Fused Glass Ring

I got to spend a good chunk of last weekend happily playing around in a glass & metal studio. Squeeeeee! I ended up making this ring:

Glass Fused Ring with Silver bezel

I made this! 😀

It’s made of fused glass with a sterling silver bezel and ring band. And it’s a BIG honkin’ ring. I can’t help myself!

glassfusedringworn

I took a workshop at Nanopod, which is a funky little metal and glass studio on Harbord Street in Toronto. (Nanopod also offers taxidermy workshops in which participants learn how to stuff mice and birds and set them up in their own happily-ever-after little dollhouse-like dioramas. I took a pass on that one.)

Nanopod studio

Nanopod studio

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Some fused glass goodies in the foreground, and sheets of glass, frit, and glass paint in the background.

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Some glass fused goodies

Tosca Teran is the owner and resident metal and glass artist. She taught us how to cut glass and let us play around with sheets and rods of glass as well as “frit” (ground up bits of glass in various degrees of coarseness) and glass paint. It was super-fun learning about a new creative medium and experimenting with it. By the end of the Saturday session, our experiments were ready to go in the kiln for fusing:

glassfusing_before

My glass experiments, clockwise from top left: clear glass square with coral and pink frit, a corny experiment with a dolphin decal, a ginko leaf made using a stencil and some sparkly green frit, a “let’s see what happens when I stack some very thin rods on top of each other”, an oak leaf, another ginko leaf, an experiment with cut glass rods stacked on a clear base, and a bullseye motif that I hope will become a ring.

I joked with long-suffering husband when I got home that it’s possible I was bleeding to death without realizing it because I was probably covered with microscopic cuts, and I was sure invisible nano-particles of blood were exiting my body at a likely fatal rate. (Did I ever mention I’m a hypochondriac?) Anyway, presence of micro-cuts confirmed quite clearly later as I squeezed a lime for salad dressing. YIKES!

On Sunday (yes, I did survive the night; thanks for your concern), here’s what we found after Tosca had fused the pieces in the kiln for us:

glassfusing_after

I think my favourite is that pathetic shriveled orange thing up in the top right…so much for the thin glass rods experiment! None of them turned out particularly gorgeous but it was interesting to see what happens after fusing.

Glass bullseye: before and after fusing

Glass bullseye: before and after fusing

glassring_inprogress

The band ring has been formed (I never was good at perfect circles) and the bezel for the glass is in progress.

Tosca demonstrating how to solder the bezel. She didn’t want to be in the photo which is too bad because she’s got a ton of interesting tattoos.

Ta-DA!

Ta-DA!

There are a couple of tiny skull and crossbones on the back of the ring. IRL there is no pink on the ring; that's the reflection of the flowers in my garden where I was shooting these pics.

There are a couple of tiny skull and crossbones on the back of the ring which you can’t quite see cuz they’re out of focus. IRL there is no pink on the ring; that’s the reflection of the flowers in my garden where I was shooting these pics.

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And here’s the lovely Jill, who was also taking the workshop, with her ring creation

I really enjoyed playing around with glass (despite almost DYING in a freak lime juice accident), and would love to go back to try some more glass fusing now that I have some idea of the results to expect. Tosca is REALLY talented at it…I couldn’t believe the jellyfish pieces she did that look so realistic they’re like paintings, only she made them with GLASS. Which blows my mind. You can see one of them here in the Nanopod Etsy shop.  Also, do not dare miss out on looking at these SHOES. Shoes! SHOES! made with glass and reindeer hide featured on Nanopod’s homepage.

Pyjamas, and a minor national/personal cultural identity crisis

Hi friends! I have another quickie sewing project to bore you to tears with: pyjie pants!

Pyjama bottoms - B3314

And I’m having an existential crisis here because I thought you spelled pyjamas PYJAMAS! But according to all those red underlines that started showing up as I typed this post, you don’t! Apparently it’s spelled PAJAMAS. Which now makes it hard for me to justify calling them pyjies, and my tiny world is kinda crashing down all around me. Plus, how have I not ever had a reason to type the word pajamas since the advent of word processing and spell check? Weird.

