Jesse James Beads Tutorials

I believe that I've mentioned a time or two here that I'm a Design Ambassador for Jesse James Beads. Basically, that means they send me beads, chains, pendants, and findings from their shop; and I make beautiful things with some of it that I share. For the most part, that sharing is on either Instagram or YouTube. But, there's no reason I shouldn't make sure you see what I've made either. 
First, here's the latest Jesse James Beads unboxing of the pretties that I received.

From there, I created this pair of earrings that were full of hearts and flowers, perfect for Mother's Day at the beginning of the month. You can watch how I made these in this Instagram Reel

After that, I created a really beautiful necklace with a full tutorial on YouTube

And, most recently, I shared another Instagram reel on making these super sparkly earrings. 

And, there's more coming from Jesse James beads this summer. Watch their InstagramFacebook page, and especially the Jesse James Secret Stash Facebook group for more details coming soon.

Pretty Filigree and Bead Bracelet

I really enjoy participating in the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge each month as it encourages me to use materials and combinations I wouldn't have previously considered. This challenge comes from Angela, and this is the second year I've participated. While the monthly theme last year was birthstones, this year we're using color combos that Angela has set. In addition, she has a choice of metals, a project type, and an optional fun element that should be included each month. This month, the color combo is Peach and Pearl White, the metal choice is copper or silver, the project is a bracelet, and the fun element is filigree. These are the materials I gathered for the challenge. 


Now, I haven't done much work with filigree as a setting for anything, but really wanted to try - especially once I found the glass cabochon. I let the camera roll as I experimented with the design of my bracelet, and am thrilled with the results.


You can watch all my experimentation in my DIY Copper Filigree Bracelet video on YouTube. 


I cannot believe how beautifully this bracelet came together, and that's evident in my reaction when you watch the video. 


You can find more participants and makes from this challenge by searching #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge on YouTube. That's also one of the options in how to participate. Also, Angela has a Facebook Group where she sells beads but also encourages you to share your monthly makes in a comment on her reveal.

If you have any questions about the making of this bracelet or Angela's challenge, please ask away!

Thrifty Thursday Haul

I've backed off on some of my thrift shopping lately as I have plenty and really just need to use it. But, I did find a few things at a thrift store and a few more at an estate sale in the past week or two. I'll share a peek at both hauls with you here, but if you're interested in seeing it all in more detail, I do have a video (at the bottom of this post).

This first little set was found at a local thrift store.

And, these treasures came from a large estate sale.

Like I said above you can learn more about what all this is in the Thrifty Thursday haul video


If you know what some of the questionable items are or have any questions for me about these hauls. just give me a shout!


May Art Challenges and Inspirations

It's time again for me to share some of the challenges and inspirations that will help me create over the course of the month. I hope you'll join me in a few of these!

  • I would be remiss if I didn't mention my own challenge #CraftyHopePrompts. This is a weekly mixed media challenge in which each Monday, I pull three prompts and create a prompt card from an old playing card. Then, each Saturday, I make another project with those same prompts. The videos explain how you can play along, but I welcome any questions you have about this project.
  • The reveal that's coming up the next soonest is the monthly Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge from Angela. The reveal date is the 15th. This year, the theme of the challenge is "Double Color." You can learn more about the challenge in Angela's video. This month, the two colors are Peach and Pearl White. We are to make a bracelet using copper or silver and the optional fun element of filigree. You can upload a video with the hashtag #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge and/or share your make in the Pirate Pretties Facebook Group
  • The Honey Do List is another jewelry-making challenge. It comes from Sarajo and Eric of SJ Designs Jewelry. Each month, Eric gives Sarajo a photo that he's taken. The photo is to be used as inspiration for one or more jewelry designs. Sarajo shares this photo on her blog so we can all be inspired too. The reveal date this month is May 29th. 
  • My friend, Nina Ficket, has a Clean Slate journal series in which you simply work in a junk journal sometime during the month and film it. With all the other prompts and inspirations, this is a bit of a palette cleanser for me and often just what I need. 
  • Lastly, I'm not promising anything, but Index Card a Day (ICAD) often begins on June 1st. This is a 61-day challenge from Tammy of Daisy Yellow that usually has daily prompts and weekly themes (all optional). If you're curious you can watch my ICAD creations from last year in my ICAD 2022 playlist on YouTube. Or, just do a search for ICAD. Or, ask me any questions you may have. Though, this ICAD page on the Daisy Yellow blog probably answers most your questions. This is a fun daily challenge. And, it will probably start the same day the 100-Day project ends. How about that!?

