November Altered Playing Cards and Process Videos (FINALLY!)

I've put a hold on making the altered playing cards for swaps, despite still making altered cards as one of my personal weekly tasks. However, I've got a backlog of process videos that I recorded of the swap cards I did make. Since I'm trying to only upload videos while we sleep, I've been forgetting to start the uploads before bed. I succeeded the other night in remembering to get November's cards uploaded. Here are the links to Video 1 and Video 2, but you can also view them at the end of the post. Here's a look at the cards I made.
That's the whole bunch of them.

Card one was a simple layering of collage papers, paint, stencils, and stamps for the background. The focal is a stamp on some whitewashed dictionary paper with a stabilo all pencil frame and a few doodles.

The second card came together fairly easily. The background was made with embossed scrapbook paper accented with distress ink. A grungeboard arrow was altered with Iced Enamels and sealed, and a simple motivational phrase sticker was added to the top of the card.

Card three was a lot of fun to make. Some paper from a shipping slip was glued to the card. The dots were made and outlined from a stencil. The flowers are a Rae Messigman stamp that I accented with watercolor markers and a water brush. For the motivational phrase, I used one I had printed on plain copy paper. The card and phrase are accented with distress ink around the outside.

This fourth card was my partner's favorite. I have to say I'm partial to it as well. The background is layers of collage papers, gesso, stamps, and doodles. I found the cat image from a Dover free sample and the words were a clear sticker. Charcoal was used to circle the words and accent the outer edge of the card.

The fifth card probably had more steps than were necessary for such a simple result (you'll see in the video). Embossed scrapbook paper was rubbed down with several layers/colors of ink. The word is a stamp placed on some yellowed paper. The edges were darkened, and that was it.

Finally, the sixth card was a cluster of not-sure-what-to-do. It started with some bright paint, stencils, and stamps. Black circles and dots were added before a harlequin cut out was glued down. I stamped the phrase from a Tim Holtz stamp set onto a tag sticker. That sticker was glued to some stamped deli paper and tied on with ribbon before I called it done.

Anyway, here are the videos for the full details. Oh, and these two videos are my first two attempts at doing voice-overs. They are kinda quiet, so you may want to turn your volume up a bit.

And, here's the second one. This one's a bit louder than the first, but not much.

I hope you like my process. despite some struggles with making these and getting them up.

Southern Antiques and Accents and Etsy Features for March

Somehow it's the middle of March. When and how did that happen? I spruced up the CraftyHope booth at Southern Antiques and Accents and have added a few new items to the Etsy shop as of late. As such, it's about time you get to see them right? Let's start with the display at the antique mall.

There's lots to be seen. I didn't change out all of the necklace displays because about half of them were already St. Patrick's Day or Spring inspired. However, I did re-arrange several of the shelves to add more pretties to each of them.
On the top shelf, I added a few items that had expired in the etsy shop. For one, this statement necklace that uses upcycled items and a large focal from Susan Lenart Kazmer's Industrial Chic collection. The picture above doesn't do this piece justice.

My crackle spool necklace from the Vintage Wooden Spool Challenge in 2013 is also now in the shop.
There are so many details to it that again, the blurry picture above just doesn't do it justice.
Though it was made several years ago, I think the style definitely stands the test of time.

There are lots of other goodies to explore in the store if you're in the Fairhope area. If you're not, check out some of the new items I've listed in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop.
This Thimble Fringe Necklace was long in the making. I had wanted to do something with that old thimble forever. I'm so glad I finally got around to it.

From several old jewelry items that I disassembled, these Pink Crystal Chandelier Earrings were given life. I think they would be great for prom or even Easter.

I have such the thing for keys and keyholes. This Emerald Green Keyhole Necklace showcases some of the beauty I see in them.

And, whoooooo doesn't love owls? (sorry, I couldn't resist!) In all seriousness though, the owls in these Owl and Green Bead Earrings were previously scrapbook stickers. I couldn't resist turning them into jewelry.

I must be on a pink earring kick. I've had the chandelier earring frames for ages and ages and needed to find some new way to use them. Adding the chain just came to me from out of nowhere. And, I love it! The small pink beads in these Pink Chain Chandelier Earrings are vintage glass and have a mauve-ish tone to them.

