Friday, March 23, 2018

Project Inspiration: Easter

Can you believe it's almost Easter? Since I did a roundup of more than a few St. Patrick's Day projects and inspiration, I thought it would only be fair to show Easter some love too. 

Here's a list of ten Easter projects that caught my eye and will hopefully inspire you too!

I absolutely cannot resist a good junk upcycle. And, this old lamp turned cloche Hoppy Holiday Decoration from PetticoatJUNKtion totally fits that bill. 

Tim Holtz always makes the prettiest things. This project for Tim Holtz's Alcohol Ink Foiled Eggs came up on my Instagram feed, but you can bet I was pinning the tutorial from his blog! Don't they look like yummy candies!? (They're not!)

Again with the upcycling! But, the Scrap Fabric Basket from DIY Danielle is so fab. I can see using it outside of Easter. And, it reminds me of rag rugs, which I do love. 

I'm always amazed at the ways Sadie comes up with to recycle items This Spring Doily Table Runner at Sadie Seasongoods would be great for Easter or all Spring long. 

While we're thinking about doilies, how about these Doily Baskets from Martha Stewart? They're just so sweet!

Speaking of sweet, I'm in awe of the Easter Ornaments at Under a Blue Moon. Not that I really need a reason to break out the paper-crafting supplies. (They're usually already out!)

More mixed media fun can be had with I Love to Create's Scrappy Little Easter Eggs. Fabric, glue, beads - what's not to love?

Look at these adorable chicks! You can get your own Little Chick with Big Feet Embroidery Pattern at Shiny Happy World

What roundup from me would be complete without a jewelry project? The Bead Bunny Necklace DIY at Make and Fable is the perfect little project for Easter. 

And finally, I've got a few of my own Easy Easter Decor projects from last year if you're interested.

I have to admit that I have another project to share with you but the video didn't want to upload last night so I'll have to try again and share it with you separately. I'll let the anticipation build a little. Ha!

I hope these projects spark your creativity and inspiration! If you've got your own Easter project to share, please let me know in the comments. I'm sure we'd all love to take a peek. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring in Silverlox

Today is the first full day of Spring. And, despite the fact that the Northeast continues to be battered with winter storms; we've already had lots of signs of Spring here in South Alabama for a while. Most of the weather has been nice, but we did have a cold snap a few weeks ago that withered some of the new growth. So, it hasn't all been sunny days and flowers. But, I thought I'd share some of the season as it's shown itself on our property which we call "Silverlox". 

Definitely the harbingers of Spring, these mini daffodils poked their heads out as soon as the weather began to warm. I have to admit that I was surprised as I had no idea these were there. I'm sure they were planted by the previous owners. 

The next to begin peeking up was this fairy ring of snowdrops. Though I know it's not a traditional fairy ring, I think it's pretty magical and call it such. 

Here's a better look at the snowdrops in bloom. I love the little green drops on the petals. 

In addition, the blackberry briars began blooming. The wild blackberries around here are really dewberries and are super thorny, but plentiful. 

A few of them are already showing signs of fruit!

Azaleas are also quite prolific in the area. The bushes everywhere were absolutely FULL of blooms. 

Alas, the cold snap we had withered almost all of them. There are still a few bushes that hadn't bloomed yet and may still (fingers crossed!)

Winter, in general, was not kind to the tropical-like plants on the property. 
We decided to chop the banana trees down as far as we could, and many of them are already starting to grow back. 

As well, the split leaf philodendron was in a sad, sad state. Again, we trimmed the dead leaves off as we did last year. This particular bunch amuses me as the roots make the plants look like they're tethered to the ground. But if you look close...

You'll see little sprouts rising from the ashes!

Elephant ears are also quite delicate and withered as soon as winter began. They're coming back quickly. This one, in particular, caught my attention as the water droplets really give it an appearance of a real elephant face. Ha!

Although I really love the smell and appearance of wisteria, we've done our best to rid it from the property because it takes over.  Our attempts have not been completely successful. Though, this is the only bunch so far that I've found blooming. Isn't it pretty?

Since it has gotten warmer, I've gone ahead and begun planting some seeds to be transferred into the raised bed garden and containers very soon. 
I first started with the seeds I had on hand, planting them in K-cups that I had saved and cleaned. 

Many of those are just about ready to be transplanted into their new homes. Above are my black beans!

A week or two later, I worked on my second round of seed-planting.

Those have just started to peek above the soil. 

That's just SOME of what's been going on around here. In addition, we planted fruit trees, and I've been steadily kicking bamboo in an attempt to keep it from spreading. 

And seriously, it's just the beginning of spring. I'm sure there will be more plants and projects to come. I hope Spring is treating you well and that the bad weather spares you so you can get to the warmer weather soon!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Peek at My Week: March 10-17

I've started this thing where I finish up each week by sharing some of the pictures I've taken throughout the week. Some of these were shared elsewhere, some not. But, it helps me keep a bit of a journal and do something with at least some of the extra photos I've taken. And, you get a peek at my week!
Despite the time change, I was up early on Sunday, editing photos for last week's peek.

