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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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Bazaar at Oreana Winery

Yesterday was the EtsySB Holiday Bazaar at the Oreana Winery here in Santa Barbara. It was a beautiful day.  The temperature at the Winery was 75° during the day. I was very glad to have my pop-up tent.

My friend Jennifer helped me set up the tent, tables and mosaics. And then she came back at 5 pm and helped me take it all down again. I sold a few items, and got a lot of good feedback from visitors about my mosaics. All in all a very pleasant day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holidays and Mosaics

It's the day after Thanksgiving so I think it is OK to start decorating for the holidays. So I have my mosaic stocking on the front door!

And the Blue Agave tequila bottle mosaic below is getting better and better. I will try to finish gluing today.

Tomorrow is the Holiday Bazaar at the Oreana Winery so I've got the car packed and ready to go. I'll have at least 25 mosaics for sale, all priced for holiday gift-giving.

If you get a chance, stop down at 205 Anacapa Street, across from the Amtrak station, and see all the wonderful EtsySB artists and their art.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am so thankful to live in Santa Barbara, and have wonderful neighbors, friends and family. Here it is almost December, and there are still beautiful Begonias blooming in the garden.

Yesterday I did another grout marathon. The sun scene was grouted in a light color because I plan to paint the grout with various colors. The stones are real slices of stone. For the watering can, I made up some grout that I thought would match the turquoise of the can. I have some silver strips that I'm going to touch up with gold and insert into the two bands in the middle of the can.  

And don't forget to stop by Oreana Winery on Saturday, 1 to 5 pm, to see the EtsySB artists. We'll have lots of nicely priced items for your holiday shopping. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Bazaar - EtsySanta Barbara Artists

Come visit the Etsy SB artists Thanksgiving weekend at our Holiday Bazaar. It's Black Saturday, November 26th, at the Oreana Winery, 205 Anacapa Street, across from the Santa Barbara Amtrak Depot. Come taste delicious wine, visit food vendors and browse through over 15 local artists. And I will have mosaics priced to sell for holiday gifts or just something for you.

Rainy Day Mosaics

It was a very rainy day yesterday, so we stayed in the house and worked on mosaics. The cats slept a lot.

Here is the blue agave mosaic with the fused tequila bottle. I used some black sparkly Van Gogh glass for the border. Obviously I took this picture indoors so you can't really see how cool the Agave leaves look. Today the sun is rising so I'll take another picture.

And here are the double-decker sleepy boys. Prancer is below on their fancy tree-shaped cat tree. You can just see the long shape of Biscotti up on top of the room divider. There are fluorescent lights up there so it is warm.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mandala de Corazón

Here is the grouted heart mandala, Mandala de Corazón. It looks a little dusty in the picture but in person it is quite pretty. What is my obsession with hearts? And sunbursts? I don't know but I can seem to quit making them.

Here is Mr. Froggy. I should have used a lighter grout but you never know until you do it. There is a way to paint the grout after it has dried but that never works very well with charcoal grout. Maybe I should call him Chameleon since he blends quite nicely into the background.

So today I'm going to grout the blue and orange sunburst and the red sun scene with a lighter grout.

And my friend Gary slumped and fused a tequila bottle in his kiln for me. The bottle has a pleasant meaning (!) for me so I'm making it into a Blue Agave mosaic. I put some colored fabric under the bottle and glued that down. Next I'm going to put the word Tequila on top of the fabric, and finally I'll glue the bottle on top of everything. Gary was very clever and used frit to keep the bottle from rolling, so that adds a very nice color to the bottle.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grouting Day

Another busy day of grouting. The peacock on the left had a few pieces dislodge when I grouted it a couple days ago so I reglued the pieces and regrouted. You can see the charcoal grout over his head.

I also grouted two more round pieces; a mandala with hearts and the tree frog. Unfortunately, I'm not happy with the grout on the tree frog. This is why I hate to grout! The grouting itself is not bad, but picking the right grout color can make or break the piece. Tomorrow I'll take pictures of the finished products.

Then we have the kitties staring out looking for creatures. This is where they like to sit when I'm working on a piece at the big table.

