Garden Totems

Yesterday was a great day!!  It was “Kiln Opening Day” and, when all the pieces were unloaded, I had the final pieces for the garden totems.

These totems were started several months ago and it just took time to build the pieces, bisque fire them, glaze them and fire them again.  One totem is whimsical faces and the other is state license plates.

When the chance of Spring storms, with the possibility of hail and tornadoes, passes, they’ll be added to the garden.  Can’t wait!

Pots, Plants and More Pots

About a year ago, I fell in love with succulents and cacti.  The sheer variety is amazing.  The more I bought and collected, the more pots I needed.  Thank goodness, I happened to have a large supply of clay in the studio.

So, I started making pots for the plants.  I made big pots and small pots, glazed them and settled the plants into my pots.  For the most part, they seem to like the custom made pots and are rewarding me with new growth and offshoots.

Happy plants … happy pots … it’s all wonderful!

Butterfly Tiles

Finally decided it’s time to post some of my pottery/ceramic work beginning with these butterfly tiles.  The images came from a couple of rubber stamps that I have.  And, yes, it’s possible to use rubber stamps on clay.

The hard part was letting them dry a bit and then painting the details with underglaze.  Then came the harrowing part of bisque firing them and hoping that they didn’t crack.  Fortunately, they didn’t.

They were finished in a rake firing using a clear crackle glaze.  Then, I added hangers on the back of them so they could be used on the wall.

They’ve both been sold and I hope their new owners are enjoying them.

Oh … Hail!!

The weather-guys/gals predicted a good chance of strong storms on Wednesday night.  Yeah … yeah …. yeah …  they’ve said this before and we didn’t get even a drop of rain.  Well, last night, their prediction was right on … at least in our neighborhood.

The wind had been blowing pretty hard all day but it’s March, the windy month.  But, about 9:30 pm the sky darkened and the wind became even more fierce.  Then, we heard it … the unmistakeable sound of hail hitting the roof, the windows, the yard.

The worst of the storm lasted a ferocious 15-20 minutes.  Hail came down and covered the yard so deeply that it looked like snow.

This morning, it was time to look at the storm damage.  Fortunately, it was minor.  Skylights were intact.  Lots of leaves down.  One gutter screen torn loose. And an iris bud knocked off.

A River Runs Through It …

… my backyard, that is.   When we have a heavy rain the water puddles in the backyard and then overflows across the yard, across the driveway, down the driveway, and finally to the street.  Not about to complain, though, because the plants are so happy to have the rain water.

Another One Bites The Dust

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.26.42 AMWell, darn!  I’m discovering the cacti and succulents aren’t all that easy to grow.

They’re not at all like other house plants that thrive on a little bit of coddling and a little bit of neglect.   Indoor plants (pathos, prayer plants) and outdoor plants (ajuga, monkey grass) have always rewarded me by growing and spreading.  Eventually I’d invite friends to come and take some away.

But cacti and succulents …. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!  If I water them when they don’t want to be watered even if the soil feels bone dry, they die.  If I neglect them, they shrivel up and die.

Au revoir, Agave.  I loved you well but not wisely.

Pottery and Decals

One of my favorite things as a potter is to play with clay and other materials, and see what happens.  Sometimes it’s a great success; other times it’s a magnificent fail.

I’ve played with decals before but this is the first time I’ve used really old decals … so old that some of them didn’t want to come loose from the backing sheet.

In general, I’m fairly pleased with the trays with decals.  A few lessons to keep in mind for the next experiment:

  • Don’t put the decal over a hole.
  • Press all the bubbles out of the decal.

Beware – Pot Heads

A few years ago, I made several planters with definite personalities.  They stayed in the closet until my friend, Jessica, needed something special for a client.  This particular client has a running joke with his mother:  their gifts to each other somehow involve the brain.  So, Jessica wanted to use brain cactus and fortunately, her cacti matched up perfectly with my pot heads!

Bon Voyage, Chloe

A week after the tornadoes roared through Garland and Rowlett, we took some needed supplies to the Red Cross donation center.  While there, we saw a couple of boys with a small dog that had been wandering the area.

We wanted to reunite the dog with the owner; so, we took her over to the Garland Animal Shelter and had them check for a micro-chip.  So, we left our info, along with a photo of the dog, with the animal shelter, and hoped the owner would see it and contact us. In the interim, we named her Chloe.

We created flyers with Chloe’s photo and posted them on several Lost/Found sites, contacted vets in the area.  Several people inquired about her but the owner didn’t turn up.  To complicate matters, the dog had a lot of fleas and was in heat.

So, after several weeks with no luck finding the owner, we had her spayed, micro-chipped and vaccinated.  Then, even though we really liked her and would have loved to be able to keep her, we decided that Chloe was too high-energy for a couple of old codgers and re-homed her to a rescue organization.

She’s adjusting well to her new foster home, learning new manners and is awaiting her forever home.

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By lizzieb42 Posted in Pets