Thursday, March 31, 2011

An example of my display.

Here are a few photos of my "standard" display. I took these photos on Saturday at the "green" art show. These photos are a bit dark. For example on the top "shelf" there is an interspersing of tea light holders that are very difficult to see.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

After my "Green" Art Show

I did not do very well at this show, financially. However, a wAdd Imageoman asked me if I'd ever consider a gallery show. I said, "Yes!" although when she first asked I was so surprised I think I said, "What?"

Here are the photos of a Four Season Vase - remember the one that crashed to the floor? I needed to deconstruct this from it's original splintered glass and then reattach the stained glass to a new form, then grout and finially sand the sharp edges off. I like how it came out - the simplicity of the 3 leaves.

Finially, here are the very first of my beer can cap coasters. Ready to be sold on Etsy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Mirror is finished!

I decided that I was being to fussy about the Mirror, so yesterday I cleaned it up and put it on my Etsy site. I am actually quite proud of this Mirror, and of myself for finishing it. I saved this Mirror from being thrown away! Now, again, it is a thing of Beauty.

The Mirror, in all of it's glory, is finished and up for sale on Etsy

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Okay, so yesterday was not such a great post Birthday, Birthday. Perhaps today I will try again...

Yesterday just was not all that good a day. Perhaps I had expectations that just could NOT be met. Perhaps this year is just not a good Birthday year. So this is what I did.

I did work in the garage until my hands became to cold to work. I have decided that I really HATE Lexell or any other silicone alternative. It is a bit like trying to attach items with Jello as it is wiggly and has no control. And once this Lexell is on my hands everything I touch attaches to my fingers. However, I did get the bottle caps attached. I will go look at them later (even though now we are having a bit of a snowstorm! Really, yesterday's sunny skies are now gone. Drats!) Hopefully I will make a few more of these funny coasters with the beer caps. I also tryed to get rid of the sharp dents put in the bottle caps after being removed from the beer bottles. I tried to hammer them out using a screwdriver. It was a bit tricky as if I hammered too much or too hard I put holes in the cap.

Back at the house, I took the plastic mask off of the salvaged Mirror. For the most part I liked what I saw, but I had no business grouting when I was sick, as now I have a bit of a mess to clean up. The edges are not as crisp as I'd like them to be, although I think anyone who is just looking at this Mirror would not notice. Just me. Or a mosaic person.

I stained the frame which I think looks wonderful - the dark stain takes away the dry effect of that the previous, unknown, sander left.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I decided to use today as my Birthday as yesterday was somewhat of a bust.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was somewhat of a bust, so I have decided to make today my birthday celebration instead.

On Wednesday I grouted this mirror. It took me ever so long! Now it is all wrapped up, allowing the grout to "cure".

Today I will try staining the frame. I don't have any definate plans for this staining other than I will make it dark brown. This mirror is so old that the velvet ribbon just becomes bare when I attempted to remove it. The ribbon is fused to this frame! So I am going to stain over this tattered ribbon. Hopefully the ribbon won't interact with the stain and produce something ugley.

Experiments in chemistry!

Also I am rethinking my beer cap coasters. I have a tube of Lexel to use, but I think I will take the coasters and the Lexel to the garage as the Lexel has such a strong smell. I don't want my house reeking of some chemical for hours. Also, I believe I have a box of beer caps out in the garage. It is supposed to be in the upper 30's today so it seems like a good day for garage rummaging.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In spite of having the Crud, I think today I'll grout.

I am sick - AGAIN. I am not sure that I ever got over my case of the Crud as every few weeks it comes back. AGAIN.

Oh well. Today I think that I will grout. The large mirror will take a bit to mask off the ungrouted mirror parts of this. I don't want to scar it any more than it already was, so to be safe, I'll place the masking tape around the edges of this mirror. You can see by the bright blue tape that I have already begun to do this. When I am done I'll add a plastic bag and tape this down as well. Tomorrow I will show a photo of this mirror all wrapped up in it's pre-grouting glory.

Another project that I have been thinking about for a bit, is coasters made up of beer caps. I am a bit concerned about the uneveness of this surface, so for now the beer caps are just sitting and not glued down.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tomorrow I think I'll be able to grout my salvaged mirror!

As you can see, I have finished attaching the glass pieces to this salvaged mirror. I really, really like how it turned out. This mirror will be quite heavy as it is HUGE - 24 inches by 36 inches including the frame. (I will need to stain the frame - haven't quite figured out what or how yet.)

The other photos are from my last trip to Savers. I found the mosaic tiles in the back of the store as I was leaving. I was so excited as these small samples (I think that is what these are), are from a tile place in Minneapolis called Mercury Mosaics. I am not sure if I will leave these intact or more likely, I will take them off of their "web". We'll see.

