Our House

Our house is a very, very, very fine house…

With two cats in the yard…

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember those words from the song “Our House” written by Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

For most of my life, I’ve had at least “two cats in the yard”. (Even though right now I only have one, and he’s definitely not in the yard!) I think having cats runs in our family, as you can see in the above photos. We always had cats growing up, so can identify with the imagery in those lines of Nash’s song.

Awhile back, I decided I needed (!!) a mosaic on my front steps, but after completing it, I wasn’t satisfied with just hearts and flowers. Gradually an idea was taking shape…

I thought it would be cool to have my house number on the step, because from where it is on the house, it doesn’t really show from the street.

But there needed to be more designs than just the numbers, and then I thought of “Our House” and the “two cats in the yard”, and started on this.

Then I wanted a mirror image of the same design so I could place one at each end of the step. So I scanned my original drawing, then flipped the image, and printed it out again.

They turned out okay, but I was worried that the blue roofs wouldn’t show up well enough against the blue background. I took off the broken pottery pieces and replaced them with a more “roof-like” color. It wasn’t too hard to get the old tiles off because they hadn’t been glued down for very long. As you will see later, I also changed the cats on the left to match the ones on the right. I didn’t think the calico and black and white showed up as well as the solid colors.

Then it was time to figure out how to space the design.

After I put the numbers up with Thinset mortar, it was bugging me that the middle part of the “3” and one section of the “0” seemed to be fading into their white backgrounds. I tried to convince myself that it looked fine, without success.

And while I don’t necessarily recommend this, you can usually manage to get mosaic tiles off even after the Thinset has dried. (I found this out when I took the black glass gems off of the sea animals mosaic in the bathroom.) However, it would have been better if I had noticed it while it was still inside on the kitchen table, like I’d done with the cats and the houses. But, that’s how we learn.

I was much happier with the corrected version.

I still think the bottom of the “2” kind of blends in too much with the bottom blue border, but that looked a little harder to fix so I left it that way.

Yay! All the pieces were up, and it looked pretty good.

There was this little gap between the house panel and the numbers, (you can see in the previous photo how it happened on both sides of the number). But that was easy to correct by adding a few more small blue tiles in the spaces.

The grouting process is one of my favorite parts! I have to say that it is a little awkward trying to grout a vertical surface when you have to sit on the sidewalk to do it. And, I’ve come to the age now where it’s not sitting down on the ground that’s a problem, it’s getting back up!

Okay, it’s finished…for now.

21 thoughts on “Our House

  1. Lulu: “Our Dada was going to go with ‘Our house, in the middle of our street’.”
    Charlee: “He says it’s because he’s a child of the 80s.”
    Chaplin: “That’s the nicest street numbering we can remember seeing!”

    1. Foster: Thanks guys! Glad you like our street number! Our mom is a child of the 70s, all right!
      Panda: Mom’s in her seventies? I didn’t think she was that old!
      Mom: Are you guys answering comments on the blog again?
      Foster and Panda (in unison): Ummm….

  2. Linda

    You are your Mother’s Daughter, Miss. Perfection. Looks Great and just to let you know I have steps facing the street here at my house. Can you do Chihuahua’s???

  3. Stunning! I love these mosaics, especially the cats… and I well remember the song. I grew up with cats too. Funnily enough, I was reminiscing about some of them with my (91 year old) mother earlier this week. When I was a baby, our ginger cat, Charlie used to sleep in my pram – back in the days when little ones were left outside on the porch for some air.

    1. Thanks Chris! Funny about the way people thought back then. Those were also the days when it didn’t occur to people to spay and neuter their pets, at least not here. Our cat would have kittens in a box in our bedroom closet and when they got big enough we would take them out and bring them in bed with us, and make forts for them with the covers 🐱😻 And put doll clothes on them 😂

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