Tag Archives: mosaic

Being Here Now

Years of practice and I can still only do what I’m doing while I’m doing it.

Writing this post thinking about walking bootless dogs, getting the towels out of the dryer and mourning the loss of bagels … must be the gluten … seriously they could have come up with a better word.

Could have listened to Ram Dass, in eighth grade, when he wrote … “Now is now. Are you going to be here or not?”

Being in a moment is an interesting place and from what I can tell, while I’m in and out of consciousness, it’s very relaxing, it doesn’t cost anything to get in, it’s really quiet and the doors never close.  

aha moments
Syracuse, NY Sidewalk A-ha Moment © Mara Lee
Insert Favorite Quotes by Ram Dass here - have a different moment I have to get to.  :)-

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ― Ram Dass

In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.” ― Ram Dass

“We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”  ― Ram Dass

“Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Old age does that for you too. It spiritualizes people naturally.”  ― Ram Dass

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” ― Ram Dass

“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.” ― Ram Dass

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.” ― Ram Dass

“A feeling of aversion or attachment toward something is your clue that there’s work to be done.”  ― Ram Dass

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” – Ram Dass

and a personal favorite … “Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.” ― Ram Dass

howdy do
we’re here! – grand canyon

Moments Matter Thursday

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Through the Looking Glass

The vintage window was a gift from my sister friend, Tilly Evan Jones … it sat around for a couple of years waiting and wanting. Finally glued a bunch of my vintage glass collection to it.

All you need is a sturdy window (or frame) with good glass, wheeled glass nippers, small hammer, hand towel, safety glasses, random glass objects and e6000 adhesive.  This project must be glued in a well ventilated area … without the kids and pets.

glass-window-project

Break glass dishes under a dish towel with a small hammer and gentle hand or use wheeled glass nippers to break up glass objects.

FYI … There are glass plates that will shatter into a BAZILLION PIECES without warning so … don’t be … going to use the word stupid – because it really is … ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES when cutting glass or tile and do a different project with the kids.

glass-on-glass window © mara lee

mosaic tile gazing balls

Garden Gazing BallsVal, a cherished tile gypsy, was sharing her recent gluing frenzy with bowling balls.  It immediately brought back fond memories of battling a 15 pound bowling ball while trying to glue things to it.

Truth be told … the hardest part of mosaic tiling a bowling ball is … finding the bowling ball.

Now that she’s got me going … anyone have an old bowling ball that they want to get rid of ? 🙂

Mosaic tiled bowling balls or … mosaic tiled gazing balls … are pretty easy to create by preparing the surface properly and using the right adhesive.

mosaic tile balls
balls in half moon bay © mara lee

MOSAIC TILE BOWLING BALL SUPPLIES 

  1. Bowling Ball
  2. Flat Mosaic Tile Materials … Ceramic Tile, stained glass, vintage china, mirror and glass gems
  3. Weatherproof/Waterproof Adhesive … Best choices – GE II Silicone • E6000 • Clear Liquid Nails
  4. Sandpaper medium grade is fine
  5. Sanded grout – FYI … darker shades won’t show the wear that lighter shades of grout will
  6. Grout Additive (Used to mix grout instead of using water. Makes the grout more flexible and can help prevent cracking)
  7. Grout or Masonry clear sealant

