Wednesday, October 19, 2016

From the Junk Drawer (WOYWW)

Feeling a little motivated this morning, I pulled out one of my junk drawers. This one is literally labeled JUNK as it doesn't fit into any of my other junky categories (keys, charms, rhinestones, buckles, etc.).

After sorting through it for a few minutes, I had this laid out on my desk.
Mysterious huh? (Sorry for the quality of the pictures. It was dark and I used my phone.)

It's all very organized in my eyes.

On the left is my junk drawer.

Along the top are some items I want to solder for various reasons.
There's a lot of safety pins in the mix because I want to make them even more safe by soldering them closed. That'll make me feel better about using them in jewelry.

Along the right are the pieces for two possible necklaces.

The bolt-like thing on the top is on its own as it looks something like a bail to me. The other pieces may likely come together in some sort of tassel assemblage piece.

In the center of my desk were some watch backs. I realized there were a ton of them in the drawer. As I pulled them into a pile, I saw that they would be perfect for a statement necklace of some kind. But, first they need holes.
After making an arrangement that made me happy, I marked where I want holes and numbered some of the pieces. That wonderful man-of-mine will use the drill press to make the holes for me. And, this picture and the numbers will serve as fabulous reminder of this arrangement.

Now to actually pull all this together and make some jewelry! Do you see jewelry here, or do you just see junk?

I'm linking up on The Stamping Ground for What's on You Workdesk Wednesday.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Finds #13: Robertsdale Antique Show

It's been far too long since I did my last Friday Finds post. To make up for it, I hope this is a good one!

Last weekend I shared this image on Instagram.
Before I even posted it on Saturday, I knew I wanted to head back to the Antique Show in Robertsdale where I found the flat keys. Alas, Pat and I had visited the show with very little cash on us.

Sunday morning I made sure to hit the ATM before heading back to the fairgrounds where I got more of those keys.
My initial thought was to stamp the keys with words. However, someone mentioned enameling them, so I knew I needed more. Now I just need to find a beginner's enameling kit. Any suggestions?

In addition to the keys, here's what else I picked up.
The vendor had tons of those Asprin tins, but I just grabbed the one. I've been on the lookout for small tins, and the tiny round one totally caught my attention.

There was a whole box of religious medals and other charms. I picked through it a bit before deciding on these three. I didn't want to go crazy!

There was quite a selection of these brass stampings in the booth. I actually got there before the vendor that morning and had some time to pick through them before narrowing it down to these four. I've got some ideas for them, now to just put them into action.

The last item I picked up before leaving the show was this.
It's half of a spool of some sort (at least that's how it was marked)

The seller had a few of them. What sold me on this particular one was the "bottom" of it.
Chippy paint gets me all the time. And, look at those colors!

As for what I'm going to do with it. . .well, inspiration struck when the vendor had it displayed like this.
Do you see it? It's likely going to end up as a bracelet display in my booth. While it would totally work as a display in this vertical position, I'd like to turn it on its side so that the chippy paint can be seen. I've just got to figure that out first.

I stopped myself with that last purchase. And, the vendor gave me his card, mentioning that he would be back for another show in June. So, I just have to make sure I use up these bits before I go buying more in June!

That's it for now. You found anything good lately?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Raid the Fridge - Chili Cheese Nachos

Lunchtime around here often becomes a back and forth of, "What do you want to eat?" "I don't know, What do you want to eat?" almost daily. While I do still plan our menus, lunches are kinda free-form. There's usually the makings of a few types of sandwiches, bean burritos, tuna salad with noodles, and the like on hand. I'm usually up for running out and picking something up too. And, then, there's the leftovers. Most of the time, we eat them as they come. Every once in a while, I'll transform them (think cold rice turned fried rice.)

Yesterday was a transformation day. I started to heat up leftover dirty rice but then remembered Pat's interest when I had mentioned nachos to him over the weekend. The chili (that was on the verge of being tossed) suddenly had my attention.

These directions are stove-top and oven-centric as we do not currently have a microwave. I think this also helps keeps the chips crunchy. If you're pressed for time, you could always zap yours.

Leftover Chili Cheese Nachos 

Leftover Chili
Tortilla chips
Shredded Cheese (I used cheddar and monterey jack with peppers)
Optional Toppings (tomatoes, onions, avocado, leftover corn, salsa, jalapenos, lettuce, sour cream/plain greek yogurt, etc.)

1. Heat your chili and preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Gather and prep toppings (shred cheese, chop veggies)
3. Lay parchment paper over oven safe plate(s) and spread chips over the paper.
4. Top chips with warm chili, leftover corn, and shredded cheese(s)
5. Heat in oven for 5-7 minutes (or until cheese is melted)
6. Grab corners of parchment paper and transfer nachos to a room-temperature plate.
7. Top nachos with your favorite ingredients.

