December 31, 2009 by billie789
While unemployment can be a time of reflection and contemplation, you can only do so much to find work each day. A close friend who is a therapist counsels her out of work patients to create a daily routine, spend two or three hours each morning applying and finding potential jobs. Then, you should spend time doing things that matter to you personally, or things that have laid around undone. And, at least once a day, do something that you think is fun.
Under the circumstances, “fun” is not part of my vocabularly, unfortunately.
After I bitched about my spontaneous bathroom remodel at lunch last month, my friend convinced me that these projects were important to my way of creating things and managing stress. She encouraged me to keep plugging away at things that made me happy or things that needed to be done.
Of course, I came away from lunch thinking about something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and I even had a spot for it in my kitchen.
Yes, I entered the strange and wonderful world of Leaded Glass!
Got all through with a kitchen remodel two years ago and the space above then sink around the track lights looked unfinished. I started day-dreaming about some kind of glass panel spanning the space. I gathered some samples last year and sat down with the designer at a local glass shop and came up with a design and price.
And I would buy a nice, good quality acoustic guitar before I spent $450 on a stained glass panel for my kitchen!
So, it sat. And sat. And like Poe’s Tell Tale Heart, beat in the background whenever I walked into the kitchen.
I scoured web sites and glass stores for a day or two and dove in. I made a pattern from several ideas I got off the web, went to the glass store where a nice woman helped me through the baby steps of what I was about to undertake and I launched!
Of course, she wanted me to buy an $60 soldering iron because my old one was only 25 watts and “you really need 50 watts ” to solder lead glass properly. Bunk! I said the same thing, to myself, of course, when she suggested the $12 lead snips. I had seen a site where the artist used a carpet knife for clean, straight cuts and that’s what I used, my trusty Stanely carpenter’s cutter.
So, I laid out the pattern, and started cutting glass.
I had the glass store clerk cut the really thick, heavily featured glass and I did all the squares. I think she felt sorry for me and offered to do the long pieces for me at the shop.
I made suprising progress in a short amount of time. See, it made me very happy for about 2 or 3 minutes!
Mind you, I went about this the way I do everything: Hurry! It’s a project and it needs to be done! Hurry! Keep working, keep cutting and grinding and fitting! Hurry! Hobbies are for old people! This is a project!
Lay out and prep the frame in the cabinet area:
Finish up with the glass and lead soldering:
Cleaned and mounted!
Now, what I learned:
1-You can make a $450 panel for $100 in materials and your labor. This translates to a lot of projects.
2-I don’t have the capacity to have hobbies. I have projects and jobs to do. This project, once I had a pattern, took from Friday afternoon, off and on, until Sunday afternoon. It became a thing that I had to do, which is counter-hobbiest thinking. Fun, but not very relaxing, honestly.
3-The key to finishing a project in a short amount of time is to do it in an area where your family has to step around it, fix food near it, try to use the phone near the lay-out, etc. If you do it in the garage or basement area, there’s no incentive to stay on mission. Out of sight, out of mind.
4-I need to find work, outside my home, soon, before I remodel or modify the whole house! I need an intervention from the This Old House dudes!