It’s been quite a year for 2020, and a crazy year for me since last September. I broke my leg while setting up for a craft show and had to have surgery to repin it. Yup, leave it to me! I’m still dealing with a torn MCL that they didn’t find prior to surgery so I still have trouble bending my leg (although the break itself has long since healed). The first week of February my husband and I decided that since the virus wasn’t on the east coast anywhere yet, we’d head down to Atlanta and then on to Orlando. Lucky me, I came down with a very mild case of Covid-19- I’ve since heard of people who had it in November-January – all on the east coast of the USA. Later I had a tear on my muscles up under my ribs, giving me a scare about my heart. Whew! What a year – and we’re only part-way through!
Enough about all that, though. I’ve been in my studio designing up new things. One of which is sandblasting! I design in Illustrator, cut the image in vinyl with my Cricut, then place that onto the glass. Then it’s sandblasting with a 220 carbide grit. The fun part it peeling away the vinyl to see the image in glass! Then I break out my paints or alcohol inks and dye it so it’s extra special. That’s how I did the words, ABBY and the date, above.
We’re getting to that time of year when it seems we’re all going to a wedding or some kind of life event. I’m starting to get more invitations in, one person sent me four to do!
I also just uploaded a post of my invitation boxes to Bored Panda. It’s a great way to see quite a few of my boxes all at once.
It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted – truth is, I’ve been so busy this year that I couldn’t take on any additional work, so I didn’t want to encourage it. This past Spring and Fall I was helping out with the CT Renaissance Faire for their Robin Hood and King Henry Vlll shows, painting sets. Now that it’s winter I can take on more of my own projects. So here’s a box that I did this earlier this year with pressed flowers. It’s for a Bat Mitzvah but does show two names – two girls had theirs together. I love using textured glass for the sides, this pattern is called “Thistle” and comes in amber, blue or clear. I only press some of the flowers myself as I haven’t had time to get into too many varieties of ones that press well. My mom presses some, and the rest come from a woman in Washington State, except for the four-leaf clovers which I purchased online. Maybe it’s cheating to use GMO clovers – but they’re so cool!
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!
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.
Here’s a few of the stained glass boxes that I’ve made for Bat Mitzvah invitations. They are fun to make, each one comes out different, which keeps me interested as an artist.
They take me about 4-5 hours to do, and that’s not including going to the fabric store for the fabric to make the padded inserts! I also include seashells, crystals, semi-precious stones, beads – whatever looks good!
I’ve been asked to show some of the stained glass invitation boxes that I’m known for. When I first moved to Connecticut I worked at a picture framing gallery in West Hartford. They graciously let me sell my stained glass gift boxes (they got commission, of course!). One day a customer came in and wanted a stained glass box with a wedding invitation put into the top. It came out great, and I’ve been making them ever since! The store had a huge Jewish clientele so naturally I expanded into making bar mitzvah and bad mitzvah boxes as well. I’ll show some of these in another post. This pic above shows a wedding invitation that had a peacock on it. I colored it in lightly and then added real peacock feathers. The invitation is sandwiched between an iridized “glue chip” clear glass and a piece of clear glass on top. The sides of the box were iridized black “waterglass” and I used a black patina on the solder.
This one above was a real challenge: the bridesmaid brought me REAL dried flowers, not pressed flat but natural. I had to come up with a way to display them properly AND make sure that if they shed or had a piece that fell off, it wouldn’t remain in there forever. So I hinged the top to make a lid, it pressure fits in and good ol’ gravity will keep it in place.