<![CDATA[Five Sparrows Glass - Blog]]>Sun, 13 Mar 2016 18:38:59 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Changes´╗┐]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:21:14 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/changesQuite a few years ago now, I started this whole glass business when my youngest went into preschool.  I had new amounts of time on my hands now that he was headed out to school, and I needed to find an identity in something other than mommyhood. As the years went by, I was able to slowly build up to a decent part time business.  I was selling stuff, creating new things, having fun with different designs, going crazy at Christmas with sales ...all was good.  

Then last year we got the huge surprise (and I am talking surprise in epic terms) of another baby.  Seriously, we were in shock for quite awhile.  But, it turns out this little one is just what our family needed.  She is wonderful and special and perfect (I may be biased just a little, but really, she is adorable) She also seems to exist on about four hours of sleep.  And she moves everywhere and always.  (yawn) 

So, I am at a new point in life trying to balance a baby and creating time.  Basically right now it means 1 hour creating and 23 hours baby...with a little sleep thrown in there somewhere.  I am more aware than ever that this time with her is a gift that will fly by, so I'm loving it, but change is always tricky.  I'm still making things, just much more slowly.  And if anyone has any tips on how to balance work at home and baby-I would love to hear it!

​​Just a few recent new things.  OK, so recent being Christmas, but I do have about three tree of life designs in progress!  At this rate they will be done in July! :)
<![CDATA[Fantasy]]>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:43:34 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/fantasyThings always seem slow in that in-between Christmas and summer time.  Never sure totally what I want to settle on creating.  Had a request for a fairy, and I have also had dragon patterns sitting for over a year, so the combo has put me in a fantasy mood.  Fairies, dragons, mermaids, pegasi, mushrooms...even some little fairy houses.  So far, they aren't all actually finished, but many are in various stages of completion-progress!  Some pictures of the process.

<![CDATA[Denim Project]]>Sun, 08 Feb 2015 22:52:56 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/denim-projectPicture
Haiti has a special place in my heart-even though I haven't been there.  Most of it comes from the Compassion children we have sponsored there over the years.  Then after the earthquake I was given the chance to help through Etsy with a shop, Hearts for Haiti, that raised lots of money for Doctors without Borders to help in the country.  Lately, I have been helping in a small way with another group that also does work in Haiti, and thought I should share some info about them.  

This group started locally a couple years ago.  It is a non-profit organization that is helping women in Haiti to become self-sufficient and entrepreneurs, while also recycling.  Super cool.  The group collects donated and old pieces of denim, then chops it up and turns it into something beautiful.  Right not most of the denim collection happens in the US, then it is cut into usable pieces by volunteers here (this is the part I have been helping with-and you would not believe how much of the jean material gets used!  Pockets, seams, belt loops...)  and then it is shipped down to Haiti.  In Haiti, there are some ladies who sew the denim into things like bags, rugs and headbands for sale.  Right now, five women are working for the Denim Project, but there are plans to expand.  

One of the things with this expansion that I am excited about-they are working on recycling glass too!  I have been able to give some "artistic advice" in this area as they plan on how to reuse old bottles and pieces of glass that are discarded all over in Haiti.  I love it-cleaning up the environment and also making pretty things with glass bottles, and helping people become self-sufficient!

Please check out the Denim Project website if you are interested in more info.  Denim Project

<![CDATA[I kinda forget to blog alot (also known as-It's Summer!)]]>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:47:22 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/i-kinda-forget-to-blog-alot-also-known-as-its-summerI was just looking through here and realizing that my last post was in April-all about spring.  Now...3 months later...it's summer!  Some things I have learned so far this summer:

You really can put an agate in the middle of a bunch of glass 

Little birds are fun to make and look cute too.

My goal to make a whole bunch of Christmas ornaments over the summer didn't work that well.  Mainly because I don't feel that Christmasy when it is hot.  Although I did get some angels re-designed and made. 

