Welcome to my world! I always thought it would be fun to be the ruler of my own place, and now I can be! I see it as an island within a big city full of life, culture and lots of laughter. Consider yourself a citizen.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chop! Chop!

I have a Chinese name, Zang Lee Tcha!

I just received my chop from Tao! IT IS BEAUTIFUL! It is hand carved from water buffalo horn!

It took Tao a while to get back to the states after the trip to China. It seems the Chinese government wanted to keep her!

It is Chinese culture that dictates one says the last/family name first, hence it being the largest character on the chop, Zang. It is pronounced with a flat tone and is simply a rare family name.

Lee, the next character on the chop is said in the third tone and means rationality, ideal, theory and methods (perhaps the designer in me).

Last is Tcha, pronounced in the second tone. It has the meaning of to observe, research, and understand.

Now all I need is some formal document to sign with it!

Thanks Huang Tao!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Ruffles have ridges. . .and teeth!

Over the weekend, I found this in a bag of potato chips!

YIKES! Looks like a first or second molar!

Never fear though, it was only an oddly shaped chip.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Throwing Clay: Some results #8 - Denmark Platter

Behold the Denmark Platter! Using plants from my friend Marcia's garden in Denmark, WI, I made a slab platter for her birthday (I hope she doesn't check my blog and ruin the surprise)!

It measures 15" x 7.75". Glossy black glaze was rubbed into the leaves and then the whole platter was overglazed with glossy brown.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Small town charm

My last trip to Peru. . .IL I could not stop looking at the signage, the typography, the feel and mood.

I know it is the designer in me, but you can really get a sense of a place by the environment. Any of these signs in Chicago would be newly designed "retro-looking" in their intent. But here, in Peru and Spring Valley, they have most likely been hanging since the decade they represent!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Throwing Clay: Some results #7 - Glazing

On July 1, I showed you some platters with leaves pressed into the surface. They were just air dry. I was waiting to get them bisque fired, glazed and glaze fired!

Well, one is done! Behold the Starved Rock Platter!

Glossy blue glaze was rubbed into the leaf imprints and then a bobby green glaze went over the whole platter! I wish I could take all the credit for the glazing solution but Dominic made the suggestion and even did a test platter of his own to give it a go! I did do the glazing on this.

I am still waiting for the second platter which was just put in the kiln today for its glaze firing, so stay tuned for its debut!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Throwing Clay: Some results #6

Here are two trays done with a technique of creating a thick disc on the wheel and then throwing it on a board! You get these wonderfull oval/elongated platters. They are great for cheese, a tray for a serving set, appetizers etc.

I showed you two that I made with leaves pressed into them and I am still waiting for those to come out of the glaze firing. In the meantime, here are two of the first I made, a small one with circles and one that looks like an eggplant!

You can see the basic technique here.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mmm. . .breakfast!

I aint a breakfast eater. It don't sit right in me. But maybe a month or so ago I started starting my day with something to eat.

It was typically an egg white omelette with veggies and some toast. But after a couple of weeks, THAT got a little repetitive and boring. So I started doing some smoothies with juices, not a fan of the milk! Pictured above is today's, Berry Smoothie, straw, ras and blue berries in cranberry juice. I need to add some protein powder for a little boost.

Funny thing, I do seem to have a bit more energy in the day starting the day with some breakfast!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

8th Wonder of the World

The Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'An China are amazing. Discovered by a farmer digging a well in the 70's, accidently, they are an amazing site to see. there are four pits, but it is pit No. 1 that has been most excavated.

They say each one has a different face.

You can also see them come to life in this summer's Mummy movie!

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Friday, July 11, 2008


Last night we had a bit of a storm here! On the weather from the news they showed the storm front in a wonderful green color move across the map. I always wondered how they determined that line of the storm.

Upon going outside to see the weather change, I saw the line of the storm shown on the map!

Thanks for the picture Erik!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shampoo collection addition - Harbour Plaza North Point

The China trip had many memories and souveniers and of course hotel shampoos!

The swankiest and largest collection came from the Harbour Plaza North Point in Hong Kong!

the collection consisted of: Bottles (front to back): bath gel, conditioning shampoo and lotion; the many boxes contained: cottoon tips, sanitary bag, sewing kit, shower cap and toothbrush set (including toothpaste); and of course the disk of soap!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

I had a dream!

I had a dream Saturday night. Quite vivid!

Here it is!

I open my back door and see all sorts of well dressed, not fancy dressed, people going up the back stairs, which were newly painted. I ask them where they are going and they tell me to my upstairs, directly upstairs, neighbors for a party. I ask why they are not using the front stairs and they tell me because someone special is going that way.

My phone rings. It is my upstairs neighbor inviting me to come up for the party. I go upstairs and find the special guest to be Angelina Jolie! She is sitting in my favorite chair, an oversized square comfy one.

She is quite generous and friendly talking to everyone. I sit down beside her and we talk for quite a while. She is quite beautiful. She is wearing a large dark sweater off her shoulder and slim black pants with high heeled black shoes. Her legs are crossed and she is siiting back in the chair.

It is getting late and I leave to go back downstairs. When I get downstairs, I realize I failed to get a picture of Angelina with Arngee! I call upstairs and ask my neighbor if it is okay for me to come back and take a picture. She tells me everyone left right after I did.

Dream over!

Anyone have any idea of meaning?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pottery in the works

In my last post I mentioned the trays I am making. Well, here they are in their current state!

The top tray has been bisque fired, waiting to be glazed. Dominic has suggested rubbing one glaze into the leaves and then over glazing with another. The result should be a deep color in all the veins and details of the leaves! I used various oak leaves I collected at Starved Rock State Park.

That tray inpsired me to create the bottom tray. This tray will be a birthday gift for my friend Marcia who I was visiting up in Denmark, WI a weekend back. She loves her garden, loves pottery, so what better gift to make her for her birthday! I often send her ceamic bowls or pitchers as gifts and they typically have some sort of plant theme to them. I collected lots of materials from her garden. Her tray has in it branches off her Russian Olive, White Pine, Cedar, and ornamental grass!

Mama Potter says this aint pottery and that "throwing clay on the floor (which is part of how you make these trays) is not the same as throwing clay on a wheel!"

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