Peace Signs

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

In The Studio - Wednesday

Today I'd like to share the mosaic I made for a silent auction happening in my area locally in April. On March 11th I was sent an email from a Silent Auction Chairperson about donating a piece of art for an upcoming fundraising event. Those who know me, know I LOVE to donate my art to worthy causes. I have gotten scammed twice, that I am aware of, but every other time I've donated art, I've found it to be an enriching experience. Enough so that even though some folks never followed through with their promise to return the art if it doesn't sell for their event, I still love to donate art.

The Gwynedd AMBUCS, here in Pennsylvania is the Gwynedd chapter of the national AMBUCS organization are a national organization dedicated to providing mobility options for individuals with disabilities. The local chapter in particular funds adaptive tricycles for kids and adults with disabilities. The yearly fundraiser is coming up on April 16th at Cedarbrook Country Club, a drinks and dancing event with the fabulous Greaseband. The funds raised at the silent auction help fund bikes for the entire year. The best part is, the chairperson is a pediatric physical therapist. She said she's had the great pleasure of giving away a number of Amtryke adaptive bikes to her young patients and can attest to the absolute joy these kids experience knowing that they now have a bike they can ride outside with their friends and family!

I'm honored she found me and made the request to donate art. And I'll do it again if she asks next time!

This time, I made a mosaic wall art specifically for their event. After chatting with her through email, she expressed her favorite mosaics I've made. One of the things she liked was "A New Horizon", shown below.

This prompted me to start making a smaller version, similar in design. Here is the progress from start to finish.

From A Distance - 8 inch MDF wall art
Stained glass and stones

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Deep thinking for EMM - Special Blog Post for Tuesday

Deep thinking for EMM today: I'm so out of my element here but have started thinking about the next step for my business.
I love selling online but I would like to take it one step further. I'd like to open a bricks and mortar shop next year in 2017, sharing what I do, making room to do bigger things (like more old windows similar to what I did in my small space a few years ago), having small classes on the weekends to share what I do with others of all ages and experience levels. I'm self-taught and have 10 years experience under my belt. It's time to move forward a bit and expand on what I do.

I thought about looking for investors for years but I don't have a clue what I'm doing and frustrated, I gave up. I also tried for years to write a business plan but as things got more difficult (my brain doesn't work that way), it became less of an issue to do and I gave up after I moved in with my daughter. Now, starting over instead of trying to continue where I left off seems like the best option. And still, I'm out of my element.
I'm sure there is a viable market locally where I live in Pennsylvania for an art work shop and space for people of all ages to come and play with mosaics and other fun things. I've got the dreams but need the backing and that's where I fizzle out. I don't know how to find the help I need. I understand the risk. I understand not many would see my dream as something worth an investment. But I also know there has to be a few people out there wanting to help the arts. Real people with real knowledge on how to make my dreams come true.
I create and love to share what I create with others. I don't know much else other than that I have a strong desire to do it. I see the opportunity to help busy Mom's get an hour of grocery shopping done alone while their kids come and make mosaics with us, I see the same busy Mom's stopping by one night during a busy week for wine and mosaic making and lots of fun. I see an area where I can expand and work on furniture salvaged from the dumpster and other big pieces. I'd get the love of mosaics shown and shared which is the best thing ever! And have the room I need to expand and create would be a real dream, instead of sharing cramped corners with the muse who wants to spread her wings and fly!

I've seen this dream in my head for close to 7 years and haven't yet found the way to go forward. I get stalled out and frustrated. I'd love to have someone be my business voice, a partner who appreciates what I do but handles the parts I'm no good at. Before anyone asks, yes, I did write to a mentor on the SBA site a few years ago when I had mentioned everything above and was told I can't do what I want to do because I have no financial backing, no collateral. Basically this person told me to give up on my dream because she said it wasn't possible. I did listen for about a year and then got physically sick and unable to think about anything other than pain management for a good long time.
I'm coming back around now, back to thinking it's got to be possible, back to the same dream I've had for so many years. I have limited mobility and no longer drive; going to local meet ups to find like minded people probably won't happen unless it is through online. So, I'm thinking there's probably an angel investor or a financial backer just waiting for me to come along. But it seems hard to know what's real and what's not.
Okay ... thank you for reading and wish me luck. I'm hoping I will find what I'm looking for. Any help or advice is always welcome.
Here's an article I read that made me start thinking about all of the above once more.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Promo Blast!

Bright flowers in orange, green and blue wrap around the pitcher in stained glass and mirror. I call this design Flower Power. It makes me happy and keeps me smiling. This was a groovy project to do.

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. Could even hold brushes and combs in the bathroom. This can be for anyone, at any age, placed in any room.
Measures 6 inches high, 3.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches long.

I gave the soft cream colored vintage pitcher an updated look. There are no markings on the bottom of the pitcher but the original felt "feet" are still in place.
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!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Friday, March 25, 2016

In The Studio - Friday

Happy Friday! What a fun week I've had!

