Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Whew! My "To Do" list- it has me. I had planned to catch up the blog today. A short note, though, to let visitors know 'she lives' is all I have time for. It has been a time of wonders since I last posted. His Wonders. I have so much to tell. Umm, this time that's not a tease. I sold something on Etsy and last weekend's sale was monetarily fabulous.
And speaking of fabulous, having a Mac is just that. I loves my "Tavish". (as in MacTavish...sorry) The ease of operation amazes me. You must realize, however, that I was not a real techie with a PC. I had no formal training, except at the University of Whoops. So it isn't difficult to get used to another operating system when you really don't have anything to forget. (lol)
Tomorrow. I promise. And with pictures.
at 9:05 pm
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
As in 'brief'. Just wanted to check in, as I know there are several sweet people who do read this blog and care enough to wonder where Shaungrl is. All family and friends (4-legs or 2-legs) are fine and healthy. I am trying to get ready for a large pottery sale come September. The maid, gardener, and cook have all refused to come to work. Therefore, it falls to me to attend to these common, far beneath me, domestic chores. One simply cannot find reliable help these days... ;)
I have, ahem, purchased a Mac-mini. It is still in its very little box. Apparently the CD burner on my old PC has never worked, and I can't save my pics or docs to a CD. Leave it to this wonder kid to, yet again, purchase a product (Plextor) that has bad reviews by other consumers. It has a flaw that makes it NOT recognize a blank CD ready for burning. And since the warranty has long expired and I am about to switch to a Mac- no way am I going to buy another burner.
Having said that- the good news is that Apple stores will transfer data from PC tower to Mac-mini in their store. ( and there was much rejoicing) I am taking tower and list of items in need of transfer to the Southlake store today.
Oh. I also have a "whooping" good secret to share...later. To all who stop by by: blessings from the Father. Take good care in the heat and stay hydrated. Texas finally got to Summer with +100º. I know other places have been there for months. Be careful. Talk with you on the other side of the computer change-out. I hope I will be happy to say I'm a 'switcher'. TTFN
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I usually use 'I'm in the Studio' as the excuse for not blogging. And while that is the favorite in the race, my computer has decided to run for the roses, too. Apparently, this computer is old, tired and full. Hmmm...I resemble that remark.
My backdoor neighbor came over to check it out. He gave me the bad news: to fix it would mean as much money as a brand new set-up. I can't not justify buying a PC. that will just do. When I told him what I did on the computer- photo editing, blog, surfing clay sites, original art tweaking/printing and not much else. I don't do gaming or video. He suggested a Mac and I'm seriously thinking about it. This thought will have to hold for quite a while. I priced them and $1000-$2000 is what the package would be. That's fine, I'll wait. But whilst I wait, every site I visit loads like s-l-o-w-d-i-a-l-u-p, I have mid-speed DSL. And I can type faster than the words appear on the screen. Uh.. I type about 45 WPM, with lots of errors- that is slow. It takes several seconds for the window to even try to go to the site. ARRRGH.
Now, on to the pics. The first is a test leg where I used pottery clay as if it were polymer clay. I found the most clever artist. Her name is Christi Friesen and she works exclusively in polymer. She has several small, but full color books. It's The CF Sculpture Series: #1 Dragons, #2 In the Jungle, #3 Under the Sea, #4 (just out) Cats: Big and Small. She allows people to make similar projects if you make your pieces with three obvious changes- to get around copyrights. Christi wants to teach about polymer clay but doesn't want exact copies of her work being sold for profit. Fair. Actually, that's more than fair and extremely generous of her.
I will be making my variations of dragons, frogs, cats, and jungle leaves but in Stoneware clay fired to full temperature. I won't be coloring the clay before forming, but actually painting it-and not glazing-with a technique called "dry-brush". The sculpture will be painted with acrylic black paint and then colors will be stencil-brushed on. Each color built up slowly, giving the piece true depth. I am so excited about this new chapter in the big book of artistic me.
The next pic is version two of a leg for Wall Hangers- the froggie years. I made three prototypes, then realized that they were too intensely textured. Oops. Changes even as I'm creating.
I will be posting the new line as I finish and approve the results of each piece. I hope you will enjoy the new potted me...er, the new pottery.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
On Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th, the Texas Pottery and Sculpture Guild held its annual Christmas In July Sale. On Friday evening we offer a lovely spread of fruit, cheeses, crackers and the most important ingredient in a 'meet the artist' evening- wine. So, it seems- to me, at least- that the more freely the wine flows, the more freely the sales flow. It was a very nice sale and very nice weather- no rain. I haven't tallied my sales sheet, yet. But from what I remember seeing go out the door, I think it went very nicely for moi as well.
