It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year …

winter2018We had our first snowfall this week (a semi-sticking kind, anyway).  I love snow (from inside a heated space!)!  So pretty …

I’ve been keeping a couple of kilns busy for the last few days.  We’re keeping up with ornaments, one mini load at a time (which somehow makes it easier for me) …

keeping-ornament-stock-up

I mentioned we had a request for a Christmas Tree night light … I made a crackle tree (it’s back in the kiln for the third of four firings) … We’ll see.  And, DH wanted his turn – kind of a retro or Dr Suess type tree.  I like it.  A confetti (thin wafer/shards of glass) tree and a frit tree wrap up our Christmas Tree night light offerings (the last 3 are in the kiln for their final slump).

crackle-tree  DH-xmas-treeconfetti-treefrit-tree

I’ve also cut the stack for our next vitrigraph pull.  Coe90 murrini cane coming up …

our-next-90-pull

I managed to update the shop with our Nutcracker Spoon Rests, just in time for the holidays. I have several other new items (small and unique dishes and plates) to photograph and list.  [Next on the to-do list!]

 nutcracker spoon rests

And finally, it’s cold outside.  This means comfort foods are totally acceptable.  So, we’ll be making a dish of Tater-tot Sloppy Joe-Casserole (not my photo), I’m excited!  [Thank you Tammilee & John!]

Crock-Pot-Tater-Tot-Sloppy-Joes-Casserole

Time to buckle down and get cracking.  With Thanksgiving and a new litter of pups around the corner – well, this is my ‘free and easy week’!  Winking smile

It’s the 20 Year Anniversary …

Of turning 29 … Yep, that’s what I celebrated this week.  I’ve spent the last several years avoiding specific numbers, while I slowly acknowledge – and am just about ready to – fully gear-up – and possibly embrace … turning 50 (read: F.I.F.T.Y; “The BIG 5-0”!!!) … Yeah, sure … IN ANOTHER 363 days.

It’s all good.  I can still care for underage alcohol-intoxicants and mary jane overdoses (OH – Don’t get me started, Michigan!!!) like an ER Boss!  So much fun to be had on an E.R. nurses weekend!

And then, I officially aged.  Except for the part where I felt weak-virus crummy, run-down and ‘head-achy’ the first half of the week … life as a 49 year old is good.  Our youngest is coming over later today for some socializing and (ham bone stock) potato soup dinner;  I heard from all but a couple of my family (Oh, we will talk you two!)!  And, I dressed Chloe (& Rotunda) in another adorable shirt!  Cue photos:

why-mom  reindeer-sweater

I also had a special request (Christmas tree night light) that has a few (hundred) ideas rumbling.  So, experiment one is in the kiln now.  This has stamped glass enamels on a pre-fused night light base. [Photos below … we’ll see what the kiln does with that!]  I have a some other ideas that I will work my way through later, when time allows.  In the meantime, DH has said he has an idea, and wants to play in the studio.  WHAT?!?  [Wow – that’s been a while] … Sure!  And, I’m going to do some glass paint/enamel experiments with oils again … We tried a few years ago (with things like vegetable oil), but this time I want to play with ‘cell separator’ (dimethicone), and GAI oil … We’ll see.

an-idea stamping-meets-glass christmas-tree-experiment

Lastly, I hope to do another vitrigraph pull.  But I haven’t chosen any colors yet … None are screaming at me, “Pick me, pick me …”  So, I’ll have to focus on the color wheel for a bit.  Meanwhile, here is a fairly crummy photo of last week’s murrini pull (which I still have not listed … Sorry – it’s coming!):

mystic-pull

Thank You‘ to ALL for the birthday wishes.  This girl is feeling better, feeling loved, and ready to get busy!  Smile

Ahead of the Game …

Haha!  OK, kind of … for the moment!  But, I’m on top of my post – so there’s that. 

