Glass Is In Our Blood

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There is something about glass that has always intrigued me. Just the idea that you could mix together various elements that were seemingly opaque themselves to create a new material altogether that was suddenly translucent seems magical. Learning the science of it hasn’t put a damper to my awe (same way I still feel about the transmission of radio and television waves, but that’s something for another post.) Years ago before my son was born, me hubby and I took a class together to learn how to make leaded glass windows. It was Don’s idea and I just went along for the ride (or so was my original intention). That experience was actually the first time that I found a way that I could express myself visually and it opened up a whole new world for me.

After Rob was born, I put away all of my raw glass and tools because I was concerned about him wandering into it and getting hurt. I figured I’d get back to creating new windows after he got older, but as usually happens in life, our circumstances changed. By the time Rob was old enough for me to feel it’d be safe, I no longer had the time for the hobby as I was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on a construction site. So my interest in glass resorted to appreciating the work of others.

And then, when Robert was 16, he came home very late from school one day just bursting with excitement. A friend had asked him on the spur of the moment if he could lend a hand that day with a special project. Always willing to help out a friend, Rob went along without any other thought in mind about it. Well, it turns out that the “special project” involved going to a studio down the road where the friend was blowing glass. Rob instantly fell in love with that craft and for the next several years, it was all he was interested in and even earned several scholarships to various colleges and universities based upon his glass work.

The world economy changed drastically during Rob’s last year in college though and the prospects for making a full-time living as a fine artist had grown even tougher than usual, so he decided to expand his range of skills by adding in a minor in Graphic Arts. Rob still dabbles in blowing glass when he can afford the studio costs and supplies and has several pieces on display and for sale in a “The O Gallery”, a local high-end art gallery that features new and upcoming artists. And often now, when in town visiting us “Old Folks”, Robby will wheel me off to our favorite glass gallery to drool over the Chihuly’s and such.

One day, I hope to be well enough and strong enough to join Rob at the studio and to have him teach me how to blow glass. Wouldn’t that be a kick? I just love it when my son teaches me something new, especially when it’s something he’s excited about too. In the meantime, while I dream about being able to take part in such things, I have focused my energy into creating a few digital trompe l’oeil of blown glass perfume bottles. I’ve got no idea on earth what they may be good for, but t’was fun to create. Hope you enjoy!

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Parfumery

Eau-de-L'Amour (The Scent of Love)

"Eau My"

Bleu

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Today’s My Birthday – Sew What?

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A lot of folk in western culture seem to dread growing older. Some stop counting their birthdays after age 30, 40 or the like and shun celebrations. Some go as far as to lie about their age, deducting a few years while their physical assets are plausible enough for them to get away it and when their body’s defy the hoped for illusion, some turn to plastic surgery. Personally, I’m just so grateful for each and every day, week, month and year that I’ve been able to survive, I feel like wearing my age pinned to my chest like a badge of honor. For all intents and purposes, for me to be still alive and kicking on this day, which is my fifty-sixth (56) birthday, is a miracle and such a blessing, that I can hardly find adequate words to express it. I can think of no greater gift than to see this morning’s sunrise. Everything else is just gravy.

For those of you who share the burden of living with chronic pain, chronic disease, and/or a terminal diagnosis, you know what I’m talking about. Because even with having to deal with pain and fear and all the various effects and disabilities in our lives, every sunrise begins a new day to hope. Yep. Better days are coming.

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treadle sewing-machine

Sew and Sew Rose Thread

Threads 4

Spools of Thread Golden Thimble

Quilter's Vingiette

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A Life Without Music is Like…

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On a beautiful June day in 1981, I was the picture of happiness. My hubby and I were out with friends frolicking around Lake Erie on their new boat, enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, good company and conversation about each of our dreams and plans for the future. For myself, after having endured a very difficult, challenging childhood, I was ecstatic about how things had come together in my life. Married for four years by that time, we still felt and acted like newlyweds and on top of that, I was finally well on my way to reaching my ultimate career dream of being a successful recording engineer/producer in radio and advertising. Within a few short hours though our lives were about to drastically change.

Disembarking from the boat and without any forewarning, I suddenly keeled over landing flat on my face on the dock. Although completely flat on a solid, stable surface, I was sure that I was in the process of falling from an enormous skyscraper. (Think Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo.) I’ll save you from the long, gory details but the upshot was that at the relatively young age of 27, I had suffered Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss that day which left me completely and permanently deaf in my left ear and with a 70% hearing loss in my right ear. My career was over in that instant.

This is not a blog for self-pity, though. If you’ll recall, the underlying message of this blog is about surviving – and more than that, it is about not merely surviving, but thriving. Step-by-step, growing with the journey in ways that I had never dreamed, expected, or planned, I have never spent a moment mourning what I did not have nor what I once had but lost because I’ve always felt blessed for what I do have. So while I may no longer have music in my life in the manner that I once knew it, I have such rich and vivid memories that I can bring them to mind to enjoy again and again to relive the emotional feeling I used to derive from hearing live music. I am still able to feel the music and what’s more, I can now create happy little visual images that remind me of the joy of music. So what’s there to mourn? The truth is, happiness really IS a decision we each have within our control no matter what hurdles may also stand before us.

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Instrumental Upright Piano

Instrumental - Banjo

Instrumental-Harmonica

Instrumental-DrumSet

Instrumental-Bongos

Instrumental Stratocaster