Peek at My Week (Aug 23-29)

 I'm running a bit behind, which is crazy since there's not been much going on with me this past week. And, most everything I'm about to share, you likely saw on Instagram if you follow me there. But, we're going to go ahead and go for it so that I don't get any more off-schedule. Take a peek.

Sunday and Monday were rainy days as Hurricane Marco's outer bands swept over our area. On Sunday, we discovered a British show, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, on YouTube; and it's been our daily binge of 2-3 of them each evening. While I had Zoe out on Monday between storms, this single dragonfly wing in the driveway caught my eye. 

Tuesday was frustrating as all-get-out since the internet was out most of the day. I did knock out some busy work like taking and editing pictures though.

Somehow, I lost most of Wednesday doing who-knows-what. But, it was National Dog Day, so Zoe got her picture taken.

By Thursday, the rain had finally stopped. I was able to head out for a morning walk where I spotted these fuzzy mushrooms.

I also revealed my version of a Mandala for the Art Elements monthly theme.
In the afternoon, I saw that Blue Girl Beading, my favorite local bead shop, was having a sale on wire. So, I headed down there to take advantage of the savings. If you must know, most everything in the shop is on sale because the owner has decided to go after her dream of focusing on her silversmithing. 

I was able to knock out a few tasks on Friday before heading to my mom's house to help her with some things including taking my niece to the dentist. Then, Saturday was a fairly wasted day as I accomplished very little. Though, it was nice to just have another lazy day. 

See...it was as if the week had no substance to it. I'm hoping to make up for it this week. We'll see how that goes. For the most part, I eked in my five minutes of art for the #SouthernGals5Min challenge on Instagram (missing only Saturday).






Despite not finding much motivation over the course of the week, I did find inspiration:
And, that was the week for me. I hope your week was more productive and memorable than mine. If not, we always have this one! Make it a good one!!

Mandala Reveal (AE Theme Challenge)

 The theme for the Art Elements challenge this month was mandala. Check out the post from Lesley for examples and information on them. I've personally been familiar with mandalas for only several years now but did try my hand at drawing fairly traditional ones a few years ago. However, I never could get the symmetry quite right. I contemplated this theme for longer than I should have, trying to come up with just the right idea. In looking over the meaning and practice of making mandalas, I realized that they're often used as a meditative practice. After seeing the simple needlework from Lynn of LynnsNeedleWork on Instagram (check out this one) and re-organizing my embroidery floss, I finally came up with something that might count.

If you've seen my last several posts, you know that I've been a tassel-making madwoman lately: first with a tassel tutorial, then with my earrings for the Honey Do List from Sarajo

As such, I've had to buy some more floss to get just the colors I need, but my organizers are already so packed AND I ran out of little cards. So, I needed to find a way to use some of what I already have.

I decided that it would be good to use up some of the little bits of embroidery floss that probably couldn't be worked into much else. See the red one where the white card is showing through, those are the cards I decided to use. 

I put a bit of fabric into an embroidery hoop to make sure I kept within the circle idea of a mandala.

I fished out all those almost-empty cards.

And, I started making circles. Actually, it's more of a spiral...but I'll allow it.

Once I had this bit down on the fabric, I liked it so much that I thought maybe I was done and didn't need to use all that other floss. 

However, the repetitive motion of making the stitches and the sounds of the needle piercing the fabric and of the floss moving through it were perfectly meditative (like making a MANDALA!!) I haven't been able to stop!
I'm absolutely enjoying the process too much to quit now.

And, there's still plenty of fabric still showing.

Plus, I haven't used up all that embroidery floss yet.

So, okay...this isn't a traditional mandala with geometric shapes making it up. But, I feel like the purpose was the same to some extent. And, I think the end result is going to be pretty awesome. (I'll share it in one of my weekly posts when I finally get it done.) For now, let me thank Lesley for the theme. I've really enjoyed this little project. And, I'd like to encourage you to head over to the Art Elements Community on Facebook and join up so you can see the album full of all the other Mandalas made for this month. 

Monarch Tassel Earrings for SJ's Honey Do List

This month at SJ Design Jewelry, Sarajo and Eric shared an inspiration photo popping with color. I think the butterfly on a brightly colored flower is a monarch - especially since Sarajo has been raising monarchs this summer. I was stricken with the colors but didn't have much direction initially. However, after I embossed some blanks, I realized that one had something that resembled a tiny butterfly. And, I took off from there.

Vintaj Patinas* were used to color the copper blank to resemble the butterfly in the inspiration photo, but the itty bitty charm needed something more. So I created a long stacked tassel with bright orange and yellow embroidery thread. The tassel is topped with a copper bead cap to help carry the floral theme. 

