“What do you think the stained glass windows should be?” I posed to my husband as he was trying to drift off to sleep one night. Being a good sport, as always, he groggily asked me questions about the tiny inhabitants, and before long there was an epiphany.
In my story of the mill cottage, there is an English mouse, Anna, and a French mouse, Gustave, who fell in love and renovated an old mill that belonged to Anna’s father, turning part of it into a bakery. (I decided on mice over humans because I enjoy making animal figures more, and because mice are classic inhabitants of mills.) When my husband suggested the fleur-de-lis to represent Gustave, I immediately realized Anna would be the Tudor rose. The old heraldic symbols fit together beautifully, and so the name of the bakery became “The Lily and the Rose.” I am certainly not the first to make this pairing, but the images go with the story and the colors I have in mind for the rooms.
The “stained” glass is a piece of lasercut acrylic, with Gallery Glass leading and paint. I sketched the lines in Sharpie then dabbled on the leading paint with a fine-tip embossing tool. After that it was more or less a matter of coloring in the lines.
If you want to have an idea of what comes in the $15 Gallery Glass sampler on Amazon, here you go! I made the palette after I realized there was a difference in what I saw printed on the back of the box and what I saw in real life.
During our nocturnal discussion, my husband’s primary, very logical question about the windows was how a young married couple living in a rustic windmill would be able to afford a king’s ransom in stained glass. We decided my frivolity in design choice was a little more feasible if a close relative gave the windows as a wedding present. A very nice wedding present, given by Gustave’s father, a glassmaker.
Like real stained glass windows, they don’t come to life until light shines through them. I got the best photos when I managed to catch the morning sunlight from the back. When they aren’t illuminated, it is easier to see the textured effect of the paints.
As for the parts that would have been “original” to the mill, no Tudor building would be complete without casement windows. Glass was so expensive in those days that people opted for smaller, more affordable panes held together with leading. I made these made by painting wire craft mesh black and then coating the pieces with a layer of resin. Once cured, I tinted some of the sections with Gallery Glass paint.