Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Finds #9 - Craft and Thrift Haul

I actually got a You Tube video uploaded in a timely manner, now to just share it with y'all. I was able to do some thrift and craft store shopping a few weeks ago. Among the many treasures I found was a bag of ceramic pieces that were allegedly collected along Mobile Bay.

Here's the video of everything I scored.

And, here's some more pictures of those ceramic treasures.

Here's my favorite of the pieces in the bag.

I still don't know what I'll do with all these lovely pieces, but they're fun to play with.

Found anything good lately?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I'm a Farm Girl Now

Well. . .farm girl is a little bit of a stretch, but some things have changed.

For one, we now have a tractor. . . A TRACTOR!!
It's a pretty, blue Ford that Pat found on Craigslist. It came with the red thing attached to the back. That's called a bush hog. We have a BUSH HOG! (WHAT!?) It's basically a lawnmower attachment to take down large brush. I recently learned that, thought I'd share.

Another thing that's changed is my desire to work in the yard. Pat and I have both discovered this change in ourselves. I guess that's a good thing since there's now five acres of yard to deal with. At the other house, we neglected the yardwork as much as we could get away with. However, I now find myself outside almost daily pulling weeds. In fact, I spent a large portion of this past weekend hunting air potato (an insanely invasive weed) sprouts to try and stop them as much as I can. And, I wasn't bothered at all that I was out in the dirt sweating away, hunting weeds. What is wrong with me?

Of course, the prospect being able to cool off in the pool after getting so hot could have something to do with it.
Right now the pool is a bit chilly - unless you've worked yourself into a sweat in the yard. Then it's almost nice. . . for a few minutes.

And now, Pat and I are talking about getting chickens. We've toyed with the idea ever since we decided we wanted to get some property. However, I think it's getting serious now, and I've got so much nervous excitement about the prospect.

See. . .I'm getting to be a farm girl. A weed-pulling, pool-floating, chicken-talking farm girl. And, I couldn't be happier!

Do you have chickens? I need tips, pros and cons, and lots of info. Share away!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Friday Finds #8 - Spring on the Property

Ever since we moved out here on the property, the phrase I hear most often from other people is, "I just love seeing all the cool stuff you're finding at your new place." It's part of the reason I've started doing these Friday Finds posts. It's my way of giving back. . .or something like that. ha!

I've been anxiously awaiting spring just to see what kind of flowers and plants would start popping up. I haven't been disappointed. Even before the official start of the season, we started spying blooms all over that yard. Obviously, I had to take pictures of them.
It started first with these miniature daffodils. I had no ideas there were here. You should have seen the happy dance I did when we discovered these by the pool.

Before we knew it, the loquats started fruiting. I've already made my first ever batch of jam with some of these. Alas, I only got the one batch out of them because they've already finished fruiting. I'll have to be quicker next year. 

Early into the season, we saw the unmistakable thorny vines of blackberries (dewberries?) snaking their way over a small wisteria bush. We've let it be in the hopes of some more fresh fruit. 

These weedy purple flowers have popped up all over the yard. Using the Garden Answers app that we both downloaded to help us identify all the plant life in our yard, we learned that it's called Spiderwort. Despite the name, I think it's pretty.

Ever since we moved in, I've been anxiously waiting for the wisteria to bloom. I wanted to know if we had white or purple. It's all purple, but that's okay - it still smells heavenly either way.

While we've always known that wisteria can be invasive, we're learning just how invasive. It's insane. Leaves are popping up everywhere from vines that run under the grass. One of these vines wrapped around the riding lawnmower the other day, almost breaking it. I guess we'll just have to keep it in better control if I want to keep it. 

I hadn't paid much attention to a rather large bush in the way back yard. However, as soon as spring hit, it begged for attention.
These clusters of small yellow roses definitely caught my eye.

See how beautiful they are up close! According to my app, they're Carolina Roses. Very cool.

These little buds are scattered on a tree in the back also. We're still not quite sure what they are. The app gives us several options from dogwood to apple/pear.

Whatever they are, I like 'em.

Another plant I was excited to find we have on the property is hydrangea.
Pat's not super keen on them, but I adore their beautiful clusters. Now to just wait for the leaves to finish filling in and then sometime soon hopefully I'll get to see what color they all are. 

If you remember any of the pool and property tour I offered up back in October, you may remember all the bamboo we have. Well, now the shoots are starting to come up all over the place.
Some of them are kinda tiny, if we catch them in time.

However, if I'm not on top of things, they get bigger and fast! We've found that the best way to get rid of them once they come up is to kick them. This breaks them below the surface of the grass. I'm not sure if there's a more technical way to take care of them, but this is how we're doing it. Part of my daily routine include bamboo kicking now. Who would have thought that I'd ever utter that sentence?

