“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.




And You Light Up My Life…. Art Deco Chandelier Restored

My creative work has suffered recently with the advent of job hunting. The good thing is that it seems I am still in high demand which always makes the hunt easier, but it is hunt nonetheless. It takes time and energy and concentration. The great thing is that I have completed most of the big projects, so, the ‘to do’ pile isn’t taking up so much of the garage.

One thing that The Kid and I did recently was a real change of styles. We were notified of an old abandoned house that was scheduled for demolition – as the farm land was being incorporated into a commercial farm.

Side note: I would love to find one of these old farm houses that is still in good shape and just buy the house and the land under it and live on it. Out in the middle of no where with just enough land to grow vegetables and a few dogs and have a barn for restoring furniture. But then I am reminded of the whole “no internet” thing and having to drive everywhere for groceries and materials and restaurants! And then I put that little dream back into the dusty recesses of my mind.

Anyway, these old houses can be a treasure trove of goodies. Sometimes you get lucky and find all kinds of wood work – such as doors and trims and moldings, even staircases and sometimes even stained glass! This particular farm amazingly had this pristine chandelier hanging in the living room… with five perfect shades on it! This is just about unheard of!

photo 1In fact, the same chandelier hung in the next room – sans shades of course – so we took that too, just in case we needed extra parts for the first one. Believe it or not, it was still wired and I am betting that if the house had electricity, throwing a switch would have resulted in light!

Once home, it was time to clean up that bad boy. I had order new sockets and fabric wrapped wiring from my new favorite lighting place, Color Cord Company. The selection available is so great, that it took me forever to finally choose a color! Great problem to have, I say!

I snapped a couple of photos of the wiring so I would know how to put this thing back together:

photo 2

You can see what decades of neglect can do to a fixture… even one of this quality.photo 3I set about taking it all apart and cleaning all the pieces. The finish was word very badly in a couple of places, so I just opted to spray paint everything. Another decision that took a while to make, whether to paint it to look like the original brass or update the color. After perusing the paint aisle at Home Depot, I selected a beautiful new shade called Rose Gold.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.49.25 AMThis is similar to the brass but prettier and softer. I had cleaned up both sets, just in case we needed to use parts from one, but everything was there! Now The Kid set to re-wiring the fixture.

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We were actually able to salvage the original sockets! Talk about quality!2015-05-16 13.40.01I love his attitude when faced with something new. He researched it online and then went and bought the materials he needed and set about completing the job. Then it was time to piece the chandelier back together. 2015-05-16 13.51.16Slipped the shades on to it (they are called “slip shades”… something I learned in working on this project. No holes!) and we were done!

2015-05-16 14.52.58And here is the finished project:

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A few more photos taken to be able to list the item:2015-05-18 11.36.34

I had chosen the deep brown fabric cord and included about 8′ of extra cord so that if someone wanted, they could add a chain and hang it from a higher ceiling.2015-05-18 11.37.32

From the research I did, I was able to find that this was about 1930’s era, called ‘Art Deco’. Amazing that after 80 years this was still hanging and its five slip shades were in pristine condition!2015-05-18 11.37.46

I have been on the lookout for five more shades, up to this point, I can only locate four. If I am able to acquire the necessary five, I will put the other fixture together as well. What a bonus it would be to have matching chandeliers! I am so tempted to use these in my hallway, because they are simply beautiful and elegant, but they really do not match my house’s more modern style. And I do need two in the hallway. So, we’ll see what comes first, if I find five more shades or the first one is sold.

We’ve been trying to do some gardening but we have been having an unusually wet and cool spring. The Kid digs the hole for the compost and the rains come and fill it like a miniature swimming pool! I will share more tomorrow!


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!


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