crafts & creatures



I had no leftovers because I simply hopped from gathering to gathering. I did bring alcohol for my hosts, though, so I think it’s a fair trade.



damn nature, you scary

I love BBC documentaries. Here’s a clip from Frozen Planet about “creeping ice”.


Dr Mark Brandon, Polar oceanographer, The Open University

Freezing sea water doesn’t make ice like the stuff you grow in your freezer. Instead of a solid dense lump, it is more like a seawater-soaked sponge with a tiny network of brine channels within it.

In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath.

The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle.

Brinicles are found in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, but it has to be relatively calm for them to grow as long as the ones the Frozen Planet team observed.

Bow down before The Ice Finger of Death!

I love how the frozen starfishes all look like they died (are they even dead? Cryogenics — they have that sh#t working yet?) waving their arms (very slowly — they ARE starfish) in futile supplication. “Nooooooo!!!!”

I think of that scene in Austin Powers where the guy gets run over by a steamroller even though he has plenty of time to get away.

You know what I’m talkin’ about.




Here are the painted but unfired mugs I posted about last week.

And here they are, all grown up.

You may click to embiggen.

You can see how it can be tough to judge the depth of color when you are painting as the results can look drastically different. The gradient on the Moon mug didn’t turn out too bad at all. The Sun mug looks fabulous, as expected. These are going to be great for hot chocolate as their height allows plenty of room for whipped cream and/or marshmallows and/or Bailey’s.


I like Baileys.


A few weeks ago, I went ceramics painting on a rainy day with my friend. I’m the kind of person who likes to have a plan in place when I do something as permanent as ceramic painting (no erasers or delete buttons, y’know?). I didn’t know what to paint for the longest time. I like the ocean (splish splash) so I decided I’d paint something with the ocean.

I started off with a cute little sailboat, then an island, and then a nice sunset. The staff of middle-aged women oohed and aahed over how pretty it was. But, they did look a bit askance at the relatively large expanse of “ocean” I had left. Was I going to leave that space blank? No, of course not.

They came back a while later and they didn’t ooh and aah this time. They just gave me weird looks.

I can’t imagine why.

The afternoon staff of high school kids thought my design was “really cool” and oohed and aahed over it. They liked Sir Kraken as much as I did!

The outside rim of the bowl/dish reads “more than you will ever know”. There’s always a fun story behind my weird art, isn’t there? Yesh!

Once upon a time, I was recruited to be a “wingman” for a friend who went out on an internet date. She didn’t want to go by herself so I went along. At the bar, she met with her date, who also brought a Wingdude. Yay. Naturally, we were supposed to talk to each other. As befits my nature, I told him I was only here to accompany my friend and that was it. Wingdude tried to make conversation but it kept veering towards “I’d like to get in your pants” territory.

More than once I said, no, not interested. Finally, he asked why not. I said you want the truth or you want me to be polite? Naturally, he said he was “man enough” to take the truth. I said, you’re not my my type, I don’t find you attractive, and your conversation is annoying as all f#ck.

There was a comfortable (for me) silence as I continued to watch the bar patrons playing pool. Wingdude tried to brush off what I said as a joke and tried making the same icky conversation again. I ignored him. He muttered quietly under his breath, “Sh#t, you’re a bit of a bitch.”

The bar was very loud, but I heard him. I turned, got thisclose to his face, stared him right in the eyes with the Psycho Killer gaze, and said in a slight growl through my teeth, “More than you will EVER know.”

The calmest of surfaces can hide monsters more terrible than you can imagine.

There was no second date.

I was never “wingman” again.

But this plate this all kinds of awesome! It’s about 14 inches across and can comfortably hold a steak, rice, and vegetables. It’s like a TV tray but so much more stylish.



I spy

Random stuff I saw over the weekend.

Someone at my apartment had this car (not sure if it was theirs) parked in the garage.

It’s the Ferrari from Magnum, P.I.!


And here’s a leaf insect.

I don’t know if these are native to the area. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one. But, then again — it could just be the excellent camouflage and my sh#tty eyesight.

// UPDATE // The bug is a katydid. Katydids look like grasshoppers but are more closely related to crickets. I’m kind of icked out by how much it resembles a bay leaf, one of the ingredients of my precious, precious bouquet garni. Eww. 🙁




I’ve got a Cooking Class post scheduled this week (probably go up on Wednesday) so come back later for the food porn.

Also… vote on my two little polls up there on the top of the right sidebar. I’m as curious about you as some of you (or perhaps none) are about me.

I’m also thinking of doing a Free Christmas Raffle for readers of this blog. Any thoughts of what items (be reasonable) of what you’d like in there? It would totally be a gift basket, but without the dry decades-old smoked salmon and the suspiciously stale crackers. Put your requests/suggestions/unreasonable demands in the comments section.


no postage necessary

7 Replies to “crafts & creatures”

  1. Fun fact: Some companies sell kits to turn a Toyota MR2 into a Ferrari (430, 360, whatever).

    Your ceramics are getting better and better. Keep it up!

    1. If this is a Toyota, I actually think it would be more awesome. I don’t think it belongs to anyone in my building, so likely someone is parking it there over the weekend.

      The ceramics get better the more I drink, ha. I’m almost done with my whole stock of pieces I have to go through before the fumigation. There is one small plate left and then I’ll be done. Whew!

  2. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! The ceramics look awesome! IMHO, when you bring alcohol, everyone wins.

    1. I hope you also had a great Thanksgiving! I agree that alcohol is the best thing to bring. People rarely object to it, you can consume it right there, or save it for later. 🙂

  3. I like your giant squid.

    I think Higgins may have been in your apartment building.

    Also, may I purchase one of your vintage video game key chains?

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