Art Elements Reveal - Foliage

I've really been loving the themes presented by the team members each month at Art Elements. They've made it hard NOT to participate. This month's Foliage theme from Caroline was no exception. While I wasn't sure what I wanted to create, I did find a few small leaf charms as I cleaned out my bead cabinet. However, they didn't really speak to me. Something told me to turn to paper instead.
I was drawn to use my Sizzix Big Kick die-cutter to make paper leaves and incorporate them into a picture. I used several shades of green scrapbook paper. Once my paper leaves were gathered, I collaged various papers onto a small piece of watercolor paper and scraped gesso across the surface.

I drew and colored in a face with various media before adding a night sky with stars. Finally, the leaves were added as hair for my fairy. I used a pencil to give the leaves some shadow. 

Once she was done, I realized I still had leaves leftover - enough to make her a sister.
I used the same process for this second picture except I used crackle paste instead of gesso.

There's no perfection in either one. I see all my mistakes.

But, I still absolutely love these two leaf fairy sisters.
I want to frame them in some manner, but that will have to come later. 

After I had my fairies, I turned my attention back to the leaf charms, giving them some thought for a day or two. Fall officially began on September 23rd, but we've not felt it here. And, we don't really get the beautiful change of colors either in the deep south, so I decided to create my own on these little leaves.
I used red and yellow Vintaj Patinas to alter the gunmetal color of the charms into fall hues. Look at that beautiful blending of the two in the middle.

A simple red-orange bead hangs above them to complete the earrings.
It may not feel like Autumn in Alabama, but these earrings help it look a little more like Fall!

Don't forget that this challenge is a blog hop. Make sure to check out what the other artists created with the Foliage theme.

AE Team: Lesley, Susan, Marsha, Claire, Cathy, Jenny, Niky, Caroline

Guests: Dawn, Hope  (you're here!), Alison,  Beth & Evie, Laurie, Kathy, Sarajo, Michelle, Tammy, Divya, Karen, Alysen, Mary, Cat, Jill, 
Thanks to Caroline for the theme and to the Art Elements Team for letting the rest of us play along!

DIY Paper Pumpkins from the Recycle Bin

Fall is here! It's time to break out the sweaters, rake up the leaves, and decorate with everything pumpkin! (Maybe in your neck of the woods. It's still BLAZING hot here.) But, since I knew Autumn was almost upon us, I was brainstorming inexpensive, upcycled crafts to suit the season while I ran errands the other week. And, this idea popped into my head. I couldn't wait to get home and test it out.
I think these paper pumpkins turned out exceptionally cute. The bonus is all the materials were either fished from the recycle bin, found outside, or already in my stash. I bet you have most of the supplies too. Oh, and they're easy enough for kids to make.

The supplies are pretty basic.
The main construction of your paper pumpkin will be a toilet paper roll (just the cardboard),  magazine paper, and a stick. Orange paint and a paintbrush will also be needed if you want an orange pumpkin. Additional supplies are masking tape and some kind of cutting tool (though neither are completely necessary.)

Here's my video on the process for making these easy, DIY paper pumpkins.
And, here's a better look at the completed shabby pumpkins.

Seriously, ya'll, the materials are straight out of the recycling and my front yard.

I'm positive you have the supplies at your house too. Whether it's still hot where you live, or actually feeling like fall, you definitely need these shabby pumpkins in your life. 

Please let me know if you have any questions about the process! 
Happy Fall, Y'all!!

Oh, and if you're looking for another fall pumpkin project, take a look at the Pumpkin Spice Earrings I shared last year. 
They STILL smell yummy.

I've linked this post up at the following link parties: Fall into FallTalk of the Town, Dare to Share, and Craft Schooling Sunday.

Honey Do List Reveal - Celtic Cross

When I saw Eric's pictures of Celtic Crosses for this month's Honey Do List from SJ Designs, I was stricken with the simple beauty of them. However, I was at a loss as to what to do with them. My recent bead stash purged absolutely saved me. As I sorted through a drawer of pendants, I came across a rather large, chunky cross pendant that somewhat resembles a Celtic one. I knew it was destined for this challenge. 

As the metal and chunk of the cross aren't very feminine or romantic (my usual style), I wasn't very sure how best to work with it. Since I recently watched a video from Kellie's Bead Boutique that included use of a barrel knot with leather, that idea stuck with me. 
It took a couple of trips to Hobby Lobby to find a leather that would work for this technique and allow beads to be incorporated to add a bit of shine to the chain. 

