Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mindfulness

I've had it on the books (in my planner) for a ling time to do a blog post on "A Day in My Life". Yesterday I tried to take the time to get the pictures and write down the notes of what I did. In that process, I discovered something: I got more accomplished. Or, at least, it feels like I got more done.

More daily tasks were completed and weekly tasks checked off.
A peek at my checklist of items I hope to complete each day.

Chickens were tended to.
Bertha, Ethel, and Hazel (L-R) getting some time outside yesterday.

Chores were done.
This was my to-do list first thing in the morning before anything was accomplished.

Art was made.
I made an attempt to catch up on my weekly altered playing cards. . .and made a dent! You'll get to see them when I do a goal review (next week most likely)

Shopping was done.
I picked these up after reading about them on BulletJournalJoy, and then NEEDING them.

Booth was stocked.
I added a few items to the shelves of my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope.

Husband was helped.
He needed some assistance while building the chicken coop. I just held some boards up for him. That's the extent of how I can help for now - I'll be painting it soon. Oh, and shhhh....he doesn't know I'm using this picture!

Jewelry was listed.
This Aqua Flower Brooch Necklace was added to the etsy shop.

Social media wasn't ignored. (You'll just have to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat (craftyhope) . . .or take my word for it.)

And today's looking just as good despite it being a Wednesday (my 'shorter' day because it's family-visiting day. yay!).  I think my being mindful and paying attention to what I'm doing is helping me stay on track and actually get some things done. I definitely need to keep that up.

Now, I know I said something about a day in my life post. . .this wasn't it. I'm going to pick another day, another time. Even though I was being mindful about what I was doing, I didn't completely keep track of what I did or get as many pictures taken as I would like. It's coming though, just you wait!

How do you stay mindful and on track throughout the day?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Finds #11: Critters

Since moving into the new house, we've encountered lots of critters (animals, for you non-Southerners). This is especially true since we no longer have 14 feral cats on the property. (Thank heavens for that!)

There have been birds and squirrels a-plenty ever since the cats were re-located. We saw NONE the first several months after moving. Just the last month or so, we've been inundated with critters of all kinds. For today's Friday Finds, I thought I'd share some of the wildlife we've seen.

On and off we catch sight of this bunny. His coloring leads me to believe he was once a pet. However, he's no longer tame. We've named him though: Anthony HOPkins, Tony for short. We had to name him because we call all wild rabbits Steve and needed to differentiate between the Steves and this guy. . .obviously.

Speaking of Steves, Pat spotted this baby Steve last month. I've never seen such a tiny wild bunny before. He was so stinkin' cute!!

Not long after baby Steve hurried away, this oak snake took his place in the yard. (no worries, there was no chance the snake got baby Steve.)
I know many of you are probably not snake lovers, but I personally don't mind having them in the yard as they are likely to keep rats and mice at bay. I call that a win in my book.

Pat also found this beautiful tree snake on the property. I love his pretty green color. Like the oak snake, he's non-poisonous. So, no worries!

All in one day, I spotted some other cute critters.

I was actually taking the picture of the ladybug when I spotted the lizard. We've got tons and tons of those little green lizards all over the place. We call them Leroy. . .

And, while in the pool that same day, Pat fished out this tiny frog.
He's got a little bit of a copper sheen that we thought was super cool.

There've been tons of other critters out here. We've both spotted deer down the street, heard coyotes in the field behind the property, and watched fireflies in the early evening. As well, we're fighting and ongoing battle with armadillos (they're tearing up the yard.) As well, while in the pool one day, we watched a possum climb up a tree. This was after he took a tumble out of it. We've named him Giuseppe.

But, the cutest animals we're dealing with at the moment are these guys.
Yes, we got chickens. We bought them at the end of April. I was giddy and am still a little terrified. We joked that the people at the feed and seed store didn't even ask if we were farmers or knew what do do with them, they just let us walk out of the store with four chicks in a paper bag (they had run out of boxes.) We've since lost one of them. Chicks are fragile that way. They've grown quickly.

Bertha, Hazel, and Ethel (L-R)
The picture above was them last week.  As of this morning, they look like this. 
Bertha, Hazel, and Ethel (top to bottom)
I can't believe how much they change every day. It's startling and fun to watch. Pat's already started on a coop for them so we can move them out of the hot chicks guest room soon. I'll share the progression of the coop once it's done. Told you I was a farm girl

This is my first experience with chickens, and I'm still a bit nervous. So, if you have any advice. . .bring it!

I can't imagine we've seen all the animals that could be hiding out on the property, and I'm looking forward to finding more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New, Upcycled Displays in Jewelry Booth

I have to admit that between the retreat and being a farm girl, I've been sorely lacking in keeping up my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents. I went out there last week to check on it, and the owner happened to be there. She suggested that I spruce things up a bit and maybe display all my beautiful necklaces a little better. Now, this is the South, so don't you fret that she was nasty in any way. She presented this idea is the sweetest, kindest way possible. And, she was right. The booth needed a makeover! I hurried home with a few ideas knocking around in my head and worked the rest of that day and the next on making some new displays.

With the help of my handy hubby, I used the rusty rake head from my last craft and thrift haul and a wood block to make a bracelet holder. He simply drilled a perfect-sized hole in the block, and I painted the wood with watered down acrylic paint.

