The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Really Big Scare! 

It was terrifying! I was hyperventilating!

A virus/spybot/worm ate my AdAware Program and I had to download a new copy!

The new copy then ate 13 files and a key (whatever that means). But I feel safe again. Whew!

Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Christmas Show Reception 

Mt Dora Center for the Arts 6 to 8PM
Friday Oct. 29th

I arrived at 6:00 and found 25 to 30 people already there shopping the gallery. That was encouraging. But without even taking time to browse, I headed for the desserts and beverages in the garden out back.

There were a dozen or so people outside and it was an ideal location for a reception. The center director was grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for the crowd. The membership chairperson was setting up the bar.

She asked me to fetch the coffee from the community room on the 3rd floor. That meant a long hike up 2 flights of stairs for me, but my knee didn’t balk. When I returned, I got to set up a tray full of Peperidge Farm cookies. Yum!

I decided to play waitress and I walked the tray through the garden then inside through the gallery offering cookies and chatting with guests. Most people were very pleasant…a fellow artist who just got a job at Lowe’s; a family with high school students in tow on their first visit; and a group stopping at the gallery on their way to a 7PM showing of Farenheit 9/11 over at the library. But one lady went on and on about her dental work until I just backed away!

Back in the garden, I treated myself to some kind of alcoholic Yahoo drink. It was like chocolate milk but with a kick. I don’t know what it was but it was yummy.

Then about 7:00 PM I headed for the exit. There is only so much social I can handle plus I had had alcohol. I was in danger then of saying something inappropriate, so I decided to ditch.

I was home just in time to dress out and join Plant Daddy for a workout at the YMCA. I sure wasn’t moving fast on that treadmill, but at least I was standing up and walking after drinking a jazzy Yahoo drink.

None of my pieces have sold yet, but the show runs till mid December. There’s still time to hope.

Today’s job is to clean the studio since Bridget and Jeff are coming to pick up the bird bath tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, October 29, 2004

True enough! 

"Joy and sorrow are like two rails of a train track. They are always present in every moment of our lives. We always have foot on both rails, although some times our weight seems to shift to one side or the other."

That was a neat saying I took off of someone else's blog.

This morning Blue Bird House was on the front page of the local newspaper advertising for the Christmas Show!

I phoned over to the Center for the Arts. The mirror did not fall off the wall and break. It did not sell. It just got moved. Whew!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Ecstasy and Agony 

I got the bird bath grouted. Needed sealer so I took a photo of the completed project over to Bridgette on the trip to get grout sealer. Happy Happy. Bridgette likes her bird bath.

On the way home, I got a flat tire. Grrr.

After dinner, Plant Daddy and I took the tire to Tire Kingdom for a repair. We drove home by way of the Mt Dora Art Center so Plant Daddy could see the display.

The mosaic mirror was not in its designated place on the wall!!!

Did it sell or did it fall? Agony.

I'll find out at the opening tomorrow.

Bridgette likes her mosaic bird bath. Posted by Hello

Done. Done. Posted by Hello

Job for today...grout this mosaic bird bath. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mosaic Fashion 

What does the well dressed mosaic artist wear?
What is appropriate for a day of running a wet saw?
What does the chic grout applicator wear?

Actually, yesterday I wore an outfit from Dillard’s.
(Don’t that sound hoity-toity?)

I was wearing my $4.00 got it on sale button down sleeveless cotton blouse and a pair of Westbound elastic waist shorts. The outerwear cost less than my underwear actually, but let’s not go there.

This was all topped off by a purple mu-mu someone had given me and I had chopped up to fashion an apron out of it. A pair of Sketchers finished the ensemble allowing for maximum padding against the concrete floor of the studio. Tres chic.

Senior year of college and first year working, my wardrobe was the worst of my life. My college clothes were worn out and I didn’t have time for shopping for new. Little Mind Escape is finding the same situation. Her poor clothes have holes in them. But what she buys new depends on what kind of job she gets after college. It’s a Catch 22.

It was sure great to see Little Mind Escape yesterday. Plant Daddy and I are so proud of her. We picked oranges, ate dinner then headed to Belk’s for some shopping. At Belk’s we picked her up a red knit top and some socks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…if it weren’t for Good Aunt Karin, this family would have no decent underwear cause at least once a year Aunt Karin and JC Penney’s takes care of us!

