Tag Archives | leaf

My last hurrah with stained glass (at least for a while)

This is it folks. The last stained-glass-only mosaic I intend to do for a good long while. Now it’s on to lots of quality time spent with my hammer and hardie. I’ve started to get back into the swing of things (get it? swing? like you swing a hammer? sorry, that was lame) with the Doodle Bug mosaic – just a quickie with smalti and marble – and then the plan is to FINALLY finish the mosaic I started way back during the Sonia King workshop.

But I digress. What I really want to show you is this new plate I’ve made. It’s stained glass (a very dark translucent grey fading to an opaque green/black combo) with hints of mirror scattered throughout. I like the darkness of it and how much it contrasts with the last leaf plate I did. The mirror was provided by a fellow tree-hugger, who found a box of broken mirror sitting on the side of the road and knew I was just the person to put it to good use. And the plate is, of course, a thrift store find.

So, um, here it is!

stained glass mosaic on wood leaf plate

I was super close to running out of glass on this one! No room for error.

close-up of stained glass mosaic leaf plate

Zoom in!



Sometimes you just need to step away

Thank goodness for fresh eyes!

Thank goodness for fresh eyes!

This piece – done on a leaf-shaped wood plate that was handmade in Haiti – is another one where I was working on my crazy paving and blending colours. The end result is nothing like I had originally envisioned. My initial idea was to use three colours (the green and blue that you see here, plus a nice yellow that was neither too loud nor too muted) and make them radiate out from the centre of the leaf – the middle / vein would be blue, moving to green, and finally to yellow at the edges. In my head it looked oh so lovely.

But by the time I had started to transition from the blue to the green, it became obvious that there wasn’t going to be any room left to fade to yellow. Hmmmpf. Back to the drawing board. New idea: bring in the yellow at the top and fade it out as you move down the leaf. Yes, that would work. But in this configuration, the yellow now looked too harsh. Sigh. I rummaged through my glass stash half-heartedly, but I was feeling pretty stuck. Luckily, it was time to go home to Kitchener for Christmas and I was forced to step away for a few days.

Over Christmas break, I kept mulling over different options in my head.  I kept coming back to this pink glass I had seen while rooting through my bins. Once back in Ottawa, I hauled out the pink glass, held it up against the blue and green sections of the plate and my gut said yes, this is the one. The green and white swirls in the pink glass were just what I needed to help transition between it and the green glass I was already using.

This is the first time that I’ve really had to step away from a mosaic in order to come back at it with fresh eyes, and it’s funny how something so simple can be all that’s standing between you and the way forward. It’s definitely a lesson I will remember in the future, as I’m sure this won’t be the last time I need to do it.

PS This piece is available over in my Etsy shop if you’re so inclined…

Here's a better view of that pink with the hints of green and white

Here’s a better view of that pink with the hints of green and white




When I first saw this plate at the thrift store, I knew immediately that it had the potential to be a stunning mosaic. I slapped a few coats of varnish on it, but once I saw it all shiny and cleaned up, I just couldn’t bring myself to cover it in bits of glass and grout. It looked so lovely naked. So I set it out on our coffee table and there it stayed for quite a few months.

Then spring rolled around and I was overcome with the urge to [attempt to] declutter our 1-bedroom apartment. In one swift movement, I grabbed the plate, marched it into my new little mosaic nook, got out my bins of glass, and went to work. It actually didn’t take as long as I anticipated to get the pieces glued down, but once I was done I realized I had run out of grout.

So one weekend, after dropping Dexter off at the groomer’s, I found myself with four hours to kill. The perfect opportunity to pop over to the hardware store. Do you know how long it took me to get there and back (by bus)? About 2 hours. Wanna know how much of that time was actually spent in the store? Roughly 15 minutes. Yah. Saturday bus service in Ottawa is not super efficient, to say the least. Anyway, I got my grout (and listened to quite a few podcasts of The Current in the process) and was finally able to put the finishing touches on this bad boy.


You spin me right round, baby

Looking back on my childhood I realize that I’ve always kind of liked turny thingies. I loved merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, those little turning platforms that you stood on and twisted right and left to slim and sleek your waistline (popular exercise gadget of the 80s), and, of course, lazy Susans. Even now, I smile on the inside when I’m chez mes parents and we pull out the lazy Susan to play Scrabble … although that warm fuzzy feeling is quickly replaced with feelings of frustration and despair as my mother handily kicks my ass. As you can imagine, I was filled with sunny, happy thoughts when I saw this lazy Susan just waiting to be mosaicked.

The inspiration for the design actually came from a Chrismas card I received this year. As work progressed, I took more and more artistic liberties and if you were to look at the card and the end product, you’d never guess that the former inspired the latter. Anyway, this little beaut was snatched up by a friend, who gave it as a wedding gift to friends of hers. I felt quite honoured that someone thought it was good enough to be given as a gift. I was admittedly a wee bit sad to see my little piece of turning delight go, but the money in my wallet quickly eased my pain…


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