Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 16 Posts of 2016

My feedreader is flush with end-of-the-year roundups. 
Not to be left behind, here are my top 16 posts of 2016.


I shared how we took an oversized wall unit that was just left in the house and transformed it into a TV stand that's much more our style.

I'm still not sure why what I received for Christmas was so interesting, but rest assured that I'll be sharing some of my gifts from this Christmas before too long.

With only supplies bought at the Dollar Tree, I challenged myself to alter a playing card.

Since I do love my gelli plate so much, I shared some of my prints, info about the plate, and a link to a video I made in this one post.

I'm tickled that y'all are enjoying our progress on the house. The next post or two will be doozies!

I do love making something from nothing. This post really just showed some of the components I had pulled out on my desk to try to alter.

I made these magnets for my booth, but had to share because I knew they were perfect for many other uses as well. 

More changes have been going on at the house, and I just had to share. There are more pictures and more changes to come in 2017. You just wait!

Pat and I worked together to make this game-centered gift for his mom for Christmas. He made the frame, and I figured out how to work out all the letters scrabble-style. It was a fun project and well received.

There was a bit of attention given to this post that showed off what became of the junk from the desk the week before (#6 on this list). I'm pretty pleased with what became of it myself. I also shared some of the craft supplies I purchased with birthday money (hence the title). 

Cute animals always draw a bit of attention, and this post was no exception. Of course, not all the critters are what everyone would consider cute as I do show some of the snakes, frogs, lizards, and bugs we found on the property.

Taking another step toward homesteading, we finally got our garden started. Pat built the raised beds, and we worked together to get the seeds planted. I'll be sharing the progress of the plants very soon!

With Pat's help, an old rake head, a leftover door panel, and some bottles were upcycled and used to add a little more interest in my jewelry booth at the antique store.

Using a pack of erasers from the Dollar Tree, I created a set of positive and negative stamps for Valentine's Day. This post walks you through my process. 

With the reveal of ZnetShows' latest issue of the online magazine, Creative Spark; I shared the several pieces I contributed to the issue.

In May, I participated in a fun art retreat with other mixed media artists. It was an exceptionally inspiring weekend, and I learned so very much about myself and creating. 

So, those were the sixteen most popular posts of the past year. Which was your favorite?

There's plenty more to come in 2017. 
I hope 2016 treated you well, and wish you ALL THE BEST for 2017!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Earrings Everyday Use Your Leftovers Challenge

I needed a bit of a kick in the pants to get my creative juices flowing again. The Leftovers Challenge from Earrings Everyday seemed like just the thing.

It's been a crazy and hectic holiday season. Have I mentioned that? Ha! I'm sure everyone has had a bit of an insane schedule lately. Personally, I haven't really had a chance to even touch my craft supplies in several weeks. It's been a sad state of affairs. My craft desk has turned into a dumping space.
No beads in sight! Since the challenge is to use leftovers and there were none to be had on my craft desk, I turned to the top of my bead cabinet to see what was there.


I found several little stashes.
There's the strand of vintage plastic beads, a bowl of interesting elements taken from old pieces I took apart, a jar with bead pairs I dumped in it long ago, and two little containers of small beads.

I pulled out what I thought I could/would use and put it on a craft mat. After matching up the beads, I added a few additional elements from around the craft room.
From there, I went to work and even changed my mind about the bead arrangement laid in front of me.

I knew from the start that not all the earrings made would be awesome, but that I simply needed a creative boost. Once done, there were definitely ones I preferred over others. Below are my least favorite of the bunch.
While pretty, they're just so-so

These are okay.
The ones on the left are a little bland, and while I like the dangles (from old earrings) on the right; I'm just not feeling the beads in them.

My favorites of them all are these next two pairs.
The geometric wood connectors came from an old necklace I bought and took apart ages ago. I only added some antiqued brass findings and those two vintage white beads.

