Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bead Kabob Bead Sets Are Here!

Here they are!
It is hard to believe how much time this has taken up just to get these made, sorted, photographed, edited, and now into a viewable photo where you can pick out your beads for me to make for you!
AND it is just the beginning to my website overhaul (which has been off and on for the last few years).

I have picked out and named 27 color palettes to start with and have put them up into my Etsy Shop.
The color combinations are limitless ~ I had to stop myself!!
Marsha Neal Studio Bead Set Palettes (group 1)
 I like making things in pairs, so all of these bead sets have 8 pairs = 16 beads total per set.
Marsha Neal Studio Bead Set Palettes (group 2)
The photos are representational of the set you will receive, as I make each bead individually, then pick out the pairs to match in that "handmade matching way" (meaning they will not be identical to what you see, but will be similar).
Size of bead may vary greatly, so if you are looking for smaller versions or prefer the larger versions of these size beads, mention that when you are checking out and I will pull those sizes out of my bead stash for you!
Marsha Neal Studio Bead Set Palettes (group 3)

These sets will be available in my Etsy shop and on my Website (coming soon).
You can pick out your style of bead (Textured Disc, Round, Chevron, Spiral) and pick out which color palette you want it in. The more textured the bead, the more intense color you will see (the glazes puddle where there is a groove, and break white over porcelain and dark brown over the chocolate stoneware).
Marsha Neal Studio
Four Different Styles of Beads
In Tropical Getaway Palette

If you want to create a custom palette for yourself, my website will be the place for you to shop as soon as we get the bead pages created and loaded (beads, pendants, shards, buttons, cabochons, etc).

And the most awesome thing about this website update is that the new cart offers YOU a "rewards" program!
When you log into your account on my website, then shop there for silks, ceramic beads, etc you accumulate points for what you buy there.
Then the points get turned into $$ to spend on items from my website!
I love getting free stuff for buying stuff (Don't you?!)
The Points do not apply to Etsy sales at all though.
So keep that in mind when deciding where to shop for my goods.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summertime Braided Bracelet Palettes

I remember always carrying a tin of embroidery thread with me in the summer time as a kid.
My favorite colors were any of the rich rainbow tones + black.
Peacock and Magenta were my favorites...

So last weekend, we took a quick family overnight trip to the beach.
On the way out the door, I grabbed my two bags of Round 1 and Round 2 color palettes (24 in total) and used the hour and a half drive to satisfy my inner child's desire to make these:
Top Row (L) Cat Pruitt: Color Me Coneflower
Top Row (R) Cilla Watkins: Fiesta
Middle Row (L) Erin Prais-Hintz: Sweet Succulents
Middle Row (R) Genea Crivello-Knable: Bright Delights
Bottom Row (L) Kim Roberts: Bahama Dawn
Bottom Row (R) Kristi Briggs-Harrison: Fairyland
Top Row (L) Lesley Watt: Souks of Marrakesh
Top Row (R) Marla James: Marla's Monet Palette
Middle Row (L) Melinda Orr: Sedum In Splendor
Middle Row (R) Shannon Chomanczuk: Afternoon Tea Party
Bottom Row (L) Staci Louise: Pretty Hot
Bottom Row (R) Susan Kennedy: Dinner in Tuscany
Top Row (L) Andrea Ross: In The Rain
Top Row (R) Cat Pruitt: Into The Night
Middle Row (L) Erin Prais-Hintz: Garden Party I Do!
Middle Row (R) Jennifer Justman: Pandora's Box
Bottom Row (L) Jessica Stoops: Beach Cottage
Bottom Row (R) Kathy Lindermer: Down By The River
Top Row (L) Kim Roberts: Island Hues
Top Row (R) Lee Koopman: Elven Woods
Middle Row (L) Lisa Cone: California Native
Middle Row (R) Lisa Martin: Prettiness
Bottom Row (L) Mary Harding: First Spears of Spring
Bottom Row (R) Natalie Alexander: Sweet Baby Yawns
There are a lot of other bracelet designs that I would love to try out with these silk palettes.
But with Lorelei's project "Ocean Love" fresh in my mind from the Bohemian Inspired Jewelry Book and Blog hop, I just had to try this out with the silks to see how cool they would look.

