Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Snuggles

This is what Sundays are all about.  Hibernation!  This is my kitty, Tiger and she loves to burrow into the blankets. Can you tell by all the fur stuck to that one.  Never buy microfiber anything if you don't want fur stuck like glue all the time!  I've been playing with Picasa and Picnik tonight and having fun in the kitchen.

I made another version of my Thai tofu tonight.  I was inspired to make this after eating at our local Upper Crust Bakery where they serve this Spicy Thai Tofu so I had to google up some recipes.  The recipes are all fairly similar and call for ingredients like spicy red peppers, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, cilantro, and a little brown sugar.  Tonight's version was pretty tasty but missing just a little zing.  I didn't have any cilantro or lime and I forgot the red pepper.  I also didn't have peanut butter so I substituted almond butter.  Then I used some lemon juice. It really wasn't quite right without the peanut flavor, but I still loved the crunch of my favorite water chestnuts.  One of these days I will actually record what I am putting into this and post a recipe.  Hmmm, haven't been to good with that in the past.  We shall see.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wednesday was such a great day that the fun was bound to end somehow and how did it.  By evening there was emotional wreckage.  No one was upset at me personally but it is still hard not to react emotionally when someone else is very upset.  So that kind of threw me in a bad mood even though I tried my darnest  to go through my affirmations, positive self talk and deep breathing.  I thought I would wake up Thursday and feel a whole lot better but not so much so.  Today I decided all I would try to get done was get out in the sun.  So I went to upper park and took a short hike, relaxed on the benches in the sun and watched all the different kinds of birds.  There were lots of pretty woodpeckers in the dead trees and these other tiny birds I think that are called titmouse.  I might have saw a warbler with a pretty yellow chest of feathers and then a small bird of prey.  I better get a bird id book so I can figure them out next time.  I didn't feel like taking the camera and then, of course, I wished I had.

I also worked on uploading rewards and information for my Kickstarter Project.  I still need to make the video and put together some images also. I should have it ready to launch next week.  Tomorrow I am making my flight reservations for North Carolina. I'd be more excited right now but I am falling asleep while I am typing.

Here's a funny cup experiment idea I was working on.  Trying to make a non-funtional mug.  I like the way the green glaze breaks over the red clay. That's all she wrote.  I'm planning on making tomorrow a better day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Celebrate Good Times!

I will preface this post by saying that I am a real person and I have lots of challenges.  Next Monday I need to go to Sacramento for a mediation conference with lawyers and claims adjusters and I am not looking forward to it.  It has the makings for an extremely stressful time.  That being said, I really do choose to try to focus on the positives. It is what keeps me going when the going gets tough.  I do a lot of deep breathing and affirmation exercises and then I rely on my friends to vent when I need to.  Dark chocolate really, really, I mean REALLY, helps too.

So now for the good stuff.  Drum roll, please.  This is the post about good and gooder, best and better, great and stupendous.  I got my last two grad school applications out in the mail today!  Yippie!  Happy dance!  Gonna have a party!

This tumbler made it into the Cups of Fire 2012 National Ceramics Competition, juried by ceramic artist, Susan Beiner.  She is a professor at Arizona State University and I absolutely love her work.  I got to see it in person at NCECA in Saint Petersburg, Florida last spring.  It is even more delicious than in pictures.  This exhibition is hosted by the Clay Gallery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They posted the juror's comments on their website which was really nice and I was delighted to read what she had to say about the work.  If you go to the home page of the website you can find a link to the gallery's Facebook page where they have posted images of the work that was accepted.  I am in some pretty good company in this show with the likes of Jim Connell, Justin Rothshank, Monica Ripley and tons more.

But wait...there's more!  The team at Kickstarter got back to me today to say that they had taken another look at my proposal.  They apologized for making a hasty previous decision and gave me an awesome compliment on some of the work on my blog.  Bottom line is I AM IN! Kickstarter, YOU ROCK!  I will be recommending you to every creative person I meet.  My proposal has been accepted so now I need to get on the ball, make a video proposal and get all the reward goodies in order. Once that's done I can make the official launch of my fundraiser, "Fly Me to Penland."  Giddy with elation does not quite describe the mood I am in right now!  And a little tired from burning the midnight oil on those applications.  Gonna take a little rest and then get to work, baby!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh Yeah!

The good news.  This mug!  I have been working hard to get this last kiln load out so I can finalize the images for my last two grad portfolios. When I saw this in the kiln I said "What the heck is that?"  Until I pulled it out and took a good look at it.  It is a complete accident.  I tried a different underglaze and the shino wasn't quite compatible.  Thankfully, I put the glaze on thin or I think it would have gotten sharp blisters all over it.  But, I hope I can repeat this as I am completely in love with it!  It is my absolute favorite of the whole kiln load.

The not so great news is that Kickstarter did not approve my initial proposal.  Hmmm...   I couldn't really figure out why but I think I may not have worded things correctly.  I asked them for feedback and am waiting a reply.  Perhaps I can give it another go.  We'll see.  Here are some more images of tonights kiln load.

