{ Under The Bluegums }

A personal blog with craft tutorials, reviews of books, films, and music, parenting advice, and opinions on society and politics.

May 30, 2015

DIY || Stained Glass Bathroom Light

stained-glass-shade
I was looking for something unique for our bathroom after I gave our bathroom a makeover. I looked at chandeliers and globes, flat bulb covers and even paper shades. But I was inspired by Moroccan lanterns with their geometric designs when I decided to use stained glass paint and lead to design my own shade from our current glass shade.

It's one of my favourite touches to my new bathroom, and it really is simple to accomplish.
faux-stained-glass-supplies

What you'll need:

A glass bathroom shade
Heritage lead liner
Glass stain or paint (I originally had a Martha Stewart glass stain, but it was not dark enough for what I needed. I used Heritage glass stain instead.)
A paintbrush
A pencil
A ruler
Your design (I used a modified version of this design)
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shade-quarters

1. Divide your bathroom shade into quarters using your pencil and ruler.
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Design-drawn-on-shadeDesign-drawn-on-shade Design-drawn-on-shade 

2. Draw your design onto the shade. I modified an image I found on the web of a circular Moroccan design with fish to match my mural. Remember that if you have chosen a geometric pattern you will need to make sure the pattern is the same, or as close as you can get, in every quarter. 
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liquid-lined-designdesign-liquid-liner 

3. Using the lead, trace along your design. Be careful of smudging the lines. Wait for the lead to dry before you paint in the lines. I left my lamp for a day. Once it's dry, you can erase your pencil lines if possible, because they will show through the paint.

TIP: If you have a shade design printed on paper and have a clear glass shade, tape the print on the inside of the shade and use that as a guide when you do the outlining.
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4. Paint in between the lead lines. If you are using a pearl lead as I did, take care not to paint over the lead itself as it will show. Decide on your colours beforehand, as there's no way to undo the glass stain.

Once your paint is dry, hang up your shade and enjoy your work! The stained glass look will make the light more muted and may also cast pretty colours around the room.
complete-faux-stained-glass-shade

May 27, 2015

Beauty Treatments and Insecurity: How the Fug Makes You Do It

woman-manicure
Practically with a weapon pointed at my head, I was told to 'have my feet done' today. Unfortunately, I am blessed with chronically dry heels, which no amount of home treatments, rubbings, soakings, or torture can heal. Strangely, though, a pedicure at a salon does wonders (I believe it's the fact that they're getting attention at all that saves them). But as I sat in the fug of acetone and the overwhelming scent of nail vinyl, I found myself considering having my nails done and wondering whether I should go have a haircut and style.

Now, if you know me, these things are not my forte - I prefer to seem resiliently unconcerned about matters of beauty. Strangely though, I felt more swayed by the beauty industry as I sat in that seat than I am looking at any amount of advertising.

Why was this so?

Was it because I was literally high from the fumes and thus entirely impressionable? Was it the wilting posters displaying bottles of nail varnish that piqued my interest? Was it the combination of this dizziness and the euphora of being amongst my own sex that contributed to the emergence of my subconscious desire to be beautiful?

Or... was it the shifty and sidelong glances of the other women receiving treatments - all of whom had hair impeccably styled and coloured and were sitting having false nails pasted onto their fingers - that inspired this feeling?

As I sat on a chair with my pants hiked up to my knees and my feet dangling in a foot spa below, clutching my unsightly fingernails deep inside the sleeves of my cardigan, and unbearably aware of my fly-away hair and clean face, I felt as insecure as a first-time bungee jumper.

You may wish to write this off as nerves but it's not as though I've never had a pedicure before. No, it was indeed the feeling that I did not fit in with the ladies having their weekly treatments done that caused me such a feeling of dis-ease. It was as though I were causing their own dis-ease by merely placing my unkempt self in their presence.

This situation is exactly what is meant when women say they feel pressured to care for their appearances. I hazard to guess that men are relatively unconcerned at the everyday appearance of their women, though they will judge a woman they're interviewing for a job. But it is other women who present the most pressure: these other women look successful, paying for people to scrape away their dead skin and put plastic on their nails. They look healthy with the glow of artificial chemicals on their faces and their hair treated with questionable proteins and more artificial chemicals. There was not a single man in that room and yet I felt the pressure to make myself keep up a feminine appearance and make myself meet the beauty standards that everyone in the room was adhering to.

This concerns me the most as a mother of a daughter. I cringe inside every time I hear myself tell her she looks pretty. I desperately attempt to mention other reasons why she is so amazing, but why is it that 'pretty' is the first thing I turn to? I don't want her to grow up believing that her appearance is the only thing that is important as a girl and as a woman. I want her to know that her value goes beyond the physical plane. I want her to feel loved just as she is by everyone in the world.

But how do I do that when other women - who may become some of the most influential people in my child's life - will judge her for not racing to the pharmacy for that stick of lipstick?

{Image credit: By Fing'rs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fingrs/4080069679/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons}

May 14, 2015

Just Read || Veronica Mars - The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Audio Book)

thousand-dollar-tan-line-veronica-mars
All the angst, witty remarks, danger, drama, friendship, mystery, and crazy twists of 'Veronica Mars' in convenient audio book format!

I have been torn about whether or not to consider listening to an audio book as an achievement on par with actually reading a book but my first experience with an audio novel was delightful and I can't wait to start the next one!

I have recently found myself obsessing over the 'Veronica Mars' television series, being a late blooming marshmallow, and went on a three-season binge followed by the movie. As many fans know, learning what happens after the film is a priority and you will (mostly) not be disappointed in Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line.

We join Veronica a few months after the end of the film where she is trying to keep her dad's PI business afloat. Two young girls go missing during spring break in Neptune, infamous for its corruption and illegal activities involving minors, and she is recruited to find them. Veronica not only has to deal with her dad's disapproval of her life choice, but also with the loneliness of not having Logan near to her after they've just found each other again and the complex mystery that is the disappearance of the young girls.

I really enjoyed the build-up to the mystery, as well as the relationship dynamics between all the characters. Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham did a great job bringing the feel of the series and film to the book, while Kristen Bell is an excellent audio book artist - she adds inflections and accents and alters her tone of voice to match whomever is speaking, really enriching the book for me.

The mystery is solved in Veronica Mars' characteristic style, and yes, she is still smarter than everyone else.

If you were dying to know what happens between Logan and Veronica following the film, prepare to be disappointed, however. Logan hardly appears in person in the novel and aside from Veronica musing about how much she misses him and enjoyed their short time together, there is no time spent at all on the romance aspect.

Fans will just have to make do with these:





I really enjoyed the audio book and feel almost guilty for admitting that, but reading is not a job that allows you to multitask and this is something I could do while 'reading' the book. The writing was also excellent enough to affect my imagination just as much as actually reading the text would have done, so this is not only not the last time I'll read an audio book but it's also forward to the next Veronica Mars novel, Mr Kiss and Tell!