Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup September 2011 Reveal...

Welcome to my Bead Soup Reveal…
I know there is a lot to see with over 300 entries so I'll keep to mainly photos:
Marsha Neal Studio Bracelets.
Handmade Ceramic Beads & Fancy Jasper.
The small faceted Fancy Jasper Beads from Miri were perfect!
I have been stocking up on jasper stones since April.
Loved using one of my fairy ribbons with these silver & large hole beads...
Even made a slip on bracelet with the extra beads from the Bead Soup...
Here is a group shot of bracelets and necklace from Miri's Soup.
Beads on the work table, finding their place
Snapped with my iPhone during creation of the adjustable bracelet.
These will be my new fall layered look...
And can I tell you that after being part of this Bead Soup 2011…
That I am inspired…
No - obsessed (don't we all go there?)
Inspired to use some of these new beads
And some of these lentil beads that have been around since last fall…
To make some actual finished work that will be available for sale very soon…
Strange Fruit performing at Longwood Gardens in PA, Sept 16 to 18, 2011.
It is all such a strange dance that we keep going around in isn't it?
I plan on stocking up on more of that Fancy Jasper.
So I need to sell more beads to buy more beads…
Want updates on my beads?
Sign up for my newsletter while you're here.

Thank you Miri for sending me those faceted beauties!
And Lori for hosting Bead Soup for me to have a deadline to work towards…

Thanks for stopping by!
Make sure to catch up with the 300+ other bloggers participating in this Bead Soup

Click HERE to see all my 2011 Bead Soup posts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Preview for My Bead Soup 2011 Entry...

Want a little preview for what I'm going to be posting on Saturday for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party (blog hop)?
Macro Shot of Marsha Neal Studio Bead Soup 2011 Entry
My color palette inspiration comes from things like this:
Begonias in Marsha's Garden
And I find that just in the last two days of having Riley with me at home,
Poor little guy has had a fever of 102 (2 year molars coming in) and has sinus issues,
That I have really been missing getting outside into the garden this year.
I blame it on the humidity, Aster yellows disease (my poor cone flowers), and my wanting to be in the studio creating and my obsession with figuring out how to make more Etsy sales & be involved with Teams on Etsy.

I feel some big changes coming about for me…
I'm a bit frustrated, and I think the change of seasons is a good place for me to sit and figure stuff out.
You ever get like that?

So, on Saturday, September 17, 2011 is the reveal day for Bead Soup.
There are over 300 people entering it this year.
It will take you lots of time to get through all the posts.
Days if you just click on over now and then (which is how I will do it).

Here is a link for the list of blogs to check out.
My partner is Miri Agassi and we're #137 on the list of 181.

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and just incase you like my beads, and you aren't signed up to receive my email newsletter,
take a moment to sign up because I always send out coupon codes for my Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop. 
Maybe once a month if I remember…
You can always like My FaceBook Page too for my quick updates on daily happenings around the studio. There is a coupon code over there too for every day use for my FB fans...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Heart Macro… Grasshopper

This week for Lori's I Heart Macro event,
I give you a picture of a grasshopper that I snapped with my iPhone & hand lens…
If I had the time I would spend hours peering into my garden and capturing these fleeting moments on digital media.

Stop on by and see what everyone else is posting on the Studio Waterstone Blog.
studio waterstone

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bead Soup Arrival...

My Bead Soup mix from my partner Miri Agassi arrived on Tuesday in the mail.
We're international partners, and with checking the "yes - I can ship international" when signing up for Bead Soup, you just have to assume that your package just might take a bit to arrive. 
I was totally okay with that...
When the doorbell rang, I was in the studio glazing a bunch of chocolate clay beads that needed to get into a kiln firing.
I had written a 23 point "to do" list Monday night before bed and knew that if I opened it my Bead Soup package at that moment, my list of items would never get done.
Besides, seeing that yellow package calling to me was great motivation.
On Friday, as I was photographing some new beads, I took the opportunity (first time we have seen the sun in days) to enjoy opening my Bead Soup from Miri, and photographing it afterwards.
Just look at this drawing that Miri created just for me.
I am honored to have received a bonus piece of her art with the beads!
I just LOVE the rich muted jewel tone color palette she sent me to work with!
And looking at these…
Holding these…
Ideas start to instantly flood in...
I love that I have these to play with.
And when I see all these teeny silver seed beads,
I hear that crazy bead lady mwa-hahaha cackle in my brain going off…
And images of excited, idea filled hands wrenching comes to mind!
Oh, Miri - this is AWESOME!!!
Thank you for such a wonderful mix of beads to inspire me to play…

Here is a glimpse of what I sent to Miri for her Bead Soup.
You can also check out her blog for Bead Soup Updates…
A couple of the pieces I had sent were destroyed in shipping, but replacements were sent out.
I think this is my second time ever (knock on wood) that pieces have been damaged in shipment.
The only thing with that kind of situation, is that the glaze is never quite the same from different kiln firings. 
So I am curious to see how she pulls it all together.

