Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Little Dab'll Do Ya!

I am a dabbler. I like to dabble in lots of different creative things. The boxes stacked in my mudroom, furniture in my garden shed, the few things in my garage, and many things in my corner of the sunroom attest to the fact that I have my finger in WAY too many pies! But I just can't stop. Besides it's fun so why would I stop. But I can honestly say that I have learned so many skills from all these forays into different arts, crafts and hobbies that have served me well in life.

One of my favorite dabbles was fusing glass with my friends Ann and Kathy. I don't know that it was the glass fusing so much as the chance to share a creative time with some dear friends. I had seen fused glass online and HAD to try it, so before I sunk myself $500 in debt with no place to put the kiln, I took a class. In the lobby of the studio there were these awesome pieces of art. Tiles, bowls, abstract forms all layered with beautiful colors and textures in glass cases. I couldn't wait to make my own. We picked out these pieces of colored glass and stacked them like Jenga tiles while the instructor tried her best to help us understand what the heck we were doing. The end product for me was anticlimatic. Kathy and Ann ended up with lovely pendants, while mine looked rather ugly. The color combinations were uninspired and one even had a strange blob on the end of it...sort of like a weird appendage. The outcome was a couple of hours spent with friends making some really ugly art. And all that with a savings of $435 dollars! Yeah I spent $65 on the class to find out it wasn't for me. I would try it again someday..maybe make a tile or a bowl. Check out this beautiful stuff http://www.sandfire.ca/fused.htm and if you Google fused glass you'll get 1,180,000 hits to cruise through in your spare time.

Oh and then this past winter my friend Chris caught the soap making bug, so nothing to do but buy a bunch of stuff online, drive to her house (with Kathy and Ann in tow) and make soap all day long. The outcome to this was much more positive, having made soap before I had a better idea of what I was doing. We ended up with lots of soaps to give as gifts, a bunch to donate to a charity craft fair and we had tons of laughter. In searching for supplies we found some really good resources. I found a great site for fragrances called Natures Garden.(http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/) Any company that has a fragrance called Monkey Farts is okay with me! Great site for containers on the cheap, http://www.sks-bottle.com/.
And for molds in all shapes and sizes, Google soap molds for 648,ooo hits or visit one of my favorites, http://www.goplanetearth.com/index.html. Melt and pour is the easiest method for some good clean fun!

Of course the soap making lead me to the idea of candle making, so I purchased a kit. Well, that one never made it out of the bag. I guess I'm saving it for a rainy day, I'm sure I'll put a call in to my friends to see if they are up for something new!

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