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Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 12:00 am Dust and Shadows
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ysabetwordsmith is holding a poetry fishbowl today with the theme of Mad Science. One of her freebie poems for the day, Dust and Shadows, is about golems and robots and the urge to create.
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Jan. 31st, 2011 @ 10:39 pm Knitting Beowulf
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I think at least firstfrost and remcat will be amused by this pattern for socks with the first page of the text of Beowulf. Link yoinked from ysabetwordsmith, who says she'd rather have that on a vest. Given the charts for the socks and a simple vest pattern, would that be hard? I imagine there would be some wacky chart-splicing involved, but that might just mean juggling a few rectangles around to reassemble them nicely into a page?
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Oct. 27th, 2010 @ 03:16 pm Firesheep: cookie theft made easy
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Signal boosting, from siderea: ALERT: FIRESHEEP: Man-in-the-Middle now in Convenient Firefox Plug-In!
And the article on TechCrunch: Firesheep In Wolves' Clothing: Extension Lets You Hack Into Twitter, Facebook Accounts Easily
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Oct. 18th, 2010 @ 11:49 pm Racial Microaggressions
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Signal boosting: Racial Microaggressions.

I know I'm much more aware of equivalents with respect to gender and religion, and will try to be more attentive to such things in general. By all means call me on it ...
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Sep. 30th, 2010 @ 02:33 pm Shameless plugs: Madrigal & Sketchfest
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Madrigal (that boffer larp I'm on staff for) is looking for NPCs for the next event, which is October 8-10. NPCs for any fraction of the event are welcome and encouraged. Rumor has it that there will be cookies. (Not from me at the event, as I am running in circles panicking, but I can offer post-event bribes of baked goods, and cliodhna and bluestocking have both mentioned cookies at the event ...)

The next Sketchfest will be October 15th-16th, noon to noon Alaska time, aka 4pm - 4pm Eastern time.

Come play with us!
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Jun. 25th, 2010 @ 03:13 am Posty McPost-a-Pot
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Pottery, to no-one"s surpriseCollapse )
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May. 19th, 2010 @ 06:44 am Clearing the queue
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I made it to studio three days running (high time!), and have cleared most of my glazing backlog, and picked up the pieces I glazed last week. (Beads and chimes are fast to make, but often slower than medium-sized pieces to glaze.) Discounting the broken bisque I may pitch instead of using as glaze tests (chimes make fine glaze tests, and I might want to keep them afterward), I'm down to two pieces of unglazed bisque, both of which I'm dithering about how to glaze (but I'll get another batch back Thursday), and I have three thrown and three handbuilt pieces in progress. I may put a moratorum on beads until I've done some decent throwing, as I've thrown all of one piece so far this term.

Back from glazing on Monday:
Three mottled turquoise pendants -- the glaze combination did not turn out the same way as last time, but I like it this way, too.
Seven chimes and pendants, showing wildly variable vegas red results -- the broadway/vegas combo in the large spaces on the back of the B turned out very nicely, IMO.
A bunch of beads, a couple of which were sadly ruined in firing.
Another one of those crazy little spiral bowls, deeper than the last one, with a foot that's too big instead of too small.

... and I won't inflict any more pottery on you for another week. :)
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Feb. 6th, 2010 @ 03:23 am TED Talk - Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story.
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Signal-boosting -- thank you, chaointe.

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Twenty-minute videoCollapse )

And speaking of stories, the end of an ancient language, and all the stories and cultural knowledge it held.
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Jan. 23rd, 2010 @ 08:17 am Ceramics: beads, bowls, cup
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Photos and blithering about ceramicsCollapse )
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Sep. 28th, 2009 @ 06:09 pm Never After: a few thoughts
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Sunday I saw Never After. It's cute and bouncy. Much of the music is fun; the orchestra was excellent. It pushed at my definition of 'fairy tale' -- I think it isn't quite one, to me, but instead belongs over in whatever one calls the space Gilbert and Sullivan operettas are in.

A number of things bothered me. A couple of these I can articulate; a few more I'll flail at. RamblingCollapse )

Edit: Unlocked per request.
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Sep. 5th, 2009 @ 06:04 am Letters and stones
firstfrost has likely already seen the font section and top typography choices on Design Inspiration, but they were new to me. (Caveat: one of the fonts in the typography list is arguably not worksafe.)

