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Working On a Project for Myself or Why the Shoemaker's Kids Are Barefoot, Part 1

I've been doing some remodeling and when it came to the kitchen it was the perfect opportunity to show off my glass skills and create custom panels for the cabinet doors.

Here is what the kitchen looked like before demolition began. Anyone who has been through the same process can appreciate what it means to pack everything up, live off paper plates and cook exclusively in a microwave for weeks.

The easiest decision was choosing which doors should have glass. And because I'm not a miracle worker I had plain seed glass installed until I could get my custom panels done.

Deciding on a theme was a problem. Prairie? Craftsman? Something completely different? Whatever I decided on, I'd have to live with it. As I was decorating the rest of the house there was a distinct theme presenting itself - Birds. I love birds.

I choose birds that are entertaining to watch and have a certain amount of intelligence. Ravens, magpies and scrub jays. I gathered source materials and got busy sketching. After coming up with a basic concept, I got out the pattern paper and measured out the size of each panel. Here's a secret - cabinet doors might look the same size, but that doesn't mean they are. Measure each pair of doors carefully!

I drew the birds and flowers on tracing paper so I could move them around and place them in just the right spot. Then I used a light box and traced them on the pattern.

After the pencil sketch was finalized - making adjustments in the pattern to allow for glass cutting lines, I redrew everything with a sharpie and numbered each piece.

Magpie Panels

Raven Panels

Scrub Jays - Bonus over the sink

I have glass ideas in mind but before I commit to what glass goes where, I'll have copies made of these patterns and bust out the Crayolas to make a color plan. A concrete plan is better than just having an idea in my head.

Watch for "Part 2" to see how this project progresses.