Saturday, September 15, 2012

THREE hours in the Tiki Shack!!! :-D

Ermahgerd!  Another "Happy Post?!"

Say it ain't so!!!

Yeah, Sh*t-Howdy, I am up to Day #29 of being able to walk without a cane and (Gawd, I hope I don't jinx myself!), I am actually starting to live-my-life like a normal human being!!!

Not sure what I can attribute it to...  I mean, the psoriasis is definitely still "there" (and it's too early for the Humira to be doing any good) (in fact - dammit - I feel like I'm catching a cold!)  Maybe the Chaga I started taking a couple-three weeks ago is helping to ease things a little???  Maybe my "All-Natural Hand-Made Lotion Bars?"  (No clue - but I'll take it - whatever it is!!!).

I don't sleep fer sh*t because the itching is so completely-insanely-unbearable.  And I have to wear gloves all the time.  And I have a new-found love for Dearfoams slippers! (it's really the only thing I can wear on my feet).

Anywaaaaayyyy..  Not gonna p*ss and moan about that.  It's "always there" and I just want to be able to DO THINGS to take my mind off it!

That said:  Hubs had already made plans to hook-up with his Sailing Buddy, and get out on the bay today.

"Good for you, Dear!  Have fun and Be Safe!"

Wellll, last night he was alternating between "We're gonna sail 'Balls to the Wall' and I don't care how hard it blows, or how choppy it gets, blah-blah-blah."

"Good for you, Dear!  Have fun and Be Safe!" 

(I'm sure I've mentioned my Wimpy-Sailor status in previous posts.  I am THRILLED that Hubs has a sailing buddy so he can do his macho 'balls to the wall' thing without me shrieking hysterically while clutching the nearest stanchion for dear-life!)

...But then, a few minutes later he's all "Why don't you come with us?  There's no Small-Craft-Advisory, winds are only supposed to be 5-10 knots."  So I explained that I had a bisque-firing to do, and I was really-really looking forward to logging some serious Tiki-Shack Time.

"Have fun and Be Safe!"

And, as he was up and showered and dressed and rarin' to go at, like, 6:30am, he repeated his request for me to join them (as I'm staggering to the coffee-maker, all disheveled and unable to form complete sentences).

"No thanks, Dear.  You go on and have fun.  And Be Safe!"

I think he was out the door by 8:00am, and the synapses were just starting to fire-off in my brain...

"Ahhhhhh!!!!  All alone for an entire Saturday!!!  What-EVER shall I do?!"

Well, I started out with "drudgery."  Emptying the dishwasher, paying bills, straightening the kitchen...

Then, well, I almost got overwhelmed with the ARRAY of choices of "Things To Do!"

Most of the choices were "Indoor Sports" (Canning, Jamming, Spaghetti-sauce-making, Soap-making, Lotion-making).  The Weather Prognosticators are claiming that there is a "Cooling Trend" on the way ("NNNnnnnnnoooo!!!"), so I figured I'd better get my butt outside and enjoy it while I still can!

I actually do have some garden chores that I could have (and probably should have) tackled: Hacking down Arte-The-Choke; amending the beds; seeding my fall garden; assembling my cold-frames...  But before tackling that, I wanted to load the kiln for a bisque-firing.  Friend-P had a couple of pieces she wanted me to fire, and I had several works-in-process ready-to-cook.  Definitely enough to justify a firing.  Once that got all rigged-up (with the remote-camera/Skype "temperature sensor!") I could go tackle other chores.

Unfortunately (and surprisingly!), three of my pieces weren't dry enough to fire yet.  Damn!  Granted, they *were* under plastic - but it was loosely-wrapped and the weather's been dry so...  Well, "Waddaya gonna do, right?!"  I unwrapped 'em, did a little more clean-up on the edges and loaded everything into the kiln.  I think one more day of "dry-time" should help, and I'll make sure to do a 2-hour "pre-heat" on the bisque firing, tomorrow.

Welllll...  At that point, I was already in the Tiki Shack. and I started thinking I *could* tackle my Garden Chores, but "Gee, it looks awfully HOT out there" and "Ya know, I haven't even STARTED my Christmas Ornaments for this year!"

I always make Cookie-Cutter Christmas Ornaments for all of my co-workers.  LOL - But now I've been doing it for so many years I can't remember what I've made in years' past!!  I know I did plain stars, one year; Teddy-bears the next (each with individually hand-painted faces, and bellies and paws - NEVER AGAIN!!); Margarita Glasses (Strawberry and Lime) with "glitter" salt on the rims; Red Hurricane Cocktails another year; I think I did Flip-Flops last year.  There might have been some that I can't recall right now - but I know one of my coworkers does have all of the ornaments pinned to the wall of her cube, so I may go snap a picture - next time I'm in the office (mid-November!)...

Well, this year, I want to Keep-It-Simple - but Cool...  I started going through my VAST collection of cookie cutters and came up with this Inspiration:

Looks a little odd, yes...  But there is a Method to my Madness!

And here is what I cranked-out:

24 Christmas Ornaments

It got to be a little mind-numbing, after awhile (especially after scrawling "NAN 12" on the back of every damned one!  But that's "Production" for ya!

Oh, and I'm gonna share my Super-Duper Top-Secret tip for making hangy holes:  I use a plastic drinking straw which I spray with WD-40.  Smush the straw through the clay where you want your hangy-hole to be. Works like a charm.  The clay ends up in the straw, but you can keep repeating it over and over again.  I hangy-holed all 24 ornaments (which are just under 1/4" thick) and filled half the straw.  When you're done, just throw the straw away!

I'm pretty happy with how they look, so far.  I've got some clean-up work to do (want to neaten the ovals a bit).  My PLAN is to incorporate glass into the ornaments.  I have never tried that before, but I found an interesting article on Lakeside Pottery's site.  I've ordered some glass from the place Lakeside recommended: ASG.  

I have NO clue how - or even IF - this is gonna work.  But I'm envisioning doing LUG all around the "outside" (and back-side) of the ornaments, and melting glass inside of the ovals.  I'll follow Lakeside's firing instructions - to the letter - and hope/PRAY that the planets align and the Kiln Gods are smiling on me!  I know that the glass and clay will have different COE's (glass-fused pottery would never be Food-Safe), but I'm hoping for a very pretty, crackly, shimmery effect!

I will definitely post a follow-up once they're done, even if - Gawd-Forbid - it is a complete failure.  Let's hope it's an amazing success (but I'm not hedging my bets - I'll be kiln-washing my shelves HEAVILY before I attempt a glass-fuse firing!).

Anyhooooo...  I spent THREE HOURS in the Tiki Shack this afternoon and I feel like a New Person!  

Now I am lazing at the Tiki Bar, with requisite Margarita close-at-hand.  It's turning into a pretty-pleasant afternoon.  Hubs just called to tell me about his sail ("We had the boat heeled over 20 degrees!") ("EEEEK!!!" those are the words on the inside!).

"Good for you Dear, I'm glad you had fun!"

I think I'll go wander out to the garden and formulate a Game-Plan for tomorrow's chores... 

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