Monday, September 3, 2012

Camelback Mountain Stained Glass

This stained glass panel was inspired by one of the beautiful landmarks in the Phoenix area- Camelback Mountain.

It's a mountain located in Paradise Valley, Arizona and is a popular hiking and rock climbing destination for both residents and visitors alike.

The mountain gets its name because it resembles the hump and face of a camel in the kneeling position.

This panel was a gift for my brother who now lives in Iowa. When he lived in Arizona he liked to climb this mountain and many other mountains which surround the Valley.

I though this would be a nice reminder of his childhood home.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apple Core Quilt Pattern Stained Glass Panel

Inspired by a quilt pattern used in my family for many generations - I made this stained glass panel using various colors and textures of glass.

Available for sale here

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Birthstone Hearts

This stained glass panel was hand-crafted for a friend of mine who is fortunate enough to have six healthy children.

My goal was to make a panel for her that she would cherish and would represent the closeness the family has toward one another.

The uneven lines running horizontal in this panel represent the ups and downs a family will experience in life. It also signifies many families coming together as one.

The vertical lines represent their faith in God and the love from their mother. The lines are strong, straight and unwavering.

The entire panel is surrounded with the color of the mother's birthstone. Just as in her family - she is surrounding her kids with her love.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

African Daisy-filled Front Yard

During the months of Spring in Arizona there are houses upon houses with front yards filled with flowers. My house is one of those houses.

Nearly ten years ago I planted one one-gallon container of African Daisies. From that moment forward my front yard has been filled with orange and yellow blossoms from November through March.

What one must realize that if we want the weather that resembles Springtime weather - we must look to the months of November through March for this.

My front yard is once again a yard filled with crushed slate and thirsty Saguaro cactus. I also have the tall Ocotillo, the vibrant bougainvillea and the various Palo Verde trees.

I love living in the desert. It's warm, dry and it doesn't snow here.

The picture shown above was taken this past February when the flowers were at their peak.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hole in the Rock

In the City of Phoenix is a local park which surrounds a landmark known as 'Hole in the Rock.' Papago Park hosts the Phoenix Zoo and the site of Hunts Tomb. I'll talk about all of that in another post.

This is a formation created between 6 - 15 million years ago in a series of small landslides slid from surrounding mountains.

Since its formation many years ago there has been much erosion from wind and water.

What we see today appears to be a small hill of red dirt with an opening near the top.

Apparently the Hohokam, early inhabitants of the region, used the hole to gauge time and seasons as the sunlight passed through the opening onto various boulders and markings on the ground.

This picture was taken in April, 2012 as a group of Swiss exchange students were visiting their sister city, Scottsdale.

As we were leaving the park I turned back to see the mound one more time. A young girl, who was eating lunch with us moments before, was standing in the opening for all to see. I snapped her picture as she conquered the hill.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A View from the Eye

During a recent vacation to Europe I had the opportunity to be the tourist and stay in London for a few days.

I dragged my daughter and my husband along and we had a great family vacation.

We all had a wonderful time eating, drinking, sight-seeing and people-watching.

Doing a few touristy things along way was fun. One of which was a tour around the Eye. The view from up top is amazing and all the big things look little.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Maltese Cross Stained Glass Panel

Last week I received a telephone call from a woman living in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. She is the president of an organization that honors the volunteer fire department in this small, (750 resident) Gulf Coast town.

Her request to me was to make a stained glass panel crafted into the shape of the Maltese Cross.

After chatting with her about what she wants, when she needs it and what size it should be - I quickly turned to the internet to research a little bit more about the Maltese Cross. This is the information I found from the New York City Fire Fighters History website:

When a courageous band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the holy land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but a horrible device of war, it wrought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross. The Saracen's weapon was, fire.

As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs containing naphtha. When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens hurled a flaming torch into their midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths.

Thus, these men became our first firefighter and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each here a badge of honor - a cross similar to the one firefighter's wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage - a ladder rung away from death.

