Friday, July 20, 2018

Cheers to July - We're All Ears Challenge Reveal

It's been almost a week since the end of our vacation. While it was a staycation, that didn't stop us from having a good time. The "Cheers to July" We're All Ears challenge from Erin at Earrings Everyday has helped me ease back into my routine. I was able to get back into the swing of the work of making jewelry and blogging while still thinking about the summery beverages we drank during our vacation. 

Back in April, I made earrings inspired by two of my favorite summertime beverages (Mojitos and Bushwackers) for the Paradise Calling Challenge. This time around I focused on our July staycation and the many beers we enjoyed while floating in our pool.

We've decided that the best beer for the pool and the beach is often a simple, light Mexican one (preferably in a can as bottles are prohibited on the beach and we don't particularly like the glass around the pool.) As such, the below image from Unsplash (as Erin recommended) was the perfect visual inspiration for my earrings. 

Photo by Blake Guidry on Unsplash
It really was my jumping off point. Once I saw the photo, I recalled the tin partial circles I created as part of The 100 Day Project. The blue was reminiscent of the pool and the yellow of the foliage around it. To each, I added a cultured sea glass bead and a brass bead "floating" above it from a chain. As well, the brass echoes the color of the beer.
These Poolside Tin Earrings are currently available on Etsy

I know that these may not scream BEER to you, but I absolutely see it. Of course, you may just need to get in the pool and grab a cold one to really get it. 

A big thank you goes out Erin and the folks over at Earrings Everyday for the challenge. Make sure to swing over there to see what everyone else created.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bead Box 3 - Reveal

Not sure when I'll be inspired or when I'll lack creative motivation altogether, I try to keep a box of designed-but-not-assembled jewelry pieces ready to go. I first stocked the bead box in October to keep me busy in the hospital waiting room. And, I've been re-stocking it as needed since. 


The last time I re-stocked the bead box was back in March (though I didn't share it until April). This was the third time I had stocked it up, and I wasn't particularly feeling inspired so I used the March Bead Challenge from Fusion Beads to help spur my designing. In this post, I'm revealing how those designs turned out in a before and after reveal.

First were an "easy pair of earrings" from a textured and colored Vintaj blank and beads. 

Using chain as a main component was easy with this super chunky chain. I really love that the touch of color from the beads add a bit of feminity to an otherwise industrial design. 

Designing a set was hard for me as it's not something I usually do. While I love how well the stone beads match the enameled bead, I'm not sure how I feel about this design altogether. It feels forced and may need to transform into something else. 

I had to use bicone crystals for this piece, and it really worked out. I feel pretty lucky that I had just enough crystals to make these pretty earrings that are already available in the Etsy Shop. 

Since I don't have Super Duos (whatever those are), I used these three-hole copper beads (but just used two of their holes). I really dig the faceted Czech glass beads with the copper, but my use of wire with the components makes the whole bracelet twist and tangle on its own. I'll either have to figure out how to fix that or scrap the whole thing.

I thought that learning to make a wrapped cord bracelet would be fun. However, I found myself almost instantly frustrated with the process. Honestly, I think it was the thread I was using as it kept tangling on me. When I stepped back and looked at the unfinished bracelet, I do really like it. So, it's getting added back into the next bead box to be completed when I feel up to it.

The inspiration for this was to use a "flat spiral stitch". Yet, that's another skill I lack. Instead, I let myself be inspired by the word "Spiral" and chose beads with that in mind. It works!

I was to fix or finish a project. These domed tin earrings were waiting to be pulled together with jump rings. I think they're a lot of fun. 

You've likely already seen this necklace in my reveal for the March SJ Designs Honey Do List reveal. It's one of my favorite things to come out of this bead box!

Ah, another unfinished piece. Again, it was tedious and pulled my creativity into a pit at the time. So, I stopped. But, since I still like the idea, it'll make an appearance in Bead Box 4.