In addition, I remembered that we still had a beautiful piece of old door from our coffee table upcycle.

Again, Pat helped me create the necklace display by cutting down the door to size and pre-drilling a few small holes for the mug hooks. It was super simple.

I had been displaying the majority of the earrings in the booth with some of my crackle clothes pin magnets, but I knew that these new displays would block the majority of the metal backs. Instead, I used some foam core, book pages, and mini clothes pins (also from the last craft and thrift haul) to create two earring boards for the booth.
They are still a little bo-bo-looking so I may have to finish them out some other way. But for now, they work.

I also picked up some clear glass bottles at the Dollar Tree and brought a clipboard (in another picture) from home to help display more necklaces.

I really wish I had remembered to get some before pictures to share. But, you can see from this picture from April. . .

And this picture from March. . .
. . .that I had just been laying some of the necklaces out on the shelf willy-nilly.

Things look a bit more organized now!




As always, if you want a better look and are in the Fairhope, Alabama area, head over to Southern Antiques and Accents. You'll find my booth just behind the cashier.

Do you have any new and interesting way to display your crafts? I'd love to know. I'm always looking for innovative ideas. And, I'm sure I'll need to spruce the booth up again before too long.

Oh. . .and one other quick note. I've decided to be a little more active on Snapchat. You can follow me there as well. I'm CraftyHope! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Art at the Beach 2016

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to spend four days with some amazing, talented, arty, warmhearted ladies. It was an art retreat concisely named "Art at the Beach 2016"
The retreat was hosted by the wonderful Tiffany Goff Smith of Southern Gals Designs. Let me admit that Tiffany and I have been communicating over the interwebs for YEARS without every actually meeting, despite us living only 45 minutes away from one another (ridiculous, I know!)

Tiffany found us a house in Gulf Shores that was big enough to meet all of our needs: arting, eating, sleeping, drinking, and visiting the beach.

Here's a rundown of all the fun and creativity that was had.
We started with meeting and greeting everyone (though it was well into the evening before everyone got there), exploring the house, settling in, and learning that we were to use #ArtAtTheBeach2016 throughout the weekend on our social media.

After that, we indulged in a little gelli plate play before indulging in margaritas.

By the time we went to bed, we had definitely broken in the house for our creative purposes.


We started the next day with a little creative warm-up before taking a walk down to the beach.

Tiffany picked a perfect weekend for the retreat. Gulf Shores was gorgeous all weekend long.

We spent much of the weekend working on our own projects and in our own journals. Tiffany's southern charm was able to wrangle us some samples from Golden Paints to try out and play with.

I really loved how smooth the Golden paints are. They spread across my journal beautifully and dried quickly too. Look how vibrant those colors are as well! Yum.

Day three was spent with more creative play. Above are just a few of the pages I completed. The one on the left was done working along with Tiffany as she created her own page.

With instruction from one of the talented ladies there, we all worked on learning to draw faces. We were inspired by the work of Mindy Lacefield (instagram, etsy, facebookyoutube, pinterest). The paintings all started out with the same basic, weirdly alien shape.

But, with the addition of color and accents and hair, they evolved into beautiful little girls. We each named our little girls.

Here's a look at the whole group. I really love that despite the same instructions and inspiration, they all look so different.

Our last day was Mother's Day. We went out for brunch before returning for more arting. We decorated these little canvas bags that Tiffany had gifted us.

Throughout the weekend, we also worked on other projects including a collaborative canvas that sat out all weekend long for us to add to as we were inspired. The picture above isn't the finished product, just one of the shots I got during the long weekend. Tiffany took the canvas home with the intent of finishing it herself. I cannot wait to see what she does to finish it.

We created collaborative art pages in each other's journals by working for a few minutes at a time and then passing the journals. The one above is the one that was created in my journal. Isn't it fab?

And, some of us worked on painting these wood blocks we collected on the side of the road where one of the neighboring houses was having some work done. Mine's not quite finished, I brought it home and hope to get it done soon. I know it's a little wonky and disproportional, but I don't care.

Before we knew it, the retreat was drawing to a close and the sun was setting on my time with these beautiful souls.

I learned so much from those ladies about not over-thinking your art, using what you have, learning new skills, and being a genuine person. I will admit that I was nervous about going on the retreat and meeting new people, but these ladies made me instantly feel welcome. Thank you Tiffany, Debbie, Amie, PJ, Tina, and Lindsey for everything you brought to the table. It was a real pleasure and loads of fun!! If you want to see more pictures of our arty adventure, we all shared using the ArtAtTheBeach2016 hashtag on Instagram.

To close out this post, here's a look some of the art journal pages I finished.
I decided to have an intro page to show what I made at the retreat.

I really like how this one turned out for the most part.

Though a little blurry, this one used some of the golden acrylics and then an adult coloring book flower that I cut out.

This was the work-along page I did with Tiffany.

This was the last page I worked on during the retreat. I'm still not sure if it's done.

Finally, thank you to Tiffany for sharing her passion enough to host the retreat. I had so much fun and learned so much. I can't wait for the next one!

I definitely encourage all of you to break out of your shells and either go on a retreat or take a class that's out of the norm for you. I think I would have regretted not going on this adventure and getting my creative juices flowing. It was well worth the waves of doubt and social anxiety that preceded the weekend,

Have you ever done something like this before? It was worth it wasn't it?