The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

New Happiness 

Jake just showed me how to adjust this page view. Now I don't have to look at all the stuff previously typed, just what I am doing now. YAY!

Ian asked me on Thanksgiving if I had experienced a lot of change in my life. The answer was no until the assassination of Kennedy in 1963. Then Martin Luther King, then Bobby Kennedy, then Kent State...and it was all upheavel for a while. I suppose that's why we all got into Transcendental Meditation to try and calm down....but in regards to computer technology...

College registration when I was a freshman at Temple University was accomplished by punch cards. Students stood in lines at tables and professors who had open classes handed you a card. When you collected 5 cards you turned them in and the computer printed out a schedule...Oooooo.

I never even owned a hand held calculator in college.

I didn't get a computer until I was well into my 30's...Helen was in high school. It was just a better typewriter. I could help Jake write papers. We had the computer a year or 2 before the cable company even offered internet service in out remote location.

I always saw Internet as a threat...where predators lurked to steal your children or your charge card. Now predators might live in your computer to hide government secrets and retrieve them later. So the answer to Ian is, my view of cyberspace is extremely paranoid.

Blogging is one of the first fun experiences I've had with this gizmo. It is the only way in which I use the machine for recreation besides solitaire.

Back in the rhythm 

Wrote all the Christmas cards today. It was so nice to direct everyone to the blog for a Christmas message!

Am packing up Entenman's fruit cakes to send to people who might enjoy discovering that this brand of fruitcake is pretty good.

Got all the bills paid this afternoon and will make the bank/post office run tomorrow...along with a happy detour over to Atlantic Tile . :-)

We feasted tonight on beets, corn, potatoes and broccoli.

Zeus caught a fat, brown grove rat. A feast for him.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Okay, I am adjusting 

Helen says the new page is because of the update I got Thursday. I guess more can be revealed now on my typer screen. I still don't like it, but I can cope.

David sat at my workbench and tiled a flower pot after Turkey feast. I will dremel and grout it for him tomorrow.

Jake finished a stand for Blue Moon and it looks really professional now.

Leroy phoned Wednesday and my glass tile was in at Atlantic. I will have to schedule a trip over there on Monday.

Too much pumpkin pie is making me feel sluggish, but we really enjoyed having all the kids visit. What a great Thanksgiving!

I don't like the new blogger format 

I can't even figure out how to do this.

I don't like the new blogger format 

I have come to blogger today and it's all new and yucky. I may not want to continue.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

You are Beef Ramen!!
You are Beef Ramen! You are well liked, and you are
very socially adept and easy to talk to and to
get to know. People appreciate that you are
willing to pay attention to them. You normally
are a hard worker, though social life will
always come first for you.

What Flavor of Ramen Noodles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Working Hard  

Working Hard but not at mosaics at the moment.

Chopped celery. Peeled and chopped carrots. Harvested citrus for the citrus salad. Put cranberry sauce in the fridge to chill.

Dusted the house. Vacuumed the house. Did loads of wash. Rearranged the dining room table for buffet set up. Hunted through the cabinets and found the tablecloths. Tried to set them up so the old spaghetti and gravy stains won't show. Washed and set out the serving platters.

Denise called. Karin called. Suzy invited me to a party.

Jake didn't catch any fish. Spanish chicken and homemade salsa for supper. Run to the store...we're out of loaf bread. Jake naps and I go to the Y...lost 2 lbs!!!

Mr. Frosty got stacked but the internal wire support may not hold. UhOh.Mosaic statuary gets heavy in a hurry.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Thank you! Thank you! 

Oh Thank you Helen for posting these pictures! I am so happy. Look, I even bolded so Happy!

These are pictures of Tall Butterscotch vase and the one with the flowers is Little Companion piece.

The gallery told me last Friday that they have both sold. !!!

Oh, I am happy over the pictures and I am happy over the sale.

Love Beams!!!


And the walls came tumbling down...almost.

A man named Frank showed up today to take out a section of wall that had been the nursery soil bin. When he bid the job, he did not believe me that the interior of this wall had been poured solid with concrete, lest the soil dump trucks hit it and break it.

So he showed up this morning with naught but a masonary saw and sledge to do the job, having left his bobcat loader and pneumatic jack hammer cutter behind in Umatilla.

That man really struggled with that poured solid wall. He earned every dime. At one point I thought he was going to give up and drive back to Umatilla to get the proper equipment, but he just kept swinging and slicing. And eventually the wall was off.

