Wednesday, August 31, 2022

rain, Pig, work, different toe

We're getting little bits of rain just about every day. Doesn't generally last longer than 10 or 15 minutes though today it rained lightly for about two hours. My grocery shop day got moved to Monday so I didn't get over to the shop and after lunch it was raining. I checked the radar and it showed El Campo was getting hammered and shortly after that Abby texted canceling yoga so Marc and I watched a movie late afternoon.

I'm a Nicholas Cage fan. People seem to either love him or hate him because, I guess he's not real picky about the movies he does. He'll do anything that seems interesting because he likes to work, often filming several movies during a single year. So we were trolling through Hulu, seeing what they had to offer and saw this Cage film...Pig. Pig, that's the name of it. This movie is a tragedy, as in comedy/tragedy. Cage plays Rob, an emotionally broken man, a man of few or no words, ragged, dirty, unkempt, who has turned his back on society and life, living alone off the grid in the PNW in a small cabin in the forest making what little living he needs by hunting truffles with his pig, his only companion, and exchanging what he finds with Amir who brings him canned goods, batteries, and whatever else. One night, two people bust into Rob's cabin, knock him out, and steal his pig. Rob walks to the nearest establishment, calls Amir and conscripts him to help recover the pig. Truffle hunting is a competitive business and Rob and Amir are pulled back in to Rob's old life in their effort to track down who has his pig. As I said it's a tragic story, and not just for Rob. Amir has his own story. I don't want to tell you much more about the movie. I really liked it and recommend it. Pig on Hulu.


I glued the feet on the box last Saturday giving the glue two days to cure so yesterday I got the final bit of grinding done working on the feet so that the box sits level side to side and front to back and doesn't wobble and the feet are flat on the bottom. Now all that need be done is decide how I want it to look. I used oil paint to lighten up the raised ridges on the brain coral and I'm really happy with how it looks now. I've decided to put the three bigger corals loose in the box. The two smaller ones won't get used at all, I was less thrilled with those anyway.

I intend to employ paint on the inlay to give it some shading/variation and the feet so they aren't so stark. And then come up with the final arrangement of the coral pieces on the top and get that all glued down. So maybe another week and It'll be finished. It won't take a week of work but I usually only get about 2 hours a day except on weekends and not every day of the week.

I thought I broke my toe yesterday. I was walking around the radial arm chop saw which is sitting on the concrete cause that's where I used it last and even though I was wearing sandals I kicked the corner of it with the middle toe on my left foot. It's purple and a little swollen and hurts. How does that even happen? Not the big toe (thankfully since that's the one with no toenail) and not the pinky toe but the one in the middle. Still purple and a little swollen but doesn't hurt as much.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

redesign, treason, and finally!

The days are getting away from me, I've fallen out of pocket. AWOL from reading blogs but I'll be back. Right now I'm trying to finish the box and the book I'm reading before the one next in line has to be returned to the library.

Well, here at the end I'm completely changing my mind about the top to the coral reef box. I've never been completely happy with the small corals on the top. I think it's the difference in scale that bothers me so much especially now that the feet are attached and still don't like the rock bases I built them on. So now that my coral pieces have come I'm reverting to my original vision which was coral pieces on the top. So what am I going to do with the little glass pieces I made? I could put them inside. I can arrange the five corals to fit snugly on the bottom inside. I could glue them in place but then no one would ever see them unless they took the top off and looked. Or I could not glue them in and if there is a buyer, they can decide whether to leave them in the box or take them out. Or I could just keep them for some future project. The little crab may or may not still be nestled among the broken coral pieces on the top. Also not real happy with the inlay, I should have done some shading with the colors, and the feet are so stark, may have to employ some oil paint. At any rate, the next picture I post is going to be very different.


