Saturday, January 21, 2012

I want levels, nothing but levels

Today's project: Put down the book I'm reading, The Thyroid Diet by Mary Shomon, which is basically making me feel like my life is over. Instead, get off my butt and make something. That always makes me feel better.

I've been seeing this project in the antique malls lately (not that I frequent them ;-'). Someone takes an odd china plate and attaches it to a glass base to create a unique cake stand. You might be saying to yourself, when do I have time to bake a cake? But I use cake stands for all kinds of things, for cheese and crackers, for cookies, for cupcakes, for a Sunday quiche, even for side dishes. It's a way of creating more space when you have lots of stuff out on the table, and a way to create visual interest by using vertical space. Thus, the levels.

The ones I've seen in the antique malls usually use a cut glass candlestick as the base. However, being the engineer's daughter that I am, I saw one major flaw in this design. Candlesticks do not have a wide base. They are designed to hold and balance nothing more than a thin long stick of wax. Once you attach a large round plate to that candlestick, it suddenly becomes very top heavy. I almost knocked a couple of them over in the antique mall.

So I knew if I was gonna try this craft, I would have to re-engineer it.

Choosing plates was easy. There are tons of odd china plates at my local thrift stores. I picked up some odd china plates for a couple bucks.
For the base, I scanned the glass aisle and found old commercial-style glass ice cream bowls. They have nice shape, often fluted on the sides, they are heavy, and when turned upside down, have a base considerably wider than their tops. And they were only ninety cents each. Bingo.

For the last china plate, I went out on a limb and used a short piece of stemware. If you're anything like me, you go through stemware like they're paper cups. They're always breaking going into the dishwasher, or out, or into the sink, or out. Anyway, I couldn't resist trying it because it was a little vintage stemware with etched glass and a silver rim that's a perfect match for the silver-rimmed mid-century cheap-o china plate I found.

I stopped by my local True Value hardware store (Gearhart's—I love you guys! Please don't leave the hood.) and bought some silicone glue. If you have really good vision or a strong magnifying glass, you can read the back of the silicone glue tube for directions. I have neither so I'm just gonna wing it.

Voila! Instant cake stands.

BTW: They take a good 3 hrs to set up to the point where you can turn them right side up again, 24 hrs to cure completely. Okay, okay, I did end up having to read the back of the glue tube.

Note to self: cake stands might make good displays for jewelry at home craft shows.

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