Friday, December 29, 2006

Still Alive!

Wow ~ I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last blogged. Sorry~ I promise to be more consistent in the new year (one of those resolutions I'm going to work on!) but I've been super busy with (1) Christmas orders; (2) my sweet son's 4th birthday; and (3) Jesus' birthday. December is always an overwhelming combination of stress, awe, beauty and fun.

I want to thank everybody for your support in 2006 . . . whether you ordered something, commented on my artwork or just looked at the website and/or blog . . . Thank You! Marymaking Designs had an amazing year and I'm looking forward to another great year in 2007. I have lots of great ideas swimming in my head (the Muses seem to be working overtime right now!) . . . . be sure to stay tuned!

Wishing you a blessed and joyful 2007 ~


Sunday, December 03, 2006

One More Mosaic Cross

I can't believe I forgot to share this beautiful mosaic cross. It was commissioned by my client as a Baptism gift for her very special niece. It is created on my small (7" x 11.5") cross base.

In Him ~


Recent Mosaic Artwork

No time for a lengthy, thought provoking entry . . . just want to share some recent mosaics.

A series of 4 mosaic crosses. I want to write an entire blog entry on these crosses eventually . . . they tell a moving story. But for now ~ just the pictures. Three of the mosaic crosses feature turquoise glass and the fourth is made with white irridescent glass and "grouted" with turquoise Delica seed beads. The focal point of the white cross is a silver, gold and diamond Mother & Child charm:

Two mosaic crosses . . . both with beige irridescent glass (you can see the irridescence best towards the top of the mosaic crosses) and tobacco brown grout:

Junior League Ornaments ~ a client orders these each year for our local Junior League chapter. First ~ the ornaments. Then ~ the actual logo:

An Ichthus Mosaic Cross:

I hope you are enjoying the Holidays . . . don't forget the true spirit of the Christmas Season!

In Him ~


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Smalti Mosaic Cross Plaque

I hope my fellow Americans enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving weekend and that those outside of the States also had a wonderful weekend. I'm finding it hard to believe (and very stressful!) that the Holidays are upon us!

I finished this smalti mosaic cross plaque last night and wanted to share it with you. It was commissioned as a Christmas gift for my client's inlaws. It is composed of smalti (see below) with 10 bronze daisies tucked into the background for added interest. The finished piece measures approximately 4" x 4".

I use stained glass in the majority of my mosaic crosses . . . but this plaque is made completely with a material called smalti:
Smalti (the plural of smalto) are specilised mosaic tesserae made from richly coloured glass. Originally developed for Byzantine mosaics, the glass contains metal oxides which produce an almost infinite range of colour possibilities. The molten glass is poured into flat slabs which are then broken into individual smalti with rough, irregular surfaces that may be pitted with air bubbles.
Quoted from The Joy of Shards website.

Smalti is more difficult to work with because it is much thicker than stained glass and therefore, much more difficult to cut. It also tends to have a mind of its own . . . meaning, it doesn't always want to break where I want it to! But the distinct "look" and "feel" it adds to mosaic artwork is amazing. Smalti adds depth and texture . . . and light dances off the pieces (you can see this at the top of the plaque in the pic above) giving very rich and true colors. The result is artwork with an Old World "feel" and a rustic charm.

As you can see in the picture above, artwork made with smalti typically is left ungrouted. When I create a stained glass piece, my goal is to create uniform gaps (called interstices) between the glass pieces so the grout "rivers" are consistent and uniform. When I create a smalti piece, my goal is to fit the pieces as close together ~ even touching ~ as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about smalti, here are the two websites from which I order my materials. The first specializes in Italian smalti and the second specializes in Mexican smalti ~ and

One of the things I love most about the medium of mosaics is the wide range of materials that can be used in the artwork. The possibilities are endless and I really enjoy experimenting with and learning about new materials . . . and then combining them to add new depth, texture, color, tone, etc. to my artwork. It keeps my artwork constantly evolving.

Off to create more artwork. Have a fabulous week!

In Him ~


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More Mosaic Angel Ornaments

Ok ~ I promise not to post every single angel I make . . . but I finished these today and they are a bit different than the ones I've posted before. Here you go:

To commemorate 2006:

In honor of my wonderful country:

For all of the soccer players and fans out there (I can relate ~ I'm a soccer mom myself):

And a beautiful classic angel made with an amazing piece of maroon art glass:

Wishing you and your family/friends a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Be safe.

