Charmayne's Quilling and Curly Cues

The Heart Tree Mosaic

Early in 2017 Erin Curet, Little Circles.net, offered a tutorial for a new mosaic she calls "BE STILL MY HEART".  It was a design I really liked and I decided to order the tutorial and paper kit. After downloading the tutorial and reading it through several times, I asked Bob to cut out two 11 X 14" pieces of hardboard. I planned on doing two.

My first challenge and one I actually failed at, was to draw out the 8 X 10" work area on the hardboard. One is bigger than the other. Sigh. There is a reason Bob drafts all our kite patterns. Not a big problem though and I actually did not even realize it until much later. Matting took care of the mistake. As soon as I realized I was going to have to paint the work area I panicked. Me, paint a background? Not in my reality was this possible. After several DAYS I calmed down enough to go searching for help within Erin's tutorials and between her "paint a background, it is not hard" tutorial and me figuring out this was a mosaic and every bit of my painting would be covered, I plunged in and discovered this was something I COULD do. Next stage of panic came with the next step. "Draw your tree." Anyone who knows me, knows I can draw stick figures, maybe. A swirly, stylish tree? More panic. Now I am really outside my comfort zone. But I had paper strips on the way, a money investment. This had to happen. Using a sheet of 8.5 X 11" printer paper, a pencil, and several erasers, I managed to draw my tree. I wanted the two mosaics to be different. I spent all afternoon but got my trees on paper. Since the directions said to draw the tree on the painted backer board, I photocopied the trees and cut the copies out, laid the trees onto the boards, taped them in place and traced around them. Yea! My trees were ready to paint. I decided to use antique gold paint rather than the permanent marker Erin suggested.

 Putting the now-ready boards aside, I went back to work on Arden's Beetle project with my new knowledge of making mosaics. By the time my paper arrived, Arden's Beetle was done and I was ready for the next step in the heart tree project. I had some time to think about this project, time to see progress pictures on Facebook from other quillers working on the same project. I decided I wanted to personalize my trees and so added a little heart at the bottom and another one up higher to go with the heart to be pixelated. I wanted the pixelated heart to have initials carved into it. I wanted little hearts representing my grandchildren. And remember how I said I ordered paper and had Bob cut out two boards? I had ordered ONE kit only so I needed to figure out if I could stretch the paper. Adding a new color to the orbs should work. I had some 1/4" pink and green Little Circles strips. They should work. And I had an extra package of the "White on Rice". I wanted to work on both mosaics at once, worried I would not get to the second one if I did them one at a time and I have discovered making two of anything at once, be it meals or kites, cut the combined time by a big margin. Should work for quilling also was my thought.

 

I read the tutorial again and started laying down the On Edge strips. I got pretty good at this by the time I had finished the second tree and branches. My first strip was pretty hard and had a learning curve. Be gentle when you condition the strip. Erin said little cracks won't show but I had big creases in my first strip and I figured they might show. GENTLY draw the strip several times over a dowel or in my case, my needle tool. It has a nice sized barrel and did not harm the strips. In my first attempt I used the needle itself. Not a good idea. I got my trees filled in with long, loose, very skinny coils from the matching Culture Pop strips. I tried to get my branches to look like they were growing out of the tree trunk. I needed the extra package of "White on Rice" to finish the second tree.

Below you will find my progress pictures with explanations of what I did and changes I made from the Quill-Along tutorial. I would love to host your finished mosaic here, too. Scroll down to the bottom to see Erin's mosaic and the two I did. There is room for yours! Please send me a photo and your permission to include it below.

 

 


getting started on the quilled heart tree
The background is painted. My tree is drawn, positioned, traced with pencil. It is  partially painted with antique gold paint.

Starting edge work
This picture shows some strips glued in place and a line of glue for the next strip. I let the glue tack up a bit as Erin suggested and did not worry too much about small amounts of excess glue as it won't show in the completed mosaic.
   

Edging and fillin started
Side one of the on-edge outline strips are finished and the fill-in is progressing. You finish the branch and trunk with another On-Edge strip. That will smooth off the second side after allowing easy access to the space to fill with quilling.
quilled heart trees underway
One tree done and the second mosaic ready for edging and quilling fill-in.
   

heart detail
This is a close-up of my top heart. I edged the white paper strips with the antique gold paint using a sponge.

Pam's pixilated heartTanya's pixalated heart
This photo shows the pixelated hearts with the initials for Pam and Anders and Tanya and Arno. One heart contains 95 tight rolls, the other 99. Yes, I could not believe it either! The initials are the On Edge strips, colored with a brown Sharpie. You can see the little red heart at the base of one tree as well.
orb strips out of control
I glued my strips together for the orbs. It was a pile of spaghetti! Because I was making two mosaics and potentially being short of strips, I wanted to know where I stood before starting.
Orbs doneSecond tree's orbs
The trees are now complete with their leaves or orbs. In the large pictures you can see I used green in one set and pink in the second set.
   
background work
Here you can see I have started to fill in the background of the tree on the right. You combine two strips to blend colors. A very cool technique which is amazing. I was skeptical mine would look right but no worries. It works! Some shapes are one color and then you transition to the next color with a 2 step process of mixing strips before again using one color. The background is simply loose closed coils shaped to fill in the entire area. It was really enjoyable.
Pam's tree
Pam's and Anders' tree is now complete ready for matting and framing, too. I glued down some scattered coils to level out the edges which will support the mat. By the way, I ran out of background paper and ordered more 2 more packages to finish. I decided for this second picture I wanted a lighter pink at the very top. One package would have been plenty but with the 6th color, I needed 2 packages to transition properly.
   
little hearts
Yes, I am a grandmother. I have 5 little heart throbs I call grandchildren. Here you can see 3 little hearts. Each is a 1/8th" strip cut in half lengthwise. The three little hearts are all different from each other just as Arden, Gweneth, and Rhys are each unique little people. The hearts rest on top of the mosaic.
Arno and Riley hearts
And these are Arno's and Riley's hearts. Again, skinny strips and their hearts are different one from the other. They are glued on top of the mosaic.
   
finished mosaic
Done! Bob made the frames for me and we cut the mats and glass to fit.
finished mosaic
Done!



 

So many quillers and an equal number of interpretations of Erin's "Be Still My Heart" mosaic. Below you will find hers, mine, and others, too. If you did this mosaic, I would love to add yours. Thank you Erin for another wonderful project. All photos used by permission.

Erin Curet Be Still My Heart
Erin's original concept, Be Still My Heart
Quilled Mosaic. Photo used by permission.
Pam's and Anders' Heart Tree
Anders' and Pam's Heart Tree Mosaic
by Charmayne Umbowers
Arno's and Tanya's heart tree 
Arno's and Tanya's Heart Tree Mosaic
by Charmayne Umbowers
     
Louise Poirier Stickney
Louise Poirier Stickney
Cheryl Knapp Climenhaga
Cheryl Knapp Climenhaga
Sam Schintzler
Sam Schintzler
     
Sue Rice
Sue Rice
Joanne Doty
Joanne Doty
Amy Jo Martin
Amy Jo Martin
     
Claire Shrek
Claire Shrek



Kathleen Serrahn

Kathleen Serrahn progress pics
Kathleen Serrahn
Kathleen Serrahn
     
Janet Watling
Janet Watling

Anama Lily Karagianni
Anama Lily Karagianni
To see close-ups of Anama Lily's mosaic,
look here on her website.
Kate Hague's tree
Kate Hague

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