Tag Archives: recycled art

putting the pieces back together

 matilda’s birdland – circa 2011

A $5 thrift store mirror, a gifted box of glass & porcelain birds, a bunch of vintage china, ceramic tile, gold glitter tile, mirror tile, glass gems, found objects and glue.  what a beast.

mosaic tile projects

mosaic tile projects

 

mosaic tile mirror
tough to photograph

 

happy
done and done. happy. happy.
love you
thank you, miss tilly xoxo
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mosaic tile garden

mosaic tile pots

Creating garden art with empty terracotta pots. I glued three in an afternoon, let them dry and then grouted them 24 hours later.

Here’s how you’re suppose to do it … (directions vary based on how long you want a piece of mosaic tile garden art to last.:) preparation is everything!

  • Before gluing, clean the terracotta pots out with soap and water. Let them dry overnight. (it’s a good thing)
  • Seal the inside and outside of the pot with a water-based polyurethane or a couple of coats of Weldbond adhesive. (If you don’t seal it no biggie just don’t water a plant in there.) Let it dry between coats and make sure the piece is completely dry before tiling.
  • Use mastic adhesive. (there are other good adhesives for tile but mastic works for me.)
  • Use a sanded grout ( I used charcoal) and mix the grout with a grout additive (instead of water) for more flexibility.
  • Seal the grout with grout sealer, once it’s dry.
  • Reseal the outside of the piece with grout sealer, once a year,  especially if the piece is exposed to the elements or water.

Totem Pole

Mosaic TileTotem PoleInstructions

  1. Prepare clay pots with similar size drainage holes.
  2. Glue mosaic tile materials to pots. Let dry.
  3. Grout mosaic tile pots. Let dry.
  4. Seal pots with grout sealer. Let dry.
  5. Glue clay pots together as shown. (May need to insert the pole first)
  6. Glue the stacked pots to the bottom of the saucer to protect the bottom pot.
  7. Insert a piece of re-bar or heavy pole into the holes of the pots and secure with silicone
  8. Dig a small hole for your garden art totem and secure with rocks and dirt.
  9. Bring mosaic tile pots and garden totem poles indoors when cold weather hits.
  10.  peace.
box of tile tools © mara lee
box of tile tools © 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!

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!

 

dizzy sick

organizing all my web stuff and i  haven’t been around these parts since last October.  could it be that the last thing I sat down to create was the mosaic tile mirror I made for Alice’s birthday?  How can that be?

time waits for no woman and I have to minimize my distractions to focus on the feeds my soul part. Mosaic TilePlenty of tile and glass and …

 

 

Daily Distractions and Time Outs

Trying to organize the studio and decided that if I just glue everything to something else, it will take up less room.

This is what happened in April.

Glass on Glass – “Any Which Way”

glass on glass
Lost a Few More of My Marbles
glass on glass
Any Which Way © mara lee

 

Recycled Art – Vintage China & Glass

Should post more of my vintage china on the Etsy Shop but then I’d have to find a box for it and that’s not always easy. Especially when you sell weird shaped stuff, like a porcelain elephant planter, that plants died in because of no drainage, and a gorgeous blue vintage china dinner plate that I bought for a buck. Trunk up for Good Luck!

recycled glass art

Somehow these 3 vintage plates ended up together, along with a crystal candlestick and 2 glass bud vases. Think the snack pics added a nice touch. Sort of a Mackenzie Childs vibe … may have to keep this one.

centerpieces

Finally finished a glass on glass window, that I glued a ceramic tile to 6 years ago, and she ended up as the “Goddess of the Boobies”

recycled art
“Totally Out of Place”

 

and …. these 4 little pieces just screamed to be stuck together. For eternity. Unless you drop it.

recycled-art
Have a Heart

Happy Friday!

Peace!

 

Writing the Book

Not bad for a first attempt.
Not bad for a first attempt.

Most of us want to write a book.

I did … I just couldn’t decide what to write a book about.

My prayers were answered, when Stackpole Books asked me to write a book about my art.

Skipping and blowing bubbles … I took on the challenge.

One year, 11,000 words, 500 photos and 16 forced mosaic tile projects later, the book was published.

It’s out there, nothing can stop it, people will review it and with a cover that I didn’t get to choose:(

Started out alright  … a few friends posted some supportive reviews and then Kenneth Bee showed up.

