The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Bunny Slipper. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Lesson Plan 

This was from the education course I took....

Multicultural Lesson Plan: Ubiquitous Beans

Appropriate for Social Studies or Social Sciences Classes at 4th or 5th grade level

Upon completion of this unit lesson students should be able to
~ define and spell “ubiquitous”
~ define and spell “legume”
~ identify the characteristics of a legume seed (beans)
~ differentiate between the seeds of legumes, squash and corn
~ specifically identify five types of beans
~ identify the countries in which these 5 beans are commonly used
~ locate these countries on a world map
~ make a recipe collection for these 5 specific beans
~ be familiar with steps involved in sprouting Mung Beans

Optional activities may be included and help the student to
~ understand the importance of beans, corn and squash to North and South AmerIndian cultures
~ research other important food crops in the Legume plant family
~ become aware of the variety and consumption of beans in the student’s own life
~ observe the growth and development of bean plants

Relation of the Lesson Plan to Multiculturalism: This plan attempts to show that almost all peoples of the world consume legumes and students share this commonality. It focuses on 5 legume varieties including Mung Beans from China, Canneloni beans from Italy, Pinto beans from Mexico, Dahl from India, and Black eyed peas from the United States.

Saving Nemo 

I had to take an antihistamine last night. So I was totally worthless today. What a choice….breathe or stay awake. Grrr.

So I mostly dragged around today. Read the paper. Grumbled that there were no coupons. Cooked a light lunch for Jake. Did a few loads of laundry. Saved a life.

Walking back from the laundry, I saw the mocking birds screaming and diving at something. I thought it might be a snake, so I went for a closer look.
It was a baby Blue Jay. It had been blown out of its nest by the strong winds today. It could hop real good but it couldn’t fly.

I herded it to the honeysuckle, but the mocking birds kept attacking and no parent Blue Jays seemed to come to the rescue. So I stepped in and scooped it up and headed to the house. The mocking birds started attacking me. One hit me in the head. Grrr.

The baby was heat exhausted, so I fed it water. After a few minutes in the air conditioning, it did revive. I put it in the cage once occupied by our hamster, Bobo.

Jake looked up on the Internet which said to feed it Friskies soup. I made some up and the baby liked it. About every 10 minutes, I would open the cage and it would open its mouth and swallow Friskies soup. This went on most of the afternoon while it was hot.

About 7PM when it was cooler, the Parent Blue Jays came back to the birdbath, so I put baby in the hedge nearby. They found each other and made happy little blue jay sounds. A Happy ending…as long as Zeus doesn’t catch on. Grrr.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Worry Wort 

Fret Well

I keep thinking of the Fung Schway lady’s name. I think Fret Well means “I’m a good Worry Wort”. I, Mosaic Mom, am the Best Worry Wort Ever. So here’s my list…

Top Ten Things to Worry About Today

1. I worry that Helen and Kelly are going to throw away their living room chair. I think it is a cute chair. It is green (uh oh, I’m getting a clue about why I love this particular chair). It is a formal style and contrasts nicely with the futon. I sat on the cute green chair and it is comfy. Oh, I hope they do not toss the cute green chair.

2. Aunt Karin has not blogged in 8 days. Aunt Karin is in Indiana. I worry that the thunderstorms have caused giant hail to hit her mobile home and break the satellite dish. Now she can’t communicate because of giant hail.

3. I am worried that I forgot to water the okra last night and it might be wilted. So why not just go water it, you ask? Because I will not go out in the blazing sun and fight the yellow flies just for a dozen okra. I will check on it after the sun goes down.

4. I am worried about the upcoming elections. The last elections, Florida was the epicenter of a big mess. I was embarrassed when relatives would call and laugh at us. I hope they won’t have reason to call us and humiliate us again.

5. I am worried that I might not have 10 things to worry about.

6. I worry about spy bots all the time. I think they are trying to steal my charge card number. They will use my charge card number to buy boom boxes. This makes me very unhappy.

7. Cliffy in Baghdad was a big source of worry. But I started praying for him every day and I quit watching the news, so now I don’t really worry about him, but I am having to reach deep to get 10 things on this list.

8. I worry about nanobacteria and prions.

9. I am thinking about getting chenille bedspreads. I worry that my Mom will learn about this and won’t like it.

10. One more…gotta think of one more…Oh Yeah! I worry that the sand mine next door will cause cracks in our swimming pool.

Whew! That was really hard. I must go rest now.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Want to make God laugh? 

Want God to Laugh?
Tell Him your plans.

So like this morning I planned to go to the License Plate Office and get the renewal sticker for the Nissan, then go to the Y for a workout.

