It's a few days past Christmas and you're probably already focusing on the new year - I've personally got a list of goals for 2023 building on my desk! BUT, I forgot to share these cute ornaments with you and thought it would be a good idea to do so in case you want to save them for next year.
So cute, right!?
They're a cinch to make and easy to personalize for your mini tree. Here's my video on how to create your own.
I really just used materials that I had here at home.
I think one of my goals for the new year may need to be more on top of things - like blogging. We'll see how that goes!
Let me know if you have any questions at all - about these ornaments, my goals, whatever. And, feel free to share what some of your goals for the new year are.
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that you make. I can't resist crafting a few projects for friends and family this time each year. With one friend in mind, I gathered some beads and made a simple beaded bracelet just for her.
And, since I knew this project and method might work for others too, I popped on the camera and recorded the process in case you want to make one too.
It really was just a matter of sorting through an array of beads from Jesse James Beads, getting them in an order I found pleasing, and crimping the ends. But, the results really are stunning.
While it's probably just fine on its own as a gift, I'll pair this bracelet with a couple of other goodies I hope she'll enjoy. It was just so darn simple to make, I want to throw in some extras too.
So, tell me, are you making any gifts this holiday season?
December is ALREADY getting the better of me. I've received a jury duty summons for next week and am desperately trying to get as much done before I have to fulfill that requirement. Jury duty is such a tricky thing because you just don't know what days or how long they will need you. So, I'm doing my best to prepare for being away. Mostly, I'm tackling some videos and Christmas shopping. And, I've let the blog get away from me. Drat! Here's a quick roundup of the art journaling and mixed media videos that you might have missed.
First, let me share the cards and projects for #CraftyHopePrompts, then anything else.
Usually, I share these posts on Thursday for Thrifty Thursday, but the day got away from me as I was out thrifting. 🤦♀️ I did get some fun pieces yesterday that I'll show off next week, and my video did go live. But, if you're one of my hardcore blog readers, you might have missed out on that. Here's a peek at some of what I reveal in the video.
The pieces I picked up for this haul were from a yard sale, the free bookshelf at the library, and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you want to see everything, here's the video.
Now, I need to start coming up with ideas on how to use these treasures.
Have you brought home any awesome scores or deals? I mean, it is the season of sales and shopping!!
I have to admit that it took me a little while to get to this challenge even though I saw the photo at the start of the month and adored it then. As soon as I took a second peek, I got to gathering and making. The first thing that struck me was the darkness of it, so I knew I needed black. Then it was the...pointiness of it - the beak, the feathers. So, I dove into my stash of chandelier crystals for a dagger crystal to use as a pendant.
I found this plastic variation that had apparently been an earring. It wasn't quite "dark" enough for me. So, I altered it with black alcohol ink.
It's kinda hard to see, but I just dripped some of the ink down sections of the "crystal" so that the black only covers some of it.
From there, I collected beads that went with the dark, goth look I wanted.
I kept to a simple palette of black crystals and pearls along with clear crystals. I also added a real chandelier crystal connector that would be used to help complete the pendant and give it a little more weight. Then, I began making the chain.
I'm actually kinda relieved that I found the plastic "crystal" so I didn't have to try the alcohol ink technique on one of my real crystals. And, getting to upcycle a salvaged earring is great also!!
Thanks as always to Sarajo and Eric for the inspiration for this necklace. I'm anxious to see what Sarajo and any other participants made. Check out her SJ Designs Jewelry blog. If you're inspired by the photo, make something and make sure to share it on Sarajo's reveal with the linky tool. She'll have it open for several weeks.
The fifteenth of each month is the reveal day for the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge. This is a birthstone challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. She sets several criteria that include the month's birthstone color(s), metal type options, a project type, and optional fun elements. For November, the colors are citrine or yellow topaz, the metal types are gold or bronze, the project type is earrings, and the fun elements are sun, moon, and/or stars. This is what I created with these prompts.
I was totally surprised at how quickly these came together once I discovered the citrine drops in my stash. I went straight for the sun connectors that I knew I had and found the rings nearby in the same drawer. Both of those elements are from Patina Queen.
I am well aware that I would have NEVER combined these elements without this challenge. The colors are too...matchy-matchy for my usual tastes. But, they work wonderfully in these earrings. That's the beauty of challenges like these. They help you think beyond what you would usually do.
It's been a minute since I added to my Jewelry-making for Beginners series. As I was working on another project (stay tuned for that reveal!), I realized that I've never shared the basics of wrapping a top-drilled teardrop bead, otherwise known as a briolette.
The tools, materials, and steps are pretty simple.
