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Jazz Doodle by Wayne Stratz

21 Days of Christmas: 21 Gifts

Log Cabin Quilt Trivet in Coral and Cream by Margaret Almon.
Log Cabin Quilt Trivet in Coral and Cream by Margaret Almon, glass on wood, 6×6 inches, $57. SOLD.

Stratoz created a festive 21 Days of Free Shipping on 21 of our creations.  Fortunately, some of them are orange, including one of my quilt inspired trivets, a jazz inspired suncatcher and a blue spiral through the orange desert in mandala form.  Click on any of these photos to go to the listing and order.  December 15th is the last day to participate in the free shipping.

Jazz Doodle by Wayne Stratz
Jazz Doodle Inspired by Marian McPartland, by Wayne Stratz, SOLD.

 

Blue Path Spiral by Margaret Almon
Blue Path Spiral by Margaret Almon. Glass on slate, 9 inches, $162.
New Day Mandala by Nutmeg Designs

New Day Mandala and the Grace of the Sunrise

New Day Mandala (Early Bird and the Night Owl) by Nutmeg Designs
New Day Mandala(Early Bird and the Night Owl) by Nutmeg Designs. Glass on wood, 10 inches, $258.

 

I love how Stratoz describes our collaboration on this New Day Mandala(Early Bird and the Night Owl):

Orange and Blue are opposites that complement each other in this mandala to greet a new day. As refreshing as a night of rest this glass mosaic is a circle of hope for being renewed with the rising sun. Designed and started by a blue early bird and detailed by an orange night owl. . . “I like the sunrise ’cause it brings a new day, I like a new day, it brings new hope …”(Duke Ellington/Mitchell Parish)  A sign that announces to the world that gravity will not weigh you down, hope is perched on your soul.

I am not a morning person, but the sunrise brings this Kurt Elling version of the jazz standard into my head and heart. Elling interweaves a Rumi poem in Mitchell Parish‘s lyrics.  Take a moment to read the poem and listen to this beautiful tune.

“Where Everything Is Music” (trans. Coleman Barks)

“Don’t worry about saving this music / or be scared
if the singing ends
or the piano breaks a string / for we have fallen to a place
where everything is music and singing /
everything is recovered and new / ever new and musical
and even if the whole world’s harp should burn up /
there would still be hidden there
the spirit of song there to linger on /
and even if a candle’s blown out by wind
the fire smolders on in an ember and then sparks again /
the singing is a drop / just a drop in oceans of seas /
grace keeps it moving through bodies like these

and the sound of a life sends an echoing out /
the poem sings willingly in each newborn’s crying shout /
but it’s growing slowly / and keeps many secrets /
stop the words and listen / feel the echo of it starting /
open a space in the center of your beating heart
and let spirits fly in and out . . .”

 

New Day Mandala at Stratozpheres Etsy Shop

Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz.

Sophia in Her Wisdom: An Orange Spiral of Light

Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz.
Sophia Spiral in a Blaze of Orange by Wayne Stratz. Stained glass, 7 inches. ©2015

Sheets of stained glass migrate back and forth between my studio and Stratoz’s studio.  He had a commission for a larger version of his Sophia Spiral, and needed something special for the center.  I had some Oceana glass that I used in an Orange Sunflower mandala, with beautiful mottles of yellow and orange.  Holding the glass up to the light revealed the yellow like portholes of light.

Orange Sunflower Mandala by Margaret Almon.
Orange Sunflower Mandala by Margaret Almon. Glass and gold smalti mosaic on slate, 7 inches, ©2015.

Margaret Almon Mosaics on Etsy

Stratozpheres on Etsy

Sunflower Mandala: Meditating Around the Circle

Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster
Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster

The Grout Monster came over before our open studio.  She grouted pendants, picture frames and a house number with ease.  Then came the sunflower.  The GM removed the painter’s tape after grouting, revealing a berm around the edge.  One petal reached past the others and broke through the berm, and she had the inspiration to begin carving the still malleable grout with a blade, tracing all the contours.  

She thanked me when she was done.  She had found it meditative. She asked me what mandala meant.  It is a sacred circle.

Her stepfather had died that week, and she told me about asking the funeral director to put the chairs in a circle.  This was the one thing she wanted, that her family could see each other and tell stories about her stepfather.  

In her grief, she created intricate beauty, both in the honoring of her stepfather, and in delicately outlined petals. 

Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster
Sunflower Mandala Mosaic by Margaret Almon and the Grout Monster