Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Marvelous Mosaics!

Over the last few days, I have been working on two small mosaic letters - an A, and an E (for my sister and I). I love making mosaics! Somehow, sticking little pieces of coloured glass onto something to create art is completely relaxing - and doesn't take too much energy!

I recently bought a lot of pretty glass square mosaic tiles from Mandala Art, and I used these tiles for this project. I am really proud of what I have done, and I took pictures every step of the way - so here is how I made my latest two mosaics!

Step 1 

To start with, I got some wooden letters from the craft store, and used a pencil to plot out my ideas onto the wood. I decided that I wanted to do some flowers - with a green background on the A, and a rainbow background on the E. (I also planned to do some hearts as well - but I scrapped this idea partway through, as I didn't want the design to be too busy).

Step 2

For the flowers, I knew that I would need to cut some of the square glass tiles into circles and petal shapes (a square with two opposite corners trimmed off) using a glass cutting tool - so I started with this first. I lay the cut glass pieces out on my wooden letters so that I could get an idea of what the finished design would look like. 

I also cut some extra petal shapes in green to make leaves =).

Step 3

I started to glue the flowers (and some stems and leaves) onto the wooden letters, using a clear-drying multi-purpose Modge Podge sealer/glue/gloss that I got from the craft store. 

Step 4

After gluing the flowers, stems and leaves onto my letters, my next task was to fill in the background area. I cut some of my tiles into rough shapes, and used these to fill in the background area - cutting special bits to fill in the spaces, and leaving a small amount of space between the tiles for the grout. 

Step 5 

After covering the letters with tiles, I had to wait for the glue to be completely set before the grouting process could begin! I have to admit - I'd worried that grouting would be messy and difficult - but it actually turned out to be a lot neater and easier than I'd thought it would be! 

I mixed a small amount of grout powder in a paper cup - adding water gradually (sort of like making icing/frosting with icing sugar and water) until it got to a smooth and toothpaste-like consistency. Then, I spooned some grout onto my letters and used a mini-squeegee to work the grout into all the gaps between the tiles.

The result was white letters! I then had to wait until the grout was 'slightly dry' (which was a bit of a relative instruction) before removing the excess grout from the tiles. I had a cup of tea, then wiped the excess grout off with some damp paper towel (as it proved far easier than using the suggested damp sponge). I then left the grout to harden for 24 hours.

Step 6 

The next step was to polish the tiles with a soft cloth (damp paper towel worked better, again), and to finish off the edges of my letters. I chose to paint the sides of the letters white - to match the grout - using an acrylic paint. 

Step 7 

The last thing left to do (after the white paint was dry) was to add a clear acrylic gloss coat to the sides of my letters (and clean the fingerprints off the tiles from where I had been holding them).

When the gloss was dry, my creations were complete!


I will definitely be making more mosaic art in the future!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Some More Cat Pics!

Here are some updated pictures of our two lovely cats (taken over the last couple of weeks). Jasper and Lily are five months old now, and we love them! 

Lily on a blanket on Kec's lap!
Jasper cuddled up in a blanket on the floor!
Jasper, using the cat-tree as a lookout! 
Lily in a bag! 
Lily on my lap!
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