Archive for Decorating

Easy Etched Window Edge

 We’re etching the edges of the windows all over the house with our personal symbols. A dragonfly is mine, befitting a slightly over energized person. Paige with the vibrant personality has the butterfly. And Ryan, a summery sort of guy with regular sparks of enthusiasm has the firefly.

Etching is easy! But beware the flashing neon danger lights ahead.
Step 1: Clean the glass. Position the stencil. This is a special blue stencil for etching. Available at crafts stores; Michaels or Hobby Lobby. (A custom stencil can be made, too, but that’ll be for a future blog.)

Tape stencilStep 2: Tape stencil, blue side down with masking tape or even packing tape (anything sticky washes off)

Step 3. Use a popsicle stick and firmly rub all over. The stencil lightens as blue film adheres to the glass.

Popsicle stick
Step 4: Remove the tape and the clear top sheet. Toss. (No, not with joy – you’re not done yet.) Toss in the garbage. Retape the edges.

Step 5: Here it is. Flashing neon danger sign. The manufacturer declines any liability which means if you don’t don a space suit and seal yourself in a bubble you’ll be permanently disfigured, more than likely blind, and forget about having children.

It’s not that bad. Just remember to wear gloves and goggles, be near a water source and a phone (Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222), and prepare a container of egg whites (in case someone swallows it).

Step 6: Now that we’re comfortable, let’s begin. We used Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream. It’s thick so we can do vertically placed windows and it won’t slide off (much). Spread it all over the stencil with a brush thickly. Whatever glass the cream comes in contact with will be etched so stay inside the borders.

Spreading cream - not edible!

Step 7: Wait one minute and wash off etching cream wtih lots of water. The stencil and tape will come up, too. Clean it all with a glass cleaner.
Dragonfly

Blurry dragonfly picture
There! The camera had trouble with this.  I took about 30 pictures but it still looks a little blurry from here.  The real life version isn’t.   Now we get to do all the other windows!  Each one will get a different styled etched insect (like we don’t have enough in this house in the woods already!) And then there’s mirrors.   Haven’t decided what to etch on those yet . . .

We really like details.  They can be so charming. 

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Rusty Rear Retreat

Here we go again, making something older and better. Lots of things are like that; cheese (sometimes), certain wine, and women.
And yes, the above paragraph was written with false bravado after
finding a grey hair. Ok, three. Older. Better. You bet.
We took the wooden back door and bathed it in a patina of . . . rust. For all anybody would know, it’s about to crumble into metallic flakes of decaying tetanus riddled iron. Just what we wanted. Really (Cross my heart and hope to die. Of old age.) We tried three different painting techniques before we settled on this one.
Recipe to Riddle the Rear Door with Rust
1. Paint it black. Two coats, of course.
2. Assemble rusting ingredients. We did it from a kit from Michael‘s this first time, but it’s not necessary. All the ingredients are readily available. Use acrylic craft paint.
rusting ingredients

3. Dip a sponge in brown paint and pat all over.
Patting all over

4.Dip sponge in sand.SandYou won’t need this much. Pat alternately in brown paint and sand, dabbing randomly.5. Damp sponge and dip in yellow paint and pat randomly.Pat6. Put 1Tbsp of dark red paint with 3 Tbsp. water in a little spray bottle. Shake well and spray. Pat the drips with a sponge.
7. Do the same with very dark brown paint.
Spray 8. Done. The result is gritty. Forget scrubbing to clean it. Just use one of those feather dusters.And done!This recipe is straight from Freebird’s blog.
DEATH by Chocolate (is there any better way to die?)
Ingredients: 1 devils food cake mix, prepared and cooled
1 can Hershey syrup
1 (10 oz) Cool Whip
2 packages instant chocolate pudding prepared accordingly
5 Skor or Heath candy bars (or favorite candy), chopped.
Bake cake. Poke holes in cake. Pour Hershey syrup all over the cake. Pour chocolate pudding on top. Spread cool whip over the top of the pudding. Sprinkle with your choice of candy. Cool. Eat. A lot.
Easy Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients: 6 T. oleo 1 1/2 C sugar 6 T milk 1/2 C choc chips Directions: Bring oleo, milk and sugar to rolling boil. Boil 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in choc. chips. Stir until melted. Pour over cake.
 Brought to you by your friendly and fatter neighborhood decorator at www.glintlit.com

2007 Treasures To Be

So many things planned for 2007. We’ll be introducing, all hail with flashing marquee lights . . . etched glassware, paper mache bowls, boxes, even wastepaper baskets glinted and bewired (this is not your kids paper mache) (unless they’re paper mache prodigies who want to work for us!) and a whole new Glintlit subdivision, Glintlit Publications; handmade greeting cards, more bookmarks and books, and if it works out (we’ll know by summer, designing and testing the prototype now) a Glintlit planner.

