Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sequintastic September

It's here, the reveal for

If you don't know what I'm talking about, lemmie quickly 'splain. Sarah at Saturday Sequins proposed a challenge of sorts. Basically, make something with sequins, share the photos today, and express a little on your thoughts about sequins. She even created a Sequin Inspiration Pintrest Board.

I started thinking about this challenge long before I actually started making anything. I made a list of ideas and pulled out my tub of sequins. Yes, TUB OF SEQUINS!
The pictures above express just a sample of what's in that tub. (It's not really a huge tub, but bigger than someone who doesn't ever use them should have.)

I don't know what it is that draws me to them. The sparkles, the variety of sizes and shapes, the holes that make them rather bead-like. It's a complete mystery to me. Yet I've picked up sequins at thrift stores and yard sales, family and friends have given them to me, I've even gone to the craft store and bought some of them new. It's a problem really.

It was a blessing that Sarah proposed this challenge so that I would actually make something out of these lovely, shiny discs. And boy howdy did I make something, in fact I made a LOT of things. . . (You can click on the pictures for a closer view)
With a baggie of multi-colored sequins, some gold beads, and some gold memory wire; this bracelet came into being rather quickly.
I only know how to do a simple crochet chain stitch and not well at that. However, these two necklaces didn't turn out too shabby. Both of them can also be wrapped several times around the wrist for some really fun bling.
This was the bracelet design I mentioned in a previous post. The tutorial for this Easy Sequin Bracelet is at Quiet Lion Creations. I altered the design some by adding the layer of sequins to the front and back.

Here were have probably my most favorite design in the bunch. . .a Kumihimo sequin and bead bracelet. I really love the confetti-like sequins in this piece. I'm still not sure about the clasp, but I'll work on it later.
These earrings were quickly thrown together. They're just hoops, sequins, and some seed beads to separate the sequins.
These were my last sequin project, but one of the first ones I knew I wanted to try. . .sequins in resin! I even got to try out two products I hadn't used yet: Vintaj Patinas and Magic-Glos. The left charm is patina and no-hole sequins and the right charm is patina with a sequin, rhinestone, and a bit of paper. I'm not sure where there will end up yet.

I'm happy that I was able to come up with so many ideas for the sequins. I know none are super impressive and I didn't really make a dent in the stash, but I cannot wait to see what the other participants come up with.

It's hard to express my feelings about sequins. I've already mentioned that I've been hoarding these for ages and am so pleased that I was able to come up with some projects to use some of them. To me sequins are a craft staple. . .like glitter. It's one of those things that was always stashed in mom's craft supplies. However, there's also something so elegant about sequins. Living just outside the birthplace of Mardi Gras, I see a ton of sequins as the maskers ride on the floats and as the ladies are dressed in their finest. Like confetti or champagne, sequins are usually brought out in times of celebration and revelry. However, the designs I've made above show that sequins can be worn everyday for just a little extra sparkle in your life.

Now, you head off and check out what the other participants of the Sequintastic September Challenge including the hostess Sarah.
Participants!!!!
Hostess: Sarah... http://saturdaysequins.com

Dita... http://alankarshilpa.blogspot.com
Ambra... http://chicandfrog.wordpress.com
Audrey... http://hotpinkquilts.blogspot.com
Stacy... http://iridalsattic.blogspot.co.uk
Karen W...  http://baublicious.blogspot.com

Lori...  http://www.prettythingsblog.com
Lisa... http://lisabinkley.typepad.com
Carmi... http://resincrafts.blogspot.com
Dawn Marie...  http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com
Jeannie... http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog

Shirlee... http://www.shirleestuff.blogspot.com
Linda... http://www.lilysofthevalleyjewerly.blogspot.com
Corrine... http://www.sparkledaysstudio.com
Gutukas... http://atradimutakeliais.blogspot.com
Shannon... http://uptwnsh-fallingintothesky.blogspot.com

Mallory... http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Cyndi... http://www.beading-arts.com
Maneki... http://wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com
Maryanne... http://zingalasworkshop.blogspot.com
Ine... http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com