Presidential Alert”, “Urgent Alert”, “Action Needed”, “News Alert”, “Poll Update”, “Breaking News”, etc. I'm being inundated with political emails asking for money which have been increasing the closer we get to the mid-terms. I've been getting 12 - 15 a day, maybe more, via two email accounts and text messages lately. I've gotten on these lists because I will occasionally sign a petition even though I know those things don't really do any good or a request to answer a survey or do you support President Biden and his agenda, etc. If you reply to any of these emails or texts it sends you to a site requesting a donation. Just $5! Just $3, can you give $3? Being on a limited income, we don't send money to politicians, when we donate money it's to organizations like the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. If I was to give even $3 to everyone that asked on a particular day, say 10, that's $30 a day, $210 a week. Now I'm getting emails to 'activate' my membership in the Democratic party. Apparently someone noticed I'm not registered as a Democrat. My affiliation is as an Independent and I plan to keep it that way even though I don't vote Republican.

The good news is that the media and pundits are no longer assuming a GOP takeover of the House and Senate. The demise of Roe, the J6 hearings, and now the revelations that Trump is being investigated for espionage if not treason and has undermined our national security, very possibly being the reason so many of our spies and covert agents have been killed or captured or compromised in the months during which Trump had possession of those confidential and top secret documents that he kept unsecured and, we know now, that boxes of those documents traveled with him to other nations, even those of our adversaries. How many copies has he made and sold? How many copies does he still have hidden away? And he may very well have been sharing them as president. Still the GOP, the MAGA Republicans, support him. Add to that the Biden administration's success in passing legislation that benefits the country and middle and working class Americans instead of the 2% and corporations
, legislation that the majority of Americans are in favor of, and Republicans voted against nearly 100% and are still blocking legislation that Americans want. Perhaps the majority has had enough.


If you've been following me for anytime at all you know I have a Dresden porcelain chandelier. It was in my parent's bedroom growing up and I claimed it after my dad died and my mother moved to Washington state to live with my brother. I hung it above my dining room table in the Houston house with its 10' ceilings. We sold that house 8 years ago and it's been hanging under a 6' ladder for all that time. I only have 8' ceilings here and I was afraid that it would hang too low over the table here. Well, believe it or not I finally got it hung. I had Rocky hang it in the dark corner of the big workroom/studio in the house. Now I have to remember where I put the little flame shaped light bulbs for safe keeping. If I can't find them then I have to go to a light bulb store because the base needed is the same as for those little night light bulbs.

I think today I'm going to have to take the trimmer for a spin. The little backyard is woefully overgrown, it was overgrown before but just shot up after all that rain, as well as the edges of all the flower beds. The tall grass and weeds are excellent cover for the mosquitoes that also liked all that rain.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

getting there

That rain Friday and a short burst on Saturday brought us some cooler temperatures, a few days in the low 90s and this week highs in the high 80s! Still humid though and more rain predicted. One thing about the no rain and high temps, we haven't had mosquitoes at all this summer. That may be about to change though since we got more rain last night and this morning.

I headed over to the shop Sunday after our late morning breakfast/brunch. We skip lunch on Sundays since we eat our first meal so late and then have an early dinner. What that means is that I have a large block of uninterrupted time to work. My goal for the day was to fit the inlay of coral on the front of the box. It took about 4 hours but I got it done faster than I thought it would take with that curvy undulating edge. I eventually had to go get a lamp and my 200% magnifier glasses to get the last bit of fine tuning done switching out to smaller and smaller diamond grinding bits. Look close to see where it's hanging up, grind the spot for a second, check the fit, pick another spot, grind for a second, check the fit, over and over. Now I have to pare down the sides and bottom of the inlay so it's flush with the sides and bottom of the box. You might remember I made it a little larger to ensure that it would be the right size. I probably didn't need to do that, just made more work for myself. Once that's done then I can fit the feet, polish the box and whatever else needs it. Really getting close now.


I didn't get over there at all on Monday. Since I had to get cat food I went ahead and did the week's grocery run instead. Yesterday I did a little more fine tuning on the inlay and pared down the sides and bottom so they are now flush with the sides and bottom of the box and started on fitting the feet starting with the two in the back. One is done, the second perhaps is acceptable. I've decided I'm not quite happy with the top, I'd like to see some extending over the side edges so with that in mind, too late to make a wax model of something I don't have a clear image of and cast it so I'm going to sort through my bag of coral pieces when it gets here and see if I can incorporate some of those. If not, well, then it will be as is.

