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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Clasics with Gallery Glass

Best Tree Ever --24"x36" Poster Frame
'Tis the season to put up the best of the BEST. I have loved this Tree for 30 years and it will probably always be my favorite. There is so much to look at--you can study it for hours. Gingerbread boys, lighted candles, poinsettias, golden bells, holly with berries, spruce fronds, metallic ornaments, seasonal fruit, a stocking with candy cane and even a doll. The only thing that's missing is light--and the sun provides that very nicely. Add a metallic bucket and some Hologram snowflakes and you've got a winning combination. It's definitely not a beginner project and a perfect candidate for the Tape Tip Leading Technique (see category for details), but you've got to love the fact that the poster frame costs less than $20 at Michael's and it is reusable. Don't even consider anything smaller.You're NOT going to love the fact that I can't bring myself to color code it. The pattern is available in below and you can do it in colors to match your decor. You can add the background "window panes" once you have selected the project frame. Just make sure they are of equal size. Extend the lines through the spacey areas at the bottom of the tree. Set it in the window and wait for the oooohs and ahhhhhhhs!

Santa Claus is coming to town in an 18"x24" Poster Frame
Who doesn't want a big bold beautiful Santa on their window? I have always loved the detail of his design, from the stitches on his pack to the jingle bells on his boots. He's gorgeous. Just make sure you have a new bottle of GG 16850 Ruby Red Shimmer for his velvet suit and a full bottle of 16851 Green Shimmer for his pack. They are my favorite colors at holiday time and if you can't find them, try
Have I told you lately how much I love Dover Clip Art Books. I have gotten on a roll this season from one of their Books that I've had for over 30 years. But the good news is, it is still in print. It is Ready-to-Use Christmas Designs--ISBN - 0-486-23900-4 ( Most of the elaborate designs that you have seen on my blog since Thanksgiving are from that book. I found it again over the holidays and can't stop interpreting the designs into Gallery Glass onto my new great love Poster Frames. They are a winning combination. By the way, they have a clip art book on almost every subject you can imagine, so save your holiday money and splurge. Remember, as an artist--you're only as good as your resource file!

Erupting Euphonium - 12x18" Poster Frame

I'll bet you thought it was a Flugelhorn! So did I, but I looked it up. Nevertheless, it is awesome. It must be Santa's Euphonium because toys are flying out of it. I took the opportunity to differentiate the carving detail with Gold Sparkle, Gold Glitter and Sunny Yellow. The combination makes a beautiful brass effect with very little effort. 12"x18" is a good size for this design. The toy detail isn't too small to lead easily with a tape tip. (Are you proficient at making one, yet?) Just checking.
The poster frame is so convenient to use. The styrene comes in the frame. I also have been mounting them with 2 large suction cups. You can put it on a window, anywhere without any hooks or wires. The lightweight frame is not too heavy and hasn't fallen off, so far. I just love it when projects are simple and easy. I got this poster frame on sale (BOGO) at Michael's. Wow, I laid awake thinking what a good deal that was and went back the next day to stock up. They make great gifts-- painted with Gallery Glass. You're going to be seeing a lot of them in the next few months on this blog because I have a garage full.

Ultimate Holiday Wreath - 18"x24" Poster Frame
So you have two windows and you need a companion piece for the Candles (see below). That's my situation, so I was motivated to find a design that would use the same color palette and a subject matter that would complement the other project without being--more candles. Besides fruit CAKE, a fruit WREATH is about as traditional as you can get. I was lucky enough to find a clip art motif that was blooming with luscious edibles. Though not a beginner project, it can be done by an intermediate who has mastered the Tape Tip Leading Technique (posted under Leading Tips). The shading is a little more delicate because you want the fruit to be highlighted in a realistic manner. But otherwise, it's a simple 2 step project--outline and paint. Check out the Patterns and Color Keys category to the right of the page for the complete pattern and detailed painting instructions.

