Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time For Some Creative Shopping!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, now it's time for the hustle and bustle of the giving Season. Don't worry we have you covered! Crystal Wand Creations has put everything in our Artfire studio on sale. Check out our Artfire blog to locate all the great coupon codes, then shop to your hearts content!

Now relax, we've got you covered!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas!

If you're looking for a special, unique gift idea for the Holidays, then you might take a stroll through the Crystal Wand Links page. We have compiled a collection of some of our favorite sites on the web. Each site is different and will provide you with a vast array of choices. Make your gift giving as unique as you are!

We are constantly updating our links page, so check back often!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Wedding Gift of Stained Glass

About two and a half months ago, I decided that my great niece's wedding gift was going to be something special that I would make for them. When I saw her colors for the wedding (watermelon and chocolate) I knew it was going to be a lamp. But this lamp was going to be a little different from the ones I had made in the past. I would design it from start to finish.

Once I received the wedding announcement I knew I had found my inspiration. The invitation had a beautiful swirl design in it that would be perfect for a stained glass lamp shade. I took the invitation and using the GlassEye 2000 Dragonfly CAD software, I proceeded to design their shade.

Once I was happy with the size and shape of the shade I drew in the swirl design and chose my glass colors. This process took me a lot longer than most because I have a tendency to be very picky about certain details. But I figure if I don't get picky about it in the design stage then I will wish I had later on.

After a lot of long hours and a lot of decorative beading I finally finished it. I'm very happy with the results. When I'm finished I'm always happy I took the time to be so picky in the beginning.

But alas, it won't be hanging around here much longer, because now we will share it with the happy couple! Erin, we hope it gives you and Travis many happy years of enjoyment!

And for anyone wishing to check out GlassEye 2000 software for themselves just click on the blinking GlassEye image at the bottom of this page. You won't be sorry you did!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finding a Rare Breed

Today's entry may seem off the subject of glass and jewelry, but if thought about, I'm sure you could find a connection. Let me preface this gardening story by explaining that this garden is one my husband and I are doing to showcase some glass garden art in.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they come across someone they know is a rare breed. Well yesterday it was my turn. This rare breed was the gracious couple whom my husband and I met after we answered the wife’s ad in a local county recycling website called She had some daylilies to give away, and me being the plant lover that I am, just knew that these would work great in my newly dug beds.

So after arranging our pick-up day and calling before leaving the house, as we were instructed to do, we went to pick-up what we thought would be a few plants for our flower beds. Following her meticulously well written directions we turned the corner onto their street and saw this beautifully manicured lawn with flower beds any landscaper would be envious of. There she was in her driveway tending her gorgeous babies wearing her gardeners wide brim hat with neck flap. You could tell this was something she did a lot of!

After the formal introductions were made it was down to the business of gathering up my daylilies, or so I thought. On her list she had sent me she had included 14 other plants she had that she would give me starts of and/or seeds of. She asks which ones I want, and I tell her I was hoping for a little of each.

So she proceeds to dig, pull and start teaching me everything I needed to know about each and every plant she is giving me. This was so exciting! She had Phlox, Widows Tears, Celome, Yarrow, Chrysanthemums, Coreopsis, Coxcomb, Butterfly Bush, Shasta Daisies, and a lot more! Oh, if I had only brought a tape recorder!

My fear was that with my bad memory I would be lucky to find my way out of the housing edition let alone remember all this great knowledge. But then she said those magic words I was hoping to hear, “you can always email me if you have any questions”. Yeah! Now I knew there was a chance all these beautiful plants might make it till next summer after all.

While in the middle bagging up all these beautiful starts her husband, who had just finished mowing the lawn, brought my husband and I out these delicious tomato sandwiches. The bread was toasted to perfection and just the right amount of mayo was added then topped with this huge thick slice of tomato. The tomatoes were out of his own garden, and were the best tomatoes I have ever tasted.

Once we had finished our sandwiches here he comes with a cup of water to help wash everything down. It was the best working lunch I’ve ever had!

An hour later, when all the digging and pulling was over, our entire car was loaded with bags of plants and seeds, most of which weren‘t even on the list to begin with. My husband and I were both overwhelmed at how gracious and giving these two were. It was an amazing afternoon spent with an amazing Master Gardener (to be) and her husband. When we left I no longer had that “Oh my gosh, can I keep these plants alive?” feeling, because I knew If I ever have any questions I’ll just email Jan!

