Musing on fusing

A few more touches of colour, please January 14 2018

 

2017 gave us a bit of a rough ride in our house, a nightmare really, and yes, for the whole year.

Well, perhaps not the entire year. For among the bleak greys and sinister blacks and empty whites of my year, there were bursts of glorious colour, such as the blessing of family, the joy of steadfast friends and the thrill of a baby granddaughter.  

This year, I plan to focus less on the grey and black, and the blank white in between, and concentrate on the touches of colour. And honestly, I’d welcome a few more.  

May you also find many colourful touches in your life this year.

You can see my “Black, white and a touch of red” sushi plate here.

I have three children's books available that you can see here.

Check out more Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Happy New Year! December 31 2017



Wishing you all the best for the coming year. Gratefulness. Understanding. Compassion. Kindness. Acceptance. Inclusiveness. Forgiveness. Hope. 

I have two children's books now available here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see all my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Peace on earth, good will to all December 17 2017

This Christmas and holiday season, I long for the same thing I do every year – peace on earth and good will to all.
Sending love and best wishes.
Charis

I have two children's books now available here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see all my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

The red buoy December 10 2017

I am from the Maritimes, so I often think in terms of tides - high and low -  and seas, both calm, and, perhaps too often, stormy.  

Often, moments and events in my life are experienced as images of the ocean - sailing away from the wharf, or landing on shore, or basking in the sun, surf and spray of the bay. And sometimes, I simply feel lost at sea. 

In the days when I feel adrift, I need a marker buoy. We all do.

It may be a belief, a person, a place, a memory or a network of friends- whatever we find that guides us, keeping us afloat when navigating harsh conditions.

The unpretentious buoy signals the best path home. Or offers a spot to anchor ourselves in the storm. 

What we find that lifts us up, keeps us from capsizing, and gives us hope that we may again find safe haven – that is our marker buoy.

You can see my painting "Red buoy" here.

I have two children's books now available that you can see here.

This year's Christmas decoration is now available here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see all my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Taking a moment December 03 2017

Spring, summer and fall snuck past me this year. Life has been busy and I haven't always taken notice of my surroundings. But as I put out the garbage a few days ago, I was transported back to an April morning when I was greeted by dozens of tulips.  

In my front yard, there is no lofty garden design, simply tulips bulbs stuck into the ground in any spot where I could dig a hole. No watering. No fertilizer. Just a faint hope that the squirrels will leave a few.  And as I haven't planted any new bulbs in several years, I shouldn’t expect much.

But there they were in all their colourful glory, generously bestowing happiness.

And bestowed again, this week, when, prompted by that flash of memory, I searched out the photos I took in April. This time, I did pause, and take a long moment to savour their beauty and let my appreciation bloom within.

 

No tulip glass, but you can see my "Blue daisy" lunch plate  here.

Don’t forget - my children’s board books A Wiggle and a Waddle and The Ladybug Dance are still available here.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

The Ladybug Dance November 26 2017

Life is a dance. All we must do to learn is to take one tentative, simple step at a time, until we find our rhythm. 

Of course, we can choose simply to sit on the sidelines and watch. But isn’t is so much better to shove our cares to the side, just for a minute and attempt one small move? Which will lead to another, then another, and another, until we too can “jump up in the air with nary a care.” 

It’s not about how well we dance: it’s that we make the choice to get up and move, and discover for ourselves that there is “No time for ‘can’t' – just Ladybug Dance!”

The Ladybug Dance is my second children’s board book in honour of my new granddaughter. You can see The Ladybug Dance here.

Check out my first book "A Wiggle and a Waddle" here. A new shipment of books has arrived.

This year's Christmas decoration is available here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see all my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

First snow November 19 2017

“Snow!” I gleefully exclaim each year on the first day I wake to find snow on the ground, and have done so since I was a child. 

When they heard me, my kids would squeal and jump out of bed, equally excited to get out into the first snow day of the season.

As they grew older, they began to smile and stretch and say, “Nice.” Then it became, “OK Mum. We heard you.” Then, “Arghh” and pull the blankets over their heads.

As adults they became sweetly tolerant of their mother, the equivalent of patting a cute puppy on the head.

But I persist. I love the first snow. I love frost on the windows. I love the crunch under my feet. I love it all — until the middle of January.  

Happy First Snow Day!

You can see my "First frost" window glass here.

You can see my new book - A Wiggle and a Waddle here. There is now a cheaper regular mail shipping option for books.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

A Wiggle and a Waddle November 12 2017 2 Comments

 

Any day now we will be welcoming our first grandchild - a girl. I know her already, in my heart, and I can hardly wait to see her little face. 

Baby Girl will take after both her loving, creative, superhero mother, and her wears-his-heart-on-his-sleeve, born-to-be-a-dad father. And she will embody some piece of all of us who have gone before her.

But what I am most looking forward to meeting is the Baby Girl that is uniquely her, encountering qualities that make us wonder, “Where did she get that from?” 

Within days of hearing the thrilling news that she is on her way, I knew I wanted to write and illustrate a book, for her.  

Writing simple words that are fun, rhythmic and tell a story is harder than I imagined. I have a couple dozen half-written concepts. 

I did, however, bring one to fruition. A Wiggle and a Waddle is a magical, fantastical bedtime story that goes through a day in the life of wee ones, in a land that seems not quite real – but, you never know.

This is my “Welcome home” love story for our baby girl.

A Wiggle and a Waddle board book is now for sale here. 

This year's Christmas decoration is now available here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see all my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

How do we make it stop? November 05 2017 2 Comments

My grandmother’s brother, John Stanley Corbitt, was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme.

