys!

I haven't heard from my weaving teacher, maybe he's on vacation or something. Should I try things on my own; how daring, huh?

I started cleaning the greenhouse and I am ashamed of my sinful sloth, will I learn to be tidy and clean each time I leave for the day? I don't know.