Putting the Pieces Back Together Again

When life smashes things to bits … you can glue them back together to make something beautiful with the pieces.

My weekly stop to the craft store was always a wonderful but lengthy experience.

My mind would race trying to decide which art or crafts project to conquer next. I knitted, crocheted, sewed, stamped, beaded, wrapped wire, painted, threw clay and tried my hand at making jewelry. Some craft projects were completed and others were not.

While some of us are lucky enough to find a true art form that makes our soul sing, there are some of us that have a room full of unfinished craft projects awaiting our return. It really doesn’t matter, as long as we continue to create.

Concentrating on one art form was always a challenge for me until I purchased a vintage card table and chairs from an estate sale almost 30 years ago. The leather inlay on the tabletop was worn and the chair cushions were brittle from age. I knew that someday I’d get a round to refurbishing that piece with a beautiful photo collage and paint. I carried that set around with me for years, and boy were my arms tired! Now mind you, no one ever sat at this table, it was just part of my stuff. (You know that stuff you’re going to refinish someday.)

Then something remarkable happened…

I was standing in Target’s toy department and it hit me. Domino’s would make a perfect border for that table top. I bought two sets of those magical little tiles…. this is going to be really fun, but first I needed to teach myself how to mosaic tile. Hurry…before I was on to the next thing.

Returning home with a new mosaic tile book, tile mastic and tile grout, I had to scour my junk room to find the random bits and pieces to complete my creation. It’s a good thing that I had saved old ceramic tile, Monopoly game pieces and a travel plate from Las Vegas. That plate ended up being the perfect focal point of the piece. I dragged the table up from the basement and set up shop in the kitchen. I found a hammer and a dish cloth to cover the Las Vegas plate and hit it without a thought. With domino’s, china shards and glue in hand, I started filling the tabletop with the random pieces. That’s all it took…I was completely hooked! Four hours later all the bits n’ pieces were in place. Now I had to wait to let the glue dry to see what grouting was all about.

Grouting mosaic tileTwenty four hours later, I grabbed a cup of coffee and the tile grout. After reading the directions…(yes I read the directions)…I told myself that this doesn’t seem so hard, just get out your rubber gloves and whip up a batch of grout. I grabbed a bucket, pail of water and started to mix up a batch. When the grout looked close to the consistency that it stated on the box, I took a hand full of it and plopped it onto my beautiful creation. “Oh my gawd”, my beautiful table was covered in mud. I took a deep breath and tried to conjure up all the patience and faith that I could. What’s the worst thing that could happen? It’s only a vintage table that I’ve carried around for almost a decade, I can always get another one. What a mess!

As I grabbed my sponge and bucket, I could barely wait to see what I had created. I had to keep telling myself to just keep wiping. Low and behold, it worked. What a myriad of reactions. The feeling is difficult to describe. It’s a series of emotions that is duplicated every time I remove grout from one of my mosaic tile pieces.

As most mosaic tile artists will tell you, grouting isn’t their favorite part, but the final result is always worth the effort, unless you’ve picked the wrong grout color… but that’s another story altogether:)

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Cheers!
Mara

recycled craft ideas
Art is spirituality in drag. ~Jennifer Yane

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