Honey Do List Reveal April 2023

Every month for the past several years, Sarajo (from SJ Designs Jewelry) shares a photo from her husband as inspiration for jewelry-making. This month, the photo is this bright beauty.

But, I've let the month slip away, and the official reveal was yesterday. I have no need to fret, though, because Sarajo leaves the linky tool open for almost a month for anyone who needs a little extra time (THANK YOU!)

The bright colors are what stand out the most to me in this photo, so that's what I ran with to make this super fun pair of earrings. 

I thought I was making these in the same pattern as the umbrellas in the photo, but I see now that I have mine running in the wrong direction (the red should be at the top and the orange at the bottom 🤦‍♀️😳). In any case, that was the thought as I hunted through my seed beads for similar shades. 

I shaped 16 gauge wire around a large glue stick (use what you have!) to make the frames. Then, I hammered, darkened, and sealed the wire before stringing the beads within the frame on 24 gauge antiqued copper wire. 

I think these are pretty perfect for the warmer months ahead. 

As always, thank you to Sarajo and Eric for the inspiration. I encourage you to play along and/or head over to Sarajo's reveal to see what she and any other artists have made from the inspiration photo. 

Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge April 2023

 For about the past year, I've been sharing the monthly information on the #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties on Facebook in my roundup of challenges and inspirations. This month, I was boggled for a bit by the double colors of Grey and Black, though they sound so simple. The other elements of the challenge were to use either silver or gunmetal to make a necklace and to (optionally) include chain as a fun element. It was kinda ironic that figuring out a way to use chain in a unique way was what really hung me up. But, inspiration prevailed. 

The design is not one I've ever tried before, and I headed into it with my fingers crossed that it would work out as I hoped. And, it did! I'm not sure that I could explain the process to you here. But, no worries, I have a whole video that shows my process.

Of course, I would be happy to also answer any questions you may have.

It was easier than it looks, I promise!

Currently I'm...

 Here's just a little update on what I've been up to lately. 

Currently I'm...

Cooking - Tonight’s menu plan is to make a vegetarian meal of this Linguini in Lemon Cream Sauce with a side of simple roasted broccoli. 

Creating ALL THE THINGS. I have two 100-Day projects: #Making100Faces and #MiniAssemblage100 which I’m doing each and every day right now. AND, the #TUAC5MinChallenge from @TheUglyArtClub starts on the 20th. So, that will be another daily challenge but only for two weeks. And, currently, my desk looks like this (below) as I’m trying to get some new jewelry made. 

Feeling the change of seasons deep in my sinuses. Oh, the headache I have right now!

Hoping I can get some things made and tasks done. There’s just so much on my list. But, I do like to stay busy. 

Knowing I won’t get everything done. 😂😂

Listing - Lately, everything going into the Etsy shop has been relists - hence the reason I’m trying to get some jewelry made. But, here’s the latest listing. 

Cool Junk Earrings

Making lots of earrings as that seems to be what’s been selling the best lately.

Marveling over how low the temperatures continue to be here in the middle of April. Y’all, I’m in South Alabama. We’re usually floating in the pool by this time of the year! But, I'm not complaining. It will be plenty warm soon enough. 

Needing to get some flowers planted before it does get TOO hot. 

Sewing - I just stitched this sweet little thing while watching one of my husband’s bands play in a local park the other night. It was the perfect way to keep my hands busy while enjoying some great music. 

Thinking that I should wrap this up!

Wishing that there was more time in the day to get everything done that I want to do. 

Wondering what you’ve been up to.

Bead Box 17 - Stocked

I love having a box full of beads ready to be made into jewelry. Quite a few years ago, I stocked up the first version of this box. It's just a plastic organizer with seventeen compartments. Into each compartment, I place the elements for one design. And, when I travel or lack inspiration, I can turn to this bead box to keep my hands busy. It's been a few months since I shared the pieces made from the last box, and the box has been sitting empty and forlorn ever since. I remedied that recently, and now it's time to share what I've packed into this seventeenth version. 

Before I begin, I have to go ahead and tell you that in boxes past, I've sometimes forgotten what the original design was supposed to be. I lost my vision for the elements partly because I waited too long to work on the pieces and partly because I didn't document my ideas. I made sure that this wouldn't be the case (not entirely anyway) with this box. As I designed each piece, I sketched it out with plenty of notes. Hopefully, this will keep me on track. I guess we'll see!! Okay, let's get to it.

When I created that soldered bubble, I had no idea what I would do with a pendant of two old-timey soldiers. But, when I pulled out some of the bullet casings I picked up not long ago, I realized that they would pair perfectly with this pendant. Some brown-toned beads will fill out some of this necklace. And, I will add additional chain later to finish it. 

