The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Mosaic Mom's Mullien 

This year I have a field full of Mullein plants. The flower spikes are as tall as me…
I am 5 ft. 7in. and I look these blossoms in the eye.
The bumble bees love it, too.

Today is another BBPP day…that’s Bank, Bank. Post Office, Publix. Run the route, it’s the first of the month.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Happy Day at OIA  

Yesterday I met my Aunt Jo and Cousin Carol at the Orlando airport and took them to rendezvous with Carol’s husband Fletch en route to Jacksonville.

For all you naysayers out there…HA, I found the airport! So there! …You see, Mosaic Mom has a very bad sense of direction and it was nothing short of a miracle that I drove to the airport solo. But wait there’s more…

Once at the airport, I had plenty of time for lunch…all right I was an hour early…an allowance in case I got lost on the Turnpike…anyway, I had the best lunch at a restaurant called ZYNG. Their Phad Thai bowl was yummy, especially with the cilantro and lime. Look for them next time you need a good meal at an airport.

I found Aunt Jo and we wandered over to look at some of the mosaic art the airport has.
This is Leoguana Da Vinci by Suzy K. Edwards and Rich Rudden. It is in Terminal A near the Starbucks.

Aunt Jo and I were so busy yakking that we missed Carol’s arrival. Thank goodness she had a cell and we located her at the baggage claim. After a quick lunch for the weary travelers, we headed out to find Fletch, and decided that a rendezvous at my mosaic studio would work.

So Aunt Jo and Carol got a chance to see where I work and play before they had to head off to Jax. What fun. A really great day.

P.S. Something is wrong over at Ian's blog. Please don't click on it off my site till the problem has been solved. If you visit there you will get a million bajillion pop up ads. However, you can click off my site to Helen and Karin. Happy travels.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Aunt Jo Visits Mosaic Mom 

All the way from PA just to say "Hi!"

Sunday, March 28, 2004

P.S.I Love You 

I Love You, Sweetie.

Mosaic Dad is spending his day welding in the Z shop and taking photos of the cats and the new plants in the research house. Maybe we'll have something to post tonight.

Mosaic Dad 

Yankees are good for one thing: They create long lines at the grocery check out and I have plenty of time to read the magazines.

I read an article by Tom McGrath in First Magazine about how men communicate their love…

1. They perform car maintenance for you.
2. They haul stinky stuff.
3. They fetch.
4. They kill things.

I want to tell the world that Jake truly loves me.

1. I never have to think about my car. In 25 years I have not had to do anything other than turn the key and zoom away.

2. He hauls garbage to the dumpster every day…and he is the one awake at 6:00AM every Tuesday morning to open the gate so the dumpster truck can tip the can.

3. Every morning he brings the paper in…and he has my coffee ready to go when I get up.

4. We haven’t had to kill anything lately, but he was the hero who shot the rattlesnake that had bit our Doberman.

He is awesome. There wouldn’t be a Mosaic Mom without him. Thanks, Sweetie.

Friday, March 26, 2004

True Love at AT&T 

I have a new Boyfriend.

His name is Raymond and he works at the AT&T store at the Mall.

I handed him my charge card and he had my phone good to go in less than 1 minute.

I am in love, and my Free-to-go is good-to-go till Mother's Day.

Thank you Raymond.

Cell Phone Cell 

Mosaic Mom has a Pre-Paid Cell Phone.

Every 6 weeks, I buy my phone some minutes. AT&T forces me to buy minutes every so often to remain on their service. I never use up the minutes, so this is very economical for me.

My typical cell conversation is like this:

I dial home. I say, “Hi Honey. I’m on the way home. Do you need anything?”
Jake says,”No.” and I say,”O.K. Love you. Bye!”

If we have a LONG conversation it goes like this: “Hi Honey, I’m on the way home. Do you need anything?” “Yes, get a loaf of bread.” “OK, Love you. Bye.”

ON Monday, my cousin Carol is coming to Orlando from Texas for a short visit. I anticipated a LONG conversation at the Orlando Airport that would go like this:
Me: “Hello?”
Carol: “Hi. I’m on the monorail. Where are you?”
Me: “I’m by the fountain. See you in a minute.”
Carol: “OK. Bye.”
Me: “Bye.”

This month, my minutes expire March 27th unless I put another $10.00 in the kitty. So I called AT&T this morning so I can guarantee this LONG conversation on Monday and the AT&T computer says the fill-em-up computer is dead till Monday.

Grrrrr. I will lose all my minutes at midnight. I may or may not have a working phone on Monday. Grrr. I am going to the Mall this morning to see if the actual people at the AT&T store can help…Ha-Ha as if…but it’s worth a shot.

