Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Challenges Ahead of Me

I've opted into a few upcoming challenges in an attempt to get motivated and get to making.

I've mentioned the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop a few times already. But, I've finally gotten enough pieces made to meet the requirements and satisfy myself. There's still plenty of time and materials to make more before the April 8th reveal.  Here's what I've made so far.
Haha. Sorry for the teaser. There are indeed some completed jewelry pieces in that jumble.

Speaking of completed projects. . .that's my next challenge. Karen Williams from Baublicious is having another Unfinished Objects (UFO) Blog Hop.
Alas, I'm letting you know this far too late. I do apologize. But, I will show you some of the unfinished objects I'm considering finishing.
After I learned kumihimo, I made a ton of these without ever finishing them. In fact, in one post I mentioned learning kumihimo and shared peeks of most of the above pieces. That was in 2012 - FIVE YEARS AGO!! It may be time to finish these.

This bracelet probably dates even before that. I'm pretty sure it's a fix for a friend. Somehow it got lost in the shuffle. I wonder if she even remembers giving it to me. Eek!

I'm not even sure why I halted on this one, but it looks like much of what I need is right there. I think the big problem is that the Vintaj Arte Metal wire is no longer available at my Hobby Lobby and I'm not sure I have enough to finish this. I may have to figure out another alternative. Should be simple enough.

These are some ear wires I made who knows when. I found them with the rest of the UFOs in a baggie that basically said "needs cleaning, filing, sealing"; so I know exactly what needs to be done.

A final option is this work-in-progress that I've been toting around for weeks. Again, I know what needs to be done - just need to do it.

That's just the options that I found in my quick search of possible UFOs for this challenge. Stay tuned to see if I finish any of these or something completely different.

Now, this last challenge is still open if you're interested in jumping on board.
It doesn't start until April 4th and is on Instagram. Complete information can be found on The100DayProject.org. I really like the idea of this. And, the projects don't have to be crazy complex or even a completed project. I'm going to try to make a pair of earrings each day. Again, it doesn't have to be complex. I'll be using the hashtag #Make100Earrings as my personal hashtag for the event. I'd love to know if you're going to take part in this as well!

I've got a couple of swaps going on as well. So, there's plenty to do ahead of me. Stay tuned for all the reveals and all the fun. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week in Review

Another week in the books my friends. Here's a view of how mine looked.

One of our nieces stayed the night Saturday night. On Sunday, she worked on some projects she came up with to decorate her room. Here, she covered a jelly jar with some dictionary paper. I cut a hole in the lid, and she covered it with washi tape. She's decided to use it as a vase, but planted the fern and elephant ear in dirt when she got home.

We also decided to turn the outdoor kennel we bought for Zoe into a larger run for the chickens. Basically, we just threw a tarp over it. They seemed to dig it.

On the way to take the niece home on Sunday, we stopped in at Goodwill and I saw this table. While I passed, I woke up Monday thinking about it. Had to go back to get it. It's perfect on our front porch!! Now to find some chairs to go with. Darn, more shopping.

After that, I tried to hit the deadlines and played around with some of the beads for the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop. These are actually the duplicates of the ones I sent my partner. While I didn't get much further than this on Monday, I did get some ideas.

I put these button and sea glass earrings in the shop this week.

On Wednesday, I took my grandmother to a doctor appointment. I had to giggle a little at this gentleman's socks. Couldn't help it.

Pat was out of town until Friday, and there were all kinds of things I had hoped to accomplish. But, after a morning sitting at the doctor's, my motivation was way gone. Instead, I enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather on the front porch and made lists of the tasks I wanted to tackle. It definitely helped clear my head.

Wednesday's list-making must have helped because before I knew it, I was gesso-ing frames and canvas boards. It was a good start.

By the end of Thursday, my craft desk was a disaster - in a good way. I worked like a maniac and completed what I could for the Swap N Hop. I can't wait to share what I made on April 8th.

I spent almost all day Friday cleaning as I've rearranged my whole chore schedule so that the bulk of my cleaning is done on Fridays in preparation for the weekend. I think it's nice to have a clean house as the week comes to a close. And, I hated to think of Pat coming home to the disaster I had made (see above images!!)

Oh, and when Pat's away, 
. . .the puppy needs extra snuggles.

I did spend some hours (many, many to be exact) on the front porch while the above-mentioned puppy played in the front yard. While running though the yard, she uncovered this little baby.
That's an old glass marble there. Alas, it's quite chipped on the other side. But still pretty!!

Yesterday, we basked in the glory of Pat being home. So yeah. . .we stuck close to home and just hung out. Actually. . .I started on Friday filming some basic jewelry-making videos (FINALLY! Right!?) and worked on editing them. Stay tuned for that!! 

I'm looking forward to the week to come and all the possibilities it holds. I hope your week was full of awesome. What'cha got planned for this one?

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.
Pre-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.

See!!

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.