Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OLERON BERRY TART AND SUNSHINE TEA VESSEL

OLERON BERRY TART AND SUNSHINE TEA VESSEL

Sunshine Tea Vessel with Oleron Berry Tart

After I finished reading Ruth Reichl's book, “Tender at the Bone”, I knew I wanted to try the Oleron berry tart she tells a story about. It's French and like most French cooking, it is melt- in- your- mouth delicious. I love the fact that any berry can be used in the tart. As a matter of fact, I only had one cup of raspberries instead of the 2 called for in the recipe so I substituted with 1 cup of blueberries.

Full Picture of Sunshine Tea Vessel

What better way to serve the tart than with a cup of tea shared with a friend. Of course, I had to use the latest tea vessel I created. I am calling her Sunshine because she brings a smile to my face when I gaze upon that golden antique mustard yellow and butterscotch shino I used for her glaze. I also added beads and a steampunk lid. Her face looks wise and mysterious yet full of light and happiness. She is 9” wide by 4 1/2” deep and 5 1/2” high and serves 2/2 large cups of tea.

Tart and Ice Cream

I have priced Sunshine at $89.00. If you would like to purchase, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I prefer to use Paypal or I accept checks. The best way to brew tea for vessel is to place cold water in another microwavable container. Heat water and then pour into vessel in which either tea bags or a tea strainer or tea ball has been placed. Place lid back on and allow to steep for 5 minutes or so. Serve. The lids are an integral part of the vessel. Be sure to hold the lid as you pour the tea. As in all my tea vessels, I have used lead free glazes.

Steampunk Lid

Oleron Berry Tart

Pastry:

1 ½ cups sifted flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 pound sweet butter

2 T. cream

1 egg yolk

Method:

Put flour and sugar into a bowl. Cut the butter into small squares and add to flour-sugar mixture. Toss with your fingers until butter is coated with flour and then rub until the mixture is coated with flour. Rub until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

Add cream to egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until pastry holds together in a small ball. If not moist enough, add a T. or so of water to bring it together.

Sprinkle flour across a counter and place pastry on flour. Push the dough with the heel of your hand until it has all been worked through. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for 3 hours.

Remove and allow to warm for 10 minutes and sprinkle more flour onto the counter. Flatten ball into a disc and roll out into an 11” circle. Fit gently into an 8 or 9” tart pan with removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough; trim off edges and put into freezer for 10 minutes until firm.

Preheat oven 350. Line tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans and cook 4-5 minutes more until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making filling.

Filling:

3/4 cup blanched almonds

3/4 cup sugar

3 T. butter, softened

3 large egg yolks

1 t. vanilla extract

4 cups raspberries or other berries

Put almonds and 3 T. of the sugar in food processer and grind to a fine powder. Cream butter with remaining sugar. Add egg yolks stirring until smooth. Add ground almond-sugar mixture and vanilla extract. Spread almond crem into bottom of prebaked tart shell. Carefully cover the tart with 2 cups raspberries. Sprinkle with 2 t sugar, bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours. Just before serving, cover the top of tart with remaining 2 cups of berries. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

You can cut the steps down by using one of the frozen pie crusts if you'd like. I use them often but decided to make the tart the original French way this time and it was delicious!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

COOSAPONAKEESA NATIVE AMERICAN NECKLACE

COOSAPONAKEESA INDIAN NECKLACE

Coosaponakeesa

Try saying that 3 times! A few years back I designated the name to another one of my pieces and wrote a post about the life of this courageous Yamacraw Indian woman. My friend, Gene, her many times great grandson, certainly inherited some of her qualities. You can read the post about her life as well as a bit about Gene's here.

Detail

"Her name was Princess Coosaponakeesa (“flying white horse”). She was the niece of emperor/warrior Brim of the Creek nation. It was that relationship that gave her the title, “princess.” Born in the 1700's, she was married 5 times. One of her husbands was John Musgrove, and she took the English name Mary Musgrove. She was a Yamacraw Indian of the Musogean tribe and the Wind clan, and she learned to speak English as well as Creek. She was the only Yamacraw Indian who spoke English at that time.

