Paula MacLeod's
Flower Soup Mosaics
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New Changes for 2014!

Me and my walker

Season’s Greetings!


I hope that all of my friends, colleagues, and clients have had a productive and enjoyable 2013 and are looking forward to 2014! 2014 is going to bring a major change for me and Flower Soup, so I’d like to take a moment to share my news with you all.


After some searching and planning, I applied to the Master’s of Art in Interactive Media program at Elon University back in the early summer. I was accepted and will start the program in July 2014! It’s hard to relate how excited and anxious I am about this opportunity.  It is a 10-month fast-track program that combines graphic design and technology. The types of work this will open up to me is quite broad and the program allows the students to hone in on their particular interests, which could range from end-user experience design/testing to multimedia management.


So what will this mean for Flower Soup Mosaics? Well, for starters, I am not teaching any contracted classes for the foreseeable future. I will update my “classes” page online with resources for anyone looking for fused glass or mosaic technique classes. There is a possibility that I could teach some small workshops based on local interest. If you are local to the Durham area and would like to be included in any information about such an opportunity, just send me an email and I’ll keep you up to date.


I am not taking any more commissioned work after March 2014. I will not have time to dedicate to commissioned work after classes start, so that should give me time to complete any commitments before July. Also, I still have work available ranging from mosaics to fused glass jewelry. Feel free to contact me about anything that you are interested in.


Although I plan to keep an inventory of work at The Scrap Exchange and Bull City Art and Frame, I do not plan to participate in the art shows that I have traditionally, such as the Durham Art Walk, the Watts-Hillandale Art Walk, and others.


The down side of 2013 for me is that I broke my hip on December 4th, which has slowed me down considerably.  Presumably, I had a stress fracture that cracked when I accidentally fell off my crutches. I’ve had surgery and the bones have been aligned with pins and rods. So far everything is fine, but the healing will take a couple of months. I’m getting around on a walker and trying not to take on too much at once, which is hard at the holidays!!


I do not intend to drop out of the arts scene by any means! If anything, I hope this opportunity will allow me to support my fellow artists and create my own work as I choose.


Thank you so much to all of my supporters, students, clients, and fellow artists. May 2014 be a healthy and prosperous year for you all!

Best wishes,


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Fall shows, Winter/Spring classes

It's that time of year! The holiday shows are on the calendar and I hope I will see some of you over the next two months!


Fall Shows

Dia de los Meurtos Gato

Acrylic on reclaimed glass window


Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department Holiday Vendor Event

Saturday, October 20

9 am to 1 pm

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department

1409 Seaton Road, Durham, NC


Watts-Hilandale Art Walk

The 10th Watts Hospital Hillandale/Old West Durham Artwalk!  

My host site is Club Blvd.

Sunday, November 4th 



Durham Holiday Market

Friday, Novemeber 16, 5 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, Novemember 17, 10 am to 4 pm

My host site is TBD, but there will be maps.


Craftland at The Scrap Exchange

Novemeber 16 through January 18th

923 Franklin St., Durham (behind Golden Belt)

Store Hours: MTW 11–5, Thu & Fri 11–9, Sat 10–5, Sun 12–5



Winter/Spring classes at Cary Arts Center

Dry Ave., Cary, NC



Fused Glass, Beginning (adult)
4 classes
Mondays, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
January 7, 14, 28, Feb. 4 (no class 1/21)

Teen Fused Glass Art
4 classes
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26

Stained Glass Mosaic Art
6 classes
Wednesdays, 6 pm to 9 pm
Feb. 20,  and 27 March 6, 13, 20, and 27
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The Story of Birtha, The People's Cow

I have to share a very inspiring video about the story of Birtha, The People's Cow, by my good friend, Andria Linn-Dunlap.


Birtha is the first cow in the 11 year history of the Cow Parade to be completely sponsored by a community of people instead of an individual sponsor. This is siginificant because Andi was completely responsible for raising the $5,000.00 sponsorship. Of course we all rallied behind her to get the word out and help get more donors, but, ultimately it was a risk that rested on her shoulders. In two weeks Andi not only created the beautiful artwork on the cow, but worked around the clock to reach out to anyone who would spare a few dollars to sponsor Birtha. Sponsor's names are deftly incorportated into the branches on Birtha, further tieing the community back into the art.