The whole bin area can now be converted for Jake's welding.

All the pieces of Mr Frosty are finished and can be assembled later. I tried to work on the carport wall again but it is too windy and the mortar kept crusting up. I started a 15 gal pot based on an afghan quilt pattern. Got tiles cut to start that one.

Wonder if I should stock up on Florida tile classic tropical colors since the company sold and might change their line?

Frank is going to send "Tig" to give me a bid on pouring a sidewalk. I am forewarned that he is a Harley man, bearded and tatooed. I can't wait!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Beautiful Sunday 

What a perfect weather day. Sunny and cool and just made for mosaics.

Mr. Frosty got grout and looks great. A few details to finish on the base and he can go for sale.

The twin pots are finished and painted...ready to go for Sorrento in the spring.

Jake painted the stand and I finished all the tiling on the candle holder. By habit, I brought it into the house to dry. Usually drying takes days because of Florida's high humidity, so to dry, you have to brings inside the air conditioning. Then I remembered, it's cool and dry. We actually have the house open. One of the few times of the year we can do this. The candle holder looks great on the bookcase under the lamp.

Jake welded me a DooDad holder. I don't know what else to call this thing. It's a mosaic finial on a steel post. You'd stick it in your garden for a decoration. Or put it in your yard with flag tape if you were trying to help someone find your house. It's cute.

We went over to Scott's Produce and picked up corn for supper. Also yellow beans, tomatos and a mango. We took the Green Bean. Zoom Zoom.

Tonight I hope to get a large terracotta pot lined out. My wet saw is wet again, so I might as well start cutting on that project.

I used the wet saw and the Running Rabbit grinder to cut a circle of Durarock. Cutting wet was a lot better than dry and dusty. But I could only do it because the project was small enough to fit on the machines.

Got the Turkey out to thaw today too. MMMMM.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Done Done 

The Promethea is finished. I found copper toned spray paint at JoAnn's Crafts and sprayed the body to match the base yesterday. Today we (Jake since this is a heavy piece) will move it out into the garden by the Variegated Pittosporum.

At Pier One I saw some candle holders in slate chip mosaic. They were $8.00. I have a form on hand and will make a candle holder this evening.

Also all I have to do on Frosty is grind the cuts on the hat, then all's ready for grout.

We have to clean the porch today too. We are expecting 14 people for Thanksgiving buffet.

Busy day ahead.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Error in today's blog 

Down at the bottom at 6:51PM, it says I love teddy bears. That is where Helen and I were practicing using the bold. I do not love teddy bears, I love tile.

Heaven, I'm in Heaven 

Atlantic Tile is heaven.

I try to tell myself when I walk in the door, to be cool. But invariably I spot the imported handmade Italian and English glazed ceramics and I start panting. I get high looking at the sample boards. I get dizzy and exhilirated.

Some women want to collect lipstick or nail polish colors; I want all the color tiles.

Oh my God, the cute little handpainted embossed insects...and the florals...

Randy was there today. Sorry not to see Karen or Leroy. Especially sorry not to see Atlas. But I got my murano glass ordered and was happy.

Randy says my order will be in next Tuesday...yeah, as if. It was 6 weeks last time. That's why I'm stocking up for spring.

I went from there down to Scotty's to get some copper colored paint. After I found my color, I wandered over to the tile department. It was mostly boring floor tile...until I spotted the Dolphino board. I have a good bit of this that I get up at Lowe's, but their color way was darker. A royal purplish blue.

Now, Scotty's had some give away sample boards, so I picked one up. But the cashier wouldn't give it to me and called the manager. I told him it was a sample to see about remodeling my pool next spring, but he still wouldn't let me take it. It was only 4 tiles...
but he was insistant. So I put the paint back and left. Grrr.

But the company rep had taped his business card to the backs of the samples. I might go back and get the card and see if my company can order a case.

At 1PM, I dropped by the gallery since they said they had sold one of my pieces, but no one was there so I will have to make another trip.

Helen and Serena came home for dinner and laundry and Helen taught me a new blog trick. She is going to post some pictures for me tomorrow too. We couldn't figure out how Ian had the host site set up.

If I react so strongly to one tile store, how will I survive if I go to Coverings (trade show) in the spring? I'll be a gasping fool. Best to leave the Mastercard at home that day.
i love teddy bears

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Dashed Hopes 

A small ad in the Classified section today read "Tile-Assorted sized & styles. Blowout Clearance." and listed a local phone number.

