A Christmas Decorating Miracle
There is no end to my creativity when the other option is doing actual work.
For example, if I were to say to myself – Self, you should write the Great American Novel or get your PhD in quantum physics.
Self would say – that sounds boring. And hard. Also, I do not know what quantum physics is.
And I would say – I know, but it is important to do hard, boring things. So that at the end of your life you are not sad that you squandered the opportunity to accomplish them.
To which Self would say – the world already has Jonathan Franzen and Stephen Hawking… what it needs you to do is figure out how to write on The Kingdom Mirror with glitter.
I could not wait to show you all my spectacular revelation and brilliant Christmas decorating extravaganza. (And to prove yet again that the unexamined life is absolutely worth living.)
First, I spent 57 hours planning something really elaborate. Then I moved on to googling how to write on a mirror with glitter… And it appears that I have INVENTED something new.
Apparently no one else on the planet has heard the angel voices telling them that they need to make a glitter Christmas message on their giant antique mirror.
I am the chosen one.
I wanted glitter-encrusted magnificence, not just glitter paint (even though it is entirely possible that would have been 99.9% just as good.) So I needed a liquid-ish base to add actual glitter to.
I would have liked to use something like latex or caulk – something that would have peeled off. But once you cover glitter with paint or glue, it is distinctly less glittery so I could not use anything too thick or that would dry opaque.
Plus I was concerned about using something that would stain the glass or leave behind a shadow… Even though theoretically glass is not permeable, I did not want to be the exception to the theory.
I kept googling stuff and asking Paul – what about this? What about this? What about this?
Until finally he said – do you remember where we got that mirror? Remember how it was living in an alley? Under a tarp? Enduring rain and probably cat pee? Then, do you remember how we tied it to the back of a truck and drove it down the freeway?
You and your glitter are not going to be the thing that ruin that mirror.
It is possible that by next year I will have thought of a better idea… Or that you geniuses will point out some obvious solution I overlooked. But for this year, I decided on kids’ tempera paint.
It’s water-soluble and I was able to find a clear version that had silver glitter in it so there was no chance of dye staining the glass. And just in case, I did a test run on a mirror that I do not care about.
I mixed glitter into the paint and used a paint brush to apply it… But rather than the glamorous nod to Bergdorf’s windows, or elegant script on a Parisian café window, it looked exactly like I had smeared wet cat litter on the glass.
It is totally inconvenient for me to not have access to a team of people who could execute my ideas while I shout orders and say things like – Dahling, no! What is that? That is not what I asked for!
It was extra irritating since I had spent way too long going to multiple craft stores looking for possible supplies which resulted in me accruing a whole bunch of other unrelated stuff for entirely new ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time, but were revealed to be total crap by the time I got home and now I will have to go back to return the stuff which I will never get around to, and the bags will just get shoved into my closet of shame along with all of the other bags of projects that I conceived of and bought supplies for and then lost interest in.
I let the cat litter dry and did another coat. It looked better. Proving my motto that more is always better.
In all, I did three coats. I let it sit on the test mirror for a few days and then I used the glass-scraper to remove it. It worked pretty well. The paint will leave behind a film, but it came off with warm water and a little dish soap.
You can see in the box below that for the most part, it came off in strips.
You want to be sure that you do not use glass glitter for this. Glass will scratch glass. (Although, I did use glass glitter because I forgot to buy plastic glitter and there was no way I was driving back to the craft store even though I should have, so I was VERY careful to remove all the glitter before washing the mirror.)
Originally I had planned a more elaborate design… but after playing with it, I decided that I would be better off doing something simple that would photograph well, rather than spending hours drawing something no one would be able to appreciate without seeing in person.
If you mix a small amount of flour or baby powder into some water, it makes a faint watercolor and you can try out your design…When you are satisfied, go right over your template with the glitter-paint mixture.
I know at least one of you is going to ask if I tried just the paint without the glitter… And no, I did not. I do not even understand the question.
Clearly, you are someone who does not like to do everything the hard way. And I feel bad for you. Really, really, really bad.
see all my holiday decorating posts
Garden, Home and Party
December 10, 2013 @ 1:56 pm
This is just complicated enough for me to be thankful I don’t have a fabulous, beautiful “kingdom” mirror to write on. I love the way it looks and you did a great job. I hope you are going to do a post about the pillows with the bows…they look great.
December 10, 2013 @ 2:14 pm
Regular Elmer’s white glue is washable and is very glitter friendly.
December 10, 2013 @ 2:30 pm
Legions of masterful and mind blowing ideas have emerged from closets of shame. I think that may be a Quantum Physics principle…somewhere in another dimension. Closets of shame hold all the mind jewelry. Go look. Victoria, you’re just building up to the next glittering stair step of fab.
December 11, 2013 @ 8:10 am
love this comment-Take a negative and presto-change-o- a positive…….. and one involving quantum physics, mind jewelry, and other dimensions no less. Brilliant!
December 12, 2013 @ 10:59 am
I agree! Particularly love the “mind jewelry” concept!
December 10, 2013 @ 2:43 pm
Hahaha! Love reading your blog! I am far less talented than you, so I tend to find very easy solutions to everything. This year i found snowflakes on filmy plastic that stick to windows and mirrors. Easy to take off and use next year. And lucky me, they even had them in glittery blue, silver and white! So maybe, they sell this plastic in a craft store? Hope this helps.
December 10, 2013 @ 3:05 pm
About that walk in closet of shame. It seems that a closet of shame should be crawl-in, not walk-in. If it is walk-in (head held high) then it is a closet of defiance. Only kind to have.
