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!!!