A dream of mine once we purchased this home final 12 months was to have a statue of Mary within the yard with slightly grotto and flowers throughout her. Not having the price range for such a factor, I turned to the place I all the time do- our native Purchase Nothing Group.
For individuals who aren’t acquainted, a purchase nothing group is a Fb based mostly group that focuses on group constructing by way of a present economic system. If in case you have one thing that your loved ones now not wants, you’ll be able to submit an image of the merchandise, and your neighbors who’re can let you understand. You then choose who you’d prefer to present to, after which they choose it up from you, normally with a porch choose up. You can too ask for things- so for those who want a cup sugar or a teaspoon of an odd spice, you’ll be able to submit a request. You can too lend out- for instance, we’ve lent a carpet shampooer and borrowed a carseat cowl for a visit.
We’ve given away heaps and been gifted heaps in return, and among the finest issues it has performed is assist us get to know our neighbors and construct into our group (purchase nothing teams are town-based, so you’ll be able to solely belong the place you reside). All of us have issues we don’t want or don’t use, and I really like giving ours away to individuals we really know who will really cherish them,
Anyhow, once we moved in, I posted asking if anybody had a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that they didn’t need, and positive sufficient, there was a household just a few blocks away who had one. They’d purchased a house from a person who was a stone carver and left a fantastic statue of Mary on a limestone pedestal of their yard. They weren’t Catholic and had been glad to go her alongside to a household who would love her.
Subsequent I requested if anybody had a ceramic bathtub or some bricks, stones, or pavers mendacity round unused. And positive sufficient, one other household had simply ripped out a border of those beautiful wavy stone pavers as they redid their yard. Win. I loaded up our minivan and headed house!
My subsequent request was for tiles and/or stained glass as I had it in thoughts to create a mosaic . . . And wow, did my neighbors come by way of. A number of individuals had mosaic provides that they weren’t utilizing and one neighbor even had a group of stained glass shards left over from her personal tasks that she was glad to provide away.
As I appeared over the wavy pavers and the stained glass, I knew immediately that I wished to create an ocean themed mosaic for our Mary. The Ave Maris Stella is one in every of my very favourite prayers, and I believed I may create a grotto the place it appeared like Mary was rising from the waves. So I selected mirror shards and stained glass in shades of blues, greens, and purples and set to work.
We did buy the glue wanted to connect the glass to the pavers, and borrowed a tile cutter so I may get them the fitting sizes. The bottom stage is darkest after which the glass lightens up because it goes up. It took hours and hours and hours and numerous trial and error to get the imaginative and prescient proper, however all that sweat and laborious work was completely price it in the long run.
After the tiles had been positioned, I wanted to grout them, as a result of in any case that work, I wished this to face the check of time.
Grouting is numerous work, and sort of messy, and it was my first time making an attempt it. Right here’s what I learned- the tiles that I grouted whereas they had been in place vertically had been MUCH tougher to do, whereas it was a easy course of to grout every paver individually earlier than they had been constructed into the grotto. Lesson realized.
I needed to pause my grouting course of as a result of it received chilly final fall, however I used to be capable of end it as soon as the climate warmed up this spring
Grout leaves a grout haze over the tiles, and so I used a toothbrush and a grout haze remover to treatment that- once more, tremendous easy.
After which it was time to place all of it collectively. This was the half that I wanted Mark for. He took the lead on mortaring the items collectively within the spot that I had chosen for the grotto, and I couldn’t have performed it with out him (these items are heavy and I’m not as affected person with leveling as he’s).
The following step was placing Mary within the place of honor. She can be tremendous heavy, so Mark took care of that too. Thank goodness although, as a result of it means the children can’t knock her over by chance.
And right here in all it’s glory is our completed mission!
In case anybody is eager about creating their very own DIY Mary grotto, listed below are the supplies we used to make ours:
Amazon hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks, see my about web page for the total disclosure.
As I mentioned above, a lot of the supplies for our grotto got here from the purchase nothing group- the stained glass, the mirror tiles, the tile cutter, the pavers, and the Mary statue. However we did buy the next,
- grout: I used pure grey, pre-mixed grout.
- mortar and a trowel
- glue for tiles: I used Gorilla Glue in clear as a result of I used to be utilizing stained glass. Ensure no matter you select is waterproof as a result of your grotto might be exterior. (You’ll additionally want a gun factor for the glue.)
- rubber gloves for while you’re working with the grout and adhesives
The final piece of the puzzle would be the flowers that may encompass her. It’s slightly early to be planting right here in Michigan (it snowed as we speak), so these will come quickly, however I’m past thrilled with the outcomes to date, and will certainly share footage as soon as she has flowers.