This pair is my absolute favorite. I took the silver tone metal connectors and added iced enamels in chartreuse to bring them up a notch. The clear beads are chandelier crystals sandwiched with brass daisy spacers. The rest of the findings are antiqued brass, including the handmade ear wires. 

I totally feel a little more creative, despite the wonky schedule that I'm finally adjusting to. Two of my nieces are staying over during their break until Christmas Eve. I'm hoping we can stay out of the Christmas crazy and get a little creating done. . .even if it's just some cookies!

I'm linking this up over at the Earrings Everyday blog, and you can find others participants there as well.

Let me know, what do you do to get your creative juices flowing after a long break?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Renovations Underway

As if getting a puppy wasn't enough of a change, we finally found a contractor to take down two of the walls in our house. We've been wanting to open up the living areas (living room, kitchen, and soon-to-be dining room) ever since we moved in our new home over a year ago.

On Thursday, we found out that the renovations would start today. With that news, I frantically started cleaning out all the cabinets on one side of the kitchen.

We've been calling the front room "the box room" because that's where we kept all the boxes that needed to be unpacked.
The wall straight ahead and the one to the left are the ones to be removed
Pat moved all those for me on Saturday into the guest room.
This was actually this morning, but you can see how big that unused room actually is!
And, here's a look at the wall that's to come down in the living room.

Since we want to save and reuse the cabinets from the kitchen, Pat took down several of those this morning.

The workmen helped him move the rest.
Check out all the different wall colors!!
Since I have a nervous nature, I left the house this morning not long after the workmen got there. But, Pat's been updating the progress for me via text.
They started with the drywall in the front room
Here's a view from the kitchen of how it stands now.

Talking to Pat, he says it's pretty awesome to be able to see from the sunroom into the living room. We were told that the walls should be done within a few days and they'll finish up details and painting next week. After all our talk about this project, I'm amazed at how fast it's moving along!

I'll update more later!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Puppy Love

We've got a new member of the family!
We're calling her Zoe after Zoe Washburn from Firefly, the tv show. Like Zoe, she's a Browncoat. Ha! She's a 12 week old brindle Boxer.

And, she's already made herself at home.

One member of the family isn't too sure about her yet.
I do hope that in time they become best friends. For now, we're keeping them mostly separated. But, they're interested in watching each other closely through the baby gates.

And, for a little more cuteness. Here's a video I captured when we got Zoe home.

I've still been crazy-busy, but do hope to get in a good routine again. Of course, between the new addition and with it being holiday season. . .we'll see how that goes.

Anybody got any dog-training tips?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Small Business Saturday Coupon Code

Since it's Small Business Saturday, I decided to have a little sale.


Head over to the CraftyHope Etsy shop, use code SBS2016 at checkout, get 15% off! This sale will last through Monday.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkins: From Fall Decorations to Chicken Treats

With Thanksgiving in the long ago past of yesterday, the holidays are definitely upon us. I had hoped to come home from my mom's full of enough holiday spirit to energize me to pull out the Christmas decorations. But, a full turkey dinner zapped that idea and gave me time to plan instead.

I started this morning by removing the live pumpkins and single gourd from my dining table display.

They went straight onto the cutting board

where I cut the pumpkins open. The gourd was too hard to cut and went immediately into the compost bin.

The seeds and guts were scooped out with a spoon and tossed in the blender.

Larger portions were saved to go straight to the chickens while some of the flesh was cut from the insides for the blender. The tough outer skin was chopped small and tossed into the compost.

I took the portions for the chickens out to them, and they dug right in.

With the flesh, seeds, and guts in the blender; I shook in a few oats.

I think I should have probably used the food processor instead as I had to add water and keep stopping to push the seeds down the sides of the blender. Eventually though, I got the thick consistency I wanted. The paste-like substance was divided into three containers.

Then, they were labeled before one got placed in the fridge to use in the next day or two and the other two went in the freezer for later.

