Monday, July 15, 2013

Quiet on the blog means busy in our house

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Lots of priming, painting, and all that trim we cut that needs primed and painted.  It seems I wear my painting clothes daily.

Friday, June 28, 2013

{this moment}

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bathroom remodel

I feel like we have been stuck in the bathroom forever.  I guess that is why I was dreading it for the last year and half. Untitled

We ran into a little problem.  The shower head was in the wrong place and we had to call the plumber to come back out and move it up.  I finally got all the drywall up and patched and sanded. We celebrated by starting the floors.  The plan was to rip out the 2 layers of vinyl and then put down the new vinyl tiles on top of the 1/2 inch subfloor that was there.  Once the old floor was pulled however we noticed that the subfloor was in bad shape. It looked like the toilet had some issues and leaked.  That meant removing the plywood and while the person that installed the drywall skimped on screws.  The person who put down the floor was a strong believer in screws every four inches.

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Our youngest came to help having done this job before and this time he came armed.  A strong magnet from his collection.  He would run it over the floor and it would stop at any screws covered by wood putty.  It worked so well that while it took most of a day to free the plywood it was much quicker then the hallway we did that same thing in.

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Now we are back to the original boards and they are pretty rough shape.  Solid, but lots of gaps for a bathroom.  The new plan is to place 1/4 inch subfloor down and then place the new tiles down.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

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We were so busy on Father's Day, we had planned on going out to the lake in the afternoon and then grilling in the evening. Before we could go however my Love had some work to do and I finished up the tile in the tub surround in the bathroom. Tried to finish it.  I ran out of thin set on the last two rows.  I only need a tiny bit more but I had scraped the bucket clean. So we ran up to the only hardware store that is open on Sunday and found some. Then we took a load of construction debris to the dump.

Finally we made it out the door to the lake. We parked at a new area and found the Dog Beach.  We knew dogs weren't allowed on the beach so we never bring the dogs, but we had no idea they had a separate little beach for them. I'm so excited for the dogs!

We stayed a little while watching the big waves, and the clouds then headed home to grill. The meat eaters had Flank Steak with Lime Marinade and I had Portabella mushrooms with the same marinade. So good with a side of Santa Fe Black Bean Salad. I very good, busy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bath Remodel Update

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Some cool peeling paint from our original plaster ceiling.  Last patch of plaster in the house.  It was covered up a few days ago.

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I feel like I spent the whole day in this closet!  Why do closets have so many corners?  My love spent the first part of the day in there with me after I cussed out the drywall up high.  I'm too short to drive in the screws through the wood paneling, then the plaster and then the bricks? Lucky for me, he came in and asked what he could do to help.

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Then I spent the rest of the day taping and mudding the closet. Each corner needed some special corner tape.  I bought a new kind that didn't have metal strips, we'll see how it holds up.

The plumber is supposed to be coming tomorrow to install the new shower valve and then we can start tiling the shower/bath area.

I finally got out of the closet and we went for a beautiful mountain bike ride in the woods. It was great except that it's bug season already and the mosquitos tried to eat us alive. We were armed with spray though.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the Studio

Ceramics life is complicated. I learned a long time ago never to expect anything to turn out right, because it hardly ever will. I knew after the Bisque firing that my trays were in trouble. For some reason (possibly a thick application) the underglaze were chipping off and flaking. I tried to chip off the pieces that were peeling up and recoated it. As I expected the touched up areas were no good, but after the glaze firing other spots were fragile and chipping off. Let me tell you splinters of fired glaze are like shard of glass in your hand.

 These trays were a great starting point, but sadly they will be destroyed. One of the best things to do with pieces you don't like is to hit them with a hammer. It's quite freeing and good for when your frustrated. It just doesn't make sense to keep things that are no good. Untitled Untitled
 I did have a few pieced come out okay. Nothing to jump up and down about but a few cups are the right size and weight in hand with less then pretty colors. I love how the glaze/ design on this one turned out but is slightly large in my hand and has some rough spots in the glaze.cup
 All in all a great learning experience. I have restocked on underglazes and now know the clear glaze over the underglazes works perfectly. So from here it's all about perfecting it.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Bathroom remodel

Four hours round trip and we now have most of what we need to do our bathroom remodel. We are just awaiting the poor UPS man to bring our flooring and the pedestal sink. While a 4 hour drive seems ridiculous just to get to the nearest home improvement box store it can also lead to interesting family conversations at towards the end of the drive a whole lot of teen/kid goofiness. The scenery along the way was as always beautiful, forest and lakes, more forests and more lakes. Untitled Untitled

Friday, June 07, 2013

{this moment}

Untitled {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

In the Studio

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The clay co-op's kiln is loaded and will be glaze fired this weekend.  As always when firing, hopeful that all will turn out well.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Garden

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Things are really starting to grow around here with our longer days.  We wish it would warm up to go with the extra sunlight however.  I noticed the peas Tall Telephone peas from Baker Seeds were starting to poke out of the ground and take off.  These are supposed to grow 6 feet or more with support and we didn't have any support.

