Sunday, May 25, 2008


I was so ready for this three-day weekend! I don't have any big plans at all, which is exactly the way I like it. Yesterday I slept late, got up and had breakfast, and after Bob left for work at around 1:00, I went back to bed with my book and read for most of the afternoon.

I finally got up and worked on some polymer clay pieces, then got dressed and left the house around 5:00, I guess; I was at Michael's buying more clay when Bob called. He had bought a pair of shoes at Bass Pro a few days ago, and he said they were killing his feet and he was going to exchange them. But he needed the box, so he asked me to go home and find it and bring it out to the store.

He met me out in the front of the store when I got there, and I sat in a rocking chair in front of the fireplace while he got the return taken care of. He came over in his stocking feet and sat in the rocking chair next to me to put on his new shoes, and I took a picture of him with the camera phone.

Then he went back to work, and I went to Borders, bought a couple of magazines, then went to Chipotle for dinner. I sat there for probably about an hour, just relaxing and reading, then I came home and worked some more with the clay. I was going for faux bone or ivory; they turned out looking more like wood, I think -- the grain wasn't fine enough -- but that's okay. I'm giving myself permission to try things out, and make mistakes -- and sometimes it's the mistakes that turn out better than the thing you planned.

The pieces are in the oven curing now; once they come out, I'll let them cool, then antique them with some walnut stain I bought a week or so ago. I'm always drawn more to the natural-looking things. I love looking at brightly-colored pieces, but when it comes time to make things for myself, I almost always stick with neutral colors. I went way outside my comfort zone and bought a few packages of red, turquoise, yellow and purple clay, but the majority of my purchases were black, white, and various shades of brown. Plus metallics -- silver, copper and gold -- and a lot of translucent. Oh, and glow-in-the-dark!

I put about a dozen polymer clay books on reserve at the library, and they've all come in now, I think, so I have a huge stack of books that I've been going through. They all have beautiful things, but the ones I'm most excited by are the pieces that imitate natural things--bone, ivory, wood, tumbled stones. I'm learning a lot, reading a lot about techniques that I want to try. It's fun, and it's not terribly expensive, at least not when I can get stuff on sale.

I finally turned the air conditioner on today, but we've been going without it until now. We've had the windows open and fans blowing, and Bob said he wanted to try to not turn it on until June, but it's beenin the 80's, and very humid because of all the rain we've been getting. Today both of the cats were lying in front of one of the fans, so I decided it's time. We'll sleep better.

One night last week Bob kept hearing some kind of noise that he couldn't identify. It didn't wake me up (very little does), but it kept him awake. The next day he discovered that it was a branch of one of the trees in the back yard hitting the metal cover on the fireplace chimney. He was standing out in the backyard trying to decide how to fix the problem; we don't have a tall ladder, but we have a short one, and he has a clipper with a ten foot reach extension or something like that, but even that wouldn't quite get it.

He was talking about getting up on the roof, but I nixed that. I'm not sure if he was serious or not, but I definitely didn't want him up on the roof. I wasn't too pleased with him on a ladder, frankly, but the clipper thing wasn't too scary. What got scary was when he attached this extremely wicked looking blade to it and started sawing the branches.

I couldn't even stay out there and watch. I suggested he put on safety goggles, which he did, and he put on boots and a hardhat. I could just see the blade coming loose and dropping to cut off his toes, or him falling backwards off the ladder and the blade cutting off his head . . . It was making me crazy, so I told him if he was going to do it, fine, but I wasn't going to watch.

I don't know how long he was out there, but he was really working hard. It was pretty hard to saw something so far away with a saw that you really weren't able to control all that well, but he eventually succeeded in cutting off three limbs that were hitting the roof. He was pretty proud of himself (understandably). He asked me to take his picture. He was singing the Monty Python "Lumberjack" song . . .

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