A Good Week …

Our Xena had her babies on Sunday – four beautiful pups joined our crew.  Here’s a quick pic John sent me while I was at work.  [Better photos to come …]

Xena-pups

bean-bacon-soupAnd, DH turned another year older this week.  So, we started the week with Bean & Bacon soup – made with ham hock broth, and added carrots, water chestnuts, spinach, kale and arugula.  Absolutely yummy!

DH-and-cakeTonight, I made his all-time favorite – German Chocolate Cake.  He helped.  As everything was cooling, he let me know, “Darn, that’s a lot of work!”  Yep, it sure is … Just for you, babe!  As I was trying to get my photo, he decided he needed to jump in the frame too … Goofball!

German-Chocolate-Cake

To wrap up his birthday meals, I will make his favorite tomorrow – pork chops and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.  He loves it.  I don’t … Just for you, babe!

Caran-D'Ache-Luminance-PencilsWhile he was taking his turn waiting FOREVER at Secretary of State (I went earlier this week), I started playing with Luminance pencils.  OMGosh … I love these!  They blend so easily with a touch of gamsol … Instant pretty!  So, I colored these images.

luminance-coloring  ballerina-stamp

Add another mesh melt in the kiln as I type and I’m a happy girl in my studio!

Bits & Spurts …

That’s how my week felt, creatively speaking.  I struggled with card making, but finally got a miserly-few made.  I stamped these pretty layered dahlias.  And then had no clue how to pull the backgrounds together.  I’m not a huge fan of patterned paper, but I was eventually able to decide on four.

stamped-dahlias    dahlia-cards

I did create a mesh-melt blank.  Here’s the photo of the load, pre-firing along with the blank.  DH said he thought the amount of glass might be light.  Nope!  That blank is currently 10.5 inches wide by 1/2 inch thick, and weighs almost 4 pounds.  When I flow it back out, I’m hoping to uncover some more non-brown colors.  We’ll see … It’s been awhile, so I’m moving ahead slowly, giving my brain time to remember all the tips & tricks we learned years ago …

mesh-melt-load   mesh-melt-2019 

Back to card making and backgrounds.  I played with intense watercolor powders, both Ken Oliver ColorBurst and Nuvo Shimmer powder.  Yep, I played with them.  Not well, but … I’m sure I can do something with these, eventually!

watercolor-powders-play

Tonight was about foiling.  I decided I wanted to foil some stamped roses … That worked.  But what to do with that stark white background?  I ended up blending some distress oxide inks and then adding a foiled ‘happy birthday’ sentiment.  Hmmm … ok.

foiling-stamped-roses    foiled-roses

Then I thought I might have more success with foiled embossing powder images.  NOPE!  Too hot, too much foil, images too distorted …  Doh!

foiling-embossing-powder-fa

I’m almost excited to get out of the studio and back to ER nursing for a bit.  Lucky me – 24 hour weekend tour up next!  Be safe!!!

More Baby Steps …

Cuz that’s how we move forward!  But first … Look at this!  Aunt Piggy and Uncle Clyde ‘lording’ over the Neo babies … Too Cute!

bulldog-and-neo-pups

And back to baby steps:  We got the new shelving unit up – and full.  I like it.  Sure, I’d like it bigger, BUT … I have my lesser-used (coe96 coarse and mosaic frit and confetti glass) tucked away, along with most of my ‘fancy’ cardstock; re-homed my cute (DH special) shelf over by the coe90 area, along with my color-wheel/clock; and then I filled up that cubicle storage with stamps.  It works.  It also means I have ZERO new storage space to discover.  Which equates to this – ‘MUST MAKE MORE’ stuff, to use up the STUFF – before we endeavor on anymore HOBBIES .. DOH!!!

new-wall-shelf

coe90-frit-shelving new-color-wheel-clock-home more-stamp-storage

But that’s okay … cuz that’s just what I’m doing.  I’m completing some orders while back filling some stock with etched dichroic glass (see that Fred – a coworker gave me that too long ago, but I’m glad I waited.  I think the two layer dicro is gonna look great, and my plotter, etching and alignment skills are better now -), all cooking in the kiln as I type.

etching-dichroic-images dichroic-cabochons fred-special-request

I also have a couple of batches of spoon rest blanks cut/ground and ready to fire.  One of the ivory spoons will meet up with some enamel … umm – later today, for another special request.  Add a sinter firing, and then back in the kiln to see how our ideas (mine and the customer) mesh … [To be continued]

spoon-rest-blanks

I’m also cleaning my studio, in bits and spurts, until I rediscover something shiny or fun.  Yep, baby steps! 

