Friday, March 17, 2017

Wanderlust 2017: Weeks 3-8

For Christmas, my dear husband gave me Wanderlust 2017, "a year long journey in mixed-media and art journaling." Each week new lessons and/or activities are released. Though I've already fallen behind, I am definitely enjoying the journey. Since I shared the results of Weeks 1 & 2 with you some time ago, here's what else I've made from the lessons up to this point.

Week 3 - a lesson from Wilna Furstenburg
I bought and used acrylic inks for this lesson. I'm loving that medium!!

Week 4 - a journal page to represent January

Week 5 - working on composition and color, I completed two journal pages

Week 6 - a lesson from Amanda Grace, writing a love letter (hence the blurring).

Week 7 - a lesson from Clair Bremner

Week 8 - one activity of several was this journal page I completed yesterday.

I think learning from a variety of artists, all with their own style, is perfect for me as I'm getting to learn a variety of techniques and explore my own style.  It's a blast!

Today begins week 11 of the journey and I still have a few more activities for week 8. EEK! I've got some catching up to do, but I'm taking my time and working at my own pace. It would definitely ruin the process if I couldn't do that.

Now, to get to some house cleaning before anything else. 
Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy your weekend! What are your plans?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week in Review

I realized not too long ago that I take a lot of pictures throughout the week that I never seem to share much of anywhere. Instead of just letting these photos take up valuable memory space, I've decided to make an effort to share them as a weekly wrap-up. I'm hoping that these posts won't be long, just some images to show what I've been up to over the course of each week.

We started Sunday morning with a Dutch Baby. I've been wanting to make one for ages. I was pleased to see it puff up. I topped it with a slight dusting of powdered sugar and some lemon blueberry jam (not pictured). It was delish. I will be making it again for sure!

From there, we went to the Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire and Pirate Fest in Pensacola, FL. We drank mead, checked out the vendors, and watched a couple of guys joust.

I was pretty amazed that I captured this shot.

On Monday, one of my nieces to have her braces removed.
She was so happy to get them off, she even let me take her picture (though, she really didn't want to.) That should explain the half-smiles I got.

Pat worked throughout the week to fence in the front yard for the puppy.
He's totally our hero!

She's smitten with getting to be outside a bit more.

Finally, I got a pair of earrings in the CraftyHope Etsy shop.
Stick Earrings

Oh, and we rode up to Montgomery for an event yesterday but I failed to get any interesting pictures. Today starts a new week though and hopefully new adventures! This is especially true since Daylight Savings started today and we'll have more daylight in the afternoons. Yay!!

How was your week?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Renovations - coming to an end

We're finally at a point in our renovations where we can take a bit of a breather and actually enjoy our living space.  In the last update, I revealed the majesty that is our new floors.
Since then, we've added a few finishing touches that included painting, installing, and caulking the baseboards.

I was able to paint the baseboards, but it took Pat's skill and expertise to install and caulk them.

Ahhhhh, isn't that better?

I know the hallway is pretty boring thing to show, but it's so much better than the dark dreariness it had been.


Once the baseboards were in place, we focused in on our lack of counter space. While building the island is more of an undertaking than we want to tackle at the moment, Pat drew my attention to this workbench that had been left in the garage by the previous owner.
It doesn't look like much here, but it's the right height.

We hauled it out into the yard where I cleaned it off with lots and lots of bleach water and scrubbing. From there, we added felt pads on the feet to keep it from scratching the new floors.

In the kitchen, it looks at home. And, it helps us get a feel for the space the island will eventually occupy. However, I still needed some additional storage.

A trip to Michael's solved that problem. They luckily had their baskets reduced to half price. Score!

I took no time filling those baskets, and Y'ALL! My house looks amazing now.
Though we still have a few projects to tackle, those can wait. My kitchen is a work-able space again! My house isn't a construction zone. It's lovely.

Here's a few looks at the before and current condition.
From the kitchen. Yes, those are the same spaces.

From the loving room.

It really is blissful to have this much room and space. If you want to look through the process from the beginning: Renovations Underway, Renovations Part 2, Renovations Part 3, and  Renovations Part 4 (Floors).

We've already moved onto another project...
fencing in the front yard for an extremely bored puppy. I'll spare you all the details of that project. But, it'll be a relief for all of us (the two us, the puppy, and the cat) to have that done too.

Thanks to everyone for all their kind words as we've gone through this trying process. I'm excited to get started with the actual decorating of the area. I've got hopes to make some curtains and actually get art on the walls. How about that!

So, what's going on in your home?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop - The Exchange

Almost a month ago I mentioned that I'm participating in the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop. Bead Peeps is a Facebook group hosted by Linda Anderson of Cherry on Top Designs. My partner (Kari Asbury) and I both just received our beads so I'm ready to show off both sets. Let's start with what she sent me.
Check out that variety!! Okay, okay. I know that's not the best picture. Better ones are below!

