Sweet Button Bangle DIY

I received a beautiful selection of beads and buttons this month from Jesse James Beads as a Jesse James Beads Design Ambassador. Admittedly, they are colors I probably wouldn't have chosen myself, but it gave me even a hint more of a challenge. And, you know know how I like a good challenge. I should have a full reveal of everything I made from what they sent next week, but when I saw those beautiful Mermaid Mix in Coral buttons from Dress it Up, I knew I needed to make a button bangle with them. 

Yes, this design isn't new to me, but I took some time to update the tutorial. You can watch and learn to make your own button bangle on YouTube. 

It's a simple process that uses a thrifted bracelet as a base, wire, and those lovely buttons. 

Of course, if you have ANY questions I'm always available to answer them. Ask away!

ICAD 2022, part 1

We're just over two weeks into ICAD (Index Card a Day). This is a challenge that runs each June and July in which those participating use index cards to create little pieces of mixed media art. The originator, Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow, has optional weekly themes and daily prompts to help inspire the artists. As well, Nina Fickett has developed her own list of mixed media prompts if those are more your style. I don't tend to bother with the weekly themes at all but will take a look at both sets of prompts before working on my cards to see if they spark anything for me. Sometimes, I just go promptless, and sometimes I use both prompts. I've surprised myself this year by being able to get the video for each day recorded and on YouTube. I release them at 4pm (Central). I don't expect that I will be able to do this for the whole two months, but I will try! So that things don't get too overwhelming for me to share later, here are pictures of and links to the first fifteen. 

Day 1 (asterisk and graphite)

Day 2 (raw umber)

Day 3 (labyrinth and stamping)

Day 4 (key and book text)

Day 5 (pink and bread tie)

Day 6 (daydream and summer)

Day 7 (promptless)

Day 8 (promptless)

Day 9 (found and crimson)

Day 10 (Rubik's cube and collage)

Day 11 (rainbow and newsprint text)

Day 12 (blueprint and die cut)

Day 13 (pencil)

Day 14 (promptless)

Day 15 (art crayon)

You can probably tell that I'm having a good time just exploring different techniques and styles. I think that's kinda what ICAD is all about. We're only about a quarter way through this, and there's nothing saying you can't join in now. The rules are pretty loose. So what do you say? Are you gonna play along?

DIY Upcycled Key Pendant and Beaded Chain Necklace

While I was suffering from a broken ankle, I watched ALL the YouTube and discovered the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties. I've mentioned this challenge a few times in my monthly list of art challenges. Reveal day each month is the 15th. That's TODAY! This birthstone inspiration challenge this month asked that we design with either pearls or alexandrite, use gold or silver, make a necklace, and (optionally) include a bold pendant. Here's what I made.

I did try to sort through pendants in my stash for one that I felt was BOLD enough. And, I considered making one with a rainbow of tin pieces. But, nothing felt quite right. I'm not even sure what steered me toward the key drawer, but here we are. 

The key is attached simply to the rectangle of tin with some wire. It is sturdy and works beautifully. 

The challenge is really to use the birthstone. So, the pearls went into the chain along with some crystal clear glass beads. I also decided to alternate silver and gold-colored wire. 

Of course, I recorded the process of making this handmade pendant and beaded chain necklace, if you want to see how the whole thing was pulled together. 

I know I probably overthought such a simple prompt as Pearls, but that's what I do. 
What would you have made?

More Assemblage from #The100DayProject

I am beyond tickled that I chose to do assemblage art for my 100 Day Project this year. Each day, I worked on something (small or large) toward an assemblage piece. And, even with the project now over, I'm slowly getting videos of many of them up on YouTube to share how they came together. As well, I don't plan on giving up the art either. I've found that I really enjoy pulling all of the treasures I've gathered and saved and hoarded into complete artworks. Two months ago, I shared the first of the videos I had up on YouTube of these assemblages. It's well past time that I make sure you see the rest of the ones that are available to watch now. 

Found Object Fairies

Mushroom Dwelling

Lucky Duck Pendant

Bubble Boy

Spool Case

Hexagon Button Box


Alphabet Soup

Wow, that was more of them than I thought. You should be able to click the pictures and/or captions to go to the videos. 
Which is your favorite?

