Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What happened to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday?

I called my 12 year old grandson Austin last week and asked when we could go Christmas shopping. He said his school vacation started Monday this week, and could he come over Monday and spend the night. I picked him up at 9:00 a.m. Monday, and his visit turned out to be three days and two nights! It really was great and lots of fun. He's such a soft-spoken, polite and smart young boy, it's a pleasure to have him spend time with me. And to WANT to spend time with me! He plans to come again next week.

BUT, I lost my iPad and iMac for three days! It's like when your power goes out and you can't use any of your appliances. Of course I had my iPhone, but the strain on my eyes has given me a headache. I'll feel better in the morning.

We went to the local Game Stop and Target and he selected three video games for his Christmas present. I found two books for myself (that I'll look at when my headache goes away!)

But the most fun day was yesterday when he used the torch to make his first glass beads. I know it was frustrating for him. And equally as frustrating for me. When you make glass beads, you have to wear didymium glasses (it eliminates the glare of the flame and you see perfectly). I had one pair which I insisted he wear. I had another pair of glasses that you use to look into the peephole of the gas kiln. They were worthless when making beads. I could only see the bright orange flame and not the glass flowing on the mandrel. So when I was demonstrating, I could not see what I was doing! HA. Poor kid. But after several beads, he was catching on and I think one comment was "I got it!"

So today he cleaned the bead release from the inside of the beads with a round file. When we discovered there were not enough beads to make a 7" to 7-1/2" bracelet for his mother, I found some glass beads he could use as fillers. It turned out well, and he has a special gift for mom. Here's a not-so-great photo I took with the wrong camera. The glass is nile green. So picture a deeper green that looks like jade!

My friend Donna turned out to be my best Etsy customer over the weekend, asking me to make two pairs of etched copper earrings with my lampwork beads for her friends, and also buying four hand built bowls (duplicates of the ones purchased by Fine Cooking Magazine a while back -- have not seen any evidence of my pieces or any other hand made pieces in their past two issues). The earring photo was taken with the iPhone and not my best effort. But telling Donna the earrings were ready for pick-up!

Donna saw one of my slumped wine bottles, a very short one that I use for a spoon rest. She asked me if I would slump a special bottle for her from a wedding she just attended. She wanted to etch a message on the piece and give it to the couple for a Christmas gift. Here's a photo of three bottles I did for her, the special one being the brown bottle in the middle. It'll be interesting to see what she does.

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