In Him ~


Monday, November 20, 2006

Holiday Orders

I have always been so blessed to receive tons of Christmas orders and this year is no exception. I am BUSY, busy, BUSY . . . and did I say busy?! WOW!

It's a good thing . . . except it means that I'm pretty much at the end of the orders I can accept and still guarantee Christmas delivery. What does that mean for you? A few things:

1. If you are thinking of giving a mosaic cross, picture frame, etc. as a Christmas gift, please contact me immediately and I'll see what I can do. I am very sorry but I can not accept anymore orders for large crosses or detailed artwork. Email me at RIGHT NOW!!!

2. I can still take a few additional orders for Mosaic Angel Ornaments. They really do make a sweet gift or gift topper for pretty much every person on your list. It's a gift that can be enjoyed for years to come. Visit the Christmas 2006 page of my website for more info.

3. You can still order any of my Mosaic Notecard Sets. I have a special set for Christmas as well as my beautiful cross set and charity sets. Vist the Mosaic Notecard page of my website for more info. (The Christmas Notecards are perfect for Thank You notes!!!)

4. Can't figure out what to give somebody? Give them a Marymaking Designs' Gift Certificate and let them choose what they would like. Visit the Christmas 2006 page of my website for more info.

5. I also have a good selection of artwork (mosaic crosses, angel ornaments, etc.) that is ready to ship immediately. Visit the Available Artwork page of my website for more info.

Thank you so much for your support and understanding! Wishing you and your family a blessed Holiday Season.

In Him ~


P.S. If this is your first visit to my blog, please be sure to read through the previous entries and see pictures of my latest artwork!

A Few More Angel Ornaments & the Snowman Frame Again!

I love my Beaded Daisy Mosaic Crosses so much, I thought I'd try the idea on an angel!

Two Personalized Mosaic Angel Ornaments for two sweet brothers:

I snuck this picture into one of my previous entries but wanted to share the "official" picture. Isn't he adorable?!!! I'm getting ready to make him with a red scarf and hat band. I'll share a pic when I'm finished.

In Him ~


New Mosaic Crosses & Picture Frame

I had a very productive day yesterday and finished 2 crosses, 3 angels and a picture frame. Go me!

The first mosaic cross is on a small (7" x 10") cross base and was commissioned by my client as a wedding gift for her friend. The double heart design symbolizes two hearts joining as one. The colors were chosen based on the recipient's love of blue and green and her red hair. See ~ there's usually a method to my madness! LOL! Here's the cross:

The second mosaic cross is a dove design on my smallest (4" x 6") cross base. My dove designs are very popular in the larger cross sizes. However ~ this is my first time to use the dove theme on one of my smallest crosses. I chose a gorgeous Mother of Pearl dove "charm" to use as the focal piece. The mosaic cross was commissioned by my client as a Christmas gift for her grandparents.

The mosaic picture frame was commissioned by my client as an anniversary gift for her parents. She is going to place a special picture inside the frame. Great idea!

Thanks for letting me share! I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving week ~

In Him ~


Friday, November 17, 2006

My Personalized Mosaic Angel Ornaments

I shared a few of my Mosaic Angel Ornaments in my last post and wanted to share a few more. I love to create my angel ornaments because they seem to "come to life" and take on their own personality. Each angel is designed to resemble the recipient. I customize each angel's hair, robe and design to my client's specifications. And ~ obviously ~ on the personalized angels, I include the recipient's initial.

Here are a few pictures:

The Mosaic Angel Ornaments are perfect gifts for children, nieces, nephews, teachers, secret pals, angel lovers . . . pretty much anybody! To find out more information, visit The Christmas Page on my website.

In Him ~


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas . . .

I wanted to share a few pieces that I finished today. As you can tell, I'm in full out Holiday mode!

Charity Angel Ornaments ~ AIDS Awareness & Breast Cancer Awareness. The proceeds from the sale of these angels and other items in my Mosaic Charity Artwork Collection (click thru to see more about the Collection) are donated to the applicable charities.

A Mosaic Angel Ornament. Her brown hair matches my client's hair. : )

A Mosaic Dove Ornament.

And a super adorable Mosaic Snowman Picture Frame. He's so cute . . . I'm going to make one for myself!!!


In Him ~


Sunday, November 12, 2006

My first art show

Just a quick post to share some fabulous news: my first art show is officially booked. It will be in the Rotunda Gallery at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Houston during the month of April . . . 2008. You can read more about St. Luke's Fine Arts' Ministry here.

