Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: family, ornaments, photography, Taylor

Seven Days & Seven Photos in black & white of your everyday life.
No explanation, no people. Challenge a friend to join everyday.

Day 7 of 7. I was challenged by my friends Barb Duro & Pam Walden.
Today I challenge Scott Hayner on Facebook… and Taylor Hayner on Instagram!

Categories: art fair, family, photography, Taylor

My niece Taylor came out to help at ART IN THE BARN both days.
She’s a great booth assistant, and apparently a blossoming “marketing director” in the making… with her own Instagram collage post to her friends & followers.
Always thinking, always helping.

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Categories: family, sunset, Taylor

A wonderful day of “playing hooky” at Six Flags Great America yesterday with my “family four pass.” We got season passes this year so we can play all summer!!! Roller coasters, water rides & cotton candy… and the new JOKER… oh my.

Yes, THE JOKER was our first ride of the day. It’s the newest roller coaster at Great America. I t may not look all that cool in still photos… but… what you can’t see is that the seats are actually flipping around while you’re sitting in them zooming & down the track. Much of the time you have no idea of which side is up!!!

To see more about the newest roller coaster THE JOKER, click here for the teaser video.

Never too early for cotton candy… luckily for us, my cousin Kim was willing to share!

A quick ride on The Viper… one of Taylor’s favorites!!! A great wooden roller coaster with lots of hills & bumps…. lots of flying out of your seat!!! Which I love!!!

Next up for me and Kim… Vertical Velocity. A quick twist up one end, and straight up the other. Not big hill to ride up and ride down… just magnetic propulsion sending you soaring up into the sky. Needless to say, Jen & Taylor decided to sit this one out.

While waiting for Logger’s Run… we saw momma robin had set-up her nest right above the the roaring rapids of the water ride. Not too calm or serene… but she sure seemed to like her vantage point.

After the ride, we were a little drenched… but happy!
Ready to move on to another roller coaster to help us dry out a bit!!!

As our day of roller coasters, water rides and snacks continued into the late afternoon, the sun began to set creating some great views & vantage points.

All of a sudden, the sunset turned the sky ablaze with colors. Creating a beautiful sky show creating a wonderful sky show with the roller coaster silhouettes.

All too soon, our day at Great America had come to an end. A wonderful day, beautiful weather and so much fun with Taylor, Jen & Kim!!! And luckily, we have our season passes… so more fun to come!!!

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Categories: Taylor, theater

Another fun night of musical theater last night with my niece & oompa-loompa Taylor in her school’s production of Willie Wonka… complete with her first “official” headshot!

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Categories: family, special events, Taylor

Sure, it’s freezing cold outside today… but the summer memories are still warm!
So here’s another summer flashback!!!

We started our day (back in August) at Six Flags Great America… and of course we had to start on a roller coaster! Taylor may have been a little cautious at first, but that didn’t last long…

Then we were off to my favorite… The Raging Bull.

After our first couple roller coasters, we played Whack-A-Mole… and I WON!!!
But the best part was that we ALL won colorful character baseball hats!!!
We looked gangsta’s in the hood of Nickelodeon!

More spinning… more squealing… more giggling…

Of course we had to take a cotton candy break… it is Great America after all.
And who doesn’t like a little more sugar to keep everyone amp’d up?!!!

More roller coasters… more fun… this time back on The Viper!!!

Seems like it was all coasters all the time… including the X-Flight!!!

Taylor was great at most of the roller coasters… although she drew the line at Vertical Velocity. I had to do that one with my cousin Kim while Jen & Taylor did the flying swings a couple times. In hind sight, the swings may have been better for Kim too… she was a bit queasy after this one! Magnetic jet-propulsion, twisting and flying straight up might not be her thing?!

All too soon, the sun started to set and our day was drawing to an end. The park takes on a whole new look as the sun goes down and the park lights begin to turn on.

It may have been sunset, but we still had time for a few more rides. Including another ride on Taylor’s favorite The Viper. Which looks so much cooler with the silhouettes of sunset.

Darkness was falling quick and we had time for one last ride… Spinning & swinging on The Revolution. So much fun… especially in the dark when all the lights are blurring, spinning and sparkling. A fitting end to our wonderful day at Great America… oh wait, that might have been the funnel cakes ala mode with hot fudge that we had just before leaving the park?!!!

 

Categories: food, soda-fired, stamped, Taylor

A “sweet” collaboration to finish off our festivities last night. My niece Taylor’s decorated sugar cookies on one of my stamped & soda-fired platters!

Categories: food, holiday, Taylor

Nothing says Thanksgiving like a plate of deviled eggs. Especially when they’re served on a stamped & soda-fired platter… and topped with a bite of caramelized bacon! Not to mention the sweet little fingers of the egg-Chef – my niece Taylor!!!

Categories: classes, creativity, family, Taylor

Little Sunday color-theory art lesson and painting fun with my niece Taylor today. Basic color wheels and color gradations with Taylor and her mom Jen… my sister.

Categories: family, friends, My Talented Friends, Taylor

My niece Taylor got a new Taylor for Christmas!!!
Her Grandma & Grandpa (my parents) bought Taylor a beautiful new necklace from “My Talented Friend” Amy Taylor. She makes these wonderfully whimsical necklaces that she calls ADORBS… because they’re ADORABLE!!! I love having an adorable niece…. and I love having talented friends. And I really love when these moments come together!

So cute… so ADORBS.
For more of Amy Taylor’s work, click here for her website.

Categories: cirque du soleil, family, special events, Taylor

Exactly one week later…¬† and I’m back for another healthy dose of Cirque du Soleil.
And coincidentally, the seats that we have this time are EXACTLY the same as last time?! My parents ordered the tickets online, and my niece Taylor was sitting in MY seat from last time.

Kinda fun to see the show for a second time. To see the things you missed the first time. And to watch for any small differences in the performance. It is live after all.. so something’s gotta be different!!!

Also fun to see it with my sister Jen and my niece Taylor. It was their first time under Le Grand Chapiteau! Jen has seen some of the shows in Las Vegas, but never a traveling show under the tent. And for Taylor this was her first time seeing Cirque du Soleil live EVER!!! Also their first time enjoying circus popcorn with chocolate M&M’s sprinkled all over… yep, my doing!!!

The show was wonderful again as expected. There were a few differences. Some of which I was not pleased with. But no one else would probably even notice. For some reason, the juggler at the beginning who does his “duet” with the drummer was nowhere to be found. No juggler ever?! And the “Aviator” character who did the traditional tubes & planks balancing act on a non-traditional swing… did hand-balancing on that same swing?! No tubes. No planks. Same actor. Same costume. Similar, but different… and sadly, not quite as exciting.

Otherwise, our evening under the Big Top for KURIOS was fun for the family. My parents enjoyed the show, and Jen & Taylor loved their “first” Cirque du Soleil experiences!!! And I can never get enough!!!