Friday, December 31, 2010

Fridays in PA---- Tiffany Lamps Come to Reading Public Museum

10 weeks ago I was displaying my stained glass, while also being on my annual Walking with God Retreat, when I was told about an exhibit I may want to see. The Reading Public Museum had a display of Tiffany lamps. Soon a letter came in the mail from my new friend. It contained info on the museum and two discount passes. Then craft show delirium hit home.

With my winter break from teaching dwindling and the show ending date (1/234/10) approaching, Mosaic Woman and I took a day trip yesterday to check out the lamps. The museum put on a wonderful display and I was curious if it would spur me to finally design a Stratoz lamp. Maybe? To do it right it needs to be complicated and that means costly. The Tiffany Lamps sold for 1/4 to 1/2 of the average US salary back in the day. Can you imagine? Don't think I would charge that much.

I also was looking for a facebook profile photo shoot opportunity. The last two had been standing behind and peering through sculptures, so as I walked the museum I kept my eyes open for the location of my next profile photo. Mosaic Woman took the photo of me peering through a ceremonial table from the Philippines. The museum had much to look at other than the lamps and I got to say some glass caught my eye: A stained glass tribute to Irvin F. Impink, who donated land for the museum, which greets you as you climb the stairs.

Happy New Years!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Science Mondays--- ALL

Mosaic Woman gave me All of Science for Christmas. She just may know me very well.

In the past few years, I have taught the following courses: Biology, Physics, Anatomy, Geology, Ecology, Earth & Space, Zoology, and something I have come to call Social Science.

"What, no Chemistry'" you say, well you would have to go back to my very first year of teaching to see that on my resume.

"No Meteorology, no Botany, no .... " well give me time I do have to keep the horticulture program flowing.

I dig science. And I have a job where a small group of students, who need a bit more attention than the average group, get to spend a few or several years experiencing my passion. Maybe it is a good thing I never got that doctorate I planned on but never even started.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seven on Sunday--- Night

no flash needed

1. Above: at night, no electricity, our neighborhood lights candles and make use of our porches: my hand, Mosaic Woman's candle.

2. For some, the event that brings about the most joy is the Winter Solstice. A time to celebrate the end of the lengthening darkness. This year, that long night had quite an event:

Stages of Lunar Eclipse  12-21-10

3. As for me I tend to be so annoyed by the approaching cold of January and February that the return of light isn't enough, however, I so adore being able to sing this line, A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, a few nights later on Christmas Eve surrounded by friends.

4. Nat King Cole singing my favorite carol:

5. I told my students that every day consists of a night which is 24 hours long. Stars come out at night. We just call it daytime when the closest star comes out.

6. Only once in my life did I stay awake from the time the sun set till it arose again. I was an undergraduate student studying ecology and my class did a 24 hour stream watch.

7. A nightmare is a goblin that ruins our pleasant night of sleep.

Bonus: and for those cool moments when you are uncertain if it is day or night, feel free to use the word crepuscular. (for MD)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Crafting on Thursdays--- a growing collaboration

Today I drove to Ambler where I met a man who proved to be a happy client. No photo of that collaboration, because his wife will open it on Christmas Day. I designed the lettering then cut out 42 pieces of glass to spell out what the client wrote down on a slip of paper. Mosaic Woman took those pieces and creates a mosaic. This is the collaboration that produced a JOY, HOPE, JAZZ, GARDEN, and House Numbers.

The photo above is an example of one style of picture frame made by Mosaic Woman. A couple of years ago one was bought at a craft show. Several weeks ago the client e-mailed us to ask for 25 frames. At that point we were in the midst of Holiday craft show delirium, but as I did with the above mentioned project, I encouraged her to take on the commission. I said I would help, and help I did. I painted the wooden frames. I was given several types of glass of one color (she did red, green, blue, and earth tone frames) and I nipped and nipped and nipped to produce tiny pieces. Then I cut out 4x6 pieces of clear glass for each frame and helped to put them all together.

We did it while creating new projects to take to shows. The shows are made so much easier because we are in this together. When the show ends we both have our jobs to do to get the booth torn down into the pieces that will fill the Fit. We do this slowly and mindfully. And so far peacefully.

We are in this together. We are Nutmeg Designs and we break glass.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jazz on Tuesdays: Louis Armstrong for this season

My bedtime reading has been Louis Armstrong's autobiography of growing up in New Orleans. Autobiographies make me wonder about all the moments that can shape a person.

