Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - April Reveal

After last week's eye drama, I am happy to report that it's finally time to show what I made for the April edition of the Jenny Monthly Challenge!


Again, here is what I picked out for my challenge:

Spring colors!

...And, using those materials, this is what I made!

All told, I made five things: a necklace, two pairs of earrings, a hairstick, and a ruffly yarn-y thing that you'll get to see if you keep reading (it didn't fit in the above picture).

And now for some close-up pictures!

Here are the earrings:

Here is the hairstick:

Here is the necklace:

The pendant is a vintage piece that I had in my stash... I'm honestly not sure where I got it. It wasn't in the original kit that I picked out, but it matched so well that I wanted to include it. 

Here are all of the jewelry pieces together:

And, now, to show what I made with the ruffle yarn! I'll give you a hint: it's not a ruffle scarf.

So, what is it?


I made a shawl!

...If you look closely, you can see the necklace, too.

I apologize, because I know these pictures aren't quite the best... I had hoped to get a picture of me actually wearing it, but that simply hasn't happened.

Still, I hope you get a general idea of what the shawl looks like. It drapes over the shoulders, and can be fastened in the front using a pin.

Here you can see the front (on the left), and the back (on the right).

Overall, I am very happy with what I made for this challenge--and I'm very happy that I was able to get the shawl finished on time.

Thanks so much for stopping by and joining me for this reveal! If you come back in a few days, I should be posting my challenge for May!

...I just need to decide what it will be. ;)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good News!

So, I just got out of my retinal specialist appointment, and am very happy to report that my eyes are okay. 

…My eyes are okay.

This week's blurriness is just from allergies, and not another flare-up (or complication) of my eye issues. 

I am not losing more vision.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am.

Beautiful tree!
…Full of pollen and other allergens, but hey it's pretty! :)

And for those here for the reveal for my April Challenge, I will try to do that at the beginning of next week… Right now, I'm so relieved and exhausted that I'm just going to rest--and give my eyes a break. They've been working hard.

Oh, hurray for good news!

…I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tomorrow... Possibly

Hello, everyone!

This is just a quick little note to say that, tomorrow, I hope to reveal what I made for the second Jenny Monthly Challenge! Hurray!

This was the April Monthly Challenge.

...I just hope my eyes cooperate.*

Rest assured, though, even if they don't cooperate, I'll post it in the days to come! After all, I've made four pieces for this challenge, and I can't wait to share them! :)


* - For the past few days, I've been having some eye issues... Tomorrow I have an appointment to find out if it's just allergies, or if I'm having another histoplasmosis flare-up. (If you want to know about that whole thing, I explain some of it here.) Fun fun. If you wanted to send some prayers and good vibes in my direction tomorrow, I certainly wouldn't turn them down! ...And now to give my eyes a break from the computer. Woo!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Touch of Spring

Last Sunday, my husband and I spent the day over at our friends' house.

They happen to have a beautiful, beautiful tulip tree in the back yard... So, I just happened to take some pictures of it. 

And then I just happened to decide to share them here--for no other reason than they're pretty.

...Wishing everyone a beautiful day, full of bright and lovely things!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Recent Random Project!

Recently, I've been addicted to buttons.

...Or, more specifically, making buttons into pendants.

...And then making necklaces with said button pendants!

I am having so, so, so much fun.

...And I even went and bought more buttons, so that I could make some of these necklaces to sell. Because the ones here? I'm totally keeping them. :)

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my creations... I hope everyone is having a lovely April! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Color of Dreams Blog Hop - Reveal!

It's time for another reveal!

This time, it's for the Color of Dreams blog hop--a blog hop hosted by the lovely Toltec Jewels, and featuring the beads of the talented Patricia Handschuh (owner of the Color of Dreams Etsy shop).

The idea was that each of the participants would receive one of Patricia's beads, and then use it in a creation to represent one of our dreams.

This was my bead:

And, truth be told, I was rather stymied at first. 

It is a truly lovely bead--just like all of Patricia's work. It is also a lovely magenta pink. And, well, I was having a hard time imagining which of my dreams could be portrayed through lovely magenta pink.

However, I also noticed that it looks like a rose.

...And that made me think. 

That was when the answer hit me like a ton of bricks--and as soon as I started creating, everything started to flow together.

This is what I made:

My Dream

One of my biggest dreams right now is to have a house--a house that I actually own. A beautiful house with enough room for our family to grow. A house with a place for my craftings and a place for my husband's electronics. 

