Thursday, April 30, 2009

Arts in Overdrive

I’ve spent my day setting up for the annual Arts Festival and I gotta say I’m a little pooped. This year’s theme is “arts in overdrive” and there are all sorts of art cars on display. Until very recently I had no idea what an art car was. Apparently this is a big thing here in Texas, with lots of festivals, parades, and that sort of thing. Actually they happen all over the country, just bigger in Texas, I am told. Here’s a wikipedia link to art cars and here is a wiki definition:

“An art car is a vehicle that has its appearance modified as an act of personal artistic expression….. An important aspect of art cars and car artists is the general belief that there are no standards. Ideally, there are no super stars nor is any car better than any other.”

Normally I would not have much interest in this. I’m not a car person. I like to walk. I hardly ever drive. But as personal artistic expression these things are super cool. That pic above is one of my personal favourites, the Brass Van. You can actually drive this thing and it is fully licensed and road worthy. Amazing!

Where did these people get all of these brass pieces? Boggles my mind.

Our clay guild has got its own art car, a work in progress, that is open to the public for attaching ceramic shards too. I love that this will be a community piece of art. I’ll get some pics of it tomorrow.

Cheers, LeAnn

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Little Bit of Play

I found a little time to play with one of the pieces I made last week. It’s in the new ocean blue glaze and I loved the colour but wasn’t quite sure what to make of the shape. Usually I can see how a piece would work in a basic sort of way. But not so with this one. So I played and I actually found I rather like wrapping up beads. I also really like jump rings. But, no, I will not be turning my hand to jewelry any time soon. I like making parts and I like trying them out. But visionary jewelry designer I am not.

I also played around with a new photo editing program. A couple of weeks ago my usual printer died and a week later the photo editing software that came with it collapsed as well. I do not like change. I’ve played around with a couple freeware programs (pixia, picassa) but all those fancy do hinkies are just too much for this old dog. So I searched around, read a few reviews, and found photoscape. It’s great and very intuitive, which is what I need. But I’ve not had a chance to play with it. You can do all sorts of things like get rid of a gray blue “white” background with a couple of clicks. It even keeps the image quality and colour pretty true. I am happy! But I’m not probably going to that white out background anytime soon. Props maybe.

So I really didn’t have time to play today. All of this was procrastination dressed up like productivity. I did make a list. I did not cross anything off that list. So guess what I’ll be doing this evening?

Off to card 50 or so buttons, label a dozen pots to go to the festival, and maybe even have some dinner.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Isn't it nice that someone decided to declare today International Charm Day just when I've been working on some charm sized porcelain pieces! Here's a little sampling of some of the pieces I fired on Sunday. They are all about 3/4" size and light weight. I've made them in pairs thinking they'd be great for earings. In fact some of these are getting made up, by me, sloooow jewelry maker, for the Arts Festival and another event coming up. BTW these little buggers are the devil to photograph. So tiny, so slippery, so uncooperative in my experiments with props. There are more but I just couldn't bring myself to photograph them.

Cloudy and cool.....I'm off to find my blankey and the tellie.

Cheers, LeAnn

Monday, April 27, 2009

Barnacle Vase

Parts of it I like and parts I don't. One of the problems with working with the larger stoneware work is that I am used to the bright clarity of my glazes over porcelain. The barnacle section of this vase has been covered with a thin layer of porecelain slip but it is not enough to keep some of the rust colours coming through from the iron in the clay. So it is back to testing to getting the glaze effects I want. Oh well, that is in fact part of what keeps me moving forward. I like the challenge.

I like the form of it though. And it has given some ideas where to go with this work. It's not headed for the scrap pile.

This pendant has been glazed in one of 3 new tests I had put into my last firing. I feel a small obsession coming on. I love how the raised portions of the pattern are greenish and the deeper parts are a mottled blue. It would be perfect for the barnacle pot. Unfortunatly it doesn't do the same thing on that clay.
I've been feeling prop challenged lately. Or maybe just bored with photographing my work in a consistent way. The pile of shells in the last photo were gathered on many beach walking expeditions. I found them back on another of my rumaging expeditions in what should have been a clean up exercise.
The little bit of shell in the first photo is from my Gramma. It was part of my inheritance when she died many years ago. She did not have much but she did have this wonderful memento of her only visit to California to spend time with my Auntie. I don't quite know how I ended up with it. We are more than two dozen grandchildren and I feel like I got the best thing of all. Some day I'll show you a photo of the whole shell. It is very beautiful.

