Bright Beginnings

Hmmm, over a month since I’ve written here?  Really?  While some of that time was accidental, some was intentional.

Although we’ve been enjoying a gorgeous autumn filled with sunshine, I spent a couple weeks of that down & out with an ear & sinus infection; then, as I slowly recovered, I slowly got back to housework — cleaning, painting, organizing, & decorating.

I did little in glasswork — a few simple cuts & a 15-min soldering job — but all of the work combined has made the inside of this place feel larger & brighter, with a beautiful colour scheme that inspires me.

My arch nemesis is painting trim.

Although the brown wallboard was wiped away a year ago with beautiful blue, the trim — things like window, door, & ceiling woodwork, & ahem, the ugly brown doors — was still awaiting my attention.


It certainly helped my recovery when I primed the ‘back’ door to the porch.

Clean & bright, I was inspired to finish the can on the bedroom & bathroom doors, the small piece of wall in the hall, & the corner behind the woodstove.

A quick trip to Home Hardware provided me with about half-a-dozen paint chips for black — who knew there was so many shades?

Next day, with my chosen chip, I got a gallon on sale.  Mixing the colours in, the paint guy says, “Whoa, that’s a lot of black — 8 oz. worth!”

But, after a couple coats, I am totally pleased with the result:

Yeah, I still have some trim to paint ivory!

The biggest change in the living room actually came from moving the furniture around — my room-mate designed a chunky hydro indoor garden that required a bit of space.

And, although I really hate it when doors are blocked by furniture, there’s no sense pretending we’re going to use the ‘front’ door in here.  So, the chairs were pushed closer to the wall — providing more central floor space, the room is more spacious.

The hydro garden is a really neat set-up.  Although I’m pretty good at gardening outside, I cannot grow plants indoors — I slowly kill them EVERY time.  I either forget to water or over-water — either way beautiful flowers die, no blossoms replace them, then the whole plant withers away.  Something had to be done!

Two plastic tubs provide reservoirs for the water.  A pump in the lower one raises the water, at regular intervals, into the upper tub to feed the plants.  When the water reaches the top of the upper tub, two drainage holes take the water back to the bottom tub.

The roots of plants already growing in dirt were carefully washed.  Only a few slips, from my sister in June — still surviving in water — didn’t need their roots rinsed.  Then they were placed in plastic pots with large holes in the sides & surrounded by these special ‘expanded clay’ balls which retain water.

The plant pots sit in holes in the lid so they hang in the water that’s raised from the bottom.  The pump is on a timer to start the watering process every two hours.

A sunlight grow lamp is attached to two adjustable brackets & is on a separate switch to lengthen the plants’ day.  I made a simple stained glass cover to hide the light bulb & hardware.

With my favourite vase — filled with glass flowers & another slip from my gardening sister — & a stained glass angel, the automatic-watering garden provides an array of greenery with new flowers & tomatoes blooming.

My room-mate is in charge of adding nutrients & topping or changing the water — I get to simply enjoy it all. 😆  More details will be posted at Dawne Design over the next few weeks.

I cleared away the conglomeration of tv trays & footstools that we were using as side tables & created this small coffee table.

I used my red crocodile tray [vinyl, I’m sure] & a wooden base [whipped up by Reddie Carpenter in an hour] that I’ll stain — later.

I like it with this piece of yellow glass as a shelf [picked simply because it was the right fit].

I’m thinking I’ll cut & edge a piece of opaque ivory for it.  Yup, . . . later.


But hey — what a great idea for the tray’s original chrome legs!

This piece of blue glass turned out to be almost a perfect fit — certainly the perfect colour.

I love it!


But I need this piece of glass to finish the commission hanging I’m working on, so it can’t stay here.

Still, I like the colour so much & the opaqueness covers the fabric band & leg-ends underneath.

I’ll simply stop by Glass-Smith next time I’m in the big city for more of the same colour.

So again, I’ll cut & edge a piece for this table . . . later.  😉

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the better organized & brighter living room.  I’m inspired to create even more this winter.

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Now, to do something about replacing the ratty Value Village rocking chair & lounger that, along with the old t.v., were the only pieces of furniture in this room a year ago.

Simply A Dawne Thought




  1. Wow! things are looking great, great idea for the plants. But why every two hours isn’t that too much water?
    I wished I had something like that for my outside flowers in the summer than I wouldn’t have to worry if I forget to water them.

    Great blue coffee table goes with your window.

    • Yeah, big change from a year ago, eh? [I’m almost at the point where I can do a Before/After story!]

      In the indoor garden, the water stays in the bottom container except when the watering cycle is active — the roots are not sitting in the water [to take in more oxygen]. For each cycle, it takes about 3-4 min. for the upper tub to be filled with water & then another 3-4 min. to drain back to the bottom — this is when the roots sit in the water. The clay balls collect bubbles of water in their rough texture to feed the roots for the next 2 hrs. until the cycle starts again, but they do not stay wet like dirt. [I’ll post more details on Dawne Design in the next few days.]

      Yeah — you’d love a system like this. This worked great for a prototype & we’re looking at a larger system so I can have a fountain & flowers in the porch — stay tuned! Did you notice how poorly your slips are doing? I wasn’t doing so well at watering before, so I’m hoping this system brings the sad ones back to life. A couple in vases are doing well — especially now that they get run-off water from the hydro garden that contains some nutrients. The jury is still out on their fate.

      Thanks for your praise — I love how the blue glass for the table co-ordinates with the window glass but is more opaque so you can’t see through it.

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