Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Celebrated my birthday on Thursday night. Got some lovely presents including a box set of all the Harry Potter movies on Blu Ray. Super excited to watch these.
We were also celebrating having my son home from sea. He was away for Christmas, but back for New Year. Here's our glorious starter for the celebration meal. Looks as good as it tasted, pâté, chorizo, Parma ham, cream cheese stuffed smoked salmon, salad, herbs, melon and blue berries.



Here are some of my fabby presents;



Yes those silicon cupcake cases do have feet...ain't they cool. Looking forward to having a classic horror movie night. It's in the coolest Metal box. my Auntie made me the jam Rhubarb with ginger and Kiwi. Yummy!

I also got a beautiful tray and one of those eaty on things or lap trays.



now to get back to the knitting. Still a bootie to get finished.

More Christmas Hats

Seem to have a knitting phase going on at the moment. I've knitted several hats for various people, an almost done tea Cosy and I'm working on the cutest pair of slipper booties. I've already blogged the Zebra Hat. Here's the rest.

Owl 1




Owl 2 - It's a Hedwig hat.




Tiger hat



Snowflake hat




Tea Cosy - Not finished yet. the teapot is at work and I' m not going back until the 5th.



The slipper booties are called "Moon Socks". They're by Garn Studio. Linky

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas -22

Yeah, my favourite time of the year is almost here. I've done all my Christmas shopping and now I'm working on making some Christmas hats.
This is the first one:




P. has been busy and did another Bisque firing and for a change we've got some photos of the pre-glazed items.



I'm really excited about the frog jar. Here's hoping the yellow iron oxide comes out a nice maroon brown. Also the elephant bowl is looking really good. The inside should end up being the same colour as my mug in last blog.




The olive oil bottle is covered in a mix of oxides in slip that will hopefully end up being black - fingers crossed.
The goblet is inspired by Wassily Kandinsky Squares with Concentric Circles. Here's more of his work (my inspiration is towards the end).Love his stuff

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Pots

Oh my goodness it's going to be December before we know it. So far this month it's been getting my head round doing some Christmas shopping, which has actually been fairly successful. Think I have, just about, got everyone sorted :o)

We did another glaze firing and I do believe that P. and I are growing as potters. There are still little disasters such as finding out that the yellow underglaze we use has a tendency to bubble if it's been applied at Bisque stage. We're going to have to test it when applied at Green stage. Too little Yellow iron Oxide in the slip will just burn away and leave you with Beige. I'll show you my very, very beige baking dish.:o(




Well apart from the obvious beige issues, I'm really quite happy with the dish. It's a good size and seems sturdy. Did you see the hint of Cuckcoo rays over the base?



We're getting better in general at the glazing, didn't have any really thick bits of transparent. Things are coming out lighter, thinner and a better size. I made a teapot that will take a whole mug of tea and pours well. P. made one that do two cups of tea or a large mug and pours well too.
I finally managed to get Mum a set of goblets that work and look similar enough to be a set.

See video:

October Holidays

We had a jaunt to Uist for our October Hols. We had a great time, was really relaxing. We visited all the sites, ate some absolutely scrummy seafood and did loads of relaxing. Hoping to go again next year.
Here's the photo. Unfortunately I forgot my camera and these were all done with my phone.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Car Boot

Got up at 6am to go and set up a stall at the local car boot. It was dark, but dry when we left. By the time we arrived it was lighter, but much wetter. We carried on regardless and ended up the clearing about £50 after expenses and still came home with a full car. So I think we'll be doing another clear out and heading back around the start of October. Fingers crossed that it doesn't rain this time.

Haven't been doing much pottery lately, as P has a new placement and is busy. I did hand build a jug for my mum, but no pictures. I did get a new camera, but I keep on forgetting to use it.
So here are some pics from our first and possibly last earthenware firing. The glaze was bubbly, P didn't like the colour and we didn't really enjoy throwing with it. I did like a couple of my finished pieces though.

These are two hand build pears using double pinch pots. The larger is a sugar bowl, but could be used for mustard or jam. The smaller one is for one of those reed air fresheners.






A hand built Owl Vase. It's a little squint due to being hand built, but I do like it. He's about 8/9 inches high.




