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Category: House Numbers & Featured Commissions

A Word Plaque: Believe and the Possibility of Mending

Believe Plaque in Mosaic by Nutmeg Designs
Believe Plaque in Mosaic by Nutmeg Designs

I am honored when our friend Joan entrusts us with a word that is meaningful to her.  Stratoz starts with the word as a whole, and decides where to put the cut-lines, and then the word slowly comes back together again, back buttering each piece with glue.  Over at Calm Things, Shawna Lemay posted a photo of a shattered teacup and poems by Dorianne Laux and Mary Oliver and ended with her own words:

{Instructions to myself}:   See with your hand outstretched. See the heart of your friend, a blue cup, a chinese dragon teacup. See, reaching out. See what may be on the brink. Hold it in your cupped hands.

This friend lost her husband and had her heart broken, and holds her outstretched to embrace “believe.”

Commission the word that speaks to you.

Custom Mosaic House Number for a California Bungalow: Craftsman Home Love

Custom Mosaic House Number for a California Bungalow
Custom Mosaic House Number for a California Bungalow by Nutmeg Designs. Glass on Slate, 12×8″

We had our first repeat house number customer at Nutmeg Designs! She moved to a beautiful creamy yellow bungalow in California, and wanted something yellow, white, and with black numbers, so this became our first house number with pale grout and dark numbers. Our client envisioned a translucent soft yellow, and I found iridized translucent glass tile, and a border of recycled glass brushed with yellow tones, and a little pale gold smalti at the edges for sparkle.   I always feel a thrill when a client loves their number:

The outline of yellows shine and shimmer from the street like glitter, it draws the eye. I have received so many compliments on it already. I will be sure to pass your information along to admirers. Thanks again for all your hard work.

Our client's creamy yellow bungalow. Craftsman style in California.
Our client’s creamy yellow bungalow. Craftsman style in California, with a new Nutmeg Designs house number.

 

Order your House Number here at Nutmeg Designs Etsy Shop.

A Custom 3 Digit House Number Plaque in Wine and Pine Makes its Way to Illinois

Custom Mosaic House Number 542 by Nutmeg Designs
Custom Mosaic House Number 542 by Nutmeg Designs

 

House numbers are a source of reimagining for Stratoz and myself here at Nutmeg Designs.  First, Stratoz designs the pattern for each house’s digits.  Each configuration of numbers has its own personality, own way of relating number to number.  54s has a great swooping on right and left with the curved 5 and 2, meeting in the middle with the 4 and its cross bar.  The client is in Evanston, IL, and his house was painted in “vintage wine” and “pine grove.”  These are earthier versions of red and green, and its interesting to see how a shift toward muted tones makes for a still resonant pair of complementary colors.  The client said he was drawn to how our numbers often seem to glow(even though light is not actually passing through), and he wished he had another house to commission a sign for.  We love to delight our clients!

Commission a House Number of Your Own from Nutmeg Designs

Giving a House in England its Name in Mosaic: Inglenook Travels across the Ocean

Inglenook: Mosaic House Name by Nutmeg Designs
Inglenook: Mosaic House Name by Nutmeg Designs. Glass on slate, 12×6″

Inglenook made it safely across the ocean from Pennsylvania to England!  A woman had contacted us at the beginning of the year, saying she loved our house numbers, but her house didn’t have a number, but it did have a name, and could we make a name sign. Stratoz and I worked up a quote for her, and she wrote back that it would need to wait until her birthday in October.  Then in September,  a man wrote us and said that his wife had discussed a sign and he wanted to order it for her.  It is still a thrill when clients get back to us, especially for someone so far away.

Stratoz designed the pattern pieces, and picked up speed after lamenting that lower case g’s were not friendly to glass artists, and getting the 6 pieces of that letter cut out.  Then it was my turn, and I made the background according to the request for a mixture of light and dark greens and a touch of red for vibrancy.

I was nervous about shipping it, but the client had good experiences with UPS so we went with that and Duane Freed at the Packaging Store in Lansdale packed it up for us, and off it went, and arrived on the client’s birthday.  Her husband reported that she was delighted, and thank us for our beautiful work.  This fills me with joy, knowing that Nutmeg Designs could bring this delight to fruition for our client and her husband.