Lori Anderson hosts Bead Soup on her Blog: Pretty things.
Bead Soup Blog Party

The final project reveal is on Saturday, September 17, 2011.
Make sure to stop back to see what everyone has made...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Chocolate Clay Beads!

Last week I needed to find some Zen…
You know - the kind where you just sit and play with clay to see what comes out.
For me, it was these beads...
Then of course, I wanted to get them fired fast so I could get them glazed…
Into the dehydrator to make sure they were dry.
Then a tumble loaded bisque firing - 24 hours later, ready for glazing...
I always find that even if I start with just a couple of glazes,
or a couple of pieces, I always glaze more...
Here are most of the pieces getting ready to be loaded into the kiln.
The beads were loaded onto these small wires in preparation for the kiln.
Kiln furniture laying sideways, stacked to hold the wire up while firing.
Here is the load after the Cone 5/6 glaze firing.
See how dark the chocolate clay got?
And the wires did sag a bit under the weight of the clay and the high temperatures.
I'm pretty satisfied with the results...
And now to put them into little bead sets…
Time for me to do a little research online.

Any suggestions, input?
I always like to hear what you all think - Thanks!

PS - if the sun decides to shine - even for a bit tomorrow, I can get some pics and a few listed up on Etsy. I'll post on my Marsha Neal Studio FaceBook page tomorrow (after lunchtime).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A New Look…

I've needed to "freshen up" the look of my Etsy shop and blog.
Especially with the change of seasons upon us.

So what do you think?

Finding the time to create a new banner seemed near impossible…

That was until I saw Erin Siegel's Blog post about her new banner.

Isn't it just so beautiful and clean!!!

So I went on over to Lori's Blog: Studio Waterstone and clicked on the Banner tab.
studio waterstone
It is hard to narrow down which one to base a custom design on because they are ALL so beautiful…
But I chose this one to base my design on.

I also asked her for an add on a banner for my Etsy shop:

Ah… That was painless…
And it didn't take nearly as much time on my part to send a few links to images and let her know which design I wanted it based on.
Cut the check, and wha-la… Done!

Do you need a fresh look?
Go get yourself one too - SO worth it!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Heart Macro Pollen Version

Lovely pollen…
Lovely petal…
Love my iPhone…

Check out other I Heart Macro posts…
studio waterstone

September 3 Saturday Night Specials Team Event...

Every Saturday Night I'm trying to keep up with specials running in my shop that are promoted through the Original Saturday Night Specials Team over on

My Special for tonight is that my clay pieces are all marked down 20% off.
If you are a FaceBook Fan of mine, you can use the coupon code for an extra 10% off.

Here is a treasury I created for the team this evening:
Here is one that one of my pieces was featured in:

Click here to see more SNS Team Treasuries.

Stop on over and check out what is on sale for tonight.
Click here for Sept 3 (5pm EST Sat to 6am EST Sun).
Click Here for future dates of SNS (look every Sat 5pm EST for new SNS shops that are participating).
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Weekend Happenings And A Little Caterpillar Humor...

This weekend is lining up to be a lot of fun!
The busy arts & friends kind...
Especially when thinking that last week at this time we were in full Hurricane Irene prepare for the worst, hope for the best mode…
And by the looks of it, this monarch caterpillar is enjoying a nice margarita to celebrate Labor day...
Oh the things that show up in my iPhone photo import after Chloe has it to fiddle with.
I did manage to eek in some time to play with some chocolate clay this week.
I need to build up a little stock for some fall items in my Etsy shop.
Oh, and Coupon Codes BOCFFAW or DESTFF10 will get you 10% off your retail order in my MarshaNealStudio Etsy shop for Friday, September 2, 2011.
I think I'm going to work in small batches just to have some at the ready for orders that may come in over the weekend.
This weekend is the First Friday Art Walk on which is hosted by the AWETeam.
I've just recently joined the ranks on the AWETeam as leader, and will be helping rally the troops and help write blog posts for the group. Just to lend a helping hand to get it back up and running. Seeing as how it is just like most teams - it is all upon the shoulders of the team members, and all non-paid. So it takes a TON of time, brain power, and effort by the leaders to pull off organizing events. The members of the team create the positive environment that makes the team what it is.

I'm going to hop on over to the AWETeam Blog to create a post for this month. Also to the Delaware Etsy Street Team Blog and The Beads of Clay Blog. All of which I am a member of and want all of the members to get a bit of extra exposure for this once a month event. 
Being part of the team helps to bring it all together for us as shop owners to build our online community. And it gives people shopping for items a tour of different Art Walks around the world - all from their computer. Better save all that for the AWETeam blog…

So when you have a chance, swing by the AWETeam Blog and check out some of the great shops and teams participating in the monthly event!

Hope you have a great weekend!