Archive for February, 2012

In the Studio

Happy Leap Year!

It’s been quiet this week in the studio. The muse has decided to go to sleep for a bit to allow my body to heal a little bit more. I was concerned that she’d taken a hike forever, as I always am when inspiration leaves me, but I know after doing a few things like taking some photos recently, that she’s just resting. It’s good because my left shoulder down to my fingertips still give me trouble and are in pain often. The longer I give the RSI to completely heal, the better off I’ll be. When I feel the need to be creative, even in pain, I will push to get what I see in my head out into a mosaic or a painted object. Now that I’ve not had much motivation to mosaic, the healing can continue unhindered.

all covered up and resting ... work table and the blanket chest next to it

It was suggested that I cover the area where I work so I don’t continuously feel upset or bothered by the fact that I am not being creative at the moment. I share my bed with this work space and staring at it in disarray, messy and becoming dusty didn’t help me at all. It is still right next to my bed but now I am not thinking thoughts like: “I have to do something to clean up that table” or “I should be working on that glass plate and get it listed”. I know that I will do both of those things soon. For now, I am allowing the muse to sleep. Each time she is well rested and comes to life again, the creativity inside goes to a new level. It’s exciting because sometimes it goes in a different direction.

I have a dear friend who will be celebrating a birthday in March and I’ve found the perfect substrate to put a mosaic on for her. I’m hoping that when this weekend rolls around, I will be able to start the process of making her gift. If I just can’t do it, I will not be upset or push it. She knows me well and knows I will create something unique just with her in mind when I’ve got the spark back. It’s good to have friends who know you well.

Meanwhile, my grandson and I started our version of a garden in our kitchen window. Granted, it’s a jar of green onion rooted in water, but it’s a garden to my 4 year old grandson. He checks it every day to see how much each one has grown.

I cut a few new growths off this morning and added them to my scrambled eggs. If we tend to these well, we may never have to buy green onion again.

The photos taken over the weekend let me know that although the mosaic studio is quiet, the creative juices continue to flow. Here are a few that I really like a lot (my daughter took the first and last one) because of the colors or textures in them. All can be seen on my flickr photostream for those who would like to see them.

Using a good photo editor and some imagination took the fuzzy photos from the birthday party to a new level. Just because a few were out of focus (the last photo here was very fuzzy) didn’t mean they couldn’t be used.

Taking a walk on Sunday produced the last 3 photos plus many more. I only walked around the corner of the apartment complex to find a whole new world.

I listed an item on Etsy and Artsy Home this week. This was made in 2010 but with some updated photos and a good dusting, it seemed ready to be shared once again.

"Amongst The Clouds"

Amongst The Clouds
Mirror and stained glass.
Mosaic inside frame: 12×12 inches
Completed and Framed: 13×13 inches

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics


Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

©2012 ChairToSpare, Pair of Black Mid-Century Style Chairs, Price: $160.00

©2012 lunarloungedesign, RED line painting original artwork mid century modern, Price: $60.00

©2012 CoMod, Mid Century Modern Eames Inspired Coffee Table, Price: $325.00

©2012 MatchBlox, Mid Century Modern Atomic Retro Art Block Painting—MatchBlox—1152, Price: $25.00

©2012 ModPropShop, West German Alarm Clock Rare Mod Blessing Yellow - Free Shipping, Price: $72.50

©2012 poolponydesign, white cat, mid century design, art print, A4 size, Price: $35.00

©2012 minisx2, Mid Century Modern Miniature Floor Lamp in walnut 1:12 scale, Price: $33.00

Congrats to minisx2 for the sale of their awesome miniature floor lamp this week.

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

Stained Glass Mosaic Autumn Votive Candle Luminary Lantern Shelter Fall Leaves

Autumn colors in earth tones of yellow, green, amber and white were hand cut for this votive luminary. Grouted in charcoal.

Measurements: 3-1/2 inches high, 3-1/2 inch opening.

Stained Glass Mosaic Autumn Votive Candle Luminary Lantern Shelter Fall Leaves, Price: $48.25

Makes a great one-of-a-kind housewarming gift, great for the office at home or for a co-worker. Fits any decor making it a great wedding gift.

Comments from customers who have purchased luminaries made by EarthMotherMosaics:

“I have placed my new blue mosaic candle holder in a bright, shiny window and the colors that come through it are magnificent! When the sun hits it, the color bounces off of the walls. Thank you so much – it’s beautiful!”

“I have been looking for these stained glass candle holders for a week! I checked out OVER 30 different web sites, looking for that ‘special look and vibe’!! And yours, by far, was the best and the ones that really STOOD out! They are both soooo beautiful! I could not make up my mind, so I ‘had’ to buy both of them!!”

Votive and tea lights fit easily in this holder.