Warm regards, LeAnn

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Little Bits of my Garden

It's been a very hectic week here at Summers Studio but I haven't forgotten that Renate reminded me that I haven't shown any photos of my garden. Renate frequently gives us views of the magnificent flowers in her garden.

This photo is of a columbine that is just about finished blooming. These are an unusual yellow type that I am told are native to West Texas. I think that is probably true. It is the only columbine I've been able to grow here and this huge plant (more than a meter across) started out as a single little seedling that self started in my neighbors garden 2 years ago. Notice the sage/blue green colour of the folliage? It's the only columbine that I've ever seen with this colour. I think that is the give away of it's native origin. For a scientific reason, that I've forgotten, plants growing in arid climates often have this colouration.

This is one of my other favourite plants, lamb's ears. I love the thich velvety leaves on these. It has almost become a weed in my garden. This is good because it is choking out the ugly weeds.

And these are amaryllis. They were here when we moved to this house 4 years ago. I've never grown these except as forced bulbs in winter. They are truly spectacular and starting to spread.

Gardening here is challenging. This is the harshest, dryest climate I've ever lived in. We inherited an overgrown weedy mess and are slowly learning how to garden here and without much supplemental water. We've been in a drought for 4 years and it makes sense to limit the water we put on the garden. Natives are the way to go and I am learning to appreciate the beauty of subtle sage green leaves and even prickly plants.
So that's a little tiny tour of my garden this week (carefully edited out weeds).
Hope you all have a fabulous week!
Cheers, LeAnn

Friday, April 24, 2009

MEME and Keeping The Flow

I've been tagged by my friend Lynn over at LLYYNN. I love Lynn’s work and always find her a source of great inspiration. She especially challenges me to think about colour in ways that I don’t think of naturally.

So the kiln is firing, I’m having a breather (and a glass of wine), and here are the answers to the things about me that you are just waiting with baited breath to know. But first….


Rules of the meme: Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your own blog; replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention; add one more question of your own. Tag some friends to keep the flow going, let them know they've been tagged.


What is your current obsession?

Fossils, specifically marine fossils of the Permian basin.

Which item from your closet are you wearing most lately?

Now that the weather is warm (hot) I’ve switched out my fleecies for generic cotton jersey draw string capris and t-shirts. This is my studio uniform, mostly in black.

What is your least favorite color?

Lavender, early childhood deep scarring from a floral organza Easter dress complete with hat and gloves.

What are you listening to right now?

Tiddas, an Australian aboriginal womens trio, that I was lucky enough to hear in a park near my home in N Fitzroy just before they finished their final concert tour.

Favorite vacation spots?

Hands down top favourite is Paris, followed closely by San Francisco, and anywhere that has good hiking.

What are you reading right now?

Farwell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D Houston. It was published in 1973 but I’ve not read it yet. It is a memoir of sorts of a Japanese
American girl and her family interred at Manzanar during World War II. It is good but quite sad so far. But WWII Japanese interment is inherently sad.

What four words would you use to describe yourself?

Caring, Generous, Intense, Silly

What is your current guilty pleasure?

Chocolate. Chocolate does not like me, it makes my skin do horrible things. I am currently paying penance for 3 Cadbury mini eggs and one full size from Easter.

What would you do if the internet was irreparably damaged and you had to find another way to connect?

Cry and then phone my friends to go out for coffee.

Where are you planning to travel next?

The Mother Land. Northern Iowa where my Mom and Sis are via Wichita where my daughter lives and through South West Iowa where my partners Sis lives. This is our annual journey to reconnect with our beloved families. It is lot easier to do now than when we lived in Australia!

What flower are you most anxious to see bloom this spring?

Come and gone, the redbud trees. Not really a flower per se but it is the harbringer of spring here followed closely in my garden by the peach, apple, quince, and old fashioned iris.

What are you most happy doing?

Spending quiet time with my now grown up children. Simple chat, games, walks, simple family time. Given I don’t get to do that everyday, playing in my studio. Not working, just playing with ideas. I love more than anything sharing my day with Peter and finding about his when he gets home. (Peter, I know you lurk on my blog, but this is true, not just for your benefit)

Care to share some wisdom?

My favourite poet is the mystic Sufi, Rumi, and I love his “let the beauty that you love be the work that you do.” It applies to so many facets of life other than art. I interpret this as you must find the thing inside you that has beautiful meaning and that can be a guide to how you live. To me it speaks to living a compassionate life for that is a beautiful way of living. Everything else will follow.