I had already posted the whimsical side of my claying and those peices were handbuilt. Above are some wheelthrown bowls that I did for the sale. I sold the third one and the others will be listed on Etsy. The frog bowl is food safe, even with all the details and sells for $73. The sunflower bowl has a tiny surprise hidden beneath the rim- a cute colorful ladybug and this bowl sells for $31.
at 4:42 pm
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Click on the pics to view close-up.
This weekend is the "Christmas in July" pottery sale with the TPSG. I will be, along with 29 other clay artists, at the Ft. Worth Community Arts Center. The sale is Friday and Saturday. A "Meet and Greet" reception, complete with wine and cheese, will be held Friday evening. Anyone in the D/FW area is invited, and there is no charge to park or enter the event.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The "Smoochie" has been through the refiners fire. I am pleased with the results. He/she will be packaged in the gable box with holes punched at the top. I'm trying for the just-home-from-the-pet-store look.
I have a thing about the packaging presentation of a product. Sometimes my ideas work and sometimes the word "flop-a-rama" describes my attempts. These boxes are extremely inexpensive when purchased in 100 lots. A major plus is that they come folded. I am running out of room to stuff pottery, bubble wrap, mailer boxes, tote boxes to carry to sales, outside sale shelving, and the general wrapping supplies. Whew!
So, I'm off to clay some more. I will post pics sometime next weekend after the sale. I just unloaded a wonderful kiln firing. The Dance of Happy is now going on...ouch.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
This morning started with the sky doing a sensuous veil-dance with the layered clouds- teasing me with the promise of sunshine. I got up around 6:30- sleeping in with three hungry 'alarm clocks' is almost impossible-to greet the day. Hey, it was 2 hours later than M-F rising time, though. I got the puppers fed and let them out to do what pups need to do in the morning.
After letting the Furkiddos back in, I headed for the shower with Hannah trying to climb in my skin because, just then, a new round of thunderstorms started rolling in. Hannah Ruth (Rotti-X) hates storms. She quivers like a fur-covered earthquake and pants like gigantic bellows which Paul Bunyan, himself, could use to stoke a farrier's fire. And she clings to me as if made of Velcro. I try to be sympathetic, but too much will send an animal into displaying this behavior even more frequently. So it's a fine line of "poor baby- it's alright" and "go away, you're fine".
The weather lady on T.V. started to announce a tornado just 15 miles away. OK...time to get dressed, get on 'real shoes', stuff the kitties in the carrier, put the cellphone in pocket, turn up the volume on the T.V. and get us into the closet or hall. When you live in a mobile home with no place to run or a ditch to jump into- this is the best that can be done. The house is a 2002, so newer tie-downs and wind resistance are built into it. But no house, 'real' or manufactured, will survive a direct hit. If the storm comes from the SW, then we get into the master closet. If, like today, the storm is coming in from the NW, then it's the hallway. The bathrooms have either glass shower-doors or is next to the large appliances. Exactly where you don't want to be in case of a roll-over.
The wind started howling and the trees we do have, were bending. I had opened all the shades to watch the sky for rotation through the sideways sheets of rain. I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a sight that just made me laugh. Neither torrential rain or gale force wind could keep a hummingbird male from trying to sip from the feeder. I say "try" because the feeder was a rockin' and the hummer was shooting past the holes with each attempted sip. He finally took refuge under the porch and landed on a garden-art stake. One shaped just like him and he landed on its 'beak' and remained there for about 25 minutes. That's him in the pic above. I took it through the window, as I didn't want to scare him back into the storm. Poor baby boy. He works hard for the 'honey'. (Actually, sugar, but honey fit better there. Honey is not to be used in feeders.).
All hands, paws and beaks are accounted for, Captain. All the pups are lounging on the bed, asleep. Not-so-little paws doing dream-weaving- maybe chasing big, bad storms away. Now it's just another Spring day in Texas. Sun's out and the birds and butterflies are doing their winged things. And I'm about to do my thing: clay. I need to make pots and platters for a sale in July. A blessed day to all who stop by.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Of course, this is not the same bugger from the pic below. But it does represent who is growing and changing on my little heaping, helping of country life. And how alive it is.
I have had soul soothing field trips almost everyday. My inner-child hasn't stayed buried, she has grabbed my hand and is delightedly pointing out the amazing micro-world going on around me in the prairie grasses. The neighbors have grown-or at least look the other direction-used to seeing the large, strange woman doing her best impression of an ostrich. Head down, peeking through tri-focals to examine the flora/fauna on the up-close-and-personal level. And since my knees are blown from arthritis, I bend over at the waist...uh, and that means the bum goes up. Sorry for that visual. Hey, it has gotten smaller, though. I've lost twenty more pounds since January 1st. This is the main reason for my discovering I have a Butterfly Factory in my yard (and attached to my house) this year: I feel better.