Being six, I came home from chenoameg's beach party with a pocket full of pebbles. They're not as pretty dry as they were wet (never are, though I could cheat and put a sealant on them), but many of them will still make good beads once attacked with the dremel. Surprisingly many people humored my squeeing over shiny little rocks, not including any of the actual kids. (This whole 'next generation' thing blindsides me sometimes. One'd think by now I'd have it integrated into my world view.)
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Aug. 23rd, 2009 @ 07:47 pm Draft tea bowls
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Recently, I have had caffeine and insufficient sleep, bad ideas (clay atcs!), and unexpected fish.

Wednesday I dropped by studio briefly with mathhobbit and collected the first round of draft tea bowls back from glazing. Lots of thanks to dcltdw for being interrogated at length on the subject. create_universe, I don't think any of these are quite what you're looking for, but I could use your feedback. Tea bowlsCollapse )

Also back from glazing are more beads and hearts, and another triangle bowl, in cheryl's blue-green. Possibly one of the hearts is for the proposed mobile for chenoameg's young'un-to-be, and one is for merimask, but I'm not sure what they'll think of that plan.

And now off to studio, having spent much too long noodling around with photographs today, and having spent ~no time working during the last week, as work was eating my time and brain ... or not quite yet, as it just started pouring rain and is a bit of a walk.
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Aug. 14th, 2009 @ 07:51 am Lesser proof of insanity
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Trimming the queue (dw, Wednesday, mostly at studio). I went in tonight, collected and glazed more bisqueware, and trimmed a bowl, emptying my trimming queue.

There was an off-schedule glaze firing, so my lesser proof of insanity and a second set of beads are back from glaze firing. The lesser proof of insanity has been inflicted on my teacher, who failed to look dismayed about this. Of the beads, I'm most pleased with the bird -- the st. john's yellow was a crest along the top of his head, but it all snuck down to form a dot on his beak, but it did speckle nicely. One of the staff wandered by as I was looking over the beads, and explained how to use soda ash to deliberately capture the flashing that turned up accidentally on the spiral-and-shaner-blue-green bead from the first set. I think that gave the unglazed white clay a lot more character and a slightly nicer surface -- one more thing to try on future beads. Yay, tiny mad experiments.
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Aug. 10th, 2009 @ 05:47 am Pointers
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More blithering about clay -- the latest thing back from glazing is a tiny trumpet-flower goblet. Sadly it has cracks in the glaze inside the bottom & is unsuitable for food, but I think it's cute anyway.

Per request there's now kelkyag_dw, which might be a better plan than posting cross-links. I still have dreamwidth codes if anyone'd like one.
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Aug. 4th, 2009 @ 07:05 am Hasty photos & pointers
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Recently, there was a hedge full of snails, and a diamond-tipped dremel bit, the upshot of which is that I have a functional pendant, and I acquired a studio key for August. Squee!

Shiny thing of a couple of days ago. Edit: to clarify, not my work! I followed a pointer to Bakafox's gallery & thought this was cool.

Today, because I am a silly child, I have cake from the Brazilian bakery and you are inflicted with pictures, though many of the pictures are terrible and will be replaced when I figure out how to take better ones. Here's my proof of insanity, a carved mug with storm clouds (for which I need to retake all the pictures after figuring out how to deal with glare), and the first set of beads, plus a pendant. I am extremely pleased with my proof of insanity (for extra proof, there's a slightly less busy piece in a similar style in queue to be bisqued). The storm cloud mug developed some very nice colors but the carving was sort of swamped by the glaze, especially on the handle. (Also, I'm convinced it's making 'tink' noises occasionally when nothing's touched it, which is just weird.) The beads are a fine first experiment -- I quite like the one with the spirals.

create_universe might like to know that there are four things that might be tea bowls in progress (though they are still a ways from done, and some of them may be too small).

My 'stretch' goal for August is to turn twenty-five pounds of clay into things which are ready to be bisque fired (or further along).

ETA: I am more than happy to inflict pottery on people for the asking. There are a handful of pieces that are for something -- the eye is for Madrigal if it passes muster, some of the beads might be for a Torn World project if ellenmillion thinks they suit, the heart pendant has been sent to my grandmother -- but at this point I'm making things for fun and practice, and would be delighted to see any of it go to a good home. I'm not making things sufficiently speedily or predictably to be up to taking requests for anything you want to see any time soon, though.
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Jul. 23rd, 2009 @ 01:40 am Small blue happy objects
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Sunday and Wednesday were both studio days, thanks to nudging from mathhobbit. Three of the four things I've put in for glazing recently came back. They are none of them perfect, but their flaws don't gnaw at me the way some flaws in things I've made do. The fourth thing I'd glazed was kicked back unfired because the glaze on the handle had chipped, so I washed it and will try reglazing it once it dries. If I'm going to have my stuff rejected, it's nice to have it rejected for something that's repairable and not my fault. Building things was less productive -- one bowl thrown Sunday, one mostly-built Wednesday.

