The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Weather woes 

It’s such a fabulous day.

The temperature never climbed over 60. The sky is steely grey and a steady drizzle is coming down. The world is cool and damp. A cup of clove tea is brewing. Scented candles brighten up the living room.

It’s the type of day I ache for when I’m having a hot flash in Florida in August.


A few people stopped in this morning, but since the rain started, it’s just too bleak. I feel sorry for all the folks over in Mt Dora.

“Firehouse Sparky” got grout and I have done 3 loads of laundry this afternoon. There’s a chicken roasting in the oven and maybe tomorrow will be brighter. Oh well.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Luckiest Woman In America 

I am the luckiest woman in America.

I got to have lunch with my daughter today!

I arrived at campus at 11:00AM. It must have been time for a class change. Students were flying everywhere. I was delighted to see Ian and share a short “Hello” before he dashed off to class.

I was early for the Bluemner lecture so I thought I’d rest in Helen’s little office in the Ceramics Studio…and there she was…hard at work on the latest Nekkid Lady Statue.

It is really becoming an impressive piece. Much has been added in a week and now the statue is bigger than she is. We discussed its structural integrity, clay type, firing plans, etc.

She gave me a pat on the back for having read the Bluemner Catalog, then she answered all my Bluemner questions. I gave her a pat on the back for an A on zee French quiz.

(Mom’s secret agenda/fantasy: Zee French Bluemner Art experts arrive, see Helen’s statue and hire her to work at the Sorbonne. Mais oui, I kept ma bouche shut about this)

So we go to the gallery talk and I was delighted to see that it was standing room only! The lecture gave me a smoother understanding of the material I’d read. Now I’m beginning to see the significance of the Bluemners hanging on the walls. This is so a “must see”.

The only thing making me nervous was that Proferror of Painting Gary was sitting behind me and I wasn’t having a good hair day…oh well!

Helen and I went to an Italian place for lunch and a nice chat. I gave her all my quarters so she can do laundry over the weekend if need be.

She gave me a big hug when I dropped her off at campus, and by God, if your kid will hug you in public, you’re doing OK.

I just floated all the way home, but stopped by the Post Office where I learned from the Post Mistress that Nikki is coming home this weekend. I hope she comes to visit while she’s here! Cat is coming by on Sunday to work on an art project. Tonight at the Y, I got to chat with another of my “kids” Sebastian, a Valencia college student, who has lost 146 lbs so far! Awesome! There are some really nice 20 Somethings around! All great kids.

Jake had pressure washed the carport. We worked the rest of the afternoon setting up to have a mosaic studio Open House tomorrow.

(Mom’s secret agenda/fantasy: I sell all the flower pots I’ve made to an art agent who pays cash! Ferme ma bouche!)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Oscar Bluemner Catalog 

A quote from Oscar Bluemner…

“Art is like …a disease, like neuroses, by which the psyche finds outlet and equilibrium; art is one of the means by which man prolongs his existence.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Indoor Activities 

“Bird House” project has hit a bump, so it was very nice to look up a photo of a birdhouse I did for Suzy last year. This shows me how I balanced left to right and how I pulled the color across the front. I can avoid a mistake by using my photos as reference.

Mosaic books are a great help, too. My favorite one is “The Mosaic Idea Book” by Rosalind Wates.

Because it shows the same pattern in several color ways, I can see details in the tesserae cuts. I learned how to make spirals by following the picture in this book. The illustrations were key in “Bee Seated” also.

This was a day to stay indoors and read a book. Too cold in the studio…I can’t even force the silicon to flow out of the tube when it’s so cold and gelled.

I did laundry and cooked a delicious dinner with 3 vegetable dishes from scratch. The carrot recipe was bad, but we got by on the spinach dish and the potato casserole.

It was nice and domestic, but I can’t wait to get back to work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Wild Life 

Wildlife is highly overrated. Raccoons and possums and coyotes ain’t cute cuddly creatures. We have had close encounters with all three types in our 26 years here and we’ve got a visitor causing problems at the moment.

The coyotes have been eerily close again but they’re making noise and seem to be east. Whatever is hunting in the carport is coming and going from the west. I got a glimpse of its tail tonight and think we’ve got a raccoon.

