The Mealy Barn

By , September 20, 2013


New England Style Barn

28′ x 32′ 2-story









Stepped Cape G120206 3 Bed 1579 SF

By , February 9, 2012





See more details for this plan at  G120206.htm

2009 Energy Code for Residences in Massachusetts – Savings?

By , July 2, 2010

The 2009 IECC is in full force for Residential building in Massachusetts as of July 1st, 2010. Is it really such a good idea?

  • The much more stringent requirements will force most builders to 2×6 construction, whether they prefer it or not.
  • The insulation envelope will now be R-30 or 38 in the ceiling, R 19 or 20 in the walls, R30 or 38 in the floors.
  • Rigid insulation under the exterior finish might help…
  • Ducts and feed lines will have to be insulated and pressure tested for leakage at rough-in, or located within the envelope.
  • The impact on windows and doors appears to be minimal (From my experience, builders have been using the low E windows with U 0.35 or better anyway).
  • No more trade-offs for a really efficient heating system.
  • Half of the lighting fixtures must now be high-efficiency.

This all sounds very environmentally responsible – BUT, the $$ amount saved on the energy bill for heating and cooling in Boston – $230 a year (13%)* will not come close to covering the additional costs of materials going into the house. I would estimate that a homeowner in Massachusetts would have to live in the house for 10 years to recoup the new costs of installation. That doesn’t include the additional costs of inspection time, or cost to come up with the new code regulations. It also doesn’t include the significant costs of financing the new home.

What are we really doing here?

Basically we will be using more energy in our cars, and with our lighting fixtures and A/C offices, to work longer hours so that we can afford to live in our energy-efficient homes.



By , January 13, 2010

Woke up to news of a 7.0+ earthquake that had hit Haiti.

The Haitians had plenty of problems to deal with without this…It put the economic problems of the world firmly in perspective for me.

2009 Interesting Sites on the web

By , December 30, 2009

Here is my 2009 collection of interesting sites found on the web. Some are links to blogs or web sites. Some are podcasts.

Happy New Year!


History and pre-History



10 Ways Glass Projects Mirror Life

By , November 7, 2009
  1. You will learn less from the projects you rush than from the one’s you invest your time in.
  2. Some things cannot be done any faster. Patience is a gift.
  3. Every project teaches you something new if you pay attention.
  4. Sometimes you hurt yourself. This is part of the experience.
  5. Don’t show people things half-finished.
  6. There will always be some waste. As you improve, there should be less.
  7. The things that don’t go exactly according to plan are the ones you learn the most from.
  8. Things look very different in a different light.
  9. The small, unexpected detail can be the most rewarding.
  10. Always protect your eyes.

Stained Glass Repair II

By , November 1, 2009

If you decided to repair your broken glass panel – Here are some hints:

  • For most designs, once you begin to dismantle the pieces, the panel will become more flimsy.
  • Take your time, and make sure you support all pieces of what is left at all times.
  • A blanket or cloth over a piece of plywood will allow you to move the panel pieces to the best, most accessible position as you work on it. The blanket will allow you to lay the panel fairly level but not create stress otherwise caused by different glass thicknesses.
  • Pry as much of the foil and solder as you can up away from around each piece of glass that you are trying to remove. A craft knife point and a lot of patience is best.
  • Position the panel so that the seam you will be removing is above a “waste” area and use a temperature slightly higher than you would normally use to solder. Heat up the solder seam and push the melting solder along until it drips away from the panel. Keep doing this until most of the solder is removed. Go around the broken piece area, repositioning the panel as you need the solder to flow in a different direction.
  • Once all the solder (or as much as you can manage) is removed from the foil, you should be able to pry it away enough to take out the glass.
  • Turn the panel over and follow the same procedure to remove the solder from the back. Once this is done, it should be possible to remove the foil from the broken piece while leaving the foil attached to the surrounding pieces. If any foil tears, you can re-wrap that area before you re-solder.
  • Choose the glass for replacement and trace the “hole” left in the panel to make a pattern for this.
  • Take care to match the texture, colour and any variations in the piece you removed (this is where the photos are handy)
  • You are aiming for the repair not to be noticeable.
  • If the break was caused by a weakness in the design, add copper reinforcing strip at this point to strengthen it.
  • Fit, foil and re-solder the seams around the repair site as you would normally.
  • Choose the patina to match the original one applied – test this on a test solder seam on some scrap glass first to be sure you have the match very close.
  • Finish and clean – Breathe out!


© 2009 Jackie Barnaby
All Rights Reserved

Pattern – Celtic Knot

By , October 27, 2009

This design is a simple one to cut and make.  Make sure to mark each pattern piece carefully if the glass you choose has colour variations or a texture with a direction.

Celtic Knot stained glass pattern.

Here is one interpretation of the design. Notice the different effects of back and surface lighting on the colour and texture of the finished piece.

Celtic Knot by Greywing Design

Pattern – Frog on a Rock

By , October 27, 2009

This free pattern is a good one to start with and is one of my best sellers.

Frog on a Rock

Most of the cuts are simple and the design highlights the need for good choices in colours and textures to make the frog the focus of the panel.

I have made this one with a glass ‘glob’ for the eye (either adjust the design or enlarge the pattern to make the eye piece the size of the glob). The Eye can also be an overlay of foil.

There should be 33 pieces unless you adjust the design.

The top center junction of the frame and the reed tip (between pieces numbered 4 and 6) is the best place to add a hanger.

Have fun with it!

Should you repair or replace a broken stained glass panel?

By , July 14, 2009

Repair or remake? That is the question..


This should have been an “after” photo but it fell during photography!

Now it is the before photo for repairing a stained glass panel.

STEP 1 : Assess the damage

Put the panel on a well-lit flat surface for inspection. (Watch out for small glass splinters)

Take photographs – the panel will look nasty during repair.

  • How much of the panel is broken?
  • Do you have appropriate glass to repair with?

o Check colour (in natural, back-lit and lamp light), texture of both sides, and thickness.
o Are colour variations in the broken areas a part of the picture.
o If this is a vintage or antique piece – seek professional help – don’t repair with modern glass unless you HAVE to!

  • Have the breaks in the glass made the panel flimsy?

o Yes – the piece needs to be replaced and possibly reinforced.
o No – can you foil over the break and do a cosmetic repair without destroying the design.

  • Are the breaks in the glass “clean”? – no splintering
  • How much of the soldering and foil needs to be disturbed to get to the broken pieces?

At the first stage, you need to decide if it would be faster, cheaper or more enjoyable to make the entire panel from scratch; or, if a repair is even possible.

If you decide to repair, a close inspection at the beginning will make you familiar with the panel and could save a lot of trouble.

The broken peacock above is being repaired ~ The plain glass pieces are easy to match, cheap to replace and easy to get to. I have the added bonus that I still have a copy of the original pattern that I designed.


© 2009 Jackie Barnaby
All Rights Reserved

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