Tiny spiral-carved bowl: this piece cracked as greenware, and I attempted to repair it with paper clay. The repairs were somewhat successful: it's still cracked, but the crack is only about a third the length of the original crack in the greenware, instead of getting worse during the two firings. It's very tiny -- it holds less than a quarter cup -- and I'm very pleased with the glaze, especially the color variations on the inside.

Three-color bowl: a fairly plain little bowl (holds a cup if full to the rim) that was subjected to mad glazing experiments, the results of which I quite like. I'll be using the white-over-black and blue-green-over-black again. For shumashi if it suits her fancy, as she foolishly volunteered to be inflicted with bowls.

Little cup with heterodyne music: experimenting with sgraffito decorations stolen from Girl Genius -- mad science music, what's not to love? The drawing isn't as dynamic as I would like, but both the sgraffito and the glazing turned out pretty well.

Wednesday also involved a Madrigal staff meeting, during which Fearless Leader caused my head to explode multiple times. Madness, I tell you!
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Jul. 13th, 2009 @ 05:57 am A few little things
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More dreamwidth account codes have been handed out, so I have some available if anyone would like one. I have been unsalted and out in the rain.

Back from glazing: not a pendant -- yet, anyway. We'll see if I can fix it with a dremel. Yup, I'm getting cocky and trying to make things for people, though none of them have worked quite right yet. I'll get there eventually.
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Jul. 6th, 2009 @ 04:01 am Pimping: EMG
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Stealing a page from cliodhna's book, I point out that Ellen Million Graphics will be closing down the gift shop over the few ~6 months. Ms. Million's store has provided me with many charming tshirts, cards, tote bags, and other amusing objects adorned with fantasy or SF art. While she points out that there are now many places for artists to have their work printed on items of their choice, I don't know whether or how quickly the artists she hosts will find other suppliers, or if I'll be able to find them when they do. (For instance, so far as I know EMG is the only legitimate source of Ursula Vernon tshirts.) I expect I'll be ordering a bunch of stuff before they close down. If anyone local would care to add a few things to that order, split a set of cards, or the like, let me know.

Friday a couple more glazed things came home with me from ceramics: a triangular bowl that turned out much better than I'd expected, and a carved mug whose colors are not all I had hoped for.

More about the July 4th weekend.
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Jun. 29th, 2009 @ 05:44 am Reorganization & Shuffling
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Elsewhere, earlier scrawlings on paper clay repairs and decorative motifs.

The immediate paperwork has been dealt with and the files reorganized (claiming an extra foot or so of shelf space) so that there's actually space to put all of them. The dining room table was briefly almost clear, and has now been colonized by the clay carving, freeing up space in the kitchen. Carving wants a lot of light -- on anything complicated, dim or directional light produces a lot of weird shadows that obscure the tool marks -- and the kitchen has brighter light than the dining room, but then I remembered that I own a portable lamp that's much better than either. Common sense helps so very much when I remember to use it.

Ceramics class also involved lots of shuffling. One bowl is back from glazing -- create_universe, this one could be for you, but I think something slightly taller and narrower would be closer to right (see bowl in hand), and I've no idea what your tastes in glazes are -- a week later than the tiny cup that was queued for firing at the same time. A triangular bowl & carved mug were both back from bisque firing, and so were slathered with glaze and put in queue for glaze firing. They're both ... experimental at best, and I used not-the-glaze-I-meant-to for part of one of them. The wee spiral bowl (the paper clay repairs dried nicely, but I've no clue how they'll hold up to firing), a small sgraffito experiment (straight lines are hard, but other than that sgraffito isn't as difficult as I expected), and my proof of insanity went into queue for bisque firing. I finished carving a slightly larger sgraffito piece with heterodyne music scrawlings and a mug with storm clouds after class. I may try to get to studio before Wednesday to see if I can get them in to be bisque fired this week (if space exists). Also, I'm now out of pieces at home to carve, though the only ones left at studio that's ready to attack is a bowl that I've no idea how to decorate, so I'm not sure I'll bring any home right away.

