Moon Phases Hinged Pendant (Art Elements January Theme)

Thinking that I wouldn't be at a loss for inspiration for the January Art Elements theme of the moon, I signed up. It was a good thing I did too because if I hadn't I may not have pushed myself to complete what I did. 

While the opportunities for inspiration from the moon are vast, I initially considered making something similar to the Harvest Moon Earrings I made for Earrings Everyday back in October 2017. But, I have to admit that I didn't put much thought into the project until I was looking for information on the Super Blood Wolf Moon and eclipse that occurred on January 20th. An image of the moon phases struck me, and I was compelled to sketch out an idea. 

I thought it would be interesting to make a pendant with a hinge that could be flipped to reveal some of the moon's phases. But, my lack of experience in crafting a hinge made me hesitant to begin the project.
I started by making a template of the phases I wanted to include on a cracker box, cutting out the templates, taping them to a piece of brassy-colored tin, and tracing them with a fine tip marker.

The idea swirled in my head for far too long, and I was finally so pressed for time to complete the challenge that I'm sharing my first and only attempt. I believe more practice would have lead to better results. In the end, this pendant functions successfully but is not the expertly crafted pendant that I had initially envisioned. However, I'm pleased that I was able to make the hinge work. 
The shapes were cut with tin snips, filed and distressed, and then colored with Vintaj Patinas before being sealed.

My failures are in the actual shapes and the cutting of them. Thankfully, I had just purchased some new tin snips that made cutting out the shapes a little easier, though not exact.
Not only did I have to snip down the tabs, but also the circular shapes to get the rolled tabs to fit within one another securely.

I also added jump rings between some of the tabs so that the moon phases weren't hanging too low. For the hinge pins, I used heavy gauge brass wire that I turned into loops to keep them from slipping out. 

A piece of the excess tin was used to create a bail by riveting it to the back of the pendant. 

Like the moon, this pendant was difficult to photograph. Here's a look at each of the phases I was able to create. 

So that you could see the Moon Phases Hinged Pendant in action, I also created a quick video.

But, here's another few looks at it in its entirety. 
The discoloration on the patina was caused when I used a matte nail polish top coat to seal the color more securely on the tin. However, I dig that it echoes the color variations on the real moon. 

Now that I've actually attempted creating a hinge and know where some of the faults lie in my process, I'm less scared to try it again.

Thanks go out to Lindsay for offering up a theme that left the door open for loads of interpretation. And, I'm sure that you'll see plenty of them from the other artists that participated in the challenge. Make sure to hop around and check them out. 

Finally, if you have any tips on making hinges, I would love to hear them.

I'm also linking this post up at the following link parties: Handmade Hangout, Saturday SparksSaturday Sharefest, and Mad in Crafts.

Peek at my Week: Jan 20-26

I'm not even sure how to describe this past week. I was able to check off so much on my to-do list, and then accomplish tasks I didn't even plan on doing. Of course, that meant that some things did fall to the wayside. Sigh. It's always a balancing act, isn't it?

Since it only takes 15 minutes out of each day, I was able to keep up with the #UseItUpFillItUp2 challenge from Tiffany of Southern Gals Designs on Instagram. 
And, I have to admit that I think this was my most favorite week of the challenge yet. It goes to show that creativity breeds more creativity! 

Sunday began with some serious thinking about my business and organization and focus - all which have needed to be done for some time. In that spirit, Pat and I headed up to Serda's, a local coffee shop, where I did a little planning for the week ahead in my bullet journal. 
Yes, I like ALL the office supplies!

On the way home, I saw the HUGE orb that was the moon rising and remembered that it was going to be a Super Blood Wolf Moon with a lunar eclipse that evening. So, as soon as we got home, we headed out to the back of the property to get a better look at the sky.
By that time we made it all the way back there, the moon wasn't as large, but it was still a phenomenal sight. Later that evening, we hopped outside in intervals to take peeks at the eclipse. I did get a few pictures, but they're nowhere near as breathtaking as some of the others you can find online. (Basically, I got a picture of a red dot in a sea of black.)

Since we stayed up so late watching the moon, Monday was a tad slow-moving. 
Not fans of the moon, the kitties found comfort in the sunshine while I knocked off tasks on my list.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur of getting things done. Though, I did spend time with my family celebrating my mom's birthday. I also had a bit of a happy surprise myself as I found out that Shel C on YouTube did a shoutout video in which she shared my channel!! What!? I was in shock - blissful, happy shock!

