Friday, October 31, 2008

Blame It On The Rain

Remember that nice neat, new work space from a couple of weeks ago? It's toast. I started Mom's Callas today, and I have stuff everywhere. When I get going on glass, everything else grinds to a halt (a little glass humor there). Dishes sit in the sink, vacuuming doesn't get done, dog is on her own.

I began this morning by tracing the pattern onto the fasson paper. That was at about 11:00. I started cutting glass right after that. At 3:30 this afternoon I decided I should probably eat something. It's the Famous Glass don't eat glass, you just don't eat. I get so darned wrapped up in what I'm doing, I forget to eat. Well, I don't exactly forget..I was hungry. I just didn't want to stop. I'll eat right after this one piece.

So at 4:00 I had a banana and a yogurt and called it good.

By 5:00 my hip was complaining, and the cats were squeaking about dinner, so I called it quits for today. The sun is setting, and if I didn't live a gazillion miles from everywhere, I'd expect some trick-or-treaters. I figure I got about a third of the glass cut today. Like an idiot, I didn't buy enough of the Spectrum Clear Rain Water for the background, and will have to take three hours tomorrow morning and make a round trip to the nearest glass store. I hate that! On the other hand it is an excuse to browse through the glass bins and see what I can't live without.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mom's Callas

Wow..two posts in one day!

I'm back from visiting Mom this weekend. She lives in an Independent Living retirement center there, and has a 22" hexagon window in her dining room that needs a piece of stained glass, so this morning I got out a pencil and piece of paper and started drawing. She doesn't like things that are too fussy, and her furniture is taupe, brown, beige, and green.

She loved to garden and always had a back yard full of flowers,so I'm hoping she'll like this.
Yea, Ok, so I took the picture a little crooked...we'll all live anyway. It's not a hexagon (duh!), but it'll work.
We're expecting clear weather all this week (rains here all the time), so I probably won't start this until it does start to rain.

A Little Sidetrip

OK so this isn't about stained glass, but hey, it's my blog and I guess if I want to wander off for a minute, I can!
My granddaughter, Elicia is 10, and two states away, so when she asked if I would make her a Halloween costume, well..I'm a sucker, so naturally I said "yes". That's what Nanas are for, isn't it? Anyway my daughter took her pattern shopping. Se came home with a Colonial Lady pattern (McCall's 5414). Not exactly what I expected, but Elicia said she wanted to look like an elegant lady, and that one pretty much fits the bill.
I thought I'd try to put it in a historical frame of reference for her (too much info, by the way), so I said to her, "Elicia..this pattern is like the clothes that ladies wore during the time of George and Martha Washington. That's 250 years ago."
There was a long pause on the phone and she says, "Nana, I'm only 10."
So much for turning it into a history lesson.

So off to the fabric store I went. By the way, at what point did fabric stores stop selling fabric? If I'd wanted scrapbook stuff, or modeling clay or I dunno..decorations for my baseball cap, I'd go to Michael's. Sure wasn't much of a choice of fabrics at the fabric store. I gave up at JoAnns Fabrics and , oddly enough, found something at Walmart! Go figure.

Then I got a little carried away..huge petticoat, lace gloves, lace parasol, lace fan. But an elegant lady isn't complete without the proper accessories.
One of the neighbor kids just happens to be the same size, and was very gracious about being a pincushion..I mean..model for me.
So after not having sewn anything but a popped seam in about 10 years, it took me a week to make the darned thing. That old 1947 Singer sewing machine still goes like a champ!
I finished it time for my trip south to see my mom, and we all met up at her place. Elicia loved it, and doesn't she just look too cute!?
If I don't sew anything again until next Halloween. that'll be ok, but it was worth it to see her little face light up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Defeated By Peacock Vanity

I often read a website for glassers, Stainedglassville ( Most of the folks there are miles ahead of me on the skill, talent and experience scale, but I love to see what they are doing.

They have a monthly exercise where a member presents a design element or idea, and other members try to come up with an original adaptation of that element. So, like a teenager deciding that a good place to learn to drive is at the Indy 500, I drove on in.... only to find out.... I can't get the (*&^%$ picture to post because the photo file is too big. And because I'm a cyber-idiot, I have no idea how to shrink it or zip it or whatever it is that needs to be done to go.