Make sure to follow the CraftyHope YouTube Channel.

June Challenges and Inspirations

I'm hoping to make this quick since the month seems to already be getting away from me. If you're looking for art and jewelry inspiration this month, I've got the list for you. 

  • Right out of the gate, let me mention that it's ICAD time. ICAD means Index Card A Day and runs June 1-July 31. This is its 12th year. It's a mixed media challenge from Tammy of Daisy Yellow in which you alter an index card each day. To assist you, Tammy has weekly themes and daily prompts that are optional. In addition, my friend, Nina has made her own set of Mixed Media ICAD prompts which she is sharing on her Instagram. It's definitely not too late to join in. Catch up if you want or just start now. Make sure you share your creations on Instagram using any variety of these hashtags: #ICAD #ICAD2022 #DYICAD2022
  • Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry has revealed the latest photo inspiration from her husband for the Honey Do List. This is a jewelry challenge in which you create something inspired by the photo and share it on or after the reveal date of June 27th. 
  • The Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge reveal is coming up very soon on June 15th. This is a birthstone challenge from Angela. This month, the color is pearl or alexandrite, the metal is silver or gold, the project type is necklace, and the optional fun element is a bold pendant. You can post your reveal on either YouTube or on the Pirate Pretties Facebook Page. You can find all the information about this challenge in Angela's video (linked above.)
  • Halcraft collection has released the Pretty Palette inspiration for June. All the information about this challenge is on their site. It's another jewelry challenge. 
  • For a fun 2D or 3D Mixed Media challenge, I encourage you to check out Ina Solsbery's #4Core challenge in which you must include four core ingredients that change each month. You can watch Ina's detailed announcement about the June ingredients in her video here. Essentially, the ingredients are to include the theme of exploring relationships/connections, use violet/purple, include rocks or stones, and use a small container that can reveal the relationship/connection. Again, please check out her video for a better understanding of this list. Once your project is complete, you must email Ina pictures and (optionally) links to be included. You have until the end of the month. 
  • Terry of The Tapping Flamingo on YouTube has a Be Creative collaboration challenge each month. It is open to any medium. The theme this month is Travel and the hashtag is #BeCreativeTravel. Watch the linked video to get more information from her. The reveal is on June 13th. 

If you know of something that should be added, give me a shout!

Thrifty Thursday

 Over the course of this week, I was able to pick up and receive quite a few treasures from various thrifty sources. There are some very neat items in this haul as I was able to go to an estate sale, a yard sale, the Dollar Tree, and the craft store. As well, a generous friend sent me a sweet package. You can watch the whole Thrifty Thursday video to see everything. 

So, have you found any treasures lately?

Art Journal Videos from May 2022

In case you missed them, here are the Art Journal Videos I shared on the CraftyHope YouTube Channel in May. Let me go ahead and mention that June's list is already out of control because it's Index-Card-a-Day (ICAD) season, and I've been sharing my cards daily and may go ahead and list them weekly here too. We'll see how I feel about that soon. In any case...here's May. 

Junk Journal Page - Care

Art Journal Spread - Flowers for #MMMMay22

Junk Journal Page - Begin

Junk Journal Page with a Pocket

Let me tell you that these four pages are four of my favorite, ever. But, I suppose that's what happens when you keep making things - you get better at it and learn more about what you like and like to do. If you want to see more from me, head over to my CraftyHope YouTube Channel. Let me know what you think!

What a day!

I began today with no plans of blogging because I knew it would be a busy one. But, now that some of today has wrapped up, I need to document it. Let's do this chronologically.

First, I woke knowing it was June 1st and the first day of Index-Card-a-Day (ICAD.) So, once I took care of most of my morning routine, I threw mixed media supplies at an index card, recorded it, and worked on getting the video up. Whew! (You should be able to click the below picture or its caption to go to the video.)
ICAD 2022 - Day 1

From there, I was off to see my Orthopedist. He released me from his care but advised me to get more exercise into my daily routine. And, he told me that today would be my last day at Physical Therapy (PT). So, when I headed up there after lunch, I had to let them know that it was the end. I've been seeing these therapists 2-3 times a week for several months now and have formed a bond of sorts. It's going to be weird not having those appointments break up my week. But, I do have to continue the stretching and exercises at home for a while. I feel like I've graduated from Ankle Repair Surgery or something. 

