Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ending April with a Chill

After the past few weeks being unseasonably warm, even HOT... these past two days have been downright chilly. Nice to be back to what the weather SHOULD be for April. It finally rained and then it all cooled off.

Today was one of those days where my morning was supposed to be filled with glazing. But when I got outside, felt the sharp snap in the air, I just couldnt do it. The very idea of being in the studio, no view of the outside, no windows open, just didnt sit well. So I decided to spend my morning shooting flowers and stuff around the yard. Just playing with the camera. Trying to get more familiar with it. I think today I had some minor breakthroughs. Your thoughts?

I dont know if anyone else feels as strongly and as personally as I do about their cherry trees, but this cherry tree (1 of 3) means the world to me. We have nursed it along for 4 years now. Transplanted it from a wet area in the yard to this sunny drier area. Last year it finally produced fruit only to have them all eaten by the birds. This year we have a PLAN. Right now I am just enjoying the show of the whole tree being covered in blossoms.

Aurora and I found a black cherry tree last summer at Lowes. As much as I hate buying things like trees from big box stores, the price was within her allowance. She has had her heart set on growing our own BLACK cherries. I tried explaining that they arent really grown here for a reason. Needless to say, that sort of reasoning just didnt make one bit of difference in her opinion. So we planted this black cherry and so far it is really doing well. It was damaged by serious deer nibbling... but I think this summer if it can put on enough new growth, we will probably see flowering and fruit next summer. That's the hope at least.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Learning, Leaning and Laughing

Aurora has finally learned to ride her bike. She wanted to make sure that the record was set straight on this matter. She has announced that she is determined to learn to ride well enough to be able to bike the 3.4 miles each way to school..... soon....... soon. There you have it.
Pictures were taken at Taughannock State Park. Talk about a perfect day; cool breeze, bright sunshine, waves crashing on the shore....nice.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Warmest Days of April

Usually, April is full of rain, quiet days, soft ground and chilly nights. Yesterday was nearly 84F... within 1 degree of the historical record for this time of year. When folks argue about Global Warming on days when we get snow I just want to SMACK them. It is going to just get hotter and hotter and more and more unpredictable.

While I could rant all day about stupid people's opinions on global warming, instead I want to rave about how the heat has made all of our daffodils just POP. In two days we went from nothing to POW! Really made our whole yard just light up. (and yes, these pictures were shot right in our front yard!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Days

Spring is Spring-ing. Today the weather was well over 70F which was a shocker. This time last week was cold and damp. Not today! Nancy was able to take half a day off work to come home and help RE-paint the booth. Seems that after three months of painting our booth before Craft Boston had all been for naught. It was scratched everywhere. Just trashed. The new enamel paint is just crap. So, we bought quarts of all sorts of finishes, hoping we could find the perfect paint/finish for our display. After trying every clearcoat, polyurethane, spar, varnish, lacquer and stain combination... none of them were worth the effort. We ended up with wicked cheap paint from Home Depot. Nothing fancy. CHEAP matte flat paint. It isnt at all scratch resistant, but it repaints and retouches EASILY and dries almost instantly. Best of all, it doesn't stick to our pots and supports the way this previous enamel paint sure did.

So, now we are almost done repainting the ENTIRE booth...again. Two times in one year is nuts. We're also still planning to repaint everything in the gallery in the studio too. BUT we may just keep one booth white/cream for doing outdoor shows. This chocolate color REALLY gets hot. Hot enough to warp a hollowcore door in an hour apparently.

Fun stuff. In between painting the booth, trimming ice cream bowls and working on these brochures, I have been planting trees. Pictures to come!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Making Maps for Brochures

After finally getting (sort of) caught up after our Craft Boston debacle, I finally had some time to work on the brochures for some of our friends. We offered to help Cayuga Creamery and Salmon Pottery with their new brochures... but until now, that just hadnt happened. So, from Thur through today, we plugged away, edited images, designed layouts, found great fonts... and pulled it all together. Here is a look at one of the maps we designed for the back of the brochure.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reflections on Spring

This has been a very strange week. We finally had REAL springtime weather. Some warm sunny days, some rain here and there. Not a bad week. Today was sort of bittersweet. The first of many orders came out of the kiln. Nearly all diner mugs. Two hours later, they were all packed up, boxed and ready for pick up. Couple hours later, they were off to become wedding favors for a wedding two weeks from now. Hopefully we can post some images of these mugs in action after the wedding.

We spent the earlier (sunnier) part of last week walking a lot. Finally warm enough to get out and enjoy the longer days. The image above was shot while we were hiking the lower trail at Taughannock Falls. I love this time of year when the creek runs high and the high cliff trees are starting to think about bursting out. A month from now, we'll have trees fully leafed out, dense canopy of shade below.... Spring is so different. We are still finding ice-falls and rockslides that are active on the sides of the gorge. While we were hiking we watched a few good sized slabs come tumbling down in the afternoon sun. Imagine a case of beer-sized chunk of ice shooting down the side of a cliff... that was us..... watching the ice coming right toward us!

Next week: Daffodils, and more.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Road Home

We haven't had much cause to drive the Mass Pike in the past couple years. No vacations to Maine, no road trips to the Berkshires....not much really. Most of our time has been spent with our heads to the grindstone in the studio. Our drive home from Boston on Monday was definitely a wake up call. Winter isn't over. FOR SURE. We had been having signs of Spring earlier in the week. As soon as we reached the higher elevations on the Pike we started getting slush instead of rain. Within a few miles we came upon our first crash, accompanied by a pile of flashing blue lights. Few yards further on, MORE blue lights and another car payment tossed in the round file. Within about 2-3 miles we came across some DOT workers putting up one of those flashing signs indicating we should all slow down and get ready to stop for an accident. Hmm, I figured they meant the accidents we JUST passed. Nope. 5 miles down the road, everything was at a standstill. It would remain that way for nearly 2 hours. Every 20 min or so, some state vehicle, DOT, or Mass police vehicle would come racing up the breakdown lane to the site of the accident.

We checked the radio (AM & FM) trying to find info about how big the accident was and how long it would be delaying things. Nothing. For over an hour. Finally we heard that the Pike was closed Westbound. Closed. Hmmm. We were stuck. So we made do the best we could. Cracked out Nancy's camera and started playing with ideas and images. Mostly we tried not to dwell on how roundly we'd been whooped at Craft Boston. It was time to start looking ahead to our next shows. So, here are some images from the time spent on the MassPike.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Craft Boston

We made it home yesterday after driving through slush and rain all the way through the Berkshires and the hilly country between Albany and Binghamton. Suffice to say, I am glad to be home. The van has been unloaded, the boxes are empty and the gallery is starting to look normal again. I guess that is part of the problem. Not much work sold during the show. If we had another day of sales we would have broken even. As it is, it was a good show, a wonderful experiment and an expensive weekend in Boston.

Here's what our booth looked like. I think Nancy did a great job pulling it all together. Made us look like a million bucks.

My hope now is that the economy turns around after the elections and we're able to visit Boston again next year with different results.