Friday, August 30, 2013

I Am Grateful...

...for finished projects...

With all this talk of sewing, I wanted to share a photo
of a skirt that I just made. Woo-hoo!

...for fun new jewelry designs...

Because hand-painted Peruvian beads make me smile.

...for strawberry lemonade...

Especially when it accompanies a meal shared with
my awesome mother-in-law.

...for geeky jewelry...

This is a Dr. Who reference:
the Tardis painted in the style of Vincent van Gogh.

...for home-grown tomatoes...

These are not from my garden--
they were gifts from a writer friend.

...for projects to come...

This is going to be a dress!
...If I can figure out how to get the bodice right.
I suppose that's what I get for making my own pattern.

...and for the promise of fall.

Oh, I am sooooo looking forward to apple cider season!

Another busy week has come and gone, but I am thankful to say that it was much, much happier than last week. Granted, there are still on-going issues (my computer is still being wierd, and I am struggling with a whole slew of small things that add up to general annoyance)... 

But! There are also presents from my sister. And custom orders to work on. And lovely music to listen to.

Life is happy.

I am grateful.

...I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bead Ruckus - Reveal!


It's time for the Bead Ruckus Reveal

To jog your memory, here's the kit that we used:

Bead Ruckus, Kit No. 5

And, before I show you what I made, I have a confession that I need to make.

Apparently, I am hopeless.

You see, I set out to make a necklace. Just a necklace. After all, the rules only require that you make one piece--one piece with all of the components--and I had a vision for a necklace as soon as the components were announced.

But, apparently, I am either an over-achiever or just easily excitable. Or both. In short, I didn't stop at the necklace. Once again, I made an entire set--necklace, earrings, and a pair of matching hairsticks.



But I had so much fun! Especially since the teal seaglass beads were so much bigger than all of the other components, and I had never worked with cup-chain, and these were things I wouldn't have usually put together. It was a challenge, and it was awesome. And, did I mention fun?


Now, with that off my chest, here's what I made!

The Necklace

Made using all of the components, plus:
gunmetal findings and coordinating seed beads

The Earrings

Made using all of the components, plus:
findings and silver seed beads, and that's pretty much it.
Even the small sea-glass rounds were spacers for the larger fishbone beads.

...And the Hairsticks!

Made using all of the components, plus:
findings, seed beads, and hairstick blanks
...Because it's rather difficult to have hairsticks without hairstick blanks.

And, just for fun, here are the earrings and necklace together... 

These look absolutely fantastic when worn!
I am so, so excited that I can now wear them when I go out and about--
I've been waiting until after the reveal, and it's been hard.

As I said, I had a lot of fun--a lot of fun--working on this.

Be sure to go to the Bead Ruckus blog to see what everyone else has made! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Coming Tomorrow!

Do you know what tomorrow is?

...Er, besides Sunday.

Well, in addition to being Sunday, tomorrow is also the official reveal for Bead Ruckus

In case you don't remember, Bead Ruckus is where five different designers take jewelry components chosen at random, and make something beautiful out of it! (I explain it here, if you're interested.) 

Here is the kit for this particular Ruckus:

Kit No. 5

Come back tomorrow to see what I made with it!

...And be sure to check out the Bead Ruckus blog, found here, to see what the other designers made! 

I'm so excited! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

...Please Pass the Coffee

This week has been... well, it's been a week. 

Lots of happy things... A spontaneous trip to the mall and a book store! Geeky jewelry! Giant coffee mugs! Chipotle burritos! Finished sewing projects! Skirts on sale! 

...Excessive exclamation points!

Look, it's an actual bookstore! *drool*

But there have been a lot of ugh-grownup things, too... Like my best friend's car troubles. And late night plumbing issues. And computer problems.

Friend's alternate mode of transportation: An awesome orange bike.
(Kitty basket not included.)

At this point, I want to curl in bed and sleep for a week. 

...Since that's not really an option, though, I think it's time for another cup of coffee.


To leave this entry on a happy note, here is something cool that I came up with, and wanted to share:

...So, I like knitting. Is that a problem? :)

Yep, that's storage for my knitting looms!

Technically, it's an over-the-door towel holder... Just the right size to hang all of the awesome looms that my husband has bought for me. It's not much, but it's yet another step towards having an organized craft room.

Now I just need to figure out how to store the rest of my fabric. And my beads. And my growing wardrobe.

...Before then, though, it's time for that coffee.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reveal: A Sisterly Present

In my last entry, I posted about a present that I made for my sister... And then I promptly disappeared from Blog Land. (Granted, it was only for a few days--but, golly, Monday feels like so long ago.)

And so, because you have all been so patient, I present without any further ado... 

The Finished Necklace
(Name to be Decided)

The necklace chain is made from wire-wrapped links of freshwater pearls (the cream ones) and glass pearls (the black ones).

Using wire-wrapped pearls was actually a design choice inspired by a necklace my sister already owns--and absolutely loves. It's a simple strand of bronze pearls, each wire-wrapped into a link that makes up the overall chain. Simple, elegant--and something that matches almost her entire wardrobe.

Honestly, she's worn that necklace constantly for years now.

So, I figured, why mess with something that works for her? :)

It was so fun being able to send this to her, without her knowing that it was coming.... and I have it on good authority (namely, her excited texts) that she loves it.

