Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blog Type Results - Pretty Funny...

There are some pretty cool things out there...

My friend Andrew Thornton had this on his blog, so I decided to give it a try... 

It's funny how accurate it is.

I think this will make those of you who have hung out with me laugh and say - oh, yeah, that's Marsha...

I wonder how it's done... Must be that magic computer programming stuff. 

It's magic math...

Here is my result (based upon my blog):

ESTP - The Doers

The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

To try this on your blog, click the title and you should go right to the site.

Thanks Andrew!!! Hope you're feeling better!

Updated Website Launched

It has been months in the making!!!!
But this morning Dave launched the updated Marsha Neal Studio website.

I thought it was funny how he was on his way out the door,
on a conference call,
pulling on his jacket,
grabbing his keys, wallet, laptop 
(our regular "do you have everything" list).

And I got the thumbs up - it's live!!!

So it should be a bit easier to navigate and have a cleaner look overall.

I'm going to go check it out!!!
Any suggestions would be appreciated by me,
groaned at by Dave....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Icy Images

I love the way the ice surrounds everything 
(as long as you don't have to go out in it).

Sunday morning graced us with this icy world outside.

The Dark Eyed Junco were around (they are here for the winter) getting what food they could find under the leaves under my feeders.

This little bird, the Dark Eyed Junco was one of my mom's favorite birds.
I have to admit that they are one of my favorites too - very active birds.
Very entertaining...

Can I say, my empty feeders...

I can't wait until we have one of the storms that coats the trees with thick ice. 
It's magnificent to look at, and I'll have my camera out for sure!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Decal Pictures

Here is my favorite picture of the new decal pieces that I'm working on.

I am working on using my actual drawings, photographs and computer altered things. 
The latter being things such as the above round pendant on the left - those things that look like flower heads are actually pictures of small red berries that I played around with in my photo/draw program.

I really enjoy doing stuff on the computer, but feel like I get sucked into it at times, and that my life gets away from me. I've got to learn to limit myself...

Here are some pictures of the decal pieces after the kiln firing. There are grouping of birds (Chickadee and Dark Eyed Junco so far), flowers and other abstract things:
I've been trying hard to keep with my own drawings and altered images. Sometimes it is hard though when I just want something done and don't want to sit and fool with drawing something out (like a line of insects...). Maybe I'll just have the staple lepidoptera, odonata, orthoptera, hymenoptera, coleoptera ... (butterlies/moths, damselflies/dragonflies, grasshoppers, bees, beetles...). I hope I got those names right - it's been a while!

This next picture is a step in the water slide decal process. I've printed and cut out the decal, and put them into water to remove the paper backing. Then I put the decal on to the glazed surface, squeeze out air bubbles, let dry, then fire it in the kiln. 
The iron oxide in the ink from the laser printer transfers to the glazed surface and becomes part of the glaze - so it will never scratch or rub off.

Oh, the possibilities.... So this is where my line of work is heading... Tucson this year will be interesting with all this new stuff!

It's great to be experimenting again!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Etsy shop updated with items!

I have listed a few scarves and some of my pendants up on Etsy.

I never knew how long of a process it is to get an item, get a picture - don't forget editing, gather information, and getting it all pulled together - pshew...

Here is my awesome cousin Sarah modeling one of my scarves for me yesterday.

She did a great job! It's like she's done this before or something... 
She's hired for the next round too!

And of course Chloe wanted to get in the pictures.
She was actually going for the plastic flowers behind Sarah at this point.

Any feedback on these pictures for Etsy would be appreciated.
I was thinking that if this apparel line takes off,
I will have to hire a professional photographer to take the product shots.

Lots more scarves and infant apparel to be uploaded soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Excitement of Pulling Things Together

I can't wait....
I just get so excited (and then I picture myself as a Jack Russell Terrier - thanks to Joan Miller for the visual of what dog I would be if I were a dog...).

Things are so hectic at times, but they are SO coming together.

