blank'/> February 2014 | NidoBeato

Peacock Obsession

I don't know what triggered it, but I have developed a severe peacock obsession. It's not like I actually want one--a peacock, that is--but the idea of it, of having those brilliant, iridescent colors surrounding me, has really taken hold, and once that happens, well, you know there's nothing you can do until it runs its course.

I'm serious when I say I don't want an actual peacock. When I lived in Wellswood back in the late 90s, there was a house around the corner on the river that had peacocks in the yard. At first there were only a half dozen or so, both white and the more common blue, and they mainly just sat on the roof (I was always tutting about the fact that their roof shingles must have been a total mess), but as with anything else in nature, the half dozen became a dozen, and then...well, you get the idea. I've since sold that house and moved out of the neighborhood, but I go back now and then to visit my favorite nursery there, and not surprisingly, the peacocks have grown into a full size gang that roams the neighborhood like they own it. You might say, wow, that's so cool, like most people just passing through the neighborhood often do, but not so fast.

I used to take my morning walks down the street where the peacock house was because it bordered the river and was a nice walk, until the day one of the male peacocks started chasing me. Let me tell you, peacocks are every bit as scary as geese. They're also extremely noisy, screeching like kids with their hands caught in a car door at all hours of the day and night. And that part about peacocks being vain is no exaggeration. There was a house on the corner of that street that had French doors with mirrored glass, and the peacocks would gather on the porch in the morning and admire themselves in the door, which must have been hell on the owners, who couldn't get through their own front door without plowing through a herd of narcissistic birds.

By back to my obsession. As you know, I make lights and windchimes. It has to do with another obsession of mine, which is for all things shiny, sparkly, colorful, or glass. And I've been craving a light with all things peacock (except for the birds themselves). I thought I had satisfied it when I made my Peacock Light (see this post) but then I saw this purse on Pinterest (which has become the black hole of my existence) and knew I had to make something like it in a light.

My current obsession
See the colors? See the sparkly goodness of it? See the purple, and gold, and green, and the aqua and cobalt that aren't there but should be? Yeah, me too. It reminded me of another light I saw on Pinterest the other day:

Gorgeous light I need to make

So I have to make a light that combines these. It will take like a million seed beads and probably weeks to string them, but I don't care. I have to make it. I have to HAVE it. Don't you agree? When I get it done, it will be featured here. And I'll keep it. Unless someone wants to buy it. In which case I'll make another one. I'm tired already.

Reflections Windchime/Suncatcher

I received a custom order request on Etsy for a windchime/suncatcher that included sea glass and mirrors for a child's room. I came up with the following, that I call Reflections. The hardest part of this one was gluing the craft mirrors together with a wire in between for hanging. I used E6000 glue but it took forever to dry because I had to put in on thick to compensate for the wire, even though I used  the thinnest, 30 gauge wire I had and clamped the pieces together.

The top is a vintage bobeche, painted black and antiqued with silver Rub N' Buff. In addition to sea glass, I used glass Czech beads, seed beads, bali beads, key charms, and some vintage jewelry pieces. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Reflections Windchime/Suncatcher

Peacock Light

I've had a thing for peacocks lately, mainly for the colors--rich turquoise, teal, cobalt, and green. I decided I wanted to create a pendant light in those colors. I've been saving leftover crystals from other lights I made until I had enough. The only color I couldn't find was purple, so I decided to make my own using Pebeo's fabulous Vitrea 160 glass paint (more on that later).

I used a vintage cast metal bobeche that I painted black then antiqued with Viva's Inca Gold Metallic Rub in Steel Blue, then loaded it up with crystals and glass beads. The result is what I call my Peacock Light. Though I made this one for myself, I'm considering using the Vitrea 160 to paint more crystals and make a few lights to sell in my Etsy store.

