Friday, November 27, 2015

taking a breath

What day is this?

It's crunch time here and the pressure is on. And throwing a holiday in the middle of it wasn't helping.

The magnolia leaves are in the kiln, the little bee cast well enough to use (the broken plaster bit stayed in place!) and I did the finish work on it and got it stuck in the wax flower (which btw, remind me never to do again since it was NOT less work or easier and took way more time), the lizard with ginkgo leaves came out great and I've started on the finish work, the day lily mold is on the back burner as I need to order some frit for it, I cut a stencil for a door panel for a wine room with a simple grape design and need to get in the shop and clean it up and seal it as the guy is coming for it today, been taking the puppy for more walks since she is not allowed out except on a leash and two chihuahuas that live down the street are as determined to get to her as she is to let them. I still have to finish the wax flower and get it sprued up and ready for it's mold though since the open house starts next Friday, there is no way it can be finished in time but it won't stop me from trying. And I'm driving into the city later today to pick up all three grandgirls to spend the weekend (we could have brought them home with us except the twins have to work today).

 got the grinding of excess glass done, still need to do the finish work on the surface

Minnie's would-be little fuckers

And then there was Thanksgiving. My daughter hosted the family at her house again this year. I got up yesterday morning and started peeling potatoes while I had my coffee. My contribution to the meal was scalloped potatoes and the family recipe for dressing which took nearly all damn day. Didn't get the dressing in the oven until just before 3PM. Had my lunch, walked the dog, cleaned up the kitchen, packed up the food, and napped a little on the drive in. We had dinner late as the grandboy didn't get off work til 6. Got to have a long visit with the Boy and DIL whom we don't see very often and I didn't take a single picture but it was so nice to have the whole family together sitting around one table.

What I haven't been doing is having time to visit my friends in blogland and keeping up with y'all. And that's not likely to change this next week as I get ready for the Open House so I'll just have to catch up with everyone downstream.

orange cosmos and rose in the side garden

Monday, November 23, 2015

molds and heat (and I ain't talking about the kiln or the weather)

Spent Friday and Sunday over in the shop messing with molds. Got the lizard piece filled and it and the bee went in the kiln Friday evening and got two of the magnolia leaf molds filled. Headed over to get the last one done later. They'll go in the kiln in a day or so. 

Saturday, of course, was my day of forced inactivity and human interaction at the antique store and I was stuck there all day with no internet! Managed to live through it anyway.

The only other thing that is happening around here is that the puppy is in heat. She does not understand why she is no longer a free range puppy, not allowed out in the big yard or the big wide world without being on a leash. She thinks she has been a bad puppy though I tell her often she is a good girl. And while she stuck to me like glue previously, now she is very clingy. OK, this too shall pass. I wasn't expecting this to happen for at least another 6 – 8 weeks as she is only about 7 1/2 months old but the day after I called to make the appointment with the vet to get her fixed a week ago (and they didn't have an opening until mid-December), she started bleeding. Great. Apparently it can happen starting around 7 months and little dogs tend to come into heat sooner than big dogs.

I have been letting her run free in the acre and a half over at the shop because that yard is fenced but yesterday she kept going over to the side with our neighbor who has three big dogs and getting them all riled up so I finally put her on the leash and clamped it to the table where I was working. The last thing I need is for Cary's dogs to find a way in the yard. As it happened, it was a good thing I had her on the leash because a little while later, a small black dog came to the gate and started barking like mad. Minnie stood up, strained at her leash and trembled (and I'm pretty sure it wasn't with fear) while she barked like mad back. Dog can't get in, right, so I didn't pay much attention. Next time I looked up the little would-be fucker was trying to squeeze his way through the gap between the gate and the post where it was bent and he was halfway through!

Oh no! Oh HELL no!

I charged down the drive at that little dog as he struggled to free himself and run off and I think I pulled a muscle in the same leg cause now I have an ache in the back of my thigh and butt.

