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Monday 29 December 2014

Mala beads, mindfulness, and breathe!

Morning blogger friends and season's greetings to you all - I hope the festive period is treating you well, however you want it to be!

My children gave me 'the little book of mindfulness' for my Christmas present this year.  It's a way of being that I think about a lot and try to practice every day - I was thrilled with it, and with the fact that they know me so well!

Mindfullness, as I have mentioned before in this blog, is the practice of trying to live in the present moment - paying conscious attention to NOW.  It isn't always easy - that is why we have to practice it!

A big part of mindfulness is paying attention to breathing. There are lots of lovely thoughts about this in my new little book. One that struck me yesterday is, and I quote -
"The breath provides a natural gently moving target to focus on in your meditation; it grounds you in the hear and now. You cannot take a breath for 5 minutes ago, or for 5 minutes' time.  You can only take a breath for now."
- Mark Williams and Danny Penham from - 'Mindfullness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world'

To help with breathing, the book suggests repeating a mantra - it can be as simple as 'I am breathing in, I am breathing out.'  It's a very personal thing and I guess in time you find your own mantras which help you.  I like this simple one though - it's a place to start.
This section of the book went on to mention counting breaths to keep you a bit more focused, which really appealed to me! The use of mala beads was suggested.  Mala beads are actually Buddhist prayer beads, used as a traditional tool to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating.  Here they suggest using each bead to count a mindful breath.

Traditional mala beads

So Jess (11) and I went shopping this morning for beads and bracelet thread.  I wanted a make a mala bracelet to wear all the time as a reminder to me and as a ready tool of mindfulness.  We came home and made it straight away, and here it is - a bead for each special mantra breath, and a little flower to remind me 'to stop and smell the flowers!' To start with, my aim is to sit quietly once a day and breathe a bracelet-ful of mindful breaths, counting along the beads as I do so.  It seems to me a small but very important daily thing to do.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog, and I am always pleased to hear from you.
Happy nearly New Year!
Felicity x

Sunday 21 December 2014

Mosaic sunflower giveaway WINNER!

Hello blogger, Facebook, Folt Bolt, newsletter, twitter, and tsu friends!

Thank you SO much for all your likes, comments, shares and support for my special December mosaic sunflower giveaway! I have had over 200 entries, which is amazing and much appreciated.

Before I announce the winner, can I just say that so many of you seemed to love my sunflower, that IF you don't win the mosaic, I would be very happy to make you one for a special price of £30 (normally £37) incl. UKP&P (or £35 RoW).  I have a big commission in January 2015, so wouldn't be able to make it until February.  Please email me if you would like to order one - felicityball@justmosaics.co.uk - and I will send you a PayPal request nearer the time.

So, now to the WINNER of this sunflower mosaic ....

....... Connie Ferguson!
Congratulations, Connie - please email your address, and it will be on its way to you very soon!

Thank you SO much everyone - do subscribe to my blog if you enjoy reading it - just put your email address over there on the right - you would be very welcome, as always!

Felicity x

Friday 19 December 2014

A new social media platform for my mosaics!

Happy Friday, blogger friends!

I hope this find you well and looking forward to a change (not necessarily a break!) over Christmas.

I finished the sunflowers mosaic - just need to pack it up and send it off now - used our 'proper' camera to get a good photo of it for you - what do you think?!

I am really pleased with it, and think I will add it to my website in the New Year, so customers can order one, if they like - www.felicityballmosaics.com

I have launched a new range of mosaics this week too - I have called them 'flower gems' as they are small and precious, and only £20 incl UKP&P  £25 RoW.  I am going to make them in all sorts of colour combos, grout colours, using millefiori, glass beads and so on - anywhere my imagination leads me - can't wait!  I have a few events coming up where smaller mosaics will be just the ticket!

