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Friday, October 28, 2011

Bottles and Mirrors and a Cat

So the holidays are coming and I decided to mosaic one or two bottles. The one on the right is one I made a while back and I can't bear to part with it. I have it sitting on my patio table and the sun shines on it and makes it glisten. The bottle on the left will be in holiday colors. It's a bottle from a fine tequila I finished  recently. I have another bottle from a different tequila maker ready to cover when I finish with this one.

And here is the English Transferware mirror. I'm quite happy with it. I was going to cut out one of the plates' centers for the middle but my ring saw still won't cooperate so I decided to put a mirror in the middle instead. The mirror is still in plastic as I need to pop out some of the green plate pieces and put in the proper size to accommodate the mirror. This is a large piece - 24" in diameter.

And since it's been a while since I posted a kitty picture, here is the darling Biscotti keeping me company at my computer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back to Mosaics

I finished gluing the three hearts mosaic, and I like the way they look. It's hard to tell that the scrolly lines are green but they are a beautiful iridized glass. Now...what color grout??

And the Christmas stocking below on the left is a form or cutting board I found at a thrift store. Since it's getting close to the holidays, I thought I'd make something for the season. The cuff is made with red mirror. I think I'll put some glitter on the grout to make it more festive.

The circle mirror on the bottom is one I did quite a long while ago and never was thrilled with the way the tempered glass looked in the middle. So I glued a mirror over the top and then edged it with marble. I'm much happier with it.

I've also been cleaning up in the garage and once it's looking spiffy, I'll post a picture. New shelving units on wheels have been added and I have a plan to change the picnic table to something else. Next time...

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Storage!

I spent a busy weekend cleaning up in the garage. My wonderful handyman installed this new attic ladder and built a great storage area up in the rafters. There are so many things that get used only a few times, so now I can store them up there and have more room to put my mosaic supplies. Things like the leaf shredder, the leaf vacuum, the canopy used for the occasional art festival, etc.

Which reminds me that there will be a wonderful Holiday Bazaar at the Oreana Winery and Tasting Room on November 29, 2011. That's the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Here is a link to Facebook telling all about it. I'll post more about it as we get closer to the date. Come sip wine, taste food by local vendors and get started on your holiday shopping. I have already started on some smaller mosaic pieces that would be perfect gifts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Works in Progress

The hearts are almost finished. Or at least the gluing is almost finished. The colors look odd because I photo-graphed them early this morning and had to use lights and flash.  I've decided I like the way the opus vermiculatum looks though I must say it is definitely more of a challenge.

On the right is my tree frog. I decided I couldn't really tell it was a frog so I pulled out some of the tiles and will replace them today. Also I tiled the edges with various colors of green tiles.

And below is the transferware piece. Now I am adding a section of green pieces. As soon as I install the new blade in my ring saw, I'll cut some of the centers out of the plates and see what looks good in the center of this circle. Or I can still add a mirror. And then the dreaded question, what color do I use to grout all these pieces?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Mosaic a Week???

Well, I'm not living up to my promise of a mosaic a week! But I'm having a good time so I guess that's what matters. The English transferware piece is coming along. I love the look of the plate pieces. I haven't decided yet about a mirror in the middle or just a circle cutout of one of the lovely plates. I broke the "blade" in my ring saw so I can't try some cutouts to see how they will look.

Below is the heart piece. Very slow going! But I'm liking it more and more. I'm doing opus vermiculatum for the background. "Vermiculatum" means "worm-like" and is so called because it curves around the contours of the design.

And I know I said I was going to grout yesterday but I didn't. I should have because it was a lovely day, not too hot, and I would have gotten a lot done. But my handyman was here finishing up the garage ladder and attic space so I was "busy" with him. OK, the truth is I couldn't decide what color grouts to use so I just didn't grout anything!

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Hearts

For some reason, I am drawn to hearts. The three hearts on the left are on a cupboard door. I'm not sure how it will turn out. That means I don't know if I'll be happy with it.

