Thursday, May 21

I have been tagged!

I have been tagged by De, of De-Lightful Minis. Here is her blog: I'm sorry for taking so long to fill this out De, I got side-tracked the day I was going to do it.

So this is how tag works:

1. Name and link back to the person who tagged you.
See above. Be sure to visit De's blog. She has been making a dollhouse at the speed of light, is so organized that she really does blog almost every day with the new things she's doing, and she mentions other miniaturists often with her updates. That's really a nice touch, no wonder she is gathering up so many blog awards lately ♥

2.List 6 unimportant things that make you happy. That's harder - if it makes me happy is it really unimportant? (this comment was a direct quote from De's own tag, but isn't it true?)

•My littlest one sleeping with me
•Morning coffee
•Songs coming on the radio that make me dance/sing
•Seeing the sunrise by myself, like I got a special gift all my own
•The chance to play in a Summer rain shower
•The color yellow

3. Tag 6 bloggers and let them know by leaving a comment on their blogs. Off to go tag some friends.

Note: If I tag you and you don't want to participate, I won't be upset. I understand that we all have busy lives and you might not have time for this. ♥

Crystal Cave!

I have been using a crystal rock for background in my pictures for the past couple of years. One reason is because everyone is such a good photographer on Etsy, and they all do "arty" type pictures. I don't have the best imagination for art photographs, nor the skill to take such fantastic pictures as so many do. I did like the look of having this particular crystal rock in pictures though, and it serves other purpose besides being pretty.

It helps show scale of things, or it did, before I show you this Crystal Cave :) It helps me adjust the color of the shots since they almost always come out of the camera darker than they should, and the crystal turns pink. If I can get the pink out of the crystal, it's usually a pretty good chance all the other color is close to reality too.

I'm just joking around about not being able to use this crystal for scale anymore, because there is apparently only this one Crystal Cave in the whole world. Or maybe there are more that just haven't been discovered?

Giant Crystal Cave

A sort of south-of-the-border Fortress of Solitude, Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the world's largest known natural crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters).

How did the crystals reach such superheroic proportions?

In the new issue of the journal Geology, García-Ruiz reports that for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth.

Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot (10-by-30-meter) cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias (Chihuahua state map). Now García-Ruiz is advising the mining company to preserve the caves.

"There is no other place on the planet," García-Ruiz said, "where the mineral world reveals itself in such beauty."

Read the full story of the new discovery.

Saturday, May 16

Pretty Tulips

Found these two pictures in my camera when I was getting ready to take pictures for new listings. These are my neighbors tulips, my favorite shade/kind of tulips. These are the type I have in my mind when I'm making tulips for the tiny vases, and it is normally the color scheme I prefer to do too :)

Back to taking pictures of the miniatures...

Tuesday, May 12

Not the best carpenters...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe how long everything takes! Silly me thought this cat fence would take 2-3 hours in an afternoon. Well, we are on our third day if you count shopping for the materials, and we still have a lot to do tomorrow.

Just making a note here, because I am tied up with this fence project, and not doing any of the work I should have been doing at night. I have been too tired, not very used to physical labor anymore, so it is wiping me out.

I did get flower making supplies all set out last night with the intent to make a few for vases that were finished last week. That's as far as I got though, looked at the things and decided to go to bed instead ;)

Will hopefully get back on track with normal things by tomorrow night. The cats are going crazy, wish I knew what they were all saying. I have a feeling it's something like "no, no! you are ruining everything!" as they watch from the windows, and cry and cry....

I am telling them it's a castle being built just for them, and nobody else has such a fine thing as they will have when it's finished.

Saturday, May 9

Thank you!

I received a blog award from De, at Delightful Minis

Thank you De! I really need to get out and catch up on my blog reading now too :)

Weekend Project

I live in the best neighborhood in Denver. Not richest, unless you count your riches differently than most people, which I think I am doing by this statement. The house itself is just an ordinary 1950s Ranch style, nothing special, but it's where it was built that makes it the best home I could have living in the city. This picture (not taken by me, but by the Denver Examiner), could have been taken practically next door to me.

Having this stretch of wilderness has what some people consider a "down" side to the neighborhood, but to me, it's wonderful. What people don't like is the wildlife the nature brings. Actually, these animals were probably here long before the houses. We have foxes, coyote, deer, raccoons, squirrels, crows, birds of all types really, and the occassional mountain lion. There is also a pond just on the other side of the creek where geese live all year long, and are most likely prey to some of the other animals.

My next door neighbor complained of the raccoons coming in her house and making a mess last summer, and finally trapped him/her and took the raccoon to the humane society. This was upsetting to me, because it was at the beginning of the summer, and she could have been making orphans of some baby raccoons. If it had been my house the raccoons were coming into, I would have closed off the cat door for a while. Can't control what other people do though...

I haven't been worried about the fox population, because in one of the neighborhood news papers, they had a picture of a cat and fox laying in the sun together one time. I actually saw a couple of foxes last summer in front of my house, that was about sunrise. They're so graceful and pretty, and there have been no reports of them doing any harm to anyone except for the occassional squirrel, (which in my opinion is a public service).