47  142/365  Louis Armstrong's Trumpet
The man's trumpet as seen this summer at the Smithsonian

I finally got around to placing my eclectic collection of Christmas music onto my iPod. Louis has a strong presence:

So have a Cool Yule:

Bonus, Get the hear Dinah Washington sing before Louis closes it out with Christmas Night in Harlem

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Seven on Sunday: Houses

Yesterday Mosaic Woman and I went to find some glass to cut up and place into the 25 picture frames she was commissioned to make. One source is to find a cheap frame at a thrift store. Yesterday we found one which framed these words:

And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15

2. I am sure if I read what surrounded this verse it may change my impression, but for now I like the openness of what this one verse expresses. As for me, who or what we choose to serve is not as important as what that decision leads us into and how we respond once we get there.

3. I live in a one bedroom two studio house. We are beginning to wonder why we sleep in the largest of the three.

4. The houses that caught fire last March. Two of the five have been inhabited once again. Finally the other three are being reborn. These construction dudes are showing up when I leave for work and are wrapping things up after I get home. I would be so cold and tired. I hope they have warm houses to go home to when their work is done.

5. The house of our dreams would be a Craftsman with funky paint on the outside and amazing woodwork inside:

6. From one of my favorite CD's, jazz singer Jon Hendricks takes on a Gospel classic:

House comes to us from an Old English word, hus, meaning dwelling, shelter, house.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fridays in PA---- Gwynedd Friends Meeting House

Gwynedd Interior Lezenby Architects, LLCCLezenby

I have ventured into Gwynedd Friends Meeting House more than any other house of worship, which I have not gone to worship on a Sunday.

I have gone to lead retreats on the spirituality of gardening, to listen to music at coffee houses, to attend retreats, to walk a labyrinth, but most of the time has been to be part of group spirituality. Friends have emerged from experiencing this for many years.

Tonight, I came into the group having emerged from craft show delirium--- 6 straight weekends. The delirium can get one more focused on making sales than the desire to create art with the talent God has blessed me with and then celebrate the connections it allows me to make with people.

So I broke out of the silence and spoke of delirium and then spoke of four of the many connections I made during the six weeks. Then closed my eyes till responses flowed toward me. I spoke of wanting to relax into the craft and not feel a need to "create sales."

The delirium is lifting, the spirit is descending.

I dig Gwynedd Friends and my friend, Connie Lezenby, who not only was the architect who designed an addition to the meeting house but also has taught me what I know about group spiritual direction.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Science Mondays --- Now!

Neil deGrasse Tyson 2 photo by Greehawk68

I am digging Nova Science Now and the host Neil deGrasse Tyson is a wonderful host. Is he the Carl Sagan for this time? An astrophysicist with passion and a desire to have the universe speak to us.

When he was 9 years old he was taken to a planetarium and when the lights dimmed the universe "called to him." And he has been in love ever since.

I also dig Nova's The Secret Life of Scientists which highlighted Dr. Tyson and he tells about that day as a nine year old hearing his calling, about his passion for wearing art inspired by that very same cosmos, about his science, and answers 10 questions.

Apparently he is one of the faves on Colbert:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogMarch to Keep Fear Alive

anyway, my students and I are digging it and I wish the man in front of the camera keeps being joyful and passionate about science

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crafting on Thursdays--- #6 The Water Tower Show

I am tired. It seems to have hit me this evening. Teaching and crafting have dominated my life from morning to night for 6 plus weeks but there is light facing me. This weekend we do our final show for 2010, the Water Tower Show in Chestnut Hill,

then 8 days of teaching and I can spend some time building up my stock, going on day trips with Mosaic Woman, and getting some rest.

Last night I desired to create something with a sheet of yellow/orange glass for the show. I cut out three pieces and placed it into the center:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This is why ...

I pull out my cell phone and say I have someone to call, Mosaic Woman, who just helped me set up our booth is confused as I never use my phone.

The friend I call and his wife will have a hoot harrassing me for the next 30 hours because they keep seeing me outside of the booth and tell me I take too many breaks, but three times they stop by and and each time leave with something that speaks to them. Including two stained glass hearts, one for his meditation room.

Later I am awed by the fact that in the past year every heart I have sold big and small has gone to a friend. Our hearts.

Months ago a friend suggests a design in certain colors. Finally I take her advice and show her a photo on facebook . She tells me she will stop by and when she does I am not on break. But when I take a lunch break I run into her, and who else, my friend and his wife.

A very young boy enters the booth and announces he is going to buy something. I say, "OK," and glance about for a parent. He points to one, but it is too expensive. I point to one that is as cheap as I go and he digs it. Two crumpled bills appear in his hand. They look not quite right, but then I realize they are two dollar bills. Then a roll of coins emerge. Quarters????

No, it is a coin I have never seen before... Canadian money? He starts counting by ones. He hits 11 and the coins and bills fall to the ground.

I form a cup in my hand and when the counting hits ten, I whisper in his ear, "If you don't tell anyone you can have it for ten." He digs it.

I hold the piece up to the light:

He says, "My dad likes green," and leaves our booth.

This is why I do craft shows. See you at the Water Tower in Chestnut Hill this coming weekend?