And WOW - they are super silky soft (these 2mm round silks).
I mean - really, really soft.
Not at all stiff like I remember my friendship bracelets I used to make out of cotton cord.
When doing macramé or crocheting, I have tight, even tension & always have to remind myself to relax...

And I bet if I did a wire wrapped end or used the waxed linen to secure the ends together instead of the loose wonking big temporary knot I put into these, I would get three bracelets out of each knot bundle!

Do you like the layered bracelet look?
I know I've become a bit obsessed with all the different designs out there...
I am SO excited about the potential for these.
The essential summertime simple braided bracelet is just the starting point!

Now for getting to creating a quick tutorial on how to end these to make them wearable...
Because I know I really want to start wearing them now that I've been fooling around with these samples!

Want your own silks to try this out?
Grab some from my Etsy shop or Website!
Then enter them into some of the design challenges coming up in July and August here on my blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bead Kabobs Are Being Created Now!

I've been working on making (and making and making) then photographing my newest bead line. Individual colors are taken, now I'm working on palettes like these in 4 different bead styles that these will come in. There are 8 pairs in each set. The kabob bit is an inside joke from some of the gals on Face Book, Beads of Clay group...

I am super excited about this addition to my website overhaul!

Here is a peek:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Round 2 Silk Color Palette Challenge Individual Palette Finalists

Here they are, the 12 finalists palettes for this Round 2 of the Silk color palette challenge!
(in alphabetical order)

These are all available for you to purchase through:
June 25 to July 1, 2012:
Round 1 and Round 2 palettes purchased during this "First Week of Sales" for Round 2.
For every one of these special palettes you purchase, you will get a chance at winning a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Gift Certificate!
If you are buying any silks in my cart use coupon code: ROUND2 and get free shipping from June 25 to July 1, 2012.

Andrea Ross - In The Rain

Cat Pruitt - Into The Night

Erin Prais-Hintz - Garden Party I Do!

Jennifer Justman - Pandora's Box

Jessica Stoops - Beach Cottage

Kathy Lindermer - Down By The River

Kim Roberts - Island Hues

Lee Koopman - Elven Woods

Lisa Cone - California Native

Lisa Martin - Prettiness

Mary Harding - First Spears of Spring

Natalie Alexander - Sweet Baby Yawns

Why buy these you might ask?
Well, if you love the lightweight, silky softness of silk on your skin - chances are - so will your customers when you are creating wearable jewelry.
These silks are color fast (I've tested them for years as I wear them personally) and are hand washable with a mild soap if they become dirty.
Treat them as you would any other silk...

And I'm hosting some specials to make this "an event".
1. During the first week of sale: June 25 to July 1, 2012 I will pick one random purchaser from both my Website and Etsy shop that buys a "Round 1 or Round 2" palette to win a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Gift Certificate.

2. From June 25 to September 27, 2012: The duration of "Round 2", every special Round 1 or 2 palette that is purchased gets you entered into winning a chance at a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Gift Certificate!

3. Design something with these palettes (from Round 1 or Round 2) and link them here, up to my blog when I host Silk Color Palette Design Challenges, and get a chance at winning free stuff (to be determined).

Need inspiration for coming up with designs that use these silks?
Check out this awesome new book (and the blog that accompanies it!)
Bohemian Inspired Jewelry 
Authored by: Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegal

More to come!
Remember to get shopping this week for that "First Week For Sale" $50 gift certificate chance!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finalists Palettes And Giveaway Winners Announced

It has been so wonderful having so many creative people involved with this Silk Color Palette Challenge.
Thank You Everyone that submitted a palette for this round!

I'm delighted to move into Round 2 with 12 new palettes chosen to be sold in my Etsy shop and on my Website. And to continue with design challenges for both Round 1 and Round 2 silk palettes.

