Friday, November 25, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I took a month-long road trip not long ago!! I left the Oregon Coast on April 2nd & drove to Oklahoma to visit my family. I towed my travel trailer & took my dogs & cat. It was a bit of a "family" vacation! The journey was 4,300 miles round-trip. It was an incredible trip filled with amazing scenery & A LOT of soul searching. When you drive for 8 hours a day, you have plenty of time to ponder life.
My adventure took me all the way across Oregon, through Boise & southern Idaho, down to Ogden, Utah & then I took the northern route across part of Wyoming (which was really, really windy). I continued south into Colorado (where I got to visit 2 friends from high school), east into Kansas & finally at Salina, I headed south to Oklahoma!! I stayed in RV parks most of the time. I did have to stay in the Walmart parking lot one night in Rock Springs, WY!
I was really fortunate to have good driving conditions most of the way. The only real issue I had was with the wind. When you're towing a 19' travel trailer, the wind can toss you around a little bit if it's not blowing in a favorable direction. You just have to go really slow. And, being the rather impatient person I tend to be, that was a total test!! However, when you see big semi-trucks overturned on the side of the road, it reminds you to proceed with caution. Big flashing signs that say, "Advise No Light Trailers Winds Gusting to 55 mph" will also remind you to slow WAY down!
I arrived safely in my hometown on April 7th. I managed to detour to a few antique shops along the way, which added an extra day to my trip. By the time I returned home to Oregon, my car & the travel trailer were pretty loaded down with treasures!!
So, I camped out in front of my parents' house for 3 weeks. I should have known that going to Oklahoma in April would mean I'd experience thunder & lightning. Well, I got some hail too! That was a little nerve-wrecking! Thankfully, my little travel trailer didn't get damaged.
There is really nothing like spending quality time with family & friends. I've been away from my hometown for 13 years now & each time I go back I have a different appreciation for it. I am even toying around with the idea of moving back at some point. I think I just need a little more time to do a few more things though.
I chose to take a different route on the way home. My journey took me across the western part of Oklahoma, across the panhandle of Texas (Amarillo), over to Albuquerque, New Mexico & then up to Durango, Colorado. From there I drove over to Moab, Utah. I have to tell you that one of the highlights of my trip was the time I spent around Moab. I took some extra time & toured through Canyonlands National Park, as well as Arches National Park. I want to encourage everyone to visit the Moab area. It is truly a spectacular landscape. From there, I went up to Ogden & then followed the same route I took on the way down.
It was a spectacular adventure. I really want to encourage everyone to explore this beautiful country we live in. I don't have children yet, but I will, without a doubt, take my kids on road trips so they can experience all of the fabulous things this country has to offer!
Here are a few photos from my journey........
Since I returned home from my adventure, I have been participating in the local Sunday Market. Lots of people are quite intrigued by glass fishing floats. I have been providing a little education to many folks! It's been a great way to meet new people!
My next post will definitely be about glass fishing floats! Is there anything in particular you would like to know?? I'll try to post something a little sooner! Thanks for following me & being patient with my lazy blogging! :)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Okay...so it's been a while since I've done a post, but I am going to make a real effort to be a better blogger!! I have lots of great information stuck in my mind about the wonderful world of glass fishing floats that I want to share with everyone who is willing to listen! :)
So....here is a little lesson about glass fishing floats that are different colors & those that have different colored seal buttons!!
The example below is a float just a little larger than a golfball. It has what is known as the "cranberry dot" on the seal button. This particular float also has the "temple" mark embossed on the seal button. This is a beautiful example of what happens when a random color of recycled glass is used to make glass fishing floats!
The photo below shows examples of floats with cobalt blue seal buttons. They come in a variety of sizes. I happen to have a few in my personal collection, including one of the 12" diameter floats, which is about the size of a basketball!! I happen to have a small float with a cobalt seal button for sale in my Etsy shop at the moment.
This is an example of a large 14" diameter float with an amber colored seal button. These tend to be quite difficult to come by. I don't have one just yet!
Basically, glass fishing floats are hand blown from recycled glass. There are a few exceptions that are made in molds. The manufacturers wanted to use the cheapest materials possible. Typically they used water jugs, sake bottles, milk bottles, window panes, whiskey bottles & anything else that would work. When the assorted glass was mixed in the furnaces, the common blue/green color was the result.