All of my mosaic candle luminaries change appearance depending on where you place it. My personal preference and for customers who have purchased these luminaries is placed in a window with natural light gleaming through it. A candle placed inside gives the whole room or just a corner of it a warm glow. Set it in the center of a table, sitting outside under cover or while soaking in a hot bath, my luminaries help sooth the spirit. Use it to hold flowers or other treasures.

Sealed but not waterproof. Do not submerge in water. Wipe with a damp cloth. No soap or cleanser is ever necessary in normal situations for any of my mosaics but if you really have to, you can use a window cleaner sparingly on a cloth and then wipe quickly on the mosaic. Clean off immediately to prevent streaks and clouding of glass and mirror. Warning: even though I use a grout sealant, grout will change appearance once glass cleaner is applied giving dark grout a white splotchy appearance in some instances. I highly recommend staying away from chemical cleansers when cleaning the mosaics I make.

Never leave a lit candle unattended. Clean inside of holder once wax has cooled completely. An easy way to keep the inside clean from wax build up is to place a piece of plastic from a discarded lid cut to fit inside. Once candle is finished, turn upside down and the plastic and candle debris come out easily.

Item price includes shipping, insurance and handling to the US. Please convo me for international shipping quotes.

Stained Glass Mosaic Autumn Votive Candle Luminary Lantern Shelter Fall Leaves, Price: $48.25

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

Next week I’m going to start to do some virtual shopping on some of the other teams I belong to and using them as inspirations for treasuries. It’s time to spread the love throughout all the teams!

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

In the Studio

Last week I took the week off from my normal social media routine to work on my auction piece for Doctors Without Borders. I spent a few days staring at designs and written ideas and nothing really popped out at me. I kept thinking as I often do that I wish I had an original thought or idea. Something uniquely me.

Early Tuesday morning I woke around 3 AM and knew the focal piece I wanted to use and I knew what I would do with it. Instead of writing things on paper as many do to help them remember what they saw in their sleep, I have to actually find what it was I saw and put it together on the work table. Sometimes it takes hours but I won’t be able to sleep until I’ve found what I saw in my sleep. After digging through a few boxes, I found the one piece I wanted. An old foiled piece of stained glass given to me a few years ago among many failed fused pieces and lots of scrap stained glass. There is also a few other foiled ones in this box too.

This particular piece was signed and dated which was something I hadn’t seen until Wednesday when I set to work on my piece. I tried to keep it visible but it wasn’t possible. I now know these pieces were made in the 80’s. Very cool.

In the photo below, the blue foiled piece in the center was the inspiration for this and what woke me in the wee hours.

"Syncopation" for the DWB/MSF Auction


6×6 inches
Found foiled stained glass (done in 1984), iridescent glass, stained glass, mirror, gems, millefiori

The definition of syncopation can mean, in music: A shift of accent in a passage or composition that occurs when a normally weak beat is stressed or something, such as rhythm, that is syncopated. After losing a lot of hand and arm strength during a recent injury, “Syncopation” is the perfect title for this. Using music as a metaphor for my mosaic work, it was easy to compare what I felt with this definition. Having an artistic beat, albeit weak, using the rhythms from my muse, this piece came to life.

Close up. "Syncopation" for the DWB/MSF Auction

You can find more information about the online auction here: and take the time to look through Lin’s website. She’s an outstanding artist. The auction is happening in September. I will provide the link for it when the time comes.

I also worked on a few things using dish shards. Good grief I am not very good with nipping any longer and with very little strength, cutting shards in just the right way was improbable at best. The results of all three are what I like to call “Folk Art” because the pieces are wonky. I’m not sure any will be up for sale. I am happy I’m still trying to use dish shards in my work but I have a long, long way to go before I feel comfortable using them.

Cottage chic tea pot - WIP

napkin holder/desk accessory in blue willow shards - WIP

vintage shards and pottery with stained glass and gems - WIP

The dishes on the tea pot shape were donated to me and I love these a lot. I think I’ve used almost all of them.

The napkin holder/desk accessory was an old wooden thing I had sitting around for years. Blue willow is everywhere around me because everyone knows how much I love the pattern. Whenever anyone finds a dish in this design, they save it for me! I’m happy to have so much here to use but my goodness I was surprised at the amount! There could still be some in storage too but right next to the work table I have 35 small to medium plates in this pattern. That’s awesome.

The peace sign is my least favorite so far. What I needed to do was put all the pieces aside and study them for a while but that’s not what I did. When I noticed that the wooden brooch for the center was the exact same flower as some of the dish shards I wanted to use (circa 1920) I rushed through it.

I hadn’t actually wanted to do more than one piece but I had mixed up thin set for the tea pot and made too much and these are what resulted!

The talent it takes to use shards isn’t beyond me but I haven’t honed the skill yet. Each time I start to get involved in shards, I want to do the next thing in stained glass and usually I end up doing many pieces in glass before trying shards again. I am happy that I want to use both kinds of tesserae but I would like to get better it.

