Monday, October 15, 2018

Mosaic Mandala Bathroom Floor

I’ve been very busy since the end of August making mosaic mandalas for my bathroom floor. My bath has been on track for a remodel for the past 3 years but we had to remodel the other bath first.  Deciding what to do with a clean slate is always fun and since it’s my bath I could make it into whatever I wanted. I decided to go talk to my favorite tile girl at Battle Creek Tile & Mosaic, Alissa and she let me go through her back room of tile scraps and I picked up a ton of tiles to use in my floor. I chose white arabesque wavy tiles for the wall with a black border at the top and a black border around the floor to frame it. 

This is the original 1960's bath, have I ever told you that I really hate brown! I did however love the height of the tile but this full sized vanity had to go, it took up half the walk way. I’ll post more photos once the vanity and toilet are in. 

Here's the room gutted, it looks so much bigger, the floor space is under 40 square feet. I got a new tub you can just see off to the right that’s extra deep, I’m really looking forward to that first bath!

I decided that I would build the mandalas on contact paper and just for your info, if you try this get the Duct contact paper not the contact brand, it’s about three times stickier and you won’t have half as many misplaced tiles with it like that one in the middle there. 


After building what I thought was a ton of Mandalas I started placing them on the floor this was quite a long process that took me almost two weeks just to dry fit it! When this project started I thought I would need about 40 mandalas but it ended up needing 80!😳 The mandalas I had ready at this point only took me about a third of the way across the floor. 


When you slide circles together you end up with some holes that need to be filled with something and I found this star shape tile that was super easy to work with but they had to be cut to fit and that took forever!  Jerry my amazing tile guy told me I couldn't have any holes bigger than a dime. 

I layered the star tile on top of the shape I was trying to fill in and could kinda see the shape underneath so I took a chalk marker and traced where I thought I should nip the tiles. It wasn’t a perfect method but it worked ok and when I screwed up with these small tiles it was pretty easy to fix. Below is one filled area and at this point it felt like I had a million more. 

I even signed and dated it off to one edge. Once I got the whole floor dry fit I used a special super thick extremely sticky tape that came on a 50 foot roll and was 18 inches wide. It was a two person job to cover the whole floor with this sticky plastic and I had to do it as I went because there was no walking on the floor without it down. This plastic then had to be cut down to manageable sized pieces but we did this as we we went.  I tried to put the tile down myself but found I was not able to finesse the mud so I called in the big guns, Jerry and I worked together to get it into the thin set.  Since I had a lot of clear glass tiles we had to use white thin set, this meant that all the mud that came up between the smaller tiles had to be carved out with a box knife or screwdriver. It took me two days to go over every inch and remove all the mud that came up to high, even then Jerry still found some that were to high and had to cut them down as he grouted because the grout is black and it stuck out something terrible.  All in all this was a fun project but we had some hiccups along the way, we forgot to take the contact paper off the back of 2 mandalas and as I was cleaning the thin set from between the tiles I realized it luckily before we grouted. My builder didn’t talk to my tile folks like I asked him to and he put down the wrong underlayment, it had to be taken up and replaced so Jerry ended up doing that work along with patching two holes in the wall the builder should have worked on. He also didn’t talk to the plumber so no one realized I needed a plug behind the toilet for my new fancy toilet seat. Needless to say we are finishing the bath up ourself because this builder isn’t welcome back, luckily I only paid him for half the project up front and that’s about all he finished!

If you decide you want to take on this challenge in your own home find some amazing tile folks because without Jerry and Alissa at Battle Creek Tile & Mosaics this project never could have happened. I had just enough knowledge to get myself into trouble and Jerry saved the day over and over. By the way this is my very first mosaic project, go big or go home, LOL. 



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tiny Vessle Necklaces

I didn’t get all I wanted to get done but here is what I was able to manage before the show this Saturday. These all measure under 2 inches and are great to store your favorite oils. They come on a 30 inch long ball chain that you can double up to wear as a choker or wear it long. 

Sugar Skull Bracelets


I worked on these sugar skull bracelets for the Bewitching Peddlers show show this Saturday and I think they are just as cute as can be. The bracelet section is one of my favorite designs and if you get it on properly they will never flip to the wrong side.  The beads were crafted by the extremely talented Terra Belinsky-Yoder. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tye Die 

We had a great time at our second annual glass girls cabin retreat, each year we have a bunch of projects over the 4 days here is my favorite project, the yearly tie dye binge. 

Flour sack kitchen towels. 

Burp cloths. 

Sport bras. 

Onesies. 

Caldron Bubble Necklaces

My good friend Cara makes these amazing glass bubbles that I’ve turned into lightweight fun to wear necklaces. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Winged Vessel Necklaces

I’m working on some metal and blown globe vessels. These are great for essential oils, a favorite perfume, tiny notes, ashes, sand or what ever tiny treasure you might want to wear.  All the wire and copper is recycled material paired with a hand blown vessel created by yours truly. This one was blown out of a silver glass and that’s why it reflects the rainbow. Silver glass runs about $100.00 a pound so I’m thankful that these don’t take a lot of glass to make but it’s still more than the regular colors so these will be a tad bit higher priced. The silver glass vessels will be $50 and the regular glass ones will be $45. I’ve got plans for some other styles of wings incase these aren’t your thing. These will not be available for sale until the Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween show September 29th at the Marshal, MI fair grounds. I hope to see you there. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Mandala

I’ve been working on something other than jewelry since my classes ended and I’m really getting excited about it because I feel like it’s finally coming together. 

