Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Grout Monster: aka Joanne Leva

1. Joanne Leva is the director of The Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program here in Pennsylvania.

2. She is one of Mosaic Woman's best friends.

3. She is the poet behind the Film Noir Events at the Ambler Theater.

4. She encouraged Mosaic Woman. We got commissioned for 25 picture frames while we were in the midst of Holiday Craft Show Mania. Joanne suggested she help grout. The project came into being as did the Grout Monster.

5. When we recently got commissioned to make mosaics of the fruits of the spirit, we decided to make a gift for the Grout Monster for all her hard work. It gave us a way to estimate how long it would take to design those fruits and celebrate a friendship all at once.

6. Sunday she came over to grout again, Mosaic Woman prepared by getting out her green tape.

7. I prepared by setting up the tripod and camera...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

vlog 2--- rising with stained glass and lots of orange and blue

yes, I need to start fading out the music but I had to switch the tune when Warner ripped out the audio of the first tune and I just wanted to finish it... but this tune swings!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The scraps of Faithfulness: doodling

I have three ideas of what to do with the scraps I have from the faithfulness project. This is the second that I started, and the first to be finished (hint: Mosaic Woman will be completing the first one). Can't say this is a totally jazzed up stratozpheric endeavor since some Bruce Springsteen was playing at one point. What I can say is this, I love this piece and holding it up to the light was a splendid moment in time. At this point it is in the suncatcher section of our etsy shop.

By the way, this was done in an entirely new way. I took 14 pieces of scrap glass, drew my favored shape on it, cut them out, and then did the doodling. Normally when I do a stratozpheric doodle of glass, I cut out pattern pieces which I glue to glass, then doodle. And if you are interested in how it emerged, I started with the big piece, and swirled around with smaller and smaller pieces.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jazz on Tuesdays--- for Bob Dylan on his 70th

surprisingly or not, I used to be quite a Bob Dylan fan back in the day...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

faithfulness 2: it is a heavy word

The letters are cut but the thoughts and scraps of orange glass remain floating about my head.

I spoke of faithfulness the other night when I met with my spirit group at Gwynedd Friends Meeting House. I spoke of my new wedding ring. Then I said, "Faithfulness is a heavy word."

When I finished talking the group fell into silence, then folk asked me questions. One was to talk more about the heaviness. I tumbled into thoughts. I spoke of how joy, love, and peace were light words. I spoke of the ever presence of doubts. It seemed like I had not gotten a huge piece of fruit called faithfulness. But it is not like I don't also have sadness, hatred, and angst in my life. There seemed to be a huge "should" weighing fown the word. I can't imagine a God saying, "You better be joyful or not." But it seemed like I had no problem with God demanding faithfulness. It was not a fruit that grew within me, but a command. I wanted to spend time with the word.

For days I have been seeing the reflection of the letters in a mirror. The reflection is not heavy. I like that image and want to travel deeper into the word.

as always, I am curious what you think.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

faithfulness 1: even Wayne wears a wedding ring

A few years back we were gathered with friend and one husband in the room was being harassed for not wearing a wedding ring, at which point a friend said, "Even Wayne wears a wedding ring." It has become a running joke in my head. But truth be told I am not much for adornments, pony tail withstanding.

I had never wore a ring before our wedding day in 1992 and for years it stayed with me day in and day out. And slowly my finger grew a bit fatter.

It got to the point where it had to come off and so one night I provided the needed force, and for a year and a bit the indentation in my finger faded.

At a spring show I walked by the friendly folk, who are Purple Gem Jewelry, I remembered that 12 months earlier I had decided they would be the ones to make my new ring. And they did! So, yes once again, even I wear a wedding ring. And let it be all about how the spirit creates the fruit of faithfulness.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fruits of the Spirit Emerge

So our good friend Suzanne Halstead had a vision, and we were part of it. The Halsteads have been our friends ever since I finally got myself to church camp when I was in my mid 30's (before I stepped into Wernersville, I walked at Mensch Mill).