The garbage hasn’t been torn apart, which is the usual raccoon M.O. However, there has been shrieking and screaming from our cats. Something has them puffy and edgy.

So they will be sleeping under lockdown for the next few nights. (This means locked in the office. They hate it and would prefer to roam)

We will discard all cat food and be sure the garbage can and dumpster are secured. Usually critters change their route after a few days of being starved out. Grrr.

On the plus side, Zeus killed and ate a squirrel tonight. Good cat, but you’re staying indoors anyway.

I delivered the digi print to the Wells today. Came home and started on a birdhouse to replace “Bird Vase” which had sold. “Fire House Sparky” is grout ready, but tomorrow will be too cold.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Art Chores 

Spent most of the day cleaning the studio for the Open House this weekend. I hope a lot of people drop by and enjoy the mosaic art.

In other art news…S.M. Wells’ wife phoned and asked my to photograph the Highwayman painting I bought a few weeks ago. (It is not the one pictured below, but gives you an idea.)Their photo didn’t turn out. So that’s my agenda tomorrow.

Also in Art news, e-mailed Stetson about where to park for the gallery lecture on Bluemner on Friday.

Cat e mailed and needs to do some book binding for an art class so she will drop by this week for some help. I still have all the book repair supplies.

Sunday, January 25, 2004



Hey, Serena's on too!
Love her title "Playground of Serendipity"

Hooray K 

Visit Aunt Karin and Uncle Rod. Yay!

Bluemner's Buffet 

Stetson requires its students to attend at least 3 “cultural events” per term. Students must sign a roster to prove that they participated. Political speeches, theater, art shows, etc…sign in for credit then ditch ASAP.

Word must have been out that this event had free food. There was a superhighway of students coming in the front door, signing the roster, lapping the exhibit and exiting to the studio for refreshments/supper. I was particularly amused by the womens’ sports team who showed up looking as if they’d just come from practice and didn’t even take their cursory lap through the gallery before heading straight for the buffet.

Helen looked great in her black art-girl outfit. She was busy making points with her professors, chatting with friends and circulating. It was good to see her so self confident. Once she had our check for text book money Jake and I were ditched.

Jake and I were delighted to see Jen, Helen’s roommate freshman year. The last news we had of her, she was being evacuated from the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong. Stetson operates a Study Abroad Program and Jen was studying abroad in Hong Kong when SARS hit. Students were brought back to the States and quarantined under house arrest for 2 weeks!
Jen reports that she was never afraid of catching the virus from everyday life there. However, she was concerned that if she had an accident and were carried to a hospital for treatment, she’d be infected via the hospital. Yikes.

We missed saying “Hi” to Ian. Perhaps he’d earlier signed his chit, gotten his food and headed back to his dorm for Friday night computer games with the guys on his hall.

Saw Pedro, who is amazingly wise; and a nice “Hello” to Serena, Helen’s current suitemate. We met Annabell, Eric, Aaron, Jacob and Joshua. These are all great kids. Great people.

I missed seeing Monya, too, but will catch up with her next Friday at the lecture.

Ran into Pam and Eric, Mt Dora people we’ve not seen for years. So happy to hear that Eric will be in the Mt Dora Art Festival next weekend. I wanted to ask him what it was like to be juried, but a crush of the crowd parted us. I went east towards the purchase of the catalog and they headed back towards the food.

The food was an awesome pile of cheese, shrimp, fruit skewers, crackers, white pork in biscuits, wine, soft drinks and 4 kinds of cookies. We scored big on the cookies. Jake even stuffed his pockets for the drive home.

We were so happy. We relaxed. I read the show catalog while Jake smoked a cigar. When we turned into bed and said evening prayers, we remembered to thank God for a perfect evening. Amen.

Oscar Bluemner and Mr. Fat Thighs 

Flax art supply catalog arrives here at the house a few times a year. Flax sells a large selection of arty giftware such as T-shirts that read “It Takes Degas to make de Van Gogh” and “Baroque: When You Are Out of Monet”.

Flax also sells scarves, kerchiefs and hand-painted dolls that bear the description…”Items vary in color. Let us choose for you.” I would never give up color choice. I want control.