It is alot of fun to hang out with my kiddos and go to the pool.  Probably making my productivity go down, but they will be back to school soon enough and then I will work like crazy!  I am planning on a couple shows coming up this fall-I will get info on them up soon.  Until then-hope you all are having a wonderful summer!
<![CDATA[Looking for Spring]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:05:38 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/looking-for-springIt's been a long, cold winter, which has had me looking forward to the green of springtime.  Think my recent creations have reflected that!  Lots of green leaves and flowers.  Hopefully that will show up outside soon too! 
<![CDATA[What's in a name?]]>Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:40:50 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/whats-in-a-name
I've had a few people now who have asked me about the name "Five Sparrows"  and where it comes from.  I feel like I have had kind of duddy answers, as I mumble something about,  "well, there is this Bible verse, and my mom and I picked it, but she isn't doing this with me anymore, but it's still cool and um...yeah"  So, I'll try to write it out so it makes sense, and then maybe I can explain myself better in conversation. (or at least point people here to read about it more coherently! )

Way back three or four years ago when I first learned about Etsy, and selling online, it was my mom and I thinking of doing this shop together.  So we talked over fun unique names-wanting to find something that meant something, but also wasn't too over the top.   I thought of the Bible verse about two sparrows being sold for a penny, and yet God cares for them.  Two of us, two birds, that works...except it was already a taken name.  So...we found the same verse in another part of the Bible only it is five sparrows.  It goes like this:  "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed the very hairs of your head are numbered.  Don't be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows"  Luke 12:6-7  I like the reminder of this verse as I go through my creating process and put my work out there for people to critique and buy or not buy.  The thought that even if what I do doesn't seem big or important, but to God I still have value and worth, is a pretty amazing thing.  

After we started our online venture we realized that it wasn't quite working with two people who live states away from each other to get things all together, so it ended up just being me doing this.  I have been adding "glass" to the end of the name just so it is a little more obvious what I sell.  (and there is a consulting firm or something that also has the five sparrows name-and I don't want art to be confused with math! :)  I was also thinking though that this name ended up working out pretty well for me and my family, beyond the deeper meaning.  There are five of us in the family, and our last name has "burd/bird" in it, and the rest of the family has been a part of this process all along-from helping me make booth stuff, to being reviewers, and my own little marketing team.  (my daughter sells my product better than I do-she actually took my business cards to school to hand out to her teachers!)

So there is the long answer-and maybe more coherent answer?!  It reminds me of my deeper value in life on a spiritual level, and also makes me think of my family-can't go wrong with that!
<![CDATA[Booth Setup]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2013 20:11:00 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/booth-setupPicture
I was recently in Sheldon IA at an outdoor show, and I do so few things outdoors at this point that I felt like I should document it!  I still don't know if my display was the best-pretty sure that a hard wind would cause it all to come crashing down.  Right now though, I haven't wanted to invest the big bucks in display walls, so I worked with what I had, and was glad that it was a calm day!

Check out that cool pvc pipe display!  My awesome husband helped me a bunch with that one-and it worked pretty well even though I had some issues tightening the clamps.  And there was one point where it started to come apart..but we won't talk about that...a little tape did wonders!  Best of all, it held all those wine bottle candle holders, and they looked pretty cool hanging there in the sunshine!

Used some old window frames to hang the bigger pieces-and added some screen on the back so that the glass wouldn't blow like crazy.  Next step is figuring out something a little more exciting than roping the windows to the top of the tent!

I was searching pinterest for cool display ideas (I seriously love pinterest) and saw that someone had used branches to display smaller suncatchers.  Fun idea, and I like how it worked.  It also helped that I had just pruned down a tree in the front yard so we had a large supply of branches!

Best thing about this show was the weather!  After a week of awful, miserable, way too hot weather, it was just a beautiful Labor Day.  Perfect for sitting outside and chatting with people!
<![CDATA[Giving Back (or Compassion International is Cool)]]>Wed, 07 Aug 2013 20:30:42 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/giving-back-or-compassion-international-is-coolSo here is the ironic thing about my life.  I have always loved art and drawing and all that, but when I went to college I wanted to learn something that would help other people, so I majored in sociology and International studies.  I planned on going overseas and doing mission work in a refugee camp or someplace similar.  Instead, I got married, had three kids, and in the past few years, started selling artwork online.  And I live in the rural midwest, which is pretty much as far from an international setting as I can get.  

But, I still want to do something to help others, so I have been giving part of my glass proceeds each year to Compassion International.  I don't make a huge deal about it, other than saying that I do it on my site, and mentioning that I did actually give what I said I was going to give.  And it isn't ever a huge amount, cause I'm not exactly the stained glass millionaire or anything, but last year I was able to help fund some clean water wells, and in the past have given to relief efforts in Haiti especially.  I picked Compassion mainly because I trust them, and I like what they do.  My hubby and I have sponsored children through them ever since we got married-I love that sponsorship helps them get to school, teaches them about God, gives them healthy meals, teaches them lifeskills and helps them grow up whole in the middle of a rough world.  So, it seemed to make sense to just keep giving through Compassion with my shop. 

