Glasspirations Blog by Glassy Lady

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Feline Lonely
Wed 12th Feb 2014 at 6:32pm

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I don't know if you are like me, but I am passionate about many things! Mainly animal protection (apart from fusing glass of course!)

But, it is so easy to share pictures of animals needing homes and sign petitions to stop the cruelty that goes on around the world - not so easy to actually do something. So, although it is a very small something, this is my start.

I have been following Battersea Dog's and Cat's Home as well as all the other homing charities and when I saw this event I not only thought what an amazing idea, when they were asking for Valentine's blankets and mice, I thought this was the time to do something positive no matter how small. So I purchased my pink and red wool (with sparkles in!) got to have some sparkle and sent the blanket and 3 mice (not blind!) off and above is a picture of Misty with my little gifts - a gorgeous boy who is looking for his forever home - isn't he too cute!

On the 14th February they are having the Feline Lonely event and it sounds puuurrrfect I have been speaking to a lovely lady, Lydia at Battersea and she very kindly sent me this information:-

  • Feline Lonely is on Friday 14 February from 5:30pm to 9pm.

  • Entry is free although we do ask for a donation of £2 to visit the Home.

  • Cat Cuddle Booths are just one of the activities on offer to those Feline Lonely on Friday 14 February, offering visitors the chance to get up close and purrsonal with Battersea cats in their pens. The world famous charity is inviting cat lovers to come and find their pawfect match from 5.30 - 9.00pm and guests can enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly and canapés whilst they search for the cat of their dreams. Staff hope that the free event will inspire members of the public to find love in a Battersea cat, and give a second chance to one of the 2,760 cats the charity takes in every year.

  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and to see the amazing cats wanting a home - please visit Feline Lonely.

Also if you have someone you love have a look at these gorgeous e-cards that you can send on Valentine's day... Send an e-card

So to all the wonderful people reading my blog I challenge you to do the same - Lydia said 'We're very desperate for knitted blankets at the moment so any size is fine - especially with a cold snap on its way!'

These are the patterns I used for the blanket and for the Mice
(They are PDF files. Select 'open' after you click on the link to open them in your PDF reader)

I would love you to leave a comment and/or put pictures of your makes on Facebook and together we can Make a Difference!

Gung Hai Fat Choi! - Happy New Year!
Thu 30th Jan 2014 at 6:46pm

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Gung Hai Fat Choi! - Happy New Year!

By now if you have been following me for a while you will have worked out I love to learn new things and I love to pass on that knowledge to you - my fab Glasspirations friends.

This blog is not only all about snippets of information about Chinese New Year, but I want you to give me some feedback - please! Do you think that any one would be interested in having a little red dish with their Chinese animal symbol - taken from the picture above? Let me know if you can in the comment box underneath - thank you xox

New Year is one of China's oldest festivals it is a time for loved ones to reunite and take part in traditions designed to bring good fortune for the next 12 months.

The reason for the noise and colour come from a legend associated with the celebrations - that of the beast Nian, a monster which would appear at the end of every year and attack people. Villagers worked out that loud noise, bright lights and the colour red kept Nian at bay, and so the seeds of Chinese New Year celebrations were sown. It wouldn't be Chinese New Year without fireworks and fire-crackers where traditionally they are set off on New Year's Eve in order to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new.

Chinese New Year is held each year between 21 January and 20 February, this year it falls on 31 January, although the festival will begin a day earlier. The Chinese calendar's origins can be traced back as far as the 14th century BC and this year's celebrations will mark the beginning of the year 4712 on the Chinese calendar. The exact date of Chinese New Year is determined by the lunisolar cycle. That means the calendar is based on exact astronomical observations of the sun's longitude and moon phases.

The Chinese Zodiac is made up of 12 animals. They are (in order): Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (aka Ram), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Each animal has different personality traits, and these traits are also said to apply to the different years too, as well as to the people born in those years.