I couldn't envision making the necklace very long, so I kept it short. That was a blessing as I had no idea how much leather the knots would take up. 

I kept the knots and beads to the front and simply finished the necklace with crimps and a spring clasp. 

It worked out beautifully I think. Make sure to head over to SJ Designs Jewelry to see what Sarajo created along with the other participants. 

Peek at My Week (Sep. 15-21)

This week was all about knocking things off my list. There was so much packed into the week, I can't believe that I even remembered to take a few pictures.
First up was a project that has been long in waiting. When we moved to Silverlox, we found this abundance of old signs on the property (mostly in the pole barn) and wanted to hang them in the house.

To get the arrangement just right, I cut the shapes from kraft paper and used masking tape to move them around until they were just right.
Pat then helped me get them up on the wall.

As if that wasn't checking off enough boxes, I dove into another long await task - purging my bead cabinet.
Many of the drawers looked a lot like this one, overloaded with baggies and so packed that it was difficult to even know what I have. 

I took it drawer by drawer, deciding what I wanted to keep and what I thought I'd never use. This project took several days as I would do a few drawers until I got frustrated then switch to another task. All the bead drawers have now been tackled, next up are the findings drawers. Eek!

There was also a little work done on the Earrings Everyday projects on Sunday, but much of that continued into Monday and beyond as I uncovered items in my purge.
I played with these wood discs and various media on Monday. The white crackle ones didn't turn out as I had hoped.

While these "cured", I ran out to spruce up the CraftyHope Booth at Southern Antiques and Accents before Ladies Night on Tuesday.

Tuesday was all about running the errands that had been avoided on Monday, like grocery shopping.
You know that Fall is on its way when the Farm market starts displaying the pumpkins!

With all my running around on Tuesday, I knew I wanted dinner to be easy. 
Taco Tuesday was the perfect answer!

As usual, Wednesday was spent with my grandmother. I made sure to work from my bead box to get a few things made.
I'm loving the little mushrooms I incorporated in the chain of this necklace. 

It wasn't any old Wednesday either...It was my grandmother's birthday! 
When I shopped for cards, I was disappointed in the selection for grandma cards and the funny cards were almost mean. So, I altered this card for a 3-year-old to suit my needs. 

We had family over to join in the celebration. And, I think she really enjoyed her day.

Thursday was much more low-key as I checked things off my list, like finishing challenge pieces and taking pictures. I did take time to go outside and noticed a pop of color across the yard.
This bloom brightened my day.

Friday surprised us with lower temperatures that actually felt a little like Fall. 
Granted, it didn't stay that way...

I spent most of the morning knocking out my major housework and caught these two having some kind of secret meeting. (Pardon the dog snot on the glass door. She makes it impossible to keep them clean.)
I'm still not sure what was up with this meeting of the minds.

Once the chores were out of the way, I could art!
I was actually just trying to knock another challenge off my list. You'll see what becomes of her later in the month. 

That evening, I got the news that my mom had fallen and broken her arm. As such, I'm not really sure what my week ahead holds. Since I knew my nieces and step-father and there with her this weekend, I held off going over there for the time being. 

After Saturday's early Alabama football game, I took a few pictures before heading out to the pool to do a little more artwork in the shade, where it feels ALMOST like fall.
I even had an Indian Turkey Chili in the crockpot so I didn't have to worry too much about dinner. And, that's how I ended the week. 

Let me share some of the links I found inspiring this week.
  • If you're a jewelry-maker and seller, you might like enjoy this tutorial on How to Make a Bracelet Display
  • The design for these DIY Earrings from Moois Van Me gives you a great option for displaying beautiful charms with just a little wirework. 
  • I always love a recycling project, and this one is even jewelry! Make a Recycled Demin Bracelet in just a few steps. 
  • There's something special about caging a bead in wire. Learn to make a Water Droplet Bead Cage with this tutorial. 
  • As I mentioned, Fall is almost upon us. So, it's time to start breaking out those pumpkins. Craft Gossip shares a roundup of 14 Pretty Pumpkin Projects. I'm partial to the burlap one!
Tomorrow is the first "official" day of Fall, but that just means that we're got another month or two of warm weather. Sigh. But, I can pretend it feels like Fall with a couple of fall-themed crafts (coming soon!) How are you going to enjoy the beginning of the season?