It's actually a very good thing that it's so far in the future. I can take my time deciding on the theme and creating the artwork, while still focusing on my business and my clients.

Stay tuned for more info as I plan to share this journey on my blog! And if you know of other churches who offer Fine Arts Ministries or galleries that specialize in Christian art, please let me know.

In Him ~


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Finding Inspiration

I promise that I really do talk about something other than rainbows but I have to share this. (Then ~ no more rainbow talk for at least 5 posts! LOL!)

I was driving on the highway yesterday with my 3 sleeping children in the back seat. It was a beautiful sunny day with white, fluffy clouds in the sky. We were almost home and I happened to look up in the sky. I first noticed a huge cloud covering the entire sun . . . the cloud was backlit and appeared to be glowing . . . sun rays were pouring out from the sides. It was gorgeous.

Then I noticed something amazing to the right of the cloud. A circular rainbow. It was a circle of light composed of all of the colors of the rainbow. I've never seen anything like it. It was awestriking and absolutely captivating(I'm surprised I didn't wreck the car while looking at it). My thoughts went immediately to the Noahic Covenant and what the rainbow symbolizes. What a wonderful feeling!

I'm often asked what inspires me. My answer is simple: everything. God is the ultimate artist and when I open my eyes to the amazing (and even seemingly ordinary) things all around me, there is more than enough inspiration to spark my imagination and provide fuel for my arwork.

Isn't He amazing?

In Him~

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Story Behind Everlasting Covenant

As promised ~ my original rainbow mosaic cross. First, the picture:

Now, the story behind the cross:

I designed and created Everlasting Covenant close to a year ago. It was one of my 2 entries into the 2005 Society of American Mosaic Artists international mosaic art competition. Like the rainbow mosaic crosses I wrote about in my last entry, Everlasting Covenant is based on the Noahic covenant found in Genesis 9:8-17. Genesis 9:13-15 specifically states:
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. (NIV)
To create the mosaic cross, I started with a 17" h x 12" w wood base. This base was painted with acrylic paint. I used a blending technique to achieve the watercolor rainbow look. Once I achieved the desired look, I laid the three lines of crystal and glass beads. Each of these lines is curved to reflect the shape of a rainbow.

Then came the hard part . . . hand cutting and piecing the individual pieces of glass. I used transparent/clear glass so the emphasis remains on the painted rainbow image. The cutting and piecing alone took over 40 hours. It was a crash course in precision cutting . . . pieces had to fit perfectly because there is no true grout to conceal less than perfect fitting pieces. No ~ seriously. I really didn't use grout between the glass pieces. Look closely:

See? No grout! So ~ what is between the glass pieces? Transparent seed beads of course. Again ~ I wanted the emphasis on the rainbow and unfortunately, nobody has developed a transparent true grout product.

I wish I could tell you that I took the easy way out and just scattered the beads between the pieces of glass. But, the reality is that I laid each individual bead into precise lines surrounding the glass. I'm anal like that. But, the attorney in me must warn you: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME . . . unless you are looking for an excellent way to drive yourself insane. The "precise seed bead grout" method (doesn't that sound technical?!) gives you almost no room for error. The glass has to be cut precisely and the beads need to lie exactly. If they don't, it's glaringly obvious. I beaded/"grouted" as I pieced . . . in other words, I would cut a piece of glass, adhere it to the surface and then place the beads around the piece of glass. Repeat ad nauseam.

Of course ~ I wouldn't change anything about the design and/or the creation process of Everlasting Covenant. For one, it's absolutely stunning. I know that sounds disingenous coming from the artist . . . but ask anybody who has seen it in person. It is very unique and breathtaking, especially when it catches the light.

I also grew in so many ways as an artist. I became one with my pistol grip glass cutter and my glass cutting skills are now infinitely better. The difference between my before and after pieces is marked. I also gained tons of confidence. Everlasting Covenant is the largest mosaic cross I've made and I successfully incorporated several innovative techniques into it. There are many more lessons intertwined with my experience . . . but I'll just sum it up by saying that I am awed that God chose me to create such a beautiful piece of artwork.

Everlasting Covenant is now living happily ever after in a private collection in Illinois. : )

Please feel free to leave me comments so I know that I'm not just talking to myself!

In Him ~

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rainbow & Bluebirds Mosaic Cross ~ The Recreation

I want to share a mosaic cross I finished today. It was commissioned by my client as a birthday present for her friend. We should all be blessed with such wonderful friends!

