Thursday, December 06, 2007

Final Exams Approach

As finals approach I am both elated and stressed at the same time. I'm exited because as a reentry student approaching 40 years I was hesitant, actually terrified at how things would go. Now I know it's not so bad. Except for finals week and all the last minute projects the professors are handing out because its on the syllabus but they are just now giving it out. Stuff like take home quizzes and last minute quizzes that we were supposed to have in class a month ago. All this extra work on top of finals projects and final exams. When it rains it pours.
Speaking of rain we are finally having our first real rain. We were so spoiled with a long drawn out warm fall. But there are beautiful things to every season and pattern. I'm looking forward to school being out until late January. Maybe I'll finally be able to work on projects like getting my Etsy store up and running and figuring out how to promote this blog so it really gets noticed and I am not just typing into thin air.
I would really love some mentoring when it comes to creating a blog presence. Feel free to enlighten me. It would be so greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Welcome Back!

A new self portrait. I've been gone away from my blog so long I am wondering if any one has missed me. I've been busy going back to school to finish my art degree and I still working at making pottery and being a mom. It's my son's first semester at college and it is kind of fun being on campus with him.

These are some of the last dahlias of the season. They sure have been beautiful. Let me know if you are looking or lurking at my site. I would also love a mentor on how to get your blog noticed. I'd really like to get it up and running in a good way.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Too Pooped to Pop

I'm so tired. I spent the morning handpainting a silkscreen. What was I thinking? I didn't realize I'd have to go back over it so many times to fill in all the little pinholes. Well, it has been a learning experience at least. Then I went to Michaels for some t-shirts and felt so grateful that they were on sale 2 for $5. Woo hoo! I had to buy sixteen. Now for the washing, ironing and silkscreening. I know, glutton for punishment. Actually I'm having fun and I think the girls I'm taking to camp will really like them.

I almost got caught in a tornado producing storm. We drove right through the system and it was pretty scary. I felt like a storm chaser keeping an eye out for funnels and vortexes while my husband drove. He was pretty nervous but really kept his cool. We were afraid because there was no place to take cover and we had to decide to keep going or turn around and go back. We called my mom on the cell phone and made her get on the internet and that's when we found out there was a tornado warning right where we were driving through. It was quite a lot of excitement. I only had my cell phone and took some pics with that but too tired to do it now.

Then I went to church for a youth activity and that was hilarious. The youth put on a karoake night and they were just hilarious. Then I got home and decided the dishes needed to be cleaned and my hubby wasn't home yet so then I decided to pit some of the cherries we picked yesterday. I needed to make a dent in the pile of fruit in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cherry Picking and Graduation

Sorry no photos today although I should have taken a picture of all the legs sticking out of the bottom of the 40 foot Black Tartarian Cherry we had been invited to help pick. Cherries are so abundant this year that no one should have to buy any. So I'll be busy with cherries for a while. I'm also working on projects for girls camp. I've got 15 girls going up to camp and tomorrow I'll be working on the silkscreen for a t-shirt I'm doing for everyone. It's going to get busier as I get closer to going which is next monday. Hopefully I'll snap some photos along the way. Now if I only had a cherry pitter for the 60lbs of cherries.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Miniscule Mantis

Yeah! I made it onto the Approver's Choice list at Wunderground. Thanks everyone! I barely saw this tiny Praying Mantis in time to avoid washing it down the sink. Phew. I just love these, especially the way they turn their heads to look at you. Here's a Wikipedia article on them.

I adore this magazine Cloth Paper Scissors which has a great article on creative journaling by Anahata Katkin. That's her painting on the cover. I am getting ready to start ready this book, The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. My breakfast of champions, a bowl of fresh picked strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar for dipping. Could a morning be any more heavenly? I was going to sit outside but it got too windy and it was much more comfortable in the quiet peaceful living room with the light coming through the mini blinds. Of course behind the scenes I was setting up backdrops and the tripod and getting into silly positions and different shirts for my photo shoot. Ha ha. It's been a fun morning and soon I've got to go run errands. Maybe I'll get to some work in the studio today making some pottery so I can actually put some on Etsy. Maybe I'll get to work, maybe. Sigh...

