Monday, March 30, 2009

Root, root, root for the Bud Vase

For years, I have been making and selling Bud Vases. "Perfect for a few stems from the garden," is one of my selling points. And it's true. I am not a florist, and I don't expect most people to be, either. So, the Bud Vase is the perfect solution.

Now, I have a new selling point for them......rooting plants. I have been using one of my own vases for years to do this (my mom does this, too!), and for some reason, it never occured to me to mention that as a selling feature.
Of course, you could use an old Smucker's jar, I suppose, but it's the perfect use for a Bud Vase, especially while we wait for our gardens to bloom.
Great vining plants:
Prayer plants
Grape ivies
Bonus: Rooting plants is a great way to keep costs down, while enjoying the beauty of having live plants in your home. Especially if you gather some cuttings from your friends.
A simple Internet Search will give you many tips on how to root.
Enjoy! And root, root, root!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Double Mystery

My garden is the source of much of my inspiration......color, texture, and of course, flowers. Flowers make me happy. It is also an escape from the everyday, a chance to dig in the dirt, and bring life to a spot where there once was none.

Yesterday (a particularly nice New England day), I ventured into the backyard to do a little clean up, and see how my perennials were coming along.

Here's where the mysteries begin.

Mystery #1: What is this?

Upon removing some dead leaves, I noticed these green (living) leaves. Clearly something is growing! I don't recall planting them. And although I love my garden, I am not a botanist.

Please help me identify this plant!

Mystery #2: Who, what, where?

This is really two mysteries, wrapped up into one.

A lone crocus. Never planted by me, and have never seen it in my 4 years here.

The peanut. It is not uncommon to find peanut shells around my yard. I have found peanut shells in my driveway, walkway, and on the sidewalk, but never in the garden.
Now, some of you know about my love of peanut butter.....but peanuts in the shell? Not so much.
I can probably solve the peanut mystery on my own, and in one word.....critters.
But the crocus? Still a mystery.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You transformed my life

First, let me say, this is not really about glass. But, it left me speechless, and compelled to share this story.

A little background.....I teach Spin classes (stationary bike, group fitness class), and in the past, have taught a treadmill class. It has been years since I have done that. But when I did, I had a nice group that would show up weekly, and subject themselves to my interval workouts. They were troopers.

For a short time, I had a woman that would join us. She was new to running, and did not have much experience with it. She worked hard, showed up a few times, then I never saw her again.

Until tonight.

She was in my Spin class. When class ended, she said:

"You transformed my life"

*deep breath*

"what?" I asked.

Her story: She loved my treadmill class, but had to move away from town. When she settled in Chicago, she resumed running, and has since run 3 marathons.

*it gets better*

While training for her first marathon, she was obsessive about using her Fuel Belt So much so, that her peers would joke with her about it. When marathon day arrived, the temperature soared to 80 degrees (miserable marathon weather). She wore her Fuel Belt, refilling it every chance she got. As the day wore on, the water stations began to run out of water for the runners (not good). So, the same peers that were "joking" with her about her Fuel Belt obsession were all begging her for water.

*it gets better*

Soon after.....she applies for a job in at Fuel Belt, tells them her story, and they hire her.

Fast forward a year......thanks to that job, she was able to start her own Graphic Design business, with Fuel Belt as her largest client. She does all their design work, and is now working with them on new designs for Fuel Belts.

All because of my treadmill class.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Myth, A Tip & A Fact

Not necessarily in that order.

FACT: Glassblowing is dangerous.
But not in the life-threatening way. Rather, in the 'run for the aloe and band-aid' way. I've been burned, scraped and cut....only once requiring stitches. And all because I wasn't paying attention.

So, in most cases, glassblowing is a dangerous as you make it.

MYTH: Don't Inhale.
If I had a dime for every person (non glassblower) that told me 'not to inhale', I'd have enough money a billboard explaining that it's okay to inhale.
The myth here is based on the assumption that the air is so hot, that by inhaling, you will send scorching, hot air (or glass) into your lungs. It is just simply not true.
Truth be told, sometimes you have to inhale. Personally, I don't. I don't make the kind of work that requires it.
But, I've tried it......and lived to tell about it.

TIP: Cleaning out a vase
So, you've purchased a transparent vase (doesn't have to be handblown, but kudos to you if it is), and used it (hooray!) with some real flowers. What's left behind when the flowers are gone is a 'film' inside the vase. You've tried rinsing it out, to no avail.

The opening is too narrow to fit your hand inside to clean now what? Live with this film? No sir-re. Fill it about 1/2 way with water, and add a little bleach (I repeat, a little). Swirl it around a few times, and rinse. You may need to repeat this, or let it soak if you've got a thicker film. Rinse it a few times with just water, and viola, you have a sparkling clean use again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A difference A Day Makes

8 inches of snow on the ground. Hmph. So much for Spring!

Truth be told, I do love the snow, as does Olivia. Our morning walk was hardly a was a 'drag me down the street because the snow makes me nutty' kind of walk.

Then I pelted her with a snow ball, and all was well.

I loved the snow more when I could ski.......for 5 seasons, I was a ski bum in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It was an amazing time in my life.....and helped me get where I am today. For, I realized that is so important to do what you love. And although I loved to ski, I didn't really love being a bartender. In my heart, I knew that I wanted to get back to creating things, and glassblowing in particular. So, I traded one love for another, and moved back to the East Coast.

And it was the best decision I ever made. (And as expected, I rarely miss an opportunity to ski).

(view from the top of the Palivicini Lift at Arapahoe Basin)