Just as I was leaving PT, my guest post video for Mixed Media Menagerie went live!! 
Mixed Media Menagerie June 2022

I applied earlier in the year to be a guest artist with these fabulous ladies and was honored to accept the June spot. (Again, you can click the picture or caption to watch the video.) I think they might still have some spots open if you want to apply too! Of course, you can always play along by using the tag #MMMJun22 on Instagram on YouTube. My video explains what the prompts are this month. 

And, now, I'm reveling in so many big things happening in one day. I hope tomorrow isn't a disappointment! Nah...there's another ICAD to do!

Tell me something good happening in your world. 

Available in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop

 It's time once again for me to share a sample of some of the pretties available in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop. Of course, there are loads of beautiful and unique jewelry items. 

Butterfly Garnet Necklace

Blue Scrolls Earrings

Amethyst Wing Bracelet

Joker Necklace

Big Rain Gold Earrings

And, as I'm wrapping up #The100DayProject in which I worked to create Assemblages each day, I'm beginning to list some of those assemblages in the shop. The first of them can already be found there!

All Ears Assemblage Art

Of course, there's plenty more eye candy in the shop for you to enjoy. Make sure to head over to the CraftyHope Etsy Shop and take a look for yourself. What interests you the most?

Bead Box 15 - Stocked

It's been months and months since I've had both the need and the urge to pack another Bead Box. Really, that's because I haven't been far from home in months and my inspiration has been dipping lately too. But, packing for my long-postponed (pre-pandemic) trip to visit my cousin in Ohio seemed to remedy both causes. Let me explain that my Bead Box is a simply 17-compartment plastic organizer that I pack with the components for 17 designs to be made when I travel or my inspiration wanes. As I was preparing for my trip, I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to stock my box. This is the FIFTEENTH iteration of this box.

Packing this box had some ups and downs. To begin, I started by gathering the pieces needed for several designs that had been sketched while I was still in the bed with my broken ankle. From there, I began cleaning off some bits from my desk that were simple enough to pair up. And, I dove into my Jesse James Secret Stash Box. Then...the real inspiration hit. I'll get to all that in a bit. Let's start with compartment one. 

This design actually came about in my second wave of designs (things that were on my desk) but was added to the first compartment because it's the largest, and the pendant would best fit in there. Adding a chain to the soldered mushroom jar pendant took a little thought, but I realized that I wanted to keep the palette for this necklace fairly simple and organic-feeling. I pulled out some greens, wood beads, and a few pops of orange. (I have to admit that more will be added to this little spread as I forgot to account for the large size of the holes in the wooden beads.)

Here's where the sketched designs actually began. In reality, the idea for this one was really only for how to pull the pendant together. I hadn't given the chain much thought other than to scribble the words "boob-length" next to it. Geez! In any case, I picked out a few beads that I think go with the colors of the tin and the soldered stone. These beads will help make up the chain.

This was yet another sketched design, but it was basically just the idea to pair the "zeal" charm with the soldered ring. Beyond that, I picked out the beads and chain as I was assembling the rest of the box.

This was the last of the sketched ideas. The little tin triangles didn't have the holes punched in them yet, so I hoped I could get five of them in that tiny space. Whew, I was lucky. The little beads match the colors of the dots on the tin. These should be pretty cute. 

Here's where I started cleaning off my bead mat. I made quite a few of these bead-wrapped beads as I was healing. I decided that I liked the sparkly lime with the matte of that light blue cultured sea glass. 

And, here's another pair of wrapped beads. You can't go wrong with some large black beads.

My friend, Jenny, has a new tutorial out for making her signature tassel necklaces. And, she asked me to read through it for her. Of course, I couldn't resist making one of the tassels myself. It was sitting on my desk too. Next up is to complete the chain of it to turn it into a necklace. 