Here I am with the bottle fed, highly attitudinal Tiger, aka Tigy. I got one more shot with her before she rolled over in my arms to bite me. I guess when she was a kitten I didn't assert myself with her like a momma cat would and not let her get away with such an attitude. But we love her anyways and she is a beauty and very photogenic. I think I take more pictures of her than of any of the other cats. Poor kitties. I've got one sleeping on the bed right now that doesn't feel too good. I've got to keep an I on him and maybe take him to the vet. He is a super lovey dovey kind of cat.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Boysenberry Bliss

The boysenberries are finally ripe. Oh my gosh, they are sooooo sweet. It got hot and windy today and then finally this evening the wind settled down and I went out to check these. I ate about 50 of them. Yum, Yum. And I didn't have to bend over to pick them like with the strawberries. I'll have fun picking and eating these now that the strawberries are slowing down. That means only about two quarts every couple of days instead of six quarts. Phew, that's a lot for me. I'd love to get the strawberries up into some hydroponic trays so I wouldn't have to squat down to pick them.

Monday, April 30, 2007

High Dynamic Range Photomatix

I'm trying out the Photomatix software to see if I like High Dynamic Range. This is where you combine different exposures of the same image so that you can see more information in both the highlights as well as shadows. The trial version does leave a watermark and this is my first photo. I'm going to play around with some more. I'm definitely having fun and intrigued by it.

Beeutiful Poppy

I went out into the garden with my camera this morning and had no idea there would be so many bees in the garden. It was loud with all the buzzing and thankfully they were all preoccupied with their pollen gathering.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Freshed Picked Strawberries

Yep, I picked more strawberries last night...and this morning! I'd better start canning soon before the day gets away from me. Some are going into the freezer and some are going to become Kiwi Strawberry Jam. I'm even thinking about Strawberry Pepper Jam with jalepeno. This is excellent with cream cheese on bagels.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I have been in the kitchen for the last two days processing loads of strawberries into luscious sweet jam and syrup. I have twenty nine jars so far and about another two quarts of berries to process. Then it's out to the garden to pick more berries. Yippie! This is the first time I've made strawberry jam and I'm using pectin. I haven't quit mastered it yet and it looks kind of runny. The package instructions say that it can take up to two weeks for the pectin to completely set up. Does anyone have any encouraging words for me? I'm going to keep on canning it. The flavor is great and we can always use it thin as syrup or over ice cream. Super yum.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I can't believe I haven't posted for a month to the day. Well, this is what I've been doing lately, spending time in my garden. The poppies are blooming and the strawberries are ripening. We've been having strawberry sauce on pancakes, strawberry shortcake, strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar and there are strawberries in the freezer for smoothies. Yum! Summer is almost here! We had an early warm spell and then a couple of cold rainy storms come through over a few weeks. It looks like it will be warming up again this week. Time to stake the tomato plants and replant a cantaloupe that the snails mowed down. Oops, forgot to take preventative measures with that one.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Paragliders in Chico, CA

My Day started off badly but ended wonderfully as we had the opportunity to watch these guys pilot their gliders out over the south rim of Big Chico Creek Canyon

Here they are checking the wind and watching the birds take the thermals.

Pilot one's kite fills with wind and he makes his run for the cliff edge.

Both pilots had a nice ride down to the canyon floor.

In Memory

We lost this very dear friend today. I am very sad.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Red Tulip

I saw these tulips bursting with color at the Farmer' Market. It was a busy St. Patrick's and there were people everywhere. We are a college town so you can imagine what they were like dressed in anything green they can get there hands to.
Yawn, must go to bed and quit fighting Mr. Sandman.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dragon Lily

I've had these bulbs since 1995. Every year I forget about them because they are at my mom's house. And then I see the blooms they are just great, except for the smell which is like rotting meat on the first day they open. It is one of the carrion flowers that attracts flies with its aroma for pollination. But what a beauty. It looks like maroon velvet. For more info on this flower, visit Dave's Garden Community

Oh, and my mom's irises are nice also. I find myself out in the garden today watering and planting bulbs that have been in pots for too long. I really should be inside taking it easy. I've had "the cold," the one that grabs your chest and keeps you awake for hours coughing.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ripple Blanket

I had to join the Ripplers! I decided to use up some yarn I had for hat making over the winter. I have enough hats for the whole family. I decided to start with a small ghan until I had it figured out. I'm not sure I like the pattern I chose to work with. This is more of a gently rolling wave. Not as much as a ripple that I would have liked. That's ok though, this is just practice. But I couldn't believe what happened. I a sheet out to the front lawn and laid the blanket on it so I'd have enough light to photograph it. I went back in the house to grab the camera. As I got to the front door and looked out on the lawn what should I see. One of my favorite cats taking a pee on it! So now it's sitting in a tub of soapy water. Oh the joys of owning too many cats who like to mark their territory too much.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Handthrown Stoneware Beauties

I unloaded the kiln last night. I was so excited and nervous all day waiting for it to cool and taking a peek inside every now and then. I hadn't fired the kiln all by myself in long time so I was a little afraid that I might botch the load and that's a lot of pots to have to remake. Wow, I did a great job. I was delighted with these gorgeous hand thrown stoneware heart bowls with a red glaze. I had a lot of beautiful mugs, butter dishes, collanders, batter bowls. See the last photo for the group shot.

