Colors of Spring Blog Hop - Driftwood

Almost two months ago Sally at The Studio Sublime offered up a bit of a challenge. Using Pantone's colors for Spring, she made several sets of her ceramic beads to match the Spring palette. I believe there were two of each of the ten colors and then an extra two of the Tangerine Tango, since it's the color for the year. She offered up the lentil beads in her shop and included four other beads in a surprise color of her choice. She called it the Colors of Spring Blog Hop.
By the time I heard about the challenge, the colors left were few. I opted for Driftwood. It's a grey with a touch of brown to it. However, I had no idea what color Sally would pair with it.

Here are the beautiful beads I received.

From the beginning, Sally said that it wasn't necessary to use the additional beads just as long as the lentil bead in the Spring color was included. I, however, was determined to use both colors. I pondered the yummy green with the driftwood for a while trying to decide what other shades would go with them. I ended up pulling out bead after bead and comparing them to the ones Sally sent me. I finally settled on a bright red and black.
Let me say that I really worked to make sure those shades didn't look too Christmas-y together.

I had decided that I wanted to frame the lentil bead in some way and the more I pondered this the more I knew that I wanted that lentil to SPIN also. In fact, I believe I dreamed that part of the design. I'm a rather fidgety person and often play with the jewelry I'm wearing, so a necklace that I can spin sounded like a lot of fun. After going through my wire I decided to use some galvanized steel that would almost reflect the gray of the bead while still highlighting the unique shade of it. I started by building the frame and arranging beads on a length of wire with the lentil that would help ensure that the lentil spun smoothly. This was much harder than I thought. I finally found that silver discs at either end worked perfectly.
After that, it was a matter of making the chain with the rest of the beads and decorating the frame with similar-colored seed beads. I also made a toggle clasp with the steel wire. Here are my final results.
It's really long so I can lift the focal to spin it!

And here's a quick video of it spinning!

I'll admit that it spins much better when I can use both hands and don't have to hold the camera in one of them.

Thanks to Sally for coming up with this challenge. It was a lot of fun. Now, I'm anxious to check out everyone else's colors and what they made. You should do the same! Here's the list of the other participants and their colors!

Thanks for hopping by!

Spreading the Love

Just want to check in with some images I've captured the last several days. I've even gotten some jewelry made!

Oh, and the Colors of Spring Blog Hop is tomorrow. My post is written and scheduled to be up around 12:30 am Central time. Come back by and check it out!

Working Vacation

This week is Spring Break for the kids in my area so we are celebrating it as well. Some friends of ours (and their kids) have gotten a place down the road in Orange Beach on the water. Since Pat didn't have time to take off and the place has a wireless connection, we decided to take a working vacation. So we had this view last night.

And this view this morning.

After breakfast and a quick paddle in my kayack, I set up on the picnic table with the hubby. It seems working vacations aren't so bad at all.

I'll post some more later. . .maybe ;)
Oh. . .and I'm trying to do this post from my iPad, so I don't know how this will look. sorry!

Hunger Games Necklace

I'm sure you know that today is the premiere of The Hunger Games. I read the books months ago and have been anxiously awaiting seeing it. (My tickets are waiting at will call now for our viewing tonight!)

Anyway, the reason I'm posting is to show off this necklace I made in a flash the other day.  I had a teenage friend of mine ask me if I could make her a Hunger Games necklace. I responded that there was no way I was going to be able to make a MockingJay, but she retorted that it could be as simple as an arrow. Why I didn't think of that I have no idea. Time was short, but I wanted to see what I could come up with, so this was thrown together.

Here's what I used:
Tim Holtz Grungeboard arrow (pre-cut)
Gold acrylic paint
Pearl Ex powder in Brilliant Gold
Glossy Accents (sealer)
White shrink plastic
Corner rounder paper punch
Grey Sharpie
Hole punch
Heat gun
Gunmetal chain
Gold Spring Clasp
3 gold jump rings
2 black jump rings
Jewelry pliers

Paint the grungeboard arrow with the gold paint and then cover it with gold Pearl Ex powder. While it dries, cut out a square of shrink plastic and round the corners with a paper punch. With the Sharpie, write "Team Katniss" on it, then punch two holes on either side of the top and one in the center bottom. Use a heat gun to shrink the plastic. With the Glossy Accents, seal all sides of the arrow and the front of the plastic (sharpie will rub off over time). Use a gold jump ring to attach the arrow to the bottom of the plastic and the black jump rings to attach the chain to each side of the top. Find the center of the chain and add the clasp with the other two gold jump rings. DONE!