In my mind, this was some little old retired tile man who had collected 4x4 glazed for decades and now his wife was making him clean out the garage. So I called.

It was some yahoo liquidator who had bought a semi-load of discontinued floor tile and was trying to unload it. Bummer.

Also I called an ad about concrete removal. If these folks have insurance, I will hire them to take out a section of the soil bin wall and open the area up for Jake's welding site.

I have piddled with Frosty's top hat and I started a flower motif on a large terra cotta pot, but it's 86 degrees again and humid so I'm not too peppy. Notice that I'm in the house blogging at 2PM instead of out sweating in the studio. Duh!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Wait A Minute Mr. Snowman 

Frosty's body is tiled and I got to try an experiment on the base construction...and it worked! Yay!I used chips of Bissaza glass and it gave a nice contrasting effect against Frosty's round tesserae. Tomorrow I have to work out the groutlines of the hat. Andamento is everything.

My first teacher used a wide andamento. My second teacher uses a very reduced andamento and lets the tile do all the work. I generally prefer to use the grout line to carry the rhythm of the pieces.

I am thinking about going to the Deland Art Festival this weekend just to meet Michelle Petno. I've never seen her work, but I understand she works in smalti. No andamento there.

We went to the Y tonight, but I've come home and eaten too much popcorn. Now I'm really thirsty and bloated. Better luck on the diet tomorrow. Hey, I look like the Snowman; no problem.

Safety Equipment 

When I use my wet saw, I always wear eye protection.

When I use my grinder, I always wear eye protection.

When I dremel, I always use eye protection.

Who knew the hand held nippers would get me?

Shaping circles for the Snowman circle was going well. Then I pinched a corner and it flew up and over my glasses and lodged in my left eye. Not only did it hurt like hell, I was truly afraid of a sharp edge of ceramic poking into my eyeball.

Jake saved the day by washing my eye with Celluvisc. Thank goodness it was a lump of clay and not a shard of glaze. It washed right out. Today is a new day in the shop. I will be wearing eye protection doing hand work.

The birds are telling me that Mr Snake is lurking again.

My biggest safety fear is getting my hair caught in the dremel when I motion to push the safety glasses up higher on the bridge of my nose. I make it a point to pull my hair into a ponytail when dremeling.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Mr. Corn Snake 

Mr. Corn Snake has been hanging around the studio since Wednesday. He is about 3 ft. long and causes the blue jays to shreik in alarm whenever he creeps about. Wednesday I swatted him off the patio with a broom. Today he was up about 12 ft. in the Photinia hedge. I tried to swat him with the broom but couldn't reach. He is cute. He has an "UhOh..." look on his face when the birds and I discover him. As long as he doesn't come inside the studio for the winter, I'll be cool.

A 5'ft hognose snake was hanging around about a month ago. Come to think of it, all the toads in the studio are gone! Also a 4 ft pine snake was inside the studio under Jake's bench last week. This is all cool unless they scare me; then they are so busted.

I remember one of the nuns down at St Leo telling me that when she lived in Jakarta, her job was to sweep the cobras off the sidewalk every morning. Yikes!

On a happy note...Helen phoned and SHE NEEDS TO DO LAUNDRY!. This means photo upload soon. and more happy news, the man who bought her life size sculpture...has agreed to move it to his location himself!

My snowman is cute. Also grouted the commercial products today. Worked a little on the garage wall too. Very nice weather.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Lowe's and Behold 

Last night on a run to Lowe's for supplies, I noticed that the whole tile department is being redesigned. My favorites, American Olean Brites, have been reduced to almost nothing. There are some new glass tiles, but the majority of the tile department now is 12x12 floor slates in neutrals. It is a very bland place now without a lot of 4x4 glazed in rainbow colors.

In the news this week, some large holding company bought out Florida Tile. I hope that doesn't cause a drop in the glaze colors supply. Yikes. I have always liked Florida Tile's tropical colors.

I really need a road trip to Tons of Tile in St Pete to stock up.

Recipe for my Aunt: Spray casserole dish with Pam. Peel, half and quarter 4 potatoes. Chunk up the fennel into chunks about 3" or so. Add butter and a little chicken stock to moisten. Cover with foil and bake about an hour and a half at 350.
Next I am going to chunk up the fennell and bake with chicken leg quarters.

