Focusing on Life Week 11: The Possibilities are Endless

I totally have known all week what I would post for this past week's "Focusing on Life" prompt of The Possibilities are Endless.
Last year about this time, we went on Spring Break to the beach with some friends and their kids. One morning I actually awoke early enough to watch the sunrise and I made sure to snap PLENTY of pictures of it as well.
As the sun began to peek over the horizon, I knew that a new day had indeed dawned and The Possibilities were Endless as to what that day could hold.

Each day offers up to us an array of endless possibilities if we just take that opportunity. Yesterday I totally spent the day exploring the possibilities with my hubby and didn't quite get the chance to write about this as I should have. So here I am sunburned and slightly hungover wondering what TODAY can hold.

Here's hoping you make the most of each day as well. And, if you get a chance you can check out how other participants interpreted 'the possibilities are endless' over on Sally's blog, The Studio Sublime.

I was Published

Somehow I've absolutely failed to mention that I have a design in the current issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine (Spring 2013).

If you've got a copy, just flip to page 24 and you'll see one of the below designs featured. If you don't have a copy. . .why not? Ha!

The above are all the designs that I actually submitted for consideration for the Spring issue. Two of them are going to be taken apart/reworked while the other two will hopefully get photographed today for the Etsy shop.

This was my first time getting published and I've been so beyond thrilled that I think I didn't want to over-do my excitement so I let the magazine coming out simply slip by without mention. I had to rectify that! Copies of Jewelry Stringing Spring 2013 are still on news stands.

Menu Plan Monday, Just like a Monday

The weekend was either too long or not long enough, if you know what I mean. I spent the majority of it on a car trip and then recovering from that same trip. I was ready for the weekend to be over, but I also just wanted another day to re-coup. I guess getting back to my weekday routine may have been just what I needed. However, it all resulted in today being fairly slow moving. (The rain didn't help.)

I did plod along slow and steady and accomplished several tasks like finally starting to get my tax stuff together (geesh), making meals, grocery shopping, and getting the menu made. All that was really left to do was blog. . .eek! So let me mark that off the list and share my menu for the week.

Breakfasts: Cereal/oatmeal, Juice, Cinnamon sugar twists, Smoothies, Eggs w/bacon & toast

Lunches: PB&J, Juice, Soup w/grilled cheese, Tuna noodles, Cheese quesidillas

Sauteed tofu w/zucchini tots & sweet potatoes
BBQ tofu pizza w/salad

Tonight's dinner (the mushroom pasta and broccoli) was awesome. I really adore that broccoli recipe. You should totally try it!

Now to prep for another long day tomorrow. I hope your Monday went a little more smoothly.

Focusing on Life Week 10: All Wrapped Up

Once again, I procrastinated with my bad self. Sally provided us with AMPLE definitions for the term "All Wrapped Up" yet I kept coming up with nothing.

As the clock continued to TICK TOCK at me, I felt as though someone was playing a weird game of I Spy; "I spy with my little eyes. . .something that is. . .all wrapped up." I let my gaze drift around the craft room for something, anything that fit in the definitions. My eyes finally fell upon this 'spool' of old lace I discovered (and promptly snapped up) in a thrift store and I knew it was the answer.
Once I got to snapping, I just couldn't stop.

I even played with the photos in Photoshop some so you could better see the yellowed aging of the old lace.

See how the lace wraps around the battered cardboard. It TOTALLY fits in with this theme.

And the details of the lace aren't too shabby either.

Well, it's a little shabby but absolutely in the best way possible.

Now head over to Sally's blog, The Studio Sublime for more wrappings!

Year of Jewelry Week 10: Wabi Sabi

Prior to this week's prompt, I had never heard the term Wabi Sabi before.

I read through most of the description of Wabi Sabi provided on the link we were so kindly given. In fact, I kept it open in my browser all week to refer back to. Of course, that didn't help me get my butt in gear to make something before today, but it did keep my imagination flowing for what I  might make to correspond with this theme. One of the parts of the description that hit me were these lines:
Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind.
Ohhh. . .doesn't that sound lovely!? I think it's an aesthetic I want much of my jewelry (and even my house) to have. For more design-focused, here's yet another line:
The palette is drawn from browns, blacks, grays, earthy greens, and rusts.
I can almost FEEL this idea of Wabi Sabi. It's lush and green and damp and warm. There's something of a mossy-feeling about it. And the more I read over the description, the more I wanted to make something mossy. Yet, I couldn't figure out exactly HOW so I procrastinated once again. Today it hit me that I could flock an item to give it a mossy finish. Yet, I haven't had any flocking materials in the craft room in a few years and I didn't have time to run out and get any. So I'm holding that idea close for another time and decided to just go with the Wabi Sabi idea of imperfection and the wear of time for today.

