Today is my birthday! (And apparently national chocolate chip day... how cool is that!)
The girls had a rough night last night. By 7 this morning (when #1 got up for the day) I had only slept 45 minutes without a baby in my arms. I was tired, and honestly didn't have great hopes for the day. Hod had spent a lot of time planning our activities, so I put on my happy face and tried to get excited.
We took the girls to a babysitter, put on our fancy clothes, and went to a nice lunch. I am almost positive that was the first time Hod and I have had a nice baby free meal together since... well when I was pregnant with #1. Not that she was high maintenance those days, but I am just uncomfortable while pregnant. Our lunch was just delightful. I don't remember at all what we talked about. However, I do know that during that meal, not one person threw food, screamed at me, spit out their food, or cried, and I got to eat with two hands! I was with an amazing man, and I just got to enjoy him.
After lunch we hurried to change clothes and went on probably the coolest date I've ever been on. We went to a glass blowing school and made flowers! We didn't actually "blow" glass. That is a tricky thing that takes much longer than 20 minutes to learn. We did get to heat and shape glass though, and it was heck-a cool.
We were given a walk-through of what was going to happen, and then we jumped right in. I went first. The expert guy put the clear glass on the long pipe (I don't remember what the non-blowing pipes were called, but they have a cool name) cooled off the pipe so I could handle it, and then gave it to me. I will try to explain this with pictures.
He brought me the clear glass, and I rolled it in chips of colored glass. First was the color I picked for the stem of my flower. I picked white.
After rolling it in the color, I pushed it into the hot box thing that runs at about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. During all of this, we were constantly rolling the glass. Because it was almost liquid we had to constantly roll it so gravity didn't pull it off, or bend it it ways we didn't want it.
The expert then shaped the glass by rolling it on top of a metal cart. (Sorry I don't have that picture.) Then we went and got more hot clear glass.
Next we pressed the hot glass into our second color choice. This was the color for the flower petals. (We didn't get a picture of me doing this, so here is my handsome hubby doing this step for his flower.)
The glass expert heated this all together while I got situated on the special bench. I grabbed my tongs and excitedly waited.
Once the glass guy brought me my super hot glass, he rolled it while I pinched in the petal details with the tongs. When the tongs started to stick, I had to hurry and dip them in cold water sitting behind me.
(Look how fast the color changes! And my flower is actually a dark purple, not bright red. That is how hot it is!)
After one more heating, I then got to start pulling on the glass to get the petal layer of glass apart from the stem layer.
We let gravity help us a little bit.
This is what my flower looked like right before he tapped it off of the metal pole. Those are the colors that I picked for my flower, and though it looks cool, it is still sitting at about 1400 degrees.
This picture is really busy. My flower is upside down. It has dark purple petals, and a white stem. In the orange cup on the right is some water. That is used to "shock" the joint where the glass is going to break. They then used the blow torch you can see in the bottom of the picture on the broken part of the glass to smooth it out.
Because the flower was still so hot, I have to wait til tomorrow to get it. They put it in a special hot box that slowly brings it to room temperature. (That takes about 21 hours.) It has to do it slow because if it changes temperatures too fast the glass breaks.
Tomorrow I am planning on going to pick up our flowers. I'll post a picture of the finished product as soon as I can.
Then, to end my birthday, we had some friends over for games.
It was a wonderful day!