That's all I've got right now. And, that's probably plenty!
But, definitely let me know if you've got any fun inspiration to share.
I know I could always use as much as I can get. 

Mixed Media Videos from April 2023

 Holy smokes, y'all. I blinked and April was at an end. Did it fly by for you too? Here's a quick roundup of the art journaling and mixed media art videos I posted over on YouTube in April, in case you missed any of them. 

Per usual, I'll first share my makes from my own #CraftyHopePrompts challenge. The videos each explain this challenge if you're unsure what it is. 

Week 26 Card - Star, Lace, Craft Paint


Project 26 - Mixed Media Tag

Week 27 Card - Chalk, Magazine, Drip

Week 27 Project - Junk Journal Page

Week 28 Card - Splatter, Scratch, Triangle

Week 28 Project - Encaustic Wax Panel

Week 29 Card - Embossed Paper, Acrylic Paint, Seam Binding

Week 29 Project - Junk Journal Page

Week 30 Card - Pink, Draw, Distress Stain

Week 30 Project - Altered Tag
 
In addition, I shared some of the processes for my #MiniAssemblage100 project for #the100DayProject.
Mini Assemblages 42-44

Mini Assemblages 48, 50, & 52

Mini Assemblages 53, 54, & 56

Finally something simple, I worked in my Clean Slate Junk Journal.
April Clean Slate Journal

You can find all this and more on the CraftyHope YouTube Channel
Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Honey Do List Reveal April 2023

Every month for the past several years, Sarajo (from SJ Designs Jewelry) shares a photo from her husband as inspiration for jewelry-making. This month, the photo is this bright beauty.


But, I've let the month slip away, and the official reveal was yesterday. I have no need to fret, though, because Sarajo leaves the linky tool open for almost a month for anyone who needs a little extra time (THANK YOU!)

The bright colors are what stand out the most to me in this photo, so that's what I ran with to make this super fun pair of earrings. 


I thought I was making these in the same pattern as the umbrellas in the photo, but I see now that I have mine running in the wrong direction (the red should be at the top and the orange at the bottom 🤦‍♀️😳). In any case, that was the thought as I hunted through my seed beads for similar shades. 


I shaped 16 gauge wire around a large glue stick (use what you have!) to make the frames. Then, I hammered, darkened, and sealed the wire before stringing the beads within the frame on 24 gauge antiqued copper wire. 

I think these are pretty perfect for the warmer months ahead. 

As always, thank you to Sarajo and Eric for the inspiration. I encourage you to play along and/or head over to Sarajo's reveal to see what she and any other artists have made from the inspiration photo. 


Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge April 2023

 For about the past year, I've been sharing the monthly information on the #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties on Facebook in my roundup of challenges and inspirations. This month, I was boggled for a bit by the double colors of Grey and Black, though they sound so simple. The other elements of the challenge were to use either silver or gunmetal to make a necklace and to (optionally) include chain as a fun element. It was kinda ironic that figuring out a way to use chain in a unique way was what really hung me up. But, inspiration prevailed. 


The design is not one I've ever tried before, and I headed into it with my fingers crossed that it would work out as I hoped. And, it did! I'm not sure that I could explain the process to you here. But, no worries, I have a whole video that shows my process.


Of course, I would be happy to also answer any questions you may have.


It was easier than it looks, I promise!


Currently I'm...

 Here's just a little update on what I've been up to lately. 

Currently I'm...

Cooking - Tonight’s menu plan is to make a vegetarian meal of this Linguini in Lemon Cream Sauce with a side of simple roasted broccoli. 


Creating ALL THE THINGS. I have two 100-Day projects: #Making100Faces and #MiniAssemblage100 which I’m doing each and every day right now. AND, the #TUAC5MinChallenge from @TheUglyArtClub starts on the 20th. So, that will be another daily challenge but only for two weeks. And, currently, my desk looks like this (below) as I’m trying to get some new jewelry made. 



Feeling the change of seasons deep in my sinuses. Oh, the headache I have right now!

Hoping I can get some things made and tasks done. There’s just so much on my list. But, I do like to stay busy. 

