Monday, April 27, 2009

Bead Fest Wire Is Almost Here!

I am so excited about Bead Fest Wire - this next weekend!

May 1-3, 2009
Fri: 10am - 7pm
Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm

Valley Forge Convention Center in Valley Forge, PA

Marsha Neal Studio will be in booth #1801

Right now I've got a kiln loaded and firing with a few remaining bead orders, stock for my upcoming trunk shows, stock for BFW along with a handful of new glazes!

At Bead Fest Wire, I will accepting potential glaze names for these new colors.
If I pick your glaze name you will receive a $50 gift voucher to use through my online shopping cart.
If the rare chance happens that the same name is suggested, I will put your names into a hat and pick the winner. Actually, I'll let Chloe pick that winner - let her have some fun in it!

More details to follow...

Hopefully I'll see you there!

Oh, and I'll also put info up here so people not attending BFW will have a chance to name the new glazes and get their gift voucher!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last Day of April Sales Special!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I've been running a special for my newsletter customers as well as anyone that has placed an order through my website or Esty shop from March 15 - April 26, 2009:

For every $30 you spend on my porcelain pendants during these dates...
You can earn a $10 gift voucher to use through my online shopping cart by 6/31/09.

See side bar for details....

Happy Shopping!!!

...If you missed out on this special, sign up for my newsletter and get this kind of stuff when it first comes out!

Thanks for your continued support!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Potential New Glaze Colors

I just got some new glazes just the other day and couldn't wait to run a test firing.

This may not look like much more than a bunch of lines of frothy colors, but in person, there are some yummy details that have some great potential for becoming new glaze colors for my pendants. Most of the colors are brown/tan with a combination of blues, greens & purples.

The way I test glazes is in two parts:

First is on a pendant fired vertically - this will give a result close to how the actual pendant will look. These start as one color only and can be somewhat mediocre by itself.

Second is on a larger test tile as you see above which is fired horizontally on the kiln shelf.

This particular test tile has 5 glazes, each brushed once vertically, once horizontally which gives me 15 squares of different color to see.

If I'm not too particular with trying to keep it neat and perfect, sometimes there is a 3 glaze overlap and additional potential glazes can be found (enough to make a girl all giddy with color joy)!

The color of the actual tile is so much more vivid than the picture - and once I do more testing I'll post new pictures.

I'm thinking that for my Early May challenge may be a "name the new glazes" drawing where the person that submits the name I pick for the glaze will win a gift certificate to Marsha Neal Studio Online Shopping Cart.

And I'll have the new glazes available for seeing, voting and purchasing through my booth at Bead Fest Wire over the weekend of May 1-3.

Also, if you are interested in getting a free one day pass to Bead Fest Wire, my friend Darlene will have a few of them available at her booth (D7Studio) this weekend at the Innovative Beads Expo show in Edison, NJ. Once they are gone, that's it - so get there early.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wire Wrapping Insanity

The sun was shining...
Birds were out gathering nesting materials...
And I took some time to sit down and get into obsessive wire wrapping on my porcelain pendants...

This is what my work space looked like...

Some of the close up detail of the pieces I'm putting up on Etsy for sale:

This makes me feel good since I haven't had time to really sit and enjoy myself like this for a while...
And there are lots of ideas too so I'm ready to get into the studio to make new porcelain pendants to go with the Vintaj pieces.

Makes me think too - I've got some more images to upload...
Probably going to stagger them though...

Any feedback on my updated Etsy shop would be appreciated...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taking Time to Become Small Again

I have been in dire need to find my inspiration.
I'm usually pretty easy to entertain - I like a lot of things...

Today is officially the first warm day of spring that I have encountered.
Thank you sunshine and longer days for helping the garden start to emerge.

My friend Kim introduced me to blood root a few years ago.
It is so wonderful to see so early in it's growth.

The way the leaf hugs the emerging bloom is so expressive and warm feeling...

