Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Fire

A word of warming.... do not try to put out a kitchen fire with a roll of paper towels.  Here's the story.

Tuesday started out as a perfectly normal day.  I clayed for awhile in the morning and did a few chores around the house. In the afternoon Heather came over to take photos and get some items listed in our Etsy shop, Knightwork Studio. (Never hurts to advertise, she has added neat stuff, you should take a look)   She had just settled down to list when Brandon called and needed her to pick him up at the dentist office.  She went to get him and I headed for the kitchen to start dinner.

My hubby had requested hamburger stew, a dish I made a lot when we were poor students at the University of Wyoming... well, he was a student and I was the hussy who had ruined his life.  I'm not a big fan of hamburger stew but he loves the stuff.  Anyway, that morning I had made bacon in the big frying pan and I needed it to brown the hamburger and onions.  The bacon fat had congealed in the pan so I turned the stove burner on high and placed the pan on the burner.  I was rinsing off the breakfast dishes when both my birds, I have two cockatiels, started squawking like crazy.  I hurried into the dining room to see what all the fuss was about. I thought maybe one of the cats has managed to open the pocket doors but everything was fine, the birds were happy to see me. As I was already there I decided it would be a good time to feed them and change the paper in the bottom of the cage.  I completely forgot the bacon grease.  The birds and I were jabbering away "pretty bird, pretty bird, kiss, kiss, kiss"  when the smoke alarm went off.

"What the heck!"  It still didn't dawn on me. I jerked open the door, looked in the kitchen and saw flames shooting all the way to the hood above the stove!  Yikes!!  I rush over grab the pan, fling open the back door, put the pan down on the concrete and rush back inside.  The plastic knobs on the stove are burning  and flames are going toward the wall.  In a panic I spy the roll of paper towels... I recall in the movie "Sarah Plain and Tall"  they try to beat out a prairie fire with blankets.... so I grab the paper towels and start beating on the flame.  The paper towels immediately catch on fire... Yikes again!!  I turn on the water in the sink,  douse the paper towels and then try beating out the fire with a roll of wet, smoking paper towels., that didn't work either.  I have an electric stove and some where in the back of my mind I remember you are not suppose to put water on an electrical fire.  Is this an electrical fire? I'm not sure. I usually put out fires on the stove... yes, I've had one or two little ones....with salt but I'm low on salt and it's going to take more than a couple tablespoons to extinguish this fire.  I grab the  sprayer on the sink, turn on the water, press the sprayer and a little trickle comes out... I'd forgotten, to get the darn thing to really spray the water has to be on full blast.  I turn the water on all the way take aim and sizzle, splash,... the fire is out.  What a relief!  However, the room is filled with black smoke and the  fire alarm is still making it's banshee call.  I prop the back door open and head down the hall with my grabber to shut that damn noise off. The smoke alarm is located above the door. I manage to grab it with the grabber, remove it from the wall and it drops on the floor where it breaks. Thank goodness the noise has stopped. My ears are ringing and I feel a little light headed so I go out on the back porch to get fresh air.

Brandon comes in first.... survey the scene and comes out on the back porch to see if I'm okay, he even gives me a hug.  Heather comes in next, she is not so sympathetic... she says "Holy cow Mom, I was only gone 10 minutes!"  and when she texts  Roger he suggests it might be time to check out the old folks home... now I ask you, is this the way to treat a sweet old lady who just has a traumatic experience?  I think not!!  Oh, and if your wondering where hubby was... you guess it, sound asleep upstarts.  Didn't hear or smell a thing!!

Here is the damage... as Roger says, not so bad, he expected worse from Heather's description.... you see my poor apple timer? I love that timer... looks pretty bad to me.  Men!!!

The insurance adjuster is coming tomorrow.  30 years ago when our daughter Pathena aka Patty (the not Heather daughter) set our kitchen on fire the insurance company refinished all the cabinets, put in new counters, replaced the stove and painted all the rooms in the house. It was a bit worse than this fire and the times they are a  changing so my expectations are low. We'll see.

I know I haven't been blogging much about clay... I've been busy with the Thing a Day..... check my Flickr page.  I do have things I want to share, for example, I want to tell you about the new Premo colors.  TAD ends  Feb 28th so starting March 1st  things will return to normal.... my normal anyway.  Talk to you later.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Polymer Clay Extruded Canes

I have been working on Thing a Day items for the last 13 days. My work table was covered with scraps of clay. I made piles of clay in different color groups ran them through the pasta machine and made clay sheets of rather weird colors.   I decided do a little experimenting.

