Tuesday, 29 June 2010


We had an brilliant thunderstorm here on Anglesey last night. One of the best I've seen, I think. At the first when I heard the quietish rumble of thunder, I thought for a while it was my dog snoring at the bottom of my bed. When the next rumble was considerably louder I knew he wasn't the culprit. I lay in bed with the window open listening to the rain lashing down, and the light show in the sky, it was pretty amazing. When I got up this morning, and went outside, my carrots I've been growing are looking a little worse for wear, the wind has knocked all the feathery greenery down, my runner bean pot had lost the battle with the wind too and was lying down. A small fence had got blown down and our wheelie bin was in the middle of the garden lol. Everything's been put to rights now and won't suffer any lasting damage I don't think, isn't nature wonderful.

It was only when I was reading yesterdays blog I realised I'd forgotten to varnish the heart..... oooops. Oh well maybe later, when its cooled down a bit. My daughter cut out the 4 pieces of wood for my African themed mosaics, but two of them are slightly the wrong size as she had to use a very heavy circular saw, which she isn't used to and it made the job pretty difficult. But no matter it'll be a set of 2 mosaics now, and I'm sure I'll find a use for the other two panels. I also got left with rather a nice long thin piece of mdf, which I may do a flower panel on for a change.

The reason I forgot about the heart yesterday was because I decided to tackle a long over due job. Namely tidying up the small room with all our tools and a huge part of my arty crafty bits and bobs. As more stuff had got added to this room, the harder it became to even get in there, and closing the door on the mess was a long ago memory lol. Although there's still a lot of crafty stuff I seem to have lost track of somewhere in there, it is at least looking tidier !! I was planning to sort out the huge double cupboard in the front room which houses the rest of my arty crafty stuff today, but it's just too hot and humid especially as I know I'll have to drag everything out of the cupboard, to make any headway into tidying it up...... maybe tomorrow lol.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Hmmm what to do next

I've finally managed to get back into work mode after our visit to the Peace Festival, and done the 2nd side on the heart mosaic. I'm just waiting for all the glue to dry out and then it's varnish and finish !!

While I've been waiting for the glue to dry ...almost as boring as watching paint dry lol. I've been debating what to do next, my african themed set of mosaics is still quite near the front of my mind, but I've also got some slices of slate we managed to "acquire" at a slate mine in Snowdonia the other week. Should I do a couple of quick mosaics on slate I wonder ? I've also got a couple of those glass blocks people use in bathrooms, which are screaming out for some simple mosaics to pretty them up. I do hate it when I've got so many idea's buzzing around, because I can never decide which to do first, and end up doing none !!

Added to all the idea's buzzing around, the weather has been amazing. I find it almost impossible to stay inside when the suns out, it seems such a shame when our weather can be so unpredictable. It was a scorcher yesterday, I'm so glad there was a stiff breeze taking most of the heat off. I love days when you sit there almost shivering but know you're getting a suntan too lol.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Home sweet home

Arhhhh it's always good to be back in your own home. I had a great time while we were away, but there's always that longing to be back home again.

We left here on the Weds with the sun blazing down on us, when we were about 9 miles away from my daughters house we got stuck in traffic and my daughters car started to overheat the last thing we needed on a packed motorway !! I quickly turned on the heater full blast and luckily we managed to make the bit of our journey without mishap, but we were both boiling hot as we daredn't turn the heater off lol.

Weds afternoon we went over to Acocks Green to see my son Ben and friends Martin and Mandy. We had a lovely BBQ while we were there too. Thurs we went off to see my friend Emma and her boyfriend Steve. Emma was going to cut my hair for me and my daughter was Jenny was doing a tribal dragon tattoo on Steve's arm for him. We also rounded off the day going to see Rich my oldest son and his girlfriend Georgie, so all in all it was a lovely day. Friday we dropped my daughter Jenny off to do yet another tribal dragon tattoo on the cousin of Steve, while me and my other daughter went to visit an old friend of mine who I hadn't seen for almost 15 years. That was a real blast from the past, and we had great fun catching up with all that's gone on in each others lives. Then it was off to my oldest sons again, who funny enough only lives just up the road from the friend I hadn't seen for a long time. While we were there Jenny did yet another tattoo of my sons childrens names on his arm, and his girlfriend cooked us a lovely taco feast for dinner ...it was yummmmmy !!

