Thursday, April 30, 2009

Direction, Please!

I've been working on creating several projects for the craft sale I am doing next week. It is my first craft sale, so I really am not sure which direction to do as far as what to sell. So I thought I'd show you what I have so far, and ask for your opinion on what I should make more of. Just leave you comments on the bottom of the post on what you think would sale the best. Or if you have an idea of something I haven't made, let me know that too. Here are the mosaics I have so far:

Lazy Susans:

A Double Decker Lazy Susan:

Napkin Holder:
Kitchen Tools Holder:

Banana Holder: Frames:

Of course, I could also sell some stepping stones. You can see my work here:

Let me know what you think I should focus on for the craft sale next week. Thanks for your help!

What Was I Thinking?

This morning I got up and decided to be productive right off the bat. Because I have just over a week before the Continental Craft Show, I need to finish the projects I have started and start some more. So an early start sounded like a good plan. But it just wasn't my morning. Nothing seemed to go right--and everything took longer than it should have. At at 10:45 looked at my table and thought WHAT WAS I THINKING?
So I cleaned up my sponges and walked away. I was annoyed and I didn't have fun this morning. And if it isn't fun, then why I am doing it. So I left the mess and the projects and went shopping with my daughters.

And then I came back. I finished cleaning up my morning projects, and you know what? They didn't look too bad after all. So I got brave, mixed up some more grout and grabbed another project. And this time things went well. The grout went on smoothly. The work went quickly. And I actually enjoyed doing. This is what I was thinking! Maybe I won't return those items after all.

Not a bad day's work after all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cutting It Up

Today I did it. I went out to the garage, cleaned off my work table and played with my new toy--my glass cutter. The past couple of weeks I have been buying glass. Lots of glass. So much, in fact, that I really need to invest in some racks. But since I haven't, it sits on my table wrapped in paper and plastic. I'm not even sure what colors lie under that paper. But it was time to find out what I had and time to cut it up!

After going through my packages, I am drawn to my pastels. They remind me of spring. And the creative juices start to flow. I decided to begin with the pinks. I got out my tools and went to work.

Besides a few triangles for my Texas Stone, this is the first time I have ever cut glass. Since I am cutting for my mosaics, I wanted to cut a bunch of squares that are the same size. It seems simple enough--a lot like my rotary cutter on fabric. But I quickly learn it is much easier to drift off my ruler on the glass than it is on fabric. And instead of consistent strips, I end up with strips of varying sizes.
But I was learning a new skill and knew I would be facing that dreaded learning curve. So I just kept cutting...

And worked my way through parts of three different sheets of glass. I really liked the mix I made...
...but when I was through I wasn't sure if it was really worth the effort. I have bought pre-cut mixes before where I loved the colors--and I am not sure I saved enough to make cutting it myself worth it.

But all those thoughts left my head when I started working with the glass. First I started working on this frame:
I had prepped the frame's base earlier, and it was just waiting for the glass:
As I laid out the glass on the wood, I just wasn't happy with the pattern I was creating with the glass. Something was missing. And then it hit me--I needed triangles. Ordinarily this would be a problem if I was using a square mix. But not tonight. I just selected a few squares and took them out to my cutting board. An viola! Triangles. And a pattern I loved.

And once I was done with the frame, I moved onto a lazy susan which also cried out of triangles.
And at this point I knew I loved cutting my own glass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Begining of Mosiac Madness

Today I had grand plans. It is the first day of a long break from work (from now until June 1), and before I went to bed last night I made a list of all the things I wanted to start doing with my free time. I've heard it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and I was determined to get a fresh start on things today. But then it rained. And rained, and rained and rained. We got 5 inches at our house over night, and 10 inches in our area. It woke me up in the middle of the night and was so hard I wondered if we would end up with water in the house. But then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Seminary had been cancelled for the rest of the week due to standardized testing at the high school, so I was going to get to sleep in this morning. I guess you can call 6:15 sleeping in when it's an hr later than you are used to getting up. Any way, at about 6 am I woke up and got out of bed. Stupid internal alarm wouldn't let me sleep past 6--or so I thought. Turns out I had received a text from Rachel. Why would my daughter text me at 6 am? Because she had found out that school had been cancelled and wanted to let me know so she could go back to bed. She is so like her mom.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we had a rain day today. School was cancelled, and when there is no school, all plans are thrown out the window. When the kids were little, we would crawl into bed and watch movies on rainy days. I miss those days! Today, we just hung out and were not very productive most of the morning. But then I forced myself up and cleaned the kitchen; ran errands to the post office, bank and the grocery store; made some muffins; and made a call about Rachel's college scholarships--see I can be productive on rain days! Then it was time to sit with the girls and watch a couple of movies. I tried just to go and relax, but this week I signed up for a table at the Continental Craft Sale on May 8th--and I could hear my projects calling me. I really need to get to work or I'll not have anything to sale. But the plan had been to spend a while in the garage cutting glass for my mosaics, and the rainy day just had me in a mood that wasn't open to that assignment. So I went to my craft table and dug through my supplies--and found enough glass that was already cut that I could get to work making my crafts.

