Sunday, March 27, 2011

Window Project

Since working at the computer has been mostly off limits until my eye heals, I decided to take some time and work on a project that I've been wanting to do for quite some time. After being on the hunt for antique window frames, I finally came across some on Craig's List that were reasonably priced. The owners tell me that they came from a house that was built sometime before 1940. Given the condition of the wood frames, the glass and the hardware, I'm going to take their word as true. Regardless of the missing and/or broken glass, they were exactly what I was looking for.
This window had only two panes in it so I chose it to work with first. We decided to leave the window as is and not paint it, but I did remove the glass panes for cleaning and all the dried up window caulking. I also gave the frame a light sanding in the areas where it had dried and splintered. Before replacing the glass, I painted them with 4 coats of chalkboard paint, allowing the paint to dry a couple of hours between each coat. (Chalkboard paint comes in a spray can version as well, but no one in our area carried it.) I replaced the glass and used a clear silicone based window caulking to hold in place.
 My kitchen is decorated with chickens and roosters and old signs, so I in keeping with that theme, I embroidered 4 of the designs from the Realistic Hens & Roosters sets 1 & 2 on 18 count aida cloth using a dark blue embroidery thread and mounted it to a piece plywood to which I had covered the front with quilt batting. I cut a piece of chicken wire to fit and placed it on top of the embroidery before inserting into the frame. I used long staples in the back to hold in place.

Decisions, decisions! I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with the 4th window opening so I experimented with different looks. 
1.  Using my embroidery machine, I had punched a hen and chick pattern on 40 gauge copper and mounted it to a piece of plywood that I had applied a magnetic sheet to.

2.  I suspended a barn wood picture frame using eyelet screws to hold in place.

3.  I covered another piece of plywood with a sheet of cork board.
 Though I loved how the hen and chicks looked on the copper, once placed in the frame it was hard to see the design and I wasn't very pleased with how it looked.
After a family vote, we decided that the cork board worked best and served more of a purpose in that the window was actually a message center.
I found some colorful knobs, hooks and handles at Hobby Lobby and added those to the outside of the frame to hold keys, pot holders, whatever... Since the window had once been installed using ropes and pulleys it was easy to attach a small chain in the grooves for hanging.   Since hanging this up a few days ago, it's actually getting used by all of us! I love the little notes hubby and kids have left for me!
Happy Stitching!

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