I think these will be the last pictures until it's completely finished.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

careful what you wish for


Friday - We started getting some rain, real rain, Thursday night. Rained hard enough for long enough that there was standing water on the side of the house but none in the ditch. No problem, it will soak right in. Then another bout of rain around 6 AM this morning for an hour or so. And then it started raining again about 9 AM. Hard. And it's been raining hard mostly since and at 11 AM we are surrounded by water and the ditch in front is flowing. This is the west side of the house where my stepping stones are almost all underwater. 

The houses' yards at the other end of the street were completely underwater, not up to the door but spittin' distance. The part of my house on pier and beam I'm not concerned about but the part on slab worries me. I really need to dig some drain channels to the ditch or bring in some topsoil for the lowest areas or both. Of course I think this every time it rains hard for hours and then when it stops I never follow up. Noon and it's still raining but not hard, the kind farmers like that just soak in instead of running off. Needless to say I didn't get over to the shop today. Even if I had wanted to drive across the street to the door in the pounding rain the noise would be deafening on the metal roof. More rain predicted for tomorrow but I think we've got the worst of it today.

There's a frog outside my window, not a little tree frog and not a big bullfrog but a big frog that I only ever see in my peripheral vision as it leaps away when I'm poking around in the foliage in the little backyard. That fucker is loud!

It finally stopped raining sometime between 1 and 2 PM. My funky little rain gauge showed 5 3/4” so almost 6” in less than 24 hours.

CleoCat is recovering just fine from her visit to the vet. The first time I forced her into the carrier when I took her in for a general check-up, she howled and tried to claw her way out all the way there. This time there was no getting her in the carrier, she fought and ran off. I finally dragged her out from under the bed, threw the dog blanket over her while Marc took the top off the carrier and I plunked her blanket wrapped struggling self in and slammed that top back on and had a hell of a time getting it latched in place. And then she was fine. Meowed a little on the drive but none of that frantic let me out shit.

Saturday – Ugh. 5 o'clock and I am whupped but I got the excess off the bottom of the box, flattened the top rim, and removed the rest of the excess on the inlay. No picture because visually the box and the inlay wouldn't show any real difference from the last pictures I posted. So now it's down to the fine tuning of fitting the inlay and the feet and doing whatever polishing needs to be done and then gluing it all together. I ordered the bag of dead coral pieces yesterday that will go inside when it's all done.

Here's a close up of the yellow rain lilies which yesterday's rain beat into mush.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

no success on the one hand but the box is coming along

My great niece is getting married the end of September. It's in the afternoon and dress is not casual but not dressy either. So Pam, the grandmother, and I went to a mall yesterday to try and find some nice dresses, something above shapeless wear around the house but below cocktail, plus we didn't want to spend a lot of money for dresses that would probably only get worn once. OMG. Needless to say we came away empty handed. The selection was dismal and everything was that stretchy synthetic slinky jersey which does our 70+ year old bodies no favors and the majority of everything was black or navy or orange large print and/or ruffled. If we wanted cocktail or formal, lots to choose from but a nice day dress, not so much. Pam found one dress that she liked enough on the hanger to bother trying on and, um, no. 

We passed one shop, several actually, that had some questionable garments. Like this.

I hate to call it a dress, well, actually I called it a 'fuck me' dress. If it was an inch shorter there would be no secrets, baby come on in, the door's open. How do you sit in something like that or bend over or even squat without showing off everything that's not already exposed? Or this one, the front of which had the entire midriff exposed.

Or the one I didn't take a picture of which was a top and long pants both of which were completely sheer. And, you know, I'm not a prude, if you want to go around nearly naked, I'm OK with that and I wore my share of mini-skirts in my youth. It's just that the clothes weren't even all that attractive. And then there were the short short Daisy Dukes with frayed hems and tears for $50. My advice is go to the thrift store, buy a faded pair of too small jeans, cut the legs off at the crotch, take a razor to what's left, throw them in the wash and you'll have the same thing for about $2.