Suzanne imagined the nine fruits of spirit adorning a wall that came with their house and is next to a labyrinth, which did not come with the house.

So Mosaic Woman and I imagined doing such a project and ideas floated about, then Suzanne and Gary came over for a business meeting which involved some homemade pizza (yes, we treat our clients well). Then we showed them glass that we felt would work well for mosaics, and they chose colors to match the fruit.

We are waiting for the panels, but I decided that it would be best to have the longest word set to go, so I pulled out the orange glass and by the time I go to bed tonight, it will be set to go, and with the scraps.... ahhh I have imagined two "faithfulness" projects of my own.

and the shortest fruit, a long time fave of ours... Joy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

supporting the work of Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn on Jazz Tuesdays

Anat Cohen playing with the boys

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn has a dream to make a movie about women who play jazz. To celebrate them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

facing the elemental end on Science Mondays

Sulphur photo by Kiwi Flickr

the final quarter ends and we move into overtime soon at the school. Some see it as a place to wade upstream to graduation, I see it as a time to finish off the garden in horticulture and to explore something new in science.

Last year I had found a book on Game Theory and zoology took quite a left turn. This year I found the Periodic Table of Videos. In Space and Earth science we have come across an element or two, so this looks wonderful to my eyes. And I think the students will dig it too, at which point there is no upstream. There is just riding the flowing waters till the adventure ends:

So what is your favorite element? why?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

7 for the weekend--- New Things

1. A new flower. The other night after walking under the most amazing wisteria at Rhoads Gardens to get a lilac for our garden, Mosaic Woman searched the annuals for home, while I searched for work. Lantana 'Radiation' is now brightening our front yard.

47  283/365  a Nutmeg Design twist

2. A client of ours decided her house needed a third mandala, and this time she chose one of mine. The only problem, it was for the outside of her house so I needed to make a new concrete crab mandala . I had the orange pieces cut, ground and glued; when I wanted to do something different. The idea of all the flat plain black glass bored me, so Mosaic Woman contacted the client and with some blue Youghiogheny glass it became an Illini crab mandala.

3. Yesterday we had a business meeting at home which extended to the West Main Diner (where they make a fine Greek omelet; and are still friendly even when their computer system crashes in the midst of a full restaurant). As soon as I got home I grabbed the user name, Nutmeg Designs, at You Tube and later in the day posted our first video. I have ideas for plenty that won't be animated, but Einstein may also have more to say in the future...

4. New Jazz...

5. New directions in energy. While Marcellus Shale made for an interesting story, it was one of those gloomy environmental ones as it ended. So we turned to global warming, but with the twist of looking at solutions not just all the news that would leave my students more distressed about their future. Nova, Power Surge has been playing all week in my classroom as we slowly make our way through hope for the future.

6. There is a new stained glass butterfly in this world, but since the client hasn't seen it, you will have to wait till later.

7. New pieces to fix our broken tent frame arrived this week. Guess what I am doing this afternoon.

47  279/365  a big wind can topple a tent

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Earth

47 281/365  The Watch 2

Sometimes when you sit down with no idea, all you can do is stumble.

There is a movie out there called Another Earth, I can't tell you how good it is, but it is about how a moment changes your life. In this case a tragic moment.

This year in my science classes we have explored turning points in the lives of some scientists.

Something catches their soul and it resonates so loudly it becomes their life. I want my students to be aware that life can be such an adventure.

If there was another Earth, with another you, could that you have stumbled upon the same thing that has created your passion? Could it not have?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Acadian to Marcellus on Science Mondays

photo credit

It was 390,000,000 years ago and mountains were forming around where the Hudson River flows today. This was before dinosaurs at a time when the first vascular plants were considering life on land and with any major disruption there was erosion. As the Acadian Mountains rose, they began to erode.

