Mixed Media Monday 12/1/14, Raku


Here’s a look at a new mixed media art journal cover I started working on today, after a false start with blue paint and stencils that I knew I hated, all the while painting and stenciling, convinced that “with just a little more paint, I’m going to fall in love with this project.”  NOT!  So, with trusty gesso and brush, i reduced the cover once again to the clean slate and started again, this time with different colors and without a fixed plan, decided to use the technique that has proven to work really well for me in the past – using colors I love and letting my intuition tell me what’s working and what’s not and then just going with it.  Want to know the best lesson art has taught me?  It’s taught me that what I create is mine, and being mine, i can do what I please with it.  So, like today, if something just isn’t working for me, i can cover it up and start fresh.  It’s totally up to me, to do as I please.  This is my mantra: If I like it, then it’s perfect.

Gessoed to cover what I did previously and then started sponging acrylic paint over cover then going back and adding black and white accents.  This one’s not even close to being finished.  I plan to do lots more with it – stamps, stencils, collage paper, stickers, handwriting.  By the time it’s finished, who knows how many layers will have been added!  Keep watching this blog, who knows what it’s going to look like when it’s done.  Gotta say I’m loving the grunge look.


This morning at 5:30, even before my feet hit the floor (I’m an early riser) I remembered that I somehow forgot to add the photos of a raku pot I mentioned in this post’s title. Duh. So here they are, better late than never, they say.

 From where I sit, these pics are huge!

Pot exterior glaze is Candy Luster

Pot interior glaze is Copper Luster


Don’t forget to drop by my blog Wednesday to add your link to Watcha Workin’ On.  Remember, it’s open all crafters/artists, whatever your medium.  Can’t to see everyones projects!

No matter how deep a study you make, what you really have to rely on is your own intuition and when it comes down to it, you really don’t know what is going to happen until you do it.  Konosuke Matsushita



Jump Down Turnaround, The Great Kitchen Rug Experiment, Book Babies


I’ve been enmeshed in THAT sort of day today, a “somedays it’s not worth chewing through the restraints” kind of day and for no reason.  OK, maybe I’m a little bummed because I’ve no fiber to spin, or I just haven’t hit on the new project that makes the heavens open and the angels sing, kind of bored, kind of tired, exactly that type of day.  Then, book junkie that I am, I was on our local library website, trolling for books and happened to see this on the calender – Book Babies.  Clicked on it and found that it’s a special story time for babies up to 24 months and their caregivers with stories, rhymes and songs.  Meets 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays.  Perfect!  Bigmommy and the Papoose have dental appointments that day at 9:00 a.m. and I’m one on one with the Sprout.  We’re going and it’s going to be a blast, I just know.  So, that’s how you make a turnaround in your day, make an investment and get excited.

As an aside, my doorbell just rung, of course I ran like an idiot because I’m expecting some fiber here in the next day or two (see first paragraph) and much to my disappointment, it’s not my friendly mailman, Fedex man or UPS man.  It’s two kids who immediately start what feels like a hustle.  I finally asked right out what they needed, still felt hustled and so shut the door in their faces.  Probably, in all honesty, they’re out fundraising, but when I ask outright what they need and still get hustled, I’m done.  Sorry Charlie as the old tuna commercial used to say.  Not harshing my mellow, though.  Nope.

Back to our regularly scheduled post….


My kitchen needs a new rug.   Oh, by the way, did I ever mention that I get my best ideas in the middle of the night, or that Mr. Iknead never thinks they’re as great as I do when I wake him with something new?  Anyway….  Since this new rug needs to be washable and dryable, I start thinking cotton yarn.  Then, I replace the image of cotton yarn in my head with the image of some other type of cotton cording, like rope.  Moving right along, knitter that I am, I start wondering what size needles (big) and exactly how manageable something would be in real life, using needles about as big around as my wrist and maybe 1-2 inch rope.  Stop.  Take a breath.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to dial my enthusiasm back (this time) and contented myself with knitting this swatch, using size 15 needles and three strands of Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn held together.

