Stained glass creations… right livelihood!

Barbara is one of the lucky ones, those who can get lost in the moment as they produce something amazing. We see each other all the time, but it was a special pleasure to be able to play with dangerous adult toys… breaking glass and melting metal πŸ˜‰ No kids today! woot!

Red/dichroic glass and seedy glass feather
Red/dichroic glass and seedy glass feather

She has been working with glass and mixed media for several years now and has more recently turned it into her livelihood. Since glass is infinitely recyclable and a home studio allows her to keep fairly close to her family and garden… in my book this is a ‘right livelihood’ πŸ™‚

We often find that our lives move in strange parallels with our growing boys (who love playing together most of all). And of course, we both have an interest in the environmental and permaculture… one of us has a smaller footprint than the other <cough!>. I console myself that only a very few manage to tread as lightly as Barb.

On a whim, we got stuck into filming an introduction to stained glass, which I’ll post up on my Youtube Channel soon. We started with coffee and chocolate with almonds… then migrated out to the well lit and very pleasant shed… filled with the scent of salvaged marri and other natives, caving ropes, a globe of planet Earth and small pieces of art.

She begins with finding the best section of glass, drawing an outline, tracing then cutting the glass…

…grinding to make a nicely matching shape to the other pieces of glass.

Barbara Susac in her studio
Barbara Susac in her studio

Copper adhesive is applied, beginning on the inner edges and joined with dabs of molten solder (tucked).

To finish, the edges are all given a silver finish.

I come away with the impression that anyone could do this work. This is her quiet encouragement working away to bolster my confidence to try it next time. Of course, it might help to beg a one on one course off Barb πŸ˜‰

To see some of her art you can visit her Facebook page Harsh Reality Studio.

Feathered glass by Barb
Feathered glass by Barbara Susac

Milkwood’s Pumpkin Blog

There is something to be said for plants that are easy to grow, easy to propagate and tasty. Pumpkins check all the boxes! They are often the accidental seedling out of the worm farm. They don’t mind fairly ‘raw’ manure in a big circle around them and will grow prolifically if you give them half a chance. I like my odds… and my deliberate focus as a mum is tasty produce!

Milkwood is one of my favourite blogs to read, here is a link to their pumpkin blog post for your enjoyment….

www.milkwood.net/2016/05/16/pumpkin-seeds-save-them-eat-them-plant-them

Milkwood Pumpkin

In our back yard at the moment, pumpkins are one of the few veggies left actively growing in the raised beds… because the chooks have been ‘playing’ … if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ (This is while we’re doing some reorganising and will to an end soon with prime vegetable growing time now in Western Australia.) I’m so happy to have pumpkins there and rocketing along… I’m a fan… preferably my husband’s pumpkin flan… but even just steamed and with a bit of white sauce… can’t go wrong πŸ™‚

Nutritionally, the seeds are real powerhouses, high in zinc and magnesium they are a panacea for ‘western’ diseases. More on that another day… meanwhile… nom nom nom!

Buddha’s Hand Citron

The joy of giving away some produce fresh from the garden last night was just awesome. Cate came around for a quick visit and left with sweet potato (who doesn’t?!), about eight lemonade lemons and one of the few Buddha’s Hand citrons. These are like most citrus fruits but don’t have any flesh, instead, they are all pith and zest.

Buddhas Hand Citron

Buddha’s Hands are native to both China (calledΒ Fo Shou) and parts of India, both styles of traditional medicine highly regard it for its medicinal properties.

They are amazing, seriously amazing, candied with sugar syrup… giving a freshly fragant sweet high in pectin and with some residual Vitamin C. Or perhaps stewed with sugar into marmalade or a sweet syrup. You can have them raw, finely sliced into a salad or with a smoothie for a hit of good quality Vitamin C with cofactors. You can even knock up a non-alcoholic cocktail (to treat your persistent cough! lol… if you need that excuse…)
As an anti-inflammatory, decongestant it helps relieve pain and reduce cholesterol… and the perfume is just perfect πŸ˜‰
It is very tolerant of hot and dry conditions, although yields will decrease with the harsher conditions. Some seasons have given some scale, easily controlled organically. Kept pruned, it will happily stay under two metres and produce several fruit in the first season. Get one!