And at last, they have a rat on the run below. I hope you don't find these pictures too graphic. A while back I had an infestation of rats in my garage. This was before I had my young cats and Orange Boy was just too old to get up into the rafters. The rats made nests and chewed up suitcases and ate books and paper products. It was really a mess. So it's better now that they are kept somewhat under control.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grouting with the Kitty

So today I did a little more grouting (still have about six pieces to go). This cute little heart turned out well with rose beige grout sprinkled with pink glitter. It's only about 6" across. The center rose was cut from some English china with my ring saw

And below is my trusty sidekick Biscotti. He hung around with me while I worked in the yard.

Life is better when you have pets!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Organizing and Grouting

So I've been doing more organizing and building in the garage. On the upper left is the "new" table that my handyman made. It was an old picnic bench that I had owned forever and I used it to cut glass and basically pile stuff up on. It was too short to stand and do any real work at. So he raised it up to the correct level and put wheels on it. Now I can move it around. It still is the perfect place for the kitty boxes. And here it is out on the driveway, above with my dear neighbor Raj and to the left with the darling Prancer.

I also had a grouting marathon one day this week. I finished eight pieces. I mixed up a huge bunch of charcoal grout and went to town. Here are two of the pieces; the spiral and the Christmas stocking.  And down at the bottom is the peacock that I finally finished gluing. I like it a lot! Very colorful. I'm going to use some glitter on it to make it sparkle.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hearts and Spirals

Spiral Mosaic
 I'm still keeping up with my goal of one new mosaic a week. Although I wonder if I'm jumping the gun by saying I finished something when it still needs grouting. Also I haven't shown commissions that I've made so I think I can feel good about my goal!

I'm working hard to get things finished for the two shows I have coming up. This top piece is a spiral in all my favorite colors. It has some millefiori thrown in here and there. I think I'll grout it in charcoal.

And here I go again with the hearts! This piece below is a medallion with mirror hearts. I'm still trying to work out the color for the part between the border and the top of the hearts. I've thrown some yellow on there to see what it would look like.

And I decided the work table outside is not the best place to photograph my mosaics because the colors never come out just right. I'll try it again in another spot where there isn't a green umbrella shading it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cold Windy Day

It's a cold, windy day, and the kitties played inside more than usual. Here they are on their scratching post. Prancer Dancer is on top and Biscotti is on the bottom.

I spent most of the day working on mosaics, doing cleanup work like painting substrates, drilling holes for D-rings, patching some holes that were in the wrong place, etc. The blue and orange sunburst has been completely glued, but I'm not pleased with one of the branches of the sun. So tomorrow I'll pull out the offending pieces and try to make it more to my liking. I also see a couple potential grout rivers so I will probably fix them also.

And I worked a little on the Tequila bottle that I'm making into a Christmas-themed mosaic. I'm using Lexel to glue the pieces on as it will dry clear. I will grout it also.

That's it for today. Glad you stopped by!

Oh, and today is my brother's 70th birthday! Happy birthday, big brother!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

San Luis Obispo Art Tour 2011

Morro Bay
Last weekend my friends Mike, Gary and I attended the ARTS Obispo (the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council) 13th annual Open Studios Art Tour. We visited all the mosaic artists and most all of the glass studios. Since the tour covered all of San Luis Obispo County, we spent the night in Morro Bay. Here is the famous Morro Bay Rock which was just two blocks from our hotel.
We also visited our friends Paul and Laurel in Los Osos. Laurel was one of the artists on the tour. She makes beautiful jewelry with polymer clay. She and Paul are also wonderful Begonia growers. Paul is famous for his Tuberous Begonias. And here I am with Laurel and Mike in her gorgeous Begonia garden.

Laurel, Mike and Julie
Heart Mosaic by Passiflora Mosaics
One of the studios we visited was Passiflora Mosaics in Grover Beach, CA. We met Fred and Donnell Pasion and watched them work on their mosaic bench to be installed at the new Cottage Hospital building in Santa Barbara.Cottage Hospital had a call for artists earlier this year and their mosaic benches were chosen to be installed in the new building.

This heart is one of their creations! They also create mushrooms and other forms from styrofoam and cement to create lightweight forms to be mosaiced.

This is another of their mosaics. It is their beloved cat Zoe who is no longer with them. What a whimsical piece!

Gary and Mike
And finally we visited Gopher Glen Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo and bought apples and fudge! Gary and Mike climbed into this pumpkin display for a picture.

What a great weekend! We met many wonderful artists and I was inspired by the beautiful pieces we saw.