I'm Still Alive

I am oh SO far behind on my blogging and I have oh SO many things to talk about, but the sweet hubs and I are taking a little vacation until Tuesday. I really need it after the hectic-ness that was my Christmas. I also still don't have my laptop back from the shop, so everything's kinda fallen by the wayside without it.

For now, just hold on a bit longer and I hope to back to a regular schedule again soon.

Don't forget that Bead Soup Party sign-ups are quickly approaching!
Remember, Lori Anderson (of Pretty Things) a.k.a "the hostess with the mostess of the Bead Soup Party" will be doing a lottery of sorts to pick just 200 individuals to participate in the Party this time around.

Anyway, our breakfast just buzzed and I've got plenty of vacation to take part in, so I'll be back to catch up with y'all next week.

See ya then!!

Ornament Swap Blog Hop

Sally at Wireworked offered up the opportunity to swap ornaments with another artist. The ornaments had to me handmade by us and had to include at least one art bead. Simple enough right?

I started by contacting Melissa Meman, my wonderful swap partner, to find out if she had any preferences in the style of her ornament. It seems we both prefer fairly traditional Christmas decorations. Next, I pondered my options for a VERY long time. I went though my small sample of art beads. Finally, I was inspired by this ornament on Pintrest.

Ornament from The Robin and Sparrow
While the inspiration ornament is beautiful, I wanted to make the design my own so as to include some art beads. I settled on a tree design using some small "Shabby Beads" of my own making and a polymer clay star (also made by me.)

To make the ornament, I shaped heavy gauge wire into the form of the tree and used small gauge wire to wrap it closed. The heavy wire was pounded flat and glued onto a paper copy of "Oh Tannenbaum" that had already been coated with ICE Resin on either side. Once the wire was secure to the paper, I added just a dusting of glitter to the inner area of the tree and applied a thick layer of ICE Resin to secure everything.

Once the resin was good and cured, I punched holes at the outer angles of the tree (3 on each side) I added a "Shabby Bead" to each branch to serve as ornaments and glued the star on top. I made my own ornament hanger that included a green enameled bead from Gardanne.

The ornament was packaged up along with a few other goodies to Melissa. I must admit that I was so excited to get the ornament in the mail that I did so before remembering to take pictures of it. Fortunately, Melissa was an angel to share with me some of the pictures she took (thank you!!)

NOW, let me share with you what Melissa (the amazing lady that she is) sent to me. She really blew my stockings off with this amazing ornament!! While I used general craft supplies of paper, resin, clay, wood, and glitter; Melissa was busy with metal, enamel, solder, and some heavy tools. Check it out!!

Let me apologize for the pictures turning out sideways. Without my own computer to edit the pictures, I'm having some trouble getting the editing just right. (You have no idea how frustrated I am that you aren't getting a better view of this outstanding ornament)

In addition, She sent me some of her own enameled beads. I'll admit that they're so pretty I'm a bit intimidated by them. I'll get over that soon enough I'm sure of it!!
THANK YOU Melissa for the wonderful Christmas treasure you've generously made. I don't think it'll be getting packed away with the rest of the ornaments at the end of the season!

As well, a big THANK YOU to Sally as well for her hosting of the blog hop. I really had a lot of fun giving and receiving!

Now, you get yourself to blog hopping!!

Partner List for the Ornament Swap/Blog Hop

I can't wait to see what everyone else created!!

Holiday Hustle and Bustle

Why does the holiday season have to be so insane!?

Sorry I haven't been around much, but it's been just one thing after another.
My computer is still in the shop
I'm only 1/3 of the way through my Christmas shopping
I've had quite a few custom orders to make
There's lots of parties and programs and general chaos this time of year.

So, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and have let some tasks go for the time being. I'm sorry that the blog has been one of them. However, without my laptop, editing photos has not been as easy. As well, listing items for the shop hasn't happened either. Hopefully I'll be back up to speed soon.

In the meantime, let me show off two of the custom orders I made. 
A local friend who has bought from me before wanted a couple of items for her daughters.
The oldest is 13 going on 14 and is quiet and reserved. She likes greens and tropical peaches. So I made her this necklace

The youngest is 12 and very much a girlie girl. She likes pink and is very social. I made her a memory wire bracelet with lots of bling.
My customer LOVED these pieces. I just hope her girls do too!!

As a reminder, 
the ornament swap reveal is this Saturday the 17th. I can't wait to show you the beautiful ornament Melissa made for me!!

Sale Extended and My Meal Plan

Well the Shop Hop is over, but I've decided to extend the sale!
Through Dec 11th, you can continue to use the code:  
HOLIDAY 2011 for 15% everything in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop.