News:  We are officially EMPTY NESTERS.  Baby boy moved into his apartment this week … Wow!  27 years of motherhood (including pregnancy) … DONE!!!  [I know, it’s never done until I’m dead, but … STILL!]  AND … our oldest sought out a new job, and GOT IT!  10k more per year – you go, smart Sister!  I’m proud of you!!!

And, then there was Halloween.  We live in ‘the back forty’, so no trick-or-treaters.  We had to make due dressing the bulldog sisters up.  [Not really – I bought a sweatshirt and wanted to see if it fit …]  Cue adorable, fluffy, Xanadu bulldog sisters:

chloe-sweatshirt olivia-newton-bulldogs sexy-Ro

I pulled a few spoon rests together.  We are officially underway with holiday shopping in our online shop … MUST GET BUSY!  I also listed the red murrini cane 

nov-spoon-rests   coe96 red murrini cane

Next up:  A coe90 vit pull – hopefully later today (Friday) … Here’s the stack:

nov-coe90-vit-stack

And, I finally pulled those card fronts together, into actual cards.  The hold up – cutting, stacking and gluing four layers of (those white) die-cut sentiments and flower frames.  Those are some tiny, fussy, fiddly bits.  Once I remembered to put my cheater glasses on, so I could see everything – well, it went quite a bit faster …

cards-pulled-together

Happy Friday, Ya’ll!!!wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

Better Late Than Never …

I ran out of time last week to post.  So, here I am in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, planning out my week ahead and reflecting on last week.

We did a beautiful coe96 vit pull on Friday.  Here are photos of the gorgeous red murrini from the cane, and the pull progression from the kiln.  It maintained that lovely shade of red throughout the inside, AND the outside.  DH and I just might be figuring this temperature control/ramping temp timing thing out!  We’re planning for another pull (coe90) later this week … And, adding murrini cane inventory to our shop.

coe96-red-murrini  coe96-pull-progression

foiling-trialAnd, I finally played with foiling card bases.  Here was my test piece – to see if my equipment would work – and it does! [Happy Dance!]

So, then I made a card for Baby Girl.  She won’t get it in time for Halloween, but … It turned out great!  Two photos to try to capture the foiling (pumpkins, hat and wording)….

foil-halloween-card    halloween-card-for-bg

‘We had a visitor to the house.  OK, ON the HOUSE.  DH and I were walking back from the studio/barn and … Wow – that’s a mighty big crane on our roof.  Fortunately, he/she did not decide to take up permanent residence/no sign of nesting!  What is it with crazy birds at my house?!?

visiting-roof-crane

making-more-ornamentsI continue to work on small loads of ornaments to keep our stock up.  I’ll be adding in some additional night lights and spoon rests, and see if I can’t work up some mojo to create a few new fused glass projects …

We tried a new recipe – Creamy Ricotta Spinach Chicken Cannelloni.  Our photo did not turn out as lovely as Katerina’s (maybe I tried stuffing too many in one baking dish?).  Our version was okay, kind of bland, and I’m not sure that I would make it again.  But the menfolk liked it.  This week, I’ll be making a ham/cheesy potato meal and then a yummy pot of Ham & Potato Soup.  And, DH is requesting Slow-Cooker Creamy Herbed Chicken Stew (with added vegetables like parsnip and turnips, substituting water chestnuts to avoid celery allergy).

chicken-spinach-ricotta-can

Of course, I hope to work on a few cards, too.  And play with pups!!!  Leaving with a cute pic of our Neapolitan pups, Maximus and Hera.  And, Chloe, trying on her tutu!  wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

MaxHera   ballerina-chloe

 

A Little of This ….

