Saturday, February 23, 2013

How to Make Stained Glass Mosaic Windows

This post is by special request.

How to make stained glass mosaic windows.

I first saw the technique on HGTV about eight years ago.   Since then, I've made
a total of 48 windows -- this one is my latest. I finished it in about three days.

Here's how.

I start by picking out a vintage window.    And yes.   I've collected a lot of windows
from salvage companies and resale shops.   This is the stash in my garage.

I'm always on the look out for interesting one pane windows -- all sizes.    I like a
shabby, vintage finish.   They have more character.

I just have to make sure the glass is secure and solid.

In many cases, I'll recaulk my windows for better stability.   Use a scraping tool or putty
knife to remove any loose caulk on the back of your window.   Pick up a clear window
caulk from your hardware store and apply a fresh bead of caulk around the back of
your window where the glass and the frame meets.     After the new caulk dries
completely, you're ready to clean your window.

Knock off or scrape off any loose paint.   Use a scrub brush and dish detergent to
remove any dirt or residue.   Let your window then dry completely.

Here's the window I selected for my latest mosaic.

My work space is my kitchen table.  (Maybe one day I'll have my own studio.)
For now, it's a good place to work - by a large bay window -- which is essential in
working on glass -- lots of good lighting.

So.   Got my window.

Next.   Decide on a design.

I get inspiration for my mosaics from lots of different places -- paintings, graphics, even
pillows and coffee mugs.

This is the painting by Shelli Walters that served as an inspiration for this window:

Original Art by Shelli Walters

Next.    I turn the window over to the backside.    That's where I'll draw out my design
using a dry erase marker.

And yes, I draw it free handed.    If I have to make an adjustment (and that happens
a lot) I just wipe off the dry erase marker and begin again.   When I finish drawing it out,
I sit the window up and make sure I'm happy with the finished design.

Again.   This is the back side of the window.     I sometimes write in a letter to identify
the color I plan to use in the design.  W = white.    P = purple.   You get the idea.

I've recently started putting some white paper on the front side of the window to help me
see my design my clearly as I'm drawing it out.  

Now that my design is drawn, it's time to select the glass.

This is my favorite part.   I love to pick out colors that will work well together and have
the brightest impact.

I've got a stash of stained glass as well.    And a healthy respect for handling it.    So far,
I've never received a bad cut during the completion of 48 windows, put I'm always

I buy much of my glass at Hobby Lobby -- when it's on sale.    One sheet may run between
$5-$9.00.    For more unique colors, I visit the LEB Studio off Wade Hampton Blvd in
Greenville.   They have a ton of glass in lots of beautiful colors.

So, here's the colors I pulled for this window.

And these are the essential tools I use in cutting and breaking the glass.

These are the only tools I use in making my windows.

If I start with a full sheet of glass, I use the clear plastic tool - a glass cutter (right)
to score  the glass.    Working in a straight line, I run the glass cutter from one end
of the glass to the other to create a very light "score line."  Using the yellow handle
tool (the glass breaking pliers) directly on the score line, the glass breaks in a clean line.
The white bottle is glass cutter oil (need to keep the glass cutter well oiled so it cuts

Then I can break the clean line of stained glass into the "triangle mosaic shapes) by using
the black tool - the mosaic cutter.    All of these tools can be purchased online or at
Hobby Lobby.

If you look closely, you can see that the triangle mosaic shapes fit easily together
to fill the design area.   I leave a slight space between each piece and make additional
cuts if I need a special fit.

It may look complicated, but it's not.   I apply an area of glue to the window (such as the
single flower and lay the glass directly on top of the glue area.)  It's like putting together a
puzzle.   The more you do it, the easier and faster it becomes.

You can find the clear silicone glue at Lowes or Walmart.

Now, my window is face up.   From this point on, I'm working on the front side of the
window.  (Remember, my design is drawn onto the backside of the window with a
dry erase marker.   I moved the white paper to the backside of the glass now -- which
makes it easier for me to see my design.  I'm gluing the stained glass pieces to the front
side of the window - following the pattern I've created with my dry erase marker.

I mentioned it's my sunniest window.    It usually attracts one of my cats.   Gus came
by for a visit while I was working.

This is what the window looks like when I've finished laying the glass on the design.
At this point, I haven't grouted the mosaic - so there's light coming through each piece.

I use a canister of compressed air to blow off the design to make sure it's free of dust
(or cat hair) or any debris before grouting.

To grout the mosaic, I buy a bag of sanded grout from Lowes.   The grout mix comes in
a range of colors.   For this piece, I'm using a grout color called "straw."   I follow the
instructions on the bag of sanded grout and mix it in my kitchen sink with a hand mixer.
(And yes, it's a mixer I've designated for mosaics -- and not for baking!)

