Now that I have two little ones all my hobby stuff is packed away in crates. But there is hope - at school they say my 3-year-old loves painting and doing art projects, so I'm hoping that she will be interested in doing some of my favorite crafts with me soon. It will be a big change since I used to do those activities all alone - and enjoyed the solitude lost in whatever project I was working on - but I look forward to giving it a try and embracing the change having a 3-year-old by my side will bring!
Here are a couple of pictures of three of my favorite mosaic projects. I guess you can say that I'm self-taught; one day I decided I wanted to try my hand at mosaicing and I had an ugly old end table that was a perfect candidate to have it's tabletop re-covered. I knew a tiny bit about tile and grout from helping on a bathroom re-tiling project. So, armed with that little bit of knowledge I went to Home Depot and bought some field tile, a few bull-nosed tiles (for the table edges), grout and Liquid Nails. I came home, spread it out in the middle of my living room (the beauty of living alone at the time!) and started breaking the tiles up with a hammer (put the tile in a paper bag first so you don't damage the finish). It was SO much fun picking through the broken pieces and fitting different combinations together - just like a puzzle.
I still have that table, but it ain't one of my favorites. However, I learned a lot (like always seal your grout - some of my earliest projects sadly have suffered due to my inexperience and now have yellow and dingy (dusty) looking grout). But I was able to branch out to some projects that I am really proud of, like these.
The Heart-Shaped Box (and my nod to Nirvana :-). This was the first gift I made for my Hubby on the first Valentine's Day after we became serious.
A lot of the fun when starting a new mosaic project is to see how the project presents itself. I remember I found the little wooden box (on clearance, of course :-) at Michael's so that narrowed it right down to "I'm making him a box" plus I like being able to make funtional gifts.
Next was trying to decide what to put on the box - I wanted something kind of love oriented, but it still had to be manly enough to give to my sweetie. I stumbled on the "love knot" idea after browsing through a book of nautical knots - this knot is really called a "love" knot in the nautical world. It was perfect! How much more manly can one get than a nautical knot?? I was still nervous when I gave the box to Hubby (well, just Boyfriend at that time) but he loved it and to this day it sits on his nightstand. Unfortunately, sometimes he uses it as a coaster but at least it's not stuffed in a drawer.
The Wedding Picture Frame - another gift to Hubby. I found the frame in the scratch and dent section at TJ Maxx (a fantastic place to look for chipped cups and plates that are perfect candidates to become mosaic tile. Also, nicked and dinged picture frames, little boxes, mirrors with wooden frames - all are possible mosaic projects!)
I found the "Love" stamp tiles from someone on eBay who actually mounted real cancelled Love stamps on to glass tiles. They are so unique and pretty, I just love them. I had so much fun mixing and matching the tiny colored tiles to the stamps, cutting the tiles into shapes, etc. I think this frame is really my favorite piece that I have ever made. Sadly it blew off a bookcase a few weeks back and you can see the lower right corner has grout that chipped out :-(
The Tray. I made this after we were married - I found the wooden tray (again) at TJ Maxx in the clearance section and thought it would be a great project since the wood was already finished (sealed and painted) which is a huge time saver and I even liked the color - an olive green that had a distressed finish to it. All I had to do was cover up the ugly Americana pattern that was etched into the bottom.
After brain storming and sorting through all my tiles for inspiration I came up with something that was perfect for a tray that you may use while entertaining - wine label tiles! This was another find from the same person on eBay. She mounted real wine labels on to glass tiles and I did the rest. I still have a second tray I bought (to make a coordinating pair of trays) waiting patiently to get its tile-makeover... oh, someday :-)