There's loads more jewelry in the CratyHope Etsy shop and Southern Antiques and Accents booth. What's your favorite?

Friday Finds #7 | Gifts from a Friend

I am oh-so-fortunate to have very generous friends!

For months, my friend Mary Jo had been trying to get me to come over to her house to pick up some things she had been collecting for me. She's also a jewelry-maker that enjoys using old jewelry. She had a container of items gathered for me, but while I visited with her; the pile of gifts grew and grew. I went home with a huge box of fun stuff through which to sort.

Sitting on the top of that pile is a smaller box. Inside was a collection of brooches she insisted I take with me. How could I refuse these beauties?

She had these two stacks of tied paperback books she said a family member of hers sent to me. On the right is a candle holder with a small wire basket turned upside down. Mary Jo uses this method to organize earrings in her own garage studio. All of these pieces are great for displays. I've already taken the books over the the antique store.

The main gift she had set aside for me was this large tin.

She had it packed with all kinds of jewelry, and keychains, and other bits and bobs.

She also insisted I take this large baggie of gemstones that she couldn't fit into her stash as well as a medium sized baggie of more old jewelry bits.

Before I knew it, she tossed in this bead spinner (since I don't have one and she just got an electric one.)

And, then there were the other extras she packed up for me: paper pieces for crafting, handmade drawstring bags, and a chunky faux turquoise necklace. 

I couldn't thank her enough for all the goodies or the kindness shown. I was a bit overwhelmed to tell you the truth. And, when I got home. . .the real fun began: sorting through it all. 

Of course, the gemstones were sorted by color to be put away in the bead cabinet. 

And, the rest took me all afternoon to pick through and pile into categories. It was a blast!
If you look on the left side of the picture, you can see one of the earring that was transformed into a charm necklace.  And, notice the two mostly full jars on the right. . .that was only PART of what she sent home with me. I am truly blessed and spoiled. 

Now to only find to time to create with all these treasures!

February Goal Review

As mentioned in January, it might be better for all of us if I review the goals and tasks for each week in one monthly post. This is that post. With four weeks of goals and tasks, this post is fairly picture heavy. I'm reviewing weeks 5-8. As a reminder, each week I wanted to complete a Goal, a piece of Jewelry, an altered Card, at least one Blog post, and a Journal page. So. . .here we go!

Week 5 (Jan. 31-Feb. 6)
My goal this week was to organize the jewelry findings in my bead cabinet. They were a disaster! I may do a longer post later about the process and all the drawers I did, but for now here's what my brass findings drawer looked like before the organization.
And, here's the after.
MUCH better!!

This week was a tough one for me as I had been told that my jewelry at the antique mall wasn't selling because my prices were too high. I thought I had figured them out properly and voiced my worry on Facebook. If you click that link you'll see the whole discussion over the issue. I got quite a bit of advice and ended up deciding to just make some items at different price points. This necklace was the first thing to come out of that decision.

After some thought, I made a plethora of button stud earrings also.
These were placed on cards that I sketched on and cut with my Silhouette Cameo. As such, I was able to finally complete the goal from week 4!

I ran behind this week. I suppose it was all that thought on the pricing issues and making the earring cards and earrings. So I slapped this card together fairly quickly.
In all honesty, I don't really care for it. It was made using papers that had collected on my desk, including the fortune. However, it's just a hot mess.

If you're a regular blog reader, you'll realize that I've been pretty good about posting each week (creating a blog calendar has really helped). In week 5, I wrote about my one dollar Valentine stamps.

I also shared the featured necklaces in my booth and news for Southern Antiques and Accents.

During the week, I happened to stumble upon a quote The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) shared from a dying member of her community. The words struck a chord with me, especially since my word for the year is Savor.
I simply wrote the quote out with watercolor markers and added some distress inks around the edges. I hope it touches you the way it touched me.

Week 6 (Feb. 7-13)
My overall goal for this week was to cut vinyl with the Silhouette Cameo. I had a particular project in mind since it was the week leading up to Valentine's Day.
It came together well after a few tries, though I did apply it upside down. Oops!

After my crisis with the pricing the week before, I went through a sackload of jewelry that hadn't sold on either Etsy or in the booth and made some hard decisions about whether or not to keep each piece or tear it apart. A ton of jewelry was disassembled. I wound up keeping a few beads aside in the process and made these earrings from them.
They are simple and lovely. I put them in the antique store today. 

