Sunday, August 19, 2018

Peek at my Weeks: August 5-18

I've got two weeks worth of peeks for you since last week went a little wonky on me.

We went to the local waterpark, Waterville USA, with several friends and one of our nieces. It was a first for myself and my niece.

While the waterpark was fun and all, it was so nice to come back to our own oasis and grill some burgers (that's the cause of all the smoke).

On Instagram, I shared a few peeks at what I've been creating.

I've been trying to work through some of the components I created for The 100 Day Project and incorporate them into finished pieces of jewelry.

I've also been playing a little with the backgrounds for my product photography. 

This is especially true for Instagram photos (since Etsy photos were already taken.)

While out running around, this anomaly caught my eye.
I mean....why?

But, to balance it out I got to take in the beauty of the roses my step-dad gave my mom for their anniversary. 

And, there was this beauty of a mushroom that I captured while absent-mindedly perched over an ant bed. OUCH! I guess it was a week of finding balances. 

To start the next week, I began working on cleaning out our pop-up camper for an upcoming trip.
I moved all the cushions outside to air out and clean.

Next up is tackling the mildew that's developed from letting the camper sit for FAR TOO LONG. ICK!!!! We spent most of yesterday trying to find a product that would work on it. And, I think we found it. That's today's project. 

I worked on a design that came to me in a dream. Alas, it didn't pan out as envisioned. But, I may try a more simple shape at a later time.

Like I said, there's definitely been a lot of trying to find balance. The past few weeks have felt like everything's gone wrong. So, I made sure to put a little win in the week with one of my favorite comfort foods. 

This mac-n-cheese recipe is one of my favorites. I like to throw frozen peas in with the boiling pasta and cook up some smoked sausage before making the roux. 
Once it's all baked together, it makes it a complete meal!

This flowering weedy vine reminded me of the past two weeks. I'm no fan of the vines taking over the property, but the persistence and beauty of this one insisted on being admired. 

My mood the past several weeks has been pretty low, but I've let it run its course and hope to find some beauty of its own in the end. 

With that being said, here's some inspiration for your week ahead.


Here's hoping you find loads more inspiration this week and create something amazing!

Friday, August 17, 2018

We're All Ears August Challenge Reveal: Spoonflower Circle Fabrics

I have to admit that when I thought about the We're All Ears Challenge for this month (that was to be inspired by the circle fabrics from Spoonflower), I already had a pair of earrings sitting in front of me that fit the challenge perfectly. If you're a regular reader, you may have spotted them in the works a few weeks ago when I gave you a peek at my week.

Yes, these earrings are similar to the ones I created in October for the Harvest Moon Challenge, but I really love this style and process so it's likely you'll be seeing more similar to them. 

If you haven't read about this month's challenge, the starting point was to pick one of the ten winners of Spoonflower's Circles are the New Triangles contest and use that as the inspiration to create a pair of earrings. Like I said, my earrings were already in progress when I saw the challenge. However, I do believe that my finished earrings are reminiscent of the Painted Oranges fabric. 

  Do you see it? The background tin is floral, though it's hard to make out. And, the greens and reds in the fabric are echoed back in the earrings. As well, the obvious perfect circles with a second layer of color are just hanging there. 


I've been obsessed over the last week or two with using my disc cutter to punch out a variety of circles.

And, I've been gathering them in baggies organized by the size of the circles. 

This has allowed me to stack the mismatched tin in fun combinations. That's exactly what I did to make these earrings - stacked a smaller circle on top of a larger one then stacked the button on top. I was able to set the button in the top tin disc by cutting prongs in the tin to fold over and secure the button to it. The tin pieces were distressed and aged with a patina before they were riveted together. 

And, a matching red glass bead was wire wrapped to connect the circles to the lever-back ear wires. 

Though the combination of red and green usually give me a Christmas vibe, I think the addition of the brown and yellow in the top layer of tin helps break them from that mold. What do you think?  These Green Button Layered Tin Earrings are available in the Etsy shop. 

