Papillon/Butterfly

I love butterflies. They are colorful, graceful, almost ethereal. Because I like them, I have used them in my craft projects, such as:

Quilting:

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Butterfly Art Quilt
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Butterfly Pillow

Fabric Dyeing:

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Images from backing of Butterfly Art Quilt

and Fused Glass:

Butterfly Glass
Butterfly Wall Art
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Butterfly Garden Art

 

Butterfly Necklace
Butterfly Necklace

Recently, an email from a yarn store featured several new patterns. The Butterfly/Papillon shawl pattern by Marin Melchoir caught my eye. Later that same week, while shopping a a local yarn store (Three Kittens, Mendota Heights, MN), the owner was wearing the shawl.  Written for fingering weight yarn, this was the weight of yarn she had used for her shawl.  I really liked the pattern, so I purchased it.  However, I wanted the shawl to have more “movement”.  So, instead, I knit the shawl in lace weight yarn, using the indicated needle size.  This created a softer, lighter version of the shawl, but the same size as the pattern. 

I really like how the shawl turned out.  However, I’m not sure whether I will make another.  This shawl took about 40 hours to complete!

Storms, Sunshine and Smiles

I recently returned from a trip to Tampa, Florida.  This trip was the annual retreat for a dental study club I belong to.

For the second year in a row that my travels to Tampa were impacted by the weather.

Last year a snow storm caused a six hour delay in leaving Minnesota.  To make the most of my time, I walked around the airport.  Fun fact – if you walk to every gate of each concourse of Terminal One at MSP airport, it’s 11,266 steps and 4.6 miles.

This year, the weather in Minnesota was not a problem.  Unfortunately the weather in Florida was not so nice.  Due to strong storms and a tornado, our flight was diverted from Tampa to Melbourne, Florida (on the Atlantic side of the state) landing after 11pm.  The airport was closed, the crew was over their allowed flying time, and there was no other crew available.  After several hours, the airline eventually announced that we would be bused to Tampa but they were unable to tell us when that would happen.  So, at 1 am, with no rental cars available, we took a Lyft ride across the state.  Three and a half hours later, we finally arrived in Clearwater Beach!

Once there, we had a delightful weekend discussing all things dental, enjoying good food and walks on the beach.

On Saturday, we took a glass blowing class.  Great fun!

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George, the owner of Glass Crafters, taught us how to blow bulbs.  Using propane torches, glass frits and stringer and some “hot air”, we each had an opportunity to blow ten items. These could then be used as watering bulbs, ornaments, or just decorations. Some of our group had more hot air than I did.  Exploding bulbs make for some beautiful art!

Being very fragile, I was glad my bulbs survived the flight back to Minnesota intact.

To show them off, I cut the stems off, added bulb hangers, fused some white glass to make a mobile support, strung them with fishline and hung them in my sewing room.

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We had a great weekend, made many memories and a few crafts!

Flower of the Month Suncatchers

Earlier this summer, I was sitting in my sunroom having my morning cup of coffee.  On a sunny day, this is a relaxing place to sit.  Looking around the room, I thought it would be nice to add some more color to the room, possibly suncatchers in the windows.  When I counted the windows, I realized that there are twelve of them and I thought that something related to each month of the year would be nice to try and settled on a flower for each month.

  • January – Carnation
  • February – Iris
  • March – Daffodil
  • April – Daisy
  • May – Lily of the Valley
  • June – Rose
  • July – Delphinium
  • August – Gladiolus
  • September – Aster
  • October – Marigold
  • November – Chrysanthemum
  • December – Poinsettia

 

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IMG_3177To make the suncatchers, I used COE 96 clear glass cut 2″ x 6″ as the base.  Only a single layer was used and the glass was fused at 1350 degrees, a temperature between tack fuse and contour fuse to give a slight softening to the edges of the glass.

For the stems, I used green noodles and stringer.  To create curves in these, the glass was heated in the flame of a soldering torch and allowed to bend before placing on a heat resistant tile to cool.

For the flowers, a variety of techniques were used.  Some flowers were just pieces of cut glass.  For the Lily of the Valley, frit balls were first created by heating to full fuse small pieces of glass.  For the delphinium, I used coarse frit. For the gladiolus, I used fine frit.  And for the marigold, pieces of tangerine glass were dipped in glass tack and then dipped in yellow fine frit to create the light colored tips.

Here are some of the pre-firing photos:

And, the photos hanging in my windows:

 

 

One Smile Gala

The Minnesota Dental Foundation held their annual One Smile Gala last Friday evening.  The gala was an evening raising funds for the Foundations outreach to the under served in the state.  It was a fun evening seeing colleagues and friends from around the state.

The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The Foundation raised over $1M in 2018.  These funds were used for the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile, and several other programs.

Along with attending the gala, I also donated a few glass items to the silent auction.

