Last October, my mother offered me an untouched Scrabble game that had been laying around her house for years. As I quickly took her up on this little gem, my sister piped up, "She's just going to use it to make jewelry!" To which my mother replied, "I don't care."
I'd been anxious to try my hand at this clever little art form, which I had discovered in a cool little earthy shop in Door County, WI last summer. I spent a month going crazy with excitement at the endless opportunities I had with how I could decorated each tile. Some only took an instant to create really cool designs. I enjoyed getting out my really detailed rubber stamps and using the tiny rectangles to focus in on a smaller element of the design.
While I had purchased the bails needed to turn them into pendants, I'd only used three to make a key chain, which I attached to the purse I gave my mother-in-law for her birthday, choosing tiles with her initials as the back, and then customizing the decoration on the front to go along with the trip to Ireland that she would soon be taking. The key chain was visually adorable, but that's where the success ended. Within a couple of months, to my horror, one of the three tiles had fallen off completely and another had lost the front design that I'd glued on and covered with an adhesive resin sticker.
Feeling a little dejected by the lack of durability, I've been collecting my finished tiles in a glass jar that sits on the bookshelf in my living room, where they await their new destiny. I walk by them every day and sometimes take them out and arrange them in patterns, or check to see how they are holding up. The designs where I used thicker papers or fabric were going the way of my MIL's key chain; the resin was peeling up. I'm not so bummed out about this anymore, because my new plan is to make a piece of mosaic-y wall art using all the tiles together. Right now I have about 50 finished tiles, I think I want to double that number before I put everything together. Perhaps I will challenge myself in May to complete one tile each day. What do you think?