The weekend of course had been reserved for the festival we planned to go to. The highlight of this day was that 6 out of 8 of my kids managed to make it there, and also we got the chance to met up with lots of old friends. One of my sons Jed, had injured his back moving some scrap metal and was in agony for most of the weekend, as he's probably the most active out of all my kids, it was sad to see him in so much pain. By the Sunday the pain had eased off a little thank goodness. All in all it was a great festival and two of my friends Jo and Sharron are coming up to see me during the summer too.

As photo's have been a little low on the ground here's a selection from our time away.

Two of the four tattoo's my daughter did.



My lovely friend Jo


My daughter Jenny and all in pink is my grand daughter Jo and her two children ...my great grand children.


One of my favourite photo's of the weekend, my daughter Jenny with son Jed.


My son Rich and his girlfriend Georgie


and finally me and my mate Al.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

So much to do ...so little time

This is one of those times, when I've got so many idea's for new mosaics I'm almost begrudging other things in my life, that are going to take me away from them. With a festival planned at the weekend, all the idea's I've got buzzing round in my head will have to be shelved from tomorrow onwards (that's when we set off). Unfortunately for me I'm one of those people that can't concentrate on things when I'm away from home, so even though I'll probably have time in the next 5 days to do some initial planning for these idea's, the chances are I'll get distracted by things going on around me and won't get anything done lol.

It was a chance remark by someone on a forum I use, that set this train of thought for some completely different style mosaics. My creations are almost always abstract, and almost always freestyle too. I usually have one idea for a single part of a mosaic, and then the rest just evolves literally as I put the glass tiles on the board. My haphazard way of working may not appeal to those who like doing more structured mosaics, but it always seems to work for me.

The mosaics that are next in line to be produced, have got a lot more planning involved, they are actually going to have something recognisable in them (I hope lol). My idea is that the subject of the mosaic is going to be as colourful as possible, then the background will be less so, a complete about turn around for me. I'm also thinking along the lines of doing a set of 4 mosaics, two abstract and two structured but all with the same basic theme, so they compliment each other. To keep the cost so they are still affordable when they're finished, I think I'll have to make the panels a lot smaller than I usually do, which may make things a bit more fiddly than my average style of mosaics are already ...perhaps not a good thing, as it already causes me quite a lot of pain cutting tiny tiles anyway. But we'll see how it goes I may have to revise my way of thinking on that one.

With all these idea's racing around in my head, researching for these new idea's online, and also working on my latest mosaic, other things that need doing have got pushed to the background. So with only a day to go I find I've got tons of things to do before we go away tomorrow. I've never been known as the organised type person anyway, but this time I've excelled myself with the long list of things to do, before we can set off tomorrow !! So my friends this is me signing off for now. Just realised I've forgotten to take a photo of my new plant pot that sets of the panel outside my front door I was going to put on here ....oh well it'll have to wait till we get back now !!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Busy week and new idea's

I've had quite a busy week this week, I started on a new project and caught up with some much needed things in the garden.

The new project is a 2D heart, made from wood this heart is going to be a hanging piece for a change. As the centre is cut out, my plan is to hang a nice crystal which will catch the light as the whole heart moves round in the breeze. Because my hands are sore from doing the latest panel for myself, I decided this would be a great time to use all the brightly coloured sweet wrappers I'd been sent, and make a tempered glass mosaic.

