Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To the Kiln!

This is about half of my latest load of pottery. I went for bisque fire on Sunday. Tonight I'll finish the last 6 pieces and send them off as well.

I made a total of 15 pieces this session. I'll glaze the pieces over the next two weeks of classes and then hold my breath till they come back from their final trip to the kiln.

This may be my last session of pottery for a while. We have to tighten our belts a bit more. But if I have to take a break, I will certainly come back to it ASAP. I have a lot of fun with it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

52 Weeks, weeks 12-14

I have been trying to keep up with the 52 Weeks of Photography project. Posting my photos has been more of a challenge than taking them and blogging about it has been even harder.

Here's what I've been up to...

Week 12: Landscape

I had almost forgotten to take a shot for Week 12. I remembered on the last shooting day and Wookie drove me to a great view of NYC. I shot this panoramic view with my Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Week 13: Clouds

I've discovered the secret to assuring cloudless days--have a project where you actually need to see clouds. This was the clearest week in memory. Finally, I saw this cloud by the George Washington Bridge, just moments before I performed a baby blessing for twins.

Week 14: Composition: Scale

I submitted two this week--largely because my photos are getting lonely up there by themselves. (The other participants have all dropped out due to seasonal busy-ness.)

First, I went literal...

Then I realized I was standing next to objects that demonstrated scale, at least to some degree...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Getting Crafty

Sometimes necessity is the mother of craftiness--or a damn good excuse to break out the beads and fabric!

The last couple of weeks were very busy but created opportunities for me to make some things that have been on my list for a while.

Drink markers:

My friend and her husband recently moved in to a new apartment. Her housewarming (or "apartment heating" as they called it) was the perfect occasion for me to make these drink markers as a housewarming gift.

The rings are meant to go around the stems of wine glasses so you know which one is yours.

The rings are cut from a coil of sterling silver wire. I bent the ends to form a hook and loop closure.  The beads are metal, glass, and stone.

Covered Ceremony Book

I've used the same half-sized Avery binder for most of the ceremonies I've done in my 5+ years as a Life-Cycle Celebrant®. In fact the same sheet of  paper has decorated the cover for most of that time.

I noticed before my my most recent wedding that my book was starting to show it's age. I'm trying to polish my professional image a bit. I plan on  redoing my website. I just started revamping my ceremony wardrobe. So I knew the book needed to be dealt with. I have another one, but there is something wonderful about knowing all the couples I've married and babies I've welcomed all from that one book.

I decided to make a cover. I have lots of fabric samples. I folded one the same way I used to fold paper shopping bags to make book covers when I was kid. Instead of taping it, as I would have a paper cover, I hand sewed the cover onto the book.

This cover has pockets inside for my phone and reading glasses. Next time I make one, I'll take pictures of the work in progress. I have a larger book that I use for ceremony readings and for funerals--where I have podium and don't have to hold the book up. I'll be covering that too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was cropping this picture from last year to make it look better. Then I realized that most important part of this picture isn't the turkey or the stuffing. It's the people gathered around the table.

With everyone in our lives so far flung it's impossible to be with everyone we care about. We have friends and family all over the U.S. and all over the world. Even if we don't see you every day, know that Wookie and I are thankful to have you in our lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Times Are Tough

In this age of cutbacks even lunch meats are affected. Behold...LOAF!

The deli guy is telling curious shoppers that it is "like pimento loaf or olive loaf, but without any pimentos or olives."

Here I thought that would be bologna. I shudder to think what loaf would be otherwise.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Work in Progress (And Lots of It!)

I know I haven't posted the results of my last session of pottery class yet. I haven't had time to shoot those pictures yet. In the mean time, this is what I've been up to this term...

Please pardon the badly stitched together picture.

Somehow over the last few weeks it escaped my notice just how many pieces I had thrown in pottery class. Today was the first time I had them all out on a table to look at. I've got a lot of work ahead of me to get them finished!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Photos, Weeks 4-11

I have been trying to keep up with the 52 Weeks of Photography project. Posting my photos has been more of a challenge than taking them and blogging about it has been even harder.

Here's what I've been up to...

Week 5 Exposure: Multiple (OR: Creative Exposure)
 Post 9/18

(It was decided that those of us with point and shoot cameras could opt to just re-do a previous topic, so I did another food shot.)

