The Holiday Spirit

Posted: November 7, 2015 in Ramblings

We rearranged the kitchen the other day, and discovered a lot of half-empty booze bottles in the butler’s pantry.  In preparation for the holidays I have invented a new drink.  Here it is.  If you have any fun idea for a name for it, let me know!

Fill a pint glass halfway with ice.

Pour in Malibu Rum until the liquid level is 1″ from the bottom of the glass.

Add an inch of St. Germain liqueur.  (You see I am very precise in my measuring!)

Add Newman’s Own Lemonade (another 2″ of liquid).

Squirt in a generous squirt of lime juice (not Rose’s, just unsweetened ReaLime or whatever type is on hand).

Top off the glass with champagne and stir.  I’ve managed to work it so that one can of Coppola’s Sofia champagne fits perfectly into the glass after adding all the other stuff.

This was mainly concocted in order to use up the tail end of the rum and the St. Germain.  It has quite a kick, both from all the booze, and from all the straight lime juice!

Happy Holidays.

Also, I feel like I put a similar recipe on this blog a while back.  I will search the archives when I’m done posting this, and see how the two drinks differ (if there is in fact an earlier recipe).

Proper Preparation

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Ramblings

These are the slipcast “shotglasses” that I glazed with Stroke & Coat (1 coat) before they were bisque-fired.

I used homemade slip in a shotglass mold from Michael’s.  Unfortunately my slip was too watery.  Each day I’d pour some slip into the mold, and by the next morning, the water had evaporated, leaving me with a weirdly shaped lump in the mold.  So I’d do it again.  Etc.  So this is about ten days’ worth of pouring wet slip into the mold and letting it dry.

When I pulled them out of the molds, it didn’t even occur to me to sand down the edges, or anything like that.  This was really stupid, and resulted in these wonky shapes you see here.  I simply slopped a different color of glaze into the cup part of each, and used the fan brush to lift it out and coat the outside of the cup.  The bottoms were not glazed.

Well, after a slow bisque fire to Cone 6 (which is the bisque temperature for my clay), this is what happened.  Everything looks about as good as could be expected with such slapdash preparations.  Some of the glaze colors shifted since they’re supposed to be fired lower, but I don’t mind.  Again, this was just experimental.

I have nothing in the works at present.  All my projects are done, and I don’t know what to try next.  I have a spoon mold from Michael’s as well…maybe I should try to work out a better proportion of clay to water, and make a better slip for spoonmaking.


Making Things at High Temperatures

Posted: October 31, 2015 in Ramblings

First, my final batch of test pendants, all glazed with Mayco’s Stroke & Coat in various colors.  For the yellow ones, I didn’t clean the brush from the teal, so got some interesting color swirls there.  The pink ones all had two coats, and you can see it obscured the patterning in the clay.  I like these, and not just because they were one coat only!  They didn’t plug the bail holes, either (except on one of the pink ones, which is subpar anyway).  I forgot to poke those holes out before firing.

Anyway, this looks like a winner for plain color.  Many of our other glazes are “effect” glazes and produce variegations in color, which aren’t really looking good on the paisleys, but might work on something else.

My only remaining test pieces to fire are more shotglasses.  Mayco says Stroke & Coat can be used on greenware (stuff that’s not yet been fired), so I didn’t bother firing these, and painted them all with Stroke & Coat in various colors.  Will fire them today and see what happens!

Also, I think I am officially sick of paisley!  At least for a little while.

The pink blob at right was just a random clay blob I made with some leftovers.

The pink blob at right was just a random clay blob I made with some leftovers.

Second, here is a steak that Chris cooked for himself last night and enjoyed so much that he had to take a picture.

Meat for The Man.

Meat for The Man.

I had this sudden urge for a new lipstick.  Lipstick Queen brand is recommended by some of my fashionable friends, so we went off to Ulta today to test some and possibly buy some.

Last night I spent some time on the LQ website reading about all the products and picking out which ones I wanted to try.  Naturally the weird ones caught my eye:  Frog Prince, a green lipstick that “changes with your body’s pH” to become an appropriate lip color, Hello Sailor, a blue lipstick that changes to a raspberry, things like that.

Well, at Ulta I ended up choosing the three that looked best from all these swipes on my hand.


I bought Hello Sailor just because it was so bizarre, Frog Prince, and Sinner in Natural.  When we got home, over an hour after the swipes, I took a tissue and gently buffed my hand (after taking this pic), and all these lipsticks cleaned off easily with very little pressure.  Frog Prince left a little stain, but it was the color of merthiolate, which is NOT a color I want on my lips!

Unfortunately, easy removal is a sort of “anti-criterion” for me.  I need staining long wear.  All these are going back to Ulta tomorrow, and I will stick with Rouge d’Armani.

Stuff to Remember

Posted: October 29, 2015 in Ramblings
  1. Glopping on extra glaze does not help!
  2. Remember to poke out the pendant holes before firing!  The only one of these that is usable as a pendant (without drilling) is the upper right.
  3. Use kiln wash or other protection on the shelf.  Out of the 14 pendants, these came up easily, and all the rest stuck to the shelf :-(  I have to buy a new shelf.
On the left, the Iron Lustre; on the right, the Iron Lustre with Palladium on top.

On the left, the Iron Lustre; on the right, the Iron Lustre with Palladium on top.

My next experiment will have some that are coated in just the Palladium, and some other colors of the “Stroke & Coat” from Mayco.  Not sure when I’ll get to it.  Started glazing with the Mayco yesterday.