Anyway, today I’ll spend most of my time on the Running Rabbit grinder fashioning circles for the seeds of the sunflower. The grinder is especially sloppy; it flings water in a 2 ft. circle around itself.

I’ll be wearing another pair of Dillards shorts paired with a White Stag floral design knit top.
(Don’t that sound hoity-toity?)

Topped with the pink and yellow mu-mu apron today.
Fetching, n'est pas?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Mini Fridge 

I was in the office, Xeroxing some car insurance forms yesterday, when I smelled something funny. I looked at the top of the mini-fridge stored next to the file cabinets and noticed some mold. It didn’t look too bad, so I …opened…the…door….



Jeez Louise. Little Mind Escape left that fridge with us in the spring when she moved out of the dorm. Little Mind Escape (or anybody else) apparently never looked inside to see if the box was empty. It wasn’t.

Today it shall fall to me to remove the offending appliance. Plant Daddy is on another fishing expedition. It is time for the Blue Fish run, what ever that means.

So today is a day of odors that will rival Mr. Dead Armadillo. Plant Daddy will come home smelling of shrimp bait. I will smell like rotten refrigerator. Yech!

On a more positive note, I have only 5 panels left to tile on the birdbath and should be able to knock that out today. Then I have 34 irregular triangles to cut so I’ll have to clean the wet saw pan again. Yech! Well, at least that chore doesn’t smell.

Monday, October 25, 2004

In the Can 

As I have reported before, almost every Sunday evening I walk around the block and collect aluminum cans. Once a month, I cash in my haul at the recycle center.

Twice during today’s stroll, carloads of seniors (older than me) slowed up and gave me looks of sympathy…as if I were some poor trash picker. Ha!

They should know the secret I know….recycling cans pays better than the interest on my savings account at the moment.

God bless them litterbugs!

While on my can walk, I smelled something foul. Eventually I came upon dead Mr. Armadillo by the side of the road.

Plant Daddy and I went out in the grove later in the afternoon and tasted the first navel oranges of the season. Soooo good! We watched Mr. Buzzard move in on Mr. Armadillo.
We watched a Barn spider take down a Pus caterpillar.
Zeus scored a fat rat.

There was good scavenging in the neighborhood today.

Mosaic wise, I have finished tiling 5 of the 17 panels on Bridget’s Bird bath. I have managed to slice open fingers on both hands due to sharp tile edges.

In today’s paper, the Christmas Show down at the Arts Center got a great write up! I sure hope I get a sale!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

By the Numbers 

It Comes in Three’s

First, Cousin David blew out his Achilles tendon in a tennis match.
Second, sister-in-law Bonnie had surgery for a new hip.
Third, Aunt Terri broke her toe.

Hope Everyone Gets Well Soon!

Zero Point One Seven Per Cent

In town for the Mt Dora Craft Fair, I dropped by the Arts Center to see how the Christmas Show and Sale had come together.
The display was beautiful, but the volunteer said by 1:30 PM there had been 1160 visitors and only 2 sales.

One is the Loneliest Number

Among all the craft vendors, there was only one mosaic artist, Vicki Cotnoir, from Brandon, FL. She was selling flower pots for $25.00 and cute, cute sections of garden borders for $45.00. The mosaic rolling pin and mosaic bowl of fruit were cute, too, and her applications were very smooth. Go girl!

Friday, October 22, 2004

My Morning 

This morning was the first time I had even taken art work to a gallery during a show set up.
Originally the opening was to have been next Friday, but they were trying to open for this weekend to coincide with a local craft fair.
It was hectic to say the least.

A Poem about my morning

Trotted to Mt Dora
With mosaics in the car.
Put ‘em in the gallery
And be a big art star.

Gallery is crowded;
Mob of kiddies gaining mass.
Ballet Dance instructor
Failed to show up for the class.

Kiddies grabbing artwork.
I have a sense of doom,
But gallery director
Shouts and kiddies clear the room.

The show has matted pictures;
(I spot Suzy’s in the rack).
Lots of glazed ceramics.
Hand sewn pillows in a stack.