I've tagged:

Renate at Put A Little Magic in Your Life
Sharon at Livewire Jewelry
Erin at Every Heart Craft

There are just so many of you I'd like to hear more from. So hopefully we'll see some more from you all as this gets passed around.

Hope you all will play along and keep the flow!

Cheers, LeAnn

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mystery Solved & More Old Familiar Things

The mystery is only partially solved about the Japanese stamp I was using yesterday. One thoughtful blog reader suggested that the stamp was actually Chinese because of the Kanji characters. She even gave me a link to start with. So a not so quick internet research expedition reveals that modern Japanese written language uses kangi characters, as well as hiragana, katakana, and Arabic numerals. Originally, the Japanese language did not have a writing system and the Japanese word kanji means Han characters, as in Han dynasty (I think). It is all a bit complicated but quite fascinating and if you’d like to know more your can have a read here. Oh and the back of my stamp has this aged paper on it with what looks like kangi, hiragana, and katakana characters. So I'm feeling pretty confident that it is indeed Japanese.

I still do not know what the characters mean. But Japanese is taught at the local university. So when I have time I’m going to try to find someone who can have a look. But if it says something mundane like “stinky feet,” I’m not sure if I will tell you. I still really like the pattern of the stamp, so, stinky feet would be OK with me.

Rummaging again, I found a little tiny leaf stamp that I made ages ago. I use it sometimes on the handles of pots. Since I haven’t made pots with handles for a long time, it is yet another little bit that has passed from my thought. I like tessellated patterns. I made a little repeating pattern in a slab of clay. Then cut out a few test pendants and charms.

You may well be wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end with all this rumination and return to old familiar things. I’ve got the annual Arts Festival to set up for in just one week. I do this show as a group with my local clay guild. So I am frantically working to get some things ready for this. I’ve made pendants, charms, and pots today. It is 9 pm and I’m just eating dinner now. And I was thinking I needed something a little showy I made a smaller version of the original barnacle pot. Will it all get done? Hope so!

Please, pardon my rambling, and my typos. We are feeling just the tiniest bit rushed here at Summers Studio.

Cheers, LeAnn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Return to Old Things

For some reason today I found myself rumaging thru my little collection of stamps, some I've made, others are vintage like the one above. I bought it many years ago in a Camberwell shop that specialized in Japanese antiques. I didn't buy this stamp with the intention of using it with clay. I bought it simply because the characters pleased me.

I have no idea what the characters mean. I'm nearly certain that it isn't anything rude. I used this stamp for several years and then just forgot about it. So it was quite pleasant to stumble across this little reminder of my old Melbourne home. Sometimes, I return to the old familiar just because it is comfortable. Not because I've run out of ideas. Some things are just pleasant to work with, calming even.

These disks are tiny, earing size. It's sort of strange to me that I'm using impressions in the clay. Most of my designs have raised patterns. I even have a stamp I made that reverses the pattern so that the characters are raised. But today it just felt right to go this way. Maybe it's the heat, 93 degrees, which means in my studio it is 100 + degrees. Heat can do funny things to my brain.

But all in all it was a pleasant day. Except for the printer that died. But I'm not letting a tiny thing like grumpy technology get in my way.

If any of you can read Japanese, or know someone who does, I'd love to know what this stamp says. It's probably something completely mundane. Maybe it's better not to know and just retain the mystery of it.

Cheers, LeAnn

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Test Driving the Components

In my last kiln load I made some tiny little, very thin, very light weight charms with the idea that they'd be good for earings. So while my daughter, Sarah, was here over the weekend I made up a couple of pairs to test out their weight. This pair went home with Sarah this morning. I'm pretty pleased with them although I won't be turning my hand to making jewelry any time soon. I am soooo sloooow.

