Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Ocean Awareness Project...A river of trash

The design for my mosaic began with the idea of how all of this trash travels to the ocean. 
I grouped the plastics into color groups first and then into a flowing river pattern.  Trash can travel hundreds of miles from inland cities.  This is something that I think most people don't even think about as they toss something into the gutter.
I had originally used white at the end of my river, but as you can see in the next photo I left it out. I'm saving the white plastics along with any others I gather for future mosaics.
My favorite part of the river is the broken sunglasses. By using my "signature eyes" behind the lenses I think it adds a bit of whimsy...which if you know me...I love!
The background will be filled with various shades of blue tessarae to make up my ocean. I'm currently waiting for a custom ceramic piece to arrive for the "Save Our Oceans".  I can't wait to get back to work on it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breaking Free...the finished piece

"Breaking Free" is my own personal mosaic that I made during the summer as my life took a major turn.  Each piece of tessarae has a story behind it and the "marriage" of all the broken bits join together to become one piece of art that now hangs in my studio. As a mosaic artist I'm used to putting things together in a new way...so  now I will work on putting the broken pieces of my life back together and like mosaic art I hope it will be beautiful :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Very Handmade Halloween


Temporary Tattoo by Buttonhead
Halloween is coming soon and the hunt is on for the perfect costume.  The mega Halloween stores are popping up everywhere these days.  So off you trudge to stroll down the overwhelming aisles filled with screaming kids chasing each other with fake weaponry.  It's exhausting, expensive and downright hard to find anything unique in these stores.  Nothing worse than showing up at a party wearing the exact same costume as someone else...let alone three or four other people!  Etsy artists are extremely creative and I can almost guarantee that you'll get noticed and complimented with your unique handmade costume. 

Have you ever seen anything as cute as this Bubble Gum Dress by devaniweaver...those gumballs look almost edible!

How about some stitches for your forehead? They will last up to a week...you just might want to leave them on and head into work the next day, hee hee! 

Some spooky gloves with lovely red fingernails can keep your hands warm and add a nice touch to your costume. I think I'd wear these even after Halloween is over.

Etsy.com is full of thousands of great Halloween costumes and accessories. Come take a peek at more of my favorites in my Etsy treasury!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Ocean Awareness Project...Where Does All This Plastic Come From?

When you live near the beach I think it's only natural that you take an interest in keeping it clean. I always deposit my trash , and will even pick up trash around me that was left by others.  But in the last few years I've begun to notice a larger amount of trash on the beach. Where does all this trash come from? There can't be that many litterbugs out there?

Last January after a intense week of rainstorms in Southern California I took a walk with my 12 year-old son down to Doheny Beach to check out the damage. We were amazed at how much trash ended up on the sand. Gigantic piles of wood....a big mess to deal with I'm sure but it's a natural element.

 We enjoyed the creative souls that had came before us and left their masterpieces.

 As we looked closer into the wood piles we saw bright and colorful things....plastic toys, sunglasses, balls.
I noticed some broken yellow sunglasses and picked them up. This is when I had the idea to use this trash to create a mosaic. We spent the rest of our time collecting brightly colored plastic to use as my tessarae. I think most people who live inland don't realize how far trash can travel and how much damage it can do to our oceans sea life.  I'm hoping that my finished project will open eyes to this problem.  I'll be updating my blog as I create my mosaic.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vintage finds

While trolling for plates I often come across some really cool vintage things that I can't pass up.  These fun, funky finds are now offered in my Etsy shop, enjoy!
Vintage Green Mushroom Salt and Pepper Shakers


Vintage Brass Candlesticks


Vintage Yellow Tulip Art on Wood Block

Vintage Mkiasa Coffee Mugs





Monday, July 26, 2010

Eco Artist Extraordinaire Mary Anne Enriquez




Mary Anne Enriquez aka Urban Woodswalker is an amazing artist that I admire.  Her passion for the environment and her creative mind unite to turn what others would consider trash into unique and beautiful  jewelry, art, and fashion.

 She recently entered and won the Grand Prize for the "Save My Oceans Upcycle Contest"  with her Upcycled Fused Plastic Bag Coat. She worked tirelessly for one month cutting and fusing plastic bags together to create the coat. 




