Friday, April 20, 2012

Now for something completely different

I've been playing. For the last week or so, I've been playing with pretend stained glass.

In the room off the dining room, the one that first was my sewing room/office, then became the computer room, then my youngest son's lair and finally has become a for-real den, we have lower cabinets that are in desperate need of help.

Originally the cabinets had a tacky sort of fabric stapled in the center panel. Since the folks who owned the house before us were rather wealthy, I'm guessing that they paid a lot of money for the yucky stuff. (After pulling it down, we discovered that the hideous wall paper in the master bedroom was hand screened by a famous artists of the sixties. No accounting for taste, I'll let you decide whose, mine or theirs.)

Since I was raising galoots, once the room was turned over for their use, it was only a matter of time before the fabric was bashed in. The monsters (umn, rambunctious boys) even broke one of the doors, wrestling over a game controller, I think. Or so they say.

Now that we have an empty nest we figured it was time to start fixing the stuff they broke, and maybe even improving the place some. So, I started by paging through my applique design files. Grabbing a flower from one, the butterfly and leaves from another, I played with them until I had something I liked. Printed out and glued together, these cartoons became my guide lines.

Following the lines, faux lead caming was applied. I really enjoyed this step, it was very relaxing to lay down the self-sticking strips of lead, curving them gently and slicing them to length with an exacto knife. Liquid lead dots cover the joins. I kind of like them at this stage. Simple and graphic.

But of course, my unending quest to capture a rainbow spurred me on. I didn't really have a plan when I started, but I figured it out as I filled the spaces. Peachy orange flowers on a sky blue background seemed to be just the right thing. The little squares of color in the border make me smile. By the time I finished the fourth panel I had it down to a recipe, mixing colors to get the effect I wanted.

We couldn't decide, should all four panels be the same? Or perhaps I should create four related designs, just so I wouldn't get bored with it. In the end I decided to do two mirror imaged sets of the same design. And I found the filling of the spaces just as restful and enjoyable as leading. By the way, it's called Gallery Glass, by Plaid, and I bought most of the stuff at our local Jo-Ann's.

The dark spots are areas which still need to dry. Kent is going to put small LED lights inside the cabinets so the windows will glow. Now that my part is done (the panels aren't mounted yet), I've been wandering the house, looking for another spot of glass to color.


  1. Love it Beth! I have played with Gallery Glass and it really is a lot like coloring with crayons - very relaxing and zen! I've done the large glass doors in my kitchen, the windows in my bathroom (hate curtains in a bathroom!) and the clear glass cabinet doors in my kitchen. It's fun and I can tell you that it lasts forever.

  2. It's really beautiful...and so you!
    Can't wait to see it all installed...I love those built in cabinets in that room.