My teacher dropped through the kiln room as I was making space on the bisque queue shelves, so I got to show off my proof of insanity & paper clay patchwork. I'm under strict orders to run some test tiles before I glaze it, and this time I might even listen. What I want for glaze I'm not sure -- a single glaze as thin as I can make it, to minimize the degree to which the glaze will fill the carving and round the corners, but I'm not sure if I want one that breaks well & will show off the edges, or a simple solid color, and let showing the carving be a function of the light rather than the glaze. Test tiles mean doing some simpler things in a vaguely similar style, though, which is work, though if they're really just test tiles I can cut a lot of corners.

Someday I will stop being surprised that my (aluminum) carving tools turn my fingers black. The shiny pebbles that recently joined my tool kit (for burnishing) are much more charming to work with.
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Jun. 2nd, 2009 @ 04:59 am Carved cup #2: flames
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The carved cup with flames is finally glazed and fired. The photos don't help (though the forth round with actual daylight turned out a bit better) but it really is hazy-looking -- the red glaze broke into colored speckles over the black glaze. (That is not what I was expecting -- the black pretty much wins vs all other glazes on all the studio test tiles. Yet another data point for glaze unpredictability.) I'm also convinced that it lost more height than width in firing. The bowl I glazed the same day wasn't back from firing yet. It had some spiral cracking in the bottom, and I'm worried it's in pieces somewhere. Not a huge loss, as it was my first one and decidedly wobbly (as are the various green ones waiting to be finished), but I want to see it!

The camera battery ran out of charge after about 150 pictures and 2+ months. (I've no idea which was limiting.) I guess I do want a spare battery for a two-week trip.

Elsewhere, muddy and sunburnt. One of these days, something about clothing and state of mind.
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May. 21st, 2009 @ 04:58 am Tree take two
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A second try at a tree-handled mug. Overall, I think I like the first one better, but they both have virtues. The photos are so-so, I'm afraid -- I haven't figured out depth of field in macro mode.

Elsewhere, vegetables and plastic. (If posting hither and thither is annoying, or you have thoughts on doing this more gracefully, please let me know.)
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May. 6th, 2009 @ 06:30 am Moving makes you re-evaluate your stuff
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My short term plan appears to be posting on Dreamwidth. That may not last, but if new and shiny will get me poking at things instead of saying 'bleah', it would be a good thing. I'll sort out photo hosting and access via OpenID and so forth as I get to wanting them. I'm unlikely to import content from here to there but have asked about a no password, authenticate via OpenID import tool for unlocked posts (and am a little tempted to take a stab at it myself). If I gave my dreamwidth OpenID access to my locked lj posts could that be extended to locked posts without breaching the security of anyone else's locked posts? I don't know enough about RSS & OpenID to guess yet.
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May. 3rd, 2009 @ 10:24 pm Options
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I've staked out a wee corner over at Dreamwidth, though at the moment I'm having some style issues so it may take me a bit to figure out what I'm doing. Also, there's a Madrigal event in less than a week and this would be me *stalling* ...

(I would guess that I will be posting crosslinks and not full text, but I've no idea how this will fall out.)
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Apr. 17th, 2009 @ 06:41 am Stuff in progress
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Carved cup I was babbling about last entry -- mostly dry greenware at this point.

Alymar's mantle of winter, first try (on me, shot with the timer). Turns out his head is bigger than mine by more than I thought, so I'll be replacing the hood and cutting the neckline a little larger. The new hood will probably be pointy at the back instead of flat. I may also make something in a darker-colored, lighter-weight fabric if I have time & sanity before the next event.
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Apr. 16th, 2009 @ 04:31 am Carving clay
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The Madrigal event was a week and a half ago, and I'm still sleepy most of the time and hungry all the time. I've been eating decently (certainly plenty!) and sleeping ~8 hours a night and waking up before the alarm. Meh? I know I built up a lot of sleep debt but I think that's plenty of time to recover.

Carving ClayCollapse )
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Apr. 6th, 2009 @ 01:05 am Roots and paths
First spring Madrigal event happened. Final Root Maze mod happened, despite my fears about the weather and inability to do any setup pregame (due to rain). Much of that pre-game time was burned on turning my cribsheet into PC-presentable signs, so it wasn't wasted -- would've been nice to do that beforehand, but I'd been dithering about signs vs. NPC explanations right up till the event where I finally bugged Fearless Leader for input. ("Sometimes", but with pros and cons I didn't have the perspective to generate myself.)