Photography by Steven Whitsett



If you can, please take 7 minutes to watch the video, and if you live in the Raleigh/Durham area, take some time between now and Christmas to get out to the American Tobacco Historic District to see all of the cows there. Birtha is in front of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe.



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Ordinary Madness

Music means so much to me, and it is a primary way that I stay motivated. I "found" a group on iTunes this year that I really like. It's JoJo Effect and they are a Nu jazz/Latin/Lounge group.


One song in particular speaks to me. It's called Ordindary Madness, and it is all about the hectic life of a woman. In the song the woman is a stay at home mom, but every time I listen to this song (and I que it up on my ipod frequently), I see myself. I am constantly in catch up mode and have absolutely no time to even whine about it.


For instance, in July I taught a week of summer camp at Art Space in Raleigh. I taught from 9 am to 12, then came home, grabbed a quick bite and jumped back in the car to go work on Lady Carolina Blooo. Two days a week I picked my grand daughter up from daycare and also dropped her off in the morning. Starting in mid-July, I had two 4-week evening classes for fused glass that filled at the Cary Arts Center, so that meant short work days on the cow and no dinner with the family. I didn't cook as much during this time, but I do usually make most of our meals and keep up with the house work.


Now that the cow is done and the parties are over, I am back at my temp job. And school starts this week. Our son is a senior this year and the calendar is already full of dates for ACT tests and school activities. More ordinary madness to come.


I know my sister and all of my friends with children run themselves ragged trying to get everything done. So my salute to you is "Ordinary Madness". I hope you all enjoy!

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Feelin' the Love

The atmosphere at the Cow Parade Round Up yesterday at Golden Belt was practically like a carnival. They estimate that approximately 5,000 people came to see the cows. I was so blown away from all of my visitors and their appreciation of Lady Carolina  Blooo that I had a permanent smile from ear to ear all day. I rode that wave of postitive energy way into the night.


Lady (or as I have been calling her, M'Lady) will be installed in her fall home at the historic Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill this week. You can visit her there through Christmas.


My friend and mosaic artist, Jeannette Brossart, has written a blog about yesterday's event featuring me, Steven Ray Miller, and Emily Eve Weinstein that I would like to share. Thanks, Jeannette!

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The Bovine Bottom Line

Since I just finished Lady Carolina Blooo yesterday, I've had some time to think about and put together some details about what went into her creation and my experience. Here they are:


*There are "Easter Eggs" on Lady. They are a rooster, pig, bird, goat, rabbit and heart. Be sure to look for them.

* Lady Carolina Blooo will be on display at Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill from August 23 to the end of the year.

*Since Vietri donated the stoneware, I used lots of the bottoms of dishes with the Vietri stamp. I also used cup handles and other cool bits.

*It took 20 caulk size tubes of adhesive to get all of the mosaic pieces on the body.

*It took 50 pounds of grout to grout the whole cow.

*There actually is blood in the grout and adhesive somewhere.

*I used about 10 bandages.

*I created 3 new callouses.

*I actually bruised my back by accidentally bumping into the ears one day.

*Most days during the grouting process I had grout in my hair and smeared on my face, arms and legs.

*I made 4 trips to Lowe's and 5 trips to Ace Hardware.

*During the week of 7/17 I bought all of the caulk size tubes of Lexel in Durham and had to switch to Loctite Power Grab adhesive.

*I estimate that I worked 160 hours from start to finish (40 days of work, average of 4 hour work sessions).

*The artist pay for each cow is $1,000. That makes my hourly rate $6.25/hr.

*I spent $347.74 in materials, which makes the hourly pay more like .56 cents per hour.

*I met and got to know 10 really great artists who worked in the studio at Golden Belt during the time I was there.

*I had a blast during the photo shoot with professional photographer, Steven Whisitt (

*I discovered Blend Cafe, which has fabulous coffee, pastries, sandwhiches, salads, smoothies and totally addictive self-serve frozen yogurt!

*My husband took a total of 2 days off work to come help in addition to the weekend hours he put in. (I'm totally keeping him.)