Friday, November 14, 2003

A Little Money 

Dropped by the gallery today. No word yet on whether Tall Butterscotch vase works for the customer...height, color, style...etc. It and Little Companion piece were sitting on a shelf waiting to go bye bye clien't house for judgement. They looked sad.

But they told me another piece had sold. YAY!. It was still busy with the lunch crowd and they couldn't stop to look up tickets, so I will drop by again in a week or 2 to collect $$ and get a verdict on the others.

I am totally bummed that Helen has animation and I don't even have a photo. This is so not fair. Grrrr.

I understand that Durarock can be cut with a utility knife. But because I had to create 36 one foot square pieces, I used a circular saw with a masonary blade. It was very VERY dusty. I tried wetting it down with a spray bottle, but that took too long. I know Makita makes a small hand held wet saw...a circular saw with a water attachment, but it costs almost $200. I just put on a dust mask and cut with the circ saw and masonary blade.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Holiday Art 

Yes, I am insane. I have crossed some sort of invisible line today. It's...It's....I started mosaicing a Snowman!!!!ARGH!!!!

I need a life. So I went to the Y and had a great work out. Later, Jake and I are going to the Z meeting. Jake is getting a plaque for his restored 240Z. Also going to run errands and do some Christmas shopping in the Altamonte area.

After wrestling with Camedia, I got two photos of mosaics shrunk down and pray that Ian needs to do laundry and will show at the house over the weekend. Then I can corrall him into posting pictures again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


I had a burst of energy this afternoon. Since lunchtime I have completed the grouting on Blue Moon, finished all tiling on Promethea, and created 2 collage pots from scratch. These last 2 are for the craft fair in April, nothing of significance. Nice weather at last and more on the way Friday.

Dream Come True 

For years, I have been helping college kids with getting textbooks. The most fun I had was when kids would phone me up and we'd go to the campus bookstores and shop. I just loved it and usually bought books for myself as well.

Anyway, I am now doing the legwork to formalize this book buying process. I am sending a letter to the new principal at THS. Since she's going to support the arts, I'm going to make my support official too. Hope this is a win/win for all involved.

Suzy says she has mosaiced a mirror in her bathroom. Hope I will get to drive over and see it this weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Only one or 2 more pieces on the base and Promethea will be ready to dremmel. Painted a door stop and touched up a pot rim with Rustoleum. Got the last half dozen pieces on Blue Moon.

Jake's anvil arrived around lunchtime. It is a WHOPPER!

Went to the Y about 3PM. Then home and lotsa veggies for supper. Finding the mosquitoes too thick to work outdoors after dinner, we are writing Jake's grant.

Tomorrow I phone up Stetson to make sure the FRAG grant money was applied to our account. Grrr. Then dremel and laundry.

This is the life of Mosaic Mom.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Oh Happy Day 

Oh Happy Day!
Oh Happy Day!
Web pictures might be on the way!
Aunt Karin don't know what to do,
Her days as a campsite manager are through.
A computer maven she wants to be
And that is really great news for me.
I'll buy a website, don't you know,
And all my art work then will show!

Yeay, if Aunt Karin gets into this, I'll get web sites for me and Helen and Jake and link up to pictures. You go Aunt K!

Not a mosaic day today. I have too much laundry and housework to worry about.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Garage Sale Day 

Last night we went to Helen's art show...OK, it was the Stetson University Student Art Show, but we take it very personally.

We were so delighted that she sold her pieces!!! YAY! It is so encouraging when you sell your art. It is the best personal job reward that there is.

Today I had a garage sale and made about $40.00, but it feels soooo good to have some space in the store room again. I sold one mosaic piece at garage sale discount prices. It was a 30" stool with a bumble bee design on the seat but it had crumbly grout on the legs. The lady was going to use it on a brick terrace though and didn't mind.

I also sold some dishes we had had for 25 years. I had second thoughts..."I could use them for mosaics!". But when the man opened the box to check for broken plates, they were entact but covered in bug shit. I can't believe he bought them anyway. It was stomach turning. Blech. I could not have touched them for mosaics.

So I am happy with my little garage sale money and will spend it on Christmas presents.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Mangos for Mom 

What a busy day! I called my friend in Atlanta. He has lots of experience with frames and a little comment he made solved my design problem on the upcoming Bunny Frame.

Kathy delivered the mail and I was pleased to get my renewal notice for SAMA. Must pay that one immediately!

