2015 Year End Review

I could say, "where has the year gone?" However, it's not quite over yet now is it? We have this one last day to accomplish all those goals, resolutions, and other unrealistic aspirations we set for ourselves a year ago. Ehhhh, yeah. . .one day's not going to do it for me. How about you?

What is it about New Year's Eve? It feels like both an ending and a beginning. (you know like how Sundays feel like the end of the week when they are really the beginning . . .or maybe the opposite of that.)

Before I get more philosophical and start worrying with what I want to accomplish in 2016, let's talk about 2015 first and close out this year.

Let's start with what posts were most popular each month this year.

Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge Reveal
Creative Spark Winter 2015 Reveal
Reveal of My Shipwreck Dandy Destash Box
Journaling by 5s (Inspired by Shannon Green)
Happy Mail to the Max
Oh, the Excuses Just Keep Rolling In

(this was the ONLY post this month. Oops)
There were no images, just a video as I was suffering with vision issues.

Creative Spark Summer 2015 Contribution and Other News
Our New Home | The Beginning
Our New Home | Pool and Property
DIY Chalkboard with Mirror Tutorial
(the only post this month, other than this one!)
A Quick Catch up for December 2015
Big events for the year:

  • Got a booth at a local antique store
  • Bought a new house
  • Lost several family members and dear family friends
  • Turned 40
  • Have felt just completely lost in my head most of the time
  • And SO much more

2015's Words for the Year
Once again, I tried to set some goals for the year in some manner. Here's the picture I created to illustrate my intent.
As far as how I did. . .the new house and all that definitely distracted me from my aims.
I definitely felt more grateful this year and tried to remind myself often how blessed I am.
I'm not sure that I was very courageous, but I did take some steps in that direction.
Staying focused really did not happen much at all. Nope.
I can't say that I was very confident either. That's definitely one I want to continue to work on.
My creativity didn't really seem to fluctuate at all. Pushing on. . .
In all, I had hoped that the above words would help me empower myself. But, I dropped the ball.

2015 will forever be the year that we bought our "forever home." We searched for it on weekends, struggled to get the price and inspections where they needed to be, packed and prepped for the move, and began to settle in. I'm sure the coming year holds even more unexpected and happy surprises.

And now, it's time to roll in the new year in style. . .Roll Tide Roll!

How did 2015 treat you?
Have a happy, wonderful, and safe evening as you welcome in 2016.

A Quick Catch-up for December 2015

I have absolutely no excuse. Let's say the chaos of the holidays has just gotten in the way. Let me quickly share some of the happenings around here in picture & caption form, then I'll be caught up and can get back to the business of blogging. Sound good? Let's go. . .
Fall finally came to the Gulf Coast, if only briefly.
Though we've discovered lots of stuff on the property, these kumquats were still a happy surprise.
For the first time in about ten years, we got a Christmas tree!

Both of the cats found that they liked the tree too. That was fortunate!

I traveled with my nieces to Auburn, AL for South's BEST regional robotics competition. And, their little Catholic school fared fairly well in the competition. YAY St. Vincent de Paul!
After I got back from Auburn, Pat had to head up to New York for work. He left me in charge of cleaning the pool each morning. As I went out there one of the mornings, I realized this guy was caught in the trap that had been left out for the armadillo that's been tearing up the yard. After some phone calls and texts to Pat and a couple of anxious hours, the little possum made his way out of the trap.
I've gotten very little creative work done lately except for a couple of art swaps and a few resin pendants. I was stricken by the colors on this piece of deli paper I was using as a palette.
Though this fall and winter have been way warmer than usual, we have had a few cooler days here and there. We were invited to a friends to enjoy a pot luck and bonfire. Fortunately, it was one of those rare cold evenings.
The nieces came over for a few days this week and we made some easy Christmas treats. They were so, so easy!
It's been rainy and overcast here for DAYS upon days. Taking a walk around the property, I discovered more varieties of mushrooms than I even knew existed. It was amazing.

There's been all that and more going on the past several weeks. I do apologize for my absence and hope to be getting back on the ball. The end of the year is near, and each new day is a new start.