(Side note: It was also nicely timed--because apparently the aforementioned favorite-necklace-of-all-time just recently broke... after years of constant love, the wire started to weaken. I've offered to fix it for her, if she decides to go that route... but, at least in the meantime, there was an octopus to soften the blow!)

So, hurray for octopus necklaces!

And hurray for Friday--I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sneak Peak: A Sisterly Present

Thing the First
I have been wanting to make my sister a surprise present... because it's fun to randomly send presents in the mail. :)

Thing the Second
Said sister loves cephalopods. Squid, cuttlefish, octopi (octopuses? octopodes?)... They make her smile.

Thing the Third
I was randomly derping along on the internet, and I found that Beadaholique now has octopus cameos.

...You can see where this is going.

Only the finest octopus cameo for the discerning cephalopod connoisseur.

Yep--I snagged one and made it into a pendant.

Well, technically, I first made it into a pendant, and then used that pendant in a necklace... I just don't have the pictures of the final piece uploaded to my computer yet.

So, stay tuned! I will be sure to post pictures of the final piece soon.

Because making presents is fun!

...And even more fun is making presents that are just perfectly tuned to a person's taste... and then completely surprising them by giving them that present and having it be something that they needed but didn't know existed. :)

Also fun?

Run-on sentences.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share... Hope everyone is having a lovely day!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Failure Follow-Up

I just wanted to share that, after all of my stressing and complaining and railing against my perceived shortcomings, something miraculous happened today.

I was able to relax.

...And, wouldn't you know it, as soon as I relaxed, I made two skirts.

I guess I have been putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, that I haven't really been allowing myself the sloppy-messup-explode part of creating.

I need to remember that messes and failures are just part of the creative process.

And I need to let myself relax.


Speaking of relaxing--I hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Accepting Failure

I've been failing a lot recently.

I go to glue hairsticks... I end up getting epoxy everywhere.

I go to change a lightbulb... I end up dropping the light fixture cover and having it shatter.

I go to sew a dress... I end up sewing it all wrong. (Literally, all wrong. Somehow, I ended up sewing the right side and the wrong side together, and then the bottom front to the top back, and the bottom back to the top front. It's a convoluted mess! Gah.)

...There have been ruined dinners, shattered plates, epic water-spills, warped jewelry designs, and dropped pins all over the floor.

Honestly, it's been ridiculous.

But, even so...

I'm realizing that the world has not ended. 

Tonight, my husband reminded me that these failures aren't bad things... I am learning. I am growing. Even if I create something that doesn't work, I am still creating.

And, well, dropping things... not being perfect... I guess that means I'm human.

...And that's okay.

Hopefully I'll have some projects to share soon, hopefully I'll have cool pictures to show here soon... or, I might just continue to fail.

But, I am slowly learning that that's okay.

I am happy to still be growing.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

This Morning's Sunrise...

Just wanted to share the view from my craft room this morning, because it was much too lovely to ignore...

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello, August!

Truth be told, July was kind of a blah month. And August... well, August seems to be starting with me being sick. It's just a cold, but gah. I just feel like sitting around and moaning and eating ice cream.

Maybe I'm getting it out of the way, so the rest of the month will be awesome? I hope?

Anyway, there are still so many wonderful things in my life... and so--instead of sitting around and moaning, instead of eating too much ice cream, and in honor of the good things that are happening--I bring you this post! :)


Things that Make Me Happy

Tackling new knitting projects.

Organizing my yarn unearthed four skeins of this wonderful yarn...
It's so soft and cozy, and I plan for this to be a shawl.
...At the rate I'm going, it'll be done in ten years.

Living in a place where sometimes the sun shines when it's raining.

Cincinnati: where you have to remember your sunglasses
even when it calls for thunderstorms all day.

Playing around with bottle caps. (I suppose this one is a bit of a no-brainer,  given some of my previous entries. *grin*)

Snoopy! :)
This image came as one of the many cut-outs in the Klutz
bottle cap book that I was using.

Going through bead catalogs and letting my imagination play with different ideas and combinations--without spending a dime! 

This? Is the Fire Mountain Gem tome of knowledge--er, I mean, catalog.

Looking at the sun dance in the trees, the wonderful view from my craft room window. (It never gets old.)

Summer sunrise--gold and green.

Listening to music on my new CD player/cassette deck/record player. I bartered for it from a friend... For $20 and a gear collar necklace, this beauty is mine--all mine! My friend even included a giant stack-o-records (vinyls?) in the deal!

Isn't she a beauty?

Music! The Beatles. Frank Sinatra. Duke Ellington.
Peter, Paul, and Mary. Olivia Newton John. Aerosmith.
The Music Man soundtrack.
Now I just need to get my grubby hands on some recordings
I remember from when I was little.

...And, last but not least... tinkering with new jewelry components.

It's my name!
These were made with the Tim Holtz
alphabet stick-epoxy sticker-charm set.

I really am surrounded by beautiful things--something that can be easy to forget when I'm not feeling well, or let stress and worries bog me down. (Me? Need to learn to relax? What a concept!)

...I hope everyone is doing well. Now that I've reminded myself of some of the happy parts of July, I'm looking forward to a beautiful August!