On tempered glass mosaics most of the design is done before the glass even touches the object. Any manner of things can be used under the tempered glass, sweet wrappers, foil, glitter, magazine cutouts, in fact almost anything that's flat. My love of bright colours drew me towards using the brightly coloured sweet wrappers sent to me by a my daughter and friend and fellow stained glass artist Kev. Once I'd attached the sweet wrappers with a little help from my mate Steve lol, I then did two coats of a holographic glitter paint. This will shimmer as the heart slowly spins around, giving an extra dimension to it. I've used large seed beads as an edging to the heart and then I'll be filling in the rest with tempered glass. One side is complete now, but I need to get some more large sized seed beads for the other side.

I've also been catching up with planting out the seedlings I've been nurturing this last couple of months. So tubs of flowers have been planted up, along with 3 courgette plants and 2 runner bean plants, and my carrots are also coming along nicely too, as are the spring onions. It probably doesn't sound much of a veggie garden to most, but I've got very limited space in my garden so all my veggie plants have had to be done in pots, this is also partly so they survive my big old dogs wanderings too. I had planned to have more veggies than this but there just hasn't been enough hours in the day to do everything !!

I treated myself to a lovely pot for a plant to go underneath the mosaic panel by the side of my front door. It's in lovely shades of green and as the plant is a quite unusual twisted spiral one, both are set off beautifully against the white wall and finish off the whole look I wanted for the porch. Photo's to follow !!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

New blog " Manic Mosaics "

For a long while now I've been aware that my ramblings on here are losing track of why I actually started this blog ....to showcase my arts and crafts. So I've had it in my head for a while now, to do a blog which really will have just my arts and crafts !!

So here begins the birth of Manic Mosaics, it still needs a bit of time spent on it, prices added etc etc, which I'll do as soon as possible. But for now here it is
MANIC MOSAICS in all it's glory, do pop by and say Hello.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

My latest mosaic

This is my latest mosaic and why I've been a bit quiet lately lol. Measuring approximately 18" by 30", I've used stained glass, millifori, mirror tiles, seed beads and glass nuggets.

I wanted something a little bit different for outside my front door, and this is the result. As it's exposed to the weather, I've used two coats of varnish to protect it. I'm also going to look for a nice plant to put underneath it, just to set it off.

I've already started my next project, this is going to be in tempered glass on a wooden heart, my oldest daughter got for me a while ago. This will be a piece that can be hung from a ceiling so it will be seen from all sides. As with all my mosaics it'll be a riot of colour.

The first two photo's are of the panel from the street, the next is the top half of the panel in more detail and last one is a close up of the bottom half.





Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sea fishing and more sunshine

Well here on Anglesey we've been enjoying the longest spell of sunny weather that I can remember. In the last couple of months (maybe longer) we've only had one proper rainy day and a couple of cloudy days. My daughter and I love the sunny weather, so we've been making the most of it.

My friend Steve came and took me sea fishing for a couple of days, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed fishing. We went to a popular place to fish, Holyhead Breakwater and over the two days we caught 11 dog fish. The fact that Steve's got a camper van added to the fun, you just can't beat a bacon butty and a cuppa while you're fishing lol. He wanted to take me to RAF Valley to watch the sunset, but as the tide was a high high tide, the sea started coming in a bit too quick for our liking, so we abandoned that idea before we got cut off lol.

I've also been spending most early mornings and nights working on my latest mosaic panel. Yesterday morning I put the last piece of glass on it ...whooooo. This only left the grouting to be done. Grouting is very time consuming, putting it on isn't quite so bad, but cleaning it off again is a nightmare as it's not a nice smooth surface like when you do tiles in bathroom. It's a mass of 100's of slightly uneven pieces which are a nightmare, as I have to clean off pretty much every one individually. But eventually by midnight last night I'd done the first rough clean off. Shortly, once I've posted this and wrote an email I'll do a 2nd clean clean on it, this involves polishing the tiles of the residue of grout dust and checking to make sure I've got it all off. Quite often this involves having to scrape off grout that I've missed, which I'm not looking forward to as my hands are already really painful from last nights grouting. Then once that's done it'll be a couple of coats of varnish as this panel is going to live outside my front door, so needs protecting from the elements.

Here's some photo's of my fishing trip, and my new grand daughters first smile captured on a photo awwww, she's so cute.