Friday, March 30, 2012

Made Craftsman Stencils!

When Sharon got her new stencil making supplies in the mail yesterday, she couldn't resist making some stencils! Besides, it was nice to have some time off of bending over the too-low table where we've been working on the leaded glass project.

This is the probable color scheme for the dining room curtains.

She purchased blank mylar and a stencil cutting tool from Stencilease. Though, it doesn't actually cut; it really melts the plastic along the line where you drag the heated tip. It works pretty well, though the melted edge of the stencil isn't as smooth as when the plastic film is cut. But it definitely does the job faster than a craft knife.

Sharon also found it helpful to tape the plastic mylar to the back of a cookie sheet, because then she could hold it in her lap and rotate it as needed. The activity is pretty compatible with "watching" TV (OK, really listening to TV).

As mentioned earlier, she chose this design from the article "Draperies for the dining room: designs in stencil and embroidery" from the October 1910 Craftsman Magazine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last Set of Leaded Glass

We spent much of the day cutting glass. The border is cut and now the glass is all cut; tomorrow we'll start putting these last four panels together.

Jeff also gingerly removed all the old panels from the bookcase cabinets so we can fit in the new panels when they're done.

Ornaments from Scraps

Sharon would like to make all of the ornaments for the tree for our Winter Solstice/25th Anniversary celebration later this year. She has compiled quite a few neat ornament ideas and is planning to try many of them over the next several months. She will try and share her successes and failures here for others who might want to try making their own ornaments.

Our first try was weaving stars from fabric scraps. They turned out well and were fun to make. Even Jeff spent a couple hours making them and enjoyed the project. We made like twenty of them over two evenings in front of the TV. Finally, we just had to stop, or the whole tree would end up covered in them! There is a tutorial here for how to make them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dining Room Curtains

Progress on interior projects continues at a steady pace. Sharon finished off her quilt backing and worked on a couple other non-house sewing projects.

Today we started cutting for the last four leaded glass panels. We're treating these last four panels as a "set" and cutting all the pieces up front and then planning to put each of them together, one after the other.

Sharon also got started on the dining room curtains. At this point, they are not hemmed along the bottom edge. She is letting them hang for a couple of days to be sure they stretch evenly.

In fact, this is really just the starting point. Besides hemming, she is going to sew on rings and apply stencils. Her earlier successful attempts have given her more confidence to try something a bit more difficult.

She chose this design from the article "Draperies for the dining room: designs in stencil and embroidery" from the October 1910 Craftsman Magazine. Though, she's not planning to stencil along the top edge.

For this project, Sharon is going to have to cut her own stencils. So, she ordered the materials to do that: a stencil cutting tool and some mylar. But this project surely won't be finished before the kitchen tour.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Change of Pace

Sharon decided to spend her day on a sewing project. She built the center portion of the quilt backing. Though, she didn't complete the backing as she needs to calculate the overall size first.
Sharon has gotten it into her mind to make all of the ornaments for our Winter Solstice celebration. Today she made her first ornament from a couple of the William Morris reproduction fabric scraps leftover from this project. It was pretty fun! She definitely needs to make a few more of these! There is a tutorial here for how to make it if anyone else would like to try.
Made a few more this evening while we were watching TV!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another Panel Done!

We guess it's time to clean up this cabinet and put in pretty stuff. Count to date—six panels done!
Right colonnade leaded glass

Friday, March 23, 2012

Living Room Photos

Given that we've had rain for like the last ten days, we decided today's sunny weather was too nice to spend in the basement working on glass. We went upstairs and did projects in the light. (The roller shades, but that's another post.)

Also Sharon snapped a few photos of the living room furnished with the new furniture. Our camera is pretty basic, so this is the best we can get. 
Love the box beam ceiling!

Lovin' Leaded Glass

Today we built our first colonnade leaded glass panel! This is the largest panel we're doing for this project of ours.
Left Colonnade Leaded Glass
Our building process has gotten pretty efficient. Once Jeff figured out how to print the pattern pieces for the leaded glass from his computer, our speed more than doubled. And the glass pieces are so uniform Jeff was able to print out only ONE pattern piece (one of the interior rectangles) and we were able to size all the other pieces off that one.

We also successfully built this panel without the large overall pattern, saving a lot of effort. These pieces are uniform enough we can just cut them out and put them together.

Also, once Jeff figured out we should use the strip cutter, our pieces became very uniform and fit together quite nicely with little grinding.
Jeff cutting 2" strips for border
So, what we've figured out to do is to work together and strip cut all the pieces for the panel. Then we go back and do the final shaping for fitting in the bevelled squares.
Glass pieces for project before final shaping
Glass pieces for project after final shaping
Then once we've shaped all the pieces, we simply put the panel together, adding lead came between the pieces of glass.
Putting the leaded glass panel together!
It has also helped soldering three sides of the zinc border together, because then we are more likely to get an easier fit for the fourth edge.
First Colonnade Leaded Glass Panel
And now we're shopping around for tiny wood mouldings to install them in the cabinet doors.
Three wood moulding samples to choose from so far

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Delta/Skywest Sucks!

It sounds like there is no point in complaining to the airlines about crummy service—they don't care—so we're gonna do a brief rant here to warn others.

Jeff was supposed to have a flight down to Southern California this morning on Delta Airlines. With only 2 hours notice, they cancelled the flight for an undisclosed reason. The ONLY alternative flight they offered to replace this cancelled flight was NEXT WEEK with a layover in Salt Lake City! We had paid extra to have a direct flight. WTH!

We went ahead and asked for a refund and have now booked him a new flight in April on Southwest Air. We won't be booking Delta again, if we can help it. 