After that first design was packed into the box, I wasn't sure what else to use to fill it up. I ended up turning to my selection of artist-made elements. It was a lot of fun to be reminded of the beautiful things I've gathered over the years and pick out some to work with. I will try to link the makers for these items if I remember where I got them. (And, if I don't mention where they came from and you do recognize the maker, please let me know so I can try to link them.)

I bought these earring charms from Petra of Scorched Earth on Etsy many moons ago and have hoarded them since. I plan to just add a fringe of bead dangles from the bottom wires, and I selected small, complementary beads that will allow the charms to really be the star of the earrings I plan to make. 

This pendant came from Gaea. (I've linked to her Etsy shop, but she sells in several other places too.)  This is going to be a simple chain on cold wire with alternating blue and white pearls. That pendant is such a stunner, it doesn't need anything too fussy. 

That copper and enamel piece is also from Gaea and the heart is from Petra. I'm going to combine them with the Czech glass heart in a pendant. The chain of it will be made up of that mix of beads and buttons with some copper wire. It should super cute.

That's a Golem Studio pendant that I received in a bead swap ages and ages ago. It was actually used in a design that never really worked. So, that was taken apart, and I'll try again with the salvaged glass pearls, red beads, and tiny black beads.

Oh, y'all...There are several different designers in this mix. The enameled beads came from Cheryl Foiles as part of one of the Bead Soup Blog Parties. The green stoneware connector is from Karen of Starry Road Studio and the copper loop is from Miss Fickle Media. These treasures will be combined into a pendant. The chain will be made from the coppery wood beads on the waxed cord. I'm excited to work on this one. It's a little different for me. 

Here are a couple of other components that were previously worked into one design that ultimately wasn't quite right. The patinaed copper charms are from Melinda Orr of Orrtec on Etsy. I'll include those tiny freshwater pearls on the chain to hang in front of the copper pieces. I actually remembered to pull out the small gauge headpins for the pearls. Yay!

Oh goodness...I've had that lampwork bead in my stash for a long time. I can't remember where it came from - maybe a giveaway, maybe I bought it. But, it needs to linger no longer. I will accent it with a simple tassel made from recycled sari silk. The frosted and crystal-clear beads will make up the chain.

Here's another Gaea pendant (I do love her stuff!). Wood, bone, and Amazonite beads will be combined with antiqued brass wire to make a simple necklace.

For the life of me, I cannot remember where this beautiful pendant came from. I've searched blog posts and Etsy purchases to no avail. I believe it might have been part of some kind of challenge as I know I made a necklace with it and garnets, but that was disassembled some time ago. This time around, I'll make a chain of those sparkly glass beads and dangle the little faux opal headpins. I learned to make those in the Grungy Resin Opals tutorial from Marina of Fanciful Devices. 

I believe I won this lampwork bead (and a few others) in a giveaway. It was made by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads. I'm going to use it as a focal for a double-strand bracelet. One will be a rosary chain and the other will use the leather cord and some of the beads. My sketch has a couple of suggestions on how to finish it depending on how it looks. I guess we'll see it in my reveal!

We're switching to more of some of the items I've made, like this resin pendant. I'll use it in a necklace with a basic chain of alternating beads. Easy peasy.

Michelle Mach of Beads and Books gifted me several of the laser-cut wood squares. I added some resin and typed words in this one. I have plans to wrap some wire and seed bead loops through the holes around the outside frame. The chain for this necklace will be really simple.

I got these beauties and many others as part of a swap from Juli Cannon of JulsBeads (alas she's no longer making beads). I'm going to make them the star of a pair of earrings with just some wire. I think they're perfectly juicy and bright for summer.

This soldered bubble is another of my creations. I thought it was perfect for a bracelet focal. I'll use the polymer clay beads (from a destash from Shipwreck Dandy), an enamel bead, and a few others I tossed in on some beading wire. We'll see how that works out.

Here's another solder pendant I made. This was some kind of bottle stopper, I think. I picked out a mix of other clear beads to make a long chain for a necklace.

I'll use these little tin domes that I cut out along with the beads and chain to make a pair of earrings. They're not the most spectacular way to finish out this box, but I was tired by this point!

Which of the stocked designs are you excited to see made?

April Art Challenges and Inspirations

 I'm posting this in hopes of spurring both you AND me to get inspired. Last month, this list fell by the wayside entirely as did most of the challenges on it. I hope to remedy that this month. The 100-Day Project (and my decision to take on TWO projects for it) has been kicking my butt. Yet, I'd like to get something else made too. So, here's what else I might use to encourage some creativity.

  • Sarajo's Honey Do List challenge from her husband, Eric, is bright and full of color. This is a jewelry-making challenge you can learn more about on her SJ Designs Jewelry blog. The reveal date is set for April 24th, but that's just the beginning of when you can share your creation(s) and when Sarajo will share hers.
  • The Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge is also a jewelry one from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry. The reveal date is the 15th. This year, the theme of the challenge is "Double Color." You can learn more about the challenge in Angela's video, but I will let you know that the two colors this month are black and grey, the metal choices are silver or gunmetal, the project type is a necklace, and the optional fun element is chain. Your reveal can be either a YouTube video with the #PiratePrettiesJewelryChallenge hashtag and/or a photo comment in the Pirate Pretties Facebook group
  • Of course, there's the #100DayProject that began at the end of February. We're about halfway through it now, but you can start your own at any time.
  • I have my own weekly 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 and play along!
  • Lastly, my friend, Nina Ficket, has a Clean Slate journal series in which you simply work in a junk journal sometime during the month and film it. With all the prompts and inspirations, this is a bit of a palette cleanser for me.

And, I think that's everything. Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments.

Thrifty Thursday Haul

 I did just a little shopping over the past couple of weeks and brought home a few thrifty finds. Keep in mind, that for me, thrifty isn't just what I find at thrift stores, estate sales, and yard sales. It's also any deal I find - sales, clearance, dollar stores, whatever! In any case, here's a peek at some of what I scored. 

Estate Sale 1

Estate Sale 2

Gifted items

And, there were a few more items too. You can see it all in the haul video. 

Have you found anything good lately?

Art Journal and Mixed Media Videos from March 2023

It's time for another quick roundup of the mixed media art videos you may have missed last month. Clicking on the photo or caption should take you to the video on YouTube. 

As with previous months, let's start with the #CraftyHopePrompts videos. This is a challenge I created for myself. Each Monday, I draw three prompts and alter a playing card using those prompts. Then, each Saturday, I do another project that also uses the same three prompts. You're welcome to play along. The details can be found in each of the videos. 

Card 22 - Work upside down, Embossing powder, Scrapbook Paper

Project 22 - Butterfly House Art

Project 23 - Twine, Gouache, Book Text

Project 23 - Junk Journal Spread

Card 24 - Rainbow, House, Dots

Project 24 - Dollar Tree Birdhouse to Fairy House

Week 25 - Recipe, Paint with Trash, Violet

Project 25 - Art Journal Page

In addition to my own challenge, there were a few other projects.

Junk Journal Spread - Mixed Media Play

Junk Journal Spread | #CleanSlateJournal

There are also a few more projects on my CraftyHope YouTube Channel if you're interested in seeing more! And, if you have any questions about any of these, ask away!!

My New Space at Hello Gallery in Downtown Fairhope

 I'm sure at some point I mentioned that my "word for the year" is Brave. When I initially decided on that word, I had only a few definite goals in mind for how I wanted to implement it. One of the main goals was to approach one of the artist galleries in my area to see about getting a space. And, I had one particular place in mind - Hello Gallery. Within weeks of setting that goal, I saw a post from the gallery that they were accepting new artists. So, I gathered all the bravery I could muster and sent in an application. Then, I met with the owner. She liked my stuff! So, I set to work getting things ready and moved into my space at the beginning of March, exactly a month ago!

I submitted both my jewelry and mixed media art pieces, and both were approved for the gallery. How awesome is that?

I spent several weeks creating shelves for my jewelry displays and shelf-sitting art, making new jewelry displays, and adding the finishing touches to some of the art pieces (hangers, frames, etc.) before moving into the space. 

I have to admit that my husband was a rockstar with all of this as he did the woodworking for me and cheered me on like I was a star quarterback. 

As well, having stock of art from last year's 100 Day Project (#Assemblage100) in addition to the mini assemblage pieces I'm creating this year (#MiniAssemblage100) has really helped fill the space.

I was also very fortunate to move in on the First Friday of the month, as Fairhope has a "First Friday Art Walk" each month that encourages local businesses to stay open a few extra hours for patrons to walk the streets, explore the shops, and support the art community. In addition, the yearly Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival took place downtown last month. It was nice to be in the space in time for both of these big events.

Since I've been in the space for a month now, the owner has moved almost all of my jewelry to a table at the front with some of the other jewelry artists. And, my space now mostly consists of my art pieces. Here's what it currently looks like.

I'm super excited about this opportunity and pretty proud of myself for sticking to my guns and being brave enough to take this plunge. If you happen to be in the Fairhope area (South Alabama), I encourage you to check out Hello Gallery at 18 South Section Street. In addition to my space, there are dozens of other talented local artists. AND, this Friday is Art Walk night!!

So, that's the majority of what's kept me busy the last few months. Now that I'm all set up in the Gallery, things may even out for me. But, that's just wishful thinking. There's always more to do! 

Now I want to know - what have you been busy with lately?

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...