I know I can find Aunt Jo and Carol at the airport. We used to do things like that without cell phones back in the 1980’s. I think I still have those pre technology skills. But it’s sooooo inconvenient. Grrrrrr!

Heads Up, Carol. I may have no phone.

M-I-C….see you next week….K-E-Y . Because we love you. M-o-u-s-e.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Traveler's Guide  

For Cousin Carol and Aunt Jo:

Here's the layout for the airport.

All passengers have to head to the central airport via monorail. See the picture of the little connectors between the airplane park areas and the main building. Aunt Jo will kinda be funneled to the one central place and I will intercept her there. Ditto Carol...altho that is aided by a cell phone...

There are a lot of sit down restaurants at the airport. Beats trying to negotiate the traffic that time of day.

Have Fletch check a map...You will want to get the BeeLine to I-95. Traffic is rough till after 6PM. then pretty good. Supper there is a good thing.

Jeffrey Hays' Lecture 

Jeffrey Hayes’ talk on Bluemner was amazing.

It was like watching one of those documentaries on TV on Nova, where you want to suck in every single fact. You want total focus and concentration and hope your brain can be a tape recorder.

It’s like a meal for your brain and it’s so rich you can’t finish it all. You’re sad because you have to leave some on the plate. You’re dizzy afterwards from having had too much.

I had read the man’s book on Bluemner. I had checked it out on Interlibrary loan from the University of Miami. Even with that I had a hard time keeping up. But I loved every minute of trying.

I have 5 pages of notes in shorthand. I think I will not blog them all. I had a nice conversation with Dan, and then with Dan and Jeffrey Hayes. Oh my God!

(Dan is having a garage sale on Saturday. Dan is the Mother of All Garage Sales. Must go!)

I got to see the divine Miss Helen. She is looking very poised and collegiate. I hope she likes the surprise chocolate bunny I left at her work bench. Tee Hee. I like the maquette for her next piece.

I got dinner at Mr Fat Thighs. I had eggplant and tofu while Jake had chicken and vegetables. We had purple rice and mango for dessert. Who knew rice came in a purple variety? It was magnificent.

Stetson had coffee and cookies after the talk. They have delicious cookies. Going to their openings is worth it for the food alone. I’d have pocketed a few extra cookies were I not chatting with Dan.

I got to meet Dr. Murphy. He told me a lot about Motherwell. That’s a blog unto itself.

I am soooo happy. And on top of all that, my tile order came yesterday from Wit’s End. There are 2 projects I can start on today…if I can settle down.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

"Florida Vacation" 

Here is one of the mosaics. See others at this site

Another Invitation! 

Aunt Jo will be at the Orlando Airport for a few hours on Monday. She has invited me to come for a quick visit! We’ll have a cup of tea and maybe a tour of the famous mosaic art at the airport.

“Vacuuming Up the Mosaic Studio” made the trip to Mt. Dora OK this morning. I had 2 sharp curves and 2 sets of railroad tracks to negotiate, but Jake did a great job of packing and bracing, so all’s entact.

The show is April 2nd at 6:ooPM. I’ll post reminders and links next week.

Tonight’s the night I’ve been waiting for since January…..Jeffrey Hayes is speaking on Oscar Bluemner at 7:30 at Stetson. I thought the talk was at the Duncan, but the paper this morning said it’s at the Library. I am like a kid. It’s 10 AM and I’d leave for Deland right now if I could. I am so excited.

We’ll have dinner at Mr. Fat Thighs (Mr. Phad’s Thai). About 5:30 ish. All are welcome to join us!

Green Curry and Art…it doesn’t get any better than this!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

An Invitation 

Mt. Dora Center for the Arts phoned up this morning to invite me to put some pieces in the student show. I got really, really excited about this.

“Bird Bath”, “Butterscotch Vase”, “Blue Moon” and “Vacuuming Up the Mosaic Studio” are spruced up and ready for a ride over to Mt Dora in the morning. Judges will pick 2 or 3 for the show.

Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Dan Gunderson’s discarded vacuum cleaner winds up at Mt Dora Center for the Arts?

“Bird House Blues” got grout today. Looks good but needs more bling bling. I will add trim and beads on Thursday.

The oak flowers dropped so thick on the patio that I decided to pressure wash them away.

At first I couldn’t get the washer started, so I wet the flowers with the garden hose just so the pollen wouldn’t blow around so much. That matted the whole mess together.

Then I tried the pressure washer again. This time it roared to life and I blew the pollen monsters away.

I threw a load of laundry into the washer, watered all the container plants along the driveway and transplanted the Bougainville to a sunny location for better blooms.

