I like to think of myself as crafty. Besides writing, I love arts and crafts. When I was younger, my mom and a friend of hers co-owned a craft store. I learned how to do decoupage and how to paint. I even took an online art class when I was twelve. I’m no Van Gogh by any stretch of the imagination, and I don’t draw all that well, but it’s quite a bit better than stick people.

One year for Christmas, I painted seashell Christmas ornaments for my coworkers at the hospital where I work during the day. Another year, I painted wine glasses. I don’t know what I”m going to do this year, but I have done another art project. I got inspired after replacing the windows in my office.

My husband and I live in an older home. It was built in 1956, the same year my husband was born. I’m not sure which of them is holding up better. lol! Even after all these years, I think my hubby is still a cutie. But the house is holding its own too…except for my office.johnglass

It was a side porch before we owned the house, but someone at some point, turned it into an extra room. When we bought the house fourteen years ago, we replaced the ugly 70’s style orange sundial pattern carpet  in the office with Berber carpet. But after a few years, I decided I didn’t like carpet. So, we pulled  up the carpet throughout the house and found lovely hardwood floors. In the office, however, we found nasty, stained concrete. So, we covered the floors with floating laminate. (not sure how much I like this, but it looks a lot better.) The room, however, was still dark and dreary because of the ugly 70’s paneling, but that’s a project for another day. In the meantime, the windows were bothering me.

The rest of the home has vinyl windows, but the office did not. The windows in that room were old, not energy efficient, and the argon gas from between the panes was completely gone and moisture had settled between the inside and outside panes, making the glass impossible to clean.

003The windows looked so bad, I kept the blinds closed 24/7. No wonder my office was so dark. They had to go!

So, a few weeks ago, we called Home Depot and set up an appointment for an estim005ate on the two windows. It was a bit pricey but oh so worth it. Just look at the difference!

Not only do the windows look clean, but I can see out of them. They’re so pretty, I leave the blinds open all day and the sunshine pours in. I can’t wait to be able to start my next project: a re-do of those ugly paneled walls.

In the meantime, however, I had four old window panes to get rid of–or re-purpose.

A few weeks earlier, my youngest daughter and I went shopping at a trendy little gift store in Oxford, NC. We saw old house windows that had been painted and my daughter mentioned that she’d like to have one, but they cost between $65 to $150.

So, when I looked at those four window panes, I decided I could paint them myself.  I looked at some ideas on Pinterest and decided to paint Christmas windows. That way, if I decided to give them away as Christmas gifts, the recipient could stash them in the attic after the holidays if he/she didn’t want my art work hanging around all year.

My first attempt was a winter scene with Santa. Aside from the fact that the reindeer look like deformed camels, it’s not too bad.

IMG_1838For my next “window” I decided to paint one for my daughter, Lauren, since she said she wanted a painted window. She loves the lake, but again, I didn’t know if she’d want mommy’s art work hanging on her wall all year long. So, I took a photograph I’d taken at Kerr Lake on a family camping trip and changed it a bit so she could use it for a Christmas decoration.

Here’s the original photograph:      94e5fa6a46f927ebfbbfefc341c94536

And here is my version of the picture with snow and a wreath added to make it Christmasy.IMG_1839






IMG_1842Just as I was starting on the third window, Lauren came over. She loved my paintings and wanted to help. So, we turned my re-purposing window project into mommy/daughter craft day.

I loved spending time with Lauren. And I loved the Christmas card-like picture she painted on her window, using a photo of an old Christmas card. IMG_1844







My husband didn’t want me to paint another Christmas picture. He wanted a lighthouse scene for the house. So, I thought I’d give it a try, using a picture of Cape Lookout.

IMG_1843Johnny insisted on hanging it in the house. So, I hung it in my office. IMG_1866

Now, I want to paint more windows. So, I guess I’ll have to troll re-stores and thrift shops to find the my art medium of choice.

If you’d like to see some of my other craft projects, check out my Pinterest page. I don’t have all my projects there, but I’ll get them loaded one day.  http://www.pinterest.com/lillygayle/