Close-up

When military leader James Edward Oglethorpe landed in Savanna, Georgia in 1733, he selected her as the cultural liaison between Colonial Georgia and the Creek nation. For her services as an interpreter, she was given the islands of Sapelo, Ossabow, and St. Catherines near Savanna, Georgia in 1760. Later, the English took the land away from her and she became very upset. She was thrown in jail at Ft. Fredrica where she caused a lot of trouble. Eventually, she was reimbursed for the loss of her land with 2000 pounds sterling from the auction sale of Ossabow and Sapelo. She lived into her late 80's, an age that very few reached at that time.

I used various Native American embellishments and turquoise in creating Coosaponakeesa. The focal point is one of my original hand sculpted faces. She is 2 1/2" wide x 6" high and 23" from the neck to top of her face.

I have priced her at just $89. If you wish to purchase, please just e-mail me and we can go from there. I prefer Paypal or checks. If you'd like more views, please click my etsy shop. I can ship out immediately.

Thanks so much for viewing.

Cheryl

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GODDESS TEA VESSEL AND 3-SEED BISCUITS

TEA AND 3-SEED BISCUITS

“She Who Knows Her Own Sacred Sound” Tea Vessel and 3-Seed Biscuit

Sold. Thank you Beth!

While browsing through my recipes, I came across one that I had completely forgotten about. There it sat in an old recipe file that I had relegated to the back of my pantry. Since I'm completely addicted to creating my new tea vessels, I thought it might be a good idea to test the biscuits and then do a posting of them to go along with a luxurious cup of tea.

Close up of Lid. I've been told the lid is an antique spigot for a beer barrel. Perhaps I should have made a beer biscuit.

It's interesting that my father painted the tea pot on the board in background many years ago. I never suspected way back then that I would be making tea vessels similar to the one in painting.

Close-Up of tea biscuit

Here is the recipe:

THREE SEED BISCUITS

3.C. flour
½ C. sugar
1 ½ t. baking powder
¾ t. baking soda
1 ½ C sour cream
1 egg (beaten)
1 t. salt
2 T. poppy seed
1 egg white
2 T. caraway seed
2 t. anise seed
1 egg white

Method: Preheat oven to 450. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in 1 t. each of caraway, poppy, anise seeds. Blend in sour cream and 1 egg. Knead mixture til smooth and elastic. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2” thickness. Cut with a 2 12 “ biscuit cutter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 450 for 15 minutes. Cool Garnish by brushing top with egg white and a sprinkling of remaining seeds. Dot with confectioners sugar if desired.

What I like about this recipe is that it is unusual in that the 3 different seeds are not ones that you might think work together. The sweetness of the poppy when paired with the caraway are enough to cause your taste buds to go into a dance step. Then add the small amount of anise and you are off to a tango!

Now for the latest vessel. She is x by x and features a I fell in love with the glaze on this one. It's funny, with glazing, you can plan all you want but you never quite know what to expect until you open the kiln. I used a glaze I had many times before but this time, same kiln cone, same firing and it came out a completely different color. It has to do with oxidation. I have learned to live with and love opening the kiln to surprises. Just like opening a birthday gift.

Close-Up of Face

My tea vessels are each an original. I hand sculpt them using stoneware clay. The Goddess faces are sculpted in the bas-relief method. I used a lead free glaze on each vessel. She who knows... is 9” wide x 5” deep x 6” high and also includes a antique lid. Also featured is an old watch part. I used Textured Brown for the glaze.

If you would like to purchase “She Who Knows Her Own Sacred Sound” tea vessel, she is priced at $89. You can e-mail me and we can go from there. I like to use Paypal or a check.

Back of Vessel

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

TRUTHSEEKER TEA VESSEL

TRUTHSEEKER TEA VESSEL

Sold. Thank you Deb!

Truthseeker Tea Vessel

I just finished Truthseeker tea vessel. Here is her story.