Jake is a TOTAL HERO. He found me 2 Ichiban eggplant plants at Wal Mart today! I guess he really likes that Sri Lanka recipe too.
He is also a hero because he lifted Dan Gunderson’s Mosaic Vacuum Cleaner onto the truck. It must weigh 75 pounds!
Mosaics ain’t a lightweight hobby!

Oak Flowers

Monday, March 22, 2004

So Far No Good 

Monday is not going too well.

Guerney's sent the okra seeds but not the Ichiban eggplant seeds. Grrrr. I hope they don't substitute Black Beauty. If I wanted that type I could have bought it at Lowe's.

UPS has not arrived with my tiles.

One of the checks in my checkbook is not recorded. I think I wrote it at the Doctor's office. Don't you hate when that happens? I can't balance my checkbook and I need to reimburse Helen for new tires on Wednesday. Grrr.

On the plus side.....The college called this morning and I agreed to teach another book repair class since the library system is requesting the training. That should be a nice break from routine and I can update the info since I haven't taught it in a while.

UPS better show up. Grrrrr.

Art by Osmosis 

I drew out 2 designs yesterday for a customer. I hope they get approved. My drawing skills are pathetic. How could anybody know what I mean to construct?!

A lady at the garage sale, having seen my mosaic sculpture as she drove down the driveway, asked if mosaics were hard to do.

I answered that, like any art, the basics were relatively easy. Getting good at it takes practice. And I ain’t good at it yet; I just know a few tricks.

I continue to be completely amazed that Oscar Bluemner was self taught. I can’t wait for the lecture Wednesday! Maybe some art skills will come my way by osmosis!

I sure hope my order from Wits-End mosaics arrives today. And my seeds for the eggplant from Guerney's! Mr. UPS man, stop here!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

My Favorite Flamingo 

A Whole Lotto Nuthin' 

Well, I didn't win the Lotto. Next time for sure, though!

I made it to the Publix and bought the Chocolate Bunny...Tee Hee!

While the wash was a washin' ,I cleaned up the storage room and stashed away the items that didn't sell in the garage sale. Next time they'll sell, for sure!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Garage Sale Day 

Garage Sale Day and Deb and Tom came over early and let themselves in the gate. I wasn’t even out of bed. Jake chatted with them and they all laughed at my lack of inability to catch the worm and the early shoppers.

The roar of Alan’s motorcycle coming down the driveway got me up. He let himself in, too. I love it! We enjoyed seeing his motorcycle and excellent paint job on the tank. He sold me a ticket to the Boy Scout Bar B Que, but I couldn’t sell him anything. He also laughed at my not having the sale sign out and the gate open early.

I grabbed coffee and opened the gate, set out the sign and was immediately besieged with more buyers! They came strong all morning. They bought everything from window screens to clothes to artificial flowers. I sold the old broken rototiller and a video tape on teen drivers. The old LP’s went (that’s “records”, for those of you who listen to MP3’s) and a man bought a half a bucket of used blue paint. It was fun!

But it stopped like a switch at 1PM. By 2PM we retrieved the sign, closed the gate, and counted out our $61 dollars! Now for part 2 of my plan…

First I will take $1.00 and go buy a Lotto ticket. I’ll win this time for sure!

Then I’ll take the rest and buy chocolate bunnies for the kids for Easter. They’ll be so surprised and they’ll never guess!!! Tee Hee!

What a Happy Day!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Dad's Hobby 

Mosaic Mom is cleaning out closets today in anticipation of a huge Garage Sale tomorrow.

Dad (aka Fish Master) fills in for Mom’s Blog today by reporting on his fishing expedition of March 18th.

Stalking the Great Whiting

Whiting. Fascinating puzzle to play with. Philosophy of Whiting.
Some people get excited by size. Fishing for whiting may not be exciting because they are not large fish. But something as tasty to pursue as whiting makes it all worthwhile. I compare it to quail hunting vs. goose hunting. Quail are small but tasty. It is an art to get them. It’s the art of putting everything together.

There’s more to fishing than simply putting bait on hooks. Fish bite bait, you pull them in; you have dinner…its not that simple.

There’s presentation. Where to cast. What bait. Type of hook. Type of rig. Line. Pole. How is this affected by environment? Weather fronts. Rain, sun, wind. Wind direction. Time of year. March and April are good months vs. January no good.

In the summer wade out to the sand bar 60 -70 yds out then cast back towards the shore. Fish backwards.

Tides. Fish the tide high to low not low to high.

I’ve been trying to understand the effects of bait, tide and weather conditions on fishing. I met an expert who has been fishing for 40 yrs. One day fishing with him and you’ll learn more than reading all the books and internet combined.

Fishing depends on how far you want to pursue. Keep it simple or push it to the limit. It can become so complicated it becomes impossible.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Luck of the Irish 

Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

(Thank you to Serena for today’s title.)