Knowing I won’t get everything done. 😂😂


Listing - Lately, everything going into the Etsy shop has been relists - hence the reason I’m trying to get some jewelry made. But, here’s the latest listing. 

Cool Junk Earrings

Making lots of earrings as that seems to be what’s been selling the best lately.


Marveling over how low the temperatures continue to be here in the middle of April. Y’all, I’m in South Alabama. We’re usually floating in the pool by this time of the year! But, I'm not complaining. It will be plenty warm soon enough. 


Needing to get some flowers planted before it does get TOO hot. 


Sewing - I just stitched this sweet little thing while watching one of my husband’s bands play in a local park the other night. It was the perfect way to keep my hands busy while enjoying some great music. 


Thinking that I should wrap this up!


Wishing that there was more time in the day to get everything done that I want to do. 


Wondering what you’ve been up to.


Bead Box 17 - Stocked

I love having a box full of beads ready to be made into jewelry. Quite a few years ago, I stocked up the first version of this box. It's just a plastic organizer with seventeen compartments. Into each compartment, I place the elements for one design. And, when I travel or lack inspiration, I can turn to this bead box to keep my hands busy. It's been a few months since I shared the pieces made from the last box, and the box has been sitting empty and forlorn ever since. I remedied that recently, and now it's time to share what I've packed into this seventeenth version. 


Before I begin, I have to go ahead and tell you that in boxes past, I've sometimes forgotten what the original design was supposed to be. I lost my vision for the elements partly because I waited too long to work on the pieces and partly because I didn't document my ideas. I made sure that this wouldn't be the case (not entirely anyway) with this box. As I designed each piece, I sketched it out with plenty of notes. Hopefully, this will keep me on track. I guess we'll see!! Okay, let's get to it.

When I created that soldered bubble, I had no idea what I would do with a pendant of two old-timey soldiers. But, when I pulled out some of the bullet casings I picked up not long ago, I realized that they would pair perfectly with this pendant. Some brown-toned beads will fill out some of this necklace. And, I will add additional chain later to finish it. 


After that first design was packed into the box, I wasn't sure what else to use to fill it up. I ended up turning to my selection of artist-made elements. It was a lot of fun to be reminded of the beautiful things I've gathered over the years and pick out some to work with. I will try to link the makers for these items if I remember where I got them. (And, if I don't mention where they came from and you do recognize the maker, please let me know so I can try to link them.)


I bought these earring charms from Petra of Scorched Earth on Etsy many moons ago and have hoarded them since. I plan to just add a fringe of bead dangles from the bottom wires, and I selected small, complementary beads that will allow the charms to really be the star of the earrings I plan to make. 

This pendant came from Gaea. (I've linked to her Etsy shop, but she sells in several other places too.)  This is going to be a simple chain on cold wire with alternating blue and white pearls. That pendant is such a stunner, it doesn't need anything too fussy. 

That copper and enamel piece is also from Gaea and the heart is from Petra. I'm going to combine them with the Czech glass heart in a pendant. The chain of it will be made up of that mix of beads and buttons with some copper wire. It should super cute.

That's a Golem Studio pendant that I received in a bead swap ages and ages ago. It was actually used in a design that never really worked. So, that was taken apart, and I'll try again with the salvaged glass pearls, red beads, and tiny black beads.

Oh, y'all...There are several different designers in this mix. The enameled beads came from Cheryl Foiles as part of one of the Bead Soup Blog Parties. The green stoneware connector is from Karen of Starry Road Studio and the copper loop is from Miss Fickle Media. These treasures will be combined into a pendant. The chain will be made from the coppery wood beads on the waxed cord. I'm excited to work on this one. It's a little different for me. 

Here are a couple of other components that were previously worked into one design that ultimately wasn't quite right. The patinaed copper charms are from Melinda Orr of Orrtec on Etsy. I'll include those tiny freshwater pearls on the chain to hang in front of the copper pieces. I actually remembered to pull out the small gauge headpins for the pearls. Yay!

Oh goodness...I've had that lampwork bead in my stash for a long time. I can't remember where it came from - maybe a giveaway, maybe I bought it. But, it needs to linger no longer. I will accent it with a simple tassel made from recycled sari silk. The frosted and crystal-clear beads will make up the chain.