When I was a wee little girl I always thought there were small people around in just about every nook and cranny.

I would go into the garden and imagine that I was about 3" tall and would wander around in there within my head - and of course I could jump very high and fly if needed.

So to find my inspiration today,
I have taken a breath and jumped in again - just for a visit...
This is what I saw...

And something from my childhood...
From my Grandma Neal's old farm:
This old wooden thing...

I am not quite sure what is is used for.
My sister April thinks it was used with the horse saddles or bridles possibly.
We used to climb all over it and jump off of it.
I like the way it looks in my garden now,
and can't wait to see it within the garden as it comes into bloom...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Warm Fuzzies

I have always been in love with nature and with animals.
I especially loved my stuffed animals and toys as a young child.
I used to spend hours playing make believe with them.

Dave and I both really enjoy the holidays - and now with Chloe we can really get into them!

We had Chloe's picture taken with the Easter Bunny a couple weeks ago on a whim.
I hid (she is in a "mommy" phase now) while Dave took her to see Mr. Bunny...
This was one of the pictures I snapped of Dave being a goofy dad...
Needless to say I gave away my hiding place by laughing so much at the picture.

Oh, and Chloe wanted to stay with the Easter Bunny...

Last week we went to FL for a Disney vacation with Dave's family for the first part of the week, then my dad's family the last few days. Well, our first official day was spent at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital with Chloe. We went to visit granny there (Chloe's great grandmom), but Chloe was throwing up and was getting dehydrated, so we spent the entire day in the ER with her instead. This is her when we were leaving to drive back to the hotel - she was feeling much better after the medicine and fluids.

Monday was our Magic Kingdom Day. On the Ferry Boat ride to the Magic Kingdom, Chloe was standing up and she liked the way the rumbling of the boat made her feet vibrate. She sure has Dave's eye expressions - oh, those eyebrows!

I always wanted to get a job in Disney as one of the characters (one of the chipmunks preferably), but thought that it would be way too hot in that fur. So instead I just kept holding onto that love of my stuffed animals, and the fact that these living stuffed animals lived in Disney and really help make the experience super magical... I think Chloe is following the same path. She just melted into this character (playhouse Disney?) and didn't want to let go. And the people inside saw that and they really gave her a lot of attentions. Usually kids this little are way too freaked out to want to be near the characters. Not Chloe...
This picture is a bit blurry, but it was one of my favorites. I think I can see the happy in my eyes and knowing that Chloe was just hanging out on my shoulders looking around, trying to fight sleep while we were in the parks.

And on our final night, on our way out of the park (can I just comment that I was not a happy camper at this point. I have always hated not having "just another day" in the parks - with family. I miss being with my FL family every day, and I usually end up getting all teary and crying - such a mess sometimes...). Well, we were walking towards the exit of Epcot, and we just happened by where there were a bunch of the characters lined up and people were going in line and getting to see each and every one of them. Well Donald Duck (up to this very moment, my least favorite character - I can't stand the voice... but lucky for us, the actual people/ characters don't talk) saw Chloe and me looking in the window at them, and he came right over and put his hand up to the window, and Chloe put hers up to his, then he blew her kisses... It was such a moment. It was one of those "magical" moments when something just happens, and it makes everything seem all better and that you wish you could freeze it in time and just stay there in that perfect moment for just a bit longer.

So now that we're home, I'm happy to be home.
I'm delighted to see that my garden is starting to peek at me through the dreary soil.
The grass seems brighter green, and the trees are in bloom with flowers or with buds.

I have ideas for new work, but frankly, I feel no urge to make anything.
I want to clean. I want to de-clutter. I want to give myself a clean slate to work with.

So, I'm looking forward to getting an I-phone for my birthday/business to help with the de-cluttering of my technology side of procrastination. Once I get it, I will be able to upload things so much easier and then I will hopefully feel a bit more connected to the world outside of my house and procrastination piles that surround me in every room...

I hope that you are getting out too...