Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has sprung

Happy vernal equinox! Spring is my favorite season, or is it fall? Hmmm, I suppose I love them both. Being such an important day I took some time to go exploring. I do love exploring the woodlands that surround me this time of year. Its quite exciting to see a little sprout of something make its way through the leaf litter on the forest floor. Its still a bit early for wildflowers to be blooming, but I did manage to find a few. The most abundant of the woodland wildflowers here seems to be the Toadstool Trillium. I've come across so many of them in my search, but have yet to find one opened. The one wildflower I did find was this little type of flower. I have yet to identify it but it was so pretty I had to include it here. There were more mystery plants on today's journey. Before the spring turns into summer I hope to have these figured out. These I do know, they are Mayapples. Although just emerging and small here they will grow to a good size and produce flowers beneath the cover of the leaves. The beech trees are still livening up the forest by holding on to last years leaves. Soon they will drop them in favor of new ones. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to find some lovely loves today. Tomorrow the weather will change to rain/sleet/snow. Here's hoping the first spring was joyous for you as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To celebrate the arrival of the new season, I've decided to have a sale in my Etsy shop. All items have been discounted 10%, no coupon code needed. The sale runs through March 24.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Stained glass tulips in red and yellow

Spring is in the air so it just seemed natural to come up with a new design featuring one of my favorite spring time flowers. The idea for this piece actually started with the diamond shaped bevel that is in the center. Its been sitting in my supply cabinet for a few years, it was finally time to build something with it. The result is a combination of two of my favorite things--geometry with nature. I began playing with some ideas and scribbling in my little notebook. Lately some designs have started as tiny little sketches. Sometimes when I draw them at a large working size they don't look quite as good to me as the did in a tiny size. For the tulip plan the design elements came together really well at a large size. When I was thinking about colors for the tulip suncatcher my original idea was to use violet purple for the flowers. But I really didn't want all four of them to be the same color and I couldn't figure out a good complimentary color if I chose to split them up. After searching my stock I decided red and yellow would work better, and since the flowers are two different colors I decided to make the leaves both hunter and emerald green. Lacking soom sophisticated tools I've learned to improvise with everyday objects. For outlining circles I use covers from the kitchen~~here the cover from the slow cooker is a perfect 10 inch round while the retired frying pan makes a 12 inch circle. Since the center of the design is a glass bevel I thought adding additional bevels to the border would be a nice touch. The problem was that the 1 inch bevels I planned to use are square but the border is curved. By grinding the inner and outer edge a bit I was able to make them fit. So glad I went this route. All cutting and grinding of the pieces moved smoothly and I was able to work on the piece rather quickly. Of course I was very excited to see how everything blended together. Here is the first look off the paper pattern with one side soldered. Yesterday was the day to photograph it and list it in my Etsy shop. The skies were sunny which was ideal to get the best views of the suncatcher. It looks best in a window with good sun behind it, the colors of the piece really pop and the bevels sparkle and shine their prismatic beauty. Currently available, this tulip suncatcher measures 14 1/4 inches diameter, just over 36 cm. As always, chain will be included for hanging.