One of the other pieces I made just for me was this bracelet. Lorelei generously shared the tutorial for this on her blog recently. This is my variation on it. Not nearly as elegant or well made as Lorelei's. But it was fantastic to be able test out the components I make in someone else's design. Thanks, Lorelei!
I've had it on all day and I've actually been in my jammies most of the day. Who says you can't dress up a little in your jammies. Now you might ask why I was in my jammies. But there isn't really any good reason. Just complete disinterest in normal things like getting dressed. I did however brush my teeth and my hair rather early this morning. And most importantly I did not go to the post office or the grocery store in my jammies.
It has been very quiet here without Sarah. And a little sad not having my jewelry maker companion. But the dogs have kept me company and I'm returning to my normal routine.
Cheers, LeAnn

Monday, April 20, 2009

We've been having fun

My daughter has been visiting for a few days over a long weekend and we've been having heaps of fun making jewelry. This is something I rarely do and she rarely has time for. Oh and Michaels had a 50% off sale so we did a bit of a bead extravaganza. Sarah snagged some lovely rose quartz beads and came home and immediately snagged my one and only coral barnacle pendant. A very simple necklace she's made, but I love what she's done.
It's been such a lovely time to do this together. We've been sitting together long hours at the dining room table, with all of our things spread out, chatting, comparing, suggesting. It has been quite a long time since we've been able to have so many hours of mummy daughter time. As your children grow older and leave the nest, it gets harder and harder to have gentle quiet communication. Our daughter is 8 hours away and when we see each other, we've usually got all sorts of things to go and do. This time we deliberately dedicated our time together to making things. And we've grown closer just being able to share our common interest. Although I am deemed the slowest beader in the universe. But that's OK.
One of the other things Sarah and I did together was unload a kiln and then paw through all of the goodies. I made up a smaller size pendant and a couple of different variations. Used some of the suggestions for glaze colours and I must say I'm quite pleased with the blue version. Sarah has generously allowed me to list these in the Etsy shop. All I had to do was promise to make more.

Friday, April 17, 2009

And the winner is....

No amount of coaxing, cajoling, or down right bribery would convince Bob and Alice to cooperate in selecting a winner. They are very stubborn dogs. So off to and the winner of 18 commentors on the Sea Things Giveaway is number 18, Lynn! Congrats Lynn! Send me your address on my email, and Monday morning I'll have a little surprise assortment out to you, fresh from Saturdays firing.

I really appreciate the thought all of you put into naming and colours for this line. Because I am a visual person, words don't come easily when it comes to describing my own work. It's hard to step away and I do get quite fixated on particular colours. It is interesting that the tidal theme came up so often. Part of the inspiration for this work comes from fossils that lived in shallow waters. This work is a bridge between my coastal life and my new life here on top of a prehistoric inland sea. Although, my interpretation pretty liberal.

Lynn, it is interesting that you would mention desert landscapes now that I've moved to a semi-arid landscape. One of my favourite things here is the desert, especially around Big Bend and the Guadelupe Mountains. I am fascinated by how this so so dry climate can be home to the largest exposed fossil coral reef in the world. Perhaps my new home has more influence on my design than I can see.

I have a lot to think about here and many colours to explore. So I'm off to my studio which I think may now be warm enough to go out to. Here's a photo of how my perfect yesterday ended. ...the biggest hail storm in a decade. They say everything is bigger in Texas. Well that is certainly true of the weather out here in West Texas. Nothing by halves here. No gentle rain, no mist, just huge heavy down pours. That is the hail piled on my deck about 15 minutes into an hour's worth of storm and intermitent hail.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A perfect day!

Every once in a while I have a day that is just extraordinary. Not because of any particular thing. Just everything works well, everything is harmonious, gentle, and quiet. Today was such a day. I woke up and headed straight for the studio. I worked on lots of things and felt no pressure to work. That is bliss in and of itself.

Then the post came and even my postie must of recognized how special today is. He came back to my house to make sure I had found my package. To my very great suprise, my friend Darby sent me this beautiful white vase. Darby is a ceramicist whose work I greatly admire. I made her some buttons for her favourite coat that was missing a few. It was just a small gesture. And in return she sent me this wonderful vase.

Darby works and teaches in Southern Illinois. Her work is influenced by nature, specifically by the beauty of things growing in her garden. Most of her forms start on the wheel and then are gently altered into organic forms. My vase reminds me of the form of a rose hip. I love the scalloped edge at the top. For now it has joined my little collection of white things, waiting to filled with my own garden flowers.

Thank you, Darby. I must say I was moved to tears by this unexpected gift.

And speaking of gifts. I really do treasure all the wonderful inspiration all of you have given me on names and colours for my most recent work. I hardly know where to start. But thank you! You've possibly given me more ideas and directions to go than you imagine.

So check in tomorrow to see who the winner of the drawing for an assortment of Sea Things, soon to be named something much more elegant. Or whimsical, or.....

Cheers, LeAnn

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sea Things and Give Away

Ah…. the barnacles on the pots have made it to pendants. This is the first of a series of pendants and charms that I’m working on. This piece is the first glaze test and I’ve got to say I’m pretty chuffed. Now that emerald green glaze is my current favourite. I can’t seem to stop using it.

