Wednesday, January 27, 2010

today was a bust... (not much clay here, sorry)

forgot i had to take the baby to helena for her 1st speech therapy appt and some grocery shopping. kylie's 14mos old and still is not talking. no words at all. the speech therapist suspects she's got severe apraxia, same thing my son has only his was moderate. at this age he had several words and took to signs pretty quickly. kylie shows no interest in the signs at all, like she doesn't make the connection that they're words. the therapist also recommended an OT (occupational therapy) evaluation also. so here we go again... like she doesn't have enough to worry about already. she's being tested for TMAU should get those results back anytime. if she has severe apraxia what in the world is her school life going to be like. bad enough she smells, but can't really talk either?? i'm depressed. poor thing has already been though so much in her short life and now this. the thing that sucks is that all her problems are rare! i'd never even heard of all this till turns out my kids had it. kawasikis, TMAU, apraxia? huh?!? what the f%@#?!? where did all this stuff come from? nobody in either of our families has had any of this stuff. i told my husband if we were dogs we'd have to be spayed/neutered. so now i need to take kylie to helena 2x a week for speech therapy, and possibly OT therapy depending on how the eval goes. did i say it takes about 45mins to get there? we already take my son out there on fridays for OT&PT. will it ever end? guess i'm done venting now...

the one high note today is that i found the die for my extruder i thought i'd lost. i need it to make handles for those soup bowls and it was nowhere to be found, been looking for it for 2 days. i'm so uber organized. NOT! so tomorrow i'll finally get the handles on the soup bowls and let them dry slowly under plastic. maybe while i have the extruder dirty i'll make a couple platters, got an idea for a couple pieces, may as well have a go at it if i have time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I feel so productive lol!

this probably sounds silly to someone who can sit all day and throw pots, but i feel like I've gotten so much done in the last few days! not all that much really, but compared to what i usually get done I'm happy.

this is my make shift damp cabinet. works fine for now. i finally got my soup bowl order all ready for handles. the bowls will hang on a pot rack and she wanted bears, so i have 5 bears stamped around the outside and one on the inside too. i put a little swirl on the bottom too since it'll be visible when not in use. hopefully I'll get the handles on tomorrow (fingers crossed!)

i forgot about this set of nesting bowls I'd made. i never had time to trim them and of course they dried out even though wrapped in plastic. figured it couldn't' hurt so i trimmed them up anyway (love my new dolan tool lol) the feet aren't how I'd have done it if the clay was soft, but i may have saved them, we'll see...

here's a tumbler and some cups i made, one of the cups got trashed of course. i think the cups are too small but I'm liking the lines on the outside, it reminds me of the mountains out our front window. can't go overboard on them though like on the plate below, think it's a bit much.
found this plate and 2 larger platters that I'd never gotten around to trimming. they were wrapped in plastic and they were still wet enough to trim - yeah! this is what stopped me from trimming up that last plattershe's standing on my foot that's on the petal, that's why i went overboard on the lines on that plate, little stinker!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

more time on my hands?!?

i found out last week that my son has been accepted into the local head start program. he'd been put on the wait list because we're over income level, but i guess there's no more kids to fill the slot and he was at the top of the list because of his apraxia and various therapies needed. so starting tomorrow he'll be in 'school' from 8-12 M-Th! plus he'll still be going to preschool M & W 1-3:30. headstart and the preschool are in the same building so he's already familiar w/ the place so he's very excited to be a "big boy" and goign to school everyday like his big sister. i have to admit i will miss the little booger but it'll hopefully give me a little more time for my clay.

i tell you i don't know how people like jen mecca can actually have a career and be a mom to young ones at the same time. her kids are older than mine, but she seem to have her s#!% together so much more than i do. i know it's not necessarily the case, but i can imagine others in a similar boat as me who's lives are so much more organized than mine. sometimes i think i'm just a total mess. i try to get on a schedule, but something always happens to throw me off. usually concerning the baby. i know things will get better when she's older, but i've got so many ideas in my head and so many things i want to try. i want to do it all NOW! oh well... i'll get there one day.
I still can't throw or trim pots when Kylie's around, last time i tried trimming w/ her there i ended up w/ a cheese grater stuck into the side of a bowl. but i can do some hand building and glazing and all that so i'm pretty excited about the headstart thing. off to bed now, stay tuned to see if the little munchkin let me get anythign done! ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

got my hands dirty again today!