I've got a kiln firing now that has a bunch of glazes pieces - that are glazed in just a clear glaze. They are porcelain, so the pieces will be white. These pieces are my blank canvas for a lot of new decal pieces I've been working on, and if time allows, I will get some done Mon/Tues and fired Tues/Wed then pictures on Thurs!

I've been playing around with the idea of using a lot of my actual sketches and drawings in black and white format for some time now. I just love the doodles in my notebooks - I have wanted to put them to use in their actual visual self, and not just as texture plates as I have been.

By doing this - by using my actual drawing - I can play around with scale, placement, arrangement, the way the images work together on one piece - or maybe they will be a set on a couple of pieces...

It has been a bit frustrating on the back end of things because I've been trying to steal time to figure out how to use my computer programs, get a lot of images from photos from this garden season as well as from my bird camera (thanks Dave for such a cool gift - no more missing birds at the feeders - although, there are mostly squirrels in the pics). Then b/c of all the images, my computer ran out of space - so I got an external hard drive. Our server broke, and then my pc died... so now I'm starting to learn how to work my new fancy pants MacBook Pro. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL.... figures! But hey, I got a Mac!!!

So I'm hoping that this is really perfect timing - although, all the work now that Dave and I have been doing on my website - we're having compatibility issues with the shopping cart - so that is also fun to deal with. Luckily Dave is really good at figuring stuff out. I just have to be careful that all the stuff I'm piling on him doesn't come back to kick me in the butt.

So look for new decal pieces through this blog (maybe I'll figure out Flickr too) and then finally on my Etsy shop.

I hope everyone is having a great Holiday!!! I can't wait for a little bit of snow to make things pretty again around here. Everything tends to be a bit blah with all the brown. Maybe I'll just go out at night time to see all the pretty Christmas lights instead!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chloe as Disco Elf

Here is something very cute from Office Max called Elf Yourself. My sister April send us one last year with one of Chloe's pictures. So we've continued the tradition with 5 Chloe faces this year. Enjoy Disco Christmas Chloe!


Here is a link to make your own:


Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop is set up - Finally!

I can't believe how long it takes to get it pulled together - just the background info and policies. No items yet, but that should happen as soon as I get a cool background, the pieces, camera then item descriptions together. So like another billion years maybe... hopefully not. I've got some fun pieces to put up, and don't have time to fool with my actual website shopping cart since both Dave and I are head cold sick right now.

Here is a link to my Etsy shop so far. If anyone has any comments or advise - please let me know. I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this one (and as medicine head, trying to fend off this cold!)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

November 2008 Recipe

Ok, it is better late than never for this November Recipe (posted in December)...
To start with, Thank You to my sister Teren.
Here is a picture of my sister Teren...
with the butt spud...
If you weren't there Thanksgiving day to help me make the mashed potatoes,
I don't think I would have ever gotten through those 5 or was it 6 bags?

Ok, hopefully you will find yourself a butt looking spud in the mix so you can giggle at it too!

But if not, then just remember this picture of my sister Teren after peeling this one.

We of course had to grab the camera to remember the moment...

She saw a butt, I saw boobs...

must be the breastfeeding thing...

Mashed Redskin Potatoes (Teren's Recipe)

First thing, is have a big pot to boil water - a pot with handles.

Fill that pot with water and get it on the stove for boiling!

For flavoring your spuds while boiling we add: salt, freeze dried red onion & garlic to the water.

If you have fresh - go for it. But around here, we go for quick and easy...

Scrub the dirt from the redskin potatoes (some we peeled because of the people that don't like to eat the skin... Dave's Uncle Ricky...hahahaha... no seconds for you... Mr. Smarty Pants... there is one in every family - well, lots in our family actually...).

I think that we used almost an entire 5lb bag of spuds (see picture for individual size) to make this recipe (times 5 or 6 because we had 34 people to make mashed potatoes for - big dinner!)

We cut the cleaned/skinned potatoes into small cubes and boiled them until fork soft.

Fork soft meaning you can cut through one with a fork (someone might not get fork soft - sorry!)

Strain the spuds and put them back into the pot - but not on the stove!