Now, here's hoping they like the paste as much as they liked the pumpkin

Pumpkins for Chickens

Up next? FINALLY getting those Christmas decorations out. How much decorating have you gotten done so far?

I shared this post on:
Waste Less Wednesdays on Skip the Bag
Homestead Blog Hop at The Not-so-Modern Housewife
Think Tank Thursday at Saving 4 Six
The Homesteader Hop
Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop at Nancy on the Homefront

Monday, November 14, 2016

October Goal Review

Since it's already the middle of November, I guess it's about time to summarize how I did on my goals and tasks for the month of October.

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 39-43. That may sound like a lot, but I wasn't near as productive as I would have liked.

Week 39 (Sep. 25 - Oct. 1)
Goal
This week, I wanted to develop basic jewelry tutorials but that just hasn't happened yet. 
In fact, none of my goals were met this week as I spent the majority of it at my mom's house with my grandmother and niece while my mom was on vacation. 


Week 40 (Oct. 2-8)
Goal
Making a texture block like the ones in this Gelli Arts Texture Block video was the goal for this week. It just didn't happen.

Jewelry
I was a week behind on my jewelry-making, but was able to exceed my goals with these pieces. 
They were all made as part of my Cut Out + Keep Jewelry Superstar feature. And, I just realized that I shared the earrings with y'all last month. Sorry about that!

Card
Catching up on Week 38, I made this card.
It features washi tape as the background and a paper feather received in a swap as the focal. I also doodled with some black and white pens.

Blog
My September Goal Review and Keeping Busy (WOYWW) were posted on the blog that week. 

Journal 
Like the card, I was able to get an art journal page for Week 38 done. 
The background was made from collaged papers, brayered paint, and paint doodles. I added the girl with paint, watercolor pencils, and pastels.


Week 41 (Oct. 9-15)
Goal
I really wanted to get a few portions of the living room organized. In particular, a stack of boxes next to the tv cabinet was driving me crazy. The contents of those boxes now has a new home, carefully concealed in the living room. I'm considering that goal done.

Jewelry
This week, I made the washi tape earrings featured on Cut Out + Keep and a long necklace with one of my assemblage keys

Blog
Not only did I share a great way to use up leftovers with my Chili Cheese Nacho recipe, but I shared some of my finds from the Robertsdale Antique Show.


Week 42 (Oct. 16-22)
Goal
I knew it was past time to start my Christmas List, so I made it my goal for the week. And, I even got it started!!

Jewelry
These earrings and necklace were made, along with another pair of earrings that was given as a gift.

Card
Back on the card-making wagon, I was able to get the card for Week 39 done. 
It's a gelli print with some doodles and a chit chat sticker.

Blog
You got a peek at what I was working on from the junk drawer for WOYWW. (It was the necklace above ;)  )

Journal 
Two pages were made this week, to make up for Weeks 39 & 40.  
I made this page with brayered paint, stencils, stamps, and doodles (in paint and pen). The focal is a magazine cutout and the text was hand lettered.

Gelli prints make up the background for this page. I toned them down with gesso before adding shades of blue paint around the edges. In the center, I painted the sailboat with a combo of acrylic paint and neocolor ii crayons.


Week 43 (Oct. 23-29)
Goal
This week, I had hoped to get my "Shit-to-do" list made. It's basically a list of things I want to get done around the house (home repairs, decorating, and whatnot.) It was a week of ups and mostly downs, so it just didn't happen.

Blog
I did get a chance to share the news about being a Jewelry Superstar as well as my Birthday Desk (WOYWW).

November's already not looking so great in a multitude of ways, but I am trying to stay positive and continue to move forward. I'm already beginning to think about how I want to handle my goal(s) for next year and what I want to accomplish. It's really hard to think about moving ahead when you're so far behind. I guess I better stop whining and get to it!

Have you already started considering your goals for 2017?