Then, just recently, a report came out about Compassion-done by an independent group-where they studied the effects of child sponsorship.  Turns out it works!  Kids in the program are more educated, more self-confident, and better leaders.  I love that.  Love that Compassion is doing it right, and that they are able to help as many kids as they are, and that it is widely known now that they are doing what they say they are doing.  (because, sadly, not all groups are doing what they say)  

Here is the link to Compassion's blog where they talk about the study.  I think it is pretty cool.
<![CDATA[Going Green]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:35:27 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/going-green
I have been on an up-cycling kick lately, trying to use all the wine bottles and other glass bottles I have sitting around.  Realized this morning that if you add all my recent projects together, I have been using the entire bottle. I have been trying to cut the bottoms off, and still save the rest of the bottle for candle holders, like in my first picture.  However, I still haven't totally mastered the perfect cut, so I get alot of broken sided bottles.   The curved sides make great leaves, like the pendants at the bottom, or some fun petals to an abstract flower, which has the bottle bottom as the center.  I'm feeling very earth friendly right now!   (for real, I do, I really like reusing instead of just throwing away.  Well, not totally throwing away, because we do recycle anyway, but this recycling just looks prettier than throwing it in a bin!)

Taking off on vacation for a bit though, so I will have to get these all listed when I return.  We're off to enjoy family and do some hiking, reunioning, eating, laughing, and generally having fun! 
<![CDATA[Dragons]]>Tue, 04 Jun 2013 21:43:14 GMThttp://www.fivesparrowsglass.com/blog/dragonsI had some back problems a few weeks ago-problems meaning really alot of pain whenever I moved or sat down or did anything but lay flat on my back.  It was really annoying-and made it difficult to get anything at all done. I had a big long word for joint inflammation that may have been caused by my constant bending over glass things.  Or maybe I shouldn't have tried to do that one set of ab exercises....I think it must have been that (then I can rule out doing exercise for awhile right??!)  Anyway-while I was doing nothing I hauled out my dragon pattern that I drew last year and then never got around to making.  I asked for color ideas on my facebook page and got all these cool ideas.  So then I realized that all the cool ideas wouldn't work in one dragon, and I had nothing else I could do, so I drew dragon patterns.  I kinda went a little dragon crazy once I got started.   Only problem is that now I have more patterns and nothing actually made.  I do have the original one started though!
So, here's the thing-there are lots of different styles of dragons out there, and depending on the area of the world they have distinct looks.  I even learned that the number of toes differs depending on the country that some of the dragons came from.  I don't know if I got that into it, but I did try to be different in mine.  This one is more traditional, European knights and St George and all that.  He's half ground -and will look really cool in the sunlight-the wings I like especially because they are this whispy purplish blue color
Alot of color combo ideas were red and yellow or gold-ones that would go well with an Asian dragon.  And my kids not too long ago watched Spirited Away (we are pretty much in love with Miyazaki movies-ever since Totoro we were hooked) which had pretty impressive dragon character that I was thinking about.  So, this is my end result-and I have some perfect red glass to use on it.
This one was disgustingly called "a girly dragon" by my son, but it looks like it would fit in nicely in a happy little fairy tale kingdom where they have pink castles and cheerful royal families.  Ok-so it's a girly dragon-I think I will make it pink and purple.  
This one is still a bit of a work in progress.  I want a flying dragon, but I am not totally happy with the wing positions, or the feet positions, I don't know-something just isn't quite right yet, but it is getting there.  By the time I get the other ones done in glass hopefully I will have this pattern figured out!

I figured out that if I sat in just one certain position, my back didn't hurt, and I was a little bored with only drawing, so I brought out some watercolors for this one.  I drew an ice dragon pattern that is very similar to what I painted-I just thought it would be fun to see it in color.  Although when I do it in glass I am imagining less blue and more white.  (and not so many jagged edges on the wings...that would take forever!)

My back is doing better now, and I am being careful not to exercise too much (hehe) and to do less bending, and it seems to be staying healthy.  Now I need to just stay focused and actually get these all made!  Drawing patterns and never following through on them is kinda an issue I have...and just yesterday I went to the zoo and there were beautiful peacocks and I took some pictures thinking I should draw up a peacock pattern....