Remember to turn off your stove (those of you that are like-Marsha-minded...).

With a small handheld mixer blend the potatoes with:

butter, milk, salt, & pepper (for regular mashed spuds)

the above + minced garlic + minced onion + chive & onion cream cheese (for garlic-onion mashed yummy-these-are-the-best-mashed-spuds-ever kind).

For measuring these ingredients, it was really by eyeball and many tastings to see what it needed.

Basically almost a stick of butter for one 5lb bag.

Milk - I would say start with about 1/4 cup and add more little by little (if they are too dry).

Minced garlic - a little goes a long way.

Same with the onion (we like red onion in this house!)

I think that is about it for the Redskin Mashed Potatoe recipe from my sister... Enjoy!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where Did Autumn Go?

It seems like just yesterday we were looking at the beautiful leaves on the trees.
Then overnight, they all fell off and into our yard.
I had thrown out my back on Friday
and Dave said no to me trying to help clean up the yard on Sunday
even though I was feeling a bit better...
(and I know better, I've got to admit he is just about always right!)

So here are some pictures of the big pile of leaves that he made for Chloe on Sunday.
She isn't walking yet, and was a bit unsure at first...
But as you can see by the smile on her face
(the "ham" face as Dave calls it)...
She loved it!

So for now, the trees are bare.

My garden has gone to its winter rest.

The birds & squirrels are cleaning out the feeders every day.

And I am working on new designs for my new infant apparel line

with my friend Kim from AspenWear.

The website is still being updated - it is getting an overhaul - very time consuming!

We're busy as ever!

Hope everything is well with you all!

Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Marsha Neal Studio Apparel

I'm so excited to announce that my Marsha Neal Studio Apparel line is officially launched! I've got 4 designs: tree, barnicles, and 2 different line curl type spirals. There are currently about 15 scarf colors and 11 ink colors being tested to see which work best with my designs.
My friend Kim Love of AspenWear is printing these for me, and has some for sale through her Etsy Store. I will be adding some styles on my website shopping cart as soon as we get a bit more organized and pick what color scarves and which inks work out the best.
For now you can find a selection on Kim's Etsy page (AspenWear).
At Reed's Beads in Ambler, PA (Trunk Show Nov 6-8 - RIGHT NOW!!!).
And through my bead show tables at the upcoming shows listed on the right side bar.
Here is a picture of the scarves that are at Reed's Beads. Get there soon to grab yours ($22 each). Sheer Jersey material (like wearing a t-shirt around your neck), 93" long, 16" wide and unfinished edges that tend to curl nicely.

Here is a really cool picture that Kim took of her modeling the grass green scarf with the black tree.

I've got some designs in the works for some infant and toddler apparel with my designs. With a kid like Chloe, I'm so inspired to put her in really cool stuff!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy as a Bee (but Really?)

Do you ever have those times where you feel like you are SO busy, but nothing seems to get done? Well, I've been having some of those days recently - like every day since I got back from our short vacation last week.

I think it is because I've got a lot of new stuff in the works and because the rest of my time is spent with Chloe. She is just so much fun. I just can't help it... she is developing such a personality. Dave and I were talking about how much we just want her with us all the time. And that when she isn't here (like when she is napping quietly upstairs) that something is missing. I guess you can say she's got us wrapped around her finger.

I've been spending most of my working time getting pieces glazed for orders and a trunk show next week at Reed's Beads in Ambler, PA.

My new work will be mostly limited edition. I find that if I limit myself, I get more done. With an obsessive personality, things get exponentially out of control with me. New glaze colors, new objects, new shapes - all in the works!

Ohhh, and my friend Kim (Aspenwear) and I are working on some Marsha Neal Studio apparel (scarves for us grown ups and then some cute infant wear). I am hoping to have some of the scarves with me at the trunk show next week. They should also be at my bead show tables soon after.