This pretty piece measures 15.5" square and will hang proudly in the small community of Magnolia Springs, Alabama.

Red Moon over Scottsdale, Arizona

During the Full Moon on April 5, 2011 I climbed up on my rooftop to snap a few photographs.

In the desert the sunset and moonrise are often times a sight to behold. The dust particles and pollens in the air create the beautiful colors you see above.

The Palm Trees in the foreground and the electrical wires running horizontal give a good contrast to the moon lit sky.

If you look very carefully you can spot two brightly-lit stars in the top of the photo. I'm not sure which stars or planets these are but they add just a little bit of whimsy to the picture.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kitty Art

I love to visit New York City and I love to visit my daughter. Since she lives in NYC I get the best of both worlds.

During a recent visit she took me for a stroll along the High Line Park located in the packing district in that infamous city.

Apparently, as the story goes, the rails were used for many, many years to transport the product of the packing district to the piers along the Hudson River. As the time changed the rails were no longer used and quickly became an eyesore for the neighborhood.

In an effort to rebuild the area a group of concerned citizens formed a "Friends of the High Line" here to help raise awareness and funds to create something nice out of blight.

The city of Scottsdale, Arizona has suggested to the residents that we come together and create a similar project for the area in South Scottsdale which has been abandoned by the Car Dealerships formerly located in the 'Miracle Mile' along McDowell Road.

This little picture above was taken because I love the public art space. I especially love the little angel kitty which has been added along the walk.

It's an amazing park and I hope to see something similar in the city of Scottsdale.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cherry Blossom Festival

I was fortunate enough to travel to Washington D.C. for the 100th celebration of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The weather was beautiful and the sights were amazing.

Living in the great state of Arizona I don't have the option of seeing many trees in full-bloom. The colors of all the blossoms were deep and rich.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Howling Coyote Stained Glass Panel

This is the last panel in a series of three stained glass panels.

The woman who ordered these panels is a part-time resident of Arizona. She loves the colors of the desert and wanted those colors to be a part of her kitchen.

She gave me artistic freedom to create whatever I felt would highlight these colors. After visiting her home and seeing her choice of decor -- I made the panels in the style of Southwestern Design.

Not only is she absolutely thrilled with the panels - she has asked me to make more panels for her home in the Midwest.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Arizona Sunset Stained Glass Panel

This Saguaro Cactus panel is the second in a series of three pieces ordered by a woman living in Mesa, Arizona.

The Saguaro Cactus can live more than 100 years and are beautiful cactus to see. If photographed during the beautiful Arizona sunset the colors just jump out of the sky.

Red, orange, blue, green, purple and gold are the common colors of the sunset I can view from my studio.

This woman has three western-facing windows in her kitchen which are very bright and difficult to look at in the afternoon. These panels will tuck nicely into the space and cast a rainbow of colors across her home.

The first photograph is showing the panel after the glass has been cut and arranged into place. Following this step is the grinding of the sides of each piece of glass, surrounding each piece with copper tape then getting soldered together. The final step is to surround the panel with zinc came then finish it off with a coating of dark patina.

After a good cleaning and polishing the completed panel is shown in the last two photographs.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kokopelli Stained Glass Panel

Shown above is a custom-ordered, custom-made stained glass panel.

This panel was hand-crafted into the shape of the Native American deity which represents fertility. Often feared by young women, the Kokopelli is a humpback flute player.

Among the Hopi Tribe - the Kokopelli carries unborn children on his back and distributes them to women.

This panel was ordered from a woman who lives in Mesa, Arizona. She is a winter visitor and has embraced the Arizona lifestyle and needed to add some color to her western facing kitchen window.

In the first photograph you can see the glass after it's been cut into various shapes. Following this, each piece of glass is ground down, surrounded with copper tape then soldered into place. After a good cleaning a coating of patina is applied. Another good cleaning then it'll get waxed for an all-over shine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

During a vacation to Hawai'i last January - I came across a little restaurant located directly on the beach. The name of the restaurant is the Hula Grille.