"Few words conjure the futility and the staggering losses of the First World War like the Somme. The battle lasted five months, killed or wounded approximately 1.2 million men, and produced little gains." 
thecanadianencyclopedia.ca

"About 630,000 Canadians enlisted between 1914 and 1918 — most of them volunteers... More than 234,000 were killed or wounded."
thecanadianencyclopedia.ca

"When the fighting was finally over, no one could tell exactly how many had been killed but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield - and another 20 million were wounded."
news.bbc.co.uk

"The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher."
ism.org.uk

The population of Canada is 36.7 million. 

We owe much to those who have given their lives. Wearing a poppy and saying “thank you” seems completely inadequate. But it is a start. 

The “war to end all wars” did not. We are left with the question – how do we make it stop? 

You can see my "Red poppy" lunch plate here.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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The gingersnap remembrance October 29 2017 7 Comments

A lot has been going on in our lives lately, not the least of which was the injury of my mother in July and her subsequent death October 3rd. Life is tough. Loss is hard. But in the middle of that sadness, we find lessons learned, memories relived and hopefully thankfulness spoken.

The printed funeral program included memories from family members. Below is what my son Jeremy wrote. 

The gingersnap rememberance
Growing up I had a grandmother. An honest, no foolin’, real-life grandmother. The kind of silver-haired grandmother who bakes cookies and fresh bread and knits by the fire. The kind of grandmother you read about in books and hear about in old nursery rhymes. A saint among grandmothers. The kind of grandmother you think every kid gets for free just for being born, but as you grow older you realize that you were one of the lucky few. 

My grandmother had a prodigious sweet tooth. She baked sweets and confections of every imaginable kind. She baked fruit cakes and lemon breads, wedding cakes and Christmas cookies. She even made sweet, tart rhubarb juice from rhubarb she grew in her own garden. The treats I remember her most for though are, without a doubt, her home made gingersnap cookies. Wafer thin and sweetened with molasses and ginger. If a grandmother’s love had a taste, this was it! 

While my grandmother’s gingersnaps came in a variety of shapes, my favourite was the little gingersnap men with their big heads and outstretched arms and legs. For in the humble gingersnap man, the eater is faced with a difficult choice. Should I snap off his arms and pop them in my mouth, or should I bite off his feet? Maybe I should dunk his head in a glass of rhubarb juice and suck out his brains! For a grandson with imagination, the possibilities were limitless. My grandmother, I noticed, often disposed of her gingersnap men in the most humane way possible; quickly and headfirst. I told you she was a saint!

It is perhaps with these little gingersnap men, that many children first begin, however unconsciously, to play at life and death, and think about the really big unknowable questions. As an adult, I imagine that in the days to come, I’ll make a batch of my grandmother’s gingersnap cookies. I’ll spend an afternoon dispatching whole battalions of gingersnap men as I contemplate her death and more importantly her life, and I shall endeavour to remember her, not just as my storied fairy tale grandmother, but to the best of my ability, on her own terms, as she was.

My grandmother was a healer. She spent the last part of her career as a nurse caring for the sick in the chemotherapy clinic of the Saint John Regional Hospital. She was an artisan and a craftswoman who filled our lives with folk art, mittens and sweaters she knit, and handmade ornaments of all kinds. She poured out her creativity like water on future generations of women in our family. My grandmother was a business woman that sold her myriad creations at craft fairs she organized, and her wedding cakes were in such demand that she was forced to turn people away.  

My grandmother loved the water. She loved to walk the ocean shores searching for beach glass, hoping for a particularly rare or ancient piece. She loved to watch her grandchildren swim in the waters of the Washademoak lake, and if you knew her well enough, you knew she had a special relationship to the water deep in the earth beneath her feet. My grandmother loved her church. The church she and my grandfather helped to build.

My grandmother was a woman, and a wife. As adults we discovered a box of love letters she had received. Imagine our surprise, we who had only known her as mother or grandmother, when we discovered that she had been involved in a life-long love affair with, of all people, my grandfather!



In one of my favourite images of her as a young woman, she could easily be mistaken for the kind of glamorous Hollywood actress that only exists in black and white photographs. It’s easy to see why my grandfather was so taken by her. One way to tell the story of their love is to cast my grandfather as the hero who bested all of his competitors to win her heart.

Another way to tell it would be that, my grandmother, faced with a crowd of suitors, surveyed the field, and chose my grandfather. Together they built a life. They were inseparable. 

After my grandfather’s death I remember being in awe of the quiet dignity and bravery my grandmother showed in the final moments of that great love story. Years later, suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, my grandmother visited with her friend Pearl in the hospital. They talked about the past and then sat quietly until her friend broke the silence, looked at my grandmother and asked the question; “No regrets?” My grandmother smiled and reached out her hand, “No regrets.”  

If at the close of my own life I’m able to look into the eyes of a trusted friend and whisper those words, then I will have learned the most important lesson my grandmother could teach me.

My grandmother loved life, and she was constantly present for all of the small beautiful moments it had to offer. She viewed all creation with unashamed wonder. Whether it was pointing out a rare bird on a nature hike, or picking berries at the side of the road with her grandchildren, she never failed to be surprised or inspired by the world around her.    

Funerals are odd things – they make children of us all, as we struggle with questions we imagine are bigger than us. There will be the usual condolences, kind words, and greeting card wisdom. There will be hugs and fellowship and I’m so-sorrys. There will be a quest for meaning. But I don’t have the language for any of that. If you are sad or grieving today, if you are weary of heart from the loss of a beloved friend, mother or grandmother, then I have no special council for you. I have no magic words or sage wisdom to heal your heart. I have only this – the beautiful life of Neta Hope Brown. That, and her recipe for gingersnap cookies. Eat and be comforted. 

Gingersnaps:
Boil 1 cup of molasses for 5 minutes and pour the boiling molasses over:
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of shortening

Add 2 cups of flour, mix and cool over night.
Roll out very thin, cut and bake at 350 degrees F.