I saw the "J" shaped Monarch caterpillar change into a chrysalis in just 24 hours. Such a fast transition. It went from stripey-undulation to an ethereal (♥ this word), almost other-worldly shape. It really reminded me of a Fairy lantern, as it seemed to have a luminescent quality about it.
I brought the chrysalis in because I saw tiny flies on it, already trying to bore into it and lay their eggs. I figured it couldn't be in any more danger inside. I was careful, this time, not to touch it. I learned humans can transfer a bacteria that will kill the developing butterfly. So, with a little time, maybe I will have a Monarch to show you. I know I could fill this blog with Fritillary butterfly pictures, as there are, at last count, eight chrysalises hanging from the siding of my house. I told you, The Butterfly Factory is in peak production right now. I just hope we don't cause a monsoon down in Central America with all these new flutterings.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
These pictures bring to a happy ending, the emerging of Jay, a happy, healthy, bouncing fluttering baby boy (girl?). I introduced Jay in the first Operation entry. I did, so, want to see this emerging. I discovered the 102 way to use duct tape with this little guy/gal. And the pic above is just one day before Jay 'hatched' on Sunday the 22nd. His wing lines could be clearly seen through the chrysalis shell.
Friday, April 20, 2007
This morning started out like any other morning- early. I stopped by my Supervisor's shop to drop off flowers that I had pulled from the bed in the front yard. These very hardy Dianthus -they're usually annuals- had not only survived the Winter but had grown into clumps the size of footballs- lovely fuchsia ones.
One of my co-workers, Ferdinand, had requested them for his yard to please his daughter, whose boyfriend's name is "William", and these flowers are AKA "Sweet Williams". Everybody say "aww, how sweet".
I went to my work site after wishing everyone a "Have A Great Weekend" and was doing normal Shaungrl stuff in my shop. The door opened and in stepped Ferdinand. He started walking towards me saying, "You believe in doing what the Lord tells you to do. Right? To do what He lays on your heart to do?" I respond, "of course, always, dude", still thinking this was a lighthearted moment. Ferdinand walks up and hands me a rolled-up, money-colored piece of paper. "Well, the Lord told me to give this to you."
I can tell it has a one and a zero on it. I gasp, though, as I unroll it and there is another zero. "Ben" is sitting in my hand- $100 blessed dollars- no earthly strings attached. All I could do is stammer "thank you and God bless you, too." Ferdinand was already heading to the door. As men usually do a quick exit when women are about to cry uncontrollably, even if it is from joy.
I mentioned "no earthly strings attached". I thought I might need to define my relationship with this co-worker. We discuss things of God and blessings He has given. And also the heartbreaks and trials He didn't keep from us, but that He did shepherd us through. He tells me about his wife and how much she and his family bless him. I am his sister and he is my brother in the family of Jesus. Branches on the same Living Vine.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
at 9:10 pm
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I l♥ve the Sound of Spring. Wait. Shouldn't that be Sounds of Spring? No, I think of Spring as a whole package, crafted of layers. Separate- yet, connected with 'audio molecules', at the same time. An ambiance melange. But if I could somehow separate the layers- bird music would always come to the top like cream. A yummy feast for the ears and the soul. And joy calories are the best kind, don't you think.
Hummingbirds twitter-chitter at each other, noisily arguing over feeder rights. Their wings beat incredibly fast and the sound of tiny helicopters comes to mind. The picture below was taken just outside the kitchen window. (The same window that was at the top of the must-have-list when I had my home built.) The sip-meisters waiting to see who blinks first and then...Whirrrrrrrrrrr.
House finches, to my ear, have a most delightful song. I call them my 'redheads'. They are only here for a short while in the Spring, as it must get too hot in this area for nesting and baby raising. I have them at my work yard, now, and when Autumn arrives, they'll be singing again.
A couple of years ago, there was a sweet couple who would visit me, inside my workshop. The little male would fly in the front door and sing, brightly, for his lady to join him. And in she would fly. The first time it happened, I thought they would panic and fly about in distress. No, not at all. They did it several times that Spring. It was their concert, conducted by the Great Maestro, just for me.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Sweet Mother of Pearl. What is that? That's my happy solution in the trying-to-grow-a -butterfly saga. Last Saturday, snow was on the Texas weather menu and caterpillars don't do well in possible freezing temps. I couldn't bring it in and I was fresh out of teeny-tiny parkas. Duct tape and a faucet cover sufficed nicely. And the elevation in property value...priceless.