Ok, gotta get these added to my portfolio and get some z's.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kickstarter Fundraiser "Fly Me to Penland"

Some of you already know that I will be going to Penland School of Crafts in March for eight weeks to work and study with ceramic artist, Kathy King. The class is titled "Looking Over Your Shoulder" and will include lessons in ceramic history, various surface decoration techniques and firing at cone 6 in oxidation and soda firings.  I can't wait for the soda firings!  I feel very blessed to be able to go to this class.  I had no way to afford the class, even with a work-study scholarship so I applied for the studio assistantship position.  And lo and behold, I GOT it!  My end of the bargain is working for 24-40 hours a week in exchange for my tuition, room and board.

The only thing my award does not cover is my travel expenses, materials costs and firing fees.  I also expect I will want to ship home some of the work I make while I am there.  In order to get the funds together I am starting a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.  Kickstarter is the most amazing program to raise funds for all manner of creative projects for artists, designers, dancers, musicians, and more.  The way kickstarter works is that participants offer rewards in exchange for the funds being donated.  These could be copies of work, limited editions, fun experiences, etc.  Tonight, a couple of minutes ago actually, I submitted my initial proposal for my project.  As soon as it is approved I will launch it and let everyone know.  I've got some wonderful rewards that I am thinking about offering so keep on the look out and start thinking about whether you and your friends would be interested in supporting my project.  Have a great weekend and stay warm and dry where here in Northern California we are finally getting rain but we are getting it all at once!

The road leading up to the main campus.

Almost there!

Yes, it really is this gorgeous here!  This is a view of the clay studio and kiln yard (middle buildings) and printmaking( in the back on the left.)  The great thing about being here is the inspiration from the surrounding landscape and the other studios where we are encouraged to do some cross disciplinary investigations and collaborate with other artists.  There are studios for glass, blacksmithing, metals and jewelry, textiles, clay, sculpture, woodworking, letterpress, and photography.  Let's see, did I forget anything?  It is just amazing and like no where else on earth!
Hope you can help out:)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Molds While the Sun Still Shines

We haven't had rain since the early rain of October.  Let me tell you it is dry, dry, dry!  Now storms are on the horizon again and we are supposed to get a good amount of rain with a number of systems backed up to come in the next few days.  So today was run around and do stuff outside day.  The rabbit got her cage cleaned out and the last of the fall leaves got racked out of the yard.  Even with the hard freeze last night I was pretty warm with all the racking and cleaning.  I thought, why not pour those molds I've had prepped for two weeks.  It was nice working outside but I forgot how much time it takes to make these things and I was pretty cold by the time I was done working.

Now that I've had a warm bowl of roasted red pepper and tomato soup I'm ready to relax and paint up some more of these flat-rimmed plates.  Hand painting underglaze is kind of tedious.  These would have been great candidates for paper stencils but when I made them six months ago I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them.  Now I want them to match the shino mugs and tumblers that I have been making.  I think these are going to look pretty nice when they are done.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Moon Over the Bay

Took my mom to UCSF Medical for an appointment today and tomorrow. After the appointment today I needed to find the closest post office so I could overnight a grad application.  While I was walking back to the car I discovered Peasant Pies.  So Yum!  I got the garbanzo with curry and it was spicy and delicious.
After a rest we got picked up by a friend and headed out to get an ice cream at Mitchell's.  This ice cream shop has been in San Francisco for 50 years and has some great flavors.  I got the cinnamon ginger snap.  Afterwords we headed up to Twin Peaks for a view of the bay.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Ho hum dee dum.

Recently another blogger (you know who you are) encouraged me to post more often.  So the past few days I have been thinking about what prevents me from posting on a more regular basis. What I notice is that I have a tendency to only post about positive things and I usually want to have a nice picture or two or three to go with my post.  Then the question becomes why do I only want to post about positive things when there is so much more that makes up my everyday life.  I'm not sure if it is because I want my readers to think that everything is perfect in my life or if it is because I am trying to paint a pretty picture for myself.  In general I really try to have a glass is half full type of outlook on life.  It takes so much energy to be frustrated, stressed, or angry at myself or others.  I would rather spend my energy being happy and productive with my creative endeavors.

However, with all these positive posts, I realize that I am not sharing the real me.  The me who gets stressed out and has problems just like everyone else.  Which brings me to today.  I am happy because I have a bisque load coming out but I am feeling quite melancholic.  I have been working to help a loved one take advantage of an opportunity and it just doesn't seem like that is going to come to fruition.  There are extenuating circumstances which are too personal to share, but suffice it to say that it is disappointing. It is hard to let go of things that maybe aren't meant to be or that the timing just isn't right for.  Even though it is not that important in the larger scheme this disappointment still feels like a loss.  I know I will get over this soon and life will get on and it probably will only take a few hours until I am back to my perky self.  For now, sorry, no cute pictures.  I just feel a little too ho hum.