Well, just had to chase that little fucker off again. Fuck. Now I can't let her out in the fenced Little Backyard at home unattended either. Poor thing. Guess I'll have to get a longer leash so she can sit out in the sun while I work over at the shop.

Ma!  Let me out!  My boyfriend is here!

Friday, November 20, 2015

pretty in pink

I plan to fill molds today, the lizard with ginkgo leaves for sure and maybe one or more of the magnolia leaves. I filled the little bee mold yesterday that I want to cast as an inclusion in another flower piece similar to the one I did last year but halfway through I managed to break a piece of the mold. First time ever that I have done that. Or maybe second. I went ahead and finished it and we will fire it because I am eternally optimistic. That loose piece of plaster is going to stay in place and not float around and ruin the bee. Or not.

Apparently I didn't take a picture of the finished model of the lizard.

I think I'm going to start on the next body of work after I finish these little pieces for the open house which I have been referring to as '9x9' (unless of course the small animal hospital job funding comes through in which case it will be a couple of months before I get back to it). I was thinking 9 groups of 9 with a common theme like feathers or the moon or fungi. I've reconsidered that whole idea since it took me almost three years to finish the 20 botanicas. Whatever gods that be only know how long it would take me to do 81 pieces! So now I'm thinking I will do much smaller groupings, like 3, 4 or 6, and maybe not even 9 sets.

So this is what is going on around here this week and what the title refers to.

The only other thing I've been doing besides model making and filling molds is simultaneously trying to ignore the bigots and confront them with their bigotry at the same time. More on that later. Maybe.

Oh! One other thing. I did go to the doctor about my torn hamstring and he examined me and nothing he did produced any pain and his recommendation was just to go about my business as usual, no physical therapy, and if I do something that causes it to hurt then to stop doing that thing. So I went to yoga class Wednesday and made it through the whole session with no problem. He did say it would take 6 weeks to heal properly and probably a year to regain it's former strength.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

a loud pop is not what I wanted to hear

I don't know if I've mentioned that I have been going to a yoga class twice a week. Not the same one as the first part of this past summer. That was Rose but since her husband was going to school at U of H, they moved to Houston. The class I've been going to is in El Campo which is about 15 miles further down the highway. It took me a while to get used to Abby's style and particularly because she ends each class with a christian prayer. Personally, I prefer silent meditation and thanks for our blessings, not being a christian, so I've learned to tune that part out while I think my own thoughts.

Abby teaches in a very small gym, only three machines, a set of weights, and boxing stuff. She has a sling that hangs from the ceiling and she does some work in the sling though not as part of the class. Except for the last two classes. Actually, before class. Last Monday, she showed us how to do a split in the sling by supporting your weight with the handles and your arms. I didn't try it but one of the younger women in the class did. And then on Wednesday, Abby asked if anyone wanted to work on their backbend in the sling and showed us how to do that so I figured I would try it out.

The back bend was no big deal but then I wanted to try the split so I got in position and stretched my right leg out in front, no problem. Then I switched and put my left leg out in front, and just as I was flexing to pull myself up and out of the split, I heard a loud pop and felt a sharp pain. Needless to say, I did no yoga that night.

Once home and consulting the All Knowing Oracle, I learned I have a torn hamstring. So for the last three days (and through the weekend) I have been RICEing it (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and for as loud as the pop was, it really hasn't been painful since that first night. I can walk OK with no pain as long as I don't overdo it or get twisty. Even so, I have been using a crutch or a cane to assist to keep my weight off of it and I guess I have weeks, maybe a couple of months of recovery and strengthening ahead of me.

I got no sympathy from my daughter who called me a show off.

Well, one good thing, it has kept me working on models which is good since I heard from our glass blowing friends that yes, indeed, the open house is going on.

