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August 30, 2009

Diamond-cut Leaf with Teardrop

Delayed posting: August has been a month of busy weekends. I worked all this last weekend, so didn't get around to putting this up until today, but I think you'll like it....

Stained Glass Sunday--where I post something from my portfolio of Golden Hour Stained Glass work.

My mom was a counselor for a grief support training called Resolve Through Sharing, whose motto was a leaf, holding a single teardrop, and floating on a pond. I loved the leaf motif and color scheme of deep purples and natural greens.

The deep cuts of the leaf were impossible to make using standard cutting techniques, so I thought of this motif when I first got my Taurus Diamond Head Ring Saw. This tool allows cuts in all directions. As a gift for my mom, I adapted the pattern from the logo myself, and created an oval about two feet high by eighteen inches wide.

Again I used copper foiling technique, reinforcing with solid copper strips. Here's the project during the soldering phase, before I'd framed the outer rim with zinc came.

I collected the glass for this project over the course of a year or so. The shadow effect is not a brown or black glass but actually a deep purple that's quite rare. And the lower part of the water isn't a clear glass, but a very light rose purple color.

This is the only project I've had professionally framed. I ordered a double-sided frame that could be viewed from front or back. This is a molded wood composite which is laser shaped to specification, which was great since my oval was not necessarily symmetrical.

My dad then made an oak stand so that my mom could use this piece at bereavement conferences and presentations.

Any reactions for me? Let me know by leaving a comment on the blog.

August 29, 2009

Taste of Downtown Burbank

The Taste of Downtown Burbank is coming up on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 from 530-930P. It's a benefit for the Burbank Community YMCA's scholarship program. What better excuse for a night out?

The festival's helping of great food and live entertainment is outdoors on San Fernando Boulevard between Magnolia and Orange Grove. Sample international & All-American specialties from Downtown Burbank restaurants, mingle with friends at the beer & wine garden and enjoy the music of live bands. Find more information on their website here.

August 27, 2009

Chihuahua Mom T-Shirts

My friend and I need a little publicity when we're out selling our all-natural dog cookies. The first time was daunting not only because we're not natural salespeople, but because we had to keep yelling "Dog Cookies for Sale!" at everyone, since we didn't have any signage or markings around us. So I made up some t-shirts for us to wear, from the logo that we print onto our cookie bag labels. The back of the shirt has a huge, 8 x 10 graphic:

I've never done any custom t-shirts or really any fancy printing with my home printer--I don't even print my own photos at home. So I was excited to try out a new, simple craft.

I got these printable transfer sheets from Target for under ten bucks for the package. They came with detailed directions, but I was still nervous when I hit the "print" button! I found a sale on basic tees for only three dollars at Old Navy, and prewashed them in hot water to make sure they'd shrunk all they were going to. The transfers are made to use on white fabric, but my friend and I like color. So when I got the shirts I tried to stick to some sort of light shade, and ended up with one green and one yellow shirt.

I used the computer program Word to print out the transfers, and the hardest part was figuring out how to invert the image! It took me about an hour to print the four transfers I needed.

Space is tight in my tiny house so I only have a small, tabletop ironing board. I've used it for so many craft projects the cover is now sticky, so I have to lay a flour sack towel over it before putting anything on it. Yes, I'm ironing on my stovetop. My grandma would be so proud.

The hardest part of the project was waiting for the transfers to cool so I could peel off the backing and see how they'd turned out. I guess I didn't wait long enough, as one tore a bit on the edge. Luckily I had a wide margin around the image. I'm trying to keep in mind that this project is really just for fun, so I'm not going to be to picky with the results.

And the reason I'm selling cookies to make dog food money was present as I took these pictures....

The front of the shirt has a smaller, "pocket"-sized logo. Subtle but eye-catching, I think.

I'm thinking I can use this type of project with my 4-H kids sometime too. What about you? Have you ever designed a custom t-shirt for a sport club or some other function? Do you print gifts, cards, or photos using your home printer? Leave me a comment on the blog.

August 25, 2009

Diana Krall at the Bowl

My latest Hollywood Bowl concert featured a true powerhouse, Grammy-winner Diana Krall. I'd heard her voice but never had the opportunity to see her live. She performed with the L.A. Philharmonic, so the evening was like two concerts in one!

As I said, I was aware of Diana Krall's vocal prowress, but I didn't know the extent to which she's a piano virtuoso. She accompanied herself on almost every number--quite the pianist.

Diana Krall reminds me uncannily of my god friend Maddy, also a Canadian, who moved back home a year or two ago. I was missing her all night.

Diana performed her usual repertoir of standards and romantic ballads, along with selections from her new album with a decidedly Latin feel. She was also fairly talkative, telling stories about her kids in her intros, and letting us know her dad was in the audience. It was neat to get to know her a bit as a person.

What a pleasant night! Have you ever seen Diana Krall or any other Jazz vocalist in concert? Who is your favorite and where have you seen them live? Please leave a comment for me on the blog.

