Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Paula Lewis for day seven

You are looking at what happens when you commission Paula Lewis to create a piece of art for you. I gave her some gerneral guidelines, then sat back and waited. I told her i was in no rush so she let my desires percoloate. Apparently Paula faces some danger as an enamalist, which is why she goes by Scorched Eyebrow Studio.

I do believe I only met Paula once and that was at a craft show. I stood in her booth amazed at her artistry and a seed was planted for the commission that was to become a part of my studio.

By commissioning others I am exposing myself to how others feel when I am commissioned. I also end up with a studio being filled with art by favored artists. I hope to keep this habit going. It's fun. But also a bit nerve racking as you don't know what it is you will be getting. But if others can trust me, I can trust others.

So while I am at it, let me celebrate the Jazz Tree I commissioned earlier in the year.


Monday, December 30, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Patricia Barber for day six


So whose website do I check more often than any other, in hope of seeing them live? Jazz composer, singer, pianist, and lyricist... and arranger ~> Patricia Barber. I hope that says it all, so here is an original, a Gershwin, and a Lennon/McCartney for your enjoyment.





Sunday, December 29, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: The Neighbors of Surprises for day five

It was a terrible night. Screams woke us. Flames across the street scared us. Seeing someone jump from a house horrified us.

After that comes the gratitude that no one died and an even greater respect for those who put out fires. After that we got to know the five households quite a bit better as we greeted them when they returned to see the damage and when they returned to once again live across from our two studio row.

Three Christmas past, I lied for the man who survived that jump. I told his wife that we would not be able to get their house number done in time for the 25th. Side note ~> This year I once again lied to a friend when I told her the piece she wanted had sold, but left out that her husband had bought it.

Two Christmas past, this time the wife surprised the husband with a mosaic celebrating chili peppers.

So, when they came to our home show and commissioned a cross and a nightlight, I decided it was my year to surprise them on Christmas Day. The commissions sight unseen, plus a small bonus gift, were placed in a box and gift wrapped. It amused me that for the third straight year a surprise gift was being open, maybe not as much as amusing as the surprise created by telling fibs, and surely not as joyful as when they moved back, but it did amuse me.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Breakfast Buddies for day four

On the third day of Christmas, I mentioned the tradition of buying Mosaic Woman a young adult novel every year. Here is another tradition. Years ago, she bought me a waffle iron for Christmas. I have never operated the gadget. In our two studio row, I am the pancake dude.

So now I am treated to waffles every Christmas morn, not for all twelve days, but consistently on day one. Mosaic Woman and I have eaten breakfast out in many a location over the years and for that I am grateful. But I have a few friends who have breakfasted with me more than once.

In Oregon it was the friend who I met when she was assigned the challenge of supervising my student teaching. This morning it was an Episcopalian priest, who I met when I searched for a spiritual director to guide me through the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius. I also meet a young man, who has decided that I am the Uncle Wayne he never had.

So, I give thanks to those who are willing to begin their days with me and share their first meal of the day.


Friday, December 27, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Sharon Creech for day three

Here in our one bedroom two studio row, a tradition has come about; every year I buy Mosaic Woman a young adult novel for Christmas. I just squeaked it out this year as I bought her present during the final moments of the Scholastic Book Fair at my school.

And here we are on the third day of Christmas, and we have both finished the book. In fact Mosaic Woman had it read by the time I got home from the Christmas morning Eucharist.

I am no expert on the genre, I just wait for a book to catch my attention. And the cat did that. Sharon Creech's book does feature a rather hard to like cat and a boy who is missing his dog. But through a wise teacher, fine parents, and poetry, especially that of William Carlos Williams, the boy does come about to the understanding that not all cats are worthy of hatred.

I am also seeing uses in my classroom...

so much depends


a red wheel

barrow (electron, DNA molecule, gravity, mass, predator, root, seed ...)


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Joanne Romano for day two

I have had some great conversations in 2013, and maybe some others will pop up during this Christmas shout out series. This morning as I created this Stratozpheric glass doodle for my friend Joanne, my mind went back to the day that she bantered with my snarky attitude (she did quite well) as she attempted to get me to buy tickets to a fundraiser my church was having. It was fun, the conversation that is because I never did make it to the breakfast. People who went said it was a hoot.

I love Joanne's voice and I am grateful that through it all she has remained a member of the band that creates music at my church here in Lansdale. Billions and billions of singers and instrumentalists have been in the band with her over the years. A flow chart may be in order.

After our home show, Joanne's name was pulled and I had the privilege of creating a sun catcher just for her. So here is to hoping she doesn't take his Sunday off.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas Shout Outs: Ken Doyle for day one

In the past 40 days, I blogged one time. I thought this blog just might have died and it might be on its way. But I had a thought and decided to make something of it. 12 days of Christmas, 12 shout outs.

And why not start with a friend I met while blogging in the early days of Stratoz. I now know Ken via other social media and I know a few things about him, but what has been clear from the beginning is that the man loves to write. I knew if his words were ever published, I would take the time to read them and I am glad that I did. His collection of stories took me into the people of Bombay and I met characters who filled me with hope for their future. Ken took me places, which I will likely never see and far from anything I have ever experienced. It was a wise choice to take the journey and it delights me that he has received positive reviews on goodreads. Keep writing.