Alrighty then.

Here's the body of the box de-molded.

And after being washed with vinegar. I think it came out a little darker than the sample but that seems to be how it goes these days.

And with the top and corals (nothing is permanently attached) so we can see how it's shaping up.

Tomorrow I'll start grinding the excess off the bottom of the box and the rest of the excess off the inlay. Then it's polishing all the pieces that need it, fitting the inlay, fitting the feet, and glueing it all together. Fortunately starting tomorrow high temps will only be in the low 90s for the next week.

That little bit of rain we got last week caused the yellow rain lilies to pop out yesterday. This is the most I've ever had.


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

the deplorables, the box, the cat

I see Trump's glee club, the same handful of wackos and deluded, is still flooding twitter with lies and accusations. It's pretty much all the GOP does now. Now they're demanding the DOJ release the affidavit that led to the request for the search warrant because they're never satisfied. The DOJ has requested the court not release the affidavit because it would identify their sources and hamper an ongoing investigation which is probably exactly what the Republicans want. After screaming about how the DOJ and the FBI treated a former president so unfairly, accusing them of political retribution to take Trump out so he can't run for president again, now they're screaming that if it was so urgent, a matter of national security, what took them so long? I kid you not. There is no winning with these people, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The kiln had run through it's program yesterday but I didn't open it, giving it another day to settle. I finished the major and minor grinding on the crab and corals, the minor grinding is smoothing off any sharp points and roughness on the castings. I reshaped the rocks a little bit so that they aren't a smooth curve but dip in a little here and there. I like that better. Next is the polishing but I don't think I'll need to do too much of that as they came out pretty clean. And of course if the body of the box cast well, then I'll have more major grinding to do to take off any excess and flatten the bottom. I aggravated the recurring injury in my shoulder doing the previous major grinding so the week or so off waiting for the frit to arrive and the box to cast was beneficial.

Checked the kiln and the box body looks good, what I can see. Marc is de-molding it for me. I don't think I could have done a better job of calculating the amount of frit. It has just enough extra to keep the bottom edges from being rounded so I'll have some excess to grind off but not much. It won't be as dark as it looks encased in plaster...I hope.

CleoCat's appointment to be spayed is tomorrow. I called the vet this morning and told them she is definitely pregnant, at least 4 weeks. She said they could still do it if I wanted. Well, I don't want a bunch of kittens I can't get rid of. So I'm going to take her in and tell them that if she's too far gone to do it safely then I'll come get her.

This is one pissed off squirrel. You should have heard it expressing its displeasure after CleoCat chased it up a tree this morning.


Sunday, August 14, 2022

flowers and espionage and anniversaries, oh my

My frit finally arrived Friday afternoon, too late to go over to the studio so I didn't get the last mold filled, the body of the box, until Saturday afternoon. It's in the kiln. It might come out tomorrow but more likely Tuesday.

Friday's mail also brought a little check from the gallery. The sunflower sold.

Saturday morning I went to the Earth Lab series at Hesed House, this month on Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging and instead of just a presentation on the history and development, we also got a hands on workshop where we all got to try our hand at doing an arrangement. It was a lot of fun. My sister Pam is the coordinator who lines up the speakers and topics.

Here's my effort.

We're getting a much needed break in the heat today, still in the 80s and should only get up to 90 and we're getting another little shower, no thunder so far but rain is all it takes for the dog to tremble. The frogs are loving it though. Tomorrow, back up in the mid 90s.


After it was revealed that Trump had super sensitive top secret documents, some marked SCI meaning that they are to be viewed only on a need to know basis by those with the highest security clearance and only in a secure room from which they were never to be removed, and was being investigated under the espionage act the far right wackos with their lies went silent for two days apparently told to back off the volatile rhetoric by other republicans (though now they're back to attacking Biden and lying about the Inflation Reduction Act). The documents retrieved were so sensitive and national security related that the FBI is dusting every page for fingerprints to see who touched them. One of the documents was the list of our uncover agents and their payroll information. There's no way to accurately describe the danger and damage to our national security that these top secret documents in the hands of a man who already tried to overthrow our democracy incurs. Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station does a good job though. You can read his essay on this here. It's long, as his essays are, but well worth the read if you want to understand just how damaging Trump, who no longer has any kind of security clearance, having these documents for a year and a half is. Anyone else would already have been arrested for espionage.