I think these blooms are some of the ones that excite me the most.
They're lemon blossoms!! I might just have lemons late in the year. How exciting is that!?

And it has now taken me so long to write this post that it is now Saturday. So much for Friday Finds. Oh well, at least I tried.

What beauties are popping up in your yard this Spring?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Currently, I'm. . .

I don't even know what's up with me lately. Days and hours seem to be slipping by me with what feels like getting nothing done. I'm behind on everything: housecleaning, creating, blogging...and those are just the things I can readily recall. Being so behind on blogging, I figured I could get by with one of these 'cheater' posts real quick. I hope you don't mind.

Without further ado, Lately I've been: 

Bookmarking – Not much really since I’m sooooo behind in my blog reading. And, with Pinterest, I just save everything there. My latest find was this great recipe for Kahlua Banana Bread. Sounds good doesn't it? 

Cooking – It's no surprise that I haven't been cooking much lately. I did pop a chicken into the crockpot on Monday morning, forgetting that we had plans Monday night. Since I’ve been away from home last night and will be tonight as well. . . I guess we might FINALLY eat that chicken tomorrow, maybe.

Creating – Again, not much of anything unfortunately. I absolutely do not know how my time is slipping away from me.

Drinking – lots and lots of water mostly.

Eating – Apparently nothing homemade.

Feeling – A little under the weather to be honest. I think I have a touch of a sinus infection. It’s been a heavy pollen Spring so far.

Hoping – To be able to get some things accomplished while I’m at home tomorrow. (A girl can dream)

Knowing – I’m probably kidding myself about getting anything accomplished.

Listing – I listed these pretties last week
Tribal Flower Earrings

Marveling – Over all the beautiful signs of spring in my yard
My niece discovered this cardinal nest the other week.

Needing – Obviously, to get something done

Playing – As always, I’m playing far too many games on my phone

Reading – I’ve been trying to read Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy for MONTHS now. It’s really great, but those stupid phone games have been keeping me from really devouring it.

Wishing – I had more pictures for this post.

Wondering – If anyone is actually reading this.

So that's kinda it for right now: lots of nothing. Please let me know I'm not the only one who apparently has Spring Fever. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

SAA Feature and March Goal Review

Oh, holy cow. . .the last few weeks have been a barrel of crazy sauce. Both my grandmother and step-father have been in the hospital, Easter and Spring Break happened, we sold the other house, my car just about died, I got a new car, and then there was the rest of the chaos that is everyday life. I'll leave the excuses at that and get on with this post. Because I'm so very far behind, I'm going to combine two posts in one and share both my March goal review and a little of what's new at the antique booth.

First up is my display at Southern Antiques and Accents. Because of the above reasons, I unfortunately haven't been out there much. I popped in there the other day to add a few items and move a few others around the booth.
The Tin Fringe Necklace is new and fits right in with some of the other colorful pieces near it.

While this Kitschy Owl necklace totally screams Autumn to me, I just had to put it in the booth. I love the 70s vibe it gives off.

This face necklace is so serene.

There are also new earrings and bracelets out there too. At some point I'll remember to photograph those as well. However, you could head over to Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope and check them out in person if you really wanna!


Now, for my March Goals!
As I did for the February goals, let me remind you that each week I wanted to complete a Goal, a piece of Jewelry, an altered Card, at least one Blog post, and a Journal page. Because of the aforementioned crazy sauce, this month hasn't been very productive. However, I want to share the ups and the downs.  I'm covering weeks 9-12 this month.

Week 9 (Feb. 28-March 5)
Goal
My goal for this week was to create a new header for the CraftyHope Etsy shop. It wasn't too hard to do and I had this done in less than a few hours.
However, within a few days of getting it up, I noticed that Etsy was alterting me to the fact that my shop was going to have a new look at the beginning of April. Well. . . shoot! I had to make another one to fit the new specs. Here's what I made.
I'm pretty happy with it. I decided to use the whitewashed dictionary paper as a background since that's a signature of mine anyway. As well, I used most of the jewelry images I had used in the first rendition since those are some favorites. What do you think? You can see it in action in the shop

Jewelry
This task was completed a bit late. Since I was running behind, I went with something fairly easy and grabbed some brass feather charms. I aged them with Novacan Black before adding Iced Enamels and a sealer. 
And then. . . I wore them one day. Like the majority of my jewelry, I took them off in the living room in the evening and placed them on a table. During Spring Break, there was plenty of activity going on around and on that table. In the process, one of those earrings is now lost. Figures. But, you get to see the one above as proof that at least one was made that week. Isn't that enough?

