Tag Archives: mosaics

The mother of mosaics

I love a challenge.

It is only a piece of 42 by 95 centimeters, but it feels very decisive for the rest. Where writers sometimes suffer from writer’s block and stare anxiously at the white paper, I now suffer from a mosaicer’s block and stare anxiously at that piece of white wall.
You can only do it once. Then it’s stuck.

But now I am stuck.

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Interestingly enough, I learn a lot from my mosaic students

Not always of course – they usually learn more from me during the mosaic workshops. That is ultimately the intention. But sometimes people do things that surprise me. I find it surprising that everyone makes something completely different, with exactly the same ingredients. Tiles, glue and a plasterboard.

You don’t need much to make something beautiful.

It started a while ago. The overarching theme is everywhere: fairy tales. Not the usual one Disney has already rui … excuse me, used, but unknown ones. In the mena time, they’re well known to me, because I once borrowed this book from my sister and never returned it (sorry Mathilda! Now you finally know!). I thought it were such beautiful stories, and it stimulated my imagination.
You can tell, because I have had it since I was six.

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Together with my mosaic buddy Astrid and enthusiastic volunteer Viola we started above the entrance to the main hall.

If you work together with people, it’s useful to communicate with pictures. Otherwise it becomes very difficult to explain what kind of images you have in your mind.

I often recommend that to mosaic workshoppers

Do you want to make a dolphin? Look for a picture, preferably a drawing, so that you have the silhouette. That is ultimately what it is all about. Now the last mosaicists wanted something different: a colorful heart (a familiar shape, especially for young girls), a butterfly (here a drawing comes in handy), and the portrait of the youngest daughter (you can do this by heart – and the daughter’s right next to you).

You don’t need a drawing, because that image is engraved in your heart, of course. That is, if you are her mother. I thought it was a daring project for a first time mosaic, but as you can see it worked beautifully! The most important thing for me was the choice of background.

I generally do not interfere with anything – that is, I have the material and the knowledge, but I stay away of the design- and color choices. That is up to the maker. I always hated it when my boys went to “craft” at school – that usually meant that the teacher had everything ready, and that they had to stick it together a bit and then color it.

All very bland. Also something I learned from!

Mother chose a very busy pointilistic tile as the background. Okay. I didn’t have to bite my tongue, but I had to restrain myself from saying that I wasn’t going to say anything about it. But I didn’t say that! Well done!
And afterwards I’m very content, because it is beautiful.

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And it is inspiring. Learned something again. The only challenge for me now is to overcome that mosaicer’s block, find the right tiles, and then come up with those 42 by 85 centimeters!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Mosaic-making queens

Not only do you have two volunteers, you also get half the Dutch royal family, a Belgian high brow, a clone from Arnold Schwarzenegger and a drag queen. Not surprising, because Ylva does a theater study in Gent, and Roos is a good tempered and smart girl, interested in everything.

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Within a day we’re not only working on the new mosaic project, but meanwhile there is a lot of shouting, teasing, singing and making jokes.

They’ve been coming for years, these voluntary queens, and keep on doing that. And now mainly for mosaic-making

And they don’t just come to make jokes! What also happens: “Can I do anything else for you, my dear?”

That doesn’t happen every day! Not everyone asks that! Yes, sometimes as a formality, after which they continue to watch the blue void very intensely in exactly the other direction when you pass by with a heavy cupboard (based on a true story), but this is really meant. And if I do have something (I don’t always), they even do it too. With a smile.

“Do you want to see a photo of Henk?” Ylva asks. “Yes of course! A new love? ”Ylva raises her eyes to heaven and answers:“ Ooooo, he is sooooo sweet! ”

She picks up her phone and shows Henk

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Henk de Hamster. “Who has a hamster?” Roos asks, “what is special about that?” And Ylva shouts indignantly: “Hey, Calimero, do you want to stay calm? Henk is my darling, my everything, my sweetheart, you can’t say anything about him!”

They make jokes about me as a slave driver

My consolation is – as long as people make jokes about it, it’s not so bad. And the girls come voluntarily so it probably is not that bad.

“She decides,” Rose says, carefully articulating like the Dutch queen Máxima, “she’s the boss, so she may say it. But we think pretty pink is very pretty here. ”

We have started a new mosaic project

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A fairly ambitious project: the entire facade of the bathhouse on the village square side. The corner next to the cafe is now complete (thanks to Astrid, Andrea, Viola) who have glued many, many pieces.

