Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Through The Eyes Of A Child (To Dream...)

Sometimes life keeps throwing you curve balls.
Our recent family curve since August of last year is 7 people have passed away.
A few more are dealing with life changing medical diagnosis (cancer, disease, and such).
It is getting a bit crazy.
But there is hope. There is love. There is laughter...
 And there is imagination...
The drawing above is from my daughter (4 years old).
It is a picture she drew of me. With colored spirals in my hair.
I adore her vision. Her imagination. Her view on life.
The other day my son (2 years old) stopped and laid down in the grass in our front yard,
While we were busy with fixing up some parts of the garden that needed tending.
Mind you, he is not quite graceful as he is only 2, and we at first were unsure at what he was doing.
Dave to Riley: "What's wrong buddy, are you ok?"
Riley to Dave: "Yook Daddy. Yook at the Clouds. Up Dere!"

Made me think more about stopping and looking around a bit more.
I've gotten out of that habit recently - and I'm not thrilled with it.

 My garden has been such a work in progress.
A propagation garden. Trying to grow as many plants as possible, see what makes it garden.
Mostly natives. Mostly with insects and birds in mind.
Also - enough hostsa and day lilies to keep the deer from dead heading all else (not working that well though - but not hurting either).
So I've now planted some cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and two blueberry bushes in hopes of having some fresh food again this year. The deer eat mostly everything - so until we have formal raised beds (next year perhaps?) I'm just throwing some seeds in and seeing what we get.
 And at the garden center, I couldn't pass up on some color and texture in the garden now that my cone flowers are out again for this year's growing season (although there are some growing. I will pull them soon).
These two photos are annual Osteospermum's (African Daisy).
Above is the Zion Copper Amethyst.
Below is the Serenity White Bliss.

And in the studio...
What few hours I've had to spend there recently...
I have been working on glazing bead pairs.
 All of these bead pairs will be photographed first for color and shape.
I've got plans on adding these to my Marsha Neal Studio website shopping cart where anyone can go in and order a specific set of beads.
 There will of course be parameters.
I have to set limits.
Not only for the sake of actually being able to follow through with something like this undertaking,
Because computer applications are based on set parameters.
And to be able to keep my sanity, I must limit what I offer...
 So there will be "general" parameters:
1. Bead size.
2. Bead shape.
3. Bead hole diameter.
4. Bead color.
I am not one for measuring out the size of clay by extruding a coil of clay, measuring lengths, cutting exactly, rolling a perfect shape, and making sure the hole is exactly perfectly round.
That is what machines are for. 
I am not a machine. 
I am a person.
I like going into the studio and rolling out clay, cutting out lengths, making beads in whatever texture and shape suits me at the moment...
Then when it comes to glazing - that is when I need direction limits.
Because without them, I would be lost for hours upon hours (days actually) just glazing away with any color I wanted in lots of quantities... 
Then would run out of beads and have to make more beads, to glaze in more colors...
Wait. That is what I have been doing.
Oh - and I have another glaze shipment arriving today with "more new colors".
Somebody stop me. I'm obsessed!!!

So for now I'm slowly working on beads.
And photographing beads.
And making and glazing more beads...
Then sorting beads into a website shopping cart...

All in amongst all the other things in life.
And hopefully catching a few days here and there to look at things around me and do some cloud watching with the little ones...

So that's what's going on with me.
I'm letting go of all the guilt of not being able to do everything.
Just trying to eek out things here and there.
Riding this wave of life into the shore (still can't quite see the coast line yet - but I know it is there...).

Thank you for continuing to support me and my work.
Don't forget to add your photos or listings by direct URL of the work you are making with any of my clay or silks I sell through my Etsy shop or Website to my "Creations" page of this blog!
I love to see what you are making and will hopefully help you sell some of it too...

Hope you are keeping your head up & looking at some clouds too!


  1. Goodness, and I thought our family had it rough when we lost three family members and a friend in less than a year. And my husband learned his job was eliminated as of today. There's always something, isn't there. I love that innocence of youth, and wish us adults could always think like them.

    I love your beads. The colors and textures are wonderful.

    1. Oh, Alice... I'm so sorry to hear of the news of your family member that have been lost and your husband's job elimination. I hope he can find something else soon. This life is SO crazy - and getting through it takes a lot of patience and trying to see things on the positive side. Which is pretty hard to do sometimes. Having two little ones around gives me that physical sense of life through their eyes as long as I concentrate on it and not let those other things get me down.

      Hugs to you Alice!!! And thanks for liking the beads :) They are such a great little obsession to focus on making in crazy times... Hang in there!

    2. Alice: so sorry about you losses and your husband's job. I will be thinking good thoughts for him.

  2. I spend time looking and dreaming when I walk my dog each morning. It is a great way to gather my thoughts, admire the beauty of nature and be inspired by it.

    I have never seen Serenity White Bliss; they are really amazing. Your beads look amazing too!!

    Enjoy your time in your garden and the creativity of your children!

  3. Oh no! I didn't know that Miss Alice! I have been keeping Marsha in my prayers and will now add Miss Alice. I love the way your girl sees you. That is so precious. And your son has the right idea. Stop to watch those clouds dance by. Weeds will wait. You are a friend to the deer planting so many things they love. They are magnificent creatures even as a pest ;-) and the glazing is lovely. Each bit of your soul you put into your beads just shines. I am still working on my challenge pieces for the silks (yes, that challenge!) I have pictures from Miss Erin Strother who won my giveaway and will share soon. Creative and imaginative time has been a premium of late. But it will happen. Hang in there. Stay grounded and stop to smell a few of those pretty flowers for me!
    Enjoy the day.

  4. Yes, dreaming and stopping to look at clouds, beautiful flowers or the face of a loved one are very important in life. Wish you the very best!

  5. I am late in reading blog usual. I am so sorry for the deluge of life issues thrown at you - it can become so overwhelming. But I have to say, my favorite picture on today's post is the portrait of you drawn by your daughter! Seeing life through a child's eyes sometimes makes it easier to cope.


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