Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stained Glass Displays

Recently, my creativity has centered on devising a display for my stained glass at an upcoming Holiday Craft Fair. After much research, I decided PVC pipes give me the clean lines, open look, and versatility I want. I'm a little nervous, because I haven't seen this used the way I imagine it, but sometimes that's what it takes for innovation.

Next discovery: 1/2 PVC pipes make excellent forts, spears, and many other delightful ideas. The boys keep taking the pipes and fittings. And that's not all - these white plastic pipes also make a great photography box for taking photos of my stained glass. The secret to this versatility is making consistent sizes so I/we can interchange them into different configurations.

Last thought, my art has always made big messes. Homeschooling makes big messes. Put the two together and...run for the hills. My husband I like a clean home, a never ending matter. Anyway, I'll show the finished display stands in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vinegar Cleaning

For the thrifty or natural types out there: there is nothing cheaper or better at cleaning than vinegar! My son loved cleaning this copper plate with vinegar and oil. He was fascinated as layer after layer of dark wiped away, and the copper color came out.

Our family cleans everything in sight with vinegar and warm water (windows - wipe down with newspaper), or vinegar, dish soap, and water (tables, counters walls, doors, etc). Because vinegar is cheap, non harmful if swallowed, etc. we've been using it since the boys were babies. I'd give the little one a rag to clean the back door window while the rest of us cleaned our assigned areas. Just buy a big bottle of brand name vinegar which smells better than off brand, and a big bundle of cheap wash clothes and you are good to go. If you really want to get into natural cleaning: baking soda, lemon juice, salt etc really does clean just about everything.

Last week I cleaned my mom's pellet stove out with vinegar, dish soap, and water. It looked great! A few years ago , there was a "clean this mess" type show set in England, one of the women cleaning was a scientist and she would show what germs people left around the house - and she said vinegar was anti- bacterial. Which confirmed what I knew all along - it cleans everything and harms nothing EXCEPT an occasional open wound on the hand. Hold the rag with the other hand if the cut starts burning and bothers you. This does happen to me occasionally since I'm a stained glass artist.

If the smell of vinegar bothers you - well you get used to it. Besides, it's a heck of a lot better than some of the toxic cleaning products you may be using. There are ways to infuse essential oils into the vinegar, but I like to keep things simple.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemade Castles

We saw a picture of a cardboard castle in a library book, and my youngest son immediately wanted to make a castle just like it. I've been collecting juice, oatmeal boxes, and toilet paper rolls for years so here was the chance to finally use them! We had been to Aldi the day before providing a stack of boxes to build on.

Day 1: We cut, taped, and glued it together.

Day 2: We were going to paint it. Before I was even out of bed the castle was up out of the school room and stuffed animals were all over the castle "playing". It still hasn't been painted, they are enjoying it so much just the way it is.

So here's to make believe, playing, and creativity at it's best.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here are the boys on Halloween night. We just trick or treated on our street. I was going to take them up to the city to see their grandparents, but I was too pooped. I worked too hard in the art studio that day and ran myself ragged. Oops.

The pumpkins they each carved the night before at their Grammy B's, my youngest sometimes calls her Mama B. It was a cold windy night and they would go outside and tell ghost stories, coming in giggling. They bobbed for apples, and they went in a dark room to put their hand in a bowl with cow brains, which was really spaghetti noodles. Gross, I know.