Here's another favorite of my finished designs. It was to feature charms. I didn't go too charm-crazy with it as the large loop is a bit heavy, and I didn't want to add too much weight. It works, and I LOVE IT!

This design showcases my favorite color - that yummy peacock blue. And, there's text too! These are another favorite design to come out of the box. 

As for the other five designs in the box, I didn't get to them before I was heading out of town and wanted/needed to re-stock. So, they've been added along with the two tedious ones for the next box. I hope to share that with you very soon. 

How do you keep your bead designs and ideas prepped and ready to go?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July Art Challenges and Inspiration

Trying to keep up with The 100 Day Project and Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day (icad) challenge has kept me from participating in some of the monthly challenges I also enjoy. Since there are only two more days (today and tomorrow) of #The100DayProject, I'm hoping I can devote a little more time to some of these other creative inspirations. 


  • Over at Earrings Everyday, Erin has proposed "Cheers to July" as the inspiration for We're All Ears. The idea is to be inspired by your favorite beverage. (I kinda did that for the "Paradise Calling" prompt in April. Ha!) The reveal is set for July 20th. 
  • Here's a new challenge site I stumbled on the other day. Paper Artsy (a paper art site) currently has a Transfers challenge with a July 22nd deadline. I can see transfers being used in a variety of mediums so it can apply to so many of you!
  • Each month Sarajo's (of SJ Designs Jewelry) husband Eric offers up a "Honey Do Challenge" that consists of a photo he's taken. This month it's a pair of crows in a tree. The deadline is  July 23rd. 
  • Sun, Moon, & Stars is the inspiration at the Artisans Create Together Facebook Group. Make sure you upload your pictures to the album before July 30th. 
  • You've got until the end of the month to make and share your creation for the July Monthly Challenge at Art Bead Scene. Remember that your creation must include an art bead. I think the art inspiration this month is very cool. You should check it out!
  • July's Theme is Seed Pods at Art Elements. This intriguing challenge is also open to any medium and the reveal date is July 31st. 
  • Facet is also hosting a design challenge with the theme of "Road Trip" to commemorate your summertime trip(s). This challenge is for July and August so you have until August 29th to submit a design or two. 
Those are all the challenges I know of right now. If you're hosting or participating in one you want to share, please don't hesitate to let me know so I can add it to the list. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Make a 4th of July Necklace

Pat and I have decided to have a big 4th of July party. As I was thinking through all the preparations, I realized that I didn't have any patriotic jewelry for the occasion. Obviously, there's plenty of cleaning and yard work to be done, but I halted everything to make myself a red, white, and blue necklace.

And, since I figured that there are likely loads of people without Independence Day jewelry; I filmed the process of creating a steal-the-show star necklace.
You can watch how to Make your own 4th of July Necklace on YouTube or in the above player. 

The process was easy enough. The stars were cut from thrift store cookie tins with tin snips. What took the most time in making the necklace was filing and sanding the edges of the tin. Once they were butter-smooth, holes were punched so the stars could be joined together and chain added. Easy-peasy!


Now that the necklace has been made, I just need to clean every square inch of the house, make sure everyone knows they're invited, sew some bean bags, go to the grocery store, clean and decorate the pool area, set up tables, finish yard work, buy fireworks, make side dishes, ice drinks, and all the other party prep I'm sure I haven't considered yet. But, at least I know I'll be beautifully adorned!

In fact, I like this necklace so much - we may have to have a party for every patriotic holiday! Ha.

If you have any questions about the steps I took to make this pretty little thing, please don't hesitate to let me know.

And y'all, have a safe and happy 4th of July!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Peek at my Weeks (June 10-23)

It's time to give you another inside look at some of the goings-on in my world. The last few weeks have been kinda bumpy as I went out of town for several days, and I just haven't been able to catch back up - but I'm trying!

Before heading out of town, I made sure to check the garden and nesting boxes. What a bounty!

