Peace Signs

Friday, April 20, 2018

From The Studio - Friday

I'd like to share today the story of the gift I made for one of my longest, bestest friends for her birthday.

Meet Cactus Joe.


Joe is my friend's father, who passed away a few years ago and who made birdhouses as a hobby after retirement.

A few months ago, I came across a box filled with cards given to me through the years along with many photos from my sweet friend. These photos were of her life 3,000 miles away. In those days, between 2000-2006, we didn't have a digital footprint and instant photos came from an instant camera that used film. We still had to take it to the drug store to get copies made. The quality of these photos were usually hit or miss. Mostly miss, but they conveyed what we wanted them to, which made them good enough to share.

As I was looking through all the photos ranging from a tiny grandchild to a daughter's wedding, I found a photo of her Dad. In this photo he was under a lean to portion of a porch next to a birdhouse he made. He was standing tall and proud as he posed, showing his creativity after he installed it into a post under the lean to. This was a birdhouse my friend's mother-in-law won in a raffle through his jazz club.

I put the pictures away and put the box once more under my bed. But ... this photo never left my thoughts. It was dark and sort of out-of-focus, but I felt I had to make a mosaic using it as inspiration. Her birthday was coming up and I thought it would make an awesome gift.

I stalled out a bit with it; I needed a frame, I needed the board to work on. I needed to figure out what to use to create the mosaic: dishes or stained glass? While I played with ideas and design thoughts, she had her birthday. I hadn't even begun! Yikes!!

Shortly after that, I ordered a frame and put the photo in front of me and took a few photos of the photo, printed out an enlargement, glued it onto the board and set to work. I prefer to do a free-flowing design when I make mosaics. I seem to start off with good intentions of keeping it all within the lines but almost always the abstract portion of my brain says use color, put a swirl here, use what you have as a starting point and just go! And that's what I did.



Joe was the first thing I did on this mosaic and it was very labor intensive. I pulled tiles off, put them back, pulled them off, tried different ones until I found myself not liking anything I did. I wanted him to look exactly like the Joe in the photo which isn't how I make mosaics. Once I remembered what the muse was telling me: "flow freely", I added his shirt and it started to coming together in my head as a fairly nice looking gentleman, but perhaps not exactly like Joe.


I made the birdhouse next and had to add lots of colors and a fun star toward the top. Next came the tree which quickly turned into a cactus when I decided to paint the background to help me decide on colors to use. I could see no matter what I wanted to do to keep it "exactly" like the photo, it wasn't meant to be. I gave into the muse and went with it.

The bright colors in this mosaic reminded me of the Arizona desert, New Mexico, California. I kept thinking as I was putting down dish tiles, that it was reminiscent of a colorful blanket.

Malachi (my 10 year old grandson), thought the cactus would look cool if it had some "prickers" on it. He picked up small pieces of glass I had laying next to the mosaic, and placed them here and there on the cactus with ease. I thought it looked great but would need to be added after the mosaic was grouted. He's very proud of his contribution and I'm proud that he has an artistic flair.




After grouting, Joe came to life. I called him "Cactus Joe" because it seemed to fit. The cactus that is supposed to be a cypress tree, seemed to fit in with Joe and his birdhouse. Scrabble letters were added to make sure everyone knew who he was. I'm fairly sure if she had looked at it without an explanation, she'd have had no idea what I was trying to create for her!

I included the original photo for her to keep as a reminder and because I felt she should have it. I've kept it safe for 12 years, now she'd have a mosaic inspired by this photo and the original photo as well.

I hope she enjoys this mosaic for many years to come.


Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!




Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

From The Studio - Wednesday

I've been working on secret gifts lately so I haven't been able to share much. I am sharing what I've been working on now, which is a birthday gift for my son-in-law but he rarely haunts my news feed on Facebook nor does he read my blog posts, so I'm fairly sure I can share his gift here. On Friday, I'll share the other gift I made because it has been shipped, delivered and well-received.

I'm always looking for great shapes to mosaic on and we always have a bottle or two around here to use. In truth I have 6 empty wine bottles washed out and ready to do things on and have more to use, plus decanters, whiskey bottles and a few other assorted cool looking shapes in bottle form.

My SIL likes whiskey and saved a Four Roses bottle for me last year. I've been pushing it around on the shelf for all that time until it told me it was ready to become a mosaic. His birthday is this month, so that was exactly what I needed to hear.

I used dark purple and chartreuse stained glass, iridescent black glass, silver and green mirror, ball chain and tempered glass.
I put tempered glass over the roses emblem. I considered leaving them exposed but in the end I felt I needed to add glass.

WIP - front

Front - Almost finished

The back is pretty nifty looking too!

Back - Ready for grout

Now it's ready for the grout pile and I think it's awesome. I hope he does too!

Front

Back
Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!



Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mosaic Monday

Mosaic Flower Power Cat Wall Art, Mosaic Cat, Mosaic Wall Hanging, Groovy, Flower Power, Cat Art, Mosaic Wall Art, Hippie Art, Bohemian Art

Lots of groovy flowers were placed on this cool cat. My hippie heart is content to have created this happy mosaic wall art. Those who collect cat shapes and art, will love, love, LOVE this mosaic!! So much colorful stained glass and neat looking flower buttons plus a ceramic heart have been added to give him or her an added bit of interest. The sides are tiled in dark blue.



