She has a delightful nature, is very pretty, her ears feel just like velvet, and she is highly intelligent, outgoing, confident, and is always pushing boundaries. At night she feels the cold, and snuggles up to me, between my right arm and my chest, and vibrates with pleasure!
I should insert here (with some haste!) that I am referring to She of the White Whiskers, a tiny four legged friend who is one of the most intelligent cats I have known. She, being young, is experimenting with everything that she can climb up, put in her mouth, chase, or cuddle up to. It is an exhausting time for us in our roles of mummy and daddy cat..., and two names have been used a lot whilst awaiting a "proper" name for her; "KittyKittyKittyKittyKitty!" said repeatedly and with a high and encouraging timbre, and "Stop It.... Stop It.....Stop It!" shouted, bellowed, in a corrective and assertive manner!
Almost all the cats we have had up to now treat our attempts to call them with complete disdain, only glancing sullenly once in our direction or twitching a single ear, but not actually moving from point A to point B. This Little One, to her credit (and our amazement) will come when called, and this is a huge bonus! If this were the only test of a Name, then "KittyKittyKittyKittyKitty" would have to be it.
Thank you to all of you who supplied names for our new feline family member. There were some really splendid ones, and I feel almost obligated to comb the neighborhood and add truck loads of abandoned cats to our household, in order to put your suggestions to use. Not only are they great names, but it would be nice to think of the friendly community of bloggers that supplied them.
It is all in a Name!
We tested out the names on Her Ladyship, and some came close to fitting.
A name for a cat, though, is a complicated matter. It is said that cats have nine lives, what is not often stated is that their personalities can be equally complex. When I think back over the grand aggregation of cats that have spent some of their nine lives with us, I can see that their names have mostly been unusual, for example:
Bathsheba, Coco Le Bouffon, Bonkie, Woostle, and Ginger (also known as Goonge).
And now we have..????
Just as I was slipping into the slough of despond with great names from lovely people not quite fitting the person of She of the White Socks, a comment from Jewels brought with it a ray of hope, "Glad to see Ginger has a new friend. Have you decided on a name for her yet? Maybe another spice name like Nigella or Pepper?"
Nigella Lawson, Kitchen Aphrodite!
We don't watch much television these days, but..., in the days that we did there was a cooking programme, Nigella Bites, that we did enjoy. The programme was the presented by Nigella Lawson, a raven haired beauty, who padded and purred her way through her kitchen, presenting recipes that oozed chocolate, cream, calories, and naughtiness! (She really did purr!)
For all sorts of reasons, Jewel's suggestion of "Nigella"seemed just right for the kitten! So, Thanks Jewels..., Nigella will be one of her names, but not quite alone. We are also fond of Stopit as a name, so Nigella Stopit, it is!
I have been up since 2.30am firing an electric kiln full of crystal glaze tests and still have a couple of hours to go. I have been experimenting with two new glaze bases, and a preliminary test of them last time I fired the kiln looked promising. So, this time, I have added various metal oxides to the best of the two glaze bases, and a little extra flux to the other one, and we will see if I am on the way to something I can use on a pot or two!
Here are some photos of the first test pieces.
These rather curious looking forms are what I am currently using for testing crystal glazes. As some of you will know, crystal glazes are usually very runny and need a special stand and saucer to be made to collect the glaze that runs off in the course of the firing. These forms are thrown in one piece on the potter's wheel and have their own built in glaze catcher. Being a rounded shape allows me to test the glaze on both gently sloping and vertical surfaces. The built in glaze catcher saves a huge amount of time in getting tests ready for the kiln.
The close up photos are of the base glazes that I am doing further tests on. The first one here grew lots of 20mm crystals with a dandelion like shape.
This base glaze gave 35mm crystals that had more variety of form, and a rather lovely ivory and white colouration.
The white/ivory glaze was very runny, but developed good crystals on both thick and thin areas of the glaze.
The white glaze was more difficult, becoming rough and opaque where slightly thicker, or where thin.
With crystal glazes, adjusting the formula is only part of the equation, it is equally important to find the right firing schedule for the glaze. A glaze that looks hopeless in one firing, may be really good in another, if small adjustments are made to the way it is fired.
If you go down to the woods today! (teddy bears picnic song... for those of you who remember it!)
Mostly it has been raining over the last couple of weeks, but there have been the odd moment of sunshine. On one such moment I could not stand being inside any longer, and went for a little expedition into our half acre of "woodland". I took the camera with me, and was accompanied by Nigella Stopit throughout.
As I took photographs, I thought of how marvelous a camera would be to people with limited mobility. I had only to put the lens close to a tree trunk, or a leaf, or some lichen, to become an explorer in another world of colour, beauty and form. If you are feeling shut in and unable to get out much, try a simple digital camera that can take some macro photos. It is wonderful.