*My 17 year old son and his friend came and helped one afternoon.

*My friend and mosaic artist, Alicia Ortiz, put in more hours than I counted.

*Each cow will have a QR scannable code on the display base that will bring up an ap on any smart phone that will give information about the cow, the artist, and the sponsor.

*My grand daughter, Sofia-Renee, was born at UNC. She spent a week in the NIC due to her low oxygen level at birth and jaundice. The staff was outstanding.

*NC Children's Promise (, the non-profit that the Cow Parade is supporting:

  • Provides advanced comprehensive care to children from all 100 counties in North Carolina, regardless of a family's ability to pay;
  • Maintains a family-focused, child-friendly environment, while providing state-of-the-art care for children with complex and life-threatening health problems; and
  •  Continues cutting-edge research that assures new discoveries for treating childhood diseases.

*N.C. Children’s Hospital is ranked in six of 10 U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” ranking categories, including a top 10 ranking in pulmonology—the only top 10 ranking achieved by any children’s hospital in North Carolina.


I hope this infomation has been fun and enlightening for anyone who took the time to read my blog!


Thanks and I hope if you don't get to the big unveiling "Round Up" on Saturday, August 18th (, that you will get a chance to see the cows in their display locations.



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NC Cow Parade

Greetings all!
I have spent the past month working on a cow for the NC Cow Parade. My cow is a commission sponsored by UNC Children's Hospital. Her name is Lady Carolina Blooo and she features four iconic logos of UNC. She also has farm yard friends hiding on her body for you to find. Lady Carolina Blooo will be on display along with 80 or so other cows at Golden Belt complex in Durham on Saturday, August 18th from 10 am to 4 pm.


This event is open to the public and the only time all of the cows will be displayed together.  I will be there all day and hope you will come to visit.


After the Round Up, the cows will be moved by Aug. 23 to different locations across the Triangle. They will be in "herds" of 4 and stay in those locations until December. In January the UNC Children's Hospital will auction them off to raise funds for the Children's Hospital.



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"Side by Side" a special gift

As my schedule has been over-full for a long time now, my own artistic productivity has been very low. But recently a client, Charles, contacted me with a burning idea for "the" gift for his wife, Erica. He had an "a-ha" moment when the idea to create a mosaic of their companion pugs, Watson and Celeste, popped into his head. So we discussed the piece, but because her birthday was just days from when he contacted me, there was just no way it could be completed for that event. But because he now felt that maybe giving it to her a little late might be an even bigger surprise, we went ahead with the project.


As I do with all of my clients, we discussed size and other details so that I could plan for supplies. From the picture he gave me, I re-arranged how the dogs were posed to get them closer and even suggested trying to mimic the rug design. That would be an instant recognition factor for her.


Charles dubbed the picture "The Best Gift Ever", but as I worked on the mosaic, looking at the details in each dog's face, I started to feel the relationship between the pups. "Side by Side" kept playing in my head and just before I finished the piece, I suggested the title to him, and he really liked it. He said it worked on different levels since the dogs are companions to each other and to his wife.

So two weeks later I completed "Side by Side" and just before Valentine's Day, Charles gave the best gift ever to Erica. I can't be more proud of being able to create something that made someone very happy.



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2011 Durham Symphony Painted Violins

The King's Speech

"The King's Music" by Paula MacLeod


The 2011 Durham Symphony Painted Violin Fundraiser is in full swing. Stephen Ray Miller, Eric McCray and myself created new works of art on decommissioned violins. You can see pictures of the three voilins online (link above) or in person at High Strung Violins and Guitars 1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC (919) 286-3801 through the month of September and at Encore Boutique 3401 University Dr, Durham, NC (919) 403-0495 for the month of October.

The final drawing will be held at the Durham Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert on December 2, 2011. You do not need to be present to win.

Purchase your raffle tickets at High Strung Music or Encore Boutique or online at the above link.

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Eye d'Neau--New Commission Completed

The Mosiac Husband is here to report that installing a mosaic is HARD!! I helped Paula install the Eye d'Neau comminsion this past weekend and I need to stick to my cushy computer job. Here are some pics for your entertainment





The Mosaic Husband

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