TRUTHSEEKER

Her years of research were filled with aggravation and disappointment. She searched for the answer to many questions. “Why are we here..Why do we Die..What purpose does our lives have here on Earth?” They were questions many had asked before. Finally, one day while she was meditating, the answers started to come to her. They came in the form of sentence upon sentence of words...words. At first she couldn’t understand any of them. Then it was as though the words had a life of their own. She became one with the words...She was speaking the words and then to her amazement, the words were speaking her! They spoke of the unity of all things, of the linkage we all have with one another. She learned that she was the composer and the composed. The performance and the performer… the sculptor and yet the clay. She learned she was everything..and as these truths were unfolded..she knew she was on the way to becoming a part of something much larger-much greater than she could have ever imagined before.

Cheryl Dolby

Close-Up

My tea vessels are each an original. I hand sculpt them using stoneware clay. The Goddess faces are sculpted in the bas-relief method. I used a lead free glaze on each vessel. Truthseeker is 7” wide x 4” deep x 5” high and also includes a unique steampunk lid. I used burnt apricot for the glaze.

Care and use of the tea vessel:

The best way to brew tea for vessel is to place cold water in another microwavable container. Heat water and then pour into vessel in which either tea bags or a tea strainer or tea ball has been placed. Place lid back on and allow to steep for 5 minutes or so. Serve. The lids are an integral part of the vessel. Be sure to hold the lid as you pour the tea.

Lid

Truthseeker is priced at $65. If you would like to purchase, just e-mail me and we can go from there. I prefer to use Paypal or checks. Thank you so much for viewing.

Back

Enchantment found it’s way to the table where the Goddess Ceremonial Tea Vessel was placed. Three friends gathered to help initiate a healing. The pungent herbal aroma from the mysterious vessel containing the special roots and herbs chosen fresh from the garden permeated the air. The elixir was steeped to perfection and the cups were filed. Each Goddess inhaled the scent of the tisanes which opened their sensory perception as they gazed at the fascinating original clay Goddess face that was sculpted into the vessel. All were oblivious to their surroundings and time was lost to antiquity as they partook of this special potion, all the while awaiting for the magic to unfold.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CRYSTAL WOMEN

CRYSTAL WOMEN

Crystal Woman #1

I’m not sure but I think most artists tend to sell their favorite pieces. I know I do. My burning bowl series has been very popular, so much so that I sold every one that I made last year almost immediately after finishing it. That led to a slight problem. On New Year’s Eve, which is when I like to have a burning bowl ceremony, I had not one burning bowl left for myself. My friends Trish and Ben, who sell gorgeous crystals and fossils, gave me the most beautiful crystal which has some sort of a gold inlay. I have no idea of the value of it because I don’t know that much about crystals but I do know that it picks up the light and reflects rays all over the room. There was a stipulation that came with the gift. I had to make something for myself and had to promise not to sell it! So, here it is Trish and Ben…my Crystal Women Burning Bowlis not for sale - She’s mine!

View of Unusual Crystal Formation

I also received a pouch of other crystals that I could use in my work so I created Crystal Woman #2 and Crystal Woman #3 and they are for sale. They are each priced at $68.00. I chose the name from Lynn Andrews series of books that I read decades ago. I loved her story of Crystal Woman. Maybe some of you remember that series.

Crystal Woman #2

Sold. Thank you Trish!

Close-Up

Side View

If you would like to purchase either Crystal Woman 2 or 3, you can e-mail me directly and we can go from there. I like to use Paypal or accept personal checks.

Thank you again Trish and Ben.

Back View

Close Up of Crystal Formation

Crystal Woman #3

Close-Up

Back View

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GODDESS CEREMONIAL TEA VESSELS

GODDESS CEREMONIAL TEA VESSELS

Goddess Vessel number 1 - "The Alchemist" Dimensions:9x9" Holds 2 or 3 Small Cups of Tea Price: $89.00

Enchantment found it’s way to the table where the Goddess Ceremonial Tea Vessel was placed. Three friends gathered to help initiate a healing. The pungent herbal aroma from the mysterious vessel containing the special roots and herbs chosen fresh from the garden permeated the air. The elixir was steeped to perfection and the cups were filed. Each Goddess inhaled the scent of the tisanes which opened their sensory perception as they gazed at the fascinating original clay Goddess face that was sculpted into the vessel. All were oblivious to their surroundings and time was lost to antiquity as they partook of this special potion, all the while awaiting for the magic to unfold.