I discovered Jay or Jaynette on Friday, April 6th. The little orange and black striped 'cat' was rippling along the siding. I thought- aw, wouldn't it be neat if it were about to make a chrysalis. Bingo.
About an hour later I found it in the "J" position, hence the original name. Apparently, this is butterfly lingo in the Entomologist world. The best I can tell from fuzzy pics on butterfly sites, is that it is some type of Fritillary.
Butterflies are treasures at my house. I love to watch them dance through my property bringing Spring on their wings. Last year, I had a Monarch hatch from my porch railing and I let the Milkweed re-seed itself.
This was on Wednesday the 11th.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
My parents can not be blamed for this. The name they chose to be my middle name is not 'procrastination'. Ask my friends, and they will tell you my chant for the last year has been, "I'm going to start selling my pottery on the Internet".
TA-DA! *Clarion sounds* I am pleased to announce I have, finally, set up an account on Etsy. This site provides a venue for the crafter/artist to show their wares without overhead and very small fees per listing. I have opened the virtual doors to my store: bogshaunproductions. While the platter above is the only listing, so far, I have many more pieces to list. I am not so techie when it comes to uploading, counting pixels and fitting images- so it is a chore. Whoa Moma, my head hurts- but I did get to cross this off The-Weekend-To-Do-List... dodging roses (not veggies), drunk on the applause- she exits the stage.
As this is Easter, which is the paragon of all renewals, I thought it would be a fine time to introduce a new feature here. Jesus gave me my 'new' on July 16, 1983 and I have never been the same. I am blood blought, cleansed and forever adopted into the Kingdom of God. I know Whose I am and that makes me a Daughter of the Most High, adopted and never to be forsaken by the Father.
So I will be calling this new feature, "Daughter of The Most High Moments" or "DoTMHM". I hinted at these moments in my profile by calling them "Abba loves His daughter moments". This idea comes from Clare at Three Beautiful Things. She is kind enough to allow anyone to copy her idea: blogging three things, daily, which bring you pleasure. I don't know if I can do anything, everyday, on a blog. I shall attempt to convey the wonder I feel when I come across a thing, person, or event that causes me to pause. Prepared just for me, just for that moment and just so I would notice His "I-♥-You-Daughter" whisper. So I will do my best to give you accounts of these moments, as they bless me deeply, and I would love to share Him with you.
And I want to wish each and every visitor a Blessed Easter. May His life shine for you and through you. Thanks for stopping by. (And wishing you ch♥colate)
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Yesterday dawned bright, albeit, very chilly. About mid-morning, while I was about my weekend chores, I bopped down the hall into the kitchen. Finch, my striped kitty, was hovering over something on the throw-rug (sometimes throwed-up on rug). This is usually where he and his sissie, Enoki, come to spit out their awesome buggy prey so that I might 'ooh and aah' repeatedly. I also murmur silly statements to them, alluding to the greatness of their hunting abilities.
I started to say- "Oh, Finchers, what a good kittles. Such a mighty hunter". Huh?! It's newly Spring. Nothing in the Bugworld has had a chance to grow that large...NOOOOOOOOO. Finch has a hummingbird. I begin to scream hysterically, as I am seeing one of my favorite things in the process of eating another one of my favorite things.
Of course, wrong. Wrong to scream. Finch streaks down the hall, with bird in mouth, and disappears under the bed like a rabbit down a hole. I hit the floor next to the bed, still doing my best impression of Linda Blair. He spits out, what I think is, the poor little carcass. I gather it gently in my hands, all the while weeping and wailing- "I'm sorry birdie, Oh, poor little girl"- over and over again. I'm, now, sobbing in meltdown mode.(don't ya love being pre-menopausal?)
I start to inspect the catspit soaked little body. Astonishingly, she flies out of my hand and begins to orbit, wildly, about the room. I get all the Furkids out of the bedroom, closed the door and shut off all light sources. She finally landed on the wall vent. I gingerly plucked her- oh, such a rapid tiny heartbeat. But it was beating. I held her for a few seconds, hoping to see if she was leaving any blood trailing on my fingers. Amazingly, there was none! I went outside and opened my hand. The little girl whirred, strongly, off into the sky. I thought I would never see her again, as she would probably go off and die. A casualty of 'kitties doing what kitties are wired to do'.
