Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up and Goal Review

I think I overdid it this weekend. It's been a really glorious two days here in south Alabama, especially for January. On Saturday we made the short trip to the beach and watched the Gulf of Mexico waves roll in for a little while.
The beauty and cleansing nature of the beach inspired us to push ourselves to take a ten mile bike ride. My butt is killing me! Today was warmer but more overcast. We headed north to check out a new disc golf course. While it was only a nine basket course, it was more hilly than we're used to playing. I definitely got yet another workout. And then when we got home, I did yard work and walked the property. I know I'll be sore in the morning. It'll be worth it though, right?

As for my goals. . .I think it was a bit overkill to check in with my progress every week. Instead, I'll try to remember to do a monthly wrap-up of them. I've already reviewed Week 1 and Week 2. Here's my rundown for weeks 3 and 4. That will finish up January. How is it February tomorrow??

Week 3
My goal and tasks for week 3 were simple.

I didn't get a picture of the daily checklist I created, but it was done. Likewise, I indeed had at least one blog entry during that time. Let me share with you my physical creations.
Above is the altered playing card I created. It was a quick and easy one. I only used a monoprint (Gelli Plate) for the background, glued on half a die cut flower, traced it, stamped the word 'breathe' onto graph paper, glued down the graph paper, traced it, and inked the edges of the card. I went for something quick because my week was absolutely insane! The pictured card is actually sitting on my journal page for the week. It was absolutely blank at the end of the week. I did fix that though (you'll see in a second).

For the jewelry, I also went the easy route and created a pair of earrings. I made these for my niece. She became Worthy Advisor (president) of her Assembly (for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls) and had a whole Japanese theme. I know these beads are probably Chinese, but she really was doing more of an Asian theme. And, the aqua blue went with the dress she was wearing. Alas, the week was so crazy that I forgot to take the earrings to her before the event. Oops!

Remember that blank page? Well...
I did a quick watercolor painting of some resemblance of my niece's dress and cherry blossoms (her flower) on Sunday. It may have been late, but it got done.

Week 4

I was sooooo looking forward to this past week. After two weeks of pure chaos, week 4 felt like it was going to be full of freedom. How wrong I was. Every day had its own tasks and errands and busy-ness that kept me from my larger goals.

Again, I won't share the blog posts I wrote over the week. I'm sure you can find those yourself.  And again, I needed quick and easy projects. 

I got to my altered card first quite late in the week. I simply dabbed some Distress Ink (minis) onto my nonstick craft mat and sprayed it with a bit of water. 

I quickly ran the gessoed playing card through the ink. I also ran my journal page through what was left of the ink (you'll see what became of that in a bit.)
Using a stencil with circles, I dabbed white paint onto the card with a cosmetic sponge. (I used the rest of the paint through the same stencil on my journal page.) Once the paint dried, I circled the dots with a pencil, stamped the word "Dreamy" onto the card in sepia, underlined the word with a pen, and inked the edges. Done!

I lucked up when it came to the making of the jewelry. Blue Girl Beading Co. was offering a cold connection earring class on Friday afternoon/evening. I quickly signed up.
These are the earrings I finished. They are a little rough, but I feel the lesson I learned was valuable. And, I got to cross a task off my list.

My main goal for the week was to create earring cards with my Silhouette Cameo. I was hoping to learn to use the machine better AND create something usable. I tried using some thin cardboard covered in dictionary paper. I used the settings I found recommended on another blog.
Do you see the oopsie in the above photo? Here's a closer look.

Yeah, it just didn't cut all the way through. I think there's actually two mistakes here. 1- I need to set the cutting tool higher 2 - I need to pick a less complex design. I wasn't able to make my attempt until Saturday. With the fail, I know I will have to try this again. Alas.

Lastly, I once again did not get to my journal page until Sunday. Here's its state on Sunday morning.
This was after my leftover ink swipe and white paint stenciling. I really liked it. I added dictionary text, more ink and water, more white paint, stamps, and doodles. With a Tim Holtz stamp and some doodles with a stabilo all pencil, I created the focal.

The focal stamp says "Creativity isn't in the finding of a thing but the making something with it after it is found." This is a lesson I sincerely need to learn. I have all the Friday Finds posts, but other than the post, what am I making from the finds? It's time for me to get busy!

Oh, and before I head out, I have to share some good news. We received word tonight that we have at least one offer on our other house. We'll have to make a decision in the morning, but I hope the process that comes next is a smooth one. It would be nice to be a one-mortgage family once again. Fingers crossed!!

Here's hoping your week ahead is a good one!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Finds #4 | Thrift, Craft, and Antique Stores

I know, I know. These finds were from November, but I'm still trying to catch up. I do hope y'all will forgive me and just enjoy the finds!


Here's my video reveal of all of these scores. It actually includes all of them because it was recorded just after I discovered the goodies.