Goddess Vessel number 2 - "She Who Knows Her Own Sacred Sound." Dimensions: 7 x 41/2" Holds 1 large cup of tea Price: $58.00

My tea vessels are each an original. I hand sculpt them using stoneware clay. The Goddess faces are sculpted in the bas-relief method. I used a lead free glaze on each vessel.

I can envision a Goddess tea party using sacred teas for ceremony.

Goddess Vessel number 3 - "Healing Woman" Dimensions: 9 x 7" Holds 2 large mugs or 3 cups of tea Price: $89.00

SOLD. THANK YOU ALICIA!

To brew tea:

The best way to brew tea for vessel is to place cold water in another microwavable container. Heat water and then pour into vessel in which either tea bags or a tea strainer or tea ball has been placed. Place lid back on and allow to steep for 5 minutes or so. Serve. The lids are an integral part of the vessel. Be sure to hold the lid as you pour the tea.

Goddess Vessel number 4 - "She Who Follows The Path of the Ancient Mystery Schools. Dimensions: 7x3 1/2" Holds one large cup of tea Price: $58.00

Care of Tea Vessel:

Because of the various embellishments placed into the vessel, it is best not to place in dishwasher or microwave but instead use the tea vessel to steep and serve. I have used lead free glaze on the interior of each pot so that it is safe to drink the tea and after finishing, running hot water inside the pot releasing any tea having lodged there is all that is needed to keep sanitary.

All Four Tea Vessels

If you would like to purchase one of my tea vessels, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I like to use Paypal but checks are ok too.

Thank you so much. The vessels were a long time in the making with much experimentation. Who knows where they will go from here. I’m very satisfied with them and will continue to embellish future tea vessels in the same manner for awhile.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BIONIC WOMAN RETURNS!

BIONIC WOMAN RETURNS

I'll bet you are wondering what this picture is all about

For those of you who are new to my blog, I must tell you that each winter I feature a post of a wonderful all inclusive vacation I take in Mexico. How cruel of me right? This year, the all inclusive had a few surprises. The food was wonderful as was the ‘work out’ room. The people at the ‘resort’ were also amazing, friendly and efficient. I did, however, have to trade my usual margarita’s for narcotic drugs. All in all, it was an experience I will never forget!

Yours Truly with Marti Gras-b-dazled walker to match my car

Now, I am sure I have your attention! Where I really went in January was to Roanoke Memorial Hospital,for my very first operation. I apparently danced, ran, jumped, hop scotched, worked and played far too much since the cartilage in my left knee completely disappeared and I was forced to have a complete knee replacement.

Canes I b-dazzled to match my car, walker and shoes

I didn’t want to post of it till I was sure I was brave enough to go through with it. I always talked about being bionic and now I’ve begun the journey. I heard so many horror stories before the operation that I was just sure I would back down, but then, the pain in my knee forced me to face the situation and go forth. All went very smooth and I have advanced from a walker to two canes.

Canes to match my car, walker, shoes and chair~you see it goes on and on!

Some of my friends surprised me on the market, where I show my work, with a b-dazled walker to match my car, B-dazle. Since they look so good together, I decided to b-dazle my canes as well. Many thanks to Tom, Diane, Wayne, Rebecca, Stephanie and Leigh Ann for the fabulous job they did in creating the ‘talk of the Rehab center’ where I stayed for 2 weeks after the operation. All of the other patients kept asking if they could have their canes, walkers and crutches b-dazled and wondered why I was ‘special.’ We named my walker "Marti Gras" since she is covered with the beads worn there. I also want to say thank you to all the wonderful people who work at Brandon Oak rehab center here in Roanoke. It is an amazing place and I really did have wonderful food and care.