                                   This IS Globalization Trash Chaos Vessel
Mary Anne has found a way to de-clutter her countertops from the endless barrage of junk mail. Using recycled magazines and junk mail, she created a "trash chaos vessel". It's now a beautiful and useful piece of art.  
Aluminum cans become her beads for this unique one-of-a-kind necklace. You can find more of her jewelry in her Etsy shop Urban Woodswalker. To view the gallery of her portfolio visit her Flickr page, you'll be amazed at how beautiful trash can become! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

B.Y.O.B. No Excuses!


I have to admit that when I decided to make the switch over from using plastic grocery bags to bringing my own it took awhile to get into the habit. I would forget to put them in the car...or walk into the store and remember as I was in the checkout line. We do get spoiled with the convenience of the store taking care of this need But who pays the price?
Did you know that approximately 1 BILLION seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags? Unfortunately these bags which can catch the air like a balloon can travel for miles and eventually end up in our oceans, lakes and streams all over the world.
Grocery stores are trying to help us by offering their own eco-friendly bags for purchase. I do see some people bringing their own bags, but I don't think the majority of people will until they Ban the Plastic Bags.

It's easier than you think to B.Y.O.B. to the stores! Here's some tips to get you started.
Tip #1 - Look through your closets, you may already have some canvas bags around the house. Throw them in your trunk so they're ready when you need them.
Tip #2 - If you live close to a Trader Joe's, take your bags there for your first time. They will enthusiastically welcome you and your bags and even throw your name into a raffle!
Tip # 3 - Buy a Chico Bag. This was my very first re-usable bag I bought. It cost around $5 but has been worth every penny. I've had this for over 2 years and it's still going strong...small, compact, fits in your purse or clips on your belt...genius!
Tip- # 4- Ignore the rude cashiers that seem annoyed that it takes longer to pack your groceries in your re-usable bag. It may slow up their line, but you are doing a good thing!


Monday, July 5, 2010

My Work In Progress "Breaking Free"

It's a big year of change for me...my heart and soul went into this piece. I'll be adding more chains to my heart...some broken, some still attached. Moving on to the next phase of my life, where my heart will be surrounded with bright happiness, peace and joy! I'll post pics after grouting.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Grass is Greener...the air is cleaner.


The green green grass of my home has a new garderner...me! I've taken over the chore of mowing the lawn. My first attempt at starting the mower was enough to make me rip all the grass out. Twenty minutes later with sweat dripping down my face I was finally successful and heard the "beast " roar. I eventually would get the technique perfected and be able to start the mower with a single pull. The "beast" could cut grass well, but the noise pollution and air pollution that spewed out really bothered me. That's when my quest to find an eco-friendly replacement began.
Electric mowers seemed to be a good alternative, but the annoyance of the cord seemed to be an issue. I remembered my Mom using a push mower for our yard, did they still make those I wondered?
I researched and found the one I wanted...Scott's Classic Reel Mower. It had great reviews and I watched a 6 min. video of a small woman mowing her lawn. I was sold!

After a simple assembly of the handle...off we went for a test drive. My gas mower had conked out halfway through so now Scott (that's what I call him) had the job of tackling the mohawk that Mr. Rootin'-Tootin'-Pollutin' had left behind. It was now pitch dark but my son and I were determined to get er' done, so under the glow of the cellphone we mowed. I didn't really get a good look at the job Scott did until the morning after. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was cut perfectly and matched the noisy dude's work.
So if you're thinking of finding ways to go green in your life, and you have a small yard...then I highly recommend finding a Scott of your own. It is easy to push, easier to turn, and I just can't get enough of that whirling sound it makes as your push your way along!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Amber Glow


The Seventies was all aglow with Amber...I love to pick up vintage treasures from this era. There's just something warm and fuzzy about this color that makes me feel at home. Could it be that this glass might of been the same glass I drank out of as a child of the 70's and it stirs up old memories for me?
The texture on this glass is amazing and as I thought of all the creative ways you could use a single glass like this to decorate your home, alas my son came up with this one.
A simple votive candle and voila...an amber glow to light up your night!
You can find this vintage treasure in my Etsy shop!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Irene

Meet Irene...my latest eyeball mosaic. She currently sits atop my mantel awaiting adoption. To learn more about her visit my Etsy shop!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Motherless Mother's Day



You left me far too soon
I wasn't ready to let you go
You'd taught me many things
but there was more for me to know...

When I didn't believe I could do it alone
Your angel wings lifted me high
and wrapped me tight with your soul
and gave me the strength to fly...

And on this Motherless Mother's Day
I will not shed a tear
For you are forever a part of me
a part that will always stay near.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!




Friday, April 30, 2010

It's My One Year Anniversary...

Happy One Year Anniversary to me!!!
One year ago today I started running...I'm sad to say I could only run about 1 mile before I felt like I was going to die! I had never been a runner before and I only started training in preparation for my first Mud Run. I made little baby steps each week, slowly adding more distance to my running workouts. My goal was to be able to run at least 3 miles without walking by July. This gave me 2 1/2 months to reach my goal. As each week passed I started to notice that I wasn't heaving and panting at the end of a few miles. My real motivation came from my running mate, Jenny...who at 50 years old became my unofficial coach. She had the energy of a 20 year old and I could sometimes barely keep up.
As July neared a turn of unfortunate events occurred...Jenny overdid it and a foot injury ended our days of training together, and she grabbed her family and left the country! (Only for a year...to travel around the globe, she's due back in a few weeks). As she packed her bags, she made me promise her that I wouldn't quit running. So I continued on...
I completed my first Mud Run successfully, then signed up for another one, and another one, and yet another one! (July 18th @ www.irvinelakemudrun.com) . I ran the Dana Point Turkey Trot in November, and the OC Chili Trail Run in February.
So this day is significant to me in many ways...I embrace my new life filled with mud runs, trail runs, new running friends, sweaty socks, a closet full of running gear, and a healthy body.
You are never too old to start a healthy lifestyle, find a partner to motivate you, start slow, and set yourself some goals. Sign up for a 5K or if you don't mind getting dirty, a Mud Run.
One year...approximately 750 miles later...I will now pat myself on the back!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Gift of a Random Act of Kindness

Ever had one of "those days"? A few weeks ago I was having a terrible day...personal issues, and I was at Trader Joe's picking up a few things...wine, chocolate, etc. The cashier asked me how my day was and I responded, "Not good". He said oh, ok...let's try this again. How was your weekend? I responded, "Pretty crazy". He said oh, I'm sorry. We all have days like that. I hope it gets better. I paid for my groceries and he handed me my reciept, and a bouquet of flowers.
This Random Act of Kindess (RAOK) from a stranger turned my day around. It gave me hope that there are kind people out there. I decided that he was my angel.
After tweeting about the kind gesture, I received a reply back from @UOWHO, telling me to pay it forward, and that's how I came to learn about this wonderful company that makes these bracelets.
The idea behind them is to wear one, do something nice for someone, punch out one of the 10 tabs and pass the bracelet on to the recipient. Then they do the same, and so on...and so on... and in the end it will make 10 happier people on earth!
When I received my bracelet I wore it daily for over a week. I wanted to make sure my RAOK was a heartfelt one. The bracelet made me aware of strangers around me and I kept searching for the perfect person to pass it on to.
Back at Trader Joe's again...more wine, more chocolate...and I spotted some beautiful yellow daffodils in a woman's cart. Daffodils were one of my Mom's favorite springtime flowers. She used to get so excited after a cold snowy winter in Utah to see the first sign of spring poking up from the ground. My Mom's birthday had just passed, she would've been 75 this year, and I wanted a part of her in this process. She was the most generous soul I've ever met...so Daffodils were going to be my gift to someone.
Who??? Hmmm....had to be the perfect person, who didn't expect it. Now at my car loading my groceries, Daffodils in hand...I'm scanning the parking lot. There she was. A Mom, getting out of her SUV with two little boys on a Friday afternoon. I'm a mother of two boys also, so I know how hectic your days can be. She would be the next owner of the bracelet I decided.
She was surprised, and pleased and loved the whole concept of the bracelet. I'm sure she'll pass it on, if she hasn't already. I drove away feeling happy for her...and happier myself. Daffodils are a sign of hope that brighter days are ahead.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's a Beautiful Weekend to Spend in Dana Point Harbor!

The weather forecast looks great, and what better way to enjoy your weekend than getting outside and strolling through the Dana Point Harbor. It's the last weekend of the Festival of the Whales and there is tons going on! Bring the kids, bring you dog and enjoy the weekend listening to music and eating some great food.
While you're there don't miss the Dana Point Fine Arts booths!
I'll be there with all of my mosaic art alongside my best friend Rita, a jewelry designer. Stop by and say Hi! Enjoy your weekend!
You'll find our booths on the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and Island Way. (on the grassy area before Baby Beach).
Click on link for the schedule of events!
Dana Point Festival of the Whales Schedule

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Silver Bullet Designs at The Dana Point Festival of Whales




My best friend Rita and I go way back...we met in our Freshman year of High School. She was always creative and artsy even way back then. After High School she focused her art on jewelry and now designs and sells her things as Silver Bullet Designs.
This weekend March 6 and 7, and next weekend March 13 and 14, she'll have her booth at the Dana Point Festival of the Whales. Please stop by and say "Hi" to her and check out her jewelry. Be sure to tell her smashy sent you:)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seriously Cool


Seriously Cool
Originally uploaded by smashgirl
While out on the hunt for plates these boots caught my eye...I just had to buy them. The first thing that popped into my head was "These look like something I could see Johnny Depp wearing."
They are so outrageous...and whomever last owned them...maybe it was Johnny Depp...wore them. I tried them on, walked around the house in them...they are seriously comfortable...and seriously cool don't you think?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flashback to the 1970's


My brother just sent me these photos from our childhood...he must be having 70's flashbacks as well. It's funny how when you think back to your childhood, you can recall your home furnishings. Time goes by, the decor changes, the things leave the house...but they never leave your brain. Maybe some of those things should, like our Bicentennial print couch I grew up with. I remember when my Mom decided to reupholster the couch...she was so excited and thrilled with it, and it certainly was the focal point of our living room. It was adorned with crocheted pillows that my grandma made...loved those pillows! I can remember the smell of them and the texture...they were comforting to me.



I found this collectible Log Cabin bottle on Etsy. I remember using this on my pancakes that my Mom would make for me every weekend. Pancakes on Saturdays, Waffles on Sundays...we must of had hundreds of these that year.

Browse through Etsy Vintage and you just might find something from your past that brings back some memories!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Childhood Friends


I admit it...I was obsessed with Barbie Dolls. I spent hours,days,weeks, and months playing with Barbie and her gang. My dream was to own her "Dream House", but Santa never delivered...I eventually stopped believing in the guy. If he was determined to leave my dolls in a homeless state, then heck with him! Luckily, my Mom (she was the best!) came to the rescue...probably after years of tears from me, and built a humble abode for my dolls. Ok, it wasn't exactly the "Dream House", she made it from cardboard boxes, but it was functional and cute, and I was happy. She added real carpet, funky wallpaper, cut out windows and even hand-sewed custom drapes. Barbie had a pad...and it was luxurious compared to the "Dream House". Barbie and Ken could roll around on "real" shag carpeting, and close the curtains so the nosy neighbors couldn't get a peep show.
Barbie was cool, but my favorite doll was Leggy Jill. She had long legs, long blonde hair and she was hip. You may wonder why this nostalgic post? I recently parted ways with my childhood friends. They gave me many years of joy and companionship, but it was time to part. So off to Ebay land they went and will now continue their days with new owners. Goodbye Leggy, Adios Barbie, Au Revoir Ken you handsome devil!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Have a Stalker!



I was so excited to find out I'm being stalked! Not by a creepy, obsessive stalker...an Etsy Stalker named Violet. She's harmless, so not to worry my friends. Her posting today is called, "Mosaics: Picking up the Pieces". I feel honored to be included in her beautiful, eclectic collection of mosaics made by Etsy arists. You can see my "Bali Bowl" in all it's glory at www.etsystalker.com.
Be sure to check out all the various mosaic methods showcased in her blog article. The materials to make mosaics vary from plates(like mine) to fabric and pretty much anything you can think of. Feel free to stalk my shop anytime!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Etsy's Special Delivery Project for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I was so happy to hear that Etsy is doing the "Special Delivery Project" again this year. Etsy staff will be helping Citymeals-on-Wheels to bring nutritious meals, handmade greeting cards and companionship to elderly New Yorkers. I will be sending a package of my cards and hope to bring a smile to someones face! If you would like to be a part of this project too, you can make cards to send (you don't have to be an Etsy seller), have your kids make some cards, or buy any card from my shop Smashgirlcards and I'll mail them for you free of charge and hand write your Valentine's message for you. For more details visit my shop or to find out how to send cards of your own visit the Etsy blog!