Friday was like a day where God sends a catalog and the product description says…”Perfect days vary in experience. Let us choose for you.” And for once I agreed to this. And My God! What a treasure I got!

Jake and I started our art evening with dinner at Mr. Phad’s Thai Restaurant. Silly hicks that we are, we have renamed this restaurant “Mr. Fat Thighs”. It is our favorite place. Family owned and operated, everything is fresh and home made and we adore the tray of assorted hot sauces they bring with the entrees. Their rice is phenomenal. Nothing I make at home comes close to the flavor of their rice.

Jake got stir fried vegetables and chicken. He ate so many of the hot pickled peppers that our Thai waiter gasped. I had Green Curry vegetables. It’s green from the generous portion of Thai Basil. Oh Yum!

After dinner we moved to the Duncan Art Museum where the opening reception for the Oscar Bluemner exhibit was in full swing. Cont’d…

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Bluemner 1 

Whether you live in Timbuktu, Bangalore, Alice Springs or Peoria, eventually a jewel will fall your way. Something remarkable, instantly recognizable as world class, something inspirational will circulate through your life. And one would be a fool to miss it.

A jewel is alighted at Deland. The Oscar Bluemner exhibit is opened.

Thursday, I did not know what an Oscar Bluemner was. Helen said, “He’s a modernist.” Since she offered no further clues, I feared this might be an exhibit of abstract jibberish. Still, I was compelled to go for the opening reception at Stetson on Friday night.

Jake and I, farmers that we are, wandered around the Duncan, bouncing from one impressive work to the next. The colors were awesome. We liked the watercolors best and we got a lot of free art education from the pencil sketches. We knew we were seeing something great, we just didn’t exactly know why it’s “right”.

When asked to navigate us through the exhibit, Helen said, “Ask Dr. Favis.” and dashed away for her date with Ricky. (Did she know that “Little Ricky” was her father’s nickname for decades? That’s another blog fer sure.) . Dr Favis was always surrounded by a host of art afficionados, or at least people dressed better than me, so I felt shy about approaching with questions. I determined to attend the gallery lecture next Friday (Jan 30th) and get more info.

I bought the catalog and read up on Bluemner after we got home. Now I am even more impressed about who this man was and who his daughter was. Now I have intelligent questions to ask Dr. Favis ( the art historian professor) and I will dress better on my return trip on Friday.

Circulating through the show, we kept running into old friends and having fabulous catch- up- with- your- life chats. The cookies at the chow table were good. Jake pocketed extras for the drive back.

We were talking about those Bluemner turquoise and tangerine colors all the way home. This was an excellent art evening. This was a not to be missed jewel.

Nekkid People 

Helen makes ceramic sculptures. Large ones. Colorful ones. Nekkid ones.

“Oh Good Grief!” was my usual response until she sold one for a 4 digit price.

Then I said, “Make more, Honey!” Oh, be careful what you wish for….

She showed me and her father her latest creation last night.

I knew that her philosophy of art was that art should evoke emotion. I knew something might be startling when she blogged that another art student said, “Too much crotch action for me.” I was alarmed that a pre-teen boy reportedly reacted by jabbing at the clay with a fork. I thought I was prepared.

Still, I could not stifle a gasp when I saw it. It makes an impression all right! I was back to “Oh Good Grief!” And I walked away.

But I kinda got to thinking about it…that was technically very hard to do. She made it look smooth and easy. I do like the little curvy skin designs a lot. And how does such a little girl work such a big wad o’clay?

She had made a small scale model of how the finished piece will look. It’s going to look really good. It will be impressive at full scale.

Teenage boys like to construct giant peeners, so isn’t this giant crotch the culmination of women’s lib? Is this the result of all that political action in the 1960’s? With that thought I realized she had led me to THINK. And isn’t that what art is supposed to do? She had done it. The kid is really an artist.

And she’ll probably sell the thing for more money than I’ll make in a year of happy pink mosaic flower pots, so…Make More, Honey!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

When in doubt.... 

