In January workers descended on a Kemah home hard hit by Ike, a place where Larry and Melissa Beach have raised a passel of foster kids and quite a few of their own.
The CenterPoint lineman's salary was stretched thin enough without paying for home repairs, but in this case he didn't have to worry -- the volunteers were there for the ABC show Extreme Home Makeover. The Beaches were sent to Disney World and came back to find a completely renovated and improved house.
EHM is always big on milking the tears, and we're sure there will be plenty when the show airs as a special two-hour season finale April 4. (When you're the proverbial "very special episode" of a show like EHM, you're really going to be tugging the heartstrings.)
ABC says it can't release any photos of the finished project, and participants are keeping a bit circumspect too, but prominently featured in the show will be work by six local mosaic artists.
Sharon Plummer of Houston's Plum Art Mosaics received word during the makeover that she and her colleagues "would have 24 hours to build, transfer and install a massive, mosaic headboard in one of the teen-aged girl's rooms," as our initial report put it.
They apparently got the job done.
She and Roxana Nizza of Alvin, Darby Freeman of Alvin, Michele and Brian Patrick of Seabrook and Rachel Stokes of Pasadena set to work.
Plummer describes the process for Hair Balls:
The 5-foot by 5 1/2-foot custom headboard was fabricated at the Patrick¹s studio, and then transported and permanently mounted on the wall in the Beach family home. The glazed ceramic tile mosaic was created on 2 sections of lightweight tile backer-board and the off-site construction technique allowed the fabrication to be done on a horizontal plane rather than directly onto the vertical wall. The 2 sections were transported to the makeover house, fitted together, screwed into the wall, trimmed with ceramic rope listellos, and then grouted.
A mosaic of this size would typically require 6-8 weeks for a mosaicist to design and fabricate. Completing the artwork and doing the installation in 3 1/2 days time was indeed an extreme challenge! However, the camaraderie and good humor of the artists kept the project on course.
In addition to the rush job, it wasn't exactly a calm and quiet atmosphere.
Everybody had to remain flexible and willing to work around the unexpected little hold-ups that always occur on a project as large as Extreme Makeover. In addition to the volunteer tradespeople, there were hundreds of individual and group community volunteers on-site at all times. Everyone was willing to do any and all tasks necessary to get the job done.
When the landscaping was going in, there were over 50 people working a wheelbarrow brigade to get mulch moved from the huge mounds in the front of the house to the large backyard.
Catch the tears, catch the surprises, catch the grouting....all at 7 p.m. April 4.
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