As a footnote to this story I just want to say THANK YOU to Jan and her husband for their great hospitality and to Jan for all the beautiful plants. We spent the rest of the day into the night planting and still have more to plant today.

But I have faith that with all the great instruction you gave me, not to mention the fact that I have your email address as a backup, theses babies will be o.k.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's a Stained Glass and Tile Table Kinda Day!

Have you ever wanted to make a quick table top to just spruce up an old piece of furniture you had? Well here's a quick way for you to do it. First, the supplies you will need are: 1) A piece of Cement or Hardibacker board, cut to the shape of the table top. 2) If it's a small table a piece of 1/4" plywood cut in the same shape. If it's a larger table and the base can support the weight, get a thicker piece of plywood. 3) Tile and glass of your choice. 4) Pattern, if you need one, and a piece of carbon transfer paper and pencil. 5) Tile mastic. 6) Sanded grout, color of your choice. 7) *Grout sealer. 8) ** Waterproof Glue. 9) ***1/4" Copper foil. 10) Stainless steel nails. 11) Two plastic knives. 12) Gloves. 13) Sponge. 14) Bucket of water.

Now apply an ample amount of waterproof glue to your plywood then center the Cement/Hardibacker board on top of the plywood and attach it with your galvanized stainless steel nails. Don't be shy with the nails, put one nail every 4 - 5 inches.

Layout the pattern you have chosen on top of the Cement board. If you need to transfer it onto the board with a pencil then this is the time to do it. Starting from the center and working out, use one of your plastic knives to back butter each piece of glass and tile with the mastic and gradually apply them to the board. To back butter, just apply the mastic in a semi-thin layer to the back of the glass or tile with the plastic knife as if you were buttering your toast. When you place the tile on the board apply a small amount of pressure to fix it into place and remove any excess that oozes out from around the piece with the extra knife. Once all of your glass and tile have been placed let your table top dry overnight. (NOTE: Sometimes this can become very messy and your glass and tile can get covered in mastic. Clean off your glass and tile as much as possible while working, it's easier to clean mastic off while it's wet than wait until it's dry. Usually you can get the mastic off with a clean damp clothe and a small bit of pressure if it has dried too much, but be careful not to loosen your tile with too much pressure.)

To grout your table top follow the mixing instructions on the bag of grout, then with your gloves on apply a small amount with your hands pressing and smoothing as you go. Be sure to fill every gap between every piece of glass and tile. Remove any excess and let the grout sit for approximately 20 - 30 minutes depending on how wet it was when you started. For small table tops you can grout the entire top at one time, for larger tops you will need to do them in sections (grout one section, then clean it, then grout the next section and clean that one and so on).

After 20 - 30 minutes when the grout has firmed up inside your grout lines take your damp sponge (not soggy sponge, but damp) and start cleaning the excess off the glass and tile. As your sponge gets dirty dip it into the bucket of water to clean it, but remember to remove as much excess water as possible before cleaning your glass and tile. The less water you add to your grout at this point, the better!

Once your glass and tile are clean stop using the sponge. At this point if you still have a slight glaze on them take a small clothe and put it over a Q-Tip and while holding it in place polish them until clean. Depending on your design this could be time consuming, but well worth it. When they have been completely cleaned let your table top dry overnight and then seal it.

Below I have offered up some different ideas and products for the construction of your table top. I hope these help ease the stress of wondering if you too can make one of these enjoyable conversational pieces for yourself. Well, you'll never know until you try. So here's your chance, and let us know how you do!

*If your looking for a different way of sealing your grout I can offer a couple of tried and true ones that I have used. One is done by mixing paint into your grout at the time you are grouting. This only works with a semi-gloss or high gloss paint, with the high gloss paint giving you the best results. The other is to pour a coat of polyurethane over your table top. There are products on the market that will simulate 50 coats in a one coat application. They can be messy, but the outcome can be very unique and last for years. The last application I have not tried, but have only seen done. In this application you paint on a coat of metallic paint. Work it in well with your brush, then with a clean cotton clothe wipe off the excess. This application may be a good one for table tops with a piece of glass floated over top so as not to loose the metallic coating from repeatedly cleaning the table.