When I mix the grout, it will have the consistency of "cake batter."

I pour it directly on my mosaic.

I wear disposable gloves during this part -- and spread the grout over the entire mosaic.

Again, following the grout instructions on the bag, it sits for about 30 minutes -- and
then I scrape off the excess grout with a spatula and a sponge.

The grout adheres to the areas "around" each mosaic piece -- creating the mosaic look.

The next step is the most tedious.   After I've removed all of the excess grout with a
sponge, I put the mosaic up in a window to check and make sure the grout has adhered
to all of the hundreds of cracks in the mosaic.   If I'm lucky, there's not a lot of patching or
reapplying that has to be done at this point.

These are the sophisticated tools I use for this stage.

The excess grout takes on more of a clay texture once it's been exposed to the air --
so I keep a little on hand to do any repair work -- and use the straight pin or push pin to
clear out any  excess glue around the mosaics that keeps the grout from adhering.

Thankfully, with this piece -- the clean up stage didn't take long.

After the grout dries overnight, I'll wipe it clean a final time and add the hardware to hang
the mosaic.  I'll screw in a couple of hooks at the top of the window and  add a small
chain to hang it in a window or on a porch.

A final personal touch for me is to hand write a verse of scripture on the back of the
window frame -- just a small way for me to honor the true provider of the art I

So.   See.   Nothing to it.

Who's ready to try one?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Sick Little Pity Party

I'll feel better if you admit you've done this too.

Thrown yourself a sick.... little pity party.

I'm almost never sick.   Ever.   I give my "Hendricks" genes the credit.

I started getting sick a few days ago.

Which blossomed into being pretty much in bed all day today.

Deep cough.   Maybe a little fever.    Feeling really yucky.

And my response?

I had myself a sick..... little pity party.

I felt sorry for myself.

Here's the dialogue in my head.

You'll never feel good again.

You'll miss a week of exercise & the gym.

You'll have to cancel your meetings at work.

The back of your hair is flat from laying on it all day.

Your lips are dry.  Your nose is cracked.   Your eyes are weepy.

Pity party.

I even watched things on TV that I knew would make me sadder.

I was weepy watching a double lung transplant patient on Ellen.

I pulled out a movie I knew would make it worse.   It did.

To add to my deteriorating outlook, I started focusing on some things ahead of me
that I'm not looking forward to.

Never mind what they are.

It'll just make it worse.  

But, then something busted up in my sick little pity party day.

An answered prayer.

Something I've been praying about for weeks was answered today.


My sick little pity party day is spoiled.

And yes.

I'm ridiculous.

There is no doubt about it.

Tell me that you do the very same thing sometimes.

I won't feel so bad.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wedding By Pinterest

Pinterest is a wonderful thing.

Especially when you're planning a wedding.

I think weddings should be tailor made for the bride.

My daughter, Kate, wanted her wedding to be small, intimate, simple and relaxed.

Oh.   And my goal?  I wanted her to be happy.

I don't believe you have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful wedding.

Just a little inspiration.

So, here's how we did it last summer.    I'm including the inspiration photos from
my beloved Pinterest -- as well as the ones of the finished product at the Dublin-Deese

Here's some of the ideas we captured:

We took this idea from Pinterest --- a unique sign-in for guests and created our own
tree as guests arrived at the church.

Now the tree painting is filled with signatures of friends and family that attended the ceremony.
After it's framed, it'll be a cool memento and treasured wall art.

Likewise, we loved the look of this bouquet on Pinterest:

And created our own using burlap and twine - with a personal touch -- a cameo that Kate's
dad gave to me at our first Christmas together in 1975.

Pretty cool, huh?  Yeah, Scott's the one with the big hair -- and that's our prom picture
from the 11th grade.  We did all of our own floral arrangements, including Kate's bouquet
to keep expenses down.   We mixed fresh greenery (from our yard) with dried billy balls
(from Etsy) & nice looking silk flowers (from Hobby Lobby.)

This was the inspiration  below from Pinterest for simple arrangements to go on the ends
of the church pews.

And this is the one we made ourselves. Fresh greenery with a nice silk Magnolia
tied up with ribbon and tulle.

For flowers in the church, we liked this inspiration on Pinterest:

So we bought simple ivory vases from Hobby Lobby.......collected some branches from the
woods around our house and added silk pussy willows and an unusual sunflower as the
accent for this result:

We also tackled boutineer's for Josh and his groomsmen, with this inspiration on

We assembled the supplies to do our own:

Dried billy balls, twine, silk leaves (which I covered with scrapbook paper in a cool
green design and stuck them on with an adhesive spray.)

