Monday, January 20, 2014

Jewelry Errors

Last night I went to my mom's house and we worked a little bit on trying to connect the pieces to wires and jump hooks and things. Not so easy.

Some Notes:

Next time make the holes bigger! Clay shrinks when it's fired so that means any holes you make will shrink up too. The holes in my little red earrings were so small that they wouldn't dangle correctly on the wire. They kept getting stuck kind of crooked and I just wanted them to swing!

Also, FYI, pottery is fragile. I tore right through one of the holes when I was undoing a sorry excuse for a jump ring I made. Now those earrings are goners.

And lastly, I learned that I need to take a jewelry-making class. The one I took in first grade at Laguna Gloria isn't gonna cut it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jewelry Week of Jan 10 to Jan 19

Here I'll be recording what I learn making jewelry so I don't make the same mistakes, so I don't have to keep asking my dad the same questions over and over, so I can learn what works and hopefully repeat it. 

Below: Button Earrings
Clay: Blue
Glaze: Yellow
Notes: Hung them on wire to fire them and the yellow glaze pooled up. It was hard to tell what color the clay was (it looked white). I don't like the yellow glaze over the blue clay.

Below: Rough Blue Flower Pendant
Simple unglazed blue dyed clay. Came out kind of mild.

Below: Short Red Oval Earrings
Clay: White
Glaze: Red with shiny spray added afterwards by dad
Notes: bright and shiny like jewelry should be! I love it! This is the same jewelry my mom used for her valentines pieces.

Below: Yellow Pinwheel Pendant
Simple unglazed made with yellow dyed clay. Came out rough but bright! I like it.

Below: Turquoise Oval Earrings
Glaze: Turquoise with copper shining
Clay: White (mistake)
Notes: Always use on terra cotta clay or put a terra cotta slip before glazing. I didn't and the turquoise was spotty and pathetic. I hung these on a wire because I glazed both sides. The wire slumped and the two pieces fused together--ruined! Oops!

Below: Spiral Pendant with Swirls
Glaze: Just a clear splash. Was meant to give shine but it didn't do anything. 
Clay: Yellow dyed and blue dyed swirled together

Below: Yellow Oval Earrings
Glaze: Yellow 
Clay: Yellow
Notes: Glazed both sides and hung them on wire for firing. Wire slumped and they fused together. Also the glaze dripped to the bottom and pooled up. Next time just use yellow clay and glaze one side.

Below: Fired version of yellow earrings that fused together

Below: Pinwheel Pendants 
Clay: Dyed Blue
Glaze: Wheat # 13 & new real # 5
Notes: Glazed one side. Didn't really like the blue clay with glaze on it. Prefer the pinwheels to be white.

Below: Set up in the Kiln

Below: Final Result after Firing:

Friday, April 13, 2012


I'm getting married. Now I know why its common to be engaged for at least a year--it takes that long to get used to it. Even though I've always known we would get married --really, I knew after our first date--it has taken 6 months for it to feel real. I can actually say the word fiance without feeling like a small girl playing house and our money has started to run together more. If he buys me a beer one night I don't feel like I have to even it out by buying the movie tickets the next night. He is the most exciting thing in my life--the thing I most look forward to.

Everything else is the rolling black conveyor belt that makes up the treadmill I'm on right now. I can hardly breathe, but I have to keep moving forward. I've always quit things worth quitting. I always know if I need to let something go, even when I don't want to because I'll be letting people down, I always know when it's right. This time my mind is paralyzed and I just keep marching forward, one foot in each job and no time left for anything in between. There's no voice telling me what's right.

So different from those carefree days on a bicycle, but all in all, not yearning to be back there again. I'm happy to be here, working. You can't have one without the other and right now I'm here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hello again

My last post was almost a year ago. I felt weird writing from England while side-kicking around with Woody Pines, but I was in the habit from the bike trip and didn't want to stop. If I'd been able to write something worth reading it might have worked but my entries were turning into a list of what we'd done since my last entry and what cities we'd played in.

So I closed my laptop and opened my little yellow spiral notebook and that's where I've been writing since. There's a lot in that little notebook, because a lot has happened in a year.

For tonight, I just wanted to start this conversation again. I'm not sure who I'm conversing with, but it feels safer than before when people had a reason to check in. By now, a year later, everyone's forgotten about Coasting (and probably me too because I'm hard to reach these days).

Earlier today I dropped Lyon off at the airport. He's on his way to London to meet up with the rest of the Woody Pines gang to do the tour all over again. This time I stay home and work.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretty Chichester

May 4th,

Gotta love those gigs where you get to sleep in the same building that the gig is in. Right now we’re at the Chichester Inn and the boys are playing their hearts out downstairs. I stayed for the first set, but I’m upstairs now taking advantage of internet and piecing video together.

