The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Couples Weekend Lake Jem 

The lizards around here are getting so big and so agressive, I've begun to consider RECIPES! It seems to me I saw something about lizard satay on the Discovery Channel.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Plant Daddy's Trip 

Plant Daddy is in New Orleans presenting a scientific paper at American Society for Horticultural Science.

“So why didn’t you go, Mosaic Mom? It could be like a couples get away in the Big Easy.”

Plant Daddy and Mosaic Mom have a friend who used to live in Metairie, LA. That was ground zero, folks. Our friend don’t live there no more. He lives in Florida. We called him up last month when we found out about this ASHS thing…

“Hey, Propagating Fool. Should we take a little vacation in New Orleans?”

“Sure”, said Propagating Fool. “But if you go outside of the hotel, don’t carry a wallet or a purse. And don’t wear jewelry. Crime is way up and the police can’t get a handle on it.”

“What about we stay in Gulfport Mississippi?” I ask. I’ve always wanted to see Mississippi.

“Gulfport Mississippi doesn’t exist anymore.” Said PF. “It was blown off the map.”

These are just the little things the AAA guidebook don’t tell you. I decided to stay home.

So Plant Daddy is there alone. He is under strict instructions to go from the airport to the hotel to the airport ONLY.

And don’t drink the water.

Or eat raw food or shellfish.

Yesterday we heard on the news that there’s a huge mosquito outbreak. No money for mosquito control or the manpower to spray the standing water. The mosquitoes are testing positive for encephalitis.

Today I read a blog by a nun Nunblog with relatives in New Orleans.(Who might have been in Spain at the same time as Casey) It’s a post about how FEMA quit paying for housing and loads of desperate people without resources returned to town and this crime wave started.

I hope Plant Daddy makes it out okay.

Check his blog about Tuesday or Wednesday for pics and updates!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Car Wreck 

Just as Plant Daddy and I were about to watch the news and turn in for the night, this happened in our front yard. 3 Teens, drinking, driving way too fast met a tree.
Two left by ambulance, one by patrol car.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Writers Group Poem 

My Writers Group is so much fun.

Here's a poem by a lady in our group :

What Does a Writer Look Like
By Jeanne Sullivan

What does a writer look like?
I was asked the other day

It's really very simple
So I answered right away

We're short or tall, fat or thin
Some even have a double chin.

Eyes of green or brown or blue
Palest cheeks or rosy hew.

Every color you'd suppose
Different mouth, different nose

Hair of gray or black or gold
Brown or white, young or old.

Male or female, doesn't matter
Getting thin or getting fatter.

Smiling, frowning, happy, grim
Depending on the mood we're in.

Different people, different voices
Making their religious choices.

Sometimes spending precious time
Making up some silly rhyme.

Still we wouldn't change a thing
Creating the pictures words can bring.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two Ideas that DIDN'T Work 

Somebody told Mom that Durock could be wetted and molded to shape.

So far this piece of Durock has been wet and under pressure for 7 days and isn’t forming the S-curve I hoped it would. Hmmm. Not sure about this yet.

Here, however is a real failure!

It is a pot of chili on the way to the dumpster.
Really really awfully Bad!

Only the third time in my almost 30 years of marriage I’ve had to throw dinner away and eat a frozen pizza.

“What went wrong?” you ask?

Well, I didn’t have any ground beef.
I didn’t have any ground turkey.
But I did have a tube of ground chicken.

I thought it would substitute and be healthy.

It was nasty. Totally nasty.
And no matter how much garlic and cumin and chili powder I put in, I couldn’t get the chicken smell out.

I didn’t have Red Kidney Beans so I used canned Pinto beans. That made the texture mushy and slimy. Blechkhk!

I ain’t ready for HGTV or the Food Network!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pineapple Supper 

We grew it, we ate it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Summer Fruit 

Lookey Lookey at What we grew!

There is debate in the household over this fruit. I believe that this is a second generation pineapple...that means we bought the original pineapple, ate it, propagated it and now this is the propagule.
Plant Daddy is not sure. So we're going to try for better labels here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mosaic Birdhouses 

Seeds, Mirror Bits or Jewelry...here's a trio of cute mosaic garden ornaments...

I suppose the wrens could fit inside but all the other birds around here are too big...

(The seed house hangs with a plain cord, the jewel house ribbon had wire in it so it stands straight up , the mirror house hangs with a silver chain.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gloriosa Lily 

At my last apartment in Gainesville (before I graduated and left town), there was a “garden”.

It was a sorry 2x12 ft. patch of sand along the back of my “patio”. One lonely azalea survived on the east side and one scruffy honeysuckle vine rooted in the west end and trellised over the privacy wall.

I set about to improve the soil by adding loads of peat. Then I installed a fern collection.
I had a pteris, an adiantum, an osmunda cinnamoni, a davalia, a sprengeri and a nephrolepsis. I had a resurrection fern and I really wanted a staghorn fern…anyway…it was my first little plant collection.