Again, I was late in making the card, but did start it during the week. I had visions of crackling a card and so I did.
However, some of the crackle did not withstand my abusive arting and crackled right off. I let it be and added a key sticker and a sticker with "hope" written on it before calling it done. I really do love the rustic feel of it.

This week was a success as all three of the planned posts went live. I was able to share with you my personal go-to jewelry,

the jewelry I often borrow from the etsy shop,

and some of the cool things I found while walking on our property.

This page simply fell together. After purchasing some neon paints and some brown ink, I wanted to test them out. So, I spread them on the next page in my journal.
You can see the colors peeking out from behind the gesso, collage, and doodles. I was compelled to draw a house and the words just came to me. So, I left it at that. Sorry the picture's so poor.

Week 7 (Feb 14-20)
For this week, I wanted to update my blog some. The worn wood background I was using suddenly seemed so chaotic and distracting.
I took it out and made the background simply white. As well, I took out a few of the blogs I had listed in  my blogrolls that hadn't posted in over a year. I'm not sold on the white right now, but I think it's okay. What do you think?

I felt the pull of creating something more than simple jewelry, so I dove into my pickle jar of treasures to create this necklace.
You got to see its whole evolution in a post this past week.

Once again, I was late in creating my card. It was started during the week. The background is a coffee filter that had been altered with spray inks. I doodled on top of it with a Sharpie paint pen.
However, it sat on my desk after that for far too long, forgotten. I decided to quickly finish it with a sticker and doodling with a white pen. At least it's done but it's another disaster in my opinion. And, this poor picture doesn't do it much justice either.

While it seems that my artwork was suffering, my blogging was not. Again, three posts were completed. You got to read about my Valentine toilet,

I was pretty pleased with how this page came together, though it still feels a bit unfinished.
The background was made with altered papers collaged onto the page and then covered with gesso. I added a few stamps before writing the phrase. This was yet another one from The Bloggess. I had just started a chapter by this title in her newest book, and then she had a blog post about the phrase. It had to go in my journal.  It's a great little mantra when your confidence is dipping. 

Week 8 (Feb 21-27)
This whole week was a bumpy one as I spent the majority of it with my grandmother in the hospital. My goal was set a little late and was something I thought would be attainable while I was in the hospital with her. I had hoped to go through my Business Minded Pinterest board and read as many of the articles as I could. However, the hospital's free internet was not reliable so I wasn't on the computer much at all. As such, this goal will have to carry over to this week. Finger's crossed I can get to it!

Since I was in the hospital, I didn't have my jewelry-making supplies with me. I considered taking some but knew that I would likely not get to use them. So, this task was a little late. 
I pulled these earrings together on Sunday. I hate that the white crystals don't photograph well. Trust me though that these have a great juxtaposition of sparkle and natural beauty. 

Like all the other cards before it, this card was completed late. I tried to use as few supplies as possible to ensure it took little time.
The background is simply some previously painted dictionary paper glued to the playing card. I stamped a few texture stamps in black ink on it. Then, the world sticker was adhered. I stamped the phrase onto yellowed paper and glued it on the card. A Stabilo All pencil in black created the shadowing around the sticker and phrase. I think keeping it simple was key. It looks great, much better than some of the others this month.

Despite spending so much of my time in the hospital, I surprised myself by getting two posts up. I guess good planning does pay off. I showed you the evolution of the upcycled necklace I had made the week before. 

As well, there were some Friday thrift store finds to share. 

I again used some new supplies to jump-start my journal page. Testing out the watercolor gel crayons I found at Target proved to make a pretty background. However, what came next wasn't near as nice.
Pressed for time, I added washi tape and a sticker. I doodled around the sticker for added interest, but left it at that. There's a possibility that I'll add more to this page. However, I won't count on it as I still have the goal and tasks for this current week to conquer.  

Last Thoughts
I feel like I've been playing catch up all month with these tasks. Forcing myself to create isn't always the optimal way to get the best work out of me, but can release some of the creative pressure that builds up when I don't get to create. So, it's really been good in the long run. And, I shall continue on the path I have set for myself. I will re-examine this method if it does seem to be getting out of whack. How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself this year?

Can you believe it's already March?

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...