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Blowing Glass at The Furnace

2019 making glass ornaments

As the girls are getting older I’ve noticed that our usual fun places to go aren’t as fun anymore. The museums, zoo and playground aren’t “cool” like they used to be. I’ve have to get extremely creative to find activities and new experiences for the girls to fill our school breaks.

Last November a friend of mine posted pictures on facebook making a blown glass ornament at a local glassworks called The Furnace. I was able to book us to make our ornaments right before Christmas.

Watching them pick out the colors, learn a new skill and being so proud of making something really cool was so much fun.

The girls wanted to learn more about glass blowing, so I booked the Glass Sampler workshop which is 3 hour class for Spring Break. Well then everything shut down because of COVID so we had to delay our class until October. The girls were finally able to take the class and loved making so many new things.

During the class the girls got to make both blown and solid glass. They started the class by walking through hot shop safety because you are right next to huge furnaces and glory holes (yes we giggle every time we say this.) For this class they get to make three different projects. The girls wanted to make a flutter bowl, paper weight and pumpkin.

The girls started their session making flutter walled glass bowl. First you pick out your colors and cover the molten glass with it. Then the fun begins! They used a paddle to shape the melted glass and the tweezers to create the flutters in the bowl. At one point the paddle caught fire which I guess is very normal because the glass is so hot.

 

Abby wanted to make a paper weight that had swirled colors made by twisting the molten glass. After twisting the colored glass to get the swirls, she got to use a wooden mold to make it smooth and round. After getting it off the punty she got to use a blow torch to smooth out the bottom.

Our blown piece were these cute pumpkins. After selecting the colors, our instructor blew into the punty and watching the bubble getting bigger and bigger was so cool. Making this blown piece allowed us to experience the fluidity of the material and to see how colors and patterns change as they move with an expanding bubble. The girls got to use a paddle and mold to make the rind of the pumpkin and the twirly vine.

While we were blowing glass, the owner, Corey Silverman was making these big beautiful light bowls to be sold at an art gallery. It took 3 people to help him make them because it was such a complicated process. Watching a master at work is always fascinating and they make it look so easy.

I highly recommend going and trying out these class if you have older children (10+ years.) Both instructors we had were really nice, informative and patient. I love being able to support a locally owned business and letting my daughters experience something new.

The Furnace, a glassworks is located at 11354 W 13th Ave Unit 6, Lakewood, CO 80215
  303-274-0643  info@FurnaceGlassworks.com  www.FurnaceGlassworks.com

2020 Glass Experience Class

Our Finished Glass Projects

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German Butterballs

When cold weather hits like it did this last weekend, I pull my big soup pot to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. In our family we add German Butterballs to the soup to make it even heartier. German Butterballs are like dumplings or Jewish Motzo Balls. 

These butterballs have been a staple of our chicken noodle soup for generations. Learning to make these little balls of goodness is a right of passage for most german cooks. I remember learning to make them and going through several containers of bread crumbs in trying to find the right consistency. I finally found the best recipe and I wanted to share it with you today!

The recipe below is an adaptation of recipes from KUCHE KOCHEN , published by The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, first printing 1973.  

BUTTERGLACE
(Butterballs) for noodle soup

  • 1 loaf old dry bread (or you may toast it in the oven).  4-5 cups
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 tpsn. allspice
  • 1 tspn. salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 5 beaten eggs

DIRECTIONS:

To make bread crumbs put in food processor or do it the old fashioned way.  Place slices between two dishtowels and crush with a rolling pin.  Add salt and allspice to bread crumbs.  

Heat half and half and once simmering break up white bread slices into small pieces and mush into half and half. Add melted butter, and half and half to crumbs.  Mix well.  Let cool and add beaten eggs.  Roll one into a ball.  

 

Boil a small pot of water to test butterballs for consistency. Try it in boiling water to make sure it doesn’t fall apart.  If you want it firmer, add another egg and more butter. Once consistency is reached, roll all the butterballs out.

Make your chicken soup and put butterballs in hot chicken broth. When they rise to the top they are cooked through, add noodles.

NOTE:  Butterballs may be made ahead.  Store them in the refrigerator until you want to use them.  You can also double the recipe and  freeze for another cold night.

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Family Halloween Costumes

2003

Yes, we are that crazy family who likes to dressing up for halloween in theme costumes! It all started when we were married and decided to try out some couples costumes and them morphed into family costumes when the girls were born. Our poor dog and cat even were game for a costume.

Each year in August/September we start thinking up funny ideas. We’d think about what had happened in our life that year or a funny show or movie we like. After narrowing down our ideas, I hit the internet and see if there are any pre-made options for costumes. I also look at Pinterest to see if there are any ideas that I can hand make. Several of our costumes we bought (Matrix, geeky prom, wizard of oz, star trek) but several of the costumes I made (50’s poodle skirts, star wars leia and han solo pants, avengers girl costumes) or we pulled from our closet (cheerleader, tacky tourist, farmer.)

Some ideas to brainstorm for costume ideas:

  • Favorite movies (Star Wars, Star Trek, Disney movies)
  • Favorite tv show or cartoon
  • Favorite book (think Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz, etc.)
  • Favorite sports team
  • A dream job (scientist, space person, etc.)
  • Favorite Decade (70’s, 80’s, 50’s, etc.)
Parent tip: If your kiddos are at the dress up stage and love playing pretend–go to the store the day after Halloween to score some awesome deals on costumes, wigs, accessories. I filled our dress-up bin one year for less than $100 and the girls still play with their younger cousins when they come over.