Friday, January 25, 2013

Focus On Life 52 Photos - Week 4 ~ Create Art

The Prompt Sally gave us for week 4 of focus on life 52 photos was "create art"
in Sally's own words-
This week let's CREATE ART! There is no wrong way to be creative! Immerse your self in what you already love to make or take this prompt as the little push to try something completely new! Then show us! 
I decided to go with something completely new. Thanks for the push Sally!

Last Saturday I headed out for St.Pete to check another thing off my bucket list.
Anyone who knows me is well aware of the love affair I have with glass, especially stained glass.
I have in my studio most of the tools required to create stained glass and had fully intended to muddle through on my own to learn the craft, something I have wanted to learn for a VERY long time now, but I am so much better with a little show and tell, so I signed up for a beginner's series of classes at

 Pictured here L-R are the owners, Bradley and Eloyne Erickson,
along with Christi and Dawn, all of whom are glass and jewelry artists and instructors in the studio.  Bradley also operates the fine art graphics end of the business in the adjoining studio space. ( another artist, Ragon is missing from the photo but was  a great help getting me settled in and picking out my glass  in the morning)
My hat is off to all of you for creating such a welcoming atmosphere so conducive to learning and for having the patience to share your wealth of knowledge and skills to make my experience in the class a success.

The studio itself is huge and filled with the most amazing natural light, large worktables at the perfect working height for glass, fantastic music streaming from Pandora and all the supplies and beautiful glass neatly organized around the room, not to mention all the finished works of art hanging in the front windows for inspiration.

 The classes are set up in convenient 2 hour sessions with an hour break in between and so I opted to take all 3 sessions offered on Saturday to save travel time and get as much done as I could since I was short on time.
Each session brought with it a new group of participants at all different stages of working, some beginners like me in each session and others coming in for studio time to work on individual projects of varying degrees, both in stained and fused glass.
One of my tablemates was an ambitious young man working on only his second project of which he chose to recreate his family's crest in glass as a gift for his Father.
I shared with him one of my favorite sayings
 "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"
 I on the other hand was very grateful once I got started to be working on a suncatcher of manageable size and design for a beginner.  Step by step, each of the instructors guided me and taught me the skills I would need to go on from here and I feel very confident in being able to take what I learned and tackle a more ambitious project myself now too.
Clockwise from top left- all the pieces of glass, cut and fit to the pattern layout, copper taped, initial tacking and soldering to stabilize the piece on both sides and then the final soldering on each side and framed in zinc.

 Bradley was kind enough to send me a copy of the picture he took of me  (which I altered) with my completed piece which he had posted on their facebook page here.

 I couldn't possibly go to St Pete and not stop in and see my dear friend Barbara, her studio and shop, Painting With Fire,  is right across the street from Grand Central Stained Glass and is actually how I originally found it. I was visiting Barbara and Jim last year this time when they were busy with all the renovations and getting ready to open her studio.
As you can tell,I snuck in during my break and surprised her as she was luring some more interested students to the dark side! I had really hoped to visit with her longer but her schedule was pretty full so I'll just have to take another trip out there, go ahead, twist my arm!
The street where all of this is located is Central Avenue and it is an historic district full of wonderful studios and shops and eateries and I would love to wander along when I have more time and see more of the area.

I did manage to squeeze in a delicious lunch at Nitally's Thai Mex Cuisine, right down the street from the studio, some Pad Thai with shrimp and iced tea which arrived in a quart canning jar.  I can't even remember a time when I went to a restaurant alone so that is another new thing for me but it was nice. The restaurant was filled with interesting things to look at and was decorated very bright and cheerfully. I would enjoy coming back here as well, maybe with some friends next time.

Now hop on over to the Studio Sublime and see what everyone else created this week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Focus on Life 52 Photos - Week 3 ~ Take Time

Week 3 of this journey of focusing on our life, one week at a time, one photo at a time and our prompt was "take time".

Sally said " take time for you, without feeling guilty, time to recharge"

That just happened to be what I was doing this past week.
My husband and I were on a long awaited vacation in the Keys and as you can tell by this photo, I was recharging and not feeling one iota of guilt about it!
The temps were in the mid 80's, sunshine, crystal aqua blue waters. Perfection!