Anyway that's my weekend nearly over again. So I'm away to work on my knitted slippers, as it's getting colder up here already.
I'm doing these Bunny Hop slippers using some of my unspun hand dyed shetland fleece.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Matchless pots

I have a folksy shop :o)

Matchless Pots

It's only got a few items on it at the moment, but more will be appearing.
There are reasons behind only a few:
1. My camera broke :o( ,so I've had to get a new one. Another reason why I've been absent for a while. I really like to add pictures to my blog posts and that's darn hard when you can't take any pictures.

2. I'm not confident about how sell worthy any of my pottery is, so I've only posted up the stuff that I'm really happy with.

3. I have loads of stuff that I seem to have made for myself and I'm unwilling to part with. This though is a good thing I hope. It may mean that other people will like my stuff, or it may mean that I have no taste at all.

Anyway here is a peak at some of my Angry chickens available on my folksy store.





Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holidays

It's that time of the year again and you know what I just can't be bothered with the usual gut the house scenario. I'd like to spend my holidays not catching up on all the stuff that doesn't get done while I'm at work. I'd like to sit around drinking tea, doing crafting and relaxing. But as no one else will take the initiative and do things, then tomorrow I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get stuck in.

Within the next two weeks I want to get rid of the excess furniture I seem to have. Move the kitchen sink and get a new waste system installed. Sort out the 3 bedrooms so they are livable in and finally sort out the two downstairs rooms so that I can have a small pottery area.

Not much to ask, but when all the drive has to come from me, it's actually quite a big ask.

Anyway, so as not to focus on the depressing state of my house I've been doing some crochet (as I've mentioned) and look how my blankie is progressing....




I'm loving it and I have enough circles ready to do two more rows. Which I will be concentrating on today.

I've also just bottled 5 jars of wild raspberry jam and P. is confident that we'll get the kiln on this weekend :o) happy, happy, happy.

Now if anyone has any ideas on driving up enthusiasm for DIY, please send it my way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pots from my last class

Just had a quick gander at my blog and noticed that I haven't posted any of my finished items from the last class. OOps
So here are a plethora of finished pieces. Not sure I've found my niche. I'm still growing as an artist.

Arum, Sid and lil'yella


Skull Salt Pig





Wine Goblets - pretty, but not food safe as glaze powdery due to Kiln fault



Bumble Coffee Pot.



That'll do for now and I'm on hexagon 23 of my blanket. :O) Recon 115 or 138 hexagons for a finished lapghan.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hexagons

Broke my promise to myself to blog more often. It's my new phones fault. I've got an android phone which I just love. It has a blogger ap, which I used to write a sad blog. It then failed completely and won't allow me to open, upload or copy that blog post. I'm a bit upset about it and it stopped me from blogging trying to fix the blinking think.
Well it's been a month and it's still stuck in limbo, so I better get back to it.
I'll eventually write about the unhappy events of June, but not yet.
Anyway having a slight hiatus from pottery as P is on holiday and the kiln is loaded awaiting an extractor fan being installed. Which should happen by the end of this month.

I have been inspired to do some crochet though. A hexagon blanket to use up loads of yarn From Annie's Attic I have one hexagon already made. More to follow.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Adam Ant

Went to a gig last night. Not something I do a lot, but when I heard Adam was back on stage and was coming to a venue near me. Well I just couldn't resist.
This is how I remember him.



He now looks like this.




I'm thinking....Nae bad. he's looking a bit Johnny Depp at the moment.
Anyway the Gig was fab. Had such a good time.
Here's some video's from the tour.





