Stained Glass Chess Set

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I feel like I’ve been posting a lot of stained glass stuff… but I just can’t help myself. It’s so pretty.

This one of a kind chess set was made as a gift from father to son and is just stunning. The pieces are elegant in their simplicity, and the sort of art deco like accents compliment the medium very well. With the lighting element in the base it just makes me want to put it somewhere safe and never touch it again, lol.

The designer is stained glass artist CHRISTIAN BÉLANGER, who has over 30 years experience in the medium. He and his partner run the studio Art Vitrail where they can do repairs to existing stained glass works, such as Tiffany Lamps, restorations on antiques, and conceptual designs for new pieces. You can find a gallery of their work here to peruse through if, like me, you enjoy the beauty of this medium; this one is probably my personal fav. 🙂 A quick heads up though that the site is all in french, so I can’t recommend contacting them for work unless you know the language.


DIY: Wine Bottle Chandelier

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!
I have for you a super cool tutorial that is relatively easy but still will take some time and some tools. The end result is super cool, and there are a number of different ways that you can do something like this.

There’s a number of different styles, and a number of different complexities in doing the electrical wiring for this. I thought this one was super cool. To do this you will need wine bottles – these ones were clear and then painted for colour, but you can absolutely do regular wine bottles if you like the green/brown hues.  If you’re liking the look of this (the original can be found here at Mod Podge Rocks Blog), and others like this tutorial, you might need this previous post on how to cut bottles safely. Make sure you follow the steps to sand down the edges, and if you would like to take any labels off, now would be the time.

This tutorial uses Mod Podge sheer colours, but there are methods to make the colours yourself with just one jar of Mod Podge (see if you can find a sheer one) and food colouring. You can find my tutorial for the ratios and the how to on the colour here (including how to set it). Use whichever you have the time and comfort level for. You’ll need the basics of the world of crafting, so craft paper/wax paper or a non stick craft mat, a craft knife, and you will also need the pendant light hardware kits which you should be able to find easily at any hardware store, or at an online retailer like Amazon.

Whether  you make your own colours or buy pre tinted Mod Podge, your first step is to get the inside of your bottles covered. You can do this by adding a generous amount of glue/colour to the inside of the bottle and swirling it around inside until it is covered. Try to get as far up the neck as possible so you get consistent colour all the way up. Do this to each bottle. Whether you use the same, themed or different colours is up to you. If you’re making your own colours, remember that you can change your one batch of colour just by adding other colours of food colouring to change the tints. You’ll either need to follow the directions in the previously mentioned tutorial for baking the wine bottles, or you will need to let them dry overnight (sitting on the mouth of the bottle to get maxiumum air flow) After they’re dry, if you want to add any stencils or glitter, now is the time.

The original poster used a light fixture like this. They didn’t use the switch on the cord, and cut the cord before that point since they manually are wiring everything together.

The wiring was cut about 2 feet from the bulb socket base, but you can do them longer or shorter based on the needs of your space. If there is a switch on your fixture, you can cut below it if you aren’t using it. Above if you would like to keep it.

Run the cut end of the cord up through the neck of the bottle so that the bulb socket fits nicely in the taper.

Expose the ends of each of the wires using your wire cutters to peel away the plastic coating (there will be 12 wires, hot and a neutral for each lamp or 18 if the kit is wired for a ground). This tutorial used a room that already had a simple ceiling fixture on a wall switch. This made it easy to take down and I just used the existing junction box and cover plate from the old light to mount my wine bottle chandelier. With the wall switch OFF (throw the service breaker for extra safety) take down the old ceiling light and find the white (neutral), black (hot), and green (ground) wires. Pull them down out of the box and make sure you have enough room to go back with the new wire bundle you’re going to create.

Next, combine all the neutral wires from the lamp kits together into one pigtail. Do the same for the hot and the ground if present. Use some electrical tape to help hold them all together while you get ready to connect them to the junction box. Using an appropriately sized wire nut, connect the white pigtail of the lamp kit to the white (neutral) wire from the ceiling. DO the same with the Black (hot) and ground (green, if present). Carefully push the wires up into the junction box and allow the weight of the lamps to be carried by the bundled lamp cords over the junction box support bar.

