First Pottery Reveal Since 2007

Most of my friends know I haven’t been in my studio since 2007.  To make a very long story short, we moved from TX (the last place I had a studio) in 07 to NY.  We stayed in an apartment while our home in TX sold.  Then our belongings were shipped to storage while we finished building our home in NY.

Things didn’t go so well with hubby’s job in NY as the program he was working on got canceled by President Obama.  Then we were off on our next great adventure to beautiful Southern CA where we now call home.  This pretty much brings us up to speed.  I now have an amazing pottery studio and I’m so thankful for my dearest who invested so much time getting it all set up.

I’ve come full circle…Remember this bag from the previous post?  Well here she is fresh out of the glaze firing.

Another piece (I think of this glaze as stormy blue) hot off the press.  The glaze firing took these all the way up to 2,170 degrees F.

Handles – I think we’ll be seeing this glaze on handles in the future.

Here’s the other bag (from the last post) all dressed and ready to go.

The handles, side and inside were coated with this delicious gold/black undertone glaze.

We should be sharing 4 more bags all dressed and ready to go sometime next week.

Words can’t describe how happy I am to be doing what I want to do when I grow up.

Blessings – Debbie

The Last Couple Of Days

Tuesday was another big day.  Not only was it my birthday but it was the first time we fired the kiln (for a glaze firing) since 2007.

It was a day to keep really good records of the kiln temperature every 1/2 hour (not a requirement, something we wanted to do for interest sake).  It was fun to record and sometimes I was out there jotting every 10 min (not something we’ll do again).  The records will help us in the future, especially if the kiln is not firing right/taking too long to fire.  Then we will know to check the coils and health of the kiln right away…

So during one of my 30 minutes away from the kiln, I took interest in this butterfly.  He/she allowed me to get especially close.

The wings – I could see this as fabric with that beautiful trim along the edge of a long flowing dress.

I took pictures of roses while in the garden…

Here’s a couple of test tiles (the end result) that were in that glaze firing.  Note:  The glaze firing top temperature reaches 2,170 degrees F and held there for 15 min before the kiln turns itself off.

Remember how I made these test samples?   Now they serve as my guide based on how the glaze will respond to the clay body I’m using.

Yesterday was a day full of glazing.

The bell (in the above pic) on the top right would be the color I used on the lid of the purse below.  That spring green color on the flower is the color I used on the base of the bag.

The same colors were applied to this bag as well.

A labor of love is all I can say.  Words can’t begin to describe how much fun I have when I’m in the zone.  Lets just say I had no breakfast, only coffee and from 9 – 5 I didn’t so much as have a drink, use the lady’s room or have lunch.  I was totally in the zone all day.  Now these guys are in the zone as the kiln was fired up at 5:30am.  I couldn’t help myself nor could I get back to sleep.  As I told hubby, “a million things are going through my brain per second”.

I have so much to be thankful for.  I’m especially grateful hubby shows interest and supports my greatest desires.

Blessings – Debbie

Testing 1 2 3

Yesterday was Huge!  It was a big deal around here as the kiln fired once again for the first time in since 2007.  I’m back and happy to have a full running studio after all this time.

It was a bisque firing on low/slow up to 1888 degrees.  It took a full 12 hours and 11 min. to reach temperature.  I wasn’t able to capture the full 1888 degrees but this was pretty close.  She’s a hot one right there.

I had to wait for it to cool to 200 degrees before opening.  Finally just after 9 this morning she reached 199 and I opened her as fast as I could.  Everything on the top shelf turned out just fine.  I’m waiting on hubby to help me with the rest.

I have 9 new glazes and put these test tiles to the test.  Each one holds 1 coat on the bottom, 2 coats on the left side and 3 coats on the right side.  This test will let me know how many coats to apply (to the good stuff) based on the results.

I’ve also been working on some new designs.  I can’t wait to give these a go!  Hubby gave me a French curve several years ago.  I’m learning to enjoy it more and more.  I love using it for these type projects.

The kiln will be busy again tomorrow as this time I’ll be running those test samples through.  The results should be in Wednesday.  I can’t wait to see how the glazes react to not only the flat surfaces but to see how they respond/pull away from the areas with pattern.

I’m so blessed my hubby works so hard to make my studio all that it can be.  He helped me so much over the weekend – He: put up more shelves in the studio for the kiln furniture, helped me recover my wedging table with fresh new canvas, ensured proper venting for the kiln such that we could fire it up and so much more.  He not only makes things happen but he makes them happen joyfully.  I’m so blessed.