Earrings Everyday - Dots

Each month, Erin at Earrings Everyday likes to throw out a theme for the We're All Ears Challenge. This month, she chose DOTS to inspire us. I have to admit that I went a little crazier than I anticipated with this theme. 

Initially, I remembered I had a few small tin discs already cut out that included dots. So, I turned to those for my first pair of earrings.
I could have just punched holes, hung them on earwires, and called it a day. But that's no fun. 

Instead, an idea had struck to try riveting some of the internal snap rings I had picked up last month to create a loop on the bottom of the discs.
As you can see, it worked out perfectly! And the rivets just look like more dots on the earrings. From the rings, I hung a few round beads to add to the dotty feel.

As I contemplated what other supplies I had that included dots, I decided to use some of my paper supplies encase a dotted paper in a bezel. This ended up failing in so many ways, but I thought it was only fair to share my failures as well as my successes. Not everything is a winner.
Though I had sealed the paper with Mod Podge prior to placing it in the bezel, somehow the resin seeped in and turned it translucent. I have to admit that I was just going to roll with it and make the earrings. However, the resin began to form some sort of crystallization. You can see it in the far right of the right bezel. I've never had that happen before. So...these were scrapped. Like I said, not everything can be a winner. 

Over the course of the week, I've been purging my bead supply. As I've sorted through just about every bead I have, a few caught my eye for this challenge. There were a few more, but I realized that I just couldn't make them work. They're now in the purged bins.
I apparently had quite a few of these wood discs with the top drill. I've tried to use them in various forms over the years without much success. Before bagging them all up to go away, I kept a couple to play with for this challenge. 

I wanted to create a rustic farmhouse feel with them. They were first lightly sanded, then painted with a little white acrylic paint. I added the pale green dots to suit the challenge and allowed the discs to dry before sanding them again.
A layer of clear crackle paste was added to the top. Once it crackled, the cracks were accented with watered-down brown acrylic paint. They're simply hung from pale green beads sandwiched between bead caps.

Also in my purge, I can across a baggie of unusual tiles that had been connected to make up a stretch bracelet. The elements are all plastic but a lot of fun. They remind me of dominoes and almost spurred me on a tangent of also making dot earrings from dominoes, but I held back.
The double holes on these elements had me puzzled as to how best to work with them. But, I let myself play and experiment for a bit to come up with this design.

Despite them being plastic, I kinda love them. 
They feel romantic and antique (I started to say vintage, but those dotted elements are definitely already vintage.) Yeah, I dig them.

Like I said, there were more dotted beads on my desk, but I knew it was time to stop so I could get everything photographed and ready for this reveal. 

Dots really are a simple design feature, but work out beautifully. I am happy that Erin presented us with this theme, as its simplicity really let me play and explore options. Thank you, Erin. 
Now, make sure to head over to Earrings Everyday Reveal to see what she created, check out what the other participants made, and maybe join in the reveal yourself!

Booth at Southern Antiques

Tonight is Ladies Night at Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope. What does that mean for you? There are sales throughout the store as well as drinks, snacks, music and more from 6-8pm. Though I've updated the booth a little since last month, not a ton has changed as far as the display. Since that's the case, let me highlight a few of my favorite items from the booth instead of the display itself. 

I've made sure that there are several pieces that exude Fall.
These tassel earrings that include Autumnal shades of recycled sari silk and copper were added just recently.

This isn't the best picture of this necklace at all, but it's really gorgeous in person and absolutely glows in the light. 

These little tassel acorns mix copper and silver for a stunning pair of earrings.

And, of course, there's button jewelry! These feel a little 70's, but that makes them all the more fun.

And, this simple button necklace may not draw your eye to the booth, but it's there.

Oh, and there are a couple of these button rings down on the bottom SALE shelf. 

I've got a whole shelf of upcycled tin pieces too. This moth-inspired necklace is probably one of my favorites. 

But, this tin people bracelet is awfully cute too. 

Also available is this necklace with an old watch upcycled as the pendant. I can't believe it's still in the booth. Crazy, right!?

How about these little crackle earrings? They're yummy!

And, for something a little different, I created a few Halloween hangings. One has already sold.
There's a cat

A pumpkin

And, a raven still available.

Remember that tonight is Ladies Night!

Whether you come tonight or anytime, you'll find the CraftyHope booth on the left, at the top of the ramp just after you walk in the door.

And, there's a whole store of other beauties to enjoy too!
If you happen to be in Fairhope, make sure to take the time to check out Southern Antiques and Accents.

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...