In between Spirograph quilting session I've been working on the fish backsplash a bit.
I'm filling in the background with these round glass tiles that my friend gave me. Luckily I started at the bottom.
About 3/4 up the right edge I realized that they might not fit perfectly inside my frame. I have a lot of cut tiles around the fish but I don't want a whole row of cut tiles at the top. When I set the frame I never even thought to check the size of the frame with the tile. But I can fix this.
I have half a box of the frame tile so I just chiseled off the existing frame and I'll redo it after the water is done. I'll probably have to remove the right side too. No biggie. I'm just making sure that the top row of tile is level. You can see that the dots aren't going to line up perfectly in this and I'm cool with that too. There are some gaps and shifts int he pattern. It's pretty much impossible to keep everything straight around the fish and it actually gives a little movement to the water. More importantly this is a backsplash that's under a sewer pipe so how perfect does it really need to be?
Don't worry, the fish will really stand out once it's grouted. They will all be outlined in white.
I got the fish fused and I'm mostly thrilled with the results. These are my 2 favorites.
These are all acceptable too. Yes, they are lumpy but the grouting process mostly smooths out the edges.
These are the only two that I'm declaring as outright rejects. For me, that's a really good success ratio! I have a stack of reject fish from previous firings. I'll break these up and use them in a scrap project so they will not go to waste.
The pale one is a reject because the fish will not stand out well against white grout. The dark one doesn't have enough interest although it could work in a pinch.
Here are all of the fish stuck to the wall. I "baste" them up with tape until the mastic firms up. If you look on the right and left edges you can see how I used a few of the reject fish. Sometimes the body is OK so I can cut off the tail and have the fish swim in from the edge. In once case only the tail was salvageable and it's a really fine tail.
I added some of the background just to see how it's going to look. I did straighten out that one partial tile near the fish nose. It was bugging me in the photo. You aren't really supposed to cut glass tile but this isn't in a shower so it will be OK. I'll have to wait for the fish to set up before I do any more. The blue glass tiles are from my friend's bathroom remodel. I love free materials!
My goal is to have this done by the end of April so that I can grout both areas in May.
In two sessions since Thursday I was able to get the wall finished. I really am getting too old to sit cross-legged on a concrete floor for hours at a time. But it's done!
Of course, it's not DONE done, but the messy stuff is done and I was able to clean up around the longarm.
I could put this back on the frame now that all the pottery bits are off the floor.
Before I grout the wall I'm going to get the backsplash finished so I can grout both in a weekend.
It's going to look like this. Both the wall and the backsplash are sponsored by my best friend's house remodel! The background tile from both came from her bathroom remodel project. I need to make more fish first and that meant most of Sunday spent clearing off the glass workbench. I haven't done any glass for about a year. I hurt my shoulder in May and then got caught up in dyeing 100 yards of fabric every week. The glass bench turned into a dumping ground covered in 17 layers of dust.
Yes, this is cleaned up. The boxes of scrap glass are my materials for making new fish.
Last night I got a bunch of fish bases cut out and glued together. They are ready for decorating now. Hopefully I'll get these in the kiln later this week.
It was a really good weekend!
I sort of forgot to post yesterday. I realized yesterday evening that I had not done a post but also realized that I didn't really have anything to post about. I'm doing quite a bit of yardwork with weed control and trimming shrubs
Unlike most of you real gardeners, when I say I'm "trimming shrubs" it means that once every 5 years or so I go and do this. These 2 boxwoods were so big that the foliage completely filled the back of the pickup truck. They will either live or not and, if not, I'll plant something else.
But I also have the sides of the guest house and garage that look really ratty like this and I'm trying to to be so brutal with them. That's what I'm working on now. So this just isn't anything I'm interested in blogging about daily.
There just isn't any sewing or quilting going on right now.
Because inside the house I've become fixated with finishing the beaded wall. The mess was getting out of hand and that means it's time to wrap it up. Late last night I finished be rest of the beads. Today I will start finishing off the background and I'm going to focus on it until it's done.
After this my goal is to finish the dye sink backsplash. I have tiles to do another section of the basement but I'm really trying to talk myself out of doing another section because I'm starting to look like a crazy person. Chris is not helping. I discussed it with him this morning and his response was "Yes, you will look like a crazy person but it looks a lot better than concrete block."
You probably won't hear from me tomorrow because I'll be in the basement listening to a book and filling in white tile.
I'm sort of focused on 3 projects this week: the gear drawings, Mom's quilt and a little on the wall. Here's what I've gotten done since the last update. It's not as much progress as I wanted but I can't sit on the floor for really long periods but and hour here and there and I got this much done. I'm still on target to finish it this Spring. I can't grout it until it's warm enough to open the windows because of VOC emissions so I can take until late April to finish the mosaic part.
