Friday, August 11, 2017

If you plant it they will come


Over a year ago I ordered seeds for
milkweed since I heard there was a shortage
of it.  I had never seen it in a garden shop
but apparently they do have it,
as I bought some more this year.


Then I waited.  I wondered why I didn't see
a bunch of Monarchs flying around my garden.
I know that I had heard they are
endangered due to habitat being depleted.


Then I saw a page on FB for SE Michigan Monarchs
and I joined the group.  I saw everyone
posting about eggs they found on their milkweed.
So I thought I'd go take a look and....


And what did I find.... tiny white eggs the size of the head of
a pin on a few leaves. So the Monarchs were there. I just
had not seen them.  I put the eggs in a container and
waited and these tiny guys hatched. ~not sure
if that's the right term, but you get the idea.




How amazing that the eggs are put just
on the exact and only leaf that they must eat
to survive.  They then emerge
and begin eating and growing.


As they grew larger I moved them
out of their plastic food container
in which I had poked tiny air holes.
The one with the red lid to the left.


into to my
son's old frog habitat


Their container has to be cleaned often.
Since they eat a lot ....they poop a lot. 


So why might you ask am I bringing them inside.
Well as you can see by their size...
they would make a delicious bird meal. 
By bringing them in we are kind of helping
to give them a helping hand in
the hopes of increasing the population. 


As they get bigger I am super excited...
like a kid!  I am hopeful that
I will get to see transformations.
I have also learned caterpillars facts.
For instance caterpillars that
transform this late in the summer will
most likely take part in the big migration
from Michigan to Mexico.




I have 6 caterpillars in different stages


Fingers crossed all goes well
and all develop healthy and I can
release them to head out to Mexico.
I have learned that apparently
like anything they can get diseases & die.


Two have gone up to the top to start their transformation


Good luck guys!


~Natascha~

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Creative lessons


Not  everything always goes as planned.  I have learned a few
things by trial and error. Just a  simple painted plate, but
I learned with this one that the white glaze
no matter how thick doesn't show up well over dark colors. 
In the future I will pay closer attention to my light colors.


Not sure why the color pulled away from
the edges of the flower petals.
I will apply thick coats of dark
color if I want the solid effect
I do like the tan glaze with the green flecks in it though.



This one has a copper color metallic flecks along with green specks.





Hmm this one... all I can say is I do like the green
glaze with the blue spots.


Kind of cool, I think.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On to my next inspiration
Many ideas... just never enough time!

~~Natascha


Monday, August 7, 2017

Sharing Pond Flowers

The pond plants were getting over grown
in the pots so I was sort of
dreading separating and repotting them.
Mainly because it's a messy job.


I had a few barn friends ask me if I
had any extra pond plants to share. 
These are water irises that get pretty blooms



Dividing them up...


and I ended up with all these to share.


My pond plants are all nicely contained.
As I put them back in I set them on
bricks to keep the lip of the pot just above the water
level and this has greatly helped us with
having to clean the pond filter.


We don't buy Koi, as a Heron came by one
year and ate all our beautiful giant fish.

So now we buy feeder fish that were destine to be
some big fish's dinner.  Instead they came to our
little pond to live out their little fish life.


They seem happy!

I hope you have a great day!

~Natascha~




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My first Glaze Firing


I'm excited to show off a few of my first glaze firing.
This is my favorite...I think.

I love the green glaze pattern on the bowl!


As you can see below when they go in to fire
the colors look nothing like when they come out.


Many things can go wrong as the glaze heats up to
1800 degrees.  All items are put on stilts so that they
do not permanently bond to the shelves
that they sit on. The shelves are pricey, so  I just prayed I did
everything correctly on my first go around.


Thankfully all came out great.  Including my
9 year old nieces creations. 
I will brag about her bowl later as it's a birthday gift
for her Mama and I don't want to ruin
the surprise!


Cute little daisy bowl


This post can't express how excited and thrilled I
am to have my own automated kiln at home.
It's a dream come true and  sometimes I have to pinch
myself.  I am in awe and so thankful
of how Blessed I am.


This little violet bowl, I experimented with washing the
glaze thinly.  I wanted to see if it would
replicate a kind of water color effect.


I am pretty happy with my first run.  I will share more pieces later.
All these take  quite a few hours per bowl. 
Especially when you are experimenting and trying new things.


~Natascha~