A flower gem mosaic

Also this week I have joined the social media site tsu (pronounced Sue!).  A lot of my artist friends have joined it, as Facebook are restricting our post reach now, and it seems a good place to be - so I will do both!  The link to my tsu page is https://www.tsu.co/felicityballmosaics if you would like to join - you would be very welcome! If you are wondering what it is all about, here is a helpful article about tsu - http://www.scottbuehler.com/social-media/tsu-guide/

Thanks for reading my weekly blog, and if you think your friends might enjoy it too, perhaps you could let them know about it - that would be great :-)

Felicity x

Friday 12 December 2014

Sunflower mosaics!

Hello blog friends!

It's been a week full of sunflowers here at mosaic HQ! - just as well as we have been hit by this new phenomenon to us in the UK, a 'weather bomb'!
I have been so looking forward to making this commission.  My customer wanted a sunflower exterior mosaic in the shape of my spring flowers mosaic (see below) and the rest was up to me!

I have taken photos for you along the way which pretty much speak for themselves.  As I write, it is not finished yet - I have to choose the right shade of blue for the sky, grout it and then paint the sides and the back with weatherproof paint.  I use two coats of Cuprinol shades paint - brilliant coverage and colours!
First, the design - I looked closely at heaps of images of sunflowers, their stalks and their leaves.

Choosing the tiles from all my lovely sunflower colours is always tricky, but more isn't necessarily better, so I stuck with these little beauties!
Then I had a day or two of cutting and sticking and looking...

.....leaves and stalks were then added ...


....and then the very intricate seed centres!

As you can see, I have used two different shades and depth of brown tile to give the seed head a rounded, 3D effect.

And that's where I am up to at the moment - I will post a picture of the finished mosaic next Friday when all is done!
I really am pleased with it, and have enjoyed working with these lovely sunny colours.
Thanks so much for reading my blog- do leave me a comment and give it a share - every little helps!
Same time, same place next week?!

Felicity x

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Felicity Ball mosaics blog NEWS!

Hello everyone!


....to you all, from all over the world!

It's a funny old thing, a blog because you don't really know sometimes as you sit down to write it,  if anyone is listening!  It's not really the point, of course, I simply enjoy writing it - increasingly so over the past year.  I have lots of ideas for interesting and varied posts for you, and hope you're out there enjoying them!

I have always valued my blog, planned and researched it carefully so I hope it is always worth a read.  I have a delicious hour or two on a Friday afternoon to myself and plan to write it weekly then - so you may like to have a look at it over the weekend with a coffee or a glass of something!  I love to read your comments so do leave one - I ALWAYS read them and reply.  This is a living, breathing blog!!

Also, and rather importantly at the moment , it is MINE!  I am in control of what goes in and when and how often, with the help from your valuable feedback and engagement.  Facebook are changing the rules about post reach in the new year which means it is more difficult to reach you, that is if you want to be reached! Of course, my Facebook page - www.facebook.com/justmosaics.co.uk - continues to buzz as before in the hope my posts pop up in your newsfeed - just click on the 'get notifications' tab under where you liked my page.

During the week, I have a sticky memo note on the desktop of my laptop and jot down things to include in my Friday blog for you, so look forward to catching up with you then!  Please share my blog with anyone you think might be interested in my work - thank you!

Felicity x

PS Don't forget to enter my free mosaic sunflower giveaway - http://justmosaics.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/mosaic-sunflower-giveaway.html

Monday 1 December 2014

Mosaic sunflower giveaway!

Hello blogger friends!


You could win this lovely sunflower mosaic -size 20cm x 15cm - suitable for hanging inside or out :-)
To enter, just leave me a lovely comment at the bottom of this post with your email address, or email me directly - felcityball@justmosaics.co.uk - oh, and please tell all your friends about my original mosaic art - simples!  I will draw the winner on Dec 21st 2014 at 8pm GMT, and let you know here in my blog.

I am running this special giveaway in association with Folt Bolt who are running a giveaway every day on their Facebook page in December - pop over there - it doesn't cost a thing and you might win something lovely! Here is the link - https://www.facebook.com/TheFoltBolt?fref=ts

Thanks, blogger friends, look forward to hearing from you, and don't forget to spread the word!

Felicity x