Sunday, February 28, 2010

Planning my little garden

Yesterday my mom and I took a container gardening class at Tulsa Community College as part of their Continuing Education program. My mom has been gardening her entire life, as has her mom and my great-grandmother before she passed away. Green is in our blood, though it wasn't until about a year ago that I cared to dig around in the dirt myself. What can I say? I was a prissy child.

A month or so ago, I made an ambitious list of plants to grow, though recently I've been rethinking it. Can I really grow that many kinds of vegetables? I've decided that I can. The class made me feel like I'm ready for it. We'll see if the joke will be on me later.

One of our handouts is a nifty list from Oklahoma State University's Extension Service detailing when to plant everything in our temperamental Oklahoma weather. So here's the plan so far:

Next week, I will plant:
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes (yep, I'm going for it!)
  • Maybe carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Herbs (I'm thinking parsley, basil and dill)
In April, I will add:
  • Bush beans
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer squash
I'll also do a couple of flowers, but I haven't decided which ones. I really enjoyed snapdragons last year. I'll probably pick up whatever looks pretty and could cohabitate with everything else I've picked out.

I've been convinced to do a couple of very large containers instead of several small ones, though I plan to keep the potatoes separate. All I have to do now is buy everything! I have Friday off work, so I plan to get rolling then. I can't wait to have everything growing and hopefully avoid some of the problems of last year.

Who else is doing a vegetable garden this year? Let me know what you're growing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Most important rule

Piggybacking off my February 4 post, here is the #1 thing I've learned from pottery class:

Don't say we didn't warn you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Okie Blog Awards

If you are an Oklahoma blogger, today is the last day to vote for your favorite fellow Okie blog keepers. Go here for all the details! Don't forget to vote for the Tulsa Craft Mafia and our good friend Tasha Does Tulsa!

Happy Valentine's Day! I have an actual post ready as soon as my computer decides to read my memory card.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My illustrious acting career

You may or may not know that I did a good amount of acting as a youngster. I wasn't in anything big and famous, but if you lived in Tulsa in the early '90s, you may well have seen me in a local commercial (or four), a video at St. Francis about getting your tonsils removed, or a church video that featured Carman concert footage. I also did voice work in a couple of informational cartoons, one for the United Way and one on fire safety. My biggest claim to fame, however, was most certainly my starring turn in a music video by Bruce Carroll and Ricky Skaggs. I have a beat-up VHS copy that I've been hoping would last through the years. Various Google search turned up nothing -- until today. Some wonderful person has put my music video on YouTube! If you can't watch the embedded video below, then click here.

My dad played the homeless man, and the dog was my actual pet, Belle. I think I was 7 when we made this video. I bawled before we shot the last scene when they told me what would happen. Oh, and for the record, those were my own clothes. I picked out all my favorite outfits to bring to the shoot. Don't judge.

If I find any of my other work, I'll post it here, too. Happy watching!

Go ahead -- ask me

A lot of my bloggy friends have set up formspring accounts to allow readers to ask anonymous questions. Since I've been so bad at posting lately, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. So, please, ask me pretty much anything. I will do my best to answer everything honestly. My only restriction is that, since family reads this blog, the questions shouldn't humiliate me or be TMI for my loved ones.

So please ask away! I'll answer them there on the site, and if anything sparks me, I may blog about it, too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I have learned from pottery class

Things are still a little nutso around here. The good news is that my grandmother is being moved into a skilled nursing center (NOT a nursing home, the different of which is unknown to me, but whatever). This makes us all breathe a sigh of relief because things did not get better at the hospital. She was not happy – actually, she was convinced the nursing staff hated her. No one should be made to feel that way, especially not an old woman in a lot of pain.

Anyway, rather than dwell on my anger with them, I wanted to present the following list.

Things I have learned from pottery class:

1. Lifting weights is a good thing. Throwing pottery on the wheel is an art and a skill. It’s also a workout. A pound of clay might not look like much, but it takes a lot more pressure than you’d think to move it around. There’s pulling and pushing and lifting. There’s also coordination. You’ll often have both feet controlling the spinning and both hands beating the mound into submission at the same time. All the while, if you’re as petite as me, you’ll be using your abs to pull yourself forward and your thighs to bear down. And then you’ll wonder why you quit going to the gym.

2. Bruises are badges of honor. I appear to be the most battered member of the class. I have scratches on my pinky fingers from the wheel head. I have bruises on both knees from pulling forward against the wheel’s body. After my first week, I had a bruise on both halves of my booty from the way I have to angle my diminutive frame on the bench. (For the record, “diminutive” refers to my height and not the size of my big ol’ rumpus.) The latter was the worst, but it’s gone now. Everything else I wear with pride. They wouldn’t be there if I wasn’t busting tail (literally) in pottery class.

3. It isn’t wonky; it’s organic. When I’m finally able to share shots of my handiwork, it will not look like the polished, beautiful items one might buy from an actual professional (such as my teacher). I haven’t yet figured out how to make everything look contoured and textured rather than lumpy. But you know what? I don’t care! I made those three bowls with my own two hands. No, they’re not perfect, but I think they’re pretty amazingly wonderful and “organic” rather than smooth. And anyway, lumpy is still a texture, right?

4. Short nails are sexy. You should never attempt pottery with long nails. I keep mine pretty short anyway partly because I used to bite them as a kid, but also because I don’t like long nails aesthetically. They remind me too much of the Victorian ideal woman who would never lift a finger in her life and could therefore wear her fingernails long and lily white. My own issues aside, long nails are a big no-no in the world of pottery. They scrape your pieces. They tear on the wheel head. They get all kinds of ickiness trapped underneath them. Basically, don’t do it.

5. Messy jeans are essential. Because I have tiny, short legs, I have trouble finding jeans that are the right length. I refuse to have them hemmed or wear them too long, so I only buy petite or short sizes. This means all my jeans are from Express or American Eagle. Neither of these are particularly expensive brands, but I consider them clothing of some value. Since losing a few pounds/inches/whatever, the pairs I’ve had since college are mostly too big. I hate to waste perfectly good jeans by not wearing them, but the truth is that they do not look good on me anymore. The solution: cover them with clay! They are baggy enough to be comfortable, but I don’t have to worry about ruining jeans I wear all the time. Smearing that first swipe of drippy clay across my left leg felt so freeing. Next up, maybe – gasp! – paint.

6. Letting go. Some things in life are never – or at least almost never – past the point of repair. Most of us have friendships that can go to the brink of devastation only to recover as if nothing happened. Cleanliness is like that, too. Sure, a house left unscrubbed for an excessive period of time is no easy cleaning task, but it’s never impossible. Other things are like throwing pottery. You start with a lump of clay, and at that moment, so much is possible. You center it, you shape it, you make it taller and shorter, but eventually you can screw it up past the point of redemption. It’s actually a pretty dern easy thing to do, which results in a big ol’ stack of wet, discarded almost-bowls or nearly-vases. You learn pretty early that there is only so much you can do to save what could have been the Greatest Mug Ever. Then you either scrape it dramatically from the wheel head or play with the ugly beast until you’re ready to remove it. The good news is that your result may not be a bowl, but it’s still clay. After it dries out a little, it could be a bowl another day.

About Me

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Tulsa, OK, United States
Hello! Welcome to my blog, which I run in conjunction with my Etsy shop, Here, I'll track things I'm working on, do reviews and interviews, and offer advice and information. Thanks for stopping by!

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