I made sure I was caught up on both #The100DayProject and ICAD2018 before leaving. As well, I packed materials so I could work on both whilst away. However, I barely touched my supplies. Fortunately, I've been able to catch back up since I got home (over several days' time).
I decided to work with altering tin over the last few weeks to keep it simple. 

And, I got quite a few components made! Now to just turn them into jewelry!! I also recorded my making of 78-80 and hope to get those up for your enjoyment...later.

Even making the index card art (ICAD 2018 at Daisy Yellow) was difficult to get to, but I got it done.

I also recorded most of these, but will only be sharing a few of them (the more complex and most liked (by me) ones).

While picking up supplies before heading out of town, this contradiction caught my eye. Yes, Wal-Mart was advertising its commitment to American jobs right next to the self-checkout machines that are replacing American cashiers. It just bugged me. Is it just me?

One of the fun activities we participated in while I was away was the painting of a cross as taught by a talented young artist (Emily....I can't remember). I was happy to have some creativity in the mix of responsibility. 

The other fun activity was a trip to the McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham. While the center is designed for kids (and the kids with us really enjoyed it), my mom and I had a lot of fun exploring the place. I especially liked the bubbles and the touch tank! That's my mom up there with the big bubble. 

After the fun activities, there was much formality, business, and fraternity for the Alabama Grand Assembly. Before long, it was time to head home.
This bridge (nicknamed the Dolly Parton) is one of the last major landmarks before hitting Mobile - meaning we were almost home. 

It took almost a whole day for this sweet kitty to forgive me for leaving her. 

And, it wasn't long before I was out in the yard discovering things like this cool turtle!

Being out in the yard also meant that the mosquitoes were discovering me too. I decided to try my hand at mixing up a homemade bug spray. It didn't work at first because I mixed it in one container before transferring it to the spray bottle. I think many of my oils stayed in the original container. I've since added more oils so we'll see how that works!

I taught the oldest niece how to do acrylic pour painting. These two are mine. I'm SO HAPPY with that top one. The bottom one is great, but the paint shifted in the car on the drive home. 

After almost two weeks, I was able to get back in the pool as we took a night swim. I was entranced by how pretty the lights leading out to and around the pool area looked in the dusk. Once it got dark, bats were swooping into the pool for a drink. It was awesome. 

And, then we spent the bulk of Saturday in the pool as several friends and family members dropped by to enjoy it with us. 

Oh, and the 20% off sale at my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents is still going on for a few more days. You should definitely take advantage of that!

I'm in the process of working on several videos and getting to all those jewelry components, so I hope to have more to share with you very soon.

What's going on in your corner of the world?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

ICAD 2018: Cards 1-3

The beginning of this month marked the beginning of the Daisy Yellow Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) Challenge. It's a 61-day challenge to alter index cards with mixed media art. I couldn't help but decide to try again (I didn't even make it halfway through last year). You can find all the details, prompts, and themes about the challenge on the Daisy Yellow blog.

For me, the challenge is a great way to create small art that I don't have to overthink - like I feel that I should with my jewelry-making. As I began the challenge, I also began filming my process. While I haven't recorded all of the cards I've created, I have taped a few. For now, let me share my process for the first three with you.


And, here's a detail view of each of the three of the cards from the video.
Card 1 includes ephemera, paint, stencils, a stamp, word stickers, Stabilo pencil, doodling, and inked edges.

Card 2 was made with ephemera, a stencil, gesso, ink sprays, a stamp, a phrase from a book, a paper doll, Stabilo pencil, and inked edges.

For card 3, I used an old pamphlet, a stencil, homemade alcohol spray ink, masking tape, decorative tape, a watercolor crayon, a stamp, and a pen.

I've just barely caught back up on my cards since I returned from being away, but I do hope to post some more videos and pictures of my little works of art. If you want to see more, make sure to check out #dyicad2018 on Instagram

Are you participating?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Peek at My Week: June 3-9

Another week in the books!