August 24, 2009

Cinecon Classic Film Festival

Click on the flyer images to enlarge--it's got all the details on this great classic film series taking place in September. Or, check out their website here.

Have you been to this event in past years? Or are you going this year? Please leave me a comment on the blog with your favorite classic film title.

August 23, 2009

Country Textured Stained Glass Window

Delayed posting: Stained Glass Sunday

This past Sunday was a holiday for me, and I've had a touch of a migraine since then, so I'm just getting around to posting something from my stained glass portfolio.

My sister moved into a condo which surprisingly had a large window in her shower/bathtub. She requested a piece that would obscure the view in, but didn't have a lot of color. I had fun designing this piece through texture. The diamond accents are in a light shade of yellow that paired nicely with the frame. It measures about 2 1/2 feet by somewhere near six feet. I added copper reinforcement to the interior of the soldering. To add contrast to the colorless glass, I patinaed the copper foil a nice burnished color.

My Grandma Rosentreter visited while I was working on this piece. I was glad she got to see how I made my craft. I think this is the only time she got to see me work on something, though she'd received several gifts from me.

The finished piece was quite eye catching. My dad again built a custom, double-sided wood frame, and I painted it with a crackle white underlaid with gold. Overall it had a Country feel to it that I thought suited my sister.

I took details of the textures I'd chosen.

I packaged it with care and sent it off to my sister in the mail. Unfortunately, it didn't do well in the trip....

All three diamonds broke in shipping, as did one of the larger panels. Because the frame had been custom painted, fixing the broken areas would be a complicated task. I sent my sister the shipping insurance money and told her to take it to a repair shop, but it sits in my folks' basement for now. My sister moved from that house soon afterward, so the impetus to fix this piece has long since faded.

Where would you put something like this if it were repaired? Feel free to leave me a comment on the blog.

August 22, 2009

Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture

When I was a VISTA volunteer in the late 1990s, one of my housemates worked at a homeless shelter in the LA area catering to the Filipino community. I hope I can run into my old friend next month at the 18th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture. It's being held at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro (at 807 Paseo Del Mar) on September 12th &13th, sponsored by the organization FilAmArts. The postcard that notified me of this event doesn't give many details, but it sure has some spectacular pictures, so it looks to be a great event. Click on either of the images to enlarge them.

Do you like cultural fairs and special events as much as I do? Leave me a comment on the blog, especially if you attend this event.

August 21, 2009

Remote Area Medical: Free Health & Dental Care

Much has been reported about the free health clinic just held at the Forum in Inglewood--final stats: 6,344 patients, 3,827 volunteers, more than $3M delivered in services at the largest FREE health care event in the U.S. I first heard about it myself on NPR. I thought it was worth mentioning here anyways for those that didn't know about it because the subject of health care is so dire for those that have no insurance. I know when I'm having both health and financial issues, I am often too stressed to think clearly, so I want it in the queue for "health" on the blog so that it pops up when you're searching and might remind you of a forgotten option.

The Remote Area Medical® (RAM) Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.

Founded in 1985, Remote Area Medical® is a publicly supported all-volunteer charitable organization. Volunteer doctors, nurses, pilots, veterinarians and support workers participate in expeditions (at their own expense) in some of the world's most exciting places. Medical supplies, medicines, facilities and vehicles are donated.

Did any of you go to this event for health, dental, or eye care? How was your experience? Let me know in a comment on the blog.

August 20, 2009

Chihuahua Mom's Dog Cookies

I knew figuring out how to link PayPal to the blog would come handy. My friend Jessica and I have started making some healthy, all-natural dog cookies in our spare time. In our first attempt we came up with a workable recipe for a peanut butter cookie that my dogs love.

Of course there's the traditional bone-shaped treat....

But we also wanted to add a bit of a whimsical touch, so we came up with a fall theme of acorns....

And then a tiny squirrel, which fit the "Within My Means" blog theme perfectly.

We also made my standby, a parsley-cornmeal treat that is especially breath freshening. The only pics I took of these were already packaged, with the nifty label I created from some clip art. Chance and Claire were my inspiration, so the name seemed to fit.

Jessica came up with a molasses-apple cookie that tastes great, even to humans. It's a bit cake-y rather than crunchy though, so our drop cookie technique left it somewhat oddly shaped. We decided next time we'll use mini-cupcake forms.

Our treats are made with all-natural ingredients, so theoretically these are people cookies too, but with no added sugar, they're not the ideal human treat.

Claire came along on our first selling venture in Runyon Canyon and was thouroughly tortured for hours as I called out "Cookies for sale!" but proceeded to reward her with none.

Feel free to order via the blog website! If you're local drop me an email with your contact information, and I'll phone you to set up a rendezvous at a dog park or other convenient pick up spot.

And please come back to the blog to leave a comment letting us know how much your dog loves 'em!
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