Hollow - AE July Theme Challenge Reveal

The moment I saw the Art Elements July Theme of "Hollow", I was stricken with the realization that it could be interpreted in so many ways. Just some of the images/connotations that came to mind included an empty vessel, a nook or open space, an echo chamber, the feeling of being empty of lacking substance/drained, and a location like "Sleepy Hollow". Of course, in my usual fashion, I pushed these ideas away for "later in the month". sigh. I had one idea in particular that came to mind almost immediately, but it took weeks for me to get to it, and then it didn't work out as well as I had hoped. We'll get to it at the end of this post.

The one idea that did work is so simple, it pales next to the expansive theme. But, I kinda love it. 
These earrings feature some of my most favorite beads ever: those hollow bone beads with the dots carved all over them. I simply topped them with Czech glass beads in a mercury glass color and formed a loop with the wire at the bottom to further echo the hollow/empty theme. 

I can't get over how simple but stunning they are. 
And, though they'll likely head to my Etsy shop today (they're there now as Hollow Earrings if you want to see ALL the pictures of them), I have to admit that I've worn them several times already. 

I'm aware that this is a beyond-basic interpretation of the theme.
But, they do go with it!

As for my other idea, I finally broke down a few days ago and had a go at it.
I wanted to turn pairs of tin discs into puffed vessels of a sort by doming them, clipping the top and bottom, and soldering them together. 

The clipped top and bottom gave me a little space to add something into the vessel. 

I was working with flower beads on headpins for a really neat design when this (below) happened.
My copper tape failed and the domes came apart! I'm not really sure if it was the type of tin, the tape itself, my own failure to burnish well, over-handling the tin, or something else entirely. However, I still really like this idea and have brainstormed a few ideas with my husband on how to make vessels like this using cold connection techniques as well as sealing it better with the solder. So, I will likely try at it again another time. 

For now, I'll enjoy my super simple hollow-inspired earrings and hope that you do too.
Plus, I'd still like to explore the idea of hollow in a few other mediums like my art journal and perhaps even an assemblage piece!

Thank you to Marsha for the inspiring theme. I am sorry I don't have more to offer this month. Make sure to head over to the Art Elements Community on Facebook. There, you'll find the July Theme: Hollow Album with the images and links of the other artists who took on this theme with much more exciting results. 

Fuchsia Foxglove Earrings (Honey Do List Reveal)

I'm drawn to design challenges like a moth to a flame. They present me with inspiration that I may not have considered otherwise, and they push me out of my comfort zone. Sarajo and Eric's monthly Honey Do List at SJ Designs Jewelry is the perfect example of this. Eric gives his wife a picture he's taken to inspire her designs. She shares it on her blog for the rest of it too. The photo inspiration this month had so much texture to it, there were many directions I could have taken. 
I was definitely drawn to the wavy, horizontal dried grass and the moss on the rocks in the photo. But, I couldn't take my eyes off the bright pink flowers in the foreground. I've recently learned that this is probably Foxglove. 

So, I created these Fuchsia Foxglove earrings with this month's inspiration. 
I began with just one silver-colored cone that I painted with Vintaj Patina in Ruby. But, then I wondered if I could MAKE some cones in varying sizes (I only had one size of them.)

I decided to try rolling discs of cookie tins that I had on hand with my round-nose pliers. And, it worked out pretty well. They were also painted with the Vintaj Patina and sealed.

The five cones by themselves didn't have enough interest for me. So, from there, I added matching bright pink seed beads onto silver headpins, one bead per pin. Those were strung up into the cones with eye pins, and a wrapped loop was formed at the top of each pink cone. These were connected to one another with oval jump rings. (A short length of chain would have worked too, but I already had the jump rings out.) I made sure to layer the cones like the flower, with the largest at the bottom. The jump ring at the top connects to the simple ear wire. And, that was it!

I have to admit that while these match the inspiration well, they are so bright and pink that they don't exactly match my style. However, they've given me inspiration for some other designs that I've already begun. And, I will be adding them to my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents today if you like them and they match your style. 

A big thank you goes out to Sarajo and Eric for sharing the inspiration and for challenging me each month. I love seeing where the photos they share take me. Make sure you head over to SJ Designs Jewelry for the big reveal of what Sarajo made. You may even find other artists like myself who also chose to take on this challenge. 