My bathroom has been in slow decline the past couple years but we had to remodel Dave’s bath before we could do mine. His was so bad I wouldn’t use his shower. They had been put off to send the boys to college and thankfully we are done with that. 

Now on to the fun stuff. Every since I saw the most beautiful mosaic floor in a tiny powder room of a 100 year old home I have wanted to do a mosaic bathroom floor myself. I honestly almost decided not to do it because I just wasn’t sure I was brave enough!  I bit the bullet and decided to dive on in. I decided that I really enjoy using other peoples junk and my local tile company has a back room full of left over tile from jobs just waiting for a home so I dug through them to find bits and pieces that would work to make mandalas. First I decided on a wall tile. 

And I plan to use black grout and black tiles in the background of my mandalas. Here’s a photo of my inspiration for the floor. 

I want mine to be much brighter than this but with the black background, here are the start to some of mine. 

These are mini ones that only measure about 6 inches across. 

This is one of the larger ones and it’s a foot across. 

Here they are laying on top of the old bathroom tile. I figure I’ll need around 40 of them. When installed they will look like they are above and behind each other like the inspiration photo. 

Here is a little peak at some of the goodies I have to work with. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Funky Ring Prototype

I had an idea for a ring that was a little strange but I thought I would give it a go and push my skills. Well it pushed them so far that this ring isn’t sellable but I learned oh so much. The next one will be wonderful I’m sure. Soldering is something I’m finally getting a handle on and working with so many parts is hard to think through, I over heated this while putting the balls on and didn’t realize my bezel had come partially unsoldered until the Stone was set and it was all polished up. 


Thursday, July 19, 2018

New Bezel Bracelet

Here are the Glamor shot for my Richard Salley bracelet. I couldn’t have done this without the Bezel setting class I’ve been taking at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Seven weeks ago I had never even set a bezel and this is a really big stone. 

 Richard is an amazing teacher and always builds such interesting mechanics into these pieces. This one is adjustable and has the tiniest of pins that allows you to change the size of it. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Window Project

Sometimes I use my artsy fartsy  crafty side to fix problems around the home and this is one I’m really happy with. I’ve always felt like we lived in a giant fish bowl but with the dog curtains and blinds would be messed up in a day so what to do, Pintress to the rescue. I purchased frosted window cling sheet and cut out all these hexagons using a hex quilting ruler. I actually put them up solid and decided after they were up what spaces needed to be removed. I then had a friend help me cut bees out with a silhouette cutter. 


From the inside at night before the bees were applied. 

Looking out during the he day. 


Looking in at night. 

I also did the back window at the top to tie it all together.  I’ve got to touch up where the curtain rods were.  

Lauren's Bezels, Bezels, Bezels, Class

I’m half way through Lauren’s class at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, I’ve never done any bezel work before this class and they are coming along nicely. I decided to set 10 oval or round stones for the first part of the 8 week class. 


Here is the first step. 

Here’s my crazy idea for a ring, not sure how it’s going to pan out. 

This ring turned out amazingly no and that square band is oh so comfortable. 


This is my favorite so far. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Leno Block Cutting

I’m taking a class at the Kalamazoo Institute Of Arts in Lino cutting and I’m loving it. I think I may have done one in art in high school but I haven’t done it again till now. Here are my cuts so far. 


Here’s my first go at the Leno block cutting, I plan on printing on a shirt with this. 


I cut this one for a friend, she plans on using it for her business logo.


I had to mirror this for the photo, it’s 8 inches across and is going on tote bags. 


My last one for today is a tiny bee, he measures 2 inches tall. I plan to print flour sack towels for my kitchen. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bee Crazy

Tiny bees are something I’ve always loved this one isn’t as tiny as some I’ve seen he is 3/4 of an inch tall, the texture turned out so well I can’t wait to make more. 


Not a great photo cuz it’s really hard to take a photo of your own neck. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Work

I’ve had so much fun with the electroplating that I can hardly wait to share it. 

This star came out looking like something found in a treasure chest from the titanic, I t’s just over 2 inches tall.


This piece is already sold but I plan to make another soon. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Electroforming Fun

I’ve been playing with electroforming after about ten years and I forgot just how much fun and unpredictable it is. 


This beautiful crystal is topped with a purple druzy my friend Melissa gave me. It’s about 2.5 inches long and has a ton of amazing texture. 




This tiny fairy door sets on a hand cut lapis door step. It measures 1.5 inches tall, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen red come up using liver of sulphur, that’s not a filter. 


I love how this one turned out, it's topped by a very colorful crystal and measures 2.5 inches tall. 


Mr Nome is all of an inch and a half tall and really woody looking.