Reveal for the Honey Do List - February 2023

Each month at SJ Designs Jewelry, Sarajo shares a photo that her husband, Eric, has given her as inspiration for jewelry designs. They call it the Honey Do List, and it's a lot of fun to play along. This month, the photo is a trio of textural images. 

While all three call out to me, and I have another idea for the one on the top right; it's the large one on the left that really got my juices flowing. You see, I have a thing for crackle. 

So, I painted a piece of paper with a couple shades of green paint before pushing the color back a little with some walnut ink. Then, I spread a crackle paste over the green and gave it time to work its magic. I accented the cracks with a little more ink before cutting a circle out that would fit in a bezel.

A thin layer of UV resin was added to the top of the crackled paper and cured. Then, I sealed a rusty washer in the bezel with another layer of resin. Yes, I know this isn't a completed piece, but I can't wait to add it to a chain to this beauty of a pendant.

And, while I worked on the pendant, I remembered a couple pairs I had altered with crackle pastes a few weeks ago. They were quickly turned into earrings. 

Clear crackle was used over copies of old photos for this pair. I think the bead selection also echoes the aged feel of the charms.

More white crackle was used in these connectors. A bit of rust dust was sprinkled on top and sealed with resin. I had a hard time deciding what kind of beads would accent these best, but when the idea of crackled beads hit, I had to search my stash to find these because I knew they'd be perfect. 

I want to thank Sarajo and Eric for another fun challenge. And, I encourage you to join the Honey Do List and create something beautiful. Sarajo will have the linky tool on her blog open for several weeks so you can add your contribution(s) to the challenge for a while yet. Don't forget to check out the other artists who participate too. 

Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge - Feb 2023

 The Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge this year is a monthly "double-color" collaborative challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. Each month, Angela assigns two colors for you to use to make a jewelry piece with a reveal date of the 15th. In addition, there is a choice of two metal types, a project type, and optional fun elements each month. This month, Angela asked us to use Kelly/true green AND Clear/white to make a pair of earrings using either silver or gold. We could also include clovers or another lucky charm. Here's what I created.

I actually wouldn't usually have clover charms in my stash but had recently taken apart an old bracelet that was in a bag of other old jewelry that someone gave me. I had even put the charms in with my assemblage elements rather than jewelry ones and had to go fish them out for this project. Ha! But, they worked out beautifully in these earrings. 

These are so simple but were a tad fiddly to put together the way I wanted. You see, I wanted to make sure they would hang nicely and not slide all over the place. I chose to go with the silver since it matched the charms. For the green, I found some pretty seed beads. And, I just used clear crystal rondelles on an eye pin to attach the hoops to the ear wires. 

If you're interested in watching how these came together, I do have a video.

And, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about this challenge or the earrings I made. Ask away!

The 100 Day Project 2023

This year marks 10 years since the inception of The 100-Day Project

And, it will be my Seventh year participating. 

The 2023 project begins in just over a week - on February 22nd. Now seems like the right time to reveal what I'll be doing for the project this year, reasons for participating, and tips for picking a project. 

Let's start with reasons I'm participating and why you might consider it too.

-Doing something repetitively, day after day will help you learn more about it and search for other ways to expand and grow with it. A hundred days lets you explore all the intricacies of a medium or practice. This is my MAIN reason for participating. It's what drives me to do the project each year - to get better at what I'm doing. 

-Building community - you can find others online who are also participating in the project and/or doing similar challenges as you.

-After 100 days you learn if you really enjoy doing something and if you want to pursue it.

-It really does increase your creativity.

-Gives you daily content for your social channels (great for those days when you're grasping at straws)

And, there are so many more reasons, these are just my main ones. 

Now, what about picking a project? Here are some things to consider. 

First, I encourage you to read over this post from @DoThe100DayProject on Instagram. She makes some really great points on ways to narrow down the focus of your project. 

I also want you to remember that

-Your project doesn’t have to be something huge that has to be finished every day. You only need to do one little thing to work toward your goal each day. 

-It doesn’t have to be physical art - maybe work on your yoga poses or clear out some of the physical clutter in your creative space or meditate each day.

-Think of something you know will be easy to fit into your days or will make your days easier. You can always make it last longer on the days you have more time.