I made it through with seven altered objects for The 100 Day Project.
For this week, I worked through a box of miscellaneous items I had gathered at the beginning of the project to be altered. 
62: This was a tube with caps that I added some of my acrylic-poured tin inside of. It took several tries but finally worked. 
63: The flower-shaped old jewelry pieces were colored with Vintaj Patinas and riveted together. I added the faux pearl cabochon with glue. 
64: An old earring was added to a key. Simple.
65: The metal feather was colored with Vintaj patinas and a silver wax.
66: This was a gold-tone solid piece that I punched the circle out of. I also punched out a few smaller holes into which I added tube rivets after coloring the whole thing black. 
67: These were basic copper washers that were textured with a texture hammer, darkened with Novacan Black Patina, and sanded to reveal the texture. 
68: Another metal feather was colored with more Vintaj Patinas. I bent it into a cuff shape.

In addition to The 100 Day Project, I worked on Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day.
It's been tough to get it done each day, but so rewarding to stretch my creative muscles. 

In addition to being creative, I made sure to vote in our primary election.

I've admired the zinnias that have grown from the seeds I planted.

I found a crumpled leaf in the house that looks like a heart.

And, we've had loads of afternoon rainstorms.
Fortunately, this was just a mile from my house, and I made it home before the bottom fell out.

As for some of the links I found this week:

So, that was another week. I'm not sure that this one will be as exciting as I'll be out of town for most of it, but I'll try to make the most of it. I hope you do too!!

Friday, June 8, 2018

June Challenges and Inspirations

I'm so far behind on my blog reading that I'm feeling absolutely guilty about it. If I usually comment on your blog and haven't in a few weeks, be assured that I'm trying. There's something about the summertime temps hitting and my motivation waning. I just can't seem to get and stay focused. Oh, and if I've NEVER commented on your blog (and you're a real person), please make sure to leave your blog in the comments so I can find you! Blogs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but I'm still scrambling to follow everyone out there.

Anyway, I'm just popping in real quick to share the Challenges and Inspirations I've found for June. 

Here goes:

  • First up is Earrings Everday! The We're All Ears Inspiration this month is Kaleidoscopes with a June 15th reveal date. That's a week away!! I better get busy if I'm going to play along. 
  • Sarajo of SJ Jewelry Designs has shared the Honey Do List photo inspiration for June. It's a super cool curly palm tree frond. You'll have to see it for yourself. The reveal date is June 25th. 
  • Halcraft has a pretty palette challenge using their brand of beads (available at Michael's I believe). June's theme is Tutti-Frutti and is a pretty spectrum of colors. The deadline is June 27th. 
  • Sunflowers are the inspiration for June at Art Elements. This challenge isn't limited to jewelry-making either. Any art medium is accepted!! June 30th is the reveal.
  • You should see the inspiration painting at Art Bead Scene. It's a beauty. You do need to use an art bead in your work, but you have until the end of the month submit your design.
  • Finally, ICAD 2018 from Daisy Yellow began on the first of the month and continues every day until July 31. ICAD = Index Card a Day. There's plenty of time to catch up! She even provides daily prompts and weekly themes if you need a creative jumping point. 

That's all the ones I've found so far. The Artisans Create Together Facebook Group usually has a challenge, but it's not up yet. I'll add it to the list if/when it's live. If you know of any others I can share, please let me know!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

New in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop

Much of the upcycled cookie tin jewelry I've been making is finally making its way into the CraftyHope Etsy shop. Have you seen it?

Boho Tin Fringe Necklace

Tin People Bracelet

Tin Flowers with Leaf Fringe Earrings

Tin Flower Bouquet Necklace

I've even added a few pieces that aren't made of tin. Ha!
Violet Flowers Bracelet

Copper Chandelier Earrings

Make sure you head over to the CraftyHope Etsy Shop to see what else is available. There are loads more. Let me know what your favorite is.