Now it’s the turn of the rest of the facade. Above the kitchen and the entrance to the big room. We’re a bit in the way, but the guests present ensure us that they don’t mind and walk around it. Two more days. Then that scaffolding can go.

Just in time for August to start, the holiday month in Europe

For Ylva it’s no longer a holiday. She has to work. Earning money to be able to pay for the rest of the (study) year. And then come and help in your precious free time, laughing and joking and doing a lot of good things!

If you can’t call that a passion for life, I don’t know what is

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Nice plan: 2019 will be the “Year of the Butterfly”

Here you see the result of a few months work. It looks like a small wall, but all in all it takes a little while. Now, of course, we are not talking about 24/7.

This project started in the early days of the summer. In fact, this year is already “The year of the Butterfly”

A Russian girl gave the kickoff. She was here with her little sister, uncle, mother, grandmother and big dog for about a month and a half. She wanted to learn mosaics, and since I was working on another project called “The Little Mermaid” – she could easily participate.

She had an eye for it, more than her little sister. The latter was actually too young for that (4 is a bit young), and perhaps too impatient and too quickly distracted. No problem, Lisa went on.

She made the first butterfly, which was the pink one on the left

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Next, it was my sister’s turn. Exept for a few butterflies, they made some flowers as well. And the caterpillar.

I expected that summer guests would like to join in, but even though I have given many mosaic workshops, everyone would rather make something to take home.

French Nathalie was the only one who really enjoyed making a butterfly, and did so with great dedication. In one day she had made a large one out of very small pieces. Chapeau!

After the summer, my mosaic-buddy Astrid would come by, and volunteer Gerda had also indicated that she’d already done little things, and couldn’t wait to do something bigger.

That’s of course the big advantage of the Termas: you can go big. Walls enough.

That’s something completely different than a bowl or a bird house.

That has its own challenges, don’t be mistaken! Working small is quite difficult, but I can imagine that at a certain point you might be fed up with it, that fiddle-die-doo on the square centimeter. Anyway, I am someone of the big gesture …

Front and back: check, side: check, top: check. A wall has so many sides …

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There was a guest who would like to participate with the Butterfly-Wall: Lucille. Also French, cooked great, nice bunch of guests, and besides nice memories of tasty meals she also left a beautiful palpable butterfly.

Astrid, daughter Isabelle and Gerda added a few more …

… and when they were gone, it started to rain. This means that it is not going to be finished soon … until the sun showed itself again. I grabbed myself by the hair, made some glue, took the box with white pieces and the mosaic pliars, and started working. Not too bad: in the morning sun.

Simply sticking pieces of white is just work, no fun

Finishing a mosaic is not always fun. Then the big gesture is quite a disadvantage; you would prefer to be fiddle-die-doo-ing on the square centimeter. Anyway, matter of discipline.

It’s finished! Wonderful! Decoy butterflies on the wall, now butterflies in the garden

That will take some time, because they are now naturally too cold. But! Hopefully all the flowers will come up again, not too long, because in March it is already spring.

In Termas-da-Azenha, 2019 becomes the “Year of the Butterfly”.

(Thanks to all people mentioned above who participated in this lovely project!)

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

Completely out of hand

I can’t help it.

No really. Seriously.

It just goes like that

It starts with an innocent mosaic somewhere on a wall. And I didn’t even make it myself, it was a wonderful initiative from the “Family Preto”. Well done. Useful too. Everyone can see how it’s called here.

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In the winter it gets a bit messy in that corner, especially when it rains a lot. And it’s a sight spot, you can see it from the road when you drive. Bit of a disgrace when it gets dirty from the humidity. Not a nice entrance. And I was fed up scrubbing.

So when (mosaic) friend Astrid had plans to come and visit, it began. And since the two overarching themes of all mosaics are water and fairy tales, we ended up with a nice fish, a mermaid and stripes of water. To make it fit with the mosaics on the stairs with Antoine the seahorse and Bilqis the mermaid.

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Once you have reached that level, it is very strange to leave the bottom part empty

So it’s completely out of control, people. The little mermaid has joined, with a couple of her sisters, and the sea witch. And now there are even 3-D plans as well! Down there in the corner.

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Come and have a look for yourself. And try it. It is so much fun to do!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.