Monday, February 28, 2011

Hoarding or Collecting?

Over the last several weeks I've had the opportunity to watch a television show called, "Hoarders." The show gave me pause to wonder if I am a collector or a hoarder? I look around my house and especially my office slash studio slash packing station; it frightens me to think that I may fall in the latter category! It also gave me pause that most artists and crafters may also wonder if they are hoarders!


I collect antique calendar plates, antique white ware, cut glass, black and white photography just to name a few. But the one thing I collect most are art and craft supplies. I simply can't help myself! A trip to Michaels, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's is a dangerous outing. Regardless of my existing "stash" I can always find something that I absolutely have to have! Even the old Walmarts that have fabric departments and large craft supply isles will catch my attention and I can't leave without buying something!


When it comes to paints and painting supplies I become absolutely giddy when the Dick Blick Art Supply catalog arrives! I currently own boxes upon boxes of expensive oil paints and all kinds of brushes - and oil brushes are very expensive! Once a year Dick Blick has a huge sale on stretched canvas...I always think I need MORE resulting in a fair to huge stockpile of canvases.


Because one of my great loves is mosaic art I have enough antique and vintage plates to serve a small country. I cut these plates and make mosaic tiles from them. I can't pass a thrift store and because of my proclivity for hoarding plates my friends watch me closely when invited to dinner! I even sell the cut plates and some of my antique calendar plates in my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store!

A Rose by any other name!

So my question to all my fellow artisans are we collectors or hoarders?


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Easy Mosaic Art Three

In my last two blogs I discussed the many things you can use as a base for mosaic art. To reiterate, any surface that can be sealed (with paint or clear sealant) and can stand moisture (from the grout) can be used. Since most of us are crafters, you probably have something laying around your house just begging to be restored with a mosaic design. An old table, a long unused platter or just about anything that you want to change. Buy some tiles and try it yourself you will be amazed just how easy it is. My Crememagnolia Etsy Store is full of tiles that are begging for a new home and project.

To demonstrate some of the ways mosaic art can be created, I've chosen several items from Etsy that I feel will help get those creative juices going! Enjoy the Treasury!

'Creative Mosaic Art' by crememagnolia

Mosaic art can be mastered with creativity and lots of patience. I am also hosting this Treasury on my blog

Underwater, glass mosaic pla...



American Limoges Mosaic Wall...

Mosaic Cinderella Glass Slip...

art noveau fairy mosaic bird...

Mosaic Guitar "still si...

Under the Sea Mosaic Surfboa...

Mosaic Planter . . . This On...

Mosaic Shabby Recycled Vinta...

colorful vintage china mosai...

Mosaic Shabby Old Three Pane...

Bouquet Baroque Mosaic Silve...

Victorian Tea Roses Mosaic W...

vintage shabby china mosaic ...

Franciscian Mosaic Birdbath

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

Please visit my CremeMagnolia Etsy Store!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Easy Mosaic Art Two

PhotobucketIn yesterdays blog I talked about the ease with which one can create Mosaic Art. In today's blog I'm going to demonstrate different kinds of materials that can be used to create mosaics and's easy, anyone with an eye for creativity, a base and some glue can create beautiful pieces.

In addition to using pre-cut glass tiles, I've already discussed using pre-cut china to make a beautiful mosaic. Here are two very different examples.


In addition to using tiles, glass gems can be used to highlight the edges or to use within the mosaic as a focal.


Many mosaic artists like to use unusual items as a focal point to their work. As an example (shown in yesterday's blog) using a teacup on the front of a birdhouse. Here are some examples of focal point objects that could be uses.


As I said, if your piece or focal is not affected by moisture it can be incorporated into a mosaic piece. Not every mosaic creation need be flat. Below are some examples of both vertical and horizontal pieces. It just takes imagination to create a mosaic with a dash of patience.

Wooden Duck Painted Purple

Huge old Piggy Bank

Broken Stained Glass Peacock and Mosaic Table

Old Silver Serving Platter with Orchid Focal

I sell finished mosaic tiles in my CremeMagnolia Store for the very lowest prices to enable the beginner to use quality products at a fraction of the cost.

I also have a website that is nearly complete that will teach mosaic art to beginners - from finding the right base, cutting tiles, adhesive and grout.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creating Mosaic Art in Three easy Steps

Unlike some artistic mediums, creating mosaic art is one that can be mastered by just about anyone. Today's blog is a short tutorial to creating beautiful mosaic art in three easy steps.

