Thursday, March 24, 2016

Not Quite the Ocean

When you are a teacher, you wait all year for spring break.


I wish I could jet off to some 
fabulously warm, exotic locale
but that just isn't in the budget so here I am.


Spring bulbs get all the attention but I love the solid reliability of pulmonaria.

But that's ok. I love quiet days alone at home where the only person I have to deal with is myself. Music plays and I just putter: inside, outside, upstairs, down. Even when I say I'm doing nothing, I'm always doing something. But sometimes what I really love is silence and to lose myself in a project. I slip inside myself, shut out the world, and just create.



To brighten a dark spot on my front porch, I made another mosaic pot and added a handmade copper birdhouse purchased from Etsy.

How to Make a Mosaic Pot

Step 1:
Buy a pot. I've only done this twice and have used thick ceramic or fiberglass pots each time.




Step 2:
Dilute some cheapo wood glue with enough water to make it easy to spread and paint the pot with the glue. Let it dry.



Step 3:
Mix concrete with enough water to make it spreadable and spread it on the pot. It needs to be a bit thick. I used a cheap pointy tiling trowel to make it appear that I actually knew what I was doing. 



Step 4:
Stick stuff in the concrete. Let it dry and you're done. You don't need to grout anything. Even calling this a mosaic is a stretch but describing it as a "cheap concrete covered pot with stuff stuck in it" is a bit wordy. I organized all my glass pieces before I began but a "What the heck! Let's just stick stuff in concrete" approach works well, too.



My art studio doubles as the front porch.


I stuck flat backed glass pieces randomly into the concrete and
 made it up as I went.


I like how bubbly it is. It reminds me of the ocean.


I love the warmth of copper and have many copper art pieces through out the garden. This birdhouse is functional as well as decorative.

59 comments:

  1. You are so creative. I love the bubbly look! I am wondering if this would work on a clay pot too or if you think it would be too porous? Stupid question: What is the purpose of putting the glue on the pot if you let it dry?

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    1. I asked myself that same question..... I think it just makes the surface less slippery....maybe.... I'd try it with clay but would seal the pot with something so it doesn't absorb some of the concrete. But then again, maybe that will work. I'd give it a try both ways. Experiment!

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  2. Those colors really brighten up the front porch for spring, love the blues!
    Have a great spring break, and when you go back it's almost time to start that summer countdown :)

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    1. Thanks! That spot on the porch is a black hole and nothing I've put there has done a dang thing to brighten it up so I thought, "Hey, let's stick stuff in concrete." :o)

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  3. The pot is wonderful. A great project on a quiet day. Teachers need spring break every bit as much as the kids do. You put your time to good use. Summer will come soon.

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    1. I would go insane without spring break! I'm in charge of the 6th grade science fair and I always schedule it right before break to give me time to recover. ;o)

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  4. Wonderful transformation! I love spending time on my own - the quiet, the solitude - but for me, that happens before and after spring break, not during :)

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    1. thanks! I'm an extroverted introvert and really love my time alone. I need the quiet to just settle my brain. :o)

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  5. I'd call this a work of art! I long for some days of solitude, too, to putter around the house by myself--my husband is retired:) Enjoy your break--you deserve it!

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    1. Awww, thanks! Spring break is a godsend. Now to finish all the grading I brought home....

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  6. What a fun project! I tend to bring home all these broken pots from work, and glue them back together. Sometimes they leave a little to be desired - this could be a great way to spruce them up. Thanks for the idea, and happy spring break, Tammy!

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    1. Give it a try! I don't know how water proof it all is, though. I keep mine in a sheltered spot. But it is concrete so it should be able to take some moisture.

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  7. That's fabulous and beautiful! You make it sound easy, but I've tried mosaics, and they are hard. You have to have a certain talent for it.

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    1. It's easy! I started with the big dark blue pieces, followed with a large but not as large light blue pieces, and then filled in with the little ones. I assure talent was not part of the equation.

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  8. This sounds like a good idea. Do you think it would work on plastic pots?

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    1. I have no idea but you can give it a try! I have some dry concrete left and when you visit I'll send you home with it to try. It will be a fun experiment. :o)

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  9. I'm glad you're enjoying your spring break even if ocean breezes weren't part of the equation this year. I really like your new pot, which makes me think of bubbles. Thanks for the tutorial too.

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    1. It is pretty bubbly. I really like it! :o)

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  10. Job well done - it looks most attractive. I think that I would probably end up sticking my fingers together if I embarked on such a project. Enjoy your break.

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    1. I had a towel on my lap that I used to wipe off excess concrete that stuck to my fingers. :o)

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  11. That is interesting. Why do you first put a layer or glue? I suppose the mortar adheres better?