MOSAIC TILE GAZING BALL PROJECT

  • Clean the bowling ball. Let it dry.
  • Seal the finger holes, if you don’t want to use them. Again, a MacGyver thing.
  • Rough up the ball using the sandpaper … or you can cover the ball with tile mesh before gluing … ask me.
  • Always wear safety glasses when cutting tile or glass.
  • Organize mosaic tile materials by choosing pieces that are close to the same thickness, for uniformity.
  • Using a wheeled tile nipper, mosaic tile cutter or glass cutter … cut the tile, glass or china pieces before you start gluing.
  • Prop the bowling bowl on a large weighted coffee can … or something comparable.
  • Grab your adhesive and start gluing. (FYI…Adhesives for this project are TOXIC. Best to do this in a very well ventilated area or outside.)
  • A little patience is needed. It’s round!
  • If pieces don’t lie flat … cut them smaller.
  • This project takes multiple days. Glue one side of the bowling ball. Let it dry for at least 24 hours. Longer is always better!
  • Glue the other side of the bowling ball and let that dry for at least 24 hours. Again, longer is better.
  • Grout. Read the directions.
  • Remove grout and clean.
  • Cover with a dry cleaning bag (or something comparable) to allow the grout to dry slower and hopefully prevent cracking.
  • Wait at least 24 hours.
  • Uncover and polish.
  • Let it cure for a few more days, polishing everyday.
  • Seal finished piece with grout or masonry clear sealant. Read the directions.
  • Gaze.

FYI … Mosaic Tiled Gazing Balls and handmade mosaic tile garden art should be brought in during colder months and resealed each season.

garden-mosaic
go outside. let it dry. © mara lee

all rights reserved copyright © mara lee. please do not copy, distribute, duplicate or create derivative works using my original designs and photography. thank you very much!

 

Looking Back

Here are a few mosaic tile light switch covers and incense burners from a year long phase.

Some pieces have sold, while others are sold on simply-sugar.com

Glass on glass tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

The HeART of Handmade Gifts II

It takes more time to come up with a mosaic tile design than it does to glue it down.

Problem is the materials (go through your junk drawers and jewelry boxes) change as you go along … some pieces make the cut … others will not. This is not the time to get discouraged.

If I’m on a roll and the pieces are falling into place … it takes me about an hour to glue a single light switch cover.

If I’m not on a roll … I’ve already started gluing something else.

Gluing at Alice's - all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
Gluing at Alice’s – all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

The gypsy quote is a pendant that I’ve had since high school … and it went from there.

all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
Deep with Dreams – all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

added a little iridescent tile and a purple glass heart …

Gypsy Soul - all rights reserved Mara Lee
Deep with Dreams – all rights reserved Mara Lee

Going to glue ball and chain to the outer edge, after the grout dries.

Maybe you should too.

All you need is …

  • Heavy plastic light switch cover 69¢
  • Family Mementoes, Vintage China and Treasures that are lurking in drawers, cupboards and closets
  • Buy some fun #tiles and glass shapes
  • Weldbond or E6000 Adhesive
  • Tile Nipper and Safety Glasses

Just Needs a Little Light

Simple 8 x 10 white picture frame from Ikea … glued the piece of glass into the frame (with Weldbond) and let it dry overnight.

The little glass fish dish was the catalyst … the rest of the glass pieces magically fell into place.

Doesn’t look like much but ….

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

Glass on Glass Project #3

Shadows only mean that there is light nearby. Go to the light … 

Glass on Glass Project #3

Feeling very accomplished this week. All is good.

as always … work in a well ventilated room when using toxic adhesives and always wear safety glasses when working with glass!

Glass on Glass Vintage Window Project #2

A 10 panel vintage window scored while treasure hunting in Orange, California with Alice. The window measures a VERY STURDY 5′ x 2′ and has really cool hinges to use for hanging or not. If I end up keeping this piece, I’m going to have it installed as the front door side window for the cabin.  

This window was probably hung the wide way over an old store front somewhere.

Amazed that the pieces magically fit together.

You don't find inspiration. It finds you.

Probably should have glued it while I was laying it out.

Perfect first pass and not a single piece glued.
Perfect first pass and not a single piece glued.

Glitter makes the world a better place.

glass on glass
10 panes © mara lee

Love Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

… and hope to get there someday soon.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar.

Isaiah Zagar is an award-winning mosaic mural artist whose work can be found on over 100 public walls throughout the city of Philadelphia and around the world.

Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying the South Street neighborhood since the late 1960s, when he moved to the area with his wife Julia. The couple helped spur the revitalization of the area by purchasing and renovating derelict buildings, often adding colorful mosaics on both their private and public walls. The first such project was Julia’s still-thriving folk art store, the Eyes Gallery at 402 South Street and continues on for miles.

Back in the day, a few tile gypsies tried this on the streets of our historic little town of Jordan.

Interesting that the cracks in the sidewalks that were filled with treasures …  testing 5 different kinds of concrete … popped up like toast after one winter.  Hmm.

… and can you believe that people actually pried off the bits and pieces from the buildings with tools? Yep. True story.

But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

Art changes things.

You Can Take It With You

Took a few mosaic tile minutes today and found a really cool blog called  My Boho Life & their funky 9 foot Mosaic Tile Backsplash.  

I find myself dreaming about having a mosaic tiled backsplash one day:)

Then I ran across this Lowe’s mosaic tile video. Short, sweet and easy to follow …

but …

Did you know that if you measure the backsplash area and cut a piece of 1/2″ concrete backer board into workable sections, you can arrange unique mosaic tile designs, glue the pieces, grout and seal the entire project on a FLAT surface. Wouldn’t recommend a 9 foot section but 3 foot will work.

Then all you have to do is attach the finished pieces, to the backsplash area, using the holes that you’ve pre-drilled and kept free from grout.

Easier on your back plus you can remove it and take it with you, if you choose.

Happy Gluing!

Crafts for Seniors

Senior Crafts
It's important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle. ~Author Unknown

On a mission to find things for my mother to do with the more than ample time she has on her hands, (besides whining).

It’s been hard for us to get use to her new life of less freedom (done driving), less money and hours to fill in a one bedroom apartment. (She likes to live alone)

We bought her a Wii system so she could play golf and tennis.

I doubt if she does. It involves standing up, turning it on and changing the channel.

Talked with mom about joining the world online.  She liked the idea of having a laptop until she started stressing out about turning it on and off and clicking buttons.  A computer may cause more anxiety than it’s worth … we’ll see how it goes.

While eating gigantic blueberry pancakes my mother declared that she wanted to start painting.

Popped online and found a really cool Paint by Number website that offers Paint by Number kits for beginners without color blending.

Looked for Elvis. They didn’t have him so I bought the Peacocks.

Hope it keeps her busy for a few hours. Will take a pic … if and when she finishes:)

Guess I better get on the stick and put together a Senior Mosaic Tile Kit with a base, pre-cut mosaic tile pieces and adhesive that I can test out on mom:)

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Peacocks
Genius and virtue are to be more often found clothed in gray than in peacock bright.

How To Mosaic Tile Revisited

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

Basic instruction for indoor mosaic tile construction:

  • Cut pieces to size – wear safety glasses.
  • Glue pieces to the a prepared surface like this one with Mastic (it’s not concrete)
  • Let the glued pieces dry for at least 24 hours
  • Prepare grout according to instructions – put on gloves
  • Grout the piece filling in all the gaps but avoiding delicate objects
  • Then clean off the wet grout until it’s shiny
  • Dispose of unused grout properly … meaning NOT DOWN THE DRAIN – you’ll be sorry.
  • Let the cleaned piece dry for another 24 hours and polish with a soft cloth as needed
  • Seal with grout sealer found at any tile or home improvement store

The Art of Gluing

The Best Glue for the Job

Top 3 Adhesives

After trying all of the adhesives on the market these have to be my favorites.

E-60001. E-6000 my clear adhesive of choice, when working with glass on glass.

This is a toxic adhesive that is not recommended when working with children.

glass-on-glass-art
E-6000 is a great adhesive for glass on glass projects and so many more applications but … it’s very TOXIC and STINKY but it will permanently bond: wood; metal; glass; fiberglass; ceramic; leather; rubber; vinyl; and most plastics. Always work in a well ventilated area when using E-6000 and let it cure for a few minutes before gluing surfaces together.

DIRECTIONS & TIPS FOR USING E-6000:

Apply E-6000 directly to each surface to be bonded.