A final word on the shape of your cookies. Of course you can cut them into any shape you wish, but in the humble opinion of this writer, the best shapes will always be those that force the eater to make difficult choices, not just about how to eat their cookie, but also how to approach life. Eat joyfully. No Regrets.       
— Jeremy (grandson)

 

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Happy summer! June 25 2017

 

I am off enjoying the wonders of summer. My blog will return in the fall.

Happy summer everyone!

You can see my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Last dance June 18 2017

My father loved to dance. Outside of church, anytime music started, he grabbed my mother and started dancing. A dance floor wasn’t necessary – just my mother.

His dances of choice were jitterbug and foxtrot. While my mother claimed not to be able to jitterbug, they were a very handsome pair dancing a foxtrot.

The saying,
“Dance like no one is watching,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
Sing like no one is listening,
Live like heaven on earth.”
could have been written about my parents.

Although that advice prompts us to dance like no one is watching, my father danced with eyes only for my mother.

I was fortunate enough to witness him dancing many times, and although it has been almost five years since his last dance, I can picture them still.

You can see my "Last dance" window glass here.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

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I'm afraid it's chronic June 11 2017 1 Comment

It is no secret that I have an as yet unnamed, undiagnosed condition.

As soon as I enter an indoor parking lot my brain shuts down, and I can no longer think or make sense of anything.

Years ago when my son was still a preteen, he was making his first flight to see his grandparents in New Brunswick by himself.

I decided to leave the car in the parking garage in the Toronto airport while I escorted him into the terminal, to see him through security. He didn’t think he needed help, but I was insistent.

Even before we entered the garage he asked me if I was sure I would be able to find my way out.

“Of course I can.” He questioned me again and again. “Do you know how to get back to the car? . . . Are you sure you can find the car?”

I kept saying “Yes, I am fine.  . . . I know where the car is.  . . .  Don’t worry about me.  . . . I know what I’m doing.”

I teased him about trying to parent me.

Even as I waved to him as he went through security, he was calling, “Are you sure you can find the car?”

“Yes, don’t worry. Have fun.”

My son was in New Brunswick before I found the car and left the garage.

Last weekend, I made a one-night trip to Edmonton. I decided to drive myself and leave the car in the airport parking garage. As soon as I drove in, I felt the symptoms of my peculiar condition overtake me. Panic, disorientation, sweaty palms, talking to myself, I was unable to tell which way the arrows were pointing, or even comprehend what “out” meant.

I accidentally found a parking spot, but I had no idea where I was, or where to find the exit to the terminal.

Parked, I photographed the post displaying the number of my parking spot. I took a photo of a post saying what floor I was on. I stepped back from the car and took a picture so I could recognize it when walking back towards it.

I walked away from the car then, though I had no idea if I was going the right way.

But, I was able to ask a nice gentleman unloading bags from his car if he knew where to go. He laughed and told me to go straight ahead, that the bridge to the terminal was on the right. He even pointed and asked if I saw it. I did.

I thanked him, just as I noticed the big sign with an arrow saying  “Terminal 1” right over my head.

I continued on with as much dignity as I could muster, to a very large glass lobby area, mentally registered that it was the entrance to the terminal – and kept on going, right past it.

My helpful fellow traveller started calling, “Hey, HEY, STOP!”

“Come back! The entrance is here.”

Oh dear. I’d done it again.

I thanked him. Tried to laugh it off and moved into Terminal 1 as quickly as possible, thinking I could outrun my embarrassment.

The next day, on my return, I took the wrong bridge back into the garage. Not only did that put me at the wrong end of the structure, it deposited me on the wrong floor.

Once on the correct floor (I have no comment about how long that took), I knew my parking spot was D35.

Never mind that it didn’t look right and I didn’t recognize anything. I assumed my condition caused me to forget what it looked like. When I finally found D35 someone had moved my car and put theirs in its place.

I took out my phone. Looked at the picture to prove my point and found that I actually parked in spot B45.

I am not going to describe the 10 minutes at the exit trying to put my paid parking stub into the credit card slot. Or how it was rejected from four different machines before I realized the machines weren’t broken. I learned that it’s not easy backing out of the exit lanes and trying to drive from one machine to another. And other drivers don’t seem to appreciate the expert maneuvers required to accomplish the feat.

I am afraid my parking garage condition is chronic. As yet, no medications or treatments have been developed. But, as always, I live in hope.

I don't have an art piece depicting a parking garage so I am showing you my "Raging glory" painting: a seascape with angels, people, creatures and other mysteries hidden in the waves and sky.

You can see my "Raging glory" painting here.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Unfettered June 04 2017

 

We sometimes imagine a life free of fears, doubts, pain, illness, physical restrictions, loss, sadness, heartache or responsibility.

Yet we all have limitations: living totally unfettered is not actually feasible, nor even desirable.

But, there are times, - watching waves, gazing at clouds, appreciating a flowering magnolia tree, listening to children playing, letting a chocolate truffle slowly melt in your mouth, soaking up a hug, word or kindness – when, liberated from all that restrains us, we can feel perfect joy, for a moment, unfettered.

You can see my "Unfettered" painting here.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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Heading home May 28 2017

 

 Home: Any place of residence or refuge

When I think “residence,” I think of New Brunswick, where I grew up, or Toronto, where I have lived most of my adult life. 

But "home" is more than a place, or a dwelling. Home is where the heart finds refuge.

Our real home is the people who create a safe place for us, a soft spot to land, a port in the storm. 

And if we are extra fortunate, there are multiple places where we are welcomed home. 

You can see my "Heading home" painting here

P.S. - A very dear and long-time friend left us this week and has been welcomed into his new home. And yet, his home in our hearts remains.

You can see all my paintings here.

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Baby birds and hope May 21 2017

 

Ever since I discovered a robin’s nest in the roof of our carport, I have been watching it and encouraging the mother robin. “Hi Mama. How are you doing? Are your babies ok? You are doing such a great job.”

