Monday, October 31, 2011

Scavenger Hunt on Monday

Happy Halloween!  There isn't much going on here for Halloween this year besides passing out candy (which we actually did yesterday).  If you're still looking for a last minute Halloween project or costume for this year, please hop over to my Halloween DIY 2011 Pintrest board.

Thank you for all of the input about my new treasury feature format.  For the most part, people expressed interest in seeing the treasuries. I think that my compromise is this: I will continue the format from this week, but will pair a small treasury snapshot with a small item feature next to it.

Also, I'm not doing anything to celebrate it this year, but I wanted to mention that it's my 3rd anniversary of opening my Etsy shop today.  I do want to thank all of the awesome BBA ladies who have made Etsy worth it for me.  Even when sales have been slow, I've stayed because of the community.  Thanks ladies!

I'm sharing my weekly Scavenger Hunt photos today.  Enjoy!

1.  Macro/Close-Up
I went ahead and used a subject that I've had a fair amount of experience shooting in macro: jewelry.  This is a sneak peak at part of the custom order that I took at this month's craft fair.  I'll have pictures of the entire set up later this week so stay tuned for that.

2. Found Texture (material, not applied)
I bought new pajamas this month.  We may figure out some ways to insulate the second floor of our house at some point, but for now, it is not the warmest place in the house.  So I wanted something new that's warmer.  The texture of these new pajamas is amazing.

3. Home
One of the things that really makes a place feel like home to me is having pictures up.  I got a lot of my smaller frames up over the summer, but we just started hanging pictures on the wall this month.  From 2003-2008, I completed 8 cross-stitch projects, 5 of which were counted cross-stitch projects that each took me 9 months-1 year and a half to complete.  They are our main living room decoration.

4. Cover
I have at least six friends who posted the online version of The Princess Bride article from this issue of Entertainment Weekly somewhere on Facebook.  I don't read a lot of magazines, but I've been reading Entertainment Weekly since high school.  I love it because it isn't a gossip magazine.  It's actually about the business.  The reunion issue has been one of their newer features, and it's awesome.  They did a great Back to the Future reunion earlier this year.  You can see all of the online reunion clips here.

5. Tree
We live in an old house (over 90 years old), but we have a young tree in front of our house (and no tress in the back yard).  It'll be fun watching this little tree grow over the years here.  Yes, it is still fairly green here (I did take this picture this past week), but as you can see from the ground, the leaves are starting to turn.

Please check out Ashley's blog to see what other people photographed for these themes this week!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

treasury round up

The treasury love continues!  When I reached 12 features on Thursday this week, I decided that I wasn't going to include screen captures for the treasuries because I don't want these posts to become so ridiculously long that people don't read them.  I am still including links for all of the treasuries with the hopes that the titles are enticing enough to make you click.  If you want me to go back to the old way, let me know.  Please help me thank all of these wonderful curators by checking out their treasuries and shops!

Linda (PruitCreations) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Cream, Caramel, and Chocolate Layers in her See Autumn Color Everywhere treasury.  I love all of the beautiful autumn browns that she included here.  I also love Linda's Children's Cowboy Crayon Roll-Up Fabric Carrier.

Gintare (RebekeJewelryShop) included my Beaded Bracelet - The Leaf Series - Vibrant Fall Autumn in her My favorite orange treasury.  I never get tired of orange!  It's always great to see someone featuring this underrated color.  Gintare's Beads crochet ropes necklace - lariat with carnelian stones autumn colors is perfect for this season.

Minda (nicethingsstore) included my Button Bracelet - Black and White (small) (which sold!) in her black and white treasury.  You can't go wrong with this classic color combination.  I love the mix of items she used, too.  I also love Minda's brooch - ceramic 2.

Sharla (BeadedTail) included my Beaded Bangle Bracelet - A Material Girl's True Colors in her Gifts You Might Decide to Keep For Yourself treasury.  I love the theme for this collection.  Haven't we all had that happen before?  People who purchase Sharla's jewelry as gifts might also want to keep it, like this Custom Tennis Bracelet Swarovski Rose Pink Crystals Made to Order.