Instead a road crew came along. They were pruning the trees on the highway right of way and they had traffic totally tied up in both directions. I decided to stay put.

I made good progress on Ruby Begonia. It will be all tiled and dremel ready tomorrow.
However, I got all bit to hell by those yellow flies. I am in agony. I hope they all die SOON. Grrrr.

Jake and I took off to Deland about 4PM with a load of furniture for the bachelorette pad. Helen’s place looks really cute. The plants make it very homey.

Then we had dinner where Helen works at the “Chick Pea”. Holy Moley. What a feast!

We had 4 kinds of bread. We really liked the fennel bread.

Then Kelly the waitress (and Helen’s roommate) brought two amusements. Amusements are cute little tasty things. One was a salad on a stick. It was very tasty. The other was cold pea soup. It was not the hot, fat filled, ham flavored soup we were accustomed to.

Next the salads were awesome. It is worth a drive to Deland just for salads. One was beets and goat cheese. The other was spinach and blue cheese. Wow!

For main course, Jake had Grouper that was divine. I had seared tuna and spring roll thingies that were awesome. I was very happy.

For dessert, we had hot strawberries stewed in vanilla, room temp strawberries perfectly ripe, and cold strawberry and melon sorbet. Far out.

At last we wound up at the Stetson International Guitar Concert. We decided we were too stuffed with food to sit at the concert. But we picked up the brochure and decided to attend the concert on Sunday afternoon instead.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Fung Schway Day 

A to Z Handyman arrived right on time at 10:00AM this morning.

His task was to reverse a door that he had reversed 2 years ago. Okay, call me stupid, but that room never felt right once I followed the decorator’s plan and turned the door outward.

Mostly, it stuck out into the main hallway in the shed and it was always in the way. So, I paid to have it turned back. Much better now. Even though the handyman was laughing all the way to the bank.

My dumpster got the Fung Schway today too. The bottom of the blue one finally rusted out. When I got a new can delivered today, they brought a brown one. I don’t like it, but I’ll adjust. I’m supposed to be on a waiting list for a new snazzy plastic dumpster. OOOOOOoooooo.

Wait a minute. What if the plastic dumpster gets dumped and it’s a Tuesday and a huge thunderstorm comes and a tornado and there’s no weight to hold the plastic dumpster down and it blows away and hits the house?

Am I really good at worrying or what? That’s a gem, a real good chew. I got it all over this Sally “Fretwell” fung schway person, huh!

We have a begonia that stands 6 feet tall and blooms continuously. It has lived in a ratty plastic pot for 2 years. We’ve decided it gets a mosaic pot to live in.

So I started on “Ruby Begonia” today. It’ll be grey, purple and burgundy.

Pretty good day in the studio. More heat, less flies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Plant Daddy! 

New Blog on the Block!!!

Go Read Plant Daddy and find out about plant breeding, Z car restoration, welding, metal sculpture art, woodworking and ,of course, fishing!

Art Club Party
THS NAHS had their end of the year party at Wooten Park. We ate cupcakes, drank sodas and drew chalk pictures on the sidewalk. It was very laid back and fun, but it was still pretty hot outside till well after 7PM.

Before the party, I dropped by the Y to see my Personal Trainer. He’s still out with an injury. Did I jinx him? I didn’t work out since I knew I’d be at the art party out of doors from 4 to 7 PM and dehydration would be an issue.

I drove over to the Post Office to mail granola bars to Cliff in Baghdad. There was something new and very disturbing at the post office….CHAIRS.
Do you know what this means? This means they ain’t in no hurry to wait on us anymore!
It’s going to be a grim Christmas Season.

I dropped my aluminum cans off at the recycling plant and earned a whopping $1.22! I also gathered reconnaissance on recycling parts/trash out of the Z shop. Those wiring harnesses could bring in some jingle….Hmmmmm….

Here is a picture of the evil biting yellow flies.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Yellow Flies 

It is soooo hot in the studio now. I quit today at 12:30 and the temp in the shade was 91!

But the real drawback to getting much work done is the yellow flies. Their bites hurt like holy beerjeebers.

Today I was cleaning out my wet saw and 2 were buzzing me. I was afraid to start sawing lest one bite me on the back of my knee at a critical moment, and I'd lose concentration and make some wrong cut. Grrr.

They'll go away if it ever starts raining again.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

How I Spent the last 8 weeks 

When I take a mosaics class, I tend to work fast and carelessly. I am more interested in learning a variety of techniques than in having one beautifully done finished piece for the price of tuition at $100 or more.

