DIY Owl Assemblage and Necklace

The February theme from Art Elements is Birds of Prey. I was initially thrown off when I saw the title of the theme reveal. But, on reading Cathy's post and realizing that, of course, owls are included in the "Birds of Prey" category, I knew I had my focus for the challenge. I love owls. I'm sure it stems partly from the fact that several of my favorite movies include owls: Labyrinth and Harry Potter to name two.  

As a jewelry artist, my first inclination was to start with jewelry, and I did. But, in further pondering the talent of the members of the Art Elements Team and knowing that the challenge is open to any medium, I let my thoughts wander into how I could push myself with this challenge. Once I hit upon the idea of making an assemblage piece, my creativity was a force to be reckoned with. I put the jewelry piece aside and went into full-speed creation. (Don't fret, I did complete the necklace in time for this reveal.)
Without further thought, I ran into my husband's shop looking for scrap wood as a base for my assemblage piece. After testing out an assortment of salvaged jewelry and other found objects, the scrap wood was sanded, covered in gesso, and painted a blue-black. Then the process of gluing down the assembled elements with E6000 began.

As has been my habit as of late, I recorded the process of creating my Art Assemblage Owl to share with you. 

There were a few hiccups as you will see in the video, but once everything was glued down and dry. I was absolutely smitten with the piece. I have been itching for this reveal.

Since I did get the wood from my husband, and I knew the piece would be destined for our own home, I enlisted Pat's help for some of the decision-making on the piece. In fact, he was the one who came up with the idea of using buckles for the feet and suggested that I put a second layer of keys on the body for a layered feather feel. 

He also loves what I did with the chain on the head and that I used a rusty drill bit for the beak.

As well, he's planning on creating a frame for our owl to make it easier to hang and give it a more finished feel. But, my part in its creation is complete. 
I love it so much!

As for the necklace that had been set aside, I started by searching through my stash for an owl pendant but came up empty-handed. So, I knew I had to create my own.
Since I do love working with paper, especially old books and dictionaries, I found the image of an owl in a student dictionary and clipped it to fit behind a piece of glass. To block out the majority of the rest of the words from the page, a frame was created with wood scrapbook paper. 

I was at a loss as to what to place on the back of the pendant but decided that the starry sky in which owls fly would be simple and beautiful. A piece of black paper my niece had colored with metallic paints was uncovered and seemed perfect for this use. 

The paper stack was glued together, sandwiched between the glass, and soldered together. 

To keep the owl as the focal and the necklace as simple as possible, I created a black chain with glass beads and annealed steel wire.

Though the initial prompt of this challenge filled me with trepidation, I cannot thank Cathy enough for the theme. I've come away from it with not only a beautiful owl necklace but also a stunning art piece for my house. Thank you, Cathy!! Please make sure to hop around to the other participants in this challenge and enjoy what they've created for it.

Guests: 
TammyBethCatAnitaKathyAlysenLindaRozantiaJenniferHope (you're here), SarajoMelissaSarah 

Team Members:

I've shared this post at the following link parties: Mad Skills

Winter's End Jewelry (Inspired by SJ's Honey Do List)

Apparently, this month marks the fourth year that Sarajo's husband, Eric, has given her a photo inspiration from which to design jewelry (Happy Anniversary!!) She has graciously shared that inspiration on her blog, SJ Designs Jewelry, to help spark the imagination of other jewelry artists too. She calls it the Honey Do List. 

This month, Eric has issued another thinker. The image was fairly barren and stark, reminiscent of the harsh winter they've been experiencing. But, like I said in my post yesterday, I know Spring is on its way. So, in that respect, these pieces celebrate winter's end. 

For a while, I was stumped for an idea, but as I looked about for a place to start, I spied some laser cut squares that Michelle Mach of Beads and Books sent me a few weeks ago. I thought this might be the perfect time to take one of them for a test drive (there should be more designs to come!) I had brainstormed a few ideas for the wood squares and sketched out one that involved using it as a frame for an image on a piece of tin.
I began looking for birds to echo the bird in the inspiration photo and found a tin with snowmen on it, one with a robin on its head. It seemed perfect in its wintery-ness. But, I had a stroke of inspiration as I began falling asleep one night: what if you could change the scene!?

So, I made it happen!
This pendant flips from a winter robin to a spring one. And, I made a video to show you how I made it happen.

It's really a simple process, but it worked out so beautifully.

And, I didn't stop there. Since the scene from Eric and Sarajo was full of bare, but natural elements, I took a walk outside to find some to incorporate into another piece or two. I made a nice little pile on my desk.
I gathered a couple of different types of skeleton leaves and a small stack of branches. I began with the skeleton leaves, but the piece with the branches came together faster.

The feathers were added to represent the bird, of course, and the rest was just drawn from the color palette in the inspiration photo. 

Wrapping the little sticks with wire was something new for me. And, I totally dig it!

For my last piece, I used one of the darker skeleton leaves and encased a portion of it in resin.

To continue the natural theme, wood and shell beads were used to complete the bracelet design.
The sparseness of the skeleton leaves is much like the stark inspiration photo. I think it works. 

