Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the domino effect

The story of my kitchen table and how it became a domino effect.   It all started when someone used the wrong cleaner on my hand painted table and the finish became all gummy.  As time went on, it got worse.  I knew something had to be done about it.  I thought about using acetone or a furniture re-finisher on the tabletop.  The idea of all the mess and sanding was overwhelming.

One day I was talking to my friend Karol and she told me how her husband had a milk crate of handmade, handpainted mexican tiles in their garage.  They would be perfect for the table top and would match the ones on my windowsill over the kitchen sink.  I was going to Connecticut to visit, so I took them home to see if they would work.
They were perfect except for the color.  They were full of blues and yellows, none of which are in my kitchen.   I loved the idea of a tiled tabletop, so I proceeded to see if they would work.  After sorting through and cleaning them, it turned out there were just enough with a few to spare!  It was meant to be!  
Karol came to help and after researching YouTube and googling 'how to tile'.  We proceeded with the project.

First I painted the table legs black to match my chairs and applied a cement board to the top of the table.  It turns out it was the exact size of my table, so I didn't have to worry about cutting it.
Next, we laid out the tile in a pleasing pattern. (Caitie helped)

   After fiddling around for a bit, we applied tile cement.  It took longer than expected, but we got all of it stuck down.

  I also had to add a trim to create a tray to hold the grout.  I've mitered trim before, so it was no big deal.  We attached it with construction adhesive (I love that stuff) and let the whole thing dry overnight.

The next day was our trip to Philly (read about that here).  

Karol had to leave and left the grouting to me.  Of course,  I used too much grout, but live and learn. 

 After much sponging with a lot of water changes I got it grouted.

I love my new table.  Yes, there are imperfections, but that is the nature of the tile.  Some are warped and most are not perfectly square.  It is perfect for my kitchen  EXCEPT nothing in there is blue or yellow! 

Now I had to remove all the red and replace with blue.  Off to Home Depot for the umpteenth time this week.  I got blue paint and went nuts. 

I painted the hutch...

I painted the corner cabinet...

and I painted my grandfather's sheet music cabinet. (This one black to match the table and chairs)

and my friend always by my side.

 OF COURSE now I need a new rug and chair pads!  Moral of the story...don't clean your table with the wrong cleaner otherwise you may end up redecorating your entire kitchen!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kathy and Karol take on South Street in Philly!

Have you ever heard of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens?  Have you heard of the artist named Isaiah Zagar?

Well, if your answer is no to both questions, you must go check it out. 

Philadelphia's Magic Garden is located on South Street in Philadelphia.  The neighborhood is full of tattoo parlors, cheesesteak restaurants, consignment and antique shops.  My kind of neighborhood!
 Isaiah Zagar has and is creating mosaic murals like no other.  The Magic Garden is his work of art.

Every turn reveals something new and different.  I just love this sideways bird!

Ceilings, floors and walls are all mosaic! (look in the far back and note the archway made with bottles)

 There are so many words to describe it...remarkable, fascinating, incredible, overwhelming, beautiful, thought evoking, green, masterpiece, delightful  magical, inspiring, re-purposing, life's work, artistic....I could go on and on.  I've never seen anything like it.

This is a ceiling

Nothing is off limits; mirrors, glass, tile, bottles, bicycle wheels, statuary.  You name it, you can probably find it!

This is a stairway that leads to a labyrinth. 
     He bought the property in 1994 and works on it daily.  This space is his biggest accomplishment, but he has done several very large mosaic murals in over 100 spots in the city.  His goal is to mosaic the entire city.
 Do you see Karol in the distance?
 this says: I built this santuary to be inhabited by my ideas and my fantasies
 I love these blue bottles and
 there are figures everywhere!

Here is a wall with so much embedded in it, it is hard to see it all!
A little hiding place to just sit and think...

You can find mosaics all over the neighborhood.  Each one is unique and beautiful!

Karol and her new friends.  How many faces can you find?

This was on a wall in a parking lot...

and this is the wall of a building.  I found his work to be so inspirational.  I have all kinds of new ideas for my classes in the fall. 

I want this on my doorstep!

Field trips are a wonderful way to recharge our creative batteries! 

Of course, you can't go to Philly without having a cheese-steak for lunch, and we did!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Follow my Blog!!!

trying to make life a bit easier.  I just started following blogs i love with Bloglovin.  If you want to follow mine, just click on the link ~

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