Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tiny Tin Challenge and Blog Hop

When Michelle Mach of Beads and Books announced her newest challenge and blog hop, I knew that I wanted in on the fun.  She sent two small metal tins to each participant in the hop.  Here's what they looked like  - minus the writing on the larger one.

So what to do with two of the cutest tins ever?! Well, my youngest son saw them and was so excited to play with one that I just couldn't say no - I mean you should have seen the look on his face.  So I handed over the larger of the two tins to him.  Here is what he made with it:

This is the top of the tin.  He painted with 3 different shades of acrylic craft paint in blue.  He added some white over the top of that.  He did this painting with a makeup sponge.

On the side, he wanted it to look like hay.  I know that may sound odd to some, but just go with it for now.
He did this with some yellow, vanilla, and brown acrylic craft paint.  He painted the whole side first with all three mixed together, but decided that it didn't look enough like hay, so he added some up and down marks with a skinny paint brush

Then he said that it still wasn't done, but he wanted his daddy to help him with the rest.  So, based on what the hubby told me, some brown paper bag was torn up and wrinkled to be placed inside the bottom.  Then my son had some little tiny fuzzy chicks leftover from Easter that he had been saving.  He carefully glued 5 of them inside the tin to the brown paper.  "One for me and one for all my brothers" is what he said.

And that is what he gave me for Mother's Day.  It was hard to save this for the reveal today cause I wanted to just tell the world!   Isn't it just the cutest thing ever?!

So now on to the teeny tiny small tin.  I new immediately what I wanted to do with it.  It is the perfect size for lip balm!  So I only did some minor decorations to the outside.  I used Mod Podge and some tissue paper to cover the lid.  I applied this in layers in order to have some texture to the outside.  Then I placed a brass flower from B'Sue Boutiques to give it a feminine feel.

The recipe that I used for the lip balm is from Yours Truly, G.   Pop on over to her blog to read her full recipe and how to make this for yourself.

I really did have fun with this challenge and so did my son!   Hop on over to the other participants to see what they came up with for this challenge.  I know that I can't wait to see what they do.

  1. Michelle - Beads & Books - Hostess
  2. Amy - Amybeads
  3. Brenda - B'Sue Boutiques
  4. Dawn - Morning Glory Beading
  5. Debbie
  6. Jeannie - Jeannie's Blog
  7. Kay - Palm Coast Art
  8. Kim - CianciBlue
  9. Mary - MLH Jewelry Designs
  10. Mary Shannon - Falling into the Sky
  11. Michelle - Firefly Visions - you are here
  12. Molly - Beautifully Broken Me
  13. Pamela - The Crazy Creative Corner
  14. Patricia G. - My Life Under the Bus
  15. Patricia L.
  16. Robyn - A Ponderance of Things
  17. Shelley - Fabric of My Life
  18. Terry - Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
  19. Therese - Domestic Goddess Enterprises
  20. Therese - Therese's Treasures
Much love.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cocktail Hour Blog Hop

Welcome to the Cocktail Hour Blog Hop hosted by Amy Freeland of Copper Diem.  Amy gave each of the participants a cocktail to use for inspiration.  The inspiration could come from the drink itself, the color, occasion, location or whatever other image the drink conjured in their mind.

My drink was Rum Punch.

My favorite recipe for rum punch :

2 oz orange juice
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz Bicardi White rum
1 oz Malibu Coconut rum
1/2 oz Myers rum (on top)
Garnish with orange slice

I love the colors in this drink.  The name and the taste bring images of the beach, sunsets, friends, and fun.  I struggled with my piece, wanting to mimic the colors of the drink itself to no avail.  My piece is sitting here, staring at me waiting to be completed.  The ideas are in there, but the finished piece is not being translated - don't you hate when that happens?  So alas, I have nothing to show you right now.

I hope that you will check back tomorrow to see my finished creation... it may not even be jewelry - gasp, shock and surprise..  For now, keep hopping along to see what drinks and creations the other participants were able to come up with.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Experiments in Creativity

I felt that I was losing my mojo with my jewelry, so I decided to branch out and expand my creative horizons.  I have tried sewing - which I have really been enjoying.  Right now, what I would like to share are some of my experiments in art journaling. 

I thought that I should make bright and pretty pages, you know - like the ones that I see on the YouTube videos and other websites.  At that time, I struggled with finishing a background so a finished page was just out of the question.  I realized that I was just not in a bright, pretty color frame of mind.  So my first pages were really dark.  Pulling out a lot of emotions from the past.  

Since then, I have been able to create some base backgrounds that are brighter and have more texture than before.  I realize that I needed to get out some of those past feelings in order to move forward.  In time, I am sure that I will feel more open to revealing those first pages that were so dark and depressing.  For now, though I would like to show some of my more recent background pages.  These pages are just a background - color and texture on paper so that when I do get ready to journal on them, I have pages ready to go. 

This first one is an experiment with acrylic paints.  I was feeling alive when I created this background.  I was trying to express images of fire and light.  This was done in a generic composition book.  I glued two pages together and used gesso to prepare the page to accept the paint.  I used an old gift card to create some of the texture and a clay sculpting tool for the rest.