The Master Tile practice pot is dremmelled and grouted. Hope the temperature in the studio stays above 50o for a few hours so the grout will set up properly. My Aunt called tonight and said the Chesapeake Bay is frozen solid except for the deepest shipping lanes. That makes me feel a little warmer.

The pot is pretty, but the big lesson for me is to divide that particular tile up into 4 color groups not 2. Where I first saw green and yellow, I now recognize peach and chocolate imbedded in that yellow background. That will make more betterer flowers. Very Orientalish. I will work another practice piece to test this theory.

The gallery called today. They sold “Bird Vase”. Wow!

I chewed up most of the morning back at the clinic trying to get some more betterer pills for my burning parts. They have taken a sample of the germ to culture it and will report back. JUST SHOOT SOME SPETRACIDE UP THERE AND LET ME GO HOME. GRRR!

The other item of note was about grout. I prefer the fine texture of Mapei. But tonight the best color match on hand for the practice pot was Custom Polyblend “Antique White”. I had not used this box of grout since last spring. I expected it to be hard and lumpy…but it was very unclumped. Mapei clumps very quickly. I am impressed that the Custom does not.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Someone asked me about dremmelling. Here is a picture of a dremel. I use it to smooth off the sharp edges of tiles and ceramics.

Poor Little Ole Me 

Mosaicmom blogspot is not a “professional” site. I am not selling mosaics here; I am not educating readers. I am not doing anything other than sharing my life and my art.

This morning I sent an e mail to my aunt grousing about my poor luck. My UTI still bothers me. Just when the antibiotics kicked in, my commode broke. And yesterday a roofer showed up to patch the roof and I think all he did was go up there and smoke a cigarette and climb down.

I felt very down until,in writing her, I realized that 3 things had happened, bad things come in 3’s and I was over the hump now. I determined that I would find 5 things to be happy about today.

Here’s my list so far:

1. My marble pot got grouted and looks really good.

2. I saw a love bug(s).

3. At 2PM the radio went dead and I realized Laura Bush must be flying by. The last time there was a communications blackout was when the Pope flew by a few years ago.

4. The Cornish hen I cooked for dinner turned out nice.

5. The spray nozzle on my bottle of grout sealer jammed, but I was able to fix it.

6. Despite all efforts by the Cipro, I haven’t pooped myself today.

Damn, this is a good day.

Here’s another reason to be happy: Yesterday the gallery called and said they sold “Hold the Door”. I guess I’d better wander over and collect my money. Mostly I am happy because my door holders are really utile objects and I know the buyer got a good deal.

The gallery reiterated what Suzy had said. That I need to be in the Mt Dora art show. That’s a nice compliment. I’ll have to think it over.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Sparky and Miss Jewel 

Feeling much better now. Here are 2 that I finished over the weekend.

Monday, January 19, 2004

A Bad Day 

Up at 5AM and out the door early to be the first in line at the Clinic. This UTI hurts like holy beerjeebers. They gave me Cipro and 2 pain pills. No Mosaics today. I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow though.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Starting on Crystal's pot 

Crystal’s pot got hoisted onto the bench yesterday. The ashy black inside got a coat of brown paint to lighten the interior. It looks much less cavernous now.

I added mortar to “Crystal” to round out her flat side. Jake, the bondo expert, helped greatly with this.

I have concerns that her cracks are not stable. More and more seem to open up every day. What’s up with this? I don’t want to do an application then have the foundation crumble. I may have to skim coat the entire pot in mortar, and God, it’s a heavy enough pot as it is. Yikes! Any advice from the Ceramics lab?

I decided to do a small practice pot with the tiles I bought for “Crystal”. It is gorgeous tile, with a very organic glaze pattern. It’s made in Japan. I’ve always loved the Portabella tile from Korea. This Master Tile is similar.

As I set the border, I became aware of a color issue. Each tesserae is going to have to be oriented not only for size and fit, but also for color orientation across the piece. Not only will I have to set greens and browns towards the bottom and peaches and golds to the top, I have to make sure each piece is flowing correctly too. Not as easy as the primary color palate in American Olean Brites. Practice pot will have a great look when done, and it prevented an error on the bigger piece.