I'll be posting pictures and notices as things finally come together. Got to get all these little steps done to get to the top of the mountain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Again

Ah, to be home again...
We have just arrived home from our offical first Disney trip with Chloe. We had such a wonderful time with her and our family that were also along.
I know that a lot of people out there aren't thrilled with Disney as a whole, but I have nothing but great memories from vacations going there throughout my childhood. Maybe it's me, and Dave would probably say it is me.... but I get all teary and sentimentally weepy whenever I hear music that reminds me of Disney and walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
We got some great memories and pictures of the trip, but until we find the camera, Chloe's website will have to wait to be updated. I'm trying to convince Dave that a picture of her and bathtub poo (little brown turds in tub - guess she had to go, and I of course got the camera while Dave tried to keep her from playing with it...) would be really funny to have on her site.
Chloe got her first Disney stuffed animal from Aunt April - a purple heffalump. She loves it and sleeps with it every night and throws it around every day as she plays and talks to it. She also got some cute onesies, sweaters, and a sun hat from the trip and some other goodies...
And after being around so many other children and crowds of people, she has taken to speaking in louder tones. She is quite the outgoing baby. Dave and I are exhausted to say the least. We had such a great time getting away from the regular rigamarole around here and concentrating only on Chloe and being with family - it was the most memorable vacation yet! Now if I could only catch up on sleep to get enough brain function to remember it all. Thank goodness for pictures!
Hope all is well with everyone! Marsha Neal Studio updates will hopefully be arriving in the next week or so! Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little Brother

I'm so excited for my brother (Nick Yarrusso). He has just had an article about him published in a local paper on his being a stunt bike rider: http://www.sparkweekly.com (also the title of this blog is a link to the actual page.

It's something that I'm always amazed with - especially since he was always getting bumps and bruises and scraped knees & elbows - that he is balanced enough to really be good at what he does.

He even has a website: http://www.gsenick.com

I remember when he was little (we're 7 years apart) we always used to tell him "watch out Nick" " don't hit that wall Nick". And he was always on the go. When he was a toddler, he had this horse attached by springs to a metal frame - called "clip-clop" and he used to bounce on that poor thing so much that he could get it to move all the way across the room just by bouncing momentum. I think there is a picture somewhere of him in mid-bounce with his little bowl cut hair sticking straight up and out in every direction.

Anyway.... just bragging about my little brother...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

October 2008 Recipe

Ok, this is a recipe I found in a mom's magazine recently, and I just love it... I've always wanted to learn how to make Falafel, and when I saw this, I tore it out and had to try it. And surprisingly - I cooked and it came out really yummy (surprising because of my cooking skills and impatience with it).

Falafel Directions:
(2) tablespoons of olive oil into skillet for Sauteing (1/2) chopped red onion and (1 Tbsp) minced garlic in the pan (until soft - like 5 minutes).

Drain (2) 15oz cans of Chickpeas and add that with the sauteed onion & garlic into food processor. Add (1) tsp of ground cumin, (1) tsp ground coriander, some chopped cilantro or mint depending on how strong you want it - I would say about 1/4 cup - loose. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse in food processor, and add a bit more olive oil to moisturize it a bit more.

*If you want to make Hummus at this point, add water and oil (and lemon juice?) to thin it out. For Falafel though, you want it thicker.

When mixed enough in the food processor, remove the bowl and form the ingredients into balls (should make around 12 - 16) and flatten (think medium size meatballs). Put some more olive oil into sautee pan again and sautee these flattened balls up until they are golden brown (it takes like 5 minutes on each side).

They may fall apart if too dry or too wet for that matter... it is messy - but yummy. I loved eating this with fresh tomatos and cucumbers from the garden (ok - not my garden, but someone's...). Also, I put the falael's on a papertowl after cooking to try to absorb some of the extra oil from cooking...

I also found another mom's magazine that has some great articles if you like this one:

I hope you enjoy! If you have a related recipe, post it as a comment!!! I'll post something new for November when I find another something new to try out...

Comfort in Friends & Foods

I love hanging out with friends!!!

