The Eyes Have It (AE Reveal)

Happy Halloween!
And, if that isn't fun enough, it's also reveal day for the Art Elements theme hop for October. This month, Laney selected Eyes as the inspiration. I was late in signing up, though I spent chunks of time throughout the month thinking about the theme. 

Initially, I played around in my art journal, drawing faces. But, after I got my bead loom and became obsessed with it, I decided to try to create an eye with it. 
The idea came to me as I was waking up one morning and I couldn't wait to get to the bead store to buy some beads. I've never been one to work much with seed beads and all the ones I had were the cheap, irregular ones. And, I've found that I like the large 6/0 and 8/0 beads on the loom. So, out I dashed to the bead store.

Using the seed beads, hemp cord, and Wildfire; this bracelet came together pretty quickly on the loom. To finish it, I simply tied some knots and added a button for a closure.

I'm absolutely still learning how best to work with the loom, so if you have any tips, tricks, tutorials, or any other advice; please don't hesitate to let me know!

Once my first eye was made, I could relax a little about the challenge. I remembered that at the beginning of the month, after the challenge was issued, I had saved a link from My Modern Met on How to Draw Eyes. (I thought it was rather fateful that the challenge and this tutorial fell in the same month.) So, I made a quick attempt.
It's not great, but the tutorial really did have some good tips for working on my drawing skills.

Though I had already completed one entire project for this reveal, I couldn't get the idea of it being Halloween-time and needing something "spooky" for the reveal. And, that's when the image of the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings popped into my head. Seriously y'all. Any good geek knows how scary that eye is - perfect for Halloween. 
Again, the design for this piece was something that came to me as I was waking. At first, I thought I wanted to do it in an organized bead loom-type way with lines of wire separating all the beads. However, as I drew out the design, I realized that it wouldn't work since I needed so many beads to get the image just right. 

Instead, I created a frame with 14 gauge copper wire and strung beads between it. It was fiddly from start to finish, but I kept reminding myself that it would never come together if I just gave up. So, I persisted and am quite pleased with how it turned out in the end.
Perfectly spooky for Halloween!

Once that trial had ended, I wanted to go ahead and play with the idea of eyes in my art journal. As I pondered whether to try drawing more eyes or not, I remembered this envelope of eyes.
Seriously. I have had that envelope for probably 15 years or more, back from my Decoupage days - a seriously LONG time ago. So long, you can see that the envelope has begun to yellow. 

And, yes, it's filled with eyes.
I've long had an affinity for the "windows to the soul" and went through a magazine-clipping phase for a while. So, I had plenty of eyes from which to choose. 

I selected a pair that fit nicely in the journal I selected. It's an old Bobbsey Twins book.

From there, I just played with my art supplies until I was happy with the page.

It wasn't until I was selecting a sentiment for the page that I began to ponder the importance of eyes in our creativity. We often use visual words like: See, View, Envision, Visualize, Watch, etc that have everything to do with how we take in the world around us and how we creatives want/need to add to it. The eyes are such an integral part of that.

Alright, enough with the deep thoughts, I do hope you've enjoyed seeing what I created. Don't forget that this is a Blog Hop of artists. Make sure to head over and check out what the other creatives made with the Eye theme from Art Elements. Much thanks to Laney for the inspiration!

AE Team: SusanMarsha , ClaireCathyJennyNikyJenniferLaney
Guests: DawnHopeBeth & EvieKathyMichelleTammyCatElaine
Oh, and one more snippet of fun eye-inspiration I found this month. These Creepy Book Eyes are slightly spooky and totally fun! Have a fantastic Halloween!!

Peek at My Week (Oct 20-26)

This past week passed in a blink! I guess that's because I kept myself pretty busy.

We started the week on Sunday with what we call "Puppy Fun Day." Basically, it's our attempt to get outside and drag Zoe with us on an adventure of some sort. We even took the niece who lives with us!
While out on one of the trails I spied an enormous dead grasshopper. He was almost as long as my hand. After spotting him, we spied a few more. The one above is one of the live ones we found. Apparently some people think it's gross, so I'm sorry if this weirds you out.

As usual, Monday was full of knocking errands and chores off my list. Those bled into Tuesday.  However, I did work on a few creative endeavors.
I've been mad over playing with my bead loom!

That evening, I did something else a little out of the ordinary for me.
I went to Pat's band rehearsal and took pictures for the studio. Fun. 