It was a rainy morning and I didn’t feel too peppy; but by this afternoon I had revved up. I got another version of Sparky mortared around the plugs. Another jewelry pot is tiled, dremelled, and bejeweled. I created a marble pot with scraps left over from afghan pot. I covered and stored all the pots hanging around on the bench. They still need sealer on the 21st.
I did 2 loads of wash, cooked beans and rice for dinner and clipped coupons from the Sunday paper. Got a nice useful 35 ¢ off for eggs! Will go to Publix tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Saturday at MM's 

Finished Afghan Pot today. I love it!

Friday, January 16, 2004

For my Sister-Dear 

Enough flower pots 

All the grouting is finished for the week. "Half Green/Half Blue" and "Pearlesence" got finished this afternoon. Painting and jewelry will get added this weekend and i'll be finished for all I can do for the Mt Dora show weekend.

The General 

My Dad had a fascination with trains. Every Friday night without fail, he’d load me and my sister and whatever cousins were available and head to the local station. At 7:00PM the “Southern Crescent”, headed towards New Orleans, would make a stop for passengers and mail.
Dad knew the engineers and the brakemen and the post office sorters by name. We kids were often allowed to visit the engine or the mail car.

Mr. Paul Swanson had a contract to meet the train twice a day to off load mail. A great treat for us kids was to be allowed to ride in the open bed truck on top of sacks of mail. The Post Office was one block up straight up hill from the station.

Many Fridays, we’d purchase tickets and ride the Southern Crescent one stop from LaGrange to West Point. Dad would speed up the road in his Buick to retrieve us at West Point. Then we’d buy a Coke at the Greyhound Bus Station and help the lady close for the night at 9:00PM.

Dad would always say, “By the time you’re my age, the trains will be gone.” He was right. The Southern Crescent daily route from Washington to New Orleans was cancelled a couple of years ago.

One morning, Dad came home from the office and rounded up me, my sister, Mom and we all went to the train station. The General was coming to town. Once a Civil War machine, it was being retired to a museum in Atlanta. This was about 1961.

It was the first time I’d seen a steam engine. and I was impressed by the sound, the chug and snort. A large crowd had gathered and surrounded the train when it stopped.

The engineer addressed the crowd about the General’s history. Then he invited all the children to line up for a trip through the engine compartment. This meant a climb up the ladder on one side, view the control panel to your left and the coal box to your right and down the ladder on the other side. We all eagerly qued up.

This being Georgia in 1961, the line was segregated. All the white kids lined up first then all the black kids. I was the last white kid in the line. I was about 9 years old.

The black kid behind me was a boy about 7 or 8. He was so very eager that he shook. His face was aglow with excitement and anticipation at going into the engine of this huge shiny machine. He grabbed my shoulders so as not to lose his turn as the line snaked across the platform.

It was a huge crowd and a long line, but finally I stepped up onto the ladder. Suddenly, the Engineer looked down and said, “No Niggers”.

That kid’s face fell. If I live to be a hundred, I will never forget that change of expression. His smile dropped like a curtain had fallen. First his eyes pleaded like perhaps he hadn’t heard right. Then the tears welled up and his lower lip trembled.

I was stunned. My knees went weak and I thought I was going to choke. This kid behind me was wiggling with excitement over seeing this train and this old man just said no? How could that be? This wasn’t right. This wasn’t fair. This was arbitrary and wrong. How could you hurt a little kid like that?

That engineer crushed that kid. I was so mad. I burned with anger and shame. I didn’t even care about the train anymore. I just wanted to go home. That’s when the horrible reality of discrimination hit me.

Discrimination is how they took the light out of that boy’s face. It was wrong. It is still wrong. It is always wrong.

I am grateful for Dr. King. It was right to put an end to Jim Crow. It was right to stop a system that crushes the joy of children.

That boy in line behind me would be a man of about 50 now. I so often wonder what ever happened to him.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Happy Family 

No line at the bank today; but no tellers working either. Don’t you just hate it when they huff at you for interrupting their conversations?

Around noon, I decided to cook Pork and Sauerkraut for dinner. This is actually hard for me because I am not a native Pennsylvanian. I have to carefully follow a recipe. So this took a while. But man, oh, man, did we eat good tonight.

