Category Archives: Lifestyle

Mid year already?!

How can it be?! The trees are already blossoming, it *almost* feels like the chill may be dissipating – though Winter will come back with a vengeance to be sure. It is August after all. Yay! I made it through July. My least favourite month in Canberra…

Sometimes I feel like the world is moving around me in fast motion – everyone so busy going here, going there. It’s nice to not feel like I need to participate in all that. Just sit back and watch, potter around in my garden, so to speak. Things are blossoming in my metaphorical garden, but I admit to sometimes wishing I had more time. I’d like more time to read. I’d like more time to devote to my other hobbies: crochet, roller derby and more recently raising chickens. I’d like more time to spend with my kids. Sometimes I feel cheated that I can’t spend more time with them – that’s probably been the harshest wound that divorce brings. By the same token, it is also a gift in that we cherish our time together.

The last year or so has also brought many lessons both good and challenging. Lessons are always a gift, even if hard to swallow. What it meant was that I didn’t create as much as I had planned. Not even sure that I had planned much. I still, however, feel that procrastination is in fact a good thing. There’s a lot that is happening in the quagmire of one’s brain whilst playing in a different stomping ground and I’ve learned to embrace it. Through embracing it, I feel like I am more confident in certain areas of what I do and so now I allow myself the time I need to process, even if subconsciously.

So… what have I created? It feels like not much, but I’m not sure that’s all true or important! There’s a lot going on in my brain and I’m no longer rushing to get it all done. I have time. I have plenty of it as it turns out…

What I have started to do is make my own projects a priority. I finally got some concrete poured and created a floor mosaic. So it’s not finished… yet! But I’m almost there. Literally less than a square foot left to do! Part of it lies on the floor in my living room at present. I look at it, and look at it some more. And while I look at it and work away on this, I’m thinking about my other projects.

The community project for the Queanbeyan Council is going well. We’ve entered stage 2 of the project. Two more groups will begin tomorrow to fabricate their mosaics. It’s pretty exciting! I went past the other day and saw that the Queanbeyan High School’s three panels have been installed. The morning we were meant to do it was too cold, so I never saw them get adhered to the seating… The themes explored are Youth, Education and Sports respectively: –

 

I recently learned that I have had some of my work published in a book. I havn’t yet seen the book, but lots of great artists in there and I’m very stoked I got in!!

Lastly, I am still teaching. I’ve made a few changes but for now am keeping with the classes I have always offered. Registrations for all mosaic classes are on my website. This semester they include the basic mosaic classes as well as a Mosaics on Mesh class and a glass class (Patterns & Shapes: Push-in Technique). Next year will see at least one or two new classes which I’m quite excited about. It’ll also be nice to teach some new things!!

Anyhoo! I’m off to tend to my garden…

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Classes, Community Projects, Finished pieces, Floor, Inspiration, Kim Grant, Lifestyle, Mandala, Mosaic, Murals, My projects, Public Art, Round the World, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Love Letters, Mosaic classes, Trades and yet more Ranting….

Free heart. That’s what I am feeling the most right now. In anticipation of owning my home, just me, myself and I, I felt the need to start making things for me. I started with my letterbox. Separating from my husband has been a long and painful process, more than I could have imagined and perhaps it is because of this that hearts, especially winged ones, hold a lot of meaning to me. Who knows really, probably just a phase… πŸ™‚

airmail by Kim Grant

Still yet to finish up with that ugly boxy thing in the middle – there’s always something! I have a few other projects in mind – a large mural on my deck, some mosaics around my not-quite-a-pond-because-Australia-is-in-such-a-bad-drought! More like a hole with massive weeds in the garden… πŸ˜‰ I also have aΒ  narrow brick wall right outside my studio windows. I have this mosaic – a rug – that will hang there… It’s large – 1m x 1.2m. I have a bit of detailed work on this one, so it’s going to take a while! This is the central motif – borders to do…

Tabriz by Kim Grant

Beginning next year I will be offering four mosaic classes through CIT Solutions:

