Haven't posted a progress update for a while - here's the mosaic after tonight's work (at approximately 24 hours of work):
I'm still waiting on the hammer and hardie. The company I ordered them from was out of hardies, but expects them to come in on Monday or Tuesday. They promised, when I spoke with them last night, to ship the tools as soon as the hardies come in.
I need to get a bit more smalti - I had intended to get some yellows and yellow-oranges, some black and some dark indigo blue. I thought I might get a pound of the yellows/oranges each and then maybe skip the black and get several pounds of the dark indigo blue. If I do that I'll pull up the black background and do the background in the blue. The dark indigo blue has a considerable amount of black in it and I think it would give the piece much more depth than doing it with the black and a random smattering of the indigo blue and the really dark green. But I'd need at least 5 pounds of the stuff, which, at nearly $20/lb (when you consider the added shipping costs), would make the next purchase over $150 if I got the indigo blue and the necessary yellows and yellow-oranges...
Still, I think it will make the piece a much better one.