“Stained” Glass Jar Lights

For some time I have been working with a faux stained glass paint and leading from a company called Plaid. (You know, I have never figured out how to pronounce that name… like the fabric pattern or if it is Pronounced “plade” – as rhyming with blade. Maybe that is the German influence that I am encountering as I speak German!)

Any who… I’ve done mirrors and sheets of glass – both large and small. I’ve done my logo when I was working on creating my doll accessories company.

IMG_8260I’ve done a few specific projects, like the arched glass in my kitchen window.DSCN2187I love working with these paints and as a consequence (or maybe because of my obsession with collecting), I have managed to put together a nice color selection as well as quite a few bottles of clear.

DSCN2389The Kid built me a wonderful organizer using an old dresser drawer and paint sticks. The cross pieces have a slight downward angle so that the paint is always at the tip.

So, with this amount of paint, I am always looking for ways to use it. I’ve stumbled over a number of large glass bottles that I’ve decorated in the past, but like to push the boundaries of what is considered the standard use of the materials. So original bottles have a customary stained glass look, but as I worked with the materials, I veered of the standard path. I coupled the patterns and paint with glitter and also mixed my own colors.

So, to make a short story long, I recently completed a few more bottles. You saw a pair a couple of posts back – the gift for the little girl of my customer – but I also worked on a couple more. I’ve used up all my available bottles now and will have to find more! ūüôā

These two were more experiments. The silver glittered section of the one on the right is me figuring out if I can add glitter to the paint. Seemed to work pretty well, although I think I added just a smidge too much. And the large sections of orange was my own mixed shade – originally used for the “pumpkin” jar.

Jars with the lights 'off'The jar on the left was inspired by a the holiday season and my one of my favorite plants… I’ve had poinsettias that have lived more than a decade and really thrived – not just survived. The white portion is “pearlized” and is much prettier than the photo. The photo above has the lights ‘off”.DSCN4130I recently found lights on sale, so this is what prompted me to finally complete the projects. Before painting, I drilled small holes in the jars towards the bottom for the cords. Then it was a matter of feeding the lights into the jars and wiring the plug-ins.DSCN4133I actually still need to find a lid for the jar with the diagonal/chevrons. But since it sits on its opening, it works for the time being while I continue to look.

 

DSCN4132Another shot of the jars lit… the poinsettia jar is absolutely stunning – the photos really do not do it justice. DSCN4136

One more jar that I completed. Couple of things I did wrong with this one, first, I forgot to drill a hole for the light cord. The second thing is that I didn’t design it sitting on its opening and had the “leading” already applied when I realized it. I really did not want to remove it and start again, so in this case, I thought I would use battery lights and conceal the battery charger inside the jar.

DSCN4138I had these battery/light packs leftover from some other project, but there weren’t many lights on each strand, so I opted to wire three packs together. Couple of issues here too, as the battery is drained very quickly and even with three strands does not give off much light.

DSCN4137Also, once the lights are turned on and the lid replaced, the pack heats up and the lights turn off. This occurs about twenty minutes, but the lights continue to draw power from the battery. Sigh.

Now that I’ve picked up a few boxes of lights (since it is now the “season”), I pulled the battery powered lights and replaced them. Now I just have to figure out how to deal with the plug, since I didn’t originally put a hole in the bottle.

DSCN4139Here it is with the wired lights. I really loved the way this one turned out, with slight variations in the design and color placement of each tree. DSCN4140Another angle:DSCN4141And the final picture. I think I will just drill a hole in the lid to accommodate the plug, but want to consider my options for a while.

IMG_8039I’ve created quite a collection and right now, they are just sitting on the floor in front of one of my craft cabinets. I use them more or less as ambient lighting, but am sure that I don’t need quite so many.

julie

 

Disclaimer

Tiered Baking Plates… They Present Cupcakes!

Woke up this morning not feeling the best. You know how that goes. I am thinking that nothing is going to get done today, except making my way through the third (or is it fourth?) season of “Mad Men”. But I thought I would get at least one more post out of activities completed so far.

Yesterday was a bake-fest. The Kid was essential, he is going to make someone very happy in the kitchen. We made two and a half dozen cupcakes, a double batch of bread pudding (mmm my favorite) and baked cornbread muffins. I figured while the kitchen was a mess and the oven was hot, we might as well take advantage of it. The cupcakes were done specifically to show off something that I’ve been working on. Hopefully it will be successful.

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I’ve been collecting these clear plates and short candle holders from thrift stores and making these cupcake tiered plates. I love the elegant way it makes the cakes look and especially the four tiers.

Here are some more shots of the different tiered plates:

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It is what is wonderful about making these, the different styles and weights and diameters of the plates and the candle holders.

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I have endeavored to avoid holiday themed plates (like Christmas and Easter)  but there are so many styles to choose from.

