The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Feghoot Drabble 

I entered 3 pieces in a Drabble Contest yesterday and in reply to the submissions, the site editor asked me if I was a feghoot lover!

I had to go look it up...and I apparently am a feghoot drabbler!

The contest winner is announced in May. I'll post the story after that.
I didn't know Isaac Asimov was a feghoot drabbler, too.!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pasta Maker 

The contraption that you’re looking at was my Great Grandmother’s pasta machine.
The date stamped onto the machine is 1903.

Little Mind Escape came home and asked about the old family noodle recipe, so we broke out the 106 year old antique and took it for a spin! It made some tasty supper!

The clamp in the foreground belonged to my grandfather who was a roofer in Philadelphia. No doubt Nana raided Pop-Pop’s tool box for a clamp the same way I raid Plant Daddy’s tool supply when I need something. I’m glad the his-and-her set has stayed together.

LME and I made a batch of noodles and a homemade sauce. Since we didn’t have an Italian sausage, we used some Jimmy Dean links. That worked nicely.

We also roasted tomatoes and onions from the garden and using the Martha White Pizza dough mix I bought yesterday, made a pizza.

We made a cucumber salad with onions, peppers, basil, and cranberries. For dessert, we had blackberry cobbler that Plant Daddy made yesterday for dessert.

We then sat around groaning from so much fresh fare. Then we washed the kid’s car, folded her laundry and she motored back to town. It was pretty cool to connect 5 generations in one meal.

Here’s a photo of LME using her Great-Great-Grandmother’s machine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday Drive to the Store 

Hooker Sightings

Because someone has to warn you about crime and vice...the Orlando Sentinel sure don’t get it done!

I went to Target Saturday to buy a new frying pan. There were no drug dealers or hookers along Highway 19. There was a big boat show in The Berries yesterday and the cops must have shoo’ed them away (or else they were working the festival crowd downtown).

I saw no hookers at the Lake Square Mall. I was amazed. There was, however, a heavy police presence, which is to say that both golf carts with flashing yellow lights and the name “security” were cruising the parking lots. Usually the golf buggies are parked over behind the movie theater while the hookers work the entrances of Belks and Target.

I motored over to the Leesburg Publix to get Martha White Pizza dough mix. There were no hookers over there either…just a man in the spaghetti aisle who smelled so bad, I had to press my fingers against my nose and flee. I bailed on the Leesburg Publix and drove to the Eustis Publix.

My trip was rewarded. There was the hooker! She was cruising at Sonic Drive In Restaurant.. She was wearing an extraordinarily shrunken tank top with equally skimpy shorts. Since it was a hot day, 90 degrees, she wore her sandy brunette hair in pigtails A military style messenger bag was slung over her left shoulder. She was walking along pushing a bicycle with fat beach tires.

All of that wouldn’t have said ‘hooker’. But she was sporting white lace stockings! It was a sight; not a pretty one.

Near her, in the same grass strip at Sonic’s was a middle-aged man with a significant spare tire, dressed in a polo shirt and khaki slacks. He was walking a fat, panting wiener dog on a leash. The leash and the dog’s coat were the same brick red color.

The man would have been unremarkable except that at the front entrance of Publix was another middle-aged man in a polo shirt and khaki slacks. This one had a white shitzu dog on a red leash.

And none of that would have mattered, except that when I had made my way out of the Leesburg Publix, there had been a middle-aged pudgy man in a polo shirt and slacks with a small dog on a leash. Hmmmm. What does this mean?

I bought my Martha White Pizza Crust mix for 89 cents and left.

Back in 2001 when we had a student art show at the Lake Square Mall.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Summer is officially here...the zucchini and yellow squash are installed in the garden!

All that's left is the eggplant and okra and they're coming on strong. They'll get transplanted in about 10 more days. The okra and eggplant will last and harvest until October btw!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gardening in Lake County 

Yesterday I planted the second batch of corn. I plan to do a lot of freezing this year. We have a third and fial batch that just got seeded also thanks to PD.

I did a final harvest and took out all the peas. Had to fight a wasps nest in the vines.
Also harvested 3 massive celery plants. I have about a dozen more to yank. Anybody want some celery?
I will replant that space in bell peppers and eggplant this weekend.

