Our new Field size Antique Mirror Tiles were created when my dear friend Matthew Ryan called to tell me he was opening a bigger salon and that he had to cover at least one wall in my Antique mirror tiles. He showed me pictures of the new space, it had soul, it was an old train stop converted into commercial space. He described the style he had planned for the design. Think hardwood floors, rich velvet upholstery in deep warm tones, it was going to be sexy, sultry. Antique Mirror was going to effortlessly flowers it always seems to.
As we worked out the details, he picked the wall above the counter of the coffee bar in the lobby area. There would be no upper cabinetry, so the tiles would go all the way to the ceiling. I was excited, it was going to be dramatic. With the large space I envisioned a larger Field size Antique Mirror Tile, 5" x 12". i got the samples ready for Bridget to ship out to Lansing, MI. Bridget looked at the address and started calling her mom. She said "I think she lives near there." Turns out her Mom Penny and her new bride Marilyn were within walking distance of the new salon. I had a hunch I would be meeting them both very soon.
I like to think Matthew and I have a special friendship. we met 10 years ago when he was in Florida on a hair trip and he did my hair. Everybody is drawn to matthew, but we had chemistry, our friendship just clicked into place. From that point on he came back every 5 or 6 weeks. He stayed at my house, or we would book a room and travel. Over the next ten years Matthew's friends would join him on his visits, and they would become my friends. My friends and family would become his friends and family. He managed to convince my sister, our friend Lindsay and I to make a trip to Michigan about 5 years ago. We flew to Atlanta, then to Detroit, a 1 1/2 hour drive to Lansing and then it was still five more hours to our weekend destination in Lake Charlevouix. Of course we had an amazing trip, but we decided we had seen enough of Michigan and possibly Canada, and this was my first and last trip to Michigan.
Which brings me back to the present. 5 years later and Matthew and i were still close despite life happening and not seeing each other as much. When the installation had come up a few times, he didn't ask many questions. He told me he was pretty handy, for some reason I believed him. I had a suspicion that I might be going to Michigan soon. Sure enough as the time came closer and I asked Matthew he admitted what he knew for awhile. 'I should probably fly you up here. Yes, that's what we'll do. You can come to Lansing." Once my sister Britten found out I was going, she was on board and tickets were bought.
I was excited to see my dear friend and also I was going to meet Bridget's family. Bridget is family to me, I couldn't wait to meet her family. When we arrived we took a ride over to see the salon and it was beautiful. Britten and Matthew left to get some dinner and I stayed back to start unpacking the tiles that we had shipped there. I had surprise visitors. It was Penny and Marilyn. I loved them both. They declared me family and I took this as an open invite to join any family vacations. Their family vacations are the best!
The Installation, what really happened.
The plan was for Matthew, Britten and I to knock out the installation and have a fun weekend ahead of us.
What really happened?
Thursday- 'We should probably get started today.' (Me)
Friday-'How long do you think it will take you to install Leslie? Maybe tomorrow would be better since we are having a barbecue here tonight for my birthday' (Matthew)
*This was not a barbecue, it was a catered and staffed event with 50 of his closest friends. Great party, but not a Barbecue!
Saturday- 'Shit. Where did today go?' (Matthew)
*I got to spend the afternoon with Marilyn, she coincidentally works for Delphi Glass, one of the biggest distributors of decorative glass and supplies, and gave me the full tour.
Sunday- 'Well, it's 3:30. I'm going to take a little nap and recover. You can take the car if you want to get a headstart.' (Matthew)
*This is where Mark, Sweet Mark, insists on driving me over and making sure I am all set up before he leaves. Mark is Matthew's
I started off slow, making sure everything was nice and level starting at the bottom right corner. The right side of the wall has en exposed edge so it was important that side be perfect. I was enjoying the process, It still hadn't sunk in that I had to be done that night. I was a little rusty with the glass cutter, I worked through that I was moving along and in the zone. If I had to do it again, I would have went to Home Depot and just bought the Rubi Tile and Glass Cutter for $40 bucks. It just makes the cutting so easy.
And then they showed up 'to help'. Britten of course jumps right in and tries to take over my spot as fearless leader. Matthew doesn't touch one tile but does ask a few poignant questions like 'So that tape will hold the glass, are these going to fall off the wall?'
Pressure was on, plane was leaving the next morning and they were hungry. I was only half way done and apparently we had to be to dinner by 8:00. It didn't help that it was starting to get dark and we had no lighting. Mark and Britten turned out to be helpful once I let go of my control issues. One measuring what size I needed to cut, the other installing the tiles as I cut them. That's Britten on the ladder in her boots with heels, pregnant with Baby Grant.
I installed these tiles with the mirror tape, which you can see in the picture running across the top. I also used the Gunther adhesive. It works well in areas the wall isn't flat and the tape won't catch. I ended up using every bit of the 3 tubes I had brought.
Matthew is a Man of God and I think he did his part through prayer. Jesus took the wheel, and somehow we were finished by 7:50. All in all it was about 4 hours from start to finish. The tiles pieced together beautifully. I went for a tight fit, no grout needed. They rushed me out the door so fast my only regret was not getting a chance to take any pictures of the finished install.