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And the wonderful thing is that they can be as large – or small – as you may want. They can be two, three, four – even five – tiers and the taller they are, the more elegant they become.

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As you can see, the patterns couldn’t be more different. The largest plates, I have found, are the heaviest and therefore make a great base or anchor.

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The candlesticks are also different styles and heights. They all work well with the plates and they provide enough height between the plates to allow for cupcakes, pieces of cake or other candies or even sandwiches.

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I’ve done these with my own china pattern as well as collected a set much like the ones above. Sometimes I wished I did more entertaining, just so that I could use this!

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So, you’ve seen three and four tiered, aren’t they just fabulous? Oh, and while I do my thrift shipping I am always on the look out for certain things: clear platters and plates, candlesticks, any¬†and all¬†kitchen¬†things in red; utensils that would work for chimes, sheets that work well for drop cloths, picture frames, decorative jars and cut glass, someone else’s craft materials (always a good deal) and the unusual items that would work well for other projects.

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Like these two square plates I just managed to see… I don’t know if they were once part of a larger set or someone else had found them and put them together. And just a few inches away sat a little while candlestick that screamed it wanted to be paired with the plates.

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Another quick snapshot with cupcakes this time.

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For example,¬†I found this large jar that just called my name… I don’t have a use for it just now, but it was so cool and priced right. I have a similar jar, not quite so angular, that holds the matches that were collected for years – especially when we were smokers and did a lot of traveling. It used to sit on one end of the ¬†fireplace and I always wanted a second one to balance it out, although the fireplace has different items now. What to put in it is still a question (if you have suggestions, lay it on me!).

Well, still have plenty of work to do and we have our neighborhood garage sale next weekend, which means I will be doing plenty of organizing and cleaning while figuring out what to sell. A fantastic opportunity to get rid of some things, maybe sell some of my finished projects and, of course, some American Girl accessories that I’ve made. I’m planning on setting the dollhouse out, just to see if I get any offers or interest. I would SO love to get this behemoth out of my entryway.

julie

Ambient Light, Night Light or Just Fun Light

I stumbled over this faux stained glass paint a while back when I was looking for spray paint for glass. I had this spray paint from a while ago, it was from Krylon and I used it quite a bit, but when I stumbled onto a cache of those glass insulators, I went out trying to find a range of colors, to no avail.

That’s when I found Plaid’s Gallery Glass paints. They didn’t work the same, duh, obviously they weren’t spray paints. But a couple of projects in and I figured out the best use of them for me. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As you may (or may not) know, the Kid and I like to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. We drive around the Missouri country-side looking for homes that have been abandoned and we stop and look for cool stuff in the debris. On one such trip, in a big field adjacent to a couple of broken down barns, we found a huge lot of old glass bottles. Like milk or juice bottles, not really sure. Most were neck down in the dirt and were relatively clean, but some had rain water or other gunk and required some clean out. Most were gallon or half gallon bottles, the kind with neck finger-rings and most were clear.

One such bottle was green though and very clean. I decided to drill a small hole in the bottom on the same side as the finger-ring and thread a long string of green twinkly lights into it.

Green JarSo, the green one is a little too plain. The next one up, is where I stumbled onto the faux stained glass paint. I was still experimenting. I litterally used a brush and tired to brush the paint on. You can see it with this blue jar:

BlueGallonThe lights inside are multi-colored. Still not what I was wanting as you could still see too much of the lights’ wiring even when lit.

Gallon1Here is the next attempt at creating a stained glass “look”. PLAID also has this mock ‘leading’ that you can attach first and then fill in the shapes with the paint. I was still figuring out how to really use the paint for the best effect. I wished I had someone who could have told me!

This was much closer to the look I was going for. What I eventually figured out was that it was better to use one very thick application of paint than multiple layers. You have to work with the glass or bottle on it’s side and you can only do so much before you have to let it dry. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, the paint can runover the leading and splash into the next color. Sometimes you might have to do some touch ups as well.

Glitter JarsThen, after a fellow blogger’s post, I thought I would try it with glitter. Using ModgePodge, I started by putting down the faux leading and then painting in the areas with ModgePodge and then sprinkling in with glitter. It turned out very pretty unlit, not bad lit (although you can see areas where the glitter could have been thicker) but as with anything glitter, I had it EV-ER-Y-WHERE and on EV-ER-Y-THING in the house. Of course, on myself too. I think the only positive thing was that it was during the Christmas holiday season and people perhaps thought it was supposed to be on me!

Back to the PLAID paints. As is inevitable, practice helps. I love the glow of the ambient light when the Kid and I are watching movies. It is just enough to keep the house from looking abandoned but not so brightly lit that it is the primary focus.

4JarsSo, there it is. Oh and for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. They are just the products that I have found and like to use over the years of making beautiful stuff.

julie

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