Karen... http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Kepi... http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
Jennifer... http://jenniferstumpf.blogspot.com
Misty...  http://thejollyfatelf.blogspot.com
Dot... http://speediebeadie.blogspot.com

You're here ---> Hope... http://craftyhope.blogspot.com
Cynthia... http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com
Micheladas... http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Shirley...  http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com
Karla... http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com

Eleanor... http://eleanorpigman.blogspot.com
Therese... http://theresestreasures59.blogspot.com
Rita... http://www.toltecjewels.blogspot.com
Robyn... http://rcponders.wordpress.com
Stepha... http://skwds.blogspot.com

Sue... http://suebeads.blogspot.com
Cate... http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Amy... http://Loraamyjames.com

I appreciate you taking the time to take in my sparkles!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Link-a-palooza

Today's post will be short and sweet. . .I hope. Sometimes these blog posts just spin out of my control. I don't know how that happens.

For you, it's


This post has already taken my quite enough time. The internet at my house is still being a pain and I've already had to rewrite half of this once. It looks like we'll be getting a new router over the weekend. Blarg.

I did get these awesome earrings listed this morning.
Electricity Earrings
And. . .my post for the Sequintastic September reveal is just about ready for tomorrow's blog hop. Make sure to check back by!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gratitude

Per one of my goals for the year, I want to be more grateful for what I DO have in my life. I'm just starting on this trend really (I know, it's a bit late in the year. oops) so I haven't yet gotten in the habit of recording the many, many blessings I have in my life, but here's a start for this week.
Natural Neutral Bracelet - NEW

I'm Grateful For:
~ The patience of my husband when I'm more than a little grumpy.

~ My mini-break from my own beading/jewelry making endeavors that has given me some time to feel inspired again.

~ That darn Redbox app on my phone and iPad that tells me where I can go to get the movie I want and even lets me reserve it until I get there (so I don't have to go running all over town or hold up the line at the box.)

~ The fact that the biggest worries we've had this week have been splotchy internet, a frozen air conditioner, and a few other expenses that we handled. While those have been stressful and bothersome, it could be so much worse.

Fancy Free Necklace - re-listed


What are YOU grateful for this week?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BTW: Freedom to Create

I FINALLY reached the end of my to do list. . .mostly. Everything is made. I still have to write my post for Saturday's blog hop but that shouldn't be too rough.

NOW. . .now I get to create!

With so much freedom and so many options I decided to leave it in fate's hands and started by reaching into a zip baggie of pendants on my desk. I pulled out the first item I touched. It happened to be a polymer clay pendant from Davinia at Deez News. I took the black and white theme of the pendant and ran with it. With just two bead caps left on my desk and some matching beads, I made a pair of earrings as well.


After that, I decided to pick up where I had left off. . .before the challenges and hops and stuff. Where was I? Oh yeah. . .Shabby pendants!

This is not the greatest picture of the ones I made, but it's the best I could do this morning. I apologize!

Now, I've got aspirations of possibly working on some of my own goals and creating a few things to send in to a magazine. . .WHAT WHAT!!?? Yeah, I need to do this before my own conscience begins to drive me crazy with it's constant chirping of "get published, get published, get published. . ." So, that's what's going on my bead table next.

There's more Bead Table Wednesday in the Flickr Group.

Oh and in addition to getting more made, I'm trying to re-stock the shop. Not because anything selling, but because stuff keeps expiring. Today, I listed this blue beauty from the One Crayon Challenge.
Washed Ashore Necklace

I'm off to brainstorm. Here's hoping I don't get distracted!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Altered Domino Swap Reveal

Way back in July an old friend (that I haven't seen in YEARS, but we're friends on Facebook. That probably didn't need to be said, everyone is friends on Facebook!) proposed a crafty swap. She ordered a bunch of mini dominoes and sent me twelve. Ten were white and two were smaller black ones.
The dominoes as they had arrived (quarter there for scale)

Our only requirements were that we used six of them to make something for the other and that our deadline was the end of September.
I played around some with the game pieces. One's missing from the picture because I had already started altering it!