Note: E-6000 hardens by solvent evaporation and forms an immediate bond that is difficult to reposition after both adhesive coated surfaces are placed in contact with each other and sufficient pressure is exerted to establish full contact.

SPECIAL TIPS: To extend life of product, be sure cap is secured back to original position. Use a toothpick as a disposable applicator for very small applications such as beading. Remove, recap and allow plastic nozzle to dry. Remove dried product from nozzle by pulling out through threaded end and reuse nozzle.

SAFETY FIRST: You can never predict what glass will do when you are working with it. When gluing glass on glass with E6000 when it’s stuck … it’s really stuck. NEVER and I mean NEVER try to remove glass from glass, once it has set up with one of these glue. Always wear safety glasses!

2. Weldbond Adhesive – The Kid Friendly Glue

There are so many reasons why Weldbond is my adhesive of choice for indoor mosaic tile and found object art projects.

Weldbond

  1. It’s non-toxic and has no smell.
  2. Great for projects with kids.
  3. Weldbond dries clear … in most circumstances.
  4. Easy to remove mistakes
Weldbond says this about their wonder glue …. A unique product, WELDBOND is more than an adhesive. It’s also a powerful universal primer for porous surfaces. It’s a weather-proofer, dust-proofer, hardener, and bonding agent. Just mix WELDBOND with sawdust, grout, cement or plaster and be amazed at the tremendous strength this product! Non-toxic and dries clear making it a perfect adhesive to use when crafting with kids. Dries to a clear, flexible bond.
Weldbond
Weldbond works great on wood!
What you may want to consider when using Weldbond …
#1 Excess puddles of Weldbond will not dry clear so you will see it behind the glass. If that wasn’t the object then no problem.
#2 Suggest brushing Weldbond onto the glass pieces, carefully with your finger or paintbrush and secure them to the glass with a little wiggle … to help dry clear.
#3 With Weldbond you have a fighting chance of prying pieces off of the glass with the utmost of care … with E-6000 you don’t.

and then there’s Mastic

… available at home improvement & tile shops.

Mastic is a non-slip high performance, smooth spreading mortar formulated for interior installation of all types of ceramic wall & floor tile.
Mastic keeps things from slipping … especially good for terracotta, concrete, back-splashes and larger projects!
Don’t forget to clean up excess mastic around the edges.

You Can Glue It but …

Patience, my dear.
I know you want to get’r done but in the end you’ll be thankful that you waited until it dried.
Trust me.

Thanks for sticking around!

When in doubt… read the directions.

Mosaic Tile Artists

The right tools for the job.

Lighten up … cutting takes practice.

If one of your resolutions is to bring more creativity into your life, think Pique Assiette Mosaic Tile!

Due to its random nature, anyone can do it!

Really, you’re just gluing stuff to other stuff.  Besides, it can be a very cheap hobby … or not. Depends on how obsessed you become.

Just find a space to call your own and start stocking it with the right tools, materials and adhesives to get started with Making Mosaics with Found Objects.

Start small and you’ll grow from there … believe me.


don’t forget the grout

#1 Wheeled Glass Nippers have a set of disc shaped wheels on spring-loaded handles. They should be used to cut glass, mirror, glass tiles, and the like in a manner similar to tile nippers. Replacement wheels are sold separately.

#2 Mosaic Tile Cutter are designed for cutting ceramic tiles, crockery and china. Better tile nippers have tungsten-carbide cutting edges and spring-loaded handles.

#3 Weldbond Adhesive, Mastic and Grout

Always good to have nearby:

  • Small Penny Hammer
  • Wire Cutter
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Self-closing tweezers (a little more expensive than regular tweezers but well worth the investment.) Make sure to keep them glue free!
  • Toothpicks or wooden skewers
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paper Towel
  • SAFETY GLASSES

Mosaic Tile Tools

Now all you need is a base, tile and some found objects. Ta da.