Saturday, October 29, 2016

Stained Glass Project Update, etc.

Thursday October 27, 2016 

I had my third stained glass class this evening. To bring you up to speed with my progress:

WEEK ONE: Decided on a pattern; Practiced cutting glass by using cheap picture frame glass.
Over the Weekend: Worked on my pattern at home; Made a trip to Hobby Lobby to choose my stained glass pieces (rather than having to wade through my teacher’s boxes of off-casts). 

WEEK TWO: Traced my pattern pieces onto the glass; Started cutting the glass; Made many mistakes and left class slightly frustrated.
After class: Ordered my own cutter and running pliers and awaited arrival from
Monday/Tuesday p.m.: Using the waffle board borrowed from my instructor and my new cutter and running pliers, I cut out the rest of my pieces with only one or two bad cracks.  

WEEK THREE: Brought my roughly cut pieces to class and worked on fixing my big round centerpiece; Was hoping my instructor would fix it for me, but instead just reminded me how to do straight cuts all the way around, cut a few for me, and then left me to it.. One by one I sanded down all my pieces on the grinder. Only one piece didn’t pass inspection, so my instructor regrinded it for me; Left feeling rather satisfied with my progress. : )

my pieces all freshly sanded and mostly fitting together
(3 Classes Left to Go!)

Saturday October 29, 2016

This afternoon we drove to Antrim Park, which is a park not too far away that has a 1.3 mile walking/running trail and bike path that encircle a lake. It’s not the most scenic park I’ve ever visited, but my friend, Anthea, is right that it certainly does break up the monotony of going to the gym. I only wish I had arrived more properly prepared. I was wearing a rather thick (but loose fitting) long sleeve shirt and jeans, both unnecessary because of the warm temperatures. Wish I had worn a t-shirt and shorts like many of the people we passed on the trail. Also could have done with either sunglasses or a baseball cap since the sun was rather bright. I am fortunate that Andrew was kind enough to loan me his sunglasses while he donned a baseball cap that he keeps in his glove box for such occasions (I keep sunglasses in mine, but we took his car). All in all I enjoyed our (somewhat brief) walk and will probably come back on occasion. Thanks for the suggestion Anthea!

Have a Happy Halloween and a great week everyone. Go Tribe!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Japanese themed day

Friday October 21, 2016
Today we took the day off with plans to attend the annual Pumpkin Festival in Circleville, which we had tried to visit many, many years ago, but got stuck in the world’s longest traffic queue, so we gave up, turned around, and went home.

However, we woke up to a rather soggy, cold morning, and the forecast for Circleville didn’t look too bright as rain was forecast until at least 4pm. Knowing this was a possibility, we made a ‘Plan B’ and decided to go with that (or at least most of it).

I had planned a Japanese themed day with possible stops in Little Japan off of Henderson Road or a visit to the Japanese bakery near Micro Center, neither of which we had time for.

Instead, we attended our own private screening (okay, so we were the only ones there!) of “Miss Hakusai” at the Gateway Film Center. According to Wikipedia, “Miss Hokusai (百日紅 Sarusuberi?) is a Japanese historical manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura, telling the story of Katsushika Ōi who worked in the shadow of her father Hokusai. It was adapted into an anime film, Miss Hokusai, directed by Keiichi Hara, that was released in 2015.”

The film was no better or worse than anything I’ve seen produced by Studio Ghibli. It wasn’t about the art as much as I would have liked, but the characters’ lives were still interesting enough. The movie tells the story of an adult daughter (Oi) who lives with her artist father (Hokusai) and is sort of his apprentice, along with a drunken friend (also an artist apprentice) they let stay with them as well. Oi’s mother lives elsewhere (divorced I guess?) and there’s also a younger sister who is blind and attends a special school. It’s the younger sister’s illness (and eventual death) that finally brings the family together, albeit briefly until things continue as they were before.

After the movie we grabbed lunch at the nearby Panera Bread not wanting to walk too far since there was a cold wind and still a little dampness in the air.