I moved those darn dominoes all over my desk before finally sitting down and just getting to it. Of course, some digging around the craft room and a trip to the craft store for inspiration and supplies was in order first.
Some of the supplies I bought and pulled out for the altering process. I didn't near use all of them.

I covered my whole desk with domino-altering fun.
Messy desk is a sure sign of a happy crafter!

Rebecca (that's her name by the way) had requested at least two magnets and a pair of earrings made from the dominoes. That at least narrowed down where I would start.

Here's what I came up with.
Altered domino pendant

First I got to playing with my alcohol inks and inked up this whole domino in shades of green.A  snippet of scrapbook paper was used for the image. I sealed the whole thing with Ranger Matte Accents before adding some ICE Resin to the top. (The back of the pendant can be found a few pictures down.)
Altered domino necklace
To complete the piece and keep it simple, I made a chain of simple loops with e-beads and wire.


Altered domino earrings

These earrings are probably my favorite pieces in the mix. I stamped dandelion images onto a dictionary page, cut the page to size, and glued them onto the smaller black dominoes. With a q-tip and some Distress Ink, I lightly colored the edges of the paper. A layer of matte Mod Podge sealed the paper. A small rhinestone was glued to the center before the whole top of the piece was coated in ICE Resin.

Altered domino jewelry backs
E-6000 glue was used to stick on the bails to the back of all the jewelry.


From there, I moved on to playing with the dominoes to create magnets.
Altered domino magnets
I really went crazy and used a large variety of materials to alter these.

Domino magnets 1 and 2
The domino on the left was altered with an image I had printed from from some of Dover's free sampler images. I colored it with chalk pastels and sealed it with the Mod Podge. The crown was a piece of Tim Holtz Grungeboard. It was painted with gold acrylic paint before the dictionary page was added and sealed. E6000 holds that crown on tight. The domino on the right was covered in strips of bright washi tape and sealed. A plastic flower was glued to the center. The sides of both of these were painted with a black paint pen and the tops were coated in ICE Resin.

Domino magnets 3 and 4
Domino #3 was coated in glue and several dustings of PearlEx Powder. A stamp with Staz on Ink was pressed onto the dry powder. A small diary key was decorated with alcohol inks and then glued to the surface of the domino. The edges were painted silver and wrapped with a strip of rhinestone stickers. The face was sealed with ICE Resin. The domino on the right was altered with more alcohol inks before a layer of Glossy Accents sealed the domino. The 3D silver dragonfly was glued to the top and a small strip of aluminum tape covers the edges to mimic soldering.

Domino magnet backs
Small magnets were glued to the backs with E6000.

In addition to these pieces, I also made Rebecca a pair of dragonfly earrings and a decorated box. Here are the earrings.
Dragonfly earrings

In my haste to get these items in the mail, I failed to take a picture of the box. It was a play on the domino theme and the paper mache box was covered in "game papers" (sudoku, crossword puzzles, jumbles, etc.) The feet were upside down monopoly houses and on the top was a die and a domino transformed into a lid pull. Fun stuff!

Rebecca still has plenty of time to alter her dominoes. I'll make a point to show off what she made just as soon as I get them. In the meantime, I'm anxious to get back to just playing with my beads for a while.

At this point I know I've bored you all to death so I'll leave it at that. . .well except to ask How would you have altered these?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chandelier Crystals and My Menu


In my post about the keys I got over the weekend, I mentioned that I also found/bought some chandelier crystals. They were only three bucks each for the whole line of crystals. I'm kinda wishing I had grabbed up a few more.

Of course, I it's probably best that I wait and use the ones I actually have before I start wishing for more. See the hoarder coming out in me? Aren't they lovely though? I like that the rectangles have flat backs. It makes for so many altering possibilities!

In addition to those awesome flea market finds, I've also gotten my menu made for the week. I've actually had menus made the last few weeks, but got them done late and decided to just not post them in the middle of the week. I think I'm finally starting to get into a flow of writing a low meat menu. Of course all the yummy chicken and bacon recipes I see on Pintrest don't help this resolve at all. Anyway, here's what we'll be munching on this week.

