Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In praise of plate smashing

So there I was at the Am Vets thrift store yesterday.  MOSTLY looking for plates I can bash up and turn into a mosaic table top.  (I still hadn't figured out how I was going to get it done on my patio but when I get my teeth into an idea I am a sort of force of nature and just FIND A WAY) From having done mosaic stepping stones looong years ago, I know that the only really usable surface on a plate is the flat part in the middle - any tile pieces that curve up are going to potentially cut you (your foot on a stepping stone) so I was rootling around in the dusty mucky shelves of random breakable CRAP that lives in a thrift store, and lo and behold I found this!:

Weiner Dog Wallet Caddy!
Back when I was collecting S&P shakers, and faces (like mustard jars and etc) this exact thing would have cost easily $60 - $80 in an antique store.  Yesterday it cost me $1.95 + half off.  So basically a buck.  I don't collect this stuff anymore, but as a very reassuring sign to those of you who are certain I am bat-crap crazy, my mental illnes and me decided we simply could NOT leave this little guy at the thrift store.  (Have you seen Pulp Fiction?  One of my most favorite movies - the Bruce Willis character needs his girlfriend to go get his watch that he left in his apartment, hanging on the kangaroo wallet caddy like this:
The watch that came back from 'Nam crammed up Bruce Willis' dad's ass was hanging on the tail.  Just, FYI.  If I had found a kangaroo instead of the weiner dog version you would have heard the WHOOP! from here.

(on both versions, wallet goes in slot in back.  Change in front pocket.  Rings on the tail.  There is also one shaped like a squirrel?  or a skunk?  anywhozle...)

Jeff is super excited to be using it.  <--say that in a monotone.

I didn't really find any plates to bash up - I'm looking for blues and aquas and sea greens etc.  But I did find this:

It's a trivet, I believe.  Feels like ceramic but it may be painted cast iron?  Made to keep your table safe from hot pans.  Now, I figure this thing (minus the little rubber feet thingys) can be the center of my table mosaic.  I mean, this beauty cost me a buck, and it's sort of perfect for an outdoor table that is going to hold flowers and plants.  But it changed the direction of my artistic vision (*snort*) and I had to start thinking of different colors rather than the ocean theme I had going.  And it started to hurt my brain.

So then MULDER you gave me such a good idea!  You use FB Storage Wars  - and that led me to think of asking for mosaic classes around here.  I opened up Craigslist and SURE ENOUGH!  There is a woman working her side hustle like crazy, offering classes in mosaic!  She even provides everything you need - a table with a wrought iron base, and all the tile and um...  tesserae?  here is the quote from her linked website:
This is your chance to learn the basics AND create one very nice piece of functional artwork.  I only use Specialty Shaped-Tiles, Glass & Mirror, and some vintage and/or random tesserae. Feel free to bring any memento you would like to incorporate into your work of art.

The cost of this series includes all project materials, use of tools, and assistance needed to walk away with a beautiful and fun piece of artwork. I try to keep a selection of tabletop shapes: octagon, round, and square.  The table bases are the same for all tops: curly legged, wrought iron.

How amazingly fantastic is this?  It costs a pretty penny - $165.  That seems like a lot.  But in addition to providing a table (which I could provide my own, honestly hello Am Vets) she provides the use of all her tools, she provides the medium unless I bring some pieces of my own,  not to mention her expertise.  And who am I to deny someone who has a great side-hustle going??  It will be the perfect thing for me to get started and the mess is contained at her back yard.

I haven't decided if I'm going to use the trivet or not.  I really want to do a wave/water/sea thing.  I'll have to email her and see what all is involved.

And y'all - SIDE HUSTLE!  Muler and I are working it!  My trunk is full of our recycling again, I need to go turn that in and deposit the $9 or so in my bank.  I also found at the thrift store a Salvatore Ferragamo top for a dollar, that I'm pretty certain I can sell for about $25.  I have 4 or 5? microwave turntable plates listed, just waiting for people to realize thanksgiving is coming and they may need that cooking space.  Ditto with the dishwasher silverware holder.  I'm only a little less than 1/2 way to my goal of $1,000 but I'll get there.  (the fee for the class to mosaic this table is coming out of joint money because it's called MENTAL HEALTH, JEFF)

If you need some cash, you can make some cash.  Maybe only a coupla bucks at a time, but it adds up.


  1. Blues and sea greens and aquas are my favorite colors. I love the color turquoise too, such a calming look your mosaic will have. I'll be making a quilt of those colors soon. Ok, I don't know how to quilt yet, someone is teaching me. I start making a block tomorrow.

    Mosaics and quilts are representative of a life I'm trying to piece back together.

  2. The day I post about making stepping stones a hundred years ago, I get a FB message from the daughter of the girl I made them with. THE SAME DAY. Granted, it was an old message on my 'other messages' link but if someone hadn't reminded me to look there I would never have seen it. But I saw it today. Because SYNCHRONICITY.

  3. Somehow it just seems that a re connection needs to be made here. Its like that piece needs to be put in your life. I don't know, just seems like that.

  4. I go to a local recycle store called Wastewise. They practically give away stuff just to keep it outta the land fill. It is a goldmine for ceramic tiles people have had left over from reno jobs. So I collected tiles in similar colours, smashed em up and did a mosaic front step for my house.
    Inspired after a trip to Barcelona where I saw the work of a "smash up the tile" artist named Gaudi. Google that and have fun, Gladys!
    I'll FB you a pic of the step!
    Side hustle just took a step forward. Found an FB group called "Mom's Craft Room" for selling the accumulated supplies in my craft room which is basically the entire basement!