Friday, October 27, 2017

Ten Year Blogiversary and GIVEAWAY

As of today, it's been ten years since I started this blogging journey. I didn't quite know what I wanted to do with this platform, and to be honest, I still don't. It's a great medium to get my words and pictures out there. I went back and took a look at my most popular posts, both by most views and most comments. There were a few intersections of the two. I thought about sharing some of those links with you but realized that no one is likely interested in all that. Truth be told, most of them were blog hops of some sort, with a few thrift store scores and other miscellanea mixed in. I discovered a few posts and link-up series I had forgotten about and realize that there seem to be fewer and fewer of those out there in the blogoverse. I could ponder and ramble on about blogging for ages, but let's get to the giveaway portion instead.


I decided to simply gather a little bit of everything: some jewelry, jewelry-making supplies, ephemera and collage materials, altered elements, and so much more. Here's a better look at what will be included.

I started by picking out a few pieces of completed jewelry. There's a long necklace of mixed beads and buttons in a rainbow pattern, three pairs of earrings from #The100DayProject, and a copper and peridot necklace.

Next, I sorted out salvaged jewelry odds and ends that you might be able to work into your own jewelry designs or mixed media projects.

Here are a few items still in their packaging: a pendant from Industrial Chic, beading wire and cord, pin backs, and some little clothespins.

I've got quite a collection of items I've altered somehow for jewelry designs.

There's a bit of de-stash that includes a baggie of shells with holes for stringing, sections of a metal belt I took apart, a large ceramic bead, polymer clay beads, and a few other odds and ends.

For fun, I gathered a few paper goodies. Here are a several of my gelli-printed papers and a couple of die cuts.

In addition, a stack of ephemera and other collage materials came together.

I went to my little junk drawers for these beauties. There are game pieces, keys, a keyhole, salvaged charms, an eyeglass lens, and other found treasures.

No giveaway from me would be complete without a few buttons. There are mother-of-pearl ones as well as a selection of other buttons.

For the last little touch, I tossed in some cut tin. These have already been filed and sanded so the edges are butter-smooth.

There's a possibility that more goodies might be added. I haven't even touched the beads yet!

How might you win this abundance of awesome? Here are the details:
Contestants must live in the US (unfortunately, I just can't mail this outside the states)

Leave a comment that includes 
1. Your e-mail address
2. Your favorite thing in the giveaway
3. What you think is missing from the giveaway (I might just add it)

The contest will end on Thursday, November 9, 2017, and winner will be announced on November 10th.

I think that's everything, except...THANK YOU to those of you who come back here time and again to see what's going on in my little corner of the internet. I appreciate your interest, support, encouragement, kindness, and friendship more than you know. It means the world. Thank you.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Harvest Moon October Inspiration for Earrings Everyday

As soon as I saw the Harvest Moon inspiration for this month at Earrings Everyday, I was indeed inspired. The challenge came to my attention several days after it was posted and thus several days since the Harvest Moon had made its appearance. I had the pleasure of getting to see that moon in all its October glory. Simply recalling its beauty was all I needed to envision this design.

I first considered what material would best represent the moon itself. Almost immediately I was struck with the image of mother-of-pearl buttons. Their holes and sometimes rough texture would be perfect to epitomize the moon. But, I didn't want them to hang loosely in the earrings, they called out to be set in the sky.

Since I've been playing around with tin on and off for a few months, it seemed to be just the thing to use as the backdrop. And, utilizing a technique I picked up in a jewelry class, I was sure I could attach the buttons to the tin by folding the tin over on the buttons. 

At a local thrift store, I found a tin with a black lid. The base was a snowy city scene that I used to practice the design. It was good that I decided to practice as I had originally intended to only use one layer of tin. But, the propeller-like shape (middle) of the single layer made me change my plans to add the second layer.

My initial plans changed again when I added the patina to the tin. See, the backside of the black tin was a brassy-gold that I was able to sand off for the most part. In order give the earrings an "aged" feel, I left some of the original color. When the dark patina was added, the brassy-gold really stood out and sparkled like stars in the sky. Since the fold-overs had this effect on them, I decided to flip the second layer so some of the sparkles would show up in the background too. Even the rivets went well with the bit of metallic poking through. 
  
I see myself making many other pairs of earrings like these, combining tin and buttons - two found object materials I really enjoy working with. And, I see how I can improve upon this design and the process. For now, though, I'm totally smitten with my own pair of Harvest Moon Earrings.


I'm linking up on the Earrings Everyday reveal post. I do hope you head over there and see how other artists were inspired by this month's theme. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Motivation Waning

I don't know if I'm getting sick or still wrestling with the weather (we had a little hurricane over the weekend), but my get-and-go has got-up-and-gone this week. I'm lacking so much motivation. However, I have my trusty bullet journal to try and keep me on track. So, I've gotten a few things accomplished today.

These three pretties were taken up to Southern Antiques and Accents to be added to the booth.


I listed a pair of earrings in the Etsy Shop.
You'll find these Blue Glass Fairy Earrings there. You may remember the from #The100DayProject.

I'm working on editing pictures of jewelry to be added to the Etsy Shop. In fact, I started editing the pictures for this necklace yesterday. 
And, I decided to wear it to a meeting last night. It got loads of compliments. It's part of an old watch. I added pearls in the face with resin and accented it simply with more pearls and gold-tone chain. I hope to have it in the shop within a week. 

