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.