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I wanted a very lightweight pair of full-length pajama pants but had a hard time finding ones that weren’t made of flannel or brushed cotton — too hot for summer sleeping. And I used to think that I would never spend precious sewing time on something I couldn’t wear out in public to receive hard-earned compliments on my sewing skills (lol), but then I realized that it would be pretty easy to sew up what I needed fairly quickly. I used a lightweight cotton woven with 3% elastane that I picked up on the cheap from Fabricland. It’s got great shades of blue with tiny flecks of bright, almost neon, green in there, which you might be able to see better in the last picture below. The bright green clinched the deal for me. 🙂

B3314

Butterick 3314: Ed Grimley Pajama Pants

Anyway, my pyjie pants (dammit!) were made using Butterick 3314, a “Fast & Easy” pattern with 8 versions of sleep shorts/pants plus a spaghetti strap camisole. The pattern’s copyright is 2001, which doesn’t quite explain why the waistline is designed to come up to your armpits; that would suggest at least a decade or so before that. I hacked off at least 3 inches from the top of the waist before folding over the elastic casing…thankfully the crotch was hanging down around my knees before this adjustment so it mostly evened out in the end (wah-wah). I cut a size small but these are so baggy I could’ve cut an extra-extra-extra-small, which wasn’t obviously an option, so I did my usual here-we-go-again, let’s-hack-the-shit-out-of-this-until-it-fits thing. This approach has worked for me on simple dresses and tees in the past but apparently it’s not the best approach for pants — I’m discovering that fitting pants around the crotch is a black art into whose mysteries I have not yet been initiated. Suffice it to say these aren’t the world’s best fitting pants, but they’re comfy for sleeping and making them gave me an opportunity to use loud and colourful fabric.

pyjies3

The first time I slept in these I woke up in the morning and thought, Hey, they worked! And they weren’t too loud for sleeping!

Alright, now my spell check is telling me that COLOURFUL isn’t a word, so I am beginning to realize that this must be Surreptitious American Cultural Imperialism reaching its long arm into my home via the interwebs. But I am CANADIAN! And we spell things the CANADIAN way! (Er, um, the British way, actually.) So pyjamas pyjamas PYJAMAS PYJAMAS! And therefore PYJIES! Phew. My tiny world remains safely the way I like it, for at least another day.

Selja Knot Tee

Hi friends! This is just a really quick post to share with you a simple T-shirt I made using Named Clothing’s Selja Knot Tee Pattern. (And to update you on some online sew-offs you might want to cast a vote in — scroll down for that.)

Selja Knot Tee - Named Clothing

The Selja Knot Tee has a bit of an A-line shape which is taking me a little getting used to. I normally go for a more fitted waist on my tees.

Selja Knot Tee Line Drawing

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Oh, just STAWPIT, you cute young thing.

I love Named Clothing’s slightly bizarre pattern photos. And I heard through the blogovine that they’re going to release their new Fall/Winter collection soon, so I’m excited about that, despite the fact that my home office is starting to look like a sewing pattern hoarder’s paradise.

Selja Knot Tee - Named Clothing

I used a medium-weight beige knit I think I picked up at one of my usual haunts, Downtown Fabrics on Queen Street West in Toronto. Look at me, not falling for some loud, colourful, highly patterned fabric! I’m actually remembering that neutrals and solid colours are, well, WEARABLE. Normally I have a closet full of mismatched separates that can’t be put together to build an outfit, but I’m learning to outsmart myself on that front. I pick up a loud patterned fabric in a store and say “HA! I’m smarter than you THINK I am, self! I’m going to find a NEUTRAL fabric that will actually WORK in my wardrobe! HA!!” Then I look around, wondering if I said that out loud, and leave as quickly as possible after I’ve paid for my loud patterned fabric selections.

Selja Knot Tee - Named Clothing

What do you think — wear it knotted or not knotted?

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In case you haven’t been following them, there are a couple of online sewing contests happening now that you might be interested in. Me, I’m a sucker for a good knock-down, drag-out sewing rumble:

  • Sew Mama Sew is hosting the Super Online Sewing Match, and those poor round 5 contestants have to sew a duffle coat! Jeez. I’m going to cast several votes for ALL those poor sewists just cuz they had to sew a damn duffle coat. I might even send them a Get Well Soon or a My Deepest Sympathies card.
  • Refashion Runway is on round 3 over at the Renegade Seamstress, where after refashioning something in gingham last week (and managing not to look too much like they got dressed using scraps from Auntie Em’s quilting basket), the contestants have fashioned handbags out of old garments this week. Interesting! Go vote!

Thanks for stopping by. 😀