As the runoff hit the sea it floated and as the heavier stuff sank, the lighter load floated farther away from shore. But it too eventually sank joining with some dead aquatic plants on the way to an ocean floor devoid of oxygen, and thus the carbon content. Those dead plants did not decay properly. The muck became shale with a high carbon content.

Pressure and heat caused the carbon to be transformed into methane and a the slate above and below the shale kept in place. Eventually it would become buried deep below ground except for a few outcroppings including one close to Marcellus, NY.

It would be folded into the Appalachian Mountains.

And then a nation developed that needed energy to live their life style and the geologists saw so much natural gas potential that the Marcellus Shale is now one of the top rocks in the news.

I told my students about all of this, then explained the politics, the environmental concerns, and the daily news that broke.

The problem is the drilling has exploded with very little regulation and close watch. We know things can go terribly wrong. We don't know if things can be done safely.

It is in my state and while I would love for it to go away, the truth is it is here and unless we all decide to live in a much different way I have a hard time saying drill in another backyard. But can we please keep a closer eye on this and determine its true risk before we rush ahead any more? Can we clean up the mess we have made? Can we help those who have been hurt?

I would hope so.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Watching, finding photos while being still

On Good Friday I sat for an hour with God and my camera (that post is still emerging). On that day I could take photos as the objects caught my eye.

My wordless Wednesday post featured three photos from my church (Holy Trinity Episcopal in Lansdale, PA) . On Sunday I sat and imagined photos and waited for the service to come to an end. Next to me was my favorite glass. Between us sat a large display of white flowers. A stalk of snapdragon blooms rose above everything. For the last 30 minutes of church I imagined a photo of those snapdragons.

And as people lingered or headed toward the exit, I plopped down on the floor ...

47  275/365  The Color of Easter 3


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crafting On Thursday- headed out to tell their story in Skippack

47  274/365  ahhh, it glows
on sale
So we have been inside doing shows for the last 6 months, and now we have put our panels away and dusted off our tent.

Mosaic Woman and I meet all the new challenges of the change in scenery and of course the weather forecast anxiety will come into play, but I am looking forward to having some natural light flowing through my glass. I won't be able to hang the stories of the pieces up, so it will be up to me to tell the stories myself, and I do enjoy telling stories. The stories behind my designs are true, unlike some places my mind can go (like lies about dusting tents).

So Skippack it will be, this weekend. Stop by and say hello. I'll tell you a story

Spring Fest
May 7th and May 8th, 2011
10:00 am- 5:00 pm
Victorian Carriage Shops
4039 Skippack Pike
Skippack, PA

Monday, May 2, 2011

Science Mondays: Z is for Zoogenesis, second definition

Dahlias were loved

Back in the day when I studied Biology I was drawn away from the molecular to the ecological. I wanted to be pondering a wetland not looking at chemical reactions. I wanted to understand the relationship between a plant and an insect, not the human genome.

I wanted to understand evolution by studying how the environment created new species, not how molecules were involved.

Zoogenesis does mean how the first animal came into existence, but it can be applied to the first vertebrate, or bird, or warbler, or how the first Northern Waterthrush emerged.

Northern Waterthrush
photo by Orchidgalore

Zoogenesis is full of grays, it is not black and white. Life unfolded.

Two years ago I went in search of a book to help me teach evolution and found a great one at the Doylestown Bookshop: The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B Carroll. And suddenly I was drawn into what I avoided as an undergrad. If you want to understand zoogenesis, it is a great place to start.

for example: Understanding mutations (you and I have many that came from the creation of the sperm and egg that formed us) became as simple as understanding my keyboard mistakes--- deletions, repetitions, copy and paste, additions. All the ways we can mess up the code of English, our bodies can do with our DNA.

I still find it a bit of a mystery, but less so than before I read the book. Here is a photo I took while taking notes in Doylestown's library (a great place to learn about many things including jazz-- they have an amazing CD collection)...

break from taking notes