I have no idea how the craft sale will go, but it's time to push myself to create at least a few items to sale. So I sat down with my projects that have been waiting patiently and went to work.

Remember these? I got out the new items I had bought to mosaic.
Now it's time for the transformation. I took the wood pieces and dumped some glass onto a paper plate, and then got to work,

First step is to lay out the tile on the wooden item,
Once that was done, I started to glue.

I really liked this first lazy Susan. And the process went pretty quickly, so I kept working as long as the glass held out.
I even made a double decker lazy susan.

When I was pretty much out of cut glass, my projects looked like this:

All that's left is the grouting--And I can't wait to see how these look finished. Hopefully I can get to that tomorrow. The clock is ticking on my craft show. Hope I can make time to make that a success!

A Successful Fundraiser

After a problem at the auction Saturday night, we put this stone back up for bids yesterda. The auction ended tonight, and the stone sold for $80! I was very pleased and know the money will be a big help in sending the young women in our ward to girls camp!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cleaning My Craft House

All week I have been wanting to get out in my garage and cut glass. I have mosaics to make, and I can't wait to make them. But things have kept getting in the way, and I haven't had a chance to plan and cut and create. So today I got up determined to make time for crafting, and what happened? My eyes fell upon a box in my bedroom. It's full of mosaic frames that have been waiting to be grouted for a couple of years now. These are frames that my daughters made in hopes of selling and making some extra money. There are also a couple that were made by some friends who never got a chance to finish them. Every time I look at this box I think about pulling them out, mixing up some grout and finishing these frames. But there is always something that distracts me or something that sounds more appealing, and I walk on by and forget about the box. But this morning I looked at the box and decided that the box's time had come.

So with determination I got out of bed, and got dressed--putting on one of my favorite t-shirts:

I love Rosie. She is strong, she is powerful, and she helps me know I can do it!

Rosie was given to me by one of my most favorite people in the world--Elena. Elena is my sister by choice and my muse. I made my first stepping stone for Elena. And also my first mosaic frame. Like Rosie, Elena is strong, she is powerful and she helps me know I can do it!
So I put on Rosie and was ready to conquer THE BOX. Out it came from under the table. I carried it into the kitchen and was prepared to clean out my unfinished past.

And then something distracted me...
To be honest, she more then distracted me--she pleaded with me. Can you see it in her eyes? WALK? WALK? WALK? Well , it was effective. I put on my walking shoes, and grabbed her leash.

We headed outside. Once again, the frames had to wait.

We were on our way. It was a beautiful spring day, and a great walk. And when we got home, Dakota looked very, very pleased.

After Dakota's pleas were satisfied, it was time to get to work. So I went to THE BOX...

And took off the lid...

So many frames. Frames made by my two youngest girls...

...and by friends who no longer live in Houston. Frames that would finally be finished...

So I mixed up some grout, grabbed a frame, and went to work.

My girls couldn't believe we were FINALLY going to finish the frames. Rachel grabbed one she had made and started grouting too. Look how excited she is!

We soon discovered that we had to conquer the "it's been too long" learning curve again--one of the consequences of letting things go undone. But we kept working, completing several frames.

And in the process I discovered the real reason I think THE BOX sat under my table for so long. Turns out it's really not that fun finishing other people's projects. It's just not the same when you miss out on the creation. But this was work that had to be done. The fun will come later when I can start new project. So I pushed on to the bottom of my grout bucket. After the frames had set for a few minutes, a sponge and some water finished up the prep work. And took a break to allow the grout to really harden.
Then the sponge and water came back out--wiping off the last remnants of the grout of the glass. And now, those far away friends just have to wait for me to get to the post office...

And my girls have a few of their frames done--at be sold or gifted. Who knows? But we have made a dent in my craft to do list. Hopefully the rest won't stay in THE BOX much longer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Patience is a Virtue That I'm Still Learning

I have been really good about not going into the garage the last few days so that my Texas stone can cure. But today a friend stopped by and I offered to show it too her. So I brought it in to show her and explained that the glass was still a little dirty because I was letting it sit before I cleaned it up.

Well, after she left I picked it up and started back to the garage to put it away. It is such a beautiful sunny day, I decided to let it sit on the back patio while I washed Dakota, who had gone gutter surfing while my friend and I were talking in the front yard. For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, let me preface it with my dog love water. And it doesn't matter how much water it is. If you have a small puddle on your grass, she will lay on her side and push herself through i. It looks like she is surfing. Well, today when she was out front she noticed a small amount of water in the neighbors gutter, so of course she had to lay on her side and surf through it. Since these small puddles of water are usually very, very dirty, her surfing usually ends up with her having to have a bath. Today was no different. So I put the stone down in the sun and while I washed, dried, brushed, brushed, brushed and brushed Dakota (who if you didn't guess from all the brushing is shedding like crazy! ).

After I was done with Dakota, I went to pick up the stone and put it back into the garage. It looked so pretty in the sun. Except for the spots on the glass that were covered with concrete dust. I tried to pick it up and continue to be patient. But I just couldn't do it. I sprayed it lightly with water and then took a cloth to the glass. And wow, does it sparkle! It would probably be easier to be patient if I wasn't so attracted to sparkly things! You have to admit it looks good!