After I finish photographing these new 12 palettes, edit them, and upload them, they will be available for purchase.
I really hope to get it done sometime on Saturday, but with two little kids and being the weekend and all - Monday might be the day I get more done.
That's Life right...

Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette, Twelve Round 2 Finalists Palettes
The 12 palette image above from Left to Right:

Palettes in order of 8 top voted for:
Natalie Alexander: Baby Yawns (51 votes)
Lee Koopman: Elven Woods (45 votes)
Kathy Lindermer: Down By The River (34 votes)
Andrea Ross: Rain In The Garden (26 votes)
Erin Prais-Hintz: Garden Party I Do (24 votes)
Mary Harding: First Spears Of Spring (21 votes)
Lisa Cone: California Native (19 votes)
Jessica Stoops: Beach Cottage (19 votes)

Special Guest Choice (my husband Dave - I thought it would be interesting to get a guy's point of view) and Marsha's Choice:
Jennifer Justman: Pandora's Box
Lisa Martin: Prettiness

2 Winning Finalist Palettes from Round 1:
Catherine Pruitt: Into The Night
Kim Roberts: Island Hues

During the first week these new palettes are for sale (as soon as they are updated or June 26 through July 1, 2012) anyone that purchases a palette from Round 1 or Round 2 finalists gets an entry for a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Gift Certificate to my Etsy shop.
1 bundle = 1 entry.
2 bundles = 2 entries.
3 bundles = 3 entries.
And so on...

Each of these winners gets to pick out their favorite Silk Color Palette (10) 2mm Silk Knot Bundle!
Thanks to all that entered (more giveaways to come!!!)
Bonus Drawing #1 = KayzDesignz (social media sharing blog commenter)
Bonus Drawing #2 = Lee Koopman (submitted palette random winner)
Bonus Drawing #3 = Erin Prais-Hintz (voter appreciation random winner)

SO ~ What's next???
1. Purchase silk knot bundles for projects, giveaways, promotions, etc.
2. Create and photograph projects using these silk palettes (round 1 and 2 all apply).
3. Blog or share those photographs about the projects and your inspirations.
4. I will be hosting some design challenges/ blog hops around things you make with these silks so you can show off your stuff!

Need some inspiration for projects?
Check out Beading Daily's Blog Hop in celebration of Lorelei and Erin's book:
Bohemian Inspired Jewelry
Where you can see 30 artists find inspiration from the book to create their own finished jewelry, including one of our Finalists for Round 1 and Round 2, Erin Prais-Hintz:
Erin Prais-Hintz "Garden Love" Project: Bohemian Inspired Blog Hop
PS - I saw Erin Prais-Hintz blog hop post for her "Garden Love" project (a version of Lorelei's "Ocean Love" project), it seriously made me get all teary with how awesome her color palette works with the beads and her use of my Porcelain Flower Pendant.
(I have a thing for magenta tones. My grandma taught me to draw that style of flower while growing up. Chloe loves purple & I have now taught her how to draw that style of flower. And - this was the first major book that I've ever had stuff in.)

Speaking of which - I still need to get myself a hard copy.
Pdf is ok and all - but there is just nothing like having a copy in hand to flip through...

Thanks again for continuing to support me, my crazy ideas (like this color palette challenge), and my ceramic clay work!

More on my clay work updates to come...

Individual palettes for Round 2 will be here and available for purchase very soon!
And remember, the more of a particular finalist palette that is purchased, the faster they can reach their milestones and win free stuff from me!

Round 2 Palettes And Glitch

First - Thank You so very much for submitting and voting on and sharing these first phases for the Round 2 of my Silk Palette Challenge.

Last night at midnight when the voting closed - somehow Natalie Alexander's palette (the only one that did not have a URL attached to it - disappeared). 
What the heck? I love and hate technology sometimes - don't you?!

Natalie was able to send me a copy of her palette mosaic:
Natalie Alexander's Baby Yawns Palette
There were 15 palettes total, and Natalie holds first place with 51 total votes. 
And I'm not sure if I can get her palette image back up there.
I can see it in the behind the scenes gadget, and have tried everything possible that I know of - except to delete then add again, but even that might not work because the gadget is "closed" and it might mess up the voting.

