Sunday, November 28, 2010

Isla's Snow Gauge

The blizzard that came through here last Tuesday and what it left behind pales in comparison to the dump we've been getting this weekend. Thankfully no high icy winds, just lots and lots of snow.

It was almost eerily quiet this morning when we went out to shovel the driveway the first go round. And for most of the day, the roads seemed quiet and the flakes continued to fall. We opted for making some flakes of our own, and decorated some paper wreaths with what was left of the frozen bird berries on the bush outside.

We've decided that our fishbowl kitchen window will become this winter's snow gauge, and each day it snows we'll add to the collection of snowflakes.

So if you're in Logan, drive on by and check out Isla's snow gauge, or better yet bring your sled!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ballerina Buddies

Things are starting to get real festive around here. It seems as though Thanksgiving weekend is the kick off for the Christmas season in America, with people putting up lights, tree lots opening up in parking lots around town, craft fairs and even a performance of the Nutcracker at the local theatre.

This afternoon we took in the matinee performance with some neighborhood friends and it was a real treat! Isla even got to meet some of the dancers a little earlier in the day at a separate Sugar Plum tea event. We may have a ballerina in the works here people.......

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Moment: Oh Deer!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Amanda Soule

BBQ'd bird and Bongo Boarding

I think I'll celebrate Thanksgiving twice every year from now on. The last 3 years since moving to Utah, we've continued the tradition of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in October and a month later joined in on the American festivities without apologizing for it. I do love turkey dinner!

Last night we hosted the clay crew at our place for an evening of turkey, wine and pie. Not one, but two turkeys met their fate, and both were spectacular (many thanks to Trevor and Donna). Trevor smoked one on the barbeque while the other was roasted to perfection the ol' traditional way.
The kids were thrilled to have a house full of people milling about, laughing and sharing stories. Just about everyone had a turn visiting Isla, the esthetician, and we topped the night off with some good ol' bongo boarding. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

True to form

Despite the severe storm warnings put out by the National Weather Service on Tuesday afternoon, despite the reported 118 traffic collisions and 119 vehicles that apparently slid off the road, despite the treacherous driving conditions, high winds and poor visibility that closed down sections of Interstate I-15 that night.......

....the ceramics students at Utah State University persevere. Kudos to Perry Haas, Louis Reilly and Alix Brodeur who were unstoppable in their wood prep yesterday afternoon as the blizzard hit Logan. And good luck to them with their firing this long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, may they find their way through the snowy streets to our place for a little turkey at some point.

Monday, November 22, 2010

6 inches under

Break out the toques, mitts, boots, snowpants and coats cause Winter has arrived in Logan! This past weekend marked the first major snow fall here in town for the season, a month prior to the official start of Winter, but welcome nonetheless.

It started snowing on Saturday and turned to a blizzard some time in the night last night. We woke up to a blanket of white covering everything and it didn't let up until much later in the afternoon.

I was ready for the snow to descend down the mountains, and the kids were thrilled to spend much of today outdoors playing in it, with the occasional hot cocoa break.
Now tell me, Who doesn't love winter?

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Moment: Early morning kiln check

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~Amanda Soule

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Suck Truck

It was warm enough this week to do a little leaf raking outdoors. And with the right amount of moisture combined, it made for a wet and soggy mass of leaves to drag to the curb. Although they weren't suitable for pile jumping, at least they didn't blow away.

Besides the curbside recycling and garbage pickup that I am going to dearly miss when we move back to the woods, the Logan City Department also has a curbside leaf pickup. It's fantastic! Around this time of year or sooner, you start to see piles of leaves being collected and mounded at the curb in front of homes. Ambitious folk bag their leaves, but many such as I, just rake them up in a pile and wait.

Wait for the suck truck, and today it came. A garbage truck equipped with a massive sucking hose on the side, designed to drive along and suck up leaves each fall. Worthy of a post, I'd say.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The little teapot that could

The 2011 Annual NCECA Conference, “Tidal Forces: The Next Wave,” will be held in Tampa/St Petersburg, Florida at the Tampa Convention Center, March 30 - April 2, 2011. As part of the NCECA conference each year, a National Student Juried Exhibition is held, open to all full time undergraduate and graduates enrolled in a US ceramics program.

Robin was one of 22 graduate students from across the country selected to exhibit in last year's show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And with great pride, I am excited to spill the beans that he's been selected again for this year's show in Florida. The teapot above is the lucky winner that will take the tour d'fedex cross country this spring to the University of South Florida, which will host the NCECA 2011 National Student Juried Exhibition March 21 - April 2, 2011. Yay!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cupcake cure

Today was supposed to be the much anticipated Birthday party for Isla. Instead of the pancake pyjama party we had planned for her and her pals, she spent the entire morning laying on the couch complaining of a sore tummy.

