Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Break

Spring break is over and we are back to normal/crazy here. I took a few days after we returned from Florida while the girls were in school and Brian was at work and didn't do much while they were all away during the day. It was lovely. It's now time to really get in the swing of things and face the end of the school year head on. FYI I don't really want to do that, I'd rather bury my head in the sand and pretend our lives aren't changing. So before that happens let me do a little recap of our truly fabulous spring break vacation.

Last year when we looked ahead to when spring break would be we saw that Brian would have the whole week off at the same time. That does not happen very often and since it would be Samantha's last high school spring break we decided to go big. Walt Disney World big. Brian contacted a friend from his time in residency in Detroit that LOVES all things Disney. We had not seen this friend and her husband in 15 years but had maintained minimal contact with them during that time. Anyway, they were excited about meeting us for spring break and invited us to stay with them in their Disney vacation club condo. Brian and the girls were super excited about going back to Typhoon Lagoon and exploring the rest of the Disney parks. Brian and I were also really looking forward to spending some time with our friends. 

Our flight to Florida was Saturday April 12 - Gretchen's 14th birthday. Friday night we took some of Gretchen's friends to see Captain America The Winter Soldier for her birthday. We loved the movie.
Saturday we left the house at 8:00 am and arrived at the Kidani Village in the Animal Kingdom Lodge by 6:00pm. It was quite impressive. Our friends had told us that the balcony of our room would look over the wild animal savanna but we didn't really expect to see giraffes and zebras standing below us. So that was pretty cool.
 We spent the next 6 days exploring Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Wild Animal Park, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. It was AWESOME. We ate super delicious food, watched amazing shows, went on great rides, rode some fantastic waves, laughed a ton, walked miles and miles each day, were in awe at the detail in all things Disney, and were most grateful to spend such a fun week with each other.
 Blizzard Beach

 Aerosmith's Rock N' Roller Coaster

 Garden and flower show at EPCOT - hippos from Fantasia

 Jumping water (and family) at EPCOT

 Body surfing at Typhoon Lagoon on a not so hot day - no one was there!

 Loving the roller coaster water slides at Typhoon Lagoon.

Riding the monorail with our friends. 

I'm pretty sure it won't be 15 years before we see our friends again. I'm also pretty sure that there is no one I'd rather spend my time with than Brian and our girls. We saw a guy wearing a tshirt that read "I brought the awesome. What did you bring?" I think that whenever I go anywhere with this family of mine!

Friday, April 11, 2014

And even more pots

After this post I'm going to post about family stuff for awhile. I just unloaded the kiln and am so happy with what I took out. I don't have time to photograph it before spring break which technically started 1 hour and 50 minutes ago, not that I'm counting. The yard is calling me in a big way. My beds never got completely cleaned out in the fall so this spring they definitely need attention. I am slowing coming to realize that I don't make time for pots and flower beds every day or even every week.   So I'll probably not work in the studio much until after the garden is harvested in October. Yikes. So much is going to happen between now and then! It's a whirlwind of activity around here. And I love it!

This post features some handbuilt plates, tea bowls, and spoon rests.
The plates are new for me. This project was featured in a pottery magazine I read and 
I really loved how they were put together. I'm glad I made some.

Small (1/2-3/4 cup) bowls. These are awesome for dipping sauces, candies, ice cream, etc. So far the bowls in my kitchen that are this size have done a great job keeping some foods separate during dinner. Not everyone likes to have their foods touch each other.

Yay for spoon rests! I have a stack on my stove that spend half their time in the dishwasher because I use them so much.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

And more pots

These pots make me feel like having a tea party. Care to join me?

These hold about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of something delicious I'm sure.

These serving bowls are what the small bowl deliciousness would be scooped out of.

I find that I love pink and greenish blues in the spring. I'm not sure I would glaze these the same way in the fall. I think I'll try again in October and see what happens!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

More pots

The top three pics are in a glaze called robin's egg. It's so glossy and smooth. 
It has a little variation in the color and thins out nicely over edges.

The second & third pics are bowls that hold about 2 1/2 cups. They are a delightful choice for breakfast. I kept some and have been using them in my kitchen and all my girls have told me how much they love them. I faceted the bottom half of the bowl so they stack better than my rounder bowls. I like how the facets feel in my hands when I hold the bowl.  I find I'm holding my bowl more frequently than having it sit on the table, which I guess makes it more of a breakfast bowl than a dinner bowl for me.

This last bowl is a small - it holds about 1/2 to 2/3rds of a cup. Sydney thinks this is the best cereal bowl, I disagree because you have to refill it too many times. Really, when is half a cup of cereal enough? However I do think it's the perfect size for ice cream!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Happy Pots

What is this craziness? Another post so soon? One with some finished pots in it? Yes & yes.
These pots are awesome, if I do say so myself. 

These are large serving bowls that are either tall or low and wide. They probably hold about the same amount of food, just in a little different shape. I'm having a lot of difficulty uploading pictures at this moment in time so these are the only photos I'm putting up today. I'm super excited about these bowls and am having a hard time not bringing them all in to my kitchen to use!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Craft Hour

Have I mentioned that I like/need to make things? Kidding, I know I have. I've made a few things I'd like to show you! I started making bags a few years ago and I can't stop. There is just something so satisfying to me about a bag I have made. I've pretty much stopped looking at bags in the stores because I start to think about how I would make it, what I would change and when I would use it or store it because I really don't need another bag. I've done well in using my bags up and only making a new one when the old one looks terrible. At least I've done well with MY personal bags. I have made a few more bags that are now in the possession of others.

This red/pink and floral is my new camera bag. I made the bottom wider so my camera would fit. Now my camera has a safe home when I'm out and I also have somewhere to put my wallet and phone and whatever else I need. I'm a little more excited about these bags because I kind of designed them too. I mixed a couple patterns I've used before, changed the measurements to what I thought would work and tried it out.

This loud print with stripes is the bag I'm using right now. I really love the fabric and the pockets. Again, I tried some different measurements and I think I nailed it. At least for now. I'm sure in a few months I'll need to try something else.

Front has a flat striped pocket and a floral stretchy pocket.
Back has a large stretchy pocket.

Before I finished up here I need to talk about my wallet that has worn out and needed to be replaced too. I've looked at a bunch of wallet patterns and haven't been super excited about any of them. I did try one and that is now Sydney's wallet because it wasn't exactly what I wanted. The gal that I bought my original bag pattern from came out with a wallet pattern recently. I love her bag pattern so much. She did a fantastic job with her instructions and made sewing in zippers easier than I thought possible. Here is her website if you are interested in trying out any of her patterns or tutorials.  

Ruffled coin pocket

Front pocket - can be made with a clear plastic so your id shows through

5 inside pockets - 4 credit card size and 1 deep pocket for folded cash

Sydney has now decided that the wallet she is currently using is not sufficient. Could I make her one of these please?