Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Walking on a Rainbow 

I was reminded today about a visit to Murano, Italy in October some years ago.

Tourist season was over and only intrepid independent travelers were wandering the markets, the bridges, the canals and the other attractions of Venice.

I was traveling with two friends and we sent to Murano for the day by ferry. We were met at the ferry by several "guides" to various glass factories. The island has been the home of glass makers for many years and we were found by an Amican woman who came to Italy on a study program, fell in love with Italian culture and never went home. We explained that we were unlikely to buy much from her employer but she wasn't busy and said she would enjoy taking us on a short tour.

There were not any other visitors in the production so we had her undivided attention. We were able to get right in the workrooms and amongst the glass blowers as she explained the process. It was a bit dim in the huge rooms so when I felt myself walking on crunchy stuff I assumed it was sand as sand and cullet are used in the manfacture of new designs. Upon looking down however I realized I was walking on "seed beads" of every color in the rainbow with a few extra colors to boot. They twinkled and shined and walking on them was an entrancing project. She then had one of the workers show us how the beads are made by forming a coat of glass around a wire which is then plunged into cold water. The glass crackles and breaks into hundreds of rough beads. Then the beads are tumble smoothed and sent off for processing. All of the plant's production of beads was unpolished and they were sold to finishers by the manufacturer. So, none to buy in the sales shop but what a fairy experience of walking through fields of color.

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Oh Linn, what a wonderful story! But I have this nagging question in the back of my head -- if you were walking on the beads, didn't they break? Or are they small and round enough to be safe?

I would LOVE some of the experiences you've had in your life (and some of them I'm just as glad I haven't had!)

Hope you're doing well now!
What a delightful memory! The enamel workshops at Limoges are similarly gorgeous...
there is a shop here that has 2nd hand stuff - the outside is "gravelled" with broken glass -- I have such a hard time because I want to do something with all the rainbows and don't have the time to pick up another hobby.
there is a shop here that has 2nd hand stuff - the outside is "gravelled" with broken glass -- I have such a hard time because I want to do something with all the rainbows and don't have the time to pick up another hobby.
I love that mental image - its beautiful thanks for telling the story. I am going to hold it in my mind as I drift off to sleep and perhaps have beautiful dreams
saw a rainbow the other day and thought of you
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gone but not forgotten 

When my friend Nancy Sue Havener died she bequeathed to me her needlework library without any restrictions on its dispersal by me.

After thinking about our many conversations about "what happens to our books" when we get run over by a big red double-decker bus in the heart of London, I believe I've figured out what she would have wished to have happen to her beloved books.

You have a chance to purchase some of Nancy Sue's books and to learn something about this awesome lady.

Go to: www.skinnersisters.com/ns

And thank you for making her wishes come true.


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I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. She had quite the collection of books!
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Another Color Thought 

When I was a young child in the post-WWII years one of my favorite fun activities was coloring margarine.

The dairy industry in the US had a very powerful influence on regulatory agencies at that time and they fought the sale of margarine (as opposed to butter) with all their might. What eventually evolved were regulations forbidding the sale of solored margarine products.

So margarine was sold in hearvy plastic bags containing one pound each of white goo that was the same color and about the same consistancy as modern Crisco. Embeded in the corner of the bag was a small plastic pack of yellow food color. To achieve that Parkay look one popped the little color pack releasing the color into the bag of uncolored margarine and then squeezed and squished and squashed until you had the two products thoroughly mixed to produce a bag of golden margarine.

This was one of my favorite activities as a kidlet and was one of the few times I was allowed to play with my food. Later, of course, the various companies producing margarine were able to have the regulation abandoned and you could buy colored margarine by the tub or quarter or pound, etc.

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For Sharon's class we were to choose a color of the day and look for it -- see it -- identify it.... When you think about color, you begin to see what a beautifully full of color world we live in!
The mind boggles - but I can imagine small ones agitating for margarine so they could have the fun. Maybe that one backfired on the dairy people?
I am Linn's sister Billie and I can remember finding the little bag of coloring among our mother's things and I didn't know what it was. Mom explained what it was and how excited Linn would get when they would buy it and that it did take some muscle to mix it.
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