Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Grandpa's 70th: The Gift

Grandpa turned 70 on Boxing Day and it was going to be a big do. The celebrations began at the beginning of December when we all went off on the cruise. It was Grandpa's way of celebrating his birthday with the family; all of us on the ship with him.

In between coming back from that and Christmas, we decided that we needed to get a present done for Grandpa. Something large enough to be presented to him at dinner. When Sher-maine blogged about the gift she gave to her kids' pre-school, we decided that would be perfect for a 70 year old who pretty much has everything.

We spent the entire Saturday morning at the Mosaic Workshop and some of the afternoon doing it. The first thing was to decide what we wanted on the mosaic.  That wasn't difficult. It would be the cruise we were just on and we would have the word "US" emblazoned onto the hull and stones representing Grandpa, Grandma and JED (though if you count carefully, there are more stones than there are people!). Jordan, our resident artist sketched out the ship on the ocean from a photograph we had. Packrat transferred it onto a 2 ft x 1 ft plank and the rest of us descended on it.

It took a lot of patience and it was very repetitive, placing one tile after another. It was pretty much, slather the glue and place the tiles, rinse and repeat a couple of thousand times. Thankfully, it moved quite quickly and even Muffin did a significant bit of it. They all lay claim to different parts of the mosaic. Muffin did all the cabins. Evan did all the sun, some of the cloud and sky. Jordan did the ocean and the different shades of it. Packrat and I just filled it where ever we needed to. 

 The owner, Nanette and her assistant Nerissa chipped in to help as well. Nanette made some suggestions, like leaving a blank space on the hull of the ship so that we could actually stick a photograph of us onto it. About 5 hours, with lunch in between, later, it was pretty much done though there was grouting and wiping to be done.

Nanette very helpfully tiled the edges and touched it up for us while we dragged 3 very exhausted and cranky children home. It wasn't the physical exhaustion but the mental exhaustion that came from focusing and tiling that killed them. Packrat and I actually found it very therapeutic though after hours of staring at it, when we closed our eyes, we were still seeing in mosaic. 

We loved the gradated ocean floor, the rainbow coloured "US" and the sun. I think if I did it again, the only thing I would change is to grout it in a darker colour but even as is, it was pretty awesome. 

Unfortunately, we don't actually have any pictures of JED presenting it to Grandpa. Everyone was focussed on making sure the hefty piece didn't drop on anyone's toes. 

But it did look plenty gorgeous and Grandpa's already figured out where to hang it in the house.

We were totally in love with the place and what I would give to actually have a work table totally tiled in mosaic. Now I'm itching to go back and do one in hydrangeas or irises for my mom but to be able to find a pocket of time to do that is another story.


  1. nice!! so many curves in your picture... very difficult.