Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five o'clock somewhere

Looks like our weekend has gotten off to a good start!
Our old college friend Corky came over from Greensboro and we made Noodle Soup together and downloaded Hearthfire for Skyrim on our Xbox and proceeded to act like we were still nineteen, which in actuality we are.....  now Hearthfire...... my my my! You build houses! You decorate them!! Did they create this game just for ME?! You should see the house I am building.......

It has been my intention every day this week to make something, but all I managed were some good meals, some really good brownies, drank a few beers, went to a couple of production meetings at the theater and did stuff with Gerry. Life just gets in the way sometimes.....

I am now committed to doing two plays for May. I have never worked on two productions at the same time, we'll see how this goes, but the crew for both shows are the best around, should be a fun time for all.

BTW, THANKS! to all of you for your comments about the Lark book, it was all of you that encouraged me to apply in the first place, so a big thanks to you for the support  xoxo

a lovely bowl of noodle soup, bowl from my great pal Meredith Heywood, it is beyond soulful. The camera has sort of distorted the size, it looks like a wee little bowl, but it's not really. It's a perfect size.

In a previous post about making this soup I tried to describe what the noodle prep should look like, here it is. Make these little sliced doughs into coils and flatten them

It was fun to watch these two trying to roll, flatten and then pinch off one inch pieces of dough for the pot. They did a great job, slow, but it tasted good just the same. They aren't going to be making this for two thousand monks like our friends that taught us any time soon, but it will do for the three of us!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1000 Beads Lark book

Over the weekend I had a nice surprise waiting on me when I got home. The newest Lark books bead book is out and since my submission was accepted I received a complimentary copy.
This is a beautiful book, full of inspiration and wonderful photographs. Thanks to all of you that encouraged me to submit images back when I blogged about this call for entries. you were right!

I even made the back cover!!! What a great surprise.

I have sold all of these pendants so if you bought one, your necklace is now published, haha!

There are lots of wonderful beads in this book

Clay, these are amazing

Embroidered silk, also amazing

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Different Perspective

The End. Gerry shot his last basketball game of the 2013-14 season last night. Whoop! Here we are out on the court before the start of the tournament yesterday, with his photo editor and all around super nice guy, Mike Stewart and fellow bureau photographer and also nice guy, Chuck Burton.

You know, I don't think you can truly appreciate what someone does for a living until you spend some time with them where they work. Gerry has shot 20 ball games in the past 12 days, and let me tell you, that is no easy feat! The arenas are freezing cold, the food is mediocre at best and given to you at odd times, the media room is dark and crowded, the noise from the bands and the crowds, deafening. The hours are long and and stressful, you lose all concept of time and space in these large arenas. There are security guards with over zealous authority that you have to argue with, there are elevators to wait for, there are rules that make no sense, and as I have now experienced there are the GWC's (guys with cameras) that want to hunt with the big dogs. Somehow these GWCs get credentials to be there and then annoy and interfere in all ways possible with the professionals that are there to do their job. I got to experience one of these GWCs last night and now I understand why I hear so much complaining about this.

Working with pros like Gerry and Mike and Chuck was a privilege and an honor and I had a really great time watching them do their thing. Only a few amazingly great photographers get a job with the Associated Press and I am really glad to live with one of them and see the world through his eyes from time to time!

At every halftime and at the end of every game, I walked this catwalk in the rafters to retrieve discs from the cameras mounted over the basket.

Cameras for AP, USA Today, Getty, Sports Illustrated and the News and Observer in Raleigh were mounted up here. The burlap is down to keep small objects from falling to the floor and propelling like a bullet to the court below. It is nerve wracking making sure you don't drop anything while puling cards.

Then I walked down this very long hallway all the way around the 5th floor of the PNC center, back to the elevator and down to arena level to the media room. This hallway is for broadcast and there are booths for the sports reporters overlooking the court, it's quite nice up here for the reporters. The photographers get a dark basement......

Mostly, this was my view of the games from the media room. The dark freezing cold dungeon they put the photo/TV media in. There is a monitor behind me with a court side feed, not the regular TV feed, so no commercials and no broadcasters, just court sound and view, a really good way to watch a game! Mike sat to my left with his computer set up to ingest cards and edit the photos, send them out of the world to see. We had three runners that would go out on the court at every halftime and bring the camera discs in. I fetched food, coffee, water, popcorn, whatever they needed. It is a crazy world these guys live in!