Saturday, May 14, 2011

100 done or not

I found this list 100 list on a pottery blog. Seemed like fun

1. Started your own blog YES

2. Slept under the stars SURE

3. Played in a band NOPE

4. Visited Hawaii NOT YET

5. Watched a meteor shower YES

6. Given more than you can afford to charity YES

7. Been to Disneyland NOPE

8. Climbed a mountain NOPE, Big hill yes

9. Held a praying mantis YES

1O.Sang a solo YEP

11.Bungee jumped NO

12.Visited Paris YES

13.Watched a lightning storm at sea YES

14.Taught yourself an art from scratch YEAH

15.Adopted a child NO

16.Had food poisoning YEP

17.Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty NOPE

18.Grown your own vegetables SURE

19.Seen the Mona Lisa in France YES

20.Slept on an overnight train YES

21.Had a pillow fight YES

22.Hitch hiked NOPE

23.Taken a sick day when you’re not ill NOPE

24.Built a snow fort YEP

25.Held a lamb YES

26.Gone skinny dipping NOPE

27.Run a Marathon NEVER WILL

28.Ridden in a gondola in Venice NOPE

29.Seen a total eclipse NOPE

30.Watched a sunrise or sunset YES BOTH

31.Hit a home run NOPE

32.Been on a cruise YEP

33.Seen Niagara Falls in person NOPE

34.Visited the birthplace of your ancestors YES

35.Seen an Amish community NOPE

36.Taught yourself a new language YES

37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied Sometimes, but not for long

38.Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person NOPE

39.Gone rock climbing NOPE

40.Seen Michelangelos David Don't think so

41.Sung karaoke On the Wii

42.Seen Old Geyser erupt NO

43.Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant NO

44.Visited Africa Yep, Gambia

45.Walked on a beach by moonlight YES

46.Been transported in an ambulance No

47.Had your portrait painted No

48.Gone deep sea fishing YES

49.Seen the Sistine Chapel in person NO

50.Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris NO

51.Gone scuba diving or snorkeling YES

52.Kissed in the rain YES

53.Played in the mud YES

54.Gone to a drive-in theater No, but did try to.

55.Been in a movie NO

56.Visited the Great Wall of China NO

57.Started a business YEP

58.Taken a martial arts class yep

59.Visited Russia NO

60.Served at a soup kitchen NO

61.Sold Girl Scout Cookies NO

62.Gone whale watching No, Dolphin watched yep.

63.Got flowers for no reason YES

64.Donated blood, platelets or plasma YES

65.Gone sky diving NO

66.Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp NO

67.Bounced a check NO

68.Flown in a helicopter NO

69.Saved a favorite childhood toy YES

70.Visited the Lincoln Memorial NO

71.Eaten Caviar YES

72.Pieced a quilt YES

73.Stood in Times Square, on New Year's Eve NO

74.Toured the Everglades NO

75.Been fired from a job NO

76.Seen the Changing of the Guards in London Nope

77.Broken a bone NOPE

78.Been on a speeding motorcycle YES

79.Seen the Grand Canyon in person NOPE

80.Published a book Nope

81.Visited the Vatican No

82.Bought a brand new car No

83.Walked in Jerusalem No

84.Had your picture in the newspaper YES

85.Read the entire Bible No

86.Visited the White House NO

87.Killed and prepared an animal for eating YES, do snails count?

88.Had chickenpox YES

89.Saved someone’s life No

90.Sat on a jury NO

91.Met someone famous Possibly

92.Joined a book club Yep

93.Lost a loved one YES

94.Had a baby YES

95.Seen the Alamo in person NO

96.Swam in the Great Salt Lake NO

97.Been involved in a law suit YES

98.Owned a cell phone YES

99.Been stung by a bee YES

100.Read a book in one day YES, Many times.


I'm researching doing Earthenware single firing, if anyone has any knowledge to impart please send it my way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camping

I went Camping!!! In April!!!! Had a fantastic weekend up in Fortrose. It was very relaxing (read 2.5 books), spent a couple of evenings watching the dolphins off Chanery points (walking distance from Camp site), had a lovely drive up the coast through Golspie, Dornoch up to the Helmsdale area, had lunch in the grounds of Dunrobin Castle and found a couple of cool charity shops.

Dolphin Watching - so very cool.




My Sauerkraut is ready and almost half eaten already. Absolutely yummy and very, very easy to make. Going to be starting a new jar any day now.

Pottery classes have begun again. :o) I'm working on some wine tumblers for my house, a present for my Mother's birthday, plus getting some of my birds glazed and finishing off various projects from last term. No pics at the moment, but I did glaze my Skulls Salt pig the other week. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

P. bought a new kiln, it was a bargain and much closer to being ready for installation than the last one she had. So we're building and throwing as much as we can with the red earthenware clay. Kiln will take a fare bit to fill, so we need some full shelves.
Recently I've made more bowls (various sizes), tumbler, bottle, pears (using double pinch pots, they're going to be a reed incense jar and a sugar bowl), lidded pig jar, Rabbit Statuette etc etc. Can't begin to tell you how much I love working with clay. Here's a few pics of some of my red clay items. They're all Greenware, which means they haven't been fired yet.