Since doctors orders were to slow down and not do much artwork, (a very difficult task for me since my mind thinks art all the time) I relaxed and pampered myself with reading. I love to read but usually have to restrict it to bedtime since I’m so busy. Well, I read 7 books and still counting. Most of the books were about my beloved Italy. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and love Italy so very much. It was like eating potato chips..I’d go to Amazon, google one Italian book only to see many more featured.

Since I haven’t completed enough new work to show on my blog, I thought you might like to hear a brief critique a few of the books. So here goes:

"Breathing Into Stone" by Joel Kirkpatrick


How I loved this book. Being a sculptor, it touched my heart in surprising ways. The story takes place in the tiny village of Receto in the foot hills of the Apuan Alps. I felt as though I was walking the hillside path far above the village each day on my way to a special home in the woods that I shared with my father. My father was a sculptor and I, being his daughter could not understand why he would not let me touch the stone indicative to the area. I spent each night viewing his work with only the moonlight to guide my footsteps around the sculpture workshop. I loved the feel of marble dust on my feet and went barefoot for that reason most of the time.

This is a book most artists will feel at home with. Hope you like it. PS: I find it hard to believe that an Irishman wrote this book!


The second book I would like to recommend is called “A Footpath in Umbria.” By Nancy Solak

I guess I gravitated to this book because I spent some time in Umbria when I took a month long sculpture class there. I stayed in Perugia. Even though it is the capitol of the region, it was still quaint and I figure 20 years behind the states. They are also responsible for some of the best candy in the world. The village of Citta di Castello is the setting for this book. The author points out that it is not the year in Provence of Peter Mayle kind of book but a year that she and her husband spent with all the drama, comedy, exasperations and experiences in real life.

Solak writes a realistic story and had me laughing at her antics as she experienced a very different kind of journey. I loved that she talked about how the Italian men always honk at pedestrial women..she felt like a teenager the whole time there. I remember feeling the same way when I was there. I love her philosophy and humor. One of the philosophies she gives is that she finally has learned that after 50 years old, it is better to be nice than right. If you need a good laugh or you are looking for a unique armchair travel adventure..this is the book for you!

The last Italian adventure book is called "A Villa in Tuscany" by Charley Wood.


I love to cook and the book has as it’s focus a cooking school in Tuscany. I felt like I was there kneading the dough and throwing it at the bin that goes especially to the ‘maile.’Translation: The pigs. The book is a fast read and features a recipe I absolutely must try after hearing all the oohs and awwwhs it received. It’s called Rotolo di Zucca e Ricotta. I googled it and it certainly is not easy to make but might be well worth it..Hey, I’ll post it sometime (if it turns out!)

I’ll be back soon with a new blog post and hopefully with at least one of my brand new series.

Ciao for now~

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Monday, December 30, 2013

NEW YEAR'S REVOLUTIONS

NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTIONS

Ideas for 2014

The time between Christmas and New Year’s is always an inspirational period for me. Visions of all the wonderful things I’ll create for the upcoming year pop into my head and before long find themselves in sketches on my desk. Getting them from the sketch stage to the finished product is the most rewarding though.

I like to add all the new inspirations to my New Year’s Revolutions list. Yes, I call resolution, revolution each year. I like to think what I plan to accomplish will be earth shaking..ha. Usually it doesn’t get close but at least I keep a lot out there to aim for.

Here is a list of the new craft projects I am planning on creating and blogging about for 2014.

Fairies: I have the urge to create “Philosophy Fairies” I don’t have a finished one to show you but here are some parts I have assembled. "There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden."

Some components for new "Philosophy Fairies"

Small and extremely unique planters for next spring:

Very Small Planter

My new book:

Still in the fact searching stage but I am hoping you will enjoy reading my new book..title is a secret til I have a publisher..which may be a very long time!

I also plan on a 3rd edition of “She Who Whispers” which contains the stories I assign to each of my sculptures.

She Who Whispers-2nd Edition. Third Edition out this year

Cards: I am copying pictures of each of my sculptures and paintings for the cover of my hand made cards. I include a story for each inside. I tested these on the market for Christmas and they were a hit at $5. each. Sounds pricey but they are actually worth every penny.

