Peace Signs

Friday, June 27, 2014

In The Studio

Gearing up for a good month to 6 weeks of custom mosaic work is always exciting! But still, keeping myself busy with my own favorite things to do is exciting too!

I've got the porcelain doll I'm working on to keep me busy. She is looking pretty cool now that I've got a direction for her. I couldn't decide on a design when I first start working on her. It was getting frustrating because I really did want to do something. So after the cement was dry, I picked up the colors I thought I wanted to use and started.

cement did not make this thing look LESS creepy ...
I used purple iridescent stained glass as "hair" and started with circles on the body
I love the little red iridescent stained glass flowers a lot. The back will have 2 circles on it as well in the opposite sides with flowers around it. I'm aiming for black stained glass to fill in the background with bits of orange and purple placed here and there.
This doll IS a hoot to work on but under the arms and between the legs ... challenging for sure. This mosaic already has my DNA on it.

I did a mosaic on 2 new 3.5 inch candle holders almost ready for grouting!

These are going in the online shops for sure. I think I'll use white grout on the blue one and that wonderful suede color for the brown one.

While I was waiting for some sort of design inspiration to start the doll, I worked on an approximately 6 x 6-1/2 inch mosaic in one sitting. It's called "Birds Eye View".

Both crescent moons are ready to be grouted too. I think I'll have a messy party this weekend! Yay! I love to play with grout!!

the stars glow in the dark - wayyy cool
The supplies and materials for the custom are starting to arrive. Now is the time to look at each piece as a separate piece of art and decide on a design and color choices.

eleven drab looking switch plate covers will be getting some mosaic goodness making them all one-of-a-kind pieces of art

There's a sale going on at plus I got an order in on the last day to take advantage of a 20% off coupon too! Gotta love that!! I purchased 4 sheets of Cathedral glass for a really great price. Some will be used on the glass vases I'm doing for the custom order.

Two small candle holders/vases (3.5 inches) are prepped and ready for mosaics. I'm waiting for two 8 inch cylinder vases to arrive to be prepped and added to the pile.
Van Gogh Stained Glass
Yellow & Orange Swirled Stained Glass tiles
I used just about all of my scraps in these colors and thought it would be good to get them to use on the switch plate covers. Not all of them are going to be the same colors, the customer actually requested they all be slightly different in color and design. I like that! This glass came from - always a great experience ordering glass from that site.

10 inch peace sign will have blues and greens on it. I'm going to order blue mirror glass for this at the customer's request.
This fantastic MDF 10" Peace Sign was purchased through my first choice in MDF shapes, Etsy's very own ZZBob - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the shop! Thank you, Bob and Pam for the speedy delivery! They rock! I had them send it to me without a keyhole and added a D-ring myself to the back.

Looks like I'm going to be having lots of fun in July, don't you think?!

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

Stay peaceful,

Friday, June 20, 2014

In The Studio

I've had a lot of fun in the studio this week.

The scrap glass window is finished and placed on my windowsill. It makes me smile a lot during the day. I find myself staring at it for long periods of time both amused and amazed that I was able to complete it in about 6 weeks, with a good 10 days off in between.

It's grout time!
2 panes down, 4 to go
Sitting on the sill in my room
Eventually I want to stain and/or paint the wood in a burnt umber, my favorite brown for wood frames. But for now, it will sit here and keep me happy. Yay!

I worked on the crescent moons too. One has glass and mirror on it. The stars are painted in a glow-in-the-dark paint and covered in tempered glass.

Had some fun too with plaster cast strips and an old porcelain doll.

Getting it ready for the strips
Looking very macabre and creepy ... like a mummy or something much worse.
Next step is to add some thin-set to the body over the strips and then I can start adding the tesserae to it. The thin-set will ensure the doll is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the tess.

And while waiting for plaster to dry, I pulled out the next candle holder (because all of the ones I had listed on Etsy have been sold recently - woo-hoo!!) and the glass to go with it. Love these colors of blue.

I painted some switch plate covers using acrylics and glow-in-the-dark paint. When I can figure out how to get a photo of the glowing paint, I'll share it. I think I have to invest in a black light soon because I really love using that paint!

Portions of the clouds are painted in glow-in-the-dark paint. Can be turned either way too!
Only the flower has glow-in-the-dark paint. This too can be flipped either way.
Once I get a sealant on these and better photos, I'll list them in my shop on Storenvy.

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

Stay peaceful,

Friday, June 13, 2014

In The Studio

Happy Friday!

At this writing, all the customs I was working on are completed. Yay!

First, the switch plate covers are headed out today towards their new home. I really love how they look. I did a 2nd grouting around the sides of 3 of them (the black grouted one was painted along the sides) adding a glue/water mixture to the grout. When that dries, there's usually a bit of a gluey film on the glass. This requires a vinegar wash and some scraping with handy-dandy dental tools for just that purpose.

And all 3 Father's Day gifts should be picked up later today, I hope. These are for an extended family member. She has been watching their progress and says they bring a smile to her face. Yay!

DAD - has a tree of life with the 2 glass globs representing his two children

POP POP - this one was the only one she requested colors for - I really like how classy this looks

POPPY - I picked up the rooster and loved the colors of it so decided to add it to the plaque. I didn't realize until I placed it next to the word charm that this becomes "POPPYCOCK" - funny!

Yesterday in the afternoon, I decided to pull out the window and finish it up. I was so close to being completed with adding the scrap glass on it, I had to get back to it.

This is where I left it the last time I worked on it.

At this point, only one window was left to cover with stained glass scraps.