Digging through some thrifted items, I turned up a couple of worn wooden beads. Then I turned to my trusty mother-of-pearl buttons to find some chipped and well-loved ones. Since the idea of mossy green was still firmly imbedded in my head, I grabbed some dyed jasper rondelles. For the final touch, I used some luscious brown patina-ed brass wire from the Patina Queen to make the findings.
There's just something about these that make me think of a walk in the woods. They're somehow comforting.

What do you think? Did I capture the Wabi Sabi concept?

Check out the other interpretations in the Year of Jewelry's Wabi Sabi Gallery.

The Horror that Almost Was

Since I showed you what was on my desk yesterday and I don't really want to show you how it ended up (as I'm considering submitting the finished product for publication consideration), let me show you where it ALMOST went. (Sensitive readers may want to avert their eyes.)
Yes. . .I ALMOST went in that direction with the heart bead. It was my starting point for the whole process. Once I got the above laid out, I realized just how much not ME this necklace was becoming. Here's a better look at the 'completed' part.
There was just something off about the whole thing. So I had to sit and contemplate how I really envisioned using that heart and how I would wear it. Once I did that, the beads and components that you saw yesterday began to pile up on the desk and the ones that you see above disappeared from view. . .thank goodness!!

I'm trying to get better about making things that reflect my style rather than making items for the sake of having something made. I've got to start editing myself and this was a positive step in that direction.

How often do you stop yourself mid-creation to follow another route, possibly the better route?

To remove the image of the offending almost-necklace (you know, to wash it from your brain), let me share something much more soothing and beautimous with you; the treasury I created today.
Rustic Blue Treasury
I called it Rustic Blue. Much better, right!?

BTW: Procrastination

I've had the same set of beads and components sitting on my desk since Friday afternoon. I've rearranged them about 40 times.

I have a vague idea of what I want to do with them, but can't seem to find the time or energy to actually MAKE something with them. It's distressing.

I know I've been busy since Friday with the nieces and Pat and family things and planning wedding showers and. . .  you get the idea. But it just doesn't feel like I've accomplished anything at all in the past five days.

And, here I am delaying the actual work again by writing a blog post. I don't feel like I'm subconsciously procrastinating for any particular reason, yet there it all sits.

I love where I'm going with this, I really do. I've just got some kind of mental block on getting it finished.

I guess it's about time to jump in and make it happen.

Join in the fun and show off what's on your craft desk in the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr Group.

Focusing on Life Week 9: Knock, knock

I thought long and hard on the Focusing on Life prompt this week. "Knock, knock" definitely denotes a door, but the door to my house is so very boring and the sliding doors at Wal-mart (one of the few places I've been this week) are absolutely non-inspiring.

Then I realized what I've been constructing all week would be a fabulous subject. I got a bug up my butt for some reason to create some St. Patrick's Day decorations for my foyer. The problem was that I didn't own any St. Patty's decorations. No worries...Pinterest to the rescue. A quick trip to the dollar store and a few craft endeavors and I was all set. Now when you come a knock, knocking at my door you're greeted with this just inside.
I'm super pleased with how it all came together and would like to show you some of the details.

After seeing the colored vases, I picked up a few clear vases and started squirting acrylic paint inside them. It was a lot easier than I thought, though I did go through quite a bit of paint. The fake flowers and tinsel shamrock were both Dollar Tree purchases.

The subway art printable was another Pinterest find as was the idea of the split peas in the tall vase. The frame was one I happened to have hoarded in the craft room. It had been black, but a few coats of white paint fixed that and gave it a little shabby look (which I love).

I really liked the idea of hanging a small wreath on the mirror. I just added some clover wire stuff from the dollar store and knotted a ribbon to a grapevine wreath.

The wreath looked a little plain, so I used this cute clothesline idea to fru-fru it a bit more. The tags are made from leftover scrapbook paper, dictionary text, and green letter stickers. I had the tiny clothespins on hand and used some green yarn for the line. Getting the yarn tied on so it would hang right was the hardest part of this project.

This is the most decorated my foyer has ever been and I LOVE IT! Feel free to come knocking at my door anytime over the next two weeks. Well, that is as long as you only want to visit the foyer. The rest of the house isn't ready to receive guests. Oh well. . .

Head over to Sally Russick's blog, The Studio Sublime to check out how the other participants interpreted the Knock, knock prompt for Focusing on Life Week 9.

Year of Jewelry Week 9: Simplicity

While I want to say that the idea of creating a piece of jewelry that personifies 'simplicity' was complex, it actually just fell together without much thought. I mentioned the other day that I've been attempting to create with some of the goodies that are already scatted across my desk. After I paired up the loose beads to make earrings, I was left with a tiny collection of three beads. These quickly transformed into a little pendant on a silver chain.




Ah, simplicity! Sometimes I completely forget how refreshing it can be.

There's more examples of Simplicity in the Year of Jewelry Project's Facebook Photo Gallery.

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...