My concept of time has been bizarre this weekend. For instance, Sunday, Gerry and I slept late, got breakfast around noon, got to the arena at 3pm, and then saw no outside views until after midnight. We ate supper around 3pm, then the first game at 6pm, last game 9pm, out of the arena after midnight, in bed after 2am. This is how Gerry has spent the last six months. I honestly do not know how he does it!
When you see your sports page online or in the newspaper, do you really understand how that image came to be? It's not that easy.

This is also the arena where Gerry shoots hockey and he has a game back here on Tuesday night. That will also be over soon and our lives will go into a different rhythm.

Ahhhh.... life with a photojournalist! This is why I don't have a traditional career of my own. How would we ever see each other?!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Still March Madness

March basketball madness continues. This weekend Gerry is shooting the NCAA regionals in Raleigh NC. He got me credentials and I am working for AP pulling disks from cameras that are mounted in the catwalk over the basket on the court. Sometimes going along and working is the only way I see him this time of year, and it's good to see old friends and meet some of the new young photographers that have sad dreams of a world where photojournalism still matters, poor fools.

These cups are favorites this week. On the left, Mark Hewiit, on the right a $3 find at the thrift store this week.Look, blue pottery, just what everyone loves to hate! I think it's great.  I believe it's by a guy that sets up in Carrboro at the farmers market, can't remember his name but he is a landmark at the market, I always think I'll get one of his cups then I spend all my money on vegetables. Probably the same thing people do to me when I am selling at the market.... must do better, support artists and farmers!

 Press parking, right at the front door, perks of this job Gerry has. Very nice....

 Another fifteen hour day on the basketball court for Gerry. This is a tired man! Still a faint smile there though :)

This was where I spent a good part of my time, walking very far up to the catwalk in the arena. If you look into the center of the photo where the beams intersect, that is where I went to pull cards. It's very scary, safe but scary. A small bridge goes out there and the floor is mesh metal so you can see right down to the floor far far below. Not for the faint of heart, trust me! This is a really shitty iphone photo shot in the dark rafters, but you get the idea. I had some sore legs this morning. Get to do it all over again tomorrow. Gerry shoots his last two ball games of the year, thank the good lord! Google Gerry Broome NCAA images and you will see how great he is :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Spring Smile

From Jamphel today, yep, I cried....

Happy Spring!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hot buns in the oven, ice on the ground

I tell you what, I am going to pull myself apart if Mother Nature doesn't get over being pissed off and sends us some pretty weather! (insert southern white girl accent here!)

I am bored out of my mind staying in this house or indoors at all, I want OUT! but I am not going out in the ice and rain, sorry, already done that, tired of it. I would go out in the snow, but sleet falling on you is the worst!

I have painted most all of the walls in our house white this past week, hoping for some brightness in my world, I have made soups to warm us, I have had enough tea to float a boat, and I am now taking naps. I NEVER take naps. I can't seem to drag myself into any room that has art making supplies, I simply walk into the kitchen 50 times a day and eat something or head for the sofa. I'm spending time doing all the things indoors that I have neglected because of clay and it's insistence for attention the past few years. It's good to do this, good to have this time. I like not being obsessed with clay right now.

Gerry and I have been serious blobs this week. He is worn out from shooting ACC basketball and working 15 hour days, run down.... he went to the doc this week to make sure it wasn't something serious, you know, because he uses the internet for diagnosis and it's always a terminal illness when you do this!  It wasn't serious, but he needs a break from March Madness. I don't really know what I need a break from except maybe cabin fever!

I do have this new found love of baking bread. I bake it all the time now. It really works well with the Weight Watchers program haha!  I was using the artisan bread in minutes recipe and still love it, but a couple of nights ago around 3am while surfing around in the wonderful world of new blogs I have found (yes, I have gone looking for new blogs since so many potters have abandoned me for that hateful F-book, and yes, I still don't sleep)

I came across THIS recipe for easy white bread and tonight I made homemade buns and lentil/veggie burgers. I astounded myself. They were really good! Not the frozen store bought veggie burger, not the sort of already stale hamburger bun in the plastic bag. Warm buns right from the oven, burgers whose ingredients were obvious from the chunks of carrot and zucchini and lentils. Yummmm!!

The weather channels are promising some warm days coming up and I have this yearning to throw some bowls on my wheel, so here's hoping the weather will give me a short window to get out in my studio. I remember a time when I would work in the freezing cold, fingers and back aching and even when I got in the hottest shower I could stand I wouldn't warm up. Gone are those days. I know you serious potters that truly make your living with clay are laughing at me and I hear ya and God bless you for having the fortitude to stick with it in this weather. However, I'm not out to prove anything anymore, I have limitations and I am not trying to keep up with the movers and shakers in the pottery world (HA! don't get me started...) I am happy with my blob state right now, and my tiny little bank account (if you can even call it that)
......but I really really want to see what a blue sky looks like, it's a faint memory.........

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Noodle Soup and Iggy Pop

I keep forgetting to tell you about the way we made noodle soup with our monk friends. Today seems like a really good day for noodle soup, doesn't it? Are the rest of you dealing with this ice? Ugh, I am so sick of ice raining from the sky!!!
Jamphel sends me emails every day and the day Wesley and Gerry were coming home, he sent me a note saying I should make noodle soup for them. I replied that they would eat before they got home and they would be late. I sent him some photos of them at the tournament and some links to pictures they shot. Here was his reply to me the next day:

"Thank you for send me Gerry and Wesley's pictures, so nice these photos, what thinking  about tonight dinner?
I hope all of you for rest time today,"

Now I have a monk making sure I am fixing good meals for my family, haha! Every time I read this email, I smile:)

I have no recipe for the noodle soup we made, although if you google thukpa, you can get several versions that are very good. But here is what we did:

The first thing was to prep the noodles so they could rest while we cooked the veggies. Clay peeps, this will be easy for you:

put some plain flour in a large bowl, the amount is going to depend on how many noodles you want, I would say from now on, for my family of three I will probably use 2 cups of flour. For the five of us, we used almost a whole bag of flour! Add cold water  slowly until flour and water form a nice firm dough, sort of like a ball of clay you are going to wedge. Then wedge (knead!) that dough. It wants to be elastic and smooth, not sticky. If you live in the south and make dumplings that you cut, this is the same dough.
Roll the dough into a long rectangle with a width of about 4", then slice across the dough into pieces that will be easy to roll into a coil, they should look about the size of a spring roll. Let this dough sit in a bowl or on a tray covered while you cook the veggies

Chop up some bok choy, green pepper, onion, scallions, and celery and stir fry in a wok with some oil.(the second time we made it I had red sweet pepper and mushrooms, you can really toss in whatever you have on hand)
We added a LOT of red pepper flakes and it makes it really good but choose your heat, I think we added at least a tsp or more, probably more. Also season with lots of black pepper and salt to taste. The monks use so much pepper, but it really makes a difference in flavoring food if you can take the heat.
When the veggies are soft and cooked through, add water to the wok/veggies leaving just enough room to add your noodles, or you can do like we did the first time and move everything to a large pot.
 ( I would have thought stock would be better, but water is really just fine)
Bring temp up to a good boil and then you can add the noodles.

Now for the noodles: take one of the spring roll size slices and roll it between your palms like the native american women roll their coils for making pottery :)  then with your fingers flatten the coils from top to bottom.  It should be about 12" long at this point and sort of thin, but not so thin that you can't handle it. It can be wrapped around your wrist for easy handling, tricky, but it gets easier the more you do it. After the noodle is flat, pinch off one inch pieces from top to bottom and throw in the boiling water. Watch the video below if I have totally confused you! Notice that Jamphel is on to coil number two before Wesley even figures out how to hold her long noodle haha!
Boil the noodles until done and right before serving add one egg to the soup, stir it in quickly. This makes the soup creamy and silky and yummy! You can leave the egg out if you want to though.
Again I have no recipe to go by, but I think the noodles cook about 10-15 minutes. They are sturdy noodles and don't fall apart or get mushy, reheat easily, and in fact taste better the next day. You could add some chicken or pork or beef. Add some soy sauce, some siracha. It's a really great base for all sorts of experimenting and meal stretching. Hope you try it, email if you get stuck!
Here's what our first try looked like: (I forgot to turn on the audio on the camera, sorry )

In other news, our monk friends have been to New York and New Jersey since they left us. They performed the opening invocation at Tibet House, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith performed for a benefit concert there. Here is Jampel with Iggy Pop. Never in my lifetime would I have guessed I would be friends with a monk from Tibet that would send me a photo of himself with Iggy Pop in NY. Seriously, pinch me to see if I'm dreaming!!!

More photos from NY, I get photos every day, these guys are seeing more of my country than I have seen!
Hoping to see them again soon, until then we will have some noodle soup!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Madness year 33

 Yep, it's that time of year here on the east coast. March madness, basketball tournament time. Gerry has been shooting college basketball here in NC since Michael Jordan played for UNC. Michael retired, Gerry is still going, like the energizer bunny, ha! It's been over thirty years of sitting on a basketball court making pictures from October through March. This time of year, he is about ready to pull himself apart he is so sick of this sport. But he makes some amazing pictures with that much experience. If you image google Gerry Broome basketball the pages fill up with great photos.

Wesley has been going with him to the ACC tournament in Greensboro since she was thirteen years old. She worked as a runner until a couple of years ago when she made her first AP pic of Erin Andrews with her Dancing with the Stars partner. Then the bug bit her good. Her pictures on the wire. What a thrill.

Wesley is on spring break and spending her time working 15 hour days at the ACC with her dad. Yesterday, Wesley was shooting overhead with seasoned photographers that have watched her grow up, tagging along with her dad. Her pictures moved on the wire and are in the slideshows online with the big boys. Even the home town Charlotte Observer ran her photo! I'm a proud mama!

One more week, the NCAA regionals in Raleigh and we are done with basketball here in this house for another year, whew! While the family has been gone, I have been in house make over mode. It's a good time to do this when no one is here but me. I have painted the downstairs white. My house was starting to look like a crayon box, every room a different color and it was getting pretty tired looking. Now all the rooms are white or gray and it is so fresh and soothing. I have cleaned out the pantry, the closets, the drawers, moved furniture around, organized media, my studio is back in order. It's so nice, everything in it's place. It's only taken me ten years of living here to get things in place, haha! About time, right?

Well, the final game is tonight, family will be back home and there is more winter weather coming. Time to get back to "normal" here. One of these days I am actually going to get around to making some pottery.......

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spend less, Earn more.....

It's tax time again. This usually means stress and sadness when we actually see written down on paper where our money goes. We use turbotax, and the process is pretty simple, but to see how much money we could have had if it weren't for all those things we pay for..... ugh.

On the other hand, I sort of enjoy the process of getting all of my business receipts together and seeing how my itsy bitsy business is coming along. This year, for the first year, I showed a profit after all of my out of pocket expenses. Now this isn't saying a whole lot because I am still not paying the rent around here, but still, it was nice not to see yet another break even or loss on the books.

I broke it all down, where my earnings came from, where was my spending- galleries, online sales, my studio, shows and festivals.

Interestingly, my spending was less than half of what it was the previous years, and I showed a profit. Spend less, earn more! Good concept, right?! I was fed up last year with al the money I was spending on show fees and application fees and just fees in general that were not benefitting me all that much. Remember, I paid around $700 to be at the miserable CDCG show and made $300, ouch!

So in 2013, I cut way back on the train to fame.  I stayed home more and sold from here. The galleries that had my work sold less than 1/4th of what I did out of my home studio, hmmmm......
One gallery sent me a check for $42 for the entire year..... hmmmm.....

One festival cost me $50 and I made $700, that was money well spent. The Chatham Artists Studio Tour costs me around $250 and it's my largest chunk of money from one venue for the year. Money also well spent, and I have return customers every year. When I spend time with Etsy, it also works well for me. I sold two necklaces this week, never left the house, and my Etsy bill last month was $8. What didn't work? Sadly, galleries. I like the galleries I work with and would like to continue a relationship, but is it worth the time and effort? Maybe, but not a priority right now. also, the big "designer" shows don't work for me. Not my peeps. Who cares..

It's good to have this review every year. Last year, when we did taxes and I saw the loss and spending, I cried. It seemed like such a waste of time and I seriously put in a lot of time in 2012. Why? What was the use when I was showing such a loss? I felt like I didn't work very hard in 2013, but I must have done something, there were earnings and I was able to report a profit finally. All of this is good information for going forward.  It seems I need to be more selective with shows I do, spend more time with selling from my studio, and focus less on filling out application fees and writing checks for application fees. What is up with that anyway?!

The weather has been nice this weekend, flowers and trees are budding, feeling the call of my studio. Soooooon! In the meantime, thank God Gerry has an amazing job and tolerates my art quest. He shot his last regular season ball game last night, Duke/Carolina. He shot over 100 basketball games since September and trust me, he is about to come unglued. Looking forward to April!!!! In May, Wesley and I will travel to Kentucky. Wes has been invited to the monastery to continue filming the monks. Lots to look forward to!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tea, beads, monks, chickens

It continues to be cold, I continue my dormancy, waiting for Spring, waiting for warm......
drinking tea, baking bread, making soups, I made a few necklaces, I am bored to tears with this weather.

Our new cup and tray are getting lots of use. Do you do this? When you get a new piece of pottery it becomes the only useable item in the kitchen? We could actually exist with three plates and three cups, but where is the fun in that!?