Christmas Candles on 18"x24" Poster Frame
The end of the year holidays are my very favorite decorating opportunities. Why? Because we get to use so much glitter! That, and the color scheme is almost as bright and colorful as Pre-school artwork. We're going to go crazy with Gallery Glass designs before the end of this season, but I thought it fitting to start with one of my all time favorites. These candles have intricate detail and the illusion of carving created by the two shades of opalescence. The aura around the candles looks like rays emanating from the flame because I pulled the Hologram Glitter paint out from the Sunny Yellow in lines, leaving space in between them so that they wouldn't run together. The beautiful bow is made to look more dimensional by shading the Ruby Red with Berry Wine. And after the reds dry, squeeze a line of Hologram glitter along the edge of each section for that high end ribbon look. Other than these two special (but, easy) techniques, the painting is simple, just fill in the colors.
If you haven't discovered the Poster Frame aisle at your local craft store (I got this one at Michael's), you need to schedule a trip. The first good thing about them is that the molding is light weight (for easy hanging)and they come in a variety of standard sizes. The second good thing is that they come with the pre-cut styrene already in them, instead of glass--another plus, especially for shipping to mom and the gang. The third good thing is the price (we like it). They are much less expensive than buying standard frames with glass. Look to the right of this page under Project Categories - Patterns and Color Keys for the pattern and supplies list. You can blow the pattern up to any size, however, it is too detailed for anything smaller than a 16"x20".
Now, let's talk about the gratification factor. The design is elegant and impressive, without being difficult. The toughest part will be the outlining the pattern--definitely an opportunity to wind a Tape Tip on the Liquid Leading bottle. Take your time, the compliments are going to be worth it.

Elegant Gallery Glass Designs to adapt for Round Surfaces

Elaborate Ornaments - 12" Round
Let the bell toll and the ornament, too! Who wouldn't love to have this elegant piece hanging near their holiday tree. I am drawn to the delicate detail on both and it opens up a world of possibilities to use your specialty paints--Sparkles, Glitters and Shimmers. It doesn't really matter which of those you use where--as long as the placement complements the adjacent choices. I used Gold Sparkle for the Ornament with Gold and Hologram Glitter as accents. To coordinate, I used Silver Sparkle for the Bell with Silver and Hologram Glitter as accents. See, it's easy as long as you're consistent.
The pattern and supply list are at the bottom. You can enlarge these designs to fit clear glass plates, or 10" smooth plastic plates from the party store.

Simple Holiday Wreath - 12" Round
It's not all about detail. Big, Bold and Beautiful are my preferred qualifications for a good Gallery Glass Design. This is a project you can lead in 10 minutes and it doesn't take a lot of blending and shading to get the look you see. The secret is letting the paint dry, then adding the detail with glitter paints on TOP of the cured paint. It sparkles and winks with the blinking of the lights on the tree and is certain to be a big holiday favorite. It makes a great gift because it is colorful and impressive, but doesn't take a weekend to make. That's a good factor to consider at this busy time of year.

Elaborate Ornaments  - 12" Round

Enlarge pattern to 12". This design can also be done on an 11x14" poster frame, if round is not available. If you do not have Silver Sparkle, you can use Black Onyx and White Pearl in varying amounts on the areas marked 421. If you don't have either of the Glitter Colors, you can use Plaid's Extreme Glitter Gold, Hologram and Silver, which come in a 2 oz. size. Slender Bands on the ornaments are darkened, as indicated with dots and then combed to make the new darker color.
Supplies: 12" Round Chain Wrapped Plexi Blank, 16008 Kelly Green, 16015 Ruby Red, 16019 Gold Sparkle, 16010 Amber, 16023 Berry Red, 16024 Ivy Green, 16079 Black Liquid Leading, 16081 Crystal Clear, 16095 Black Onyx, 16440 Gold Glitter, 16441 Silver Glitter, 16442 Hologram Glitter, 16225 Gallery Glass Tool Set.

Easy, Breezy Gallery Glass for Christmas

Fabulous 10" Rounds
Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa is in the house. At least he will be when you complete this easy Santa head shot. It is a great design for kids to do as they wait for the anticipated "eve" to approach. The colors are traditional and most children pick this project as their favorite. Although the design is less detailed than I prefer, the subject matter can't be beaten. I often lead up all 3 round designs (Candle, Bells & Santa) and offer the artists a choice at holiday classes. That gives them a very pleasant dilemma--which one do I choose.

Try this candle as a warm up. It's quick and easy and makes a great gift (recurring theme of shopping network presentations). Once you get the supplies assembled, you can probably complete the whole project in about an hour of leading and painting. I often hang this piece with the Christmas Bells 10" Round because the colors and scale compliment each other.

At holiday time, bells often remind us of church services and family gatherings, and this piece certainly fulfills it's potential. Although it is an easy design, it will be admired by everyone that sees it. The colors are bright and cheerful--sure to bring joy to any heart that looks at them.

Wall Art or Window Art?
Bells are such a traditional holiday theme that it's hard to think of a new way to display them. But this round project has a lot of appeal--because of the carved detail on the bells and the opportunity to alternate the Silver Sparkle and the Silver Glitter. I know, I know--Silver Sparkle is discontinued and I have the only remaining bottle.
But did you know that you can make a similar color with White Pearl and Black Onyx. Shake them together in the bottle so that they are thoroughly mixed. I also used Red Glitter on the Bow--also discontinued, but you can mix Plaid's Red Extreme Glitter into Crystal Clear and get the same effect. Why would you want to go to all that trouble? Here's one reason.