Make sure you head over to the Earrings Everday August reveal and check out how the other participants, as well as the hostess Erin, were inspired by the circle fabrics from Spoonflower. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

August Art Challenges and Inspirations

It seems as if the summer laze and heat may have gotten to many of us.  As I was gathering the links for this monthly challenge round-up, I found that for several of them, either the challenges had been extended or haven't been posted yet. Of course, it may just be me feeling lazy about the whole thing. HA! Anyway, here are the challenges and inspirations I did find for August.



  • The We're All Ears Challenge at Earrings Everyday usually has the earliest deadline, so I like to list if first. This month, Erin has proposed that our inspiration come from one of the top ten fabrics from Spoonflower's Circles are the New Triangles contest. You'll have to read all about it over at Earrings Everday, but I will tell you that the deadline is August 17th. That's in a week. EEK!
  • As I mentioned last month, Facet has a Road Trip inspired challenge that is going on until August 29th. However, voting on the submissions started on August 1st so you may want to get your piece(s) in soon. 
  • At Art Elements, Marsha has created a SWIRL inspiration for the month. This challenge is open to any art medium, but you need to let Marsha know by Aug. 26th if you plan to participate and the reveal date will be August 30. 
  • Over at Art Bead Scene, they've extended July's Challenge to include August. Take a peek at the awesome artwork that serves as the inspiration and get to making. You've got until August 31 to submit your art (that must include an art bead.) Get all the details at Art Bead Scene
  • The inspiration on the Artisans Create Together Facebook Page (must be a member), is called Sea Gypsy and includes an exquisite mix of aqua and lime (two of my favorite colors!) Entries for this challenge should be in before the 31st. 

I'm planning on keeping my eye out to update you if anything changes, but let me know what art challenges and inspirations you find for this month or beyond that I don't have listed. 


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Peek at My Week: July 29 - August 4

Another week whipped past me and now we're almost in the middle of another one. How did that happen?
Despite having a "helper" this week, it's been hard to get anything done. Once she's in my lap, I can't bear to disturb her!

I spent more time on the raised beds. I only have one that wasn't covered in weeds so I used it when I transferred more compost tomatoes into it. Like last year, they've seriously drooped. But, I'll wait and see if they perk back up like before. 

The purple color of my single Crepe Myrtle stopped me in my tracks. Isn't it lovely?

I also took pause outside the pole barn when I spied something poking up from the ground. Yes, three years here and I'm still steadily finding buried treasures!

The old hinge had a beautiful patina on it. I hope to start assembling some of these finds into art at some point. 

I did steal some time away from the property to enjoy a night out with one of my best friends for her birthday. We enjoyed some drinks and a cheese plate. It took some work to find a place near me that had both a good beer selection and a good cheese selection. We're thinking we may need to open our own beer and cheese place. Ha!

I played with much more tin - experimenting with a variety of designs. However, for the most part, I spent a huge chunk of time just punching out tin.

I also worked on home decor projects like finishing up the other two chairs. The above was the before.

Now I have two of each of these re-covered chairs. I adore the mismatched-ness of them.

Art was hung and re-organized around the house. I made this earlier in the summer and finally sealed it to be hung outside. There's been a real lack of artwork in the house as most of our pictures are buried in a room that's begging to be unpacked (waiting for some bookshelves to be built). The lack of items on the walls has started to drive me a little batty. To remedy that, I grabbed a bunch of art from the craft room and hung it in the hall and in one of the bathrooms. There's still the rest of the house to worry with, but it's a start!

Oh, please tell me you find this amusing too. Pat says it's not all that funny. 
See, the Doctor of Physical Therapy is Dr. Walker. Funny right?

I ended the week with a large margarita at our local Mexican restaurant. Yes, that's a single serving. I think the mini pitchers are so cute. It may look bigger than it is because I have TINY hands. It was so good!

Here's some of the inspiration I found this week:
Art & Artists:

Television:
  • Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was one of my favorite shows growing up. As of late, Mr. Roger's has been given a lot of attention. One of his actual neighbors shared his story about meeting him.
  • Have you heard about Making It on NBC? It's a craft competition show. I've been waiting months for it, and it finally premiered last week. So, you haven't missed much yet if you want to jump in and catch up. 