After supper, we both wandered out to the studio. I grouted 2 pieces while Jake worked on buffing parts for his Z car. Somewhere over at college, Helen was working in her studio, too. According to her blog, she is working on another nekkid person clay statue. Happy art family being busy.

Jake and I have sauerkraut gas; that is not a good thing. Wonder if Helen has sauerkraut gas, too.

Tomorrow I will finish the last 2 pots to grout and be done for the week. My hands feel like lobster claws because I don’t wear gloves when I grout.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Groutin' Fool 

Grouted Helen’s mirror. It looks awesome! Cleaning around those beads took some time and attention to detail, but the dental tools Jake gave me for Christmas worked great.

Grouted the orange and pink pot Helen tiled. I will name it “Pinky”. My mother told me that when I was very young I had an imaginary friend named Pinky. I spotted some gorgeous orange geraniums at Lowe’s tonight. They will look beautiful in “Pinky”.

Grouted “Miss Jewel”. It was a bitch working around her jewelry without knocking any of it loose. But success, and she looks fine and lady like.

Grouted “Yipes! Stripes!” . This is made with long strips applied vertically. It is very colorful.

Was totally out of grey grout so had to run to Lowe’s. It was heartbreaking to see that all the grouts are neutrals now. Do you want Beige or Beiger?

Then fun, fun, we went across the street to Goodwill to shop for bling-bling. I scored 6 necklaces for $6.00. Muy bueno. The black beads may make a perfect trim for Helen’s mirror.

Stopped at Publix for bananas and Creamora. This is high drama for us!

What do I think about when I’m working? Well, mostly I listen to the Oldie Goldies on the radio and travel on the music. Some thing today made me think of Don Jones. He was a guy I knew in college who ended up shooting himself. His suicide would have failed and he would have lived had he not keeled forward and drowned in a lake. I think his birthday was around this time.

I also was thinking of Ian’s mother, although I’ve never even met her. She just sounds like someone who needs a hobby. She should try mosaics.

And I was thinking how I can’t grout tomorrow till I run to the bank and pay the tax deposits. Grrrr!

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Afghan Pot 

What a perfect day!

“Afghan Pot” is grouted. In 10 days it can get final paint and sealer, and photography!

The leftover grey grout went on a little copper and stone pot. It’s cute.

Tomorrow I must run to Lowe’s to resupply the grey grout, but in the morning I can grout 5 pieces with white.

Helen’s mirror is dremelled , taped and grout ready, too.

Crystal’s Pot got a first test. I applied tiles with masking tape to see if I liked my general ideas. She gave it good lines, but I’m not sure how I’ll use them yet. Fer sure, the inside neck needs color.

This afternoon, I put the shop vac to use cleaning tile chips, spilled grout and disgusting spider webs. It’s looking better in the studio now.

This time last year, I could not have worked “Afghan Pot”. My knee wouldn’t hold me up much less me and a 50 pound mosaic pot. Today, I could handle it pretty well…only a 2 Advil day! Thanks to Chuck Wolff, 3-D motion specialist at the Clermont Training Center, who fixed my knee problem and gave me my life back!

Monday, January 12, 2004

Correction in today's post 

I was at Intercoastal Tile, not Atlantic. Duh, at least I didn't call it Watson Tile...

When you live somewhere a long time you do things by habit not conscious thought. I can't give directions. I no longer know the street names; I just go.

Apologies to Intercoastal.


The line at the post office was 11 people deep this morning. The three people ahead of me were 1) sending a package, 2) sending a special delivery parcel and, 3) filling out a change of address form. Fourth in line, I had 5 tax forms to certify and buy a roll of stamps. It wasn’t a long wait for me at all, but it looked like the people behind me had lots of packages to mail.

When I got to Atlantic Tile to pick up my Master Tile order, there was a line, too. An older couple from Minnesota (she was wearing a jacket with a moose motif, so I am assuming Minnesota) and a preppy yuppie woman with a young child sleeping in a stroller.

I didn’t have to wait long here either, although I never mind waiting at a tile store. Mike gave me my order and I was on the road in no time.