I keep all my practice work and like "samplers" I refer back to them if a problem arises on a "real" piece.

So here are my samplers from the past 8 weeks of study. Some I like, others, yech!, but edifying.

(I can't believe the photobot let me post all this!)

This was the other class project I accomplished. Sold it at the Tavares Library talk. It's a table. I am a bad photographer.  Posted by Hello

This is a fan pattern, Opus circumactum. This piece is a total failure on many levels. But I will keep it for years to remind myself of all these errors. Like never use bubbles on the edge, the grout won't hold. Duh. Posted by Hello

Opus Sectile. The mouse and cheese are one piece, not many small pieces.  Posted by Hello

This is called "Monday Morning". It is Opus regulatum. Grid pattern. Posted by Hello

I need better photography, but this was a fun piece to do with Opus Tessalatum.  Posted by Hello

Opus Vermiculatum is the yellow part along the top of the icon tile. Small tiles to the right are O. regulatum. Larger tiles to the left are O. tessalatum. Posted by Hello

I Love this Joke! 

Thanks to my Aunt for this Tee Hee. It's a "gooder"


Before the 2001 inauguration of George Bush, he was invited to a
get-acquainted tour of the White House. After drinking several glasses
of iced tea, he asked Bill Clinton if he could use his personal

When he entered Clinton's private toilet, he was astonished to see that
President Clinton had a solid gold urinal. That afternoon, George told
his wife, Laura, about the urinal.

"Just think," he said, "when I am president, I could have a gold urinal,
too. But I wouldn't do something that self-induligible!"

Later, when Laura had lunch with Hillary at her tour of the White House,
she told Hillary how impressed George had been at his discovery of the
fact that, in the President's private bathroom, the President had a gold

That evening, when Bill and Hillary were getting ready for bed, Hillary
smiled, and said to Bill, "I found out who pissed in your saxophone."

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Sri Lanka Eggplant Recipe 

This takes a lot of work, but it is the best eggplant recipe EVER!

1 Large Eggplant...or 3 to 4 Ichibans
Slice and fry till brown
Remove and place on a paper towel

In a separate pan mix:
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 T sugar
2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
Black pepper
1/2 teasp chili powder

Heat till sugar dissolves. Add the eggplant and marinate 30 minutes.

Eat on top of rice and Yellow Dall.

You might have to go to an Asian Market to get yellow Dall. Cook it the same way as rice, 2 cups water, 1 cup dall. Add 1 teasp Tumeric for color

Another Busy Day in the Kitchen 

Eggplant is plentiful so I made a batch of Sri Lanka Eggplant for supper and a batch of Acapulco Eggplant for the freezer.

I got an e-mail from Cliff in Baghdad. He declined my offer to mail him eggplants to launch at the enemy.

Painted 2 dog water stations and grouted the Virgin Mary. What kind of sentence is that? Good Grief.

Now I have a pot of pinto beans soaking so I can make homemade refried beans and fresh salsa tomorrow.

It's nice to spend time in the kitchen after a long break from it. At the Millenium I was very in to canning and preserving against the famine at the end of the world. Since that didn't happen yet and since Helen moved out, Jake and I have smaller more casual suppers and I haven't preserved anything till today.

Ichiban Time 

A few months ago, I planted Ichiban eggplants. Now I am saturated in eggplants. I decided to try this recipe:

Eggplant Acapulco

1 large Eggplant
Boiling salt water
½ cup dry bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup butter
Salt and Pepper
½ pound mushrooms sliced
2 cans 8 oz each tomato sauce

Place the whole eggplant in about 4 inches boiling water (eggplant floats) reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool enough to handle.
Peel, cut into quarters then cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside. Mix bred crumbs and cheese.
In a buttered baking pan, arrange half the eggplant slices. Dot with butter. Salt and Pepper. Add half the mushrooms, tomato sauce and cheese crumb mixture. Repeat the layers. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 45 min or until eggplant is tender. Makes 6 servings.

This recipe looked like it had potential, but I screwed it up.

First, I used 4 Ichiban eggplants instead of one large Black Beauty. The parts of the Ichibans that didn’t get in contact with the boiling water, didn’t parboil and ended up tough not tender.

Next I didn’t have fresh mushrooms so I used a 6 oz can of mushrooms. That threw the moisture off. The bread crumbs were then excessive for the amount of liquid and made the dish dry.
Lastly, I only used what Ragu was sitting around in the fridge. I didn’t check to see if it was 16 oz. Again more dryness.

When we ate it hot, it was passable. But at the 10PM snack hour the flavors had soaked in and mellowed and it was much better. The next day for lunch it was outstanding. It just needed time to soak the moisture and flavor through the breadcrumbs.

