Friday, May 29, 2009

Geldard Tutorial results..

One of my favorite glass artists is Jennifer Geldard. I've wanted to take a class with her for years and always managed to miss out. On Monday, it occurred to me that I could purchase her tutorials and get as close to a class as possible without taking one!

This is the result of her "Ornate" tutorial:

The one on the bottom left is my first attempt on Wednesday. I got mixed reviews from the family, and I knew I could do better. The larger blue bead was another attempt to copy the tutorial bead exactly. The purple and orange beads were my own color combos and I was especially pleased with the purple/green one!

The other three were done yesterday and this morning I etched them to get the wonderful glow that comes from etching some encased colors.

I tried making beads like hers when I first began making beads and had some limited success, but it is really nice to find out exactly how she achieves some of the effects.

This technique reminded me that I need to take my time and be mindful of heat control. I'm often much too impatient and these certainly slowed me down. It was worth it though and I can see getting much better results as time goes on.

I'll probably post individual photos on my facebook page later today... You can become a fan there at TorchsongStudio if you would like!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Springtime at Frog Hollow

So, it's spring here at Frog Hollow and our prolific chickens are "at it" again!
This is the first clutch to hatch this year and the first clutch is greeted with a great deal of excitement. This mom is a really good mother. She is extremely protective of her chicks. She's the first one Bob has let have pretty free rein with deciding when she could take the kids out for a walk, etc. Usually he puts new little families in their own protected nursery areas, but this gal was exceptional in many ways.

We saw her nest some time ago when she first started to lay. She chose a spot in one of the bays next to the soap studio and as soon as Bob noticed, he started blocking the door open so she could get in and out. The odd part about the spot was that it was almost underneath a large air compressor that would start up at any odd time of the day or night with a loud, loud clamor!
I'm assuming the first hatch of the year is a bunch of deaf chicks...

We;ve also been visited more than usual this year by an assortment of wild animals.

My little chipmuink was back dancing on the wall outside the bathroom window, a doe seems to have decided our back yard is a great spot for her mid morning naps and three wild turkeys have started hanging around.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I caught a glimpse of a turkey slipping around the house. A few days later, a neighbor showed up wondering the turkeys he saw were ours.... no, not this time. Then, last week, Bob came in and told us to come out and look.... The elusive turkeys were in our front yard.Now, they seem to show up in our yard almost every day and I finally got a picture of them this afternoon as they strolled across our driveway. We're especially impressed with the one in the middle - the coloring is really unusual.

If the doe is ever in my camera sights, I'll post a picture of her too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day Surprise

I just got home from a lovely late luncheon with DH and son. We went to one of my favorite restaurants and I had a wonderful meal.

Of course, Mothers Day had me thinking of my own mother and I dug out a couple of pictures to share:
Here's Mom at the beach. Cape May, I'm sure - her favorite.

And Mom with her first three grandchildren (Rob on the left, Tommy on her lap and Janie on the right), again at the beach! Does she look overwhelmed? It got even better after Molly was born.

The surprise was that after we sat down for our lunch and were perusing the menu, a woman at the next table said, "Maryanne, is that you?" I looked up, and it was our mother's friend, Marie!
This is Mom on the left and Marie on the right - at a High School reunion.

Marie was mom's best friend at least back to high school, and she was the nurse in the delivery room when I was born. The story was always that Marie managed to slip Mom a little extra something to make the delivery easier.

Apparently Mom had introduced Marie to her future husband, Charlie, and both women were in each others' weddings. Marie and Mom both had lots of kids and would only see each other sporadically after the kids started coming, but when they did, there was never the feeling of time passing. They would just pick up where they left off.

We caught up on what is happening with all of us and then she told us a story about how she and Mom used to go to the park to swing, and pick up guys.

I hadn't seen Marie since Mom died over 4 years ago and it was wonderful to see her again. I feel like it was as close to being with Mom again as I could get.

Week 10 Blog Contest WINNERS!

First, I must apologize for being so late in posting the contest winners. I will say we just got through the biggest herb event we take part in every year, so I have a little bit of an excuse, but nonetheless, a commitment is a commitment, so again, I apologize profusely!

And on with the winners!

Aquarian Bath - katnjack
Garden Chick - Teeoff10
Herbs from the Labyrinth - Badgermomma
Nature's Gift - Debra
Patti's Potions - Tumbleweed
Prairieland - MollyCulley
Rosemary House - lemonverbenalady
Sunrose - Green Womyn
The Essential Herbal - Marnie
Torchsong - Anne

I will be sending out emails to the winners shortly to let them know and to request their addresses.

Once again everyone, THANKS for taking part in our little blogging adventure! And congratulations to all the winners in the past 10 weeks.

Monday, May 04, 2009

May Flowers in the Rain!

Please continue to comment on the previous post to win the pin, but meanwhile...

It's been a bit rainy and dreary for some time now, but the flowers and the way they glow in this weather are actually enough to lift my spirits!

This was the view that inspired this entry. It's outside our kitchen window and it just makes me happy looking out at the vibrant lilacs, the dark soil and the hostas coming up and taking over... not to mention the rooster sculpture - I just love him!
These are my favorite pink tulips... verging on apricot. They were blooming right along with the daffodils, but unfortunately I didn't get that shot... The clump of chives next to them should pop open if and when the sun comes out again and will be a beautiful sight...
This dogwood has been moved a couple of times and I'm happy to see that it is coming into its own again. Originally, it was right outside our bedroom window and was always such a joy at this time of year and the green shade was so lush all summer.
And this corner of the yard is always a fun place. Right now it looks pretty tame, but the butterfly bushes come up and become a riot of activity, set off by a couple of miniature roses. There's always something going on in this corner...
Although I'd love to see some sun - especially for the Landis Valley Herb and Garden Fair this weekend, just seeing all the green and growing things responding to the rain still makes me very happy!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Blog Contest - 10th and Final week

Torchsong Studio will be hosting the 10th and final week of our blog contest.

Maryanne is offering something a little different to close out the contest.

A lead free pewter garden pin with a little glass ladybug charm in the middle and garden tools on either side.

Just comment on this, or any of the other blogs participating for a chance to win one of ten pins to be given away. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE A CONTACT email.

Remember all of the blogs below are participating, so visit all of them and post to increase your chances of winning.

The Essential Herbal magazine subscription
Garden Chick - fairy cookie kit
SunRose Aromatics - facial exfoliant and liquid soap
Herbs from the Labyrinth - tea sampler
Patti's Potions - lip balms
PrairieLand Herbs - healing wand
Aquarian Bath - lip balm and soap
The Rosemary House - Bertha Reppert's "Twelve Month Herbal"
Nature's Gift - purse-sized inhalers & inhalation blend
Torchsong Studio Our final contest - check back on May 8 for the list of winners!

Thanks everyone for participating and for playing!