At the supermarket many people hate to wait in line, but usually I love it. I just grab a magazine and read. I have not paid for a magazine in months yet I have learned “How to Lose 5 Pounds in 3 Days”, “New Hair Styles for Spring” and “Quick and Easy Meals in 10 Minutes”.

Dremel, clean and polish has been the drill in the studio this morning. Six pieces are grout ready now. As soon as the weather warms a little, I will grout. But till then I will just keep tiling. Crystal’s large pot is up next since I am putting the Master Tile on it.

Suzy thinks I should be IN the Mt Dora Art Festival not scooping customers off the sidelines. I like working out of the studio instead of a booth. I save big bucks on booth rental and I have a kitchen, potty and TV handy! Comfort is everything. Over 100,000 people attend the Mt Dora Art Festival. There is usually a line for the PortaJohns.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Almost to the finish line when... 

The pump for my wet saw has a label that reads “Warning” when the water level drops too low. I had been cutting all day and Bingo Bango on the last cuts of the day, the “Warning” pops up from under the milky water.

Usually I keep a plastic pitcher of water handy for refills. It was empty. Not wanting to stop and walk over to the sink, I spy another plastic container full of water on the corner of my table and dump it into the tray. Problem solved. Only 8 more cuts and I’m done for the day.

A nice fragrance fills the air. Very pleasant. Then the suds. THE SUDS!!!

Some Einstein left a container of detergent on my table. The circulation through the saw has created bubbles galore! Huge amounts of foam.

I laugh as I have to shut down operations, clean the tray and flush the saw before I can finish the last cuts of the day.

First Class Pot 

This was the product of the first mosaic class I ever took. It’s funny to look at now, but I learned a great deal from this pot.

Most importantly, I learned how to use tile nippers in this class. Previously, I had relied on a hammer only, or struggled to nip a piece after getting a shape with a hammer. When the teacher taught me to nip from an edge instead of a flat press, the world opened up. For weeks, I sat and nipped little squares just for practice and to build hand strength.

This was the dremel teacher too. My goal is that no customer will cut themselves on the edges of my work. Doesn’t that sound noble? Actually, I hate to bleed on raw edges when I grout.

This piece taught me that my style includes painting the pot interior and adding bling-bling around the rim. Notice the pearls. My girl pots have beads; my boy pots have spark plugs and chains.

I learned that Florida Tile carries the best in Florida tropical colored tiles; Leponitt makes cutters for glass tiles; and turntables are really helpful.

This pot got given away as a gift. Hope the lady is still enjoying it.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Making deadlines 

The temperatures have dipped. I'd rather not get my hands wet and adhesives don't work well when it's cold. So today will be a dremel day. When my first teacher showed us dremelling, I thought it was crazy. But I like the smoothness it yeilds so to dremel I go.

Helen and I went shopping yesterday thanks to Aunt Karin's gift certificates. We got exercise wear, tupperware, swim wear and worn out with so much recreation!

Later we will make a run to Lowe's for more pots and a stop at Hair Cuttery for a haircut for Jake.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Busy Bees 

The workshop’s a buzz. Flower pots “Harlequin”, “Half Blue/Half Green”, “Copper Top”, and “Sparky” are looking good, now tiled and ready for dremel. I got yellow Bissaza glass applied to “Phone Home”, a yard sculpture that’s been waiting almost a year. Applied strips of an industrial aluminum tile to a pot, but have not determined the next part of that design yet.

Helen joined me today and created an awesome mirror. I wanted to post it tonight, but she wants to wait till it’s grouted. Watch for that in a few days.

The weather has turned cool. We had to close the doors of the shop late this afternoon to hold a little warmth inside. The cats are edgy tonight. Perhaps the coyotes are lurking.

At lunchtime, the mail lady delivered my latest issue of the SAMA newsletter. I will read it cover to cover before I go to sleep tonight.

Monday, January 05, 2004

MtDora Art Festival 

The Mt Dora Art Festival runs Jan 31 and Feb.1. At this late hour, I have decided to have work ready for the show.

Mt Dora is a juried show. The artists were selected months ago...but all the customers going to the show from the Clermont area have to drive right past my door. So I'm going to put my little sign out and see if anyone drives up.