This would be a lot easier way to do Eggplant Parmesan if I can get it to work.

I am going to try it again, adjusting the bread crumb amount, still using canned mushrooms and adding some mozzarella cheese. I’ll report later.

PS The photoblogger is really easy. It does all the resizing formatting automatically. You hit the browser button and the next thing you know, your blog screen pops with the picture in place.

Now, what are they gonna charge for this after the 15 days free?

Friday, May 21, 2004

another test for photoblogger Posted by Hello

I wasn't wrong... 

This article ran on the front page of Section B in yesterday's Orlando Sentinel.

Public-health concerns can close eateries quickly
Shutdowns are rare, but they can happen mid-meal.
By Christopher Sherman
Sentinel Staff Writer

A Crispers restaurant in Winter Haven reopened for business Wednesday, one day after state inspectors shut down the popular sandwich and salad spot and forced customers to leave because cockroaches found there posed an “immediate threat to public health.”

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Creamed Style Corn 

Cream Style Corn Recipe

This is the Best Cream Style Corn recipe ever!

3 to 4 cups of corn…shuck fresh and take kernels off about 6 ears
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1 cup of milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
dash nutmeg
dash pepper

In the bottom of a large saucepan, melt 2 TBS butter. Add 2 TBS all purpose flour and cook till bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup milk. Cook, stirring till thickens. Add 3 to 4 cups of corn, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and a dash each of pepper and nutmeg. Cook until heated through.

Barb’s modifications…for the cup of milk, I use one box of boxed nuked milk. If the mix is too thick, I water it down after the corn is added. I go easy on the sugar since the local sweet corn is very sweet. I go light on the nutmeg and heavy on the pepper. I used to omit the salt, but it really bumps up the butter flavor. You get a color change from pale to gold when the kernels are cooked.

This dish will cause a sugar coma within 45 minutes after dinner. But it is really delicious.

You know how I said that case of corn, 42 ears, would last till Sunday? Wrong. It’s gone. It had about a 30 hour life span. We gave some away; put some cream corn in the freezer, ate fresh last night, ate cream corn tonight and Bingo Bango! Bye Bye Corn.

The happiest moment today: I took the cobs out in the yard for the birds to do the final kernel cleaning. Those blue jays were jazzy the rest of the afternoon.

Hello, Photoblogging 

I have downloaded the Blogger picture program, “HELLO”. I do not like the way it pops up on my desktop every time I turn my computer on. I am picking up more than usual Bots. I may uninstall Happy and see if the bot count goes back down. But I must say …it was easy!

testing bloggerbot Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Holy Tile! 

My first stop this morning was at Lake Jem Nursery. I wanted some 1 gallon Lauropetalum. But the man only had 3 gallons so I declined.

Scott’s Farm was next. I bought a case of Bi-Color Sweet Corn. Why do I wonder why I’m fat? Two of us…that works out to about 24 ears each. It will be et up by Sunday. I guarantee.

Dropped in to Mt Dora and picked up the tile at 2wo Cool Cats. Totally wonderful technology and lovely people there. Then off to Joe DiFiore’s studio to have him cut it on his wet band saw. Joe wasn’t in and I was too jazzy to wait or to leave the tile, so I opted to try the cuts as best I could on my wet saw.

Got home around 11:30 and went straight to the studio. Didn’t stop to change clothes, just straight to work. An hour and a half later, I had done it!

Taking the background down to size was pretty straightforward. I was singing Jake’s praises for giving me a fresh wet saw blade for Mother’s Day. That made all the cuts easier. Thank you, Sweetie.

I had marked out 2 patterns in wax pencil for cutting my figures into Opus Sectile and I didn’t like either. Therefore, I decided not to cut Baby Jesus’ throat and the Holy Mother’s neck. I want to talk to a stained glass artist to see where those cuts would/should run.

I inserted the tile as an entirety into the pattern. It’s fantastic.

Tomorrow I have to reset 5 small tiles to bring them closer along the Virgin Mary’s shoulder, but then it’ll be grout ready. Yay!

Had 3 ears of corn (each) for dinner and went to Lowe’s to look for handles for Sharon’s dog water thingy. Successful. Went to Home Depot to look for the lumber Jake wanted Unsuccessful.

Watched a show on Banana recipes. Looked up recipes for coping with the overload of cucumbers we’ve got going on at the moment. Blogged. Now it’s Leno and sleepy time.

What a nice day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Breathless Beauty 

2wo Cool Cats was soooo awesome. I boogied over after mosaics class and met Larry the owner. There was also a girl there with cute shoes and she and Larry were loading tiles into her car.