If you're just not feeling like watching me ramble for five and a half minutes, here's a peek at most of what I unearthed.
From a thrift store in Mobile, AL
From Blue Girl Beading Co in Gulf Shores, AL
From Hobby Lobby
My favorite find in this post! From The Rabbit Hole Marketplace in Summerdale, AL
The jewelry was brought home in a bag and sorted before being placed in a jar. This may not be the right jar. You'll have to watch the video to see what I got. Oh, and I figured out that the tiny jars are food coloring jars. I was excited about that. Anyway, these were from an antique store in  Robertsdale, AL.

So, that's the bulk of my finds lately (even if that was back in November). I've been so busy since then, there hasn't been a whole lot of treasure hunting. Hopefully that will change. However, I've got so many treasures right now that I really just need to spend some time working with them instead of hunting for more! Who can resist the thrill of the hunt though?

Have you found anything good lately?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Days of My Craft Desk | Episode 2

What's with this year already? It seems to be just slipping away. Maybe it's me. That's the more likely case. I feel completely distracted and can't quite accomplish one task before I'm off on another. My desk is a perfect example of this scattered, unfocused trend. In the last episode of Days of My Craft Desk, I showed you the evolution of my workspace over a single day. Today, I offer you a look at it over several weeks' time.

Like beads rolling across the craft room floor, these are the 
Days of My Craft Desk.


Warning!! Those who are neat freaks and need complete and utter organization should look away before continuing to scroll down.

On January 4th, I started my day as always - making my to do list in my planner/bullet journal. I like to use a variety of pen colors to highlight different tasks. My favorite pens are the pilot V5 RT. I love that they are retractable and have an extra fine tip. LOVE!

By 11am the next morning, I was working on relisting some items in the CraftyHope Etsy shop. The items making their second appearance were strewn on my desk. And, I was probably on my second cup of coffee, my lifeline.

That afternoon had me pricing earrings and putting them on cards. Most of those pretty pairs on the right are now in my Southern Antiques and Accents booth.

On January 11th, I dove into my thrifted jewelry stash for a broken brooch. I also pulled out some Chinese crystals to match. These components came together as a necklace fairly quickly.

By the next morning, the necklace was complete (though not removed), and my daily planning was underway.

Just days before my Mardi Gras ball, I started gathering components that I thought would go well with my costume. I knew I was only making earrings so I did try to limit my selections. It was difficult.

At 9am on Jan 19th, I started on my daily list. However, I was distracted by all the pretty pens. Being me, I had to line them up in Roy G Biv order, obviously.

This was the state of my desk on the morning of the 21st. I was trying to finish up/start on some altered playing cards (not the ones in the link, but just so you get the idea). I had hoped leaving them out like this would help me find inspiration. It did not.

Two days ago, upon finishing the cards, this was the state of my desk. Yes, a complete disaster of stamps, inks, brads, glues, and more. GAH! But, I got them done nonetheless.

So, that's been the gist of what's come across my desk lately: scatterbrained, schizophrenic chaos. And the days seem to keep slipping away. Please tell me I'm not the only one whose craft desk is suffering from multiple-interests disorder. If so, I guess it's all in the life of a craft table.

Tune in next time to see what else is in store in the Days of My Craft Desk.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Altered Playing Cards for October (stupid slow internet)

Gracious! The internet here at the new house is unbearably slow. It takes me ages upon ages to get videos to upload. And, because they take up so much bandwidth while uploading, I only try to get them up overnight while we sleep and are not going to be online. Even still, a 12 minute video takes ALL NIGHT and then a few more hours in the morning (if I'm lucky). It's kinda infuriating, but a good practice in patience.

You may remember some of the Altered Playing Cards I've made in the past for August, for April, and for several other months as part of swaps. Well, I've continued to make and swap the cards and even recorded my process for most of them. So now, I'm desperately trying to edit and upload the videos to share. I'm way behind and the delay in upload time doesn't help any. In any case, I finally finished getting October's Motivational Altered Playing Cards videos online. Here's the first of the videos with an explanation and the first card.

You can find the second video with cards 2-4 and the third one with cards 5 & 6 on YouTube.

If you don't have that kind of time, here are the cards I created for my partner. The quality of the pictures isn't great because I forgot to take actual pictures of them. Instead, I took screen shots of the videos. Sorry. Again, this has all been a great way for me to learn some patience.


Here's the first card. The flower took so long to assemble, but the background was just scrapbook paper and the words a sticker.

Card  number two focused on a butterfly stamped onto some old book text. The words were formed with letter stickers.

This third card was way less complicated than it looks. Vintage paper, rose image from a book, text stickers, and some doodling brought it all together.

This fourth card is definitely my least favorite of the bunch. The napkin background just muddied the whole thing. I tried to lighten it up with the white doodles around the outside, but I don't think that helped much. The words were printed on copy paper and colored with instant coffee. Because of that, the card smells amazing. What? I love coffee!

This is another card that could have been so much better if I had just left well enough alone. I really liked the gelli print I used initially, but I just kept adding over the top of it until you couldn't even see it anymore. What a disaster! I do like the banner and 'create' that ended up on there, but the background could have been better.