I have made 2 pots so far and worked out a technique that has been bugging me for years. I'll post that photo as soon as I finish. I am processing all the backed up work on my desk and I'll not rest till I get 30 pieces ready. This will be insane but fun.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Mosaics and Maker's Mark 

Maker’s Mark is Mosaic Mom’s alcoholic drink of choice. It’s not the alliteration (MM for MM), it’s just a complex and yummy taste that doesn’t burn your throat when you have a snort.

Suzy’s favorite booze is Wild Turkey and there was fowl a’plenty at her party yesterday. Mosaic Mom discovered Wild Turkey was pretty tasty. Mosaic Mom was very, very happy at the reception party.

So Mosaic Mom comes home and decides to top off the evening of Wild Turkey with a Maker’s Mark chaser. And then being wide awake, decided to go do some mosaics. She got that wet saw humming slicing pieces for the Afghan Pot.

Some time around 11:00 PM, Mosaic Mom had a moment of clarity and realized that operating a wet saw while shit faced drunk was perhaps not the best idea. Mosaic Mom was having serious trouble judging where the edge of the blade was.

A little voice in her head screamed, ”This is stupid.” So I am passing this knowledge on to you. Drinking and operating a wet saw was really really stupid. Don’t do what I did.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Wedding Centerpiece 

Here is the centerpiece I made for Suzy's daughter's reception this afternoon.

Friday, January 02, 2004

If it looks easy, watch out! 

On December 30th, Publix was flush with flowers. White roses, baby’s breath, mini-carnations. All were fresh and plentiful. The price was a reasonable 3 bunches for $10.00.
I decided to wait till after the holiday to buy flowers so that they could stay in the Publix coolers and stay fresh.

Error!!! Today there were no flowers. There were some wide open Alstromerias, no mini-carns, and a few sad white roses. My design plan went out the window. I picked up 2 bundles of Alstromerias and headed to the Publix in the next town.

Error!!! No flowers there either. I bought one bundle of white roses and headed to the flower shop across the street.

Closed!!! What now? Winn Dixie. Yechy but necessary. I drove 10 miles over to the plaza and Winn Dixie had flowers.

Neon blue spray painted flowers. Nothing that looked in any way natural. No baby’s breath, no mini carns, no roses. They did have some really great Philodendron totems, but that wasn’t on my list.

JoAnne’s Crafts was across the street and sure enough they had dried Baby’s breath…and a line 15 people long with only 2 cashiers to move this crush of customers along. I dropped my selection on a shelf and headed up to the florist shop in this plaza.

She must have seen me coming. She had Baby’s Breath and charged me $2.00 per stem for it. Holy Mother of God, I paid it. It was the only game in town and she and I knew that.

On the way home, my Nissan needed gas so I pulled in at the Mobil. I got the pump with the broken scanner and couldn’t pay at the pump. I had to go inside. The flower trip that should have taken 30 minutes had taken an hour and a half.

Deb and Rebecca dropped by just as I was starting to make arrangements. I told Beca that if she and Brian had an out door wedding or reception, I would send a gift but would not attend.

The afternoon produced 7 terrarium centerpieces, a fresh arrangement for the pissoire, the showpiece centerpiece for the food table and a small vase of roses for the groom’s cake table. Jake helped and we packed them into the car and are ready for delivery in the morning.

Mosaics ??? Well, today I unloaded tiles from the trunk of the car to make room for flower delivery. And tonight I cleaned all the floral items off the bench and put the mosaics back in their rightful place.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

More Pot 

Okay, some of you thought yesterday's blog title "Tea Pot Pot" might have been about marijuana and I fooled you...tee hee. But today I am writing about marijuana. Oooooo!

One of the kids in art class at the high school made his mosaic plaque project in the shape of a marijuana leaf. Why do these kids think they can sneak this past us? He got his plaque confiscated and got an F grade.

Suzy was going to throw it out, but it got tossed into a box of supplies I brought home. Today I ran across it, took it out and finished it.

It looks nice but now what the heck am I going to do with a mosaic plaque of a big marijuana leaf?

Maybe somebody will buy it for $5.00 at the Sorrento show.

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