Slide the fixture cover you used from the old light up into place to cover everything.

You should be able to flip your switches and bring light! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and remember to work safely with any electricity!

Happy crafting.

~Megan


Stained Glass Creations

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I’ve been into stained glass a lot lately with my personal art projects, so I wanted to share an artist that has some pretty inspiring stuff with a modern take on the medium. Must be all this sunshine thanks to Spring coming in causing me to look out windows all the time. 🙂

New Jersey artist is Neile Cooper has a big thing for negative space in her stained glass and I kinda adore it. Combine that with her beautiful design work and you get some pretty stand out beautiful pieces. Not everyone can afford to get an entire wall made out of stained glass in their house, obviously, but the effect is quite striking. I love the way it almost blends into the nature around it.

For us plebeians with normal houses though, she makes some stunning sun catchers that you can check out on her etsy store. My personal favorite are the gemstone ones as I feel the colors and geometric lines lend themselves to it very well. She also makes some neat butterfly wing jewelry in stained glass style that is quite unique.


Tinted Decorative Glass

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Hey there Thursday readers!

Well, where we’ve just had Pi day, and it is indeed March, it’s snowy here, where I live, and it doesn’t look like the snow is going to stop anytime soon. Does that mean we shouldn’t be looking at spring focused DIY? Not at all! What better way than to do a craft that can be used for flowers and decor or for lining window ledges to get a smattering of colour. I am bringing for you a super easy tutorial for making tinted glass. Now, usually you see this kind of thing done in the form of beach glass, where glass jars are done in an aqua colour. This one is a little different because the tints used are really nice and vintage – like antique medicine bottles. I have used the tutorial from Fancy that Design House, and of course there many tutorials floating around, but as I said, I loved the colours that were chosen for these jars, and I love how easy it is.

I love the look of these and they’re so easy and can be used as really beautiful accents to any rustic decor, or to sit on windowsills to tint the light coming in. I also love that you can just save your old pasta, jam, mason or any jars you fancy to use for this, so it can be done on the cheap.

You will need some supplies, but they are minimal and you might just have them laying around the house. If you don’t, Mod Podge (or a similar craft adhesive) can be bought at almost any  craft store, and then the others you can pick up at any grocery store. Just make sure that outside of the jars, mod podge and food colouring that you also supply yourself with mixing bowls, some newspaper to cover your work area and to line a baking sheet (rather than using rather expensive parchment paper), a baking sheet, paper towels, and a stir stick or spoon. You’ll also be heat blasting them in an oven, so, you’ll need access to one of those too.

 

Your first step is to mix Mod Podge, water and food colouring in a small mixing bowl. For just one jar, you’ll need about 1 tbsp of mod podge with about 1/2 tbsp of water, so depending on how many jars you will be doing, you’ll need to bulk up your recipe as necessary. In this bowl you’ll also want to mix your food colouring. Depending on the colours that you’re wanting to do, you can start with a more green colour, and add drops of food colouring as you go to give you variations in your colouring so that you don’t have to make separate batches of the goo to have different colours. Just add a drop of whichever colour moves you after each one. Though the goo might look gross, rest assured when it dries it will be a glorious antiqued browish colour.

You will also need to prep a baking sheet by lining it with newspaper. You’re now ready to pour the gross looking goo mixture into your jar and rotate it around so that the inside gets completely covered. Be ready with a paper towel when you get to the mouth of the jar, to catch any dribbles as you reach the edge, and make sure that all the glass is covered or you’ll have a bald spot.

Put your covered jar upside down on the covered baking sheet and repeat the steps above if you’re doing more jars. Remember to change up your colour mix a little! You want to let your jars sit upside down for about an hour so that any extra goo can run down the sides and exit. This will also help prevent streaks.

