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Glittering Shards

Glittering Shards: April 2011

Glittering Shards

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Organising your mosaic studio - part 1

Its small, sweet and perfectly formed. 

Its at the bottom of my garden, so a short amble to work every day.

It comes complete with 3 cats who have made it their own (and plod over my work in the process!)

It fits 5 students plus me, quite happily (and cosily)...

...and my little ones do so love sitting in there with mummy to make things.

But my quest to make the most of small spaces continues. So yesterday I rolled up my sleeves, armed myself with the radio, some chocolate treats and a pot of herbal tea and began putting into action some ideas for 'small mosaic studio organisation'.
Here's hoping I get to finish soon (a bit of a challenge in my life). If you have a small studio or need to turn a small corner of your home into a mosaic area, come back soon for part 2!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Something a bit different for Easter

Excuse the silence blog friends...the school holidays arrived, and with them chicken pox. One of our little ones has now gone through it and we are waiting for the other to come down with it. So many thoughts have been brewing in my head that I have wanted to externalise into blog posts, but they will need to wait. So, I hope you like this Easter offering....

Every year at Easter when I was a child, my mum and aunt would make traditional Southern Italian biscuits...they are quite unique in that they are big and at the centre, you have a hard boiled egg, still in its shell. I remember year after year, sitting, munching my way round and round the biscuit (this could take half an hour!) until I was left with my egg.
These biscuits are called Pupi cu l'ova (southern dialect for doll with an egg) and are traditionally made in shapes such as bears, dolls, hen's or baskets.

I haven't had one for...well at least 25 years, until this morning! We found a recipe online - the one we used is here though I really wanted to do this one as its more like the one I remember, but I was missing a couple of ingredients.  Well, they tasted fabulous, just like I remember. Taste buds sure give you a trip down memory lane don't they?
And the kids loved making them and more particularly, eating them! There is a lot of childhood delight in munching through a giant cookie ;)
Why not give them a go? Something a little different for Easter...

Lastly, here's some of our Easter decorations (I have started keeping a little box with Easter decs in them...why should decorating our homes be just for Christmas eh?).

The wreath was something I started last year and finished last (that's just the pace of how it goes round here...).
Wishing you the best of what Easter can life and the power of transformation.

Concetta xx

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some very sound advice...

Get Slow  

Leave your watch on the bedside table.

Check email only twice a day.

Take the scenic route. 

Light candles before you start to cook dinner.

Make up rituals. 

Say a silent word of thanks and make eye contact with everyone at the table before you start eating.

Let the phone ring several times before answering. 

Make a handmade present for a friend.

Set aside one night a week all for yourself.

Spend as much time outdoors in natural settings as you possibly can. 

Pay attention to cycles of the moon and the shifting seasons. 

Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. 

Take a few moments before you climb out of bed in the morning to remember your dreams and think about what you want from the day. 

Factor in an additional 25% every time you estimate how long something will take.

Always jump at the chance to play with a child.

Never pack your schedule so that there‚Äôs no room for a short walk. 

Take a left where you generally take a right.

- Marco Visscher and Jay Walljasper (source, Nourish The Whole Self e-course)

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

How to become a mosaic artist...

I was walking my daughter to school yesterday and she asked me about what work I was doing this week. I told her  I was preparing to do a mosaic project with some children and her ears pricked up. "How old are they mummy?" she asked. "Between 8 and 16 years old" I replied.

"But mummy, do you have to be 8 years old to make mosaics?"

"Well, you have been making mosaics since you were 2 1/2 Isabella" I replied. Her chest filled with pride and a big smile broke out on her face....

And its true, that since they were very little, both of my children have sat with me in my studio, merrily sticking tesserae (nuggets, tiles, sweets, beads) to substrate (in my case, a huge batch of plain white tiles). They are prolific and have produced quite a body of work!

The beauty of having started so young, is that you can see the evolution of their work. A couple of weeks ago, it was their daddy's birthday and they both secretly and excitedly worked away in the studio creating a mosaic each for him. I was quite amazed at how they have gone from just plonking any tile onto the base to now actually choosing how to place things in a very considered way. They are relaxed and at home with the medium of mosaic. Isabella even helped me to grout a commission I was finishing on Monday!

So, here we have the evolution of  mosaic artists in pictures, from age 2 1/2! If you want to have a go with your children, most of these masterpieces have been turned into tutorials (see top and left menu's).
Isabella's first mosaic age 2 1/2

Toby's present for daddy March 2011
Isabella's present for daddy March 2011

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