While I had time to wait, I browsed the porch/lobby and was struck by a full blown tile seizure when I saw Anita Woods watercolor paintings translated into tiles. I was short of breath, dizzy, couldn’t speak. New ideas in tile really jazz me up.

The botanicals were astounding. The vintage reproductions were classic. Images could be transferred to tile or stone, glazed or matte finish. I was actually panting. Thank God that man didn’t take credit cards. I’d be digging out of debt for months.

I ordered the Albrecht Durer Madonna transferred onto tile, 6”x8” glazed finish. And spent what little coin I had on cash and carry tiles. I was just buzzing when I left.

The great, great news is my tile will be ready tomorrow and I get to go back. I will take lots of cash tomorrow and hope Jake doesn’t read this. Some women have it for shoes; I have it for glazed ceramic tile. Go figure.

To ship the Dragonfly Rock I drove over to see Sue at the Pack and Ship in Leesburg who shares a birthday date with me. It was nice to see her after a long break. I haven’t shipped much since Christmas. She is a true professional and did not laugh at the fact that I was shipping a large, heavy rock. Off it went to find a happy garden home.

Intercoastal tile was on the way home, so I picked up my order. I am so glad to have a case of purple. I have been collecting purple things for months. I have in mind to do a mirror. Also thanks to Bridgette. What you gave me is going to be great at Christmas! I’ve got a preliminary design already!

Class was good. Sandi’s piece grouted up beautifully and Scott’s Janet Jackson’s Boob looked really nice. His sushi roll was cute too, but it was hard to clean the grout around all those quartz crystals he used as rice. I must remember that since I will use the crystals he gave me on my Christmas tree.

Patty’s Flamingo was delightful. It was very bright and cheerful, happy and fun. I took my wooden shoe but I had grouted it on Saturday or Sunday. I’m too impulsive.

Rich gave us all calendars with photos of his mosaics. It was a treasure. I really enjoyed that class.

Don’t you think this will be a great tile?

Dragonfly Rock en route 

The Dragonfly Rock is en route. Watch for it by Friday. It is sealed and good for outdoor use. Have someone help you carry it.

Mucking out the art room 

Three loads of laundry chugged through the routine while I worked along on the cat door stop this morning. I had hoped to have it done by tomorrow, but there’s just too much detail left to do.

I repaired the wobbly leg on the table by the back door, had lunch and headed out for the High School. The plan was to meet up with Pete and Suzy and several members of the football team and move the heavy equipment from the art room before demolition.

I was there by 1 PM but the guys had already removed the press, slab roller and pottery wheels. Suzy had 2 boys load a paten (?) press into my car. Don’t know what I can do with that, but it will eventually find a home.

I spent from 1 till 4 PM sorting and tying books for storage. It reminded me of when I volunteered to help the public library do a move while their new building was constructed. That’s when I gave up on books and embraced CD’s.

Came home too tired to go to the Y, but good thing, because Helen arrived to collect more books and household supplies.

Tomorrow promises to be busy….last day of mosaic class, ship the dragonfly rock and see about image transfers for custom tiles. Also must get some items mailed or I’ll miss a birthday greeting for Nikki!

P.S. When reaching for lingerie this morning, I discovered that I own a lime green jog bra. I told you I was ga-ga for that color.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Spring Green 

I don’t remember when my addiction to spring green struck.

In college I had a pair of green shoes I loved, but they were dark green.

In grad school I had a Kelly green blouse and early in my working career I had a dark green and white long sleeve checked shirt.

But somewhere around age 45, I became oddly attracted to spring green, lime green, neon green, kiwi, green grape, Gatorade green.

It started with the purchase of a lime green polo shirt and escalated to a knit leisure suit, a T-shirt and a hair poof thingy. I recognized it as an addiction when I bought a pair of hot pink double knit pants to “co-ordinate”.

Had I lost my mind? Had I lost all shred of what little fashion sense I possessed? I hit rock bottom in the wardrobe department. As Helen put it, ”You have ‘ugly’ radar. If it’s ugly and it’s in the store, you will find it.”

It’s a color that screams “middle aged woman” and I notice that is really is epidemic among women my age. But it’s like a siren call. I am helpless to resist it if I go to Dillard’s alone with no one to say “NO! Don’t buy that.”

So today I was in Dillards…alone…and guess what I own now?

Have you ever noticed the background color of this blog? And I love Jake’s restored car called “The Green Bean”. And my favorite Florida Tile color is Tree Top.

The dragonfly rock got sealer, is in the car and goes to Pack and Ship on Tuesday. It contains Tree Top. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Saturday Success 

Dad was the Hero who used superhuman strength to get the futon up the stairs and into Helen's bachelorette apartment! Go Dad!

I trailed along with bags of cucunbers and tomatoes. Kelly's friend toted the plant. Helen and Rickey carried pillows and the tool box.

The futon was assembled in no time and now the kids have a sofa. Yay!

Helen loaned me her book on ceramics artists. I wanted to read the chapter about this tile artist who creates mosaics. This is an installation she did in Cleveland OH. Enjoy.

Angelica Pozo

Friday Finals 

On Friday, I finished the vermiculatum and love it. I hope I can get a tile made for the centerpiece, but if not, I'll go with a decoupage icon.

I did a test grout for the wooden shoe and decided that neither pure white nor warm grey were the right color, so I will re-do with light grey today.

I will spend most of the day taking the futon to Deland. How those kids are going to get it up those stairs is beyond me! That will be an adventure.

We are getting a nice supply of tomatoes from the garden. I may have some peppers to pick today too. We'll eat Jake's latest catch of Pompano tonight too.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

2wo Fat Cats Stevens 

2wo Fat Cats is a store/shop over in Mt Dora that will transfer images to tiles. Yesterday I phoned them and got no answer. Left a message, got no call back. Needed directions. Today I drove over there none of the neighboring shops would/could tell me where 2 Cats was located. Finally found the place and no one was in. Grrrr.

I did stop at Yada-Yada Ceramics and get info on their tiles and mosaics classes. That looks like a great place to entertain out of town guests in too.

I bought a lovely bar of lemon verbena soap at a little store called Shabby Chic. That lady was very nice and was the one who finally steered me to where I wanted to go.

So I guess I will wait for a 2 Cats visit till Tuesday and try again when I go in to the Arts Center for the last mosaics class.

I will get the vermiculatum finished to grout ready stage in the morning and I doubt I will start musivicum or palladium. Must get sealer on the dragon fly rock and ship that next week. Must start the Christmas tree. Must do Nikki’s birdhouse. Must do Helen’s table.

How did this hobby get out of control?

Baby, Baby, It's a wide world...

Mirror Morror 

Making the “join” between the 1” tesserae set in tessulatum and the ¼” tesserae set in regulatum while going across the top of the vermiculatum was not easy. I got 2 whole rows set yesterday morning and counted myself lucky. But the project looks good. Yay!

Started a new project in the afternoon, but it is not mosaics. I have hired a personal trainer. This may sound very chic, but is is just a guy at the YMCA who is going to help me fine tune my fitness program.

After I fell off the chair and hurt my knee, the therapist gave me a rehab goal of being able to walk at a pace of 3.5 mph for 35 minutes at a slant of 3.5. That was a year ago and I haven’t been able to do it yet.

Either the knee gets balky, or the shoes go out, or the ankles twist, etc.

The trainer wanted to start me right away on weights and I came close to firing him on the spot. The weight area at the Y is populated with 20 year old muscle men. Can you imagine me standing around with them with my white hair and overweight self trading lifting tips? Good God!

I have some goals I want to start on and the trainer is going to let me start in my comfort zone, but I had an epiphany while on the treadmill yesterday.

The weight area has a wall of mirrors. Maybe that’s why I won’t go over there.

I went to Curves once. For those of you who might not have a local Curves franchise, it’s where very heavy women go to work out. If memory serves me correctly, there were no mirrors at Curves.

So even if the Y follows through with plans to build a “Ladies Only” section, they might want to evaluate placement of the mirrors.

Futon Dimensions 

Futon Length = 79 inches long
Width appx. 37 inches…hard to measure since the spare bed is stored there in the way.

You would probably have to disassemble it to make that U shape turn from the landing on your stairs into the front door.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Penultimate Class 

Stops at the bank and post office bogged me down but I made it in for the penultimate mosaics class by 10:30. Everybody else was hard at work since next week, the last class, is Grout Day.

Beth gave me a copy of the grape wine bottle table pattern to Xerox. Now I can make the table up for Helen. Scott told me where I could get a custom image imprinted onto a tile. Instructor Rich told me how to adjust the vermiculatum around an acute angle. I was happy happy!

Beth and I had finished our projects so we teamed up to help Patty get hers ready for the big grout next week. Nice chatter, good music, I am going to miss this class.

After class I met my friend Bunny whom I hadn’t seen in years. We became Moms one year apart. We were Nursery Mavens at the same time. We burned out of the nursery business about the same time. The demands of children and businesses and husbands just squeezed out the friendship and it’s nice to renew.