Last night I came home and there were three tiny baby robins! I could see only their heads, mouths open, beaks bobbing looking for food. “Great job, Mama! They are adorable.” I was so happy to see them and took a picture with my phone. 


Mama robin in the middle, a babe on each side and one in back

This morning I went out with my camera to try and get a better photo of the baby birds. There in the nest were three little heads lolling over the edge of the nest, beaks open but none of them moving. At all. 

I went back in the house, despondent. Ten minutes later I headed out for the day and the babies still had not moved. 

Arriving home from work, I saw the mother robin sitting in the nest. I thought “Poor thing. Her babies are dead.” 

And then I saw it – one little head bobbing with mouth open wide, then the second and the third. They weren’t dead! I was ecstatic. 

Why did it matter so much to me? Apart from the obvious reason that they are very cute, they had made real to me the idea of spring heralding new life and hope. And I thought all was lost. 

Instead, although hope can be fragile, today it is alive and well. 

You can see my, colour of a robin’s red breast, “Orange poppy” lunch plate here. Or many flowered dishes here.

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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That moment May 14 2017 2 Comments

At some point in our lives, most of us will say or do something, and realize we are becoming our parents.

Our reaction is likely horror. But as I get older, I think “I should be so lucky.” My parents were fine examples of good human beings. I hope I inherited or learned their best traits.

Growing up, we always had a vegetable garden, fruit garden and flower gardens at our camp. There were lots of flowering bushes, wild flowers and perennials.

Our house had fewer flowers. No one would ever comment on the extravagant beauty of the flower beds, but what flowers we had and the yard were nicely manicured.

While I did excel at digging potatoes as a child, I have never been good at gardening. My yard is not manicured and the plantings are haphazard. While I appreciate the beauty of flowers and wish I had them, I have never been successful at maintaining a garden.

The moment of realization that I had more in common with my mother than I thought came one summer when she stuck plastic tulips and daffodils in the window boxes. I was both surprised and thrilled.

Now that is a role model I can aspire to!

You can see my “Purple daisy” lunch plate here. Or many flowered dishes here.

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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Star gazing vs. navel gazing May 07 2017

 

Star gazing: a view shared with others
Navel gazing: a view shared with none

Star gazing: heads up, bodies stretching
Navel gazing: head down, body slumped

Star gazing: awe inspiring
Navel gazing: depressing

Star gazing: colour and light
Navel gazing: lint

Star gazing: possibilities
Navel gazing: defeats

Star gazing: shooting star
Navel gazing: fog

Whenever I am able, I choose to do less navel gazing and more star gazing.

You can see my “Star gazing” fractured light window glass here.

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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Gentle winds April 30 2017 1 Comment

One of the greatest gifts in my life is the people I can call upon when navigating a storm, family and friends who are simply there - listening, supporting, caring and loving.

They are the gentle winds that keep moving me forward, the soft waves that lift me up. 

In the past week, I was able to hug some of my long distance "gentle winds" and "soft waves." I am grateful and feeling blessed. 

You can see my "Gentle winds" fractured-light window glass here

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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That will have to do April 23 2017

 

Last week I ordered new prescription sunglasses. I took my time trying on frames. I wanted glasses that would be comfortable and not make me look too old. 

The sales person tried to talk me into cat eye frames. “Contemporary!” “Youthful!”  They looked “wonderful” on me, apparently. 

All I could see was my mother sporting similar frames in the 1950s. 

I realize they are current, but I felt old-fashioned in them. Also, they did not look good on me, despite what the young, enthusiastic sales person said. 

Finally, I made my choice. I thought I did well. Neither old-fashioned, nor so trendy that I look like I am trying to be a teenager. 

That night we went to a movie, The Last Word starring Shirley MacLaine.

I enjoyed the movie, but Ms. MacLaine was wearing the same glasses I had just ordered! Not exact, perhaps, but the same brand, and close enough to make me uncomfortable. 

Shirley MacLaine is 20 years older than me. Yes, she is a movie star, famous, rich – but regardless, two decades older! 

So, trendy and current I am not. But I can see. And that will have to do. 

You may wonder what new eyeglasses have to do with my “Magnolia tree” flower vase. Nothing! But you can see it here. :-)

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
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You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Happy Easter April 16 2017

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Rest April 09 2017

 

Recently I posted blank canvasses, standing on easels in my studio, as I had decided to do nothing. But I moved past my “nothing” day, and since, have been working on a new painting. 

My plan was a scene featuring a harbour and bridge, with houses, stars, moon, moody blues. 

As I picked up my brush, I changed my mind. I felt the need to do something pastoral, with trees and mountains realistically rendered.

But the more I worked, the more Impressionistic it became. In the process, sky, trees, sand and water took over my imagined scene. 

I added lots of colour, intense strokes of blue, orange, and red, creating a poster-like effect. But still feeling the need for something more peaceful, I changed direction again and removed the bright colours.

The designer in me, meanwhile, felt compelled to add a focal point, that the piece should say something. 

One after another, elements added to create interest were then removed – seagulls on the beach, posts in the water with a bird perched on one, waves crashing on the shore. I was set to add the bow of a rowboat just barely entering the scene from the bottom right corner, the rower remaining a mystery.  

I usually try to tell a story within my work, and include a touch of a mystery, where the viewer can read in their own reality or imaginings. 

But as I stood with paint and brush in hand, examining the canvasses that started their journey as “nothing”, I realized I didn’t want a story, a mystery or a focal point: I want rest. 

My “Rest” painting is not for sale. 

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Broken or beautiful? April 02 2017 1 Comment

On one recent day, my kiln began malfunctioning. 

Kilns are programmed to follow a precise schedule of heating, processing and cooling to outcome one wants without shocking the glass and causing it to break.  Programs vary according to what we are trying to accomplish. Precise programming, learned through trial and error, is important.