Luckily, Jeff's schedule is flexible and he can just pick up and go a different week. Had he scheduled a week off from a job, we would have been extra furious. Though, on the bright side, we get an extra week to work on leaded glass!!

(It turns out, if Sharon had done any research on airline complaints, she would have learned that Delta routinely does this. It could have been much worse—at least Jeff was stranded at home! There are some very sad stories out there from people who had connecting flights cancelled and/or they had children.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Lace Curtains

We received our Meadow Lily lace panels from J.R. Burrows a couple days ago. This particular pattern, according to their website, "was advertised in the 1910-11 catalog of the Come-Pact Furniture Company of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the 50" width."

Jeff rehung the hardware for us. The panels look a bit skimpy, but two more panels would have been too full for these windows. Sharon is still planning to make linen curtains that hang over these panels in the dining room.
Meadow Lily panels in dining room
We also bought a panel for the main floor bathroom. It was way too long, so Sharon shortened it today.
She also got around to finishing up that embroidered stencil panel into a pillow. She's getting the sewing room straightened up. Jeff will be out of town for the next week, so it will be a good time to work on sewing projects.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Leaded Glass

This morning, Jeff did the very messy job of cementing the kitchen leaded glass panels.
The panels have to dry for 24 hours before we can clean and buff them up.

While Jeff was busy with that, Sharon got started on the next pair of panels for the dining room. Then once Jeff was done, she started building them. We're getting better at this. We've started treating this project more like an assembly line and cutting all the glass up front then putting the panels together. It also really helped this time to have a second copy of the pattern we could cut up to trace onto the glass.

We really zoomed today. We assembled both dining room panels in about five hours. And there was almost no fiddling to get the last border piece on because we had better luck cutting the pieces the right size to begin with. Also, the pattern was designed better this time. (Thanks Jeff!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Door Hardware

After searching for many months, Sharon finally found a great deal on new traditional style brass interior door hardware. She's writing to share this affordable resource with others who might be having the same re-plate or replace dilemma.

We had been planning to re-plate the existing door hardware, but it actually turned out to cost about the same, even a bit less for some doors, to simply replace the pieces.  Sharon looked diligently for a good deal on the plating (she wrote at least half a dozen re-platers for email quotes), but the least expensive deal she was able to find was $14 per knob and $12 per plate which would come to $52 per door!

So, ultimately, when we found Crown City Hardware, we simply decided to replace the hardware on the doors. Their interior set is $49.99 per door and we believe it is solid brass—not plated.

We still haven't installed the screws on the new set because the locks came with phillips screws. We're going to buy slotted screws which are more accurate for the period. It is nice that these new sets can be installed and tightened up and stay in place without the screws.

They also sold a neat dummy spindle in order to assemble matching dummy knobs for our pantry doors.

We did run across a problem with a privacy lock set for the bathroom door; the pin sticking out from the turn latch doesn't fit into our existing mortise locks. We're trying to find out if we can change the part on the new plate that will fit in our existing mortise, but we might have to buy modern mortise locks for the two bathrooms, because ultimately we'd like to be able to lock the door when someone is using the room.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kitchen Leaded Glass Panels

We have a few more finishing tasks before we can declare this project done, but we're getting close!

We still have to cement and clean the panels. We also plan to blacken the lead came. And we also need to find a tiny douglas fir moulding to hold these in place in the door opening and stain it and install it in place.
Given the speed we were able to make these panels, we'll probably also try and finish the dining room leaded glass panels before the kitchen tour.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Panel Assembled!

Success!! This is our first time making leaded glass together, so we're pretty excited.
It fits!!
This morning we started out fiddling with the center six pieces trying to achieve a better fit overall. We did a bit of grinding then decided it was "good enough."
Fiddling with glass pieces to improve fit--almost there!
Then we started with soldering the front side. Too bad we couldn't start with the back side, because by the time we had finished the front side we were getting a bit better at our technique. It's been quite a while since we've soldered so we started out a bit rusty and some of the seams are a bit sloppy.
Soldering the front side!
Soldering the back side.
We found this interesting technique for soldering zinc corners without having the solder spread out too much. It wasn't totally successful, but it did seem to help a bit.
Soldering corners
Then we got to take the panel upstairs for a test fit! It fit perfectly in both doors.
Test fitting in cabinet
Once both panels are completed we're planning to finish the panels with a multi-step cementing process and polish them up. Maybe we'll also blacken the came; we haven't decided yet.

These panels are going much faster than we expected. Maybe we'll also manage to make the dining room panels before the kitchen tour. That would be nice.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leaded Glass Progress

We've made great progress on our first leaded glass panel for the kitchen!
We've been busy the last couple of days getting going on these leaded glass panels. We had to buy the wood pieces and assemble a frame and we had to get some 0000 steel wool.

First thing this morning, Sharon tried to blacken the zinc border using the steps found in this Delphi Glass tutorial. Unfortunately, it was pretty much a failure. The metal would "turn" black when she applied the copper sulfate, but as soon as she wiped off the excess chemical the black just came off with it. After about 5 tries, she gave it up.
Once we finally got started, we plugged away at this project for about 5 hours and nearly have it complete.
There is something not quite right on some of the glass pieces; the last border edge does not fit in correctly. We'll have to make some adjustments. Though, since the outside glass border must be 2-inches to match the bevel squares, we have make all the adjustments to the center 6 glass pieces. It's time consuming to unassemble and reassemble the panel and a bit frustrating....

The little grey bits showing through the glass are small pieces of felted wool fabric. They lift the pieces of glass off the table level and help line them up with the channels in the lead came.