Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grain Sacks, and Powder Boxes, and Mosaics, Oh My!

Hello Bloggie Friends,

I've really been M.I.A. lately I know.  This full time job stuff keeps you busy.  PLUS, I've been indulging my creative side by doing a few projects.  I have had this awesome utilitarian stool in my stash for a good long while, waiting for me to "GETAROUNDTOIT" to recover it.  I took a scrap from one of my favorite herringbone weave antique German grain sacks and I stenciled it with a very cool design; it looks a whole lot like my grain sacks that have the original tar stencils on them.  I finished it off with some black belt webbing which, to my eye, made the whole thing just pop.  It is good and sturdy as well as beautiful.  I'm hoping to get it listed in my Etsy shop, Elegant Farmhouse, this afternoon, but my husband keeps eyeballing it.  I told him if he had the money, he could have it, but he didn't bite! I'm really proud of the way it turned out.

I also made one more powder box using the last of the small amount of antique blue silk fabric that I had. I also dolled up the puff that came with the old French powder box used as a base.  This one was a really nice size and it did make it to the other Etsy shop, The French Laundry, and it sold recently.   It was a hard one to let go of, but I keep reminding myself that this is how I can continue do this little sideline-move stuff in, move stuff out, make it, sell it.  True that...

Finally, the biggest reason I have been out of touch lately:  I finished a mosaic self-portrait which I started 3 1/2 years ago and never finished.  I took a class from the amazing mosaic artist, Carol Shelkin, and after 2 1/2 days, I had finished only the eyes and part of the nose.  Coming off the high of the class, I went home and worked a while longer (several hours) and got the rest of the nose and the mouth done.  Then, I lost my momentum and there she sat for years, mocking me every time I walked by.  Reminding me that she had been abandoned mid-work.  I got a little boost after the first of the year by getting some cleaning and organizing done at my house in the month of January, so I felt good about that and decided that it was time to commit myself to making a stab at finishing the self portrait.  I worked on it a little every day after work and some weekends for about 3 weeks.  It went faster than I anticipated since I think hair and clothes and backgrounds aren't nearly as intense as facial features and by golly, here is the finished product.  I am very pleased with it and would actually like to do more mosaic portraits.  Up until now, I have never done anything realistic.  I didn't think I could do it, but I guess maybe I can if I'm willing to develop my craft and take the time to practice.  We'll see...

This is shown with the photo I used to create the mosaic.  Not bad, if I do say so.  I'm not sure I like the light grout in the hair area-it needed grout to fill in the gaps as I wasn't able to work as tight as I perhaps should have.  I may go back with some darker grout before all is said and done.

Okay, so that's what I've been up to besides blogging.  How about you?  Do you have any unfinished projects that have been gnawing at you that you've finally put to rest?   I have WAY too many, so I hope to make some progress on that front this year and hopefully report back.

Until next time,
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  1. Judy-that is a wonderful self-portrait and what a hard medium to do that in to begin with. WOW! Your little powder box is beautiful- I can see why it sold right away. Glad to see you here- xo Diana

  2. Judy, the mosaic is just beautiful and I can only imagine how difficult it was to do. And I really love the stool! My hubby doesn't pay much attention to what I redo or buy until it's finished!!


  3. Your stool is gorgeous! No wonder your hubby keeps eyeing it!


  4. The stool won't last in your etsy shop, it's a great looking piece!! The self portrait Judy is stunning! I can't believe how close it is to the Image especially the hair, which is just like mine but I have some blonde foil weaved in mine. Yes, I have Oodles of those staring at me projects.....and life goes on. Glad to see your back!!

    Huggs, Nancy

  5. You did a wonderful job on your mosaic. I had never heard heard of a self portrait class on mosaics. It's exceptional
    Seeing your powder boxes makes me miss an old old I sold
    So glad to see your post and what a great job on the stool , you have been busy

  6. Oh wow! You make me want to start creating mosaic again, the last piece I worked on belongs hidden in the garden with weed overgrowth encroching the stepping stone piece made of broken pieces of china and marbles :)
    Your piece is a master piece of artistic wonderment, definitely not a piece meant to step on in a garden of weeds. Your art is amazing.

    Love the sweet powder box and your collections.

    Artistically inspiring here.


  7. Hi there, your mosaic is gorgeous. My niece is a mosaic artist in Wales. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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