This is the most widespread legend about Chinese zodiac. The Jade Emperor (The Emperor in Heaven in Chinese folklore) ordered that animals would be designated as calendar signs and the twelve that arrived first would be selected. At that time, the cat and the rat were good friends and neighbours. When they heard of this news, the cat said to the rat: 'We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late.' The rat then promised to awaken his friend and go together. However, on the morning when he got up, he was too excited to recall his promise, and went directly to the gathering place. On the way, he encountered the tiger, ox, horse, and other animals that ran much faster. In order not to fall behind them, he thought up a good idea. He made the straightforward ox carry him on condition that he sang for the ox. At last, the ox and him arrived first. The ox was happy thinking that he would be the first sign of the years, but the rat had already slid in front, and became the first lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac. Meanwhile his neighbour the cat was too late so when it finally arrived, the selection was over. That's why other animals appear behind the little rat and why the cat hates the rat so much that every time they meet, the cat will chase and kill it.

I am a Rat - hmmm not too flattering, but I kind of like the description - it is deceptive! Which one are you ? Have a look at the picture above and let me know with a comment - be interesting to see how many animals we can get together.

Fri 10th Jan 2014 at 11:41pm

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So glad to have you all with me

As 'Love is all Around' at the moment - it would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that Valentine's day is fast approaching - it seems that since running my little Glasspirations life seems to go from one event to the next all too quickly!

I have been creating some LOVE-ly fused glass that can be given to someone you love any day of the year - but although I know it is a bit kitsch - at least Valentine's Day is one day of the year when hopefully you aren't too busy to say - I Love You xox

I have a confession to make, although I love books - in fact I'm determined to write a children's book one of these days! - I just don't seem to get the chance to read as much any more. When researching for my blog, as my thoughts are never too far away from reading, I thought it would be interesting to share with you Reader's Digest top ten picks for the best timeless love stories -

My favourite of all time is 'The Thorn Birds' - I read this when I was a teenager (my first grown-up book!) and loved it - still do (it didn't hurt that when the movie came out Richard Chamberlain was the main character!) hehe

So here it is - see if you agree! I couldn't say it any better than they did so I have taken this from the article!

  1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)
    Set in 1915 Australia, this remarkable saga chronicles the forbidden love between a beautiful, headstrong young girl and a priest. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll stay up way too late reading this fabulous story.

  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë/Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (both 1847)
    Really, how can you pick one Brontë over the other? Who is more romantic, Heathcliff or Mr. Rochester? Whose moors are mistier, whose foggy English countryside is more moody, whose manor house is more creepy? It's a tie - both timeless romances are not to be missed.

  3. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992)
    Haunting and beautiful, Ondaatje's award-winning novel tells the story of four war-damaged souls living in an Italian monastery at the end of WWII, and the love story between two of them, the exhausted nurse Hana, and the severely burned unnamed English patient. Unforgettably unique.

  4. True Believers by Nicholas Sparks (2005)
    The latest 4-hanky love story by the master of sweet, heartwarming romantic tales. This one features a hotshot New York journalist and a plain-speaking Southern librarian, both of whom have been hurt by love before. Their differences are forgotten when love blossoms in this wonderfully escapist romantic read.

  5. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (1969)
    A Victorian gentleman is engaged to a wealthy and suitable woman, but when he encounters a beautiful, mysterious woman rumored to be the forsaken lover of a French lieutenant, he becomes utterly smitten. Truly magnificent entertainment.

  6. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts (2002)
    Passion abounds in this romance set on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where the rough-hewn Seth Quinn wins over Drusilla, the town's icy beauty. Great characters, great dialogue, fun and steamy scenes. True, Roberts has written a gazillion love stories, but this one is a real standout.

  7. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
    An aging butler named Stevens, who has performed his job to perfection for more than three decades, reflects on his life. But underneath his controlled exterior lurks a passionate and romantic soul that has been quashed during his years of unblemished service. In the twilight of his life, Stevens learns what love is all about. A fine literary novel.

  8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
    Trapped in a loveless marriage, Anna Karenina succumbs to temptation and embarks on a dangerous affair with the handsome Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds amid the canvas of 19th-century Russia, in the most famous of doomed love stories. A memorable and enduring classic.

  9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1991)
    A powerhouse time-travel romance, this is the first in Gabaldon's hugely successful series. Strong, beautiful Claire Randall leads a double life, married to a man in one century, with a lover in another century. Filled with humor, passion, wit and wonderful Scottish scenery, this is one fast read for a 600-plus page book. Enjoy the wallow!

  10. Follow the Stars Home by Luanne Rice (2000)
    If you choose the wrong love, can you save your life from ruin? Years ago, thirtysomething Dianne married the wrong man - the sexy lobster fisherman - and not his kindly pediatrician brother. Years later, after tragedy strikes, can she reverse her bad fortune? Grab your tissues and find out in this touching weeper.