Well, I am happy- ecstatic- to show you a picture taken just three hours later. Daniella, named after the Biblical Daniel, was sitting fluffing in 'her' tree. I know it's her because of the white markings on her wings. Apparently, she had landed on the patio string-lights, near where Finch was napping. She didn't see him until it was too late. I found feathers and scratch marks where Finch got at her after knocking her off the wire. I also know that she doesn't come near the patio anymore, and Finch can't get to the tree. She's there, right now, trying to plump up against the 40º (Spring!!) temperature. But about the temperature- that's another story, entirely.
Daniella: "The Survivor"
Finch: "The Lion"
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Brrr. Spring sprung, but who turned down the outside thermostat? All the grass (weeds) were drenched in dew, and the ethereal mist was rising from the meadow in the crisp 50º morning air.
I am happy to say that we had nearly 3" of rain on Friday. I am also happy-as are my neighbors-that I got to mow last Wednesday before it rained. Well... I 'kinda' mowed. I am of the opinion that the countryside needs wildflowers- even if said countryside is actually a lawn. If you mow before they bloom, you then miss out on the flowers' awesome petal power. And they won't re-seed. So I partially mowed my ¾ acre, leaving two large areas to bloom. You may call me "Dances With Butterflies", too, as newly arrived Monarchs swirled and twirled all around me while I mowed.
And speaking of arrivals...sound of announcement trumpets, please...The Hummingbird Channel began its broadcasting yesterday at 8:30 am. I think I may have the rare 'Capistrano' hummingbird, though. I looked on last year's calendar notation...March 31, 2006. Yep, same day last year. Must be very tiny watches, with date function, they be wearing.
I mentioned it was a bit chilly this morning, but I did not let that stop me from having a Fruit Smoothie for breakfast. My regular readers know that I am trying to get healthy (also, ahem, smaller). I have acquired a habit- a good one this time. Breakfast. I developed a recipe that I think is yummy. It can be adjusted to accommodate different fruits and flavors. Silken Tofu can be used instead of Firm. I use firm because I like the mouth-feel it gives the Smoothie and then I always have the right kind for cooking, as well. Nutrition facts says "serving size is five per container". It's just so much easier to divide it into four even servings. I keep a glass in the freezer, at all times, in which to pour the ambrosia.
- ¼ of 14 0z tub Tofu (firm)
- ¼ C. Water
- 3 TB Powdered Milk
- 1 Banana OR 1 serving of another fruit
- Sweetener to taste (I used 2 tsp Splenda)
- 8 or so Ice cubes
Blend all ingredients, except ice, at highest speed in a blender until smooth. Add ice, and again blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glass. If you like Peanut Butter and Chocolate together- 1 TB of both Peanut Butter and Cocoa Powder (unsweetened) can be added to the above.
That's my ♥fave♥: PB-Chocolate-Banana. This morning it was Chocolate-Banana-Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup. But Pear-Vanilla Syrup-Cinnamon might just nudge into top billing, though. I had that Friday morning and was delighted by the combo. I use both the Da Vinci and Torani syrups- it only takes a splash. They have many wonderful flavors (sugar free, too) and can be found at World Market, Central Market Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. and on-line. Watch out for on-line, though, shipping is quite expensive. Cow-a-bunga, dude (or dudette)...Slurp's Up!!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
There are several elements to the Underwater Easter Hunt that I help with. The kids swim/wade in the teach pool to catch the floating eggs. The kids also get a chance to have their picture taken with E.B. It's made into a photo button while they wait. I designed the backdrop and basket where they sit for the pic. The chocolate bunny and 'peeps' are new this year. I love making things that babies will enjoy and squeal over. Makes me squeal, too. I love happy babies.
The Cabbage Patch is a photo op for the parents to take pictures. The 'dirt' is made from burlap bags. Real dirt in a pool filter does not make it happy, nor the Aquatics Supervisor. The cabbages are made from rags soaked in diluted paint and with shadowing added. I have to make all the props a wee bit water resistant, considering the event locale.
The flags across the pool are just the normal orange meet-flags with added yarn greenery and they make dandy 'carrots'.
Snacks are handed out and also carnival games set up, with small prizes given to all contestants. I thought that hungry bunnies might need a snack, too. The game is painted on a sheet of plywood, with holes cut for mouths and I made beanbag carrots out of orange washcloths. The kids toss the carrots through the mouths and the bunbuns are very hoppy.
We have to celebrate the secular version of Easter because of the government sponsorship. I know that Jesus is the Reason for this Season, too. And I am able to slip in art references that point straight to Him. No one, unless they're given the inside scoop, knows about them. I can still honor the One who gave me my talent and my salvation. Most Eggs-cellent, I'd say.