I had a wonderful Christmas yesterday and am looking forward to second Christmas with my in-laws tomorrow. How have the holidays been treating you?

Friday Finds #2

I hope my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope everyone all over has had a great week. It's officially the start of the holiday season! I took some time today to retrieve our Christmas decorations and set a few out around the house. Now, to get and decorate a tree for the first time in many, many years.

Anyway, I'm popping in to share some more Friday Finds. If you didn't see my first Friday Finds post last week, let me clue you in on what I'm doing. I want to share some of the coolness I find in thrift stores, on my property, or wherever.

This time around I simply want to share some of the beauty and awesomeness I found while Pat and I hiked our own property last weekend.
This pink camellia bud spurred the whole hike. I spotted it and wanted to explore. So, explore we did!

Just inside the woods, I spied an old downed log, or tree stump, or some other kind of wood with a beautiful green mossy cover.

On the other side of the log, stump, wood thing was this large critter hole. In fact, we found holes like this all over the property. We've got a serious armadillo problem I think.

Just past the hole was this gorgeous oak tree, with a little magnolia on the side. I've admired it from the yard, but it's even more beautiful up close.

On the way to the other side of the property, we stopped to poke out heads into one of the sheds. Way at the back was this scale on a shelf. I LOVE IT! I had Pat grab it for me, and I drug it over to the barn to clean up later.

As we hiked and explored and checked out old trails at the back of the property, I looked down to see this delicate skeleton leaf. I scooped it up and carefully carried the fragile foliage through the woods as we finished up our adventure.

Before we left the woods, I quickly snapped a picture of the beautiful day we had been blessed with so I could share it with you wherever you are.

What have you discovered lately in your own back yard?

Thanksgiving Rambles

I'm writing this on Thanksgiving eve as my sweet potatoes bubble away on the stove so I can pre-make sweet potato casserole for tomorrow's big event. While I have a scant few minutes of down time, I thought I'd pop in with a rambling, pondering, things I've found lately pos.


Now for the ramblings/pomderings
**I'm so tired of seeing commercials for shops that AREN'T going to be open on Thanksgiving. Like it's some big, special thing. It wasn't until last year (as I remember. . .could be fuzzy) a few shops decided to be open on Thanksgiving. And now these other shops are all, "Hey, look at us! We're going to do the same thing we've ALWAYS done, but now we want you to be proud of us for it." WTH!? It just bothers me.

** I was talking to my niece about 80s music and I realized that I know we call the 1920s the 20s and the 1970s the 70s, and so on. . .but what to we call the 2000s? The naughts? The zeros? The nothings? What about the 2010s? The tens? The teens? I'm baffled. anybody got a good answer?

** So, I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house - for the first time EVER tomorrow. I'm so excited but shocked by the prospect that I think I've been in denial. I keep thinking it's not really going to happen and thus I haven't really been busting my butt to get anything done (I didn't start cleaning the house in earnest until today. I haven't made any decorations. And, I'm not super stressed about the food. . .well, not until I realized that I hadn't planned any munchies/relish tray/appetizers. Pat calmed me down and we came up with a plan) Anyway, in this whole semi-getting-ready process I've unpacked my good china (inherited)  that I've never eaten from and some stemware (also inherited) but then realized that Pat and I only have a single set of flatware. . .enough for four. We never inherited any flatware, we had to go shopping! And now that I feel like I'm starting to get everything handled, I kinda wanted to plan something insane and memorable just in case I never get to host again but am afraid that may be the cause of me never hosting again. This is going to be quite the experience. I kinda want everyone to wear pilgrim hats then go spread smallpox to the neighbors (since we're new to the neighborhood and all.) Anyway, wish me luck!

**I stumbled on this video the other day and just had to share. #4 is my favorite one for sure - Pat and I quote it all the time.

**My family has its own share of funny Thanksgiving moments. My favorite is probably the time my aunt went to give grace and said the Pledge of Allegiance instead. We tease her about it to this day.