Pottery that’s hand built.
Pottery that’s thrown.
Chaos level rises;
Anita Woods is on the phone!

I sign my artist contract,
Grab my keys and hit the door.
Drive back to peaceful countryside
And tile a little more

Thursday, October 21, 2004

All this time... 

I wondered why I never got mail through the contact link...Duh! I just found and corrected a typo. Maybe it will work now?

I am not a Bunny Hugger 

I have had it with wildlife these days. My mosaic studio is getting down right crawly.

The wrens are flying around inside and pooping everywhere. One pooped on my chair yesterday. Grrr.

Lizards are traveling the interstate highway between the open north end door and the open south door. The toads live near the sink and they poop, too, for Pete's Sake.

This morning I came home from Publix to find a Fox Squirrel looking like he'd like to run inside the studio with the rest of 'em. I don't care if he's Endangered...no more pooping in the studio...Grrrr!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Mystery Poet 

The family "Mystery Poet" has struck again. Here's another cute one:

Whenever you pass a Catholic Church
Always stop in for a visit
Lest, when you reach the Pearly Gates
St. Peter won't say, "Who is it?"

Rainy Wednesday 

Bridget’s birdbath is progressing nicely. I’m just afraid that once it’s tiled and grouted, we won’t be able to lift it. It is soooo heavy!

Today I was supposed to run errands…the usual stops at the bank, post office, Publix …but it’s pouring rain. Instead of risking wet streets, I will stay home and cook Plant Daddy a crock pot of split pea soup.

Every now and then I think I would like to retire to Oregon because the weather there is cool. But if I can’t deal with ONE rainy day, how do I think I will cope with weeks of grey, cloudy, drizzle?

Tomorrow, the sun will be out again and pork chops and broccoli will be on sale at Publix. It will be a much better day for errands.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Mosaic Doll Self Portrait Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Where does it all come from? Posted by Hello

Another Garage Sale 

Where did all this stuff come from?
We had a garage sale in April so how could I load 4 trailers with items for this sale?

Isn’t it amazing to find out who’s up all night? I met the man who delivers papers for the Leesburg Commercial out on this route. He was on his way home. He works cleaning judicial offices till 3:00AM then drives the paper route.

Plant Daddy’s bowling ball sold for $1.00 to the president of the local Quilters Guild. She wants to Mosaic it as a yard ornament. I sold her a 2’x3’ mirror for tesserae, too.

The VP of Bodco Sales and his wife bought all the 1980’s pottery that I had out…that ugly, brown mottled stuff. They run a booth in an antique mall, and apparently that’s the hot collectible now.

Lots of Mexican people laughed with me when I tried to practice my Spanish….especially the Mom as I tried to explain that my socks (zapatas mas grande) would not fit her 5 year old daughter. I was selling a small steam cleaner (agua caliente por lavar en la cocina). Was I more language challenged or Math challenged as I tried to count 65 cents change for that older man?

The best part of the day was finding that Little Mind Escape had unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen for me. We ate left over carry out Cuban food for supper and fell asleep by 7:30. We made $70 on the day and had a hugely good time.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bridget’s Birdbath 

Bridget has a classic Mediterranean scallop style birdbath.

My birdbath is very angular with a Roman key design, but hers is very softly molded into petal shapes.

She wants me to mosaic it into a sunflower. Yellow petals, black center.

This is going to be a fun project.
Maybe tomorrow I can get the chalk and start to sketch a preliminary design. Rain is forecast though, so this might have to wait till the first of the week.

Items for the garage sale are all priced and ready to go Saturday. Hope I make a little money…so I can spend it on mosaics….Yay!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Oh Joy! 

Spent the day getting ready for another garage sale this weekend. Attaching price stickers, sorting clothes and dishes, etc.

The weather is supposed to be cooler over the weekend too.

Thomas Kincade is speaking over at Disney Grand Floridian on Friday night. Perhaps, Mind Escape's boyfriend wants to attend? (Joke)

Mosaic news tomorrow as a trip to Intercoastal Tile is scheduled. Yay!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Daily Grind 

The Stump Grinder Man showed up today.

Happy Perky Man. A Laugh A Minute. Ha Ha.

He grinded right through a water line. Ha Ha.