From the Christian perspective, the rainbow is the symbol of the covenant God made with man after The Great Flood (see Genesis 9:12-17), an especially pertinent reminder for me today as it continues to POUR down rain! To make a long story short, the rainbow symbolizes that God is good and faithful to mankind. The cross of course symbolizes these same things so combining the two symbols is especially powerful. There is something wonderful and peaceful about seeing a rainbow on a cross.

The rainbow mosaic cross I finished today actually is a recreation of this mosaic cross that I completed about 6 weeks ago:

The mosaic cross pictured directly above was commissioned by my client as a gift for her newest grandchild. When the client first contacted me, she told me that she wanted to purchase a mosaic cross with a rainbow and bluebirds. She had definite ideas (that's a good thing!) about the design and placement of the rainbow and bluebirds. After working closely with her, this beautiful cross was created.

I'm often asked how I feel about recreating a previously designed cross. The easy answer is that, from a purely artistic perspective, it truly doesn't bother me. The beauty of the medium of mosaic is that, even if you are reproducing the same design, the pieces of glass always fit together differently. That means that the challenge of piecing is always there regardless of the design. I take great pride in the craftsmanship I put into each and every mosaic and that's true no matter how many times I piece a dove, heart, etc. I realize this isn't the answer you'd receive from most artists . . . but I guess I have a different perspective. Without being too deep, this is about more than the artwork for me. It's about a partnership with God and I am blessed to create each and every cross I'm asked to create.

Having said that ~ I always hesitate a bit when I'm asked to make an exact replica of a previously created piece of artwork. One of the main things that has contributed to my success as an artist is that I work closely with my clients to design and create a unique piece of artwork. I want to create for my clients something that is special . . . something that they can't find at their local Pier One/Hobby Lobby/Michaels/Target . . . something that isn't hanging on their neighbor's wall. I think it's only fair to produce original artwork for each client.

What does all of this mean? It means that, when I'm inevitably asked to recreate my previous designs, I tweak them to suit each individual client. I change the colors, the glass I use, the number of bluebirds, the shape of the cross . . . I add new elements, new symbolism. I truly try to change something so both clients ~ the original client as well as the new client ~ have a unique creation. It's tricky sometimes . . . but I'm always up for a challenge!

Tomorrow I'll share my original rainbow mosaic cross. It's pictured to the right and is called Everlasting Covenant. Thanks for reading!

In Him ~

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lavender Beaded Daisy Cross

Just wanted to share a picture of the mosaic cross I finished yesterday. It is similar to the Burgundy Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross I posted below except this one is a little bit smaller and doesn't have the vine.

I love daisies and so it is natural for me to incorporate them into my artwork. They also symbolize the innocence of the Christ child. The idea to use beads to create the daisy popped into my head about a year ago and the beaded daisy crosses were instantly popular. I continue to refine the beading and grouting process as they are both a bit trickier than with a "true" mosaic. The results are well worth it!

A detail shot of a beaded daisy:

I have also created a Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross on my smallest cross size:

Stay tuned for more new artwork . . . I have several commissions going out this week!

In Him ~


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Because My Mom Says So!

I am in the process of applying to be one of 50 Texas Original Artists selected by the Texas Arts Commission (see The application is pretty straight forward but I've been stuck on this question:

Please tell us why you should be chosen as one of 50 TxO artists.

I hate these types of questions because you have to toot your own horn . . . and I am not comfortable tooting my own horn.

I was talking to my mom about it last night and she told me to tell them, "You're good, your artwork is beautiful and your mom said they should pick you."

I wonder how that would go over. Something tells me that's not the answer they are looking for. Or maybe it is. Either way ~ it's nice to know that my mommy is still my biggest fan!

Keep your fingers crossed . . . say prayers . . . send positive wishes. I'll take anything I can get. This would be an amazing opportunity!

In Him ~


I've finally decided to join the 21st century and do the blogging thing so . . . welcome to my blog!

For those of you who don't know me ~ I am a mosaic artist . . . and a Christian, a wife, mom to 3 amazing children and a "retired" attorney. But my mosaic artwork is what this blog is all about! I am so blessed to be able to work closely with my clients to create beautiful mosaic crosses, picture frames and other artwork full of symbolism, beauty and meaning. I am excited to share my artwork and the story behind each piece with you.

Here's my original Beaded Daisy Mosaic Cross to whet your appetite:

You can also view my artwork on my website:

Thanks for visiting. Please come back soon ~ I plan to post frequently!

In Him ~