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.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The first rainy day in weeks and weeks. This is the view outside my living room window. My messy pottery studio yard blurred in the background. With the rain it is a good excuse to stay inside and update my blog, Flickr, Wunder Photos, etc. And a good excuse to not clean the yard.

Oh, but I did finish piecing the quilt top and I did finish cleaning the collanders. But I got way distracted in my husbands storage unit out in the yard. I went out there for just one thing. Two hours later, the hubby asked me if I had remembered to make a phone call. Oops. But I did find some papers he needed buried under mounds. It was like an archeological dig.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One Busy Day

Ah, this is the way to end a busy day. I got a lot accomplished. Since I really do make pottery I thought I ought to actually post a picture of some of the work in progress as well as some of my other activities of the day.

Here are some berry bowls upside down so the foot of the bowl dries without cracking. I stil have to tidy these up before they go into the kiln.

This is my garden supervisor, "Funny" cat. Also my mascot on my flickr page. The cats, I have 8, give or take the few ferals that wonder in from time to time. They all use to be ferals until they decided that being lap cats was the better way to go.

My cold frame that I put some seeds in on January 25. I have snow peas, sugar snap, spinach, and hibiscus. Most are already sprouting. Yeah, spring and then summer will be here before you know it. Of course it has been a strange winter. Hardly any rain. Lots of freezing cold nights and frosty mornings. The fruit trees will love it. Today it was so nice at noon that I had to put shorts and a t-shirt on while I worked in the rose bed. It actually seemed balmy tonight but we do have a change in the weather pattern and it is finally suppose to rain tommorrow.

A view of the winter garden. Onions, kale, collards, garlic and some sorry looking statice that froze. I can see some green under all that brown so I think they'll come back fine.

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Fifty" cat and the quilt squares

I finally got around to piecing together some of the quilt squares for the humanitarian aid project I'm working on. Of course the cat had to take up his usual post at the end of the sofa. He is supposed to be sleeping in the cat bed I made him. He'd rather leave his fur here for us to sit on. Besides, he matches the sofa.