Wednesday was spent at my mom's where we celebrated my birthday with a delicious cake baked by another one of my nieces.

Thursday was my actual birthday, and I spent it out and about shopping for new clothes. After shopping, we met some friends for dinner. 

I spent much of Friday just playing in the craft room. Pat did interrupt me to go outside and check out this little guy he found in the grass.
It's a tiny green tree snake. Isn't he cute!?

I also made a run to the store to pick up a few new supplies including this set of watercolors I've been wanting!
Fun!

And, Saturday was all about college football.
Roll Tide!

As for inspiration, that lacked some too, though I did find a few tidbits.


And, that's it. I'm already running behind this week with everything. So, I'll leave it at that and wish y'all a wonderfully creative week. 


Raven Feather Earrings (SJ Honey Do List)

Each month, Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry shares the photo inspiration her husband, Eric, has given her. She calls it the Honey Do List. This month's inspiration was perfectly timed with Halloween as it's a picture of a raven in the Tower of London. Eric was clear that if we didn't have any raven-ish supplies, something creepy-cool would work as well. However, I was dead-set on using the bird as my inspiration. 

I searched through my stash for birds, but only found cute ones; nothing that had that creep factor. As I pondered my supplies, I remembered that I had a few large feather charms. 

They were silver-tone and definitely required altering. However, I wasn't sure what method would work best. So, I began experimenting. I was lucky there were four feathers in the pack. (Two of them had more pointed ends that I wasn't fond of, so those are the ones I started with for my trials.)
I wanted the feathers to have a base of black but then have that beautiful blue-green color shift that you often see in raven's feathers. So, the front and back of the charms were painted with two coats of Vintaj Patina in Onyx. While the Patina was still slightly wet, I added shades of Pearl-Ex powders for that gleam. These were topped with alcohol ink and a matte sealer to ensure that the wings weren't too shiny. 

I think they came together beautifully. 

I didn't like the original holes for the feathers. They were in little tabs at the top of the feathers. Those were cut off before I began working with the metal. I then punched my own holes once everything was painted and sealed. 
To complete the earrings, I simply used darkened steel wire and a black faceted glass bead to connect the charms to gunmetal lever back ear wires. 

While pondering the inspiration, I knew that a friend's birthday was coming up and that whatever I made would be something she'd love. As such, I used her style to guide me through the process of making these earrings. And, I gifted her with them the other day. She loved them and put them on right then and there!

Thanks as always to Sarajo and Eric for the inspiration. Make sure to head over to SJ Designs Jewelry for her reveal and for the reveals of any other artists that played along too. 

Peek at My Week (Oct 13-19)

Apparently, I am no good at taking pictures during the week anymore. I think perhaps there's so much of my time spent doing household and repetitive tasks that I just don't think to snap a picture. I really need to take a little time to find some beauty in the everyday. In any case, here's some of what I captured during this past week.
Pat and I were so busy with other obligations on our actual anniversary that we celebrated it on Sunday with a trip to the beach. First was a stop at The Gulf for lunch and a drink. 

We had to make a stop to put our toes in the sand and the water. And, we were a little disappointed in ourselves as we didn't grab our swimsuits before leaving the house. The water was perfect! We had expected it to be chilly outside, but it wasn't. I ought to know better than to head to the beach without swimming gear. Ah well, it gave us time for our next stop.

Rather than heading home the way we came, we veered into Florida then looped back around. As we were driving, we realized we were close to Pirate's Cove and needed to stop for a Bushwacker. Yes, needed! All in all, it was a beautiful day to celebrate our anniversary. 

I did get a few pictures on Monday
I started the day with a little art journaling, but that was all that I did all week. I can hardly believe it myself. 

Instead, I got obsessed with this new contraption - a bead loom - and messed with it much of the week. Though, I only got one whole bracelet made all week. The rest of the time was spent experimenting with ideas. 

I did make it up to Southern Antiques and Accents on Monday to update the booth before Tuesday's Ladies' Night. 

I also checked on my citrus trees. These Satsumas were starting to look ready to eat. I had seen some at my local farm market that were green on the outside and ripe on the inside. So, I thought maybe these were ready. They aren't. Thankfully I only picked one of them for us to try! We'll wait a few more weeks before we try again.