I enjoyed walking around during the day taking lots of photos of the colorful houses and buildings in Key West, seeing the historic sites, all the wonderful artwork and riding the trolley.
Then at night I enjoyed the colorful sights again, all the cool bars, hot music, cold drinks and walking down Duval street, drink in hand not feeling guilty again because I was walking and my children are all grown and on their own!
It felt wonderful to just be a couple in love,
 not parents, grandparents, business owners or any of the other responsible hats we wear.

Why is it these times for ourselves are so few and far between?
No matter how many times we resolve to hold onto these times we so often find ourselves right back in our everyday ruts, caught up in work and responsibility and all the "shoulds" in life.
You know I live right by a beautiful beach and never made it there once this past summer!

Thank you Sally for reminding us of the importance of focusing on time for ourselves.
Head on over to the Studio Sublime to see how everyone else took time this week.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Photos- Week 2 ~ Illustrate Your Word For the Year

Week 2 of our photographic journey of 52 weeks of photo prompts.
This week's prompt is to illustrate our word for the year.
Funny, I have never chosen a word for the year like I have seen so many people do, but decided to pick one for this year.

My word for the year is reconnect.
You can read all about the importance of that word for me in my New year's blog post here.
To illustrate it my first thoughts were to find an image of an actual connection, like electrical but then I had the idea for the card, to signify corresponding and reconnecting to family and friends and all that is important to me.

Head on over to The Studio Sublime to see what everyone elses word for the year is and how they photographed them.

P.S. I will be out of town when this posts and will visit everyone as soon as I return!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Focusing On Life 52 Photos - Week 1 ~ Self Portrait

Sally Russick over at The Sublime Studio is the brainchild behind Focusing On Life 52 photos.

 Each week she will be giving those of us who have signed up to participate a photo prompt for the week which we will post on the following Saturday.
Week 1 is a self portrait, not something I have ever done so already I'm stretching my comfort zone.
I can't tell you how many I actually took and then took apart before deciding to just relax on the sofa with my cup of tea and let it be whatever it is, so for me week 1 was also a lot about acceptance. Thanks Sally!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year and Reconnect

I have never chosen a word for the year but for 2013 I am choosing the word " Reconnect".
According to the Oxford dictionary reconnect means " to connect back together, join again, reestablish a bond of communication or emotion."
During 2012 on more than one occasion I was finding myself very disconnected from self and many things that have always been important to me.  The year seemed to take on a life of it's own, whisking me along like an unwilling object floating away downstream, unable to grab at a branch or root to be able to slow down or stop.

Health issues left me feeling somewhat out of control and disconnected to my body. 
I seemed unable to find the time and energy to blog on a regular basis or even keep up with emails and correspondence.
I have a mound of greeting cards on my desk, everything from get well's and thinking of you cards, to birthdays and anniversaries that I very diligently ran to the store to pick up on time and then never got in the mail!
My creativity was next to non existent in 2012 with the exception of works made in  the few classes I took at different venues. My studios never got organized and workable.
We spent so much time between work at the restaurant and renovations on the rental for my son who just moved out Thanksgiving weekend, at times there didn't seem to be enough room in my brain for anything but those myriad of decisions.
 I never really felt like I caught up in any area of my life last year so instead of trying to catch up, I am just going to approach everything as new and start fresh. I am thinking that will take a lot of the pressure off and make the tasks at hand a little more enjoyable to take on.
I have found myself relating to past events as if they took place this past year when in fact they were in 2011! I have said often I feel like I lost a year. So I guess my new word could even be "found" but I'd rather reconnect.
I want to reconnect with all that I love and is important to me, family, friends, home, domestic joys,  photography, art, clay, jewelry.  I want to be able to enjoy these things again and not feel like everything has become a chore that I need to keep up with but rather springs from a genuine desire to do them.
I wish you all a blessed New Year, filled with love, health and all things that fill your life with passion and happiness!
Related Posts with Thumbnails