And a little of that.  This week in review: Starting with this super-cute pic of my sisters.  Makes me smile every time I look at it … AWWW – they LUV each other!Sister-love

I spent a bit more time cleaning and organizing the studio … or trying to, anyway.  Here is my storage for card making sequins and embellishments.  I hadn’t realized I have collected so many.  Hmmm, could be a problem – if I didn’t have these slick container trays for it all!  Winking smile  And, I picked up a couple of mobile storage ‘carts’ – cuz, they move (all around the studio, wherever I’m creating) and they were inexpensive.  So, ya know … I had to buy them!

all-things-shiny   embellishment-storage   mobile-card-making-storage

I made a vat of Bacon Cauliflower Chowder (no recipe as I combined a bit of this and that from several chowder recipes), along with a double batch of mostaccioli. (I always make two – one for dinner and one to freeze for later.  DH loves this, and acts like a kid waiting for Christmas as he takes the second dish to the freezer.  Silly guy!) No photo, but we added in shredded zucchini and diced tomatoes, along with a ‘cleaning of the fridge’ cheese selection (feta, provolone, mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese and sour cream).  It’s amazing, and probably my best batch yet …cauliflower-bacon-chowder

DH and I had another vitrigraph pull.  This one a requested yellow and red.  It’s pretty … Photos of the glass stack, the pull-progression color-changes, and the cane sliced into murrini pieces.

the-stack  pull-progression  20181019_152611

I colored one single card this week, a replication from a card-maker whose style I admire.  Thank you Yoonsun!

animals-card-front

And here we are, on Friday … almost time to enjoy another 24 hour ER nursing weekend  tour.  But, before that, I need to get busy putting together an ornament order and then – date-night with DH … I’m gonna kick his butt playing some pool!  Winking smile

the color of money

 

Viruses, Birthdays & Studio Updates

Our youngest daughter was sick last week … and then DH & I both came down with a virus that wiped us out for a couple of days.  [Yep Baby Girl in Ghana, and we get sick too!]  So, I made her a get-well card, along with a Halloween card.  And, our oldest son turned 24, so he needed a birthday card …

lil-sis-card halloween-card lego-bday-card

Then I moved on to painting some water color Cosmos.  I’m waiting for a couple of items to arrive before I finish them off as cards.

watercolor-cosmos

We had our son over to celebrate his birthday along with a home cooked meal.  It was nice catching up with him.  We made our Spinach & Artichoke Ravioli with French bread and Greek Salad, and wrapped it up with Mexican Fruit Cake … A quasi-international meal … Winking smile  No photos from our kitchen, but here is a link to the cake recipe (we use less butter and powdered sugar, but … either way= YUMMY GOODNESS!) 

After celebrating, I got busy cleaning and organizing in the studio.  I have a new stamp storage area and cleared off a spot for storing ink pads:

 organized-stamp-storage ink-storage

We’re also officially underway with the holiday season, so I’m making Christmas ornaments in batches.  Here are some (nutcracker) soldiers and snowmen, ready for the kiln.

ornaments-10-18

And, I finally got around to much-needed packaging and photographing.  Look for these coe96 murrini listings to finally hit the shop this week!  I also hope to have another vit-pull date with DH …

deep waters murrini canedeep water packagesbees n trees packagesbees trees murrini cane

Leaving with a cute photo of the sisters sharing their bed space and bone … AWWW, what good girlz!!! Smile  BTW – got through mandatory computer and (day-walking) ER nursing competencies last week – YAHOO!

sisters-sharing

Another One?!?

no-more-die-cuts (1)Yep … I did it again.  I bought another plotter.  This one is the (Brother) Scan N Cut DX.  It’s sole job (for me) is to cut out stamped/colored images.  Now I don’t have to fussy cut, or buy dies, or fight with my Big Shot … I LOVE IT!  So, we cut some images today.

new-plotter

And then I made a few cards. (OK, one is from last week, but it turned out really cute!)

smile-sunflower-card  elephant-mail-card  be-strong-vellum-card

We also did another coe96 vitrigraph pull, beautiful blues, greens and teals.  Now to package, photograph and list the murrini in the shop

blue-green-teal-96-pull

None of which is what I should be doing, or am supposed to be doing … [Dang yearly ER nursing competencies – how I despise you!!!]  But we’ll get there.  Meanwhile, here’s Ro, helping me keep the floor clean, I guess … Cute little bug!  (Big Sis is currently possessed by the evil Baboon Aszzzz again – so we’re giving her plenty of space these days …)what-mom