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    1. I think it helps the concrete adhere better but it would be worth trying it without the glue. :o)

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  12. That is pretty. Really adds some color to the porch.

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    1. Thanks! The black hole of porch nothingness is gone! Yay!

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  13. Nice! you are so talented, Tammy! I would be happy spring-breaking in DC! Wisconsin is not wonderful this time of year. Well, every other day is nice, but then we get surprise ice and snow storms. Blech. Anyway, thanks for sharing this view of spring and your pretty project!

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    1. I don't think talent factors in to this but thanks! My spring vbreak might not have included the beach but there were lots of cherry blossoms. :o)

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  14. I love it :-) I've made those concrete stepping stones with kids when mine was younger, and it was fun. I never thought of doing a pot, though. I love the blue bubbles :-)

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  15. Tammy girl how darn artistic are YOU !! ... I love it .. I think I would mix it with little sea shells from our Dollar Store .. but that blue is fantastic so well done YOU girl ! ... I am trying to get out and clean up the hellebore bed tomorrow .. it actually went up to 12 or 13 degrees today but I was having a rough day so I couldn't make it out ... tomorrow for sure for some garden therapy !! You have inspired me : )
    Joy .. yes the sprouts are delicious and crunchy, great with a green salad !

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    1. I do love that blue but I think I might add some tufts of silk grass to the rocks and pebbles in the pot. It doesn't get enough sun to grow a real plant and it feels like it needs some height.

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  16. Oh I love it!! Very pretty! So artistic. It makes a great pop of blue on the front porch!

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  17. I love it, love it, love it...stick stuff in the concrete pot...I love it!!!

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    1. Sticking stuff in concrete is the only artistic skill I have. :o)

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  18. I hope you enjoy your spring break. My wife teaches, and tonight she is trying to get all the work she brought home with her completed so she can have the rest of the week for whatever and nothing.

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    1. I did the opposite: I've saved everything for the last day and will be grading for hours tomorrow. But that's ok, too. It will feel good to get it all done. :o)

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  19. Your mosaic pot is gorgeous! I'm looking forward to spring break in a couple of weeks and will bring nothing home to work on. Doesn't matter because even when I do, it doesn't get done.

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    1. Only a small bit of what I brought home will be graded but I'm much more rested than I was a week ago so it's all ok. :o)

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  20. Talented, Tammy! I liked as you alternated all these stuff. It's really looks like ocean.

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  21. Sacre bleu! You are an artiste! :)

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    1. I maxed myself out with this pot. This is as good as it gets! ;o)

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  22. How lovely! I am impressed, if I made that I'd be covered in concrete and it would dry faster than I could get anything on it.....well, that's what happened last time! You make it look so easy! That copper birdhouse is charming!xxx

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    1. Your pot would be amazing! I'd had my eye on that birdhouse for several months. It was pricey but much cheaper than a vacation. :o)

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  23. I hope you are having a wonderful spring break Tammy, you teachers really need your breaks. I used to teach years ago but I know the job is much harder these days.
    What a great project brightening up the pot in such a creative way, I bet you had fun.

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    1. It was fun! Teaching is very different than it used to be but still as rewarding. :o)

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  24. That first pic is dreamy but I get what you are saying. The garden is an amazing place to escape! Especially when you have fun projects like that!

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    1. I would love to just sail away some days and not have to think about anything at all....

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  25. A beautiful container....I too used to love those quiet break days doing nothing or whatever I wanted. Hope you had a great break!

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    1. My break was more eventful than I would have preferred but life's like that sometimes.

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  26. Hello! Thank you so much for visiting my blog the other day so I could find yours. I have really enjoyed looking through your posts! I love your sweet dogs too. I also have a Lucy!! I love your sense of humor and also the fact that you don't mind making mistakes and recognizing that we all do, and that as gardeners it's how we learn. I shall really enjoy following!

    - Kate
    Grey Tabby Gardens

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    1. Thanks! Mistakes happen. That's life. :o)

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  27. Love your beautiful tile work!

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  28. Hello Tammy, as gorgeous as that tropical paradise in the first picture is, my budget also lets me enjoy a sunny afternoon in the garden, pottering about and doing little bits here and there while listening to the birds, watching the bees buzz by and spotting the cheeky robin making off with a worm or two. It's just as good, but in a different way and by the time summer comes round, there's no comparison!

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  29. It sounds like you are enjoying yourself just as much as if you were on a beach somewhere, Tammy! In fact, you would probably get bored just soaking up the sun!
    Teaching is so full on that silence is very therapeutic in the holidays! My head is spinning by the end of a school day!
    Love your pot btw!

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  30. Aw Tammy, have just seen the link to 'Hoe hoe grow' so thank you for that. Very much appreciated. Can I also say that the swearing has worked very successfully and all seeds have germinated. I may patent this method of germination!

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