Turns out the birthday girl has strep throat! Who'd of known since she never complained of a sore throat. Rather it was the fever that triggered me to cancel the party and take her into the clinic.

I have to say that despite the rotten situation of having to cancel her party on her, she was a real trooper and willingly agreed to sleep the entire afternoon away. She even managed to summon a smile when I pulled out the 'birthday cone cupcakes'.

Roscoe enthusiastically inquired whether we could eat the entire batch since the party was cancelled. I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

Who knew you could bake cupcakes right inside the cones?Just use your favourite cake recipe, fill the cones 2/3rd full and bake in oven at 350 for 30 mins. To help to ensure they don't come out flat, preheat the oven to 500 before putting them in and then turn down immediately to 350 for the baking time. Another tip to help them stand up in the oven is to use a paper egg carton: cut the lid and bottoms off and insert a cone in each egg slot. Then bake in the oven on a cookie sheet. The paper doesn't burn, I too was skeptical!

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Moment: Hard a work in the studio

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~Amanda Soule

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every girl should be so lucky... have a daughter as sweet and special as mine. Happy birthday Isla Belle. Five years ago today you made me a mama, and I have cherished every moment together. I love you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's missing?

Roscoe here is having a good ol' chat with his buddy Buzz Lightyear, informing him of how he no longer wears diapers. NO MORE DIAPERS! I can hardly believe it myself. I have endured five solid years of diapering, and I can now say we are at last a diaper free family.

With much help from my mom (and a few bribes) this fall, we were able to potty train Roscoe. But I am most proud of his own accomplishment of night training himself - he's been sporting underpants through the night since we arrived back in Utah with no accidents! Way to go Roscoe!!!!!!

My boy has grown up in more ways than just this it seems lately. I catch myself often marvelling at his language and detailed descriptions of the world, his agility and bravery on the playground and his eagerness to take on new adventures. We decided to enroll him a few mornings a week at the same facility that Isla is attending. Last week was his first experience in this kind of setting ever and he was both curious and successful.

Despite the lump in my throat when I dropped him there that first morning, he seemed ready and confident in his own sweet and humble way. And although my heart still sometimes pangs at seeing him so grown up, he is indeed showing his mama in so many ways that he's ready to take on the world.

To infinity and beyond!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Get in line!

The soda kiln in the courtyard at USU has been cranking out the pots these days. Amidst our friend Adam Field's visit and workshop this past weekend, he also somehow squeezed in a firing.

And it was a good thing for daylight savings, as it allowed for that extra hour Sunday morning after a late night studio potluck, for the guys to unload and clean up the kiln shelves before Robin's intermediate class started loading it up again at noon.

Robin's thesis work will all be soda fired, and he's getting a good handle on some firing techniques to manipulate the flame during the process. Our spare bedroom has become somewhat of a private viewing showroom for his eyes only as he has already started to accumulate some successful pieces for the show.

Adam also had success with the soda kiln and was happy to take back a load of pots that will be part of an upcoming holiday sale at Red Star Studios , in Kansas City next month. The sale opens December 3rd, so don't miss out on some of these sweet soda pots.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Korean Style

Our good friend Adam Field is visiting this weekend from Durango, Colorado. He's here to do an Onggi and Carved Porcelain Workshop for the folks at USU, presenting the traditional Korean Onggi coil/paddle methods he learned during a 10 month apprenticeship with a South Korean master, Kim Il Maan a few years back.

Adam came bearing gifts from the Korean market in Salt Lake City, and we had a few folks over friday night to dine Korean style on our living room floor. The food was delicious. Somehow I was able to work some magic and the kids were asleep in the their beds before anyone arrived. I'm sure the first thing out of both of their mouths had they been awake would have been, "But Mom, you said we're not supposed to eat in the living room!"

Friday, November 5, 2010


Will they or won't they? It's November 5th and despite the incredible autumn colours, the leaves are still holding out, the sun continues to shine and we are doing a lot of bike riding these days. The weather has been fantastic this week and much of last, but the forecast is for snow this coming weekend, so we are taking every opportunity to pedal while it is still nice.

With winter right around the corner, that also means the looming deadline for Robin is not far away. He is incredibly busy in the studio these days, firing nearly every week and sorting out details for his thesis defense in December. I'm doing my best to steer any undue stress or parental expectations in the other direction so that he can concentrate on this last push to the finish line, but much to the kids delight he happily still finds time for bike rides.