Some things blooming in the yard. The rangoon creeper, the coral butterfly ginger finally started blooming, the bridal bouquet plumerias, the morning glory bush for all that it likes heat hasn't done very well but is starting to bloom a little.

I should get over to the shop and continue the cold work on the pieces already cast but today is our 46th anniversary and that's as good an excuse as any to be lazy today. That's beer in our champagne glasses.

Friday, August 12, 2022

further developments, current progress, the cat

It was reported that 12 House members met with Trump Tuesday night after the search of MAL to assure him that they still supported him and urged him to run again in 2024. Twelve. Trump has his 12 disciples. If that's not proof he's the anti-christ I don't know what would be.

In further developments, Merrick Garland held a press conference after two days of hysteria from the far right wackos accusing Biden of politicizing the DOJ and the FBI to take down his political rival, calling it a us the warrant!!!...explaining that the DOJ sent a subpoena to Trump last June to return the rest of the documents and Trump ignored it, hence obtaining the warrant to retrieve the other ten or so boxes of secret and classified documents. Garland explained he cannot release the warrant unless he gets a sign off from a judge. Trump, however not only has a copy of the warrant, he said, he has a list of the things the FBI took and Trump can release them anytime he wants. Since he hasn't, Garland has petitioned the court for permission to make the warrant public. So now with that wind taken out of their sails, the far right wackos are now claiming that the FBI planted those documents, that they refused to let anyone observe the search, when in truth, two of Trump's lawyers were present during the search and Trump and his family watched it via the close circuit cameras at MAL. Today Trump, after a leak revealed that the boxes contained classified nuclear documents, has called it a hoax. Next I'm sure he'll be calling it an unfair witch hunt. But now the question becomes what has he already done with the information and what did he plan to do with it in the future? It's very possible that he's guilty of selling or giving the information to either Putin or Saudi Arabia which is undeniable treason and espionage. He's already shown that he's willing to take down the country to get his way.

To be fair, it's pretty much the same 8 or 9 Republicans flooding twitter with their insane accusations and lies, throwing everything and anything on the wall in their panic to see if any of it will stick in an effort to gin up the outrage of Trump's base. One man found out the hard way yesterday that you don't try and fuck with the FBI.

I was all set to go over to the shop after breakfast to work on the little crab some more and start the more delicate cold work with my diamond bits and polishing points but just as I was ready to change into shop clothes, it started raining and then it started raining hard. While it only rained for about a half hour or so it was enough to derail my plans. According to the tracking number for the frit I ordered, it should be delivered today so I'll try and get the last mold filled and in the kiln after lunch.

I didn't get any work done yesterday as it was my SHARE day but here's my progress from Wednesday. I got all the major grinding done on all the little corals though I still have some to do on the crab. They're just sitting in their positions on the top. I'm wishing now I had shaped the rocks a little differently so that they morphed into the top a little more seamlessly.

Update on the little cat. She goes out every morning with the dog and stays our for a couple of hours and she comes back in. She sleeps in my chair during the day, sleeps with me and the dog off and on during the night. I guess we've decided to call her Cleo, or maybe just Cat. We've resisted the name Cleo because we had a cat when the kids were still kids named that and she was kind of weird, had her maybe about 4 or 5 years and one day when she was laying down, she rose up to sitting suddenly, coughed, and then keeled over dead.