And here it is! Finished! Even in lamplight, it looks really cool. I'll be grouting this bad boy in a few weeks. I want to make sure the glue is dry.

Now I'll be doing some research for the newest custom I'll be working on. The order is for 2 candle holders, 2 vases and a 10" peace sign! Woo-hoo! I LOVE being busy!!

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

Stay peaceful,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taking a Blog Break

I've been a bit busy with custom orders and so grateful for the business I am in tears. And gratitude has it's rewards, I am certain of it, because I've now been asked to make more custom mosaics. This might take a while ... months I'm guessing. Feeling so very blessed to have found a customer who loves what I do so much, they want to be surrounded by my work. As someone said yesterday, I have a patron. How lucky am I?!

Because I like to share what I'm doing, I will check in with everyone on Friday using the opportunity to let you know what's happening "In The Studio".

Meanwhile, while I wait for glue and grout to dry on what I've made so far, I'm pulling out the ole' window once more to give it some more mosaic goodness.

Custom orders in different phases of progress:

When all of these are completely finished (polished, painted, grouted, sealed) I'll take photos once more and share on Friday. And of course photos of the window will be posted then too.

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

Stay peaceful,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Promo Blast!

I'm sharing my shop on this week and one of my favorite items in it.

Mosaic Pitcher

I gave an old McCoy cookie jar mass produced in the 1990's a mosaic face lift using some vintage dish shards. This pitcher has a new artful purpose and is simply awesome!
Bright colors in yellow, orange and green wrap around the pitcher from top to bottom. Grouted in a soothing sage green. I really love how it turned out and am very pleased to offer it here on Storenvy.
Decorative yet useful art is my favorite kind of art to make. Use in the kitchen to hold your cooking utensils, fill it up with flowers and place in the center of a table in any room in your home. This mosaic can be for anyone, at any age, placed in any room.
I am proud to take forgotten items and create a beautiful, useful piece of art like this one. It is a delight to share with you all the joy I have when I give new purpose to old pieces.
WARNING: temperature changes could crack the grout and pop the mosaic pieces off. Not recommended for outdoor use where temperatures reach below zero as they sometimes do here in Pennsylvania.

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

Stay peaceful,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Featured Shop - Besem Natural Scents


Besem Natural Scents

This is a first for me here with the weekly Featured Shop posts. I'm giving a review as well as kudos to a shop I have loved for a while.

Ever since I discovered this shop, I've had my sights on purchasing some "Old Hippie" which is a wonderful blending of patchouli and sandalwood. No kidding, it's something I've been wanting for a very long time.

I love this soap. Love is not even strong enough of a word. I'm more than happy to find a shop or two that becomes a favorite place to shop, no matter the site, but my first love has always been Etsy for virtual shopping and finding new favorites.

This incredible soap was an incredible value. For $7 + $5 for shipping USD, I received a generous 5-7 oz bar. I am on a tight budget and allowing myself a luxury like this, even at a more than reasonable price, means my standards have to be high. I'm very pleased with my purchase.

The description on Etsy says, in part: "Our Old Hippie scent blend is my rendition of the popular incense of the 60’s and 70’s. It is a woodsy, rich blend of amyris and patchouli, with base notes of sandalwood and top notes of orange blossom--positively captivating!. If you need to just "chill", then this is the scent for you! This blend is 98% natural, using pure essential oils almost exclusively as scent. Less than 2% of high quality fragrance oils are added so that we don't have to rely on endangered natural sandalwood for the deep woody notes."

BesemNaturalScents has made a fantastic first impression. The scent reminds me of my teenage years walking through the art district in New Hope, PA in the late 1960's, early 1970's. They nailed it! This soap is the best cold processed soap I've ever used. The lather is intense, something I didn't anticipate because in the 70's cold processed soap did not lather. It crumbled and fell apart, but smelled good.

Besem's soap is nothing like the soap I remember ever experiencing in the past. IT IS BETTER!

I'm sharing my photos of this wonderful soap, "Old Hippie" that will forever be a special treat for myself whenever possible. She sent a free sample too - always a bonus!

Obviously, they sell more than one kind of soap. Please take a few minutes and look through their Etsy shop, favorite, share, purchase. You won't be sorry.

Don't forget Father's Day is coming up! They have Beard Balm!!!

I have to say, the way they wrap the soap is simple: using magazine pages to hold the soap with their label around both and then wrapped up in a few more pages. Recycling something in a new way. Providing simple packaging is always nice to see and appreciated by those of us who struggle with how to package items in a pleasing yet eco-friendly way. And most of all, letting the product do what it needs to do and shine all on its own. Believe me, it does!

I'm in awe of the values the people involved with this shop have. How they find time to make an incredible product is beyond me. They have six children! I've often struggled between family and business. Having their family participating in this business is a testimony to living in a pure and simple way to find the balance with everyone involved that's able to help. It really doesn't get better than that. If you love what you do and have love surrounding you while you're doing it, it comes through in the final product.

In their words: " We have a heart for orphans, and initially wanted to raise money to help pay for our two adoptions. We also donate 10% of all profits to orphan relief. Adoption has been an incredible blessing to our family and we want to help raise awareness about the need for loving families and the great benefits to those families who open their homes to provide these children with a "forever" family. "

I sliced up the big bar so I could savor it for a long time. This is going to last me for as long as possible. And when the last slice is pulled out, I'll be ordering more. You can count on it!

This shop has a life-long customer. I highly recommend giving them a try. If this "Old Hippie" is happy, you know they are good!

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

Stay peaceful,