These are fun but a wee bit tedious to make. They start out with a circle of clay that I form into a shallow dome. I let them stiffen up a bit, then apply tiny little rounds of clay that get stamped and punched. Dried, sanded, fired (twice) and voila, they are done. What I really like about making these is that no two are exactly alike and a rhythm of making starts to happen.

So here’s the deal. I don’t know what to call these. I keep thinking barnacle. But seriously, who wants barnacles hanging around their neck. And I’m stuck on that green glaze. I like it. I am obsessed. But I know there are other colours out there in the world.

Let me know what you think they should be called and suggest some colours and I’m going to randomly select one of you to get an assortment of these out of Saturdays’s firing. I’ll post the results on Friday, so you’ve got until Thursday nite to post a comment.

BTW, I’ve discussed it with the dogs, and neither is keen to do a performance role in the announcement. So we will see…..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Share your art and creativity forward!

Brave People Make Things so get excited and make things….

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

This text was used from and

Play nice and make things! It’s going to be an adventure!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pure Joy

I'm sneaking in a little blog post here. Our son got here last nite for a long weekend and we are having such a good time. One part of that good time was unloading my little kiln this morning. I often have very mixed feelings about the results. But , when I opened this one, well, it was just pure joy. Just to see that collage of colour was wonderful. To do this with my son was over the top joy.

This is pretty much my entire palette of glazes and combinations all in one spot. I've never seen them all made up like this, in one place, and I must say it was quite thrilling.
Happy Spring! LeAnn

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Magic Earings

I got up this morning, put on my rattiest t-shirt and jeans, and set out to clean. But I thought why not a stylish fun pair of earings? These ones are from Lorelei and I'll bet she didn't know when she swapped them for beads that they were magic!

Proof. This is my dining room table before I put the earings on. ( I know shocking, shameful) But.....

This my dining room after :)

Not convinced? Look at this. This is the shadow the earings make. Absolute magic!

Seriously, though this has got to be one of the most comfortable pair of earings I've ever worn. These are not just pretty earings. Usually I can only wear earings for a couple of hours before my ears start hurting. Not these. I'm coming up on 8 hours and not a twinge. They are like wearing feathers. And they are just so so nice!
And you too can own a pair of her great magical earings. Just stop by her Etsy shop.
Thanks, Lorelei!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sorting, Glazing, & Pooped

11 hours later and all of these little pieces are glazed and in the kiln, ready to be fired in the morning. There are 60 some buttons, at least 15 pendants, countless beads, some glaze tests, and some brand spanking new work. I am tired. I am bone weary.

But it is worth it. Tomorrow my son comes home for a long weekend. Then in a week my daughter comes home for a few days. It is worth it to get this work out of the way. I've got an entire day to get some badly needed house things done. Then it is a bit of special family time.

This time of year is especially important to me. It is a time of renewal. Spring is here. The garden is getting greener and greener. I saw our male cardinal early this morning. A bright flash of red as he was looking for seeds in the trumpet vine. Then a little while later I heard his mate and spotted her in the pecan trees. I was worried about this pair after our winter weather last week. I love these birds. I'm happy they are back.

Best, LeAnn

Monday, April 6, 2009

Not Just A Pretty Package

Lately, I’ve run across a few discussions about packaging your product up for shipment to your buyer. Lynn showed us recently how she creates special boxes for her pieces. They are lovely and I’ve actually had the treat of receiving one. Sunday at ABS a link to Tammy Powley’s article on Branding Your Jewelry also included her approach to branding and packaging. Pretty much all of the handmade things I’ve received have come in thoughtful packaging. I think it’s important to show you care enough about your work to present it well.

This is how I do most of my packaging. I try to keep my packaging simple and low cost so that I can keep my product and shipping costs low. Keep in mind that most of what I ship are components that will be used in larger works. But I also want the presentation to be attractive. The most important consideration for me is that your little ceramic beauties will arrive safely.

I’ve gone through a few iterations of my packaging but this is the approach I’ve found best for me. I print cards out on cardstock that on the front have my business name, what I make, my Etsy and blog links. On the back of the cards I use for buttons I print care instruction. I’ve yet to figure out what to put on the back of the jewelry component cards. I hate wasted space.