Breakfasts: Oatmeal/grits, juice, yogurt w/granola & fruit, cereal w/fruit, blueberry whole wheat waffles

Lunches: Peanut (or almond butter) and jelly roll-ups, hummus pitas w/veggies, juice, tuna salad on greens, cheese quesidillas w/fruit

Dinners:
Grilled chicken w/grilled corn on the cob & broccoli w/cheddar cheese sauce
Fiery tofu and coconut curry soup w/rice
Meatless taco soup w/tortilla chips
Homemade pizzas

I'm still making a lot of items from the vegetarian cookbook and working on discovering more. As well < I've been attempting to just substitute or leave out some ingredients in our favorite recipes (i.e. the taco soup). So far it's working out pretty well. Check out more Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

In shop news, I reduced the price of a few items this morning so they're now in the On Sale section of the shop. As well, these new earrings were listed.
Partly Cloudy Earrings
I'm excited because I've busted out a heck of a lot of stuff here in the last few days (though it's seemed to take FOREVER). With one item left on the to do list, I'm anxious to get back in the craft room and just create to my heart's content. No worries though, I plan on sharing my altered dominoes (probably tomorrow, but don't hold me to it) and the Sequintastic blog hop is Saturday. I do hope you'll check back in!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flea Market Find: KEYS

Such giddiness yesterday!

Just a small fraction
Pat and I went out to a local flea market/yard sale yesterday. We perused the booths him looking for tools, me for anything that can be turned into jewelry (obviously). The fourth or fifth booth we hit was little more than a card table and a blanket on the ground with STUFF spread all over. It's a wonder I ever saw these treasures.
I didn't measure, but this was well over two feet long

There was no way the vendor didn't recognize my interest and excitement as he showed off the few skeleton keys and the ancient skate key. I was prepared for him to sell the keys in small sets or for an astronomical price.

I was surprised when he said the whole bunch was FIVE DOLLARS!
The skeleton keys and skate key are in this poor picture

Pat handed him a twenty, but there was no change to be had. I immediately asked if he would hold the keys for me while we shopped, and we'd definitely be back for them with a lower denomination bill. He was more than pleased to do so.

As we explored the other booths, I found some chandelier crystals (pictures later) and that purchase broke the twenty. We headed back for my chain of keys. All we had was a ten and four ones and the vendor STILL didn't have change. I convinced Pat to just give the gentleman the $10 bill for the keys, I thought it was well worth it.
Just a few of the lengths of keychains in this score

Pat says we've got to work on my flea market skills. Apparently, paying double is NOT a good thing. As well, I need to restrain my excitement when I find something I like. In particular, I shouldn't gasp and proclaim "LOOK!" when I discover a cool item. You live, you learn.
There were all kinds of cool pieces in the mix of keys including this little lock

I spent a good deal of yesterday afternoon dealing playing with of the keys. I started by taking the keys off the dozen+ carabiners and then the countless number of key chains. A few of my nails were broken in the process. I washed the grime off my hands at least three times. I minimally sorted the keys into three piles: all metal, metal and plastic, and those in need of DEEP cleaning. When weighed, the "all metal"/kinda clean keys were almost EIGHTEEN pounds!! The other two piles were much smaller. I even started cleaning the keys but didn't make much of a dent. I may go into that process later as I perfect it.
Check out the awesomeness of these!

It sounds like these keys are going to be a little bit of work for me, but I'm so excited about them. What do you think? Was it a good deal?

And do you have any tips on cleaning or ideas for projects with them?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BTW: Stepping Back

I've been a little off my blogging game the last few days.

See, recently I made a few resolutions to myself and have been trying to work on those. First, I really want to create what I want to create. I've been involved in so many swaps and hops and challenges lately that I haven't really had a chance to focus. Secondly, I need to USE WHAT I HAVE! This is actually one of my goals for the year and over the last few months I've just let it fall to the wayside. No more I say! NO MORE. (I sound resolutely resolved don't I?)

So here's some of what exists on my craft desk currently.
Many bags of sequins for the Sequintastic September Challenge/Hop
A to do list (not in priority order)
I'm trying to clear my plate in order to create. Just as soon as I get all those tasks completed on the above list, I can head in my own creative direction. I'm closer to the end than it looks, but it seems to be taking me forever to finish. I'll get there soon and I can't wait.