I have a new aspiration, or maybe it's not new, maybe I have been heading this way for a while and all it took to come to the forefront of my mind was a little visual stimulation.
I wish I could share my visual stimulation with you. I found it here. Basically this is a link to a book called The Potter's Studio Handbook: A Start-to-finish Guide to Hand-Built and Wheel-Thrown Ceramics by Kristin Muller. In the first few pages it has a picture of her kitchen cupboard full of handmade tumblers, mugs, bowls, side plates and dinner plates. The Eureka moment happened and I thought...That's exactly what I want. I want to be using my pottery for my kitchen, eating out of, drinking out of, mixing in and baking in my own handmade pottery. So watch this space. So far I have a plate and a mug in general everyday use.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Red Clay

We finally managed to get a delivery of clay. OK not a delivery as such P collected it on the way back from England. We got Buff stoneware, Red Earthenware and white of each.
Now we're both fairly used to throwing and working with Stoneware, but earthenware is new to us.
Had our first go of throwing with it last night. It doesn't feel that different, seemed to stick to the hands more and being red it made an awful mess. Frankly it looked like I had been playing with Poop. :o)
Sorry no pics yet of those, I made a lidded jar, a cappuccino cup and a small bowl (for the barbie).
Today though me and the DD had a play hand building with the red clay. We made more birds, a lidded flask and she made a monkey.



Great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Look at the concentration.... Eddie was enjoying the sun too.



It's been a beautiful weekend: DD had a sleep over; We went to beach and collected seaweed and driftwood for my barbie firing; We played with red clay :o)

One small blip on the horizon though. LP has been bitten by another cat and his leg is swollen to twice the size. I'll need to take him to the vet in the morning. I have my fingers crossed that it'll just be a antibiotic shot (please, please). Poor boy is sleeping on my bed and been forced to endure getting his wound soaked in warm salt solution. He not awfully pleased by this.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Hunger Games

I don't tend to read Young Adult Fiction, but every, now and then you come across an absolute gem, well in this case 3 gems.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is just a fabulous read. Thoroughly enjoyed all 3.



Book 1 - The Hunger Games



Catching Fire




Mockingjay

Check them out.

Plus it's being turned into a movie. :o)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birds Galore

I now have 9 birds made. Four to burnish for a barbie firing and 5 that will be bisqued and then glazed. Here's a collage of the birds in various stages of Greenware. Doesn't include my first bird as you've already seen heaps of pics of him. You may see an Elvis and a Punk if you look closely.




My potter partner/best mate managed to get a load of clay, on her way back from her Easter break. So we now have heaps of clay, some Buff stoneware, some Red Earthenware and a white stoneware and White Earthenware. I have a chunk of the red home with me to make me some RED birds.

I'm now a seller on Folksy. Matchless Pots Store - Come and check it out..... Ok I know I have only 3 things for sale so far, but I didn't realise how much I had given away or personalised and kept as my own. So this are my only 3 excess, but I hope to add Birds soon. :o)
Anyway must go and eat my tastey home made Curry. :o) Oh and the Scones were a total hit, so will definitely be making more.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Handbag

I have been looking for a new handbag for ages. I not really into handbags, but they are useful for work. I didn't realise until I started looking that I had such specific idea on handbags.
Anyway I needed it to be:
Cheap - It's a tool for work and I don't actually need a new one. The old one works, but it is old and a bit worn.
Sexy - Ok not really a need, but if I'm getting a new one then I want to like it.
Big Enough - to hold all my work essentials, but not too big that I need to build muscles to haul it around.
Not Black - I wear lots of black and I want my bag not to just blend in.

Sounds easy, but it took me ages and I tried heaps and heaps of charity shops. Eventually I remembered to trawl ebay and Look at this :o)




Cost me £6.99 including delivery
I'm stoked.