These went over smashingly well and helped shake up the lunchtime blahs. I think transforming the chili definitely made our lunch more interesting and got us out of a same-old same-old rut. I hope my stroke of inspiration inspires you to raid the fridge and transform your leftovers.

Please let me know other ways you make leftovers more interesting!

This post was linked up on The SITS Girls Recipe and DIY Linky and on Friday Frenzy Blog Hop on Little House Big Alaska. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Keeping Busy (WOYWW)

Last week may be considered the "Lost Week". I wasn't near as productive as I'd have liked because my schedule was off. I did get to spend much of the week with my grandmother and oldest niece while my mom and step-dad went on vacation. As well, I helped a friend prep for her daughter's birthday. We also agonized over what to do about my sweet Asia kitty. Her illness isn't getting any better. While steroid shots seem to make her feel better for several weeks at a time, she's still struggling to breathe and looks uncomfortable the rest of the time. We cried and prayed over what to do, but the decision is so very hard to make. For now, she's received another shot while we monitor her even closer to try to make the decision and come to terms with it.

Gah! Okay, enough with all that. Here's what my desk looks like today.
There's a little of everything on there once again.
At the far left is my art journal, open and waiting with a blank page.
Next is my bullet journal, also waiting for me to set out the day's list.
Then there's the altered playing card that I'm currently working on. It's got some washi tape and gesso lines on it, but that's as far as I've gotten.
Finally, there's a bead mat with an assemblage key, some wire wrapped czech glass beads, and a variety of pearls that I'm trying to decide on. (You can see my mat better and pick your favorite on my Instagram video.)

If you're curious, the top of my desk includes a small trash bin (the green thing at left with the clothes pins on it.), a glass container with various supplies (rulers, x-acto, bone folder, wooden skewers, knitting needles, etc.), a swiveling organizer that holds my pliers and scissors, a bowl of miscellany (tape, glue sticks, lip gloss, liquid paper, and tape measures), a cup and saucer that I throw things in to keep them from getting buried), a plastic cup of water with some paintbrushes, and a nice big selection of pens and pencils (I have an office supply issue.) Also on my desk are my timers, which I set to try to make sure I get up and move around every half hour or so.  You know, for my health.

That's the bulk of it for today. And now, it's time to start tackling some of these tasks. Here's hope you keep happily busy today too.

I'm linking up my desk on What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday at Stamping Ground. Come play along, or just tell me. . .what are some of the supplies on your desk that are always there?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September Goal Review

Yet another month has passed. I can't believe it's already time to do my monthly review. But here we are and here it is.

As a reminder, each week I wanted to complete a general Goal, a piece of Jewelry, an altered Card, at least one Blog post, and a Journal page. I'm covering weeks 35-38. I'm still behind on these goals and tasks so some of this is just me catching up.

Week 35 (Aug, 28-Sep. 3)
The goal I set for this week was to create a blog header that reflected my current interests and blog topics. However, I didn't get to that one. Instead, I was able to tackle Week 33's goal to finish my wood block painting that I had started at the Art at the Beach 2016 retreat. 
I'm not positive this painting is done. Once I looked at it through the lens of Photoshop, I realized that some shading would really enhance it. I suppose it will be a work in progress for a while. 

This one counted for Week 33. It's a super simple altered card with just some paint, a quick stamp, and a couple of collaged pieces. The word imagine is accented with a stabilo all pencil. 

I wrote my August Goal Review this week. 

Week 36 (Sep. 4-10)
I was able to clean and organize the craft room as I had planned. As well, I completed week 35's goal of creating a new blog header
Here's a peek in case you're in a feed reader.

I finished up the garnet bead and key necklace from the Wonder and Whimsy August challenge.
This counts for week 33's jewelry. Still catching up!

Two blog posts were completed: Looking Inward for Inspiration and Re-Organizing the Craft Room

This was also for Week 33. It consists of some collage, some paint smearing, a little stenciling, and some doodling. The image was stamped on deli paper and glued in with matte medium. I painted and smeared around the edges to work it in. There's also some Stardust gelli roll pen on the page to add some sparkle to this magical page. 

Week 37 (Sep. 11-17)
I set out to brainstorm ideas for my future website. Once again, that didn't happen. However, I was able to cut a variety of paper shapes with my Vintaj BigKick as I had set out to do in Week 34.
I know this isn't a super-impressive or big deal of a goal. But, it gave me a chance to learn the machine a little more and familiarize myself with some of the different dies I have. 

