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Monday, November 29, 2010

Making Sauerkraut


Want to impress your Friends?  Make Sauerkraut.  It's so easy!

Just before we left for Europe we cut up our "Spitzenkraut" cabbage and let it ferment in a stone crock pot. 


It was ready to place in freezer bags a few weeks later

All you need: 2 to 3 cabbages (any kind will do), a bit of coarse salt, caraway seeds and mustard seeds.

Here is my recipe for making Sauerkraut from last year 


Gina 



Friday, November 26, 2010

Lucinda paints Maiolica


My Trip to Bountiful





Last week I made a trip to Bountiful to visit with my artist friend, Cindy Ericksen.  I was excited to see her newly finished Garden Mural.  Cindy is a very fine and highly accomplished Potter



This is a very large Mural.  Cindy hand crafted every single tile and then painted them with powder pigments.  They were then fired, in her kiln,  to about 1800 degrees,  not so different from hand painted tiles of the Italian Renaissance, still produced in Italy and other parts of the world today.




This is the upper section of Cindy's Mural. Cindy tells me that she loves to design and paint intricate border details.



Cindy is a very accomplished potter.  She learned her craft through a very strenuous training program at the the University of Utah.  What they didn't teach her and what is seldom taught in the United States is a style of ceramic painting known as Maiolica.    


Not only is Cindy a fine artist she is also a very special person, she is also a very special friend, and a very special fellow artist.

Gina 



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010


Happy Thanksgiving my dear Blogging Friends



My friends have accused me of celebrating my birthday a month before and still a month after my birthday.  A few (not my friends) have asked if my birthday always falls on
Thanksgiving.  No, Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday. 

Wherever you are,  here is wishing you a very special Holiday with Family and Friends

Gina

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pullets


Pullets and Pullet Eggs



Pullets are chickens which are under one year old.  These came as "Day Olds"

This is how it works;  You order your chicks from a breeder and a few days later your Postman calls with a message that a box has arrived, a box that is making chirping noises. 

As soon as you get the chicks home you must dunk their beaks into a watering dish.  They seldom learn how to drink on their own.





 This is a Buff Orpington.  You can always tell when they get serious about raising little ones.  They start clucking incessantly and will also try to hide their eggs. 

Eggs were always more important to my Mother, so she would place the clucking chicken in a gunnysack and let the chicken  think for a day or two.  It always worked.





We also have a few older chickens.  Can you see the difference in egg size?  The small eggs are known as "Bakers Eggs".  Bakers like small eggs because they are super fresh.  Small eggs are never stored. 

 Did you know that large eggs are sometimes stored for 4 months or more before they are delivered to your Grocer?

Pullets start laying eggs when they are about 4 months old.

Gene was raised on a chicken farm.  He and his older brother, Blaine, took care of 5,000 chickens and collected a little over 4,000 eggs a day.  That is where the boys learned their work ethic.



I named him "Rocky".  He was a very fine and gentle rooster.  We have had others.  Alturro, the South American rooster was mean but beautiful.  Like our neighbor's bull, he was sent to another zip code.  Then  "Whitey" came along, not as handsome but very protective of his ladies.






We raise Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex and Buff Orpingtons, they all lay brown eggs. However, we do not raise Araucanus even though they lay beautiful blue eggs, that is when they are in the mood to lay eggs.  After all, they are from South America and it gets cold in Utah.

Gina


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Special Doors


Our new House has old doors, very old doors


Both front and back doors are more than 200 years old



They were brought from Argentina




They were also 14 feet tall and had to be cut




We cut the top from the front door and made this cabinet





And we cut the bottom of the back door and built a bathroom vanity





It now holds this fine hand painted sink from Kohler





This is the front door with glass panels and hand wrought iron windows
The  Letter box spells "Cartas"





This is what the front door looks like from the inside





And this is what you see from the inside of the front door, our outbuildings




Sometimes you see sunflower heads and onions drying on top of the wall and beyond that, our mountains


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harrods Knightbridge Wedding Book


Are you planning a wedding soon?



This special book will help remove the stress of planning





 By Sue Carpenter





Brilliant suggestions for your special
Day





Offers both inspiration and guidance on every aspect





Choosing the perfect wedding flowers




 Selecting  the special dress design






 Find the most brilliant photographer






An indispensable guide for every bride-to-be

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Traditional Building Skills Institute (TBSI) Workshop


Last week I taught a 3-day Tile Painting Workshop at our local College in Ephraim,  Utah



I teach the method and my students surprise me with their ingenuity and versatility





Each student has his/her own style of painting and I try to encourage their individuality





I like this simple plate produced by a young student on only her second day of instructions





My student began painting these tiles, a series of 30, a few workshops ago 
They were all fired last week and are now ready to be installed






A mural and a present to be given to a favorite Brother-in-Law, the owner of a large flock of Sheep.





Zoom, Zoom






Some of my students never paint another tile, some of my students have started a ceramic business.  I love teaching them all. 


Gina  



Friday, November 12, 2010

Hand crafted glass Christmas Ornaments - how to, Part II



So you say you can't paint




You don't have to.  Instead tear up very thin napkins (MacKenzie type)





Partially cover clear glass balls with colored tissue paper





Use Elmers glue or similar





Now add a few colored dots here and there

And/Or





Pour one acrylic paint color at a time into clear glass ball and swirl in all directions.

See, I got you to paint after all.

OR

Click on Maiolica at top right
and
visit my Etsy shop
Gina



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hand painted glass Christmas Ornaments - how to



You can paint circles and dots, right?




And a few leaf shapes, right?  That's all there is to it.




Cover old plate with wet paper towel, squeeze out different colors of  acrylic paints, the more the better





Paint circles, dots and leaf-shaped images onto clear glass balls,
hang with wire on doorknobs  (or anything else you can rig up) until dry






Use lots of colors and don't forget to highlight with white paint

If you decide that you need to see one of my hand painted Christmas Ornaments in person, a few are on deck in my Etsy Shop. 

Gina 



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

Hand Painted Glass Ornaments



Now is the only time you can find plain glass ornaments in your craft stores





Get your brushes and acrylic paints together





Make sure that you have lots of different colors





And don't forget white





Tomorrow I will show you how


Gina

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do you know these? Another Giveaway.


Please help identify





I only wanted one small cactus.  Their label said "Lettuce Leaf Cactus".  There was only one in a California Garden Shop and I took it home to Utah





Now I have many and so do my friends.  They turn red in the sun and green again when returned to the shade.  And, they become ENORMOUS




When they become too large or too tall I break off their heads (ouch) and replant .  They never complain.  The tall stalk remains planted in the pot.  Soon,  many small cacti appear along the stem.  





 As soon as they are about 2 inches in diameter I pull them from the stalk and plant  into soil, any kind of soil will do.  They are not particular.





Tall flower spikes emerge from the center





Small orange flowers appear






I will send one of these fine cacti to the first person who can properly identify this easy to grow, attention getting succulent.  Hint:  I don't think they are called Lettuce Leaf Cactus


Gina