Friday, September 23, 2016

Stained Glass Watercolors

The Stained glass triptych.

Do you remember when I made those mirrors with frosting spray and dorm mirrors? Well, before I did that I wanted to add something to my kitchen walls. My kitchen is dark. Dark cabinets, dark counter top, very little natural light and just can lights for the ceiling. I tried everything to lighten it up as I was FORBIDDEN to paint the cabinets. (sarge...... and his opinions. ) I painted the walls, several times, I added under cabinet lighting, I added a bead-board backsplash to cover the ugly brown tile. I tried to add light wherever I can.

 Before I got here....
Where  I ended up. (Gosh, the beige ceiling and floors flare so badly with the grey. ) 

I thought, Hey, how about something like this? It's not too dark and might actually lighten up the space.

Last year I started a project based on these leaded glass mirrors.

Ballard Street Mirror

I couldn't afford the hefty price tag and started coming up with ideas. Click below to look at my stained glass inspiration.

So before I did the above, I tried something else.

My Pinterest Gallery
Now, I couldn't find any mirrors I or stained glass  I could afford, and to do my own mirrors,  I thought might look too "homemade". 

Lets give some context. So, back in art school, I was on a study abroad program. It's focus was on drawing and painting. Specifically watercolor. I was fascinated by these old churches, the exquisite iconography and the stained glass. My final project was a horrible ink stained triptych of the stained glass and wood carved pieces in these old Swiss churches.

I don't have pictures which is good because looking back..I'm not terribly happy with them. But that's the thing about art, you get better. I lost them awhile ago anyway. So I started thinking , hey, I know watercolor (spoiler: I was wrong) why don't I draw some beautiful stained glass, and just color it in? Based on the stained glass gallery I made in Pinterest.

My drawings below. 

More drawing

Inking with acid free micron markers.
My sister, Sully an ACTUAL water color artist, helping me.

The only one I really like.
Oh God, this one is so awful.

Over-worked. Colors seem too muddy. 

I should have stopped here, The result is over done.
The one on the top right was awful. I started again.

The colors just aren't right.

I have stopped doing the stained glass triptych again. I just struggle so much with the color. Watercolor is the easiest the learn, the hardest to master.

Ps. I cannot for the life of me get all these pictures aligned. I have tried everything. Except changing the HTML code. Because no thanks.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

DIY play oven

My Mother has an adorable playhouse in her backyard. The kids love to play there, in particular my daughter Goose. We had bought a play-kitchen to put in there. And it was great, however during a rainy may, we brought it from the playhouse for the kids to play on inside. It's stayed there forever since. I still loved the playhouse and wanted it to be perfect! Which is to say, I'm reliving my childhood through my kids. :)

I had found a really cool pin on Pinterest and thought, "Hey, I can do that!"
Which I always do, and I'm always wrong.

Here's the blog that posted an easy DIY play-kitchen.

I have some plastic drawers that were barely used. And thought, "I bet I can do that for cheap too!"   Spoiler alert, I was wrong.
I was going to buy the cricut vinyl she had used, even with no cricut but thought  maybe I could find something around the house. See, the thing is, paint wont work well on this plastic. And it was going in the playhouse, which in Texas, is almost always very hot. So, It needed to be sturdy, and not fall off, or flake in the heat.

I found some old plastic folders in my office. I started to cut out shapes and I thought superglue would work to stick them on.

My original idea for the drawers.
In process. I had some leftover wood knobs from a piece of furniture. Some leftover pieces of wood. And an old springform pan I never used. 

Cutting out some pieces.

Layout of idea.

Well, after waiting for both craft glue, super glue and others to see if they would work. I noticed that none of them did. I needed a glue specifically for plastic. The very slick kind of PVC plastic. Which no matter where I went; Home depot, walmart, Joann, was never there. I found some epoxy for plastic, that had a horrible beige color. And said, Nope. So I thought, hell, I guess I do have to spend some cash. I went to Joann's to get some of the cricut vinyl. It was only $6.99 a roll. So $14.00 ain't bad. But then I saw duck tape. They had 8"x11" sheets of it. And a slew of rolls of colors. The sheets were $1.99-$2.99 a piece, I bought six. A roll of duck tape was $5.97. A small thing of acrylic silver paint for the knobs and the wood faucet for $2.99. I bought a plastic bowl with was about$5. Which because I'm horrible at math, came out to $27.92.  I had the drawers and the knobs and the wood. But the drawers if you bought them new would be $17.99. 
So, if you bought these things new, this set would cost $45.94 to make. Ugh. So, later, I remembered that the kitchen set  I had gotten for Goose was less than $50. So much for a cheap DIY.  For me, I made the kitchen for $27. But I found a few online pre-made for about $30. They were on sale, but still. Well, I had already sunk some cash into this project I was determined to finish it!!

With duck tape sheets and a roll of duck tape. Faucet unpainted, and bowl not glued in.

Faucet painted, more duck tape added, and changed out the bowl for one I already had. I had to screw in the faucet, because the glue wouldn't work. Neither would command strips. And the bowl even after gluing a thousand times, wouldn't stick either. I just left it. I mean, whatever. (sigh)

I had bought a kids play set of dishes for $10.99. So, the kids loved it. Absolutely. And in the end, well, that's the point.

