Top 16 Posts of 2016

My feedreader is flush with end-of-the-year roundups. 
Not to be left behind, here are my top 16 posts of 2016.

I shared how we took an oversized wall unit that was just left in the house and transformed it into a TV stand that's much more our style.

I'm still not sure why what I received for Christmas was so interesting, but rest assured that I'll be sharing some of my gifts from this Christmas before too long.

With only supplies bought at the Dollar Tree, I challenged myself to alter a playing card.

Since I do love my gelli plate so much, I shared some of my prints, info about the plate, and a link to a video I made in this one post.

I'm tickled that y'all are enjoying our progress on the house. The next post or two will be doozies!

I do love making something from nothing. This post really just showed some of the components I had pulled out on my desk to try to alter.

I made these magnets for my booth, but had to share because I knew they were perfect for many other uses as well. 

More changes have been going on at the house, and I just had to share. There are more pictures and more changes to come in 2017. You just wait!

Pat and I worked together to make this game-centered gift for his mom for Christmas. He made the frame, and I figured out how to work out all the letters scrabble-style. It was a fun project and well received.

There was a bit of attention given to this post that showed off what became of the junk from the desk the week before (#6 on this list). I'm pretty pleased with what became of it myself. I also shared some of the craft supplies I purchased with birthday money (hence the title). 

Cute animals always draw a bit of attention, and this post was no exception. Of course, not all the critters are what everyone would consider cute as I do show some of the snakes, frogs, lizards, and bugs we found on the property.

Taking another step toward homesteading, we finally got our garden started. Pat built the raised beds, and we worked together to get the seeds planted. I'll be sharing the progress of the plants very soon!

With Pat's help, an old rake head, a leftover door panel, and some bottles were upcycled and used to add a little more interest in my jewelry booth at the antique store.

Using a pack of erasers from the Dollar Tree, I created a set of positive and negative stamps for Valentine's Day. This post walks you through my process. 

With the reveal of ZnetShows' latest issue of the online magazine, Creative Spark; I shared the several pieces I contributed to the issue.

In May, I participated in a fun art retreat with other mixed media artists. It was an exceptionally inspiring weekend, and I learned so very much about myself and creating. 

So, those were the sixteen most popular posts of the past year. Which was your favorite?

There's plenty more to come in 2017. 
I hope 2016 treated you well, and wish you ALL THE BEST for 2017!!

Earrings Everyday Use Your Leftovers Challenge

I needed a bit of a kick in the pants to get my creative juices flowing again. The Leftovers Challenge from Earrings Everyday seemed like just the thing.

It's been a crazy and hectic holiday season. Have I mentioned that? Ha! I'm sure everyone has had a bit of an insane schedule lately. Personally, I haven't really had a chance to even touch my craft supplies in several weeks. It's been a sad state of affairs. My craft desk has turned into a dumping space.
No beads in sight! Since the challenge is to use leftovers and there were none to be had on my craft desk, I turned to the top of my bead cabinet to see what was there.

I found several little stashes.
There's the strand of vintage plastic beads, a bowl of interesting elements taken from old pieces I took apart, a jar with bead pairs I dumped in it long ago, and two little containers of small beads.

I pulled out what I thought I could/would use and put it on a craft mat. After matching up the beads, I added a few additional elements from around the craft room.
From there, I went to work and even changed my mind about the bead arrangement laid in front of me.

I knew from the start that not all the earrings made would be awesome, but that I simply needed a creative boost. Once done, there were definitely ones I preferred over others. Below are my least favorite of the bunch.
While pretty, they're just so-so

These are okay.
The ones on the left are a little bland, and while I like the dangles (from old earrings) on the right; I'm just not feeling the beads in them.

My favorites of them all are these next two pairs.
The geometric wood connectors came from an old necklace I bought and took apart ages ago. I only added some antiqued brass findings and those two vintage white beads.

This pair is my absolute favorite. I took the silver tone metal connectors and added iced enamels in chartreuse to bring them up a notch. The clear beads are chandelier crystals sandwiched with brass daisy spacers. The rest of the findings are antiqued brass, including the handmade ear wires. 

I totally feel a little more creative, despite the wonky schedule that I'm finally adjusting to. Two of my nieces are staying over during their break until Christmas Eve. I'm hoping we can stay out of the Christmas crazy and get a little creating done. . .even if it's just some cookies!

I'm linking this up over at the Earrings Everyday blog, and you can find others participants there as well.

Let me know, what do you do to get your creative juices flowing after a long break?

Renovations Underway

As if getting a puppy wasn't enough of a change, we finally found a contractor to take down two of the walls in our house. We've been wanting to open up the living areas (living room, kitchen, and soon-to-be dining room) ever since we moved in our new home over a year ago.

On Thursday, we found out that the renovations would start today. With that news, I frantically started cleaning out all the cabinets on one side of the kitchen.

We've been calling the front room "the box room" because that's where we kept all the boxes that needed to be unpacked.
The wall straight ahead and the one to the left are the ones to be removed
Pat moved all those for me on Saturday into the guest room.
This was actually this morning, but you can see how big that unused room actually is!
And, here's a look at the wall that's to come down in the living room.

Since we want to save and reuse the cabinets from the kitchen, Pat took down several of those this morning.

The workmen helped him move the rest.
Check out all the different wall colors!!
Since I have a nervous nature, I left the house this morning not long after the workmen got there. But, Pat's been updating the progress for me via text.
They started with the drywall in the front room
Here's a view from the kitchen of how it stands now.

Talking to Pat, he says it's pretty awesome to be able to see from the sunroom into the living room. We were told that the walls should be done within a few days and they'll finish up details and painting next week. After all our talk about this project, I'm amazed at how fast it's moving along!

I'll update more later!

Puppy Love

We've got a new member of the family!
We're calling her Zoe after Zoe Washburn from Firefly, the tv show. Like Zoe, she's a Browncoat. Ha! She's a 12 week old brindle Boxer.

And, she's already made herself at home.

One member of the family isn't too sure about her yet.
I do hope that in time they become best friends. For now, we're keeping them mostly separated. But, they're interested in watching each other closely through the baby gates.

And, for a little more cuteness. Here's a video I captured when we got Zoe home.

I've still been crazy-busy, but do hope to get in a good routine again. Of course, between the new addition and with it being holiday season. . .we'll see how that goes.

Anybody got any dog-training tips?

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...