September 12, 2016

“From the Studio” -       September 2016

As a member of Cape Ann Artisans, we are each asked to write a couple of "From the Studio" blog posts a year for the website. The "theme" this season has been "Getting to Know You", as we have been reaching out into the community in many different ways from those we have done in the past. This posting is my way of telling a little more about myself and my work inspirations, and I've modified and reposted it here for my own (somewhat negelected) blog.

As the light starts to change and Fall closes in, my focus turns to the shows and events coming up in the next couple of months. That tends to push away my sadness at the passing of gardening season and the dwindling daylight, and happily I’ve gained much inspiration from my gardens this year - despite the drastic drought conditions. If you’ve been to my studio, you know that I’ve done my best to create my own little garden sanctuary right here in the middle of downtown Gloucester.

Gardening is a theme that seems to run through my life….in my glasswork, I make several designs based on Mother Nature’s designs; my Anemone Pendants, Leaf Necklaces and Tribal Pod Earrings are just a few. Even when not visually representative, often my color choices come from observing Nature’s palette…and the wilder and more unusual, the better!

When I travel, one of the first questions I always ask about an area I’m visiting is about any botanical gardens nearby…. those are often my first planned foray. In the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to experience The Queen’s Garden and Namtokphilio National Park in Thailand, Kew Gardens in the UK, (the amazing!) Butchart Gardens in British Columbia as well as Santa Fe Botanical Gardens, the Portland Japanese Gardens, Bellevue Gardens, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Naples (FL) Gardens, Phoenix….the list keeps going! October 1 & 2 I’ll be exhibiting at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, just outside Worcester MA….it’s been on my “go to” list so I get to work and play at the same time!

 I hope you’ll get a chance to stop by my studio and see some of the work inspired by my love of gardens/gardening; if none of the upcoming events fit into your schedule, you’re welcome to stop by anytime you’re here in downtown Gloucester! And don't forget, Cape Ann Artisans' Open Studio Tour is a wonderful opportunity to drive around the "main streets and back roads" of Gloucester and Rockport, stop in where our bright pink banners mark our studios - and find a hidden gem or two! 

I hope to catch up with you at one of these events or at my studio....until then, don't forget to slow down, stop...and smell those roses! Enjoy.....

Until next time....

PS....Look for this pink banner when traveling around Cape Ann October 8-9.  


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 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'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 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...