Friday, May 30, 2014

Houd Forever with Me ~ Cremation Ash Memorial Glass Dread Bead

I am ready to share the sweetest piece of ash (a Houd-ism) I will ever wear in my hair.  My friend Houd (click here to read more about him) took his own life last year.  I obtained a very small amount of his cremated ashes and commissioned a talented glass-blowing friend to make me a cremation ash memorial dread bead.  The ashes are incorporated into the glass, forever encapsulating them.  I am thoroughly pleased with her work, I can't thank her enough.  Stunning. 

If you would like to commission my friend Jen to create a custom cremation ash glass bead, you may contact her through her Etsy shop PACIFICNWGLASS (click here to visit her shop)

Read about Houd's send off here

Read about the Ocean Beach Spirit Cleansing Ceremony for Houd here

See photos of the cremation ash glass memorial bead creation here

Forever rest in peace my friend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cremation Glass Ash Memorial Dread Bead

Jen's workstation

I am so very excited to show you a HANDMADE glass cremation memorial bead for my dreadlocks!!!  My friend Jen who owns Pacific Northwest Glassblowing used my dear friend Houd's ashes in the process.

Torch flame

Bead mandrel and dichroic glass
 From Jen:

Bead mandrel I bought special for this project.. it is covered in a volcanic ash that allows me to work the glass and the ash together without sticking to the metal.. this is a dichroic glass cane I use for sparkly color

Color rods used

Tool used to prepare Houd's remains

Encasing the remains in clear glass


Jen's send off photo. (Even more astounding in person.)

This incredible glass bead was made from my friend Dustin's cremated remains.  I found Jen's shop through Etsy when I opened our shop.  Then I joined some Etsy teams and found the Deadhead Art Alliance!!  The team also has a facebook page where I happened to see a post about a cremation memorial bead.  At the time there were no listings in her Etsy shop Pacific NW Glass so I requested a custom item, we talked and now I have what you see here.  Her glass blowing skillz are ah-MAZING!  You can visit her official website here.  My bead was waiting for me at the Post Office and is now in my hair.  I will share a photo soon.

Read more about this sweet piece of ash here:

Houds Send Off

Ocean Beach Spirit Cleansing Ceremony for Houd

Houd Forever with Me ~ Cremation Ashes Glass Memorial Bead

Sunday, May 18, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-eight

I made small corrections to areas that were bothering me while I watched "Return to Zero" today.  I missed the premier on Lifetime, but found it uploaded online.  It was so many things, everything at once.  I am so happy to be doing this portrait.  I love everything it stands for.  "Mother of Three"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-seven

The lines....the lines....all I can see are lines.  The shirt still has many adjustments to be made, but for now all lines are accounted for.  Whew. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-six

Today I worked on the stripes encompassing D's clothing.  While working I found it overwhelming, all the lines, turning every which way and started getting frustrated.  A few times I had to stop and set the drawing aside for a several minute rest.  There were so many and the lines began to blur and I couldn't tell where one started and one ended.  Feeling defeated during one such rests I began to think about the book Still.

I attended the book signing/reading of To Linger on Hot Coals  (collected poetic works from grieving women writers) to hear Devany (the LeDrew Crew's mama) read her poetry (also a contributor), I purchased an extra copy of To Linger on Hot Coals for a friend that also experienced loss and then realized there was another book sitting there too.  I was short on cash to purchase anything else.  The woman pulled out a copy and told me it was okay, other people had purchased books and donated copies to distribute as needed.  The book is a collection of honest artwork and writings from the heart of a grieving mother, Stephanie Paige Cole.  Then somebody else nearby explained she was the founder of the Sweet Pea Project and a contributor to the To Linger on Hot Coals book.  The Sweet Pea project does wonderful things for bereaved families.  I promptly read Still.  As a mother, it was one of the most profound books I have ever read about the loss of a child.  Full of love, heartbreak, frustration, sadness, I shed tears almost the entire way through.