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Peek at My Week (July 19-25)

I did my best to try to get a few more pictures of my week than I did last week. Oddly, I didn't get any pictures on Saturday. How funny is that? 
We started Sunday with a simple breakfast of Monkey Muffins and fruit. 

From there, we didn't do much. I made some art and puttered around the house.
Here's the art in its almost-finished state. It incorporates the skills and techniques I learned in Kate Thompson's Botanical Collage Mini Class

Monday was a lost day for me creatively. Pat needed to have the air-conditioning fixed on his truck so I spent what felt like much of the day driving him back and forth between the repair shop and the house. Then, I had to run my own errands. Thankfully dinner was easy!
Okay, so yeah, this is it in its unfinished state because we dove into it when it was done. Basically, I lightly fried corn tortillas, stuffed them with shredded cheese, rolled them, and put them in this casserole dish. Then, I covered them with leftover chili and a sprinkling of more cheese. After that, I baked it for 25 minutes and served it with salad on the side. It was so good too!

On Tuesday, I made sure everyone knew that it was Ladies Day at Southern Antiques and Accents
And, I'm happy I did too since I had some good sales in the booth. 

I did run a few errands, but then made sure I got in some creative time.
I worked on a project for the SJ Honey Do List that I hope to reveal next week. But, wanted to make sure y'all got to see this little trick for painting bead caps. I actually would have stuck the skewers into a block of floral foam if I could have found any in the craft room, but this technique worked just as well. 

On Wednesday, I started the day with my lovely morning routine. 
I try to begin each morning on the deck, in my porch swing. There, I have my coffee, doodle in my little datebook (I'll have to share that sometime), and plan out my day. 

It sets a great precedence for the day. And, I really did knock out quite a bit as from there, I made sure to get pictures taken before it got too hot outside.
Don't you love my fancy setup? Seriously though, I cannot recommend using an ironing board enough. The height is adjustable, it's lightweight, and you probably already have one! I also spent much of the day making earrings since that was the bulk of what sold at the antique store. 

On Thursday, when I took a break from creating and when the rain also took a break, I walked around Silverlox for a few minutes and found this lone jasmine on the heaps of vine we have out here. 

I also visited with the chickens for a few minutes. I can't believe how big the chicks are getting. 

And, that evening (as most evenings), we had some snuggle time with Zoe on the couch.
She looks a little pouty in this picture, but she was just content. 

On Friday, I continued to work on my earring marathon. But, received word from my mom that one of my cousins was killed in a car accident. And, that left me less than inspired. But, I did have this bowl full of designs made. 

Later, I was able to clear off my desk to pour out my distress into an art journal page.

We risked visiting with some friends who haven't been much of anywhere like us. And, they had this Bitter Melon for us to try. Apparently, a neighbor grew it and my friend saved it since she knew I'd want to get a picture of it. Check out that texture!
Isn't that cool?

On Saturday I headed over to my mom's to help her clear out her kitchen. She's been wanting a remodel of it for years and has finally found a contractor. So, she needed to get everything out of the cabinets but can't climb on the countertops to get to everything like I can. My niece even helped for a few minutes before she headed out. It was good to see my mom before she starts back to work on Monday. 

Now, for some inspiration for you!

So, that was basically my week. How did yours treat you?

Bead Box 8 - Reveal

I'm not sure how I feel about it taking me over two months to work my way through my latest Bead Box. I guess the uncertainty of our situation has me stuck, plus, #The100DayProject kept me occupied plenty of the time. Before I reveal the final results, let me quickly explain my Bead Box. 

The box itself is a simple 17-compartment plastic craft organizer. Into each of the sections, I place the elements to make a jewelry design. When I'm away from the house or uninspired, I can dip into the box to have something to work on. I've been stocking and revealing my projects for almost three years now. (How is that possible?) This is the eighth version of the box. I'll have links at the bottom to all the other versions 

And, here are the designs I created (and decided against creating.)
The elements for this Green Vine Necklace had been gathered for years. It took me turning the pendant upside down to finally SEE how it should come together. You can find it on Etsy. 