Here's another Gaea pendant (I do love her stuff!). Wood, bone, and Amazonite beads will be combined with antiqued brass wire to make a simple necklace.

For the life of me, I cannot remember where this beautiful pendant came from. I've searched blog posts and Etsy purchases to no avail. I believe it might have been part of some kind of challenge as I know I made a necklace with it and garnets, but that was disassembled some time ago. This time around, I'll make a chain of those sparkly glass beads and dangle the little faux opal headpins. I learned to make those in the Grungy Resin Opals tutorial from Marina of Fanciful Devices. 

I believe I won this lampwork bead (and a few others) in a giveaway. It was made by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads. I'm going to use it as a focal for a double-strand bracelet. One will be a rosary chain and the other will use the leather cord and some of the beads. My sketch has a couple of suggestions on how to finish it depending on how it looks. I guess we'll see it in my reveal!

We're switching to more of some of the items I've made, like this resin pendant. I'll use it in a necklace with a basic chain of alternating beads. Easy peasy.

Michelle Mach of Beads and Books gifted me several of the laser-cut wood squares. I added some resin and typed words in this one. I have plans to wrap some wire and seed bead loops through the holes around the outside frame. The chain for this necklace will be really simple.

I got these beauties and many others as part of a swap from Juli Cannon of JulsBeads (alas she's no longer making beads). I'm going to make them the star of a pair of earrings with just some wire. I think they're perfectly juicy and bright for summer.

This soldered bubble is another of my creations. I thought it was perfect for a bracelet focal. I'll use the polymer clay beads (from a destash from Shipwreck Dandy), an enamel bead, and a few others I tossed in on some beading wire. We'll see how that works out.

Here's another solder pendant I made. This was some kind of bottle stopper, I think. I picked out a mix of other clear beads to make a long chain for a necklace.

I'll use these little tin domes that I cut out along with the beads and chain to make a pair of earrings. They're not the most spectacular way to finish out this box, but I was tired by this point!

Which of the stocked designs are you excited to see made?

April Art Challenges and Inspirations

 I'm posting this in hopes of spurring both you AND me to get inspired. Last month, this list fell by the wayside entirely as did most of the challenges on it. I hope to remedy that this month. The 100-Day Project (and my decision to take on TWO projects for it) has been kicking my butt. Yet, I'd like to get something else made too. So, here's what else I might use to encourage some creativity.


  • Sarajo's Honey Do List challenge from her husband, Eric, is bright and full of color. This is a jewelry-making challenge you can learn more about on her SJ Designs Jewelry blog. The reveal date is set for April 24th, but that's just the beginning of when you can share your creation(s) and when Sarajo will share hers.
  • The Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge is also a jewelry one from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. The reveal date is the 15th. This year, the theme of the challenge is "Double Color." You can learn more about the challenge in Angela's video, but I will let you know that the two colors this month are black and grey, the metal choices are silver or gunmetal, the project type is a necklace, and the optional fun element is chain. Your reveal can be either a YouTube video with the #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge hashtag and/or a photo comment in the Pirate Pretties Facebook group
  • Of course, there's the #100DayProject that began at the end of February. We're about halfway through it now, but you can start your own at any time.
  • I have my own weekly my own #CraftyHopePrompts mixed media prompt challenge. This is something I created for myself to build up a prompt deck. Each Monday, I pull three prompts and alter a playing card with those prompts, adding them to the card to be used later. On Saturday, I create another project that uses those same prompts. If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to watch any of my CraftyHopePrompts videos and play along!
  • Lastly, my friend, Nina Ficket, has a Clean Slate journal series in which you simply work in a junk journal sometime during the month and film it. With all the prompts and inspirations, this is a bit of a palette cleanser for me.

And, I think that's everything. Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments.

Thrifty Thursday Haul

 I did just a little shopping over the past couple of weeks and brought home a few thrifty finds. Keep in mind, that for me, thrifty isn't just what I find at thrift stores, estate sales, and yard sales. It's also any deal I find - sales, clearance, dollar stores, whatever! In any case, here's a peek at some of what I scored. 

Estate Sale 1

Estate Sale 2


Gifted items

And, there were a few more items too. You can see it all in the haul video. 


Have you found anything good lately?

Jesse James Beads Tutorials

I believe that I've mentioned a time or two here that I'm a Design Ambassador for Jesse James Beads . Basically, that means they sen...