Not Too Many Beads on this BTW

Yesterday I planned to catch up on the housework and other personal tasks that were ignored as I worked on my muffin tin jewelry, but what really happened was. . .well. . .not much. 

Between having the nieces over the weekend and the challenge, I didn't really have much of a weekend. So yesterday, I rested.

And today, well, today I'm trying to catch up.

Therefore, on my bead table is a long and growing To Do list

And some of the items to do (finished jewelry pieces that need pictures, descriptions, and to be listed)

Considering it's almost 4pm, I have a feeling most of this work will bleed into my schedule tomorrow as well. At least I have lots of completed jewelry now!! 

Bead Table Wednesday

While I'm here, I've been meaning to show off the beautiful Treasury Shannon from For My Sweet Daughter designed. In it she included a bunch of fantastic jewelry, bead, and component artists' work. . and somehow I ended up in that mix. I'm so very honored. (Please click on the link to see the whole treasury.)
Midnight Blue Sky
Thank you so much Shannon!!

Finally, this beautiful bracelet was placed on sale today.
Gentle Spring Bracelet

Now to check "Blog" off that list!

Muffin Tin Jewelry Time!!

Oh yeah. . .it's Muffin Tin Jewelry reveal time.

You may remember that Art Bead Scene put out a one week, 12 project challenge to be organized into a muffin tin. I started the challenge a bit late and even when the rules were relaxed to 6 projects, I still chugged on to get my twelve completed.

I started with a 12-cup muffin tin. I actually had to go out and purchase one as I had recently disposed of my nasty, crusty, rusty, old one and was just using a 6-cupper.

Then, I started filling my cups.
For me, the first step to this was selecting focal beads for each of the twelve spots.

After that was done, I added complementary beads.

Finally, my task was to select the findings and wire for the projects.

Let me admit that filling the cups was the biggest hurdle in the whole challenge. Once that was complete, I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to do. I simply had to carve out the time to get the work done.

At last, here's the reveal of what was in each of the cups and what I made from it (clicking on the pictures will make them larger)
Cup one
Cup two (this one took me the longest as I had to resin the focal and three of the accent beads first)

Cup three
Cup four
Cup five (don't you just love that little hedgehog?)
Cup six
Cup seven
Cup eight (the focal is polymer clay)
Cup nine
Cup ten (took the longest to actually work with my hands, but is my favorite. . . I guess I just had time to bond with it!)
Cup eleven
Cup twelve (yes, that's the same focal. It's just two-sided)

Looking back over this challenge and realizing that I got twelve pieces made in way less than a week has left me with a sense of accomplishment. I'm seriously considering taking up this muffin-tin method as a weekly ritual. . .or semi-weekly ritual. I really liked the fact that once everything was in the cups, I knew exactly what I had to do. The figuring out and fretting was over. When I walked into my craft room each day of the challenge I knew exactly what needed to be done. There was no staring blankly at beads or rummaging through drawers and bins (at least not after the first day.) And the whole tin was easily transportable into the living room or any other area I wanted to work. Even though the pressure was on to get the projects done by today's deadline, there was very little stress involved. In addition, this would be a great method to use when preparing for a trip or vacation.

I could probably go on about how much I enjoyed this, but I also need to mention that it helped me recognize how easy it is to forget about the little things you need in a bead design. . .the seed beads, the jump rings, crimp beads, clasps, etc. I found a few times as I worked on a project that I had left out a small thing and had to deviate from my muffin cup to get what I needed to complete a piece.

All in all, I really had a great time and thank Heather for extending this challenge to us. Even if I don't win the prize, I'm so glad I got to participate. Thanks!

I Heart Macro and My Etsy News

I've been trying most of the day to motivate myself to get this blog post written. The nieces were over yesterday and part of today and they wore me out! As such, I didn't really get any new macro shots taken. I did get some last weekend that I ran out of time to share.

After our long week out of town, Pat and I enjoyed one of our own local haunts for some dinner and beers.

Share your macro shots and link up with the rest of us at Studio Waterstone for I Heart Macro Sunday.

While the girls watched some silly kids movie last night, I played around on twitter and was fortunate to hear of an Etsy Tweep Game from @Design45 (also known as Tubby Tabby on Etsy) Apparently, Jodi announces a tweep game for fellow Etsians and then designs a treasury around the first responders' shops. I was lucky enough to tweet in first and thus got featured in the first spot on the treasury. She designed a beautiful Treasury around "The Colors of Summer"
Tweep Game #8 The Colors of Summer

I did motivate myself enough to place a few items on sale in the shop also.
Rocking it Old School
White Trash JUNK Necklace

Now, to grab my muffin tin and knock out those last four projects that are calling my name!

Jumping on the ABS Challenge Bandwagon

As the title clearly states, I'm going to enter an Art Bead Scene Challenge. In fact I'm not only going to enter one, but TWO ABS challenges.

The first is the June Monthly Challenge and I've already given you a peek at what I was creating for that challenge. I made it a point to complete that piece at the beginning of the week (you know, before the month runs out completely!)

Let me remind you what the inspiration piece of art is for the month.
Ophelia by Odilon Redon.

I've admitted that the piece completely caught my attention and captured my imagination. There was something about the pool that made me want to make sure there was a sort of reflection in the piece I made. I guess I hear pool (in an ages gone by sense) and think "reflecting pool". As such, I played and played with some tiny mirrors before finally realizing I could put one inside polymer clay and actually make the art bead myself.
In addition, I knew that I wanted to incorporate the yellow, blue, and grey in the piece. So I made the bulk of the piece to include those colors.
I'll admit that I'm not completely satisfied with this necklace, but this IS my first attempt at the Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. So, I guess it will do for now.