I personally will be adding a gallery of my cozy little snake paintings, an obsession that’s slithering it’s way onto the canvas.

AND new blogs are in the works on our adventures in nutrition, literary retreats and current cultural events in Cincinnati!

2007 is dawning soon, tomorrow!, in iridescent shades, streaked, striped, and shimmering with promise.  We’re looking forward to it all with an irritating complacency . . .

The above Resolutions and Reflections brought to you by www.glintlit.com

Save the Cow Shoe Shelf

Shelf for shoes – leatherized and burnished with red-gold metallic leaf.

We’re still in the kitchen. It’s where we keep shoes, near the back door, where we put them on.It propitiates our natural (and well-developped) sense of laziness.

PART ONE: Leatherizing

Step 1: Find an old bookshelf. Dents are good. Have you ever met a perfect cow? (No mother-in-law jokes permitted).

Paint the whole thing burgundy. Let it dry.

The inside of two shelves are already completely “leatherized” in this picture.
Half-leatherized
Step 2: Paint a large section brown.

Step 3: Immediately (before it dries) take a plastic bag, crumple it, press it into wet paint and pull it off. Voila! the rich textured look of leather without the misty image of sad cow eyes keeping one awake at night.

Pulling it off
PART 2: Burnishing. I must have been a crow in another life. If it gleams or sparkles, I want it. When in doubt, add glint. It’s our motto. For the house. For the business. For life. (A sure sign that a person finds life amusing is the simple adornment of a glint in the eye.)

Step1: Brush on a thin coat of metallic leaf adhesive.

Step 2: Wait an hour. This lets it become tacky. And it stays tacky for 12 hours. So . . . if you run out of metallic leaf and have to go get some more and while you’re out, you stop at the grocery, go to a girl scout meeting, take your afternoon yoga class, attend a Cirque du Soleil performance (where you contemplate the surreal aspects of your life), get a flat tire (thus erasing the destressing benefits of your yoga class), you still might get back in time to finish burnishing.

Step 3: Apply metallic leaf. It comes in lots of colors; gold, silver, copper, variegated red, variegated green. It’s pretty stuff. I, uh, IT also comes in flake form. We used variegated red leaf for this project. We burnished all the edges of the shelf.Burnishing

Step 4: Brush off the excess leaf with a soft brush. Gently. This creates a small shower of tiny red gold flakes. Magic in motion.

Step 5: Seal it. The sealer can be brushed or sprayed on. Let it dry. Do this 10 times. Metallic leaf is fragile. The more coats of sealant the better.Burnished.

Step 6: Place shoe boxes in starting position. We keep shoes in photo boxes. They’re prettier.
Boxed.

Step 7: Don a too cute pair of shoes and step OUT!

 This fun thing to do brought to you by www.glintlit.com

Design Dilemmas and Other Tiling Traumas

This is a fluffy article.  If you want to know the nitty-gritty of how to tile, it’s in Tentative Tuscan Tiles a few blogs back. 
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In my dissolute past I quilted. Fascination with the interplay of color and pattern is addictive. Luckily before any lasting damage was done to loved ones (but not before creating a quota of quilts) I managed to break the fatal thread (pun intended) that kept me bound to obsessive behavior.
Unfortunately, my  personality remained and tiling has filled the gap formerly filled by quilts. It’s the same thing; the materials are a little harder, the result is a little more permanent, but to all intents and purposes, we are once again a family at risk.
For the space under the refrigerator, we tiled with brick tiles my friend Sarah found put out with someone’s garbage on the side of the road. Don’t DO that! Message me if you live in Cincinnati. We’ll come and get them. Singing all the way.
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In front of the refrigerator, we used slate of various sizes. This was hard! Because the tiles were different sizes, the edges kept coming up uneven. Finally we centered everything and were left with four corners which were the wrong size for any particular tile.
This is where it got fun. Really. Every problem is an opportunity to be more creative.
And to spend more money.
Using tiny tiles, a quilt style corner was designed.
We like it. Although for these little tiles we didn’t use spacers and we wished we did. Spacers come in skinny sizes, too, and it would have made it more symmetrical. Live and learn. All in all we’re pleased.
One more section of the kitchen to quilt. I mean, tile.
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Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood decorator at www.Glintlit.com

A Garland of Frankincense and the Hearty King

WARNING:  The is a Glintlit flight of fancy.  For any basis in reality, click on the links. . .