Anyway, I'm more and more convinced she's pregnant and her nipples are becoming pronounced. Cats gestate for two months about. The first picture I took of her on the seat of the lawn mower was June 11th. She let me touch her for the first time on July 8th and that's when I started feeding her. The 17th is when she came in the house. The 19th is the day she came in and stayed in for about a week before she showed any interest in going outside again. During all that time I never heard any kind of cat in heat noise, not even during the weeks she spent outside before moving in. If she was already pregnant June 11th she should pop any day now. If she was just pregnant when I started feeding her she's got another three weeks to go. Her appointment to get fixed is next Wednesday so we'll know for sure then.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

exploding heads and further progress

The Republicans are losing their fucking minds. Well, the far right wackos are, you know the usual suspects. They were on twitter non-stop for three days leading up to the vote and after, telling lies and trying to spread opposition and discontent about the Inflation Reduction Act to derail Biden, not only individual senators and representatives but the GOP Senate and House and GOP and RNC accounts as well, tweeting over and over all day long. It's astounding how they flooded twitter with their lies about this bill while failing to mention that they voted down the $35 cap on insulin for people on private insurance ie not Medicare or Medicaid. They are almost apoplectic that Biden and Schumer persevered, got Manchin and Sinema on board, and passed it in the Senate through reconciliation with only 50 votes and the VP tie breaker (the same way the Republicans passed their very unpopular permanent tax cuts for the wealthy, rich corporations, and their donors), incensed that they couldn't stop Biden's administration from doing something good for the average American, the country, and the planet.

And if that wasn't enough to give them all aneurisms, the FBI enforced a search warrant on Mar A Lago Monday related to the boxes of secret and classified documents Trump illegally removed from the White House when he left. The DOJ must have compelling evidence to get a federal judge to issue the warrant. Far right wacko republican outrage over the IRA forgotten, now they're getting hysterical. If they can do this to Trump, they can do it to anybody!!! Well, yes, it's called law and order and no one including Trump and his cronies are above the law.

Their tweets Tuesday were full of threats of political retaliation should they get control of Congress again while accusing the DOJ and FBI of political retaliation, calling the warrant a third world junta, calling to either defund or eliminate the FBI and DOJ altogether. An unprecedented attack on a former president in our nation's history they cry, should not be allowed to happen! You know what else is unprecedented in American history? A president who sucked up to tyrants and fascists, who refused to acknowledge he lost the election, tried to pressure election officials to throw out the opposition's votes or find new ones for him and when that didn't work, attempted a coup to get himself instated, and when he was finally forced to leave the White House, took secret and classified documents with him.

Maybe there will be some justice after all.


Tuesday was grocery shop day and also my night to cook so I took a little break from sweating in the hot shop even though all I could think about through the night when I would wake up was finishing grinding the excess glass off the corals.

My Monday progress...I worked on the inlay until I realized I had removed enough of the white that I was losing my white behind the purple and green. 

Hmmm. Too much color, not enough white. Still had about 1/16” to go to get it down to the wax model thickness so I've put that aside for now. 

Then I worked on cutting and grinding off the disks on the four feet using the ring saw and the upright diamond wheel grinder (both use power!). 

And then I did one of the corals. Here it is in its place on the top.

Today it's back to sweating in the shop.


Monday, August 8, 2022

starting on the cold work

I did the vinegar soak Saturday and started in on the grinding even though it was hot in the shop, my sweat dripping down mixing with the silicone carbide/water slurry. Then we got a little rain for about 10 minutes which cooled things down some.

Turns out it was closer to 1/8” I had to grind off the bottom of the top piece. I think. It's really hard to judge. Took me a couple of hours. I think. I wasn't really paying attention to the time. The inlay looks to have closer to 1/4” to remove. I've already got an hour in on that one.

Went back after lunch better prepared, moved a fan to blow on me and a bandana to tie around my forehead which was wet enough to squeeze water out of by the time I quit.

I didn't have enough of one of the colors of glass I need to fill the mold for the body of the box though. Damn it. I could have ordered it when I ordered the color I needed for the feet if I had gone ahead with my first choice for the box instead of second guessing myself and wanting the inlay cast first. Well, I've ordered it now.