So anyway - I am working on pulling the top 8 voted for (which is actually the first seven on the voting post + Natalie's). I also have my choice, special guest picker and the 2 palettes from Round 1 winners: Kimberly Roberts and Catherine Pruitt.

Winners will all be announced soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vote For Your Favorite Palette

This is the voting post where you can pick up to 10 of your favorite palettes from the ones that were uploaded last week.
Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette Challenge
The top 8 voted for palettes will be finalists for Round 2, and I will pull those silk colors and create a special listing for each one of them on my website, and a special listing in my Etsy shop.

There will be 12 palettes total (2 from previous round winners, 1 chosen by me, and 1 by a special guest), and they, along with the winning 8 top voted for palettes will be announced on Friday, June 22, 2012 here on this blog!

**The VOTE starting time was pushed back until noon on Monday instead of midnight Sunday to give a few people help with technical issues they were having trying to upload their palette.

Voting ends at midnight Thursday, June 21, 2012 (EST).

After you vote, make sure to leave one comment below (only one please!) because I will pick one random winner to pick out a color palette of the 2mm silk knot bundles (10 of the 2mm silks) for themselves.

The June 12 blog post is still open for additional comments for when you share this socially (FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog, etc). The buttons below make it easy to share!

***Friday, June 22, 2012*** Natalie's Palette: Baby Yawns, disappeared from what the public can see here on the voted on palettes and I cannot figure out why.

Behind the scenes she is there with 51 votes. So she is the top voted on palette.
This switches the ones you see below...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13 Link Up Your Palette Post!

Welcome to the start of the Silk Color Palette Challenge: Round 2!
Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette Challenge

If you were shopping for silks to use in your next jewelry creation - what would that palette look like?
Where do you find your color inspirations for projects?
How would you choose what silks to buy?
What color palettes are you drawn to?

Do you enjoy picking out colors?
Well, NOW is your chance to pick out 10 colors of silks from the ones that I sell, and put them together in a photo mosaic and submit them to this Challenge!
It is free to submit your ONE palette of up to 10 colors of silks!
It just takes a bit of time to decide on the palette and make the photo mosaic to submit (and come up with a fun name for it!). 
And you must have it linked up in the Inlinkz gadget on this blog post by Sunday, June 17, 2012 (closes at Midnight EST). The earlier the better so you avoid technical difficulties, and the more time your palette is up on the blog, the more exposure you will get!

On Monday, June 18, 12:01am, the voting polls will open up on a new blog post.
There is a limit to 10 votes per person for this session.
Please play fair and don't use all 10 votes on your own or have your friends vote for yours 10 times.
Try to spread it out a bit and pick the ones you really do like the best!
Voting closes at Midnight on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
Winners will be announced here on June 22, 2012.

If your palette is one of the top 8 voted for - I will pull your 10 silks, photograph them, and put them up for sale in my Etsy shop and my Website.

2 other artists are already in from Round 1:
Most bundles sold in Round 1: Kim Roberts.

Random winner from previous finalists that sold at least 1 bundle - Catherine Pruitt.
1 ~ Round 2 finalist gets picked by me.
1 ~ Round 2 finalist gets picked by a special guest.

For the duration of Round 2 (June 26 - September 17, 2012) you can promote your silk palette and try to help me sell as many as possible. You can promote your palette through challenges, tutorials, giveaways, etc - whatever you can think up to help sell more of them...

The more that sell, the more chances you have at winning more silks for yourself as well as the giveaways and drawings I will be holding here on my blog.