I hope by posting about these books that it may help someone else find these wonderful resources out there for grieving mothers, families, grandparents.  There is nothing more important than knowing how to support someone after the loss of a child or knowing you aren't alone.  I am so grateful there is a whole community of women out there that have paved the way and provide comfort.  It restores my hope in humanity.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-four

Cleaned up some lines, put some hair on E, tried to fix her mouth (not happy with her smile yet) and did some more shading on D.  Pretty happy with Violet for now and anxious to work on her hat, but today was a hard day.  A sad day.

Attending my friends funeral was a reminder that life is short and there is no promise of a tomorrow.  She left behind three small children and a husband.  Losing a spouse so early when there was so much left to do, children to raise and life to live....I can't imagine.  Well, I can imagine and I don't want to.  Life is short.  Too short.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-three

Worked on Violet today.  Corrected a few things on E that were bothering me immensely, I thought about it all night last night.  Eventually when I realized the itch to make the correction wasn't going away it was already too late to scratch it.  Sometimes I am interrupted suddenly and have to be done with drawing for the day, then I am forced to post the drawing when it's in a state that makes me uncomfortable.  So if you notice some lines off or shading not yet right, no worries - I see it too.  I'm changing it as soon as time allows.  This portrait may take a bit longer than the rest, three souls, lots of textures and lots of love. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Monday, May 12, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred thirty-two

Finally back after a week away!  I wanted to work on their faces after missing them all week, more shading and darkening of shadows.  Too long of a break for me, I had so many things going on and go on they did.   I was busy preparing for a music festival, our first for the season and we were invited only a week prior to the date.  I had a few loads of tie dyes to complete and a lot of gathering to do in a short amount of time.  I was not yet ready for vending.  I set aside this portrait in hopes of being ready to camp (we also had to prepare our camper and supplies - that were also not quite ready) and vend in time.  I managed to get everything together and we made it to the festival, all in all we only broke even for the event.

Saturday afternoon as the children were napping I was thinking about why we were pulled to this festival, what reason were we here if it was not to make money.  It must be because we were meant to visit with our dear friends at "Camp".  We were going to be VERY close to our chosen family and it was a perfect time to stop for a visit on Mothers Day after the festival was over.  I had decided awhile ago that I wanted to add a portrait my list, Neil.  My dear friend (my husband lovingly calls her his second mother) lost her son when he was seven years old.  He drowned in a creek, an accident.  My friend never really said much to me about him until Houd passed, then one day as we stood near Houd's memorial garden she began to talk to me about him.  Later after I started drawing portraits I wanted to also draw Neil.   A son, a brother.  So while we were visiting with our friends I described what I had been doing all year and popped the question.  She happily accepted and handed me a photo from her wallet.  A photo of her two sons, her favorite photo of Neil.

My husband meanwhile was hanging out at Houd's garden, fixing the cairn he built there.  He had sat his beer on a nice flat rock, there was no breeze in the air Sunday.  He said a little prayer and thanks for so many memories no one else could have given him, as he finished his last words his beer suddenly tipped over and started pouring into Houd's garden (his tent site at "Camp").  So my husband ended up splitting his beer with Houd on Mothers Day.  We would split our beer with you any day Houd.

It was a wonderful way to spend Mothers Day.  The kids had a great time playing together, stomping in the mud and playing in the sand box.  I got a picture of Neil, caught up with old friends and my husband got to share his beer with Houd.  Then I returned and found my friend Devany had shared Trees and Tents with her readers at Still Playing School for Mothers Day.  Feeling the love.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred twenty-four

Lines, lines, lines, all I see are lines.  At least there is beginning to finally be some structure to all those tiny lines.  Slowly building.  Shading on Violet, working on that cute crocheted hat and lines of course.  I walk the line. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred twenty-two

Starting those lines on D's shirt, counting every one and every one will be accounted for.

I feel like they are getting ready to jump off the page soon.  I can almost hear the giggling and whispers.  What says Cowie today E? 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day one hundred twenty

Shading, shading, shading and more outlines.  Still trying to get a base before I worry about small details.  I am thinking this portrait may take me through June till completed.  Lots of fuzz, lines, hair and three little humans to draw.  I have all the time in the world, drawing is so therapeutic that I hate missing even a day.  I will be adding layer upon layer of pencil until the drawing looks like the picture.  At completion I will post the original photo for all to see.

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