Following a day of shopping, beaching and all-around fun, I found I was very hungry and very thirsty. The Hula Grille satisfied both of my needs with a large plate of shrimp tacos and an ice-cold Pina Colada.

If I remember correctly the restaurant is in Maui and I highly recommend going to Hawai'i. If for nothing else - to visit this restaurant. The sky is always blue and the beaches are always warm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

During a weekend stay-cation in the Valley of the Sun -- my husband and I stayed at one of the local resorts in Scottsdale, AZ.

As I was laying by the pool drinking my cool beverage -- I decided to take a little walk-about and see what I could find with my camera.

I stumbled upon this quiet little scene which was waiting for the bride, groom and guests.

It was the perfect time of year for a wedding in Scottsdale. The sun is shining and the thermometer isn't above the 70's.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

During a visit to San Francisco, California I had the chance to take the ferry to Alcatraz Island.

The buildings are getting tired and the paint is falling off the walls. One can almost feel the souls of all the convicts who spent at least part of their lives on this cold, damp island.

Now the walkways are filled with tourists and the plants, shrubs and trees have taken back the land.

This photo was taken above a walkway while others strolled through the past.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The White Castle

During a family vacation to London in 2011 I had the opportunity to visit the Tower of London.

This photograph is the White Tower at the Tower of London, built by William the Conquerer following the Invasion in 1066.

My daughter, who will be earning her Master's in Library Science (MLS) this spring, acts as a personal tour guide whenever we travel. She's a wonderful person and a great person to take on vacation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Mill House - New York Botanical Gardens

While visiting New York City last Autumn I had the honor of going to the Botanical Gardens.

My daughter and I took the train to the Bronx and spent most of the day strolling through the red, gold, brown and red colors of the season.

This was the old Mill House located on the property. Many weddings and other social events happen here. After seeing the colors and experiencing the season I can understand why.

Traffic Jam

I've been admiring the Tilt Shift Photography for quite some time now and have recently been playing around with various pictures. The picture shown above was taken during a traffic jam and is a great picture to apply this technique.

What I love about this format is that it makes the photographs appear to me a miniature version of themselves. It has a model railroad effect about the picture.

This picture was not take by me. I chose it from the internet for its depth and amount of color and subject matter.

I will be snapping pictures in and around Scottsdale during the next few weeks and posting my own photographs using the Tilt Shift method.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sapphire Blue Snowflakes

Shown above is a stained glass panel hand-crafted using an up-cycled glass coaster.

I was going through my kitchen gadgets and donating all the goodies that were no longer being used. When I came upon a stack of four glass coasters I simply couldn't put them into the box of donated goodies.

Although they've been sitting in my studio for more than a year - they've been on my mind. Now that winter is finally here I thought they'd be a good little project to work on while the thermometer dips down into the mid-60's.

Available here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

When Two Worlds Collide

This panel was inspired by the new love of two young people.

Using the color of turquoise from the December birthstone and the color of purple from the opal in the October birthstone - this piece shows what happens when the two worlds come together.

The color of love and passion is red which is the result their love.

This piece will soon be given to the lovely woman in this new relationship. I hope she enjoys viewing the piece as much as I've enjoyed creating it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Four Butterflies

Although the calendar says it's Autumn - I'm still seeing pretty butterflies in the front garden which is filled with flowers.

This little sun catcher was inspired after picking flowers with my three-year-old granddaughter while she questioned me the entire time. "Where do butterflies sleep?" "How many babies do butterflies have?" "Do the mommy butterflies like girl babies or boy babies?"

Her questions seem to go on and on. But I love her curiosity.

Available for sale here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life is Shattered

This little piece of stained glass was inspired by a recent event in my life.

A friend of more than 30-years suddenly died leaving behind a young child and wife.

I was thinking of him and his family and thought of how her life will be changed forever. Her life is shattered.

A sheet of glass is like our own life. All it takes is one event for it to shatter or break apart. The pieces can be picked up and put back together. But somehow, it never will be the same. There will always be a scar. There will always be a small piece missing.

