Midsummer Mosaic Madness……

The cup which escaped the hammer!

Smashing up vintage china with a hammer sends shards of pottery embellished with rich paisley pattern, gold leaf and hand painted swallows flying through the air. I am in no mood for safety, technique or planning. I am making a mosaic; nothing slick and polished, but something free spirited and easy and very, very last minute. It is early evening on the night before I open my garden to the public for the very first time. I am tired! I want a bubble bath! But here I am crouched in the mud and cement…panicking.

I lovingly press the pretty china into the wet cement and begin to enjoy the jumbled up patterns. Happiest when I do not have a clue what I am doing I throw myself into the chaos of this spontaneous moment. The thunder rumbles and a rainstorm sees me and my work soaked. But the next morning….it’s all ok. And my makeshift mosaic has created a little patch of garden joy where the flowers in the border seem to have slipped down into the paving, like fallen summer petals. And I am so, so glad that I did it.


37 thoughts on “Midsummer Mosaic Madness……

    • Oh thank you so much! It had been on my ‘to do’ list for ages. It is amazing how having visitors round tends to focus the mind! Perhaps I should invite folk round to my house more often then the inside would stay tidy too…..I do seem to create untidiness wherever I go. And yet that is part and parcel of a creative environment. 🙂

      • You are so right Karen. We have been pouring ourselves full steam into our mountain renovation anticipating the arrival of our Colorado family and their best friends for our Independence day celebration but, alas, even near perfection was unreachable so I determined to distract my guests from all that wasn’t yet with a heaping helping of love and joy. The Bible says love covers a multitude of sins and I say thank God for that!

      • If I had to choose between a perfect house with no love and a ramshackle house full of love and joy~ I know which I would choose x

      • I was not suggesting that your mountain retreat is ‘ramshackle’. I have seen the pictures and it is renovated and gorgeous!

      • Thank you for saying so but, as you know, bloggers can select what pics to show and, though it is livable and lovable it is still a BIG work in progress! 🙂

  1. If you want to make a mosaic, you have to be prepared to break some china. Not quite like breaking eggs to make omelettes! I couldn’t bring myself to break perfectly good china. Did the ones you broke have a chip of a flaw?

    • I keep a box just for broken or chipped china and like you, I could not bear to break anything really special. In England, china from the Victorian era to the 1940’s can be picked up so cheaply now. At the markets and car-boots which I attend the sellers can not seem to give it away. Many younger people do not want it and do not even start to collect a dinner service when they live together. I sound like Miss Haversham…….I had better say no more! 🙂

      • No: friends of mine who have adult children are all noting the same thing: the young people don’t want the precious china, silver and furniture that they saved for them. I guess we were the same till we got older and developed an appreciation for such things.

      • I must have been born an oldie because I bought my first piece of old china when I was 12 and spent my teens wearing clothes from the 1940’s. Nothing thrilled me more than finding furniture marked with the utility ware stamp. I can feel a post coming on!

  2. You always have such wonderful ideas, Karen. I can really see how much you love your garden and inventing something beautiful. I sometimes find pieces of old porcelain at the beach, mostly in blue/white and want to do jewellery with it. Hope you feel better now and your public garden was a big success, kind regards Mitza

    • Your last jewellery post was stunning Mitza! oh I do hope you make some items with old china. I could send you lots. I am sure that I should have used proper cutters instead of my random hammer attack which made it hard for me to cut the designs and shapes I wanted. The open day was lovely and the pressure to make everything perfect and weed free is off. I am allowing myself a little rest now. I hope that you are well dear Mitza? x

      • I’m happy that your garden day was such a success and can understand that you need a break now. I’m fine, too, thanks a lot. Just put a net over our blueberries because the blackbirds eat everything up. We have warm and sunny weather and I wish you the same, dear Karen. Have fun, regards Mitza

    • Thank you so much 🙂 The whole open day really awakened my own creativity one way or another. I exhibited some of my paintings as part of the open garden day and friends kept saying ~”why are’t you still painting”. I used to be a watercolourist before I ran my business for 14 years.

  3. Good to see you back, Karen! The mosaic is lovely and I imagine breaking up the china might’ve been therapeutic–there’s something about wielding a hammer!

    • I was so stressed about the open day in my garden and yes, the breaking of the china helped! But then, as I sat quietly setting the fragments in the cement, I began to calm down. Making things just does that, doesn’t it?

      • I wouldn’t want to say disaster, but close enough 🙂 I did manage to harvest a few radish and green onions, but that’s pretty much it. I need to learn a bit about gardening, before next year, as it was impossible to know which is weed and which is the plant 😀 x

  4. Oh, bless you Lucy! Everyone needs someone to help at first, that is all. It is a big commitment and I was not sure how far the garden was from where you live. I must email you soon. I am so sorry, I have worked so hard getting the garden ready for the open day.
    I know that you gardening clogs will work their magic next year x

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