Machu Picchu photographer

I wanted to share my most recent mosaic.  I did it for my father for a gift.  The idea was conceived by my mother.  My father loves to photograph scenery on the trips that he and my mother take.  He also wears a  great “Indiana Jones” hat on these trips.  I’ve included the two reference photographs so you can see what I was working from for the design.




dad machu picchuI initially thought the background wouldn’t be too challenging.  However, I was wrong.  Creating the illusion of depth with the limited color palette of glass was challenging.  Also, all the little walls in Machu Picchu were surprising complicated, even though they look like a bunch of squares.  I was very glad that I had the chance to rise to this challenge and give a gift to someone whom I love dearly.


Posters for an Art Fair

I’m excited to share that I’m going to be in my very first art fair!  On May 3rd & 4th between 10 AM and 6 PM, you will be able to purchase prints and small mosaic pieces from me at the Indie South Spring Market.  My dad helped me create a booth complete with display walls and all!  The market is located off Prince Ave. at 660 N Chase St. in Athens, GA.  I’d love to see you there!  Click here for more information.

For the fair, I finally ordered posters of my full alphabet collection.  I’m really excited with the way they turned out!  Athens Blueprint did a fantastic job printing them on nice heavyweight paper.  Here’s a sneak peek:


As soon as I figure out how to ship them, I’ll have them for sale in my Etsy store.

More Recipes for the Fall!

Fall Quesadillas Recipe Grilled Okra & Okra Hoecakes Recipes Squash and Lentil Salad Recipe

I’m really enjoying putting my favorite healthy recipes together in this illustrated and simple form.  Let me know if you end up making any of these and what you think!  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again to the Athens Farmer’s Market organization for helping me make this idea a reality.  I’m looking forward to passing more of these out this Saturday at Bishop Park!

Farmer’s Market Doodles

Summer Orzo Salad RecipeThis weekend I had the chance to partner with the Athens Farmer’s Market to provide a recipe to market shoppers.  I have found recipes including the seasonal produce for sale at farmer’s markets, especially those with multiple veggies in one recipe, extremely helpful in the past.  I feel as though the variety of vegetables that I feel comfortable buying and cooking has expanded as a result of the recipes various farmers and markets have given me.  Since I have the time and energy at the moment, I thought passing this yummy knowledge on to others would be a fun thing to do.  I did the little veggie doodles myself.  We’re hoping to continue offering a recipe a week for the meantime, so look out for this coming week.  Okra is up next!  Enjoy!

In the Jingle Jangle Morning…

I was working on a mosaic–my first commissioned glass work!


As a result of viewing my last entry, a friend from a previous school contacted me and asked me to do a piece for her husband.  He is a diehard Bob Dylan fan and their anniversary was right around the corner.  My friend had a vision of a mosaic work of Bob in his “big hair” days, playing the electric guitar with his harmonica ’round his neck, surrounded by the lyrics from the famous “Mr. Tambourine Man” song:  “In the jingle jangle morning, I’ll come following you.”  She graciously agreed to be flexible with the time frame of the project since I was in the middle of packing and moving to Athens, GA.  Being an artist and entrepreneur herself, she was eager to support my creative work.  (Any of you in the DC/Maryland area reading this need to check out her brand new studio and the classes she offers @ .)

This project was extremely fulfilling.  The challenge of representing someone else’s perception of an iconic musician was exciting.  I sent some pictures to my friend when I thought I had Dylan’s face and hair complete and she asked if I could make the hair any bigger.  I added on some more of those untamed curls and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.  I am so encouraged when the art I make can be tailored to fit specific interests and passions of others.  I am looking to continue this line of work with more musicians and lyrics, so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Our new house has a perfect nook in the basement where I have set up my mosaic studio.  It’s fabulous to be able to leave all the glass pieces out and not worry about cleaning up every time I need to stop working.  Shout out to my dad, mom, and husband for helping to make this possible!IMG_20130807_131420

Here are a few pics of the mosaic in process.  I made a custom frame for this mosaic.  This will protect the edges which have suffered on my previous two pieces without a built-in border.  I cut the glass for the lyrics and the figure first and lay them on the wood board without gluing them down.  This way, I have flexibility to rearrange until I get the proportions and spacing just right.  Then, I glue each piece down with regular old Elmer’s glue.  I add in the background tiles, then once that’s dry, I grout the piece.