It's time to make this week count, and that means actually getting some stuff done. How's your week shaping up?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Thrifting in July

Last month Pat and I had a two-week staycation of sorts. He was off. I worked...less. One of the ways I indulged myself was by hitting up thrift stores, antique malls, and an estate sale more often than usual. And boy, did I come away with some amazing treasures.

I started small with a couple of tins and a set of stamps from the local Goodwill store.

A picture on Instagram similar to the one below enticed me to visit the Antique Emporium on the other side of the Bay.
I mean, just look at all those cubbies and jars of marbles, buttons, and old jewelry!! Somehow this was the last section I discovered in the store, but I spent a good deal of time in front of this display.

And, I came home with a pile of goodies.
The tin and letters were found elsewhere in the mall, but the rest was right out of the cubbies!

I saw the estate sale advertised on Facebook, but it took a couple of friends going to check it out to get me to go too.
The main draw to the sale was the massive collection of jewelry.

It was almost three rooms of jewelry!

There was so much jewelry that I felt quite overwhelmed at how to tackle the going through of it all.

I ended up leaving the sale with three small baggies, some sequin waste, and a stack of books. I'm still quite pleased with the haul.

While doing all this shopping, I also spotted a few items that I wish I had bought and a few that puzzled me completely.
These timpani drums were at the Goodwill and for a reasonable price. I hate that I didn't snag them. My sister-in-law went back a few hours later for them, and they had sold. I should have known better!

At one of the antique malls, I found this gem.
Now, I loved Robin Williams probably more than most people; but I cannot imagine who would own this and why!

That same day at another store, I spotted these.
I have to start by saying that I absolutely appreciate the artistry and creativity it took to make these, but like the framed picture above, I just don't understand who the person is that would own it.

There were a few other outings and treasures found. If you want to see any of the above or the other finds in more detail, I made a video of my Thrift Haul for July 2018.
How often do you go out thrifting? What's the weirdest thing you ever found in a thrift or antique store?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Peek at My Week: July 22-28

I've been a bit lax in doing these weekly posts, but definitely want to try to get back to sharing these glimpses into my week. I feel like it adds a personal touch to my blog and helps me make a real connection with y'all. And, I really love making those connections.

What's been happening around here? Well, it's summertime so the days are almost unbearably hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms. Yet, this past week we saw a real lack of widespread thunderstorms. The ones that rolled through seemed to miss Silverlox (our property) entirely.  It was rather odd.
I worked some on trying to get the garden back in order. Weeds have taken over my raised beads so I pulled out the one vegetable I had planted there: carrots. Alas, you can see the result of my lazy gardening in the jumbled mess of carrots. I should have separated the seeds a little more. Lesson learned. Once those were pulled, I used the weed-eater to chop down the rest of the plants in the two overgrown boxes. I've since laid cardboard over what remains of the weeds and am hoping that will aid in smothering them so I can use the boxes to plant again in the Fall. 

I began to tackle one of the home decor projects that have been eating away at me. My generous sister-in-law gave us two pairs of chairs a while back. I wasn't super-keen on the cushions but was positive I could change them out to suit my taste. It really was pretty easy, and I may share the process on here later. The old look is the chair on the left with the new one on the right. This was just the first set, I have another set to go with some different fabric (as I am just using remnants).

I did quite a bit of tin work this week, experimenting with different ideas and techniques. I really enjoyed the process and result of the Harvest Moon Earrings I made in October so I toyed around with that some, fiddling with the process. As well, I made a pair of bead caps with tin (they're blue and just above the white paper in the picture above.)

While at my mom's one day, I worked on other projects from my bead box. I'll have an update on what's new in there very soon. I also took one of my nieces to the DMV (joy) to get her driver's permit!

And, then there was more tin jewelry experimentation as I layered mismatched discs for a patchwork flower look. After that, it hit me that I could create a bail with tin too. Oh yeah, there will be more of these, possibly with more layers.

We've also been watching Castle Rock on Hulu and the newest season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. We're REALLY digging Castle Rock! It's from Stephen King and JJ Abrams...what's not to like about that?

I've shared quite a few tutorials and other inspiration via social media:
Jewelry
Other Crafts
I'm itching to dive back into the tin, so that's all from me for now. I hope July has treated you well. Can you believe it's almost August and time for school to start? I cannot.