Monday, 11 May 2009

Fab weekend :o)

This weekend was one of the best I've had in ages and it was full of crafty goodness. Most of the weekend was spent at a fab workshop in London playing with these:

Yummy mosaic tiles. I've wanted to learn how to mosaic for ages so my hopes were pretty high for the course. I wasn't disappointed. Our teacher, Jo, took us through the basics of nipping mosaic tiles into different shapes and how to fix them and then we were away. After drawing a brief sketch on a piece of mdf we started nipping tiles into shape and sticking them to our boards. First we were all quite nervous - gently nibbling at the tiles but after half an hour or so small pieces of glass and ceramic were flying everywhere as we descended into a nipping frenzy. I was in heaven - the tiles were all so pretty and shiny and I got to play with them.

The design I had in mind before I arrived was for some stylised modern poppies but it turns out that red is one of the rarer shades of tile and there were no enough variations to make my plan work. In contrast green and blue came in every shade you could imagine since most tiles are made for the swimming pools! As I worked I started to understand the shapes I could make and the properties of the different tiles and adapted my design accordingly.

These were the results at the end of the first day:

During the second day of the workshop I really started to get the hang of cutting and placing the tiles. I was able to shape the tiles more accurately and I place them closer together. This was great although it did have the unfortunate side effect that I wanted to redo all the parts I did on Saturday! I resisted the temptation to do this (knowing I would never finish if I did) and this was the result by mid afternoon yesterday:

The last part of the process was to grout the tiles. As the colours I used were all quite light I went for a light grey grout. Its amazing the different that grouting makes - it completely changes the design. This was the finished result:

I am really pleased with it. It looks nothing like my original plan but it is more professional looking than I ever expected. I can't say that it is what I would do if I had the chance again - I would do something in much brighter colours (I think mine is a little wishy!) with different patterns (I'd like to do something more geometric I think) - but that is what learning is all about. One of the other great things on the course was seeing what everyone else was doing and seeing how it developed. I'd really like to have another go now I have a better understanding of what can be done with the tiles, how the colours look and what the grouting does to the design.
In the middle of the mosaic-ing weekend I also found some time on Saturday night to make 20 cards for my mum whilst watching a recording of Kirstie's Homemade home (my quilt is never going to be as good as hers!). The cards are good luck cards for my mum to give to the other performers in the amateur show she is in (it has a Mexican theme!). I think they are quite effective for something so cheap and quick to make:

Just before I stumbled off to bed last night exhausted but happy something supremely exciting and momentous happened. At 20.41 exactly I made my FIRST EVER SALE in my folksy shop. I am so pleased. YAY!

This little fella is already winging his way to a new owner. I know I will miss him but I'm happy to share his love with someone else! Plus, there is plenty more where that came from...

Now off to art class....
Dotty xx


Anonymous said...

I am so jealous!!!!
I wish my mosaics looked more like that!!!!

Sandra @ Pepperberry and Co. said...

Oh no! My monster is gone :-( I wish him a wonderful, charmed life with his new parents.

That mosaic is stunning! Well done. It sounds like such a fun course. I can't wait to see what you make next with your new skills! xx

Anonymous said...

Yeah I have done a couple of mosaics at school before. If you can call them mosaics!!! They looked more like random shards of plates scattered everywhere.

It's A Wonderful said...

Lovely job! I wish I could do that! I love the design. Be a luv and come tile my table-top for me...the glass broke and now I have no top.

Bee Designs said...

Your mosaic is gorgeous and you're right, what a difference the grout makes. Congratulations on your sale, it's so exciting isn't it when you get your first sale! Here's to many more!!!

Kitty said...

Wow - I am seriously impressed that you managed to do that on your first ever 'go' at mosaic-ing. It's beautiful. Will you do more?

Congratulations on your sale - I'm not surprised though - he's a lovely little chap.


Sophie said...


sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

I like everything you've made, especially the 'cactus card' and felt fish! Best wishes.

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