Here are some links to get your started:

*use up to (10) of the individual silk color image addresses to upload into the mosaic maker*

*suggested size: 3 columns, 4 rows and add in the white Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette 2012 image to fill up room. The more square, the better the image will look for voting. Remember up to 10 colors are allowed. Duplicate colors are fine. Save the .jpg image to your computer and make sure you have your name and palette name as the file name.*

3. Details on Giveaways and Examples are on the Silk Color Palette Page
*here on this blog - see tab above*

So what are you waiting for?
Go pick out your silk bundle color palette and get it submitted!
And help promote this event and get entered into the drawings by commenting on the June 12 blog post.
Do this even if you aren't planning on submitting a color palette this round so you can try to win some silks for your next project!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bonus Giveaway #1 Post and Round 2 Silk Color Palette Challenge Directions!

Marsha Neal Studio Presents: Silk Color Palette Challenge
This is a quick blog post for three main things:
1. WINNER OF $50 MNS Clay Gift Certificate from Round 1 palettes purchased.
2. Bonus Giveaway #1 Post (June 12 to June 21)
3. Round 2 of the Silk Color Palette Challenge Directions

THE WINNER OF THE $50 Clay Gift Certificate:
Erin Prais-Hintz by purchasing this listing:

Thank You To everyone that purchased the 2mm Silk Knot Bundles during Round 1 of the Silk Color Palette Challenge! 
Out of 25 palettes purchased through my Etsy shop and website, the winner picked is #7.
Numbers were assigned to each bundle palette purchased in order of date/time.

BONUS GIVEAWAY #1 (This Post!):
Getting Ready for Start of Round 2
From Tuesday, June 12 through Thursday, June 21, 2012 comment on this blog post for any of the following things, and I will pick a random commenter to win a (10) silk strand: 2mm Silk Knot Bundle of their choice on Friday, June 22, 2012.

1. Share info on this Silk Color Palette Challenge socially (Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest, etc) 
Then comment for every time you do it here on this post!
The more you share and comment, the more chances you will get!

2. Grab the Silk Color Palette Challenge Button and post it on your blog sidebar then comment below.
If you already have it up from Round 1, just comment below.
Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette Challenge
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette Challenge"><img src="" alt="Marsha Neal Studio Silk Color Palette Challenge" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Directions for Round 2: How to participate.

Find an image that inspires you (be aware of copyright issues if you are going to use a copy of the image in your blog about your inspiration and please give proper credit, get permission, or don't use that image) and pull the colors visually from that image that you are drawn to. Or if you just want to simply pick out up to 10 colors that you think look awesome together - go for it!

Look at the colors of my silks from my Flickr photo set and pick a palette of 10 total 2mm silk ribbon strands (whatever color combination you want, but no more than 10 total silks) that you feel you are inspired by that image to gather up.

Wednesday, June 13 to Sunday, June 17, 2012, link up your palette image to the Inlinkz gadget on the June 13 blog post.
Be creative and make something like the photo mosaic below (I used the free Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker, set up 3x2 square photos, then copied the individual silk color image URLs from my flickr 2012 MNS Silk Palette Flickr set, and put it into the Big Huge Labs mosaic maker. You could select the number of rows and columns that fit your palette.) so you have an image of your silk palette for the "voting" part of these challenges. You will have to save your palette image as a jpg to use it to connect to my next challenge if you want in on the voting to become one of the 12 finalists to have their palette pulled and put up for sale. 

Don't forget to give your palette a name that can be used to identify it's unique qualities through this next round... And you can use the extra spaces for the Marsha Neal Studio 2012 Silk Color Palette Challenge square image in my Flickr Set. If you want to leave a blank square for yourself to edit in your palette name - that is fine too - be CREATIVE!!!
Marsha Neal Studio Stormy Waters Silk Color Palette Example of Mosaic Maker and Flickr photos.
***If you do not submit your palette before midnight EST on Sunday, June 17th - your palette cannot be added. The Inlinkz gadget will be set up well ahead of time, and will run as scheduled. Please submit yours as early as possible to avoid any technical difficulties. Do not wait until the last minute to submit and have issues, as I will not be available to help you out last minute (I will hopefully be asleep at midnight).