This project took me very little time and my friend seemed to be pleased with the necklace she'll be wearing to the movie tonight! WIN!

Now to decide if I want to  make one for myself!

BTW and a Button Swap

I've been uber reliant on my to do list the last few days/weeks. If I didn't have it in front of me, I could easily spin out of control. This is especially true on Wednesdays. You see, hump day is a shortened work day for me. I spend the afternoon/evening with my family in Mobile to help out with the nieces. As such, there are all kinds of tasks to get done in the mornings.

You didn't come here to here me whine. You came to see what's on my craft desk. After all, it is Bead Table Wednesday. Yesterday I posted about my Suor Angelic Fundraising effort. Well, I'm actually working on more jewelry for that collection.
I decided to make a JUNK necklace that fits into the theme.

Actually, that not the ONLY project on my desk, but everything else is gifts and they're on the DL. At least I have a clean desk to work on! Yesterday's photo prompt was before/ after. I decided that was a great motivator to clean off the chaos that was piling up on my work surface.
Ahhhh. . ..much better!

I want to give all you other beaders and button fiends the heads up that Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio will be hosting this year's Button Swap. I had a lot of fun with the button swap last year and have already jumped on the bandwagon for this one. In fact, I think I was the first one to sign up. Wow. . .I have a problem. Anyway, the sign-ups are going on the rest of this week, so head over to Cindy's blog to throw your name into the pot!

Now, this one's not part of the fundraising efforts, but here's a new necklace in the shop.
Bright Blossom Necklace

It's back to the list for me. What's in your plans for today?

Fundraising for Suor Angelica Opera

Last week I mention in my BTW post that I've been working on making some jewelry to benefit a friend who has been given an extraordinary opportunity. Since I finally got a few of those pieces in the shop this morning I figured I'd share more about this (with some of the jewelry I've made scattered in for good measure.)
Cross My Heart Necklace

My friend, Melanie, has been invited to sing the lead role in Puccini's opera Suor Angelica this summer in Rome as part of Operafestival di Roma 2012. As you can imagine, this opportunity could be life-changing for Melanie. While it includes four weeks of training and a week of performances, the cost of tuition for the program is rather steep.  As such, she is doing everything she can to try to raise the funds in order to participate.
Modern Religion Necklace

That's where I come in. Melanie approached me about making some jewelry that would symbolize Suor Angelica and donating a small percentage to her Rome fund. I thought this was a fantastic idea and a way that I could help her. So, 50% of the sales of the items in the Sour Angelica Fundraiser section of my shop with go into Melanie's fund.
Music for Your Soul
Since I am not familiar with the opera, Melanie informed me that it is about a nun, Sister Angelica, who lives in a convent. She uses flowers and herbs to make medicines for her other sisters. Melanie will be performing this production in an actual church in Rome. How cool is that!? Anyway, based on the theme of the opera, many of the pieces in this collection have crosses and music notes. I will be making additional items for the collection, but I wanted to get the ball rolling on my fundraising efforts for Melanie.
Music Dreams Necklace
If you are interested in helping Melanie achieve this dream but don't want to have to purchase jewelry from me, please visit Melanie's fundraising site for Suor Angelica in Rome. You can donate there, follow Melanie's fundraising efforts, and even see a video of her. Remember, every little bit helps!
Rose Garden Necklace
If the current items in the shop don't appeal to you, please come back by my Suor Angelica shop section another time as I will be adding more items as I get them made. Remember, 50% of all monies collected from the items sold out of this section will be going directly to Melanie.

Craft Fairs, Menu, and Etsy News

I just want to mention that I attended TWO craft fairs this weekend. It was GREAT! I got to get some exercise and look at arts and crafts at the same time. That's my kind of workout! Here's just a few shots I got of the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival.

Now, it's back to the routine of the week which means today is Meal Plan Monday.

Breakfasts: Cereal/oatmeal, breakfast burritos, whole wheat waffles, peanut butter toast, potato bacon casserole

Lunches: Tuna noodles, turkey sandwiches, leftovers, pizza quesidillas, PB&J, soup w/grilled cheese, pizza (from freezer)

Grilled shrimp w/green beans & rice mix
Turkey shepherd's pie
Easy chicken curry w/jasmine rice
Spicy Dr. Pepper shredded pork (in the crockpot) sandwiches w/ sweet potato fries & baked beans

I just want to share that a pair of earrings from my shop was featured in this cool treasury

Also, I re-listed a pair of earrings.
Clouds Dripping Earrings
 I had a new pair in the shop. After I listed them, I jumped in the shower and by the time I got out they were SOLD!! I was pretty happy with starting my week that way. Here's hoping your week is just as smile-inducing and surprising (in the good way at least)!