Buttons or components are sewn on to the front of the card. The threads and knots get hidden in the middle of the folded card. Tidy. I like tidy (Yes, this is from the woman who just yesterday confessed to not knowing when she last saw the side board in the dining room). The whole works then gets put into a cello envelope. Then your order is slipped into a bubble padded envelope, sealed and sent. Voila!

What I like about this system is that I get a double thickness of cardstock to protect the work I’m sending. The cello envelope, while I’m not rapt about the recycling potential, keeps the parts in one place. That way if, heaven forbid, something should come loose, the pieces won’t fly all over the bigger envelope, wreaking mayhem and havoc with your order and my peace of mind.

I set this up as a word document and get three 2 7/8” by 4 3/4” card for each sheet of cardstock. These fit nicely in a 3 1/2 “ x 5” cello envelope with a little room to accommodate the thickness of the pieces I’m shipping. So far this has worked well for me. And it’s low cost, at most 10-12 cents per set that I package. Someday I’ll even figure out what to do with the bit less than 2” strip of cardstock that gets trimmed off the bottom. If you’ve got any ideas for that let me know! Right now they are a growing pile of bookmarks.

Cheers, LeAnn

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Cleaning and Odd Lots

You would not believe the state of my dining room. Actually, you would if you were my friend JoAnna. She's been in there. She has been kind and not offered any hint of revulsion or even pity. It is out of control with studio spill over. I can't remember the last time I saw the top of the side board. Easter is a week away and I'm having 7 people to dinner. What was I thinking?
In an effort to get a little control I've put up a few odd lots of beads and pendants in my Etsy shop. In fact this was a wee bit of procrastination disguised as effort. It has not made one tiny bit of dent in my mess. My first house guest arrives on Thursday. I better get moving!
Oh and I've got this great sewing project that is destined to take over the dining room table once this mess is taken care of.
Have a great week!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Barnacle Beads & Prototypes

I've been experimenting a little with the barnacle/fossil texture on small things in porcelain. The pots I made are in a rugged stoneware that works very diffrently form porcelain. You can see little tiny stress crackes in the bead's texture. The technique needs a bit of work.

I participate in a show called Llano Estacado Wine and Clay each June. Our clay guild organizes it and a local winery hosts the show. It's a fun show with wine tasting, cheese, and the works. For a while I've thought how cool would it be to make wine stoppers for the show. But I'd never been able to find nice stoppers at an affordable price. That's where serendipity and Sue comes in. Sue had up on her blog yesterday these really great pics of a canape set with her beautiful lamp work beads. She kindly shared her supplier for the findings, Karen Thomas. They've got really great things there that can be beaded, including very reasonably priced wine bottle stoppers.

So this biggy bead is a prototype for the wine stoppers I want to make. Now a more patient person would wait until she actually had the stopper in hand before heading off to make the parts for it. But patience is definitely not my middle name. The idea was there and I needed, really needed to do this right now. I did in fact make the 45 buttons that needed to be done. So I am feeling slightly virtuous.

By the way, patience is not in fact on the list of virtues. I don't actually remember what is on the list. But patience is not one of them and I am sooo relieved.

And I have to show you this pic of my babies. This is a rare occurence that they snuggle. Bob the old brown dog is not entirely happy that we got baby Alice when he was 8 years old. It's that only child syndrome. But I think he was just chilly enough to let sweet Alice curl up on him. It did not last long.

Happy weekend everyone! LeAnn

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thanks, Sharon!

I was so surprised and happy to get this card in the mail. It was from Sharon over at LivewireJewelry. I sent her a mix of buttons and beads recently and she sent me this lovely note. It is on a card that she made. I think Sharon might be hiding some of her talents from us! I had no idea she worked this way. This card is divine. It’s got the most wonderful words, “listen to your heart” and a bird, robin I think, an icon of spring. It’s all balanced just so perfectly.

Little does Sharon know, but today was a day where I truly appreciated a surprise. Today, I’ve been working on all sorts of mundane business things, promotional things, questioning just what on earth am I doing. But “listen to your heart” was a perfect sentiment for me to follow thru my day. It is all part and parcel of following a creative life and even those mundane business things free me up to think about the doing the creative work.

It also made me think about the blogging community we are part of. For me it is a very nourishing experience and I hope you all get some of that as well. I work alone as many of you do. This experience of being able to share and interact with all of you, that I only know thru our blogs, has become an important part of my creative life. Thank you! And many, many thanks to Sharon for giving me this little gift of reflection.

Sharon, this little beauty is going up in my studio as a reminder of what it is all about.

Cheers, LeAnn