PD is harvesting georgeous massive tomatoes. He forced them to be large by selectively pruning for one tomatoe per branch.

We're harvesting cukes and onions too and have some delicious salad dinners going on over here. Note that's not dinner salads but salad dinners!

I would have liked to put the zucchini up in the close garden but the mildew has been bad. They will go out back where the air circulates better.

Thank goodness for advil. I have aches and pains everywhere, but I am really happy with all my veggies.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More relatives with sheep 

We have Oregon relatives who raise Cheviots. Now I have discovered Iowa relatives also in the sheep business. These are Rick Krafka Suffolk sheep in Montezuma Iowa.

I thought I might visit them on my trip to Iowa. There was a writers conference at U of Iowa I thought I would attend.
But I bought the professors book instead and saved my self a lot of travel expense.

And since I saved so much money, I finally committed to re-painting the bedroom yesterday. The interior decorator was making phone calls to locate customers, spur of the moment I said, "Yes, I want palm tree motif, yes!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Floral 6 Pack 

Here's a quick and easy way to tote flowers to a friend...and it rides well on the floor of the car...

Drink the root beer. Wash out the bottles.
I used Rustoleum Enamel paint to give a bright glossy color.
Then cut happy flowers from the garden and off you go!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden 

To me, this is the single most important event in recent, modern American History.
This is absolutely, positively inspirational!

First Lady Michelle Obama has established a 17 acre vegetable garden at the White House.

It's been a long time since I've felt National pride, but the First Lady's act of establishing this vegetable garden at the White House does it for me. America is not about how the interior decor of the mansion gets a re-do. It's not about what china and silverware patterns get set at the state table.

It is absolutely vital that people stay connected to the soil, to agricultural roots. This is victory for all of us who garden and for all the people who now may learn gardening.

Thank you First Lady.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Equinox My Aunt Hildegarde! 

On Thursday I wore a navy blue shirt. The pollen is so bad that the shirt had a yellow film visible on it by the evening.

Today PD and I spent the morning mucking out a bed of Lantana. That was the threshold for my sinuses! They went on strike. I can't breathe at all.

If I bend over to pick up something on the floor, I have excruciating pain. My ears are packed and I am double up on the antihistimines. I am retreating to the house and I plan to stay here.

If you are looking for the finishment (is that even a word?) How about completion...If you are looking for the completion of the mosaic strawberry jar, come back in June if and when it ever rains and the air gets scrubbed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mom's First Laptop 

It has taken a week of running twice to the store and an overnight stay at the computer repair place but at last...I have bought a new laptop and it is up and running.

The old style laptops were too heavy, too hot, and the keyboard too hard to punch.

But this is an ASUS writer. It's perfect. It's only 8.9 inches.
I have taken to it like a duck to water. I have named it "Ralph". OK, that's a little overboard, but I really like the small size.

I am going out this weekend to buy Ralph a pocketbook so he can travel around with me...it's kinda like having a cute little doggie...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mom and the Apple Store 

I might as well have visited the moon. What a strange landscape.

Not the computers. The computers and ipods and other hardware was gorgeous.

The store was laid out so invitingly, I couldn't help but poke at a computer or 2. I learned very quickly, however, that the machines were over my head operationally.

What was just awful was that the store was filled with white haired people just like me but they weren't buying products.

They were either yacking aimlessly with the clerks "When I was younger we didn't have computers, ha ha"

or they were on cell phones to their younger relatives asking "Should I buy the Mac or the notebook, Johnny?"

Those salespeople, and they were all men btw, were the most patient or the most medicated 20 year olds on the planet.

Anyway, I couldn't get waited on. I didn't see a small motebook so I left and went up to Dillard's. I ended up buying the 8 inch laptop at Target.

The Altamonte Mall was otherwise dead at noon on Tuesday. No shoppers at all except for the chit chatters in the Apple Store.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to Mom! 

This is the birthday of Mosaic Mom's Mom! Hope it's a happy one.

It's also St Patrick's Day. This means two reasons to party!

Growing up, Mosaic Mom's Mom never drank beer. She went for sweet, good quality Port or Sherry.
One time in grad school, I tried to down a green beer and couldn't do it. That green was too much.