Now, make sure to head over to SJ Designs Jewelry to see what Sarajo and other participants made with the Honey Do List Challenge. 

Peek at My Week: Feb. 17-23

I believe Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods. We've had days this past week when the temperature has gone above 80. It's still February! In addition to the temperature increase, the flowers are beginning to pop.
It was the Carolina Jasmine and mini daffodils (not pictured) that caught my attention on Sunday. Look at all those buds!

The weirdly warm days have given way to extremely foggy conditions throughout the week. After 10am on Sunday, I went to meet some friends for brunch and found the area around the waterfront cloaked in fog.
The pictures above show my bunch experience. You can see the fog in the top right photo. The restaurant was downtown Mobile in an old building. I love how much of the original building they left intact. Brunch was delicious. Oh, and take a gander at the old neon car park sign. So cool!

Wanting Monday to have a great start, I began the day with a little art journaling. 

It was a pretty uneventful day that ended with some puppy snuggles. 
Yes, she's all comfy and spoiled covered in a blanket with her head on a pillow. It's a rough (ruff) life, yo!

Tuesday was all about the errands, including a trip to the grocery store. The cherry blossoms in the parking lot caught my attention.
What did I say about Spring!? As a bonus, I scored a free carton of frozen yogurt when the terminal at the checkout line I was on froze up and I waited for it to be reset. Patience does pay off!

I mentioned Leeloo's seizure and vet visit last week. Since then, she's been taking some precautionary meds twice a day, so this has been her pose in Pat's arms when it's time for her meds. 
It's so cute and breaks my heart every time I have to force her to take the medicine. But, I know it's for the best. And, thank goodness we'll finish those up in the next few days.

Wednesday, I was at mama's house and was able to get some online work and jewelry done. Thursday was also a busy day of getting things made despite a persistent headache. I'm positive the headaches that have been plaguing me the last few days have everything to do with all the pollen in the air. 
And, there's more to come based on all the buds peeking out. 

Before heading to work on Saturday, I played for a few minutes in an art journal.
It was a colorful mess that didn't really go anywhere.

But, my view at work wasn't far off from the one on my craft desk.
I had a lot of fun but was exhausted back at home. So, I quickly made dinner and chilled the rest of the evening. It's still a little weird to be going to a job, but am starting to get the hang of it. 

Now, here's some inspiration for you.


And that's it. I've already got a list of tasks for the week ahead, but need to get my brain in the right space to start tackling it all. I hope you have a week full of knocking out the tasks on your list!

Cookie Tin & Beads Earrings DIY Video

Sometimes you make a little mistake, and it all turns out for the best. That was the case when I forgot to turn off the camera after filming a page for the Use It Up Fill It Up challenge. Halfway through making a pair of earrings, I realized the camera was still on. I ended up letting it roll and came out of the mistake with a quick earring tutorial.

Granted, these are some super simple earrings, but the video gives you a little look at my design process and how quickly you can make something beautiful.

Aren't they lovely? Take a gander at the video of how I made these Cookie Tin and Beads Earrings.

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Oh, and they're available at Southern Antiques and Accents in you happen to be in Fairhope.

I've shared this post with the following link parties: Mad Skills

Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop: Beads Sent and Received

The 2019 Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop is now underway. Signups are over, partners have been assigned, and beads have been sent. Now it's down to sharing what we've received and making something beautiful with it. Let me remind you that the main rule of the swap is that you have to send your partner two of the three: a focal, a clasp, or coordinating beads and one of them must be handmade. 

My partner for this challenge is Bonnie Robbins of Wire and Wonder on Instagram and Etsy. If you check out either of those, you'll see that she does a lot of wirework. A lot. I was a bit bewildered about what to send to her, so I started by looking for handmade elements in my stash. 
I first picked out the Humblebeads willow beads and the lampwork focal (artist unknown) to cover my bases. After that, I considered what kind of clasp I would send. Since her work seems to include plenty of copper, I settled on the idea of making a couple of hook clasps from copper wire. I aged one and left the other raw. Finally, I created a stacked tin flower just for her.

Now, I have to go ahead and apologize for the tags in these pictures. I did take some fabulous pictures before I put the tags on the pieces, but that was when I didn't realize that there was no memory card in the camera. Man, that was a bad day. I couldn't bear the thought of taking all the tags off and then stringing new ones on after the pictures, so I left them for my second set of pictures. Drat. 

To go with the handmade elements, I selected a variety of coordinating strung beads. Some were from my stash, and some were from a trip to the bead store. 
There's a collection of amber shell beads, fire polished beads, glass pearls, and tiger eye. 

I also picked out some other miscellaneous beads, buttons, and charms that seemed to work well in the mix.
I won't list out what they all are. But, it was great fun assembling the collection.

Once it was all gathered, I wrapped the selections up in a way that I thought would be fun for her to open.
Of course, I ended up having to unwrap and re-wrap them when I realized my mistake with the camera, so I know what it was like to open them. I just hope Bonnie enjoyed the process more than I did - I was a little aggravated to say the least.