We had both read about a new store that opened in the last couple of years in the Short North called Gotcha Gachapon named for “the sound the machine makes when it dispenses the capsules, co-owner Shane Mack said. “When you turn (the knob), it kind of sounds like ‘gacha gacha,’ and then ‘pon’ is the sound of the little capsule being dispensed.”

Not a great selection of machines to choose from, but since that was my whole reason for coming, I finally selected a squishy panda keychain, and then needed help from one of the store’s co-owners to free the panda from its plastic bubble. Yeah, a pretty crappy toy for $1, but it’s all about the novelty value of it, so I didn’t mind.
We were a little disappointed with the current stock of anime merchandise. Andrew commented it looked like they got stuck with merchandise that was unsold elsewhere, and also that their entire shop was really only the equivalent of maybe one booth at OHAYCON. 

However, we did end up buying a couple items (which the co-owner gave us a 15% discount on). I had a hard time choosing between the big Totoro, the little Totoro and the cat bus, so I went with the combination.
Perhaps their video games are what keep them in business. At a flat fee of only $10 of unlimited play for an entire day, college students can afford to spend their evenings and weekends there without breaking their budgets.

From there we drove to Clintonville to experience a little “Eat, Purr & Love” at the newly opened cat café there. I’m not sure if cat cafes got their start in Japan, but I think there’s probably more of them there than anywhere else (I have seen one in NYC too).

The café is really more of a small adoption agency that just happens to serve pastries and hot beverages (brought in by Patty Cake Bakery located just a few blocks away) and is a place people can sit and read, color, or just chat while in the company of 10 gregarious (and sometimes sleepy) kitties all needing a forever home.

Unfortunately most of the cats were asleep when we arrived. It being such a dreary day I didn’t really blame them. I felt like curling up and taking a nap too, but didn’t, because I was so enthralled with the place.
Kudos to whomever selected the décor. There’s not a single item in the place that isn’t in some way cat-related (except for maybe the colored pencil holders). Now I know where I can donate all the extra cat knick-knacks that our parents keep buying us (which we love, but have enough of now, thank you).
After eating my muffin, and while waiting for my hot chocolate to cool down, I pulled out my camera and started snapping away. Andrew didn’t waste any time walking around seeing which cats he could rustle up for a quick cuddle, reminding me that it was okay to actually pet the cats instead of just taking their picture.

In order to be able to call them each by name, I had a look at their dossiers. They seemed to range in age from about 8 months to 8 years, and at least one was so skinny I felt his spine when I petted him. Johnny, an 8 year old mostly black cat with white paws, was the exception.
He was well filled in and quite laid back not seeking out attention, nor spurning it either. I read that black cats have a harder time getting rehomed because of people’s reluctance to adopt a black cat. There were several tuxedo cats on the premises, so I hope they all find good homes.

On one wall there’s a couple strands of lights draped across with photos of all the cats that have already found permanent homes. There were perhaps a dozen or two, so the cat café seems to be thriving, and it’s such a great idea that I hope whomever thought of it got due credit for it.

After our hour was up we went home and gave our own kitty a cuddle and spent some quality time with her basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

All in all a pretty enjoyable day, even if we didn’t make it to the Pumpkin Festival.

Have a good week/weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Food & Origami

Thursday October 13, 2016
Tonight I had my second Stained Glass class. I was the only one who purchased glass. I kind of thought I should since our teacher was supplying all the tools & I wasn't sure she was going to be bringing her boxes of scrap glass. This way you also get the colors you want.
In the interest of time, I decided to trace all my pattern pieces on the glass (using a Sharpie marker) before I attempted to cut anything. Then I figured I would cut each square in half to try and minimize waste. Needless to say I wasn't eager to start cutting!
Last week my biggest problem was getting the glass to break where I scored it. This week I had lots of problems just doing the scoring. Half the time I wasn't sure I had even made contact since I couldn't hear it or feel a line. Hence, I did what you're not supposed to do, which is to go over your score line more than once. It's not surprising that I only had limited success. At the end of class I only had one color finished and another started, so certainly slow progress!
Since we have no class next week (due to a special event being held at the Rec Centre) our teacher was kind enough to loan us her tools so we could get more cutting done over the next couple of weeks. I took her up on her offer and borrowed a large waffle plate (which is what you do your cutting on, and all the small shards should fall into the little square holes. I decided to buy my own cutting tool and running pliers so I wouldn’t have to keep borrowing hers. She also offered to buy any unwanted tools off of us if we changed our minds about taking up stained glass as a hobby. Hence, I might get a refund for the $20 I just spent.