Thursday was more chores and business, though there was a bit of a struggle to get anything done for the cute in the window. 

Friday's my big house-cleaning day. Once the chores were tackled, I dove into using up the overripe bananas on the counter.
I really love this Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread recipe. Though, I did add pecans to it. 

While that baked, I focused on the prompts from the Allegory Gallery "Bead in the New Year" Challenge that I had woefully fallen behind on. I picked up where I left off and made jewelry for days 18, 19, & 20.
Day 18 was to focus on metal, day 19 was to be inspired by a piece of art, and day 20 was to use natural materials. I'll share more about these once the whole challenge is over. 

Saturday was a flurry of creating for both Pat and myself.  He worked on finishing a step on the deck.

And, I broke out the sewing machine. First, I made a small pocket bag for my Kindle.
It was a lot of trial and error since my sewing skills are minimal. I did share the who process in my Instagram Story and saved it as Sewn Kindle Bag as a highlight on my profile so y'all could view it. 

While the sewing machine was out and loaded with thread, I decided to pull out a stack of miscellaneous paper and fabric.

And, I made little stacks for art journaling.
I know, it looks like a mess of trash. But, I'm hoping to make something beautiful with them. 

Before starting my sewing endeavors, I did run to the store for a few things and found Girl Scouts gathered around a small table.
I ended up bringing home five boxes of cookies. I couldn't help myself!!

And now for some creative links and inspiration:
As this post is going up on Monday and half the day is already gone, I'm already running behind on this week's plans. But, at least I have a plan. Bright side! Here's hoping you find the bright sides to your week too!

Use It Up Fill It Up 2: Days 1-15

Mixed media art journaling is such a freeing, creative muscle stretch. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or materials.

My friend Tiffany of Southern Gals Designs on YouTube and Instagram issued a fun art journaling challenge to start the new year. She calls it the "Use It Up, Fill It Up" challenge, and the point is to take 15 minutes and any unused art materials and journals and use them up and fill them up over the course of 30 days. Simple, right? 

This is the second time she's issued the challenge on Instagram, and she's hashtagged it as #UseItUpFillItUp2. It runs until January 30th, so there's still a few days to play along if you want. Of course, you can use the idea far past that date. I'm positive she wouldn't mind.

I've really enjoyed beginning my days (if possible) with this exercise to warm me up for other creative endeavors. And, I've made a point of taking lots of pictures of what I've made along with recording my process.  

While Tiffany encouraged those playing along to work on filling up an art journal, I found that I had a small stash of the backs/insides of Christmas cards. These were leftover from using the fronts to make Paper Christmas Ornaments. I decided to take these backs and "Use Them Up." 

I've tried to make this 15 minutes of art a part of my morning routine, but some days have been so crazy that I have fallen behind a few times. However, because I do love this creative kick-start to my day, I've made the effort to get caught back up each time. 

Before the challenge started, I gathered a few other supplies that needed to be used up. For one, I had a smattering of scraps of stamped paper that were used during  #CarveDecember. As well, there was/is a container of metallic acrylic paints that I've had for more years than I can even remember.

As the challenge has progressed, I've unearthed other art supplies and scraps that need a good using-up: magazine and book cut-outs, a collection of acrylic paints, and more paper scraps. 

I'm loving that the daily art is making me use my stockpiles of art materials and discover them once again. 

In addition, I'm finding what works for me, what I like to create, and that 15 minutes is plenty of time to create something beautiful. 
DAY 10

As the days go by, I'm liking what I'm creating more and more. Of course, there have been some real disasters (days 4 & 12 in particular), but I feel it's important to even share those with you.
DAY 11

While I've shared pictures of these here in the Peek at My Week posts, I thought it would be nice to give you a better look at each of the cards. 
DAY 12

Like I said above, this has been a great way to get my creative juices flowing for the day and get my mind in an inspired space. 
DAY 13

And, if I don't have time for other creative pursuits, this is a wonderful way to eke in a bit of creativity each day. Fifteen minutes is worth it!
DAY 14

I'm so thankful for Tiffany being an inspiration in so many ways: for sharing her art, her love for the process, and her fun-loving approach to both people and creativity. 
DAY 15

Like I mentioned above, I recorded my process for all of these cards, them grouped them into videos that included three cards at a time. Here are links to the videos if you're interested in watching the process as well. If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to ask! These are just the first half of the cards, I do plan on sharing the other half sometime next month once the 30 days are done.

I hope that my sharing inspires you to go make something beautiful too. 

I've linked this post up at the following link parties: Beautifully Made

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