Once Pat was up, I made a simple breakfast of banana bread "fried" in butter. It was good!

The rest of the day wasn't near as simple. I left the house to pick up my niece and her friend from their retreat, and when I returned, I had a house full of people. My mom was over to retrieve the girls, and one of my best friends along with her husband and daughter had come by to get some use out of our 3D printer. The printer was being finicky so Pat had to work with it all the rest of the day while everyone else filtered off to return to their own home. 

It was a rainy afternoon so I retreated to the craft room to play.

I collaged and painted and doodled and made a completed piece. I hope to share the process and its full reveal later in the week. Stay tuned!

As the day grew later, I realized that the sun was still up and had to soak that in for a bit. I always love that extra bit of sunshine in the evenings. 

By Monday morning, Pat had worked all the kinks out of the 3D printer, and it was humming away. 

I listed this beauty in the CraftyHope Etsy shop (it's now sold).

A quick trip to Hobby Lobby is never that, especially when you stray from your list and get pulled in by those yellow clearance stickers. (But I saved so much! ;) )

Alas, the savings wouldn't last long as we had two different plumbers come out for two different problems. One was fixed easier than we thought while the other was a much bigger problem than we anticipated. 

Tuesday was low key for the most part. Though, I did catch my banana bread sticking its tongue out at me. 

On Wednesday, I went to my mom's to hang with my grandmother. I always take some work with me. While waiting for my Velvet Bookmark video to upload, I worked on a necklace. 

Since it was also Pi day, my niece and I ran out for a couple of pies. Alas, the one we really wanted (pictured) was so frozen it took me almost an hour to eat it!

Thursday started with the cats being too cute and just barely tolerating each other.

Since the fix to our plumbing issues meant drilling into the sunroom floor, we had to come up with some solutions for where to have Zoe and the cats during the repair process. My suggestion involved taking the double doors off the kitchen (the ones we never use and that are just in the way most of the time), putting one of the doors on our bedroom (yeah, we didn't have a bedroom door), and letting Zoe in the living room. I'm still surprised at how much easier it is to use the pantry without that dang door in front of it. And, Zoe's been so good in the living room. 

I did relist these fun Mixed Media Earrings

On Friday, the work began. 
And, it only took the day for the plumbers to get the drain fixed. But, now we've got to fix the floor. They used a jackhammer and drilled a trench right in the middle of my sunroom. It was a lot to handle for one day. 

To occupy myself, I walked the property. I discovered that my amaryllis had a bloom on it (though the plumbers had to dig it up), that the azaleas are quite wimpy after the cold snap we've had, and that the bridal wreath is just lovely. 

I listed this beauty of a Leather Bullet Tassel Necklace

And, I did a little art journal play to calm my soul. I stuck mainly to the paints I had picked up at Hobby Lobby. 

At the end of a day like that, I totally deserved a beer or two. I got tickled at the beer glass. As if I'm not living Crafty. Ha!

Saturday was St. Patrick's Day. Instead of living it up to celebrate my Irish heritage, I cleaned - a LOT. The jackhammering left concrete dust on every surface in my sunroom, living room, kitchen, and dining room. So, every single item was cleaned - every bottle, spice jar, glass, top of the fridge, baseboard, coffeemaker, window blind, and any other surface where it might have settled. It was not so awesome. Alas, that's what it means to be a grown-up. Dang. 

I'm hoping that the week to come is a little less eventful. How was your week?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Black and White Earrings for the We're All Ears Challenge

The We're All Ears Challenge this month from Erin at Earrings Everyday is to create earrings that are black and white earrings with maybe one other color. Doesn't sound too hard, until you try! Ha!!

I was able to complete a sole pair. I started by rummaging through the black and white bead drawers in my bead cabinet. But, nothing there struck my fancy. 

Glancing frantically around the craft room, I uncovered some of the black tin that I had used for the Harvest Moon Challenge in October. That piqued my interest!
I traced the shape I wanted onto the backside of the tin, cut it out, filed and sanded the edges and back, and aged it with Novican Black patina. 

The hardest part was figuring out how to add the white. I tried several approaches like altering large plastic beads with alcohol ink. But, that wasn't the look I wanted to achieve.

I thought I had hit upon something awesome with the idea of using a few of my bone skull beads. But, it just didn't work out exactly like I wanted. And, I wasn't sure it was completely my style. 

From there, I started thinking about Erin's mention of texture and considered more geometric shapes. I decided that large beaded rings above the reclaimed tin would definitely add some interest. 

I didn't want the rings to be empty, so a single red bead was added to hang from it. Making the wire loops above and in the hoops was the hardest part of the whole process. 

I have to admit that I really like the distressed backsides of the tin more than the front and will likely end up flipping them on the ear wires. 

Again, I only made one pair of earrings for the challenge, but they were enough of a struggle!

Head over to Earrings Everyday: Pump Up the Contrast to see what everyone else created with the monochromatic prompt. And, if you haven't made anything for it, the linky tool will be open for a week, so you've got time to play along too.