Saturday October 15, 2016
First annual Bread Festival in Dublin. The festival planners lucked out and had a gorgeous day for the event with a sunny day and temperatures in the high 70s with a brisk wind. Also, since the Buckeyes don’t play until the evening, that means sports fans have most of the day to come down and check out the festival.
After walking around the somewhat limited festival site, it would be more accurate to describe the event as more of a street festival since the amount of food trucks and miscellaneous vendors far outweighed the amount of bread-related things.
Near the entrance a man named Cyril (I think) was creating a second bread sculpture to compliment his first one which was on display. Andrew said he thought it was nice, but when he saw the glue gun come out, it was a little off-putting. Of course there’s edible glue you can use, but this appeared to be more like standard adhesive.
There were six cultural booths including a Japanese one where demonstrations of a Japanese tea ceremony were being held until 3pm. The other booths represented India, Mexico, Ghana, Germany, and Dublin City Schools English Language Learners. I believe there was also a booth from somewhere in Scandinavia (sponsored by a local automotive company) that had pots of tea and what looked like traditional loaves and pieces of bread from Katzinger’s Deli.
My only non-food purchase was a couple little owls I purchased from the Japanese booth. The lady running the booth said her mother made them and asked if she could photograph me with them to send a photo to her mum in Japan. I was happy to oblige.
Then I started sampling some of the food, which included pieces of various homemade organic bread, jellies, honey and powder mixes to make your own bread and brownies. I bought a peanut butter banana loaf from the JNA Bread Bakery, and then after agonizing over all the various flavors of infused honey from the Bluestem Apiary, went with the vanilla (there was also lavender, lemon, and rosemary).
We were spoiled for choice as there were no less than eight different food trucks. If nothing grabbed you there, you could also get chocolate/coffee from Winan’s or pub grub from the Dublin Village Tavern, not to mention several other restaurants all within walking distance. I had a pineapple bun (chicken and pineapple drizzled with Siracha sauce served in a  sweet bun) from Aloha Streatery while Andrew selected a bowl of rice/rice noodles w/ chicken & lettuce, from Cupzilla Korean BBQ. For dessert we selected some chocolate treats from Winan’s, then decided to skip the shuttle and just walk back to our car to work off some of the carbs (stopping at our bank on the way to get more cash for the evening tailgate at St. Brendan’s).

Tonight was the first ever (at least since I’ve been going to St. Brendan’s) Tailgate Party after church in the northwest parking lot adjacent to the ball fields. Because it was such a nice night to be out, they had a pretty good turnout from what we could tell early on. Although the food truck selection wasn’t as ethnically diverse as what was at the Bread Festival, we still managed to find something we liked and ended up having sandwiches from either Bob’s Backyard Barbecue or possibly Paddy Wagon, not sure which since they had similar menus. We skipped the Kettle Korn and ice cream (we still have ice cream in our freezer) and headed home before the game started. I know we’re party poopers, but I had stuff to do at home, and wasn’t too bothered about the game (though we did check on the score periodically).

