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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Saga of "Sunrise at Sea"

Today I submitted my mosaic "Sunrise at Sea" to the Santa Barbara Artist Association's Semana Nautica juried art show at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center in Santa Barbara, California. It was a long and stormy road to get it to the show today. I tell this story so others who may be afraid to jump in and begin working with mosaics will see that we all have horror stories to tell.

I have been working on this piece on and off for months. There are a lot of little pieces of glass which, in itself, is quite time consuming. After I finished the front, I started to glue beautiful French L' Opio red tiles to the edges. I had purchased some Lexel glue from back east, and I think it must have frozen during transit because it was a cloudy color. I didn't know what I know now, however, so I used it to attach the pieces to the edge. By the next day, they were all falling off. So then I cleaned all the glue from the tiles as they were too nice to throw away, and the next day I used another outdoor grout. Well, I couldn't believe it but the next day, the tiles all came off again!!! At that point I set the piece aside in disgust.

I was watching a video by the very talented mosaic artist, Sharra Frank, and one of her demonstrations was to take textured glass, paint it black first so the black goes into the depressions, and then when dry, paint the back with a color. She showed it using tapestry glass. I thought that was a great idea so I found some textured glass I had in a swirly pattern. I first put gold paint into the indentations and then when dry, I painted it with red. It really looked nice and I thought of the sunrise mosaic sitting in a corner that had been so much trouble. So I sanded all the edges and applied the new red and gold tiles. It looked wonderful.

Then it sat some more and finally I got around to grouting it. But I knocked out a few pieces as I grouted so that meant gluing them back, waiting a day for them to take hold and then regrouting those areas.

So now you'd think I was home free, but more trouble loomed. And I probably shouldn't tell you about this because it will just make me look inept but that's how we all learn, isn't it?

So yesterday I started to put large d-rings on the back. I started drilling holes and the wood seemed super hard. I kept drilling and drilling and putting my considerable weight into it and still nothing was happening. I started considering going across the street to my dear neighbor Rodger's house and asking him to help me drill through the wood. At some point, however, I discovered I had the drill running backward. No wonder I couldn't get anywhere. But before that discovery I somehow managed to drill hard enough to drill through the glass in the front. I'm laughing as I'm writing this because you wonder, how could she be so stupid. Oh, it's easy. So then I had to re-glue the pieces that were pushed up and wait another day for the glue to dry and then re-gout. Then this morning, the day of the in-gathering, I was able to finish up the d-rings. Whew!

It was all worth it, however, because I won an Honorable Mention with a yellow ribbon. I was told the judge was really taken with my piece. There will be a reception on Thursday, July 11th from 5pm to 7pm. Please stop by if you're in the area.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Etsy and "Sneak Attack" Remembering

When I had just started selling cards with my photographs many years ago (see card pictures below), I had a wonderful boost from something called a Sneak Attack, orchestrated by Amanda of Cute N Curly Boutique 

Within a few hours, I suddenly had at least 35 orders for the cards I made back then. Recently Amanda contacted me to ask about the effect the Sneak Attack had on me. Thank you again, Amanda, and here is a link to her post:

Sneak Attack

Now I've moved on to other endeavors. I guess I just love making things.

Here is a new tempered glass mosaic I made using a background of beautiful California Poppies. The grout has been painted gold, and the frame has a cottage chic look. Even though orange is not one of my favorite colors for the garden, I really like this piece. You can also see it on my Etsy shop along with a bunch of other mosaics and jewelry.

Joooles Design Etsy Shop

Monday, June 3, 2013

Where Does the Time Go?

Have I said that before? It's already June! I've taken down the mosaics from my show at Salon Patine. I sold eleven pieces and want to thank owner Rob Hofberg for allowing me to have a show at his shop.

However, I now have a house full of mosaics! And I want to make more. My friend Brenda Sullivan, who is responsible for starting my journey down the mosaic hole, came over for lunch the other day. We had such a nice time catching up, and once things settle down in her life, we are going to get together to work on mosaics. It's perfect out in the yard now, and since my dear friend Jennifer moved to Colorado, I really miss having someone to mosaic with.

So I've put some of my items in my store on Etsy. I have a tempered glass mirror that another friend almost bought but she hates the color pink. She liked the roses but wanted them in the color blue.

Next I have a spiral mosaic with hand cut English china plates. There is an inset of a round portion of one of the plates, and it has a burgundy tile border.

And I have another house number commission which is almost finished. It's glued and the wedi board and edges have been covered in thinset. I cut blue flowers out of English transferware plates to decorate, and it is done in blues and greens. I made the numbers large and white so they can be seen from a distance. I've noticed that sometimes house numbers are too hard to read from the street. Tomorrow I'll grout it in charcoal and then seal it the next day. I've already added special hanging hardware with posts through the wedi board. I think it will be a nice addition to someone's home.