From there, I dove into some of the beads from the Secret Stash I received from Jesse James Beads as part of being a Design Ambassador. Those little puffball charms are too adorable. And, once again, I'm taken with pairing them with something on the opposite end of the spectrum: shiny, sparkly, hard. They should work out nicely.

Let me go ahead and admit to you that I ended up with so many ideas for this box that this one shares a cubby with the previous design. Again, these are some of my Jesse James Beads from the Secret Stash. In the video, I mention that this connector would make a great bracelet focal. And, that's just what I indeed to use it for here too. The rest of the beads will help make up the chain. 

This design and the next also share a compartment. These little tin rectangles have been floating around on my desk for AGES. Until I set them next to those bright blue crackle beads, they didn't seem to work with anything else. The crackle beads and bead caps are also from Jesse James. 

I was smitten with those resin and wood charms as soon as I pulled them from the mix in my Secret Stash. It just took a little moving of things around from the box to decide what they would go best with (and, these may be perfect for the Honey Do List from SJ Designs Jewelry this month too. Yay!!) 

I found the soldered pendant in a bowl on my desk. I had completely forgotten about it. I realized that some of the gray and neutral beads from Jesse James would be perfect for it. I can't wait to see this one pulled together.

After that, I felt like I was out of ideas. I packed those first ones in a mad rush, just using old ideas and what I had already out in front of me. I thought that the last several compartments of my bead box might travel with me empty. But, then I started packing my suitcase. I realized that I was lacking some jewelry pieces to go with each of my outfits. And, that fueled these last several pieces. I simply envisioned what jewelry I wanted to wear with each outfit, and the inspiration flowed faster than I expected! I may have to use this technique again. 

I have a long blue dress that I just love, and this necklace was designed with it in mind. The soldered shard was already in my stash, I just pulled together a mix of other blue beads and buttons that will help to make a long chain to go with the pendant. 

A basic gray tunic and leggings were the inspiration for this necklace. While something bright might have worked too, the leggings have some florals on them that might be too busy with a bright necklace. So, I took the soldered chandelier crystal and paired it with black faceted glass beads and gray glass pearls. These elements should make a subtle but beautiful piece.

These black teardrop briolettes and chandelier crystal components are to become earrings that could go with the previous necklace design. Or, they may be lovely on their own.

This may be my favorite design in the box. I have a black and white striped shirt that I love, but with the basic blue jeans I packed, the outfit was in need of a little spark. I can't even remember what order this idea came together - it was such a flurry of excitement for me. I know I found that "dreams" key in my pendant drawer and realized that it needed some weight. That's when I remembered that large faceted bead that was in my JJB Secret Stash Box. The colors of it reminded me of the other crystals that were already in my own stash. And, I found the matte aqua beads and faux moonstones as well that should complement the pendant and help make a beautiful chain. 

I'm having trouble even remembering what outfit this was supposed to go with, but I know I wanted dark blue. So, I found the tin, cut the shapes, punched the holes, and sanded the edges. I picked out dark blue seed and faceted beads to finish the design.

One of the tops that I planned to wear (and didn't) is minty green with white flowers. I was going to pair it with black jeans. I didn't want any jewelry that might overload it too much, so I found this clear component (some old jewelry piece, I assume) and paired it with white and off-white beads that will make up the chain. 

I thought that if the previous necklace ended up being too busy for the shirt I had packed, I might as well have some simple earrings. So, I pulled out the pale green beads, gunmetal elements, and seed beads. This 19th design finished off the box.

I'm still so excited about some of these designs that I've started on them even though I've returned home and won't be traveling again for another month or so. I really enjoyed the inspiration of designing for actual outfits and will definitely be using that tactic again. I did pack some of my other jewelry for this trip. And, that was a blessing since I didn't get any of these made. I may share a post next week on what jewelry I packed and wore. We'll see. If you're interested in seeing more of my bead boxes stocked and their reveals, here's the full list of all fourteen.

Sweet Button Bangle DIY

I received a beautiful selection of beads and buttons this month from Jesse James Beads as a Jesse James Beads Design Ambassador. Admittedl...