Card
This was also completed a little late.
I simply dripped alcohol inks onto the gessoed card and let them dry. From there, I glued on random paper shapes and a word sticker. The papers and sticker were outlined and the edge of the card was accented with a stamp pad. Done!

Blog
As you may have noticed, I got only one blog post written for this particular week. In fact, it was my Goal Review for February. But, one blog post was enough to meet my expectations of myself. 

Journal
This page was started during the goal week, but finished a few days later. 
I had made some gelli plate stickers and a few come unstuck in the process, so I threw them on this page. Then, gelli prints were added before I colored the area with some watercolor crayons (and water) and acrylic paint. A basic black permanent market was used to write the words and draw the heart. A white pen was used to outline the black words and heart. Done.


Week 10 (March 6-12)
Goal
For this week, I had hoped to finally get the sunroom painted. However, because my grandmother was not well, this didn't happen.

Jewelry
After sorting through my jars of carded buttons, I discovered several cards that contained only one button. This felt like a waste of the buttons and my space so I pulled those buttons with the idea of creating a long necklace.
This is where I am with it. I ran out of some of the large antiqued brass jump rings I was using in the project. I bought some that are the right diameter, but the gauge of the wire is just too thick. I've got more shopping to do. For now I'm at a standstill with this one. But, I got something started at least.

Card
Again, this card was completed late.
I smeared on the black acrylic paint while working on something else. From there, I stamped onto the black with gold, blue, and white ink. Some red ink was drizzled down the card also. The LOVE is from a magazine clipping, and the heart was cut from paper I had sitting around. With a white Sharpie paint pen, I added the dots on the corners.

Blog
The only post I was able to complete during this week was my Friday Finds post sharing the items I had received as gifts from a friend. 

Journal
Another late journal page.
This started with a gelli print that I glued into the journal, I slapped on some acrylic paint in the empty spaces that matched the paint on the print. A little gesso, some stamps, and black rings were added around the page along with a purple-ish ink. I found the typewriter picture in my stash of magazine clippings, and the words just came to me from there. The image is highlighted with a stabilo all pencil. The words were written with a permanent marker and highlighted with a white pen.


Week 11 (March 13-19)
Goal
Since I knew I would be spending much of the week with my grandmother agin, I decided to make the goal a little more attainable. I hoped to learn Viking Knit by watching videos. Alas, I was busier than I thought and failed to even search out videos to watch. Sigh.

Jewelry
Despite being too busy to watch a few videos, I was able to get this necklace made.
I'm kind in love with it.  The focal was one I made forever ago with some scrapbook paper, a book trimming, a rhinestone, and Ice Resin. I pulled together the chain with square tubes of aventurine and glass pearls. These are wire wrapped onto Vintaj brass colored wire.

Card
Like most everything this month, I finished this card late.
It was super simple. Gold paint was added to the playing card before a white chevron stencil. I used a new(er) jar stamp, and wrote in my exciting news of making my first ever jam with fruit from our yard. Exciting right!?

Blog 
Just one blog post was written during this week. I shared what was new in the SAA booth and Etsy shop

Journal
You know what I'm going to say here, right? Yes, this page was made a little late.
Spring didn't officially start until the next week, but my yard was already overflowing with blooms. As such, this page evolved. I scraped on some bright paints before collaging on die cut papers and other scraps that were on my desk. I added a stencil with ink and doodled with paint pens, pens, and pencils. While it's not the most beautiful thing, it let me be creative for a little bit. I'm happy with that.


Week 12 (March 20-26)
Goal
This week my main goal was to gather our taxes so they could be done. I did start on this goal, but didn't get it completely done. 

Jewelry
There is nothing to report. I didn't make a single thing.

Card
While I didn't make a card during this insane week, I was able to get one made earlier THIS week to make up for it. 
I wanted to play, but also use items within reach. As such, this card's background is just some splatterings of watercolor. From there, I wrote out the phrase with some pens and added PearlEx powder around the word Sparkle. There's not much too it, but at least it's done.

Blog
Somehow in the chaos that was that week, I was able to get a blog post up. Oh, wonder of wonders. I believe I worked on it from my mom's house. I had actually remembered to upload some videos so I could FINALLY share the altered playing cards I made for a swap in Novemeber. 

Journal
Alas, there was no journal page for this week. I'm STILL working on it.

So that's how March went for me. My goal for this week has been to try to catch up on some of these undone tasks. However, that's not working out so great for me. Oh well, we'll get to that when April's over.

How is Spring treating you?