  1. Mosaic Basics (Interior)
  2. Mosaic Basics (Exterior)
  3. Tempered Glass Mosaics
  4. Mosaics on Mesh

Depending on how these go, I am also hoping to offer two other classes. It is exciting for me to head on a somewhat new journey. At the end of the year, I finish up my contract working my day job and perhaps thanks to the recession I have not been successful in finding new work. It’s a worry on one level and exciting on another. There have been a lot of opportunities that I simply have not been able to explore because of the day job, so I am hoping this time will allow me to do just that. Worse comes to worse, I lose my home. There’s worse things I could lose.

I’ve also just finished (finally!) a trade with the amazing Lin Schorr. She’s busy putting together all the collaborative murals she is leading. Amazing work – you should check out her projects! The latest and final mural is the Heartistry Mural – a mosaic tapestry based on the theme of hearts with a limited colour palette of red, white and silver. The entries so far have been fantastic. I can see it’s going to be a good one.

Here is Lin’s mosaic I made for her I titled “In the Time of Queens”:

In the Time of Queens

My submission for the Heartistry mural:

Free Heart

This is the piece that Lin has made me – “Given for Granted”

Given for Granted by Lin Schorr

OK… so enough is enough. My dog is whingeing and complaining about going out for a walk… time to shutup! πŸ˜‰

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Australia, Canberra, Female, Kim Grant, Lifestyle, Mosaic, Murals, My projects, Ornamental, Round the World, Trades, Travel, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Artist in Residence at IMA!!

After the conference it was onwards and upwards to the Bay Area – my former stomping ground and one place I keep going back to. I always feel like I come home when I go there…

Laurel True was kind enough to let me do a stint at Artist in Residence at the Institute of Mosaic Art (IMA).Β  When I inquired about perhaps helping out with something at IMA, I wasn’t expecting an ‘Artist in Residence’ tag at all, but was more than happy with it πŸ™‚Β  Laurel had mentioned the kitchen backsplash which piqued my interest,Β  amongst many other possibilities. I was worried that time pressures and other personal pressures may prevent me from finishing it, so I left myself open to anything. I had mentioned it to Susan Crocenzi – looking to collaborate with her cuz I thought it would just be fun! When I arrived and went over, I thought to myself the backsplash would be the perfect thing to do. Yet again proof of working well under pressure πŸ˜‰ With no design ideas in mind and no inkling, at that time, that I would be surrounded by fellow artists a laΒ  Linda Martin, Kelley Knickerbocker and Rachel Rodi [who are waaaay awesome!!! ;)] to help finish the installation I set about doing the kitchen backsplash direct (knowing that I had 4, maybe 5 days to get it all done)! – simply because I had no design in mind and worked it as I went. I knew that if I sat down and drew stuff out, it would not get finished.

Susan came in on the last day (all the way from Nevada City!) and added her tempered glass and polymer clay accents, all of which I think make the installation! Some of the polymer clay pieces she had made many moons ago and they just fit with the theme – colours, shapes… it was just perfect! Like it was meant to be somethin’… We finished just in the knick o’ time.

I have to say designing this was a little scary… 1 because I had no ideas, 2 because it’s in Laurel’s business, 3 because that business is IMA and 4 because how many mosaic artists go through there every year?! Laurel was way cool about it though and just let me go for it. I very much appreciate her support. I figured that she wouldn’t mind a walk on the wild side and wouldn’t necessarily need/want/prefer a traditional backsplash, so I went with something else and I think it fits with the spirit of IMA…

By day 2 I was starting to get just a tad panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to finish what I’d started! I was leaving to go back to Australia and not quite like I could pop in at any time… Mentioned as much on either Flickr or Facebook (don’t remember which) and Lovely Linda came to the rescue!!! She drove up from Santa Cruz to help me on the Saturday. How cool is that?! Kelley was there, having driven down from Seattle the day before, hanging her art for a show she’s got going on (go see it if you are close by – her work is amazing!!!!). We roped her in at some point in the day and when Rachel finished teaching her class… well we just had that glint in our eyes and she couldn’t say no πŸ˜‰

Last day of installation and the name for the piece hadn’t even cropped up… Susan and I decided to call it Reach.

Have I mentioned how FUN it is working with fellow mosaic artists?!!! Spreadin’ the love is good in numbers!

Me and the Lovely Linda
Me and Linda Martin

Kelley, Rachel and Linda
The Gang – Kelley Knickerbocker, Rachel Rodi and Linda Martin

Crocenzi waving her magic TG wand
The LOVELY Susan Crocenzi

Reach1
Photo by Gib Robinson

Reach - glowing
Reach, *glowing*

Susan Crocenzi's Polymer Clay and Tempered Glass Creations
Detail of Susan’s work

reach_side1
Photo by Gib Robinson

reach_detail
Photo by Gib Robinson

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Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artists, Backsplash, California, Community Projects, Design Concepts, Events, Female, Finished pieces, Flickr, Inspiration, Institute of Mosaic Art, Kelley Knickerbocker, Kim Grant, Laurel True, Lifestyle, Linda Martin, Meeeting of the Minds, Misc. Design Concepts, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, Murals, My projects, Oakland, Ornamental, Polymer Clay, Public Art, Rachel Rodi, Rant, Round the World, San Francisco, Schools, Susan Crocenzi, Tempered Glass, Travel, Uncategorized, USA

Breathing Life into Inanimate Objects

I must say I love doing it!

My studio has been a bustling place to be these last couple of days. I taught a friend how to make a mosaic (she is, for the record, totally besotted and has already scoped out her studio in her garage!!! Yay) and then a little 4 year old came over (one of my daughter’s womb buddies) and made a stepping stone. She rocked that mosaic!!! We were done in an hour and she was asking me what we could do next πŸ˜‰ My kinda gal!

I finished, 100%, my commission-du-jour, Sir Elton. He’s not only grouted, but signed, sealed and on his way to be delivered. It’s rather exciting and then not so… The departure is all too sudden. I know, daft really. After all they are just inanimate objects. Why should I get so attached?! I never feel like I do until I have to say goodbye. So Sir Elton is packed in a box, surrounded by a some kind of foam, that was liquid so it could dry into his shape and mould him all the way to Seoul, Korea. He’s the one on the right πŸ˜‰

Chicky Babes

Sir Elton

Called on the paparazzi for these pictures (by my sister Lee Grant). After all who knows when we’ll get Liberace and Sir Elton together again?! πŸ˜‰ I have plans for perhaps extending the series even further πŸ™‚ Why not?! I might as well now and from this day forth be known as “The Chicken Lady”. {teehee…} I’m very pleased how he turned out. Let’s all hope that he makes it over in one piece…

Next on my hit list is the next commission – a big fish, another 3D sculpture. I’m excited about this one. Stuck a few tiles on him today and he’s come alive already. It’s exciting to watch. His tail is broken so I’m going to have to make and attach a new section on. I’m thinking mesh + thinset + *maybe* (if it’s necessary) some polystyrene… A bit of Darjit would be useful! Still need to follow up on that workshop. It’d be fun to do. There was talk about a workshop being held down my way… I have considered organising a one here, maybe even at the Art School at Uni. I think there’d be plenty of people interested. Just another thing to do really and fairly low on my list of priorities, I might add. Almost did one while I was over in San Francisco, as there was a course right after the mural workshop I participated in at IMA. Oh if I didn’t have a life and all I had to do was travel, make mosaics and meet lotsa cool, talented artists! πŸ™‚ Hmmm… actually now that I see it in writing, it’s what I do, just part time! That makes me feel better, I think… I think I just implied to myself that I have no life. Hmmm, time to get some sleep I think. πŸ˜‰

So on that note: Voila! Here is one of my WIPs (I’m actually working on 4 different projects right now, that’s a little psychotic is it not?!). I think he’s going to be loads of fun!

Moby?!

Next in line...

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I went shopping

So I returned from my trip OS a few days back and have managed to feel somewhat human again after coming back from being on holiday. A really wonderful holiday! A holiday from also being a mother, where I got to spend time just being me. The rude shock of having to run a household on my own and be a mother again made me sick… quite literally. I was in bed with a flu over the weekend… Illness is, I’m sure, Mother Nature’s gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) nudge that we need to look after ourselves, and that wellness is something not to be taken for granted! Well it’s usually a reminder for me to slow down, take stock and look at what my priorities are.

Kids back to school today. It was also a cold, wintery day. Though I enjoy all 4 seasons the winter here is a tad too long and too cold. I do like it for it’s coziness though. It seems to bring out the homeyness in me and I find myself wanting to cook gourmet meals, cozy up to a fire (that I don’t have) and read a book.

I managed to finally unpack all my little bits and pieces of mosaic related shopping I did whilst in the US. And only one breakage, so I’m happy. Most of the products I buy in the US are things I either can’t get here or are 3 times the expense if I can. So I always stock up whenever I go over… I will whinge and complain about the price of everything in this country! I’d say on average everything costs around 3 times more than in the US. Even for things like yarn, where the wool comes from Australia, is cheaper in the US. It is beyond me why we have such high prices. Perhaps it is because “they” know that we will spend the money when we have no other option. Funny because everyone in the US was complaining about the high petrol prices ($4/gallon in CA). We’ve been paying the equivalent of around $6/gallon for at least a year… and that’s just the tip of that iceberg.

OK, I’ll stop complaining now. πŸ™‚

So this is some new additions to my stash: Van Gogh glass, mirror tile, grout glitter, some new mini-tools, funky coloured grout, glitter tile, glue, millefiori… I don’t like shopping, generally speaking, but mosaic related shopping from the convenience of the internet is the best! It is pure therapy!!!

I went shopping

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Filed under Australia, Flickr, Lifestyle, Mosaic, Rant, Round the World, Travel, Uncategorized, USA

Susan Crocenzi + New Website

Well I have just finished making a website for a Mosaic Artist/Flickr Friend, who was also featured in the Artist Watch Series – Susan Crocenzi. So fun to make and always get a good chuckle that we can be on other sides of the World and still make this happen (yes, I still am very enamoured by the internet and don’t take it for granted!!!).

I love her work so we’ve done a trade on this and I can’t waaaaiiiiiit to see what she has made me. All I do know is that it is a wall hanging. I did request round… I’m completely in love with her polymer clay tiles and she posted a WIP of the piece, aptly titled Crossroads. Here it is, aren’t the polymer clay tiles ammmmaaaazing!?

Crossroads WIP by Susan Crocenzi
WIP Crossroads originally uploaded by sucra88

Here’s what I did for her…Β  Check it out!!!

sc.png

It kinda turned out a little similar to mine, but I’m still patting myself on the back πŸ™‚ I don’t mind and I don’t think Susan minds… I think she’s happy! Are you happy Susan?!! lol πŸ˜‰

Was a lot of fun to make. I’m no website design genius because I am self taught. This was the first mosaic site I made, other than my own. It was so great to see her pieces in this context, piecing it all together, making her already dramatic looking pieces, moreso!

Anyway, you all should go look at her website. Her work is gorgeous – did I say that already?!

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Filed under Art, Artists, Australia, Events, Flickr, Kim Grant, Lifestyle, Mosaic, Mosaic Materials, My projects, Polymer Clay, Round the World, Susan Crocenzi, Trades, Uncategorized, USA, Website

Dive into Etsy!

So after much thought I decided to open up a little shop at Etsy. I plan on selling the smaller things – most things you’d find in my Market Stall and some picture frames. I’m selling postcards of my work, as well as large and small magnets (soon to come). I will eventually also sell archival quality prints of some work too, am still looking into it.

This has been fun! It’s like being a kid all over again and playing “shops” πŸ˜‰

So check my shop (kgmosaics.etsy.com) out… please?! πŸ™‚

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