The yellow is stacked on top of the orange like the flower in the photo with the butterfly settled above. Last week, I shared a tutorial on how to create an embroidery floss tassel, but if you want to see another DIY on how to stack them like this, let me know!

These Monarch Tassel Earrings are now listed in mt Etsy Shop!

I've not been feeling very creative the last week or two, so the making of these earrings got me over the hump and helped me dive back into getting some things made. A big thank you goes to Sarajo and Eric for the inspiration and opportunity. Make sure to head over to the August Honey Do List Reveal at SJ Designs Jewelry to see what else was created for this challenge. 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Peek at My Week (Aug 16-22)

 I did everything in my power to eke as much out of this week as possible. Take a peek.

Sunday included some general chores before Pat I knocked out a bit of yard work. We rewarded ourselves in the afternoon with pool time and a grilled dinner. 

I began Monday with high hopes.

After my morning walk, I enjoyed planning out the day and week ahead.

Once I was also able to plan out our meals for the week, I headed out to run my errands - first stopping by Southern Antiques and Accents to hang some sale signs.

This sale will be active through the end of the month, so you've got another week to take advantage of the savings. In the afternoon, I tried to knock out a few creative endeavors, but quickly realized that I lacked focus and inspiration causing me to quickly become frustrated. 

Tuesday was a bit better. I headed out for my walk early and was able to see the sunrise.

That set a beautiful precedent for the day ahead.

I did try to work on some jewelry projects.

However, I didn't get very far.

I did try to pep myself up with a coffee break after lunch.

No worries about my safety, I had my mask on the whole time and really just used the break to upload some videos before bringing the coffee home to enjoy. (One was for Pat)

Wednesday's walk wasn't quite as inspiring as the previous day. But, I did spy these enormous mushrooms coming off the side of an oak tree.

It's really hard to share the scale of them, but trust me - they are huge!

I buckled down and knocked out a few creative projects also.

You'll get to see the results of this one in a few days!

We awoke to rain on Thursday, so there was no morning walk for me. I did some exercises in the house but also made sure to walk the property with Zoe a little later in the afternoon when it had dried out. Zoe was impatient with me as I kept stopping to admire the Beauty Berries.

After that, I was able to finish the rest of my earring sets.

I've actually already sold a couple of these pairs just off this picture.

And, I started a new project that I'm really enjoying.

I'll give you more details about it toward the end of the week (fingers crossed that it works out!), but there's a peek of its progress below.

Friday was chock full of chores including a bath for Zoe. 

Saturday was a mixed bag. As I got water for the chickens in the morning, I spied this beauty.

It may be the last of the gardenias. However, just as soon as I think I saw the last one, another one blooms. I don't mind these beautiful surprises at all. 

I busied myself with various tasks in the morning, including this new embroidery project.

In the afternoon and evening, we enjoyed the pool and grill.

It was a really lovely week.

Throughout the week, I continued with the Five Minute project from Southern Gals Designs.







I don't know how that blue-green color keeps ending up in each of the cards. Maybe I'll try to steer away from it for today's card - we'll see.

Now for some inspiration for you:

I'm looking forward to more creativity and beauty in my week ahead. I'm trying to find the blessings in these tough times. I hope you are too.
Have a fabulous week!

DIY Embroidery Floss Tassel

 Making a tassel with embroidery floss is easier than you think!

You only need a few supplies.

Really, all you need is the embroidery floss, some thin cardboard (think cereal box cut to a little longer than you want your tassel), and scissors. For my method, I also use a jump ring and jewelry pliers so I can incorporate the tassels into jewelry. Additionally, you might want some strong glue and a comb with fine teeth. 

I've got a video on the process that walks you step-by-step of how to make your own Embroidery Floss Tassel

But, here's the quick and dirty of it.

Start by holding a short tail of the floss at the base of your cardboard. 

Wrap the floss around the board. More wrapping means a fuller tassel. I tend to wrap 10-20 times.

Cut your floss.

At this point, open your jump ring with the pliers.

Carefully slide your floss off the cardboard. Slip the jump ring through the top loop of all the floss and close the ring

Cut several inches of floss from what you have remaining.

Wrap that bit of floss around all your floss, just below your jump ring and tie it several times.

Trim the excess floss and glue it if you'd like. (The following pictures don't have the jump ring in them - my bad, sorry about that!)


Use your scissors to trim the tassel down evenly, ensuring you cut all the bottom loops.

For a final touch, you could use the comb to brush out the tassel. This helps separate the individual threads and make it look a bit more finished.

And, that's it! Your tassel is made.

This method can also be used with yarn, ribbon, or other types of thread. I like to incorporate tassels into necklaces and earrings, but they can be used any number of other ways. 
How are you going to use your tassels?

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

ICAD 16-30

As I just finished up the first half of Index Card a Day (ICAD), I figured that it was time to share them (and their corresponding videos wi...