Happy 4th of July!  Today, my family is heading out to see a parade. I’m staying home by choice because the heat we’ve been experiencing makes me sick. I will miss the tradition we’ve established for over 20 years, but I am not sorry I am taking care of myself and staying near the a/c. I’m grateful to have it, happy to know I will be able to function later on in the day and just as happy to know my family has gone on to enjoy the day, no matter if I am there or not!

It’s been a great week. An equal mixing of family time, craft time and relaxing.

I am happy to share the news of another sale on Etsy this week. The Ice Blue Sun Catcher that was listed last week is getting packed up and heading out soon. I’m thrilled people seem to like the glass-on-glass mosaics I list. Around this time of year, finding items that look awesome in the sun is important. These kinds of mosaics definitely look amazing when placed in sunlight!

Taking good photos of the mosaics I make, is an important element in making a sale. This is a personal favorite. The Camera Goddess was good to me that day!

The biggest thing happening at the crafts table this week is my latest 3-D project. It’s been fun to see it transform from an ugly thing to a whimsical piece of art and it’s not even gotten a mosaic on it yet! I was going to keep it under wraps until I had it mostly finished, but those who know me, know I just can’t keep quiet about something that is this much fun!

So here it is. The photo showing “before” and “after” and then a brief description, through photos, of some of the steps I took to make it. As always, my flickr photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosaic_queen2008/) will have step-by-step photos for those of you who’d like to see them.

“Before” and “After”

This sheep/dog/cow hand made wooden thingy was given to me a few years ago by my Dad after my Grandmother passed away. I believe it held paper napkins and possibly “the digest” and a roll of tp when she had it. I can’t be sure who made it, but I know it came from scraps of wood. When my Dad was digging through things to give me for art purposes mostly, he asked if I wanted it. I said I’d take it and put a mosaic on it. His response: “this thing? … really??”. It’s structure was sound and I knew eventually, something would pop into my head. It took 4 or 5 years of moving it from spot to spot, using it to hold glues and other small objects, grumping at it sometimes, hiding it others until I decided it was time to make it into something I could love. That epiphany came shortly after I dropped it on my foot the day I wore flip-flops. Ouch. It was time to either toss it out or do something with it!!

I used recycled pieces of Styrofoam, lots of tape and my imagination to build it.

Using tape and small pieces of broken up Styrofoam, I was able to move them around and build what I wanted to see before adding plaster cast strips to it. The nose and ears were worked on a lot after I saw this photo.

I knew I would make it an elephant. I found photos of elephants online and made them into a screen saver so that I could see them often. Then I allowed the images to flow in my head and this is what it looks like right now.

Close-up of nose and ears.

It has to get a layer of thin set on it so I know it will hold the weight of glass and grout and make it sturdier. Doesn’t it sort of look like a Hanna-Barbera Production drawing of The Flintstones’ elephant?? The one that helps Wilma vacuum?!? Obviously my brain works in a whimsical way and I’m okay with that!

I’m reminded of two highly influential people in my life throughout the years while working on my elephant. Laurel Skye, an amazing artist (http://www.laurelskye.com/laurelskye.com/Laurel_Skye.html) said in one of her books or many interviews that I’ve read throughout the years that you can look at the shape and use that to create art. Seeing her many bottles and lots of other things (shoes, clocks, etc) all done in beautiful mosaics, taught me to look at things in a different way.

And Dr. Wayne Dyer (http://www.drwaynedyer.com/) who is fond of saying: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” That has been a profound quote for me and I use it often (sometimes daily) to help me through my enlightened journey. And it works here in the studio too.

The mosaic design on this cool thing will be quite elaborate. I have started to find a new array of photos for the next screen saver to help me along the path as I cover it in stained glass and found objects. It will take a while but that just means the fun will last longer than usual! Yay! I said after the strips dried that it could be finished now, without a mosaic on it, because the strips make it look like real elephant skin. However, I saw it covered in pretty stained glass and other fun things as soon as I knew what it would be, and I will honor that vision and see it to it’s conclusion.

While waiting for the plaster to dry on the elephant, I picked up a small board and started putting a mosaic on it. It will have hooks on the bottom to hold keys, hats, a leash or two, etc. It might be listed on Etsy and IndieMade at some point, but it’s main purpose was just to keep me busy. Now I want to keep working on it before going back to the elephant so I guess this is what I’ll be working on later today before I start in on doing the thin set layer on the elephant.

I drew the sun by using my fingers for the rays on the board before adding the stained glass and mirror.

During one of my many “clean up the crafts area” frenzies, I misplaced my ruler so I can’t say for sure what the measurements are for this; guessing, I’d say it’s about 5 x 6 inches?

I’m doing the Photo A Day for July (http://fatmumslim.com.au/how-to-play/). I’ve been wanting to do one for a while but reluctant to try them, for some reason. Possibly fearing I would come up empty on one particular day or give up by day 7? After reading the list of daily challenges for this month, I thought it would be a good month to give it a go. I am adding a post on my other blog of the photos as I go. (http://theviewfromearth-earthmothermosaics.blogspot.com/) You can find them on flickr too.

Be at Peace.

©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics