I am so thankful for San Francisco’s second summer right now. And how lucky am I that it fell on the few days I’m here!

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I’m squinty from all the sunshine

Also, our school schedule for the rest of my nursing program was posted today and it really sunk in how close (sort of) to being done I actually am!
Time to power through.

My newest pottery creations.  One of the things I’m really enjoying about working out of a pottery studio rather than taking classes is that I can do stuff in my own time and it’s nice to see how I’ve progressed over the year. I haven’t made a huge amount of stuff, but the handles on my mugs have really started looking like good handles. You can see it in the picture of the four. The one at the back left is the newest handle. Also the greeny-blue mug is a new handle. I’ve started pulling them which makes a HUGE difference!

Bowl with a double dip of glaze made with red clay. I didn’t glaze the bottom half.

This is the first time I’ve used this glaze. It’s called Cloud Blue. I love the way it ran down the handle. It’s my new favourite.

I am in love with this mug.  It was going to be a present (sorry Shannon), but I think it will instead be my new morning coffee mug.

This set of four is half made out of red clay half out of grey clay, but all glazed with an Evening Blue glaze. It’s only one glaze that just has a really cool brown undertone. My previous favourite (as you may have guessed). Now outshone by Cloud Blue.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s always really exciting for me to get my stuff out of the kiln. I’m not great at knowing how the glazes will turn out, so it’s a surprise every time. When they come out looking good I just want to show everybody!!

Summer must be here: look at all these berries!

Frozen

Becoming fruit leather

Simply drying

In the fridge

And that’s not even all of them! There are more macerating (mix with a bit of sugar and let sit – they get really juicy. I’m going to make Pavlova later and put these on top), we ate some last night as shortcake, and there are even more in a container in the fridge! Also, there are 4 layers of fruit leather and 2 of drying strawberries. Hooray!

Here are some things that are making me smile these days:

Beautiful flowers

In suite laundry

A comfortable chair, a cup of coffee, a giant pot full of flowers, a nice view and a sunbeam.

Tomato plants with healthy thick stocks and a pot full of mint (I’ve been making smoothies!)

Pea shoots that curl around themselves and the chicken wire we found at the side of the road.

A windowsill full of pottery – some made by me, some by my talented roommate.

Being able to eat tasty granola in the sunshine out of my new favourite bowl.

What things are making you smile every day?

I told you about them yesterday when I also showed you my boots, and it turns out, they are delicious and you should make some to eat as a snack this week!

So, here’s the recipe.  From Canadian Living.  Sorry, no pictures for you today, but I assure if I could I would have taken a picture of how awesome it made my house smell.

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp curry powder

1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt

1 can (540 mL) chickpeas

In a large bowl, mix together everything but the chickpeas.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, pat them dry with a towel.  Add them to the bowl and stir it up!

Spread them on a cookie sheet (I used my cast-iron pan because I love it and then you can easily shake the pan by the handle to stir them in the oven) and bake at 400 F until golden, crisp and dried, stirring occasionally.  The recipe says 35 – 38 minutes, but I did that and they were still kind of soft in the middle, so I popped them back in for another 15.

I am finally ready for this Vancouver spring weather.  I made it through winter with my leather boots, but this spring is bringing such heavy bursts of rain, I needed something to keep my feet a bit drier.

My feet are so happy! I’ve been wearing them around my kitchen while making some roasted curry chickpeas for a snack this week.

Pretty soon, I’m going to head out on my bike to a coffee shop to do some studying this afternoon: it is bike everywhere week this week after-all.

Happy biking/springtime!

Next up

2 more mugs: before going into the kiln. I’ve started pulling the handles on my mugs rather than rolling them – something I’ve been working on for ages!

Hopefully soon I’ll have these plus a couple more, another bowl and a tiny little salt cellar glazed and finished. When I do, I’ll put them up here so you can see how they turned out!

Every week I try to squeeze some time into my schedule to go to the pottery studio.

Behold my newest creation!

This red clay I’ve been working with is a bit of a challenge – it turns to slip so quickly.

But I love how this glaze looks on it.  I experimented with only having a thin layer on the rim, and seeing how the glaze broke in the kiln.  I’m super happy with how it turned out.

I always buy green onions, use two, and the rest wilt in the fridge until I throw them away.

But then I discovered this trick:

Just use the tops of the green onions, plunk the rest into a jar, add some water and put in the sun.  They re-grow!  I’ve only used these twice now, and they keep springing back.  Eventually, I imagine I’ll use them all up and get some new ones, but in the meantime this works pretty well.

Enjoy!

The new year starts with a new semester.

There are new to-do lists, new text books, and new challenges.

My new year’s resolution? Discover the things people love about Vancouver, explore them and get to writing about this new city again!

My goal: one post each month.  I know it’s not that much, but between school and writing about other things, one each month is achievable.

So I’m putting it to you: what’s your favourite thing about Vancouver?

(This time last year I was missing my mom.  I still do, but it’s amazing how much easier it’s become and how my life has changed since I wrote that! She will always live on in my heart.  One day, I’ll get to writing about how she passed on her skill of quilting to me.  But it will take time and there are pictures that need to be collected. Maybe by writing this here it will make me remember to do it?  Will you remind me? Thanks.)

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