Finally, I started on this necklace from my Bead Box to Go during Hurricane Nate. It's sitting on my desk at the moment waiting for completion. I'm hoping to get to work on it some this evening. 

I did get some household chores done and will be making dinner shortly. Oh, and I just finished a blog post. So, I guess I've gotten more done than it feels like (when I list it all out like that.) I just feel like I'm dragging. Ever have days like that?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bead Box to Go, prepped and ready

Today my mom is having outpatient surgery. I knew that since I'm the one taking her, I'd have plenty of wait time. And, here I am waiting. Not sure if I'd have internet access or battery; I came prepared. I've not only got my laptop and phone (plus chargers), my journal and a notebook, a book to read, some coloring pages and gel pens, and snacks; but I've also got a few jewelry-making supplies. As usual, I'm over-prepared. I like it that way. Since I spent several hours yesterday gathering the jewelry supplies, I figured I'd share some of what I collected.

I started with this craft organizer that already had a selection of beads and focals packed for vacation. With this in hand, I decided to tackle it like a muffin tin jewelry challenge and fill each compartment with the supplies needed to complete a piece. For the most part, I used what was already in the container, removing only the yellow beads as they just didn't speak to me. As well, I tried to use the focals that were already gathered. 

There weren't near enough focal elements for this task, so I dipped into my inspiration jar (I'll be blogging about that soon) to select the rest. 

In the end, here's how the box looks now.

I tried to put the wire I would use in the large compartment on the left, but there just wasn't enough room. Instead, there's a small pair of scissors and a few beading needles there. Let me give you a closer look at what I assembled. 
These are compartments 1-4
#1 holds a focal made with an old pearl and rhinestone earring. As well, there are black Chinese crystals from ZnetShows.com, gold-tone chain and wire, and brass bead caps.
#2 is a Tim Holtz bar that I bent for bracelets, pink crystals, a toggle clasp, and Vintaj Arte Metal wire.
#3 has a large brass loop and more Chinese crystals from ZnetShows
#4 is a project I had just started and decided to throw in one of the open spaces. It's a hardware semi-circle thing, a few charms, and glass pearls.

#5 is a strand of freshwater pearls, a strand of clear crystals, and several religious charms.
#6 contains teal Chinese crystals, beading thread, and a couple of bead caps I altered with Vintaj Patinas.
#7 is my favorite of the whole box. There's an old chandelier crystal, a strand of aqua dyed quartz, an elaborate brass hardware piece, and aged brass wire.
#8 has a key that's been decorated with a smashed and colored button. To go with it, I added cultured sea glass tubes and small brass colored beads.

#9 holds a strand of amethyst chips, an enameled filigree bead, and a couple of charms. 
#10 is another favorite with a strand of labradorite, a lampwork bead, an enameled filigree bead, and a ceramic bead from Gaea.
#11 has another bead from Gaea (the heart bead), a polymer clay bead from Shipwreck Dandy, a lampwork bead from StudioJuls, pink plastic beads from an old necklace, and some Picasso Czech glass beads. 
#12 was a tough one. I wasn't sure what to do with those bright red beads. But, the large brown stone seemed to compliment it just right. I added a few gold colored bead caps, red beading thread, and red seed beads.

#13 contains a reproduction dog tag, an enameled bead, a chandelier crystal, black glass beads, and stone beads.
#14 has a ton in it. There's vintage white glass beads, Czech glass beads, and industrial chic element, brass bead caps, and a selection of small, various coordinating pieces.
#15 initially started as something else, but when the ceramic bracelet bar fell out of my hands and broke, I went in another direction. I kept the leaf fringe chain and leaf toggle but added a strand of olive green glass beads.
#16 is a conglomeration of what was left in the box: a large Tim Holtz tag (bent for a bracelet bar) and two different types of stones. We'll see how that one comes together.

In addition to all these elements, I've got a baggie of wire spools, a few neutral filler beads, pliers, and a bead mat on a clipboard. Most of the compartments also have any findings I might need (jump rings, headpins, etc.) Like I said, I think I'm prepared. Of course, I don't believe I'll NEED all of these items today for the short procedure. But, I've got this prepped and ready for today and the days to come. It's nice knowing the decisions are made and all I have to do is create. Now, to just off the internet and get to it.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Jewelry Booth Update (New Inventory and Displays)

Last week I was able to head over to Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope (the one on Greeno Rd.) where I have a small booth. Since the season has changed, I swapped out some of the inventory. 
Don't these necklaces have an Autumnal feel to them?

And, since it's been a long time since I'd done so, I updated a few of the displays as well. In particular, a spinning earring rack was added. It was purchased at Goodwill and started out as shiny black. I've seen similar ones at Michael's. The black and glossiness were too much for me. I sprayed it with flat white paint and distressed it with a sanding block. It's definitely more my style now.
Unfortunately, the only picture I got of it was after it was loaded up with earrings. 

I also added an old, large spool to stack bracelets.
It looks a little bare. I guess I better make more bracelets!

As well, some other things were moved around, reorganized, and added. 

I think it's got a bit of a cleaner look now.
Though, there's still lots of room for improvement. I've got a few ideas but would love to hear yours too. This bottom shelf is a wreck. You do have to crouch down to see all the way in the back though. So, I've left it a little messy. I suppose I should fix that. 

As always, if you're in the area, I encourage you to stop by Southern Antiques and Accents on Greeno Road in Fairhope. In addition to my little booth, there are plenty of other larger ones to explore.