Swatch #1

Vital Statistics BEFORE Washing

Cast on 20

20 rows

7.5 x 9 inches

I’m throwing it in with a load of towels here in a minute.  I’m really just hoping to see about how much shrinkage there is after a couple of rounds in the dryer.  I’m still thinking rope and huge needles, but before I make the investment in a couple of miles of cotton rope and two fenceposts, I thought I’d try this.  Mr. Iknead’s Austerity Plan thanks me, I know.


My Newest Raku Pot and Mini Mochi Yarn

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.  Mark Twain



Completed Pot Projects


I finally was able to squeeze a little time in yesterday to go check on my pots and was pleasantly surprised that two of the three were out of the kiln and ready to come home.

This pot is my favorite so far.  It’s the first one where I just let my hands do the thinking and creating.  I love the way it just happened.

Glazed with silver-gray, in and out, with a Carolina Blue rim dip

Next up is a raku pot with Blue-Green Crackle and Hawaiian Blue Matte

Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth.  The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.  Carl Jung



Eat Your Heart Out Smoky


Pottery class today and raku.  Remembered the camera, girl reporter on the story.

Raku kiln, top off

Leslie handling the high tech stuff.

Yeah, pretty much what it looks like – a blowtouch sitting on some bricks.  It’s lit, btw.

This is what 1800 degrees F looks like.  Camera lens fog.

We’re going in!

Pot show and tell tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Come on, baby, light my fire.  Try to set the night on fire.  Jim Morrison



Completely Consumed


Since getting the sewing machine up and running a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had a difficult time staying away from it.  There’s always a new project that beckons me to at least try it and once on that ride, I’m powerless to stop until I’ve a) mastered whatever it is or b) given up for the moment because I just. can’t. figure. it. out. and am frustrated nearly to tears.  All this means that I’ve let a couple of things go in the last week or so, mainly stuff like sweeping or vacuuming, washing dishes or unloading the dishwasher.  It’s now oozed over into blog time but I’m here this morning to change that.  With that said, here’s a look at my newest obsession hobby,

Up until now, all my sewing stuff was thrown into a plastic bin, which was to be avoided at all costs.  If I was to be serious about learning to sew, I needed to upgrade my kit and found these sweet baskets at Hobby Lobby yesterday.  With everything sorted and untangled, I feel like a real, live seamstress!

My first FO on the machine –

Just don’t ask how long it took.


Tomorrow’s Monday which means pottery class.  Yay!  Raku tomorrow!

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.  Ivan Turgenev




is time going down the drain as I’ve been wrestling with widgets.  No joke, I started trying to get some new media buttons up and running on this blog on Saturday, though I really can’t swear to it, since it’s all sort of run together as far as time is concerned.  Since I’m technochallenged, it may take me hours to figure out how do one thing.  When the support tutorials start talking about plugins, downloads and zip files, they lose me because I don’t have any kind of grasp on computerese, I just don’t know what they’re talking about and am totally intimidated.  No matter, today,  I finally got things just the way I want them and  can start obsessing over something else.  I’d love to have some feedback, let me know what you think.


Monday is pottery class day, with much anticipation during the week.  I enjoy everyone – including Teach (as Leslie refers to her), we laugh A LOT and talk A LOT, all while working with clay, stretching it, extruding it, rolling it and yes, sometimes beating it into submission.  I’m going to raku the pot below, firebug that I am.  Can’t wait!

Same pot, other side.


Me and about a million other people are having Flickr issues.  Can’t upload, queue frozen on iPhone.  See above paragraph.

I’m linking up with Frontier Dreams KCCO today.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is to not stop questioning.  Albert Einstein




Today was the next to last pottery class for the Spring quarter and we tried our hand at raku for the first time, a really neat technique that uses special glazes, a special kiln and the coolest thing of all, putting the pot into a container right out of the kiln lined with newpaper or sawdust so that it flames up and completes the firing.   You have to wear special gear, gloves and something like a welder’s mask to protect yourself from the kiln’s heat, about 1800 degrees F.  You have to use long tongs to handle the pots after firing.  Can you tell I have a little firebug in me?  Here’s my first raku pot –

First Raku, 06/03/13

I’m retaking the Basic Handbuilding class this summer, just to have a good handle on the basics, hopefully to try the pottery wheel in the fall.  So loving this!

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, for our consideration and application of these things, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.  Henry James