Only a few short miles from here, Plant City is the Strawberry capitol of the world. Yet, I have not seen a pint of berries at a Publix grocery store this year.

Locals know that berry prices fall after the Strawberry Festival in March and wait to make cheaper purchases. Growers must have figured out that consumers have figured that out, so growers this year have started selling berries only by Quart packages.

Every morning for breakfast, I want ½ an English Muffin topped with one sliced Loquat and one sliced Strawberry. That meant 5 strawberries a week, or roughly a pint. I don’t want to freeze more; I don’t want them to rot; I don’t want to eat shortcake and whipped cream. I just want 5 berries!

So last evening at Publix, I asked Jeremy in the produce department to sell me 5 Strawberries. Oh God! Error!

Let’s not even talk about how all produce has a bar code or an ID number and you won’t get past the check out without this. If the computer doesn’t recognize your fruit, you can’t have it.

Jeremy, to his credit, figured out what strawberries should cost by the pound if the quart costs $2.00. Then he weighed 5 berries and since there was no code for strawberries, he keyed them in as Blackberries. I would be good to go as long as the cashier didn’t question it.


Jeremy was in a bad mood because of cabbages. St. Patrick’s Day meant a run on cabbage. He had lugged, cleaned, displayed and sold 9 CASES of cabbages on the 16th and said he would expect to sell 10 to 12 CASES of cabbages on the 17th. He was tired.
He vented and his story was sad.

Jeremy had graduated from high school 4 years earlier. He had gone into the Army and served in Kuwait. Not long back home, he had spent all his Army earnings and savings on a car…he never said what kind…but he had thought long and hard and traded all his cash for the car of his dreams.

With the car, he got a job, enrolled at the VoTech, and acquired a girlfriend. Life was happy for Jeremy.

Then he wrecked his car. The girlfriend bailed; he dropped out of the VoTech since he couldn’t get there, and he lost the job for lack of transportation. He was stuck working the cabbages at Publix because it was the only job he could walk to. And he hated cabbage. I felt pretty sorry for him as I left with my 5 strawberries.

Everybody needs a little luck and the Irish apparently hadn’t smiled on Jeremy

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Preliminary work on Crystal's Pot 

Preliminary grouting done on Crystal's Pot this afternoon

Happy Birthday Mom! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Most of ALL…

In honor of Mom’s Birthday, I have made a list of the 12 Important Things My Mother Taught Me in Life…

Table Service. My Mom, by golly, knows her olive fork from her oyster fork. She can set a table for 6 course dinner or a buffet for 30 and it will be done right. This knowledge of silverware has enabled me to eat anywhere in the world confident of using the utensils correctly.

College. It was Mom who always said “WHEN” you go to college, not “IF” you go to college.

Shoes. At one time Mom had over 40 pairs of shoes. This impressed me greatly. I am a person who has 3 pairs of shoes, all sneakers. But I notice other people’s shoes.

Social Conscience. Mom built a bathroom for Blanche. In the mid 1960’s, Mom learned that the woman who worked as our maid bathed in the kitchen. Their family boiled water on the kitchen stove and bathed in a tin tub. Mom found a contractor and had a bathroom added onto their house. This was a very brave thing to do in Georgia in the mid 60’s.

Mom never embarrassed me in public.

Family travel. Not that I liked family travel then or like to travel now, but my ability to plan and execute a trip comes from her.

Mom sewed my wedding dress.

Library. She collected an excellent home library, got us access to 2 public libraries and one college library. We always had good literature and reference materials.

Art. She hung reproduction prints on the walls. Rembrandt, Modigliani, Cezanne. There were original oils and watercolors. She bought all the Horizon books.

Fabric. Mom sewed. I never learned, but to this day I love fabrics.

Organization. Mom had file cabinets. Her sewing space was tidy.

St. Patrick’s Day. There would be no excitement to the day at all were it not Mom’s Birthday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Rainy Day Grouting 

The Crystal pot is completly tiled and is absolutely awesome! The weather has turned rainy so I’ll have to allot a few extra days for drying until I can grout.

I never grout on a rainy day. In the 4 or 5 years I’ve been doing mosaics, I’ve yet to see grout mix or apply correctly when the atmosphere is drenched. (My studio is not air conditioned. The weather comes inside). The grout will either be too sticky or too runny. I can never get a creamy adhesion when it rains.

Over at the high school wall mosaic 2 years ago with the art club, I spent an afternoon grouting a huge section. We grouted close to 250 ft. sq. around the Prom Night area and the Basketball/Baseball area. Just as we finished, it started to rain. That grout washed out completely. It was a mess to acid wash the haze off the tiles and re-do the grout, too.