And this is how it actually looked on Josh:

We found Kate's wedding dress at David's Bridal in Greenville.  Affordable and

She wore some really cute coral colored flats.

We saw some really unique necklaces on pinterest, like this one:

And after a search on Etsy, we bought this one to compliment Kate's dress:

Beautiful.   And unique.

I loved this idea on Pinterest for just inside the sanctuary:

So I got an old window frame and applied burlap as a backdrop behind the glass
- and did the lettering with acrylic paint to personalize a sign for Kate & Josh:

After the ceremony, we hosted a backyard wedding reception at our home in

One of the key decorating inspirations on Pinterest was this simple bunting idea:

We stepped off the twine in our backyard....bought and cut some simple, brightly
colored cotton fabric into triangle shapes and with one staple, attached them to the twine.  
The bunting hung low in the trees and created an intimate "ceiling" with this simple

There's lots of creative details on Pinterest.  This one I liked:

So using a chalkboard, we created this one for the entrance gate at our backyard:

And yes, it was June, so we had bug spray available as well.

The idea of hay bales for seating came from pinterest:

So we adapted a little, using quilts - and this was our hay bale seating:

And p.s.  this quilt belonged to Scott's grandma Dublin -- and the hydrangeas came from
my favorite next door neighbors, Linda & Norris Wilson (who provided tons of fresh flowers
from their backyard for the reception!)

And other seating came from whatever we had at our house....chairs, rockers and a hammock:

Another inspiration on Pinterest was using the couple's initials:

So using lightweight cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby --we covered them with
scrapbook paper and hung their initials with a colorful ribbon:

And more hydrangeas from the neighbor's!

Plus, these beautiful quilts strung across our fences and loaned to me by a friend,
Vanessa Wideman:

There were lots of mason jar arrangements on Pinterest, like this one:

And we took the idea for our reception and hung these on our fence posts and in a
backyard crab apple tree with the Wilson's hydrangeas:

The idea of a vintage truck also came from Pinterest - and thanks to a local attorney in
Greenwood, Peter Manning, he offered his baby blue Chevy truck as the centerpiece for
the reception:

What a gorgeous truck! made a great backdrop for photos that afternoon,
including one with my mom:

We got our inspiration for the wedding cake on Pinterest:

So the cake we settled on was very similar, with fresh succulents (a favorite of Kate's)
and displayed on a tree stump that Scott spotted on the side of the road!  He leveled it up
a bit & it was ready to go!

Yep.   We set the cake up on our screened in back porch.   Notice the cake topper?
We bought a plain wooden cake topper off Etsy, like this:

And I painted it to match Kate's dress and Josh's suit:

Pretty cute!

Dance floors were very costly to rent, so we improvised.   Scott built a temporary plywood
dance floor -- and the wood will later be recycled to use as flooring in our attic!

The inspiration for a backyard photo booth also came from Pinterest:

And by moving an antique hall tree to the backyard (it belonged to my grandpa Wister's
family) - we filled an old suit case with masks and hats and other fun props.   Our guests
stopped by for many poses!

The idea for a couple's table for Kate & Josh in the backyard came from Pinterest:

And this is the one we made for the newlyweds:

We wanted to display Kate & Josh's childhood photos -- and loved this idea on Pinterest:

Scott actually picked up an old screen door up off the side of the road!  We removed the
screen and stapled ribbon end to end and clipped photos of Kate & Josh with wooden
clothes pins:

This was a Pinterest inspiration too - a memory table:

So, we collected photos of Kate & Josh's grandparents - and created a memory
table to include them in the day:

The table runner on the memory table was made by Scott's grandma Dublin.

I saw this graphic on Pinterest and loved it:

And again, using an old window - some burlap and acrylic paint, this artwork was created
and displayed above an old mantel on our screened in porch -- just above the wedding

Yard sale glass vases and fresh cut hydrangeas from the neighbor's frame out this
area on our porch mantel.   Nice!

Of course, Pinterest had plenty of ideas for Southern weddings......including cornhole:

So we had a young friend make a set of cornhole boards from scratch -- and Taylor
sewed up the cornhole bags & filled them with dried corn.

Becca & Andrew join their classmates in a cornhole game at the reception.

Pinterest had great ideas for displaying a "honeymoon jar"

We adapted that idea a little -- found a large jar at Hobby Lobby and added it to the gift
table inside our house:

It was a sweet day - full of love and wonderful moments and little details that made it a
wedding to remember.    The bride was very happy with the result.   So was her mama.

With special thanks to Pinterest!