My mother-in-law found a brochure for an art festival that included an opportunity to blow your own glass float. I love experiences like this so we were in!
The glass blowing happened at Shack Art Center in Everett. There is a small gallery space in the front of the building, but they offer a lot of classes. I’m looking forward to looking into more of them, but for now it’s glass blowing.
First, the gal who was helping us gathered some clear glass. I think she said that there’s about 300 lbs of molten glass in the furnace that holds it. Then, we learned how to turn the pipe in the second, “working” furnace. It was hot work!
Next, we added the color. We did this depending on the end pattern we were looking for; I was going for more of a “spotted” look, while the boys chose a “swirl” pattern.
(I love the concentrated look on Alex’s face here!)
The color went on in layers. A couple pats into the color (or rolls in my case) then into the furnace. A couple more pats (or rolls) then back into the furnace. Since the boys were going for a swirl pattern, they had an extra step – they had to actually make the swirls! Really cool to get to “play” with the glass like that.
After one last trip into the furnace to smooth things out, it was time to blow our glass blobs into glass balls. While we blew, the gal that helped us actually helped form a nice ball and worked to get it ready to separate from the pipe.
And with that, our glass floats were born! After they were blown up, she sealed up the hole at the bottom with more glass then they went into an oven so that they could slowly cool down. We had to wait two days to pick them up, but totally worth the wait. Here’s the fruit of our labor:
I’m so happy with how they turned out and I’m also really happy with how hands on the process was. This was a really fun experience and I think we may go back in September to try our hand at making some glass pumpkins. Seriously, you need to check this place out!
Now, to find a safe place to display them…
I want to remember how antsy Alex was all morning the day we dropped him off.
I want to remember that when we were leaving he almost didn’t want to say goodbye. Mark thought that Alex maybe thought he was too old or it wasn’t cool. I think that maybe he was worried he’d cry.
I want to remember the helpless feeling when we heard that he’d gotten sick. Even though he was fine and it was likely just nerves it was so hard to hear.
I want to remember the smile on his face in the pool and the pure joy that we felt when we saw that photo.
I want to remember how nice it was to have time to reconnect as a couple and how quiet the house was.
I want to remember how cool he tried to play it when we got there to pick him up.
I want to remember his tears of joy to see us and how that moment totally made me lose my cool.
I want to remember the first hug.
I want to remember how excited he was to share his stories and how curious he was to see if they matched up with my camp experience.
I want to remember how proud of him I felt for getting through the week all on his own and for wanting to go back next year.
Even when they are for good and noble reasons, good-byes are hard.
My dear friend Matthew is moving to Cambodia for the next three years to do some amazing work with rescued victims of sex trafficking. I didn’t want him to leave without sharing how very proud I am of him. It takes so much courage to leave what is familiar and comfortable, even in small measure – to be moving halfway around the world to take on such a worthy effort is stunning.
Matthew, thank you for your support in achieving some of my dreams and thank you for the example you set in going after yours. You will change the world. I love you.
If you’re interested in knowing more about what Matthew will be doing in Cambodia, please visit the Justice and Soul webpage.
Last year I was so excited to capture the Super Moon - I thought it was a rare occurrence but then it happened again this weekend. I had to give it another go.
The weather wasn’t exactly cooperating early on; lots of spotty clouds in the sky. I found that these were some of my favorite photos, though. Really cool effects were happening:
Finally the moon decided to peak above the clouds, but only for a minute:
Just before I was going to call it a night the clouds parted. My white balance wasn’t set properly for this one (a little too warm) but I really do love it.
I set up using this tutorial from Katrina Kennedy just like I did last year. It was a little bit tricky at first because the moon wasn’t really “out” and I ended up adjusting my settings quite a bit to get the result I was looking for. At one point during the evening a friend posted another link on Facebook from this page and I tried a bit of that as well. I know that I still have a lot to learn technically, but I’m happy that I’ve learned enough to get shots like these.
The next Super Moon is scheduled to appear in August 2014. I would love to be somewhere that I could capture the moon really low on the horizon. Any suggestions?
Over Father’s Day weekend, Alex raced in the 6th Annual Stanwood Camano Soapbox Derby.
Originally we had planned on going camping for the weekend and when the opportunity first presented itself for Alex, he had a hard time deciding. Finally, about two weeks before the event, Alex decided (with a little help) that we could camp almost any weekend but the Soapbox Derby only happens once a year.
It was a very good decision.
Mark and Alex spent two weeks building the car. This was a lot more technical that either of them imagined it would be and some of the other kids had been working on theirs for months! They got it done though and on the first chance Alex had to practice he jumped right in, volunteering to go first! His fearlessness continued on race day. He was awesome.
I think his smile says it all… he had a blast! This was actually a perfect Father’s Day weekend activity. Alex made it through four rounds of racing and is already talking about next year.
It’s been a while since I shared a favorite, but this one definitely fit the bill.
Love that quirky expression and the spark in his eye.
So him right now.
I’m so happy to have completed another LOAD challenge! This one got a little bit tough for me toward the end and I really had to power through a couple of the layouts at the end, but I’m so thrilled with the results. Here are some of the layouts I finished (click on the links below to see any of them up close).