I regret to say that my laptop has been in the shop since Thursday and it contains all the info and pictures for new items, so there won't be any new listings until I get it back. However, since I didn't have that in from of me to distract me, I actually got quite a few items made the last couple days. Here's a sample of that.
Hopefully the new parts will come in soon and I can resume my regular routine. Pat's letting my borrow another computer for the time being, but it's really hard not being on my own. I may go into that a bit more tomorrow.

Fortunately, I was able to complete my menu since I had the format saved on a flash drive. Here's what we'll most likely be chowing down on this week.
Breakfasts: Banana bread, toast (w/various toppings), yogurt w/granola, cereal, cinnamon croissants, ham omelets, waffles

Lunches: leftovers, hot dogs w/tator tots, PB&J, pepperoni pizza puffs, soup w/grilled cheese, cheese quesidillas

Crispy honey lime tilapia w/corn & mac-n-cheese
Baked Parmesan spaghetti (subbing ground turkey for the beef) w/salad
Fancy macaroni (w/sausage) w/green beans
Crockpot chicken w/sweet potato casserole & mixed veggies

There are more great meal plan ideas for Meal Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
(And, of course just as I finish typing this all out do I realize that I won't be home most of the weekend, so you'll be seeing several of these meals again next week. . .oops!)

Even though the Shop Hop has ended, I realized this morning that a pair of my earrings were included in a treasury that contained items from some of the participating shops. The earrings of mine included have already sold, but there are plenty of other beauties to behold in this treasury.

Before I go, I did place four items on sale today that I want to share with you.
Clouds Dripping Earrings
Garden Enchantment Necklace
Float On Necklace
Magic Stirs Bracelet
 Don't forget to use coupon code HOLIDAY2011 for 15% off!!

Holiday Shop Hop 2011

Today begins the Holiday Shop Hop 2011!!

Shel of MiShel Designs is the brainchild behind this baby! I'm sure you can find more information on this hop on her blog. 
Basically, several artisans have signed up to participate in this hop. Each link below will take you to either their shop or blog. Many of these individuals are having a sale and/or giveaway for just this weekend for the Shop Hop.

Personally, I'm offering 15% off ANY item in my CraftyHope Shop.
Just use the coupon code HOLIDAY2011
for your savings.

Here are some of the items still available
Laughter Falls Necklace
Bumble Queen Earrings
Brighten the Nest Necklace
Like the Wind Necklace
Steampunk Circus Earrings

Anyway, enough about me. Here's the list of the other Holiday Shop Hop participants.

Holiday Shop Hop 2011

**You are Here!! --> CraftyHope


My Christmas List (part 2)

I'm still working my way through the Challenge of Color blogs, but couldn't wait to share another Christmas list with you (and my husband).

This list is more centered on beads that I would love to find under the (still non-existent) tree or in my stocking. To compile this list I went through my favorites on Etsy as well as through my bookmarked links. I know I'm leaving off a TON of wonderful artists, but I made this list by what each favorite currently had in stock and what I would want. If I left anyone off, please let me know in the comments!

For this list, I'm linking to both the shop home as well as the item(s) that I like the most. So, in no particular order here's list number two!


Handmade Flower Burst Copper 3 hole oval Drops

Woodland Shore - Bird Bead Set

Pennant Pendant Set
Off to Sea Pendant

Early Fall/Ceramic Acorn and Leaf Charm and Bead Set

Little Fox Bead - Sleepy Woodland Critters

Tiny Hot Cocoa Disk Beads
Falling Leaves Cuff Connector - Teal

Yellow Cobalt Blue and Black small recycled glass and stoneware clay pendant, charm, or earring set
Soft and Sweet Double loop Pendant Stoneware clay and Recycled glass

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads - Autumn Organics

Lampwork Glass pairs/ green sparkle and ivory glass

Glass Enameled Earrings in Iris Purple

Now, for Pat's benefit. . .I don't have to have ALL of the items on both lists, this is just a sampling of some gifts from which you can choose. As well, on THIS list, if something is sold out. . .take a look around their shop. They may have listed something even BETTER!!

In addition to the specific beads I've shown, some of these artists do offer Gift Certificates for their shops. That would be a great option also.

One last option in regards to gift certificates are my favorite local shops:

If you haven't done so yet, let me know what's on your list. And, like I said above. . I know I've left some artists off. Leave a comment letting me know who I left off (even if it's YOU) and a link to the shop(s) I've forgotten. The holidays make me Crazy-forgetful like that!!

Challenge of Color Reveal

Today's the day we reveal the accessories created with the inspiration of a Design Seeds palette assigned to each of us. Erin of Treasures Found is hosting this Challenge of Color.