One day a weed poked up in my garden. It was light green, had long strappy type leaves and the tips of the leaves formed tendrils. Since I thought that was interesting, I didn’t pull the weed up.

As it grew, I gave it a bamboo pole to climb till it reached the wall. I fed it and watered it; it was a pretty vine for a weed.

One day I noticed it had a flower bud. This was sweet. The little weed was rewarding me for not killing it. Well, it turned out better than that!

The little “weed” was Gloriosa rothschildiana (pictured below).

The tuber had been lying dormant in the sand and sprang to life when I began to cultivate the area.

It is so exotic, so beautiful, so tropical, so Florida.

Plant Daddy have them planted along the driveway. They flower like madness in the summer and always remind me not to be too hasty to judge “weeds”.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gloriosa Lily 

Friday, July 21, 2006

Doris' Cat 

One term in college, I shared an apartment with a roommate named Doris. Doris had a cat.

It was a Persian-type with long white hair and green eyes.

She loved the cat; doted on the cat. She groomed it every day, bought it toys, talked baby talk to it and fed it Pompano. The cat should have been happy with this, hell, it was eating better than I was on a student budget…anyway…

…all the cat ever wanted was to escape. Coming in and out of the apartment was an ordeal. You had to open the door a crack, grab Mr. Kitty, toss him back several yards, then make a run for it as you slammed the door. This was annoying, but Doris and I needed each other to afford the rent, so I tolerated it.

The cat hated me.

It was mutual.

Every morning, Doris, who was preternaturally cheerful, would rise and shine, shower and bicycle away for her 7:30 am class. I would roll over and scratch and moan and seek out caffeine at least an hour later. After a massive coffee infusion, I’d head for the shower.

Now, Mr. Kitty had a nice litter box…fresh daily…but Mr. Kitty decided to start leaving his “gifts” right on the drain of the shower.

The first time it happened, I just cleaned it up, figured he was drugged up from all the catnip. A few more times, and I got tired of having to scrub the stall with Bon Ami in order to use the tub myself every day.

I complained to Doris, who didn’t believe me. So I left the “gifts” there as evidence.

“Bad Mr. Kitty,” Doris chirped as she made the removal. “Let’s go get you some tuna flakes.”

“Aren’t you going to Clorox the stall?” I asked.

“It’s only a widdle accident from my little pookie wookie.”

“He’s been doing it for a week! It’s disgusting, Doris,” I whined.

“He didn’t mean it. You dinna meana be a bad pussy wussy, kitty witty, did you pookums?” cooed Doris cradling the smug feline.

I gasped, realizing that this would never rise to the level of concern in her that it did for me. I was going to have to take action.

So the next morning, just after Doris biked away, I hopped out of bed on a mission.

I opened the apartment door.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mosaic Shoes 

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"C"reative Writing 

This Blog Brought to you by the letter “C”

Mosaic Mom is Crazy.

For lunch Mosaic Mom ate Cabbage.

For snack Mosaic Mom ate Cherries.

For supper Mosaic Mom ate Corn.

Plant Daddy will probably tell Mom to sleep on the Couch tonight.

There will be no shortage of Compost tomorrow….

(Hey, watch it, this is a family blog!!!!)

OK, Ok, Ok…

Today in the mosaic studio, I grouted the second in a series of 3 Mosaic Birdhouses.

My plan is to photograph them for my craft article in the fall issue of Among Friends for the Horticultural Learning Center.

Then I think I will give them away for Christmas…Tee Hee…

I transcribed more of the Vera Bluemner tapes. She’s talking about the Anti-German sentiment in this country prior to WW One.
I got a hair cut….THAT salon (a new one I chose randomly) is a blog all by itself!!!
I sent another Amazon.com book. Yay!

Ok, I’ve got to Close now.

(What about Zeus and the giant Catnip harvest?)

Another time.

Tropical Storm Beryl 

Tropical Storm Beryl has formed out in the Atlantic.

Heads Up Aunt Terri! This one’s headed for you!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mosaic Bonsai 

Why is mosaic like bonsai?

People look at it and say "I could go home and do that myself!"

Plant Daddy and I went to a statewide Bonsai show about 6 years ago. I came home and set this ficus into this bowl. I mosaiced the bowl a few months ago.

Looks like I'll need to prune and trim the plant again this week.

Mosaic is like Bonsai (and Blogging) also in that you do a little work every day and it all adds up to a pretty good result over time.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Yo Ho Ho! and a Bottle of Rum! 

Ahoy There, Mateys

The pirates are sailing the seas!

Admiral Little Mind Escape raided the old homestead today. She hauled off a table, a filing cabinet, a bookcase and assorted art supplies. How did she fit all that into that little car?