People often ask me if you can hang Gallery Glass on the wall. Here is a good opportunity to do that. I used a number of Glitter colors in this piece. With the larger glitter chips, light is actually blocked so that the segments look "peppery" when strong light comes through it. So, the projects with glitter and sparkle paints look good against a wall because the chips reflect light. Notice how dark the Silver Sparkle looks because it doesn't let the light through. Look at the difference, and you be the judge.  Better yet, make a project with lots of glitter paint and move it around because it will look good anywhere.

Four of the Easiest Christmas 6"x9" ovals

Sometimes you need something fast and easy--both to lead and to paint-- especially when you are hosting a party of young artists or the young at heart. These designs are classic subjects and good line design, but the spaces are large and paint up quickly. The 6"x9" ovals are discontinued, but these designs work well on the plastic plates from the party store, or as suncatches, if you make them a little smaller than shown.

I like to offer a variety of designs for the artists to choose from because you may have leftovers and the fast kids can complete 2 or more designs (which they will love to do). It helps that they all use about the same colors. The good thing about the Gingerbread House and the Snowman is that they can be used after Christmas. Soon we will be adding a lot of designs of January snow scenes, but these two designs can bridge the gap. I prepare designs for every week of the year, so the "bridge" designs between holidays are very important.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glimmering Glass Gifts - #8716

This time of year all crafters turn to "Gift Making". We all know that it just an excuse to run to the Craft Store and stock up on paint and every imaginable surface--then hold up in our craft space and paint 'til we DROP! Then when all the projects are sitting pretty in a row, we start assigning them to friends and relatives who haven't seen our face since school started. So here's a old book that I decided to scan and post because it has dozens of interesting painted surfaces that would make excellent gifts for everyone on your list. It's not too early to "get painting". Christmas is just around the corner.
In the distant past, I was lucky enough to enjoy stained glass--both leaded and painted--not only as my vocation, but also as my avocation. A lot of my non-office time was spent making finished samples for seminars and displays, experimenting with new texturing effects, and testing new products. It's no wonder, then, that after awhile I ran out of windows and flat panels. At that point, I started combing the stores for other glass objects to embellish with my product.
The very first shopping spree produced three huge bags of three-dimensional and household items. This convinced me that Gallery Glass wasn't just for windows and framed art. As a lifetime glass crafter, I could now simulate many of the wonderful leaded glass decorator pieces in the boutiques and gift shops costing five or six times as much.
As usual, there were some technical challenges to overcome, but it was a task I accepted with relish. The results are in this post for you to see. Three alternative methods are presented:
Vertical - You can create an item that looks like stained glass directly on the item in an upright position
Horizontal - You can do it directly on the item which has been placed in a horizontal position
Modular - You can do part of the design on plastic (leading blank) and adhere it to the clean glass, then add straight strips and texture to complete the project.
Gallery Glass projects are fast and easy to create and are much less expensive than real leaded glass. Don't be satisfied to just duplicate what I've done, but learn the simple techniques and then use the patterns on your own glassware and accessories. Express your creativity and produce accessories for your home and make distinctive gifts that will amaze your friends. It's not only easy, it's fun! Dig through the cupboards and closets for clear items to decorate and let's get started.

The designs seen in this post can be adapted to many types of clear glass or plastic decorator items that you either already have around your house or can purchase inexpensively. Some suggestions are: canisters, jars, vases, picture frames, clocks, jewelry boxes, hurricane globes, lamps, candle holders, plates, and serving trays.

Before you begin your project--Select the Technique
The basic Window Color Technique involves two basic steps OUTLINE and PAINT. After the leaded outline is positioned, the textured paint will seal it indefinitely. There are three ways to accomplish these steps on three dimensional objects. You will want to choose the one that is easiest for your project. Choose the method that is used on a project that is most similar to yours.

Vertical Method: This method is best for multi-sided projects (such as canisters and geometric all-over designs. After the pre-cured leading strips are positioned onto the design, the textured paint is normally applied with the item in an upright position.

Horizontal Method: This method is best for large items and one-side embellishments (such as frames). Place the item in a flat, horizontal position, lead the design, let leading dry, and paint the project horizontally.

