Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I haven't gotten much done in clay due to the heat. Yesterday it was 112 and today was supposed to be 114, although I don't think it got that high. Then last night after dark, our well quit working. Only air came out of the faucet. Since we are into the third year of a drought, we were scared s@#%less that it was major. After a (literally) sleepless night and waiting all day for the water softener people to come and fix a leak, and the well guy to check our well, we found out it was just dirty contacts in the regulator. What a sigh of relief. But I did read that even a small drip or leak can waste a lot of water a day. So don't let any water leaks or running toilets go, please get them fixed. In the mean time I have been watering up a storm because when the temperature goes over 100, some things need water twice a week instead of once. So even though I reduced my watering areas, my watering has temporarily doubled. Despite the heat everything is looking pretty good around here and my back has been holding up too.
What's all this got to do with doodles? If you are anything like me, when you can't create in clay, you think and dream, and perhaps doodle your ideas on paper. Hey waiting in the drive through bank line I sketched the quail above. Guess I'll have to tape it into my journal. Do you do any doodling or sketching? I have, what I think are, several good ideas rolling around in my head. I was inspired by a couple of magazines I got for Gary to read recently, one called Atomic Ranch and the other Dwell. We're dreaming of our next house. We'd love to live in an atomic ranch styled house. Anyway, I'm formulating some retro designs. In preparation for these designs, I ordered a few (many, don't tell Gary) different colors of mason stain samples and I'm patiently waiting for their arrival. After seeing Kitty Shepherd's slip decorated work, I have wanted to use more colors in my slip decoration. In the meantime, I decided to draw some of my ideas on paper and use some colored pencils or marking pens to color my ideas. My thought behind this is to work out the colors on paper before I actually put the mason stained slip on clay. Since the mason stains are expensive this will save using colored slip to practice with. How about you, do you used colored pencils for your designs?
The colored pencils brought back memories of when I used to design and make quilts back in the late 1970's. Back then there weren't all the computer design programs and there weren't any ready-made plastic templates I could purchase. When I got an idea in my head, I would draw it on paper, usually graph paper so it was to scale, and then I would use colored pencils to color in my design. Once I got my design down on paper, I would make up cardboard templates for each piece of the design, cut them out and place them on the fabric and cut the fabric out. Then I would piece my quilt together.
All the quilts I made back then are long gone, some as gifts to others. My sister still has the baby quilt I made for her son, Casey, almost 28 years ago, and when her grandson, Ashton, was born, his first baby picture was taken with that quilt. Boy was I proud to be a Great Aunt but also proud that a quilt I made so many years ago was still holding up and usable. I have the birth announcement showing the quilt somewhere around here, but I can't find it right now. Since I didn't know the sex of my nephew ahead of time, I made a log cabin style quilt in aqua and purple prints. Some considered those colors risky or outlandish back then, but they looked good together to me. They're not so risky now, the three enlarged and digitally manipulated flower photos above have those same colors and they are hanging above the couch in my family room.
One of the projects Gary and I have been doing is going through all our possessions to see what we need to keep and what we can donate or sell. Cynthia Guajardo will be moving soon and she and I have had several discussions about minimalist living, what to keep and what you can do without. The other day Gary and I were going through some boxes and were pleasantly surprised to rediscover two, pieced throw pillows I made for Gary as a wedding present. Gary and I moved to the mountains and got married in the backyard of the first house we purchased together twenty-four years ago. Before we were married, Gary had once mentioned he loved down pillows. So when I made these two throw pillows for Gary, I ordered some real goose down and put the down in a liner inside the pillow. Then I made the outer pieced pillow portion with Velcro so it could be removed to wash. One pillow symbolizes the mountains where we were moving and the other the new home we would be making together. Of course, we'll be keeping these pillows.
Well I'm back to doodling and coloring. I know you're wondering about all those bisque and glaze loads I'm supposed to be doing, and you're thinking where is the PVC light box? I'll be getting to those projects real soon. Believe me they are weighing on my mind more than yours. It's just been too hot to run the kiln this past week and my back wasn't up to it. Household duties have kept me from building the light box. Besides that Gary hurt his back taking up the slack for me, so I've been taking up the slack for him. When it rains it pours. Wait a minute we could use some rain here in California. In the meantime, once my mason stains arrive, I'll show you some of my colored slip designs on clay.