My kiln began ignoring my instructions. It would begin the fusing program I laid out, but at some unpredictable point, it would stop. The glass would be shocked and break. But then the kiln would restart, complete the entire schedule I had programmed, and my broken glass would fuse together again. 

That is how my “Purple moon” fractured-light window glass came to be. 

“Purple moon” reminds me that most of us have suffered some sort of physical or emotional shock or injury that has left us feeling broken.

In time, though we may heal, we will likely always carry a scar. 

So are we broken or beautiful? 

I say “both.” 

You can see my scarred but beautiful “Purple moon” fractured-light window glass here. Purple moon's scar is about halfway up the piece and runs in a jagged line one side to the other.

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Red sky at night March 26 2017

The saying I learned as a child was,
“Red sky at night, sailors’ delight;
red sky in morning, sailors take warning.”

Another version speaks of “red sun”.

In either version, the warning is clear, yet hard to take seriously, since the majesty of a red sunset and the beauty of a red sunrise seem equally glorious. 

How could one be a delight and the other a warning?

Yet, history and weather science support the observation that a red sky in the morning is likely to be followed by rough seas during the day. 

While most of us do not fish for a living, we do sail through uncharted seas, with many colourful things, people, events and experiences. Discerning which promise delight and which are a warning calls for wisdom. Like seafarers of old, we draw on shared experience and our own instincts. I wish for you only red skies at night. 

You can see my “Sailors take warning” painting here.

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Nothing March 19 2017 1 Comment

 

It is time to write a new blog post but like the canvasses in my studio, my mind is blank.

Not in an overwhelmed, frantic, “I don’t know what to do” way, but rather, in a restful “I don’t have to think about anything right now” way.

For the first time in several weeks, I sit in my studio with my graphic design work caught up, no urgent needs at home and nothing I particularly must or should or want to do at this moment.

So, I am going to do nothing. Say nothing. Think nothing. Plan nothing. And let my mind stay blank for just a little while.

Like Seinfeld, this blog post is about nothing.

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It all comes out in the painting March 12 2017 1 Comment

 

For various reasons, recent weeks have been somewhat chaotic. 

One reason is that I was diagnosed with viral vertigo. It’s not serious and will resolve itself, but I sometimes find myself acting like a drunken sailor - wobbly, lightheaded, light sensitive, unsure of my place in space and just generally off. 

I tried to carry on as usual; I continued to do graphic design projects, produce glass and paint until family illness took all my attention. 

For two weeks I worked on a new painting - a dyptych measuring 48” x 36”. 

My process has two stages – laying down an under-painting, and then pouring and manipulating several gel/paint layers on top. 

When I started the painting I was going for a sunset scene, with serene sailboats skimming across the water. As the two weeks went by, the painting became an unintended biography of my life during that time. 

I tend to think that I can control my world, keep things to myself and only reveal to people what I want them to know. But usually, it all comes out in the painting. 

My “Vertigo” painting is not for sale. 

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It's never too hokey March 05 2017 1 Comment

I wrote a blog for Valentine's Day a few weeks ago, but wasn't able to post on the day. Because it is even more meaningful to me now, I am sharing it today.

Some feel that Valentine’s Day is hokey and forced. 

That may be but it’s a good thing to be reminded that we are lucky to love, and be loved, in a world where so many are not.

It is never too hokey to show our love and appreciation to those we are blessed to have in our lives. It’s just that we should be doing it every day, not only on February 14. 

So - thank you for being in my life. For your love, hugs and constant care. You will never fully know the depth of my gratitude and love for you all. 

You can see my “Pink hearts” lunch plate here

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Serenity now January 29 2017

 

I have become a news addict. 

No longer am I content to check the news on my phone in the morning and on TV at night. I am driven to check throughout the day as well - Facebook, CNN, CP24, Twitter, TV newscasts, news radio. Anywhere. All the time. 

My head and heart are bloated with useless, depressing, alarming, sad and unhealthy “information.”

I really need to go on a news diet. 

Maybe I will I limit myself to just five minutes of news a day. Or perhaps I will quit cold turkey.

I need serenity, now, so I have loaded my iPad with ten new books - all fiction, heartwarming and meant to lift my spirits. 

While I seek serenity, perhaps you will let me know if anything truly important happens. 

You can see my calming “Aqua vine” platter here

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Sometimes it can take a while January 22 2017

I have a new fitness tracker, my second, and a different brand than the first. 

The new tracker is great, but in several small ways it seemed not to be as good as my original one. I thought, “Oh well, I can get used to it and I don’t really need the features it is missing.”

After a few days, I realized that not only does the new tracker perform all the functions my old one did, but it does them better. The more I used the device, the more I understood how it worked. My judgment, I realized, had been premature.   

But then, many things in life must be lived with for a while before we can truly understand and appreciate them.  

You can see my "Red S" platter here.

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It's time January 15 2017

 

It has been a very busy couple of months. While nothing unusual is going on, it has felt like I have too many balls in the air. 

Last week I was immersed in graphic design work - long days, every day. It is satisfying and interesting. But I don't think I have noticed the world around me since last weekend, or possibly longer. 

It's time. Time to enjoy a little girl's birthday party. Time to celebrate the best part of life, my family. Time to sit back, gaze into the sky and breathe. 

You can see my "Sky over bay" bowl here

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Soft whispers of hope January 08 2017

The start of a new year is often associated with lots of ill-founded optimism.

We want this new year to be better than the previous. We want to lose weight, exercise more, improve our health, enjoy richer relationships, gain more wealth. 

When I was a young teen my mother told me that her favourite hymn was “Whispering Hope.”

That was unsurprising - her name is Hope. 

But there is more to it than that. 

My mother has always known the softness of an angel’s voice, the whispers of her comforting words. And she lives with the hope “for the sunshine tomorrow.”

