I'm not sure how our addiction to stained glass windows got started, but we now have six of them, and they're all special to us for different reasons.
Doug bought the first one when he was newly single after a divorce. He was living in a little 1960s ranch house, and he bought a window to hang as a divider between two open rooms. When we bought our current house together, the shabby window sat in storage until we finished off our attic bathroom. Then we realized it would be the perfect thing to hang across the top half of the gable window. Doug made some repairs, and I got out my can of high-gloss white paint and gave it a much-needed facelift.
The second one came to us on an overnight visit to one of our favorite towns, St. Michaels, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. We spotted it in an antiques store and made the first of our "we don't know where we're going to put it, but we love it so let's buy it" decisions. It turned out to be perfect in our kitchen, where a window-unit air conditioner left a very strange view of overlapping muntins. We bought the little green frog that's hanging above the window because it matched so well and was only $1.50 at a thrift store.
Our third purchase was our Nantucket window, whose long journey to our house was detailed in an earlier blog entry:
The fourth one, our tiniest and cutest window, was a birthday gift from our dearest friends, who delivered it to me in a pillowcase (wrapping a stained glass window isn't easy, you know). This unusual square window with a crest in the middle was a perfect fit for the top of the triple transom window in our living room--not to mention a perfect match for the red and green glass fishing floats that we already had hanging there.
Our candle window was a crazy project, described in another blog entry. It took us an entire day to find a home for this one, but it works beautifully across our front door, where it gives us some much-needed privacy from the street:
Last weekend, in another one of our favorite towns, Strasburg, Pa., we found what may well be the last in our collection. It's also in the foyer, hanging across the top half of a very plain window.
I told Doug that we really have run out of places to hang these gems.
But I realized after reading an article in the online version of the Daily Mail that stained glass can be incorporated as a design element in houses a lot smaller than ours. Derek Diedrickson, who builds micro houses out of junk, included a piece of stained glass in this 24-square-foot house:
Privacy and beauty all at once--who could ask for more?