And after all that, he asked if I’d like to join him for a lunch date today.  It was so yummy and nice to visit a little while with him this afternoon.

Blessings – Debbie

Hubby's Home

As I made my way towards the airport, I had a rush of excitement knowing hubby would be home from his business trip.

I’ve seen/passed by this anchor many times.  But today as I passed by, it spoke to me.  It was a huge reminder of the way I feel in our relationship.  I feel secure, at peace and filled with contentment knowing whatever happens, he will always there.  With him by my side, I feel that strong sense of stability knowing that whatever happens “we are in this together”.  That’s a big deal.

I made my way to my favorite spot to park and wait, aka the cell phone lot.  Thank you San Diego Airport for providing this for us.  I love arriving 30 or so minutes early such that if he gets in early, I’m right there to pick him up.

It’s not such a bad place to hang out either.  Check out the view from where I’m parked.  I was standing on the running board of my car (SUV – I always refer to it as my car), that’s the top of the car you see in the bottom of the pic.

More views from where I’m parked.

Based on the time I knew hubby was flying in, I started taking pictures of this plane coming in.  I had a sneaking suspicion hubby was in there.

I was right…

As I watched this US Airways flight land, my phone rang and hubby was on the other end saying “honey, I’m home”!

Welcome home my love, I’ll be right there!

Moments later his arms were around me and I decided then and there I never wanted him to go on business without me.  Of course I decide that every time he leaves and he contends he never wants to leave home without me.  If only it were that easy.

To be sure, we are spending the rest of the weekend catching up on visits and games and more visits and most importantly, just spending the weekend together.  I’m whole again and it feels good.

Happy Weekend My Friends!

Blessings – Debbie

A Craving and A Want

A Craving – Last evening around 11 pm I got a craving for egg salad and coffee.  Crazy, right?  I knew the moment my feet hit the floor this morning that my craving for coffee had to be filled.  And I knew for lunch my egg salad craving would be filled.

Luckily the sun came out and warmed up enough to enjoy a nice patio lunch complete with BBQ popchips and my diet soda with lime in a goblet.  The fork on the side was for scooping up anything that fell out of my sandwich.

As you can see, some salad did fall out…

I made the most of it as I scooped it on my popchips.

A Want – Ever since we got our new phones, I’ve wanted a new purse such that my new phone will fit.  My old purse phone slot was just a tad small.

When it comes to a purse, I’m not picky about brand as I’m just dandy with my last purse from Wal-Mart.  But what I am picky about are a few details.

The handbag must have three separate compartments on the outside #1 – for a phone  #2 – built-in wallet #3 – a pocket for car keys – The strap on the outside must be adjustable – And I like a rather small purse.  Not too much to ask for right?

I’ve been shopping the local Wal-Marts and such for a while but couldn’t find anything to match just what I was looking for.  But today my friends, I had to make a trip to Macy’s to pick up some shirts for hubby.  I thought, why not check out the handbags while I’m here?  I’m so glad I did as I got this guy 40% off and it totally rocked all my qualifications for a handbag.

Here she is completely filled with all my stuff.   Would you like to have a look?

#1 – The zipper compartment in the front for my phone – it slips in and out easy peasy.

#2 – The built-in wallet in the front – I love the way this functions

#3 – That lovely compartment in the back for keys – perfect

And last – The purse is small – just how I like it and that strap can be adjusted.  This was well worth the wait, I’m so happy with it.

On the inside I have a comb, lipstick, mints, a pen or two, sunglasses, a little bottle of Purell hand sanitizer and well, I can’t really think of anything else.

Some of the joys in life are enjoying the little things – like cravings and picnics, sunshine and goblets and handbags that come just the way we like them.  Makes me happy…

Blessings – Debbie

Fred's and Friendship Go Hand In Hand

What yesterday afternoon and evening was filled with.  It truly was filled with friendship, laughter (lots of laughter), yummy dining and a nice visit into the evening hours.

I was invited up to my friend’s place (Beth) in downtown San Diego.  It was a nice low-key afternoon in her condo.  I also got to see her son AJ as he’s in town visiting for the summer.  I met AJ’s friend (Ethan) who is also staying with Beth as he’s working on an internship for the Navy this summer.

