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Glittering Shards

Glittering Shards: January 2011

Glittering Shards

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More art from recycled stuff...

A few months back I did a post on a mosaic made almost entirely from recycled materials - a little bit of a passion of mine as I love the satisfaction of creating something beautiful from things that would otherwise be thrown away. (I was so pleased when the blog post was  published as an article in the last copy of Grout magazine, published by the British Association for Modern Mosaics!)

Here is another way that I use recycling in art making which, happily, also involves a trip to Ikea :) Have a look at this mosaic - Four Seasons - which I made in November (and sold in December).

The base and frame are actually the fronts of kitchen draws. The inner panel is a recess which makes a natural place to mosaic and the rest of the draw frames the finished work beautifully.
In this case, the inner panel is frosted glass which  added an extra special effect to the pieces, as it picks up light and reflects it through the gaps in the tiles. It looked so good I decided to leave the pieces ungrouted.
The back of the draw
These bases cost around £1.25 from Ikea's bargain basement - the stuff that is destined for the rubbish heap. You can also get end of line kitchen doors as well as draws and use them to make larger pieces.
I have a couple lined up which are clear glass doors with a frame - using stained glass as the mosaic material, there are some lovely effects to be had, particularly if they are hung as large sun catchers in windows. And as with all bright ideas, before you all think I am an original genius (which sometimes I am!), the maxim on originality that I hold to needs to be stated here "There is nothing new under the sun" by which I give credit to Brooks Tower, awesome mosaic artist (and king of Opus Sectile for you mosaic officionados).  His mosaic, Busy Signal, (which I am proud owner of) inspired this clever use of old kitchen draws as I swear, when I inspect it, that it is made on an old draw front, though hard to tell for sure as its a pretty solid bit of wood!

And if you are not up for mosaic making with old kitchen doors and draws, you can use them as frames for collage or stained glass painting too.  Let me know if you have any other ideas...

Art and recycling - such a wonderful combination.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Changing the world...

 My sweet firstborn is 5 years old today! I still look at her and am full of awe at how this little human life IS. Joy at how she is unfolding into her years.
Everyone says (and we know), that it goes fast, so fast.

Over the last few years, I have often had this phrase floating round my head:  "You are shaping another person's childhood". That is an awesome and wonderful thing, especially for those us for whom childhood has held dark times.

The power to create a big stock of happy memories.

Memories of simply being held and touched.

Memories of play, creativity, romping on the floor, silliness, inquisitve questioning.

Memories of being heard, deeply listened to and valued for what you say and are.

Memories of knowing you matter, your feelings matter and are worthy of a loving (which sometimes means firm) response.

Memories of community, of relatedness and connection to a 'tribe' of people (in our case, urban and patched together from many walks of life!).

This is our power, our responsibility as parents and carers of children - to create childhoods that whilst not perfect (for we will all bear internal wounds as well as grazes to our childhood knees) are nonetheless brimming with  goodness, connectedness, creativity and a sense of wonder that will give our little people all they need to stand tall as loving humans in the middle of a broken world. This is our power - to face up to the historical wounds that have remained toxic, unhealed and passed from generation to generation,  look them square in the eye and say "The buck stops here - the poison from this wound goes no further".

I am helping create my sweet babe's childhoods through love, kindness and hard internal work using the tools of self-awareness, honesty, grace and hope.

This is how we change the world. One childhood at a time.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Rhythm setting

My year of living rhythmically is 10 days old. I have been spending some wonderfully rich moments writing down all that has been in my head and heart on the subject - several years worth of gestation - and externalising it onto paper and hard drive (don't you think that as soon as you name a folder on a hard drive it brings something to life?). That feels good.

There is so much rich imagery to draw from - in nature, in music, in the creative process, in our very bodies - and this has led me to set aside January as rhythm setting month. This is already a shift in me - not trying to have everything done and set now, but knowing that all things have their time and that space for formation is allowed!

So, tonight, I am about to sit with good old fashioned pen and paper (in my trusty ideas book) and ponder - what processes do I need to give time for, daily, weekly, order to create well-being in areas of my personal & and family life? This is way beyond scheduling and time management. It is about connecting to a deep need for rhythm and an innate way of living in tandem with the cyclical nature of being human. More soon...

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Arty party party party!

We came, we gathered, we made...
Sally Dunnett from Smart Glass UK teaching us how to make beautiful fused glass creations...
My glass creation (several layer of stacked glass, including gorgeous dichroic) ready to go in the kiln
A few more creations prior to fusing...
Next, in the pub, making jewelry under the tuition of the lovely Louise from Lou Lou Workshop
...and gorgeous vintage fabric brooches taught to us by the wonderful Gillian from Fabric Nation
Claire having fun with needle and thread!

 ...we laughed, we ate, we drank
Lucy showing off her charm bracelet

...we celebrated,  and lastly, we danced!

What better 40th bash could a girl want?
Some of the arty party gang who made in into the picture!
And me...happy at being surrounded by such wonderful girlfriends and of course blokey mates who came in the evening (and those that danced into the night!). I am left  grinning at how many of them said it was the best day they had had in ages...cos they had not used their hands to create for way too long. "Wow...I can't believe I made this" and "Please can you have 40th birthday parties all the time?" being two favourite quotes. I have been wearing my brooch and bracelet all day and am looking forward to seeing my glass creation once it has cooked in the kiln!

Thank you to everyone for making it such a memorable launch into my next decade - I started as I mean to go on, with friendship and creativity at the heart.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

My year of living rhythmically...

It is the third day of 2011 and there is so much brewing. A journey... to a more rhythmical way of living, parenting and creating. I will gladly share the journey here...

Yup, that's my word for the year...rhythm (gosh my first challenge is to spell it right!)

We began the rhythm by sitting round a wreath of white candles (ushering in the new...) and each of declaring a wish for the year (resolution is just too hard a word for a 3 and 4 year old!).

I wrote the wishes down and have put them on the fridge door...

Fun, love, rhythm, specialness (of the kind you feel on your birthday!) and whole-hearted living.

Oh, and I am back to my daily rhythm of morning pages...anyone else starting or still keeping going with this?  And I will start my green smoothies again tomorrow - I have missed them.

2010 has so much to celebrate and acknowledge for me.

Artistically, major mosaic commissions, my first solo exhibition, mosaic classes that were joyfully full all year and already full to bursting for the first 4 months of 2011. A deep sense of consolidation and confidence in  my skill and instinct as a mosaic artist. A  feeling of arrival in my transition from being a social work / trainer to an artist.

As a mother, I have managed to stay connected to myself (quite intentionally) so that I can parent from a place of awareness, self-care and knowing. I am proud of this and despite a journey full of struggles and obstacles, I feel I can pat myself on the back for how I am doing as a parent. I...we...are doing WELL. There is ease in being a parent, a mother, a a comfy pair of shoes, no longer new and rubbing and causing blisters!

The ups and downs continue in the midst of the goodness - a broken night of sleep last night and the impact that immediately has on my mood - the feeling of overwhelm - the need to learn to manage stressy feelings better,  to slow down and pace life in a more healthy way.

2011. Time to enJOY and have fun. To get back into music, reading, sewing. To manage my time in this glorious blogosphere, so that it is life-giving not depleting. These are some of my  challenges of 2011. How about you?

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