My wish for all of us this year is that we will hear the soft whispers of hope. 

You can listen to Hayley Westenra’s version of “Whispering Hope” here. 
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xckq49_hayley-westenra-whispering-hope-liv_music

The lyrics are below. 

Happy New Year everyone!

You can see my “Her flower garden” platter here

“Whispering Hope”
by Septimus Winner (this version by Jim Reeves)

Soft as the voice of an angel
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers a comforting word.

Wait, till the darkness is over
Wait, till the tempest is done
Hope, for the sunshine tomorrow
After the darkness is gone.

Whispering hope,
Oh how welcome Thy voice
Making my heart
Any sorrow rejoice.

If in the dusk of the twilight
Dimmed be the region afar
Will not the deepening darkness
Brightin’ the glittering star.

Then when the night is upon us
Why should the heart sink away
When the dark midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day.

Whispering hope,
Oh how welcome Thy voice
Making my heart
Any sorrow rejoice...

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Happy New Year!!!! December 31 2016


Merry Christmas! December 24 2016

May you see the angels everywhere.

 


Joyful, joyful December 18 2016

The movie Sister Act 2 may be a little hokey (that is, the kind of movie I often like) but the Lauryn Hill version of “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” is both jubilant and Christmassy. Who cares if it’s technically not a Christmas carol?

You can enjoy it here. https://youtu.be/OaEH1e_DLm0

Wishing each and every one of you a joyful Christmas season, brimming with gratitude and love.

You can see my "Joyful splendour" bowl here.

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Run toward the sun December 11 2016

 

My niece gave me a card (created by Melanie Poirier) that featured artwork urging us to “Run toward the sun to take down a ray of light.” 

I instantly felt the idea without thinking. It felt warm, encouraging, active and optimistic. 

Sometimes I wish things were different. Or hope they will get better. Or yearn for something lost. But wishing, hoping and yearning help nothing. Passivity is, however, easy.

Yet running toward the sun to take down a ray of light exhilarates, thrills, brightens and satisfies. So, if you will excuse me, I think I will try going for a run – that ray of light is out there.

You can see my painting “The hills roll” here

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Cold December 04 2016

In 1996, my oldest son wrote the following article and won first place for Feature Writing in the province-wide Toronto Star High School Newspaper Awards. Sadly, 20 years later, not much has changed, except the names.

A EULOGY FOR EUGENE 
by Jeremy Tobias

At a core temperature of 33 degrees Celsius you become drowsy and lethargic. Because of restricted peripheral blood flow, which causes a loss of motor skills, you are unable to perform any simple tasks like zipping up your coat or tying your shoelaces. You are clumsy and your speech is slurred. You begin to shiver violently. Your behaviour is apathetic.

At a core temperature of 30 degrees you fall, crashing down on to the cold pavement, no longer able to stand. You curl into the fetal position to conserve body heat. Due to frostbite, ice crystals begin to form in the cells of your pale, puffy skin. The shivering comes in waves now and more violent than before. Finally, in an effort to conserve glucose, you stop shivering altogether. Carbon dioxide and lactic acid build up in your muscles, causing them to become stiff and rigid. Your pupils dilate. Your pulse slows.

At 28 degrees your body tries to hibernate, shutting down all peripheral blood flow. Your heart rate and your breathing slow. When your body's core temperature is 24 degrees Celsius you reach a state known as "metabolic icebox." You look dead – your skin and lips are blue – but you're not. You are still alive, trapped inside your stiff motionless body. Your breathing is erratic and shallow. You are only semiconscious of what is going on around you. Finally, mercifully, your heart stops.

This is what you would have experienced if you had suffered Eugene Upper's fate on the night of January 5, 1996. Eugene spent the night in a bus shelter on Spadina Avenue in an effort to escape the bitter cold, but because he had been drinking he was especially susceptible to the effects of hypothermia. He had no blanket and wore no hat or gloves; all he had to protect him from the cold was a coat that was barely adequate for winter use. Eugene was found the next morning, literally frozen to death. He was fifty-six when he died.

Eugene's death begs for answers to many frightening questions. Why didn't anybody help him? Where were the police? Wouldn't they notice a man sleeping in the cold with nothing to protect him from the frost? And where was the T.T.C.? Buses run along the Spadina route until 2 A.M. and then start up again at 6 A.M. How can it be that Eugene wasn't noticed by anyone until eight o'clock the next morning when he was found dead? The obvious answer is that Eugene was not noticed because nobody bothered to pay any attention to him.

I find it impossible to come up with any rational explanation as to why people freeze to death in a wealthy North American city like Toronto. It defies logic. But the predictable fact remains that every winter, homeless men and women die on the streets because you and I don't take the time to notice them or their situation. They are effectively ostracized to death by an uncaring city.

I wish I could say for sure that if I had come across Eugene that night I would have helped him. I wish I could say that I would have given him a blanket and something hot to drink, or helped him find a warmer place to sleep. But the reality is that I don't know how I would have reacted. It's entirely possible that I, like many people, might have seen him lying there and wondered if I should have done something but in the end decided to do nothing.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with one of Eugene's friends. Every Saturday night, as part of the city-wide Out of the Cold program, Blythwood Road Baptist Church opens its doors to the men and women who live in Toronto's homeless community. Eugene was a regular at Blythwood. It was there in a church basement that I first came to know Mike and where I met with him to discuss Eugene Upper. Mike is  thin, uncommonly joyful man (uncommon given his current situation), who always wears a small silver and black crucifix around his neck. Based on our conversation there are a few things about Eugene I would like to clarify.

Eugene Upper was not a vagrant or a transient. Eugene Upper was not just another faceless bum on the streets of Toronto. He was a flesh and blood, living, feeling human being who didn't deserve the fate he received. He was a member of a community, and though he mostly kept to himself, he had friends who now mourn him. Yes, Eugene often found comfort in a bottle, in fact the night that he died he passed out in his supper plate at the Scott Mission. But you would drink too, to fight the cold, or if you had to live Eugene's life. 

