Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stained Glass so far

Here's what I've done in the order I finished them.

stained glass squares panelstained glass skull3D blue stained glass heartabstract stained glass

The soldering is sloppy but I'm getting better. I'm at the literal bleeding edge of my abilities just doing basic stuff right now.

Oh yeah and that is Sharpie for the teeth of the skull. I couldn't quite pull off using wire and after burning myself twice trying I figured I'd just paint the spaces in. I think I'll be able to wash off the marker and fix it with real paint or some other way eventually. Skull version 2 will be both better and a little "darker." But that's for later.

I think I'll do Sugar Baby next. I managed to draw a very do-able design.

I have this huge "the Who" project in the works too.

I've tried to draw* a Jimi Hendrix design but it's proving much more difficult to get the face just right. He's got these little expressions that are hard to capture in bits and pieces and still be identifiable.

*by draw I mean trace using PhotoShop. I can't draw for beans.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I have a new hobby: stained glass.

When my mother-in-law recently moved to her new home she reevaluated her arts and craft interests and asked if I’d be interested in her stained glass and all of her stained glass equipment. It took me about a nanosecond to say “yes, please.”

I might actually do a little off-shoot blog strictly for adventures in glass, linked from this one. This would involve updating two blogs and since I have enough trouble lately updating even one blog… we’ll see.

I love the whole idea of stained glass. Not only does it look pretty cool when it’s done but every step along the way is fraught with danger. Everything is either razor sharp, poisonous, or highly corrosive. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the art and serious craft of stained glass (copper foil method).

1. It’s an expensive hobby. Had I not inherited the glass and tools there’s no way I could afford to jump right in like I have. Beginner’s tool kits (including a grinder) run in the $200-300 range. Plate glass is fairly cheap to practice on but actual stained glass will set you back some serious money in a hurry.

2. Cutting glass is fun but there’s some serious skill involved in doing it correctly. It’s getting easier but it’s going to take practice, practice, practice to be really good at it. Using Photoshop I have been able to design my own patterns and I’m really enjoying that process but I was doing patterns before I realized that I shouldn’t build-in shapes which are impossible to cut by hand. I have a ring saw but I’ve been discouraged from using it until I develop some hand-cutting skills.

3. Soldering is fun but getting it right is tricky. Again it’s all about practice, practice, practice.

I currently have 3 projects working at once. One is a sun catcher which is all done but the patina. The second is a larger piece which consists of 40 squares which needs the soldering touched up, framed, then the patina applied. The third is a skull panel which is cut but not foiled yet. It’s much more complicated and I need to make sure all the intricate pieces fit as they are supposed to.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

Patience is definitely required. Patience does not come naturally to me so perhaps this will allow me to exercise it more often.

After noodling around with the glass I have new appreciation for the level of craftsmanship required to do a good quality glass project.

And yes, there has been and will continue to be blood. I am thinking of doing a panel featuring a hand with lots of glass cuts in it. We’ll see.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How to Scare your Husband Half to Death

or : When Your Poop Looks Like Coffee Grounds, Go Immediately To The Emergency Room

Short version:

Kelli has a good sized ulcer in her post-gastric-bypass stomach.

Longer version: Upon seeing aforementioned coffee-grounds-looking diarrhea Monday night at 6:30pm we went immediately to our favorite emergency room. At 2:00am Tuesday she was admitted to the hospital.

Tuesday afternoon she had an endoscopy and they discovered the ulcer and that it was eating into a blood vessel, thus the blood. They put a little clip on it to stop the bleeding. Hopefully problem solved with a change of diet and massive doses of Nexium. She should be discharged tomorrow if everything continues to go well.


Now the graphic version in pictorial form. Oh and these are actual pictures of Kelli's ulcer.

First is the diagram of her insides and vantage points of the pictures:

Next are two pictures of the ulcer itself.

Next are two pictures of the insertion of this clippy thing followed by a picture of the finished area.

And I cannot make up the combination of her doctors:

anyone for a tasty meat pie?

More Pasta Pics

I'm not normally all gushy but if this isn't the most adorable picture you have seen today something is wrong with you.
Sammy is the redhead and Christopher has the dark hair.
Congratulations Mama and Papa Pasta, you done good!