I've been working on the glass vase all week when I'm not working on the online shops. I want to make sure each store has everything listed in it. I have some photos waiting for editing, some mosaics to be photographed, some mosaics waiting for grout for both! I don't have the energy I used to have to go through an entire store filled with listings in one day. I do a few hours, then I have to stop and do something else. Part of that is due to not being able to sit in a computer chair for 10 hours any longer but most of it is because I want to go play with glass or dish tiles way before the computer work is finished. In order to honor my art and the muse, I try to spend mornings working on the online stuff and afternoons making mosaic magic.

I started adding stained glass fish to the etched fish on the vase. I think they are so cool.

I was looking at all the photos I took of the 25 crosses I've made over the last few years. A few didn't get photographed but most of them have. I used the mosaic maker feature through and got this nice collection of all the crosses.

The last one still needs grouting which I should do within the next few days.

A lot of work goes into making a mosaic. Prep work before a mosaic begins and once it's finished is a must! I put painters tape around the MDF circle and the last cross to make sure grout doesn't go where I don't want it to go. This prevents black smudges from appearing on the back of the mosaic once the grout has been added.

I like to take a photo of the mosaics I make on glass before grout. One day I might try not grouting a glass-on-glass mosaic but it's doubtful. I truly love what grout does for my mosaics. Some folks make mosaics and don't grout at all. For me, it looks unfinished. Having said that, here's a cool shot of the hurricane lampshade I put a mosaic on that is waiting for grout.

Since it has a beach feel to it, I believe I'm grouting this one in white. I study the grout colors I have for days (sometimes weeks!!) to make the decision as to which one to use. This one was a toss up between a tan color and white. When I have trouble making the decision, I put a little grout next to the mosaic and study it. Luckily I can "see" what the mosaic would look like grouted in the color next to it. I do it like this:

While sorting through the piles when I was "reclaiming my space" before the muse came out to play, I found a slew of dishes I can't really use for cutting up but they aren't good enough to use for their intended purpose, to eat off of. Some are very old, gifted to me when I moved here in the earlier 1990's. Others are plates folks have donated to the cause throughout the years. I was complaining the other day about not having small plates to put mosaics on, to make into trivets or candle holders and I realized I really do have more than I need. Check out this small selection I've photographed below.

These range in size between 6-8 inches. All will have broken china on them.

The larger plates range between 8 and 9 inches. Some will have stained glass, some will have broken china.

Just when I think I don't have what I need to continue with my creativity, I find it within mere inches of where I'm sitting imagining designs and color patterns. Cool!

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

In The Studio - Wednesday

Wow has the muse been keeping me busy!! I finished getting glass on the donation piece, which I'll share more about in a separate post once it's grouted and ready to go. Number 25 of 25 crosses got some mosaic bling and I've started working on a large glass vase that has etched fish in it. This was gifted to me by someone we consider extended family. She is always thinking about how I can take what she no longer wants and turn it into a mosaic or use for my art in some way. Gotta love it!

The donation piece is an 8 inch piece of MDF. This is similar in design to "A New Horizon" a glass-on-glass mosaic I made a few years ago. "From A Distance" is ready for grout and finishing touches.

The last cross was a difficult one. I originally used dish tiles and stones on this and the grout cracked and chipped off the tiles. I thought I had a photo of the damage it did, but I can't locate it. Trust me, it wasn't pretty. I hadn't primed the cross before putting the tiles on it for some reason; had to have been when I wasn't feeling well because this is a no-brainer when it comes to mosaic substrates --- ALWAYS prime wood or MDF and even some glass pieces before putting tesserae down on the substrate. It caused water to seep through the grout into the MDF and cracked the grout. Luckily, the cross did not warp. Whew. I painstakingly chopped up the stones with a hammer, dug out all the grout and tiles and let it sit for a while before I decided to prime it and try again. As I was moving things around during the cleaning frenzy (which has stopped for the moment because the muse wanted to play with all the fun things I found while cleaning) I saw a box with tiles in it that would be perfect for cross #25.

This vase stands 10 inches high. I tried to get some photos showing the fish. As often is the case, I started with a plan which quickly faded with the sunset. The only thing I knew was the colors I wanted would be in blues, purple and greens. We'll see what happens once it's covered with glass. As usual, grout will do wonders for this one. My nipping skills are just so-so these days. I have limited mobility with my hands some days and the tools I have are old and have been lovingly used for years. But, I will still keep going because I know at some point new tools will be purchased, more space for cutting and setting up the grinder will appear when it is supposed to. Meanwhile, here is this awesome vase so far.

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

Monday, March 21, 2016

Promo Blast!

I'm giving a shout out to one of my favorite photo shops today. See the awesome things Society6 can do with photographs. The print is on both sides of everything shown here. These make fantastic gifts! I've given a few myself over the years and I'm never disappointed with the quality.

Star Shine

16 x 16 inches - $20.00

Mostly White

17 x 12 inches - $27.00

Doodle Sun

Comes in 3 sizes. Shown here is the small-6 x 5 inches - $14.00

Lotus Sun

Comes in 3 sizes. Shown here is the small-6 x 5 inches - $14.00

Blue Heart

16 x 16 inches - $22.00

In Bloom

16 x 16 inches - $22.00

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