Macro: Rusty Find

Another weekend, another adventure. I hope this trend continues!

Today Pat and I ventured down to Gulf Shores with bikes in tow. We weren't sure if we wanted to ride a path or take a walk along the beach so we prepared for both. We ended up opting for the ride as we knew the water would still be too chilly to get in and it's so darn tempting to get in it if you're walking along the waves.

On out ride, we stumbled upon a neighborhood that had apparently stalled out in its building. There were roads and sidewalks and lampposts, but no houses. As we rode through the ghost town of a neighborhood, I noticed the manhole covers were pretty interesting.
The cool rusty ship in the center
Ewwwww. . . .

Here's a non-macro look at the whole cover.
Sanitary Sewer? I don't get it.

Check out more I Heart Macro at Studio Waterstone.

It's back to a regular schedule tomorrow.

Giveaways You Should Enter

Just popping in to let y'all know about a couple of Giveaways I've bumped into in the last few days (now that's I've FINALLY finished getting through the Bead Soup Hopping)

First, head over to Tree Wings Studio for a chance (actually chanceS) to win one of three sets of her beads that she's giving away.
Just one of the sets in the giveaway

Secondly, Havana Beads is giving away a set of her glass headpins.
Just some of the headpins available at Havana Beads

 Click over to each of those blogs for more details on how to enter!

And, since it's St. Patrick's Day. . . May the luck of the Irish be with you!! ;)

BTW: Wild Week

What's with this week already? It's kicking my butt! I feel like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. So let me go ahead and get a blog post out so I can cross SOMETHING off my to do list today!

It's Bead Table Wednesday!!

Here's the current state of my craft desk.

It's covered with crosses and music notes because I've begun a project to help raise funds for a friend of mine who has been selected for the lead in an opera in ROME! However, she needs some help to get the money together to actually go. I'll be sharing some more information about this fundraising effort very soon. For now, here's a few of the pieces (also on my bead table) I've completed for this effort.

The BTW Flickr Group has more beady goodness!

Oh, and there's a new necklace and a re-listed necklace in the shop.
Lady Victoria Necklace
Woodland Pal Necklace

It's back to the grind for me. I hope you're having a much more productive week!

Monday Tidbits

If you paid attention to my Twitter or Facebook stream over the weekend, you saw that my weekend was full of 'adventuring.' On Saturday we went over to visit Fort Pickens in Pensacola (as you saw in my Macro Sunday post)
One of my favorite pictures from the fort.

Then on Sunday we met my nieces and parents at the Zoo in Gulf Shores.
I promise the zoo there has more than goats, but I also liked this shot!
It was an active but fun weekend. Plus, it was Daylight Savings. . .yay!!! I love the extra daylight in the evenings.

Now it's Monday and that means it's time for a meal plan. Here you go!

Breakfasts: Cereal/oatmeal, breakfast burritos, cinnamon sugar croissants, omelets, Guinness spiced muffins, whole wheat waffles

Lunches: PB&J, pizza (from freezer), tuna noodles, leftovers, cheese quesidillas, grilled cheese w/soup, pizza quesidillas

Spaghetti squash meat pie
Grilled Chicken (w/ maple mustard marinade) w/roasted red potato salad & corn on the cob
Turkey shepherd pie
Grilled Shrimp w/green beans & rice mix

There's more Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

In other news, there are two new listings in the shop
Happy Place Bracelet
Woodsy Button Necklace

AND, a pair of earrings from the shop were listed in this bright treasury

Okay now. . .I'm attempting to figure out how to cook a spaghetti squash, so I better go for now and pay attention to that process! Happy Monday y'all!

Macro Sunday: Fort Pickens

Pat and I got out of the house yesterday for an adventure. We wound up on Pensacola Beach at Fort Pickens. Neither of us has ever visited that particular fort before and we had a blast exploring it. I was able to find a a lot of beautiful photo opps. Here are the macro ones I captured just to share today for I Heart Macro Sunday.

These bushes were all over the fort. I really loved them and was calling them pom-pom trees.

I mean seriously, look how cool!

The fort is almost 200 years old and there are all kinds of signs of Mother nature threatening to take it over, like this fern popping out of a brick wall.

And just so you know I was actually at a fort, here's the opening to a cannon. Yup, that says 15,940 lbs. And, that wasn't even the biggest cannon there!

studio waterstone 

Bead Box 18 - Reveal

 Hey y'all! I'm popping in to share the completed jewelry pieces that came out of Bead Box 18 . I've actually already stocked an...