I’m skipping right over other [very important, very exciting] updates made in the living room and hall (for now) to share with you our new “WELCOME HOME!”

I made two stained glass windows for the entry sidelights, and here they are, finally installed and on display! I’m not going to try for humility; I’m proud of them.




When we moved into this house I knew the sidelights needed stained glass—they were calling out for it. I had taken a few stained glass classes in college (and even taught it to 10–12 year old girls at summer camp because nothing teaches confidence like knowing how to use a soldering iron), but I wanted/needed a kick in the butt to get me going on the project. So I signed up for a class at the nearby Art League. (Also: studio space for what is a very messy craft, access to a store with discounted glass, advice from teachers and fellow students, and regularly-scheduled-leaving-of-the-house/office. I’m done with this project but I want to go back soon.)


I designed the windows with intersecting lines and partial circles (referencing a large circular window elsewhere on the house), and used a variety of clear, textured glasses punctuated with yellow, gray, and peach. One window has a bold red circle; the other window a demure swirly “Baroque” glass in peach, white, and clear. They’re just shapes, but if you’re feeling romantic, one is a setting sun while the other is a moon.



A detail I love:


The white streak in the gray glass visually completes the circular shape of the red glass. Do you see it? (It was intentional.)

To finish both windows I took three nine-class sessions, plus some bonus open studios—I thought I’d finish in two sessions, hah hah!—for a total of around 100 hours, not counting the time I spent adding rebar (steel reinforcement) and making and painting the frames. Here’s a photo from outside that shows the rebar; it’s the piece that sticks out perpendicularly from the window plane:


This video explains steel bar reinforcement of stained glass windows better than I could do in words. I really struggled with the rebar and hated the process of tinning it. [Tinning is covering the steel (or any metal) with a thin layer of solder so that it will bond with the lead (or another non-compatible metal).] I tinned the entire length of the steel rods, instead of just the solder points, so that they would accept the same black patina solution I had used on the lead cames. I’m trying not to get too into the weeds with explanations of stained glass processes, so let’s just say…I should have painted the darn things.


But the aggravation, oh it was worth it! I love that they add energy and color to the space. I love catching reflections of them in the mirror, or looking at them from the living room.


By the way, the entry is nearly finished. I cut and installed new baseboards (still need to catch you up on that ongoing house-wide project!) and painted, painted, painted. The trim is Benjamin Moore’s “Cloud White” and the wall color is Sherwin Williams’ “Futon”—which despite the terrible visual created by its name, of grimy college fold-out sofa beds, is an interesting and pretty color. (Most of the time, and at least in my space.) It changes undertones from taupe to reddish to creamy and reflects back whatever colors are near it. I had a brain fart when I had the paint color mixed in semi gloss. A supposed painting “no-no,” but you know what? I like it a lot. It bounces the light around and creates a warm rosy glow. I liked the effect so much I carried the color and sheen down the walls and ceiling of the hallway.

We installed the 40″ acacia wood mirror from CB2 on the backside of the fireplace, after I made the executive decision that the size was perfect, the round shape was perfect, the wood was lovely, and we’d never find just the right vintage mirror at an estate sale. The red Flor tiles we put down not too long after we moved in and they have held up fantastically. (Style Morning Coffee, color Decaf.) The wall fixtures were made by Lucent Lightshop out of Arizona; we installed them way back in January 2015 (which I gave just a glimpse of in this post) and just recently put them on a dimmer switch—now we can dim the 12 bulbs down to a soft glow. And, while I’m cataloging improvements, we also replaced the outlets and light switches. Still on the to-do list is make a bench, or benches, and/or add a console table for some “landing zone” space.

But how ’bout them windows?