Knitting

Pics and Pots


THROWING THINGS

They had a big firing at the pottery studio last week and two of my pots made it into the kiln. Both turned out really well, but one is amazing.  Funny thing, working with clay.  Sometimes mistakes turn out to be the best pieces.

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I’m not sure what happened to this pot, I think I bumped it when I was taking it off the wheel and having a really thin spot didn’t help, so it sort of collapsed.  I really liked the shape, though, and decided to keep it.  The shape reminds me of a calla lily.

For the glaze, I did a total dip of Rhodes Turquoise with a rim dip of Tin Purple.

I can’t remember what glaze I used for this pot and I left my notes at the studio.  I have to run something back to the art center, so I’ll duck in and grab my notebook while I’m there.  This pot isn’t as “catchy” as the other one, but I love its simple lines and that it has just enough texture to make the glaze interesting.

FUN WITH MIXED MEDIA

These are a couple of backgrounds I’m working on, incorporating modeling paste and spray inks.

As usual, I’ve been a busy bee and have a new knitting project on the needles to share tomorrow, stay tuned!

I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect – they are much more interesting.  Marc Jacobs

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Knitting

Back in the Studio


POT THROWING

Hurray!  It’s back into the pottery studio after a two week break.  I have some new ideas and several things I want to try, like this

Yarn Bowl

and this

or this

and maybe this

So ready to get in there and sling some mud!

Work while you have the light.  You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.  Henri-Frederic Amiel

Knitting

Guess What Day It Is!!!!!!!!


WHAT DAY??

It’s the first day of the new session at the Art Center – now known to my family as “my new second home”.  I can’t wait to see what this new pottery session will bring.  I’ve decided that I’d like to make a couple of big (think holding with both hands) coffee cups, all different, but with matching glazes to tie them together.  Actually, this project is two fold, I want the cups and I need to practice uniformity in certain projects and more than anything, get better at making handles.  For some reason, I’m apparently handle challenged, just can’t seem to “get” them.  They always turn out wonky, won’t stay on, droop, are crooked, are too big or too small.  So, I guess you could say that my goal for this semester is handles.

Cups of My Dreams
Another of my pottery goals is to remember to take pictures of projects, before, during and after, if for no other reason than to be able to identify my pieces when I forget to mark them as mine.  My bee stamp looks to have turned out well.  I’ll give it its first use today; results to follow.
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit.  We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.  Aristotle
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Knitting

Getting My Hands Dirty and Bread Love


GOING TO POT

I’m still love, love, loving my pottery class and look forward to it every week.  Yesterday, we learned about building with coils and how to use an extruder, which is a really quick, easy way to make them.  Takes a little bit more upper body strength than I have, but by standing on a stool and leaning my weight on the handle, I can get the job done.  Here’s my pottery WIP from yesterday – with emphasis on the WIP!  I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the clay, catching on to how it feels when it’s too wet to add details (too wet clay is floppy and will slump and collapse) and then how it feels when it’s dry enough to hold the details or embellishments added.  Cool stuff, I think.

4-15-13

I didn’t get to finish this little pot, I want to flare the sides more and then narrow and smooth the top; since I’m in a class at the Art Center, I can come and go at the pottery studio when I want, not just at class time.  I may go later today and work on it a little more, maybe experimenting some with different sized coils and bases.  I love this!!

FROM THE OVEN

The Sundried Tomato Basil bread was such a success that I want to share it.  This isn’t my recipe, so to give due credit, the original was submitted by girlversusdough on tablespoon.com.  She has a baking blog, girlversusdough.com, one I’ve enjoyed following.

Sundried Tomato Basil Bread

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp chopped dried basil

1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add 2 cups of the flour and all other ingredients to the batter and mix with dough hook until just combined.  (I used the paddle attachment and it turned out fine.)

2.  Add remaining flour 1 tbsp at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

3. Remove dough from bowl and place in a clean, lightly greased bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

4.  Punch down risen dough and shape into an oval, stretching from the top of the loaf to underneath the bottom.  Place shaped loaf in a lightly greased 8×4 inch loaf pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Once dough is ready, bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.  So good!

Thanks girlversusdough for sharing this recipe, it’s delicious!

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.  William James

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Knitting

How Cool Is That?, Free at Last and Olivia Petit


HOW COOL IS THAT?

A couple of years ago, 3/23/11 to be exact ’cause I went back and checked, I decided that I wanted – no, make that needed, to learn how to make pottery. Like a lot of things I get obsessed with, this idea eventually seemed to fade and then take its place in what I call the idea cabinet part of my head. It never fully got relegated to the back side of the cabinet.  It just hung around, surfacing every now and then in the foreground of whatever I was mentally working on. Long story short I signed up for a basic handbuilding pottery class at the art center here in Little Rock yesterday after seeing a random class schedule online.  The first class is April 1 and to say I’m excited is like saying Albert Einstein is a math whiz.  Personally, I think looking at the collection of pottery at the library Monday shook something loose.

IN THE OVEN

It’s been a while since I’ve done any what I call real baking, meaning from scratch, not a box.   Not knocking the box thing, Lord knows it’s saved my fanny more times than I like to count, it’s just not as satisfying to me as measuring out ingredients and watching my big Kitchenaid do its thing.  So, this afternoon, I pulled out the fresh blueberries I found Tuesday, the pecans I got cheap at Christmas and froze and the little bit of sour cream I had left over from some other cooking project and made a (surprise) blueberry-pecan-sour cream coffee cake that smells heavenly.  I’m having cake for supper.  Oh, you haven’t heard??  They’ve made coffee cake a food group!

SEE YA NEXT YEAR, BUH-BYE

I had my last visit (hurray hurray) with my hematologist today and he released me, to come back in a year.  His release was the final step in getting back to normal after my surgery.  For the first time in a long, long time, my blood counts are normal and I don’t have to be followed every week or so with blood draws and lab tests.  To give you an idea, about a week before my surgery, my hematocrit was 9.5-ish and today, it was 12; translated into realspeak, my doctor said it pretty much means that I have 2 1/2 more pints of blood today than I had a month ago.  No wonder I feel more energized.  Please excuse me, I’m going now to leap a tall building in a single bound.  While I’m leaping, you can admire the flowers I saw outside the clinic this morning ; )

Little Rock Hematology Oncology Clinic

REDEMPTION

The Olivia Petit sweater and I have come to an agreement.  I’ll do a better job of reading the pattern and making sure I understand directions and she’ll be a good sport and knit up all pretty and sweet like she promised.  Really, it was operator error with the difficulties earlier this week.  After I put her aside, slept and reread her pattern more slowly and closely, my mistake was obvious and best of all, fixable.  It did entail several, like ten, rows of tinking, but I’m finally back on track with most of my sanity intact.  This is what she looks like so far –

If you look closely, you can see the first two buttonholes; we won’t

discuss last night’s buttonhole frustration.

Don’t forget to check Tami Ami’s FO Friday blog – it’s always a treat!

What’s your latest dream come true?

Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.  Stephen Covey

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