Sunday, October 16, 2016
Today we went to Franklin Park Conservatory to see the Origami in the Garden exhibit which has been there since late spring. Since the weather was so nice (sunny and about 80 degrees) we figured we had no excuse not to get out and see it.
It was worth the drive as the various paper sculptures were quite impressive, though really it was only about a half a dozen different designs in varying sizes spread out throughout the museum and grounds. According to their website, “Monumental sculptures created by artist Kevin Box tell the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The exhibition includes large-scale installations, gallery works, Box's own compositions as well as collaborative works with his wife Jennifer and world-renowned origami artists Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander.”
There was a station where you could try your hand at origami with instruction sheets to create a boat, a plane, or a crane (and whatever else). I thought I’d give it a go, but was stumped after only the fourth fold. Andrew, having a more analytical mind than me (and previous experience at folding lots of paper airplanes) grabbed a sheet. About 20 folds and 20 minutes later he had created a crane he was quite proud of and photographed in the Japanese garden. At one point it seemed to try and fly away while Andrew lunged for it to avoid it ending up in the koi pond.

Of course we took a break for a cup of tea and to split an apple scone and have a quick look around the gift shop (I got some great deals since quite a lot of things were 60% off).
All in all a lovely afternoon out, and we feel blessed to have had such warm weather this weekend (likely to continue for about another three days or so).  
Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Artsy Fartsy

Thursday October 6, 2016
Tonight I had my first stained glass class at the Dublin Recreation Center. Stained glass art is something I’ve gained an appreciation for since that was the hobby of my late Grandpa Goff. He gave my brother, sister, and me each a handmade Tiffany stained glass lamp as a wedding present, which is something we’ll always treasure.

I certainly won’t be learning how to do something that complicated, but it should give me a taste of how a few multi-colored shards of glass can come together to create something beautiful.

We’re still several weeks from that result. First we had to learn how to score our glass and then get it to actually break on the line where we scored it. I had a bit of previous experience scoring glass when a couple summers ago I took up the hobby of wine bottle art. The idea was you were supposed to score your bottle (after removing the labels, which, in itself, is quite an undertaking), plunge it into boiling water and then an ice bath, and viola, the bottle would magically split on the line you scored. Except, that never happened, at least not until several dozen plunges. After which, sometimes it split along the line, but most times not. Suffice it to say there’s a very low success rate with such a project. Expect that only a tiny fraction of your bottles will actually split where you want them to. This is why wine bottle art is so expensive, because it’s very labor intensive. Anyway, I digress…
the only wine bottle I got to break where I wanted it to
I wouldn’t say I was exactly an expert on scoring, but I was familiar enough with the sound to listen for when you drag the blade across the glass. Just like with the wine bottles, every time I scored my piece of (cheap picture frame) glass and used the pliers to break it, inevitably it would make a horizontal break where I wanted a vertical break. The only thing that seemed to work was using a pair of plastic lightweight running pliers. Without fail I was able to get an even break with it every time. In fact, it will probably be the only tool I use since the pattern I selected for my project requires that I cut larger, rather than smaller, tiny pieces, so it will be important for the glass to break in the correct spot each time.
running pliers
Luckily the only supplies I need to buy are the glass for my project (which I hadn’t really thought about, so suddenly this class got more expensive than I anticipated). Our instructor has offered to loan us her tools so we can get a feel for this hobby before laying down some serious dosh at the craft store. She also said she’d be happy to buy any unused tools and supplies off of us if we did buy and then change our mind.

Saturday October 8, 2016
Today I spent probably best part of an hour comparing squares of stained glass and trying to decide which colors to use for my project. I picked up a book with some interesting patterns, so I debated whether to go with one of those patterns (that had mostly squares and rectangles). In case you’re wondering, at Hobby Lobby, 12” x 12” squares of stained glass start at about $8 on up to about $16 depending on the color. I decided to stick with mostly primary colors and selected a sheet of red (which was the most expensive color), (2) yellows, an orange, a green, and a blue. It was recommended we visit Franklin Art Glass Studios in German Village since they have a scrap bin where they sell remnants rather cheaply (which is ideal for clumsy newbies like us).
my rainbow selection of glass

Now that I’ve bought my glass, I just need to get my pattern all drawn out for Thursday, so that’s my homework. Andrew talked me into sticking with my original plan since that pattern has a lot fewer pieces to cut as opposed to the pattern in the book with probably three dozen or more rectangles and squares.

a sneak peak of my pattern (I plan to carry the design all the way around 360 degrees)

Have a good week everyone!