1. Insta Faves, 2. Magic, 3. One Day in Seattle, 4. The Bet, 5. I Am, 6. Home Sweet Home, 7. Go Me, 8. Green Pee, 9. Love At First Shot, 10. So Very Thankful, 11. MusicVol2Flickr, 12. ItsOurs, 13. Honoring Lasts, 14. two people, 15. Sudoku, 16. AlexMBM2012, 17. My Room, 18. So Clean, 19. Costa Rica, 20. This Moment, 21. loved, 22. Start Training, 23. For Granted, 24. perfect day, 25. wordless
This will be my sixth time joining Lain Ehmann in her Layout-A-Day challenge (LOAD) and I cannot wait. This challenge always pushes me to get more done than I thought I could. Last year during the February challenge I managed to scrap my entire vacation while I was on vacation:
I’ve scrapped the loss of my dad:
I’ve scrapped old memories:
and new memories:
I’ve scrapped about us:
And lots of him:
During this challenge, I’ve scrapped big moments, small moments, totally insignificant moments. I’ve scrapped some of my favorites photos and I’ve scrapped without photos. What I know for sure is that I’ve recorded way more memories than I would have without this challenge to give me a push. If you’re signed up and feeling a little nervous, my best advice is to relax! I promise this will be way more fun for you if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself and get involved in the community. If you’re lacking a bit of inspiration, spend time browsing the gallery. Wow – will you be inspired! If you’re not signed up and want to learn more, head on over to Layout-A-Day for all the information you need.
If you’re following along on the bloghop, your next stop is with Joy. I hope to see you in February!
Katrina Forman: http://k84mansramblings.blogspot.com
Jessica Baldwin: www.inkyaddict.com
We finally got around to taking down our Christmas tree this past week. We usually don’t wait quite this long, but our new year started off a little crazy and that’s just what happened. Here’s to a 2013 that settles down a bit.
But back to the Christmas tree. When I was taking down the ornaments, I got a bit sentimental. We don’t have a fancy, match-matchy sort of tree. Ours is full of ornaments collected over time and from our childhoods.
Mark’s mom has given him an ornament every year. These little angels are from the 70′s or so. They are adorable!
A few years ago, my parents stopped putting up a real tree and I ended up with these ornaments from our family’s collection. I never really thought much about these ornaments growing up, but I’m happy to have them for our tree.
These ornaments came from my mother-in-law. She continues the annual ornament tradition and we received these a few years in a row. I just love how delicate they are and think it would be gorgeous to have a tree full of them!
This was my 17th holiday season working at Starbucks. I’ve somehow managed to collect 19 of these guys. I would also love a tree full of little cups – how cute would that be?
Mark and I took our first overnight trip to a sweet little town in Eastern Washington called Leavenworth. It’s an adorable Bavarian village with lots of Christmas shops. All of these came from that first trip and I love them.
Here’s the full stash. Some old, some new, some store bought, some homemade, some made by little Alex hands. I will admit that I sometimes envy those with perfectly coordinated, designer looking trees. They are so clean and pretty. But the one thing that those trees will never have is the heart and soul that our tree has every year. It’s almost like a scrapbook of our lives and one of my favorite parts of every holiday is pulling them out of the attic and remembering where each one came from. Long live the hodge-podge Christmas tree!
If you know me in real life, you know that I am rarely without a camera of some sort. You can leave it to me to capture every big moment and, more typically, all of the small ones too. I love a great photo – in particular one that tells a story.
My iPhoto library, which goes back to 2005, has nearly 28,000 photos in it. Since 2008 in particular, I’ve tried to be mindful of taking at least one photo each day and, when I looked back, I found most days even before that had at least one photo.
In 2013, my goal is to be more mindful of the photos I’m taking. I still plan on taking (at least) a photo each day, but I want to be more focused on improving my photography. I want to be more focused on the story.
Last year, I used Instagram on my phone to capture at least one of my photos and I’m sure that my phone will play a large part in the coming year, too. But, I want to pull out my DSLR more and really learn it inside and out, not just a little bit like I feel like I do now.
I went back to 2005 and picked three random dates. A couple of these photos were a day or two off the actual date, but I love that each photo takes me right back to that moment and I can remember so much of what was going on in my life. I love seeing Alex grow up over the years. I love that I’ve captured images from every part of our lives. I love that look on Alex’s face going down the giant slide on July 31, 2009.
This year, I have three goals related to my daily photography:
- Increase my skill level
- Search for story
- Be in the photo more often
Did you get a new camera for Christmas? Maybe a new iPhone? Maybe you just want to capture those small moments and stories? I would love for you to join me in a daily photo practice. Now, there are lots of places on line where you can find daily photo inspiration (Capture Your 365 is my favorite). Search them out or just search your life. No matter how you approach this, I know you won’t be disappointed in the result.
If you’re interested in sharing, I’ve created a private Flickr group to post and share my photos. It will likely be a pretty small group, but I know that I get inspiration from others and would love to see the daily photography of some of you. If you’d like to be part of the group, leave a comment here or get in touch and include your email and I’ll send you an invite.
Here’s to great photography in the coming year!