Peacock Light in shades of cobalt, turquoise, aqua, teal, and purple

Peacock Light crystals

Peacock Light crystals

Peacock Light top
Getting back to the crystal painting, I first learned about Pebeo Vitrea 160 paint on Pinterest. Pebeo makes great paints for glass and porcelain (read more about them here). I decided to experiment with the crystal bead I used on the top of the light before tackling the chandelier crystals. I painted one with Martha Stewart transparent glass paint in turquoise and one with Pebeo Vitrea 160 gloss paint in turquoise. After firing, the Vitrea bead was clearer and had more of a look of colored glass. See for yourself:

Glass beads painted with Martha Stewart paint on left, Pebeo Vitrea 160 on right.
There are a lot of tutorials on Pinterest for using this paint, especially in relation to making colored mercury glass with Krylon Looking Glass paint. What they don't tell you is how to use it. It takes some trial and error, playing with the right amount of thinner to get the look you want without runs and bubbles. The paint is extremely thick and needs to be thinned to use. Use the Pebeo thinner only. A little of both goes a long way. I found using a larger brush gives smoother coverage.I used paper towels to pop the bubbles that show up regardless of how carefully you stir the paint and to wick off the excess paint that runs to the bottom of the piece as it dries.

If you're interested is using this paint, I would recommend buying it at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. It runs $5.99 a bottle there, almost half what it sells for in other places. Like I said, a little goes a long way. I painted eight crystals, several beads, and three jars and barely used any paint once it's cut with the thinner. They also have an iridescent medium you can mix with the paint. They have 20 colors, but you can mix the paint to create your own custom colors. Follow the firing directions carefully, especially the drying times. They say to air dry for 24 hours before firing, but because it was damp the day I painted, I waited 48. I'll be doing another post on using this paint as soon as I find something else to paint.

Blue Agate Hanging Lantern

Another of my Ikea lantern creations, I named this one for blue agate because of the coloring. I spray painted the lantern inside and out with bright blue paint. Nice, but it was a bit too bright for my tastes, so I toned it down with some metallic aqua and light blue paint, then trimmed it with gold metallic puff paint, gold flower crystals, and some lovely turquoise Swarovski crystals. I had some gorgeous square glass beads I'd been saving for something special, and this was that something.

The Blue Agate hanging lantern is available in my Etsy shop, NidoBeato Creations.

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Blue Agate hanging lantern

Sunny Boho Hanging Lantern

The day I discovered these cute metal lanterns at Ikea, my creative juices started firing on all cylinders. Great on their own, I just knew they would make spectacular hanging lights. Figuring I'd start out with something bright and colorful, I spray painted one of them yellow to match some huge yellow chandelier crystals I've been hanging on to, then added purple, magenta, turquoise and teal heads, some cute colorful petal beads I bought a couple of years ago when I was in my earring-making phase, and trimmed them up with some rhinestone beads. I even glued colorful crystals to the metal lantern and trimmed it up with auto touch-up paint. (Hey, you use what you have.) I had fun making it, and hopefully someone else will have fun using it to light their world.

I call this colorful little number Sunny Boho, available now in my Etsy shop, NidoBeato Creations.

Sunny Boho hanging lantern

Here's some more shots of it.

Stay tuned for more colorful lanterns, as I have three more in the works.

Paris! Pendant Light

Ever since I found these silver Eiffel Tower charms on Etsy, I've been itching to use them in a light. It all came together this past weekend when I used a small Ikea metal flower pot to create Paris!

Available now in my Etsy shop, NidoBeato Creations.
Paris! pendant light
This is a small light but it packs a lot of French chic in its ten inches. I spray-painted the pot black then covered it in a piece of black and white French pattern wallpaper I had left over from a kitchen remodel. I added a strip of vintage rhinestones to the top and a black feather trim to the bottom, then started wiring up the 16 drops. Eight are hung with the silver Eiffel Tower charms and eight with large chandelier crystals. I added the black crystal beads for a little French Ooh La La. Not wanting a chunky chandelier chain on top, I used two feet of delicate white chain for hanging, added an inline switch, and this sweet little number is ready to light up someone's boudoir.

Paris! detail

Paris! detail

vintage rhinestones sparkle

Paris! detail