Yesterday I got the corals and feet out of the kiln and de-molded them and brushed them off. They look pretty good, everything cast well though I didn't have enough glass in the crab mold to completely fill the base the crab is sitting on but the crab itself is complete so I'll make it work. The brain coral piece came out really dark, way darker than I wanted but can't do anything about that unless I want to try and do another one which I don't. I'm starting to think using the white mix for the top and the rocks the corals are on was maybe a mistake but I wanted a balance to the white feet. Well, I can always use a bit of paint to tone it down if need be. Here are the corals in the grouping as they will go on the top.

And the feet which have a weird sort of greenish cast to them which I totally don't understand.

And then I worked on the inlay some more, less than an hour, have about 1/8” left to take off but I was hot, my bandana was soaked (again), and I was tired.


Some sad news...I learned yesterday that Mage of the blog POSTCARDS finally succumbed to the cancer she had been fighting so valiantly for so long. Fly high Mage.


Saturday, August 6, 2022

with acceptance comes happiness

The first two pieces for the box are out and de-molded and brushed off but not had the vinegar soak yet, giving them a day to settle first. They look good. I try for certain color and intensity when filling the mold but it's always a surprise after firing. All three colors turned out to be stronger than I was going for which is OK, probably because I used some powders and sifted the finest particles out of the frit. I'm determined to be OK with, to accept the way everything turns out, not harbor any disappointment, as long as they cast completely and maybe even if they don't. It depends. I'm mostly concerned about the feet.

I had quite a bit too much glass in the inlay mold and will have to grind off over 1/8” thickness but the top I did a better job of calculating and only have to grind off about 1/16”.

Here's the test piece, the face with flowers on the heart. This is just brushed off as well and needs to be flattened on the bottom so more grinding there but that will wait.

All the corals, the crab, and the four feet are currently in the kiln. I wanted to do the corals and crab in one firing and the feet in another but Marc put them all in together, not sure how many firings he will get out of the kiln before the top and door elements crap out. They might not. We're really just casting these pieces on a wing and a prayer. Still one more firing after this one for the body of the box which I've decided to do in a light aqua. I hope the finished piece all comes together with so many elements and different colors with the white top and feet.

One of the regulars at Abby's yoga class recently decided to get certified as a yoga instructor through an enrichment program for teachers and students connected to the ISD where she works (not really sure of the details) and her 'final' is in a few days so she practiced on us last Wednesday, her first try to actually lead a class, and she started out by saying that she wanted us to focus on acceptance during the class, acceptance of what our bodies can or can't do at this particular time, acceptance of the things in our lives, that without acceptance there cannot be happiness, that happiness comes only through acceptance. I thought that rang true. Maybe not happiness because happiness is fleeting but certainly contentment and isn't contentment really what we want in our lives, content with who and what we are and have?

It certainly applied to our lives as working artists. We had no guaranteed income, living basically hand to mouth. It varied month to month, year to year depending on how much work we had. Some months we had no income, some months we managed, some months we were in high cotton. Part of being able to live as we did was to accept the fact that this was going to be the way of it, probably would never be able to afford a lot of things, the 'stuff' my kids' peers' families had, expensive playthings mostly, the stuff our culture told us to want. We always managed the basics and the important stuff and now and then something special. When our peers were double and triple locking their doors at all times, living in fear of being robbed, we lived with our door open to the world with no such worries. By the time we could afford to buy stuff, we really didn't want to, used to a simpler life.

Happiness through acceptance, accepting what our chosen path allowed us, freed us from being jealous of our friends' successes, from living fearfully. Well, mostly. There were times when I resented an artist's success who had a working spouse that supported them, when someone got into a show and I didn't, when a friend got a commission that I thought I was going to get, when other artists sold work at shows and I didn't, etc. which only made me unhappy and depressed. Acceptance is a practice, like yoga. And when I practice it, I'm happier.

Well, once again it was my night to provide dinner last night. I did a simple meatless stir fry with naan.