For the last one of the bunch, I tried to keep it simple rather than the muddled mess the previous two had become. It's some painted paper with a painted stencil and spray ink. The words are a sticker, the hand is a rub-on, and the hearts are hand-carved stamps. Easy!

I really loved the first three I made in this set, but the last three had me trying to do too much and really just about ruining the cards. I'm working on learning when to stop in my mixed media process. These are a great example of why I need to learn it. I do hope my partner liked the cards in the end though.

I am working on uploading, editing, and voicing the cards for November. Keep your eye out!

Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about these cards. I'll do my best to answer them!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Week 2 Goal Review

Oh, holy heck! I thought last week was going to be rough with the Mardi Gras ball prep, but this week is already kicking my butt too. I think the problem is that I planned for it last week while thinking that this week would be easier. I was wrong. Anyway, let's talk about how much of a success last week was instead of this week's dismal outlook.

I was able to get through last week's goal and tasks with the cheats I created for myself.  My goal for the week was to create and start using a blog calendar. It was a bit of a cheat because I had already placed a calendar in my bullet journal and begun penciling-in blog post ideas. I have a long list of post ideas so it was just a matter of transferring them from the list to the calendar. Now, sticking to the calendar will be another matter entirely.

The altered card started off with a card I had already painted. I layered some spray inks and paint through stencils, thinking I would go with a mardi gras theme. However, the colors got kinda muddied. I decided to stop adding more to the background and smeared some white paint on to accentuate the key, glued the key down, stuck down a phrase I thought went well with the key and resonated with me, used black and white pens to doodle, and darkened around the key with my stabilo all pencil. I'm not as happy with it as I am about last week's, but relieved that it got made.

The jewelry design for the week was a pair of earrings to go with my costume for the ball. I knew it needed to be black, gold, and sparkly. The above is what came together. I'm really happy with them. I don't know that I will wear them again, so they may end up for sale either in the CraftyHope etsy shop or at Southern Antiques and Accents.

I wanted to get at least one blog post up last week and was able to get THREE. I'm pleased as punch about that!

My art journal page was just going to be art, but I quickly decided to make it about the chaos of the week. The background is collaged, painted, stamped, spray inked, and doodled. Then, I journaled about the week on a piece of paper, scrunched it up, inked the edges, and glued it down in the middle of the page. I do love how it looks.

As far as some of the rest of the things I needed to get done last week. . they were all accomplished - including Alabama winning the National Championship game! Ha!!

Here's this week's list
All the little tasks at the bottom are MUST DOs and may overtake the ones above. I've even added to that list since the picture was taken. I guess it's about time I get on it!

I hope your past few weeks have been less chaotic than mine. Now that we're a few weeks into the year, how are your goals and focus coming along?

Friday, January 15, 2016

January's Southern Antiques & Accents Features ARE today's Friday Finds

Okay, okay, okay. I know I'm cheating a little here by combining these two features, but it works doesn't it?
If you head over to Southern Antiques and Accents, you'll FIND these pieces showcased in my booth.



For the life of me, I couldn't get a clear picture of this one. Here's another shot of it (not in the booth)



You'll find all of these and more at Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope. My booth is located just behind the register when you walk in the door. Oh, and January 19th from 6-8 is Ladies Night! You'll find discounts and markdowns throughout the place. Come check it out and see what else you can find.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Scrabble Family Tree | DIY

I don't want to make the same mistake I made last year in not sharing the Christmas gifts Pat and I (mostly Pat) made. Last year, he went overboard turning some pens on the lathe, building a birdhouse, and crafting a life-sized nativity. However, I don't think I shared any of that. What a shame! Because his shop's not quite in the shape he wants it yet, we didn't get but one gift made this year.
It was one of those things that hit me randomly, and I just had to create it.  Let me preface it all with: Pat's mom is a big fan of the word game Scrabble. So, we created this Scrabble Family Tree of sorts for her.

Fortunately, I have a nice collection of Scrabble tiles. Some of these were bought new in the scrapbooking section of a store and some came out of thrifted Scrabble games.

I started with a list of the family names to include - didn't want to forget anyone. From there, I sketched it out to get all the names to connect to our surname, Smitherman.

Once I had a layout I liked, it was just a matter of gluing the tiles to the board. (Getting a board was another matter entirely. . .I didn't have one at the house like I thought. Gah!) E6000 glue did the job perfectly. I started in the middle and worked out so I wouldn't mess up any of the tiles.

We left the board flat to dry for a few days while Pat built a frame with some cedar he found in the pole barn.

Now, I can't explain how he built the frame or set the board in it, but if you've got some wood skills or know someone who does - I'm sure they can figure it out too.

In the end, his mom and the rest of the family thought it was really cool. And, I was pretty pleased with how well the names evolved on the board. . .as though playing the game. Stating with Smitherman, it works out that Pat's dad, then mom, then the four of them (his brothers, sister, and himself), then the rest of are added to the board working off each of the letters already down. It tickled me, but may not work as well for other families.

So, if you've got a scrabble-lover or game fanatic in your family, this might be just the right gift for them too!

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions (even for Pat) about this project!