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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Nothing to do but plow through …

Lots going on …

I turned 29 (again! … A few more of these birthdays, and I’ll be able to skip straight to social security); we had puppies(!!!); got through a weekend (work) tour with a particularly tough case; and we continue to prepare for our next show …  Oh,  I slept for 17 hours (at one time) this week!  [Gone is my pathetic, wimpy URI virus(!) – along with the need for anymore sleep, apparently …]

Photos:  Puppies! (Yay!!! Mom and pups are doing awesome!); nutcracker soldier ornaments; working on displays and canvas signs to ‘spruce up’ our booth; tonight’s new focal (pendant) waiting for kiln-time; a personal reminder regarding this past weekend – I might just need to make something out of glass with this …

pups 11-14

nutcracker-soldier-ornament   canvas-sign-3canvas-jewelry-signs canvas-sign jewelry-dress-form focal-design


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Never enough hours – and yet …

I’m relieved all the same.  I make myself nutty with these craft/art shows.  I know I do.  “They” say identifying the problem is half the battle.  It’s not true … I’m still nutty!  (But I knew that going in, so …)

We’re working a show (that DH signed us up for) in … well, T-5 hours.  [DH will be manning it alone for a bit, I’ll be there after a WEE nap …]  We’re all set up (thank goodness)!  And, I managed to add a few new items … (Therein lies the ‘Make Me Crazy’ part – you should see the list of things I had hoped to accomplish – UNBELIEVABLE!)  [BTW – we’re at Brighton Spirit Centre today, 11-1-14, 10a-4p]

Photos … My new sign (putting Pinterest to good use – and, I am in love with ‘chalk markers’!); Our set up; my new night light display (thanks honey … I’ve been asking for one – ummmm … well … FOREVER!);


booth-3-11-1-14 pinterest-sign-ideabooth-2-11-1-14 booth-11-1-14

  new-night-light-display     nite-lite-display-on

A couple of the new ornaments completed (plus I’m currently working on 4 additional designs – cut and in various stages of readiness … GO ‘Arts & Greens’!); and a couple framed glass pieces; Oh – I’m exited about this!  A new twist (for us) on the slumped bottles that we’ll have at this show (once I get there): Recycled hangers – for jewelry, coats, kitchens … whatever.  I love them!  With the different knobs (beach glass, bottle glass and fused glass) – I’m having so much fun with them!!!

CHS-new-ornament-soldier    new-snowman-ornaments-CHS-2painted-iris        framed-butterflyrecycled-hangers

It certainly hasn’t all been successes.  I’m not talking about the slumping fiasco (… Nope.  Can’t make me!) … But, I try to make lemonade out of lemons whenever possible [and every now and then it actually works, too!  Winking smile] …

tempermental-molds    lemonade

I soo have to get to bed.  (I shouldn’t be at this right now, but … well, whatever …)  DH is gonna snip at me [He’s been extra-special cranky lately – but that’s a post for some other time] … We made the deadline, I’m happy with the set up, so now all we need are some shoppers … It’s all good!  Smile  Happy Día de los Muertos  – Ya’ll …


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I’m still here …

half-of-bead-closetIt’s been forever, I know.  Busy mixed with a little funk, I guess.  Not so much going on in the kilns, but I did get all of my beading supplies moved from my ‘office’ to the studio.  This meant a lot of deep cleaning, reorganizing and stair climbing(!), but I like it …

I also managed to kill two cell phones in one week.  I know, right?  I have magic skillz!  To be fair,samsung-galaxy-s5-copper they were both older and DH is still the reigning champ of the most dead phones … Just sayin’!  We are now owners of the Samsung Galaxy s5 (love it!).   And – we left Verizon after 20+ years, as their customer service has become pathetically poor and our bill ridiculously high.   We’re giving Sprint a try for now …

We attended the Brighton Farmer’s Market, as well as Milford’s Ladies Night/market.  We did well, they were both great experiences in their own ways and we’re getting better at packing/unpacking the trailer.

farmers-market-2014    jewelry-display-2014

We’ll be doing a couple of inside shows this holiday season, too.  On Saturday, 11/1/14 we’ll be at the American Spirit Centre in Brighton.  I’m also happy to say we’ll be at the Arts and Greens Holiday Market again this year (11/22 and 11/23/14).

We celebrated a few birthdays (good family time sprinkled with some proud Mama moments) …  My grandpa is 90, our oldest daughter is [cough, cough] 22, our oldest son just turned 20 years old.  All are well and I now fully understand that time is flying by! 

Since I moved all the beads, I’m in a beading-mode.  I’ve been gathering ideas (for jewelry/wire-wrapping and chainmaille) like a loon (more projects than could EVER be accomplished in one lifetime, even if I didn’t have other hobbies or interests – let alone jobs/responsibilities) but, it’s what I seem to like to do … 


I’ve worked, caught up on mandatory competencies and attended annual meetings.  There are a ton of WWU stories, but I feel no amount of info ‘tweaking’ could prevent HIPPA-infringement in these cases … So, suffice it to say bizarre events continue to seek us out in the ER on the weekends.  (Not talking about ebola or enterovirus68 or any other viral outbreaks … NOPE!)

So … all caught up with work busy-work, my mind well saturated with beading ideas (time to let them boil and bubble), my lists of kiln projects made and prioritized –  I can now get back to producing in the studio … I hope.


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