Oct 14, 2010


Sometimes it's green, but lately it's orange.
Not peach, but persimmon.
Not Tang, but tangerine.
Never rust, but terra cotta.

French Quarter Wall

Dale Chihuly - Desert Botanical Garden

In the Seattle Sculpture Garden

Same Sculpture Garden

Napa Pumpkins

Anniversary Party


More Fall Splendor in Napa

In the Backyard

Mardi Gras!


London Gardens

Desert Botanical Garden

Canyon de Cheley


Lichen on Lake Tahoe

Summer Toenails

Raquette Lake

Montana Koi


Aug 25, 2010

My Needlepoint Pillow

This just back from the finishers. It's a box pillow. I was really concerned about the fabric the finishers might select, so I went out and bought my own. It's a faille; the ridges barely visible in this photo. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had added a border of twisted fibers that pick up the main colors.

Thanks, Andrea, for providing me with the wool for this project. The design is a rip off/ combo. of a few designs by a needlepoint artist that I like. Meade is the artist responsible for the small bumblebee.

Wish I could find the photos of the work in progress. Will add them here if and when I do.

Meanwhile, it's happily ensconced in my bedroom away from dogs, food, and children!

Apr 21, 2010

spring pots

Another semester of ceramics, this time with a fabulous teacher.

I was prolific, if not skilled. I'm looking forward to keeping at it through the summer.

Majolica bowl with pumpkin details

Cream and sugar with fern mist glaze

One of several turquoise bowls

The smaller of a pair of owls

To be glazed...I'm working on these now.

Feb 9, 2010

african violets

As long as I've had house plants, I've tended a few pots of African violets. My current four pots seems to be particularly happy right now. There are two pots with regal purple flowers (particularly abundant) and two, curly-leaved pale pink blossomed plants. You can see the fuzz on the leaves.

My violets remind me of my grandmother's. In Nat's kitchen window above her sink, glass shelves held her collection of healthy, colorful violets. They were always there, in a sunny window, where she could enjoy them every day.

A friend once gave me a few small pots of miniature violets. She gave them to me when she moved away, but they died when I moved shortly afterward. I've never seen any others like them (the tiny kind). Too bad, but these four pots are doing quite well.

Jan 31, 2010


I have a long-held desire to garden, but I've never gotten much past indoor plants. About twenty years ago, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, I had a small backyard garden that included tomatoes (successful) , peppers (stunted in growth) and basil so hardy that the stems were woody. I think we even grew some carrots. Since then I've been limited to a pot of basil each summer. Now that I'm in Arizona, I have to learn the zones and growing seasons anew.

This past fall I bought my requisite pot of basil along with a cherry tomato plant. The tomato plant didn't like the heat but did manage to survive our month away thanks to religious watering.

But once the cooler night came along, it started to blossom. Now, in January, it is filled with green fruit of all sizes. A handful ripens each week.

This is this morning's harvest.

And this is my favorite garden pig snuffling his tiny tomato friend.

Dec 5, 2009

an evening to myself...at home...alone...

So a few weeks ago Scott and I had the unexpected pleasure of an unscheduled night to ourselves. Both kids had sleep overs, so we took advantage of the situation and had a wonderful dinner out and saw a very mediocre movie, Men Who Stare At Goats. Don't bother.

The next morning we went on a bike ride through Paradise Valley where we ogled beautiful homes, or tried to, as we whipped by them around curves and up and down hills.

Here I am again, on a Saturday night, with two kids sleeping at friends' houses. But this time Scott is out of town. I calculated. I racked my brain. I am quite certain that this has been the first night I have spent in my own home, ALONE, in ten years, seven months, and at least thirteen days.

Of course I've spent nights away from my family, with friends and my extended family, in other cities. But this here tonight, it's been a long, long time.

I spent a good part of it in a Christmas decorating frenzy. I tied ribbons, repaired a wreath, and decorated a sled. All the while indulging in the guilty TV pleasure that Scott does not share, Desparate Housewives. I polished off three episodes. That is totally the way to do it!

Arden was worried that I would be lonely. And to be honest, the sleeping dogs were pretty poor company. But I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude and the uninterrupted surge of creativity as I attempted to transform the house for the holidays. One night, though, is enough. Maybe a little more often than every ten plus years, but I'll be happy tomorrow night when everyone is back home with me. That will "make me happy" too!

Nov 26, 2009

ceramics from a beginner

Long ago, in the lonely town of Palo Alto, my friend Donna and I took a ceramics class. I don't remember much about it other than being completely disheartened after my few attempts at the wheel. I have nothing to show from that class, and that's probably a good thing.

Twenty plus years later I'm taking a class with the City of Scottsdale. My teacher is a laid back and very accomplished ceramic artist, and a great instructor. Along with a few other middle-aged women (and one fascinating 87 year old and her small dog), I've learned from the earth up. We've made pinch pots, experimented with slab building, created spheres, and learned texturing and a little glazing.

I like things to look organic and textural. Perfection is not really my aim when it comes to hand-built things.

My first pinch pot, made the first night, is lopsided and an ugly color since I just used the glaze the woman next to me had chosen. Yet somehow it satisfies me. It's currently holds our spare change. It's an improvement over the cracked plastic drinking glass I had been using.

The next assignment was to create a bunch of small balls and two pinch pots. The two hemispheric pinch pots were joined together to make a sphere. The balls were placed inside to create a rattle. I misunderstood the directions and instead of texturing the surface, I glazed the whole thing. The teacher was pretty sure it would blow up in the kiln, but it survived! It makes a beautiful soft sound and I dig the stripes.

The last piece worth mentioning is another pinch pot that I textured. I like how the glaze darkened and really took on a totally different hue where it pooled in the depressions on the surface. It sits on my kitchen counter and holds my grape tomatoes.

So last Monday evening-- after experiencing the usual guilt of leaving the kids to complete their homework without me, and Scott to feed everyone based on the paltry contents of the refrigerator -- I was thinking 'this better be worth it' as I headed out to class (at the local senior center). It was! I spent the entire three hours on the wheel and made three respectable bowls. This teacher is good -- she conveyed all the nuances of positioning your hands. I finally slowed down, tried hard, and did it!

In a few weeks time, I should have some other things to post - less organic and probably more balanced. Please check back.

Finally, I bought myself an early birthday present. I had been keeping my eye on some different and utterly beautiful pots at the Desert Botanical Garden's gift shop. They announced a sale and I jumped at the chance. (They are not cheap pots.)

The artist is Mike Cone. This coming weekend is the second of two art studio shows called Hidden in the Hills. This artist will be showing so I'm hoping to go see him in action and discover what else he creates. I'm all for inspiration at this point.

p.s. Thanks, Kristin, for reminding me I have a blog.