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.

Monday, January 26, 2009

You wanna piece of me?!

Well now you can have a piece of me. . .well, my pottery!

I am available on Etsy. What is Etsy? Etsy is an online webiste to sell everything HANDMADE! That's right, everything there is hand made by all sorts of artisans, crafters, hobbyists, frustrated artists, anyone who makes anything!

Want a piece of my pottery? You can right here. Just a click away!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The little film that could. . .

Win for Best Picture at the Oscars!

If you have not seen Slumdog Millionaire, GO SEE IT! It is a great story and told really well. And at the end there is a big ole Bollywood number!

Soundtrack is really cool too!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Throwing Clay: Some results #18 - Covered Casserole

I have made two of these and have sold one (forgot to take a picture of it)!

The two pieces are thrown separately, bottom and lid. Getting them to fit snuggly aint no easy task, but when it works it is awesome!

This casserole is 8.5" in diameter and about 4" tall with the lid on. It is glazed in glossy black and honey mustard. The honey mustard is pure inside and the outside has the glossy black over it which gives the green color!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WOW! We got a President I believe in!

What a day!

Sitting on my couch watching more of the inauguration than I planned. I found myself choked up, singing the National Anthem and so very proud to be an American!

Here is President Obama's Inauguration speech.

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation,, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence— the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive ... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

For Sale

Click on picture for larger view.

Friends have been coming to my house and asking to buy my pottery! I have simply had it out on display. No prices, no sales pitch! I have been happy to give it as gifts up until now! I have since sold several of the slabscapes and a covered casserole.

I thought why not share it with everyone! So here is what I have for sale with prices. Of course anything else you see on my blog is for sale too, unless it has been given as a gift already!

Interested? Drop me an email!

For info on pottery classes, check out, The Pot Shop

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stingray Migration

Photo: Sandra Critelli

Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays. The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan .

Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico . The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

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Friday, January 09, 2009

The final piece!

Glass doors for the shower so all can see the amazing wall behind!

I love my bathroom now and it only took six years. Some things are just meant to be and worth the wait!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Throwing Clay: Some results #17 - Hair Pots

Hair Pots?!

Using white stoneware, rather than the more typical brown, and then bisque firing as usual is the start of this Native American pottery.

Once the piece is bisque fired, you fire the piece again, unglazed! When the piece is to temperature, nearly 1000°, you take the hot piece from the kiln and using horse hair, you can use other hairs, but horse gives you the nicest lines, you drape the hairs across the hot pottery. The hairs are what make the black lines. The speckles are from sprinkles of saw dust. The materials essetially burn on to the surface.

Once cooled, you use floor polish to shine up the piece!

The pot on the left is 3.5" tall and about 5" in diameter.
The clock is 9.25" in diameter

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bathroom Remodel

I FINALLY have the bathroom I wanted since I moved into my place 6 years ago! I never, NEVER liked the bathroom. It had some euro trashy-esque sink with a brushed aluminum cone for a base and NO counter space.

I wanted a concrete sink, one of my own design. It don't come cheap walking in off the street. I found a contractor who was able to get some really decent pricing and saved me enough money where I was able to retile a shower wall in river stone too!

River Rock tile available at The Five Elements
Concrete Sink - Soupcan, Inc.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

How satisfied are u?

Dr. Robert Holden has dedicated his life to studying the pursuit of happiness. The psychologist is the founder of the Happiness Project in England and the author of 10 best-selling books, including Happiness Now!

Dr. Holden says those looking for happiness often don't realize they already have it. It's a lesson that he says he was lucky to learn at age 18 from a spiritual teacher. "He said, 'Look, actually, Robert, you're already happy.' And I said, 'Well, that's great, but I don't feel it. So tell me, what do I have to do?'" Dr. Holden recalls. "And he said, 'You have to understand that the pursuit of happiness is a mistake. It's like, you don't chase happiness out there. You learn that you're happy inside you and then you go running. Then you go into the world.'"

Take the Satisfaction With Your Life test

Use the 1–7 scale to rate your level of agreement.

1 = Not at all true
4 = Moderately true
7 = Absolutely true

1. In most ways, my life is close to ideal.

2. The conditions of my life are excellent.

3. I am satisfied with my life.

4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.

5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Add them up. If you scored 15 or under, you are dissatisfied with your life. If you scored 31 or higher, you are extremely satisfied with your life.

If you scored somewhere in the middle, happiness expert Dr. Robert Holden has some advice on how to live a more satisfying life. Dr. Holden says the key to being happy is overcoming "destination addiction," which he defines as "living in the not-now."

"It's always about tomorrow, so you're chasing 'more,' 'next' and 'there,'" he says. "You promise yourself that when you get there, you'll be happy. And I promise you, you won't, because you'll always set another destination to go for."

Instead, Dr. Holden says if you are unhappy with your life or looking to improve your score, there are two things you can do. "We have to learn to let go of our past, we have to give up all hopes for a perfect past. Let the past go, it's gone." After that, he says, "Take a vow of kindness. Be kinder to yourself and to others.

"It's never too late to be happy," he says.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

I am lucky to have my life!

One of my gifts from Lisa was a Do-It-Yourself-Munny. You can draw on it, make it into a new character, whatever!

He came with some accessories, a skateboard, bow tie, policeman's hat and pen to hold. I decided that I will use it as a 2009 journal and write on it. At the end of each day I will write one sentance, word or phrase on him. I decided to work from his feet up.

Yesterday I wrote, "I'm lucky to have my life." It is a big statement. But I meant lucky as in fortunate, not like it just fell in my lap. I had friends over for a New Year's day brunch, and just loved having my friends around, in my home I have made, filled with laughter, a career I love and just a really awesome life that gives me great joy and satisfaction!

Thanks again Lisa for the great gift!

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