Newbie problem associating user with created objects

I'm embarrassed that I can't figure this out on my own. My only excuse
is that I'm just a few weeks into rails....

So, I've got restful_authentication all up a running fine. I've got an
"Idea" model, and all I want is for users to be associated with the
"ideas" they create. There's no problem creating new ideas, but for
some reason I can't get them associated with the user! When I try to
access @idea.user.login through the view, I get the error, "You have a
nil object when you didn't expect it! The error occurred while
evaluating nil.login"

The relevant Idea Controller part:
   1. def create
   2. @idea = params[:idea]
   3. @idea.create_rating ## I have a simple rating system
too...without this in there, the view freaks out if it tries display
the rating of an idea that has not yet been rated--I have vague sense
that this is what's causing my current problem...
   5. respond_to do |format|
   6. if
   7. flash[:notice] = 'Idea was successfully created.'
   8. format.html { redirect_to(@idea) }
   9. format.xml { render :xml => @idea, :status
=> :created, :location => @idea }
  10. else
  11. format.html { render :action => "new" }
  12. format.xml { render :xml => @idea.errors, :status
=> :unprocessable_entity }
  13. end
  14. end
  15. end

The relevant view code is simple:

   1. <%= @idea.user.login %>

Some associations:
has_many :ideas

belongs_to :user
has_one :rating

belongs_to :idea

A couple extra pieces of information: if this part of the view code is
removed, the view displays all other attributes of model just fine.
And here's the kicker: if I go in rails console and create a new User,
'u', and then type in " i = ', the console will spit out
the appropriate information when I type ' i.user.login.' Bah--why in
the console but not in the browser?! Can some more educated rails
developer help me out? Thanks!