I spent the afternoon playing with my extruder..... now my thumb is sore.  Did you know if you put a corkscrew cane in the extruder you get little corkscrew canes? I did not know that so I was pleasantly surprised.  Reminds me of chocolate and marshmallow.... yum!

Same thing happened when I extruded a bullseye cane.... little bullseye canes

 Same with Skinner blends... I added a border but the center is Skinner blend.

Then I got a little more creative. I made a striped cane, sliced off a piece, pinched the sides together and rolled it into a log, stuck it in the extruder and out cane smaller versions of the big one. 

Next I made a cane of different color logs, rolled it smooth and out came little canes just like the big one. 

Then I made another striped cane, cut a log, reduced it a bit, twisted it like this:

I rolled the twisted log smooth and loaded it into the extruder

and out came this interesting design.  I saw something similar  from another polymer clay artist... but I can't remember where, anyone know? ...  I think they used logs that they twisted instead of stripes. Might have been on Polymer Clay Central or Flickr.  

Please keep in mind the colors are from scrap clay, some are kinda... yucky.  I wanted to see what would happened before I opened new packages of clay.  If a small canes is desired it sure beats reducing the usual way, it's fast and the canes are uniform in size. 

Here are a few other canes I made with my extruder. I used the teardrop shaped disc for the Skinner blend petals on the pink flower.

Next I want to see what will happen if I  extrude a flower cane or a kaleidoscope cane.  

Like I said, I'm sure this has been done before but it was new to me. Hope you find it helpful as well. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Homicidal Cats

They look perfectly innocent here but do not be fooled. Just ask the latest poor birdie that got in the house. Yip, another bird made it's way into our basement, this one was not so lucky. 

 It happened last week when I was sick.  It was another dreary day and I was feeling pretty icky so after  I did a few chores I headed back to bed for a nap. I was snoozing away when both cats ran in the room and jumped up on my bed. I sat up to see what the heck was going on when to my horror I saw the limp bird body clutched firmly in Corny's mouth. Fritz was circling around... he really wanted that bird. I gave a holler and they took off up the stairs. I scrambled out of bed, shuffled into my slippers and took off after them. I had visions of blood and guts all over my new living room rugs.  The hall way was littered with antique tins and candy containers that usually  sit on the shelves.  This did not make me happy, I pushed them out of the way with my foot and continued my feline pursuit.

I rush into the living room, the television is blaring at top volume, the man of the house is reclining in his recliner wrapped up in his leopard print snuggy, soda and peanuts on the table beside him, not at all fazed by the dashing and crashing going on around him.   I fill the room with swear words and yell for him to get up and help me catch the damn cats.  I have been married to this man for 45 years and have never heard him utter a single swear word.... I guess he figures I swear enough for both of us. 

I hear the cats in the kitchen and yell for/at my beloved hubby to give me a hand. We head into the kitchen, there they are under the table, I block the door, hubby grabs up Corny, removes the poor lifeless little bird body, opens the back door, flings the carcass  out on a snow drift and goes back to his recliner. 

Now I am huffing and puffing, muttering to myself and follow him back into the living room  and ask "Did you not know there was a bird in the house?"  "Sure" he says "It flew in here, I didn't know how to catch it so I let the cats do it." and he goes back to munching peanuts.  Now you know why I swear.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mixed Media Silk Ribbon & Polymer Clay

I bought these lovely luscious Silk Sari Ribbons from a shop Designtalentedone , on Etsy.  They are a perfect setting for some of my pendants.  The shop owner is a delight to work with,  the service was prompt and friendly and the shipping costs very reasonable. She has so many gorgeous colors I had a hard time picking.... as you can see!!

Heather was over the other day and I was whining about how I never get around to finishing necklaces... oh woe is me... sniff, sniff...  that kind of thing.... ( I've been taking whining lessons from my friend Moe)  so Heather took pity on me and strung a couple of the pendants on the silk ribbon.   She did a really good job... take a look.

The first one is a mixed media polymer clay pendant decorated with wire and beads.  Heather added coiled wire and beads for a touch of pazazz.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

The other one is in the same color palette with a pendant of  metallic clay and gold leaf.

Heather has also taken over the photography and the listing duties for our Etsy shop... how great is that?  Check out our Etsy shop, Knightwork Studio " for our new listing.