Monday, March 26, 2012

The Sanding Worked!!!

I am SO elated! Overwhelmed with a load of work to get done - but elated that a little sanding (cleaning off oxidation and residue) of the cone sensor and cone holder arms that were sticking and not letting the kiln shut off - is all that my little Olympic Babydoll Kiln needed to get back to firing properly (thank you Annie S. for reminding me that needs to be done - pshew!)

So the pics show an overfired (stuck) cone melt. And a properly fired cone. The others are pre-firing, the kiln setter with backup timer showing that the cone shut off the kiln (& that I timed it pretty darn close too), and the post glaze firing...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kiln Issues Not Fun

Know how you plan on doing something "quick" and just assuming things will come out just right because you've done it hundreds of tunes before?

Well, two times this week I have fired my little kiln and two times it has over fired. Not to the complete meltdown point - but to the "oh man, these are not the colors I was looking for" point...

The thing that really stinks is I have to glaze & fire these pieces for a third time. All. Over. Again. I hope I have enough stock...

At least some are still really good looking and OOAK.

Now to glaze again, and fire in another kiln until I fix the little one...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Step By Step Wire Jewelry How To...

I'm SO excited to have written my first magazine how to article - thanks Denise Peck!!!

More later - just wanted to share since I have it right here - in my hands (grab your copy soon!)

Click HERE to buy shards so you can make you own!

Want me to make you a pair?
You've got two choices:
1. Pick a pair of shards from my Etsy shop and comment that you want them made into trapeze earrings & I will send you the paypal invoice for the difference.
2. Check out my Jewelry section of my Shop where you can pick your color choice from these porcelain clay twirl shards - which were used in the magazine, or the porcelain clay spiral shards.
Marsha Neal Studio Clay Twirl Shard Trapeze Earring (oxidized sterling shown)
Marsha Neal Studio Porcelain Clay Twirls
Marsha Neal Studio Porcelain Spiral Shards

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Marsha Neal Studio, LLC
Handmade porcelain and chocolate clay beads, pendants, shards,
and other art objects. Working in clay since 1997 and started making
beads in 2002.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Little Sets...

I am almost finished - glazing hundreds of tiny pairs for earrings....
This is the last of the destash sale. Today is kiln load #1, then more glazing and firings to happen. Then I am done with pendants for a while (at least until the heat of summer).

They had taken over both sides of my slab roller & the neighboring table...
Then it was down to one side and a bit of the other half...
This is what remains to be completed (above)...
Seems like SO much work for just a few little pieces - but little pieces take the longest...
And this is where I will begin my morning (right after getting the kids up & to school).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Almost Finished...

Even though the DeStash sale is done online, there is still SO much work for me to do.
I've got over 200 transactions and numerous convos to follow up with...

I spent the last two days getting organized and ready to tackle the sorting of the beads.
Happily they were all sorted into these trays by this morning.
I even got through adding in the "bonus - free" 1 medium pendant for every 5 destash iems into everyone's trays. I really enjoyed that part - getting to pick out little goodies for everyone...
I've got at least 5 pages of notes.
To do, don't forget, add this, make that, credit this, bill that...
I really can't wait until all of these orders are shipped out and arrive safety at their destinations.
My goal is to get them packed up and out the door Monday or Tuesday.
Let's hope all goes as planned.

Thank you everyone for your continued support of my work!
I can't wait to see what you make with all this stuff!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

De-Stash Hump Day Special Bonus Giveaway

Over in my Etsy shop I am running a De-Stash sale.
Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop DeStash Section.
It started on Monday with 500 items listed at $5 for one pendant, $10 for a matching set of 3 pendants (earring and necklace sized sets), and I just added a few $18 sets that have 6 pairs of the small earring sized pendants.
Marsha Neal Studio Small Earring Sized Pendants Listing

These various items are regularly priced at $14 to $84 retail, so if you are buying them, you're getting a great deal.

Last check there are about 175 items remaining in there, and at this point, I'm going to run a special BONUS GIVEAWAY DRAWING.

For every 1 item you purchase today (March 7, 2012 until 10pm EST) from my DeStash Section of my shop, you will earn one entry into this drawing.
You must make a purchase by 10pm EST from my Destash Section tonight to get in on this.

Why the time limit?
Because at 10pm EST, I am dropping the destash prices by $1.

What will you win if I pick your item?
I will pick out a selection of items that match what you purchase from DeStash today (by 10pm EST) and will include it in with your shipment.
If you buy 5 destash $5 pendants, I will send you another 5 of the same retail value.
You can either pick from items left in the destash section of my shop or let me pull some pieces from ones I still have that are not listed. I will pull according to palettes you have purchased - trust me - you will not be getting pieces that are flawed or crappy in any way - I don't have "seconds" and don't want them out there for people to think my work is of that quality.

Any item in destash qualifies you for a chance.
And I will match all of the destash items you purchase today (cutoff 10pm EST).
Sorry, no previous destash purchases apply to this giveaway.

Why do something like this?
I want to get rid of all of any remaining pieces and start to ship out orders.
I want them to have a better place to be than here in my studio with me sitting in a bin.
I really just like to give things away to people that enjoy my work.

