Monday, June 30, 2008

Suddenly Summer

I know it isn't really sudden, but isn't it amazing the way the world changes in just a few short weeks?

It seems we were just wondering at the bright spring green shoots and waiting impatiently for the trees to be in full leaf.

Suddenly, we look around and see summer is here...

Everything is really "green" green.

We no longer wander freely through the woods because the undergrowth is so thick.

We are eating fresh vegetables from our garden.

This Robin is no longer a harbinger, he's just one of the many, many birds who contribute to the natural chorus in the summer...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Playing tag

I was tagged yesterday and actually finished answering my questions in the morning. With all the things on my "todo list", I was a bit overwhelmed 'cause I forgot about the lavender wands we do every night and how frustrating it is to wait through various medical appointments and play phone tag with travel agents... so, I finally finished this up today!

The rules of the game: Each player answers the questions themselves. At the end of the post the player tags 4 people and posts their names, and goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answers.

Ten years ago... My sister and I were partners in our herb shop, The Herb Basket. We would have just finished our midsummer class called "Eating Your Yard" where we would serve a backyard salad, stir-fried day lily buds and cantaloupe with rose syrup and anise hyssop flowers. My son would have been 12 years old and getting ready to enter the school that definitely made a big difference (for the good) in his life.

Five things on today's to do list... Taking my brother to Hershey Med for testing, finalizing reservations for my son's trip to the Netherlands in August, putting wash away from yesterday, preparing orders for shipment and hoping to get some time on the torch.

Snacks I enjoy... pretzels, bagels, when I'm feeling "healthy" - raw carrots. Oh, and Turkey Hill Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream!

Things I would do if I was a millionaire.... I'm not sure what I would change - I'd probably invest and live off the interest, then try to help loved ones become more secure financially.. (If we are talking big money here - a million just isn't what it once was!) Probably a few trips (first class, of course!) - Italy again, a Greek cruise, Bali and Morocco has always called for some odd reason(!), a visit to an exclusive spa for me and a group of friends, buy a house at the beach (in Bermuda?) - oh, heck, and one in the mountains too, and hire a personal chef and trainer to make me look great when I go to all those places!

Places I have lived... Lancaster, PA - born and raised. For a few years in my youth when my father was in the Air Force, Columbus, OH. When I was younger, I always wanted to live "somewhere else", but now, I can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else!

So now, my friends, you're it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So, apparently the teapots are habit forming! After posting the ones yesterday, I kept getting new ideas of how to make more and couldn't resist sitting down at the torch for a few hours to produce what you'll see below.

I woke up very early this morning and was excited to see what would come out of the kiln. I cleaned the beads and wired them up, photographed and already I have the pictures ready posting!

This one, I call "Elegant Pewter". It has a wonderful metallic sheen and the form makes me think of a silver tea service. I love the way the handle ends at the bottom.

For some reason, this one reminds me of leaves swirling in a pond as they dash by in the fall. I just adore this color combination and call this pot "Reflections".

This one has a very earthy finish. The glass used always winds up with the wonderful powdery blue/turquoise patches on the brownish red. It reminds me of a glaze that is used by a potter friend of mine.

I call this one "Tortoise Shell" because that is the effect that this particular frit on the topaz glass always creates.

And finally, "Wedgewood". This blue, when adorned with white or ivory stringer always reminds me of Wedgewood pottery.

Today, I will attempt to put the available teapots up on my website - in the Focals section.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taking tea in a small way!

More teapots! They took a little while to get finished, since we had other things (for instance a full day yesterday at Hershey Medical Center with our brother) going on, but I think they were worth the wait.

I placed a quarter next to each one when I photographed them so you can get an idea of the size. They are all hollow, so even though they are somewhat large for beads, will have much less weight to them than they would seem to have.

First, a periwinkle blue teapot with vining stylized lapiz and rose colored flowers dancing around it.

A celadon pot with green and pink frits added to look like a rosey pattern.

Milk glass with the same frit as above.

This base color is called opal yellow and I think the roses and forget-me-nots on the vine swooping around it give it a fairytale quality.

Finally, a second amethyst colored teapot with roses and forget-me-nots growing around the sides.

These will eventually go up on my website, but in the meantime, if anything tickles your fancy, please email me at At this writing, they are $35 each and will look beautiful on your favorite silver chain.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Two Days at Alloway...

Each year in the beginning of June, Alloway Creek Gardens, Littlestown, PA, holds a Garden and Craft Fair. We have attended as vendors a few times and every time it is an adventure!

This is the view from the side of the home - through the trees and across the fields.

Alloway is one of those treasures down a dirt road where you come around a turn and a beautiful homestead appears. It's in the middle of Civil War history - just south of Gettysburg and Barb and Roger seem to revel in the natural history around them.

Other than the fact that the weather never seems to cooperate - usually we manage to both freeze and roast at some time during the two-day event - it is such a lovely setting with fiddlers, good food, lovely crafts, and of course their gorgeous gardens and plants, it still makes for a wonderful time. At least this year, there was no overnight thunderstorm!

The "Old Log House" is the gift shop and even though I believe they moved it there - it fits perfectly.

Walking through the crafters' area is a joy.

The feel of the place is so laid back (or maybe it was just the heat of the second day!) that the odds and ends that have been brought along to sell seem to belong there.

Somehow Barb and Roger seem to do this effortlessly. Although I know it is a tremendous amount of work, they seem to have perfected the secret of appearing to be a duck serenely sailing along the top of a pond while his feet paddle madly below the surface!

A few more peeks at the gardens:
Lavender, glowing poppies and the fading flower of a spice bush.

Friday's forecast for highs in the 90's never came true and we sat under overcast skies with cool breezes blowing through the tent. It was pleasant, until the sun burned through around 1:30. But, Saturday was everything the weathermen said it would be.. hot & humid.

In my wanderings yesterday when it was so hot and exhausting, I came upon this little structure in the trees. Built, I'm sure for their grandchildren, I was sorely tempted to just climb on up in there and fall asleep in the blessed shade....

I didn't, I went back and rejoined the "grown ups" to enjoy the company and the day as best I could in the sweltering temperatures.