Currently working on this one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

same song, different verse

I've been busy and fairly single minded. Still working on these waxes and small castings. I haven't heard from our glass blowing friends about whether or not there will be an open house in December. When I spoke to Kathy weeks ago she was uncertain. They still had not been able to get in the studio and turn the furnace on. They haven't quite emerged from the turmoil that has been their lives for the last couple of years. A fellow glass artist who also participates says they are planning it though so I'm trying to see what I can get done in the way of small castings between now and then. Not much time though, 22 days. And still no funding on the small animal hospital job but they did send me some new images.

Because of the above, I haven't had time to post much and this isn't much of a post so I'll pad it with some miscellaneous pictures.

 green lacewing eggs on the glass of the storm door to the Little Backyard

 bumblebee foraging in a confederate rose

 the totems illuminated up by the rising sun

 green frog on the storm door to the Little Backyard

 the dog thinks shoulders and arms are for standing on

I've been chasing wrens out of the house lately

 the magnolia bud and baby seed pod casting, cleaned, finished, and ready to be affixed to the wax leaves

 the spring iris are emerging and this one speared a maple leaf

the yellow butterfly ginger liked the rain

Saturday, November 7, 2015

doing what I don't do

I don't do commissions in the pate de verre. That said, I'm doing a commission in the pate de verre. So, for the better part of last week, well, for the better part of the last two or three weeks, I've been working on model making though for the last week I've been working on a day lily flower as a gift for someone. A friend of hers contacted me months ago...months!...that she would like to purchase one of my small bowls for this person who has told her how much she loves my work. Of course, I didn't have any of the small bowls and you might remember earlier this year when I agreed to make three for the gallery show in Florida that I swore...swore!...I would never do one of them again. And I'm not. But, I did agree to make a piece for this person however it would be something that I was currently doing. Hence the flower, a ming porcelain day lily, one of her favorites.

As it turns out, the person the gift is for also happens to be the person who I have known the longest in my life outside of family, which is the only reason I agreed to do it. And by longest, I mean my whole life. We were born 6 months apart to mothers who lived on the same block and we became childhood friends and while years will go by with no contact, we always manage, so far, to reconnect. And because it is for Anne is the only reason I agreed to do the commission. It was supposed to be for her birthday which was last month. She might get it for Christmas.

I won't go into the details of Anne's life. Suffice to say that she should have died several times over. The most recent life threatening ailment required a heart transplant. She had to live with an artificial heart pump for months before she got her new heart and she has become a source of support and advocacy for others in the same situation. Hence the request for the gift.

Now it's ready to have the mold made.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

more rain

A week ago we had 28 hours of near constant rain from the giant storm Patricia, the biggest baddest hurricane on record that fell apart the minute it hit land. We didn't suffer any flooding here but some of the low spots by the bayous in the city did. I noticed that the river here has been about halfway up its banks all last week. Last Friday evening it started raining again and didn't stop till about noon on Saturday and while we did get some hard rain on Saturday morning, it was mostly moderate as we were on the edge of the storm. A friend who lives in a dot of a town a little south of here got 8”. This storm came with high winds though causing the trees and shrubs to thrash around for quite a while.

The tall lanky morning glory bush both here at the house and the one over at the shop was laying prostrate on the ground but not uprooted for which I am thankful. I raised the branches back up, propped them up with stakes and bricks and tamped the earth back down around its base. Had to straighten the little banana tree up too. And pick up the three pots of plumerias that had blown over. The ginger though just soaked it up.

There is nothing to be done for the tall fall blooming orange cosmos. They are all flat on the ground and that's where they will stay.

I usually work in the yard all day on Sundays, weather permitting which it is not today. Far too wet to do anything out there besides dump the water out that has collected in the various totems. If I was a good housekeeper I would spend the day dusting and cleaning. But I'm not so I'm not. Today I am going to fill the mold for one of the pieces I'm working on and maybe continue work on another model that I'm doing, a piece as a gift for a friend.

You might remember the magnolia pieces I wrote about previously. I finished all the wax models and the flower bud and baby seed pod that were set up for their mold has had the mold made, the wax now just a layer floating on top of the water in the pan. This will be the first mold I have filled since last February.