Start with your briolette, some wire that fits easily through the hole in the bead, wire cutters, chain-nose pliers, and round-nose pliers.
From there, insert the end of the wire into your briolette. You may only need an inch or so coming out the other side (depending on the gauge of the wire and the depth of your briolette's point.)
Bend both ends of the wire up and over the bead so they cross.
From the point where they cross, bend your short (tail) end horizontally and the longer end vertically.
Wrap the tail end around the other end a few times, then trim the excess.
From there, you're basically going to create a wrapped loop. Start by bending the wire horizontally just above where you wrapped the tail.
Using your round-nose pliers, create a loop.
Finish by wrapping the wire around the previous wraps, just below your loop. Then, trim any excess wire.
You can make your wrapping as simple or elaborate as you wish.
There are some very cool ways to make the wrapping more decorative. However, that's not really my style, and I just wanted to share the simplicity of this technique. You can watch this whole process in my video.
And, please let me know if you have any questions at all!
Can you even believe that it's November? Where has the year gone? Let's not ponder that too long as there's still so much to do. Right now, I'm talking about the challenges that I enjoy participating in each month. It's time for me to round them up and encourage you to join in with some of this inspiration.
The first thing that comes to mind is my own mixed media prompt challenge - #CraftyHopePrompts. It's a weekly opportunity for me to create using some of the supplies in my stash. You can get a better idea about it in my latest video: Mixed Media Prompt Card Week 6. There are a variety of different ways to play with this challenge. I hope you'll ask me if you have any questions.
Now, the challenge with the soonest reveal date is the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. This is a birthstone jewelry challenge with four guidelines: use the birthstone color of either citrine or yellow topaz, include gold or bronze metal, make earrings, and (optionally) incorporate the fun elements of sun, moon, or stars. The reveal date is the 15th on YouTube and/or in the Pirate Pretties Facebook group.
Another jewelry challenge is the Honey Do List from Srajo and Eric of SJ Designs Jewelry. Eric shares a photo he's taken to inspire Sarajo, and she shares it with us. The November inspiration is moody and mysterious. I love it! She's set the reveal date as Nov. 21st. However, the link tool is usually open for several weeks after that, if you're running behind.
I love the #4Core challenge from Ina Solsbery. She offers up the challenge of using four core ingredients in a mixed media piece. This month, those are 1-remake, redo, reinvent something (she explains this in depth in her video), 2- add something that flies or represents flight, 3- triangles, and 4- submit before & after photos to her email (in the video description).
There's also Mixed Media Menagerie from Laura, Nicole, and Erin. This is an art journal challenge in which you incorporate their three prompts into your work. This month, the prompts are earth tones, gouache, and toothbrush. You can share your results using the hashtag #MMMNov22 on social media.
I know there are a few other challenges I'm leaving out - Halcraft's pretty palettes and a few others, I'm sure. But the ones above are the ones I'm most likely to participate in. What about you? Is there anything that will spark your creativity, in particular, this month?
It's the Season of SPLENDOR & SHARING & we invite you to join us in a handmade gift workshop that'll knock your elf socks off. It starts as a 4-hour live workshop & spills over into a bunch of pre-recorded lessons. The first 4 hours are with TUAC founders, Tiffany, Kristin, & DeeDee. The pre-recorded sessions will include the live session, but also extra content from some previous Guest Artists of TUAC!
-Hope Smitherman (ME!!)
-& Jennifer Stone
It's all about handmade gifts & gift-giving & we couldn't be more excited to share with you! It's $24 to purchase the course ahead of time, & will be $34 after the live session has ended. Even if you can't make the live portion, it's a $10 savings to purchase beforehand, & you'll still GET the live session, just as a replay.
Doesn't that sound like fun!? The live play date will be December 4th. So, you have just over a month to get the discounted deal. I'm so looking forward to it and hop you'll join us. Make sure to click here to join in.
If you're interested in my Mixed Media and Art Journaling endeavors, I like to do a monthly roundup of what you may have missed over on the YouTube Channel. For the next year or so, it looks like these roundups will consist mostly of my new #CraftyHopePrompts series, which has me working on building and using a prompt deck for the 52 weeks in a year.
Let's begin with that, then get to what else I created in October.
I've already revealed the week 5 card/prompts but will save that for next month's roundup. I have created a page here with the weekly prompts and links to the videos if you'd rather keep up that way. I'll try to keep it updated.
The only other art journaling video that I shared on YouTube was my contribution to Mixed Media Menagerie.
That was it for October for the most part. Make sure you're subscribed to the CraftyHope YouTube channel and hit the bell icon so you get notifications when I post new videos. You don't want to miss anything, do you? 😜