Wedding Invitation Memory Box with Contemporary Flair

stained glass by anna

A lot of people think of stained glass as being old fashioned or cute. I think that stained glass CAN have a contemporary look to it. Made with clean lines, minimal colors and less “fluff” (which I happen to like at times!), stained glass can have a modern feel. I’ve done these three boxes with clear or ivory glass, crystals and pearls. Elegant but not stuffy!
wedding gift memory box by anna
Wedding glass box

Sochi Dogs Up for Adoption

If you know of anyone at the Olympics, tell them to go find this place and bring back a dog! Hopefully they are able to rescue even more and find them loving homes.

So awful that this has to take place, if only people neutered their pets and were responsible owners in the first place, you wouldn’t have packs of dogs roaming around.

Warning: the video below describes some graphic imagery.

Box with scalloped Edge

Stained glass box with playbillToday I finished this box with a scalloped copper foil edge. Somehow I always manage to get a copper “paper cut” from the scalloped foil! Oh well. This box was made for a dancer, using the playbill for the show. I made a copy of the inside page, as only half of it shows to the front. I then put it on the inside top lid. I made a scan of the original. Brought it into photoshop and cleaned it up to print onto the orange paper

Swarovski Crystal Borders


Recently I’ve started to use real Swarovski crystal strands around the borders of the invitation, with a few charms. I think it looks really elegant. I solder the entire strand so it is solidly attached. This one is made with amethyst crystals. The box sides are a very pale purple color. It has a mirror bottom but I also made a purple pad for the bottom, which helps to bring out the purple of the glass.

When I send out a glass box I put them in an inner box and then an outer box. My customers sometimes give me a card to put in as well. So I offer gift wrapping for the inner box if I ship directly to the recipient.


Stained Glass Invitation Boxes with Pressed Flowers

stained glass with invitation

Several people have asked about my invitation boxes with pressed flowers and I realized today that I don’t have any pictures of them here! The only item I have with real flowers is a shadow box made with dried flowers from the bridal bouquets, but they are three-dimensional, not pressed flat.

Some of the flowers I press myself, after all, I am a member of my local garden club! I press some purple and blue hydrangeas, violas, larkspur, delphinium and some greenery. Some flowers my mom presses for me, hydrangeas and Queen Ann’s lace, mostly. The more exotic ones come from Washington state, from a mom who home schools her children. I recently was able to purchase real 4-leaf clovers!

As for the invitations, usually they are arranged onto the invitation itself, or sometimes into the border. Here’s a few:

pressed flowers on wedding invitation boxstained glass invitation box by anna harding

Finding the Purpose of Art


Recently I went with my husband to Washington D.C. to visit friends. We were on our way to the National Gallery of Art, primarily to see the Albrecht Dürer exhibit. We passed by the Mall and saw hundreds of people dressed in white running to piles of what looked to be bones, grabbing a handful and placing them on the lawn. Interested, we took a closer look. They were, of course, fake bones, made of recycled cardboard: egg carton-like material cast into a variety of bone shapes. From their website is a brief synopsis:

One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice, combining education, hands-on art making, and public installations to raise awareness of ongoing genocides and mass atrocities in places like Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma. For the past three years we have been collecting 1,000,000 handcrafted bones for a three-day installation event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 8-10, 2013. The installation will exist as a collaborative site of conscience to honor victims and survivors, and will also serve as a visual petition against ongoing conflicts and a resounding call for much need and long overdue action.


We watched and read about the project and moved on. We saw the amazing Dürer exhibit and then went over to the west building to see the Edvard Munch show and then browsed around. One of the rooms had just 4 large paintings by Thomas Cole, The Voyage of  Life. I found the scenery depicted was fabulous (though the angels were too much) and I loved how he handled the clouds. Steve was particularly struck by the series and asked me for my phone to photograph them. As we walked back toward where we parked we were just about at the bones again and I wondered how far they had gotten while we were inside. Steve was talking about the Cole series and saying how sometimes he doesn’t like the art for the imagery but more for the meaning. I was thrilled! This is what artists throughout time, all over the world have been trying to get across! Artists have used many forms of media to produce something that inspires and moves you emotionally. This clearly was what the One Million Bones project was all about. The chance to bring a message to the general public in a format that transmits the message in a powerful way.

Finn’s First Big Snowstorm

So now that we’re all thoroughly sick and tired of winter, I’ve finally made my snow video of Finn! So I don’t have kids, just pets, humor me.

This week is officially Finn’s anniversary of One Full Year in his Forever Home – with me and Steve. So I figured some kind of online recognition was required.

Rescue Dog The Home Inspection

finn-goofyface-sqSo, you say… home inspection? Yikes! If you’re going to get a rescue dog by a reputable shelter, expect to have someone come to your home to do a in-home inspection. Reading other people’s blogs made it sound intimidating. Some people were turned down because they had left aspirin on their coffee table, or had wood stairs without carpeting. I bought child proof cabinet locks and did our attic stairs with strips of adhesive sandpaper. Works well!

During the time Steve and I were running around the house trying to get it ready, I met a woman who was trying to become a foster parent for young children. We compared notes, and it was pretty much the same thing housewise:

  • make sure all medicines are locked away and out of reach
  • all lower cabinets have baby locks -you wouldn’t want a dog to binge on people food like crackers or cereal if it’s down in a lower cabinet
  • have closed lids on your trash
  • safe stairs -you don’t want your dog to slip and get injured
  • a gate for a door so you can isolate him in a room might also be a good idea
  • make sure to clean up clutter, you don’t want an avalance of books or junk to fall on your pet
  • have a dog bed or blanket for the pet to have it’s own area
  • and you have to have a play area outside that’s fenced or have a plan for his outdoor use and exercise

Some of the applications asked if we would crate the dog, or if we owned a crate (we were given one by my family) although I was never sure if they wanted you to crate or not to crate!  I personally think that locking an animal in a crate all day is no way for it to spend it’s life. If the crate is left open and becomes a safe haven for the pet if it needs security, that’s a different matter. Turned out that Finn didn’t really care for the crate, he’d go in it at night because he was asked to, but would never enter it on his own. He will go to his dog bed and stay there happily, though.

So here’s what we learned about the pet adoption process:

Most people sign up with a local shelter, get fully approved – application, reference check, phone interviews and house inspection. Then, once they’ve gotten approval, they’re at the top of the list to get a dog, and can get one right away. So we were doing it all wrong, since we were looking at the dogs, and then applying to all these different shelters. One shelter did say that if we were to pass a home inspection for a local shelter, that would suffice for them as well. Since the breeds we were trying for seemed kind of scarce we decided to keep doing it the way we were.

We also learned that while the dog might be listed at for say, Providence RI, you’ll see the same dog listed at as being in Springfield MA, only to learn that the dog is still in Tennessee! They cross-reference the dog with different states and different shelters so that they can get more exposure.

Your adoption fees help towards paying his transport, as well as medical care & shots, neutering, training and boarding. So when you add all that up, you’re really paying less than these things cost . You’re really getting a deal, especially compared to puppy stores, where here in CT you’ll find a “designer” breed (aka mutt) for about $1200.00! More on puppy mills and dog stores in an upcoming blog.