I never make New Year’s Resolutions because I never keep to them. However, I will try to write something in my blog and lose weight so that’s quite a resolution.
As I have mentioned before my daughter recently had a baby. Since then there have been a couple of occasions when I’ve had a request for specific knitting ideas….which had no patterns. One of the most successful ones is a baby sling cover. Let me explain! If you carry your baby in a sling and it’s winter, your coat won’t do up and it’s a bit chilly. So I have knitted a cover that goes over the baby and buttons to your coat on both sides, creating a snug little pouch. There’s a hood for the baby and muff for mum’s hands too.
I have also knitted one in yellow and grey and cream and grey. They take about 3 or 4 evenings to knit.
I’m selling the pattern for £2.50 or a complete sling cover for £13.00 incl UK postage and packing. Pleas contact me at email@example.com.
I have been lapse in posting recently as I have been doing Grandma duties. My daughter is expecting a baby any day now and, as I live 100 miles away I have been down to see her. I am about to go away again to keep her company in the last few days of pregnancy and help her look after her 2 year old grandson. Being a grandma is brilliant, it’s a great privilege to be close to another family. You can also give the baby back to its mummy when it cries or needs feeding, excellent! However, grandparenthood doesn’t come without being a parent first (unless it’s a stepgrandchild) and the practice it gives is valuable.
I have created a little glasswork but I’ve been baking and washing and ironing etc so not much time. I’ll write again when the baby’s here and I have some time once more.
I’ve had a mixed day with lots of activity – hair cut, supermarket run, you know the sort. As well as creating things with glass I also edit the village magazine. I had to get that to the printers today so the morning was spent putting the articles together and filling in gaps with a quiz….. etc. So that all rather eat into my fun time with glass but I was determined to do some today. In the end I took my camera out to the workshop and fused a pendant and made a pencil pot, all with potential step by step photography. However, I haven’t had time to download the photos, never mind blogging something sensible so I thought I’d just write a bit of fun and get down to doing Fusing Basics another day.
I have had some success though as I’ve managed to attach a Pinterest button to my Blog so now if you see something you like you can pin in to Pinterest. That took a silly amount of time, all the while trying to eat cheese on toast (note to self – have tea first before getting sticky fingers on the computer keys).
So, enough silliness for one day, hope for more suitable stuff tomorrow when I’ve downloaded rather a lot of photos.
My husband and I like to play Yahtzee. This is a game using 5 dice. We found that this was quite noisy on our table so we use a beading mat to roll them on quietly. However, when we go away on holiday or play outside in the garden the mat is likely to blow away as it’s very lightweight. I decided to experiment making cloth weights from fused glass, but this involved having a hole in the glass which is a challenge with small pieces in a microwave.
I eventually came up with these. The bottom layer is clear glass and the top layer is blue glass with bright orange pieces of confetti (confetti is small pieces of very thin glass).
The glass is pieced together as above with the left hand plan being the bottom (clear layer) the right hand one being the top layer. Building the glass this way ensures that the glass fuses properly. The confetti isi then scattered on top. The pieces are then fused one at a time for about 12 minutes in my microwave.
Then I had to find a way to attach them to the cloth. This proved impossible with the beading mat so I knitted a mat instead and then sewed the pieces on to the corners. I backed the glass with white felt so that they wouldn’t rattke together on travelling but ended up with an excellent weighted mat that didn’t fly away even in a gale.
Tomorrow I’ll start a series on microwave fusing basics.
My daughter (not the one with the baby) made some curtains for our living room, and very nice they were too. I offered to make her something from glass for her house. She pointed me to another artist’s work so I got the inspiration from that. The artist obviously has a large kiln so I had to think about how to downscale to a microwave kiln.
I made the five stripey pieces as long as I could in the microwave – about 6cm. The base of each piece is clear Tekta glass and then the top layer was alternate pieces of coloured and Tekta glass in order to maintain the regular sahpe. Glass wants to be 6mm thick when it is heated so you need two 3mm pieces thick to keep the shape.
I then took a regular piece of stained glass for the header and soldered the rings on. The individual pieces had bails glued on to provide hangers. Different lengths of chain and there you are.
My daughter’s hanger is unique though because I was able to use a mould on the bottom piece and make if curvy, However, it broke as the glass melted so she is the only one with that shaped piece, ah well.
One more fusing piece to go tomorrow and then I’ll move onto another glass technique
Well today I had my first proper craft sale for my glassware. I live local to the Fairport Convention Music Festival so our local church had an event to entertain the fans and the local villagers. As well as Zumba and the local Hospital Radio there was an exhibition of artwork from the Art Group and my glass stall. Of course, there was a splendid array of cakes too (I only sampled a couple of them).
