I wanted to share a project with you that I made for Noah's Grandma for her 80th birthday on January 1st. We had just had Christmas with her, and I always save something special for her birthday. This year was especially important, as it had been such a tumultuous one. I wanted to make something for her that was personal and brought back some of the fondest of memories, as well.
Noah lost his Grandpa in 1998, so his Grandma has been without him for all this time. She is a strong and enduring woman, but gentle and kind. We are very close and she means the world to us. When she also lost her daughter this June, it was a devastating thing, but the family absolutely became closer than ever. I wrote about this triumph in tragedy in an article I wrote for Tiny Buddha that you can read about here, if you're so inclined.
Anyway, when we were waiting to book a flight to be with Noah's dad and sister's, we were going through pictures that Grandma had of the family all the way back when her girls were small. We needed some to make a couple of display boards for Noah's mother's memorial service. I picked some beautiful photos of Noah's mom, and the family photos of his Grandma and Grandpa and their young girls in the 1960's are just priceless. This was, and is, a loving family with thousand's of beautiful memories to last a lifetime. I now know, without a doubt, how my husband turned out to be the wonderful, kind, gentle, loving man that he is.
The picture I chose for this project was one of my favorites. (My other favorite is almost exactly like this one, with Noah's Grandpa in profile at the left of the photo steering their boat, his mom in her life preserver and cat framed sunglasses facing the camera, and his aunt on the right hand side, all smiles). This photo was taken at the American Legion when the Twist was just getting big, about 1960. Grandma must have been taking the picture, she was hardly ever in any photos...you still can't catch her to get her in one!
I started with a glass block that I got at Hobby Lobby at 50% off. That's $6 bucks, people!! I bought two types of lights. Mini white Christmas type lights ($1.99), and these tiny mini battery operated ones ($2.99). I chose the latter because they fit inside the hole in the plastic "plug" in the top of the block so perfectly.
I had some decorative multi-colored river rocks that went well with my color scheme. Those were free! I picked two colors of card stock that I had on hand, a dark chocolate brown and a mocha colored one and double matted my copied photo. I placed the rocks in first, just gently dropping them in and using the smaller ones to fill the little empty spaces at the bottom. Then I fit my photo in. I used a 4x6 with mat of about 1/4 inch. I just nestled it in amongst the rocks, but I didn't get too fancy just yet...adding the lights, I knew, was going to be a challenge.
I picked up some scrapbooking notions at Hobby Lobby, also on sale for 50% off. The "jewels" came on a pretty big sheet, enough for two or three projects. The burlap flowers came in a pack of two. There is such a wide variety of these and they can be used for so many different projects. Both were self adhesive and that was enough to get them to stick to the glass. I even repositioned them a few times, and they still stuck very well. I just decided which section of the jewels I wanted and clipped it off with a scissors.
I also bought a sheet of black rub-on's with a ton of family oriented sayings, you guessed it, on sale. I cut out the piece I wanted to use and taped it in the spot I wanted it placed. This was also easily repositionable.
Since I had the rocks and picture already positioned, I could not turn it on it's side so I had to keep the rub-on taped to the glass and rub it on that way, but it worked just fine. You certainly could do the rub-on first, but you have to be careful not to scrape it off while assembling the rest of your block.
Here's a close up of the flower and jewels.
A different angle of the rub-on and the lights.
Now, because I left the plastic plug in the top, I needed to cover it up. I picked a lighter burlap and just wrapped it around and glued it on the bottom. (Noah held the piece up for me and I just glued the one end to the glass and the other end to the burlap.)
I took the plastic plug out and pushed the lights down through it into the glass block. I used a pencil to arrange the lights so that they were around the picture and behind it enough to hold it up. I left a long enough cord to leave plenty enough slack for the battery pack to be placed behind the block on a table.
I used glue dots to secure the cord in two different places on the back of the block where they were hidden by the edge or the photo.
Here's a close up of the lights down in the rocks. It took some finagling, but I got it just how I wanted it.
The finished product. It really does glow nicely in the dimmer light. This is one of my most favorite projects.
So, needless to say, it went over well! She loved it, and I loved making it for her. She is so special to us, anything I do can never be enough, in my eyes. After losing our Moms, our relationship is more precious than ever.
I hope this gives you inspiration to make something for your home or a meaningful gift for someone special.
Have a great day!