Tag Archives | Malma

Skype while you mosaic

blue mirrorI made this mirror waaaaay back in the fall, just after my partner moved to California to start a new job. It was a big adjustment, living alone again. I found that I had a lot of time on my hands, so I threw myself into making mosaics. This was one of the first ones I did after we started living apart, and also one of the first ones I did while we kept each other company over Skype. It was kind of nice, just knowing she was there. We chatted a bit, but mostly we just stayed on the line while we each did our own work (cutting and gluing for me, planning classes and marking for her). All I can say is thank goodness for Skype and for the distraction of being crafty (oh, and for the company of our super cute dog), because I think I might have gone nuts otherwise.

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It’s all in the eye of the beholder

When I made this mirror, I kind of pictured a river or something in my head. But when I showed the finished piece to my partner, the first thing she said was that it reminded her of the colours on the Guatemalan flag. Funny how people can see such wildly different things in such a simple design, eh?

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Flower power

flower mirror

Every time I go home to Kitchener to visit my family, my mom unfailingly leaves a pile of her already-read magazines on my old dresser for me to thumb through. I use them for 2 things: (1) to find new recipes and (2) to clip out little swatches of inspiration from ads or stories about the top 10 <choose 1 or more: couches, dresses, dinnerware, throw pillows> that you need to have for <insert current year>. That’s where the inspiration for this mirror was drawn – some pattern that I tore out of a Chatelaine, most probably (I likely scored a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe too!). I think it was originally cherry blossoms, which, in a random stream of thoughts, makes me think of that Andrews Sisters song, “I’ll be with you in apple blossom time.” (Although I’m quite partial to “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen.”) And no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have both of those songs on my iPod. In fact, I have the whole “Best of…” album. So there!

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I love fall. I really do.

I love fall. It’s my favourite season, by far. Spring comes a close second, but it’s a bit too muddy for my liking. Summer? Too hot. Winter? Too cold (especially here in Ottawa). But fall… Fall makes me want to go for a hike and grin at the satisfying crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. Other reasons I love fall: hearty soups, apples (especially my favourite, Tolman Sweet), that “back to school” energy in the air, Thanksgiving dinner, and, oh yah, the colours. Who doesn’t love fall colours? So rich and earthy. And I think that’s what I love so much about these 2 mirrors: the fall-like colours.

Now, this first one was actually the first mirror I made in this little ‘series’. It was a while ago, so pardon me if I’m a little fuzzy on the details. I do remember we watched “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” while I was cutting and glueing all those squares. Not a great movie – it definitely didn’t live up to the first “Elizabeth“.

The second mirror is my favourite one of the whole bunch. I love the colours and I love that you can see the grain of the wood through the glass – I think that sort of organic aspect is a great contrast with the hardness of the glass. This mirror is a great example of me having a plan and not following it (and the end product being much better because of it!). Originally I wanted to split the mirror into 4 differently coloured sections radiating from one corner (can you picture it?). But then I looked at the colours of the glass that I was being drawn to and thought that a sort of fiery freeform design would be much more interesting. And I do believe it was! It was also nice to work with the existing shapes of the glass scraps again – that’s really what I love doing and it’s when I feel most inspired.

I was home alone the weekend I started work on this mirror, so I needed something (read: a TV show) to entertain me while I worked. You know, take my mind off of my knotted shoulders, bleeding hands, and blurry eyes. The trick was that it needed to be a show that I found interesting enough to have it on in the background and not get annoyed, but one that I wasn’t dying to see, otherwise I would spend my whole time watching and my mirror would sit unmosaicked. My solution: Degrassi TNG. Yes, this mirror was made to the soundtrack of Season 7 of Degrassi TNG (that gives you an idea of how long these things take to make, eh?). This does not embarrass me. No, au contraire. I am a proud Canadian: I love CBC, Degrassi, maple syrup, and the fall colour palette. And I hope you love this mosaic.

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Checkmate!

This mirror is part of a whole slew of mirrors that I banged out in preparation for the Sandy Hill craft show (more scintillating posts to follow soon). I was lucky enough to find a whack of these Ikea Malma mirrors at various garage sales all over Ottawa this summer. We actually had fabulous luck in the garage sale department this summer. Humour me by letting me regale you with a tale of our garage sale luck.

One day, as we waited for the groomer to finish with Dexter, we cruised the nearby sales. I bought 2 of these mirrors at one of the sales, so I was already pretty happy, but then we stumbled upon the mother lode. Someone was selling their espresso machine. And, joy of joys, it had a milk frother!!! (In case you couldn’t tell, I enjoy my coffee with milk.) The guys was asking $10, which, in retrospect, was a pretty good price. We hemmed and hawed, but eventually walked away empty-handed. Our rationale: we didn’t need more ‘stuff’. As we wandered around a couple more sales, our conversation kept coming back to that darn espresso maker. We eventually decided to go back and see if it was still there. If it was, it was a sign from the coffee deities that we should buy it. If it wasn’t, well, it just wasn’t meant to be. So we returned. And lo and behold, there it was, in all its coffee-making glory. And, wonder of wonders, the price had magically dropped to $7! So we immediately shelled out, right? Wrong! We hemmed and hawed again! We peppered the guy with questions: Does it work? Really, does it work? Why are you getting rid of it? Is it heavy (we had to walk about 2.5 km with it)? Does it work? And then, you’ll never believe this. He turned to us and said (and not even in an exasperated tone, which is even more astounding): “You know what? I just want to get rid of it. Really. Just take it. Please.” And you know what the best part is? We weren’t even trying to talk him down in price. But I digress…

Let’s get back to business. The mirror. At first I wanted it to have 8 different coloured squares. Then I looked in my glass bins and was horrified to see that my colour selection was severely depleted. I couldn’t even scrounge up 4 colours (well, 4 colours that looked good together). In fact, even the 2 colours I picked were a bit scant, so I had to supplement them with grey. It’s times like these when I find myself wishing for a wealthy arts (OK, crafts) patron for whom money is no object and who will keep me well supplied with fabulously gorgeous glass (and tasty wine and coffee with milk and dark chocolate…). What? A girl can dream, can’t she?

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From big to small

Next on my list of projects was a small mirror that I made as a wedding present for a friend. It was quite a change going from doing 2 big tables to doing a small mirror. I was used to having lots of room to play with the glass, and now I felt a bit constricted. Choosing the colours is always tough, but it was especially difficult in this case because I couldn’t remember what colour scheme my friend had in her house. Thankfully I lucked out and red was a perfect choice! Other than that, there’s not much a story behind this piece, I’m afraid.

Mirror for Sharm's wedding

Mirror for Sharm’s wedding

My apologies for the rather ghetto-looking picture – back then, I was still kind of learning how to photograph my mosaics. The 2 nice pictures of my tables (as seen in my previous 2 posts) were taken years later, after I had finally figured out how to take a good picture of a piece – the original pictures of the tables were every bit as painful as this one. Alas, there was no “do over” option for the mirror since it has long been out of my possession. Seriously though, who picks an afghan as a nice, sophisticated yet simple background?? Sheesh. Highly embarrassing.

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