I did sell some items but there weren’t many people to view. However, I am going to be offering Mosaic stepping stone workshops and stained glass panel taster days and there was some interest in these. If you are interested in either activity please do email me and I can send you details. More about Stepping Stones in another post.
Some time ago my daughter and son-in-law came to stay with my grandson who is just 2 years old. He is a gorgeous redheaded little fellow and has an infectious laugh and a naughty grin (who says grandma’s are biased?). As in yesterday’s Blog when friends came round so it was when my daughter came that they wanted to play at fusing too. After playing around a bit and getting the basics they suggested that we try and fuse glass over an object to get a 3D effect. If you don’t know, you need two layers of paper in the kiln, one to protect the base of the kiln (fibre paper – wool, HINT: don’t cut it up on your bed, you’ll itch) and one to give the glass piece a smooth bottom – Thinfire paper (no comments please). Using my card making skills and equipment I diecut a fleur de lits out of Thinfire paper, put it on top of the glass paper, covered it with glass and fused it. This is the result. It’s quite a subtle image but we had moved on again.
My daughter then asked if we could get letters into the glass because my grandson liked playing with the glass nugget rejects (they are very tactile) and she was trying to get educational. So I experimented and devised this alphabet. It took a long time to finish the project as each piece is fired twice and some didn’t work out first time.
The letters were cut out of fibre paper because the glass sticks to this and the letters stayed white.Using a die cutting machine and alphabet die I cut all the letters of the alphabet eg ‘d’. Then they were fused under a piece of clear glass ‘a’, then that was fused over a piece of coloured glass ‘c’ and the result is the red ‘a’. Most of the letters worked out OK but a few bubbled especially with ‘o’ and ‘s’ when there wasn’t much space between the parts of the letters. The final size is about an inch square. Anyway, my grandson had an alpahebet that is certainly unique and multicoloured as I used lots of different pieces of glass.
Work tomorrow and Friday so no time to Blog but I’ll write again at the weekend after my first glass craft sale – I’m hoping some people will turn up to buy my wares.
I have a group of crafting (or crafty!) friends and we meet up a few times a year, especially in the winter. We enjoy coffee and lunch while we have a ‘show and tell’ session. Who says it’s only for 5 year olds! Between us we knit, crochet, sew, make cards, make cords and play with glass.
One Saturday I invited them to my house and organised things so that they could all fuse a nugget. That’s the beauty of fusing with a microwave – you can do several fusings in a day and take the results home. Anyway, I laid my tray of tiny glass pieces out and they all dibbed in and created their own nuggets. With careful timing – 10 minutes to cook, 1.5 hours to cool all four friends were able to design, cook and take home their nugget – yes it was a long day but they were keen.
I laid my glass scraps out in this tray and then told them to rummage carefully with tweezers. They then trimmed the pieces with mosaic cutters. I also use a glass scorer to cut the glass scraps. Alternatively, I use the scraps as they are and make something unique every time.
Not only my friends but family members too have been able to have a go when they visit. It’s all very accessible and fun.
As long as the piece you want is small you can fuse all sorts of things. Earlier in the year we had visitors who brought a bottle of wine with them. Nothing unusual about that. But the wine was wrapped in fine gold coloured wire. My visitor suggested that I try fusing that!. Well, with a lot of trepidation I sandwiched a coil of wire between two pieces of glass, blue underneath and clear on the top, and put it in the kiln. After the normal heating time the coil was still visible and the glass about to fuse. After another minute it was completely transformed. The wire must have started to melt forming bubbles with the piece and the effect was lovely. It looks quite Victorian.
After that I tried fusing other metals with glass, with some succeses and some failures (situation normal!). If I overcooked a piece like the one above the wire comes through the glass and can be quite sharp.
This is a piece before it is fused. There is aluminium foil scrunched up between the glass pieces. I also tried gold foil.
These are the results. The white piece was slightly overcooked so the big bubble on the top is close the breaking through the glass. The aluminium foil discoloured but the gold foil was fine.
There are many diffrent ways of creating artwork out of glass. One way is to melt it at a high temperature – around 700C. One can do this in a kiln, which is a bulky piece of equipment, the other is to use a microwave kiln. This is a neat way to fuse small pieces suitable for pendants or small ornaments. The kiln is a special piece of kit and you put it in a simple kitchen microwave. It is a bit of magic. You put the glass in the kiln, put the lid on, put it in the microwave and set the timer for about 10 minutes – depending on the microwave. Leave to cool for an hour or so and it’s done. These pictures show before and after photos. It is not a finite art – the results are not always what you expect but that’s the fun of it.