Tomorrow Captain Cat will sail in to collect a drafting table, art supplies and another bookcase. (Those book sales over at Amazon.com have cleared me out some room. Yay!)

I’ve designed a program for the ladies of the Eustis Garden Club called “Treasure Island Plant Stand”. They will come over to the mosaic studio in November and …”compose a mosaic with ceramics, glass, shells and found treasures! “

Yo Ho Ho and where’s the bottle of rum?

I need some rum.

Inez has me walking the plank!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mosaic Classes Florida 

Just a reminder that the first fall mosaic class starts September 11th.

Monday night Mosaics, 5 to 7:30PM at Tavares High School Art Room

For more details or for registration, contact

Lake County Community Education
525 N Georgia Ave
Howey FL 34737

Watch for the Quest Schedule for the entire fall program. Should be published in the next 2 weeks. Watch for it in the public libraries. Register quick. Class size limited. Thanks!

OK, it's hot. I'm headed for the pool. Plant Daddy is grilling pork chops. Zeus is chllin' in the house. Even he wants the A/C today!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mosaic Display 

Today I set up this display at the Tavares Library...
features my mosaics, Suzy's paintings and encourages folks to sign up for classes!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Aunt Terri!!! 

Happy Birthday Aunt Terri!!!

My first impression of my Aunt Terri was when I was 9 years old.

She pulled into the driveway of our house in Georgia ….

In this WAY COOL Car…

With a (Oh My God!) BOYFRIEND !

She…SHE…had driven from Philadelphia…which was the Moon to a 9 year old girl in rural Georgia. AND…


Thus began my lifelong love and admiration for my coolest Aunt Ever!

I Love You. Have a great day!

Mosaics and Writing 

Too hot to go outside lately, so I am writing.

Writing is a lot like mosaics. I have 3 or 4 projects working at once. I do a little on one and when it gets to a stopping point, I pick up a different one and move it forward. Then stop and wait for the glue to dry, so to speak.

It seems the more I write, the easier it gets. Like building up my hand muscles in mosaics when I first started.

ANd I also love my own writing. I love my own mosaics. They're like little creations...I don't know.

The lady from Adult Ed is coming by this afternoon with supplies for the library display on Friday.
And would somebody explain to me why I keep eating Wasabi at bedtime even though I know I'll be up all night with heartburn? Grrrr.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nose Knows 

Palm trees, bahaia grass, jasmine, and angel trumpet are blooming riotously today!
My sinuses feel like someone inserted a Zippo lighter up my nose and struck the flint.

Dish it out 

Did you think I forgot all about Florida Cable?

Not on your life. Here’s the latest…

On June 26th , I called Dish network.
However, I got the number wrong.

On June 27th, I sent Plant Daddy to ask his friend to check the number.

Lo and Behold!
Miracle of Miracles!
Bless me St. Punjab,
that very day….

The Florida Cable crew showed up and buried the cable that had been flippity flopping across my driveway since April 23rd.

Did that make me love and forgive them?

If you answered “yes” to that question, you don’t know me very well.

So the next morning, Plant Daddy having brought home another phone number, I phoned Dish network.


I sensed this would go badly.

I replied, ”Speak slowly and e-nun-ci-ate, please.”

“This is Jeff. How may I help you?”

“I’m thinking about getting dish. Do you have service in my area?”

“What’s your Zip Code?” he asks.

I give it to him wondering what this has to do with the US Post Office.

“According to our chart, you have service. Let’s sign you up.”

“Whoa, Jeff,” says I. “Do I actually have service in my yard? I have trees.”

“Trees?” Jeff says “trees” like it rhymes with “disease”

“Here’s what we do,” he counters. “We sign you up for service using a major credit card. If we cannot provide service at your location you can be issued a refund.”

“Can I get a technician to check my reception before I enroll?”

“No. You have to apply for cancellation of the service agreement.”

I hung up on Jeff.

Now you know why housing developments are horticulturally sterile

(artwork by marlin studios)

On July 5th, I noticed a storefront in a strip mall. It read “Dish TV”.
“Hurrah!” I thought. “Maybe someone inside to ask questions to.”

But alas, at 2:15pm, the door was locked. Porch light on. Nobody home.

To be continued…..

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Birthday Bisazza 

Did you know I keep a wish list for this stuff over at the Mastertile store?
Like a gift registry!

Now I got the turquoise!!!!Yay!

Thanks Plant Daddy!

Happy Birthday to Me! 

Here's the cute card Aunt Mobile Babe sent

But the best gift of all was Little Mind Escape taught me how to scan it and post it! Yay!

Also the cake from Mosaic Grandmama was awesome!

Also the Bisazza from Plant Daddy! Yahoo!

