bad crafts happen

bad crafts happen to good people. and sometimes, some ideas are just doomed from the start.

some of you may recall this photo from a few weeks ago.
poor little birdie

well, that was just the start of it all.

let me rewind a little. i was at a thrift store when i spotted a cute little ceramic tile with that bird design on it. it was adorable! the style, the colours. totally me.

one problem: the tile was glued down to a very ugly cheeseboard.

i gave it a jiggle and tried to pry it with my fingers.  it seemed to be stuck on there pretty well. some serious epoxy from the 70s no doubt.  “they don’t make things like they used to!”

but i just couldn’t put it back and walk on. i figured there had to be a way to get the tile off and make it into something else. at the very least, i could just cut around the wood that was attached to it, and turn it into some sort of garden decor. or something. my mind has a way of wandering and wondering about such possibilities. to my detriment, at times…

so it came home with me. and i showed it to my husband and explained how i wished i could just have the tile part of it. before i could even take a before photo of it though, he had the screwdriver and hammer out, ready to chisel away at the thing.

then, i hear “oh shmmfph!”


the thing cracked. i wasn’t mad, as i had assumed it would break because it was old, brittle, and dang that was some serious glue!

now i was left with an even uglier cheese tray…
cheese tray wood

and i was sad to see the beautiful tile all in bits…
ceramic tile bird

but then, those silly little gears in my mind got to creaking. you know, the ones attached to my creative cortex, which have been damaged by years of sleep deprivation and all that comes with motherhood. and i began to wonder if i could salvage it after all.  salvage the tile, i mean, not the creative cortex. i think that damage might be permanent.

i know! i’d make a mosaic out of it! perfect. brilliant. i needed a stepping stone in the new garden. it would be fantastic! and i would write all about it in my blog, and everyone would think “that ana, such a clever little duck!”…

(this is very much a red herring moment, to divert your attention from just how terrible an idea this actually became…well, just keep reading. you’ll see.)

so, ignore the fact that i’d never done a mosaic. and had no idea what to use to set the pieces. oh silly details, i shoo you away with a swift wafting of my magical creative hands!

went to the garage and found this…

followed the directions. (this was easier than i thought! should’ve been a clue…)

instructions fence post cement

measured and poured the mix into an old frisbee which i’d use as my mold (see? clever, clever duck!)


placed the pieces in the cement.

mosaic tile pieces in cement

and promptly ignored the fact that it looked really quite terrible.

(by the way: denial is such an under-rated quality. denial can squash the obvious like a horse’s hoof coming down on an eggshell. it is so powerful. and blinding. and so very, very human.)

but yeah. it was pretty terrible. pictures trump denial in a heartbeat. ick.

so i set it aside, in all its wonky glory, to dry out over the next few days, letting it bask in the sun of the back porch.

the next day, mr.madeItSo and i headed out for dinner while my mother-in-law watched the kids. it was a gorgeous evening, perfect for playing outdoors, which is exactly what they did.

i came home, to this sight:

broken tile mosaic pieces cement

*sigh* i guess they really wanted to play frisbee…

like i said, some ideas are just doomed from the start.

lesson learned? just use the cheese platter next time, as is, or put it back.

well. maybe… unless! does anyone know how to make a mosaic out of a broken mosaic? or is that another one of those ideas that is better left alone? my creative cortex has been known to misfire…

© imadeitso, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ana at imadeitso.comwith appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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33 Responses to bad crafts happen

  1. Corey says:

    They do make stuff for repairing concrete called vinyl patch, part vinyl and part concrete. What I did, when a cute yard sale tea pot fell to it’s death on the rock bench under the apple tree, was place the broken pieces randomly throughout the strawberry plants turning the planter into it’s own mosaic masterpiece.

  2. Oh, have I had days like that! In fact, I’m a pretty sorry crafter. I try, but they rarely turn out the way I envision.

  3. Kirstin says:

    Oh my! I’m sorry, but that is too funny! Sounds like something I’d do (C: Thanks for stopping by today!!

  4. Sue fox says:

    Oh, your story has a purpose – to make people laugh, like I laughed reading this – right from the roots! I so connected with you! I have happy accidents all the time!

    Thanks for dropping a comment on my blog – makes life a little bit more magical!

    • iMadeItSo says:

      i don’t know whether to say i’m glad you can relate, or i’m sorry you can relate ;) and thanks for commenting too! we could all use a little magic (some more than others, hehe).