But let us all lift a libation of choice today for Mosaic Mom's Mom and for the Irish saint and for whatever other reason we can discover as a cause to celebrate the day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Palm Writers Group 

...will be my last stop on a multi-stop, run-around day.

Gotta do bank, Post Office (which btw has delivered the second piece of mail this year in a body bag on Saturday), Computer repair store and Apple store in the Altamonte Mall and maybe Target in Altamonte...I'm in search of the notebook writer...
I froze 2 packages of peas and carrots out of the garden last night and I made a pint of strawberry jelly. I like this small batch preserving. I have to get home in time today to leave some victuals behind for Plant Daddy before I run off to the writers group.
Navigate over to his blog today to see the photo of the plant he gave me which is in full bloom at the moment...very rare!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mosaic Kitchen Floor 

Jackie is more ambitious than I'll ever be. Look at her masterpiece!

I went to Target today and had finally made my mind up to buy the notebook writer. I was delighted that it was on sale marked down a whopping $50.
I was ticked when the salesclerk said they were sold out. Grrr.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mosaic Shoe 

Here's another view of the mosaic shoe.

It still needs trim work and clean up and sealer, but it's done.
It's the 12th shoe in the mosaic shoe collection!
Twelve mosaic shoes!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mosaic Shoe 

So how'd you spend your morning?
I added lots of circles to the strawberry jar and I worked on the shoe

Strawberry Jar Mosaic 

Now I am adding dots...lots of dots....many, many dots...Glue on the dots...

Life in the mosaic studio is so much easier since I started using Loctite out of a caulk gun rather that dabbing mastic out of a jar. I can go faster now.

I think there is a snake in the studio again! Nargh! Saw him or her last night near the rose bush and I think he came around the corner and slipped inside through the open door. It keeps me on edge.

Will work on the shoe mosaic now while the strawberry jar sets up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mosaic Shoe 

The tiles are cut and applied to the shoe.

I am going to do the best I can to maintain work in the studio, but the pollen is really really bad. On a scale of 1 to 10 it is 9.9 according to the weather station.
I may have to stay indoors for a while until it rains.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bad Day for Mosaics 

I wrestled for hours with the mosaic shoe. And I do mean wrestled.
Finally after 6 or 7 hours, I thought I had the color choices on OK...but just satisfactory not spectacular.

Jakcie emailed last night to say she'd started her kitchen floor mosaic and nothing was going right over at her house either. I tole her it must be something going around.

This morning I am going to go rip the tesserae off the mosaic shoe and start over.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mosaic Shoe 

More Progress on the latest mosaic shoe.
All the coats of Kilz are applied and I have drawn a pattern and transferred it to the tile.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mosaic Strayberry Jar 

I thought I had a lot of these yellow circles cut.
Then I started applying them to the strawberry jar yesterday...my supply went out in a hurry!
I'll have to cut more today...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mosaic Strawberry Jar 

The next step is to cut out the tesserae that you are going to apply to the jar...

Truth is, my hands are aching! I hadn't done this much nipping in a while. I even have a blister...poor little old me!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Friday Frenzy 

Friday was busy, busy. Spring fever I guess…

Pool Chores
Spring Fever or Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Typhoid- Ebola if I didn’t get that swimming pool cleaned for the season!

I vacuumed, brushed, flushed and added chlorine tabs. That water is sparkle plenty now!

I’ve got to break down and call the screen repair guys…but I’ve been saying that for 3 years…anyway the panel on the west is completely shot now so I gotta bite the bullet and just do it.

Garden chores
Planted okra, sweet potatoes and sunflowers in the south garden. Broccoli and
cauliflower transplants around the greenhouses and will transplant more tomatoes this afternoon.

Laundry chores
Two loads of wash went through yesterday so how come I got at least two more today!?! Where does it all come from?

Mosaic strawberry jar…I got the pattern drawn onto the jar and got a good bit of tile cut. Today it will at last be warm enough to start up the wet saw for the season!

Five reasons not to go to Iowa in July
Corn Pollen, Corn Pollen, Corn Pollen, Corn Pollen and Corn Pollen.

So I bought the guy’s book to study
Geoffrey Forsyth
Land of the Free

Lake County Writers Group 

Click Here to go to Lake County Writing Group Palm Writers Group meeting Monday March 16th at East Lake (Sorrento) Library.

