Monday, 3 April 2017

More glass making

I'm really pleased with my latest foray into glass-making.
Having made 50 (paper) books last year I had a crazy idea of making a glass book.
One of my favourites of the 50 books was the one with Shakespeare quotes
so I was keen to recreate this, especially now I know how to adhere words to glass.
My lovely daughter had bought me a full day session for Christmas and birthday 
so I was ready to play!
It took a bit of discussing with Jane - the lovely glass-making expert -
and I just had a very strong image of what it would look like.

This is how they started off, one 'page' for each quote and one for the 'front cover'.

Then into the kiln -

And here's what they looked like cooked, ready for the words.

With words adhered, out of my oven.

And close ups of the pages in the finished article, joined together with wire and beads.


Although I had anticipated the pages standing upright like this

I decided it looked too regimented, and much prefer the way it has ended up, casually lying back, supporting each other, as you can see the words much better like this!

So happy with the finished results and huge thanks to Jane
#attheglasshouse for all her help! :)

Mothers' Day glass-making

My delightful son knows how to please his mother! He and his girlfriend booked a special one hour glass-making session at  #attheglasshouse for me and her mum. 
We had lots of fun playing with metals and trying to anticipate how they would react in the kiln. 
We each had a chance to make a dish and here's mine.

This is how it started off before going into the kiln.

And this is how it came out, after slumping!

Gorgeous! Love the blue hues. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Card making

I have been having fun playing with paper, and here are the results.

And the individual cards - 

Lots of fun and a never-ending joy to be had from marbled paper!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Loving Kindness for Donald Trump

The Loving kindness meditation (also called metta) is 
'a practice of cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.
I have resolved to practice this beautiful meditation every day throughout March, choosing Donald Trump as the 'difficult person'. 

This is my motivation - 

'To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are ... in this Love meditation, "know thyself" is the first practice of love' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.

The practice begins with offering words of loving kindness to ourselves, then to others.
The steps I will follow will be
someone I love
someone I have difficulties with (Donald Trump)
the whole world.

These are the words I will use - 

May I be peaceful, happy and light and body and spirit.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be free from attachment and aversion but not be indifferent.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
(adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh - Chanting from the Heart: 42).

Having first said these words towards myself, I then offer them to someone I love
(may you be ... etc.), then DT, then the whole world (may we all be ... etc.)

I will practice this meditation every morning (UK time about 7am). 
Feel free to join me at any time for one day or many days.
We can manifest drops of love that can join together to create an ocean of love.
I am also motivated by Robert F Kennedy's speech in 1966, sending forth tiny ripples of hope to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a <person> stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he/she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
June 1966 from South Africa against apartheid.

I hope you are inspired!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Glass Christmas presents

I am a little delayed in putting this post up but one of the presents got lost mid-flight to Australia and it took a while before my daughter received it! 
Here, at last, are photos of the glass hangings I made for Christmas!
I had previously asked my family what their favourite sayings were, and these became the words on the glass.
It took a bit of experimenting to get the words to stay (decal paper printed from an inkjet printer) as the paper I used was different to what the glassmaker uses. The first attempt the words were completely burnt off so I had to redo them in my own oven!
Very happy with the results. 
The colours were chosen to match the recipient.
And I'm off to do some more glass-making next week #attheglasshouse

Friday, 16 December 2016

Glass pebbles

I have had a fantastic time recently doing (another!) fused glass workshop and this time putting words onto glass. Most of the pics will have to wait until after Christmas but I can share with you some glass pebbles.

Great fun was had at the Glasshouse Studio in Knaresborough!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Making a calm jar - not only for children!

A calm jar, or mindfulness jar is the simplest thing, yet is very beautiful and effective. 
It is basically a jar full of water, with some glue and glitter added and works just like a snow globe.

When you feel agitated you shake the jar and just watch as everything settles (it takes a few minutes depending on how much glue is in the jar).
It's originally suggested as a tool for an agitated child and gives them a kind of time out,
but it's equally effective for adults who just need a few minutes to stop stressing about things.
It's also a really good analogy for the mind.
When you shake the jar and everything moves really fast this can be what the thoughts are like, non-stop, incessant and constantly whirling.
But if we intentionally take time out to stop, breathe and notice where we are and what is happening
our thoughts, feelings and emotions start to settle by themselves, just like the glitter in the jar.

This is what the calm jar looks like once it has been vigorously shaken.

And these are the next few stages, as the glitter (thoughts, feelings, emotions) start to settle.
You'll see in the next 3 photos how the glitter gradually sinks to the bottom of the jar.

Until it ends up completely still.

And it's so easy to make a calm jar!
This one is glass but if children are handling it best use a plastic bottle.
I used glitter glue (called confetti glitter glue from Hobbycraft) but you can add glue and glitter separately. You have to experiment with amounts depending on the size of the jar but you need enough water to nearly fill the jar. 
If using glitter glue use boiling water and put it into a bowl first and stir really well to make sure the glue separates and doesn't stay in clumps.
You have to be patient at this stage and I left it overnight.
Then add the mix to the jar and seal the jar lid with some superglue as you close it.
You really don't want the lid coming off as you shake it!
And that's it! enjoy!