Gift Cards-Can Also Be Framed

Gypsies: I’ve long been a fan of gypsies and their carefree lifestyles. When I hear gypsy music, I can visualize myself dancing around a campfire in some far off place. My gypsies will be tall standing sculptures and I am painting canvases to match. This last fall, I started to paint each one of two and sold the sculptures which made me have to paint from the picture of them instead of the real thing. It’s more of a challenge but I am enjoying the experience.

Have any of you out there made any New Year’s Revolutions? I’d love to hear about them. My art revolutions seem to work out every year but the standard list, which is the same every single year, never gets done..i.e. loose weight and learn Italian!

Gypsy Painting of Gypsy Sculpture-Long Way to Go

Along with my art/craft items, I will be adding a new interest to my posts. Book reviews. I love to read. My critiques and reviews of books may be different than you have ever read before. I tell absolutely the truth about the books I have read in my reviews. Of course, my truth may be different from your truth. I'll also be posting a recipe or two along the way.

First book review will be of The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ROLO PRETZEL DELIGHTS

ROLO PRETZEL DELIGHTS

EASY, EASY, EASY

Oooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate!

When I saw this recipe in our own Bella Magazine, which is published in Roanoke, Virginia, I knew I had to make them. They take only minutes and taste heavenly. The gooey caramel and chocolate drizzling through the salt covered pretzel and pecan send them over the top. Perfect for Christmas or anytime.

Different Toppings

Recipe:

Small pretzels
Rolo chewy caramels in milk chocolate (I used the mini)
Pecan halves (I used almonds as well)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place one pretzel for each cookie. Top each pretzel with one Rolo. Bake three to five minutes (my oven took 3 minutes) or until caramel piece begins to soften but not melt. Remove from oven; top with pecan halves and let cool completely. Yumm..

Ready for the Oven

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Monday, December 16, 2013

LAST THREE GODDESS BURNING BOWLS FOR 2013

LAST THREE GODDESS BURNING BOWLS FOR 2013

Warrior Woman, Skylar and Amethyst Burning Bowls

My burning bowls have literally flown off the shelf this year. I love creating them and hopefully I’ll have one for myself sometime soon. I try not to become attached to any one in particular. This time was a bit difficult because I actually fell in love with Skylar, Warrior Woman and Amethyst.

Warrior Woman 10 h x 6"w x 6"deep

Sold

All the Goddesses feature one of my stoneware clay sculptures and beautiful stained glass base. Warrior Woman is accented with an old watch part in her headpiece and various other embellishments.

Back of Warrior Woman

Close-up detail

Skylar is a beautiful name for her don’t you think? She features a butterfly on her crown and an antique head piece. I adorned her neck with dolphins. She is 9" high x 5" deep x 5" wide.

Sold. Thank you Gloria!!!

Close-up

Amethyst features a beautiful amethyst glass bead and is perfect for someone who loves the color of purple. She is 11" h x 6" deep x 5"wide

Sold. Thank you Holly!

Hope you love them as I do..I may create one for myself for New Year’s Eve. I have a feeling we are in for an interesting year ahead and I want to get rid of all the bad energy I can before facing 2014!

For those of you who do not know the story of the burning bowls:

Unity Church has a special ceremony each New Year’s Eve. A large bowl is placed at the altar and each member of the church is asked to write down problems or vices they wish to annihilate from their lives.. It could be a wish to quit smoking or drinking. It might be a desire to loose weight or to quit any of a number of addictions. Each person places their list into the bowl and at midnight, the bowl is lit. Everyone watches as the fire burns away all the troubles.

I decided to create individual burning bowls that are smaller and feature one of my sculptures and they have been a hit.

You can purchase directly from me. Just e-mail and we will go from there. I take paypal or checks.

Thanks so much to all of you who have purchased my burning bowls this year-especially Gloria! Gloria has several of my bowls for her altars featured on her charming blog. You can see them here.

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