JK...once you get there, use the left sidebar links to go to "Blog" or "Forum" or "Member Profiles" or "Photo Gallery".

Friday, March 06, 2009

100 Word Story Writers 

Heads up...a meeting in Iowa this summer!

The Very Very Very Short Story Workshop

Thursday, March 05, 2009

2001: A Spacy Odessy 

Open the space pod door, Hal...

Here we are at post Number 2001.

What's new? Not much. Spent the day writing. My hands are aching from a combination of writing and corn planting and mosaicing.

After the Kilz dries, apply the paint color of choice. In this case, yellow rustoleum high gloss enamel.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mosaic Shoe Step 2 

“Plant Daddy, I am having a heart attack.”

“A heart attack? What symptoms do you have, Mosaic Mom?”

“Both of my arms are numb and tingling.”

“Both arms? I thought heart attack was just the left arm,” said Plant Daddy.

“Both of my arms hurt. And my shoulders, too.”

“Let’s see, Mom, if we can get a clearer diagnosis before we dial 911. Yesterday, were you hoeing out by the persimmon trees?”

“Yes, I was shoveling and hoeing and I used a pitchfork to remove leaf debris, too,” I replied.

“Hmmm,” mused Plant Daddy, scratching his chin. “Yesterday did you carry a tray of corn that was wet and heavy in your left arm while walking from the propagation house to the persimmon field with a shovel in your right arm?”

“Why, yes, I did because I did not want to waste time trying to find out where I’d left the wheelbarrow parked.”

“Hmmm,” mused Plant Daddy again. “Did you also carry a role of wire to make a fence…without using the wheelbarrow or waiting for me to help you?”

“Yes, Plant Daddy. I saved several hours by carrying the roll of fencing myself. I carried the steel posts and set the fence in place myself, too.”

“Mosaic Mom,” said the Plant Daddy, ”you are not having a heart attack. You were excited about planting the spring corn. You had an attack of stupid, and you can’t fix stupid!”

“I’ll go get an aspirin, then. Nevermind.”

Here is the mosaic shoe with its first coat of Kilz.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mosaic Strawberry jar step 2 

Last night Plant Daddy and I had to pull plastic over the blackberries because a freeze was predicted.

The blackberries are in bud and a few blooms are open. If a frost burns them now, there will be zero fruit. So we covered. We lost loquats and citrus to freeze this year, couldn’t afford to lose the berries, too.

This morning at 5:30 AM when I went out to open the dumpster gate, the temp was 36. Glad there wasn’t a freeze, but better safe than sorry.

I woke up at 4AM. Couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind wasn’t churning on anything…OK, my mind was churning over the stock market…I never expected Social Security to be around when I turned 65, but I did think that my IRA was safe…until yesterday. Good God!

So I tippie-toed around and did gate duty at 5:30 and let Plant Daddy sleep in. Unfortunately, I came back to bed got under the covers and warmed up and next thing I know, PD is gone and it’s 10AM. I feel like a zombie.

My goal today is to get the corn planted and harvest broccoli for supper.

Step 2 of the mosaic strawberry jar is to apply Kilz to any area of the jar that will not be mosaiced.
Since a strawberry jar is heavy, I leave a good grip at the top to move it. I have found that I must paint before I mosaic. I can never get a crisp look if I do it the other way around.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mosaic Strawberry jar 

Plant Daddy gave me this strawberry jar at Valentines and I have finally got started on it. I used a hand held pumice grindstone to smooth out the rough spots on the terracotta.

I was making good progress and it dropped to 36 degrees again. So I am back inside writing not out in the studio mosaicing. Grrr.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mosaic Shoe 

Spring is here...well, sort of...a freeze is predicted for tomorrow night, so we'll be covering the beans again. Grrr.

With warm afternoons and a clean studio, I can finally get back to mosaic work now. I started 2 projects yesterday. Here is the first...

This shoe is about to get mosaiced. I have stripped everything off.
All the foot pads…off
All the straps…off…everything.
If you leave straps or bows doo-dads on, they are going to get filthy. And they are not strong enough to support a mosaic application. If you wanted a strap, you would have to create it with mesh or with durock.
Or you can add a decorative strap as part of the last step...after all the grouting is done.
The first step is strip the shoe.

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