Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fun with Glass!

In this post, I shared about our trip to the Dale Chihuly Gardens in Seattle.  My mom and I loved it!  A while back I saw a Groupon pop up for an intro to glassblowing class at a local studio.  I knew it would be the perfect gift for Mother's Day.

Potek Glass is located in NE Minneapolis' Arts District.  The studio was in a fun old building and we took a freight elevator up!  Annie was our instructor.  We first gathered out supplies and she gave up a torch lesson, teaching us to POOP.  That is is the creative acronym for remembering the order to turn on and off the torch.  Propane - Oxygen - Oxygen - Propane.  Bad things can happen if you don't do that properly and there aren't safety checkpoints.  Since this studio teaches a lot of beginners it was almost impossible for anything to go TOO wrong.

Lots of fun toys!
Mom - Ready to learn!
It looks cooler in person!
We has 3 projects that Annie demonstrated, then supervised us doing.
The first project was a paper weight.  We took a large rod and made a "gather" (basically a big blob) of glass and dipped the hot glass in colored glass dust called frit.  Then you hot cut the blob away from the rod.  My mom was rounding out her paper weight below.  Mine didn't turn out well (I know, how do you mess that up?)
 We placed each finished piece in a pile of... shoot, I can't remember what it's called.  Anyway, it helps to protect the glass as it cools.
Next we made an icicle ornament.  For this we made another "gather" and then flattened it with a masher.  We then stretched and twisted the disk as we heated it.

My final product - turned out ok!
I was most excited about our last item!  We got to experiment with blown glass!  The official project was an incense holder, but I have no use for that, so I got creative (with instructor approval!)  For this one we started with a glass tube instead of a rod.  We heated and closed off the end.  Then got it white hot and slowly blew on the open end.  The rods we had could only expand to a couple inches max so our bulbs were pretty small.  I added a few facial features and BAM!
I think it's kind of cute!  Not sure what I am going to do with it, but I am proud!  After the last project we got some free time to experiment with anything we wanted.  I stayed with the blown glass, but ended up with something that looks kind of like an eyeball pulled out of someones socket...  I made a loop at the top so I could hang it if I want to.
Regardless of results, it was REALLY fun!  The studio has open torch a couple times a month for just $15!  I am hoping to get in there again soon and work on my skills.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I had a wonderful Mother's day this year!  We spent Saturday evening with Jimmy's whole family.  His mom, Cherry, made a WONDERFUL meal of beer beef sandwiches and sides.  I don't tell her enough, but I am really grateful to have her for a mother-in-law.

This may sound strange, but I spent Sunday morning without Parker!  Church was in need of volunteers for children's programming so I subbed for both services.  It felt nice to serve other moms.  After church I went to my parents house.  Jimmy met us there later after work.  We took a ride in the workman (see below.)  I am so glad summer is coming!  I love heading out to my parents and enjoying a tiny bit of country!
My gift was wonderful (albeit a necessary purchase.)  A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I was in a car accident.  My car was totaled so we were on the hunt for a new vehicle!  Lucky for us, we have been shopping for a while, anticipating upgrading in the next year.  We found a great deal on the model were were eyeing up (even a year earlier than planned!)  It is a Chevy Equinox.  We knew that it would be ideal to have a larger vehicle with more cargo room if or when we had another baby (no, this is not a pregnancy announcement!)  I really love it!
My mom gilled chicken and we just had fun hanging out!  My mom and I weren't super close growing up, but our adult years have brought us closer.  I really appreciate everything she does for me and my family (personally and professionally - I work with her too!)  I realized I have far too few pictures of her and I together.  I feel like I could have gone through years of photos and not found one.  So I grabbed the picture from my wedding.
After we got home I found a sweet card from Parker (from daycare.)  It put a great cap on a wonderful day!
Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all you mommies out there!  I hope you got some love from you little (or big) ones!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

87 and Breezy

Perfect baseball weather! We have found out that 18 months is not the best age to bring Parker to a game, but we are having fun! 

Bribing with treats seems to be working.

View from our seats!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wedding Weekend #3

We made it through our final spring wedding!  This last weekend Parker, my mom and I went to Michigan for my cousin Mark's wedding.  We woke up VERY early on Friday and started the 12 hours drive!  Parker did extremely well in the car, but we made a couple longer stops to let him stretch his legs.  I was also able to get a bunch of BabyTV shows on the iPad to keep him occupied.  Parker spiked a fever on Friday night, but I was able to get some Tylenol and he was better by morning.

5 of my mom's siblings drove up from Nebraska for the celebration as well.  It has been years since that many of them (7 total with my mom and aunt from NY) have gotten together without any spouses or children.  They had a blast!

The wedding wasn't until 4 on Saturday so a bunch of us went to Potter Park Zoo in nearby Lansing.  It was a great zoo!  My mom has a MN Zoo membership so we got 50% of partner admission, just $5 each!  They had a lot of exhibits and it was nice to be outside!  It was 80 and beautiful the whole weekend!
They offered camel rides for a small fee and I was so excited to take Parker!
I love that we have the same expression here!

Below is my mom with 4 of her 11 siblings
Walt, Janet (my mom), Tim, Margaret, Warren 
Parker got his first skinned knee walking up the hill from the lions.  He recovered quickly from the shock and has been intrigued by the scab ever since!
 Our last stop was the farm area.  They had a goat pen that you could go in.  Parker didn't have much interest in the goats, but he didn't want to leave either.  It was a great way to spent a warm sunny morning!
We all went back to the hotel for an afternoon nap, then headed to the wedding.  The ceremony was absolutely stunning (and so was the bride!)  It was at a winery/orchard in the country.  They have a dock on a little pond and the chairs were in the shade.
Becca and her father

7 of 12: Warren, Janet, Walt, Mary (Mother of Groom), Tim, Margaret, Jim
 Mark and Becca make such a wonderful couple.  You can quickly see how much love, adoration and respect they have for one another.
 Time to groove!  Nana and Parker hit the floor!

Get out of my way!
We cut an hour off of the trip home!  It was nice to be back in MN again!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Jarring, Emotional Day

My day started with a car accident on my way to work.  I won't share much as I still have to wait for all the insurance stuff to get figured out.  It was at full highway speed so I know it could have been much worse.  I am physically ok, but emotionally rattled.  My car is in rough shape, but most likely not totaled.  I will probably share more once everything is squared away and fixed.  I am feeling really blessed that I was able to come home and snuggle by favorite dudes tonight.

I also got to visit my friend Sue and her new baby boy, Judah!  It really lifted my spirits to hold that amazing little bundle of life!  It also gave me a mean case of baby fever!

So, I came home and loved on this amazing bundle of life!  In honor of tonight's WINTER STORM WARNING (I know, really?!?!?) he is wearing Christmas jammies and sporting a new haircut.  He also loves the singing Veggie Tales books he got at Easter.
Kinda of a scattered post, but that's how my day felt...