And ...I actually had a good hair day on my birthday...how great is that!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Cracked tile mosaics 

Picture this…

Mosaic Mom and Plant Daddy

Standing under the maple tree

Next to the well

By a chain link fence

Chopping tree roots

Using shovel, axe, chisel, hammer, and lino knife

To fix the leak in the well caused by said roots

Holding the flashlights


Mom has promised God a bunch of things.
I have to be real, real good for a few days.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A little more Oscar Bluemner 

Since the weather is miserable at the moment (hot and humid), I cannot get into the studio. So I have been transcribing more of the Vera Bluemner tapes.

Yesterday I did a part where Vera said the family walked across New Jersey!

They took a ferry from Staten Island NY over to Perth then followed the Raritan River and Raritan Canal all the way to Lake Carniege/Princeton University.

Mom and Vera went home from Trenton but Oscar and Robert walked on to Philadelphia!

I was totally amazed that Rutgers University web site had maps of the Raritan Canal from 1910 (the family vacation/hike was in 1914)...and I was totally saddened that if one wanted to hike the Raritan Canal today it would be closed due to New Jersey state government being shut down!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mosaic Shoe 

Wedgewood Story 3

A lady in California saw a photo of one of my mosaic shoes on the web.
She had done some mosaics and wanted to try a shoe.

She was a little concerned about using Picasette method onto such a small space.
So I did this shoe to test the application.

It worked, except that I only had one piece of Calyxware so I had to supplement the design with Bisazza.

This piece still needs clean up work especially around the area where the pickle forks and pearls are attached.

To the left, the little “Scraphead” face is just what I make for the garden with leftovers in the mosaic studio.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mosaic Shoe 

Wedgewood Story 2

Joe DiFiori gave me the Wedgewood Calyxware piece that I smashed up to create the mosaic shoe.

Once upon a time, when the committee was working on the Mt Dora Mosaic Art Car over at Joe’s studio, Joe’s wife very graciously invited us inside her home for some ice cream sodas.

Entering her kitchen, I immediately noticed an empty plate shelf rack on the wall.

Before I could stop myself, I’d blurted, “You poor woman. He’s smashed all your plates, hasn’t he!?!”

Fortunately, she laughed. But then admitted it was true. All her china eventually went to Joe’s mosaics!

Now her china’s gone to Barb’s mosaics, too! Oops!

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Mosaic Shoe 

“Oh, posh! I’ve broke the Wedgewood!”

Wedgewood Story 1.

When Mosaicmom and Plant Daddy were married almost 27 years ago, Mosaic Grandmama gave us a set of Wedgewood Florentine Blue dishware.

“It’s what the Queen of England eats off of,” stated Grandmama.

Well, that was enough to scare me off. The dishware has spent 27 years in the original wrappers in the closet. You think I’m gonna serve hash offa something that pricey???
No way!

However…on a daily basis I hear a tempting little voice. It says….
“Break the Wedgewood! Mosaic with the Wedgewood!”

So far I have resisted…

Mosaic Grandma immediately knows that this mosaic shoe is Wedgewood Calyx Ware not Florentine Blue.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Eggplant and Chickpea casserole 

"Is the house on fire?"

Last night, Plant Daddy and I ate a Chickpea and Eggplant Dinner. It was delicious. Then we started having a few problems…

Why are the police still firing their weapons over at the target practice range?

12:00 Midnight
Did the motorcycle bar up the road just close and everyone is going home?

Is the house on fire?

2:00 AM
I have an idea!
Let’s go volunteer for NASA.
Yeah, they can strap us to the space shuttle and light a match and we can put that booster in orbit!

Recipe…it’s a 3 part mix
Eggplant component
1 large eggplant, slice and fry until brown.
In a separate pan combine
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 T sugar
2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
½ tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
marinade the eggplant while the other components cook

Yellow Chick Peas
Look for Dixie Lily Yellow chick peas in the dried bean section at Winn Dixie
Cook 1 cup of chick peas with 1 tsp Tumeric in 2 ½ cups of water about 45 minutes.

Brown Rice
Cook 1 cup of brown rice in 2 ½ cups of water for about 30 to 45 minutes.

To serve, plop the rice on the bottom, put the chick peas on top of the rice then put the eggplant on top of the stack.
It’s delicious but Don’t call me at 2 AM to tell me so!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


This July 1st marks Plant Daddy's 30th year anniversary at work. He can now retire any time he wants to...or not, as he pleases!

This July 1st marks my official"Change of Life" to which I say Yabba Dabba Do! Still having some hot flashes but basically have made it...and drug free I might add! I never took hormone.

This July 1st marks Little Mind Escapes last day at Home Depot. She has been hired as a graphic artist with an advertisement company.

Cheers all around and pass the beer!

On my mosaic bench tonight...the shoe is grouted and waiting for trim...and 2 bird houses for gifts I owe are in progress. Photos soon. Spent more time in the pool cooling off than in the hot hot studio today.

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