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So spying some scrap wood and our roll of chicken wire I got to work.  On our walks around the neighborhood I saw someone else had a vegetable support that went up and then over the edge of their garden to extend their growing space.  Great idea.

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Now that I have made this however I think I will need to make another one that is taller since pea tend to grow more upright and I can move this one to the squash.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

It's warm grab the beach bag!

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The great thing about homeschooling is knowing the temperature will be over 80 on a Thursday and being able to declare it a beach day. It's been so cold and rainy this spring that we were all excited for a touch of summer.  We drove the hour to our favorite sand beach and found it totally empty.  We were pleasantly surprised that the temperature held at the shore.  It's quite common to have it be 20 degrees cooler at the shore then in town.

The wind was perfect for our kite, and the sand felt great on our toes. Our youngest even took his ceremonial first dip in the freezing cold lake. As we collapsed on our porch in the evening to watch some thunderstorms, we decided any day that left us with sand in out toes is a good day.

Friday, May 31, 2013

{this moment}

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the Studio

Work on the home studio has stalled out. We are working on a new rhythm for the summer with my Love home more from work, which always throws us a curve ball. Throw in construction on our street, ripping the road out, heavy machinery going up and done the street and some mornings the work starting at 6:30 am! Really? No one should have a loader going up and down their street at 6:30. Anyway, it's kinda chaos.

But planning is happening. Clay orders being made up. Table plans drawn up and wheel fixing in the works.

At the clay co-op I've been cleaning out the reclaim bucket and drying out all the clay to transport over to a pugger. So we will have freshly de-aired clay at the co-op.

After that gets done I will try to get up there more often to work on my new designs.
In the Studio

In the Studio

Saturday, May 18, 2013

In the Studio

We determined that we need a utensil jar instead of the two drawers we are currently using to store our stuff. So here are two I am working on. I'll be bisque firing this weekend and I think there will be a glaze firing next weekend. Then we'll see if these work out.

*edited to update.  The blue piece was lost in the kiln.  It was too wet when I fired and while I thought I was going slow enough to dry it out, I guess it didn't.  It shattered into a bizillion pieces. The back piece made it though the bisque though.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our Lake







The weather is warming up and that means trips to see our lake.  The family went one evening together and we found more beach glass in that one trip then I have collected so far living here.  Spring is awesome.  My youngest and I did not want to leave but since we have a pair of teens in the house who are not into just sifting through rocks at the beach we had to leave. So the next day I took the youngest back out just the two of us.  It was a glorious day, it was 73 when we left town but as we pulled up to the shore the temperature plummeted to 53.  The sand was warm and so were the rocks so it wasn't to bad in shorts. 

We look forward to many days out at the lake this year.

My hands

My hands a photo series about the things I do.

Friday, May 10, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

In the studio

I've been playing around with an idea and really feel good about these trays.

I hope they make it through the firings. Today I had to destroy two pieces due it plaster contamination in the clay body.




I've gotten the home studio painted and now we are moving on to wheel repair. I see a trip to buy clay in our future.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Spring!

It's melting!!!







The garden spots are melted and now I need to determine whether to go ahead and plant (we are behind on the planting calendar) or if we should expand the beds. There are only three little ones. We got out the BBQ and used it twice this week. The first time I had to walk on 8 inches of snow to get out to it, slipping and sliding. We are so happy Spring is here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Project

I think spring is finally on the way!
We have 60's forecasted for the next three days.
That means projects galore!
Plastic coming off windows. Windows flung open, even though it's hardly 50 degree's! Furniture re- arranged for summer breezes. Luckily for me it means a remodel of our upstairs kitchen into a clay studio.




I love that door, it really needs to be red though.
So since I'm not very good at before pictures here goes. There is a little work that has to be done on the actual room. So ceiling patching and painting. Besides that I need the ahem weather to cooperate so I can dig out my pottery wheel out of the shed. That is going to need some loving because it is currently in pieces. Then I will have to make the call to order clay myself and pay the astronomical shipping (ever try shipping 500 pounds of something?) or driving the six hours to pick up the order and the family having fun on the way. That would mean it would actually cost more to get the clay home but be way more fun!

Friday, April 19, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Monday, April 08, 2013

Spring?



Our baby tomatoes are looking good! We just transplanted them into bigger pots and very soon I will have to raise the lights over them.  The Cabbage also looks awesome, lettuce and kale not so much. We learned not try to start seeds in toilet paper tubes.  They all looked sickly and I threw them away. I am itching to get going in the garden, which has a LOT of work left just to get it ready for planting. Like building a new raised bed and clearing rocks to make new beds.  None of which can be done because we still have over three feet of snow in the garden!  

It did melt enough that we found the peach tree!  It had be covered by snow for about a month.  It is leaning over quite a bit so my Youngest helped it out a little to stand more upright.  It already has some little buds on it.  Come on Spring!

Instead this is what we get today. More snow, giant, fluffy, pretty flakes! It snowed four more inches this weekend and so far today we have two more. Our forecast isn't promising either. Out of the 10 day forecast 5 of those include snow and not a single temperature over 40. Hard to believe my Love with be on summer break in five weeks.