Gift to someone special. Save it for yourself! Makes a great birthday present. Cat Mom's would think this is the cat's meow if gifted on Mother's Day. Cat Dad's too! Father's Day is not too far away!



Wedding, Anniversary, Retirement, Housewarming ... this mosaic wall art would be purrrfect for any of these occasions!

Measures 15 x 7 inches


Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!



Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.




Wednesday, April 11, 2018

From The Studio - Wednesday

It's been kind of difficult to share what I've been working on recently as it is a gift for a long-time friend who likes to read my blog posts. Special friends like that are hard to find, but I want her to be surprised when she receives her belated birthday gift, so until she does, I won't share it here.

However, other work on the table has been going along at a nice clip. I've done a lot of grouting over the past few weeks and have 2 more flower plates to grout before I can get them photographed and listed.


These plates are looking really pretty. Very happy with the results.

Finally managed to grout the red ornament and it's now happily in the window.

I also finished up the wall art I was working on. It should be listed as soon as the Camera Goddess wakes up. Right now the Mosaic Muse is taking center stage. But it sure is pretty!

I really hope to get this listed before the end of the week.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!



Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Mosaic Monday

Mosaic Art, Stained Glass and Hand Cut Dish Tiles, Sun, Moon and Stars, Celestial Design, Abstract Mosaic Art on Teak wood - 10 x 8 Inches

My Father gave me this old piece of teak wood he found in his shop a few years ago, asking if I could use it to make a mosaic with? Of course I could!! This is a solid piece of wood but has a few cracks on the back. To me, that gives it more character. By using the elements: sun, moon, stars I felt I honored what was once a large tree. I believe this piece comes from one of the branches. It is 10 x 8 inches. That's no tiny tree! In all it's glory, it must have been a beauty.




Stained glass, Van Gogh glass, silver mirror and dish tiles were all hand cut to fit. Polymer clay tile with the word "SUN" was attached. The stars around the crescent moon were pieces of jewelry once attached to a bracelet. Very small pieces of Millefiori were used to help create the sun. Lots of details in this one. Swirls around the moon and stars depicting clouds, a sun with rays of light surrounded by a nautical design in dish tiles.





Gift this to your favorite person, a special friend, or add it to the art collection you are creating in your home. Makes a great birthday present, would be appreciated as a retirement gift.

Comes with a stand.


Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!


Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mosaic Monday

Brand new listing in the shop today!

Mosaic Stained Glass Plate, Mosaic Plate, Moon and Sun Mosaic, Bohemian Art, Bohemian Decor, Hippie Art, Hippie Style, Mosaic Sun and Moon

Moon and Sun Mosaic Stained Glass Plate. Created on an old glass dish, the vibe for this moon and sun is definitely hippie inspired. Bohemian styled and in honor of my teenage years, growing up in the 60's and 70's, as a flower child in spirit. This plate is extremely groovy.

One of my absolute favorites to create in mosaic form, moons and suns always make me happy. Fits in anywhere within the home or even a small apartment. Perfect for someone just starting out and/or ready to retire. Appeals to all ages, young and old.



We love this style; we love the energy that comes with this design. We love creating moons and suns in mosaics! It is the middle ground between the light of the sun and the darkness of night, and thus often represents the realm between the conscious and the unconscious. The circular shape alone is a symbol of the never ending circle of life. Placing a half moon and half sun inside the circle supplies even more meaning. The sun is often recognized as a symbol of rebirth, strength and power.



Gift to someone for a birthday, as a Mother's Day or Father's Day gift, graduation, anniversary, wedding. Anyone who meditates and likes to sit peacefully focusing on an object can use this mosaic to help them go to a higher place within their mind.



Plate measures 10 inches and is a recycled dish given to me when I first moved to PA with my young children. It was used, loved and retired waiting for some mosaic magic. We're happy to share this with you!

Only on Etsy

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!



Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.
 
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

From The Studio - Wednesday

A few posts ago, I shared the process of taking small glass beads off of a broken vase. I have since sorted them all by color as best as I could and they're in their own baggies.

Some pieces wouldn't come off the glass. That's what is seen at the far left in this photo.
The pieces that are in the far left bag might get used in some way as they are. But I'm happy with the amount I have to play with and use in future mosaics! Well worth the time it took.

I got a photo tent kit this week and am learning how to use it. The lights are wonky and I considered sending them back but wanted to use the tent as soon as it came out of the box, so I found a creative way to still use the lights. They are supposed to sit on tripod legs and from the reviews and comments I read it seems it's either hit or miss with them. Some work, some don't. The good news is if sent back they'd be replaced, but I'm keeping these, I think. As crazy as it looks, placing them inside empty coffee cans gives me the same results as tripod legs!

The tent is upside down but I wanted to get a shot of the progress as I was putting it together.

While totally unconventional, it works!

I used the blue filter with this shot. Nice!!
Not crazy about the plastic sheets and their wrinkles but it is a good learning tool for me. I am figuring out what I like, what I need in the future and how to take better photos.

My favorite photo so far has got to be this one.

Heading to Etsy very soon!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!



Stay Peaceful and Let The Sun Shine In.