This one brings connotations of potted flowers, which I didn't realize until after I was finished.  The potted flowers area of the page, was created on a dried out wet wipe that I adhered to the page with Modge Podge.  The colors were created with water color crayons by Reeves

For the next two I was in a circlely mood.  The blue and green one was done with all water colors. The page was created with a base of gesso, some leftover papers from an old book, and some tissue paper.  The pink/purple page includes an old envelope, tissue paper, gesso, and part of a paper towel.  I also used water colors on this page, but added some oil pastels as well. 

The next one was one of my favorites.  I love the textures and colors on this page.  The texture was created with bubble wrap that was placed on top of a layer of gesso, which was over old book pages, tissue paper, and pan water colors. 

The last two were created in my composition book.  I used masking tape to stabilize the center of the two pages. The pink page is water color crayons, part of an old book, and some journaling.  The multi-color page is made using craft acrylics and a page from an old book on art. 

Overall, I like the colors and effects that I can get while using water colors.  I have used pencils, crayons, and pan water colors in my attempts.  I am really enjoying playing and experimenting.  I have created some zentangles as well - just trying to improve my doodling (lol)  I am working on learning to draw faces as that is something that I would like to incorporate into my pages as I write about my emotions and feelings. 

What have you been doing lately? 

Much Love, 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bead Swap Reveal

Looking for my Button Swap Blog Hop Reveal ---- Click here 

Blogger and I have had our differences lately.  I think that we may have finally come to an understanding so finally here is my reveal of what I was sent by my 2 bead swap partners in the swap organized by Lori Anderson through her Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe.  

My first partner is Kathy Nomura.  She is an amazingly talented artist in Canada.  But you don't have to simply take my word on that .. check out her Etsy shop Jewels by Kat to see some of her lovely designs.  

Here are the goodies that she sent me.  She included ceramic, clay, metal, pearl, glass, and crystal in my package. I am in love with every single thing that she sent and can't wait to sit down and play with them.  

My next partner is Elizabeth Woodford of Expressions of Elizabeth and her blog is Elizabeth Creates.  She creates some amazing cuffs out of some unusual components.  Her designs are one of a kind and I am itching to take a class with her in Virginia.  Hop over to Expressions of Elizabeth to check out when and where her classes are held. 

And here is what Elizabeth sent me. Her package included beads from Indonesia, Tanzania, and Afganistan.  I was in awe of some of the beads that she sent and pleasantly surprised.  

I was ecstatic with the beads that I received from both of my partners.  I can't wait to sit and play with the pieces that they sent to me.  Stay tuned for posts showing some of the creations that I will be making with these.

Until then - Much love 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Button Swap Blog Hop Reveal

Today is the reveal of the Button Swap Blog Hop hosted by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio. I have been excited about this swap and hop since it was announced.  Of course, time flies when you are having fun.

I was partnered up with the wonderful Peggy Johnson of The Charm Barn and Willow Bridge Bend Bead Shop and Boutique.  Peggy sent me some wonderful traditional style shank buttons in white.  Each of the four has a different design, which lends a different feel to the buttons.

Let me apologize in advance for the picture quality, as I don't feel the pictures give the buttons the credit they deserve.  My camera died on me (guess it's time to replace) and the camera on my phone isn't the best.

This first picture is of 3 of the 4 buttons.  I cannot show the finished design with these - yet - as it will be a gift to my mother for Mother's Day (and I know she reads my blog).  The picture just doesn't do justice to the beauty of these beads.  The large square one has a very interesting texture that the camera just couldn't capture.

This picture is of the finished bracelet that I created with the fourth button.  This button reminded me of a sand dollar so I knew that I wanted to use it in a beach inspired piece.  I decided to keep the bracelet simple with some simple stringing techniques and a handmade clasp by Melinda Orr.   I am super happy with how this piece turned out.  It allows the button to be the star accented by the gemstone chips.

Grab a cup of coffee and some quiet time and visit all of the other participants in the hop. And a very Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there reading this :)

Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.
* Pam Ferarri and Stefanie Teufel (will share their reveal on a later date)
* Stefanie Teufel and Pam Ferarri (will share their reveal on a later date)

Much Love ~

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What have I been up to lately?

So what have I been up to lately?  Let's see

First there is a little of this... My youngest is having the best time playing ball this year.  His natural love of the game is encouraging him to practice, practice, practice. As the season progresses we can all see his hard work paying off.

Aidan Baseball
And some of this.. Today is the 13th Birthday of my son Xander. He specifically asked me to create him a chocolate and peanut butter cake for his family party.  Below is the final result and oh boy did it taste yummy!!

Chocolate Cake with homemade Peanut Butter Frosting

And a little bit of fun along with the cake.  Time spent with brothers, uncles, grandparents and a couple of friends.  The boys had fun throwing the football around the front yard.. And turning a couple of cartwheels.  The adults sat around on the porch watching the fun and having some great conversation.

Xander Family Party

Cartwheels during Football

Xander and Nick

Aidan wanted to play with the big boys

This weekend he gets to choose a friend and I will take them to dinner and a movie to celebrate his birthday.       Once my boys turn 10 they get their last 'friend' party.  With all these kids up to age 10 was about all that I could handle.  Every year, for each boy no matter how young or old, I take them out to dinner and a movie so that they can spend some one on one time with me .. and if they choose they can bring a friend.  It is a memorable time for me .. and I like to think for them as well.

So what else ... tomorrow I will share a post on the wonderful beads that I received from my bead swap partners that Lori Anderson hosted.  I can't want to share the wonderful goodies that I received from them.

So what have you been doing that makes you smile lately?

Much Love