April 9, 2016

Springing into.....A Grand Adventure!

 Thailand, January 2016 - Part 1

I have written this posting a dozen times in my head - and then something would come along to change my focus! Late winter -before the weather breaks- is my "punky" time of year when I have a hard time being motivated to get much of anything done...including writing this blog.

Here's to making a change in attitude!
Sunrise over the airplane wing
Partway into our 24 hour journey...flying North over Canada and Alaska
I was lucky enough to travel with some friends to Thailand in January, which was a fabulous way to break up the winter and get some R&R after a hectic holiday season. We were invited by some great friends who live there, Alexx and Vyada Cheng, who took us around and treated us royally during our trip...a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience...that I would love to do again! 

Yes, this is a real sign! We spotted it on the highway between Bangkok and Chanthaburi, in southern Thailand; we had to get our driver to stop so we could take a photo! One of the main things I had hoped to do while there was to see elephants, and this was a good omen....more on that later.

On our way to the coast, we stopped at a beautiful national park that boasts a huge waterfall, old moss-covered stuppas, lush greenery and pools of sacred fish...who share their pools with the locals cooling off.

After reaching the coast, our first side trip was to Koh Kood, an island off the coast of Thailand and Cambodia....we stayed at a lovely rustic resort enjoying the slow-paced lifestyle. What a way to get over our jet lag!

Crystal clear water, sparkling white sand and millions of little tropical fish
sharing their ocean with us

Sunset on Koh Kood

...and then the new moon!
Our little friend who seemingly lived in that light globe,
outside our hut; he was there every time we walked by 
After two days and nights on this quiet, breathtakingly beautiful island, we headed back to the mainland to fly up to ChaingMai, which was to be our home base for the next ten days. Out of 2000 photos, here are just a few of some of the amazing sights we were lucky enough to experience.
Fishing boat outside our seafood restaurant, on the way back to Bangkok from Koh Kood

Crown of Thorns....so many varieties of huge plants!

Silk lanterns at the ChiangMai Night Market

Not only did we see the "Elephant Crossing" signs but later trekked up to the Happy Valley Elephant Sanctuary in the mountains north of ChaingMai, where their elephants are so well-cared for - like members of the keepers' families. There are no enclosures, no tricks that they have to do, no riding or working...they are simply ambassadors for this beautiful part of Thailand. We got to feed and play with them and then escort them over some trails to a little waterfall-filled pool...where they played in the water, bathed and then ate some more! It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip...

Baby Auang, 2 years old, enjoying her sugar cane

Group shot with Ni-na, 4 years old

            At the watering hole - the waterfall is on the left

Such wisdom and connection in those eyes; 
you felt like she was reaching into your heart.

A few inspiration shots of other scenes from the trip....enjoy!

Entering the Umbrella Festival area in ChaingMai

So much color, everywhere!

One of the "altars" set up along the festival route

At the Umbrella Factory

With much gratitude to our fabulous hosts, Alexx and Vy....
of Hell Fire Glass Company, ChaingMai, Thailand

Vy and Alexx

Heather doing a demo at/in (?) Hell Fire Company

More to come, stay tuned... 
(especially if you like photos of colorful plants, wonderful food and exotic locales!)
Such inspiration for new work....it's only a matter of time!!

December 31, 2015

Wrapping up 2015....and Happy New Year 2016!

The first snow of the season in my courtyard
Yes, that's the first time I've written 2016 as a (almost) current date.  I do realize it's been a while since my last post... like everyone else, it's a super-busy time of year for me and my business - and it was sometimes hard just remembering to relax and breathe, much less think about creating a new post. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it!

Chandelier Tribal Necklace 2, multi-colored
 One of the wonderful (and very lucky for me!) things about being so busy is that subconsciously my brain keeps working on new ideas....here are a couple of quick photos of new pieces that I've  finished  in the last few weeks. The necklace went off to the Renwick Gift Shop and the earrings are here in the studio. I'll be taking off for a couple of weeks soon and I'm excited to see what new inspirations hit while I travel a bit.
New studs, hoop beads and chandelier earrings

That said, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to work and organize my time going forward. I'm not much of a "goal writer" or "New Years resolutions" maker, but I realized during this holiday season that time was passing so fast and furiously that I wasn't actually enjoying the festivities, thinking about work and what I needed to be doing in the studio. I know there's a better way and I'm working on balance - I did take some time to bake lemon-coconut biscotti, my family's traditional ginger cookies and (for the first time) these photogenic little cuties....which were so easy!
Pretzels with Hershey's Kisses and M&Ms 
So, here's to taking some time to resetting priorities - and remember to stop, value the moment and be present wherever you find yourself. Enjoy your times with loved ones and have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016! Happy New Year!