Available here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Leaf Stained Glass

I realize that in Scottsdale, Arizona the temperatures often times will exceed 100* F far past the calendar date of Autumn. Today's expected temperature is 96*. We celebrate routinely when the weatherman predicts 'less than one hundred degree days ahead!'

I can only dream of changing leaves, cool/crisp air and picking apples off the tree and eating them. I did that once! Last Fall I visited my daughter in NYC. We rented a car, drove up Long Island and stopped at a few orchards and picked some fresh fruit followed by some amazing pizza at a local eatery.

This little stained glass leaf is my memory of last year. It was fun and the colors of Autumn are wonderful.

Available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Italian Countryside Stained Glass Panel

This stained glass panel was designed and made while I daydream of a vacation to Italy.

The three Cypress trees are standing tall against the backdrop of fluffy clouds and purple mountains.

As my 30th wedding anniversary approaches I have to decide if I'm going to travel abroad to see Italy or stay state-side and explore the city of Providence, RI.

Both places intrigue me and are on my list of places to see.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I-19 Barn

During the six years my daughter lived in Tucson we had the opportunity to drive down to the Mexico border a few times.

Although the border towns are a bit dirty the bakeries and small shop-lined streets are fun to walk through for a few hours.

On one of our many visits driving down Highway 19 I had seen an old adobe barn off the old highway. On my last visit I realized the barn was slowly leaning to one side. I guess one could call it 'The Leaning Barn of Highway 19.'

We stopped and snapped a few photos. The clouds were cooperating with me that day and gave a lovely backdrop for the old structure.

I played around with the image in my Photomatix program and gave it an almost comic book look.

The barn has fallen to the ground and cannot be fixed. Anything made from mud, straw and water probably has a shortened life-span during the Monsoon Season.

I hope you enjoy this barn.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Old, Red Firetruck

During a recent photography day-trip to Apache Junction, Arizona I ran across a very old Firetruck parked against the back wall near the train station.

Although my goal was to photograph the train I couldn't help but be intrigued with this old truck.

I wondered how fast it would have gone during its Glory Days. How many fires did it help to extinguish? How many men rode on the back? Was there really a Dalmatian sitting in the front seat?

I hope you enjoy viewing this old truck.

If only it could talk.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bird Cage Butterfly

A pretty blue stained glass bird cage with a butterfly attached.

This little piece is sparkling as it hangs in the bright Arizona sunshine.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pineapple Stained Glass

The pineapple has been a universal symbol of hospitality and welcome for many centuries throughout the world.

This pineapple stained glass panel was commissioned by an officer's wife. She and her family are based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky which is the home of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.

An officer's family has a very high level of duty and responsibility to uphold as they set the example for enlisted personnel and their families.

The woman who requested this piece couldn't think of a nicer way to welcome others into her home than to have a pineapple displayed in her front room window.

The panel pictured above is nearly half-way completed and should be finished and on its way soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pretty Kitty

For all the cat lovers out there - this is a photo of my calico kitty. Her name is Allie and she has a sister named Bernie.

She loves to sit near the studio door and watch the birds as they fly around the yard.

When she was younger - and a little slimmer - she would chase the birds in an attempt to catch them. Now that she's middle-aged. All she does is watch them.

She's still pretty though.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pretty Red Cherries Stained Glass

As I was sitting down this afternoon remembering fond events from my childhood.

One summer long ago I spent my entire summer vacation in Washington State visiting my favorite Aunt. She and my uncle live on a cherry/apple/pear orchard in the western part of the state.

Running through the grass, stopping to pick fresh asparagus and watching the worms go in and out of the soft ground was what I enjoyed doing.

Cherry trees were plentiful and the cherries were bright red. Making this little sun catcher brought me back that simple time in my life.

This little piece is prettier in person when the sun catches the red and green of the glass.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pretty Little Blue Spider

A pretty little blue spider -- stained glass suncatcher.

Available for sale here.