Mike believes that Eugene may not have even tried to make it to the Out of the Cold program or any other shelter because he had been drinking. He may have feared that he wouldn't be accepted, although no one would have refused him – Eugene was not an aggressive man. 

In a tragic sort of way Mike is relieved at Eugene's passing. "I know that he (Eugene) is in a place where there is no suffering or tears," he says, "but on the other hand, I will miss him."

I would like to thank my friend Mike. This article could not have been written without his help.

Dedicated to the memory of Eugene Upper. 

________________________________________

Here is a link to another great article about the Out of the Cold program written by our friend Larry Matthews for the Globe and Mail. 
Well worth the read.

________________________________________

You can see my painting "Cold" here.

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I can fly November 27 2016 1 Comment

 “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”  – J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Year-by-year in life, we tend to take on more responsibility, for family, career, finances, the community we live in and the causes we care about.

We embrace the responsibility, making life choices that create security and because providing for family, being a good citizen, saving for our later years and setting an example for our children is important. But sometimes, we may find that we have forgotten to dream. We can let visions from the heart and soul go by the wayside in favour of what is safe and fits our notion of what is ‘responsible.’ 

That’s not wrong, just one-dimensional. Being responsible doesn’t fully feed the soul.

I want to continue to dream about the seemingly impossible and strive for what is likely unattainable. 

I want to believe that I still can fly because if I don’t, it is certain that I won’t.  

You can see my "Red/orange birds in flight" vase here.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas November 20 2016

When many of us visualize Christmas, we see a Norman Rockwell scene in our mind.

We fervently believe that if we have the whole family gathered, each in their most polite and festive moods, surrounding perfectly wrapped gifts placed under a magnificent tree adorned with the most glittering colour-coordinated ornaments, massive arrays of twinkling lights, beautiful uplifting carols, sweet-scented candles, exquisite gourmet food, a roaring wood fire and gently falling snow - THEN - Christmas will be perfect. 

In truth, we are more likely to have a Charlie Brown Christmas than the Norman Rockwell fantasy. 

Not everyone will be in the best mood. Some may be late. The gifts aren’t all designer wrapped. The tree is tied to the wall to keep it from falling over. The angel lists at a 45-degree angle in a torn robe. A set of lights are burned out. The ornaments are a hodgepodge of childhood memories and bits and pieces that have survived the poorly packed boxes from last year. The music choice and volume may be in dispute. The scented candles are giving you a headache. The turkey falls apart when removed from the oven. The roaring fire is a channel on the television. It’s raining. 

And it’s perfect. 

You can see my "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" ornaments here.

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Rocky mountain splendour November 13 2016

Life delivers unexpected twists and turns, some good, some not so good. None of us are exempt.

Likewise, at some point, we all need help. For many of us support is hard to accept, and more difficult still to ask for.

Yet like a rocky mountain, the twists and the turns, the ups and the downs are made bearable by the splendour of love from those around us.

You can see my "Rocky mountain splendour" bowl here.

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Patting my head and rubbing my belly November 06 2016 1 Comment

I am clumsy. You likely know that. 

Last spring I sprained my ankle, as I do every year or two. Last summer I broke my foot - the other foot. I just fall off my feet while walking. 

I own crutches, two boots for sprains and breaks, and two walking sticks made by a dear friend out of concern and pity. 

Four months ago, in the middle of the night, I fell in the bathroom and smashed my face on the tub. When I woke up on the tile floor, I looked like I had lost a fist fight.

So far this month I have cut my thumb with a paring knife and stabbed myself with a putty knife. While getting fresh band aids for those small discomforts I brought my head up underneath the open medicine cabinet and peeled off what looked like half of my forehead.

Those are just the highlights: ‘clumsy’ may not cover it. 

So I enrolled in Tai Chi classes. My goal is to improve my balance, posture and focus.  

While I am practicing lots, some of the moves are like patting my head and rubbing my belly at the same time, which I never have been able to do. 

But I take pleasure in almost doing some of the simplest moves correctly. And so far, no mishaps. 

Wish me luck!

You can see my "Circles and waves" platter here.

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Sing October 30 2016

I had never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944) until I went to the movie by the same name (starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant). It was a delicious window into her later years and well worth seeing. Her story is a profound lesson in living well. 

Ms. Jenkins originally was a pianist, but after an arm injury she was no longer able to play. Her love of music expression turned to singing opera. 

Wikipedia reports these details.
“According to published reviews and other contemporary accounts, Jenkins’s acknowledged proficiency at the piano did not translate well to her singing. She is described as having great difficulty with such basic vocal skills as pitch, rhythm, and sustaining notes and phrases.

“In recordings, her accompanist Cosmé McMoon can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her constant tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes, but there was little he could do to conceal her inaccurate intonation. She was consistently flat, and sometimes deviated from the proper pitch by as much as a semitone. Her diction was similarly substandard, particularly with foreign-language lyrics.

“The difficult operatic solos that she chose to perform—all well beyond her technical ability and vocal range—served only to emphasize these deficiencies; and, paradoxically, to enhance her popularity. The opera impresario Ira Siff, who dubbed her ‘the anti-Callas’, said, ‘Jenkins was exquisitely bad, so bad that it added up to quite a good evening of theater ... She would stray from the original music, and do insightful and instinctual things with her voice, but in a terribly distorted way. There was no end to the horribleness ...’ “

Ms. Jenkins gave many vocal recitals starting in 1912, wearing elaborately garish costumes that she created. At the age of 76, in 1944, she agreed to give a recital at Carnegie Hall.

The event sold out weeks in advance; an estimated 2,000 people were reported to have been turned away at the door.

Although her fans adored her, the reviews were awful.

Many treated the event as comedy. It is not clear if she was in on the joke, but I like to think that she was. 

Regardless, she was not deterred.

“People may say I can’t sing,” she once said, “but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”

You can see my "Water song" sushi plate here.

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And turn your eyes around October 23 2016

 

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,

And turn your eyes around,

Where waving woods and waters wild

Do hymn an autumn sound.

The summer sun is faint on them —

The summer flowers depart —

Sit still — as all transform’d to stone, Except your musing heart.

                                                Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)

 

The imagery of this poem brings me to the edge of weeping. I am in awe of these words that let me see what is not before my eyes, smell what isn’t present and feel what I was not aware of one moment before.

So I will try to sit quietly, to turn my eyes around, listen with intent, and be still – except for my musing heart.

Please enjoy the complete poem “The Autumn” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning below.

You can see my “Fall trees” vase here.

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THE AUTUMN
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833)

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

 


We are a fall forest October 16 2016

 

For me, fall is the freshest, most beautiful, most engaging and exciting time of the year. 

The colours, the air, the wind in the trees, the harvest - brilliant!

A forest in shades of green is indeed beautiful but a forest boasting rich reds, golden yellows, calming greens and vibrant oranges is breathtaking.  

We Canadians are a living breathing landscape, a myriad of ethnicities, fresh ideas, beautiful traditions and varied languages. 

We are a fall forest. 

You can see my “A fall forest” bowl here

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Talking about love October 09 2016

 

From the moment we are born, we exist within the circle of life. It’s a never ending dance of hellos and good-byes, joys and sorrows, youth and age. 

Every parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent comes to a moment of realization that the small child we nurtured, loved and cared for is now able to stand on their own. 

Gradually, it dawns on us that the child is no longer just the young one but a peer, an adult with whom we can share ideas and dreams and truths.

Then comes a day, shocking perhaps, when we recognize that the no-longer-child is actively thinking about how to support and care for us, as we always cared for them. 

For the fortunate, the circle of life is a cycle of love and care and gratitude. If we see it at work, we are indeed lucky. 

You can see my “Talking about love” window glass here

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
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A blooming meadow October 02 2016 1 Comment

 

To me, the view from within our family always seemed splendid - a mixed garden of fertile minds and colourful personalities. 

But now, it is virtually a blooming meadow.  

Our family carries forward strains of our English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Romanian and Lebanese forebears. In recent years, it has expanded, with loved ones that add Slovac, Italian, Korean, French, Chinese, Tobagonian, and more.

The varieties of traditions, life experiences and viewpoints add richness we wouldn’t otherwise even imagine. 

And the food! Just ponder the possibilities. 

I love the view of this blooming spring meadow, colourful, thrilling and ever expanding. 

You can see my “Blooming meadow” bowl here

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Seeing isn't necessarily seeing September 25 2016

 

My son and his cousin were best friends and just two years old. My son was laid back, easy-going and slightly clandestine. His cousin was more vocal and visibly determined. He may have sometimes taken the fall for my son’s orchestrations. 

One day my nephew threw a traditional temper tantrum, possibly provoked by something my son did. My nephew found his mother in the kitchen, threw himself on the floor in front of her, and flailed and cried.

My son watched. 

Later, my son came in the kitchen where I was. He waited for me to turn and look, and then threw himself on the floor, kicking and screaming.

I laughed so hard, I cried. 

It was side-splitting because that was not his personality; he lacked conviction and passion. Then too, he didn’t realize that he was supposed to demand something. I was supposed to say no. And then he was supposed to put on his little show. 

My son then stood up, shrugged as if to say “I don’t understand what he gets out of that” and walked away. 

When things are observed only through our own lens, we may be missing the most important piece to truly “get” what is going on.

You can see my "Morning glory" sushi plate here.

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

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I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

Somewhere between the sky and the deep blue sea September 18 2016


I’ve detected a space that floats between the sky and the deep blue sea. Sometimes, that’s where reality resides. But more often, the in-between is the home of dreams.

I often dream at night, of course.  But most of my dreams, visions, ideas and fantasies happen when I am fully awake and aware. 

My dreams are usually colourful, happy, melodic and rich. 

But every story, every life has scary bits. To a reader, it’s good storytelling. To the sleeper, it’s a nightmare. 

So why do I sometimes let the nightmares be my reality and the cheerful, fanciful, glorious bits merely dreams? Am I not the teller of my own story?

From time to time it becomes necessary to peer into the space between the sky and the deep blue sea and see all that I am privileged to experience . . .  joy, love, kindness, beauty . . .   and realize that I am living the dream. 

Photo by Jeremy Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by Jana Lacova, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by James Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by Alicia Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by Jana Lacova, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by James Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by Jeremy Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

 

Photo by Alicia Tobias, St. Martins, NB, 2016

You can see my “In the depths of the sea” bowl here

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.

A pageant of opposites September 11 2016 1 Comment

Sometimes life is a pageant of opposites and seemingly conflicting sights and emotions. 

Good. Bad. 

Happy. Sad. 

Calm. Storm. 

Sunshine. Fog. 

Beautiful. Stark. 

Peaceful. Chaotic. 

Freedom. Confined. 

Our summer contained all of those. 

When reading that list what likely stands out is:

Bad. 

Sad. 

Storm. 

Fog. 

Stark. 

Chaotic. 

Confined. 

In truth, when I consciously look, I realize I am one of the lucky ones, because my life's pageant also includes:

Goodness. 

Happiness. 

Tranquility. 

Sunshine. 

Beauty. 

Peace. 

Freedom. 

And LOVE.  

You can see my "Fire and ice" sushi plate here

Check out other Glass by Charis pieces here

You can see my paintings here.

Read all blog posts here.

__________________________________________________
I try to post a new blog every Sunday morning. 
Check back to see what I have been up to during the week.
You can also subscribe to occasional email updates below.