Progress with the gazing balls has stalled: With this week’s weather came the realization that I was getting nowhere really fast in building up the 6 inch gazing ball into a 12 inch sized one. The concept was a good one. But the weather has left the process of adding cement to build up the foam ball a very slow one. I have not gotten one completed and ready for the second part of the prep (adding the waterproof membrane). There are 10 to make before November. Yikes. At this rate, I won’t have them ready. That is not an option. Working on them the way I had been has now stalled and had me perplexed as to what to do instead.

After putting cement on the largest one a few days ago during the rain from the hurricane, I’ve noticed it is still slightly damp. Not good. Time to figure out something else … this method is taking too long.

I will experiment with this way of making them again or continue with the ones I’ve started at a later date to see if I can build the biggest one up to 12 inches as I believed I could. With the changes in weather, it’s possible it will dry but crack as it gets larger. That is something I will definitely continue with once this custom order is finished.

I’ve set all 5 aside that I’ve got started in different stages of prep work and am starting over from scratch.

back to the drawing board

This IS the way the creative process works for me. Experimenting, teaching myself what works and what doesn’t. I always keep trying and never call any of it a failure anymore. If I’ve learned something from it (and I always do) it is a success. The outcome may not be what I expected, but it’s not a failure. Deciding to try something different and teaching myself how to do it makes the whole thing exciting and enjoyable. I love what I do!! There’s a life lesson in there somewhere too, I’m sure.

Interesting side note: Many have offered up ideas on how to create spheres but most of those are for a flat sided bottom. These particular ones need to be circular all the way around which is why I picked the foam ball to work on.

I’m saving the suggestions in a file on my computer. Presenting them at a later date once I have tried them all out to see how well they worked and my opinions on each one is something I plan to do. It’s great to have so many folks offering up things. I thank you all and keep them coming!

For this order, I need to figure out what else I can use to get the results I need with such a limited budget. After talking it over with my family, we came across some good ideas. The words “make a mold” kept popping up but I don’t really have the resources to make one strong enough to use for 10 balls. But the idea stuck with me. Plan B was born.

Here I go again: I’m heading towards the storage unit … again … to get one of the bowling balls I’ve got stashed in storage for mosaic magic that caught my eye the last time I visited. When I was moving, I had asked the kids who were carrying these heavy boxes down two flights of steps to take out the balls that had been placed in a box and carry them separately. When the kids emptied the rental truck and packed up the unit, the balls were scattered here and there. I believe I have 4 still to cover in stained glass/dish shards. Woo-hoo and yippy skippy! But that is not the point.

The point is this: I saw one I can use as a template for making molds, I know exactly where it is and I’m going to go get it!

The Plan: Once I bring it home I will experiment with the plaster cast strips (fun!!) and create a mold using the bowling ball as a template. If it’s 12 inches I can pretty much get going on the next phase within the next 2 weeks which will keep me on schedule. A very good thing.

To make sure it won’t fold into itself once I add heavy things on top of it, I will experiment with how to make the inside as solid as I can. Spray insulation foam was mentioned this morning … that’s a great place to start! I love brainstorming with my family and friends. I can’t wait to try that to see what happens. I will, naturally, take pictures and share what I’m doing as I go.

Other mosaic stuff: I only worked on one mosaic this week and it took me about 10 minutes. It’s all my brain could handle so it worked out perfectly.

A glass plate like the others I put glass on a few weeks ago had hairline cracks in the center and when I placed a few pieces of stained glass on it, they were visible. I actually had two like that. One I decided to try to nip up and use the clear glass on something else but it is thick and very solid. It was difficult to nip and will eventually be used in something at some point. I never throw anything away if I can help it.

After studying the cracks on this plate for a few minutes, I picked up a piece of Corelle from a dinner plate my daughter broke and donated to my cause. I thought it would work well on this. I added it to the center and stopped. Whoa. I had thought about covering the whole thing, but I like it this way. 10 minutes, if that, and I was finished with it until the glue is dry so I can grout.

By the way, the Corelle nipped easily, much to my surprise. I had heard it was impossible to cut for use in mosaics. This plate is very thin; perhaps mugs and thicker dinnerware are more difficult? I might add a tint to some white grout to give it a little more “pop”. Maybe green or orange.

Not all weeks are creative: I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but it seems that saying: “make something every day” isn’t possible for me. I know I do better work when I’m more productive. But I am not productive every day. I follow the muse whenever possible. She doesn’t always want to work every day. And I’m okay with that.

Some weeks are very productive in the studio, very creative, feeling Zen and in the moment. It’s very cool, I think, to lose time and not be aware of anything except what is in front of me.

Some weeks it’s all about thinking on what to do when the next wave of creativity comes, taking notes (I don’t draw but usually doodle an idea or thought with lots of notes around it), networking, socializing, visiting artists websites because I love to see how creative my online friends have been or virtual shopping on Etsy to pick things for the Treasury’s and now for my daily find on Tumblr. And, every so often, coming up with a “Plan B” for custom orders. 🙂

Pondering: When I do a treasury on Etsy, I always send an email to the shops and let them know their item has been featured and how I share the treasury. I give the links to my blog and Facebook page so they can share the info with their own peeps on their own blogs and pages.

I’m having more difficulty coming up with a way to share the daily find on Tumblr with those involved. I want to let the person know that their item has been featured but I am finding it hard to know what is considered proper etiquette with this. Because I am not sure how to do it, on Saturday’s from this point on, instead of sending them an email letting them know an item was featured on Tumblr, I am going to post the photos and links of the weeks worth of items here. Each week is a themed one, and seeing them altogether in one place will be kind of neat anyway. Hopefully they will find out on their own that they’ve been blogged and an item featured.

As someone who used to do a lot of searching to find out if that was the case when I listed a new item or made something for sale, I think it is a nice way to let them know, through email, that I have featured an item. I always want to make sure the folks who do the work taking the hundreds of photos and dwindling them down to just a few, finding the right words to describe what they’ve got to sell and hope they’ve priced it accordingly get some kind of recognition. I’ve been there, I know how long and hard it is to do the marketing. I love it, but it is very time consuming and not something I can do at this moment in my life. But I can still show the love I have for color and design styles and help them make a sale (fingers crossed). I like to get feedback on items I find too. Some times the colors or styles are just awesome!

SHARE THE LOVE: If you should see a particular item that catches your eye, share it with your friends and virtual social gathering places. It’s how sales are often made or at the very least, how you find a cool shop you didn’t know existed. The person who took the hours setting everything up just right, will be grateful for it. It’s nice to share. And it’s even nicer to share the love.


©2011 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics