This page has moved to a new address.

Glittering Shards

Glittering Shards: December 2010

Glittering Shards

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crossing the threshold...

Friends, I have stepped over the threshold into the big four-oh! Yesterday we celebrated and tonight  I reflect on what makes a great birthday. Here's my ingredients :

- being given 40 kisses each by my children and husband when I woke!
- smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast
-gorgeous gifts including a new Nikon D3100 (replaces the D60 model which I was going to get). Glee! And the most beautiful commissioned peace of music with voices of my children part of the recording - just too amazing  to describe in words. Deep gratitude for my beautiful husband whose idea it was. I will share it here soon...

- a bowl of Japanese food at Wagamamas and then being tourists in our own beloved London -  visiting Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Horseguards Parade to show the kids for the first time (can you believe?)

- being so filled with love by my family, especially my children who kept hugging and kissing me and telling me they loved me. Melted inside, I was....

- cake, candles and Happy Birthday singing in English and Italian!
- the phone kept on ringing from as far as Sri Lanka, Australia and Italy - and my Facebook wall went bonkers with the loveliest reassuring messages of the goodness of the forties - thank you thank you!

- a sneaky surprise gathering of my close friends with food, bubbles,  great conversation and laughter into the small hours.

What a birthday! And there is more to come as I am having small celebrations of my 40th instead of one big one...a meal with my beloved tomorrow and an arty party with loads of girlfriends in ten days time (we are going to do glass fusing, vintage brooches and beadwork in the midst of food and drink - yay!).

So, hello forties. The best is yet to come....

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, December 24, 2010

World Premiere of new Christmas song...and a ho ho ho to you all!

Warm Christmas greetings to friends, family and blog friends!

For like high rating cuteness, click play and watch this special Christmas message especially recorded by our two sweet bunnies!

With love and blessings for Christmas and beyond.

Concetta xxx

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow play and Finnish ice lamps...

Could this be our first ever white Christmas? It is snowing as I type. Our usually, dull, grey, damp London is looking like something out of a Dickensian novel... and we are loving it. All of us are now on holiday (yippee!) and I am finally catching up on the backlog that built up due to 'exhibition neglect'!

Isabella spontaneously decided to experiment with food colouring in the snow - red and green making this most intense, lush colour. It reminded me of a beautiful Finnish tradition I discovered during the winters I spent there. Candles and light are so important during winter and in a country so far north as Finland, especially so. Many Finnish houses have blocks of candlelit pink ice block on their porches so that a walk in the neighbourhood is guided by these beautiful pink, glowing ice lamps. You make them  by putting water and beetroot juice (or food colouring) in a bucket, with a smaller bucket inside. Leave it outside to freeze then remove the buckets to reveal your ice lamp then place a large candle in the hollow. Beautiful. We are going to try it tomorrow and will post pics!

Last Friday, we finally bought a sled and the next day, pulled the children up the hill to buy our Christmas tree. I know for many of you blog readers, this is not so remarkable, but we feel like we are in a Christmas movie - expecting Jimmy Stewart to walk round the corner ("Zuzu's petals, Zuzu's petals!").  Gosh, we had fun and the sound of my kiddies giggling with glee as they wobbled on the sled will stay with me for a long while.

Hope to get time to post our pink ice lamp pics before Christmas day! In the meantime, happy preparing and a heartfelt thank you for all the lovely comments you left in the last post - very much appreciated :)

PS. Finally got to hanging our Christmas tree and our boughs in the hallway which I first made when we moved into our home 16 years ago. See the little round golden wreaths? They are made from dried tortellini (you buy them dry in packets) spray painted gold then strung on wire into a wreath shape - they are wearing pretty well for 16 year old, home made ornaments, don't you think?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Online mosaic exhibition...just for you!

Photo's can never do mosaics justice...its all about texture, touch and reflectivity and its hard to capture these elements in pictures. Nonetheless, here's a snapshot (pardon the pun!) into my first solo exhibition which ran for two weeks and finished on December 11th.

My 'real' visitors book is full of wonderful comments, a testament to the fact that contemporary mosaic art has the tendency to 'wow' people. Now, I know that you can't touch the pieces, move past them and see the light dance off the tiles...but do feel free treat the comments section of this post as a virtual visitors book!

So...please come in...its warm inside and you are welcome :)

Looking in through the windows...

 Lots of mosaic balls twirling round and casting light on the surrounding walls...

 Moontree (a commission) on an easel in front of a display of mosaic tiles - sweetie shop style!

 Some new pieces, made with soft glass and iridescent nuggets...

 My student wall - all first mosaics (yup, truly!) made this year by people on my evening course.
 Silvia's starling...
 Colleen's 'Fire and Ice' mirror
 Caroline's tulip (spot the real gold tiles)
 Andy's 'Escape the Whirl'.
 One of my new pieces, 'Baby, I love you' (now sold)

Another new one - 'Four Seasons' (now sold )

New piece, 'Foxy Footwear Fascination Strikes Again'.
There is a story behind this piece that was displayed below during the exhibition. Read on and then wait for an added twist!

Have you ever seen an odd shoe strewn on a pavement or doorstep and wondered  why?
Have you left your shoes by the back door and returned to find one or both missing?
Have you found leather items buried in your garden?
Then you have been struck by  Foxy Footwear Fascination!

Foxes in Furzedown have been stealing leather shoes and other items for some time (we have actually caught them red-pawed!).Last year, this international news story hit the media and made me smile. This piece is a humorous portrayal of this foxy phenomenon.

BERLIN | Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:58am EDT
BERLIN (Reuters) - A fox has been unmasked as the mystery thief of more than 100 shoes in the small western German town of Foehren, authorities said Friday.
A forest worker stumbled upon shoes strewn near the fox's den and found a trove of footwear down the hole which had recently been stolen overnight from outside locals' front doors.
"There was everything from ladies' shoes to trainers," said a local police spokesman. "We've found between 110 and 120 so far. It seems a vixen stole them for her cubs to play with."
Although many were missing laces, the shoes were in good condition and their owners were delighted to reclaim them, he said, adding that no reprisals were planned against the culprit.

The twist? The day I opened the exhibition, laying by the wall right outside the gallery was this:
I promise, I did not plant it! A clear example of art imitating life and life imitating art...
As well as wall art (more below) I had lots of smaller things for sale...stones...
... and a range of mosaic jewelry with special meaning...

 In the middle of the heart brooch display, a poem...

My Heart is a Mosaic

My heart is a mosaic
It is made of many parts, some hidden (even from myself).

My heart is a mosaic
In it I carry the community of the people who have touched my life

My heart is a mosaic
It has been broken and though I try, I cannot get it back to how it used to be. So I am slowly putting the broken pieces together...imagine my  surprise when I see that my re-shaped broken heart is  more  beautiful than before.

My heart is a mosaic
Many passions and parts of my being unfolding, as I dare to live connected to my centre.

My heart is a mosaic
It is made by all my experiences.  I can add new pieces all the time to make up who I am and how I live.

My heart is a mosaic...

And here is another look at the beautiful "Patchwork of Hope" made by children, young people, parents and volunteers from the Klevis Kola Foundation (KKF). Over the period of the exhibition we raised over £100 for the work of KKF and many people learned about the wonderful work they do.

 Some more new pieces that were on display...

Magical Tree (now sold)
 Flower Fields (now sold)

 Sally Dunnet's beautiful glass fused decorations in the windows...

And another new piece, 'Dance of the Dragonflies'

Curly Tree (still for sale)

Wall of Bark (lots sold, some still left)

Each piece of bark had mosaic gold mirror on it (some teeny tiny pieces) along the bark textures. Beside the pieces,  a bit of prose about the meaning and process...

The Meaning of Bark

“I look at the bark running up the tree in front of me - and it is art.”
25th September 2009, Elvedene Forest, from my diary

Many years ago, a wise, old friend told me a story about bark. He said that if you cut a thin circle of bark around the whole circumference of a living tree trunk, you will kill the tree because the life and sap of the tree is carried in the bark - in the outermost edge of the tree trunk - not in the centre.

We are often sold the message, said my friend, that  we need to get ourselves to the centre of things - the inner circle, the in-crowd, the epicentre of power, influence and decision making. We panic if we are not, feeling that we will miss out. But in fact, many (most?) of us live ‘on the edge’ in different ways, at difference times of our lives. And even if we don’t, there is a reality that life on the margins (socially, psychologically, physically, financially) has deep, rich veins of life and creativity.

Since then, bark has held both symbolic and artistic fascination. Recently, mosaic teacher and mentor, Sonia King, has started a ‘bark’ project, gathering amazing pictures of bark from Facebook friends around the world - see it here.  This work is my exploration of the art, texture and beauty of bark through the mosaic medium.

I sold lots of beautiful mosaic spheres in lots of colours...these ones looking rather a lot like the snowballs that were being thrown outside the gallery in the first week!

 'Bubbles' mirror which I could have sold 10 times over!

 'Shimmering Sun' (a favourite, and still available!)
'Loving You' (which evoked several 'what is it?' discussions!)

I ran a small mosaic taster session in the gallery on the last day - great fun and wonderful pieces made in 2 1/2 hours.
 Everyone left with a bag of grout after a grouting demo..!

My beautiful six foot peacock, who wowed many...
As did Mr Owl with his halogen light bulb eyes (no, they eyes don't light up -but one day...!)

And lastly, the star of the show, my newest large piece, 'You Catch My Tears'. The writing that was displayed underneath will be familiar to regular readers of this blog, but I will finish this online exhibition with a re-post of the poem.  Before I do that, I want to say thank you to all who helped, came along (over 300 visitors!), offered support and encouragement in real-time or long distance. I can't quite believe I have done it - but I have and it exceeded all my expectations. I am exhausted but happy!

You Catch My Tears and Keep Them in  a Bottle

Again she cries alone
Tears fall like diamonds
Into the nothingness
Her heart lost, unknown

She cannot see
The veil that surrounds her
Tears of others also bent over, sobbing
Connecting the broken-ones in their alone-ness

And the great Other...


Nothing is lost or forgotten.

Labels: , , , ,