Dad’s Inspiration

My love of glass has not diminished.

I’ve set-up my abrasive etching equipment.  I have done a couple small projects.  What I was planning to do was learn to carve but do not have my pressure pot hooked-up.  My dad gave me his and we hadn’t gotten around to hooking it up – I don’t know about the mechanics of this equipment and haven’t pursued it.  Now that my Dad is gone, that avenue of knowledge is gone forever…

My brothers and I got to go through his workshop a couple of months ago and take what we wanted.  I took his Dremel, among other tools.  Started playing on an empty wine bottle (I’ve been collecting wine bottles for years!) and it was love at first try!  I bought a couple of diamond tip burrs and I’ve been doodling, playing and practicing almost every day.  I’m on my fourth bottle.  I can say with 99% certainty that this is an art I will pursue.

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Couldn't resist putting a hole in the glass.

Couldn’t resist putting a hole in the glass.

 

Wasn't a deliberate positioning. Humorous, though.

Wasn’t a deliberate positioning. Humorous, though.

 

Me and my twin brothers. The one is a goof ball - he found a package of sweat bands my dad would wear. He insisted we all wear one so I had to take a picture.

Me and my twin brothers. The one on the left is a goof ball – he found a package of sweat bands my dad would wear. He insisted we all wear one so I had to take a picture (I have never posted a picture of me – I am not photogenic – and this was a grubby day!).  This was taken the other evening when they came to pick-up the heavy equipment they were taking…

 

Goof Ball thought we should all take one of his aprons. He grabbed one and asked if I minded if I took his hat. That was fine with me. Clare, our step-mom (of 41 1/2 years) noticed it missing. She said it was okay, but later, as she was going to do a painting of this...

Goof Ball thought we should all take one of Dad’s aprons. He grabbed one and asked if I minded if he took his hat too. That was fine with me. Clare, our step-mom (of 41 1/2 years) noticed it missing. She said it was okay for him to have, but later, as she was going to do a painting of this…

 

My Dad turned wood. He won many Purchase Awards and the museum in Elkhart, IN. He did art shows for many years, until his health wouldn't allow it anymore.

My Dad turned wood. He won many Purchase Awards. He did art shows for many years, until his health wouldn’t allow it anymore.

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He used to do stained glass, this is their window over the sink. I did not learn stained glass from him but he was the inspiration. I haven't done it in over twenty years. I just brought his workbench home - the night these pics were taken. I will be setting it up and plan to do some projects I always wanted to do and to continue with that art - spending time with Dad at his workbench...I can't wait!

My Dad did stained glass as a livelihood before retiring.     This is their window over the kitchen sink.
I did not learn stained glass from him but he was the inspiration. I haven’t done it in over twenty years. I just brought his workbench home – the night these pics were taken. I will be setting it up and plan to do some projects I never got around to doing all those years ago. I am looking forward to spending time with Dad at his workbench…I will be repairing a window he had in his workshop.  Other than the fact that I loathe repairing leaded glass, I am looking at it in a positive way, working on something he made with his hands.

 

This was my first abrasive glass project. My Dad's initials - JRH - for John Recer Hoinville...God, I miss him sooo much!!! His art will live on in many peoples homes but his heart will be with me as I do the same type of art he did - I will carry on the legacy...

This was my first abrasive glass project. My Dad’s initials – JRH – for John Recer Hoinville…God, I miss him sooo much!!!
His art will live on in many people’s homes – glass and wood.  His inspiration will live on in mine.

I have a long ways to go with etching/engraving.  But the stained glass will come back to me quite easily, I’m sure.  I have many interests and don’t plan on mastering much of them except what is in my heart and I know Glass is number one. I will honor my Dad through my glass art…

Dad and me many years ago...

Dad and me many years ago…

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Fiddle Leaf Fig tree

I got this beautiful tree from my daughter for a late Mother’s Day gift back in Early August. 
I repotted it about eight weeks ago, added in a systemic, as I am trying to irradicate fungus gnats since building my houseplant and African violet collection.