The second and third designs in the box were a few pairs of earrings. For both of them, as soon as I began pulling them together, I realized how much I didn't like them and immediately stopped working on them. It was tough to make those calls, but I knew the designs just didn't suit my style.

Design four was this Be Fearless necklace that was a cinch to pull together. It's available in my booth at Southern Antiques and Accents (SAA).

It didn't take long to pull these Vintage Rose Earrings together. They were recently added to the Etsy shop. 

I've been itching to get this necklace design complete. However, there were a few hiccups before it finally came together. I'm hoping to list it on Etsy soon. 

This pretty little necklace wasn't in the Etsy Shop long before it sold.

Design eight was another one of those that I decided against completing. It was supposed to be a simple bracelet. However, on further reflection, I realized that it was very much like another bracelet I had made that was still lingering around without selling. So, I'll hold off on it for now. Though, I may keep the components together for another time.

I JUST got this Soldered Colorful Turquoise Necklace in the Etsy shop the other day. I adore designs with this much color in them as it means it can brighten up almost any outfit. 

The design for this Watch Case Necklace was a little funky and had to be sketch out for me to remember how to pull it together. It came together beautifully. Almost all of the elements in it are salvaged and upcycled. It's available online in the Etsy shop. 

I'm a sucker for simple elements that can be pulled together into a timeless design. That was the case with these earrings that recently hit the shelves at the SAA booth. And, as of a few days ago, they've sold.

Very much like the previous pair of earrings, these are just simple little things. They were also at the antique store booth and sold within days. 

These Violet Arch Earrings are less simple than the previous earrings, so I listed them in the Etsy shop where you can still find them. 

I'm tickled by the fun elements in this necklace that was only recently completed. The bobbin works perfectly as a fidget element. This is destined for the Etsy shop. 

I couldn't wait to get to this necklace and begin pulling all the elements together. But, I think I built it up too much in my head so when I finally got to it, it lingered on my desk for days! I ended up adding a few beads that weren't in my bead box to help get it to the length I thought it needed to be. I think it's lovely and will be listing it on Etsy. 

Speaking of lovely, these earrings turned out almost exactly as I had imagined. I did end up switching out the crystal beads I had planned with them for the ones I ended up using. These should be in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop soon. 

This last pair of earrings utilize some reproduction clock hands. Isn't that fun?  I'll add them to the booth at the antique store in the next week or so. 

So, that's it for Bead Box 8. I've got a few items on my desk at the moment, but hope to start working on stocking up Box 9 just as soon as possible. 
Here are the links to all the previous boxes, if you're interested. 

I'd love to hear which of these are your favorites and what you'd like to see in the next Bead Box.

Ladies' DAY at SAA

For a few years now, Southern Antiques and Accents in Fairhope has reserved the third Tuesday of each month as Ladies' Night. They've hosted the event after hours and included food, drinks, live music, and a storewide discount. Since the Covid-19 precautions, they've canceled a few of these events and decided that today's event will simply occur ALL DAY LONG (during business hours) to allow for social distancing and other precautions. You'll find snacks, a 10% storewide discount, and door prizes throughout the day. I've got a pretty pair of earrings included in the door prizes!

This is the same place where I have a booth. If you're in the area and feel safe enough to visit, please do. Here are a few of the items currently stocked in the CraftyHope booth (located on the left, just inside the door - at the top of the ramp).
This brightly colored Art Beads Bracelet features several handmade beads.

More color, but this time for your neck and made from upcycled cookie tins.

Recycled sari silk and blue beads were used to create these fun hoop earrings.

Here's a new necklace straight out of my Bead Box that uses some of my art journaling supplies.

I think these bright and long tassel earrings are perfect for summer.

But, if you're more of a subtle romantic, I've got you covered there too with this beauty featuring handmade polymer clay elements.

Again with the fun summer hoops, these were made using old tin that was altered with paint and stencils.

A bit of work was put into making this woven necklace. And, the tassel is so fun.

Here's another something new from the Bead Box. I'll be revealing all of what was made from there soon. 

If you can't make it to Ladies' Day today, there will still be plenty of pretties stocked in the booth when you are able to make it out. Stay safe and healthy!

You can find Southern Antiques and Accents at 254 South Greeno Road in Fairhope, AL. Today's event is from 10am-6pm.

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...