Monday, December 29, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Jazz doodling with glass ~> inspired by Melissa Aldana

At the 2014 Rochester jazz fest we wanted to see Melissa Aldana, but the line was excessively long. So we moved on. Eventually we ordered her CD. it played as I chose glass, grinded glass, and then soldered it together with no set pattern.

Check out all my glass jazz doodles



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Miles Smiles in my studio

Tonight I was working on a mosaic house number and a new turtle design. This 1966 project was the second Miles Davis CD of the evening. Listen to the whole CD here.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordlessly celebrating water lily blooms at Longwood Gardens

Reflection of Water lily at Longwood Gardens
Emerging Water lily at Longwood Gardens
Yellow Water lily at Longwood Gardens


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two Geologically Inspired Quilts by Martha Ressler of Hamburg PA

Western PA: Oh What a Relief by Quilter Martha Ressler of Hamburg PA
Eastward Ho by Quilter Martha Ressler of Hamburg PA
Being a fan of maps, geology, and quilts... how could I not adore these two quilts.  Discover more about Martha Ressler

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sharing Hope with Quilter Marlene Fenoglietto of Monroeville PA

Marlene Fenoglietto Monroeville PA Inspiration
So here I am with tons of quilt images, and since Sunday was the day I often saw what my grandmother was quilting... I have decided to blog a quilt image or two or three every Sunday.
Marlene Fenoglietto Monroeville PA Inspiration
More than one word was on Inspiration by Marlene Fenoglietto of Monroeville PA, however, I was most delighted by the presence of hope.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

salvia morning; marigold afternoon. A day at work

Morning sun streaming though Salvia blooms at my school

The air was warm. The soil moist. The sun was low. This was the setting as I walked onto campus this morning. The salvia and yarrow in the garden area that surrounds our flag pole was teeming with life. I booted up my computer and went to photograph the moment.

As the day ended, I left my classroom and as I have for the past several months, I walked by a diverse gathering of marigolds. I sat on the sidewalk and caught that moment as well.

Marigolds in the afternoon. The work day was over.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Making the best of the present moment

Strawflowers in one of my horticulture gardens

Photographs are a moment in time, but there are times when I feel my camera and my skills have failed that moment. In the past these photographs would be deleted, but now I play.

My toy is an app called Aviary. I often use it on even my best images to adjust the sharpness or brightness. But a less than favored photograph can be transformed into a new take on that moment in time. Just as my mind (at its best) can seek joy and hope in a failed moment, Aviary can do the same with a not to be deleted moment.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Labour Day~> a trio of UK Quilters: Alicia Merrett, Judith Wilson, and Ann Beech

Floating City - Daytime by Alicia Merrett of Wells, Somerset, UK

My fourth straight post honoring the labor of the amazing quilters that caught our eye at the Quilt Extravaganza last September in Oaks, PA. ending this run as I did the first night, with a trio.

On Green Pond by Judith Wilson of Wheathampstead, UK
Thunder Across the Beaches by Ann Beech of Daventry Northamptonshire, UK


Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Labor of Love: an international octet of quilters

Tulips by Yemina Lavan of Modlin, Israel

Day three of my Labor Day celebration of quilters in honor of my grandmother continues. Enjoy the trip around the world.

It Started As A Doodle by Roz Rossiter of the UK
Shattered Face Quilt by Kathryn Harmer Fox of South Africa
Taras Garden by Valerie Giles of Australia
Ferns within the Grids by Margie Davidson of Canada
Chinese Coins by Petra Niermann of Germany
Lucky 4-Leaf by Anne Jolly of New Zealand
A Stormy Night At Sea by Maria Nunez of USA


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Two Duets of quilts: design and classroom

Squared Illusion 6 by Gloria Hansen


Labor Day Celebration of the work of my grandmother continues. Two duets of quilts spoke to me. The first was all about circles cut through by straight lines.

Behind Bars by BJ Titus of Coatesville PA


The second duet had to do with themes from my classroom, science and horticulture.

My Last Nerve by Stacy Hurt of Orange CA
Dancing Kalanchoe by Carol Villars of Apple Valley CA


Friday, August 29, 2014

A trio of quilts: Gloria Loughman, Ellen McMillen, and Diane Doran


A Slice of Oz by Gloria Loughman from Australia

A Slice of Oz by Gloria Loughman caught my eyes for the fine combo of greens and violets.

Almost Amish by Ellen McMillen of Downingtown, PA
Almost Amish by Ellen McMillen of Downingtown, PA; caught my eye for the improvised take on the standard log cabin design.
Sunrise Serenade by Diane Doran of Glenelg, MD

Sunrise Serenade by Diane Doran of Glenelg, MD; caught these eyes for color, design, and perhaps the birds.









Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

July in my Lansdale garden

Day Lily with coneflowers in the garden of Nutmeg Designs
Back yard sunflower in the garden of Nutmeg Designs
The Honda Fit in the garden of Nutmeg Designs
Anise Hyssop in the garden of Nutmeg Designs

See five more July images on our nutmeg blog


Sunday, August 3, 2014

On entering my newest year

In Buffalo. In a sculpture.

I celebrated 50 years with a jazz conert and a campaign to feed the hungry. But time marches on and so does my mind.

I was a decent letter writer back in the day. Over time it stopped. I hear that the post office still sends out such things. I imagine my friends have addresses they might share if I am lacking their current location.

So I had this thought, I will send a letter a week for the next year. Not a note, but a letter, hand written. I'm rusty. Beware my friends; I have memories of nearly getting straight A's in elementary school but being thwarted by some harsh C- marks for penmanship. Over time I developed a half cursive/ half printing scrawl. I think it can be deciphered.

Some letters may include a Stratozpheric card or maybe a suncatcher that seems to need a home. Some may be tucked inside a card that catches my eye or one of the cards sent recently by a friend. Maybe a commission will spark a letter. Some will fly solo inside an envelope. The goal is not to draw cards or give away art. I desire to return to writing letters.

Letter writing is a chance to reflect upon what is happening in my life. Like pizza making it may become a habit, something I am known for.

And who knows, if one of the letters gets a response, a life long correspondence may happen. That would be quite splendid.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Thoughts on my Psalm 139 reflection

Psalm 139 begins with a description of a God, who is very difficult to escape. Tracking our location, movements, thoughts, and words which we are preparing to speak. This ancient text could compare with those who speak out on the tracking of Facebook, Google, credit card companies, and the NSA.

Is God like the NSA, impossible to escape from so that we will get caught if we do wrong? Is God selling our personal info to maintain pearly gates? Is God an overly obsessed lover, who ignores any restraining order we try to place upon him?

Or maybe God wants to have a conversation with us. Ignatius was big on conversations with God and all of creation. Knowing someone greater by intimate time, leads to greater love. God just may be with us at all times so that we can become more intimate. Through prayer, spiritual direction, jazz, art, and flower gardens; I get to know God and God gets to know me.

But Psalm 139 is meaningful for me for the next line which was not part of the daily reading last Sunday.

Verse 13. You created my inmost self, knit me together in my mother's womb.

My spiritual director suggested I read psalm 139 as I entered into my first 8 day retreat. It was at a time when I was exploring how a youth filled with visits to a urologist had affected my life. For 8 days God and I wrestled with a rather poorly knit urthrethra. Not what I was expecting when I drove to the Jesuit Center, but it was a long over due conversation.

Verse 14. For so many marvels I thank you; a wonder am I, and all your works are wonders. You knew me through and through,

OK, so maybe God gave me a poorly knit urinary tract, but I got to be awed by the hands he gave me. On the 4th of July, I sent out this image asking my Facebook friends to be careful while handling fireworks.

15. my being held no secrets from you, when I was being formed in secret, textured in the depths of the earth.

God wants us to share our secrets. I told no one about those doctor visits, which began when I was four, until I was in college. God was there when I finally told my story and has been encouraging me ever since. We are called into a life of intimate relationships fueled by conversations. God would rather not miss one.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jazz Catchers: four glass doodles for Marian McPartland

Glass art inspired by Marian McPartland's jazz by Wayne Stratz

Jazz doodling has become a fun way to use up the smaller scraps of glass I save in my studio. See more of my jazz catchers here and explore the music of Marian McPartland here.

I created these at least a year ago. Ms McPartland was still alive. I also created them to exhibit at a local bakery, which sadly closed. The owner eventually brought them over to our house. I finally got photos and posted them on etsy. So in tribute to the amazing jazz and food which brought them to life. Here they are:

Glass art inspired by Marian McPartland's jazz by Wayne Stratz
Glass art inspired by Marian McPartland's jazz by Wayne Stratz
Glass art inspired by Marian McPartland's jazz by Wayne Stratz


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dorothy Haffner's Aurora at the Corning Museum of Glass ~> 1995 fused and blown glass

Aurora at the Corning Museum of Glass ~> 1995 fused and blown glass


Dorothy Haffner created this with assistance of Lino Tagliapietra in 1995. Earlier today, Margaret chose the same piece to feature on her wordless Wednesday post. She chose the bottom, so I will feature the top.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Going old school in the studio ~> Miles Davis and starflowers

This afternoon I went to the way of my listening to music in my youth. Sure you have to flip the dang thing over... And clear off the top of the stereo to plop the LP onto the record player, but hey I have lots of LPs so what am I to do.


And what am I doing in the studio ~> I am working on my second batch of four new starflower designs.

Here is the first batch.

Four starflowers designed and created by Wayne Stratz