Good luck! 
I will announce the winner later here on my blog, FaceBook page & of course - by Etsy convo.

So the 11th item (out of the 52 actual destash pieces purchased today 3/7/12 before 10pm EST) was this pendant:
Destash Pendant Winner
The remaining items in the De-Stash section of my Etsy shop have been marked down to $4 each (from $5 - and originally from $15 retail).
The destash sale ends on Thursday, March 8th, 2012.
So if there are any items that you want, make sure you get them before they get listed back to regular price or get deactivated...

Monday, March 5, 2012

$5 Pendant DeStash Sale Going On!!!

Over in my Etsy shop, I'm holding another $5 pendant De-Stash Sale.
The last one was back in November, and this will probably be the last one for a while.
Actually I don't plan on making or glazing any pendants until maybe next fall.
March is here, and the garden needs tending through June, so I will spend a lot of time there (overhauling it)...

Marsha Neal Studio Small Pendant Sets
I have a bunch of small pendant sets above (ideal for earrings) that I'm going to be listing in grab bags.
Marsha Neal Studio Medium Pendants
Also, during this destash sale - for every 5 pieces you purchase, I'm going to be throwing in wrapping up a medium (above photo) pendant of my choice to go with your color palette.

Marsha Neal Studio Handmade Bead Sets
And there are my new bead sets (above) that are being loaded into the shop as well.
I have a lot more of those to work on through the night & maybe Tuesday...

Marsha Neal Studio Face Book Page
Over on my Marsha Neal Studio Face Book page during this event, there are giveaways happening, so make sure you stop by and jump in on the fun (commenting, sharing things socially via FB, Twitter, Pinterest - listing things from my shop via the Pin It Button, Etc). 

And once you make a purchase and pay the $3 shipping - you can use coupon code FREESHIP to avoid excess shipping fees.

Update: Winners from the two previous blog posts for the Silk Color Palette Challenge have been picked!

Hope you get to pick up some pieces during this sale!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Silk Color Palette Challenge Round 1 March to May

I asked 12 different bead artist and jewelry designer friends to pull color palettes from this collection of photos...
1. Carrie Can Blog
2. CreativeRuts on Tumbler
3. The Lurie Garden's Salvia River 4. Marsha Neal Studio Macro Cone Flower
Click on the above names and you can go to the source for the image & check out their great blogs & flickr accounts...

... And pull colors from the silks that I sell to come up with a (10) 2mm silk ribbon knot bundle.

It always seems like so much more fun when you have friends that have common obsessions interests to go in with you and pull something like this together...
Marsha Neal Studio Silk Ribbon color selections on flickr.
So what is the point of this exercise you may ask?
Basically to get your brain moving and to kick start some new ideas.
To see how you can pull colors from inspirational sources.
Then put together palettes of materials (starting with these silks) add other jewelry making supplies such as beads, various metal, found objects, jewelry findings, whatever you want!
And come up with new ways to use these things together then blog about them & network.

And there is no denying that I would like to sell some of these silk knot bundles & offer some as giveaways to help entice you to get involved in on this fun.

There will be a 2nd round starting on May 3, 2012 (click for details) and anyone willing to come up with a new palette and post a link is invited to participate!

So here are the twelve silk knot color palettes that my friends came up with which you can now purchase through my Website or Etsy shop.
Catherine Pruitt of Boo Beads Jewelry
Cilla Watkins of Tell Your Girlfriends

Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry

Genea Crivello-Knable of Genea Beads

Kim Roberts of Bahama Dawn

Kristi Harrison of Keepsakes By Kristi

Lesley Watt of Thea Jewelry

Marla James of Marla's Mud

Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs

Shannon Chomanczuk of For My Sweet Daughter

Staci Louise Originals and Artisan Accents

Susan Kennedy of Sue Beads
Why should you purchase these?
1. You can help these 12 artists reach milestones of silk knot bundles sold & they get free stuff (you could be one of these lucky 12 next time if you come up with a palette & get voted in).

2. For every 1 palette that you purchase in these 12 finalist palettes during this 1st round - ends May 2, 2012, you get 1 entry into winning a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Pieces Gift Certificate.

3. There will be design challenges hosted here on my blog designed around the inspirations from these silk knot bundles and inspirational photographs for anyone purchasing these palettes & using them in their designs, then entering the design challenge posts.
Prizes for winners will be determined as events are scheduled.

Oh, and don't worry, there will be some blog post tutorials coming up on how to use these in some basic ways to create jewelry.

And there is always this awesome new book "Bohemian Inspired Jewelry" by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel coming out soon (2012) where you can see how they used some of these silks in projects:
Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel

Shop for Silk Knot Bundles on Marsha Neal

Shop for Silk Knot Bundles on Marsha Neal Studio
For 1 knot. For 2 knots. For 3 knots. For 4 knots. For 5 knots. For 10 knots.
UPDATE: VOTING CLOSED (it was only until March 4th).
Help your favorite artist win (and get a chance at winning more stuff by buying your favorite palette!)