This weekend is Country School Quilter sewing weekend so I'll be working on my 4th of July quilt.
Lots going on around here this weekend getting the kitchen really close to done! The tile guys set the tile Saturday and did the grouting Sunday.I thought it was really nice of them to work on the weekend. We didn't ask them to, they offered! We are waiting on one countertop because the bar counter was measured incorrectly. That should come in this week and then we can wrap it up with carpet cleaning.
It's been a good exercise just to clean out. We've gotten rid of containers, glasses and appliances that we never use and I might even end up with a few empty shelves.
While the tile people worked upstairs, I did tile downstairs.
Here's where I left off last week.
I added more beads all the way across at this level and filled in with background tile. One of the new beads is a teapot lid.
Here's the wall so far.
The rest of the wall has to be done sitting on the concrete floor. I'll vacuum up all of the shards and bits and then get started on more beads this week.
Yay! More progress on the wall this week! I'm on a roll and I hope it keeps rolling.
Here's where I left off last week. I had some new beads on the left side that needed background tile.
I started by filling in the background in that section.
Next I had to draw the rest of the beads on the wall. That required vacuuming so that I could sit on the floor without getting pottery shards in my butt. That led to vacuuming the whole basement but eventually I made it back to this corner to draft out the beads. Thank goodness for all of my circle and oval longarm rulers to make that task fast and easy! I have all of Jamie Wallen's oval and circle rulers and I seem to use them all the time for lots of different things.
I got 7 more beads added. I'll stay at this level all the way to the blue one on the left and then do that background. Working at this level is "sitting on a stool" level. Below this is "sitting on the floor" level.
Almost everything on this wall is left over from the big wall but there are a few "special" things. The little blue pottery fish was picked up in a shop on our vacation in Hatteras and the ammonite (spiral) fossil is something I bought on a trip that Mom and I took to New Mexico. I have another one that's going to be placed loser on the wall.
I love how it's coming along. But today and tomorrow I will not be working on the wall. It's sewing days with my quilt club friends so I'll be working on my 4th of July quilt blocks.
Here's where we left off last week in the chronicle of the mosaic wall.
Since then I filled in the background behind the new beads...
...and added all of these new beads!
Here's where it stands today. Next I'll fill in the white behind the new beads and draw the shapes for the lower third of the wall. I'm very motivated to get this wall section wrapped up.
Having lots of work going on in your kitchen is great motivation to escape to the basement. Today I decided that it was time to finally get back to my beaded mosaic wall.
I have some new beads on the wall. It's so zen to have an audiobook going and spend a few hours just breaking and gluing shards to the wall. I feel certain that doing this lowers your blood pressure while you are doing it because I'm always really relaxed after a session. I suppose that it's a lot like sewing.
Just in case you might be delusional and thinking that I'm almost done this photo should clear that up. Next I will do the white behind these beads and then will finish out this horizontal section and at that point I'll be HALF done. So you will still see lots more of this project but hopefully the updates will come faster.
On the kitchen front I think we are about a day away from being able to partially move back in the space. That means that the messy stuff is about done and we will be in waiting mode for the countertop installation. But we will be able to move back into the space and restock the upper cabinets. I picked up the backsplash tile today and just ordered some sample drawer pulls and cabinet knobs. That will be the last decision and that decision is more about covering the footprint of the current pulls and knobs, than a design decision.
We're sooo close and the first thing I'm going to do when we can use the kitchen fully again is to make some cookies. I really need some cookies.
Great news! My arm is getting better. It's taking it's sweet time doing that but at least we are heading in the right direction. I still can't do any sewing or quilting or kayaking, for that matter. I think I'll probably be able to paddle before I can sew or quilt. It's the forward motion that's limited. But it's better thanks to magic healing treatments of time and ice.
I spent yesterday carefully preparing a lot of fabric for dyeing and plan to do some dyeing today. I find that I'm OK if I just take frequent ice breaks so today's word of the day will be "discipline". I'm going to try to be very disciplined about those breaks. I tend to get in a deep groove when I'm dyeing and then next thing I know it's 5 hours later.
Marcy will be here to quilt so maybe she can police me. Marcy has been a huge help this week. She's working diligently on the giant backlog of veterans quilts. She's enjoying the practice and is getting better with every quilt. Her points are pointy and her curves are smooth and after loading and quilting 2 sets she doesn't really need help with anything. It's true for quilting as with everything else: there's no substitute for practice! Thanks to her I'll actually have some content for upcoming blog posts because, for sure, I'm not creating any.
Except mosaic! I can do mosaic left handed so I'm been working on the wall a bit at a time and expect to hit this pretty hard Friday and Saturday since I can't sew.
Here's the whole wall. I'll add a couple more beads and then fill in the white background for this section before moving on.
I'll probably not post tomorrow but will be back Friday with progress on something!
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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