Check out more Bead Table Wednesday in the Flickr Group.

Please note that if you're having a swap, challenge, or hop I'm aching to jump on board. However for the sake of my own craft, I'm fighting the urge to sign up and forcing myself to step back for a little while. It's nothing personal at all and I will be jumping back in on those very soon. Promise!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Link-a-palooza and Cleaning Up

This week I've been all kinds of out of sorts. My energy's been waning, there's been wackiness a-plenty, and I've simply wanted to catch up!! I'm trying to take a break from swaps and blog hops and challenges because they seem to be eating up a large portion of my time. I'm not getting anything else made for staying busy with all of that. Right now, I'm involved in a domino swap with a friend as well as the Sequintastic September Challenge from Saturday Sequins. The end date for both of these is the end of this month, but I want to be done with these pending projects NOW! Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying the challenge of them both, but I'm ready to start something new and totally me, not something that has rules and perimeters and required supplies. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'll be picking up youngest niece in a few hours to spend the weekend with us. Before she gets here, I'm determined to have the house clean. So, I'm busting my butt today to get quite a few things out of the way. You should see this list!! GAH! In fact, I'm using my timer method but with 15 minute intervals instead of 30 to speed things along. I hope I can knock it all out before it's time to head out and get the rug rat.

In the meantime, I figured I'd better pop in since I've been MIA almost all week. Plus, it's time for another
  • First off, have you seen the Spring 2013 Fashion Color Report from Pantone!? I'm in love with this selection of colors. I can't put my finger on it, but I find it so dreamy! I know I'll be getting plenty of inspiration from this set of hues. Aren't they dreamy? 
    Spring 2013 from Pantone
  • Michelle Mach always does such a good job of compiling information and sharing it on her blog. Last month, she made a list of Ten Photo Editing Programs to Try. I tend to just use Photoshop on my computer and am addicted to Instagram on my phone. I should really break out of my shell and give some of these others a try. Thanks Michelle for the great list of options!
  • I'm fairly sure I've mentioned The Bloggess a  time or two, and if I haven't I'm so sorry. She writes one of my favorite blogs to read for fun and usually has me in absolute stitches. Here's a post that has me CRYING I was laughing so hard. Be warned, her humor is a little . . .hmmmm. . . different.
  • I've always wanted to go on a bead/jewelry-making retreat. Heather Powers may have just made it easier with her Tips for Picking, Prepping, and Partaking in a Bead Retreat at Art Bead Scene Blog. Thanks Heather!
  • Easy Sequin Bracelet tutorial
  • Lastly, I found this cute tutorial for an Easy Sequin Bracelet. I took the tutorial and made the design my own. But, you'll just have to wait and see how I did it as well as my other sequin creations on September 29th during the reveal for Sequintastic September! 
I'm rushing to get the house cleaned and have already gotten the kitchen and both bathrooms done while writing this too. Litterboxes are next (aw dangit!) But, I am looking forward to a clean house and a fun visit with the niece. Here's hoping your weekend is full also!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Giveaways and Sale

The last couple of days have gotten the better of me. I've accomplished very little and want to make sure I get back on the upswing ASAP. So, I'll be rushing through this post real quick-like.

I was supposed to draw a winner for my Bead Soup earrings yesterday. I was busy with youngest niece at the dentist and didn't remember until dinnertime. So, I decide to wait until this morning. Here's the earrings.

Here's hubby pulling a slip of paper from the basket.

And, here's the winner!

Jen, Congrats!! I'll be contacting you for you info.

Speaking of giveaways, have you seen the collaboration between Genea and Staci Louise? They've meshed their styles to make some really neat sets. Like this one.
Check out their Inspiration & Collaboration blog for details on how to win the set above. Isn't it just dreamy!?

Lastly, I placed a few more items on sale in the the CraftyHope Etsy shop.
This necklace is just one of those items.
Life's Path Necklace
I'm off to try to accomplish some housework (blarg) as well as vote and go to a meeting tonight. At some point things will slow down, right? RIGHT!?