Here's the design element, an original by one of the board members, Ingava.

So after dinner last night I started doodling. Now keep in mind that my artistic talents are dormant at best and grimly funny at worst. I was told as a kid that art classes are a waste of time and won't get me through college. Neither did all that science and humanities, but that's another story.

All I know about peacocks is that they make an awful screaming noise, they poop tons, and if they chase you, they're alot bigger than a chicken. So I put him up a tree, with really big leaves. What kind of tree? with really big leaves. Then this afternoon, after dinking with it a while, I did a finish copy.

I really wish I had one of those programs that takes your photos and turns it into patterns, or even one that helps me draw patterns, or one that does that different-color thing. But I don't, and so far, I'm a little nervous about buying one because I'm a computer idiot. But back to the Peacock Challange...

I logged on the website, I typed up my comment, and tried to attach my picture. Hold on there, Francine! Your file is too big! Well....*&^%$ do I make it smaller? I have no idea.

So I'll just post it here. If anyone can figure out how to pluck it out of here and put it over there, please feel free, cause I haven't a clue.

Here is my finished product. I would like to put more detail in the tail feathers, but I figured this bird was already too vain, and with the right glass it'll look fine. I also didn't like putting that second leaf behind his head and beak..I think it's distracting.. but I didn't know how to resolve the cut lines for the beak and the comb otherwise,without looking like stick-type lines. Anyone?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Neat Desk Is The Sign Of A Sick Mind

I promised to make my granddaughter Elicia's Halloween costume, so I won't be doing any glass for a week or so. But that didn't stop me from spending money on glass anyway!
Ed and I took a rainy day trip to Portland last Tuesday, and went through the Ikea store. That was our first time. We should have brought a lunch, or hiking boots, maybe a the very least we should have left a trail of breadcrumbs to find our way back out. Who knew? Of course we couldn't just go in without buying something. We found a table-top with an inset opaque panel that will make a great little lightbox, and the legs are adjustable for height and tilt.

I began setting up my new glass table by unburying my current table and piling stuff on the kitchen floor. Then I decided to move the plants around. Well you can't just pick up a plant and move it. Gosh, it needs to be repotted...look...the roots are growing out the bottom. Now I know I have a bigger pot here somewhere. Dang, now I need more potting soil.'s that pattern book I lost. Next thing I know I'm on the floor thumbing through it.

Eventually I managed to uncover the table, relocate the plants, throw the dead plants away, clean the cobwebs off the window sill , and get the old dining table out to the barn.

The new table is essentially two elaborate sawhorses that are adjustable for height and tilt, and a flat table top that lays on top. The top has a lip on the back to keep the top from sliding off when the table is tilted.

Look quick, while it's still pristine. Ed will build a light box under that glass panel, but until then, I have a gooseneck lamp that I can just shine up from the floor.

Here it is all back together. I have it set at 34" which is good for standing and working. If I want to use the chair, I'll just lower the table. And yes, I roll up the rug when I'm working on a project. This table is the same size as the one I had here, but I'm hoping to learn to light, trace and cut the pattern pieces more accurately this way.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Curses! Foiled Again!

I finished foiling late last night, and got the piece soldered today, but it's not the best soldering job I've ever done. Course that's not saying much because I've only been doing this for a little over a year.

Actually the problem started with the foil. I was tired and didn't have my (granny) glasses. The foiling wasn't as neat as it should have been. Also I used foil with a copper backing, and I don't like how it looks on the clear glass. I'm not sure what color backing is best for clear glass. Black? I was pretty happy with how the pieces fit together after they were all foiled though. To my stunned amazement, I didn't have to re-cut any of them!

Soldering is not my strong point. I'm not sure what my strong point is...but never mind that. The soldering doesn't have a pretty bead on top, it's flat in places. My only consolation is that I know where it will be hung, and the clerestory window is high enough up that nobody will be able to tell. I know...practice...practice...practice.
Ed will make a cedar frame for it and I'll get is mailed this week. It may be a few days late for the birthday, but hey..I can blame it on the Post Office! Happy Birthday Gene!