    "These are much more than love stories; they are life stories," says Select Editions editor-in-chief Laura Kelly. "If you like a good love story, books are so much more satisfying than movies," she continues. "Books take you into the minds of all the characters, where their hopes and dreams will really fire up your own imagination."

Here is the link to the page

Please add a comment if you have read any of these and which is your favourite!

and if you are looking for something different that lasts - like 'love' have a look at my Valentine Album - remember I can make a bespoke item for your loved one too!

2013 - That Was The Year That Was
Mon 23rd Dec 2013 at 5:34am

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2013 - That Was The Year That Was

Well 2013 has been a year of great change - it hasn't been easy, but then I am sure the same can be said for most of you! The highlight for me is that I have 'met' all of you and could not have done it without you - thank you!
I thought that it would be a good idea for those of you who don't know much about me to include snippets of an interview that I did with Creative Crafting earlier in the year - thank you to Jane Galley for asking me.

JANE What made you decide to go into working with glass?

ME I have always loved glass! I love the transparency of it, the way it makes rainbows when placed in front of the light. I went on holiday to Cape Town in my early twenties and was taken to visit someone who created their own glass bowls etc. I was blown away and never thought that it was possible to do something so incredible from home. The love affair had begun!. In March this year I decided to take the plunge and start Glasspirations!

JANE Where do you get your inspiration?

ME I have always been interested in interior decorating and love to design fused glass items for the home, getting my inspiration from the photographs and swatches of wall paper that my lovely customers send me of their colour schemes. I love to take topical subjects too and create my interpretation of them.

JANE How do you go about making a custom piece of glass?

ME Once I get the idea - I order the glass that I need first, making sure that the colours will complement each other. I then cut out the glass by hand (usually ending up with multiple plasters!!!) This is when I add any decorations to the piece of glass. When glass melts it can react in many ways, but you need to have a depth of 6mm in order to keep the shape of the glass, so using a combination of pieces I then put them into 'Gladys' my kiln and take the glass up to a temperature of above 1000 C, this temperature has to be held and then taken down very carefully in order to create the item of glass that you desire.

JANE Is there something you'd like to do/try or somewhere you'd like to go if time or money was no barrier?

ME There are so many places I would like to go - when I worked at Air Zimbabwe I went to Australia and USA, Hong Kong and many other places - but I would dearly love to go to Peru - Machu Piccu and to see the Northern Lights!!! - Bucket list.

Oh and you may have noticed I love cats and The Cookie Monster hehe!

Finally for all of you who have purchased any of my glass items I thought I would leave you with a tip for cleaning glass- not always an easy task!! I use Warm Glass UK Professional Glass Cleaner for my projects as the glass needs to be completely clean before it goes into 'Gladys' the kiln or the fuse will not be successful, but a much cheaper and eco-friendly alternative for delicate items is vinegar and water and dry with a lint-free cloth. The cloth I use is Warm Glass UK Glass Cleaning Cloths but you could use any use any microfibre cloth.

While we are talking glass cleaning - I found this fantastic recipe for cleaning mirrors, windows and shower doors by Crunchy Betty. I have not tried this on my glass, I am not sure what the cornstarch would do to delicate glass products, but watch this space and I will try out it for you.

Before you get the recipe, here are a couple of points:

  • Do try to use filtered or distilled water with this, as tap water is still a bit yucky, and it may leave more residue on your mirrors and windows.

  • This should keep for at least a month, with the alcohol and vinegar acting as preservatives, but keep an eye on it for any longer than that.

The Best Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 cup. filtered, very hot water

  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1/8 cup. rubbing alcohol (at least 70% isopropyl, if not more)

  • 1/8 cup. white vinegar

Boil your water and let it cool just a bit. Add cornstarch to your spray bottle, and then the hot water. Shake well to dissolve. Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar, and shake again. Every time you use this, you'll want to shake it up to avoid clogging the spray nozzle with undissolved cornstarch. Use liberally and happily.

All that is left now is to wish you and yours all the best for Christmas or whatever you celebrate at this time of year and here's looking forward to growing with you all in 2014.

Lots of love,
Glassy Lady (and Gladys !)

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