My friend Kim from AspenWear and Jenny from Jenny Davies-Reazor (see side blog bar) have both been to visit in the last week. And usually our hanging out visits consist of eating or having coffee at some point. We always have so much fun catching up and talking - and watching how funny Chloe can be. And now that my kilns are in "fix me limbo" and I feel like a sinking ship because of it - which will hopefully end soon enough... and the weather is damp, very humid, and yucky outside - muggy cool actually - which makes you feel so gross & oily... Well, it makes me want to cuddle up to some comfort food.

So it got me thinking - I want to share some recipies for some yummy healthier foods (so trying to loose some of this extra weight - I'm down 15-20 of my 60lbs to lose). And I'm going to be posting them on this blog - hopefully monthly. So if anyone has recipies to share - post them as a comment to that month's recipe.

Oh, and Jenny - you ROCK! I appreciate your taking some pieces & getting them fired for me so I don't fall too behind with orders!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kilns, Chloe, and Caymen...oh,my!!!

So much going on around here...

I've been putting off replacing the elements in my kilns. I've never done it, and there is that thing inside that says if it isn't broke, don't fix it. But yesterday I decided that now is the time. OK - truthfully both my kilns are in major need of new elements. They have both been taking a lot longer to reach temperatures and I've had a few over fired loads (some pieces for orders are going to be made yet a third time).

So I did the research, gathered the new silky sleek elements, and all the tools required. Here is what the (very) old elements look like after a few hours of pulling with pliers.

Spending the time in the studio working on the kilns gave me time to listen to the Twilight Series on audio (OK, a little obsessed with the series now... love Vampire stories!). I've got the small kiln left to do - those elements should be here on Wednesday. When all are replaced - my glazes should look all full of new life - I can't wait!

And here is Chloe in the Kitchen...

She is showing me how to stay in the kitchen when cooking by keeping entertained in the kitchen. Hmmm... staying in the kitchen while cooking - good concept for those of us easily distracted...

We went to the Aquarium in Baltimore on Saturday and saw some cool stuff. Alligators and Crocks are so interesting but they freak me out. Here is a Cayman that was just chilling out - very cool!!!

We were supposed to go to the Maryland Ren Faire with a bunch of friends on Sunday - but Chloe decided that she wasn't having anything to do with long car rides on Saturday when we were driving home from the Aquarium - so Sunday fell through (2 hour ride w/no traffic in each direction - I don't even want to think about how she would've been). I had hoped that we were going to have a weekend full of fun times outside the house - but hey, one day of outside the house is great. She and I just chilled out on Sunday and I got to go through my silks and get them organized for the website. Here is what they looked like when they arrived - I can't wait to have them up on the site!

Once the kilns are up and running, I hope to get up on my orders and then back to the new stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beware: Marsha is in the kitchen!

Oh there are days where I wish I paid a bit more attention.
Like... anything pertaining to aiding my concentration and cooking skills.

I think that I may be spoiled...
running computerized electric kilns...
has it ruined my brain?

Truth be told, it is just the oven/stove I have issues with.
And the oven has a timer,
So I really have no excuse to burn anything while cooking...
Like these 1 hour crossants:

I have this habit with stove top cooking:
I get it from my dad as I found out recently...
Just put it on high, and it will cook faster...
Ok - not so much...

It will burn faster.
(extra scrubbing for later)

Boil over faster.
(plan on scrubbing that ceramic cook top often)

Overcook faster.
(plan on eating well cooked veggies)

Melt some of Chloe's stuff.
(steralizing has a new meaning when it gets that hot and forgotten about!)
I need to make sure that when I get side tracked,
Like taking pictures out in the garden,
Gathering monarch caterpillars for my sister's science class,
That I remember the stove/oven is on...
and unlike my computerized kilns,
the stove/oven doesn't know when to shut off.
*Also, for those of you out there thinking that the kiln is not fool proof - you're right. Always remember to keep an eye on that baby too - make sure that you have a backup for automatic shutoff to avoid over firing...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The FahFah Story

It all began when I was a very young girl. My mom would give me crayons to color on our bedroom walls. I used to love to lay on the bottom bunk (my older sister always got the top bunk...) up against the wall and just draw very little things. This drawing was called FahFah. I don't know why - but I guess that shows how little I was because I couldn't really pronounce words well.