And I got to see sweet Mitzy again.  She could very well be the most well-behaved, loveable  pup on the face of the earth.  I totally wish I had taken another shot of her with the lighting in front of her.  But she’s too cute not to make the blog.

I love this shot of Beth and Mitzy with my phone and the fun app used to create the drawing.

Beth took this shot of me and used the drawing app.  Can you tell we were having fun?

Here we are in Old Town visiting Fred’s for Taco Tuesday.  AJ’s in the red shirt on the left, Beth is at the hostess station and Ethan is in the beige shirt on the right.

Yay for Fred’s good food!

Beth, AJ and Ethan

We enjoyed the outdoor seating.

AJ and Ethan – “Is you mean with wid it”

Two cool dudes – these two kept us laughing all night.  We laughed so hard our tummies hurt.

These two did not sign up for having their pictures taken together.  However, I had plans to at least take a stab at it.  I didn’t position them, just kindly asked them for a picture up there on the stairs.  Thank you AJ and Ethan!

My photographer brain was screaming “no gaps”.  I wanted to see if I could get them a bit closer.  This is the reaction I got.  Ethan giving the, are you serious look with a grin and AJ cracked up at the notion.  I like this raw emotion shot.

And one last shot of AJ (Ethan was already outta there) – The idea of “no gaps” didn’t go so well but I truly enjoyed the expressions so much more.  How fun.

Ethan did express an interest in getting a fun shot holding the sun at sunset.  He had it all planned out, all the way down to his expression and holding his chin with his other hand while looking at the sun in deep thought.  Or something like that, great idea Ethan.  As you can see, it was not working out as planned.

What do?  Ah, bring him into the picture as a silhouette, now that will work.

Ok Ethan, now bring your hand in towards you a little more while dropping it a couple of inches and kiss the sun.  That’s it…

Depending on the focus point, I had a crisp background and blurred subject like below.

Or a nice crisp subject with a blurred background as seen in this picture below.

This is the part I asked Ethan to pucker up and kiss the sun.  At that point the entire room broke in laughter, including him.  Cool pic tho, very cool.

He laughed so hard that he could no longer hold the sun or kiss it.

But we managed to stop laughing for just a bit to snap some more…

There are no words to express the amount of fun we all had.  I can still hear Beth in the background saying “I wish we were recording this”

And one last shot with the focus on the sun/background and the subject (Ethan) blurred.

The boys carried on with video games after this fun photo shoot and Beth and I dried our eyes from laughter and carried on with a nice little visit into the evening hours.

I hope I get to see these guys before they leave this summer.  If not, I enjoyed and will always remember the fun we had last evening.

Blessings – Debbie

A Cool Wet Chill and Plans

A cool wet chill is in the air and coffee seemed the thing to have first thing this morning.  Then again, when is coffee not one of the first things to welcome first thing in the morning?

The garden is soaking up this weather, for sure.

And the wildflowers I planted several weeks ago are certain to enjoy the day too + they are finally happy!

I had to move the pot after they popped up the first time around as the birds or something got them.  I think these guys are going to thrive as they’re well on their way, I sure hope so.

On this rainy day – I slept in ’til 8am, caught up on google reader, showered, enjoyed some coffee, caught up with a dear friend, lounged/still lounging in pj’s, took a few pix, made afternoon and dinner plans…It should be a fun afternoon/evening!  More on that later…For now, it’s time to get out of the pj’s and hit the road…

Blessings – Debbie

Weekend Blessings

We had a blast from hubby’s past Friday evening.  Hubby’s friend (Terri) from high school was in town and we couldn’t think of anything better than to make dinner reservations ocean side.  Actually, we walked to this restaurant from her ocean front hotel.

For whatever reason I didn’t have my camera so we made do with our smart phones.  I enjoyed playing with one of my apps in the pic below.

The view from our seat was pretty cool.  How fun watching the bride and groom pose for pictures…

And the sunset (almost).  We didn’t stay for the full sunset as we moved on to another joint to fill our sweet tooth.

The weekend was restful, very restful as planned.  We enjoyed a couple of dinner dates – spent a little time at the mall, getting a few things for hubby – I gave hubby a haircut – and we planned a big trip including airfare, hotel and rental car.

The picture below was taken (in the backyard) Sunday afternoon.  I fell in love with the little hopper on the rose petal.

This morning (Monday) came early…And I found myself in downtown San Diego without my camera.  Oh well, I took a few pix with my phone.