Squeezing out the last of summer …

We are totally taking advantage of our Indian Summer – and the heater in our pool.  Pool dayz … Gotta love ‘em!  In between, we had a vitrigraph (murrini cane) pull.  Requested yellow and black … make for a Green Lantern-esque cane.  Hmmm … I like it!

green-lantern-vit-pull

Our Neo pups are seven weeks old, and will be moving on to their new homes … But, here are some adorable pics of Hera, Hercules and Hanna … Too darn cute!

hera-7-wks hercules-7-wks hanna-7-wks

I’ve redeemed myself, at least a little bit, in the kitchen.  The family loved Cabbage Roll Soup (thank you, Sara!).  Here is our photo …

stuffed-cabbage-soup

I’ve been playing with stamps … I colored one of my Stamping Bella images (and sent it off to Baby Girl in Ghana).  I played with a few MFT stamps and some bad color choices.  And, I recreated a J.McGuire card …POORLY – assembling it upside down! But don’t tell Baby Girl, as it will be making it’s way to Ghana as well ….

baby-girl-card-1 stamping flowers baby-girl-card-1
Leaving with a link to a short video of the bulldog babies … Too darn cute and they love to ‘WRASSLE’!!!

Cooler weather …

Time to get out of the pool and back into the swing of things!  DH got a bit ahead of himself … and bought a boat.  I have to say, though – I like the view from inside the pond (boat)!

view-from-the-pond

I stamped a few card fronts, ready for coloring.  But, decided I needed those Clean Color Zig markers … Thank you Amazon Prime!

sept-stamps-to-color

autumn-salad-my-picWe made our take on the Autumn Salad – with black rice, honey goat cheese, basil and drizzled with  blood-orange vinaigrette dressing.  I liked it.  Not enough to make again, but … DH ate it, but he didn’t love it.  Hmmm …. We paired it with pan fried Pollock, which was yummy.

dinner

And, after a REALLY long hiatus, we are prepping for some vitrigraph pulls.  FINALLY!  New murrini coming soon!  I just have to get through a weekend of ER nursing fun, first …sept-vit-pulls

So this just happened…

Somewhere along the way, DH decided to enlarge the dried up baby pond we have in our backyard.  Sure, I said – thinking to myself, “yeah, someday …”

Nope.  That excavator spent a week at my house, and ‘A Boy With His Toy’ got busy.  Turns out what I had envisioned vs. what time, his skill set and heavy, sloppy wet pond muck had in mind weren’t aligned … But, I’m sure I’ll like it once everything settles and looks a touch more natural/normal.

HeHadADreamBoyAndHisToyPurdyGoldenPondpurdychannelpurdypondlakeplacid

I played a bit in the studio, making wine bottle ornaments by the dozens, as well as adding to my spoon rest stock.  I also continue to grow and organize my stamp and die collection … One of these days, I’ll give the studio a much-needed cleaning/decluttering and make a few cards …

wine-bottle-ornaments

In the meantime, we play with puppies!  The bulldog babies will be having cherry-eye surgery soon, so I’ll go back to showing them off, too.  But here are some of our Neo pups – too darn cute!

     hanna4wks herc4wk 4wkhera

creamy-tomato-parmesan-linguineAnd, I’ve been surfing Pinterest again.  We tried a new take on ‘spaghetti’ with this recipe [not my photo], but skipped the peas and prosciutto for turkey sausage, spinach and zucchini.  It was okay.  I like having additional ways to add to my own sauce (the pureed plum tomatoes), but … it doesn’t replace my spaghetti recipe.

Next up, we’ll be trying Autumn Salad.  [Again, not my photo.]  I’ve already received the honey goat cheese and black rice, just waiting for the blood orange olive oil to arrive.  DH is a wee-bit nervous … Smile

Autumn-Salad-Recipe-of-Roasted-Red-Beets-butternut-Squash-Roast-Brussels-Sprouts

Now to prepare for 24 hours of ER nursing fun!  Have a safe & happy weekend, ya’ll!