So what do you think?
Do you like it?
Did I get a bargain?
Any ideas where I can get sexy purple summer wedges to wear for work?
They need to be cheap and not more than 2.5 inches high.


This weeks Scones: Toasted Coconut and Plain chocolate - These are an absolute hit. They taste good and my DD loves them with Peanut butter. Think I'll be baking them all week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sauerkraut

I feel that I managed to have quite a busy, successful long weekend. I've got Sauerkraut fermenting away in a jar. I've blocked my finished Cardigan. I've made some paperclay and started making 3 new birds with it. I've done loads of washing and I've started a new Cardigan. Whoo Hoo.

So Sauerkraut. I've often thought about making it, as I love the stuff, it's especially good on sandwiches, but for some reason it's always sounded so complicated to make and so easy to go wrong. This has now all changed for me though. On Sunday I was trawling through the blogs I read on Google Reader.

You should so get one of these if you read a lot of blogs. It holds all your blogs that you read in one place. It's obvious when you sign in which blogs have new posts on them and you can share interesting blog posts with your friends.

Anyway I found one from one of my fellow potters (ha, ha I'm calling myself a Potter now, not sure I'm quite ready to claim that title yet), where she's making a Sauerkraut Crock for her Hubbie's birthday.
This post
At the bottom it has her hubbie's favourite Sauerkraut making Youtube video. It's a fantastic video, well worth watching. Espeacially as it's the life I would like to live, but don't have the courage, money or greenfingers to do it.



After watching I thought hey that doesn't actually sound too hard. I then must of read something about making it in a jar and then I found this video.



Within 10 minutes I was down in the kitchen throwing together some Sauerkraut, using that red cabbage I had sitting, for a while, in the fridge.
In my Sauerkraut I used: Red Cabbage; Onion; garlic; Juniper berries; Caraway seeds; Brine. I'm excited. :o)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Yellow Era

OMG what can the matter be
2 blogs in so few days ain't a tragedy......

So I have more photos to show you. I have my burnished Bird, my finished Nimbus and some glazed pots!!!!

OK Mr Angry bird first.He's had his first lot of burnishing done. I may do it a bit more with the help of some olive oil. Everyone seems to like him so I'm going to make more to fire in the Barbie and some to glaze, all different sizes and shapes.




I finished by Nimbus....Finally. I've had it sitting waiting on maybe 1/2 hour of knitting to get it finished for the past month. Well I finally sat down and finished the knitting and then sewed it up. It needs some blocking to help the arms lie flat and to lengthen it a bit. Overall and pretty pleased with it.




When last term of pottery class finished, we left a glaze firing on. Our tutor Anne has started keeping a facebook page for the classes, so I've managed to get some pics of my completed items before heading back to class on the 20th.
I went through a bit of a yellow phase.
1. To try it out.
2. Because it took about 45 minutes to get the blinking thing mixed up.

I'm pretty excited about how everything turned out. Quite often I find that glazing can be the worst part of the pottery process. Not that I can't glaze, but more often as not the glazing doesn't live up to the picture in my head. This time I'm really happy, match and in some cases surpass my head pic.
This is what I ended up with: First thrown goblet; Sunshine bowl; Under the sea lidded Jar; Wee tester pot for my Art Nouveau teapot.


This has blue scragffito on the outside. I love how the flower has turned out and how the blue and yellow work together. Yeah it's chunky, but it was a first attempt at a goblet....probably only big enough for a sherry :o)



I love this bowl. Need to get a side on pic too. The outside is a deep dark black/purple. The bottom is red glass. I love how it looks a bit like the centre of the sun.



The lid needs about a 1/2 turn to the left I think, the wavy seaweed matches up from base to lid. It meant to represent seaweed waving around under the sea. The inside should be....yellow :o)(Told you yellow was everywhere).



Hmm still not too sure I've managed to capture the right glaze for my teapot. There's another arum lily on the other side it might be better. The little tester pot came out really cute though and guess what....yep it's yellow on the inside too :o)

My best mate and I have just bought (I hope) a load of clay and she's collecting it on the way back from her hols (I hope), so by Wednesday I should have plenty to play with...Fingers crossed.
Here's to more birdies :o)