The third wiseman, let’s call him Frank, a progenitor of the Frankish kings, was short, robust, and with a ruddy complexion topped with a thatch of blonde hair.  He was a hearty hale-thee-well fellow whom everybody liked.  Descendants of his race became the Germanic barbarians, but he was relatively cultured (and even more widely traveled) in comparison.  He carried the frankincense like a modern football, much to the disapproval of his traveling companions in light of how valuable the incense was, as valuable as any precious gem of equal weight.  Made from the resin of Boswellia trees in Arabia, India and Ethiopia, it wasn’t called “frankincense” until reintroduced to Europe by the Frankish crusaders a thousand years later. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This expensive incense, presented as a gift at his birth, signified Christ’s upcoming role as a priest.  It smelled sweet and was often burnt in sacrifices in the temples.  By adding salt, the smoke becomes a pure white.  The incense itself, as would have been presented at the nativity, is a gold brown color.

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It’s this color that inspired the name for Glintlit’s Frankincense Christmas Garland.  Warm honey-toned beads of glass, gold-plate and Swarovski crystals create an elegant draped accent for the Christmas tree. 

A not so trivial bit of trivia from www.Glintlit.com

Holy Flaming Refrigerators, Batman!

This should be called Holy Flaming FURRY Refrigerators. Camera trouble.

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This is an old project. The refrigerator was looking a shade shady. Beige. With a patina of rust – an appliance’s equivalent of age spots. Not that I’m admitting age spots are unattractive on people. Aging skin can be lovely in a translucent crepe paper sort of way, but aging appliances don’t have the same effect.

So out danced the decoupage pot. It asked several sheets of scrapbook paper to waltz. The scissors tangoed with magazine clippings and finally the two couples settled down to a nice cozy life on the door of the refrigerator.

We have an attitude that a fireplace belongs here where the refrigerator is.  Kitchens lost a lot of charm 150 years ago when stoves replaced the hearth and fireplaces moved into the living rooms or, ye gads, out of the house altogether.  I know, stoves are infinitely more practical, but gosh darn it, a fireplace belongs here. But, hmmm, if we did THAT there’d be no place for the refrigerator.  We’d have warm milk, bad cheese, rotting tomatoes.  Yuk.

Instead we compromised and decoupaged fireplaces (and an occasional candle) on the refrigerator door. Detail. Thus. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Happily ever after (or at least about five years and counting). . . probably because it was sealed with ten coats of decoupage and a polyurethane varnish. Not recomended by most marital counselors but in this case it worked.

One more cake recipe that, yes, we’re going to decoupage on the cabinets.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about and WANT to know what I’m talking about, it’s in an old blog, Decadent Decoupaged Cabinetry (and if anybody wants to share a chocolate cake recipe we still have a few naked cabinets!)

This has been sent to me by an incredible lady/artist (who has also been an incredible supportive friend) who spends her days painting a mural in Dayton.  Then she goes home to cook fabulous food.  She assures me this is a rich cake.  I’m afraid to make it.  I’ve sworn to myself that if I make a cake I’ll eat only ONE piece.  If it’s too good, it’s too hard!

LONI’S CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE

1 devils food cake mix/ 2eggs/1c chocolate chips/1 package chocolate instant pudding mix/ 1 cup sour cream/ 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)/ 1/2 cup chocolate liquor.  Combine these together. Bake in a well-greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 min.  When cool dust with confectioners sugar.

Myrrh Christmas Garland and the Funereal Wise Man

One guess for which season this long piece of sparklies is for . . . The Myrrh Christmas Garland is a long (40 inches, a.k.a. three feet plus) strand of jewelry for the Christmas tree. On a twelve inch table top tree, it wraps two and a half times around. For display we like to arrange the red Myrrh Garland around a white tree. The red pops out like cranberries in the snow.

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There is some serious glimmering involved;  red faceted-glass drops, long sterling silver tubes, Czech firepolished glass and crimson-colored Swarovski crystals.  There are silver-plated toggle clasps on either end so several strands can be hooked together for a larger tree.
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Now here’s the big question -why did we name it the Myrrh Christmas Garland?  Absolutely elementary (or at least junior high).  Listen and learn, chickadees. 

Myrrh is one of the gifts brought to the manger scene.  I’ve always pictured the myrrh-toting fellow as a tall thin man with brooding eyes and a small pointed black beard.  His fingers are very long and he clutches far too tightly the gilded box he carries.  He is arthritic so the long trip is not without pain.  Inside the box he guards a valuable red brown incense used for funerals of the wealthy to mask the smell of the decaying corpse. 

The scent of myrrh would have stirred somber memories for the people of biblical times.  As one of the gifts at the nativity, it represented the idea that Christ was born in order to die. 

Red berries in the tree also often symbolizes the drops of Christ’s blood shed during the Crucifixion. 

Heavy duty symbolism.  It all ties into one long strand with which to adorn the Christmas tree . . . in the midst of life we are in death.