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Below find some close-ups of the lyrics and figure.  For me, it is quite a challenge to photograph a mosaic work.  I use a lot of mirrored glass and getting the lighting just right over the entire piece is very difficult.  Therefore, I think these smaller photographs are somewhat more successful at capturing what the glass actually would look like if you were viewing the mosaic in person.

Thanks again to my friend for hiring me to do such a special piece!  It was a blast!


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More Mosaic work

Ella Jenkins mosaic


While diligently packing for my upcoming move (or should I say purposefully procrastinating?), I realized that I never shared pictures of my second large mosaic piece that I finished last summer.  I was really proud of the way this turned out.  Ella Jenkins is a favorite musician of mine.  She’s an American folk singer whose tunes and rhythmic performances captivate children of all ages (even those who are children at heart-like me)!  I fell in love with her music when my former Kindergarten students learned a dance in their dance class to the tune featured here– “You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song.”   This song is all about the benefits of community and being there for one another through “dark and stormy weather.”  The version my students danced along with included some whistling, which is the inspiration for the birds on either side of the sun.  If you’d like to learn more about Ella and hear some of her folk songs, click here.

I’m really interested in doing more scenes of musicians with one of their famous lyrical phrases included in the design of the piece.  I feel like the simplistic nature of the mosaic tiles is the perfect medium for portraying the two folk icons that I’ve highlighted thus far.  I’m planning on packing my mosaic tools and glass last… perhaps I’ll have time to create one more piece before the moving van comes?  But I’ll have to work a bit harder on the packing instead of typing blog posts!

50th Party Paraphernalia


A friend asked me to assist her with designing a balloon invitation for her 50th birthday party.  We fashioned it after the one she saw here.  (Isn’t that a fun idea?  The recipients of the invitation have to blow up the balloon to see the party details.)  In case you want to do something similar, we ordered the balloons from this site:

(In my opinion, it was a little costly, but for a special occasion it is a very creative and unique idea.)

The project turned into us spending the day designing an entire matching set of party paraphernalia.  I absolutely love what we came up with.  We chose three fonts that we repeated throughout the invitation, itinerary, balloon design, candy bar wrapper, etc.  I enjoyed playing with the different choices and thought that the trio we ended up choosing (Berlin Sans, Cooper, and Vijaya) complimented each other well.  My neighbor wanted to do everything in black and white to keep printing costs down.  I think by using the contrasting fonts we came up with something that is visually interesting without the addition of color.  I’d love to hear what you think about this design!Partyballoonsmall candy barPartyInvite

PartyItineraryPartyThankYouBalloon close up


BIENVENIDOS I had the chance to decorate this chalkboard for a family celebration this weekend.  It was exciting to play with fonts and room decorations for this fiesta-themed wedding shower.  I think I’m going to put a framed chalkboard in my new kitchen so I can write or draw messages or quotes to go along with any season or event.  Neat idea, Amanda!

Artwork for Lent

Although I don’t have as much time as I’d initially hoped to do artwork and keep up with a full time teaching job, doing the occasional sketch has kept me from forgetting how to draw.  :)  I’m thankful that my pastor asked me to do another piece for the next season of the church year–Lent.  I did some image searching for inspiration and ended up creating ‘timeline’ of sorts with the events of Holy Week marked in iconic imagery from left to right.  Feel free to use this as you’d like!Image

‘Tis the season…

It’s been a busy one so far.  However, I am excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Advent at our church, Christ Our King.  Our annual Christmas party (a neat progressive dinner) is this weekend.   Let me know if you are in the area and want to come enjoy some great food and meet some loving people.

Our pastor asked me to do a sketch of the Columbia, MO skyline with the star of Bethlehem in the sky.  He is going to use it in our Advent study guide.  I loved his idea~a neat reminder that Jesus didn’t just come to earth 2,000 years ago but He is here, right in our lives and towns, today.


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