Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Chocolate House

Our super after-Thanksgiving bargain we found to decorate a "Haunted House".  Gee, I can't imagine why they were practically giving the kit away.  

In early December while most people were putting up Christmas decorations we decorated a scary house.  The boys enjoyed the process, but we had some a good discussion on why it looked nothing like the examples on the box.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finished Transom Window

After - New Window Installed
It's beautiful!  It lets in the light but blocks the glare from the setting sun, just like we wanted for this west facing window.  Sometime I need to get over there to get some more shots - from outside and in different lighting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hauling and Chopping Wood

It's amazing what kids will take a shine to.  A few days ago we spent an afternoon at my mom's place hauling wood into a pile - and the kids begged to cut it with an axe.  We reviewed some basic safety rules and then let them go to town.   Is it possibly dangerous?  Yes.  But kids love learning real skills.  Somehow a plastic axe on a fake log just wouldn't be the same.

So instead of watching Oprah and using my exercise machine, I was out in the fresh air moving fallen tree limbs.  I even got mom to saddle up and ride her horse. Not bad for an afternoon. 


To me, this is homeschooling at it's best.  Technically it was "after school" but probably the best part of our day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Transom window

The full transom window laid out

This is what I call the "jigsaw puzzle" stage

I'm on the finishing stages of a transom window and I can't wait to see it installed!  The window will be in their kitchen, but it's open to the dining and living room, too.  It's my own design created specifically for this couple so I've only seen in in my head and in my preliminary drawings.

The colors were picked to go with her favorite color of blue, and his favorite of red.   The gray and white are to keep in simple, not overpowering to enhance their living space without overpowering.  And besides, they love the neutrals, too.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Favorite Tools

Working in glass, there are lots of tools in my studio.  Two of my favorites, however, are above.  The grid cutting board is excellent for catching little flakes of glass so they don't spread all over the studio, and the running pliers make such wonderful "breaks".  For those who don't know, you don't actually cut glass, you score it, and it breaks along the line (where you want it to "run").  Thus, running pliers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I won TWO prizes!

Gift Basket
I won not one, but TWO, summer reading prizes!  A gift basket with a local pancake mix and kitchen utensils plus a wonderful stuffed white tiger with tickets to a local cat conservation center.

Our new plush pet "Roar"
Our library really has an awesome summer reading program for all ages and when I saw all the great gift baskets they were giving away I enthusiastically began logging the books I was reading (one drawing entry per book).   Nineteen books later I won, and I spent a relaxing summer doing one of my favorite activities to boot.      

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Bouquet

The summer sun is blistering hot, but I enjoy taking a few minutes to run outside and clip some summer flowers for the table. 

Let's see today I gathered: Shasta Daisy, Purple Coneflower, Dwarf Zinnias, Catmint, and Honeysuckle.

While I was out there I noticed the sunflowers and weeds are completely out of control in the backyard.  Somehow weeding is not as much fun.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Garage Sale Projects

My kids are getting stir crazy and starting to drive me crazy so it was time to dig in a craft bucket and find some projects we've been waiting to do.  Odds and ends we have picked up at garage sales.  They each found something to do with very little coaching by mom.  Yahoo!

One chose an MC Escher inspired fish puzzle (I'll teach him about Escher later)... 
a parrot by the boy always looking for "birdies"...and a rainbow suncatcher by my rainbow boy.  Remember those suncatchers from when you were a kid and you melt the little crystals together?  
My project: reading as many novels as I possibly can for one summer week.  One Julie Garwood and two Lori Copeland.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family Reunion

On the 100th anniversary of my mom's farm, we celebrated in the afternoon with clay pigeon shooting, archery, and a nice family visit. Followed in the evening with a campfire, and an obscene amount of fireworks. Sparklers and family photos rounded things off around midnight. Luckily, we were on our way home when the torrents of rain started which is a very good thing because the picture above would just not have been the same in the pouring rain.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

St Francis Gets a Facelift

Cement statues can look a bit boring and grey so for a long time I've thought my St. Francis statue needed some enhancement. Then I saw a show on PBS's "For Your Home" and knew exactly what I wanted to do! A guest on the show demonstrated how to age your statue and harmonize it with your garden. I went right to work...
I started with a very light brush of white acrylic paint on the highlights. Then comes the part I would never think of: dirt. You add dirt to the creases and crevices with a touch of the white paint, which is no longer white when you poke the dirt into the recess of the statue.

