Not a lot going on this weekend, which was nice. I decided to finish a project I'd set aside when I got busy with work in the spring: tiling a firewheel, my favorite wildflower, on the side of a crappy old cinder block.
We'd been using this block to light our charcoal chimney, but I think I will promote it to a plant stand now that it's all fancy.
Mosaic projects always look a little shitty before you grout them. It's hard to visualize what will happen. Depending on the color you use, grouting can unify and gloss over imperfections or fragment the image and magnify your mistakes.
I was afraid using dark grout ran the risk of the latter, but hey, this is just a cinder block. The stakes are low. Still, looking at it covered with dull black goop made me nervous.
I like it, though! It highlights some things I'll do differently next time, but I think it gives it a nice, cartoony crispness.
I'm going to tile the other side with more or less the same image. Maybe I'll use red grout in the center up to the end of the orange part of the petals, just to see what happens.
This is all a test run for a much bigger project I have in mind.
I plan to tile that dull, slanting concrete step with a firewheel explosion this fall. But that's going to take a lot of planning--and kneeling--so I want to get most of my mistakes out of the way now.
(I have no plans to tile Üter, although he often stays still enough for me to do it if I wanted.)
Here are some firewheels from real life. We have a strip of them in the front yard that reseeds itself every year, and I think it looks really hot. I worried that it might be boring to do a flower mosaic, but no way; firewheels are rad. They couldn't be boring if they tried.
Since I had firewheels on the brain, I pulled up the spent plants from this year's bloom and plucked the dried seed heads to separate out later. Sometimes I give seed packets to friends, but this year Eric and I plan to do some guerrilla wildflower planting. So if you see a random patch of firewheels next spring...it probably wasn't us; those things are everywhere in Austin.