Category Archives: Crafts

Previous Life: Glass Block Crafts

What did your life look like before cancer?

I’ve been asked this question recently in light of all that has happened in my world over the past 2 1/2 years. You would think this would be an easy question to answer…but it’s not.

As soon as you receive the cancer diagnosis, your “normal” life evaporates. You are like a leaf floating down the rapids of a large, twisting river. You have no control where you’re going or how quickly you travel. You are at the mercy of the current. Along the way, you bump into debris (complications) which causes a brief pause…or spins you around…or takes a slightly different direction along the river (your treatment plan). All of your energy is consumed…depleted…spent  just trying to survive – both physically and emotionally. When you finally reach your destination, you no longer remember what your life looked like before the journey began.

At this point, everyone starts talking about finding their new “normal”. For each person, life post-treatment will be as unique as their cancer journey. In many instances, you are left with physical limitations that prevent you from going back to the routines you previously enjoyed…if you remember what those routines looked like. Which is where we started this conversation. What did my life look like before cancer? I’m going to explore several facets of my “previous” life throughout the coming weeks. Today, the topic is crafting.

I used to enjoy a myriad of craft hobbies. I was reminded of this today when I caught up with a friend who was shopping at Michael’s for craft supplies. Since treatments, I attempted a few of my crafts but fatigue and vision changes caused me to become discouraged and stop. My passion was reignited today while wandering the aisles offering infinite possibilities. Upon returning home, I started looking at old photos of completed projects and came upon these glass block night lights.

A pattern is created from any image…coloring book, photo from internet, drawing or sketch. In figuring out how the glass will be cut, you must consider the limitations of the cutting tools and the behavior of the breaking glass. Each cut piece is marked so you can match to the template when assembling your finished creation.

cow final pattern

Next, selection of the colors and textures of the glass that will be included in the project. Then you trace the pattern pieces on the glass, cut, grind the sharp edges, and adhere to the glass block. The final step is inserting the lights in the back of the prepared block. When I started doing these projects, the block were only available at home improvement stores. Now they can be purchased at craft stores and a cut-out is already made so the lights can be easily inserted. Here are a few of my completed blocks. I call these night lights but they can be placed anywhere you want to show off your interests or designs.
Glass Block Collage

Hmmmm… I’ve been bitten by the crafting bug, again! After my schedule calms down from the holidays, a new craft project will be on the agenda. When it’s finished, I’ll share the entire process…start to finish. Any suggestions for what would make a cool pattern for a glass block?