Terms First:

My favorite style of mosaic is made with hand-cut tiles called Pique Assiette (loosely translated it means cracked china). All types of glass or china used in mosaics is call "tesserae." I cut antique or vintage dinnerware into tiles specifically made for mosaics. Contrary to popular belief, the china is cut with special cutters or nippers NOT smashed with a hammer.



The base that mosaic tiles are adhered to is called a substrait.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will not refer to the proper names, I will use the terms "base" and "tiles." I've also included pictures of what Pique Assiette tiles look like. There was a time when a Pique Assiette artist needed to know exactly how to cut the china but today they can be readily purchased pre-cut; simply mastering the cutting process takes a bit of time and for some not worth the effort. You can find hand-cut tiles in my Etsy Store under the China Mosaic Tile sub-heading.


The base structure can be made from just about any kind of material that will not be affected by moisture. Wooden bases must be sealed first. I have used wood, glass, metal, silver serving pieces, etc. Mosaics can be made vertical or horizontal. The only difference in the two (vertical or horizontal) is the type of adhesive used.


For the beginner I suggest purchasing a base from a craft store; that could be a birdhouse, a plaque, or anything that is of interest. This piece must be well sealed and I use acrylic paint, back and front - and it doesn't have to be perfect. Once sealed you are on your way to creating a mosaic beauty!



Lay out your tiles in the design that is appealing to you (on the table next to you). On a flat base you simply need a "good" white glue or adhesive. Craft stores sell a produce called Weld Bond, but I use a strong white adhesive from the big box home stores, because it is much less expensive and works as well if not better. If you plan to mosaic a vertical base I suggest using a thicker adhesive such as silicon.

Apply adhesive in small areas and spread with a Popsicle stick OR an old credit card works great too. Begin to place your tiles where you want them. Tiles must "set" to the adhesive typically 24 hours before you are ready to grout. if any adhesive spreads between the tiles, wipe off immediately so it will not show during the grouting process.

Note: The closer you place your tiles together, the happier you will be with your project.


Grout can be purchased in small bags in any big box home store. I recommend "sanded" grout for the beginner as it is much easier to work with. Follow the manufacturers directions for mixing. Depending on the size of your base you can eyeball the amount of grout you will need. Once mixed the grout should be the consistency of peanut butter.

I use gloves and apply grout by hand but there are several little tools that can be used. Make sure grout is pressed firmly into the areas between the tiles. Once fully applied, with a very damp sponge wipe the excess grout off the tiles. If grout starts to come out, simply replace it with your fingers and press.

There is no right or wrong way to apply the products above however, using the principals I've outlined will give you the desired result.

After about 20 minutes of grout setting, wipe or buff with a dry paper towel to remove any grout residue from the tiles. Let set for 24-36 hours to cure and dry completely. Grout must be sealed to keep moisture out and prevent cracking. Seal with any good clear sealant ~ and viola, you have created a piece of mosaic art!

I have many tiles from Antique and Vintage dinnerware in my CremeMagnolia Etsy store and below are a couple of examples. Learning to cut tiles is an ardious process that many don't undertake. My store sells mosaic tiles at the lowest possible prices!



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Through the Eye of the Lens Three

In my blog yesterday I discussed photography for commercial purposes yet I have a proclivity to take photographs from the side of the road. I love rustic images that more times than not have no commercial value. In my Etsy Store I offer photographs that attract clients who want to decorate their homes or offices.

Today's photographs are some of my favorites as I was in most cases in the middle of nowhere and they just presented themselves to me.

Antique Rusted Tractor

Hubcap Art

Small Town America

Arkansas Barn Art

White Cow in Field

Arkansas the Natural State

Small Town Bargain Palace

Visit my Etsy Store for beautiful original Photgraphs and thank you for viewing my most favorite muse!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My February store wide sale will run until the 28th and watch for the March Madness Sale

Throught the Eye of the Lens Two

Photography as a business to some is a difficult medium to master. One, because lighting is so very important and two, because finding a commercial subject is not always easy. Myself, finding a commercial subject is a non-issue as I take pictures of the things I like. Flowers are one of my favorites as are rustic, typically not commercial subjects. In tomorrows blog I will share some of my non-commercial subjects but for today I will share more of my floral shots to demonstrate the ease in which flowers can be photographed. Of note: Your subjects could be sitting in the checkout line at your local grocery store!

Dew on Hasta


Morning Hydrangea

All three of these subjects when sized to 16x20 demonstrate how you can capture the most delicate aspects, such as a dew drop minutes from evaporation.

See you tomorrow with some of my lesser commercial photography, which by the way happen to be some of my personal favorites!