weekly photo challenge : perspective

Time for a sewing break – time to hit the computer and get a post done! I decided on a couple of interpretations of this week’s theme. The first is my beloved High Level Bridge. I love the look of this bridge from almost any perspective. I love how different it looks in each of these photos.High Level Bridge bridge detail bridge detailThe next photos show a full view of a tile mosaic mural that I created on the side of our house, and then a different perspective of the same mosaic. I designed a couple of small mosaic pieces using mirror to hang on the fence. That way I can enjoy a bit of colour when looking out the kitchen window – especially important in the winter!tile mosaic mural mosaic mirror showing muralBe sure to check out other challenge entries here.

tile work 3

I finished putting together my son, Marc’s quilt top and back. Just need to pack them up to mail to my friend, Louise, who is going to quilt it for me. I’ll wait to post photos of the finished quilt once I have it back from Ontario. (no pressure, Louise) Actually, the only pressure is for the quilt to be finished this year, as I dated the back and I certainly wouldn’t want to change that!

Today I went to my off-site studio to do some printing, and it was not a successful day. I won’t bore you with the tedious and annoying details. I did learn a few things and will be able to get some work done during the week. So in the spirit of remaining creative, I’ll share another of my mosaic tile projects – the front of our house. We live in a split level house, and the wall treatment around the living room windows was stucco. Can you believe it? Plain and boring old stucco. After the successful completion of the tile project on the side of the house, I was ready for the street side. (You can look at that wall in this post, and this post, if you missed it.) This was back in 2004, (before I started blogging) when I was still fairly new to tiling, but I’ve always loved a good “project”. This one took me all summer. Let me try to explain how I worked.

Once I had decided on color, I set about buying all the cobalt blue tile I could find. I still had some from the side wall, but I needed more, more, more! Since I build my projects like I’m creating a giant jig saw puzzle, it is almost impossible to estimate the amount of square footage I should start with. Besides that, I’m really bad with numbers. While my friend, Norm, was busy putting a skim coat of cement over the stucco, I started cutting up tiles into interesting shapes. We had set up a beautiful work area in the front patio area of the house, adjacent to where I would be tiling. I measured the wall, and then just started laying out pieces, cutting and sanding as I went to try to establish even grout spaces between the pieces. I worked on sections of plastic corrugated board – lightweight, strong and not damaged by water. I worked in sections about 2″ square, and when I had several ready, I covered them with brown paper that had been coated with diluted white glue. They were left to dry.

my workshop section 2 section 1

special photo challenge : inspiration

The Daily Post put out this special photo challenge, and I thought I’d try to work with it. Here’s the description: “What inspires you to blog? We blog because there are people, places, things, and ideas that we care about so much we can’t help but tell the world about them. We want to know what inspires you. For this special mid-week photo challenge, we want to see portraits of you doing something that inspires you to blog.”

Since there are a variety of things that inspire me to blog, I had to include a variety of photos.

I’ve included some real vintage stuff for your entertainment. The oldest photos are 10 years old, when I started tiling the side of my house. I was grouting the blue wall in 2004, and working on the green tiles in 2006. I remember when I saw that particular photo I was wondering who that grey haired woman was and why was she working with my tiles? The carving and printing photos are from the last couple of years, and the mocha cookie production was done this past week-end. You can see me slicing the rolls of dough, and then dipping the baked cookies in yummy chocolate. As you can see from these photos, I never do things in a small way. It’s just not my nature.

There are lots of other things that inspire me to blog, but I see most people only posted one photo. I think I’d best stop before I get carried away.

tile work 2

Thought since I’ve sorted through my photos for my tile pictures, I figured I’d show you the rest of the flower mosaic wall project. I didn’t get the color into the zig zag until the summer of 2003. It took a long time to find a selection of red and purple tiles – ones that didn’t cost the earth. I wasn’t thrilled with the purple selection but it worked out. When I had enough, I added the color to my zig zag.

start of zig zag color

area left to tile

back of tile

ungrouted tileI had done more research about technique, and was able to lay out sections of tile on a table, on top of a pattern I traced off of the wall. Then I took a mixture of white glue and water and painted brown paper, which I laid on top of the tile. When the glue dried, I could pick up sections of the mosaic and install them on the wall on a layer of thin-set. This was a huge improvement over putting pieces up one at a time, but not perfect. When the thin-set was dry, I wet the brown paper enough to peel it away and expose the tile. Sometimes tile pieces would shift, which required prying them out of the thin-set and moving them over slightly.

grout application

finished zig zag

When it was all done, Norm helped me grout the wall and we cleaned up so I could enjoy my colorful installation. Here are a few close up details.

detail 1

detail 2

detail 3

detail 4

whole wall viewOur table is right outside these doors, so this is a view that we enjoy on a regular basis. (for a few months at least)