Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm not dead. Yet.

It's The Three Amigos! They're even wearing the black and "silver" costumes Steve, Martin and Chevy wore in the film. All my Charmkins need now are sombreros and tiny six-shooters. My little clowns have grown into three rambunctious and cheery blobs, who miraculously stood still for a whopping two seconds, in "formation," so I could snap this pic.

I've finally come back to my life. Being sick with this blasted flu for nearly three weeks drove me into a hole, away from the world. I couldn't even play with my ratties for most of that time, for fear of getting them sick, too. My poor little fellas were crawling up the sides of the cage by the time I was well enough to at least scoop them out and plop them on "the rat couch" to get "the beans out."
For nearly that entire time, I didn't check email or keep up with the news -- I just sat under blankets on the couch, high on meds and watched Stargate and Stargate Atlantis DVDs. Hubby took great care of me, though -- he's a textbook caregiver and, boy, am I grateful! But I've never been hit so hard by a flu before. Wow. It drained my will to do anything but stare at a TV and drool. Now I'm back (pretty much) and it feels odd -- like I came out of a dream. I'm slowing becoming aware of my life again, re-learning how to get back into the swing of things.

I have to admit, however, that the forced "leave" did clear my mind. It was a mental vacation. I realize now that my little grey cells had become clogged with too many stresses, which were impeding my progress on the Haflinger mare and other studio projects. I was able to get back into the studio last week, and re-started working on the Haflinger mare (sneek peek here, albeit bald):

Things have gone much smoother with her after my "leave," and she's just about ready for her mane, tail and feathers (one of the last things I apply to a sculpture). Ironically I was working on that troublesome left hindleg with fresh epoxy when the flu hit, so I popped her in the freezer, thinking that I'd be well enough the next day to complete it (the cure time of the epoxy I use for sculpting slows almost to a stop if frozen, which allows me to put a sculpture "away" for a short time to come back to it later). Alas, that wasn't the case -- the key term being "almost." After two and a half weeks in the freezer, it finally cured. So I had to yet again dremel it off and restart it. It's become almost funny at this point. But things are far easier now, even with that leg, so I should be able to complete her by the end of the month. I've never had a sculpture challenge me more, but I think she's not only taught me new things about sculpting, but made me aware of just how badly stress can compromise my ability to work in the studio.

Anyway, as soon as I get my head fully screwed, stapled and hot-glued back on, I'll snap pix of the new WB plaque in resin, "Reflective," and the new Jumper plaque, "Jax." I've made some changes to both since the flexible molds for resin casting allow me to play with cut-outs and undercuts more, unlike the rigid plaster molds used for ceramic casting, and I think you'll like the additional touches. This way, you'll also be able to identify a ceramic casting from a resin casting at a glance, which I think is important for collectors. I also want to dive into creating a new edition of Rune Horses and other tiles, so I can really start to use my tile press in earnest. My Sister-in-law, Megan, is cycling in the AIDS run again this year in June, too, and I'll be creating another fired item for auction to support her (HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY NOAH! I miss your face goo!).

Now back to the salt mine -- Cheerio!

"Conscious and unconscious experiences do not belong to different compartments of the mind; they form a continuous scale of gradations, of degrees of awareness." ~Arthur Koestler

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