I shut off the main valve at the pump. Now there is no water till Plant Daddy gets home and tells me where the heck the 1 1/2 inch PVC caps are. Ha Ha.

Mosaic grape cluster table, Bluebird house, and mosaic mirror for the Christmas sale. Posted by Hello

Birdhouse  Posted by Hello

Item for the Christmas craft sale. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Superman Dies 

I can't believe Superman is dead. Read the obituary here.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Swarms of Science 

Plant Daddy and I love Science.

To get our degrees in Horticultural Science, we took courses like Biology, Microbiology, Plant Physiology, Genetics, Mycology, Pathology, Embryology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, and we both took Physics.

Our poor little daughter does not enjoy Science, but PD and I are hardwired for it. We watch all the science shows on TV that we can.

We loved the Nova series with Stephen Hawking explaining the history of time.

Carl Sagan with his “billions and billions of stars” was a favorite in the ‘80’s and inspired PD and me to take a course in Astronomy at the local Community College.

Our favorite Food Network show is “Good Eats” because they explain the chemistry of cooking. We currently watch “Modern Marvels”, “Mega Machines”, “Amazing Medical Stories”, and “CSI” but only the LasVegas one because the other locations are poorly done.

There’s a new series starting this week about “Decisions that Changed the World”. Could this be a remake of the hit from the early ‘90’s called “Connections”? In other words, we are always on the look out for new science, more science, bring on the science.

So yesterday I clicked the button on the upper right hand corner of my blog…where it says “Next Blog”. You just never know what’s in store when you do this, but this time I got lucky. I got transported to a science blog.

I learned all about “Swarm Theory”. It is a new concept in computer science and robotics. I think it’s really cool. I will not bore non-science people but if you want to read about the next level, go here...Techscribes.

So I am very happy on the day. Happy Blog. Good Mosaic day, too. But Plant Daddy didn’t get no fish.

It Runs in the Family 

Thanks to the relative who sent this poem:

Remember long ago, when you were a wee tot,
They took you out of your warm, warm cot,
And put you on the cold, cold pot
Whether you had to pee pee or not !!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Palm Reading 

From 10:00AM until 7:30PM, I worked on mosaicing a space the size of the palm of my hand. But it is soooo goooood!

I was working on the face of my doll.

I never knew how to construct a face before. I am having to follow the pattern pretty carefully, but make adjustments since I am using a smaller sphere. Did you know there's a butterfly shape around the nose? and there are 2 little trapezoids under the nose? And the chin is not a circle?

This evening I needed eyebrows so I sliced a coffee mug handle down the middle lengthwise with my wet saw. I think I held my breath the whole time, but I got it done!

You'll love the photos...soon I promise!

Friday, October 08, 2004


I find my title uproariously funny. It’s as if I were 8 years old! Does this mean I’m regressing or something?

The first “P” is for Puppy water stands.
Plant Daddy and I make stands to hold water bottles for exotic pure breed puppies which God Forbid they would drink water out of a bowl and get their fur wet. So they slurp from hamster bottle like things and the drip bottles require stands.
Voila! $25.oo each and today I delivered 6 to a dealer at the local dog show.

I just thank God there weren’t any small dogs in sight.
Last time I spotted a small dog, I owned a Cairn Terrier before you could say “Master Charge or Visa?”. There being no cute small canines around, I made a profit on the day.

The second “P” is for Pumpkins. I took about half a dozen pumpkins over to Mind Escape so she can decorate for Halloween. Then we went to Publix and filled her cart with trick or treat candy….which she knows and I know won’t last till Sunday night, but we play along.

The tree men were here early this morning. Apparently the stump grinder man had tried to come over and finish the tree removal operations, but the gate was locked. I am told he will be back on Tuesday and leave the gate open. These men are worth gold in Florida these days so I will obey.

The greenhouse repair foreman came this evening to evaluate our job and schedule workers. He said he’d phone tomorrow. Frankly, that doesn’t sound promising. We are a small job compared to most greenhouses and we might not even be able to get help this year.

I was amazed at the flooding along the St. Johns River! I had no idea it was that bad.

I was equally amazed that a squirrel tried to come inside the mosaic studio to steal cat food with me sitting right there and he didn’t even back up when I yelled at him. I must be losing my touch.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Touch me not. Posted by Hello

Do Not Touch 

Everyone touches mosaics.