How is it that the cats always know? Do they just lurk around on the fringes watching our every move? No sooner had I placed this beautiful piece of fabric, perfectly draped and smoothed out on the table, and arranged the heart bowls where I wanted them, this kitty hopped up. I think he was hoping for a gourmet dish to be served up in these new bowls. Ahi tuna or perhaps caviar? I've been watching Alicia Paulson's cat antics as she makes her ripple blanket and granny squares and I can relate to their inquisitiveness. You know what they say? Curiosity got the cat.

Here is a group shot of the stoneware. These get high-fired to 2380 degrees Fahrenheit. That means they can go in the microwave, dishwasher and oven. All the good stuff and no lead, ya da ya da. This is only about a third of what I got out of the kiln. I'm planning on selling on Etsy. I don't have an account yet but I think I'll set one up real soon, maybe even today.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My orange tabby, Funny Cat

One of my best cat pals, Funny Cat. There are three short hair orange tabbies, three long hairs, two torties (orange tabby mom, silver tabby dad), plus two totally feral males lurking around that I'd like to trap and relocate. This buddy of mine catches me when I'm out in the garden, coming seemingly out of nowhere, to demand my attention and get some love. Yesterday evening during my daffodil photo shoot I found myself lying on the straw in the garden with Funny Cat on my tummy getting lots of loves and scratches. And I got to have a Funny Cat photo shoot. Then the mosquitoes started biting and when they started itching I decided I'd better get out of there. Poor Funny, He could sit on my lap all day. This is the first time I'll thank mosquitoes, though. If it hadn't been for them I might not have remembered the cakes and they would have been completely charcoal.

Aw, shucks mom, too many photos. Really, I just caught him mid-groom as he was washing his face.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Stormy Daffodil

I had great evening in spite of the fact that the two, not just one, but the two pineapple upside down cakes I was baking got pretty botched. I was busy firing the kiln and keeping an eye on it when I decided to make the cakes. One was to go to a friend and the other was for my son's birthday. First I forgot to put the pineapple and the cherries on the bottom before I poured the batter in. Then I decided to grab my camera and go out in the "mini" orchard to see how the trees were blooming. That led me to the daffodils and then to petting the cat who proceeded to demand that I sit down in the garden so he could play lap cat and get some good scratches. That of course led to a photo shoot of the cat, his name is Funny. When I finally remembered the cakes it was a bit too late. The one on the top rack was very brown, verging on black on the top. I cut into it to find out the the butter and brown sugar mix on the bottom had solidified to the extremely hard ball candy stage. The second cake was a little better but I almost didn't get it out of the pan and it left its butter sugar layer in the pan. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I think it was worth it though for this shot of the daffodil and brooding sky in the background
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chasing Rainbows

This was the view from my yard this evening about 5:00 pm. I had just come home from a delightful shopping trip in which I got completely distracted from my groceries by the quilting magazines. I also went to the hardware shop for mini blinds and got distracted in the book section reading about storage solutions and window treatments. Ideas, ideas. Then I went to Blockbuster and rented Pride and Prejudice which my son and I later had a great time watching. I hadn't seen this version before with Keira Knightly and I loved it. So did my son. What a romantic. Anyways, I was so excited by the way the light and clouds looked that when I got home I rushed the groceries into the house, grabbed my camera and raced out the door.

I couldn't let the opportunity pass so I jumped in the car and drove a few miles west towards the river to get a better view. Wow, I am so glad I did. It was incredible watching the sky progress to sunset.

As the sun started to go down, a huge rain cloud overhead let loose and I had a great time running around getting pics of the rainbow and trying to keep my camera dry. I took photos until the battery ran out. Sigh... I got to put new mini blinds in the windows, see a great sunset and watch a great movie with son while eating peach ice cream cones.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pottery or Peaches?

Really, honest, I did get into the studio and make some pottery yesterday. I was working on some form studies in porcelain. I could have taken some pictures of them but here I am again with these beautiful peach blossoms. It's raining now and sounds like it might be a wopper of a storm. I'm staying up late waiting for my son to get home from his out of town dance tonight. I'm praying everyone will get home safe. Aren't parents worry warts?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Perfectly Peachy

This is the second year for my peach trees and look how my lovely beauties are doing! I'm so happy. I can already taste the sun warmed ripened peaches and feel the sweet juice dripping down my cheeks. It won't be long now. "Summertime, and the livin' is easy..."

