Studio work, and …

Instant access to the internet!  Oh, but I love it … Where else can you catch a movie (Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit.  Thank you, Netflix!), while surfing for new project ideas, more ‘self-taught’ learning, and trivia facts/decorating ideas/etc. … 

But first – my kilns are cooking:  Stage 3 of my batch of spoon rests, and future night lights (enamel stenciling to come) …


future-batman-nightlight        sugar-skull-night-light

I’ve played a bit, too, with a couple of the ‘cast-a-cab’ molds – but not with great success:


And, I continue puttering with chainmail:  REALLY small bracelet bits (Elemental Cuff chainmail) that I’m struggling with, along with a few completed Half Persian 3-1 stretchy bracelets …

really-small-chainmail     half-persian-stretchy-brace

All while doing more research/gearing up to re-visit/play with techniques to stencil, screen print AND airbrush  (new for me) on glass!

So, we won’t get into the trivia facts (although – pips, amygdalin, Laetrile, B17 and bowel cancer/Alzheimer’s treatments were some of the research words discovered today … all because of a bad reality show I watched for a few minutes …).  We also won’t talk about (nurse) work this past weekend.  I’ll just leave you with this cute ‘sign’ I may purchase to donate to the E.R.’s break room décor … Winking smile

crazy to work here

PS – my youngest son (my ‘baby’ – by 3 whole minutes!) got his first job this week.  He’s thrilled, and I’ve decided to throw any ideas about ‘New Year’ weight loss out the window.  Umm – he’s working at a local Coney Island restaurant … YUM!!!

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2015 … So far, so good!

This week and – to date, 2015 has been busy and productive …

spoon-rests-1-15My kilns have been working overtime:  Future spoon rests (so far we’re up to 16 of them … in various stages); Night lights (umm … 12 and counting, including this turquoise and red beauty); New pendants almost ready for bails … And a partridge in a pear tree.  No wait, that was last week … Winking smile

turquoise-red-night-light   012015-cabs

And, I was up at way “TOO-EARLY O’clock” on Friday morning to get pups off to their new homes (WA, VA and ID).  All did well and my little ones are being properly loved and spoiled in the required one-on-one scenario!


sad-birthdayPlus, we stopped in to take Grandpa T out to lunch.  So, while this coming week would be my grandma’s 90 birthday … Grandpa is going to be OK.  [BTW – Happy Birthday Gram!  I miss you!]

I am playing with chain mail again!  I like these for key-chain/dream-catcher tchotchkes … And, I have discovered a new (current favorite) red wine: Black Cherry Pinot Noir by Wine Experts/Island Mist.  (It’s a sweet wine, more like wine-cooler-wanna-be … but I love these wine making kits!)  Lucky me, I made a whole ‘batch’ (28 bottles) … YUM

chainmail-jan-2015          black-cherry-pinot-noir

Now to prepare for another (ER nursing) weekend night tour – in the New Year … Sure, it COULD be different.  Or, it might be more FLU!  I LOVE being coughed on and touched by virus-grubby hands … Doesn’t everybody?  So, here’s the closest thing to my New Year resolution (!) and my first 2015 Public Service Announcement: photo credit linkSmile [And, just to point out … Lucky YOU!  You can’t actually HEAR me SINGING this song …]


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Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014We had some fun Christmas moments this year: We (as a family unit) decided we needed to hit a few more stores on Christmas Eve … It’s quite an adventure if you haven’t tried it.  All sorts of interesting people-watching to be done, including us at times:  We found a hat just made for modeling (that we also had to purchase!), along with a bicycle helmet that my son thought he wanted.  (We ultimately refrained.  And, I’m happy to say the kids are showing no signs of lice/ringworm/etc. at this point.  We’ve also had a talk about putting public things on your body …)

more christmas shopping   christmas shopping 

blackberry brie recipeWe had the whole family over on Christmas day.  While dinner wasn’t quite Martha-Stewart-perfect (some undercooking of the green bean casserole, dang it!), we had a ‘classic’ Christmas menu, and tried out a couple of new recipes.  I like the Baked Brie (we used seedless blackberry jam) a lot!  However, I can’t recommend the Salted Caramel Butter Bars – unless a spoonful of real butter and straight sugar is appealing to you … or maybe, if you think you’re feeling hypoglycemic – but be warned!  (YUCK!)  [ I found the recipe on Pinterest and NO ill-will is meant to any recipe blogs/goddesses/critcs, I promise.]

I was able to crash hard on Friday, with some 12+ hours of sleep.  Thanks Honey …  So now, I’m back in the studio.  I’ve made some blanks for spoon rests and requests; shipped what I think will be my last order for 2014 [Thanks to all for a great CHS year!]; and I’m planning for upcoming projects.  Now, if I could just get that maid to clean up around here a bit …


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Some things that I learned this week …

krampus-artKrampus … Wowzer!  Who knew (?!?)  And yet, I feel I should have … Those German’s sure knew how to keep their kids in line.  None of the nursery rhymes/fairy tales have their (watered-down, politically correct, Americanized) base/foundation in anything that we were raised with … So, now I know what my Christmas cards will look like for next year!  (I’ve already asked for my order … Thank you to the wonderful homemade art and talent, Flying Groundhog!!!)

crazy coconut crabI’m glad I don’t live in the Indian Ocean and/or parts of the Pacific Ocean!  While I love me some sun and warm, tropical climates … if I had to share space with these bad boys – I’d be arrested for shooting off fire arms!  But, the seafood-lover in me wonders what these crab legs would taste like?!?  All-you-can-eat goes off in a crabs-gone-wild direction!

While most of my coworkers know that I don’t  LOVE country music … I like this group!  (And most things A Cappella…)  They have a true gift!

Home Free

Under 100Cable knitting does NOT come naturally for me.   I’m trying to knit a lightly cabled hat (yep … A HAT!!!)  That’s supposed to be a ‘quick-knit’ for all you non-needle-clackers out there.  I’ve ripped it back three times already … Aaarggh!  (No pattern photo, but it’s from this great book that I purchased at Knit Picks.)  But I will persevere!

Yep.  That’s what I’ve learnt!  Winking smile  Studio news has me cleaning and packaging (THANK YOU internet shoppers!!!), while I work my way back to producing.  Next up on the list: Restocking spoon rests – with a special request or two; more flamed pendants; and I want to play with sandblasting irid patterns … I have an idea or two (thousand +) ….

ideas overflow

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Nora and I went swimming yesterday …

Well, actually – Nora was frantically trying to stay on top of the water and I jumped in to get her … in our pond … knee-deep in muck … IN THE COLD!

When she didn’t come running back to the deck with the rest of our Yorkie crew, I started to worry.  I don’t know what made me look down by the water.  She’s never shown the slightest interest in the pond before … But, there she was, around the corner from the paddleboat, down the bank just before the water starts to break off to form our little stream.  So, I had to bust through branches, bushes and weeds to get to the water and her.  In I went, and now one of my pumpkin-faceslippers (oh yeah – the favorite pair!) is cemented into that muck, as I decided it was too darn cold to fight the pond to get it back.  I needed to climb my fat-butt out to where I had tossed Nora to safety and get the 3-pound-stinker warmed up!

I’m happy to report she and I are both safe and sound.  She has apologized a hundred times over, as she stares at me with her dark brown eyes … And – she’s promised me a new pair of slippers!  Whether or not she plans to go swimming again – we’ll just have to see …

So, in honor of our hypothermic, bonding adventure (our own little polar plunge!) – I’m working on a new dichro cab in the studio … with Nora close by my side.


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A minute to relax …

We had our show.  It was great!  A lot of work, but what a wonderful end to our ‘season’!  Here is our 24 foot long ‘booth’ (the only photo I took, as we were still setting up … DOH!)


In the meantime, my studio is trashed(!!!), but there is no down-time for the wicked weary (I love it!), so work continues as I fill orders, create custom pieces and keep up on stock.  It is definitely ornament-time here!

snowman-ornaments   Olaf-ornamentrequest-snowman-ornament minion-ornaments puppy-ornaments

We had a super Thanksgiving!  Fairly laid back, but with amazing food!  We made the best (20 pound) turkey yet this year, thanks to information I found on The Runaway Spoon blog (thanks P.C.).  Along with 8 quarts (full crockpot) of chex mix for snacking, walnut/apple/whiskey stuffing, my family’s favorite mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin/pecan pies.  It was GOOD EATIN’! (No after-cooking photo of the turkey, as we use a roasting bag in roaster, so my bacon wasn’t crisp and pretty.  It didn’t stop me from blending some, along with carrots and onions into the turkey stock for AMAZING gravy!)

bacon-wrapped-turkey-2014   turkey-2014

A quick, cute photo of Cally, as she likes to watch over me while I’m working at the computer … (Our youngest daughter gave her that pathetic hair cut.  We’re working on her grooming skillz!)


So, a bit of stolen time to relax before we run full speed ahead into Christmas preparations.  Just enough time to play with pups, who are 3 weeks old now – the little porkers! Winking smile

3 wk old female Neo pup  Clayton Hill NeoBlue Neapolitan Mastiff pup  Tawny male - tongue razz

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Countdown …

Work in the studio continues, with the understanding that I will not come anywhere close to touching the projects I wanted to try/complete.  That’s ok … I’ll still make myself nutty for this up-coming show, but maybe not ‘top-shelf nutty’… (???)  Here’s what I have to show-off today: a quick-but-cute donut necklace; my 11×14 canvas prints ready for hanging; our next mirror frame, made with recycled glass (‘scraps’ from other projects).

fused glass neckalce   donut pendantClayton Hill Studio canvas prints   fused glass mirror - WIP

I’m also looking forward to finishing up our (little) show season so that I can devote a bit of time to some other outlets:  My hands are itching to knit something; I have some new bead/glass jewelry ideas bouncing around; and I am finally ready to look at my enameling gear and play with copper/fire! (pendant by Pam East) PamEast Meanwhile, the pups are doing great.  Eyes aren’t open yet, so you’ll just have to take my word (photos next week).  The kids are doing well, flipping between angels and hormonal heathens as only teenagers can do.  I continue my love-hate relationship with sleep.  Right now I seem to be stuck in an all-or-nothing phase (12+ hours of ‘power crashing’ in between days and days of 2-4 meager hours of tossing and turning) … Oh, the joys of being … 29!!! insomnia

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