I hope to have some card-time today.  I’ve got a couple of Pinterest ideas I want to try.  Here’s one – ready for the next step of a shaker card – using seed beads.  Oh yea – I have a few [thousand] of those!!!

next-card

DH and I have talked about dinner.  I want to try my hand at sautéed shredded veggies – kind of like this recipe [not my photo], but with more veggies (zucchini, carrots, chayote and purple cabbage) along with Chicken Bundles for the ‘entree’ … Yum!!!

shredded cabbage squash

Welcome 2019

georgie-and-chloeDH and I quietly rolled into 2019 with a new family member. Meet Giorgana … or Georgie, for short!  She’s 5 months old, and such a sweetheart!  The bulldog gang, along with the rest of the crew have already bonded… And Chloe likes to ‘mother’ her!

georgie-and-friends

stamp-storage-1And, I’m cleaning and reorganizing the studio, with a little help from DH.  I’ve run out of stamp storage, so I need to reclaim the other side of this work table.  My coe96 coarse frit and confetti will move to a new shelving unit – once my carpenter finishes it, that is … Kind of like this one (coe90 shelves), but over here!

stamp-storage-2 studio-wall-shelving new-shelving-home

My resident computer tech (ummm, not so much, but DH does try …) took the sickly studio (monitoring) computer to the house to see if he can solve the Microsoft Update illness from last week.  In the meantime, we have a work-around.  I now have two monitors for this PC, allowing me to keep a watchful eye over Clayton Hill while I’m in the studio.  [Baby steps!]2nd-monitor-back-up

Final news that’s fit to report:  I made some cards.  Starting with birthday, as I hope to create a hefty stash (again).

birthday-cards-1-4Not talking about this past weekend, as I’m still fairly exhausted (in a good-work/hard work way).  I’m hoping Friday will have me feeling energized and ready for another ER nursing weekend … It could happen … Winking smile

AND ON TO RESOLUTIONS … Almost

Wrapping up Christmas 2018 with lil Sis … Who is HOME!  And she’s snuggling with the bulldog pups (Pignacious and Clyde) …

2018-christmaslil-sis-with-lil-bullies

As promised, a couple of cute photos of the Neo babies, just after bath time!  We’re starting the transition to kibble … baby steps!  Smile

5-wks-bath-time5-wks-old-bath-time

I did a bit of coloring, starting on my new batch of 2019 cards …

copic-giraffesflowers

Once I get the studio back to manageable … I plan to start the year with mesh melts!  Time to make new glass from all my scrap!  And, more vitrigraph cane.  DH and I have been talking about some murrini projects …

scrap-glass-overload

But first, 24 hours of ER nursing fun!!!  Be safe this weekend, or it just might be me standing over you …

T-8 hours

AKA – Dishes are still spinning … 

Lil Sis will be home in 8 hours.  She has left Ghana, and is making her way from Amsterdam as I type.  I will be so glad to have her back in Michigan!!!

We got through our first adult-children Christmas fairly well, considering it was early in the week (still trying to flip from night-shift weekends) … I burnt the cinnamon rolls, but (- no one said anything …) it was wonderful to see the kids and great gifts were had by all!

I finally made it to my sister’s annual Christmas Eve.  She did an amazing job, it was sweet to see all sides of her (our) family gathered, and I was just a little weekend-punch-drunk/sleep-deprived slap-happy!  Winking smile

I slept 13 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday … I feel slightly brand-new!

Microsoft update killed my second computer (the one I use to keep our house/den/whelping box on close watch) on Sunday.  DH and I spent hours today trying to fix it, work around it, create a band-aid patch for it before accepting defeat.  Amazon to the rescue … [To be continued …]

Life as usual is starting again in the studio.  The bulldog sisters are keeping a close eye on me, as I begin the process of cleaning and organizing after the mad-dash TORNADO of Christmas prep … And, I’m still shipping studio/glass packages!  Thanks everyone!

I gave away ALL of my cards (50+) this Christmas.  Time to make some more … Smile

I took care of some wonderful patients in the ER last weekend.  Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for all, and a manageable load this coming pre-New-Year weekend!  And, if it can’t be manageable — please, let me continue to dodge the ‘direct-to-the-face’ crud-cough!

But, in the meantime … Lil Sis is coming home!!!

ghana

PS – the Neo pups are doing great … Cute puppy photos/update next week!

‘Twas 5 Days Before Christmas …

But – I work 12 night weekends, AND we’re celebrating with the extended family on Christmas Eve.  [Yes, on Monday – after I get home from work …] So, this girl has got to get BUSY!!!

Thank goodness for internet shopping.  Everything I didn’t make has been delivered safely to our house.  [BTW – thank you FedEx, UPS and USPS!] 