-Don’t choose something that will add stress to your life. Will 100 completed pieces of art piled up in your space inspire you or weigh you down?

Here are the projects I've done for each of the last six years.

2017 - #Make100Earrings on Instagram and Make100Earrings here on the blog

2018 - #Altering100 on Instagram in which I altered a variety of materials for use in either jewelry or mixed media

2019 - #SilverloxFinds on Instagram. This is a tag I use to this day to reveal the wild and wonderful things I find here on our property. 

2020 - #MakeArtDontFakeArt on Instagram. This was a project in which I worked on using many of my supplies. It's actually something similar to my #CraftyHopePrompts.

2021 - #100DaysOfMakingJewelry on Instagram.

2022 - #Assemblage100 on Instagram.

And for year seven....I'm going to attempt TWO PROJECTS!!

(Yes, I might be a little crazy.)

First, #Making100Faces

I decided on this project over a month ago when the subject of the 100-day project came up. It was my first idea and one I can’t shake. Drawing faces as a project has been done by MANY people, MANY times. But, I know it’s something I enjoy, want to work on, can do with limited materials, and can pick  up and do quickly just about anywhere or take my time with it. However, this isn’t something I expect to see showing up in my art or becoming something more than a way to keep my hands busy. 

Second, #MiniAssemblage100

Reading that post from @DoThe100DayProject and seeing a few other people reveal their projects made me realize that while face drawing would be kinda fun and so very, very  easy, it doesn’t really help me grow much toward my vision as an artist. It doesn't make my heart beat a little faster (the way the assemblage project did last year.) What does make me excited (right now) is the idea of building small assemblages for both framing and for jewelry. But, I want to keep it small. So, by mini, I mean assemblages or collages that are smaller than a dollar bill (this size idea comes from @Ricki_Ticki_Tavy as she sorts her scraps in a similar fashion) I hope that by keeping these small, it can also make them quick and easy. But, we’ll see. 

So, are you in?

What are you going to do for 100 days?

February Challenges and Inspirations

I hope your January was as productive as mine was. February is shaping up to be a good one too. I pushed myself to put in a request for space in a local cooperative gallery when I saw that they were looking for new artists there. I almost didn't. But, a reminder about working on my Word of the Year came into my feed at the same time. My word is BRAVE. As I was considering approaching this gallery later in the year, I decided to step up to the plate and go for it. I've met with the owner, and she is interested in my jewelry and art. So, it sounds like my bravery is paying off already. While I wait to finalize all of that, I'm keeping busy with creating. 

One of the greatest motivators and inspirations for me is participating in a variety of challenges. Each month, I like to share a list of the ones I'm planning on working on as well as any others I've found. This is that list!

  • First, I have to mention my own #CraftyHopePrompts mixed media prompt challenge. This is something I created for myself to build up a prompt deck. Each Monday, I pull three prompts and alter a playing card with those prompts, adding them to the card to be used later. On Saturday, I create another project that uses those same prompts. If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to watch any of my CraftyHopePrompts videos. Or, just pick up with the most recent (Week 19) Mixed Media Prompt.
  • Another prompted mixed media challenge is Seek Gather Create. The hostesses call it a Mixed Media Scavenger Hunt Challenge because you need to seek out the materials to use. This challenge is also weekly, but only for a month. The list of four prompts will be released each Sunday. The first ones were just announced this past Sunday and they are Tissue Paper, Denim, Something folded, and Something rusty or rust-colored. I've already got a video of what I created with these prompts. I encourage you to follow the four hostesses on Instagram where they will be announcing the prompts each week. They are Lisa Goddard, Tina Hois, Laura Denison, and Melanie Theriault
  • If you're more interested in Jewelry challenges, there's the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. This is a monthly challenge with some different parameters each month. First, know that each month, there are two colors for you to combine into your piece(s). This month, the colors are Kelly/True Green and White/Clear. In addition, you are to use silver or gold to create earrings and optionally include clovers or some other good luck charm. You can find more about this challenge in Angela's video. The reveal is set for the 15th and you can either share your creation(s) in a YouTube video using the hashtag #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge and/or a picture in the Pirate Pretties Facebook group
  • Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry has shared the February inspiration photo for her Honey Do List Challenge. This month, it's actually two textural photos from her husband, Eric. Sarajo will have a linky tool up on the 27th for you to share your creation. She leaves this open for several weeks in case you're running a bit behind (like I usually am!)
  • The 100-Day Project will begin on February 22nd. I've participated in this project for the last several years and really love how versatile, easy, and inspiring it can be. Really, just pick something creative you want to do for 100 days. You don't have to share it or end up with a completed project or anything like that. You can work on one thing for one minute or really however you want to roll with it. The point is really just to be creative for 100 days. I'm pretty sure I've got my project picked for this year, but need to settle on a hashtag. Also, since I've done it several times before, I thought I might even do a whole other post next week on benefits and ideas and other information about it. For now, please go check out the site and consider joining in the creative fun!