We had a nice lunch at the Tea Room. The quiche was delicious. Then she dropped by the house for the obligatory mosaic show and tour. Dang, I meant to give her a mosaic flower pot and forgot. How nice to know there will be a next time.

When I got home there was such a nice surprise from Carol in my mail box. Thank you.

Oh and Helen, I ran your errand today and your computer is fixed. Phone home.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Breakthrough at last 

While taking the mosaics class, I have been rushing my work and it shows. The quality has been low and the compositions not well thought out.

But at last I have created an assignment that I like and is good quality and is a good composition. Okay, maybe a few tesserae could be cut better, but it's pretty darn close.

Mother's Day was fun. Helen invited us over to her apartment for supper. She cooked us a FABULOUS dinner. She is learning much while working at an organic restaurant this summer. Maybe she'll have us back for Father's Day...hint,hint!

Her apartment is very cute. It is a newly renovated bungalow. She has a nice new roommate for the summer. We are happy that all things are working out for her.

Class tomorrow then out to lunch with an old friend I haven't seen in a decade. The wheel goes round and round.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Dad Fills In  

Designing Dad the Metal Man is filling in so Mosaic Mom can have a nice night off.

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my first botanical sculpture. It is made out of 16 gauge steel. Its title is “A Botanist’s Dilema”. It consists of Monocot leaves with abnormal Dicot flowers. Only the pollen and stigma are colored since they are the life blood of the plant.

The Bird is there trying to figure out the botany. It was added to add more life to complete the happy plant.

I enjoyed the freedom of creating a sculpture as compared to restoring fenders on the Z car. This creation may represent the beginning and the end of my sculpture career but it was very satisfying and enjoyable work.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Flying Saucers Land Here ! 

The Dragonfly Rock wouldn’t stand in position today. Grrrr. I had to add more mortar around the base. I will know tomorrow if this is successful and then I can add the bug.

Opus Vermiculatum is going swimmingly. I am very pleased even though this first row is slow going. The secret is cutting trapezoids to work around the curves.

Jake took our birdbath apart, pressure washed it and brought it into the shop. I ran a skim coat of mortar over it. Maybe this will stop the leaks.

When I ran errands this afternoon, I picked up 4 nice strands of beads at the Goodwill for only 50 cents each.

Jake finished his metal sculpture. Tomorrow for Mother’s Day I will take a day off and let him blog about his art.

Here are the Flying Saucers. The blue one is “The Communicator” made with a Z car radio. The large one is “Sputnik”. The one with ears is “Voyager” and the one on the ground is “V’ger” .

Are there any Star Trek fans out there who remember the story of V’ger?

Friday, May 07, 2004

Mosaic Dad 

You know, there wouldn't be a Mosaic Mom without Mosaic Dad. (And of course, Mosaic Kid)

But Jake gave me the most AWESOME Mother's Day Gift. He gave me a new wet saw blade and 3 cases of tile!

I suppose your average American woman might not completely appreciate this, but I am on cloud nine!

Also, Jake used his car shop tools to grind off a little metal stubby dealy that I always cut my finger on when I washed my wet saw tray. Then he helped me make supports for the "Flying Saucers". These are 4 mosaic flying saucer yard ornaments. I promise to photograph them tomorrow. Fer Sher!

Dragon fly is netted. Waiting for the rock to harden. Don't got no rocks in Florida, Ma. Got to make them as we go!

Thanks so much to Briget for helping me with tile colors today!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Speech! Speech! 

Ten people turned out tonight to hear Mosaic Mom’s talk on mosaics and gardening!

I hope some of them join SAMA and get into this art and participate in the American Mosaic Project. It really makes me happy to have other mosaic art lovers to chat with and exchange ideas. Awesome.

The logistics in and out of the Civic Center were easy. No steps to climb while carrying heavy pots. That was a blessing.

It was good to see Carla again. Finally I connected Carla at the library and Dolly at the Y. Dolly is Carla’s Mom! I’ve only known them like 7 or 8 years and not figured it out! Duh.

I always like the way Carla changes her hairdo’s. She really keeps updated and sharp looking. I wish I had her hair talent.

Also Stephanie’s Grandmother was there and said Hi. When Helen was very young, Stephanie was a positive role model for her as an artist. We have always loved Stephanie.

Nobody signed up for classes, but that’s OK. The weather is about to turn very hot and the studio is not air conditioned. Maybe in the Fall, teaching will open up as an option.

Here is the Outline of my talk. It was so much fun to do this.