Week 6 Body Parts--Start shooting 9/19 Post 9/25
(They didn't specify whose body parts.)

Week 7 Composition: Fill the Frame
--Start shooting 9/26 Post 10/2
Montezuma's Castle--Camp Verde, Arizona

Week 8 Upside Down
--Start shooting 10/3 Post 10/9
I was on a flight and found it was easier to take pictures out the window with the camera upside down.
The result is this shot that looks like I took it from space! 

Week 9 Contrasting images (two photos)
 --Start shooting 10/10 Post 10/16

Week 10 Exposure: High Key
--Start shooting 10/17 Post 10/23
I am not sure if this qualifies as High Key, but I thought I'd give it a shot.
The hood ornament was on a white car. I boosted the exposure in iPhoto. 

Week 11 Monochrome
--Start shooting 10/24 Post 10/30

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Voice for Radio?

Last night began my fourth year of teaching for the Celebrant Institute. The first year, I taught one class in person and one class online. The next two years all of the classes were online. Online classes were typed chat sessions. While I loved having the transcripts to look back at for reference, my hands were always tired after a night of teaching.

This year we’re using Go To Training. The students and I can actually talk to one another and I can show them slides.

I had anticipated it to be very much like an in person class, but without being able to see each other. Instead, it felt like I was hosting a talk radio show. Maybe it was the headset and saying things like, “and now, let’s talk to Jane from Colorado…”

It was nice to associate voices with my students and to hear them actually laugh when they found something funny. I guess that’s where the radio comparison ends, because a radio host can’t hear all the people they are speaking to.

This is going to be an interesting school year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Accident Priorities

So, over the weekend, a freak nor'easter dropped several inches of very wet, very heavy snow on our area. The result was a lot of downed treeseven here where there aren't that many. My family had no power over the weekend. So we lent my mother a generator Sunday and ended up stopping on the way to render aid at a three-car collision.

Wookie got to put his EMT training into use (and me my first responder training) as we tended to the drivers and passengers of the three cars. It was a lesson in priorities and I'd like to use my platform here to issue some advice.

People, if you're in a car accident--especially if the airbags deploy--don't move or move as little as possible. If you get out of your car, you are risking further injury--either by moving some part of you that you don't realize you've injured, or from other cars on the road. Some injuries, like a torn aorta, or even whiplash are not obvious right away but can be very serious, or even deadly.

To the police out there, I understand that you have your own set of priorities--but clearing the accident scene and getting people's licenses and insurance is NOT so important that you should tell someone with a possible C-spine injury to reach over to their purse or glove box and get their papers. You can wait, or you can ask to reach in and get those things yourself. Your report is not worth someone becoming paralyzed or worse.

Also, maybe have some respect for the people who stop to render aid--especially if they are trained first responders, EMTs or paramedics, etc. We stop to help. We're not trying to make your life harder but, really, shouldn't your first priority be the welfare of the accident victims too? If you have someone there who can help them till EMS arrives (and we're often on scene before you are) then take advantage of the assistance. (I've been first on scene to several accidents over the years. Sometimes the officers are happy for the help, others pretty much ignore me, yesterday the officer just wanted us gone but it took an hour for EMS to arrive and the officer--in my opinion--did not show much concern with monitoring people for injuries at all. You might say that's not his job, but if no one else is there to do it then whose job is it?)

Finally, to all drivers, know that gawking just risks adding you to the accident. If you are not stopping to help, then slow down but keep going--and keep your eyes on the road. Really, DO slow down. The people who were speeding past us yesterday were careless jerks. I have no more eloquent words to describe them, and the terms I would rather use are far less polite. They put everyone at risk.

I hope the people from the accident are all okay--we have no way of knowing. No one asked us for our information (and in the last few years, I think I've only been asked twice).

I will say, too, that I am terribly proud of Wookie. He did a great job checking on everyone and, later, assisting the local EMTs when they arrived. He's my hero.

From the number of sirens I heard over the weekend and the damage we saw of downed trees and power lines, I'm sure that the storm left everyone here with a lot of clean-up to do.  This afternoon, our neighborhood was alive with the sound of chainsaws. From our house, Wookie and I heard a combination of sounds that spoke of someone else having a bad day:

  1. The sound of chainsaws and cracking tree limbs
  2. The sound of a car alarm
  3. People shouting
Never a good combination.

Winter has come early my friends. Be careful and stay safe.