I have had an interest in art, drawing with charcoal and pastels, most of my life. But, I didn't start working with stain glass until about ten years after I was diagnosed with Parkinson's.
In 1990, I took a class in stain glass work. The two teachers told me after the class was finished that they would have voted me the "least likely to succeed" at the beginning of the class, but were amazed at what I could do.
I'm glad they didn't tell me at the beginning of the class, as I may have just been extremely discouraged and given up.
In July of 1996, I underwent paladotomy surgery to reduce the back and forth movement (my husband says it was like sleeping with an eggbeater), which had made it necessary to discontinue my stain glass projects. It was a scary decision for us to make, but it was successful and enabled me to return to my stain glass projects again.
I have enjoyed doing stain glass through the years because I like to please others and lift their spirits by sharing my artwork with them.
In the past several years I have made many stain glass projects including glass panels in the folding doors of my bathroom, panels in the china cabinet doors, and two large pictures..one of a soaring bald eagle and one of a geese flying over a pond.
I have also done chandeliers, small lamps, butterfly wall hangings, and jewelry boxes. One project i enjoyed immensely was spending six weeks repairing the bulging stain glass windows in a church in Elk River, Idaho, for a very pleased-with-the results congregation.
I have made a picture or other item for each of my thirteen grandchildren. They have always been very encouraging and accepting of my efforts, and I am pleased they will have something to remember me by.
I did the tiffany lamp shade in 2000, drawing the design, selecting the colors for, cutting the glass and assembling it in my cubbyhole art studio.
My husband has been my biggest fan and encourager, somehow finding the money for the supplies because he was happy to see me enjoying it so much. He remodeled part of our front porch area to make my own private studio, where I could look out over the side yard of our farm and see deer and elk coming to the salt lick we have out for them.
The base of the tiffany lamp is a family heirloom from my husband's mother. In fact, I designed the lamp shade with that base in mind. I am not able to do the stain glass work anymore, but continue to enjoy art, God's creation and listening to Christian music and videos. I am thankful to God for each new day and the support and encouragement of my family and friends during this time of my life.