I still prefer the texture of the Mapei products, but for the Crystal pot, I may go buy some Custom Polyblend “Linen” color grout to get the best color match for the Master Tiles. Photos soon, I promise. (I’ve been picking up a lot of bugs at my photo site lately.)

I got one Door Holder “Brick on a Stick” tiled and grout ready yesterday. Also have 3 sides of a birdhouse done. I can finish the tiling on that this afternoon.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Elegant Master Tile product 

The Master tile on Crystal’s pot looks awesome.

I got the whole piece finished about 7:30 last night…then realized the pattern was off! The measuring tape confirmed it. The calculations confirmed it. My eyeballs couldn’t believe it. It was 3/8th inches off around the bottom…and it showed.

Jake said to put it in the garden and live with it, but I couldn’t stand it. It just looked wrong. So I took the bottom 4 inches off and re-applied all the tiles.

Ah, yes, real good. Now it looks anchored instead of bloated. A very important 3/8th inch! Got finished around 9:30.

Today all I have to do is fill in tesserae work and by the weekend this piece will be ready for grout. I am not going to bother dremelling since this one is going to the garden forever.

I had always hoped to donate it as a fund raiser, but the urn is cracked. We hope the foundation will hold together long enough to get to the garden and never be moved again.

I ordered the Ichiban eggplant from the seed company that “loaned” me the visual yesterday. I also ordered a new variety of okra seed. Usually I use Clemson Spineless, but I am going to try Annie Oakley.

Jake removed a peach tree that was a poor performer, then pruned, watered and fed the Loquat and the Red Navel Orange. These trees have grown huge and produced excellent fruit. That’s why the overgrown Rosemary herb has to move out of that row, too.

I am going to take cuttings from the rosemary plant rather than try to transplant the whole monster thing or find a new plantlet. I must watch out for Black Widow spiders as I work in those branches.

Jake spotted 2 different Black snakes yesterday. Mr. Toad better be on alert or he’s supper! And we haven’t even seen Mr. Hognose or Mr. Corn snake this year.

The Wisteria is starting to open and the Orange Blossoms are intoxicating. The Banana Magnolia has some blooms coming, too. It smells pretty good around here.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

In Search of the Ichiban 

I like Japanese Ichiban Eggplant.

It’s ever so much easier to cook with than Black Beauty Eggplant.

I have a recipe for a sweet/sour/turmeric/garlic eggplant dish given to us by one of Jake’s graduate students from Sri Lanka years ago. I can’t go a summer without it. I raise Ichiban eggplants just for this recipe.

And this year I can find neither seed nor plantlet of Ichiban. I am desperate. I’ve been to 5 garden centers. Three yesterday alone. I’ve consulted 2 garden seed catalogs with no luck. Oh, Ichiban, wherefore art thou?

I need to get some green bell peppers, a new rosemary plant and some okra seeds. It is getting late into the season here. I am panicking. Nargh!!!

I sent Aunt Jo’s trivet back yesterday. Today I will work on Crystal’s pot. I was running into a design problem at the bottom. But Jake made a great suggestion that will finish the bottom perfectly. If I push, I could have that piece done by next weekend.

Nikki asked about her piece yesterday! She had broken a vase her grandmother had given her. I am crafting the pieces into a bird house, like I did for Suzy. It’s a nice muted pink color. I will have to get some cove tiles ordered for the top. I hadn’t realized she was waiting on it. I will have to speed up.

Jake is mowing the grass today. He also plowed through my bed of Gaillardia flowers. They were looking ratty, but I hope they come back OK.

He worked with his car restoration friends yesterday, and his car is almost finished now. We are having a wager to see who finishes first…his car or my mosaic garage wall.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Come Saturday Morning 

Up early and in line at the Post Office ten minutes before it opens at 10AM. to send the repaired trivet back to Aunt Jo.
I am 12th in a line of 22 people when the doors finally open.

-There’s too many Yankees around here in the winter. Makes for long lines, funny accents and bad attitudes. “BACK HOME the Post Office is never like this…” Duh, that’s because you’re here not there!

-There are a set of triplets in the line. Teenage girls about 17 years old. Very Sci-Fi.

-There’s discussion about the 24 candidates for the Sheriff’s Race this fall. At last something to talk about besides the School Board follies.

-The cute Stamp Theme Teddy Bears for sale in the lobby are all MADE IN CHINA. Is there something wrong when the US Post Office is selling Chinese merchandise?

On the drive home, I see that there is a cloud of buzzards over our farm. They must be on to the scent of the fish scraps. Jake caught 12 Whiting at the coast yesterday. He didn’t bury the cleanings and the buzzards will have a feast for lunch. Jake’s car restoration buddies are here today. I cook up the Whiting filets for their lunch. We are all happy buzzards today.