A house with a beautiful garden. 

...This necklace, with the lovely magenta pink rose bead paired with spring-leaf greens, represents that garden.

Some Background

My husband and I have lived in apartments ever since we got married... And the one time that we did live in a house, it was with his parents. (Disclaimer: his parents are absolutely awesome--his mother and I were friends before I even knew him, and we're still all really close. Thankfully, in my case, saying "living with his parents" could also mean "living with good friends.") 

Still, while I have always been fortunate and had a place to live, it has never truly been mine.

And I've certainly never had room for my own garden.

About the Garden (and the House)

So, what do I dream my garden to look like?

I would love to have a bench nestled under trees, where I could sit and read during Spring. I would love for it to be surrounded by different colors--not picky as to the type of flowers, really, I just want things that are bright and cheery. I do like roses--but I also like daffodils and azaleas and bluebells and whatever might work in that particular environment.

And a birdfeeder. I would love for there to be a birdfeeder.

As for the house itself, I honestly don't have that many specifics planned out--brick cottage or Victorian mansion or something in a modern cul-de-sac. Spending times in apartments has given me the appreciation that anything can have the potential to be beautiful...

I am just excited, one day, to have the chance to transform a house into a home.

...And I am excited that, one day, I will have a garden.

When I do, I'll wear this necklace set and smile. 

Until then, I'll wear these items and happily dream, and work to make my dream a reality. 


Thank you so, so much for stopping by and letting me share my dream with you!

And, because this is a blog hop, here is a list of all of the other lovely participants involved! Feel free to stop by their blogs to learn more about their dreams!

Honorary Artist:        Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:            The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:             The Color of Dreams
Hostess: TJ                Jewel School Friends
Kay Thomerson           KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger          Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache          All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider             Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach             Wonder and Whimsy -- you are here!
Asri Wahyuingsih         Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma              Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan              Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean
Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack
Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets
Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano      Lamplight Crafts

...Thank you again for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Happy dreaming!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - April Edition

I've been digging through my stash, and I'm really excited about what I've picked out for this month's challenge!

For those on you not familiar with what I'm doing, I introduce it here. Essentially, it's me playing around and challenging myself to make things, mostly as a way to jump-start my creativity and make sure I don't get stagnant. 

For this month--and since it's now Spring (at least according to date, if not by weather)--I thought it would only be fitting to be make cheerful and sufficiently Spring-y.

And so, this is my April challenge... To make something with these components:

Spring Colors!

And now, for some background... 

Several months ago, while at the store, I came across these both in the clearance section:

...Beads! And ruffle yarn! In nearly identical color-ways!

...As soon as I saw them, I knew that I wanted to make a matching, coordinating set with them. I mean, honestly, the colors are nearly identical. So, I bought them!

And promptly ignored them.

What's in the bag?

This is what's in the bag!

But, no longer! 

My goal is, by the end of April, I will have some lovely rose-garden-colored pieces to celebrate the beauty of Spring.

Heh... We'll see if I'm able to live up to my expectations.

Come back on April 25th to see what I end up making!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hello, April!

Yay! It's April!

And about time, too... I am so, so ready for Spring!

To be fair, though, March was a good month. Exhausting, but good. It was full of writing and jewelry-ing, and adult-grown-up-responsible things. 

Looking back over the last month, I am grateful:

...for writing!
This is the cover of my current writing notebook...
I'm making good progress on Novel #1 of Landus Fantasticus.

...for the progression from snow to warmer days...

Photo taken March 4, 2014

Photo taken March 31, 2014

...for new jewelry endeavors...

I am totally in love with this necklace and earring set.

Amphorae! Because, archaeology is cool.

...for continuing to learn computer programming, thanks to my husband...

Functional programming in Scala.

...for cat-sitting while my best friend was out of town...

Meet Guinan.

...The most aggressively cuddly cat I have ever, ever met.

She liked purring and sitting on my feet, so I would have to pet her.
...We bonded.

...for going to the Zoo with my sister-in-law and her awesome kiddos...

Two of my nieces, enjoying the reptile house.

...and the simple pleasures of a yummy meal (that I didn't have to make)!

Mmmm... Chipotle...

Yes, yes, a good month. 

...And now to throw open the windows, and welcome the warmer weather. Hurray!

Happy April, everyone!