In the meantime, prepare another baking sheet by lining it with wax paper ( though I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use parchment if it’s on hand, or even foil). When your waiting period is up, turn your jars right side up and put them on the newly prepared sheet. You might have leftover goo puddles, but that’s okay, just bundle them up and throw away the newspaper. Put your tray with the jars right side up in a warm oven (225 degrees F) for about 45 minutes. If you check after 45 minutes and notice streaks, leave them in a little longer. When your time is up and you don’t have streaks, remove from the oven and give them plenty of time to cool.

There’s just a few things to remember. Some streaks will be inevitable, especially the darker you go. These jars aren’t great for water, as Mod Podge is water soluble. So if you insist on putting things in there that require water – you could try putting a coat of water resistant sealant, but there’s no guarantee. Rather than fresh flowers, try getting some silk foliage, or dried flowers in the fall. My mother uses delicate branches from bushes in her garden and they look fabulous.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Stenciled Glass Tabletop

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Good morning Thursday readers!

I found something that’s super cool that I thought I should share with you, for anyone who has a table with a glass top inset who wants to spruce it up.  I am using this tutorial from Nomadic Decorator as a how to, and you can go to her website to check out the full tutorial for this and other really neat ideas.

Now that you’ve seen it, don’t you want to make it? You will need some tools and supplies for this project. Obviously, your clear glass surface (that has been cleaned with glass cleaner), a ruler, a stencil of your choice, stencil brushes and stencil cream paint. You can see the specifics of brand and paint colours in the original tutorial. There are paints that are designed for glass, though you can be a little less concerned about that if you are painting the underside of a table that won’t get bumped, scratched or cleaned. Which you use is up to you though.

With stenciling on glass, you need to paint your colours in reverse – so your background should be the last thing you paint. You will also want to make sure that your glass is clean so that dust, fingerprints or anything else won’t be forever painted onto the glass. So the first step is to do any foreground detail you would like first, and this blogger did copper specks all over, so she did that first by flicking a brush with paint on it to get a very fine spray.

The next step is to use the ruler to find the centre of the table, and put the centre of your stencil there. After your stencil is where it should be you can use one paint colour or a combination of hues to paint your design. Just remember to use your stencil brush properly, so rather than brushing in strokes, you will be tapping the brush up and down onto the stencil, so that the paint doesn’t run, or move the stencil or have a harsh blending of colours. This will almost be like painting with a sponge. Remember that you can have the paint be as thick or thin as you choose, and this technique will allow for a smooth transition between multiple colours. This tutorial mixes 3 different metallic shades, but use whichever colours speak to your soul. Just make sure your design paint is thick enough that you won’t see your background colour through it. You might need a couple of layers for this.

Your last step is to remove the stencil and use your background colour to paint over the entire stencil, making sure to get to all the edges. Again, you might want to do this in a couple coats to make sure that you get good coverage. You can also use a bigger stencil brush to speed the process along.

Though I can’t take credit for it, I thought that this was just a beautiful way to give new life to old pieces of furniture, and gives an option to those who are shopping through second hand and vintage stores a new idea for how to turn a regular coffee table (or something larger…) into something with a definite wow factor.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Adorable Octopi Ornaments

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Like Sea Creatures? Well, then I have got some of the most adorable ornaments for you this Holiday Season.

This beautiful pieces was hand blown by Etsy studio Full Blown Glass. Based in North Carolina, they have a wide variety of all things nautical (which I respect as a fellow East Coast artist ^_~ ) but their Octopus Ornaments really caught my eye.

Their work is beautifully detailed, and their spheres are simply on point for shape and size. That it’s all hand blown means it’s just wizardry to me. Besides the decorative pieces in this shop (which include a face hugger ornament!) you’ll also find practical everyday use glass wear at their sister shop; Andromeda Glass. While they won’t get to you in time for Christmas, they do have some non-holiday decorations should you find yourself in need of a fancy straw or maybe a terrarium? If you love nautical creatures their shop is at least worth a look through. 🙂


Black Friday specials!

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It’s Black Friday, one of my favorite days of the year!  I scoured the internet to find savings on crafty stores and supplies.

Akonye Kenya is having a great deal on their House of Embroidery threads until Monday.  

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FanBoy Glass is offering 10% off all orders using the code HOLIDAY10.

GeekParade is offering 30% off using coupon code STOCKINGSTUFFER.