Voting is open from Monday, June 18, 2012 to Thursday, June 21, 2012 (Midnight EST).
The final 12 palettes are picked:
   1 entry chosen by Marsha.
   1 entry chosen by a special guest.
   1 entry from the artist with the most palettes sold from previous challenge:
     (Congrats Kim Roberts!)
   1 entry picked randomly from the remaining 11 previous months finalists that sold at least 1 palette:
     (Congrats Catherine Pruitt!).
   8 entries will be from votes cast on the entered palettes (top 8 most voted for after any of the above).

*If your palette gets picked in the final 12 palettes, I will pull your 10 silks and photograph them for you so you can use that image to help sell more of your palettes. Then you can get as creative as you want with marketing, challenges, reselling, etc, and you can get free stuff depending on how many of your bundle sell through my Website and Etsy shop. Naming your palette and giving a back story is always a great way to add more "romance" to your palette to help them sell.

*Please don't vote multiple times for yourself. It takes the fun out of challenges like this. By all means, vote at least 1 time for yourself. But overall - vote for your favorites!

*Only 1 palette per person may be submitted. If you want to change up your palette during the "link up your palette phase 6/13 to 6/17" you may do so by deleting your first palette, then adding the new one (look for the little red "X" by your submission, that only you can see. That deletes your submission).

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Beads and Glazes In The Works...

I have been a bit MIA due to all kinds of "life" things going on.
In between here and there I have been working a bit on some new glaze tests...
And I just wanted to quick share!
1. Marsha Neal Studio Handmade Beads, 2. Newly Tested Glaze Colors, 3. Marsha Neal Studio Bead Tray 1, 4. Marsha Neal Studio Bead Tray 2
After I test out these glazes a bit more on some pendants and beads (which I had to make, because I used all of my previous stash up on glazing the ones you see above).

My goal for making all of these is to be able to sit down on one day and photograph the crap out of them.
I promised Dave that I would make it a priority to get my website back up and running on the side of my pendants and beads.
Not that I will be getting rid of my Etsy shop by any means.
But why pay extra fees for listing a bunch of items in two places?

Etsy will once again become a place for new and OOAK things that I don't want to list on the website.
But things like this - things I can give you a shape and size that I make - and you pick the color...
Why not have it online?

I'm game...
Look for this all towards the end of June starting to show up on my website.

Silk Color Palette Round 1 Ends Today!

Today is the last day to get in on any purchases of these 12 fun palettes!
Why rush? Because I will be picking one winner from every one of these bundles that have been purchased during "Round 1" for a $50 Marsha Neal Studio Clay Item Gift Certificate.
Round 1 ends tonight. June 11, 2012 at midnight EST.

Here are the palettes you have to choose from:
Purchase them through my Website or my Etsy shop

If you want to purchase through my Marsha Neal Studio Etsy shop,
I had to create special listings for the discounted price:

If you purchase them through my Marsha Neal Studio Website Shopping Cart, as you purchase any of the 2mm knot bundles, your cart will reflect the discount pricing as you hit those price points.

And if you are curious about the 2012 retail price of these 2mm silks:
The individual 2mm silk strands retail at $3 each, 
but as a bundle of (10) 2mm silk strands, gets discounted to $2 each, 
so $20 for the (10) 2mm silk knot bundle.

Combine multiple listings of silks for a discount. 
The more you purchase at one time, the less they become individually:
(3) 2mm silk knot bundles for $54 ($1.80 per strand)

(5) 2mm silk knot bundles for $85 ($1.70 per strand)
(10) 2mm silk knot bundles for $160 ($1.60 per strand)

Tomorrow on the blog:

1. Announce is the $50 MNS Clay Gift Certificate WINNER.

2. Directions on how to be involved in Round 2 - which starts Wednesday June 13!!!

3. Bonus GIVEAWAY Blog Post (add the Silk Color Palette Challenge Button to your blog and share socially, and when you comment - you get entered to win a 2mm Silk Knot Bundle of your choice).

So go purchase a bundle if you have not yet (only 23 purchased total so far!) to get in on the giveaway!
And get your palette ready for your chance to be one of the 12 finalists for Round 2!