The Modular Method: This method is best for smaller items with intricate designs or motifs that require removeability, such as an item you may want to submerge in water (in which case the design must be removed first). Using this method, you will lead and paint your design onto a piece of plastic stencil blank material, then when paint is dry,you can peel the design up and place it onto your glass item. It is usually combined with the vertical method if an all-over design is desired. This short cut enables you to decorate a complicated pattern in a fraction of the time because the intricate leading and coloring are done quick and efficiently--horizontally.

Redi-Lead is an option for this technique, however it is much more expensive than this method. If you are a good lead-er, you may wish to save money by making your own strips. They are much more natural looking, though extra time is required for them to dry. I use the leading blanks, but you may choose to use the alternative, which is cardboard covered with plastic. Estimate the number of feet of leading you will need by measuring the lines of your pattern. Two ounces of leading equals 31 linear feet. Follow general leading instructions for making the beads of leading. Adjust the size of the hole to fit the scale of your design. Larger designs look better with thicker strips. Outlining: Use a razor blade, craft knife, or scissors to trim any blotches or irregularities from the leading strips before applying them. Prepare item and place pattern under glass or transfer it to the surface with graphite paper. Peel up the cured leading strips and press them onto the clean glass, covering the pattern lines. Do not stretch the strips as you apply them. Strips can be pieced together by putting them together end to end, if you have a pattern line longer than your strip. Do not handle the strips any more than necessary. Small gaps will be filled in later. Intersecting lines should be trimmed with a single edge razor blade so that they meet cleanly; do not overlap leading strips. Spot leading: Touch up any gaps with Liquid Leading from the bottle. Let these spots dry thoroughly before applying the Gallery Glass paint.  Applying Color To Your Project: Choose your colors carefully. The color scheme should compliment the decor in which it will be used. Clear or light value transparent colors are usually more pleasing in large areas such as backgrounds. Crystal Clear is always a safe color choice. The best designs have a variety of colors and textures--smooth, bumpy, opaque, transparent. Never shake the paint, it will make it too Thin. Practice on a piece of glass such as an old picture frame. Apply a block of all the colors to be used, and comb them with a toothpick. This will give you a preview of your color scheme. If you plan to use Crystal Clear, apply a block in order to practice your uniform bumpy texture technique. The color intensity will vary according to the thickness of application. Thicker paint is deeper in color. Be sure to allow your test blocks to dry and evaluate them in various lighting. Make adjustments as needed in your color scheme.
Coverage: The amount of paint you will need depends on the size and type of project, also on the thickness of application. For vertical application, allow one bottle for one square foot when applying paint from the bottle. Brushed-on coatings will cover more area. Measure your pattern and estimate the number of square inches there will be of each color. buy enough paint to complete the job. Having enough paint is especially important if mixing colors.

Signs of the Holidays

An experienced glass crafter works herself to death during the holidays because the special requests pick up. People that have seen your work all year, will call and ask you to do a project for one of their family members or friends. Hopefully, you were able to fulfill these requests and earn a little extra money so that you could buy ELECTRONICS for your family (they usually don't want any more Gallery Glass). So it's a win/win situation.

After just such a request, one of my friends, an avid glass painter, called to ask if I had any patterns for signs such as Home Sweet Home or Welcome Home. Of course, but where was it? I looked in all the files at the office without success, so left a message on my home phone--to look there. Viola! I was seeing it in my head (because I rarely forget a pattern), but wasn't sure I could put my finger on it. The project I was seeing was in a very old book that was done for Gallery Glass Flow-on Paint, a smoother, thinner version of paint that was produced in the early '90's. You're lucky that I've been around for such a long time and that I am an avid collector of glass painting books. I found it without much trouble--along with several more, so I decided to share them with you so that you can continue to make some pocket change to pay those holiday credit card bills.

Here is one I wish we had found before Halloween, but I thought that I should put it in this post, so that you will automatically think of it next year in time to make up a version of it for your front window. It would look a lot better I think, if there was Crystal Clear on the Background. It is not a texture that was available in the Glass Paint Line, so it was not used in any of the signs. But keep it in mind. The amount of unpainted background in these projects would make them hard to keep clean. Bare glass--gets dirty.
Now, I've saved possibly the best sign for last! The Name Plate is undoubtedly the best possible choice, not always for the giver, but for the receiver, nothing rates higher on their list than a personalized project that beautifully displays their family moniker. It is somewhat adjustable by picking out a font on your computer and printing out the name, then enlarging it to fit the space. For short names this will be no problem. However, the longer the name, the more you may have to stretch the name vertically to make the letters tall and skinny. If it is a very long name, you can also add design elements to the border.
These signs were made even more exciting because of the lighting around the inside edge of the frame. Here are the artist's instructions on how to accomplish this special effect. I'm putting it in as an attachment, so that you can hopefully print it out.