Now I am off to the alterations shop to fetch Jake’s repaired blue jeans.

Friday, March 12, 2004

No Appleton Today 

I was going to go to the Appleton Museum in Ocala today to look at some French sculpture. I was going to take along my class notes from “How to Look at Art” and get down and serious with some art exegesis.

However, since I got down and serious with planting vegetables yesterday, my left knee has refused to go to an art museum and stand on a concrete floor today. I will have to reload and try again next week. Grrr.

I was reading about Oscar Bluemner last night and had a random thought…Would Ben Shahn and Oscar Bluemner have crossed paths in Braintree MA in 1926 or 1927 ish?

Also is there anything in Oscar Bluemner’s notes/diary or in Vera’s records about the Sacco and Vanzetti trials and executions?

Mom’s secret wish…daughter collects this info and tells me at the Bluemner lecture…

I like Shahn's quote on art...

"Art, as I saw it one day when I helped hang a National Academy show while I was a student there, was about cows. In those days, early in the twenties, there were many cow paintings. More than that, the cows always stood knee-deep in purple shadows. For the life of me I never learned to see purple where there was no purple -- and I detested cows. I was frankly distressed at the prospects for me as an artist.

But there came a time when I stopped painting, stopped in order to evaluate all these doubts. If I couldn't see purple where there was no purple--I wouldn't use it. If I didn't like cows, I wouldn't paint them. What then was I to paint? Slowly I found that I must paint those things that were meaningful to me--that I could honestly paint in the shapes and colors I felt belonged to them. What shall I paint? Stories."
- Ben Shahn, quoted by Katherine Kuh (found at Constable.net)

Thursday, March 11, 2004

More on Sculpture 

I went surfing around and finally found a sculpture.

Alexander Calder
American, 1898-1976
Cheval Rouge (Red Horse), 1974
painted sheet metal
Courtesy Calder Foundation, New York
© 2002 Estate of Alexander Calder/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

I like what this artist says about his work..."I want to make things that are fun to look at, that have no propaganda value whatsoever"

Homegrown Tomatoes 

It’s hot outside and I am indoors cooling off after tilling and planting the spring garden.

I just planted tomatoes: Sweet Million, Yellow Roma, Better Boy, Beef Master, Rutgers and Granada (? I can’t read the writing on the label?).

I planted Siam Basil and moved a clump of Tradescantias.

When Jake gets back we can decide where the cucumbers are going and I can go ahead and plant the Bell and Jalapeno peppers.

I can taste that Salsa now!


When Jake and I took the “How to Look at Art” course back in February, the professor lectured on how to look at Sculpture. I have decided to review my notes because I might make a trip to Ocala tomorrow to look at some statues visiting from France. Here’s what Arthur says we should notice:

Unlike paintings, sculpture is viewed in 360 degrees.

Note the first impression.

There is a main view or primary view. This main view may or may not be focally related to the location of a title plaque on the base, if present.

Note the base. Note the dimensions of the sculpture LxWxH.
Note materials (Bronze, ceramic, wood)

Using 360 degrees note:
Light source
Movement (most of the time this is spiral)

Note where the light hits the sculpture…this is an area the artist wants you to notice.
Watch for negative spaces.
Watch for shadow projection.

That night in class, we looked at Ana Hyatt Huntington’s “Hard Road”,
Scotte’s “L’Age ‘Or”, and Jane Manis’s “The Girls’ Night Out”.

The first two were traditional bronzes. The Girls Night Out was steel and painted bright red. It had a lot going on with the interaction of the beams.

What I appreciated was that I never would have taken the time to look before. This course really helped me to slow down and focus. There is so much commercial /graphic/video art daily, I have to ignore most of it or drown. Slowing down to look is a lost art…(tee hee, I made a pun.)

Anyway, off to the Appleton I go. Tally-ho. (tee-hee, I made a poem).

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Today's Mosaic 

The bathroom floor is finished!

The Flamingo Tile Company Buttercup hex tiles from 1971 are saved!

The final grout went on yesterday evening. There was almost a disaster…I forgot to clean the grout behind the toilet. I came back after an hour or so and saw the haze. I wiped it up fast …with toilet paper…this was not the best choice. It shredded, but it worked over this small area. Job done.

Aunt Jo’s trivet is drying after its grouting. Last evening Jake helped me clean the 1972 Kennedy half dollar. He had some car polish stuff that worked like a wiz. The sealer will get applied on Thursday or Friday and I can get it sent back to her on Monday. Yay!

The grocery ads today are all about St. Patrick’s Day specials on corned beef and cabbage. I love cabbage, hate corned beef.