And, everything I made is either in the wash (felting – we ended with four pairs of slippers), in the kiln slumping, or boxed already and waiting to be wrapped!  I’m hoping DH will lend a hand with some of the wrapping …

last-pair-slippers gifts more-gifts-done

I’m still plugging away with items for the shop.  A huge thanks to all who’ve ordered, as I have been shipping every day! [Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!]

dec-night-lights  dec-spoon-rests

dead-phoneCanine news:  Rotunda (the Bulldog) ate my phone last week.  Not all the way, just enough nibbles to make sure it was useless.  So, my early Christmas gift to myself was ordering a replacement  phone and getting it shipped here pronto!  [Ro and I have talked, and she assures me that she feels terrible about killing the phone …]

On a happier note – the Neo pups are doing great!  At 3.5 weeks old, they’re making the transition to gruel nicely, and wearing as much as they eat!  Here’s a quick photo of Aurora, sitting pretty:aurora

So, I have a bit of time to wrap those gifts and (hopefully) get some holiday baking done before the weekend.  Tick tock, tick tock … Good thing I love a deadline! In love

 

Staying Busy …

Tubby’s babies are growing, growing and GROWING!  Here’s a quick photo of a couple of her boys … Look who’s peeking!

11-days-old-males

I’m still scratching out time to work in the studio – keeping stock up, filling orders, uploading shop listings:

night-lights-&-ornamanets dec-ornaments-1 dec-ornaments-2

Christmas-Tree-Night-Lights

And, I’m still knitting … Only one pair done this week (so 2 more pair to go) …slippers-3-pair

While we are spending so much time with the pups, I decided to make some bone broth with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass.  That broth simmered for 3 days – and smelled so yummy.  I made a soup (modified Cabbage Kielbasa) with it today.  DH and I both loved it! 

turkey-bone-broth cabbage-kielbasa-bone-broth kielbasa-cabbage-soup

Time to switch gears and be an ER nurse for the weekend … Be safe out there!

No Rest for the Elves …

Here at Clayton Hill.  It’s all good, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Tubby had her babies – 7 beautiful, healthy, fat pups joined our gang on Saturday.

2-days-old

DH and I are smoothing out the process of providing 24/7 pup-watch coverage for mom and babies, while still getting chores and jobs done.  As it’s my calling, I have the night shift.  Smile

keeping-spoon-rests-stockedAgain, it’s all good, because the countdown to Christmas and all necessary prep has begun.  I’m keeping up on our shop items in batches.  I worked up a load of spoon rests for slumping. 

I got our murrini cane listed.  We finally added a coe96 version of the rainbow cane.

coe96-rainbow-murrini-cane  coe96-rainbow

And, I’ll have a few Christmas Tree Night Lights to add to our stock … Look for them in our shop next week.

more-tree-nite-lites   Christmas-tree-nightlight

In between stolen studio time, I’m prepping for Christmas and making slippers.  Huge knitted slippers, that I will felt (shrink down) to normal size.  Two pair down, 3 to go …

giant-slipper-time

And when I need a break from knitting – I color.  I’m working on some unicorn cards, and I couldn’t resist the reindeer and fat Wanda – ready for a kiss.  I used my Zig Real Brush Markers … Because carting my Copics to the house would be a pain.  The blending isn’t great, but … I still wlEmoticon-redheart.png ’em!

unicorns-and-more

Time to switch gears and think nurse-y thoughts for a weekend of ER fun.  No rest for this wicked elf!

Et … VOILA!!!

Just like that – Thanksgiving is over; We had a recipe-FAIL; and I’m missing a decent portion of the tip of my thumb.  VOILA!

spinach-artichoke-pinwheel-For a hot second, DH was ‘proud’ of himself for pulling together Artichoke Spinach Pinwheels … the link shows you what they should have looked like.  Our version was HUGE, with too much filling overflowing out of the bread, and the pan.  But, once DH had those discs cut up and plopped in the pie plate, he proclaimed, “Et, voila!!!”  Cooking our version for an additional 10 minutes did not remove the raw dough, sloppy-mess taste! 

Not to be outdone in the kitchen-FAIL department, I got into a fight with the mandoline while slicing carrots.  The mandoline won!  The upside – there was no ‘special sauce’ in our stuffing, and I think I finally have the bleeding stopped.   (I haven’t soaked through the current bandage, anyway!)  The downside – it’s my dominant hand, and my THUMB.  Should make ER nursing interesting this weekend …

dominant-thumb

We did manage our vitrigraph pull.  Pretty shades of teal, turquoise, cream, white and there is a hint of Neo-lavender that pops through a few slices when the light hits it just right.  Pretty!

turquoise-teal

Say a prayer and throw out good thoughts for DH and Tubitha.  While I’m working my 24 hour weekend tour, Tubby is sure to have her pups!

tubbs