A little tidbit of not-so-trivial trivia about the treasures at  www.Glintlit.com

Tentative Tuscan Tiles – Part Two – The Finished Floor

We are. Prouder than peacocks. Tiling the floor was about as easy as swimming the English Channel – and it took longer. But . . . there’s an upside. We are fond FOND! of the result.
Would it look like this if we had a professional do it? Not a chance, because when I changed my mind halfway through I wouldn’t have had the nerve to tell the big burly tile-laying guy who just wants to go home and catch Monday night football that I wanted something different (and besides he would have doubled the price on me). But I have to see it all laid out before I know if I’m going to like it or not. Conceptualizing just doesn’t cut it.
Here goes. The amazing adventures of people formerly terrified of tiling floors.
Step 1: Lay the backerboard. It’s awkward. It’s heavy. It’ll keep the tiles from cracking. It’s worth it.

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Cut it to size with a carbide scorer. (it’s a sharp double-edged knife for cutting concrete thingagummies like this.)
Mortar up the floor. More gray goop. It’s called thinset. Think mud pies.

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Lay the backerboard down. Yes! So glad to ditch the thing. (Don’t drop it. Lay it down gently. Then celebrate.)
Screw it down.

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Step 2: Apply fiberglass tape over the seams. The books say this is optional for the floor but it would make it more stable. Stable is good, especially when you come from a family of giants.
We laid the tape.Then we mortared on top of it.
Step 3: Measure. Or not.
Everything we read said to measure and mark with a chalk line. We did this. I’m sure it’s a good idea, but it didn’t work. For us. What the tape measure said was square may have been square in an alternate reality, but the idea was for it to LOOK square.
We gave the tape measure a retirement party (another good excuse to make a cake) and then laid out the tiles by eye. YOU of course should measure. The books say so.
We arranged the tiles until we found something we liked. This is the fun part. Really. When necessary we cut the tiles to fit with a tile cutter
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When we found a design we liked we spaced them with these little white crosses called, you guessed it,”spacers”.
Actually I DIDN’T guess it. I had to check the bag in order to tell you what they’re called. (So much for my literature degree.)Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Step 4; Take the tiles up and mortar.
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Step 5: Lay the tiles back down and insert the the little white crosses again. Allow it to dry. Remove crosses and grout.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Note the inspector.

Step 6: Wipe off excess. Wait 2 hours and wipe off gritty residue. We did this three times. The stuff is persistent.
Step 7: Promenade barefoot.
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So OK, it’s only the kitchen floor, but tiles can last thousands of years. It represents stability, solidity, foreverness. It’s an echo of the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans. It’s walking into Byzantium . . .
Proud. Happy. Happy and proud. We DID this! Hah! The other rooms are in for a rude awakening. There’s the laundry room, the dining room, the hall, the stairs, ooooh, lots of places yet to tile.

A www.Glintlit.com Production

Tentative Tuscan Tiles: Part One – Leveling the Floor

In the previous blogs, we pretty much knew what we were doing. In this one, we’re GREEN! It’s our first time tiling a floor. We followed a myriad range of instructions from several sources. We studied. We perspired. We prayed.

Here it is . . . what we did, and even more importantly, what we learned.

PART ONE: Preparing the Floor – Floors are like relationships. If you don’t have a good foundation, sooner or later it’s going the get ugly.

Step One: Check to see if the floors are level. You could use one of those toys with the bubble in the middle (When I was a child, it was my favorite plaything. My mother was an architect. Levels were everywhere. They make useful impromptu swords and mixing spoons. They also make wonderful meditation devices- when made to sit in the corner for usingit as an impromptu sword or mixing spoon.)

OR you can put a marble on different parts of the floor and see if it rolls. Our marble rolled. Waltzed. Lindy-hopped. Jitterbugged. And finished off with two graceful spins in the next room.

Step Two: Take up the old flooring.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting There is professional equipment for this, but if it’s a small area, a flat-headed screwdriver and hammer works just fine.

Step Three: We cleaned it as best we could andsince it’s a plywood floor, we had to lay down a metal mesh and nail it down.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe metal mesh is big, awkward, hurts the hands, and is generally unpleasant.

Step 4: Primer. Just brushed on like watery paint. Easy.

Step 5: Floor Leveling Goop (a.k.a. LevelQuick, Self-leveling Underlayment) It’s a bag of gray dust. Mixed with water it becomes gray soup and is poured on the floor. It dried after 24 hours. Because our floors were sooooo screwy, we did it again. Primed again. Poured goop again. Another 24 hours. Sigh.

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This is a zen photo. Forget one hand clapping. What’s the sound of a motionless marble?

We’re hearing Verdi’s Triumphal March from Aida.

Next week . . . Part Two: The Finished Floor.

Brought to you by www.glintlit.com

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