On Thursday, I played around with something other than the jewelry loom. You'll see the final reveal of this project tomorrow. (I have to admit that I did work on my bead loom bracelet design between drying stages of this project though!)

Once Pat was done with work, we headed up to his recording studio to move from one space to another. I helped haul a few things across the hall for him, but let him handle all the actual music equipment. I'll be sharing his site and everything soon.

On Saturday, I headed to Mississippi to help surprise another friend for her 40th birthday. It was a lot of fun. And, I really do think she was surprised.

Before I knew it, I needed to head home before it got dark. I did let myself pull over to capture this beautiful sight. 
The sunset on Mobile Bay couldn't be resisted. I saw another couple of people pull over as well!

Alabama played a late game, so we settled in to watch as our team battled Tennessee's. It was a rough game to watch, but our boys pulled it out in the end. 


As for inspiration for this week...


And, that was the week for me. I hope yours was awesome and that you're looking forward to an even better one ahead. I know I am!!

DIY Halloween Projects Past and Present

Since Halloween is less than two weeks away, I decided to do a quick round-up of the All Hallow's Eve crafts I've shared. You've got plenty of time to complete every one of these projects for sure. And, you get a look at some of the oldest projects I've ever shared. Awesome, right!? Let's start with the newest first.
DIY Stamped Halloween Art

DIY Paper Pumpkins

Ghost Tassel Earrings

Beaded Candy Corn Charms

Pumpkin Spice Earrings

Easy Dollar Store Halloween Earrings

Shrink Plastic Halloween Bracelet

Yeah, that last one is really bad. Oof! But, the idea is there.
What's your favorite Halloween project?

DIY Stamped Halloween Art (or available at SAA)

Last month I got the inking to make some Halloween art wall-hangings and dove right into the project. I only used items I had in my stash already and was pleasantly rewarded.

Once I was done with these fun pieces, I wasn't sure what to do with them. My husband suggested I add them to my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents. And, one (the one pictured above) has already found a new home. 

The other three are still available at the shop for a reasonable price. However, tonight is Ladies' Night so there's a discount on everything in the store. As such, I did a little updating to the CraftyHope booth in preparation for the event.

 Yes, my booth is mostly full of jewelry treasures, but you can also find those three adorable Halloween pieces. 
The Cat

The Pumpkin

The Raven

I'm actually here to share with you how to make your own Halloween art if you're unable to make it to Fairhope tonight, or missed the opportunity.  I created a video of the whole Stamped Halloween Art process.

And, if you are interested in heading to Fairhope for tonight's Ladies' Night, the event is from 6-8pm. There will be beverages, finger foods, and live music in addition to plenty of deals. 

Peek at My Week (Oct 6-12)

This week, I pushed myself to try to be productive as often as I could. It was hard because I was at my mom's house again helping there so much of the week. Since neither Pat nor I had any plans on Sunday, we wanted to spend some time together out of the house. We ventured to the book store. I got tickled by this sign as we were leaving. 
With all the capitalization and no punctuation, I read it as "ya book club" (Your book club). I know the YA stands for Young Adult, but saying it the other way cracked me up. 

Back at home, I worked on a few projects, even breaking out the soldering iron.

As my mom had a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday, I didn't have much time that morning. However, I did manage to fiddle around with an art journal page before leaving the house for the day.

I spent all of Tuesday getting errands and chores accomplished at home because it was back to my mom's on Wednesday.

I tried to push my creativity some on Thursday, pulling out all kinds of tools and materials.
I did get a little frustrated in the process. 

So, I let myself have a little break out in the hammock since the temperature wasn't blazing. 

Friday was spent with indoor and outdoor chores. My lime tree was looking quite crispy since there's been no rain here for almost a month.
(Wouldn't you know it, it rained Saturday night - FINALLY!)

In the afternoon, I made a run to the coffee shop to upload a few videos for later and doodled while I waited for the internet to do its thing. 

Saturday meant football. I was back at my mom's to watch the game before taking pictures of my niece as she headed off for the Homecoming Dance. 

And, that was my week. How was yours?

Since it was such a busy week, there wasn't as much inspiration to be found (or rather, time to find inspiration.) But, there were a few tidbits.

Have a good one!

Make a Pendant from a Chain and a Chain from Beads

I have received a glorious array of beads from Jesse James Beads as a Design Ambassador. In fact, I've gotten so many that some have be...