I remember always drawing at night when I was supposed to be going to sleep - doodling by the nightlight right at my mattress level. Ok - notes to parents - nightlights at mattress level isn't the smartest thing - the baby blanket that I have shows that they can catch on fire or melt through... Nothing major though and it was patched up quite nicely by my grandmom!

Anyway, when I started making the porcelain pendants my mom used to ask me when I was going to make a FahFah series... I would always say - yeah mom... one day I'll get that one figured out and I would just kind of laugh it off. Well, my mom is no longer here to ask me that question, and I haven't really been making anything new in the last few years. So I took a few hours one evening just the other day and started to work. I didn't have anything in mind, but I knew that I just needed to work.

Good music (shake your booty playlist on my i-pod), coffee, and a bag of clay were what I had. I was reintroducing myself to clay. After a few hours I happened upon ways to make pendants (with holes & wire loops) and cabochons that were heavily textured, free form and just wonderful to make. I achieved the texture by doodling onto the clay surface with a rubber tip tool. This doodling reminded me of what FahFah used to be. Nothing in particular - just drawing lines... and lines... and lines.

So with all that I have been going through in my lifetime, I believe that there are signs everywhere and you have to be aware of them to find the joy in them. You have got to look on the positive side of life. My mom, even though she isn't here taught me when I was very young that it was ok to color with crayons on the wall. That there need be no point to it other than just enjoying it. And that now as an adult and a mother myself, that I can find that place that I can freely express myself and try new things, and allow my daughter to do the same (with in bounds of course... can't have her going to other people's houses and coloring all over their walls...).

So this FahFah series is something that I will make as they are. The monies from the sale of these pieces will be going to help out different organizations and charities. The first is the TriState Bird Rescue Annex. I want to have a room dedicated to her memory. So I'm going to work on the details very soon and get information up on my website and this blog about the progress of this venture. I've got $2,500 to $5,000 to raise (I can make 3 payments, one over each of the next 3 years). I'll get that decided soon...

It's kindof funny too - when I look at them, they somewhat remind me of bird nests - so it is extra appropriate for this donation... hmmm... another sign?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moving Forward by Looking Back

In my recent home and studio clean up attempts, I have started getting myself in order. My entire basement studio area has become a pile of "one day I'll get to that stuff".
I started making my porcelain pendant pieces back in 2002. This summer I rediscovered some of these original treasures in a bag, in a box, on a shelf, in the basement - just waiting to be found (they have been hiding since the studio move 3 years ago). And I am truely inspired to enter into that creative period again.

Looking at these reminds me of how detail obsessed I've become about shapes, edges, holes, glazing... And maybe how I can try to loosen up and have fun creating again...

I will be making some limited pieces (basically my experimental and really fun pieces to make) that I will only sell as they are. I have my porcelain pendant catalog which I will expand with some shapes, new textures and colors - but I don't want to corner myself into being the production queen as I have in the last few years. I find that I get into a zone when working on my pendants - it's so comfortable - like meditation. I'm in that I need to spice it up a bit mode.
These limited pieces will be sent to Darlene (she runs my Marsha Neal Studio bead show tables), bead shops (brick & mortar stores - to help make sure they remain open!), and a few here and there on my website - to my email newsletter recepients only (as a thanks for being so cool as to receive updates from me!). Want to get my newsletter? Sign up here:

I also have some pieces that are inspired by my mom that I will use the monies to dedicate a room at the Tristate Bird Rescue (they are expanding soon) to her memory. See the FahFah story...
More on how to help me donate a room to her memory coming soon. But for now, check out their website:

And a little FYI: if you have issues biting your fingernails - go volunteer at a bird rescue place... After I volunteered here for a bit back in college - I immediately was aware of sticking my fingers into my mouth - birds are so messy and their poo is everywhere... Yuck!

