Early Spring Flowers

“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.” -Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth

Blue Poppies

I think I just found a few really useful apps for my iPhone to get me reconnected through this new blog.

Marsha Neal Studio

Let’s see how this looks!

The apps I have been figuring out:
Percolator (this image)
Over (text for this image)
Poster (to edit & post to WP)



Using Artist Made Headpins

Over on Love My Art Jewelry Blog there is a blog hop going on for people using artist made (by oneself or by another artisan) and I wanted to post some things that I’ve been working on.

Love My Art Jewelry: Art Jewelry Boot Camp

I consider myself a ceramic bead maker first, and a jewelry designer somewhere else down the line.

I do feel it is important to understand how ones work might be used, so “dabbling” in jewelry making is mostly what I do (and I am ok with that).

I love seeing other artists and designers using my work, and when I sit at the jewelry table, I love using other artist handmade work to compliment ┬ámine. It just feels right that way…

Artist Made (Shannon Levart) Copper and Sterling Wire Balled Headpins.

Artist Made (Shannon Levart) Copper and Sterling Wire Balled Headpins.

I one day will have things set up in my studio for a table for having a torch.

Well. Maybe.

Eh. It hasn’t happened yet.

Probably won’t for a long while. I’ll admit it.

I think I enjoy too much being able to buy parts from my fellow artisan.

I love making beads, selling beads, paying bills, then buying more beads and supplies to make jewelry with as I can.

Grabbing Beads and Supplies

Grabbing Beads and Supplies

See – I even have a spool of copper (I have a few actually, in different gauges).

But thankfully I had some oxidized copper from Shannon that went with the headpins also purchased from her shop: Miss Fickle Media.

Because when I realized I needed to stop fiddling with the design of this new WP blog, and get on this post for the blog hop, having that all right there without having to make it – well – that was just AWESOME!

Thank You Shannon!

Trials with double ended balled headpins and single ended ones.

Trials with double ended balled headpins and single ended ones.

And you can see above – I have to fiddle quite a bit.

First piece = double head pin wire wrapped (oops! how to connect that?)

Second piece = wire loop, end wrapped around double head pin (where did the headpin go?)

Third piece = Single head pin, wire wrapped into loop, put onto one of the Miss Fickle Media ear wires.

Finally with that third try I got something simple and fast to use.

Being a bead maker.

Being a bead maker.

And when I have trays full of pieces to use (do I sell them, give them to my friend Darlene to sell at her bead show table, or keep them for me to use?) I want to be able to have a technique down that I can whip out some simple designs.

First attempt to make porcelain clay headpins.

First attempt to make porcelain clay headpins.

My friend Mary Harding, a fellow clay bead maker, recently inspired me try to give making porcelain headpins a “go” by making some herself.

These are my first attempt above, using 24 gauge Nichrome wire, fired in my kiln to over 2230 degrees F (Cone 5/6).

And I’m quite pleased with the results, but want to make more before starting to sell them.

So for now, here is a peek at my obsession with artist made glass handmade headpins!

Projects with Nikki's Headpins.

Projects with Nikki’s Headpins.

Nikki Thornburg of Thornburg Bead Studio and I are working on pieces to use for my new small scale terrarium sculptures.

Playing with Genea headpins.

Playing with Genea headpins.

Genea of Genea Beads makes these great headpins too.

I love they way they look nestled in my porcelain bead caps (I need to get some oxidized sterling ear wires from Shannon to go with these!)

Lovely garden headpins by Nolly in my stash.

Lovely garden headpins by Nolly in my stash.

And my friend Nolly of Nollys Folly makes such beautiful garden inspired glass headpins.

I need to work on some ideas in clay to use these – they are just just awesome!

Darlene (D7Studio) carries my work and Nolly’s work to sell at bead shows here in the north east US.

Thank You Darlene for representing our work so we can stay home and make more beads!

Make sure you swing by the Love My Art Jewelry Blog Hop to see what other things people are creating with these artist made balled headpins!

I know I’m inspired to make better jewelry and learn techniques from all these talented people!

Blog Overhaul Underway

I am so delighted to be setting aside some time to finally work on switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress.

This is something that I have been wanting to do for a few years, and I have always found excuses.

Marsha Neal Studio Matte Green PiecesNow that I am promoting my new series of textural beads and terrarium pieces,

I wanted to take the time to polish up my online image and get myself more organized.

Marsha Neal Studio Terrarium Mushrooms

And so here I am, teaching myself WordPress.

A little intimidated, but that will soon go away as I click around and fiddle with things.

This is the free theme I’m trying out: Organic Structure Theme