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These garden flowers were well liked and raised a couple hundred dollars for the foundation.  Perhaps next year I will do some other glass garden art for the auction.

 

 

 

Fused Glass Turtle

img_3091.jpgWaste Not, Want Not – that is my approach to my crafts. I just hate to throw away fabric, yarn, glass, or anything that could potentially be used in another project.  That’s why I have baskets of small pieces of fabric scraps, drawers of larger pieces of fabric, other drawers of yarn, embroidery supplies and beads.  I even save small pieces of batting because I never know when I might need only a bit.

In my glass room, I save all my glass scraps as well.  I even save my failed projects, things that crack or just don’t turn out the way I wanted.  These failed projects are given new life with pot melting.  These pot melts are really cute made into  mushrooms, of which I have made numerous.  Running out of people to give mushrooms to, I really needed to find another idea for using pot melts.

For the past  year, I have had three different pot melt circles sitting on a shelf in my glass studio waiting for me to come up with an idea.  When making the glass centipede for my garden, I finally had a bit of inspiration.  I was looking at clip art pictures of different garden animals and insects and saw a cartoon of a turtle.  Looking at the image, I thought that the shell of the turtle could be made out of a pot melt circle.

So, a new project – fused glass turtle!

Materials
Green COE 96 1/2″ pebbles, 2 pieces
Black COE 96, 12″ x 18″
Castalot Glass Mold Material, 3 cups mixed with water according to directions
Cardboard box for forming mold
Exacto Knife for shaping mold
Copper end caps, 1/2″, 2 pieces
Copper pipe, 1/2″ x 1 3/4″
E6000 Adhesive, clear and black

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Steps:

1. Pot melt a 7″ circle of glass. Slump over a bowl shape. Since I already had some of these, I used what I had.  In the future, I probably would not have fused the white pebbles onto the pot melt.  But, since I had already done this, I used what I had.

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2. Draw a turtle outline on paper and trace onto clear plastic.  Cut two pieces of black glass  from the turtle pattern.

If you want to replicate this idea, I am providing the turtle pattern.  Print out the photo, making sure that your printer is calibrated to the 1″ box on the pattern.

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3. Full fuse the two pieces of black glass.

4. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

TurtleMold5. Create a slumping mold.

Again, I am providing an outline of the mold.  If you want to make one, the mold is 1″ thick.

 

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6. After allowing the material to set for an hour, remove the cardboard and use an Exacto Knife to carve the edges of the pattern smooth. Allow to dry overnight and then fire according to the directions on the package.  Coat the mold with several coats of Primo Primer Kiln Wash.

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7. Place your turtle shape over the mold.  Slump the shape according to your kiln settings.

 

IMG_37568. Using the black E6000, adhere one end cap in the center of the back of the turtle and allow to set over night.  Meanwhile, run a thin bead of clear E6000 along the edge of the turtle shell and allow this to also set over night.  This bead will provide a cushion between the shell and the body of the turtle to avoid having glass against glass that could cause breakage.

9. Cut a piece of copper pipe the height of the slumped pot melt. Generally you want the  turtle shell to light rest against the turtle body.  Insert this pipe into the cap on the turtle back.  Add a copper cap to the top end of the pipe.  Place black E6000 on the copper cap and adhere the turtle shell to the copper.  Note that the copper pipe is not glued or secured to the copper caps.  This will allow you to take apart the turtle a wrap it for save winter storage.  Allow the adhesive to set overnight and your turtle will be ready to invade your garden.

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Glass Centipede

IMG_3635Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, “hundred”, and pes, pedis“foot”) are predatory arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes Millipedes and other multi-legged creatures. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Accordingly, they are found in soil and leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs.

Okay, enough with the scientific definition.  According to a patient I saw this week, a centipede is a “creepy crawly bug with a lot of legs”.  Gotta love working with kids!!

Cartoon

 While looking at ideas on-line, I saw a cartoon of a centipede and thought that this might be a fun idea for a glass project. 

My first idea was to fuse copper wire between sections of glass.  This idea didn’t go so well.  The glass was very fragile with the embedded wire.

So, instead, I decided to solder a framework (or exoskeleton, if you want the scientific term) for the centipede and then use a glass adhesive to secure glass sections to the framework.

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Materials
Green COE 96, 1″x1.5″, 16 pieces
Black COE 96 chips
Copper wire, 6 gauge
1″ (7 pieces)
6″ (7 pieces) with ends bent back
Copper foil tape, 1″ wide
1″ x 3/4″ (8 pieces)
E6000 Adhesive

Steps:

1. Position and solder copper wire and foil tape.  Bend the wire 1″ on each side of the framework to make legs, then bend each tip outward to make a flat surface to support the glass sections.  

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2. Full fuse two pieces of green glass with black glass chips.

3. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

IMG_36344. Adhere each piece of glass to the framework.

This new bug can now be found in my front yard flower garden crawling among the daylillies.

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