Here's a look at the whole bunch together.

Almost more fun than assembling beads for someone else is receiving beads from them. Take a look at what Bonnie sent.
Look at all that sparkle! 

And, here's a closer look at what was inside.
Oh, yes loads of crystals and glass and jade and metal bits and a large agate focal. Oh, check out that wire cage - that's my fun handmade element. Bonnie made it in a class she once took. I've got a lot to consider now!

Thanks to Bonnie for the fun elements. Now to come up with something that will do them justice. It's a good thing that the reveal isn't until April 7th. 
Are you swapping and hopping too?

Ladies' Night and 10% OFF Etsy

Oh yes, it's Ladies' Night tonight at Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope, AL. I added a few new pieces to the booth today for the occasion. Don't forget that everything in the store is 10% off, though some of the booths have even more savings. Since most of you aren't close enough to hit up the booth, I'm offering 10% off in the CraftyHope Etsy shop through the end of the week when you use of the coupon code at the end of this post. First, let me show you what you may have missed. 

Crackle Button Pearl Earrings

Layered Garnet Necklace

Lacy Black Dress Earrings

Eco-Fabric Tassel Necklace

Leather Ombre Bracelet

Petroglyph Necklace

Vintage Romance Brass Earrings

Honey Dipped Crystal Necklace

And, that's just some of the beauties available in the Etsy Shop. Oh, and the code for the 10% off is LADIESFEB19. Make sure to use it at checkout to save! 

Peek at My Week: Feb. 10-16

Don't you just hate it when an entire week slips by and you have no idea what happened to it? That was the case with this week. It feels like the entire week had me preoccupied with other thoughts.  Here's a glimpse into some of it. 
Sunday was the day after my Mardi Gras Ball and we were SUPER lazy as we recovered from the late night out. Leeloo's position on the couch accurately represents how we spent most of the day.

That evening was a different story.
We drove over to Pensacola to see James Taylor and His All-Star Band with special guest, Bonnie Raitt. We've had the tickets since October - they were an anniversary/Valentine gift to ourselves. I absolutely loved the show. In fact, I was so excited, I cried almost all the way through James' performance. I'm a big fan.

Monday began with some art journaling before I knocked out several chores. 
 After lunch, I headed to my local Michael's to complete forms in order to become a classroom instructor! What!? Yes, I'll be teaching jewelry classes (as soon as I develop my ideas some - if you have suggestions, please shoot me a note!) as well as the Kids' craft classes. Fun!

Tuesday...sigh. I was able to knock a few things off my list like taking pictures while the sun was out. But, the rain began just as I headed to the grocery store. 
These Valentine steaks tickled me to no end!

After getting a few more things done like taking pictures of my swap beads for Swap-n-hop, labeling them, and packing them up to ship, I realized that there was no memory card in my camera. I was pretty devastated as it was already dark and would be near impossible to recreate some of the photos I had taken. My plan for the evening was to cook dinner then edit photos. Instead, I had Pat pick us up some Indian food while I pulled out the lightbox and did the best I could.
Thank goodness I still keep it handy! While the pictures aren't everything that they would have been in natural light, I got some okay photos out of it. 

On Wednesday, I was at my mom's with my grandmother. I was able to get some work done but spent far too long playing games on my phone. Drat. 

Thursday was a blur. It was Valentine's Day so I made Pat a few little things. After lunch, I ran out to handle my errands. Right after I left the house, Pat discovered Leeloo having a seizure. That had me hauling butt back to the house. There wasn't much we could do but make a vet appointment and watch her, so I headed back out to finish my tasks. When I go home, I felt so frazzled over everything that I decided I needed a little time outside. 
Zoe and I took a walk around the trails on the property. It was just what I needed to get my blood flowing and my mind back where it needed to be. And, I love finding little treasures. How about that lacy skeleton leaf? Pretty cool. 

On Friday, I took Leeloo to the vet. And, they really had no answers about her seizure but gave me medicine in case it was caused by some kind of virus or something. Giving a cat her pills is NO FUN. But, I hope we're done with the seizures. After the vet visit, I headed back up to Michaels for more orientation stuff. Back at home, Zoe and I went for another walk. I think it was good for both of us. 

Saturday was my first day at work!
Though there weren't any kids in my classes, I was able to get a feel of the classroom and figure out where everything was in preparation for next weekend. 

Once I was done with work, we went to a party for a friend's daughter before coming home and binging The Great British Baking Show. (I love it!) And, that was the week for me. I think I was having a hard time wrapping my head around starting a job, and I let that get the bulk of my focus for the week. I'm glad I've gotten a feel for it (somewhat) and can perhaps focus on some of the other tasks I want to get done - like making jewelry maybe. 

Here's some inspiration for your week.
And, that's all I have. Like I said, I've been distracted this week. Here's hoping we both have a better week ahead! Wishing you a good one. 

Thrifty Thursday (a day late)

I had planned to share some of my thrifty haul with you yesterday, but the day absolutely got away from me. This was partly because I was ou...