Friday, June 17, 2011

Our Spring Landscaping Project is Done!

And I'm exhausted.  This was five weekends of hard labor converting this area from a weedy lawn into a bed of shrubs that will need minimal water and maintenance from here on out.  Going forward, it will have been worth it, but right now, I'm pretty tired of hauling dirt, rock, bark, digging holes, watering down cardboard and setting up irrigation.

As you can see, this is our side yard.  Most of the landscaping was done with the view from the kitchen window in mind.  However, when it was all done, we discovered that you can see a decent bit of it when sitting on our back patio.

My plan is to make a path of colorful, oversized stepping stones that I'll embed in the rock.  I can't wait to start making those.

And if you can believe it, this whole project got started because I began making concrete and mosaic garden art, and at one point, I realized I didn't have anywhere nice to put my artwork.  Aside from my vegetable garden, the rest of the back yard was nothing but weedy lawn.  So the last thing I did today was put my butterfly in his natural habitat:

We've still got lots of yard to landscape, but I am officially taking the rest of the year off.  From now on, my weekends will be spent making art, tending to my vegetable garden, vacationing and relaxing!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A butterfly complete!

The Spackle Concept

I've had lots of annoyances trying to mosaic my first butterfly because the mortar I spread over my hardware cloth wasn't perfectly even. Ironically, I haven't had this similar problem as I'm working on Mr. Sea. I think because he's a larger piece, he was easier to really keep smooth in the mortar stage. That and, because he's a larger piece, I'm finding it easier to adjust for slight tilts in some of the tiles.

But these butterflies become a terrible pain when I can't get a tile to set right because there's a bump in the underlying mortar. So I'm trying something a little different for my second one. I took a putty knife and some thinset and basically "spackled" the butterfly wings. I'm letting it dry good, and then I'll lightly sand over it to get the surface even more smooth.

I have no idea whether or not this will help. I will keep you posted!


Oh, and I'll be posting pictures on my first butterfly as soon as I grout it!


I'm in clean-up mode, hoping to get all these mosaic projects I've started finished so I can go on to new and exciting ideas cooking in my mind.  First in the "completed" pile was this little mushroom:


I stuck him next to this tomato just to take the picture and found I kinda like him there.  I think he'll stay for a while!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My new favorite thing

Yes, it's just a dumb little $9 wind chime I bought at Cost Plus Imports, but I love it!  It's hanging from my workshop and puts out this beautiful little sound that's not too quiet, not too loud.  Just right.

I could go crazy with wind chimes....but I won't.  I realize this is something where too much of a good thing ruins it all.  But it's so tempting.....