This is part of the miniature orchard planted the "Dave Wilson" way. I wanted to keep the trees close together and small so that I could prune and pick easily. I also have about fifteen trees. They have need to be small so that I don't get too much fruit. I just want a little bit of everything. Yum.

Speaking of yum, I baked this delicious pumpkin pie this morning. The crust is a pâte brisée. I got this recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini. The filling was a classic recipe, nothing fancy. I have a ton of winter squash still from last summer's garden. This "pumpkin" was from a sweet, large Tahitian squash. I got the seeds for this squash from a great certified organic company called Seeds of Change. I baked the squash yesterday. I just cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, placed it cut side down on a jelly roll pan(anything with sides to catch the juice) and baked it at around 300-325 degrees for about an hour and half to two hours. The idea is to cook it low and long without burning it. The longer it cooks, the more liquid bakes out, thus concentrating the sweetness. You might have to play around with your particular oven to get it right. The first two I cooked too hot and burned the skin which left a somewhat smoky flavor to the squash.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pottery Girl's Blossom Beauties

I'm still on my photo kick and watching all the almond blossoms bloom. They smell so wonderfull. I always enjoy this time of year. Walking the orchard in the warm morning sun, listening to the happy bees humming and watching all the little birds flit around from tree to tree tweeting in delight. Well, one of these days I'll have to get back to the work of creating more beautiful handthrown pottery. I pulled the glaze load out early Saturday morning, just in time for the Farmer's Market. Of course it was too early and I was too drowsy to remember to take any photos of the work. I know, I know. I guess I'll just have to glaze up some more, or dig some out of their boxes to take some pics. Either way, I'd better get cookin'. We've got a windy, rainy storm coming in on Wednessday and anything I want to get done outside, I'd better do now. Tootles, off to work I go.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Potter Girl's Day Off

We took our trip today. This was the first stop in the Feather River Canyon. It was such a beautiful day. It was forcast to be 71 degrees in Chico, Ca and was only a little cooler up the canyon.

We stopped next at one of our most favorite spots. This is the emerald pool at Rock Creek right off the highway. It's very cold, fast snow melt right now. In late July at the earliest the water calms down and is just barely warm enough to get into. Of course it's worth it with the valley heat having been in the 100's for days on end.

The mist coming off the creek and floating by in great puffs was magical.

Farther up the canyon we paused for this shot. The clouds obliged us with a great display.

Have a happy smiley evening. This arrangement is courtesy my son in the vein of Andy Goldsworthy.


This was a photo I tried to post a couple of days ago but I couldn't get it to work. I've been quite busy with the pottery this week. I loaded this kiln for a bisque firing and loaded up another kiln for a glaze firing. Both kilns have been firing away. The glaze kiln goes up to almost 2400 degrees before it's done. Today I'll take a much needed break and go for a drive through the Feather River Canyon, Highway 70 in Northern California. I hope to get some nice images. Better get some fresh batteries for the camera.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Almond Blossom Time

I took time to take a walk in the orchard next door this morning. It was wonderful. Bees were buzzing around and there were a jillion little birds fleeting about. I tried to sneak up on them but to no avail. Were's a good camera and a telephoto when you need one. The almond blossoms are just starting to pop. Last year we had a late freeze after the almonds blossomed and they were covered in ice. Hope that doesn't happen this year.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rainy Day Goodness

Mmm...Warm Polenta on a cold day. We are having the missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints over for dinner tonight. On of them has Celiac's disease and can't eat wheat. I thought corn polenta sounded great so I went to my macrobiotic cookbook for the recipe. Polenta can be kind of bland so I added a generous portion of carmelized onions and garlic courtesy my local Costco. 'm getting a head start on dinner as I have a "date" with my 17 year old son to head out to Costco for some photos that he uploaded and ordered on line. He's keeping mum but I think the photo will be a valentine gift for a young lady he is interested in.
Here it is with all the goodies, the onions and garlic, some dried basil from my garden and whole corn kernals all mixed in. What didn't fit into the pyrex went into one of our handthrown pieces as and offering to my hubby, who you know would try to steal a bite out of the pan anyway when I'm not looking. After this sets up I like to slice it up and refry it in a little bit of olive oil. I'll serve it with spaghetti squash from my summer garden, marinara sauce or pesto. I have to see what I feel like when dinner time comes around.

Well, since it's already 1:30. I'd better go out into the pottery studio and get some work done before the kid is done with school. Especially since my hubby got the wood stove roaring and it's all nice and warm and cozy in there. If I have time, I will post the polenta recipe later or maybe tommorrow morning.