Kari sent me a wonderful mix of beads and artisan components.
First, these was a baggie of gorgeous mixed glass beads.

A couple of beads and a button from Gaea. Drool!

These pretties from Nan Emmet of Spirited Earth.

Some luscious dyed sari ribbon.

A lovely little pendant from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati

A bit of WoolyWire (which I've always wanted to try!)

And, finally my favorite pieces - the ones Kari made herself!! Look at that KEY!

Here's the whole group again.
I'm itching to get started with these goodies, but can't even decide where to start. She spoiled me so. THANK YOU Kari for an amazing set.

Oh, and here's what I sent her.
The main, artisan component is the altered crown from Dry Gulch Beads. The rest of the goodies were either from my stash or bought new from a local bead store. I explained to Kari that I went with the crown because Mardi Gras was going on while I collected these bits for her. I'm from (and now live across the bay from) Mobile, AL - the original home of Mardi Gras in the US. So, a crown felt fitting. As well, I'm also on the Gulf Coast so the blue-greens also felt right to represent my area.

In laying out the swap, Linda suggested that we keep a duplicate of the beads we send in order to play along with our partners. I did just that. So, I have two challenges ahead of me. I'm looking forward to them both. Make sure to follow Kari on her Instagram as KariAsburyJewelry as well as on her Kari Asbury blog to see what she has to say about the swap. And, make sure to stay tuned for the reveal on April 8th.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sweet Key Earrings Jewelry Tutorial

I love a mix of rustic and romantic and believe that my jewelry echoes that style. These key earrings not only use found objects, but ones with a little wear to them too. To add femininity, glass pearls and resin flowers were included in the design. Let me show you how to make some yourself.
DIY altered key earrings

Since I liked the bit of rusty wear on the small keys, I started the process by rubbing the keys down with Renaissance Wax.
This will help protect the keys and keep the current patina. Of course, Johnson Paste Wax would also work. Make sure to rub on the wax, let it sit for a minute, and then buff it off. Your keys are now sealed!

From there, I added the resin flowers using a dab of E6000.
Make sure to let the glue dry thoroughly before handling the keys.

Once your flowers are secure on the keys, gather the rest of your jewelry-making supplies together.
In addition to the altered keys, I used two eye pins, two jump rings, two glass pearls, and ear wires. Use whatever metal works best for your design. I went with an antique silver tone. In addition, I also used wire cutters, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and bent nose pliers to complete the design.

Start by threading the pearls onto the eye pins. Bend the pins at a 90 degree angle just above the pearls. Trim the pins with the wire cutters, leaving just over about a quarter inch. Use the round nose pliers to roll the pins and form a loop.
There should now be a loop on either side of the pearls.

Use the chain nose and bent nose pliers to twist open your jump rings.
Always twist your jump rings apart to help ensure that you don't distort their shape and ability to close securely.

Slide one pearl connector and one altered key onto each jump ring, then close the rings by twisting them shut.

Finally, twist open the loop on the ear wires with the chain nose pliers and slip on the loop at the top of the pearls.
Before closing your loop, make sure that the flowers face forward when the earrings are hanging.

See how super easy these are?

Of course, if you're not up for making them. . . I do have these exact earrings listed in the CraftyHope etsy shop.
Flower and Rusty Key Earrings in the shop

And, I'm hoping to get the CraftyHope newsletter up and running very soon. I'll be kicking it off with a coupon code, so make sure to sign up!

Oh, and if you have any questions about how to make your own earrings, please don't hesitate to ask!

This is linked up at Coastal Charm's Show and Share and Talk of the Town Link Party.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Currently I'm . . .

Cooking some very standard comfort dinners for the most part because our Blue Apron delivery comes in tomorrow, and those meals will be much less ordinary.

Creating by testing out some chalk paint on tin cans, cutting out tin from old containers, playing in my art journal - basically, getting my hands messy any way I can.

Eating a healthy-ish breakfast of plain greek yogurt, berries, honey, and homemade granola.

Enjoying the pop of color in the azaleas outside my window (though they are withering some).

Feeling a little stopped up from the result of allergies because the azaleas have decided to bloom.

Hoping to get to the bead store today to finish my shopping for the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop.

Listing these Flower and Rusty Key earrings in the CraftyHope Etsy shop.

Looking forward to seeing my oldest niece march with her high school marching band in the Crewe of Columbus Mardi Gras parade tomorrow night.

Loving the progress on my kitchen.

Needing to put some effort into exercising.

Reading Alice I have Been. I JUST started it so I don't have much to say about it yet.

Sewing nothing at the moment, but I’m ready to get started on some projects like curtains and placemats for the living and dining rooms.

Wanting to check off all the tasks on my bullet journal today (but I know that’s probably wishful thinking).

I guess it’s time to be done so I can get to it. So, what are you up to?