Of course, occasionally, a truckload of beer bottles would be brought in. After the glass was melted in the furnace, the floats being blown would end up being brown!!
Here is an example of a beer bottle brown roller from my collection. Rollers were made in molds but were also made from recycled glass. I have one similar to this for sale in my shop. They are highly collectible.
Many glass factories produced other glass items such as vases, bottles, etc. If they had excess glass, this was often used to make glass fishing floats. It is believed that this is how the more beautiful colored floats were created. This is also the source of floats that had a different colored seal button from the rest of the float. The theory is that the extra glass used from other product lines was possibly used for sealing buttons. Some of the larger glass companies may have had many furnaces being used at one time with different colors of recycled glass. This explains the variations in the colors of the floats & seal buttons.
Here is a float that I personally beachcombed on the Bering Sea coast of Alaska. It is a 3-piece mold float thought to have originated in Korea. It has an amber seal button.
These are floats from my collection. You can see the assorted cranberry seal buttons, along with the shades of the cranberry floats.
These 2 glass fishing floats are from my collection. The float on the left was found on a beach in Alaska. It is about 14" in diameter & is a nice honey amber color. The float on the right is purple & is about 12" in diameter.
This is one of the rare examples of an authentic blue glass fishing float. Most of them are reproductions that were manufactured for the souvenir/gift trade. This float was beachcombed along the Oregon coast many years ago, along with 4 others like it. It was a rare occurrence. This is considered a Blodgett blue & was named after the woman that beachcombed them.
I rarely come across an actual working float that is such a vibrant yellow. I was lucky enough to get 2 recently. I added one to my collection & the float below is currently listed in my shop. Not only is it a beautiful shade of yellow, it has a kanji mark & the original natural fiber net is on it!!
So....that is just a small sample of the wonderful world of color when it comes to glass fishing floats. I hope this gives you a little insight & you can see why some of us are so drawn to their beauty & uniqueness!
Monday, January 17, 2011
This is totally unrelated to glass fishing floats, but I wanted to share this organization with you. Some of you may already be familiar with it. I think it's an awesome way to help others & you get some super cool, recycled jewelry in exchange!! The beads are made from recycled magazines & other paper. :)
Bead for Life creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.
How It All Began:
BeadforLife began with a chance encounter between a Ugandan woman, Millie, who was rolling beads near her mud home, and the founders, Torkin Wakefield, Ginny Jordan, and Devin Hibbard. Stopping to admire the beads, the women learned that there was no market for her jewelry, and that Millie worked for a dollar a day in a rock quarry crushing stones in the hot sun. They admired her paper beads and bought a few, never realizing that their lives, and the lives of so many impoverished Ugandans, were about to change.
When friends at home admired the beads, the three women realized that there might be a market after all. Torkin returned to Uganda, and Devin and Ginny began to develop a marketing strategy. In Uganda, Torkin held classes to improve the quality of the beads and develop several styles of necklaces and bracelets. Soon women in the US began to hear the stories of the beaders and buy their beautiful jewelry.In September of 2004 the founders launched BeadforLife in the belief that they could build bridges of understanding and commerce. Little did we know what an amazing endeavor was being born.
*Taken from beadforlife.org.
I hosted a Bead for Life party last year. The great thing about it is that it doesn't cost you any money. Well, except for the money you will spend on buying necklaces & bracelets because you can't decide on just one!! And, they make perfect gifts! All you have to do is go on their website, select your date, fill out the information & about a week before your party, Bead for Life will send you your supply of jewelry & some of the other items they offer. When your party is over, you send the remaining items back, along with the money you raised! It's that easy. They also provide you with printed material about the beaders, recipes, music & other information that you can share with others.
I encourage all of you to host a party, or if you aren't interested in doing that, you can order directly from their website!! The prices are very reasonable & most importantly, you will be supporting impoverished women & their families. They also offer a curriculum for educators. I can't think of a better thing than teaching children about philanthropy & helping those less fortunate.
Check out the Bead for Life website for all of the information about this great organization.
Here are some photos I took of the beads/jewelry I received for my party!
So, host a bead party. It will make your heart happy! :)