I do have to admit that I kicked some butt this week in the jewelry-making department.
Week 34's earrings started out as something completely different. I'm so very happy with how these came together.
Week 35's earrings include beads from StudioJuls along with some tarnished and patina-ed once silver-tone hearts. 
Weeks 36 and 37 are two different button bracelets for which I'm making some tutorials (You'll hear more about that in a few weeks). However, these two caught me up in the jewelry-making goal. Yay!!

This was for Week 34. The background is just a gelli print on a piece of music. I added some doodles and marks with pen, pencil, and paint. The image is an old photograph. I cut the words from a calendar. 

Cheesy Bacon Avocado Dip was the topic for this week. I urge you to try it. So good!

Two pages were completed this week!
As you can probably tell, I've been working on lettering. 
For week 34, I used some gelli prints that both included raindrops (the same stencil) as the background. I blended them together with a little gesso before sketching clouds. The clouds were filled in with more gesso and outlined/accented with a combo of Neocolor iis and Derwent Inktense pencils. A Uni-Ball Air pen was used to write the words. 
The week 35 page was made with various ephemera and collage papers glued around the edges. They were softened with gesso. Die cuts of a gelli print were used to make the flower petals and leaves. The petals are stuck together with a lime green brad. A green gel pen made the stem. Charcoal was added around the page and under the flower and leaves for shadow. Again, I used the uni-ball air pen to write the words. 

Week 38 (Sep. 18-24)
For the last full week of the month, I had hoped to research e-mail newsletter options. While I did do some minimal research, a decision wasn't made. Therefore, I can't count this goal as done yet.

Since I caught up on my jewelry-making goal the week before, all jewelry made this week either met the goal or exceeded it. 
The black and white earrings were made using old clip-on earrings that were smashed and cleaned up. The black lines are stamped, embossed, and sealed on there. I showed a lot of the process for these in my Instagram story.  You won't find it there now, but you should totally follow me!
The other pair of earrings and the necklace also incorporate upcycled aspects and are also part of the tutorial project I'm working on.

While I didn't quite catch up on the altered playing card making, I did get a few done.
Week 35's started with some spray inks that were dabbed around and dried. Red acrylic paint was applied through a stencil. The flower was painted on with gesso before being outlined and colored with the Derwent Inktense pencils and NeoColor iis (can you tell I LOVE these two products!?)
Week 36's card was actually started weeks ago when I glued a gelli print to the card. After outlining some of the raindrops, I was stuck and put the card aside. While staying with my grandmother, I picked it back up and added a few marks before gluing down the balloon stamp. I outlined the stamp and left the card at that. 
For Week 37, I was simply playing with the lovely Neocolor iis and the Inktense pencils - showing my niece how beautifully they melt and blend. When the card had dried and I looked at it again, I saw a face; the eye in particular. With that, I drew it out and colored it in more prominently. I used a white water-based Sharpie poster paint marker to add a couple of highlights.

The What's on My Desk (WOYWW) post was the only one I got written that week. 

I finished up another two pages.
You may have seen the beginning of Week 36's page in my WOYWW blog post. I used up some black paint by just drawing squiggly lines all over the page. Later, I played with Gelatos and Colorix crayons to color in the pages (smearing them with water). The words were written with a black Sharpie poster pen and outlined with a white one.  
The Week 37 page began as a magazine page that had been previously painted with acrylic paints. It was a little small for the journal so I filled in similar colors around it. I stenciled some shapes and stamped some textures onto the page before picking out some magazine cutouts and a printed quote. These were simply glued down and outlined with a stabilo all pencil in black. I also outlined the whole page with a black pen.

So, that was September in a creative nutshell. I caught up on a few tasks, but still have a ways to go with others. I'm learning to try to create in spare moments and that not everything has to be perfect on the first try. The simple act of creating makes you more creative. I hope you take that to heart. Shoot, I hope I do too!

Have a wonderfully creative October!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On my Desk (WOYWW)

Ever since I got the craft room cleaned and organized the other week, I've done a pretty good job keeping it that way. I've even been pretty good at cleaning off my desk between projects. . .pretty good - not perfect. And, of course, I usually have several projects going on at once. Currently, this is the state of my craft desk.

In the center is my to do list. I took this picture first thing this morning, just after I finished writing it out. Just above that are some keys for a tutorial I'm working on for a secret project. . .to be revealed later. On the left is my art journal with black scribbles (I was trying to use up some paint) and a finished altered playing card (the flower). Of course, there's also a large mug of coffee and all the other miscellany I keep within reach. Just these few things have me a bit overwhelmed at the moment, so I think I'm going to clear the excess to clear my head and get motivated. Do you work better on a messy desk or a clean one?

I'm linking up at Stamping Ground for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW).