Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Presenting my latest commission !!!

Finally ..... my latest project. As some of you might know, I was given a free hand with the design for this. The only thing requested was that I cover the guitar entirely.

Now this is off on it's journey to its new owner, I've started something new. A completely different type of mosaic this time. I'll be using tempered glass this time, a first for me, so an interesting project.







Thursday, 23 July 2009

Pretty much finished at last

Well yesterday saw me finish the guitar at long last. This was the most challenging thing I've ever done, but looking at the end result, it was worth it. I shan't post any photo's of it, until after its in the hands of the new owner though.

I also got a good way on to finishing two mirrors I started just before the guitar commission arrived. Once these are finished I will be posting photo's of them lol. I worked on mosaics from 5am till about 8 ish last nite and now I'm paying for it, my right hand has swollen up due to arthritus....never mind.

My brain is already buzzing about the next project I want to do. In fact I've got several projects in mind. But to start any of them I need to source some tempered glass, so I've put a wanted post on my local Freecycle. Hopefully someone will be glad to get rid of a cracked windscreen or a replaced patio door. Tempered glass mosaics is something I've wanted to try for ages, it's a totally different way of mosaicing than the sort I've been doing up till now, so I can wait to have a change.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Dyserth Waterfall, Rhuddlan castle and St Bridgets churchyard

After working on the guitar most of the morning, my daughter and I set off to Denbighshire to see a waterfall I'd found online. It was in the small village of Dyserth, only a small waterfall compared to some in North Wales it was still alovely one to go and see. Steps alongside the waterfall lead up to where you can see it from the top.

After the waterfall we moved next door to St Bridgets churchyard where I'd read about a couple of unusual tombstones which I thought would be worth a look. I'd have liked to have seen the stained glass windows inside the church, but as most churches they hve to be on their guard from theft and vandalism so the doors were locked. We soon found the two tombstones we were looking for, and sure enough under the arch of both of them carved in the stone was two skull and crossbones.... not often you see those in a churchyard lol. Apparently the tombstones belonged to the Hughes family, and in 1638 one of the members of this family was accused of witchcraft in the Court of Arches in London.

Finally on the way home we popped to have a look at the remains of Rhuddlan castle. This castle was built between 1277 and 1282, by King Edward of England who was trying to conquer Wales, and a new town was built for English settlers. In 1400 Owain Glyn Dwr and his troops rebelled againts the English rule and attacked the town of Rhuddlan but didn't manage to capture the castle. The castle eventually belonged to King Charles, but when he lost power the Sherriff of Flintshire was told to make it unstable and since 1648 the castle has been in ruins. Luckily in 1947 the state took over the care of the castle and it is now conserved and is open to the public.








Thursday, 16 July 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel !!

I seem to have turned the corner with the guitar now, and things are starting to come together. I did the first layer of varnish on the back and neck of the guitar yesterday, and as I type it's drying off nicely. Hopefully later today I'll be able to flip it over and do the front. Then just the task of threading hundreds and hundreds of tiny seed beads to redo the neck part of it. Not something I'm looking forward to doing , but at least I'll know the end is in sight then :o)

While I've been waiting for the varnish to dry, I've been cleaning the grout off a mirror I've been making for another gallery. I've used clear textured glass on this one, which at the time I thought was a good idea...on hind sight ...no it wasn't lol. The grout has stuck to every part of the glass and it being textured has made it a very long job, to pick off all the dried grout. Why don't I think these idea's out properly before I do them lol ? I've also got a 2nd mirror I've done, this one is a sort of sunburst style and has loads of beads in the design ...once again when I've managed to clean the grout off it, it'll look pretty stunning I think. Although I can't decide what colour wash to do on the grout yet. I also need to assemble some more pendants as the gallery on the island is getting low on them.So much to do, so little time to do it in sigh !!!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A real battle

This guitar and I are having a real battle !! This last few days it's pushed my patience to the very limit. But at the moment I'm beginning to win the battle ...thank god for that. It's all been grouted now, and the once pure white tacky grout has been washed with a nice charcoal grey colour, which is making the colours really stand out. One more coat of the wash today and it'll be ready to varnish. Once that's done I'll have to start the very time consuming job of replacing all the beads on the neck of it. I'd done this once, but the sealer I'd used to hold the beads in place, had gone dull in the cleaning up process. So they all had to come off, no point in spoiling it for the sake of re threading hundreds of seed beads is there now !!

I had a visit from the enviromental health people the other day. They'd come to check out the damp in the kitchen, which the council had insisted was condensation. Wrong ...it's rising damp, they've confirmed it, which is what I've been saying since I moved into this house 17 months ago !! So I have now been awarded another 10 points, for the damp and for the fact I can't store food in the kitchen...yippeeee. The envoiromental officer was the one that had come to visit me, in my last house, where the landlady wouldn't do any repairs. She told me, that she uses the photo's of the disrepair there when she teaches students, as it's STILL the worst house they've ever seen. Am I unlucky with my houses or what lol ? I also heard from Shelter that they have recieved a report from the spinal specialist and will be forwarding that on to the council too and asking for more medical points. So hopefully this means we'll get somewhere permenant sooner rather than later. :o)

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Grouting and grout dust

Grouting and grout dust are rapidly becoming the bane of my life !!! Despite putting a sheet on the floor, the dust has got everywhere and I mean everywhere. It's becoming a real battle between me and this grout, and I SHALL win come what may. After cleaning off the latest lot of surplus grout on the guitar, I ended up covered in the dammed stuff. A quick look in the mirror as I went to the loo revealed it had made my already greying hair look even greyer, in fact I resembled a badger there was so much of the stuff !!

