I have just returned from a magical week at Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta. This walled paradise of art is owned and operated by Sam Leonard. She and her husband, Xenophon, are the most gracious hosts and provided everything we needed for a perfect week.

Sam’s collection of art over the years, her personal art work, and the work created by workshop leaders fills every corner, nook, and cranny. Wall murals,  painted floor cloths, hand blown lamps, tiled outdoor kitchen, mosaic sofa and chairs- it is a neverending feast for the eyes. Even on the last day we were there, we were still seeing things we had not seen all week.

The studio is an enormous, covered outdoor space, surrounded by palms, orchids, cactus, and succulents. Open twenty four hours a day, there were a actually a couple of days when we worked briefly after coming back from dinner in town. Complete with a very nice kiln, students were able to make, fire, and glaze tiles for their sculptural mosaic flowers which were completed in the weeklong workshop.

One of the things we all enjoyed most was the experience of being able to get up and mosaic all day with no other responsibilities. The kitchen staff, Jorge and Anna, provided a delicious breakfast and lunch every day, and we all looked forward to the bell inviting us to feast upon their creations. Even the food was art.

We all had such a great week of wonderful sharing of art, in community with other women, that we left feeling like we all wanted to come back. I have scheduled another week for March 2019. If you are interested, please join us. I promise you will love it.

Worshop participants- Dana Voskes, Pam Jara, Nancy Okun, myself, Gina Rubin, and Marline Pallais
















On June 17th, I had the pleasure of teaching at The Center for Creative Renewal in Encinitas, CA.  The owner, Ellen Speert, is an art therapist and has owned the three acre property for over forty years. From the street, you would never know what lies beyond the gate to her back garden. She and her partner have lovingly created an amazingly beautiful environment that is filled with art and includes a building for her art therapy, complete with a deck that looks out over the mountains. In addition, there is an outdoor deck for art classes as well as a new yoga deck. Ellen teaches classes herself, leads art therapy groups, and hosts visiting artists several times a year. You can visit her website at www.artretreats.com for more information and to see all of her classes and events. Taking a class here offers so much more than just the content of the class. The location is spectacular.

The class Ellen and I chose was Mosaic Mandalas, one of my current obsessions. The word mandala means circle, and represents wholeness and divine harmony.  It was the perfect project. Students created the mandalas on Wedi board, making them waterproof and suitable for hanging in a garden environment. I brought a huge selection of my own handmade tiles to offer as focal points as well as to radiate from the center. As you can see from the photos, everyone’s interpretation of the project was their own unique vision. The results were beautiful. Thanks to all of you for coming!

If you would like to create a mandala in Ellen’s beautiful garden, I will be teaching this class again in April of 2018.

Megan Hoopes with her piece incorporating my handmade tiles in a paisley design.

Rosemary Stark with her beautiful piece incorporating a center medallion and radiating “leaf tiles”.

Carol Denenberg with her piece primarily all in blues using only glass.

A unique piece that I do not remember the name of its creator. It is so beautiful and creative. Let me know if you were in the class and can identify who made this one.

A beautifully planned and executed piece with complimentary colors created by Gail Gerbie.

The lovely yellows in this piece by Mary Beth Casement are so happy. And Mary Beth learned how to add glass rods vertically in the center.

Love the blues and purples Ellen Speert chose. The pink and aqua add a nice contrast.

The chartreuse green tiles in Susan Pierce’s piece are my absolute favorite.I just love that color. She ended up changing this from black to white grout. That was beautiful as well.

Tuesday morning classes have been super fun lately. Everyone is working on a different project and students are all learning from each other. It’s a relaxed and therapeutic time for us all. Some of the skills being taught are: different types of substrates and when to use them, which adhesives to use, ways to hang your pieces, tabletop designs, cutting skills, design principles, andamento, and of course there’s always claywork being done. Come join us. It’s just such a fun way to spend a morning hanging with other women.

Here are some of the photos of happy mosaicists.

Here’s Chris working on her border tile for her Tree of Life. This project is huge and I admire her for taking on the challenge. This one combines working with clay for the border and the tree, and the background will be glass mosaic.

Here’s Jody working on glazing her heart for her Sagrado Corazon wall piece. Glazing was not her most fun activity because of the addition of the little balls, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. This piece combines clay work with handmade background tile and glass gems around the border.

Here’s Gina’s second tabletop. Love all the color. Looks like candy doesn’t it?

This is Gina’s first tabletop which is much more complicated and much more detailed. She stopped midway, finished the easier one, and is now back to working on this one. It’s really beautiful and I can’t wait to see it finished.

Here’s Collen’s drawing of her newest piece with dragonflies and flowers. It’s all stained glass and glass gems and I can tell already it’s going to be a beauty.

Here’s Pam glazing her sun which is a ceramic piece.

Here’s Pam’s sun all completed. Isn’t it gorgeous!


On occasion I depart from mosaics to create with clay (my roots and my college degree). Every year before the holidays I enjoy creating ceramic angels. This year I posted pictures on Facebook and the orders came pouring in! In addition, I had requests for a class. So the last couple of weeks, I have been spending time filling those orders and also enjoying teaching students how to make them as well. It was a fun and challenging class for them. If you’re interested in taking a class or in ordering angels, let me know. Below are the students’ completed angels.



Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching beginning mosaics in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The mountains are truly my happy place and having lived there for five years it was a joy to be invited to teach again. What a wonderful day! For most of the women this was their first mosaic. I thought their projects were amazing! And they were all so happy. Here’s the group with their creations with some close ups as well. Love them all!



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