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Glittering Shards

Glittering Shards: June 2009

Glittering Shards

Monday, June 29, 2009

'I Will Rise' sold!

"I Will Rise" is a mosaic I designed to be made at the Greenbelt Festival last August. Over 120 people were involved in laying down the tiles, from my then 2 1/2 year old Isabella to people in their 80's. It was a wonderful experience, done in aid of the not-for-profit organisation, S:VOX which Neil and I are on the Board of.

Well, two weeks ago, I Will Rise went off to its new home, sold to a beautiful lady, Ruth, who was very touched by the mosaic and its meanings. The money is going to fund the work of S:VOX, which supports people affected by abuse and violence. Do check out their site - they are looking for volunteers at all levels to be able to take this important work forward.


Balmy June Weekend

Well known and wonderful Mosaic Artist, Cleo Mussi is based in Stroud, Gloucestershire and has been having Open Studio's through the month of June, which I really wanted to go to, particularly as our good friends, John and Kate live in this beautiful part of the Cotswold's. Off we went this weekend, but sadly, Cleo's Studio was not open so that part of our trip was not to be (boo hoo) but we did have a wonderful weekend, steeped in a closeness to nature that we don't get quite so easily in London. Our weekend started with a visit to the Stroud Community Agriculture farm - run by members who all participate in the farm's tasks and benefit from taking home their own organic veg every week. It was lovely picking warm carrots from the ground, rubbing off the soil and munching - and teaching kids that carrots don't come from the supermarket or the freezer! The rest of the weekend was spent in John and Kate's beautiful garden, watching children playing (and being so caring) with each other. I particularly enjoyed seeing the wildlife in their pond - newts, frogs and dragonflies (appealing to my fairy loving inner child!) and the kids helped Kate set up the wormery that she got for her birthday. John, who is a primary education specialist, helped me mull over ideas for mosaic making with children. Saturday evening was spent in the hot tub at the bottom of the garden - very, very relaxing. Seeing a badger walk by would have topped it off - maybe next time.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Inspired by another mummy blog (I think it was Chasing Cheerios?) I recently decided to make my two bunnies a special, personalised drawing table out of their IKEA one (my attempt at cartoon portraits!). They both love to draw (especially little Toby). They spend ages at the drawing table. Toby will draw countless versions of his beloved Mr Men, narrating what he is drawing as he goes along...'head, eyes, mouth, hands, feet, hat'... creating drawings that to me seem amazing for a child only recently passed his second birthday (I put it down to his love of the Mr Men whom he sits pouring over and memorising). Hence his ability to draw daddy for the t-shirt in the previous post.

I think its great for them to have their dedicated drawing space and I have brought them an artist drawing pad each, where all their wonderful creations remain safely together and make a lovely developmental keepsake too. We have also tried the family drawing time suggested in Soule Mama's website - good fun. We laid out the table with loads of lining paper and put out crayons and pens and then took turns to say what everyone had to draw. It got a bit predictable with Toby who, you guessed it, stipulated a Mr Men at each turn!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My budding little mosaic artist

For over a year now, Isabella has sat with me in my shed, which is my mosaic studio, watching while I make stuff. I would give her tiles to stick her own pieces on (just like mummy) and she made her first mosaic last September when she was just gone two and a half years - here's the
picture (complete with cheeky grin!) ...

Because mosaics is a big part of my world, it is part of hers too and she is slowly learning the words associated with it - it is quite strange hearing a 3 year old say the word 'mosaic' - mo-say-ik - and even more startling from my 2 year old!. She has recently learnt the word 'grout' and watched me with great interest grouting a new piece the other day, part of a tryptych called "From the Rising of the Sun" which I have made for a forthcoming exhibition. Of course, having seen me getting this squishy stuff and squeeze it into the gaps, she was desperate to have a go - too much fun to be had... Having duly explained to her about the importance of wearing a mask when mixing the grout powder she stood there, acting like my health and safety officer and telling me to put my mask on otherwise "it is dayngerus mummy" (mosaic artists, take heed!). Then, she donned the oversize latex gloves and with glee, starting squishing and squashing the grout in the gaps of the last piece of my tryptych. It was lovely watching her both enjoy herself and feel so grown up and like mummy.

My intention is to find lots of ways to teach a love of colour, material and mosaics to my children, adapting techniques to suit their ages. If anyone has ideas or experience of this I would love to hear from you.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For the best dad in the world

I know that with Father's Day just gone, many dads around the globe will have been given certificates / rosettes / cards for being the best dad, but I I have to put Neil (aka Daddy Pig ) forward to win the award for being The Best Dad in the Whole World. Since these two little beings arrived, there has not been an ounce of reluctance in him to get on and do what needs to be done in the neverending task of parenting and he is engaged in fun and conversation with his little bunnies as soon as he walks in the door from work, no matter how tired. He is smitten and I love watching him being a dad and revealing his (neverending) playful and (often more hidden) tender side. Father's day was a good chance to spoil him a bit - lie in then breakfast of Huevos Rancheros and a few little gifts including a framed picture Isabella did of Daddy for his office and a t-shirt of a picture of Daddy drawn by Toby and Isabella (traced onto t-shirt by mummy), plus a card which Isabella insisted had to be heart shaped. Beautiful!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back and raring to go

Having maintained radio silence on this blog for some time (hey, I made two babies in two years - that's pretty good creative effort!), I am back and raring to go.

My web site ( is where I have concentrated my efforts, and that has a wonderful amount of visitors, who I am now signposting to this blog if they should be so kind as to want to read my musings on my creative life - creating with mosaics, creativity and making with young children and creativity in community - which will be the main threads of my postings.

I have so many posts brewing in my head, and once I start (next week) they may come thick and fast! I am so looking forward to using this space for reflection and for teasing out of myself some of the thoughts and insights that would remain buried without this practice of reflective writing.

In the meantime, let me fill you in on the last 3 years. It is only since April 09 that I feel I have risen out of the exhausting fog of parenting two beautiful children born just 15 months apart. My energy for creating is well and truly back. The last 3 years has been the the most amazing (if most exhausting) period of my life that has seen us blessed with two gorgeous little people - indescribably delicious in their unique personalities. Our home if full of the noise of giggles, make-believe, foot stomping, tears and enthusiastic whooping at the prospect of each new experience. More to come. Here's a picture of my two most beautiful creations...see you very soon!