Monday, December 11, 2017

Silverlox in the Snow

The craziest thing happened y'all!! It SNOWED this weekend in South Alabama. My last memory of real snow down here was when I was in college twenty years ago. Now, I have no great love for snow. It's part of the reason I'm happy to live in the Deep South, but it does make everything a little magical. So, when Silverlox got blanketed in a dusting of the white stuff, I couldn't help but take ALL THE PICTURES! And, what else am I going to do with these pictures, but share them with YOU? Aren't you excited? Here they come. Sorry, this is indeed picture-heavy. 

I actually didn't think our area was going to get any snow even though most of the areas to the West and North of us were already getting some. However, as the day progressed, it seemed that it might actually hit us right around midnight. So, we stayed up and waited for it.

It had rained all day, but that slowly changed into a light sleet that transformed into SNOW!

We didn't leave the porch while the snow was falling during the night. In the morning, I woke before the sun was up, ready to take a peek at how it had transformed the property (and fully recognizing that it wouldn't take long for it all to melt away into nothing).

Pat and I donned some warm clothes and toured the property.

Even the fire pit didn't look warm. 

We could see the sun just peeking up on the other side of the woods.

The trails in our forest didn't get much snow because of the tree coverage.

But, I was smitten with the way the snow was just sitting on the tops of items like this barbed wire wrapped stump.

How about these palms with the snow on them? Such a weird sight!!

Oh, the mushroom-ed log with the snow. SQUEEE!

And, the snow just sitting on the tree branches, like a coating of frosting. 

The pop of color from the camellias amongst all the white was startling.  

Everything seemed to glow with the reflection of all the white.

How cute is my lemon with the snow hat?

Snow or no snow, it still looks like I live in Narnia. 

And hey! There's me in the snow - proving it really happened! HA!

By noon, almost all of the snow had melted away. The quiet, magical beauty was gone. It was nice to have a quick few hours of snow. Now, I'm ready for it to warm back up! Yeah, I'm definitely an Alabama girl!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Paper and Art Charm Ornament (for ABS Ornament Hop)

It's handmade ornament hopping time!! At least, it's the first of the two hops I'm hoping to participate in. Today is the reveal for Art Bead Scene's 7th Annual Ornament Hop. Since it's a hop, I'm sure there are plenty of other blogs to get to, so let me keep this as short as possible.

Here's the ornament I made!

When I shared the Inspiring DIY Ornaments, the Paper Christmas Ornaments from Dream a Little Bigger sparked my imagination.  You see, I've got a deep love for paper, dictionary paper especially. So, I knew I could make the process my own with that addition. To add in the art bead element, I remembered putting a fabulous cardinal polymer clay charm into my Inspiration Jar. The pendant is made by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.

I had received the charm from my partner, Kari Asbury for the Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop but couldn't come with a design for it at the time. I think it was destined to become this ornament.

There's just something about the red bird that sings Christmas to me. I'm not sure what it is, but I knew I needed to use that element in particular. While I do love the dictionary paper, I almost wish I had used sheet music instead. I may change that later, but for now, I'm quite happy with how this turned out. 

I simply added red and green wonder beads for a touch of magical shine, and my ornament was complete. Well, there was a bit more than that to it. I actually made a short video of how to create this Paper and Art Charm Ornament if you're interested in the process. 

It really was a quick and easy process to make the ornament, and I had everything I needed on hand. You could easily personalize this even more: different paper, more elaborate beads, adding glitter, including your own art charm, etc. There are so many possibilities!

So, that's my contribution to the Art Bead Scene Ornament Hop. Get on hopping and see what everyone else made!

I'm also linking this post up on Saturday Sharefest at The Sway, Show and Share at Coastal Charm,  and Saturday Sparks Link Party at Pieced Pastimes

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bead Box to Go Jewelry Designs

Not too long ago, I shared my Bead Box to Go. The idea was to have the majority of the elements needed for a single design collected in each of the compartments in a box. Originally, I prepped it before my mom had a medical procedure, but I've been working from it steadily since then and finally finished all sixteen designs. 

I started with this packed plastic hobby organizer full of possibility.

Here's a reminder of what was in each of the compartments (left) and what I made from it (right) in a sort of before and after reveal. A full description of the items in the Bead Box is in the original post. This is more about revealing the completed pieces. Do let me admit that while having the components gathered was a great aid to the design process, by the time I got to some of the projects; I had forgotten what my original design had been. Ha! This wasn't always the case but did occur in a few instances. I'll have to work on that.

This came together easily enough with the chain doing the majority of the work to fill out the design. 

For this bracelet, it was simply a matter of wrapping the beads into a chain. It came together quickly. It's now for sale up at Southern Antiques and Accents on Greeno in Fairhope (and the whole booth is 15% off!)

I did add a few more beads to this mix to make up the chain in this necklace. However, it's not quite done as I'm not happy with the way it hangs. So, I'll have to figure out a solution before I put it up for sale.

I LOVE the hardware thing-a-ma-jig I used in this. I will remember what it's called before I list it. Plus, I think I need more of them. And, there's something about using the Eiffel Tower and Hot Air Balloon charms together that give this a very French feel. Is it just me?

This was one of those designs that I couldn't recall the original intent. For some reason, I thought I had planned a necklace. But, after some playing with the elements, this sweet bracelet emerged. 