December 10, 2013 @ 3:12 pm
Ah, another hilarious posting…I too have a closet of shame(not including the drawers and shelves as well…). But I just tell myself that “someday” it will come in handy…and it can always be sold as supplies on Etsy. The mirror is glorious…look forward to your next post.
December 10, 2013 @ 3:41 pm
Only a CLOSET of shame?! Mine has long been called The Room of Shame , repository of crap (aka treasure), treasure (aka crap), unfinished stuff, not to mention my collection of clothes from the 80s that I saved for the daughter I planned to have ( small error there – I had two sons). Love you, Victoria!! Ps good home wanted for complete collection of Harpers and Queen magazine from 1979 on 🙂
December 10, 2013 @ 3:42 pm
Looks like “GOYA” as in Francisco Goya. Good romantic reference. I like it.
December 11, 2013 @ 9:37 am
Too funny…Though I don’t think too many will get the reference. -K
December 10, 2013 @ 3:56 pm
you could also use K-Y Jelly. we use it to stick bows on baby girls heads and its water based and clear wo will hold the glitter on a mirror or baby either one.
December 10, 2013 @ 4:20 pm
Oh great idea Jeannie! But I would think it would make the bows slip right off a baby girl’s head. Shows you what I know. Glitter on a mirror should be perfect though.
December 10, 2013 @ 5:05 pm
It might have already been mentioned as I was just tooooo lazy to read through all the comments, but you could have probably used something like light Karo syrup (it’s for cooking/baking). It’s sticky and will dry but it is not glue, it’s clear syrup and will wash off. Just a thought besides I really like your idea and may have to try it myself, only I will probably use syrup, just sayin’.
December 10, 2013 @ 5:46 pm
Great idea putting glitter on the mirror! And I ADORE your throw pillows. How do you keep Paul from using the couch though? My hubby is convinced that if there is throw pillow on the couch it was put there for his head to rest on during a nap. Smooshed is not such a good look for large bows.
December 10, 2013 @ 5:51 pm
DEAR Victoria, your blog is one of my primary reasons for getting out of bed in the morning. You are absolutely perfect just the way you are. You may haveva single closet of shame, but I have a filled my ” crap room” of have to have crafting products. The remaining products I keep hidden in a variety of containers marked x-tra winter blankets, items to be donated, and my favorite unused crafting materials which run the gamut from jewelry making supplies, quilting, painting and scrapbook paper and all of the bellishments that professional scrapbook bloggers would wany. Unfortunatly, these containers are marked, heirloom Christmas decorations-glass do not touch! MY HUSBAND IS CONVINVED HE SHOULD NEVER-EVERY touch my precious items.
Problem: I have to find my X-Mas decorations
You are a genuis. Have you given serious thought to writting a book or a sitcom? YES, yourself and Paul will be the leading stars.
Love your blog. Happy Holiday’s to you and your family. YOU ROCK THE KINGDOM. DEE
December 10, 2013 @ 6:06 pm
You ADORE your posts and this one was hilarious. Of course, I just cleaned out my closet of shame and it took me 2 whole days. sigh. Glad that is over.
Your mirror is perfect! Happy Holidays to you and your family. I love it when you mention what Paul says, you two are perfect for each other.
December 10, 2013 @ 6:06 pm
I meant to say “I” adore your posts. duh
December 10, 2013 @ 6:39 pm
The mirror looks fabulous!
I wish I was in a power position in Hollywood as I would have a camera crew follow you around forever.
December 10, 2013 @ 6:49 pm
And now I need a giant antique mirror…
December 10, 2013 @ 7:22 pm
What does one call it when it’s not just a closet but a old school house classroom, a secretively paid for 8×10 storage unit and a basement studio all stuffed with things that will absolutely positively get used some day …. oodles of mr potato head parts, old pull down school maps, mini globe collection, vintage train case collection, chandeliers, many pairs of elvis sunglasses, boxes of old photos of random people I’ve never known and file drawers full of letters home from soldiers I’ve never met and did I mention all the chairs and tables and dressers that I am ‘repurposing’? Closet of shame? How about life of shame!?!?!? And isn’t that’t just swell? 🙂
December 15, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
Jules, I’d be interested in purchasing one of the old school maps if you are selling.
December 10, 2013 @ 7:25 pm
Equally as impressive as the glittery writing is the fact that you were able to get good mirror pictures without your reflection or the reflection of a big mess on the other side of the room, (speaking from experience here.)
December 11, 2013 @ 1:37 am
Polly; that was one of my 1st thoughts too, LOL …… I have a huge experience with finding stuff on my photos, stuff I was searching for high and low AND stuff I never ever wanted to see on the reflection!!
oh the joys of being unorderely but SO creative!
December 10, 2013 @ 7:31 pm
I second the request for a post on the pillows with the bows – love them! Love your mirror and you posts too…….
Thanks for admitting to the Closet of Shame. It’s nice to know I am not alone.
Tamara @ Etcetorize
December 10, 2013 @ 8:51 pm
Everything looks absolutely beautiful! I hope you’re planning a great big family get together to enjoy all this hard work that your doing. Next time you want to write on a mirror (or window) give Plaid Paints a try. They have a line that’s made for fake glass window painting and I’m pretty sure you can get it in clear (to add your glitter to). It’s made to come off even when you use it in a window that gets sunlight all day and leave it there for several years thinking ‘someday I’m going to take that off’. Don’t ask me how I know that~