It’s an art form that people can’t resist poking at or running fingers across.
Touch is part of the art.

Mosaic students should learn early to glue everything down tight…and use Epoxy if there’s any question.

For example, I made a collage mosaic on a soap dispenser for my sister. Because it was to be used in a kitchen, I used kitchen utensils, including an oven knob. I attached the knob with Epoxy, thank God, because the first thing my sister said when she called to thank me for the gift was, “I tried to twist the knob and it doesn’t turn.”

Mosaic students also need to learn to smooth their surfaces.
Glass and ceramic edges will cut you!

I totally cannot stand it when a picasette style mosaic person leaves razor sharp shard edges exposed. How the heck do you grout a piece like that without bleeding? Do you want your customers to bleed all over the piece? Dremel those edges, people!

But given that you have prepared your piece by gluing everything down tight and you have ground off all the sharps, part of the enjoyment of mosaics is when people touch your art.
It’s as if they can’t believe their eyes and have to touch from awe.

When the Art Car went on display, I was saddened to see this sign appear in the windshield. I felt it took away an aspect (touch) from the enjoyment……..

…until I watched the crowd for a moment and a woman with red, clawlike fingernail talons tried to pry a glass tile off the hood! How could anybody be so tacky? I pointed to the sign and chased her away. Never underestimate people’s lowest common denominator.

Yesterday I started a project, a doll based on a design by Nek Chand. I treated myself to using glass on this one instead of ceramic. The bilateral symmetry of a human doll form is very interesting (mirror image cuts).
Anyway, this is the first piece that I would never put in the gallery and let people touch. For the first time in 6 years, I have a piece I wouldn’t want to have pawed. Grrr….

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Happy Birthday! 

Happy 50th Birthday to Mobile Babe!

May the road always rise up to greet you for the next 50 years, too!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Just finished the mosaic grape table this afternoon. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 04, 2004

Happy Anniversary ! 

According to my records, today is my one year anniversary as a blogger! Yay!
I really enjoy this hobby. Thanks to MindEscape and all her friends who got me set up!

I really wanted to mosaic today, but the mosquitoes are relentless. A cold front should drop temps to 88 degrees (break out the nuk-nuk's) on Wednesday and maybe slow them down...or is that just dreaming?

Here is a piece from Plant Daddy to describe the situation:

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Finished the Birdhouse for Nikki made from her Grandmother's vase that had broken. I had a great time at Nikki's baby shower this afternoon. Posted by Hello

Opposite side of the birdhouse has a guardian angel motif. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Many Many Thanks to Mobile Babe for sending the vintage antique tiles. That was the unexpected treasure of the day. (Plantdaddy really liked the licorice, too).

The tiles are a color from the 60’s called “Sunflower”. They are very similar to my American Olean “Sunglo” and will blend very nicely. Yay! Thank you.

It’s soooo hot here. Blech! I spent most of the day doing laundry…I do not like the new product on the market …the Tide/Downy combo. The fragrance is way too strong.

And I also vacuumed the pool again. That will be a hopeless job until we can get the screen repaired. I was pleased to see the chlorine levels, pH, alkalinity, etc in the water test were reading OK. I don’t need to be fighting a big algae bloom.

I was up till 2AM today. Friday I bought a book called “Holy Cow” by Sarah Macdonald. She is an Austrailian journalist who lived in New Dehli for a while and writes about daily life there. It’s sort of a composition/essay/travelogue. I love reading exotic stuff like this. Anybody want me to send it to them when I’m done?

Grampa Joe traveled to India once. He said his motto there was …No hurry…No curry…No worry.
He related that once, he absentmindedly slapped a cow on the rump when it blocked his way. That nearly caused a riot. Macdonald writes about how one cow standing in the highway can cause traffic gridlock in New Delhi. Because the cows are sacred, nobody will move them out of the way.

During Hurricane Francis, Plant Daddy and I went driving around the field in the truck trying to find out what our neighbor’s cows were doing. We couldn’t find them.
During Hurricane Jeanne, at the height of the storm, we noticed the herd was out in the middle of the pasture grazing away.

Well, that’s the “Moosaic” news for today.

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