Then I took photos of Tall Butterscotch and Little Companion piece, wrote up an invoice and trotted them off to the gallery. I love Tall Butterscotch and told the gallery owner that for the first time ever, I hoped a client didn't like the piece so I could get it back. I put a testy price on it too to ward her off. But things don't look hopeful. Everybody loved it. Now what?

Then I drove out to Scott's Farm produce stand and got okra, corn, zucchini, tomatoes and the mangos looked so good, I bought 2.

Next it was back to town to the Art Room to see the students completed mosaic projects. Two or three of them were outstanding! Natural mosaiacists. Kinda of a natural way of handling the medium.

Back at the house, Helen and Ian showed up. Ian had a huge wad of laundry to churn. Helen and I tried to give him advice for the upcoming campus visit by his girlfriend and his girlfriends mother. We all hope they choose Stetson.

Ian earned some $$$ by putting a picture on my blog. It is a year old shot of the carport wall. Notice the quisqualis plant still there. The wall now is very near finished and the scaffolding down.

Ian will give me more pictures every time he visits. Then if Blogger ever gets its picture capacity I will be independent. I would have had a second photo but we got into a 3 way harangue about Photoshop vs Camedia vs some word program and froze the computer. Duh...then they had to get back to campus.

A busy day and lots of fun.

Picture Test 

Admin test.

NOOOO! Why doesnt it work!?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Advice from a good friend 

Suzy came by today and approved the floral design. Yeah! Now I can start making picks and bows.

She hadn't been here since May or June so she saw all my recent work including my mosaiced vacuum cleaner. She thinks I ought to work harder to get shown at galleries. I told her I'm not very good at butt kissing to get into the art cliques. I'm happy to put my "Mosaics for Sale" out on the highway and sell out the back door of the studio as the mood suits me. Of course I ain't making much money either, so I'd better think about what she says.

Later Jake told me I'd better take the piece I promised to the gallery over to the gallery. Dang! I guess I gotta gussie up and go soon.

I got a lot dremelled on Promethea yesterday and was thrilled that Helen said it was a piece that was growing on her. She got 2 pieces accepted at the Duncan for the show that opens on Friday. YAY!

I got a flower pot grouted and more grout on the carport wall. I wish it wasn't so darn hot.So humid. Record highs for November.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Flower Power 

Suzy's daughter's wedding reception is coming up soon and I am doing the flowers. Today I made up a practice arrangement and Suzy will come take a look after school. I kinda like the terrarium look...and I didn't think I would...but it's cute and it really expresses her personality.

It is too freaking hot to go back to the shop and rummage aroung to find foam board to start laying out the bunny mirror. Besides I realized that one has to be careful with the bottom edge of a mirror causa at some point it will sit on the floor. I have to think about this some more.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Toodling Around 

Hopped in the truck this morning and delivered Helen's huge, heavy statue to the Duncan Museum for the student art show on Friday. Then off to the bank and the post office on the usual first of the month run. Went over to the courthouse and paid the land taxes. I have learned that if I wait till the end of November to do this chore, the lines are ferocious and parking is impossible. It weren't no piece of cake today either!

I am debating about taking Tall Butterscotch vase out to the gallery since I am dressed nice at the moment (since I went to the Duncan and the Courthouse). But I am really tired, so a nap first.

Yesterday, we went to Scott's Produce and got fresh sweet corn and okra. I am really looking forward to supper already.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Anvil Power 

Since Jake's birthday is in a few weeks, I ordered his present already. I decided to get him an anvil. Got him a 220 lb one with an 8.5 inch horn and an 11 inch strike plate.

Unfortunately, the company e mailed me about the order and Jake found out about his present last night. But he is very happy.

I'm getting him a forge for Christmas. Why try to keep a secret? Merry Christmas, honey.

I wonder if he's getting me a 220 lb gift?

Finished Blue Moon last night and dremelled today. Finished the top work on Promethea and started on the base. But there's a problem on the base. The tesserae are not sized properly in proportion to the top, so I will be removing a lot of tiles today. Dang.

I want photos so bad. Hurry up, Blogger!!

Helen's due here in an hour to paint her ceramic sculpture. She got a speeding ticket in Gainesville yesterday. 85 in a 55. Good Heavenly Days. Well, hope that slows her down. Arrive Alive, etc.

Three tiles in the bathroom have cracked and need to be replaced. Maybe I will do that this afternoon. Off to lunch now

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