No one guessed the maker of this tray. Emails and posts were the same as my guesses, Courtney Martin, Michael Hunt, Michael Kline, I had also guessed Shawn Ireland. Nope. It's Melissa Weiss. Don't know her, but I like her work. She has a nice website, much of her work looking quite influenced by Michael Hunt, but I am off that soapbox, so I will just say I like this tray a lot and I am enjoying her fine craftsmanship and her Ozarks clay very much. I'll save my thoughts on how many potters in NC make very similar work of other potters .......... it doesn't seem to really matter.

The tray has held cheese, salad, my teapot, cookies, fruit, toast. What did I put things on before I got it......?

I got my Etsy shop dusted off a bit, need to make a new header and fancy it up some, but that bores me and irritates me, so I will procrastinate until I have absolutely nothing else in my life to do, ha! This is a nice prayer rosary, I like it very much. It's now for sale.

Our monks are in New Jersey, Toms River, building another mandala. Here is Jamphel during Losar, celebrating at the dharma center. He doesn't look 30 in this photo does he? Looks like a small boy, cold and innocent. I miss him a lot..... this photo makes me want to cry.

This photo makes Gerry want to cry. Our neighbors chickens are tormenting him. They come over every day and dig in our yard, shit in our yard. Gerry is not amused. I am, but that's another story. I shot this photo of them digging up our drainage pipe and the roots of our tree so they could roll around in the dirt. I was hoping they would drop some eggs while they were at it. I was laughing at them, Gerry was screaming obscenities. I really need my own chickens, and our neighbors really need to be more considerate...... but look how cute she is with her little head resting there on the root of the tree....haha!!

We wrapped up our marathon bingeing of Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black before Christmas and now we are bingeing on Weeds and I have found House of Cards. Yeah, yeah, late to the party, I know. I just found Downton Abbey,  right in time for the season ender! TV is low on my priority list and I get around to it slowly. But I have to say, Weeds is a fun ride, we are into the fourth season, it's almost pornographic but in a really funny way, like reading trash novels. House of Cards is going to be an obsession, I can tell already.

So that's it around here. I'm tired of being cold, Gerry is off for a couple of days and seeing the light at the end of the ACC basketball season, thank God. Very much over sports fans, sports obsession in general. If we could only get behind art the way we get behind "Our Team",  artists could rock some creativity.......

Monday, March 3, 2014

Celebrating the "new year"

Our Tibetan New Year got off to a happy start yesterday as one of my new prayer rosaries was purchased by a very sweet art supporter I have known for a few years now. I hope the good karma I feel for these rosaries travels with her always! I spent some time this morning getting my Etsy store dusted off, but I will continue to use the paypal buy buttons here on my blog. It's such an easy way to set up purchases.

Wesley also surprised us yesterday with a visit. She called Sunday morning to say that she was sad because she wasn't here to celebrate the Tibetan New Year with us. Never mind that a week ago she didn't even know this existed and I had no real celebration plans anyway....
But she did. She came home and taught me to make the Thukpa, or noodle soup Jamphel and Tashi made with her. Look at this happy girl..... awwwww!

Look Grandma, I'm making homemade noodles just like you used to make, only monks and my daughter taught me how! Wedging, I mean.... kneading dough, haha!

Zhimpo doog!!!! Barbara McKenzie beautiful bowl and the cup Ronan gave me for taking his work to Charlotte, which Gerry has claimed for his own new favorite cup. This is THE BEST soup!

Getting good use out of my new tray from Lark and Key. No one ever guessed the potter......

 Even Gerry got in on the noodle making action

Today we had noodle soup leftovers and I baked some bread. I always want to bake bread when the skies are gray, dumping sleet and snow on us. More bad weather today, Wes was supposed to head back for early classes tomorrow, but she isn't going anywhere on these icy roads. Nice to have her back for a couple of days..... sigh.......

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Prayer Rosaries for Tibetan New Year

I have been busy working on some necklaces this past week. Since the monks left, there has been such a quiet space in the house. The quiet and the presence of the monks seems to have informed these pieces. I have decided to call them prayer rosaries. For one thing some of the parts have come from actual rosaries I have found in antique stores. They remind me of  rosaries and they remind me of the prayer beads the monks wear, so it seems fitting to give them this name.

I have three here on my blog for sale in honor of the Tibetan New Year which starts tomorrow, should you feel inclined to own one. Just click on the tab above that says Buy Now. I have them reasonably priced considering the time I have invested. But the materials are not precious metals or stones, they are things I have made or found in antique shops or collected over the years.

Go take a look, let me know what you think. I love them, but I am ready to part with them.  I made one for myself, I can let go.