I have not eaten beef in 5 or 6 years. I read Robin Cook’s book “Toxin” and I could never swallow a piece of beef again.

It wasn’t the E. coli part that got to me. It was the part where they blast the scraps off the carcass with a high pressure steam hose. They collect those scraps and make processed meat..i.e. bologna, cheap hamburger, deli loaf. That kinda did it for me. I’m off beef.

This means at our house St. Patrick’s Day will be Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner with cabbage. With cornbread, not soda bread. And maybe I’ll buy 2 bottles of exotic beer to go with that! What a treat!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Warm Spring Weather 

Since the weather cooperated, I got the final 4 ft x 2ft strip along the bottom of the garage wall filled in. The grout lines need in-fill with smaller, colorful glazed tiles, but the area is outlined and covered at last.

There is a hornet trying to build a nest on my wall. We removed him/her 2 nights ago. But the little umbrella of a nest has reappeared. I will have to spray today.

Does that sound cruel? Not to me! I still have scars on my right thigh where a heap o’ hornets stung me 5 or 6 years ago. They are wicked little Hymenoptera, capable of rapid, multiple re-stings. They cannot propagate near my garage and clothesline. They are too dangerous.

All the Flamingo Tiles are in place in the bathroom and I may get that grouted today. My left knee is killing me and might limit my ability to crawl along the floor to do the job. Time and Advil will tell.

Monday, March 08, 2004

A 1972 Turning Point 

Ellen Gold was one of the best people I ever knew in my life.

Today her name is Ellen Gold Green and they (she and Carl) live in LaJolla CA. Ellen’s parents live in Deerfield Beach,FL and may God bless them forever. Ellen’s Mom would make kugel for me anytime I visited. I loved her for it.

Ellen Gold and Beverly Nurenblatt befriended me when I was a 16 year old freshman at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1969. Not only was I 16, my entire hometown in Georgia had only 25,000 thousand people while Temple University had 48,000 students that fall. There were 4000 residents in my dormitory; there were only 250 in my high school. I was rural southern in a place and at a time when northern urban was burning with Black Power. Ellen taught me how to survive in the city. She taught me skills and offered me a friendship that surely saved my life.

Today is the Monday after Spring Break. Helen has gone back to college unhappy that she spent her break on bed rest and antibiotics fighting flu instead of spending a week on the beach. I was reminiscing about my college spring breaks and realized there was only 1 that I could remember! It was one I spent with Ellen in Miami.

Unable to cope with the culture shock, I had dropped out of Temple University. Eventually I made my way to the University of Florida, found paradise and blossomed.

Ellen tracked me down at UF and invited me to join her and some friends for a weekend at the beach. I hopped in the car and sped to Miami.

I remember 8 people sleeping in a room designed for 4, but it was fun. I remember going to an auction, something I had never seen before. I remember eating a slab of 7 layer chocolate cake at Wolfie’s. It was awesome.

And I remember how I lost Ellen’s friendship that weekend.

My parents wouldn’t give me much cash. They felt their responsibility stopped after tuition, dorm, food plan and gas in the car. I walked around with zero cash. I actually had to wear clothes donated to me by friends. A big night out for me was 99cent spaghetti and a free concert on campus.

I showed up in Miami that weekend with $20.00 for the whole weekend. Ellen was very angry that I couldn’t pay much towards the hotel bill. I couldn’t carry my own financial weight and she was appalled.

She never spoke to me again. I don’t blame her. She knew me during the hardest times in my life.

She never knew that right after that spring break was when I too got disgusted at my poverty and took on 3 part time jobs. I mowed grass for a lawn service, washed test tubes in a tissue culture lab and graded tests for a lecherous biology professor. These jobs paid $1.89 per hour but it was the road up. I have Ellen Gold to thank.

So God Bless you where ever you are today, Ellen.

Today, I have to go to the Post Office and mail Helen’s boyfriend’s jacket back to campus, set tiles on the bathroom floor, drop clothes at the alterations/mending shop and dust the house because the pollen’s thick this spring.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

A Vintage Sunday Afternoon  

Vintage tiles are great. They give me a sense of history. Not that 31 or 32 years is a long time, but hey, Google wasn’t around 30 years ago and who could live without that now?

My Aunt is trying to find out which of my cousins made that trivet in 1972.

There are 5 cousins in that family. David, Linda, Sherry, Carol and Michael. They are scattered around the Sun Belt now, from California to Texas. I was sorry to have missed the family reunion, but it was right after 9/11 and I wasn’t about to travel.

Anyway, soon we’ll find out who created the trivet. Today the trivet got regrouted. It looks really good. Fresh.

Also today, I worked in our 1971 bathroom.

