“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! 🙂

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

A Lighting Adventure: Practice Makes Perfect

There are so many things that I love about my house, but one of them ain’t the builder standard lighting. Slowly but surely I’ve been replacing those very practical and perfectly functional lighting fixtures with upgraded ones.

I’ve wanted to do something really unique ever since I stumbled onto this online company that sold electrical cording and custom colored socket covers. And a lot of other cool and awesome stuff.

(Oh, by the way, they are not sponsoring me in any way. But even if they were, I’d still say the same things!)

So, I started planning cool lighting projects. The first one I wanted to do is based on this photo:

crystal-decanters-as-pendant-lights-1This is going to take some more planning and purchasing of supplies, including a way to reach the ceiling when it is about 20 feet high.

Instead, with the latest addition of the embroidery machine, I realized that corner in my sewing room was a little too dark. It does take some additional light when you’re dealing with lots of thread color changes and lots of stitch changes. So, I opted to do my first lighting project for that corner.

DSCN2868Somewhere along my travels, I picked up two pairs of hanging lights. I didn’t know then what I was going to do with them, I just knew that I had to have them. Try as I may, I can’t remember if it was from thrifting or the ReStore or abandoned house hunting or where. Each had two wires that came from a single canopy ending in a cut glass globe. Of course, the wires were interwoven with those brass chains so popular beginning in the late 50’s.

So, this is where I started. I took everything apart and pulled out the old wiring. From ColorCord company, I ordered new sockets, wiring and cord grips. This is the best part, when you order, you have a myriad of colors and styles of wiring and different styles of sockets and socket covers and cages and all sorts of fun stuff. Check it out!

I ordered the mint twisted wiring and ceramic sockets. My plan was to take the existing canopies and the pendant holders and spray paint them white. Replace the wiring with the twisted mint cord and swag them over the areas needed. In my mind’s eye, I could see it.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.32.17 PMOn a recent thrifting trip, I ran across three cut glass tulip design globes that were open ended and I thought would provided better light than a closed one. So, I went from a four bulbs on two fixtures to a single one with three shades.

DSCN2861That meant that the four existing pendant caps that I had would have to replaced with three matching. And instead of the two canopies that I had planned on using, I would be using just one now.

First, The Kid – my newly appointed electrical engineer – wired the sockets.

DSCN2864Then added the cord grips. The cord grips are new to me, but take the strain off of the wiring in the sockets, much as the chains used to in the old style.

DSCN2865Then the wires were threaded through the canopy.

DSCN2866Next The Kid climbed up into the attic and after cutting the power, he wired it to the existing light – the one that hangs over the sewing machine.

DSCN2872Here is how we left it after the first night of work. While The Kid was up in the attic handling the wiring, I installed the hooks and worked the wiring to make sure that everything was even. But I goofed pretty good.

The next morning, we removed the hooks and filled in the holes and then using a tape measure to ensure things were lined up and then rehung the lamps again. With a flip of a switch – viola! – light!

DSCN2884Its been a long day. Still much to talk about. And work on. You wouldn’t believe the garage again!

julie

Getting Closer to Completion (Just One More Day)!

If you’ve been following, you know that I have a small assembly line of dressers being restored/redesigned. Last night, we were able to move the cabinets into the foyer – which has now become the de facto showroom! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I had to do one of those little “dances” maneuvering around them on my way out the door!

The drawers are still in the garage awaiting handles and hardware – some of the drawers need a little construction work to make them easy gliding and to fit in the cabinets. That’s The Kid’s job today. My hope is that these are all ready to be posted tonight and we can move them quickly in time for the holidays. 2014-11-20 15.18.59

2014-11-20 15.19.12

2014-11-20 15.19.07We are also doing a quick update (and cleaning ) to the dollhouse we made earlier this year… come hell or high water, this is being sold to someone for Christmas! As much as I love it, I am done with it taking up so much room in the foyer!

DSCN1929And as luck would have it, I found out this week that my employment contract runs out tomorrow. So, I will have some extra time to work on projects in between job hunting. Sigh. I really loved this job and really hate job hunting.

Maybe I will have time to work on the foyer “chandelier” project that I have been designing. I promise to share all the details and steps and the wonderful online company that I have discovered that is enabling me to do this project!

julie

The Tale of Two Bentwood Cases

On occasion, I get the desire to acquire something unique. (Okay, that’s about every other day, but who keeping track?) Recently, it was an old Singer featherweight in a bentwood case.

99K Singer Hand Crank Sewing MachineThey look something like this. These machines were so well made that many of them are still in use. And I found quite a few that were absolutely in perfect condition – both machine and case.

Well, for some unknown reason, I bought two! Based on the serial numbers, one was from the 40’s and one from the early 50’s. The older one was described as being in perfect working order too. But the other one had a foot control and a built in light on the back of the machine (to shine on the sewing area).

Well, much to my chagrin, neither of the boxes arrived without incident, shipping took a real toll on both of them. So, I opted to put together one using parts from the other to make it look almost perfect again. I cleaned the wood and lightly sanded it and then gave it a coat of stain in the same color, just to bring out the richness of the wood. I then added two coats of poly to help protect it. I also swapped a few parts, mostly decorative, as one machine had much more ornate detailing.

The other box, well, it couldn’t be saved. See how the handle sits on top of the case? Well, pressure on top of the box during shipping had literally pushed the handle through the top of the box. And then in jumbling about during transit, the connectors (where the box attaches to the base) broke and then the machine just bounced around inside the case, causing more damage. I tried very, very, very hard to restore it, but it just wasn’t saveable.

So, I opted to give it a treatment like I had done before with a dresser (and did a bunch of trunks this way ten or twelve years ago). I like how it came out:

2014-10-20 18.26.58So everything is still functional, it just now has a new look. Whaddyathink?

Oh, and worked on this photo to get my “Before & After” shot of the changes in the sewing room. The angle that the photograph was taken isn’t the best – as it is difficult to see the new cabinet on the other side of the television armoir, but trust me, its there!

Before&After

I still need to add more lights in the back corner for the two embroidery machines and that is in the works. Months ago I picked up these lovely antique hanging globes (two different sets with two lights each), but I need to get them rewired and then hung.

I found this wonderful site online that I want to order electrical cords from, I have been on this site everyday since I found it and I can’t wait to get going. You should check ’em out! It seems like their prices are extremely competitive, although I know once I get started, I am going to be sending a lot of money their way!

For the sewing room, I’ve got these in mint green picked out, the socket cover and a twisted cord:

metal_cover-6_largeTwisted_Pair-3_large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.11.27 PM

I also have been collecting decanters for use in recreating something like this for the front foyer/entryway:

decanter-light… except I will use red socket covers and red wires:

red_metal_covered-1_largeDIY_Pendant_Cord-12_large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it will look very striking! Well, you know me and my red kitchen!!

julie

 

 

PS…for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share with you!

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