Onion, garlic, celery, carrot, broccoli, yellow squash, and cabbage. After this cooked down a little more I pushed it all to the sides and added 2 beaten eggs in the middle and scrambled them, slowly mixing in the vegetables, added the cooked short grain brown rice and some soy sauce. It was really good.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

two steps forward and one step back

Well, the kiln is only half working. First was a programming error...heating 5˚ an hour instead of 500˚ an hour for that segment. Marc reprogrammed it, all seemed well until we checked it again later at 1370˚ with the FTH error message...failure to heat, which meant it couldn't heat up as fast as it was programmed for. Front loading glass casting kilns have heating elements in the top, all three sides, and the door. Turns out only the top and door elements are coming on which means it takes longer to heat up. We think we can still get the pieces cast for this box with the kiln as is, it will just take a longer firing schedule. Once we've got all the pieces cast then he can take his time trying to figure out why the side elements aren't coming on when they're on the same circuit as the door, especially if he has to replace the coils.

The test firing is done, the face with flowers on a heart mold cool enough to take out of the kiln and it looks fine, has a little devitrification which is why it looks cloudy at the point, probably from being at a particular temperature for too long.

So the first two pieces for the box, the inlay and the top, are now in and the kiln started. Fingers crossed!

Chloe has totally ignored the scratchy cardboard, even with a sprinkle of catnip. And I'm still not convinced this cat isn't pregnant. I swear her little nipples are getting bigger and her belly is firm though when I squish around on her tummy, I don't feel any lumps in there either.

Today's predicted high is 98˚ with a real feel of 107˚. Currently 91˚, real feel 103˚. No rain forecast til Friday.

I'm at loose ends waiting for these two pieces to come out which will be several days. I should be doing a drawing or a new watercolor but I'm sort of paralyzed with indecision. I've got two books from the library and can't even settle down to read for more than 30 minutes at a time.

recently hatched baby anole.

Monday, August 1, 2022

well, that didn't work, or that, but this did

The yellow bells aka Esperanza aka Tacoma stans finally started blooming. Mine usually start later then ones around as mine get a lot of shade and they like sun.

Saturday - Well, crap. Changed out the relays and still can't get those switches to come on. I guess a call to the manufacturer is in order on Monday to see if they have any helpful hints.

Glory be! We got about an inch of rain Friday in about 20 minutes. So nice not to have to go out first thing in the morning and set up the sprinkler.

I did finally cut back all the gone by purple coneflowers last week but it took me three days of effort in the heat and two full garden carts.

Went to the library the other day and as I was approaching a man passed me on the sidewalk and said 'god bless you' and kept right on walking. Um, OK. Did I look like I needed blessing? I suppose he thought he was just being a good christian spreading whatever but I'd just as soon his god not take notice of me cause that god lets all kinds of horrible things happen and then expects to be glorified for it. Not sure which is more annoying, this or the ubiquitous 'have a blessed day'. What does that even mean? I know what a good day is like but what is a 'blessed' day like? Angels circling around you playing harps?

I've started calling the cat Chloe but mostly just kitty. After a couple of weeks showing no interest in going outside she started going out with me and the dog first thing in the morning for about 10 minutes in the little backyard and then coming back in until Saturday when she jumped the fence and stayed out for a couple of hours before she came back in. Same Sunday morning and today though now I let her out the door to the garage.

I bought this scratching block for Chloe

and this was the warning sticker on it...

it's cardboard, cardboard that you shouldn't let your kids play with or near. Really? The human race is doomed.

Sunday - I finally took care of three tasks...repairing 2 wind chimes that have been laying on my work table for months (I'm really glad to get this one back up) 

and replacing the parachute cord that the bird feeder hangs from with thin galvanized wire. Let's see that little bastard squirrel tightrope walk that! Edit: And of course he did. I looked up today and there that bastard was chowing down. Oh I was pissed, went running out yelling at it and he scampered back to the tree hanging upside down as he traversed the wire.

Monday - Before calling Paragon this morning, Marc had one more thing he wanted to try and voila! It works!!! There's a master relay that controls all the others and he switched it out with the one from the old kiln and now he's doing a test firing with a never used mold we made to see if our plaster was old. By the time this test run is done, we will have only lost a week and a half.

Today is a good far and fingers crossed.