A fun little take on tassel earrings, this pair was a bit of a booger to get to come together. However, in the end, I think they're a lot of fun.

As expected, this necklace is one of my favorites of the bunch. It is so simple in its design, but the combination of found objects and blue quartz beads makes me swoon. I've decided I need to get a mold of the little hardware elements before I try to sell this necklace...if I can bear to part with it.

Here's a super simple design. In fact, almost all of these designs are WAY simple but just contain beautiful statement elements. I did also color the toggle clasp to have it match the focal. Because, why not?

I finished this necklace at my mom's house and posted it on Instagram. When one of my best friends mentioned that she liked it, I knew it was destined as a present for her upcoming birthday. She was delighted! It easily fits over her head, which is good as I didn't include a clasp on it since it was so long.

This is another favorite. The shades in all of these beads just seemed to go together. And, the stacked art beads feel like a cairn, something special and sacred. The flashes of color in the labradorite will always make me smile.

Like the necklace above, this one combines three art beads. I must have been in a groove when I was assembling these designs. Instead of being stacked though, these hang from one another. This necklace was just added to the Etsy shop.

I don't remember where I got that large slab of a stone bead, but it feels like I've had it FOREVER without a clue as to what to do with it. Something finally clicked that I could accent it with another color. Cherry red seemed perfect. I was happy to realize that I had both seed beads and large glass beads in the same shade to make this simple tassel necklace.

In some stroke of serendipity, both the stones and the small filigree bead in this necklace match almost exactly. It only took a little wire wrapping and chain to get it to all come together.

The beautiful minty/turquoise/aqua shade of these Czech glass beads had me grabbing anything I could find in that shade from my stash (along with some antiqued brass and basic white) to make dangles for this necklace. It's quite full and eye-catching.

Here's another design that has to be re-worked. It's far too big for most wrists, possibly for ANY wrists. I just hate cutting apart that fluffy leaf chain. Simple fix, will hopefully get around to it before next year!

I really like the quirky color combination of the coral and emerald green. However, those coral beads are so heavy. I can't decide if they're too heavy for a bracelet. Oh, and this was another one of those designs I couldn't remember my original intention. I think it worked out though. 

In the end, the Bead Box was a great idea. I was able to take several projects with me and knew what I was working on next without much guesswork and brainstorming. Now, it's time to fill it up again. I'm likely to grab my Inspiration Jar (and bowl) to help me get started. 

Did these turn out the way you had expected?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Inspiration Jar (and Bowl) for Jewelry Making

I have too much stuff. I'm positive it's part of the American experience in general, but the clutter and chaos and overwhelming nature of it all often block me creatively. I've been aware of this creative block for some time but finally came up with a solution: An Inspiration Jar (and bowl)! 

I knew that if I could narrow down the options I have, I could actually focus on being inspired by the plethora of found objects, art beads, thrifted treasures, and all the other amazing materials I've collected. Many of those were buried, forgotten, and put aside. I felt if I had just a small selection of them in a bowl on my desk I would have them on hand, ready for transformation. 

So, I set about sorting through all the jars, drawers, shelves, containers, and hidey holes in the craft room to unearth those treasures. I thought I was being very selective and only pulling out the bits that inspired me RIGHT THEN. But when I was done sorting, I had two bowls spilling over with inspiration. 

I recognized immediately that these needed to be contained a little better. So, I switched to the idea of a jar. Alas, that was still not large enough for all I had gathered. Instead, I placed most of the beads in a decorative bowl and put the pendants, art beads, charms, and other beauties in a jar. 

Wanna see what I selected?

First, there were the chandelier crystals and vintage buttons.

Next up were my drawers of found objects, junk, charms, salvaged materials, and whatnot. So much awesome.

From there, I dug through the art beads: such lusciousness!

After that, there were a few miscellaneous items stashed around the room.

Then, I dug through some beads...

and some more beads!

You see, it got out of control. But, at least some of my stash is narrowed down for me to focus on. In fact, I used much of this when I put together my Bead Box to Go. Sifting through this small collection made it much easier to come up with design ideas. I wasn't as frustrated with having too many options. 
Instead, I have a concentrated amount of materials from which to choose. What a wonderful thing!

And, it's all contained fairly neatly!

It's definitely a relief to not be overwhelmed with options when I'm ready to make. Sometimes the sheer number of options stops me in my tracks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this "problem" of overabundance = creative funk. I hope this idea of narrowing down the materials helps other artists narrow down their focus too. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Holiday Sale in CraftyHope Etsy Shop

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!

I can't believe the Holiday Season is upon us! If you're shopping for the unique and wonderful women in your life, how about some unique and wonderful jewelry for them? I'm having a sale in the CraftyHope Etsy shop to assist you in your endeavors to find perfect, affordable gifts. Here's a selection of what's available.

Delicate Key Necklace

Mismatched Tin Earrings
Rhinestone Key Bracelet
Tarnished Heart Earrings
Pearl Sphere Long Necklace

Simple Smokey Earrings
Golden Assemblage Fringe Necklace
Those are just a few examples of the vast array of items available. The whole CraftyHope shop is going to be 15% off Friday-Monday (Nov 24-27). I hope you'll take a peek!