September 23, 2015

Busy times ahead!

This represents a quick peek at some of the new work I'll be taking to Celebrate Wearable Art 3 this coming Sunday; all of a sudden there are so many pieces "in process" that need to be finished up that I'm making this a short post with a few pictures of new work and links to the event. Lots more events this fall to come, stay tuned for details! (sign up here for my emails if you'd like to get the details right in your Inbox.)

Three of the Wearable Art Vests designed and destined for the Live Auction on the Runway!

Handpainted silk Kimono Vest designed and painted by Ten Pound Studio

Tribal Bright Disks necklace
Some of the last Morning Glories in my garden this year...they were major inspirations for some new pieces.

I'll leave you with my favorite "Find of the day" from a blog I follow about life in Venice. I love what the Venetians did to celebrate their beautiful city and hope you enjoy it too. Until the next time...     

September 4, 2015

Schooners and Castles and 'Beests...Oh my!

Courtyard Garden; photo by Sue Ann Pearson

So....it's Labor Day Weekend - already! August adventures were had and enjoyed; new designs have been explored, developed and are in process;  the garden has exploded with color and texture...I don't think my brain ever shut down during the summer and I still have ideas to work on. More on that to come soon....

Photo from Strandbeests Facebook page
                                                                    Theo Jansen's Strandbeests came to visit one of our beautiful beaches and I was able to watch from the water by boat. We didn't have a really close view but the crowd was huge and traffic was gridlocked so I was very happy to see as well as we did. It was very cool to see them move along the sand, even with a little help here and there at times.  You can see them on exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem for the next few months.


Did you know we have an authentic castle here in Gloucester? It was taken apart in Europe stone by stone, shipped across the ocean and reassembled here on the harbor almost 100 years ago by one of America's most prolific inventors, John Hayes Hammond (second only to Thomas Edison!). It became his home and laboratory and is now a museum that bears his name...and a landmark on the water's edge. I took this shot this last weekend when we took the boat out for a late afternoon picnic...they were having a wedding!
The gorgeous Schooner Columbia replica sailed into Gloucester Harbor last week to help celebrate our  Labor Day Weekend Schooner Festival - alongside the many other graceful tall ships that participate every year. (I hope to have more pictures of that event in an upcoming post). With a Boat Parade of Lights, schooner races and tours, fireworks and a Block Party downtown, Labor Day Weekend is a real celebration of our glorious summer!

September brings gorgeous weather, less crowds, beautiful sunsets and the fall gardens....and then I have SHOWS! First up is Celebrate Wearable Art 3, and I'm so excited about the runway look I have for this year. No pics until after the show but stay tuned, there may be hints.... plus there will be a panel discussion about Fashion and History on Cape Ann, at the Cape Ann Museum on the Thursday following the event, moderated by one of my past instructors...and I'll be on the panel too! More info to come as soon as I'm able to share the details.

Next up will be Cape Ann Artisans Fall Open Studio Tour, the annual mainstay of my Fall schedule. Three days of fine craft and art from all over Cape Ann; explore the main streets and back roads at your own pace. It's a beautiful time of year for a visit....look for our bright pink Studio Tour flags and stop in!


October 17, right after Open Studios is the BeadAffaire, Boston's best (and longest running!) bead show produced by Beadesigner International, The New England Bead Society. 20 years plus and still going strong....it's one of the most fun shows to do - and just may be my favorite!
                                                                                                                                              I have a couple of new events lined up for November that I'm very excited about but I'll save the details on those for another post (feel free to email me if you're curious!).  Check my calendar for show dates and details.
I'll sign off with some of my favorite shots from the summer.....inspiration abounds! Enjoy....