At first my kids were content to watch me, but before I knew it they had taken over the dirt part. Gotta love a project that involves art, gardening, and kids!

Has anyone tried brushing on buttermilk to encourage moss? I wasn't sure about that one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Echinacea Flower Essence

Today I tried making my own flower essence! It was easy and fun. My purple coneflower has just come into bloom so it would make a good flower essence - at least according to "The New Encyclopedia of Flower Remedies". I've used Bach Flower Remedies for many years since a co-worker introduced me to the gentle power of Bach, but this was the first time I made my own.

It was the right time of day so I grabbed a glass bowl, filled it with filtered water and cut the blooms to rest in the sun bathed water for 3-4 hours. I even set my timer so I wouldn't forget about it. Inside I strained it and put the infused water in a glass container with a lid, filled it with equal parts apple cider vinegar since I have it on hand. Next time I may go get the traditional brandy, but I don't know the last time I had alcohol in my house.

Now I'm going to try using it in my morning juice to help rebalance my body.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gargoyle in the Storm Drain

As you stroll along the river walk in Wichita, Kansas if you happen to look down as you walk over a huge storm grate you may have a surprise in store. My sister-in-law showed us a gargoyle down in the drain while we were visiting, but she said it scared her to death the first time she saw it. I can't imagine why.

Reportedly, there are 5 or 6 of the gargoyles in various storm drains around the city - putting statues in your storm grates is clever and different, IMO. Now if only they had put angels down there instead...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

39 Forever

Mom says I get to be this age for the rest of my life, and everyone knows the mother is always right. Don't you think?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Money Does Grow On Trees

On my tree, money does grow. Gold coins to be precise. Alas, I can't grow it in the garden, but I still enjoyed making a money tree. It's now above my desk in my studio, and it has my first $1 I earned with my business...really it's a $20 bill but I figured that was even better.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tutorial Design Lesson: Rule of 3

If you mean to do something in your creative project, do it 3 times so people know you did it on purpose. It brings harmony and unity to your effort. This is true in art, in gardening, or in designing anything.

Here's what reminded me of this "rule" from my college typography class: As I design with stained glass I find myself always looking for a pattern to subtly bring forward. Not too much or it would be just plain boring.

In the planning the panel "Celebration", I introduced the yellow triangles to break up the monotony of all the squares and rectangles, I purposely included smaller green triangles and orange diagonal lines, too. I didn't just throw any ole triangle, but echoed colors used previously.

The small squares in "Celebration" were added to bring variety to the size - which creates tension and balance but notice all the colors are not the same. Nor are they all on the same row, but they are all organized toward the middle and the small squares are the same size. The type of glass is even similar.

Repeat the shape 3 times, the color 3 times, or the line 3 times. Whatever you want to emphasize. It doesn't have to be exactly the same for repetition, in fact it would start to look canned and contrived.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow, snow, snow!

We've gotten more snow this year than I've seen since moving home from Montana seven years ago. Now, lest you think that's a good thing...I've missed the snow almost as much as the mountains. Not quite, but close.

Last year the boys got sledding saucers for Christmas and never got to use them. Jan, Feb, snow! Spring, Summer and Fall my middle son kept saying he wished there was snow. Always it was because he wanted to go sledding.

It took awhile for it to snow, but when it did, wow! Not only did they get to sled, but make snow forts and a snowman. Winter fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Broken Camera with Santa

Back in December we stood outside at a park, in the cold, for over an hour to get a picture of the boys with Santa. As the boys gather around Santa I pull out my camera - and the LCD display has a huge crack in it. I took this photo "blind". I'm sorry to say I did not notice that my camera had an old-fashioned view finder while they were with Santa. How do we not notice things that are right before our eyes? Humm.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thank You For Sharing

Recently, I received a delightful email showing me a stained glass panel I made last summer in the client's window at home. I love it! It is so fun to see where it ends up.

From Etsy, one customer said the stained glass panel she was giving as a Christmas present was the nicest gift she's every gotten anyone. Wow, how cool is that!?

Along the same lines a woman at a craft fair in December a woman bought a red, white, and blue bi-plane panel for her husband. The men in my life who like planes was always at the back of my mind as I was designing that piece.

As everyone in our house is finally healing from colds, stomach flus, and infections, and the house is after-Christmas cleaned, it is now time to get the juices going and start creating again. Hurray! Thank you everyone for sharing pictures and comments of how you plan to use the stained glass in your homes, work places, or in giving. It's an inspiration for me.