Three companies had given me estimates for bathroom repair. One was outrageously high. One would have required the bathroom to be out of service for 2 weeks. The third guy offered to fix the toilet for about $100. Being extraordinarily cheap, I opted for Mr. $100 and decided to retile the floor myself.

I spent the afternoon grinding up old grout between the hex tiles on the floor. And I got the wall baseboard tiles reattached to the wall. With enough Advil, I can regrout the floor tomorrow.

I am glad to be saving the Flamingo Tile Company 1971 Buttercup Yellow tiles instead of replacing the floor. It is historical and I am cheap.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Purim Begins At Sundown 

That's what my calendar says about today, March 6th.

Jake did a great job of spring cleaning in the shed this afternoon. His car restoration projects and my mosaic projects needed some serious overhauling. It really felt good to create a clean palatte to start from next week.

Since the beginning of the week I have been refocusing my exercise program. I did 40 minutes of precor/treadmill aerobics on 4 consecutive days. This morning, I was so stiff and sore I couldn’t make it to a 4-H benefit yard sale that I wanted to check out. Last year it was a gold mine for cheap costume jewelry for mosaics. I felt like the Tin Man after a rainstorm until the Advil kicked in.

Only 18 days until the Oscar Bluemner expert comes to lecture at campus. I can hardly wait. It’s all about the color!

Jake's Z is a 1973, a year younger than Aunt Jo's trivet.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Question for Mosaic Artists??? 

On this trivet there are areas in the center where heat from hot plates has discolored the grout. The original 1972 grout was unsanded, probably white colored and probably not sealed. I am going to use 50/50 whait/warm grey sanded grout and seal with a silicon sealer.
Will the silicon grout sealer discolor when a hot pan it set on it?

Aunt Jo's Trivet 

Trivet Tragedy 

All the tiles on my Aunt's trivet are reset. The 1972 Kennedy half dollar is reset. Everything is ready to go for grouting tomorrow or Sunday. I was able to use the same piece of masonite board so the remade trivet will fit back into its stand when it gets home.

The tragedy is I went Internet shopping todat and they no longer make mosaic trivet kits like the one my Aunt has. I will not be able to make interchangeable trivet plates as she wants so that she can change them out with the decor of the season.

However, I can still make trivets to send to her for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. They just won't fit the stand she has. Maybe I can make matching napkin rings though.

I can't get my pictures posted yet. Helen and I tried twice today.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Where were you in 1972? 

Link here to see what the world was like the year the trivet was made.

My Aunt 's Trivet 

In today's mail I received a trivet my aunt wants repaired.

This is a project that is making me very happy on a lot of levels. My aunt is always kind to me and I am glad to have a way to repay her.

I took a photo and will try to get it posted tonight so that you all can have a look at the cool retro 1970's tiles.

But mostly I took a photo as a reference because I will have to disassemble the trivet to fix it. After 30 plus years, the unsanded grout is as solid as concrete and I don't want to risk breaking the tiles for the sake of the grout.

Not to worry though. I've done this before. Sometimes I find cool tiles in craft objects in thrift stores. I take them home, soak them , collect the tiles and toss the object.

This is going to be pretty straight forward.

By the way, Where were you in 1972?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Run for Your Life! 

I dropped in to JoAnne's Craft store this morning. I was enjoying passing time browsing the Easter Decorations before making my selections in the floral department. I am out of floral wire and stem tape.

But before you could say "Add this to my shopping cart" a little old man on the next aisle over fartted loudly.

Within seconds a mushroom cloud of stinky gas engulfed the place. I covered my nose and headed towards the other side of the store. Four other gagging patrons were also fleeing from the craft section.

I browsed the St. Patrick's Day cards for a card for Mom's birthday. But I looked up and here came Mr. Farty. I abandoned my purchases and fled the store. Yech!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Flocks and Gangs 

I am sorry for the irregular blogs. Losing the computer was a blow. I still don't have any pictures. Helen is home for Spring Break this week. I have given her the assignment of installing the photo program and getting that up and running again. Computer malfunctions are a bummer!

It is Bike Week over at Daytona. That is only 50 miles from here. Gangs of motorcycles fly by along our highway everyday. They are coming, going or just touring the area. I do enjoy seeing the bikes.Some of them are more spectacular than my car. Then again, how exciting is my beige Nissan? Nevermind.

Also in town this week are flocks of hundreds of Cedar Wax Wing birds. They arrive in massive numbers and strip all the holly berries for the season. This greatly frustrated the resident Jays and Mocking birds.

Our hunter cat, Zeus, gets frantic with hopes of a fast food meal. But there are too many fast moving birds and he is left empty pawed.

Helen and Jake have colds so there will be no exciting activities to report for Spring Break. But maybe photos will be available soon.

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