My husband saw a small mountain lion over by the creek last year. I don't think she wanted to be there though, she must have been following the creek and lost track of time or something. I'm sure she went back to the foothills pretty quickly, as they don't really want to be around cities or people.

The deer aren't that common, because we haven't had any harsh winters lately, so they aren't short of food in the foothills. I do remember one year the elk were coming down into the towns in huge numbers because they were starving. That's one good thing to say about mild winters, good for the animals. The city complains about having to use water reserves though.

The only scary thing lately with the wildlife is the coyotes. They have had no fear of people the last couple of years, and have even attacked a couple of times. People who need to worry about them the most are people with dogs. Apparently, the coyotes are attracted to the dogs when people are out walking them. Many coyote have been spotted in our neighborhood the last couple years, but no attacks right here.

That brings me to my weekend project (finally, you say?) I want my cat family to be able to actually "be" cats and get to go outside and play during the summer, but I also need for them to be safe. We have rules, and a curfew, but sometimes they forget, and stay out too long, or wander too far.

The first day of the season I allow them out is on their birthday. This year, they were all very good about staying close, and coming home on time for the first 3 days. Then yesterday, I had a major panic attack with Shirley. She is supposed to be home by 11:00am, but she not only didn't come home on time, I didn't see her all day. By about 5:30 or so, I started walking the neighborhood and talking to people. By 6:30, I was sure something terrible had happened. I called the dumb friends and when I found them closed for the day, went online to their site and started looking at their "found" animals from yesterday. They had a cat that looked very much like Shirley, so much so that I was sure it must be her. That should have brought relief, to know she was safe at least, but it didn't, because Shirley has asthma and has a lot attacks she takes pills for.

I was a crazy cat lady for sure leaving 2 messages at the dumb friends asking them to call me back and let me know if it was Shirley they had, and if so, she needs her pills. Nobody called back, and I decided they need me to work there and be the "soother", I could answer the phone and talk to people who are worried about their lost baby. Going to go tell them that sometime this week...but in the meantime, Shirley came home! She was fine, just hungry. All I can figure is she must have been trapped in someone's garage or something.

So the project this weekend is, TA DA! Found this site to make an enclosure for cats to stay in their own yard. This is the site: Cat Volunteer Resource Page And this is what the project is all about The project

And lastly, the picture of the plan:

I am pretty sure I can reach the bottom part of the chicken wire, and love working a staple gun, so looking forward to doing this tomorrow. Best of all, my babies will be able to go outside again and be safe while being there :)

Yes, I am one of those...

I admit it, I am a crazy cat lady. Everybody knows how much I love cats, (I normally don't even use the word "cat", because they are really babies to me. One of my aunts named this cat after me because she said her eyes reminded her of my eyes. I can't see the eyes in the picture she sent, so don't know how true it is. I assume the cat has light grey eyes though...

My very first cat was a family cat that my younger brother and sister coaxed into living with us. He was neglected and wild when he first came to live with us, but he also started my love of cats. Even back then, I realized cats are far superior to humans, and should indeed be worshiped the way the Egyptians did.

The first cat I decided was really my baby was this one, his name was Addison. He was the first to disappear and break my heart too. I only got to live with him a little over a year, but it made me very rigid with the next cat, who never got to leave the house his whole life.

I have a weekend project that has nothing to do with arts and crafts, but everything to do with my cat obsession. I have a cat family. The mama and her four babies. She had these babies practically on my lap 3 years ago, May 5. I never felt so honored in all my life! That she would trust me so much to want me totally involved with this from the very start. I barely left the couch the first 3 days of their lives, and instead, made a nest for the family next to where I normally sit, and guarded everything for mama Isabella so she could get a break once in a while.

Now that I have posted the background a little, the next post will be about my current project. It concerns this little one...

Tuesday, May 5

Experiment Results, not pretty...

I fired the flamingo experiment last night, and it doesn't work. The floral wire turned black, and the filgree bead base not only turned black, but one totally disentegrated.

So now we know...the armature has to be a wire made for high temperatures in order to work. These pieces were in a little box I built just for them, so they didn't ruin anything else in the kiln. Good thing!

The next post will be more cheerful, with pretty pictures ♥

Off to glaze today...

Saturday, May 2

Storque article

This is just a quick note to put in a link for the recent Storque article on Ceramics and Pottery. Great introduction for anyone who'd like to know a little about the process.

Hey! What's taking you so long?

I'm not going to have any new work this coming week, and decided to blame it on this piece. Well, it's not really her fault, but she did contribute to my snails pace the last couple of days.

When I have a mermaid or lady on a piece, I make the head first, get the basic facial details done before attaching it loosely on the edge of the vase or bowl. The head of this mermaid was ready to attach to the little tray I was planning for her, when she popped off the pin I was using and landed on the mess of clay bits on the floor (am very messy as you can see in the pictures).

When I found her head, I didn't realize my fingers were wet, and I obliterated all the detail of her face, having to start, I just attached her head the way it was and have been working on the detail from here.

As for no new work this week...I decided to just slow down, and enjoy myself. The flamingo experiments are finished, a few more plain frogs, basic vases waiting to be carved or decorated, and another lantern is almost done. I may be able to get these new things ready for listing before next weekend, but I'm not going to be in a panic if I don't.