Chichester is really a beautiful town. Lyon and I got to walk around a bit before the gig and Zack and I ducked our heads into the 900-year-old cathedral. There’s an old medieval wall around the town center (built on original roman walls) and everything is just quaint as can be with cobble-stone roads and doors painted bright red. I’m hoping I can get myself up early in the morning and go for a stroll.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sheffield, England

May 3rd

We are at “The Greystones” pub where there’s a listening room called “The Backroom.” I have a feeling it will be a good gig, though whether I get good footage out of it or not is always hit or miss.

We’re in a city called Sheffield (it has the most trees per capita than any other city in Europe? That’s a fact that came straight from Zack). There’s lots of shopping, and there’s a university so it has a bit of a college vibe, but the Travel Lodge where we’re staying is in the middle of nowhere, unfortunately. Last night we took a taxi to town and ended up at a pub which we pretty much closed down, though it was pretty early—just midnight. I guess we got braver with each drink because when we walked out of there, Zack and Lyon and I had scrounged up what we could of the weak internet signal and had reserved a car for our last 4 days here. The last show is May 13th, so the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th the three of us are going to drive to Paris from London…or something like that. We were sure to purchase the extra insurance, and we paid the extra cash for an automatic so that we wouldn’t have to juggle shifting gears with our left hand and remembering to stay on the left side of the road (until we’re out of England at least). Zack’s friend that’s studying in Stirling might come too, it would be nice to have another girl along. Paris! Can’t wait to speak French to someone other than Lyon (who just looks back blankly at me).

I’ve been trying to keep up with blogging even without internet, which is the reason for the bursts of posting. Unfortunately most of our hotels make you pay for wifi. But despite lack of internet or cell phone, I did get the big news yesterday about Osama Bin Ladin. I’d gotten up early that morning to go to a coffee shop in Carlisle, and as I was opening my journal to write, I saw Americans on the flat screen T.V. mounted on the wall, waving flags and holding up posters. Bin Ladin is dead. No matter how evil the culprit, it’s always strange to see people celebrating someone’s death-so medieval.

Yesterday I taught Davie to tap dance--just the usual 3-point-crawl. He took to it like a pro! I expect him to practice often, or I won’t teach him any more tap moves.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


May 2nd

So yesterday we basically followed the path of Hadrian’s Wall across the country near the West Coast to Carlisle. Some parts are kind of dumpy, but luckily our Travel Lodge is in the center of town and we were able to walk around long enough to find the city center (“centre”). There’s tons of shopping, every type of restaurant you can think of and there’s a large region dedicated to pedestrian’s only so we had a nice stroll since we got here in plenty of time (the result of a 10 o’clock check-out a the hotel in Newcastle). I finally bought a little brush, something I’d been putting off after losing the one I brought with me. It just was so annoying to have to buy something that I have 2 of back home so yes, last night I brushed my hair for the first time in 7 days. I’ve been washing it—no worries, I just hadn’t been brushing it….

The city is actually full of historic sites, many of which are a result of its being near the English-Scottish boarder and when we pulled in Davey said he was pretty sure this was the city where an old law still existed allowing a Scotsman to be flogged if he wears a kilt. I don’t know if that’s true, but it could be I guess, just one of those laws that was never taken off the books…And there’s the Carlisle Castle that towers over the city where Mary Queen of Scots was once held captive. Of course, we don’t really have time to visit the castle or the Carlisle Cathedral or any other historic sites. It’s on to the next town for us.

I stayed in last night instead of going to the gig, which is why I was able to get up this morning and have a cappuccino at a local coffee shop. In some ways it’s been fun letting go and allowing myself to be on a musician’s schedule (stay up late, get up late) but really, I love my mornings. And on this trip it’s the best way to get some alone time. I guess the gig was a little thin last night, but it sounded really fun nonetheless. The venue was sort of new, as in it had been closed and then re-opened I think, and it was on the third floor of an old brick industrial building. The sign outside read something like, “It’s a long way up the stairs, but worth it.” Lyon said that when the band got there the manager had made a drink and named it the “Chew Tobacco Rag” and he let the boys invent a couple of other drink specials and name them after songs that Woody sings. Then after the gig they all hung out and played music together. It sounded like no one was too concerned about it being a slow night, since the staff was happy to have Woody there and the gig was a guarantee deal so the band didn’t necessarily lose money.

Today is a day off-for everyone. I think it’s a bank holiday since May Day fell on a Sunday. And most people took Friday off for the Royal Wedding, so the Brits are all in vacation mode. I’m not sure where we’re going today, but we’ll be there 2 nights (Sheffield maybe?).