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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's Eve

Biscotti and I wish you all a very safe New Year's Eve and a wonderful year in 2012. Neither of us combed our hair for this shot. Why does Biscotti look so much better???

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Patches is ready for grouting

Patches is ready for grouting! And Contemporary Mosaic Art (CMA) is sponsoring a Martin Cheek competition for feline mosaics, so I will enter her into the competition. I think I will use a gray grout.

And to the left we have the darling Biscotti waiting for me to put some catnip on his tree.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More on Patches

It's funny that you can get a better view of a mosaic in progress by either squinting or taking a picture.
Somehow that brings everything into focus. I've made more progress on Patches, and I hope to finish gluing today. Then the usual dilemma...what color grout???

I've decided to resolve for the new year that grout color will not be an issue anymore. I will make a good grout board with all the colors I have and then use it to pick the right grout. Delaine Hackney from the Institute of Mosaic Art did this when I took her pet portrait class and her choice was perfect. I could see it too when we held up different color bars of grout. Below is one of the first sample boards I made, and I find it is very helpful when trying to choose a color.

Grout sample board

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Biscotti and the keyboard

Merry Christmas to everyone! It's going to be 70° here in Santa Barbara today. That must be Santa's gift to us. 

I have a new computer with wireless mouse and keyboard. I found that Biscotti doesn't mind if I set the keyboard on him while we're working. He just looked up at me occasionally and then went back to sleep! 

House number ungrouted
And trying to add some mosaic news to this blog about mosaics, here is the house number I made for my dear friends. I couldn't post it until today because I didn't want them to see it in advance. Above shows it ungrouted. Below it is grouted in charcoal and I added some bling to the grout while it was still wet because my friends love sparkly things.
House number grouted

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Today I've been working on a portrait of my kitty Patches, who is no longer with me. She was a calico manx with a personality as big as the sky. Later in her life she had a hematoma in her ear, and so it was permanently folded down. That just gave her extra character.  The picture on the bottom right was taken after the hematoma, but with all her colors, it was hard to see that anything was wrong. It's the beige-colored ear. It didn't slow her down a bit.

And today is Christmas Eve. So I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, no matter which holiday you observe. This is a good time to remember how lucky we are to have good friends and family and pets that make our lives richer.

Patches with hematoma in right ear

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More from Mother Nature

Liquidambar styraciflua

Here is the stunning Liquidambar styraciflua in my next door neighbor's yard. I took this picture early in the morning when the sun was just starting to shine on the leaves. Aren't they gorgeous? I have a Liquidambar also but the leaves never turn this beautiful shade of red.

And below is a watering can for another client. I took the picture with the soup can so she could see the size. She already has two of my mosaic watering cans and decided she needed another. If only I could find more cans!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Bit of Everything

Here is how the moon looked this morning around 6 a.m. The sun was just coming up, and the sky was this gorgeous shade of blue.

Below on the left is a wooden tray filled with glass beads. I found two large bags of beads at a thrift store and thought it would be fun to make a mosaic using only beads. The cat in the middle has a red sign that says "Love is a Cat." Next time I'll do the writing with a bold pen.

And here we have a simple stained glass frame with a mirror that I started over a year ago. I finally got around to finishing it.  I like the big, colorful flowers.

And finally on the right is a frame I made for a friend using treasured china that broke. On the left is the picture that went into the frame. It is a picture of my friend's mother who is 94 now, and the picture was taken when she was 17. She's standing with her grandmother. Such wonderful memories!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trash to Treasures

Ceramic Birdhouse

Well, I shouldn't call it trash but I made this darling little mushroom and the bird on top came from this bird feeder. Months ago I found that the squirrel (no doubt) knocked the bird that sat at the top of this bird feeder onto the ground. I picked it up wondering what to do with it. And voila! I repurposed it to sit on this cute little mushroom.

And here we have the new wet saw! I bought a "beginners" model while I figure how I can use it without sanding my fingers. Right now it's sitting on the bench behind the studio but I need to figure a better place for it so I don't have to step over the hose whenever I go in the back door.
Wet Saw

Monday, December 12, 2011

More from the Santa Barbara Tennis Club Show

Watering Can with Plumes

Here is the watering can on display at the Members Only Show at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club. I went out to the club pool area and cut these beautiful plumes from the  grasses that line the walkways.

And to the right is the peacock. The frame is a cupboard door that I got at our local Art From Scrap store. Like the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, Art From Scrap receives donations from a wide variety of vendors. I can always find something useful there.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Santa Barbara Tennis Club Members' Gallery Show

The artists' reception at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club was last evening. It was good to meet the other member artists. Surprisingly, considering all the invitations I sent out :-}, it was a sparse turnout. The holidays, I suppose. But it was very enjoyable and several of my friends did visit. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Goleta Valley Art Association's Picasso for Peanuts Show

Be sure to check out the Goleta Valley Art Association's Picasso for Peanuts show at the Goleta Valley Library. I submitted the mirror above, and it sold. There are 67 other pieces, all under $300. They would make wonderful holiday gifts for anyone on your list.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Camp Ocean Pines Workshop

Sunset at Camp Ocean Pines

Since we had so much time to work on our projects, I also made a mushroom! I had a different color scheme for it at first but the squiggles I wanted to put on the edge kept sliding off. I would have liked a red slice but that will have to be the next time.

This was our view from the workshop. One of our fellow campers said he saw the green flash.

Heart at beginning
Heart half done
Heart ready to grout

Monday, December 5, 2011

Camp Ocean Pines Mosaic Workshop

The mosaic workshop at Camp Ocean Pines was a delight. The accommodations were a bit rustic (bunk beds) but there were so many wonderful artists! The first night we had no power so we used a generator to light up the craft room. Cozy!

The food was served buffet style and was so delicious. Dessert with every meal! Needless to say I was very happy. And we could work on our pieces from 7 am to whenever. Some worked far into the morning to finish their final piece. I usually finished about 9 pm.

Our instructors, Fred and Donnell, were great teachers, and I learned a lot! I was also overwhelmed by the caliber of the artists at the class. I plan to take another workshop soon!

Audubon Cabin
Crafts Workshop

Working with lights on generator
Not too comfy bunk beds

I made the mushroom on the bottom left
after two glasses of wine!
Fred and Donnell Pasion

Friday, December 2, 2011

Camp Ocean Pines

I'm here in Cambria, CA at a mosaic workshop given by Fred & Donnell Pasion of Passiflora Mosaics. The first 23 hours we had no electricity due to high winds and downed pine trees. We had a generator last night for lights in the workshop but no electricity in the cabins.

But tonight I finished my heart!

And this is my table mate Jane.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone 4

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tequila Bottle Grouted

The tequila bottle & blue agave mosaic has been grouted in a combination of mocha and haystack. I didn't want the grout too dark or too light (oh the woes of grouting). I think I like it. All the stained glass shows up well.

And Prancer Dancer has a lot to say about it too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tequila Bottles and Mosaics

Blue Agave Tequila Mosaic

On the left is the first tequila bottle my friend Gary fused for me. It is now glued and ready for grout tomorrow. I really like the Blue Agave look. It reminds me of Mexico.

Below is the second bottle he did for me. This is a Partida Tequila bottle that had the writing etched on the bottle. Perhaps a brighter background would have helped show off how amazing it looks.

And Saturday night we had dinner at the wonderful Japanese restaurant Takenoya in Goleta. I got the second pink bottle of Sake and dear Gary will fuse both of them together in his kiln. Maybe someday I'll have to get a kiln of my own so I don't have impose upon him.
Partida Tequila