What I did over winter break

Amazing that I have the chance to catch up on my blogging. I’m waiting for things so I write. Things like…work in the tumbler polishing and a repair on my bench waiting for epoxy to cure..stuff like that.

What have you been doing over the break, Barbara? Eating bonbons and twiddling your thumbs?

I’ve been very busy keeping up with the holiday sales in my Etsy store and some direct orders as well.  I was inspired to rework a bimetal casting idea from a couple of years ago and I can see expanding on this more when I return from Rome.

I also spent some time photographing my brother, Joe, at his shop and working on a website for his new business, Old World Instruments. He’s creating authentic Lutes and other instruments.

Somewhere in the Fall semester I lost the sterling silver, “idiots delights” bracelet I made back in 1986 or so. My wrist felt so empty without it, I spent a whole night just making myself another one. Funny how I love designing all different kinds of jewelry, but I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the jewelry that I wear daily.

Then there was the top secret project. A memory quilt in honor of David’s parents 50th Anniversary. It was a surprise. We sent out the invitations in September for the event as well as asking if anyone would like to make a quilt square. If they responded that they did, we sent out a plain white square that could be decorated however they choose. A postage paid envelope was also included and we set a deadline of December 1 to return the squares. Allowing for any late arrivals, I scheduled the weekend of December 14-16 to assemble all the squares.

I used a strip assembly method and took over the living room and dining room for three whole days. I gotta say, the old Pfaff 1222 just cranked it along. The final result was packed and shipped to David’s brothers house in anticipation of the reception on December 29, 2012. You can see a photo album on my Flickr photostream of the assembly. I still have yet to get a good picture of the entire quilt because it is so large.

After the quilt assembly, I had a few days to prepare for Christmas and then our trip to Kansas. There was one day that I hadn’t scheduled anything. The choice was clear, we could make some dark chocolate raspberry truffles, I had all the ingredients and it had been about two years since I last made a batch.


I suddenly realized that we finally had all the supplies to do some glass flameworking with the glass supplies that we gave Gwen for her birthday. I gave her the choice. Make candy or make glass? Yes, my artist kid chose glass.

We had a lot of fun and I started to get a feel for the material. It was a short day, Gwen made three pieces and I made two. I’m looking forward to doing more of this when we return from Rome.

Then it was off to Kansas and a lovely Christmas with David’s family. Followed on December 29 with the long awaited 50th Anniversary reception and performance at the Quality Hill Playhouse in downtown Kansas City. David played the piano as part of the special performance just for Chuck and Betty. He was followed by several of the regular Quality Hill players performing special requests from the happy couple.

We then drove back to Philadelphia via Floyd VA, with an overnight stop at the Green Man Inn and rendezvous with good friends to round out our busy holiday. Since we returned, we’ve been busy with all the preparations for going abroad. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep this space updated as we begin our newest adventure of 2013, studying abroad.

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