The other photo is of a smallish tray, also purchased at Saver's.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Monday's Efforts

I was not able to get much done this week as I was substitute teaching. This activity wears me out! Especially some classrooms where the students are very needy or are very badly behaved! So this is all of my mosiac work for this week. Tomorrow there will be more as today is a day at home. (We have these very tiny ants that have found a way into our home and I need to discover where they are getting in and plug up the hole!)

I only have one long side left to add glass shapes to on this salvaged mirror. You can see that I am playing around with the colors and shapes. This mirror is quite large, 36 by 24 inches and very heavy.

Thank you to everyone who has added comments either to my blog or on the Etsy forums concerning this project. It is so good to know that people are following my blog and notice what I do! Thank you so much!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh! My aching back!

I worked on my salvaged mirror for 3-4 hours before my back just gave out on me. Perhaps there are a few stretching exercises that I can do that would help this. Usually I get up and do household tasks such as filling the dishwasher, or perhaps washing clothes. It just seems to help to move around a bit.

I made good progress as you can see. I continued to fill in the spaces between the vines with colored glass. Most of this glass was still on my table just waiting to be used. Occasionally I would dip into a container with miscellaneous glass for a variety of greens, yellows, golds and browns to make up the sections of vines.

Here are the pictures of the finished, grouted tea light holders with the heart motifs.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Mosaic Creator's Dream

Yesterday was a sort of mosaic creator's dream. All, well most all, of yesterday I was able to spend on this mirror. In fact I worked until my back ached and so then I stopped. And the light through my windows was amazing - all bright and shining. (Not today though as it is supposed to snow.)

I continued to fill in between the vine with vine-like shapes of green, gold, brown and blue. Later I had a thought - I should have filled in behind the vine with a solid blue. It was another of those "What was I thinking?" moments.

My cat Eli is enjoying watching and waiting for the snow to melt. He went outside yesterday, traveling beyond our pines to soak up the sun. Then he walked on top of the snow, with his large snowshoe like paws, to get to the back door to come back inside. He is huge, larger even than my dog, Gracie.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Working around the Scars

I worked for only about 2 hours on this mirror yesterday before heading off to substitute teach. I was very mindful of how I placed my pieces of handcut glass on this mirror as sometimes I would put them in places to cover up the scars on this mirror and not necessarily for aesthetic reasoning.

For example, as you can see, I put an almost perpendicular line of "vine" across the short end of the mirror that I was working on yesterday. This was very intentional as it followed the faint, but noticeable scarring caused by the electric sander that an unknown person had used on this very old mirror. (I found this mirror outside in the snow next to a garbage can in Minneapolis years ago. Hopefully this mirror will become "trash to treasure".)

Cutting and placing the glass will take many many hours. My estimate of my time to complete this mirror is another 20 hours of just placing the small glass pieces. However as I always seem to underestimate the needed time involved to complete anything, it will probably take 25 to 30 hours.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Wonderous Clouds and adding to the Vine.

Yesterday I was only able to work a bit on my resalvaged mirror. I began to place and attach small pieces of glass in vine like patterns to fill in behind the main ceramic vine.

I have attached a photo of the most amazing clouds outside of my back door. They remind me of torn tissue paper. I need to remember to look UP as there is often something mysterious and wondrous to look at.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, no!

Yes, I had an accident with the very lovely ungrouted 4 seasons vase that I had just finished attaching the stained glass to last week. I am not sure how I even managed to do this (accidents DO happen) but the vase got smashed on the cement floor of my studio. I was sick about this, but then I just plunked the whole demolished mess into a bowl of water, let it sit there for several hours and then pried off the pieces of stained glass.

Then on Monday and Tuesday I completed reattaching the stain glass.

I hope it is better than ever.

I also worked a bit on my portable altar. I decided to decorate the two drawers with additional hearts from firedandfused, an etsy artist whose work I really love to use, as well as leaves. (You can see the reworked 4 seasons vase in the background.) However, as I have now decided that each side of Mary should be adorned with small red tea light candle holders, like the ones I have seen at churches, and as I only have one, this project may end up sitting for a bit until I find another slender red holder.

Then I began to work on an abandoned mirror that I had found many years ago next to a garbage can in Minneapolis. Someone had tried to remove the trim around the edge of this mirror, (I am not sure why as I found this trim to be charming), with an electric sander and had damaged the mirror in the process. My goal, (before I also abandoned this mirror into my garage!) was to cover the damaged parts of the mirror with mosaic. So yesterday I continued the vines and imaginary leaves around the perimeter. I really like this, although this is an older mirror and it will be very heavy when I am done.