Besides writing for The Green Extract, practicing as green and sustainable a lifestyle as possible, designing custom ethical and sustainable jewelry and generally trying to spend my days being kind and compassionate, I also spend about 40-hours a week working for a good friend who owns four ACE Hardware
stores. In general, I try to make his job easier, and specifically I do so by handling the print and online media presence of his four stores.
I spend most of my time at the Palo Alto ACE location and have gotten to know the manager, Maureen, a little better than I know the rest of the managers and staff. She also happens to make jewelry in her free time, and has a penchant for other creative projects. Her birthday was earlier this month, and as part of her celebration, her family decided to make her a mosaic table. The intent and thought and beauty around the making of this gift is so true and beautiful, I wanted to share it with you.
Her father and daughter, ex-husband and his family, her boyfriend, and everyone’s significant others came together on her birthday, bringing with them the supplies needed to create her gift. Not only did they bring the requisite broken tiles, mirrors, vases and whatnot, they brought something talismanic and meaningful to each one of them, to include in the table, to be there forever and remind Maureen of the love that is all around her.
Her father included a little plastic toy bike to signify his love of cycling and therefore himself. Her daughter included a mug she’d had in her college days. An earring of a beloved and passed brother was added; and for each family member, a coin made during their year of birth was pressed into the design.
Besides being meaningful both in content and in process, this table was made using recycled materials ranging from old tiles and vases, to the college coffee mug.
This is a fun project for any age and a great way to use up those chipped flower pots, old mugs, aging mirrors that are loosing their backing, and any other pretty or meaningful discarded or forgotten item you have lurking by the plants in the sideyard or taking up space on the garage shelves.
For the things you need that aren’t recycled, Palo Alto ACE (or any local ACE Hardware) has the rest of what you’d need, including some fun trinkets that represent what’s personal and important to you. I know, I’m partial to ACE, but I was that way before I started working with them.