I grew up admiring the stained glass windows in churches and old Victorian homes.
I also found myself lingering a little longer at the craft booths with stained glass mesmerized by the way the light comes through the colored glass and the unique decorative patterns.
My favorite stained glass windows have symbols about a well known fairy tale or biblical story. I look for the hidden clues in the stained glass pictures that tell the story from the perspective of the glass artist.
When I learned that Gail Anastasio, a stained glass artist would be teaching a beginners workshop making stained glass garden stepping stones at our church; I signed up right away!
This was a wonderful opportunity to learn something creative with others in our church congregation and I could see it working well as a Family Fun Day project with Teens or a club activity.
It was another opportunity for me to learn how to work with a new creative medium.
I brought along some Glass Eyes from GlassEyesOnLine.com to incorporate in my piece and share with our instructor and fellow students.
Gail Anastasio is an artist with a degree in Interior Decoration and Fashion Design.
For 3 years, Gail learned how to work with stained glass under the direction of Bill Laws, a Master in Glass. He taught her the art and science of reconstruction and restoration of stained glass church windows.
Anastasio's Stained Glass Studio
Gail creates Stained Glass pieces that she sells at art and craft shows. She also receives private commissions to create stained glass windows for homes and churches. Examples of her creations are shown above. Gail can be reached on facebook at Anastasio's Stained Glass Studio. We were so fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from an expert in this field.
If you've been thinking about trying a new creative medium or planning one for your group or club; there are kits available in craft shops and Online for making garden stepping stones or you can gather up the supplies and use Gail's step by step process below.
I experimented with the Glass Cabochon Eyes in my pattern as you can see from the photos below. I notice all the flaws; but overall I am happy with the results of my first attempt with Stained Glass.
I enjoyed the beginners class and it also was an opportunity to experience some of the unique challenges sculptors and carvers have when they are working with glass eyes in concrete medium.
It's the end of August; and our local Lowes store is already getting in their yard decorations for Halloween.
The local Michaels Craft store has rows of really upscale Halloween Home Decor that look more like props from a Harry Potter or Addams Family Movies. There are life size skeletons, large spiders, ghosts, dishes, candlesticks and more. Everything you need to dress up your home for a Fabulous Halloween Party.
If you like to make your own decorations; you'll find lots of ideas on Pinterest too. You can get started by checking out our Halloween Decoration, DIY Craft and Gifts And Fairies and Witches Pinterest Boards.
Jerry and I decided to have a little fun making a decoration for Halloween.
Over the years, we have received many questions from artists and crafters about whether or not they could bake the plastic doll eyes in polymer clay.
We recommended using glass eyes because the glass tolerates temperatures up to 1200 degrees without melting.
Some of our customers e-mailed that they were having success with using plastic eyes and baking the clay at lower temperatures. We decided this would be our opportunity to test it.
We purchased Sculpey Clay at Michaels Craft Store for a family fun afternoon with our back to college bound daughter.
We kneaded the clay and molded these little funny eye sculptures using the 22mm Round Plastic Doll Eyes. We placed the sculptures on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
The directions on the clay package recommend the temperature of the oven be 275 °F (130 °C) and the sculpture be baked for 15 minutes for 1/4 inch (6mm) thickness.
We were testing the lower temperature with plastic eyes. Below is a chart of our very unscientific testing. But First, like they say on TV; we don't recommend you try this at home.
If you do try it; post photos of your results on Instagram and be sure to hash tag #GlassEyesOnline so we can repost!
The plastic eyes seemed to hold up just fine if they were encased within the clay. A few of the eyes that were sitting on top of the clay had melted and browned edges.
I would not recommend plastic eyes for an art or fantasy doll. I'd stick with glass doll eyes. The plastic would be fine for experimenting. It would also make a cool scout troop or youth group project.
We used Clay Pots, Floral Foam and Spanish Moss from the Dollar Store to make our potted eyes Halloween decoration.
We had a great time together experimenting with polymer clay. Have you tried any new creative mediums lately? ? Please share in comments below or #GlassEyesOnLine on Instagram!
Time Flies when your working hard and having fun. Jerry and I have been busy with packing and shipping Eyes, Noses and Joints around the world since we returned from the International Doll and Teddy Show. We have also been taking breaks for fun with some creative projects that we plan to share in upcoming blog posts and newsletters.
Do you remember my spring project recycling a jar of fruit for a candy jar with a crochet bunny rabbit cover? If not, you will find the pattern and instructions HERE. It made a sweet Easter decoration for our kitchen counter.
I switched out the jelly beans for candy corns for Halloween. I made a crochet black cat and jack o lantern for the lid. I absolutely love being able to change the crochet lid with the seasons and holidays. I'll be sharing my patterns with you in upcoming blog posts and newsletters.
Our other project turned out to be a family affair. It will definitely make a fun project for a club or scout troop this fall! We have been sculpting with no bake clay as well as polymer clay. We have heard from some customers that they have used plastic doll eyes in their polymer clay creations and baked the clay at lower temperatures for longer periods so we decided to test this ourselves. We are in the middle of this project so stay tuned for the centerpiece you can make for your next Halloween Party with step by step instructions.
If you crochet; you will want to check out the August Newsletter. Emily, our guest writer, learned how to crochet when she started college. She writes about how she thinks crochet is evolving and shares two crochet patterns that she created.
Troll Doll collectors and restorers get ready for a renewed interest in collecting Trolls.
Jerry and I went to the movies for our date night recently and saw a preview of the DreamWorks Animation Movie "Trolls" coming out in November.
By coincidence, we've also been getting questions about restoring and collecting troll dolls from our customers and I was in the middle of research on Trolls. I lined up some interviews and articles for our September and October Blog and Newsletters to share so stay tuned!
We'll be sharing information about troll hair, eyes, clothes, tools used in restoration, and more.
If you have questions or comments about Troll Collecting or Restoration or ideas for creative fall projects; please share in the comments below. We'd love to read them!