Sometimes it amazes me how much better I feel after I've worked with clay for a bit. My husband was home today so he took the kids while I got some things thrown. started out w/ a set of 4 espresso cups and saucers, made 4 yunomis, haven't made or used any of these before, but I'm seeing them everywhere so figured I'd try some out to see what all the fuss is about. also got my order of 10 soup bowls thrown again, last time they dried out too much to trim and add handles. I'll post some pictures after i get them trimmed.

i definitely need to come up w/ some sort of damp cabinet for my new studio. wrapping in plastic works OK, but sometimes it's several days before i can get back to a piece and I've had so many dry out on me. I'm thinking of taking one of those big rolling wire racks from Costco and wrapping it in plastic. just have to figure out something for a door, maybe some velcro...

work on my studio is coming along very slowly, but we'll get there. there's really only one day a week we (aka my husband lol) can really work on it. all the insulation and poly is up in the ceiling, and the foundation walls are wrapped in thick foam board insulation. we also bought the wood for the wall, haven't put any of it together just yet though. i can't wait to get it done, working in the spare bedroom just isn't cutting it.

i hate to do it but we're also going to put a small TV and space for the kids in there too. there's something called a frog swing that my son's OT uses w/ him, it doesn't take up too much room and looks pretty easy to make. it'll give him some of the input he craves and help him stay calm hopefully. (he's got sensory issues and can be a real hand full) plus i can pull it up out of the way when the kids aren't out there. as for the TV, it's not my favorite way to keep the kids occupied, but they usually get to watch it for an hour or so each day and it'll help keep them out of my hair while i try to get some work done. i don't have the TV on when i work, i usually listed to books on tape w/ my headphones. so i can put it out of the way somewhere.
have to go deal w/ a melt down now, love him to death but sometimes that boy drives me crazy...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

finally found the time last night to get my hands dirty again. didn't actually make anything, but did wedge up a bunch of reclaim clay. what i wouldn't give for a pug mill. i really don't like wedging. my husband had the job for a little while, i showed him how to cut and slam, but i ended up w/ all these little clay bits all over the garage. even on some of my glazed work that was headed into the kiln. seemed he was making a game out of how hard he could slam the clay together and how far the little bits would fly. i'm still cleaning bits off of the foundation walls. wedging last night got me thinking about the best way to reclaim clay. i just rewedge the wet stuff, but when it dries out and goes into a bucket to slake, i'm trying to figure out the best way to dry it out enough to wedge. i tried the blue jean leg thing and that's just messy and a real pain. next i made a trough out of hardware cloth and lined w/ denim and dumped the clay in that. works fine, still have to deal w/ the dripping water. now i'm thinking of a big plaster slab or bowl, or doing smaller batches using a couple bisqued trays. can't make up my mind. i'm leaning toward smaller batches, not sure about how to dry it out though.

we've been talking about everything i want to do in my new studio set up. i'm on a mission to get rid of as much dust as i possibly can. i'm going to put a vent hood in there to use when i'm making glazes to catch the dust generated there, and mop/clean after every clay session.

i've very excited about my new studio. i want to come up w/ a different look to my pottery and the new studio feels like a new fresh start. i've got a few ideas i want to explore and can't wait to get to work on it. i have some orders i have to fill first though and i'm doing nothing else until i can get those done. just can't seem to find the time, kids kids kids. more on that later...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gap tooth grin!

no, no, not me, but this is just too funny not to post. my 6yo daughter has had a really loose front tooth for a couple weeks now. i took a look at it tonight and it had to go. i didn't want it coming out while she was eating and hurt one of her other teeth. she was completely freaking out, to the point of hyperventilating (sp?) so i tied a piece of dental floss on there and let her try to do it herself. you'd think she was gently stroking a pups ear or something. i kept telling her to give it a good yank but she just wouldn't do it. so a couple hours go by and bedtime is coming up. i finally put my foot down and tell her i'll take care of it myself. on come the hysterics, honestly at one point i thought she was going to faint!(have i mentioned how much of a little drama queen she is??) so finally i stood her in fron of me w/ the string wrapped around her hand trying to get her to relax a little and take a few deep breaths "i promise i WON'T pull it!! breathe!!" i felt her relax just a touch and i grabbed her hand and yanked it toward the floor for all it was worth, cringing as i do it. we both felt something give and looked at each other for a few seconds, then slowly i raised her hand up to check out the string. there hung the tooth. she looked at it, then looked at me, and busted out crying. i just couldn't stop laughing, she was so cute! her face all red and swollen from all the crying she'd done. so i ran her into the kitchen and grabbed a towel and stuck it in her mouth to stop the bleeding. so now i've got a little girl w/ a gap tooth grin.
she put the tooth in a little tooth shaped box i made and crammed it between her matress and bedframe, right by her pillow.
well here's some pictures of my soon to be studio. it's cleaned up a bit now and the insulation is in the ceiling, but you get the idea. it'll probably be awhile before it's done though. the measurements are actually around 27x13 according to hubby. i can never remember that stuff.
this is where all the main part of the studio will be. i figure the sink and glazing area on the back wall and line the side walls w/ ware racks. that table is a couple of full sheets of plywood and is about as sturdy as it gets. i'm wondering if i should cut it down a little? guess i'll have to see how much room is there when the wall goes up. this is the end where the kilns are. will probably have clay storage down there and my wedging table, probably the extruder somewhere around there too. i'd love to eventually replace the garage door w/ some french doors or something. there's a fantastic view out that way and it'd be nice to be able to see something.
here's the view taken last winter
tried to get these to line up but not sure how. the one on the bottom should be on the right. those are the elkhorn mountains out there. we bought our house sight unseen while living in VA, had no idea about the view. imagine our suprise when we got to MT! we're on the end of a small ridge and the antelope and deer are all over the place out there, it's so cool to watch them. although when they devour the neighbors plantings it's not so good...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