Giant piles of hugs and appreciation for tragic_culture, who let me pick up his plot and run away with it, and helped keep me sane through it, and for mknnohbdy and paladin_of_gaia and all the NPCs who dealt with my sleep-deprived explanations and brought it to life, and all the staff who dealt with my being wildly behind schedule, and orionsmom who made sure I ate dinner afterward when I was mostly dead. Lots of warm fuzzies for the mask-makers, too -- Merimask made the fox, wolf, coyote, owl, ivy, autumn leaves, cherry blossoms, and Root Maze (custom running on my fuzzy description of the feel I was looking for); Tom Banwell made the cut-out leaves (he also made the Lord of Winter's snowflake mask); and Crimson Spark made the fall oak.

Then I fell down splat for a while. Somewhere around that I delivered a pile of letters and went out as a few face roles, and even ran one mini-module, and several of the fabulous NPCs kept other threads in the air, and tragic_culture did some damage control on another one. I didn't do any rogue-ing, and one big thread fell on the floor, as did a couple of minor ones -- those will have to get more love next event.

Post-event I went out to clean up, and was toddling along slowly collecting bits and pieces, when suddenly twenty players appeared and -Poof!- it was all cleaned up. Yay!

Next I will sleep for twelve hours, and then start thinking about next event, which is MUCH TOO SOON.

Despite the sleep shortage, I feel better after not thinking about work for several days.
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Mar. 22nd, 2009 @ 07:09 am Pottery photos
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Everyone who's ever said "Pictures?" -- this is your fault, and you are obliged to look at the silly things, at least this time. Everyone else is advised to flee in terror.

Pictures of amateur ceramics, and camera blitheringCollapse )
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Jan. 26th, 2009 @ 03:05 am Happy troll
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fredrickegerman makes a mean Dutch pea soup, with lots of tasty pork foot bones to chew on. <gnaw gnaw gnaw> Happy troll! I'd a mad run of beginner's luck playing Notre Dame, too. I'll be impressed if I make half that score the next time I play. It's an odd little multi-player almost-solitaire game, with the notre dame space and the little cars and messages as the only on-board interactions, though the card passing clearly also matters a lot (and if I can't learn to keep track of the cards I've seen, I'll never figure that part out).

Pottery today involved a lot of trying to pull too fast, putting a lot of wobbles in my pot, and then fussing about getting them straightened out and shoving the worst of the asymmetry to the top where I could trim it off. This is horribly inefficient (compared to not mucking it up to begin with), but hopefully good practice for dealing with the inevitable mistakes in things I don't want to just pitch. Even with the fiddling about I ended up with two objects that seemed worth keeping at least to see how they look when drier, which is as well as I've done ~any day at the wheel. I also learned a useful lesson about damp bisqueware and glazing (does not work well -- we'll see how it looks out of the kiln, if it's even deemed to be fire-able in its current state), fortunately on an object that had been relegated to test glazing status.

I'm still not sure if the Sunday evening class was a wise choice from an overall scheduling perspective, but I'm having fun making a mess. I'm reminded that I prefer my information delivered at high speed with the opportunity to go back and pick up things I missed (or just make a second pass with more depth -- multiple fast passes >> one slow pass).
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Jan. 7th, 2009 @ 05:02 am Walking in the snow
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I hadn't planned to walk home from work today, but it worked out nicely -- a really lovely light snowfall for which I was almost overdressed -- except from the perspective of the staaaaaaarving cats, who had to wait an extra hour for their supper, and didn't forgive me until they'd licked the plate clean twice and guilt-tripped me for treats. I am such a sucker. When I do get settled enough to acquire a cat or two, I'm going to have to find cats who do well being free-fed, as I'd lose completely to a cat who was forever giving me sad looks about his empty food bowl. Shredder is still a big goof who wants all the attention, and Tux is as dignified as ever, though he did condescend to put three paws on my lap today. (He won't actually *sit* on my lap, but he'll stand on it for a minute or so. I think he likes being petted, but it's only okay if Shredder is out of line of sight.)

My hands feel like they're going to dry out and crumble to dust. I know this happens to me every winter, but it seems worse than usual this year. Moisturizing them doesn't seem to help for more than a few minutes.
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Jan. 6th, 2009 @ 04:23 am Trash or Treasure?
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I have a coke bottleCollapse )
Pottery studioCollapse )

New Year's happened, crochetting happened (I finished a silly hat), baking with eredien happened (coconut cherry cookies, yum!), experimental baking happened (first draft atkins-friendly cookies with stevia, need work), birthdaying for tirinian happened ... and I seem to've slept through most of the rest of the long weekend and a number of plans. I meant to get more done.

Atkins-friendly cookies, first tryCollapse )

Shiny thing of the day, via siderea: Frozen bubbles.
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