The blue one I cut out with my jig saw. I don't quite know how to describe the wood my friend Karen gave me. She is a fabulous artist and gave me a stack of leftover wood she had.

Today is going to be a grouting day. No more gluing until I've grouted some of the many pieces on the dining room table. Good thing I don't have many dinner parties!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to Mosaics and Organization


English Transferware
I had my clever handyman make more shelves for my tiles. And then I was extremely lucky to stop by a thrift store and find three boxes of canning jars. One box had never been opened! What a score! I've filled up many of the jars today with Opio tiles and will take another picture tomorrow.

And I have some new mosaics in the works. Above is a piece made entirely with English transferware.Or will be when it's finished. Can't decide whether to put a mirror in the middle. I hadn't heard the term until someone at the thrift store mentioned that the plates I was buying were transferware. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about transferware:

Transferware is a style of ceramics including pottery, dinnerware, and other delicate items. It uses transfer printing, a decorative technique which was developed in England in the mid-18th century, particularly around the Stafforshire region.

The process starts with an engraved copper plate similar to those used for making paper engravings. The plate is used to print the pattern on tissue paper, then the tissue paper transfers the wet ink to the ceramic surface. The ceramic is then fired in a low temperature kiln to fix the pattern. This can be done over or under the glaze, but the underprinting method is more durable. The process produces fine lines similar to the engraved prints in old books. Before transfer printing ceramics were hand painted, a laborious and costly process.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking a Break from Mosaics

 I haven't been away from my mosaics but I have been away from updating my blog! Here is part of the reason I've been busy. This motor home belongs my nephew Mike and his wife Joan. They were up for the weekend along with my other nephew Alan and my brother Jim and his wife Gloria. It was a busy house!

Then on Saturday afternoon we all went up to the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara to swim and have a barbeque. The weather was perfect, and the pool was delightful.


Nephews Alan and Mike

Georgine and Joan
Jeremy and Grandpa Jim

Pool at dusk

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mosaic Gecko

Here is my new gecko. The base is a cupboard door I bought at Art from Scrap. My favorite color range.

It isn't grouted yet. I'm adding it to the dining room table staging area where I already have (too many) mosaic pieces that need to be grouted. And, as usual, I'm not sure what color grout to use. Charcoal might be good.

Not a mosaic, but below is my fall garden where all the Plectranthus are blooming! There are tall white ones and the low blue ones and medium pink ones (no picture). Plectranthus is a great plant to add to your garden for fall color. And they are really easy to propagate!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hearts, Hearts and more Hearts

It seems I love hearts.  Here is the finished stained glass heart I posted a day or two ago. Not grouted yet, however. I have at least ten mosaics in my dining room waiting to be grouted.

And this cute little heart below was a  wooden trivet I found at a thrift store. I cut the center rose out of a plate with my ring saw and then found some plates that went with the colors.

And as an aside, it rained last night in Santa Barbara! First rain of the season. And there should be more tonight!! So exciting!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mosaic Froggy and a New Heart

First is a heart made with mirror, stained glass and some roses I cut from an English plate with my ring saw. It started out as a resin heart-shaped trivet I found at a thrift store. I drilled two holes in it and added two d-rings for hanging. I seem to have a penchant for hearts. I have one ready to cut out of a wood piece in the studio but the blade keeps falling out of the jigsaw. Obviously I'm still learning about power tools. I'll have to wait until my friend Jennifer or my handyman Jim come over and tell me what I'm doing wrong.

And then below is the froggy. It's still hard to see that there is a frog in there. Maybe the grout will help. It was a hot weekend here in Santa Barbara so I spent a lot of the afternoon yesterday in the house affixing tesserae to substrates! That means gluing tile to a base!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mosaic Froggy

For several days I've been working on this tree frog. Frogs are harder than they look. For me, at least. Now that I look at it in a picture, I wonder if I picked the wrong color background. Those feet are pretty bright orange. And the background is a nice lavender/blue. But there is no turning back at this point because tree frogs really do have orange feet so I'll just keep going until it's finished.