And, that's the list of what I plan to work on this month. Do you have any challenges or inspirations that are keeping you creative and moving forward right now? 

Thrifty Thursday Haul

 There's a new Thrifty Thursday haul video up on the YouTube now (I'll share it below.) Here are a few peeks at what I've hauled home over the last several weeks. 

First, Pat and I had a bit of a staycation day one Saturday and went down to the beach for lunch before driving over to Pensacola to do some thrifting and antiquing before enjoying another nice meal. I didn't find much, but there were a few scores.

I spent a total of $2.50. And, the tins are pretty and the hammerhead will probably end up in an assemblage. 

I'm always running into Dollar Tree for one thing or another. And, I can't help but poke around to see if there's anything new and interesting. On my latest trip, I came home with this little stash.

The fabric was in the Plus section for $5, but, y'all! These prints were just too cute to pass up.

Then, it was time for a local monthly estate sale. And, I was pretty happy with my treasures from there too. 

I found so many unusual and fun bits. You probably just need to watch the video to see it all!

So, have you found any thrifty treasures lately? I'd love to hear all about it. 

Tin and Bead Bracelet DIY

As I flipped through some old jewelry magazines to decide if they needed to be kept or donated, I found so much inspiration in many of them still. The design idea for this bracelet arose from some of that flipping. And, I couldn't wait to try it out. As it is Mardi Gras Season in my area, it seemed the perfect color inspiration for the bracelet too. So, I ran with it. 

The actual design of the bracelet is easy enough: rectangles of tin are connected to one another by beads on eye pins. What takes the most time is the prepping of the tin. Each tin piece has to be cut, sanded, distressed, punched, flattened, and sealed before it can be joined with the beads to complete the bracelet. 

Of course, I recorded this whole process so you can watch it on YouTube.

And, if you have any questions at all, I'd be happy to answer them.  For now, here's a few more peeks at the finished bracelet. 

Though I went with a Mardi Gras design for this, I believe it can be worn inside out (reversible) for a completely different look.

And, I hope to make quite a few more of these. By using different tin, cutting alternative shapes, and incorporating other beads; I can create a variety of different bracelets with this one design idea. I hope it  inspires you too!

Mixed Media Art Videos from January

 It's time for my monthly round-up of mixed media and art journaling videos that you may have missed. 

The bulk of these are my #CraftyHopePrompts contributions. So, let's get to those first. 

Card 14: Circles, Doily, Texture

Project 14: Wall Hanging

Card 15: Red, Handwritten letter, Cheesecloth

Project 15: Junk Journal Spread

Card 16: Photo, Art crayon, Drywall tape

Project 16: Printed Drywall Tape and Art Tag

Card 17: Metallic paint, Border stamp, Botanical

Project 17: Art Journal Page

In addition to the above videos, there were two others. One was a flip-though of my Mixed Media Menagerie Journal for last year. There's no picture of it, so you'll just have to go to the link if you're interested in seeing this 11-spread journal. And, here's the last of the videos for January.

Junk Journal Page for #CleanSlateJournal January 2023

I'm kinda glad that I'm doing this roundup as I had forgotten about the Clean Slate Journal and need to remember to do another page or a spread for this month as well. That should be exciting. Also, Seek Gather Create will be starting on Sunday, and that should have me making something else every week also. Looks like February is bound to be busy!

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...