Tag Archives | Mirror

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!

 

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A(nother) wedding mosaic!

Very loose interpretation of trees and a stream

So apparently mosaics make for great wedding gifts! This is the 5th or 6th one that’s been snatched up for just such a purpose. Well, technically speaking, this one wasn’t exactly snatched up… it was requested by the bride and groom themselves.

They pretty much gave me complete freedom to do whatever I wanted. The only parameter was that they wanted something inspired by their outdoor wedding location: trees and a stream. Obviously, I took quite a few artistic liberties.

Two little things to point out: (1) If you look closely, you might be able to see that I used two different grout colours (grey for the water part, brown for the trees). It was the first time I’d tried that and I’m not sure why I was so intimidated by the prospect – it was easy peasy! (2) See the little bit of mirror in the bottom right-hand area of the mosaic? That was found by the dumpster with some post-its on it that said “You are beautiful in every way” and “Remember to take your vitamins”. Just a little bit of trivia for ya!

Up close and personal

 

 

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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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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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A broken mirror resurrected

This piece has been done for forever, but I’m only just getting around to posting it because I’ve only just gotten around to taking a picture of it. Why, you ask? Well, 2 reasons: (1) I’m lazy / forgetful and (2) do you know how hard it is to photograph mirrors?? I can’t seem to get a good picture inside because the flash totally buggers things up, but today was a lovely sunny day so I was able to take this guy outside and snap some shots. And yes, those are telephone wires in the reflection. Sorry.

I guess one interesting tidbit about this plate is that the mirror was found in the trash. Yes, the trash. The neighbourhood where I live is overrun with students and at the end of each semester it seems that the dumpsters just overflow with perfectly good stuff they’re throwing out as they move back home to live with mummy and daddy for the summer. As my primary school librarian used to say in a very exasperated tone, “Kids, kids, kids…”

Anyway, one day I got home from work and there was this large mirror just sitting beside the dumpster, which I can see from my living room window (yes, it’s all quite scenic). Granted, it was a little bit chipped here and there, but for the most part it was in good shape. I thought to myself, “Julie, there’s a mosaic in that mirror.” So I grabbed an empty cereal box and my partner (dumpster diving is always more fun in pairs) and out we went. Of course, the mirror was too big to fit in the cereal box so we set about breaking it up, which was much easier said than done in the end-of-winter melting snow and mud (although there was something quite satisfying about stomping on the glass to break it).

And that’s how this plate came to be. It’s just one of the many treasures we’ve found in the trash here in Ottawa. Maybe I’ll tell you about our other finds sometime…like when I’ve got no mosaics to blog about yet have an urge to write.

 

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