Daybreak – It truly is a beautiful day…

I was back home sometime around 7am and this is the lovely setting that awaited.

I love our peaceful little neighborhood and thoroughly enjoy my random trips to the city.  I have the best of both worlds.

P.S.  I was so happy Rob won Survivor (after 10 years of trying) last evening.

I’m still sorry I’m off on posting.  I’ll have to work a bit on the blog rhythm soon.

Blessings – Debbie

Garden Party

(Side note – Garden Party post and pics to follow after this paragraph)  Yes, I’m still here.  I’m just trying to learn to balance my time and new smart phone.  For the first week, I was totally engrossed with all the new free apps I downloaded.  The last few days I’m pretty disgusted with the amount of time I wasted on the thing.  Now I’m just trying to embrace the phone for what it is and not let the thing control me.  I’d say I’ve come full circle and it feels good.  A great big cheers to the fact that that smart thing is no longer controlling me!


We had a garden party this past weekend.  It was a nice celebration with some of the families in hubby’s group (from work) for a job well done.  We had a lot of fun planning, shopping and getting everything in place.

Getting things set up…

The food table…

Margaritaville = Drink Station

The view from the pergola

It was such a good idea to rent a 6′ round table and chairs.  I love round tables for visiting with this size crowd.

The gates to the garden opened at 3 pm Saturday afternoon.

These guys found a great place for a pow wow with great views.

Father and son moment…

Grab a plate!

Smoked Brisket by Q!  Check out that smoke ring…It was so good.

My hubby was King of the grill.  His corn on the cobb, dogs (from the local butcher) and baked beans were delish!

Siblings – They were the only children at the party but they really enjoyed themselves.

Filling up on the good stuff…

Let’s eat!  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Bocce Ball – Made for lots of fun.

It was also fun to stand on the sidelines and watch…

the players.

True – the picture below is not worthy of posting.  However, it’s a reminder of how we topped off the evening hours outside.  Then we moved the party inside where pool and backgammon were the two favorite games indoors.  Homemade oatmeal choc chip cookies were put in the oven and served warm.  What a nice day/evening to remember.

And a hearty congratulations to the boys for a job well done!

I’m linking up to Between Naps on the Porch who is hosting Tablescape Thursday.

Blessings – Debbie

The Weekend Rocked

Oh the things we accomplished over the weekend.

Getting new cell phones was a big event for us.  We got our very first smart phones yesterday, May 1, 2011!  We agreed that it felt like signing more papers than purchasing a home.

Since we’ve been with Verizon for many years and very happy with our service, we could not imagine switching over to AT&T.  So we waited and waited some more.  With rumors of the iPhone 4 hitting the market, we waited some more.  We were bound to get the iPhone (with Verizon service) up until hubby read the reviews.  It turned out to be a no-go.  So we waited and contemplated and that’s when hubby turned his sights over to the Thunderbolt.

When the Thunderbolt by HTC hit the market, it truly got hubby’s attention all the way around.  As for me, it didn’t get my attention ’til it hit the palm of my hand.  I had no clue what I was missing.  The service is top notch and the quality of this guy rocks our world.

I was all set to keep the old phone ’til it died.

The texts were always short and sweet and only done with hubby.  It got the job done.

But now?  Take a look at this.  Even tho I had an idea what I was missing, I’m finally able to grasp it first-hand.

Of course many of you know this already.  But it sure is a lot different when experiencing it for the first time.   I may trade in my lap top for this little dandy.  I kid, but that’s how much fun I’m having at the moment.

We had company yesterday!  This is the first time for both hubby and me to see a lizard this size in the wild.  This does not include zoos/pets.  He came running right up to the back door and wanted in.  Hubby said “get the camera!”  Hubby estimated him to be at least 18″ – 20″ long.  He was HUGE!

Over the weekend we also accomplished other things like:

  • 2 trips to the party supply store
  • A trip to party rentals – we’re renting a table and chairs for the party next weekend.  It seems the way to go to have the items delivered and picked up after our little outdoor event.
  • A trip to Wal-Mart, TJ Max, Home Depot and even the .99 cent store
  • A number of fun things were purchased for the party and I can hardly wait to get things set up.

Cheers to an exciting week!  Instead of working in the studio this week, I’m/we’re planning a party.  Fun ~ Fun!

Blessings – Debbie