Red Fish Rue Fish is offering a free Glow Hard 1.5 button with every order of $5 or more.

Dollphinwing is offering 20% off all sewing patterns using the code BLKFRI through November 30th.

Chompworks is offering 15% 3D goodies using the code PAINTITBLACK.

The evergreen burrow is having a 20% off sale.

Jellibunn Creations is having a 30% sale of $15 or more.

Finally I am having a Black Friday special as well through Monday.  You can receive 15% off Quilt Patterns using the code SAVINGS!

Happy Shopping!

-Toni

 

 


Glass Acorns

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October/November has always seemed more like fall then September ever will in my part of the world, so today I wanna feature an artist that takes a bit of what we associate with fall and turning it into wearable art.

Ukraine artist Nikita Drachuk makes his art from real acorn caps and hand blown glass, and his work is just stunning. The medium he works in is called “Lampwork” and is the art of making figurines melted in the flame of a glass burner; which can reach up to 1800 degrees.

I would never get my hands so close to such a very very hot flame. :O

 

If acorns aren’t your cup of tea, they have an incredibly diverse range of subjects and sizes for their figures that you can admire, at their etsy shop Glass Symphony, instead. Their attention to detail and level of craftsmanship is really quite astounding.


Glass Water Sculptures

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I have a thing for glass and water. Something about the medium just captures the feel and emotion of water so well, especially when done by an artist with lots of practice. Ben Young of New Zealand is one of those artists.

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All of his work revolves around water in some form, and he uses the glass in combination with concrete and cast bronze to create just beautiful sculptures of nature, as well as moments in time.

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When designing his work, he even takes lighting into effect while he’s working on his final design. Thinking about how he wants the piece displayed or formed to catch just the right image once translated form his 2D sketch into a 3D piece. If you’re a fan of water pieces I highly recommend giving his gallery a look through. While he has no pieces for sale right now that doesn’t stop his work from looking absolutely beautiful. And who knows, maybe it will inspire one last summer piece for you to tackle. 😉


Let’s Hear it for the Boys!

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Hello there Thursday Readers!

I decided to take a little break from my business musings to bring you a nice little DIY that I thought would be nice, given that wedding season is upon us and groomsmen need some love too! I find that ladies get all the love when it comes to wedding gifts, bridesmaids or bride, we luck out. So let’s hear it for the men! Here are some great DIY gift ideas for the gents involved in a wedding!

1. From Ellavine, a not so quick but unique and stunning idea for groomsmen gifts. You can find the full tutorial here.

This might seem like an odd thing to give another person, but let’s face it. Men think sharp things are cool. I think sharp things are cool, and to be honest, I gave my brother an axe once for his birthday and he loved it. It’s still up on his wall. This is a great gift for rustic weddings, manly men, and men who like to throw axes at targets that aren’t people.

2. From DIY Readypersonalized handkerchiefs. Just scroll down a little.

Where this may seem oddly formal, this can be a great gift for any gentleman who will be wearing pocket squares at your wedding or who wears pocket squares regularly. This is for the debonair gentleman who may want to wipe away the grime before his lady sits, or just to mop the sweat off his brow, you can give him the gift of doing this in the classiest of ways.

3. From Kristi Murphy, we have a tutorial for a DIY custom bottle of yummy goodness.

Maybe giving a big bottle of alcohol isn’t classy. But frosting someone’s name into it makes it infinitely classier, right? Though let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting the gift of a good drink to say thank you. Just remember that you can do this to almost any liquor bottle so long as the label is removable, and for that, Goo Gone is your best friend.

4: From Ehow, a beautiful and very customizable wooden beer caddy.

This fantastic gift can give you endless opportunities to stretch your manly creativity. Adding band stickers or tin labels, hand painting or wood burning, you can do anything with this project to make it a one of a kind for all your special men. And remember, giving a gift filled with beer makes everyone happy. 🙂

Well crafters, I hope this has give you some inspiration for the gentlemen in your life, and for our lovely gentlemen crafters, I hope this inspires you to make something fantastic for your bros.

Happy crafting!

Megan