A few weeks later, I thought I saw bugs on it.  I took a damp paper towel and wiped it off. Didn’t look like bugs so I started wiping the leaves because they all had a white film on it. The paper towel came away green. Hm?…

Another few weeks passed by when I stopped dead in my tracks as I walked by it. Almost all the leaves were brown. This plant has a caustic sap and this browning is a risk when a leaf is damaged.  I freaked!

So Fiddle Leaf spent the past five weeks in the bathtub with a plant light.  Right away I scraped off the top of the soil to get rid of most of the systemic.  I then spent several days leaching with at least a dozen gallons of water through it. I also sprayed it twice a day with super thrive, and some days I would put some water in the tub for an extra dose of humidity. I kept the shower curtain closed to help keep some humidity in. While it was there I removed 75% of the leaves. There are two areas of new growth, the leaves are beautiful and healthy.

It finally went back downstairs last night where I will keep a watchful eye over it.

 

Before being repotted in new pot and almost lethal dose of systemic

 

After the ‘hospital’ stay


 

Bella Grace

just-words-for-blog   I checked the current issue of Bella Grace out at the library . It is another beautiful, quarterly publication from Stampington & Company. Articles are about the beautiful journey of life.

I received the newsletter from Barb at Keeping with the Times and she mentioned that she is in the current issue’s Instagram Spotlight, page 100. I pulled the magazine out and looked it up. There are 16 of her beautiful photographs and a little bit she wrote about how she lives a Bella Grace life. And then, after two or three articles, I had to bookmark my page so I could continue later – I had decided to return it unread due to the busy-ness of the holidays.  I am finding minutes here and there to read it .

Here is a quote on page 8 by Iain Thomas:

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling

‘This is important! And this is important! And this is important!

You need to worry about this! And this! And this!’

And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back,

put it on your heart and say, ‘No this is what’s important.”

I can see that this magazine is so worthy of my time.  Beautiful writing, stories, quotes, and inspirational.

As I prepare for the holidays and travels, I won’t be doing much by way of creativity until after the first of the new year – except a few items. So as I read this publication, I will post about what touches my heart.

Have you read any issues of Bella Grace?  If so, was there something that really grabbed  you?  Inspired you?  I would love to hear…

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Quote for today…

“He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth

is generally considered a fortunate person,

but his good fortune is small compared

to that of the happy mortal

who enters this world with a

passion for flowers in his soul.”

~Celia Thaxter

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I’m back!

I ventured off back in January to start a new blog.  I thought I was done here. I wanted a fresh start…

So much has changed this year and both in a BIG way. I quit my job in March and am claiming to be in early retirement. I lost my Dad April 27 – what saves me is that it was the most graceful of exits.  He was ready.  We weren’t.  Of course.

So, here I am ten months after my last post (for those who followed me, you saw these when they were posted).  The last five posts, January 17 through February 6, were posts on my then new blog, A Contemplative Gardener, now defunct.  I’ve imported them here to keep my journey intact and in one place.

Moving forward.  Now that my time is my own I have gotten a lot accomplished since March. The big thing for me is I’ve made some commitments:

*I am a Purdue Master Gardener.  I joined the St. Joseph Valley Master Gardeners Association in May 2014.  Commitment:  I am the Secretary this year and will be, again, in 2016.
*I’ve been a member of the Michiana Calligraphy Guild since 2013.  Unreliable member until this past September.  Commitment: I will be giving a workshop on Leaf Script in July or September 2016 – I love the philosophy that if you want to learn something, teach it.
*I joined the Northern Illinois Gesneriad Society this past October.  They needed someone to do a presentation on Fertilizers and Amendments.  Commitment: I’ve volunteered to do it, Feb 2017.  Again, teach if you want to learn…I am so stepping out of my comfort zone but apparently I’m ready??
*I’m back home, here. A journal for my creative life – and there’s so much happening, so much to share!

I am looking forward to 2016.  But especially sharing and visiting with you again. Until them, I hope your holidays are filled with Peace, Love, and Family.

 

The Seeds have arrived!

