Wednesday, May 30, 2012

weather dependent

Once again, waiting on rain (beryl remnants) to go away for an exterior mosaic installation.  It's a gorgeous swirling festival of color for a gazebo floor in a glorious garden setting (private, sorry).  Not sorry that I can work on some more fabric creations in the meanwhile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

koi pond

I got a new sewing machine after 20 years of hating my old one.  When I was a girl, I loved browsing through the material store, feeling all the textures, seeing all the patterns and colors.  This week I needed a little mosaic diversion.  Something new to inspire and concentrate on.  I love the tradition of quilting, but not the strict adherence to specific measurements and precise sewing.  I just started sewing (mainly) scraps together, cut, rotated, added, subtracted and pieced until I was happy.  Hmm.. sounds suspiciously like mosaic making....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

magnolia secrets

I walk in the mornings, after the school buses roll through the neighborhood, with our dog, Sam.  The magnolias are starting to present their gorgeous blooms, and a neighbor working in her yard today, gave me one that was just barely starting to open.  She said to put it in water, and that it would be open by day's end.   But I had to take a peek.

Have you ever really looked?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012


I turn 43 this week.  I usually look forward to birthdays, this year I'm just preoccupied.  I've been thankfully and wonderfully busy, both with my art and family.  I've had some grand adventures, met some delightful new friends, and still trying to balance home, kids, obligations...  Sometimes it's good to start on the outside and work toward the center, sometimes it's best to start at the heart of things and work outward.  Sometimes you just have to go for it and see where it leads....

Friday, May 4, 2012

on the grid

OK, so I'm not talking about electricity or energy savings... simply creating unlimited mosaic designs based on a grid pattern, rows and columns.  If you think that's boring.. please reconsider.  I have been doing mosaic workshops with young children, I'm talking 3 and up, using grid trays and colorful tile.  This sampler is the product of 4, 50 minute workshops with 5th graders.  They had a brief introduction to mosaic, including a sample NOT made on a grid, then had a really fun activity creating their own pattern based on a 7x7 grid square.  Budget constraints prevented me from capturing all of their creative designs, but believe me when I say that not one of the 100 or so mosaics were the same.  The students had their own peer review and were allowed to vote for their top 4 favs per class.  Those 16 mosaics are now glued and grouted, ready to be delivered back to the school on Monday.  If you don't have a grid tray, or real tile, get some old fashioned grid paper and markers, and color to your hearts content.  Colored construction paper works well too.  These pattern ideas can be translated dozens of ways from quilts to crossstitch, paint to photo montage.  Designing on a grid breaks complex patterns down to manageable ideas.  Can you see the black and white smiley face in the photo? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

tree peony

Finally..... I bought these peony bulbs about 4 years ago.  The bulbs were shriveled and dusty, down at the bottom of the past season, super clearance, you're crazy if you buy me bin.  They said "tree peony" so I planted them underneath a large oak in my backyard (yes, that was my non-scientific botany reasoning, not the package directions).  They did sprout the next spring, but no buds.  They have steadily gained strength, and last year I had one flower.  This year there are about 7 buds and it actually is big enough to need some gentle support.  Today my patience (and luck) was rewarded with 3 gorgeous open blooms.  I love how the centers are frilly and there are just a couple of petals that are fringed.  First I thought that was damage from critters, kids, or who knows what, but each of the blooms has the two fringed petals.  So lovely.  I think I feel a mosaic coming on...