Friday, July 16, 2010


Let's start off with something fun, shall we? This was for the previous Christmas, I believe. I saw these Moderny-type Rag Dolls on the Anthropologie Website and my mind said 'challange'. I love looking on that site and others and seeing something that is really creative (and very expensive) and trying to make it myself (only less expensive). These were so fun. I changed the faces to make them a little less scary. (I know some of you are probably thinking they are still a bit scary, but stick with me here =). Sewing on those hats, BTW was a real trick. Not as easy as it looks. Unless you are, um, a better seamstress than I am (which maybe there was a better way of doing it, but I always figure out how to do it the hardest way possible).

Here is the back view:
Don't ya just love the little letter name-tags I stuck on their bummies? 'E' for Emma, 'K' for Kate. We must keep these things straight.
And, if you notice on the front side, I made the little kiss-marks on their cheeks match up so that they could have been kissing each other at the same time. (Am I wierd? I thought it was creative...really thinking things through, I'd say)

These are just some blankets I made for a few gals who had babies. The ideas for the making process came from ones I saw online. But the design of the pink ones (the house design and flower/lady bug) were my own.
Don't you just love how I switch from painting to mosaics, to murals, to sewing? I do. Dizzying, really.

Here is the latest Mosaic I did of Joseph Smith Jr., the Prophet. This one was the hardest one yet that I have tried to complete and I still wish I could have had more tile to make it the way I wante it. (ie. more colors to show even more depth.) I wanted to do it in sort of sepia/black and white tones. Partly because those were the colors I had, but also because I like the effect. On this one I ended up taking out several pieces over and over again because I wanted to get it just right. Mostly in the face, but I have never taken out so many pieces before.
Here is a closer look. As you can see, I printed out the image I wanted, making it the actual size I needed. I normally don't do this (becuase I think of it as 'cheating') but I ended up placing the printed out copy onto the board and, using a pencil, traced hard over all the important lines. I had tried to do it free hand with out any tracing, but Joseph Smith is such a recognizable person that I wanted to get it just right.
As you can see I switched back and forth between the print out and an actual picture of J.S. I did this to get the shading just right (since I couldn't trace in shading). There are places in his coat I wish I would have just done simpler, but oh well.
Here it is with Joseph completed. I sort of like it better this way, without the grout or background. I had the feeling he was actually looking at me, once I finished the eyes, and watched over my progress. =)  Silly, but looking into his eyes always gave me comfort for some reason. The painting this was based off of has always been my favorite of Joseph Smith. I love the pleasant smile on his face, totally at ease, and the style of which the painting was rendered in.
And here you can see it completed. I really struggled knowing what to do with the background. I made it ultra simple to contrast with the detail of Joseph, to make him really 'pop'. Behind him are supposed to be trees. There are different thicknesses in the tile and I made these pieces extra jagged (some of the green ones remind me of leaves, how they are jagged around the edges). It is always a little awkward using different thickenesses because when you grout you have to make sure you don't lose pieces underneath it. But I do all my grouting without gloves so that I can better feel each tile. Of course, this accounts for several cuts on my hands each time I do it. =)
I don't know if this helps, but here it is in different light. I took several pics of this, but will only show these two of the finished product.

NOTE: As of October 26, 2011, I was just informed that this peice was accepted to be displayed in the Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah exhibit at the Springville Museum of art!! The artwork in this exhibit will show from Oct. 29-Dec. 29. 2011.

I think I was gluttoned for punishment taking up one more mosaic that year. This snail was supposed to be one of three I did in our half bathroom on the main floor of our Omaha house.
Here it is in different lighting.
And one of the close-ups...
I always wanted to try a mosaic with stained glass, and since my husband took a class and we had all sorts of left over chunks, I decided to do this. (based off of a snail mosaic I found in one of my books, that was actually put on the outside of someone's house in an out of the way spot. Really charming).
Working with glass is quite aweful...well, if you are stupid enough to do it without gloves, like I did. I started out with some thinner gloves, but the glass just cut through. In the end my husband offered to finish cutting it for me and then I set to work.
I was also curious to see how well it would work to do a mosaic on a wall, upright, without gravity to hold the pieces in place and I was surprised at how easily they stayed put. The only problem I ran into (other than a horrible little piece of glass I used that kept cutting me) was that when I went to grout it, since the grout had dye in it, it dyed the wall. So, I had to re-paint around the entire mosaic when I was finished. (The grout BTW was a darker brown color. Perhaps using a plain, non-dyed grout would have been better and then I could have gone back and painted it the right color...either way I would have had a lot of painting to do =).
Eventually I was going to run the little trail of slime from the snail all the way around the bathroom, making different paths. I was also going to do a butterfly and bird in there, but we moved. Leaving behind another mural as well in this, our second home.
Yeah, silly. Just another try at fondant. And not the best view. But thought I would stick that in as well. (Note: Some crazy nut went all over each display adding tonz of powdered sugar! I wasn't very happy about this, to say the least. All the detail was lost in sugar!)
That's it for 2008. Let's see what's next!

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