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The tesserae are massing

OK. Friday - ready to blog. I would have been here a little sooner but for the drought and a dead duck. Definitely a conspiracy to keep me busy and un-blogged. One of these issues required lots of time with the hose in the veggie patch trying to salvage the summer harvests of melon, corn and beans. The irrepressible cucumbers, of course, are completely ignoring the dry weather and fruiting just as fast as ever. I harvested another dozen or so this morning and I have no idea what to do with this lot. There are only so many jars of pickled cucumbers you can logically think it possible for you and the family to eat in the course of a year or so. Maybe I'll give them away as Christmas presents.

The other issue - the dead duck issue - left me with an aching heart for a distressed little girl. The chickens are galloping away in health and heartiness, ('though no bloody eggs yet!!!), but the duck numbers are dwindling for no apparent reason. So, lots of wasted time on the Net researching dead duck issues, only to learn that, basically, poultry can be unpredictable.

And so, onto The New Project. It definitely feels like a capital letter statement. The New Project. Fabulous. I have spent time this week - this hideously hot, horribly dry week - in gathering all the bits and pieces I need for my mirror frame mosaic.

This week's 'photo shows the collection of tesserae I have gathered - tile, glass, crockery, millefiori, etc. Most of it I had in my studio, ready for just such an occasion, but some of it is newly bought or found. The bathroom is predominantly blue and white, so I will keep to these tones but add some accents of turquoise and aqua, and neutrals of black and silver mirror. The lighting in our bathroom is beautiful, lots of soft lights, and I want to make the most of all the sparkly bits.

I have sawn the plywood into strips to use as my substrate. The ply will be sealed and painted matte black, as well as pre-drilled. I will make the mosaic in my studio, and then mount the strips on the wall, using screws and plasterboard plugs. Once mounted, the screws will have a piece of tessera glued on top so they can't be seen. The mosaic will be a permanent fixture. I don't intend to grout this mosaic, so the black paint on the ply will give it a nice strong background. I will squeeze the tesserae really closely together with a clear-drying glue and it'll be fab.

I'm really looking forward to getting into the 'meat' of the mosaic. All the preparation stuff is a bit boring to me, but the actual building of the piece is a blast. I love it. It's like a really complex jigsaw, but I get to decide where the pieces go.

My task for next week is to design the mosaic. I will draw it up to scale on paper and then work with coloured pencils and crayons to create a selection of 'quilt blocks' that sit beautifully together. My other task, my really truly, yes-I-am-going-to-be-a-professional task, is to finally get on to contacting tile suppliers/shops, tilers, builders, architects, etc., and send them my new web address.

Now that the site is finally complete I can't really ignore the whole point, can I?

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