**There are several kinds of waterproof glues on the market, and even some products that can be used in place of waterproof glues in this situation such as a strong construction adhesive. But if you want to use a waterproof glue here are some good alternatives:
1. Gorilla Glue
2. Elmers Ultimate Glue
3. Titebond 3 Wood Glue

***Use the 1/4" copper foil to line the edge of your table top if you are not going to use the top as a workable surface, but instead float a piece of glass over it such as the table top in the picture at the top. For this table the copper foil was edged around the outside of the table approximately 3 - 4 times, burnishing and smoothing as it was applied. Then a 1/4" piece of table top glass was backed with clear rubber adhesive floats and placed on top of the table. (NOTE: Cement/Hardibacker board was not used for this application, just plywood. This table is not used for anything that might cause water to come in contact with it so plywood is acceptable under these conditions. However, if you intend to use your table for anything where water comes in contact with it I highly recommend using the Cement or Hardibacker board, unless you just don't want it to last long!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Join Us For Stained Glass 101!

Ever wanted to learn stained glass but just didn't have the time to take a class. Well here's your chance! Join us now on our link site and learn at your leisure. There's plenty of time for you to catch up, your never late, always on time and you can even do it in your PJ's, read, that is. We prefer you do the stained glass with clothes on, we've found out over the years it works better that way.
So relax and grab your coffee and join us for some stained glass 101 on our link site, Crystal Wand Glass and Jewelry Designs!

See you there!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boy Have We Been Busy!

We've been busy working in the jewelry shop getting the Artfire shop supplied with some new merchandise. We still have more to do so if you check it out don't think that's it folks 'cause we're staying pretty busy 'round here!

Our new earrings are finally getting the pictures loaded and making their debut. So you'll have to check back often and tell us what you think.

We have some new bracelets and some new necklace and necklace sets coming out too. So when you look just keep on looking, we've got new gems stuffed in every nook and cranny we can find! Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stained Glass Goes Everywhere!

I was out roaming the streets of Kokomo today with my husband and we just happen to stroll into a beautiful new restaurant called the "Olde Oak Door". We poked our heads in just being nosey since we had never been in before and were greeted by the most lovely woman, owner Amy Black, just opening for her afternoon dinner crowd.
I explained to her that I had heard that the restaurant had some stained glass in it, and when I asked her where her stained glass was she said she didn't have any. This was too neat of a place NOT to have stained glass! It had old oak doors everywhere, even hanging from the ceiling, and the ones that still had their glass in them were used as light fixtures. How genius! It is truly a unique restaurant run by a unique lady.
We ended up staying and talking to Amy and her mother for some time about her food, her place and the fact that she really could use some stained glass in her restaurant. It was one of those places that when you leave it feels like your leaving a good friends place. You can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yes, we even have a Facebook page!

Crystal Wand Creations is now on facebook! Follow us and let us know "What's on your mind?"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know the best stainless steel gauge for wire filigree is 16-gauge? Yes, 16-gauge stainless steel wire is sturdy and still strong enough to hold a soldered joint when your doing a stained glass ornament or sun catcher. 16-gauge stainless steel is our gauge of choice around Crystal Wand Creations.

It is an easy wire to bend into a nice filigree shape and it holds its shape remarkably well. If you heat it real well after applying a good amount of flux it will take its first round of pre-solder well; however, it really should be pre-solder twice in order to get a good bond on any solder joint.

This takes a lot of time and patients. This picture is of a piece I just completed for a local doctor. The size of this piece is approximately 14 inches tall x 18 inches wide. The wire filigree on the inside of this piece is all formed by hand. Each piece is cut and bent, and pre-soldered twice, then soldered on every joint.

Doing wire filigree is truly something you either love or hate. Because no one in their right mind would stand around all day long bending wire into "curly Q's" if they didn't truly love it!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What do you think about our new look?

We decided to try sprucing up our place a little bit, what do you think? You know it's hard starring at the same 'ole four walls every day, so you like to rearrange the furniture and paint the walls sometimes. I guess you might say that's what we just did, or are in the middle of doing. There are still a lot of things to be done before we can sit back and have that balls to the wall, let our hair down and "let's throw a party and trash this place" kinda feeling. Oops, I forgot my age there for a moment, I don't do those kinds of things anymore, I'd break a hip or something... Anyway, we're still working on it and plan on getting it done sometime before the next President comes into office! My next post will tell how our format for our blogs will be changing in order to make it easier and more informative to read. So check back soon to find out all the good news! Now if I'm going to make all these deadlines I guess I need to get back to work, after all I don't move quite as fast as I used to. So until next time - DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, LIFE IS WAY TO SHORT!!!