In the playhouse. 

The absolutely adorable playhouse in the yard. Those cute plastic kids size adirondack chairs were $12.00 a piece at Lowes. 

The frozen table and chairs I had gotten a year ago for about $25.

So that's part of my plan to make-over the playhouse. The other part is re-painting the walls, since they got filthy and covered in mildew over the hot and occasionally wet summer. We left the windows open since It was so hot and forgot to close them. (yeesh) My hubbie power-washed the inside and out but still couldn't get off all the grime and mildew.

Oh yeah, I also have to fix that broken window. Plans plans plans. I sure do have a bunch.

Till next time, Rudy

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Superhero Aprons

My sister earlier this summer asked me about some cute apron ideas for her cooking class. She teaches Family and Consumer Sciences at a high school. She had quite a few old and ripped old aprons she thought we could up-cycle and repair for some neat ones. I found just thousands of cool ideas on Pinterest.

Like these:

The superhero aprons from a designer called

Originally on Etsy, but cannot find the original link.
This next is from a website called so-sew-easy.

Here are what I came up with.

Black Widow, you can see my sketches on the upper right.

Superman, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, and Batman.
I used regular pre-made aprons, and used a bunch of bias tape, and wonder under, and then satin stitched applique´ around the wunder-under'ed pieces. I painted on some parts, like the wonder woman stars and the black widows silver belt.

My sister really liked the designs and I hope her students do as well.

Toodles, Ruth

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

frosted glass

So, I had this large empty space in my kitchen. I felt like my kitchen was kind've dark. Not much natural light.

 I thought it would be neat to have one of those stained glass mirrors.

But those are around $200-$300.

So, I tried to find some other mirrors. I tried to figure any way around getting the light I wanted, but without the huge costs.

I finally gave up on finding nicely framed mirrors, and just decided to go with cheap wall mirrors. I bought a can of frost spray paint, and a few rolls of painters tape.

 I used little cut out pieces of contact paper for the diamonds. Not sure why I didn't do the same design on all of them. I couldn't decide.

After spraying the frost paint.

After mounting.

In place. They looked a bit too busy for me. But I got used to it.
It barely illuminated the space, but my husband actually liked it. So I went for it.

My frosted glass stained glass.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wow, it's been awhile. Stained glass project.

The past two years I've found it very hard to blog. Maybe it was my son going to school. Or maybe it was the motivation was never there anymore. Any moments I spent were mostly being sucked into my phone complacently surfing the web. Oh my gosh, Pinterest pretty much had every spare moment not being a Mom, or doing stuff, was on my couch while my kids watched way too much T.V.

I somehow managed to do quite a lot of stuff, but never felt the need to post about it. But, today, its raining, and I've somehow exhausted the internet. So, I'm posting some thing I had just finished. Well, rather the craftsmen finished the project, I just gave it to them to do. Note to all you out there, it's ok to let a professional do the hard work. Seriously, it will be better and cheaper than trying do somethings all by yourself.

So, this stained glass had been wandering out various households.

It was originally three antique transom pieces that had been re-worked to one large piece to cover a bathroom window. The stained glass people didn't do an amazing job. There was no re-bar to support the very heavy piece and after 20 years it was sagging and falling apart. Not to mention the color choices were a bit weird. So it had been in my sisters house, then my Mother's house. After my Mom moved, there was no other place for it to go. It was in the garage and I decided I would try to use it in my bathroom window. The huge 4'x4' window was naked save for blinds that let very little light in. But alas, there was no apparently studs to hold the 50 pound piece. So, it stayed behind my dresser, mostly peeking out, and it irritated me that I couldn't use it. The colors chosen were weird, my sister said the stained glass guy she used for some reason chose blue when there was no blue in the original piece and she was a bit miffed. I researched stained glass repair and reworking and it was so complicated with a huge amount of tools I just didn't feel I could tackle it myself. I had wanted to separate the three original pieces and hang them separately. So finally after 6 months of staring, I got my butt in gear and looked for some professionals. I found a stained glass shop a few miles from me, whose sign I drive by almost daily. I never thought to actually see if they were in business until now. Well, they were. 

Whiteworth stained glass:

I called and asked if they did repair and refashioning on old stained glass. Jack, the owner said yes and I dragged the large and wobbly and falling apart piece and managed  to put it in my minivan. (Thank god for minivans ;) I drove it over, showed it to him and he was pretty surprised I was able to manage it into my van given the state of disrepair it was in. And not break it I guess. After talking it over with my Mom and my sister it looked like I could go ahead and have Jack and his team to fix it. The price was better than I was expecting for the labor. So I came up with the mock-ups of how I wanted them to look finished.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

I went with option 3, with green and white borders added new to match the green in the shields. 

In about 3 weeks, Jack gave me a call and said he had finished. 

I was thrilled, they came out beautifully.

The final resting place of these pieces was my Mothers kitchen. She had three big windows that needed a little excitement.

The added border goes perfectly with the decor in her house, and adds some excitement to her kitchen. It made a perfect mothers day gift, albeit, a few weeks after Mothers day. Thanks to all my sisters and brothers that helped pay for it, and a big thank you to Whitworth stained glass for creating it.