The work that they do there is invaluable and I enjoy Birds so much every day...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Remembering Mom's Birthday...

Yesterday was my mom's birthday.
She would've been 55 (and what a party that would've been!)
She has been gone for almost a year now - that anniversary falls on September 12th.
My siblings and I got together at my house to celebrate the day of her birth.
We made meatloaf & mashed potatoes (one of her staples).
And yes Nick, we will make something different next year... (you can cook!)
We toasted her with her favorite beer: Miller Lite.
We even washed a bottle and took a picture of Chloe with it...
We sat around and laughed at memories from growing up - as always!
Good times continue, even though they aren't quite as bright.
Keep making new memories for more talks around the table...

We love you mom...
We think of you always...
You are in our hearts and on our minds...
And we know you are with us...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Studio Needs Cheering Up

I'm so on my path to getting organized and changing up stuff around here. I have so many things to do to get myself to my ideal place. My ideal place is both physical and mental. I need the mental ability to see how I can change my physical space, and yet my physical space needs to be organized to allow for optimum mental clarity. Such a cycle...

Here is a picture of my bland studio basement (I just adore that big oil tank in the back - I should paint that some other color when I'm doing the walls - maybe just black - nice, clean black). I moved my production into this space about 3 years ago when we moved into this house. I personally worked out of an extra bedroom (office and glaze room) and just ran production here. And things have been so busy with the business and personal things going on (losing my mom to Leukemia and having a baby all in the same year) that I have not spent any time being "creative" in my basement studio space. And truthfully - when I really look at this space - it has only functioned to make stuff and store crap. It is very uninspirational.

But now that I have this new mission - this get stuff done - no more excuses and procrastination - I'm ready to get to work. Then my new work in porcelain can really take off. I'm working out ideas now, but plan on making my space a priority (right behind family, orders and show stock of course).
By October with the onset of Fall - I want this space made over! I've got about 4 things before it to do that are stepping stones for this to happen - and this makeover studio space is my push to get those other 4 things done as soon as possible...
Thanks Lisa (ZoaArt) and Jen (Jangles) for showing your studio space renovations - you are quite the inspiration!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tagged Monarch Sighting

Chloe and I were out in the garden the other day (8-25-08) watching the flowers grow and the insects going about their daily activity when a tagged Monarch Butterfly stopped by. I was taking lots of pictures of garden things for some new pieces I'm going to be working on. I already have some Monarch pictures since they have been in our garden quite a bit. But I noticed this tag on it from the University of Kansas and I knew that there was no way of remembering the tag information, so I quick snapped it and plan on emailing them to let them know one was sighted here in northern DE.

I used to work in the butterfly house just up the road at the Ashland Nature Center, and I just love the butterfly visitors to our garden. I do love gardening and am quite the novice at it. I usually go by my gut with gardening and hope that over time as some plants make it and some don't that I can get it established to be beautiful and healthy. As you can see in the picture below - I'm also trying some pumpkins so that once the annuals are gone, we have some cool fall plants (and pumpkins to carve for Halloween... we love Halloween pumpkin carving!!!). I think this picture was taken after I did some deadhead cutting (getting rid of the flowers that already bloomed, so 2 can take it's place). More recent pictures should show even more flowers...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally... A new beginning


Mark another thing off my list of "One Day I'd Like To Do That"... I've got my blog.

I feel like I've been out of my own body for the past few years and on a bit of a roller coaster. It all began when my business stared to take off. Sometimes I can hardly believe what I have accomplished in 5-6 years... Then there are times where I feel like I've recently accomplished nothing in the studio.

So now I'm getting off that wagon and will crack the whip to get myself back on track. With a lot of help and encouragement from my family and friends I am taking small steps to get things organized so I can spend more time doing what I want instead of constantly feel like I'm treading water.

I plan on posting on this blog at least a few times a week. If you are a fellow passenger in my boat of procrastination in starting your own blog - here is your kick in the butt to get out and get started. It's all through Google - just get an email account with them (like gmail) and get started!

Now to figure out how to do pics and such!