Commission us

Bringing Beauty to Life: A Sunporch of Mandalas

Nutmeg Designs Art for a Client's Sunporch
Nutmeg Designs Art for a Client’s Sunporch

1. Rainbow in Bloom Mandala by Margaret Almon, 2. Crab Nebula Mandala by Wayne Stratz, 3. Red Orange Flower Mandala by Margaret Almon, 4. Red Tailed Rainbow Mandala by Margaret Almon, 5. Doodling with Scraps of Faithfulness by Wayne Stratz, 6. Helix Nebula Mandala by Margaret Almon, 7. Rainbow Starflower by Nutmeg Designs, 8. Shore Spiral by Margaret Almon, 9. Wernersville Wave Mandala by Wayne Stratz

In Spring of 2011, Stratoz thought we sold four mandalas, but it turned out the client wanted to hang them outside, and the ones she selected were not weatherproof, so she asked if we could make other ones for her that would be safe outdoors.  In the Fall of 2012, we received an order for four more mandalas, and querying the client, discovered they were also for the bluestone wall along her sunporch, and made her another twin set.  She told us our work brings beauty into her life, and we are more than glad to be able to do that.  Stratoz’s suncatcher made it into the group as well, to hang at the end of the porch, already set for the outdoors.  And finally, one of my Marzanne collaborations with Suzanne Halstead went to this client as well(for inside of course. . .)  A fine collection of orange, highlighted with blue and the rainbow.

Orange Nautilus by Margaret Almon and Suzanne Halstead
Orange Nautilus by Margaret Almon and Suzanne Halstead

Commission your mandala

Responding to the Bereaved: Of Butterflies and Hope

Butterfly in Glass by Wayne Stratz
Butterfly in Glass by Wayne Stratz, commissioned for parents who lost a child to cancer.

Stratoz and I are going to be interviewed for the Northampton Magazine, about alumni accomplishments.  One of the questions we were asked to consider was how Northampton Community College(NCC) prepared us to run a business.  At first, I didn’t know how to answer this question because I never would’ve have imagined having my own business when I was at the college.

Then I remembered, when I was 19, I petitioned to take a newly created class at NCC called Responding to the Bereaved, which was restricted to Funeral Service Education students.  NCC decided to let me in, and there I sat with 10 men and one woman studying to become Funeral Directors, learning about the psychology of loss and bereavement. I took the class because I felt compelled to, in wanting to understand my own pain, but class was a response to the needs of the Funeral students, who wanted more understanding of their clients, who were in the midst of grief.

Some of the members of the class grappled with the material, arguing that they weren’t counselors, and did they need to know all this psychology, but they were willing to consider the possibility.  Their profession was important to them, their role of guide at a moment of disruption.  I felt out of place as the only outsider, significantly younger than most of the students and the only other woman, but I was struck by the importance of the relationship between the person serving and those being served, and by the stories of the student’s own losses that arose in class discussions.  I most likely told Stratoz, when I met him that same year, that I wanted to be a bereavement counselor.

Now here I am, 25 years later, with our business Nutmeg Designs, and the relationship between artist and client is what guides both Stratoz and myself in our work.  We respond to grief at times, when someone commissions art as a remembrance, a gesture of love and healing.  Stratoz created a butterfly mandala in stained glass, commissioned by the friend of a couple that lost a child to cancer.  There is sadness in such a request, and yet such care.  This couple in turn commissioned a butterfly piece for another couple who lost triplets, carrying the hope for healing from their hearts to others.

How we met(Stratoz’s version): Meeting Mosaic Woman

Commission Stratoz

Nutmeg Designs Digs Making Clients(and Houses) Happy: Custom Mosaic House Numbers

1441 House Number by Nutmeg Designs
1441 House Number by Nutmeg Designs, glass on slate, 12×8 inches.

Stratoz and I feel very blessed when we have the opportunity to create something that will give clients joy every time they come home.  Adam in Pittsburgh commissioned this 1441, and we were bowled over by the note he included with his order:

I searched for house numbers on Etsy and your designs were one of the first ones that I found. After looking through pages of other designs, I kept returning to your work! Each of your pieces are wonderfully unique, and imbued with love and care. Every tile is crafted individually. No other artists who are creating house numbers seem to capture so much elegance in a single piece.

Thank you Adam!  He said he was “seething with anticipation” and for a moment we had some trepidation about whether we would meet his expectations, and were delighted and relieved when he loved his sign and sent us photos after installing it.  We also had a moment of anxiety when we saw the orange ribbon, since we don’t want any wind disaster to befall our clients, but Adam assured us that the ribbon is just for show and there is heavy gauge wire hiding beneath.  I love having a client who adds his own orange, since I am a big orange fan(as evidenced by my Orange Tuesday posts and Orange Tuesday Pinterest Board.)

Nutmeg Designs House Number 1441 Before and After
Nutmeg Designs House Number 1441 Before and After, glass on slate, 12×8 inches. This one went to Pittsburgh, PA.

Adam also graciously included a comparison photo of his old address plaque and his new one, and we appreciate the love.

 

Let us know if we can make something for you!