The seed orders have arrived!  Can’t wait to start planting them.  One big problem: don’t know where I’m going to plant them!  That’s a good problem to have…And as I look at all these pretty pictures of the seeds I’ve bought, I forget about the ones I bought locally – 5 flowers, 1 pepper, 5 herbs.  They’ve all been purchased with plans or idea’s so we’ll see how it goes.

Here is a gallery of the seeds I bought (with links to the companies – all images are from those companies, they are not mine.)  Enjoy!

Clary Sage - Horizon Herbs

Clary Sage – Horizon Herbs

Calendula - Lemon Pastel - Wild Garden Seed

Calendula – Lemon Pastel – Wild Garden Seed

Calendula - Orange Sherbet - Wild Garden Seed

Calendula – Orange Sherbet – Wild Garden Seed

The next seven are from Johnny’s Select Seed

Aromatto Basil

Aromatto Basil

'Bright Lights' Swiss Chard

‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard

Ammi (False Queen Anne's Lace) 'Dara'

Ammi (False Queen Anne’s Lace) ‘Dara’

Spicy Bush Basil

Spicy Bush Basil

Titan Parsley

Titan Parsley

Sweet Annie (just the green plant in this image)

Sweet Annie (just the green plant in this image)

Verbena

Verbena

These are plants ordered at White Flower Farms

Centranthus Ruber

Centranthus Ruber

Echinacea 'Butterfly'

Echinacea ‘Butterfly’

Sweet Marjoram

Sweet Marjoram

Winter Savory

Winter Savory

I won’t receive the plants for about three months, and I’ll start most of the seeds in the next 6 weeks.  I have a lot of planning and designing to do in the meant time…

I am really excited about the Ammi (False Queen Anne’s Lace) because I love QA Lace!  I plan on growing the ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard as micro greens.

This is as exciting as sitting in the garden when it is in full bloom, and one of the great things about winter!

Are you planning a new garden or something new in an existing garden?  I’d love to hear about it.

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Lavender & Garlic

Everything in this still life is pure bliss to me…Lavender, garlic, glass, pitchers!

The silver and white pitcher belong to my Mom.  She’s in Florida for about six weeks so I ‘stole’ these and brought home so I can enjoy them.  I just adore these pitchers!  She has another that I still need to nab!

I used a hot glue gun to use glue as a resist on the wine bottle and etched it, interesting design.  And who doesn’t love garlic?

Lavender & Garlic

Lavender & Garlic

I am fairly new to a smart phone and so excited about the photography options that go with it.  I can finally (!) join Instagram where I have found so much inspiration.  And not to mention the ability to do all this connecting in the palm of my hand.

Needless to say, I have plenty to keep me busy and entertained, until my gardens wake.

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Labyrinth herb garden

I have joined Kim Klassens Be Still 52 – a full year of working at being still and making photographic still lives – my favorite. I struggle with ‘being still’ but I know there is hope for me.  She talks in this first ‘lesson’ about deep breathing and bringing stillness into your life. The flow of a photo session is stillness in action – especially when done in the garden.  I am looking forward to this years unfolding…

This is the picture on my desktop (it is not my picture, see link below) and it brings me such peace and quiet excitement (that is stillness because I could sit and look at it for a great length of time)

Labyrinth at Cherry Point

A labyrinth at Cherry Point Farm and Market located in Oceana County, Michigan, by Silver Lake and Little Sable Light House on Lake Michigan.  We had passed this many times and wondered what it was – it was under construction – and then we passed it a few years later when the lavender was in full bloom.  That was a spontaneous stop on our trip to the lighthouse, and is now an annual trip.  This is pure bliss – in picture and in person…

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A foggy and frosty start

Nothing earth shattering.  We were gone for the weekend and I really missed the ‘balmy’ weather we had.  In the forty’s yesterday and then it dipped into the twenty’s overnight so things got a little frosty.  foggymorn4These are two of my three beloved Alaskan Cedarsfoggymorn3Lavender by the Kousa Dogwoodfoggymorn1This is the first year I left the hosta flower stalksfoggy-morn2Just a little bit of frost

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