Will’s AND1 Mixtape

Witness these baller skills! Now presenting William’s And1 Mixtape, the greatest ever.

Starring: William Dyess and Marc Fournier
Written by: William Dyess and Marc Fournier
Stunts: William Dyess and Marc Fournier
Editing: William Dyess
Cinematography: Randie Hovatter

Designing the Choptank River Lighthouse in Stained Glass

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The Choptank River Lighthouse is a historic site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Situated on the waterfront in Cambridge, Maryland, the lighthouse is a symbol of the town as well as Dorchester County. In the early 1900s, lighthouses like this one guided ships that sailed along the Choptank River.

A family friend who lives in the town of Cambridge commissioned this stained glass project from me in 2016. After many visits to my mom’s house on the Eastern Shore, where I could access my stained glass workbench and materials, I was able to complete this one-of-a-kind project.

Designing an original stained glass pattern is equal parts challenging and rewarding. I made several sketches by hand before scanning and finalizing my pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

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My pattern, vectorized in Adobe Illustrator. By creating a vector graphic, I can enlarge my design to any size without losing image quality. Please email me at randie.hov@gmail.com if you would like permission to use this stained glass pattern.

 

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A photo of me cutting the glass as my mom grinds the edges of each piece. This allows for the pieces to fit together like a puzzle. The next step is to wrap the edges of each piece in copper foil.

 

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After each piece is cut and ground, it’s time to start fitting them together. A perfect fit is important; it allows the solder to strongly hold the pieces together.

 

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This project was so large, that I could only fit half of it at a time on the flat wooden frame that I use for squaring (my wooden squaring frame is from Glass by Grammy of Salisbury, Maryland). This is the bottom half of the panel. The final stained glass panel measured approx. 22″ wide x 32″ tall.

 

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Here I go with the soldering of the top half! Each piece has its edges wrapped in copper foil. The solder is then applied to the copper foil. This chemical reaction results in a super-strong joint between the foil-wrapped glass pieces. Eventually, the entire project was placed in a sturdy wooden frame for hanging. In my opinion, a glass project is not finished until it is beautifully framed.

 

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Whoa! I was so proud when I could finally lift up the finished panel and see the sunlight streaming through.

 

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All set and ready for framing! A big thank-you goes out to Jeff Evans for commissioning this unique project. This certainly is a showpiece in my portfolio! I also owe many thanks to my mom, Sharon Hazel, and Carolyn Adkins of Glass by Grammy for helping me see this project through.

 

 

 

Grow Your Best Basil

Basil is not only delicious, but easy to grow and manage with the correct approach. Over the weekend, I produced this short video of my Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) co-worker Meredith Epstein giving expert advice on proper plant care. She is the Sustainable Agriculture lecturer and advisor at the IAA, and also manages the University of Maryland’s Community Learning Garden. Meredith is also the one who chose basil as the topic for our first how-to video; I think she made a great decision!

Making a how-to video was a great way for me to get back into using iMovie. I had a lot of fun producing this using only my iPhone and the iMovie app. I found that the app doesn’t have all of the features from the desktop version, but still enough.

I have mentioned in previous posts that the Community Learning Garden is one of my favorite spots on campus. I hope that after watching this video, you will see why I love to spend time there.

Please do enjoy le film. Get ready to grow some expert-level basil!

Around the Block

Just cruisin’ with my friend Meg in her Toro Workwoman vehicle. I interviewed her to find out the best way to get into volunteering with the University of Maryland’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Meg graduated from the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), where I currently work. The experience that Meg gained through studying Ornamental Horticulture at the IAA led her to become the arboretum’s Volunteer Coordinator. We both work on North campus, so it is easy for us to pester each other. 🙂

Want to help beautify UMD? Email arboretum@umd.edu to sign up!

Sunflower Painting Party at Flanagan’s

Last night I taught a painting party at Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda, Maryland. Our theme was a sunflower, but I spy a Luigi and two elephants!

Flanagan’s meets my ideal restaurant trifecta of great service, convenient parking, and optional outdoor seating. I guess it’s important to note that the snacks and drinks are great too. 😉 Needless to say, I will be back!

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A meeting of creative minds at Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle. Special shout-out to our phenomenal server Lenora, as well as Jenny, the manager who booked my party.

Collaboration with Foster’s Flags

I will attempt anything for a friend, even if it means managing to draw straight lines with acrylic paint!

My friend Aaron Foster of Foster’s Flags and Wildfire Creations creates custom wooden flags in addition to working full-time as a Washington, DC firefighter and teaching fitness boot camps on the side. Let’s call him King of the Side-hustle.

Aaron has created many styles of flags, but this particular order came with a unique request in honor of a Vietnam veteran. The giver of the flag asked if Aaron could incorporate the recipient’s military stripes into the design. Aaron asked me to paint the stripes, and I was happy to oblige.

This flag was completed and given to the veteran at his surprise 70th birthday party. I am excited to have played a part in such a special and unique gift. If you are interested in ordering a flag of your own, check out Wildfire Creations on Facebook.

 

Green Tomato Chutney

Near the end of fall, my friends Meredith and Hardeep showed me how to prepare and can green tomato chutney. Over the course of a day, we prepped, boiled, and heat-sealed enough chutney to send each of us home with over 20 jars apiece!

This chutney is special because all of the green tomatoes were harvested from the UMD Community Learning Garden, which Meredith manages. Hardeep and I were regular volunteers this summer. We had at least 100 green tomatoes remaining at the end of the summer and they all went into this recipe, along with locally-grown apples purchased from the Olney Farmers & Artists Market.

Everything else came from the Burtonsville Giant. Sorry.

Because the tiny jars are so giftable, I decided to design a Christmas-themed label. A 2″ diameter sticker nests perfectly on a standard-sized Ball jar lid, so I took advantage of Sticker Mule’s 10 stickers for $9 deal.

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And then, my super-Seinfeld-fan-friend Hardeep requested a Festivus sticker. It seemed apropos. Hardeep requested a square 2×2″ design so that he could print at home and add in a custom title. He is a regular hot sauce connoisseur and has a need to label his many varieties of homemade hot sauce.

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The way we cooked, canned, designed, and labeled together feels so rewarding! Thank you, Meredith and Hardeep for sharing your canning expertise and design feedback with me. Merry Christmas and Happy Festivus to all!

 

“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way…”

-Frank Costanza, The Origins of Festivus

Doge Pumpkin

Ah, pumpkin carving. My favorite way to welcome the beautiful changing leaves, weird brown-gray sky colors, and “cold humidity” that signify the arrival of autumn in Maryland.

This year’s pumpkin, much like last year’s poop emoji Christmas ornament, was inspired by a fun post from Buzzfeed: 18 Insanely Clever Pop Culture Stencils To Up Your Pumpkin Carving Game. Indeed I did “up my pumpkin carving game,” using a pattern of Doge from the list.

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So Halloween. Very boo.

 

I am so happy with how this turned out! I think doge would be proud. What pumpkin design are you carving this Halloween?