Mid-Summer Piedmont Garden

We had a couple of days that were in the 70’s for the high, low humidity, and beautiful evenings – so I finally got some time in the garden to weed and look at it good.

Every year I struggle to keep this path free of weeds. This fall – it wins! I am removing the stepping stones and putting in a nice grass area. I totally want to walk there barefoot – maybe even lay on my belly and look close at the flowers & insects with my kids…

There are fun things in the grass too!

These caterpillars ate all if the garden dill, all of the parsley potted plant I grabbed for them, and now, they are in my kids school, with all the cut parsley they can eat, and should be transforming into chrysalis this week. Then the kids get to watch them hatch and release them. I would say let them be in nature, but we were out if their host plant, and I love letting kids get an up close look at nature & allow for stronger bonds to be formed!

These candy lilies (Iris family) just keep cross pollinating and come back slightly different every year…

More seed pods! I will plant a plant just for the seed pods!

And I have my little seed sollecting daughter to also help spread them throughout the garden.

And this little speck on the NY Ironweed reminds me of the speck from "Horton Hears A Who".

Love the eyes…

And my favorite plant this season is the Mountain Mint (US Native). It smells like sweet spearmint bubblegum and attracts so many pollinators – many Hymenoptera – bees, wasps & ants – I have never seen before!

And with that perfect weather – a lot more time to hang out in the garden looking at the locals…

Oops! So I forgot to plant these bulbs in the fall. So here they are, planted in early spring – for summer (bad, bad girl!)

And with just short windows of creativity – I decided to make up some new silk knot bundles and these fun braided friendship bracelets.

I’ve got the photos & steps – now just to write them out & have a quick PDF available. My goal is to have it done and available for First Friday this week!

How are the lazy days of summer treating you?

Flower Seed Pod Beads

I have found my muse!

She was a bit torn and exhausted, but is recovering…

Regular exercise – the first time in 20+ years, taking mental time off, focusing on something that has been pulling at me since I was young (seed pods and nature) – without any lingering deadlines implied…

And of course awesome music to listen to over and over ~ Loving Pearl And The Beard right now!

Nature throws bits my way too…

I went with gardening friends to see a private garden and found a few seed pods & asked if I could take them with me ("take anything like that you would like" – amazing generosity!)

And the first steps to glazing have begun.
I am fearful of the look of the finished glazed bead as I am SO thrilled with the form. This step sometimes takes me a bit to fall into what I want the series to look like. It’s a blank slate right now!

And the firing of pieces is never simple as I like to cover as much of the bead in glaze. At 2232 degrees Fahrenheit – the rods sag and metal fatigues. So I need to play with using and making kiln furniture to fit what I need.

I’ll do this first glaze firing, then will make kiln furniture that fits my bead requirements and then ~ more beads! Then after about 2 or 3 more glaze firings – I hope the pieces will be where I need them to be.

I am delighted my muse has returned. Thank you Mother Nature for sending all these glorious seed pods and flowers right when I needed them…

And Thank You PATB for creating music that helped wake up my muse the rest of the way. And for being SO cool in person!

PS ~ My GIVEAWAY on Love My Art Jewelry ends TODAY!

Trying For A Clean Start

It seems that this entire year has been such a state if transition and crazy busy-ness all around me. In June my mind just quit. And I am finally starting down the path of picking up and getting organized so I can figure out where I am going.

Packaging area that was supposed to double as an inside photography area…

One more try with proper lighting and white foam core to try to get the white balance & camera to cooperate (all this rain and dark days – meh… I’m so done with waiting on you to clear!)

And sometimes those piles need to move to a place for sorting – which will come after the clean up and purging…

Because I want to make beads, sculptures and Jewelry for this next holiday season, and I don’t want to do it last minute!

I’m also spending more time with these great little people… I just hate the feeling that there will never be enough time with them (like they are going to grown up in a blink!).

Day by day…
Step by step…

First Day of Bead & Button

I left on Wednesday for the Bead & Button Show. Knowing how much I would miss my family, I took along some little reminders. It also dawned on me that my little munchkins could view my pics via the photo stream and would like to see their figurines doing different stuff with me on my travels…

Thursday was early morning inventory then show setup with a registered class persons preview night from 4-9.

We got to run to see Yvonne of My elements by Yvonne & saw done really fantastically awesome hand painted beads!

Went to a late lunch (it is downtown dining week here in Milwaukee this week)…

Then back to the show to get selling around 4pm. Friday is the killer long day 10am-8pm. Saturday until 6 & Sunday until 4…

It’s been great seeing SO many friends today! And hopefully I can get out and see more this weekend (or they can see me in booth #610 with Thornburg Bead Studio).

Bead and Button Show Stock

Here are some images of most of the finished stock that I am taking with me to the Bead & Button show. You can find me and my work in the Thornburg Bead Studio Booth #610 June 7-9, 2013 (preview night is the 6th).

I have two sizes of my porcelain and stoneware ceramic bead headpins. The wire is Nichrome (nickel & chrome combination) which is used for firing in the kiln at high temperatures.

My Elements by Yvonne (booth 1158) will also have some of the smaller headpins and tendrils on short wires for some wearable landscapes she is premiering at this show! They are NOT to be missed (she posted an image on her Facebook Page the other day!)

And here is one of my two trays of textured discs that are going with me.

Nikki has some great plans and kits for earrings and necklace focal a with these. All of these will be in trays, to be made into whatever color palette combo you want…

And I have a final kiln load in right now that has more of these curved bracelet pieces in them. And if things turn out good – possibly some pieces that look – in my opinion – like water lilies… We’ll see tonight!

And for those of you that do not want nichrome wire in your headpins or prefer to glue them into place after the wire work is done on a project – here are some glue on tendrils.

I am going to send a bunch of these off to Darlene (D7 Studio) so she can have some for her upcoming shows. She is the one that requested I figure out a way to make and glaze these (and that I did – patting myself on the back for figuring that out!).

And with that, I’m out the door on Wednesday and will return to fill any orders on Monday.

Make sure you check out the First Friday Art Walk blog hop going on June 7-9, 2013.

And I’ll be posting on Sunday for Love My Art Jewelry blog for a bunch of cool wire suppliers that I come across while at the show.

For seeing things going on at the Bead & Button Show via social media look up #BNBSHOW via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter & Tumblr.

I’m going to attempt to get pics of artists I know & their art beads this year when I take a break from selling & use #bnbshow and possibly another designating the art beads. You should too if you are going!

This is going to be SO much fun (although there is that mom side that is a bit heart wrenched leaving my munchkins for 5 days – ugh!)

I can’t wait until they are old enough to go with me to shows & don’t need my 100% attention if I ever decide to start back into traveling to sell my work (not necessarily for bead shows though).



Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

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