** Finally, I have so very much to be thankful for. My heart overflows with love from my family and friends, a dream house over my head, and plenty of food in my kitchen. I wish for all of you the very best. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Altered Playing Cards for Swap (way back in August)

I've mentioned a few times that I'm part of a Facebook group that often does swaps. . .actually, that's kinda the whole point of the group. Anyway, because of the move and everything, I'm very far behind in sharing what I've made and sent and all. Immediately before the move, I finished and sent off my August altered playing card swap. I even recorded my process of making them.

Here's the first of the four videos of the process. If you click over to the video, you'll find the links to the other three in the description, or here; Video 2, Video 3, and Video 4.

Of course, if you're not a video-watching kinda person - here are pictures of the cards I created for the swap.

I also did a video for the October swap and am currently working on the November cards. I thought it was best that I take a break from all the creating to actually catch up a little and share August's with you. Dang, that moving thing really does make an impact on getting things done. I'm still not sure I'll ever catch up, but I'm working on it.

Oh, and if you want to see some of the other cards I've made for similar swaps you can find them in blog posts here and here.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoy the week ahead.

Friday Finds #1

Because I simply cannot help myself, I've come up with yet another recurring feature to share with y'all: Friday Finds!

Basically, I want to show you some of the things I've bought, uncovered, and/or discovered. That leaves it open as to whether I found it in a thrift store, on the property, or pretty much anywhere. I've already got several ideas lined up for this feature. I'm going to start by showing you what I found (and kept) on our recent shed purge.

With the new house came several out-buildings. One of them is a raised, prefab shed that Pat want to use as his workshop.

The previous owner left a TON of stuff in it though. As such, we had to go through all of it and decide what was trash, to be donated, or kept. It was almost fun, though kinda gross. Here's a few shots of what we had to sort through.

Once all the sorting was done, here's what I ended up personally keeping:
Some mussed up paintbrushes and a roll of copper wire (score!); 

random small bits: little wrenches, copper pipe, paintbrushes, tiny pencil, tiny hand drill, and an old-fashioned syringe (I don't even know); 

really cool hardware pieces - but only the ones with a nice patina on them;

and a set of silver spoons and a brass metal of some sort.

In addition to what's pictured, there was a large box of whole sheets of foam core, the plastic organizer that stored the hardware, and a brass-framed mirror.

The shed contained all kinds of other treasures - old lamps and a chandelier, filing cabinets, tool chests, nuts and bolts, and a plethora of other items. However, we just can't keep it all. So, it's loaded up to be donated for someone else to treasure.

Now, I just need to use these items and not hoard them away in the craft room. Ha! Treasure hunting on our own property is so fun (and economical!). What treasures have you found lately?

Days of My Craft Desk | Episode 1 (WOYWW)

I know I've mentioned here somewhere how much I love seeing other artists' craft rooms, workbenches, and creative spaces in general. I've been lax in sharing my own as I'm still not sure how this new space will work for me. However, I don't mind sharing my desk. In fact, I'm going to try a recurring feature giving you peeks of what's on my desk through a single day. Now, this can range from beady to crafty to paperwork-y, and that's just in the course of one day! And, because I'm a dork - I have to name it something corny.

Like beads rolling across the studio floor, these are the Days of My Craft Desk.  

In this first installment, let me start by sharing just how clean and pure my craft desk can be.

Yet, at other times it's quite dirty - piled high with miscellaneous craft supplies, projects, and general junk.

Now, let's begin.
Yesterday's desk was pure beady goodness all day long. It started out with the sorting of some broken jewelry acquired at an antique store.

By mid-day, actual jewelry was being made for a silent auction.

After lunch, a large jar of 'bead soup' was sorted into separate palettes for more silent auction projects.

Before the lights went off in the craft room, this was the bead desk's shameful state. Beads were scattered everywhere as bangles were being created from the bead soup palettes.

Come back later to see what else happens in Days of My Craft Desk!

Ha, see. . . I'm a huge dork, but I like this format so much. I'm sure I'll be sharing many more days. Of course, I'd like to know what you think of it too. Please let me know before I embarrass myself any more!

I'm also linking up at Stamping Ground for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

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...