  5. It seemed like a good idea to me too. I enjoyed reading along to see how it all turned out…or not. In gardening magazines, there are regularly articles about how to make a mosaic bird bath by setting bits of ceramic in concrete. I think they usually call for just digging a bowl shape in sand to act as a mold, but I haven’t tried this myself.

    • iMadeItSo says:

      glad you enjoyed the read :) sometimes, you just wanna get going on a project, you know? but a little research may have helped me on this one. that’s interesting about the sand as mold.

  6. ~*~Patty says:

    Oh My, I was hoping for a happy ending!
    Your plate/cheese tray had quite an adventure!

  7. Nancy S says:

    You should post your story to Craft Fail: I was sorry to see your cheery little ceramic in pieces.

  8. Tara Benwell says:

    Oh, thank you for brightening my Monday morning, Ana. This story truly cracked me up and I love the photos to go along. I’ve had so many crafts fail. You should see this pink dinosaur shirt I tried to make for Jackson (she was so into dinosaurs and yet all dinosaur shirts are “boy colours”)…I love your photo story style. Who knew crafting could be so suspenseful! The new pics at the top of your blog are great too.

    • iMadeItSo says:

      well you just brightened my morning tara! thanks so much. there’s just something so humbling and funny about crafts gone wrong… not when you’re in the midst of it, of course, but always in retrospect. makes you really appreciate the ones that DO turn out!

  9. Ott, A. says:

    Thanks for stoppin’ by for a Latte’. If I was craftier this would look great in my garden. Hope you have a good start to your week!

  10. Ana, I think this story is tragic. That pretty little bird, all in pieces in the dirt. So sad.
    But, someone else I know might say you should have known better than to use a frisbee (even an old one) for something other than its true purpose! This same person might even be secretly delighted at the zeal with which the kids busted up your creation, in order to get to the frisbee… I’m sure this person would also feel your pain.
    Crafting ain’t for sissies!

  11. What do they say about being given lemons, lol. I don’t do mosaics, but I’ll bet someone will come along and help you figure this one out.

    Thanks for visiting me over at Pittypat Paperie.

  12. Pingback: CraftFail » Blog Archive » mo’saic, mo’ problems…

  13. Thanks for submitting your project to CraftFail! I posted it today:

  14. Pingback: i’m not sure i should be flaunting this, but… | i made it so.

  15. I love the way you tell the story with pictures-even though you give away your ending (bad crafts happen) we can’t turn away from the car wreck this craft turned out to be. I wish I could post pics of the junkyard of crafts I have made over the years-but we learn something from each one…

    • iMadeItSo says:

      thank you mary. you’re absolutely right, we learn something with each mistake!
      i checked out your website… fantastic tiles! the dom “raku” and “amber” caught my eye…

      thanks again for visiting, and for sharing a comment :-)

  16. Pingback: do you toss your cookies? | i made it so.

  17. gila says:

    I can totally relate to your experiance. It seems like such a good idea at the time..
    I think your creative cortex is definately alive and kicking :)

  18. Pingback: ideas | i made it so.

  19. Van says:

    I dunno, even broken it’s a thing of beauty. I’d hate to see an artist hoarder, we could see the beauty in anything…the house would runneth over…

  20. Oh my! That was a darling tile. You definitely made a valiant effort to give it a new life!

  21. Jo Chopra says:

    Hahahahaha. Hilarious! I didn’t even like the tile, but by the 5th line in the story, I was rooting for it with all my heart. “Silly details,” “easy directions,” “clever, clever duck!” – love it all.

  22. Arty says:

    Oh dear! I have a teapot stand with a tile on it that I want to remove but I just knew this would happen so it sits there waiting for divine inspiration. I am an amateur mosaicist and I would say to you that the type of pottery you have there is not suitable for outdoor use, it would have crumbled with the frost. Use vitreous china shards for outdoors. Use wallpaper paste to glue your shards temporarily face down onto brown paper cut to size and lay that in the bottom of a flexible mould that has been vaselined. Then put chicken wire in the mould to reinforce. use readymixed sand/cement mix if you like (no stones) but do not use post filler, it dries too fast. Don’t touch it or move it for a couple of weeks after pouring the concrete. Finally unmould it and give the paper a wetting with a sponge to remove. It may need a bit of a clean.

  23. Susanne says:

    i’d follow the broken teapot ladie’s lead and scatter the bits in the garden, next to flowers like calendulas. I love the bits. Reminds me of treasures from the sea!

    • imadeitso says:

      i love sea glass! and i’d consider doing that, *if* there weren’t little hands and feet that liked to play in the garden too :) thanks for visiting susanne, and commenting on an older post… always fun to go back in time.

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