1. The Florida Gardening Season and Advantages of Mosaics in Year Round Design

2. History of Mosaic Art
Art Neuveau, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco

3. Garden Décor vs. Garden Art

4. Co-Ordinating Mosaic Design and Style with Garden Design and Style

Romantic, Country, Contemporary, Regional

5. Considerations for Outdoor Mosaic Construction

Here is the work of Nek Saini who created a mosaic garden in India

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Aunt Terri's Trivet 

I am SO GLAD Aunt Terri Likes the trivet Aunt Jo gave her!
Aunt Jo’s trivet that Melinda made in 1973 has a 1973 Kennedy half dollar.
Aunt Terri’s trivet has two 2003 quarters.
Now all I have to do is make a trivet for my Mom with 5 dimes.
Then each of the sisters would have a 50 cent trivet!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Happy Tuesday 

Mosaic Mom is happy indeed.

Helen dropped by for a visit and told us all about passing Junior Review. Now she will spend the summer taking Independent Study using her time to make more nekkid people clay statues. Good Work.

Today there were only 3 students in Mosaics class. I showed up first and had almost 30 minutes alone with Rich to chat about mosaics. I learned about how he conceptualizes a piece. And I think he learned that I am very happy with my andamento practice boards and thus have a new design tool at my disposal. He talked about his experiences teaching; we talked about smalti work; talked about marketing, grout, . It was really really nice to have someone to talk mosaics with.

Then Scott and Sandi came. Scott finished Janet Jackson’s Boob. It is adorable. Rich and Sandi and I worked along on Sandi’s piece. She had some really difficult micromosaic areas to do. Rich had to do those. She and I did background fill-in. Her piece really started to come together.

The neat thing is Rich and I are about the same age. Scott and Sandi are only in their 30’s. But we all like the same music. We all spent the morning reminiscing when the oldies would play. Elton John songs always remind me of Gainesville college times. Eagles reminds Rich of Navy adventures. Springsteen reminds Scott of Prom. This is so much fun.

After class, I came home for a quick lunch. I cleaned up and headed to Winter Park where I shopped for a while at Winter Park Village then met Jake and Hennen for supper at Cheezecake Factory. My self image is pretty low. Gary is the first person I’ve been comfortable seeing in a long time. I hope he’ll be kind in his reports.

In college I used to cover the mirrors in my apartment with towels so I wouldn’t have to look at myself. I suppose I will die thinking I look like an ogre. It’s some mental thing I have I guess.
The ONLY time I’ve ever liked looking at myself was once in a Joe Difiore mirror. That was the only time I thought I looked beautiful. It was a magic mirror.
(It wasn’t the “Dog” mirror at MDCA. It was another one at the Village Center.)

Helen used to show off her art for us. Now she comes home and we show off our art work to her. Jake got advice on his flower sculpture. I got appropriate tee hees on my practice boards. Lots of fun all the way around.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Very Odd Day 

Today I did no mosaics. That is very odd. very rare.

I paid bills, did the post office, grocery store run. Went to the Y, cooked dinner. No mosaics.

Well, I did write my little talk for the speech at the library on Thursday. Does that count?

I can't wait for class tomorrow. Must clip tile!!!

Here's a mosaic by Martin Cheek. I feel like this odd bird when I don't mosaic.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Crispers Restaurant 

I had lunch today with Suzy at Crispers.

Crispers is off my list of restaurants now permanently. I will never ever go there again.

The first time I went, there was a cockroach crawling up the wall. That was back when they opened; maybe last October or November. Normally that would do it for me forever, but today I decided to give it a second chance.

Today, no cockroaches; just no service.
Suzy and I had to change tables 3 times to find one that was wiped clean of crumbs/sticky chocolate looking stuff/more crumbs so I went to the waitress station, begged some napkins and wiped it down myself.

The waitress brought my sandwich then we waited and waited and waited some more for Suzy’s salad. With a view of the waitress stand, I realized that her salad had been sitting there all along, but the waitresses were busy gossiping at the coffee latte station.

So I got up and fetched the salad myself.

The food was passable. But I noticed the other thing I hate about Crispers.
The middle aged manager man was out front flirting with the teenaged white girl waitresses. All of them are cloned: pony tailed, trim and athletic. Meanwhile, the black and Hispanic boys are the kitchen help. That’s too old south for me.

No more Crispers.

Sunday’s Day of Rest 

Today the Opus Circumactum got finished. So that’s 4 down 2 to go.

The Wooden Shoe got tiled and dremeled.

The next Dragonfly Rock got started.

I rescued ½ a box of Bubblegum colored grout from the art room. I wonder if there’s anywhere to buy discontinued colored grout?

I cleaned up the studio…hurray!

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