Now that I have to alter how I work after my injury, I have found I’m starting completely over … again … and retraining myself. I have time to learn once again and I’m thankful for it. But I am a bit disappointed that I lost so much strength and with it, my ability to place pieces of glass and dish shards in a neater fashion.

I’ve done some prep work and I found some small MDF peace signs that I had put beads on last year. I had an idea for each one and after gluing the beads down I noticed they weren’t all staying on. Now I’m spending a lot of time yanking off the beads and have the idea to use glass on them instead. We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s what they look like now:

beads and millefiori glued to mdf

Kinda cool, I think, but as you can see, the beads aren’t staying too well. If I put glass and grout on these, I’ll probably do it on both sides like I did when I painted the other ones seen below:

available at Etsy

I call these “pieces of confetti”. Each side has a different design and when able to swing freely from the hanger, both sides are visible.

The customer picked up the baseball and catchers mask and liked them both very much. I’m glad, because the mask was a lot more challenging than I wanted it to be!

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

This is my entry for the On Fire For Handmade Team Treasury Challenge #37. The theme is “New Friends”. Combining talents from this team and the STATTeam (Self-Taught Artists Treasury Team) which I’m also a proud member of. The Featured Shops are:

Sigalit Alcalai


Sue Cashman

Stay peaceful.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

These particular group of posts are dedicated to the summer of 2011.

The mosaic gazing balls job that I did throughout the summer and into the fall that was ultimately rejected by the customer will be documented here in a series of posts, mostly because I think someone might be able to learn from my mistakes. I know I did. These “life lessons” can be used as a guide for many things, not just what I experienced.

This is going to be broken up into many parts in order to follow along and read each section without it taking hours of time. I haven’t written the entire series yet but am trying to stay a few posts ahead to keep the momentum going. I really have no idea how many posts there will be nor do I know how long it will take to share them.

I’ve broken it up into “life lessons” and each one explains what happened, shows photos when possible and shares what I’ve learned.

I am documenting everything from start to finish mostly for my own use. By the time the series is finished, I hope one other person can use this information and benefit from it.

In early 2011, I got an email from a potential customer asking me if I could make ten 12 inch gazing balls for her wedding with a budget of $1,000. I was blown away by the randomness of the request and having just heard about a new potential scam hitting artists at the time, I felt compelled to do some investigating. I discovered this person was indeed a real person and taking a chance, responded to her initial email.

After establishing that she was a legit person and possible potential customer, I asked her how she found me and why she wrote to me specifically. She found my website through an online search and saw I had made some gazing balls. She had contacted several artists asking them the same question she had asked me. She said they told her it couldn’t be done but wondered if that was how I felt too.

Never having done that many spheres before or having a budget quite as large as that, I had no idea if I could actually do what she was asking. After a few emails back and forth with her and looking at some supplies briefly online I decided it was possible and told her so.

I really needed to do something to feel useful as everything in my life both professional and personal was falling apart when she contacted me. I was out of work, out of funds and struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over my head. I wanted something to do, I imagine, probably so that the things that were going wrong would seem less daunting, frightening and downright scary. I know I needed to get my mind off of these things. What better, than a large mosaic job?!

Ultimately, in hindsight, if I had chatted with the many people I associate with daily through social media asking them for guidance before responding to her accepting the job, I’d have come to the same conclusion the other artists she contacted had.

FIRST LIFE LESSON: Never allow your emotions into a potential job.

Let me share a thoughtful hindsight: emotions should play no part in a job … ever … unless you’re a well paid actor. It’s not something that works well if you want to do custom work for a living. The old adage that says you should keep personal and professional lives separate can work for situations such as this if I had known it. I’m a year older and a year wiser.

While my mosaic work takes a lot of emotion to do, often lifting my spirits and making my soul sing when I create, this was a “real job”. My first in my mosaic life. I had no idea how to do anything but found it stimulating to learn. Excited, I could possibly have opened a whole new career making gazing balls as centerpieces for events in the future. This had me sleepless with possibilities! A nice change of pace. Most of my sleepless nights was wondering how I was going to pay the rent or feed myself. The bills were dangerously behind in payment.

While I still had the internet available to me at home, I set to work searching for everything I needed at a price I could afford to make 2 spherical prototypes in gold mirror and ordered it. Using 6 inch styrofoam balls I got at the craft store, I wanted to make one with gold mirror stained glass cut in triangles, one cut in squares. It was my thought that she would need to see the differences because each cut looks different when finished. And in the back of my mind I thought should I get asked in the future to make more spheres like this, these would be small enough to transport locally to share what they looked like. Those unknown online customers who were interested, could see the photos like this customer could. Awesome!

To be continued …

Stay peaceful.
©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics

%d bloggers like this: