Monday, March 28, 2011

Sandblasted Stone Gifts

My good friend, Suzanne Sigona, had a housewarming this last Friday. I had helped her last month install a foyer table made of the same granite as her kitchen countertops.

From that, I used the leftover piece to make he a matching cheese cutting slab. I polished the sides and blasted a design in the top (which I cut out using my new Cricut machine).

Suzanne had given me a Port bottle she has saved and asked that I sandblast something into it for her housewarming. I have had it for months and of course waited until the last moment to blast it. But I found a really appropriate quote from Benjamin Franklin "Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” I think she liked it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fused Glass Dishes and Plates

Here are some glass pieces I've been working on this week. Thanks to my friend Janis who has the bigger kiln for fusing the larger platters. After I got the green one back from her, I blasted some detail around the edges. I did the same with a blue platter that had rough edges. The sand blasting does soften the edges of the glass.

I used the new Cricut Personal to cut the angel our of resist. I then adhered the resist to the glass and blasted around it. It looks like the angel is stepping on a cloud. I found a heart-shaped mold in the thrift store for a few bucks. I like how it turned out.

The last two are some experiments with a new clear/black/white spotted glass. It certainly adds flair to the orange. It is a combination of orange and black that doesn't appear to be Halloween-esque.

Skull & Crossbone TicTacToe Set

I saw a similar idea for a fused glass tic-tac-toe set, but I wanted to embellish this a little more. I like how this one turned out. I will make more while perfecting the concept.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Harvest of Honey

The bees survived the winter! They started coming out of the hive again about two weeks ago. I was noticing that flies were gathering around the entrance, so I cleaned up the hive this last weekend and got it ready for Spring. I provided some fresh sugar water and pollen pattie to help the queen start making new brood. I also was able to harvest some honey - about 20 pounds worth. The bees had built comb going two directions and I wanted to remove that so they could have more efficient rows of comb for the summer. They still have plenty to help them make it through the next couple of months. This is the first chance I've had to try the honey in the comb from our hive. I cannot describe what wonderful is, but you will have to believe that it tasted wonderful! There are nuances of flavors from the lavender, hyssop, cherry, all of the blossoms from the garden. I put the honey-filled comb in containers and then cooked down the empty comb to make really fragrant pure wax. I might make some lip balm next weekend.

The Moon - Up Close

I give credit to my brother Sam who has the same camera that I do - the Sony Alpha A230L Black 10MP Digital SLR Camera. He was able to take a similar photo of the moon way before I could. But it still amazes me that we were able to take this photo while HOLDING the camera. Technology has come a long way. I wonder if we would have been considered "in league with the devil" if we went back in time to show Galileo these images?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cricut - the mini all-in-one cutter

I'm really liking the Cricut Personal. I bought the Sure Cuts A Lot 2 software and now I'm making lots of resist cuts for the sandblaster. I find images that seem appealing and use Photoshop CS4 to make a stamp version of the image. Then I trace that image with the Sure Cuts A Lot software. It is that easy.

Here are some of the pieces I recently blasted.

Other Fused Glass Platters

I almost smashed some of my larger pieces of glass the other day, so I decided I had better use them. I got some other molds in the last D&L visit, but I wanted to do a set of these square platters for the next book club dinner I host. Here are a few pieces that are in the works.