Friday, October 19, 2012

Bubbles and Lights

Every project starts with some sort of inspiration. This one began in Manhattan in Saks 5th Ave.
This is their shoe floor.

The effect the bubbles has is one that makes it seem there are far more lights than there actually is... Plus the added benefit of BUBBLES!

I showed Trisha this picture (Natalie talking) and she was crazy about it. Wanted to know if we could make something like it for her office ceiling.... "We can try!" I said.  Then she went and found a blog that has already done this and provided steps!!  So really, this post is in great part thanks to this post: (We were grateful for the ideas!!!)

So, here we went...
 Hooks and anchors for the ceiling
 2 wire racks from Lowes. Under $4 each
 Copious amounts of christmas decorations purchased from Hobby Lobby on sale 40% off. (We used at least 5 times this amount)
 Crimp beads and jewelry wire. The bright silver wire only came in 30' reels so we got three. $7 each. The crimp beads came in a count of 150, and since this project would require many, got two. 50% off meant $2.50 for 300 crimp beads.
This is the light in the room that we are working with. (what it looks like on and off)
 Having measured where the wire rack would hang, we drilled holes in the ceiling to drive home the anchor.
Then screwed in hooks. (which it looks like I didn't photograph... using my cell phone for pictures which is why they are so inconsistent in color. Forgive the phone)
 Then with 6" of wire and a crimp bead attached a loop to each corner of the wire rack
 Here they are hanging from the hooks.
Then we followed the suggestion on the blog Trisha found for making "toggles" from which to suspend the balls. We used 19 gauge steel wire.
And bent them around a pair of round nose pliers to look like this:
 The crimp bead pliers and a hooked pair of tweezers were handy to get hold of the toggle once inside the ball. They needed to be bent a bit to stay in... There are a couple ways to do this, best just to see what you find easiest. pinching before they go into the ball, then trying to re-widen the ends, OR putting it in the ball like this, then getting hold of it to pull it out of the ball so the eye can have a wire threaded through it.
This is what I mean... How you accomplish this, widening the ends of the wire, is however you find easiest.
One way is to hang onto the loop with the crimp bead pliers, and use another pair of pliers to pinch the loop, forcing the wire ends to separate. Or using the hook to pull the wires where they cross... closer to the loop; also forcing the wire ends to separate.  Confusing, but you will get it.

 Then using an 8" length of wire and two crimp beads, we attached a ball to the wire rack. After seeing one, and getting an opinion on 8", we took the rack down and worked on it at the table... Much easier that way.
After attaching quite a few balls, we hung it up to get an opinion on how it was looking. We were working knowing we couldn't go longer than 9" wires because of head clearance, but what we decided after this far in was that we needed more short wires.
Here, we've used post-it flags to decide on sizes we wanted to add. We had 4 sizes, so each color post-it represented a size.
Another thing we had to do, when lifting the rack off of the table, we didn't want the glass balls hitting one another as we flipped it over.... So this was done slowly.
(This image was taken before we hung it and did the flags, which is why it looks a little empty.)
Also must tell you... this is a very slow project. You wouldn't think wire, crimp beads, and glass balls would be slow going.... and maybe us sitting and chatting the whole while was a factor, but it took long enough that I wouldn't want to tackle this without a friend helping :)
 And here is the finished product.
 Trisha likes the industrial look of the rack, so we didn't try to hide it.
The blog post shared in the beginning... she does a great job of hiding it.
This is a view of the bubbles with just a small lamp on in the room... Also very cool.
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