Never ever again, will I do a mosaic guitar with tiles on the head and back of the neck of it. I don't care how much money I'm offered, it's just not worth it. At a rough estimate I think I will be earning approximately 20p an hour (if that) for this commission and the guitar isn't even finished yet !!

My daughter and I unpacked, sorted out and repacked 7 boxes today, in between me working on the guitar. We're now down to 5 boxes and quite a bit of stuff to put on Freecycle when we've finished sorting boxes out. Only the attic to go now, I dread to think whats up there, as I've never been up there. But once it's done, they'll only be the stuff that's out on display to be packed up...when the council finally does the business and allocates me a permanent bungalow at long last !!

My friend Cathy has started writing a blog, it is going to be partly therapy for her and also a warning to other women that are thinking of bringing a Nigerian guy over here to live. Let me assure you I am by no means racist, but the way my friend has been treated by this guy is just disgusting and has reduced her to shadow of her former self. http:/cathyslivinghell.blogspot.com

Friday, 10 July 2009

Not very good news

I heard yesterday that the bungalow the council were considering me for, has been allocated to someone else :o( Not the news I was hoping for obviously, especially as recently the stairs are becoming very painful for me to get down. Oh well I guess these things happen for a reason, hopefully it might be because there's something better round the corner... that's what I've been trying to tell myself since yesterday afternoon anyway.

The guitar also decided now would be a good time to throw a spanner in the works too !! I grouted the back and front of the neck of the guitar the day before yesterday, but after cleaning off the surplus, I'm not happy with the way it looks. The grout is wide and bulky looking, so I'm not happy with it. So yesterday, I took the last row of glass off the curved side and repositioned it. A messy and time consuming job, and I had to be very careful not to pull any other tiles off with it too. Today I'll re grout it and see if I'm happy with it then.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Feeling a bit low

For the last couple of days I've not felt my usual happy self. At first I thought it was my continuous early mornings. But after a lot of sleep on Sunday/ Monday I woke up yesterday feeling decidedly out of sorts.

I'm not sure what's up with me, I feel extremely tired even though I've had about 5 times more sleep than I usually have, since Sunday.Apart from my knee's being very painful for the last 10 days or so and my hands being very shaky yesterday I seem to be ok physically. Maybe I've just got a bout of the blue's.

Time will tell I guess.......

Monday, 6 July 2009

Lazy day

Yesterday I had a lazy day, every so often my 4 or 5am early mornings catch up with me, and this was one of them. But not one to sit totally idle, I surfed the net looking for inspiration and did my usual pc maintenance of backing up photo's, doing a deep scan on all the usual progs, and then defragged my pc.

This week I'm going to take my lovely old dog to the vets. He seems to be having increasing problems with his back legs and I want to check and make sure he's not in too much pain. The past week ge seems to have got noticeably worse, and much as I love him, I don't want him suffering.

My daughter did a great job on doing a cover up tattoo on my arm yesterday. She drew the design herself and then tattooed it on my arm doing some of it free hand. I'm really pleased with it ;o)


Sunday, 5 July 2009

The end is in sight

After another week of working hard on the guitar, the end is almost in sight I think. The back of the neck was as tricky to mosaic as I suspected it would be, and if I get any more commissions for guitars I will be trying to avoid doing this again. The back is pretty much grouted now, just the back of the head part to grout. Then I'll flipping it over to do the front. At the moment the grout is all white, but I'll be doing a wash on it, as I find white a tacky look, especially on something as big as this. But all in all I'm very pleased with the way it's looking now, in fact I think I'd go as far as to say it's my best piece so far.

Today my daughter Jenny that lives with me, will be going over the first tattoo she did on me. She was very nervous when she did it, and had a proper tattooist watching her, which didn't help, and consequently she made a mess of it. But she has made another design that will go over it and cover it completely. Last weekend she did two stars on my other daughters foot, and wasn't happy with one of them at all, in fact it worried her that much that one of the stars wasn't 100% perfect, and she thought the design was going bleed at the edges, she almost gave up the idea of doing tattooing at all. But a week on and after being reassured by her sister that the tattoo is healing up nicely and the design hasn't gone smudged on the edges (bled) she's ready to bite the bullet and redo my one. She has started a folder of photo's on her facebook for her journey into tattooing, so I thought I would support her and also do her journey on here too. So today's photo's will be of the 3 tattoo's she's done so far. Incidentally you can get a brief preview of the guitar I'm working on now, in the background of my foot.