Participants were asked to pick a color family for their palette from 12 options. We could choose a favorite or even something that would be more challenging. I almost predictably chose blue. However, I opted for blue not just because it's my favorite, but also because I knew I have an array of blue beads no matter what shade I was assigned. Here's the beautiful palette from Design Seeds that Erin picked for me.
Bloom Tones from Design Seeds

I was immediately thrilled with these colors because of their brightness. However, as I began to try to match the tones to beads in my stash and shop for beads elsewhere, I found that they were harder to find than I expected. As I revealed in my Bead Table Wednesday post from last week, I did pull together some beads from my own stash that I thought would be perfect for the challenge.

As you can see in the picture above, I was lacking the deep gray and pink from the palette. I really wanted to include each of the palette colors and played around with alternative ideas of how to bring in those shades. Ideas included: buttons, painting beads or buttons, polymer clay, fabric, and painting metal with nail polish. However, none of those ideas really worked for me.

I did find some paint in the right shade of pink and decided that an antiqued steel would work well for the gray. So, I painted some paper pink, stamped it, and sealed it in resin in a steel bezel. As well, I used some of the scrap painted paper to create a few paper beads. I laid everything out and played around with the materials. 

As great as these are, I still was not inspired enough to create a necklace. No matter how I combined that great array of beads they just weren't speaking to me. The purple was too dark, the bright blue was too bright, the dark blue were too  heavy, the paper beads were too juvenile.  GAH!

With just two days left before the reveal, I pulled the pendant and the key aside because I knew those were the two I wanted the most in the piece. I then envisioned the necklace around those two pieces and simply pulled out some other beads.

So, after ALL THAT, here's what I created.
Let me say that the beads I used for the purple shade turned out to be a bit more pink than I expected in the pictures. Anyway, despite the struggle, I'm really happy with the piece.

Please go check out how each of the other participants handled their Challenge of Color palettes. Here's the list!
18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
23 Amy Severino ~ Orange ~ Winged Tones
28 Linda Landig ~ Green ~ Cacti Dark
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones
54 Dawn Doucette ~ Brown ~ Jarred Tones

I can't wait to see how everyone else handled this Challenge.
A big thank you to Erin for organizing this Challenge and to Jessica Colaluca for use of her Design Seeds palettes as inspiration!

Just a Few Reminders

If you haven't seem My Christmas List (part 1) post yet from earlier this morning, please go take a look at it now and add to it!!

This is just a quick post of a few things that didn't relate to that post and I want to mention.

First, the Challenge of Color reveal is TOMORROW!! Come by then to check out what I did with my Bloom Tones palette from Design Seeds!
Remember, the hop is hosted by Erin of Treasures Found and she'll have the whole list of participants. I'll try to get a copy here too, but we'll see how that goes!

Secondly, It's Day 4 of the Virtual Craft Fair over at Lori's Pretty Things blog.
Go check out the deals, giveaways, and more!

Lastly, this necklace is new in my shop!
Flickering Flame Necklace

I SERIOUSLY need to finish my challenge piece and get some pictures of it. So, I'm out for the rest of the day. . .I promise!

My Christmas List (part one)

I told Pat that I wanted some crafty gifts for Christmas. See, for my birthday I had him just give me some money to go clothes shopping even though he pressed me to let him know what craft supplies I might want instead. So, I'm sticking to it for Christmas.
For his sake, and just for fun I'll be sharing my lists. This first list is of the tools and supplies I want.
Most of these are items that I just haven't picked up for myself for various reasons. Many are just an idea and not the exact model, though some are one of a kind. Let me go ahead and say that most of the links are to Beadaholique because that might make it easier for him to order if all of the items are in one spot. If you know of better deals or other retailers of these items, please let me know in the comments. Please!

Here we go!

Top Ten Jewelry Supplies I want for Christmas
Renaissance Wax

Liver of Sulfur

I would like a texture hammer or two. These two are great options
Eurotool Hammer Checkered/Wide Stripe
Eurotool Hammer Dimples/Narrow Stripe
Of course, there's this one also that looks like a deal.
Eurotool Hammer with Nine Faces

Light Tent Photo Cube

A NICE set of pliers

Gilders Paste (in almost any of the colors)

Euro-Punch Pliers

Sari Silk from Designtalentedone

I already have some of this, but can always use MORE
ICE Resin

Enamel Kit from Painting with Fire

So, that's my starting list. I know there are probably plenty more items I'm forgetting. I'll be doing a list of beads and other bits that I want later in the week. Stay tuned!
Again, if you have any suggestions of items I've forgotten, items you want that I might NEED to know about, or other retailers that have similar items; don't hesitate to let me know in the comments!

Winding down the 100DayProject

I awoke the other day with many thoughts about the 100 Day project and decided to jot them down here to share with you. Some of the bits I g...