23 January 2007

...captains log....

Caden had a blast last Friday at the birthday party. I was so proud of him, he was so well behaved. He is really growing up fast these days. He even brings his very first report card home tomorrow. He is learning how to write a lot more words, too. He regularly write me a note that says "hi mom, I love you". Other than his first name, his first words that he wrote were "mom" and "hi". So cute. He also knows how to write "thank you", he taught himself that phrase, it was on a card that they colored in at Sunday school, he used it as reference and wrote a thank you note to the cat.

poor little suki...

Speaking of our cats...Suki (the new one) has never been healthy sense we adopted her. She sneezes and actually has like a sinus infection and on top of that has diarrhea very badly. The shelter finally agreed to check her out. They have been taking care of her since Saturday. We miss her so much. Even Zoe, our other cat, seems lost for her, she searches the house and meows at night now. It is like she is searching for her buddy. We hope to hear word soon and have her back. Luckily, Zoe did not catch the illness.

Last Thursday I went in for my nerve block. This time I spoke with my regular doctor and he reviewed my last MRI. I guess that my L5-S1 disc has re-herniated...again. This is the third time. The fusion is supposed to limit motion to prevent this from happening. Apparently, it did not. The MD said that my disc must be pretty weak to keep bursting. I made an appointment with my primary care to get a referral to an ortho or my neuro surgeon to see what to do now. At least the MRI gave insight for my nerve block.

14 January 2007


Our amaryllis is almost in bloom, just peeking through. It doesn't look like spring here anymore. Winter has come back, we are expecting snow for the next week or so. Once the lake effect snow kicks in, it stays for a while. This has been a really warm winter.

Caden is so excited, he gets to go to a birthday party. This is the first class party that he has been able to attend. And the birthday boy, Chaz, is one of Caden's good friends. It works out great, because the kids do not have school Thursday and Friday.

Paul has been interviewing for lots of jobs. We are madly trying to stay in Michigan, but so many jobs are out of state. Michigan has the worst economy in the US. Wednesday, Paul has a very promising interview, so please, if you can, join us in good thoughts and prayer. Otherwise, we will be forced for Paul to work out of state and live separate. Because of our health issues, it is difficult to get health insurance through our business. Paul has been doing plenty of consulting work, but we are just striving for a stable existence. We don't want to leave our home.

In other news, I did the final glaze fire on my last round of ceramic prototypes.

I had some stain issues, I added more frit, so I think that I have solved that issue. I also have decided that I like a more matte appearance. So, that means more supplies. Hopefully I can order some more glaze this week. There are not any local places that sell glaze. Ugh....the only thing is, with Internet purchases, the shipping is slow and costs a lot. So, when I do order, I am going to get everything I need so that I don't waste anymore shipping. I am getting matte transparent, matte white and four other colors that are included in the package. I am also going to get a thinner gauge high temperature wire. I found that my holes were too small, that combined with shrinkage during firing, caused me to break several pieces when I was taking them off the bead tree post glaze fire. I am also going to work on a couple of matryoshka like (but animal themed) pieces that you can put a tea light in or just keep small trinkets in.

I have another nerve block on Thursday. I get to meet with both my usual doctor and the doctor that is replacing him. We will also discuss what to do (if anything) about my disc that has become re-herniated. I thought that my fusion was supposed to prevent this from happening, but apparently not.

That is enough for now...I think that I have blurted out just about everything going on with us...
sorry for the long post....thanks for stopping by!

09 January 2007

putzing along...

I am finaaly getting around to glazing some of the buttons and pendants that I have been making. I ordered mason stain and once it arrived, I realized that I needed to mix it with a "flux" to make it stick. Ugh. I didn't know what to mix it with, so onto the beads of clay yahoo group. Such a helpful group if you are interested in making ceramic art, especially beads. They also have a flickr group. So long story short, I was able to start the expiramenting today. I have found that, for me, I have had to do a lot of expiramenting to find my true niche. I am so excited to get back working with clay. I have decided that we really need a butter dish. So instead of going out to buy one, I am going to create one. Sure it may take me a couple of months (I am pokey), but we have lived this long without one, a couple more months won't hurt! But, I am most excited about a new concept I am working on, "nesting dolls" but in animal for, like a little bird that can open up and you can place little trasures inside etc. I think that, for me, jewelry was limiting me, slowing me down. I love to make jewelry and will continue it, but I want to also make small ornaments, candle sticks, figures etc.

This is a picture of some of my glass collection. I have been trying to imbed the various glass beads and shards into glaze. I have found that some colors work better than others.

These are the next set of expiramental glass imbedded pendants, they are glazed and ready to fire. I will show you all the results later, I am not sure if I am going to fire these separate from the pendants above.

Thanks for stopping by..have a great day!

05 January 2007

ceramic doodles...

I worked on a reference sample board of all of my glaze over the holiday break. I made ceramic earthenware tags painted half with one layer of glaze, the other half with three layers of glaze and the bottom with a clear over glaze. I was really surprised at some of the results. It is good that I did that, I think it will save me some tears in the future. A couple of the under glazes actually fired shiny without the over glaze. This seemed to happen in the darker colors. I made some trial ceramic pendants with various glass fused in the clear glaze in the second firing. That was not as successful as I wanted.

Please excuse the horrible picture, but I thought I would give you an idea of what I was talking about. The greens/blues turned out ok, but the darker red glass discolored and muddied. I will need to work on the firing process. I will probably add glass to a third firing and do it at a lower temperature as to not "burn" the glass (I don't know, it is all an experiment, but it is fun though!)

We adopted a nine month old Siamese mix kitten. We named her Suki. She is slightly cross-eyed and has huge pupils, I really wouldn't have noticed she was cross-eyed right away if they wouldn't have listed it on her records. She is so cuddly and affectionate. She has brought out some better traits in our other cat, Zoe. They, amazingly look like twins, except Zoe is long haired and bigger.

This is Zoe, just a couple of minutes ago, attacking the camera cord!

This is Sukie, lounging in the TV cabinet, she is a perfect fit for our family. We were not seriously looking, but she stuck in our heads and we went back to get her three days later, literally seconds before she was going to someone else. She is the first cat that I have had to train no to get on the counter tops, and she has discovered notorious BOB (our boogie-eyed goldfish). She is mischievous, but cute, affectionate, comes when she is called, and fetches!

another Sukie, picture....

Needless to say, Caden is also very happy with the new addition, she likes to play a lot, just like Caden!

Thanks for stopping by, talk to you soon! Have a great weekend!