Yesterday, I mentioned the Muffin Tin Challenge also going on over on the ABS Blog and  my interest in it. I WAS able to get my hands on a 12 cup muffin tin this morning and have spent the majority of the day filling my cups! Now, I'm not totally convinced I can get ALL of the projects in my cups done by Monday, but I'm sure as heck going to try! Here's a peek at my muffin tin.
Rest assured that whether I finish on time or not I WILL share it all with y'all!

Before I head out to work on those twelve projects, I do want to let you know that the fantastic Andrew Thornton is having a yard sale of sorts on both his Big Cartel shop and his Ebay site. There's some awesome stuff in both places, you could browse for hours!

Craft Bag and Bead Table Wednesday

Because of the vacation, I was working without an actual bead table last week. Of course, that didn't stop me from making sure I had some beads with me. (Have crafts, will travel.) Yet, the lack of internet DID stop me from posting about it. Before I get to today's bead table, I want to brag about how I was able to condense my traveling crafts into one small box.
This is ALL the craft materials I took with us
These are misc. colored pencils and paints (didn't get used)
HERE are the beady supplies I crammed in (pliers, wire, beads. . .and the knitting needle is my jump ring tool)
The baggie of focals that I threw together (more on that down the way)
The bulk of the beads and buttons (sorted by color) that went with us. There were also a few small pill boxes of seed beads that didn't get photographed.

I ended up only making two necklaces while we were out and about. The first while we were staying at our friends' house in Florida and the second while we were relaxing on the beach in Alabama. I think you can tell where I was with both of them. . .and thus what inspired me.
The Florida necklace (one side)
Florida necklace other side
Beach-made necklace

While I'm still amazed at how much I packed into that one little box, I'm happy to have full use of my craft room and bead table once again. However, I am currently limiting myself to working from the little bag of focals for the time being. I'm hoping that this limitation will spark some creativity on my part as I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the abundance of materials I have stockpiled.

From that bag, I did pull out a lampwork bead that I've been holding onto for YEARS and began picking out some complementary beads.

So that's what's on my bead table at the moment. What's on yours? Check out some other fantastic Bead Tables this Wednesday in the BTW Flickr Group
Beat Table Wednesday

While I've got you here, let me share some giveaways and challenges I've come across in the last day or two. I think the first one might be perfect for me as I limit myself to those focals. 

Giveaways and challenges

Now to get myself a 12 cup muffin tin (all mine are 6 cuppers. . .)!!

    Vacation Adventures

    I don't know if any of you are actually interested in all the fun I had last week on vacation or not, but I want to go ahead and get this out there. I've condensed it into as few pictures and details as I can. Enjoy!

    This was our best friend for the whole trip. Gladys (we named her after the computer on Portal) never led us astray and only became MILDLY frustrated with us when she had to utter those inevitable words, "recalculating".
    Our first stop and most time was spent with some good friends. We lounged by the pool, smoked some ass, made (and quickly consumed) Green Dragons (kiwi-strawberry juice blended with Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum- YUM!), and explored Fleming Island.
    We had discussed visiting St. Augustine, but decided on a quick trip to Orlando instead. However, on the way to that tourist mecca, we did stop for lunch in St. Augustine along the famous A1A. I was giddy about this, since it was a Jimmy Buffett reference.
    Coincidentally, once we made it to Orlando, we hit up Universal Studios' CityWalk for dinner (and entertainment) at Margaritaville Orlando and then a movie.
    However, the main point of interest in Orlando was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. (You can click on the picture for larger images) Let me go ahead and admit that we didn't ride any rides (we're just not rides people.) I was completely enthralled with the place, with the exception of the unbearable heat. The snow-covered rooftops of Hogsmead were quite deceptive as we both about melted into puddles. There was almost no shade within the wizarding world and the lines for attractions seemed to stretch for miles. But, the butterbeer, lunch at the Three Broomsticks, a wand from Ollivander's, and the general experience was well worth it. (I'd simply recommend going when it's a bit cooler.)
    The day after Hogwarts, we intended to visit SeaWorld. However, since the weather forecast looked like this (above); we headed back to Fleming Island instead.
    We only stayed with our hospitable friends one night before heading back toward Alabama. We had intended to stop and stay in Destin or Ft. Walton to visit the beach there for a day or two before we went home. As we deliberated over this, we realized that home was where we wanted to be. . . but only on the condition that we actually DID something and not just sit around the house. So, we hit the Coleman Outlet on the way home and bought a beach shade (we had been planning on getting one anyway). The rest of the weekend was spent in southern Alabama bliss as we visited Lulu's at Homeport Marina, made margaritas at home, spent a day on the Gulf beaches, and generally enjoyed the area in which we live.

    Now. . .how was that for a fairly unplanned vacation? I thoroughly enjoyed it, but must admit that by the end of the adventuring, I was ready to get back into my routine.

    I did take some craft supplies with me and I'll reveal that craft bag later.
    Before I go, let me share what's going on in the shop.

    Glitter and Glow Earrings
    On Sale:
    Stony Statement Earrings (25% Off)

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I can really work on getting back to routine. First, to get something on the craft desk for Bead Table Wednesday tomorrow!

    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...