1.0 out of 5 stars FOR AMATEURS!, February 13, 2012

By KENNETH E BEE (SALTSBURG, PA, US) Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Making Mosaics with Found Objects (Paperback) This is not what I expected. The projects were very crude and amateurish and the opposite of creative and inspiring. Not even good for kids’ projects in my opinion. I’m not sure why anyone published this as there are many books on the same subject out there that run circles around this one. Save your money.

Blindsided!  Talk about stark naked in the middle of a grocery store.

Now what?  Constructive criticism is one thing … how do you get passed such a mean review?

band-aid-calm

You don’t … until someone covers up the mean with a warm fuzzy blanket.

5.0 out of 5 stars Don’t judge this book by its cover, October 21, 2013
By Lesley Grace (Australia) This review is from: Making Mosaics with Found Objects (Kindle Edition)
This book’s cover is a little dull but don’t let that put you off. I have so many mosaic books but this is now one of my favourites. The Author comes across as a really warm, modest person, constantly creating and then critiquing her work as she pushes on to perfect her chosen craft. She has a wealth of experience and is happy to share it in a really accessible and self-effacing way. Her message is ‘have a go and don’t worry about making mistakes’.I enjoy making mosaics from bits and pieces from charity shops so this book is particularly appealing to me. She offers some really good practical hints which I haven’t found in other books. I am really happy with my purchase.

Thank you, Lesley!

Carpe Diem

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 Best Glue for Glass

All gung-ho to start this project and didn’t have any e6000 adhesive … tried to use clear Liquid Nails and Lexel … NOPE

all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee
all rights reserved © 2013 Mara Lee

Had to get in the car and track some down … checked Home Depot and Lowe’s but they don’t carry it … finally found it at Ace Hardware for a price.

Michael’s stocks e6000 but the tubes are small and expensive.

Check out the Etsy sellers that carry it … it’s a better deal and you help small biz owners.

glass-on-glass-window

The pieces fell into place quite nicely.

Just lovely, don’t you think?

glassonglass-vintage-window

On to the next thing …

Salvaging Memories

When someone shows up with broken remains of a precious family heirloom, it’s always the same tearful look.

Peggy broke a very unique clay candle holder that her mother (who had since passed) had given her as a gift.

Seems that a chandelier had fallen on it. Maybe she should have called Angie’s List 😉

Here’s what we came up with …

Using the very cool wrought iron, double shelf table that Peggy brought, we cut a piece of concrete backer board for the bottom shelf. That way you can see the finished piece through the glass top and keep it safe from any further damage.

We arranged all of the clay children (as they were on the original piece) in the center and glued the rest of the broken pieces around them. Added a gold veined glass tile for the border and let it dry overnight.

Used a charcoal grout to finish it off, after the mastic dried.

Tears of joy all around!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Recycled Art
Memories are made of these.

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

Losing My Marbles

A full jar of glass marbles literally jumped off the shelf.

Inspiration granted.

The vintage window was purchased in Orange, California with my sista friend, Alice.  A fun day was had by all.

Lovin’ the glass heart porthole!

glass-on-glass-window
“Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.” ― Jim Carroll

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t “try” to do things. You simply “must” do things.” — Ray Bradbury

Glass on Glass
Glass on Glass

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” — Pearl S. Buck

What do you get when you …

… glue a six inch piece of scrap plywood, 4 glass clear hearts, 2 red glass hearts, a vintage china saucer, 17 flat white gems, 10 red & green square glass gems, 10 pennies, a few printed words, a Santa head (that was ripped off its body), a little grout and a wire hanger?

mosaic tile santa
oh ... and Mosaic Tile Tools

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

Handmade Gifts Part I

piggy bank
Step away from the kids piggy bank! Really.

If your pockets have more lint than dollars, this holiday season … handmade gifts are the way to go!

While surfing around looking for some fun handmade craft projects to do with the grand kids … I found some really cool handmade craft sites that you might want to check out.

With so many “easy” recycled craft projects to choose from …  there’s got to be one that inspires you to get your creative cap out of the closet!

Here are our Top 10 Handmade Craft sites with very easy handmade craft projects:

and finally…it’s all about the packaging!

So many cool handmade craft projects … so little time. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Cheers!

Filling in the cracks.

How to mosaic tile
Life is trying things to see if they work.” – Ray Bradbury

Once your hands are full of mud, you can’t do anything else. Funny how your face starts to itch, that very minute.

Smile and enjoy the week!

P.S. This is the start of a mosaic tile totem pole for the garden.