yucky day

i'm sick. i hate being sick. just been a couch potato all day and i'm bored. tried playing the wii but the kids came and took it over. that's ok, my hands start hurting if i play too long. only so much tv one can watch, got hooked on Ax Men for a couple hours lol.

we have made some progress on my studio though. Thursday (i think) i went out and got it all cleaned, everything boxed up, and lots of stuff trashed. i was very refreshing to take a hammer to all that work i had that just wasn't up to par. i filled up a whole garbage can! sure does look bigger w/o all that clutter laying around everywhere. i actually remembered to take a few pictures after i'd been working about an hour or so, but the camera's in the kitchen and i'm not budging off this couch for now, i'll post them later lol.

We went to home depot on friday and got lots of insulation for the ceiling and foundation walls, and Kyle (hubby/studio handyman) got the insulation up in the ceiling space on Saturday. the ceiling won't be finished w/ drywall for awhile, it's probably 11-12' up there and i just want things to be functional for now. he's putting poly up there to keep the insulation in for now. we will finish off the walls since i want to be able to clean them when they need it, and i think we'll be putting in a couple windows so i can have lots more natural light - yeah! for some reason i didn't think he'd go for that idea, but it'll be hot and stuffy in there in the summer w/o them. he also wants to put up a couple ceiling fans to even out the heat in the winter and help w/ air flow in the summer time. i think it's a great idea. doesn't sound like running water will be in the picture for quite awhile, too much work and expence for now. but he's got a couple 55gallon drums we can put on a stand and fill w/ water. he says we can put on an insta-hot whatsit for how water out there too. he's a plumber, i'm leaving that part up to him. the sink will have to drain into a bucket also, but i figure i can put it on wheels and just wheel it out in the yard to empty it out. it's better than what i've got now so no complaining on my part. and i'm already used to being conservative on water so we don't have to pump out the septic so often.

so now i'm going to search out possible plans for where everything can go. i know i've seen some diagrams online somewhere, jsut have to find them. kyle wants me to have a rough plan so he doesn't have to go back and change anything later. will post the pictures in a bit...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

homemade yogurt

ok, this has nothing to do w/ clay, i admit it... i made some homemade yogurt yesterday, still haven't decided if i like it or not. it was easy enough, just really tart! and a little runny. the kids really like that premade stuff in the store but it's pricey and so full of sugar. if i can figure out a way to sweeten and thicken this stuff i'll probably try it again. but for now i've got a GALLON of yogurt to experiment with. (god forbid i start out w/ a small batch...) think i'll try some jello mixed in, maybe that'll work. maybe put it in some individual containers for them to snack on. maybe i'll mix it up in one of the batter bowls i made. there. there's the clay reference. ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

trying to get back into the swing of things...

man what a hectic few weeks!  had a great time but i'm so glad to be getting things back to normal.  i just got the tree out onto the patio (let my husband take care of it from there lol) and am getting all the christmas crap packed back up.  by the way, when i'm getting ready for christmas i call it all decorations and ornaments.  when it's time to come down, well, i call it crap.  i'm sick of looking at it and i want it out of here! 
on the clay front there's absolutely nothing new.  although we did go to home depot over the weekend to price wood, insulation, and drywall to see how much it'll cost to get my studio space operational.  by studio i don't mean my space in the tiny spare bedroom, but the 3rd bay of our garage that i want to wall off, insulate and heat.  that'll give me about 13'x24' to work in and it'll be all mine!  not huge by any means, but better than anything i've had before and by storing things such as chemicals and whatnot in the unheated part of the garage i should have plenty of room.  well... for now anyway lol.  so  everything out there that's just been thrown wherever it happens to land needs to be cleaned up, organized, and put away.  pulling my hair out just thinking about it.  oh well, it's got to be done, that way my husband can get to work on getting the wall up this weekend.   
i also have some orders for soup bowls and a dinner set i need to get working on. 
baby's crying now of course.  will post before and after pictures of my future studio, can't wait to get it done! :)