Jenny (ABirdInTheHandArt) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Square Stitch Embellished - Summer in the Candy Corn treasury.  I love the way Jenny layered the colors in this treasury.  So fun and creative!  I also love Jenny's Songbird Christmas Ornament - Gene the Blue Jay - made from wood and fabric.

Karen (MysticWynd) included my Beaded Necklace - Round Stone Amazonite Focal - Light Blue and Champagne in her Aqua Terra Moods treasury.  Turquoise and brown is such a perfect color pairing.  I love the mix of items that Karen found for this theme.  I also love her Crystal and Faux Pearl Beaded Bracelet in Red and White - Scarlett O Hara.

Anna (LiveGemLove) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Lion on the Yellow Brick Road in her Follow the Yellow Brick Road treasury.  She has such a creative mix of items for this theme.  Check out Anna's 7" Multi Color Party Bracelet.

Janet (HoneyFromTheBee) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Skinny Fringed - Red, Orange, and Periwinkle Blue in her The Circle of Life treasury.  This is such a creative take on that theme!  Please check out Janet's Pale Aqua Lampwork Beads with swirls of Silver Earrings.

Sarah (MagnoliaSurprise) included my Beaded Bracelet - Small Black and White Shell in her Ghostly Encounters treasury.  Perfect for the end of October.  So is Sarah's Candy Corn, Set of 3, Fall Decor or Play Food.

Nancy (nfall2rt) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Red Striped Embellished and my Button Charm Bracelet - Blue and Red in her Red and Turquoise Lovelies treasury.  I'm sure that it's no secret by now how much I love this color combination!  I also love Nancy's Knit Purse with Shoulder Strap in Black and White Polka Dots.

hopelovenfaith included my Beaded Bracelet - She Smiles and It's a Rainbow in her In my own little world... :) treasury.  This is such a whimsical collection.  Check out her Set of 3 Crocheted Christmas Face Cloths.

Edi (memoriesforlifesb) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Skinny Wrapped - Sunshine Yellow Gold Accented in her In Need of Some Sunshine treasury.  Who doesn't like a little sunshine at any time in their life?  Check out her Engraved Butterfly and Flower Wood Guest Book and/or Photo Album.
Melanie (MelanieAlexandra) included my Beaded Bangle Bracelet - Warmth in her Amber, Meet Pumpkin treasury.  I love this title.  This is a stunning collection.  I also love Melanie's 25% OFF Paris Photo Timeless (8x10) Fine Art Travel Photograph, Eiffel Tower Architecture, Old World, Fine Art Print, Paris Decor.

Libby (raven333) included my Beaded Bracelet - The Leaf Series - Fall Autumn in her End of October treasury.  There are so many beautiful fall colors here.  Check out Libby's Nuno Shawl made of silk and wool hand dyed shades of purple felt.

Tina (ParlTradet) included my Beaded Bracelet - Pink Shell in her Blush, Pink, and Peach treasury.  This is not a color combination that I visit much, but Tina pulled so many elegant items in this palette.  Check out her Bracelet purple golden brown chunky lampwork beaded stretch 8 5/8 in. (pte-134).

Corissa (NimbuRu) included my Beaded Bracelet - Black and White Shell in her November Circles treasury.  I love this theme and the mix of items.  Check out her Coffee Cozy - Vintage Newspaper - Reversible.

Finally, I curated a treasury of my own this week: Black and Orange for Halloween with the Blogging Business Artisans.  Please go check out some of the beautiful black and orange creations from my awesome teammates!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Link List: the Halloween edition

Welcome to the Halloween edition of my weekly link list!  All month I've been putting together a Halloween DIY 2011 board on Pintrest just for my blog readers.  Yep, I'm finally on Pintrest!  I apologize for not posting that here before now.  You can click on that link to see the full set of items.  It includes recipes, costumes, decorations, and more.  I'll highlight a few of my favorites here.

I have to promote my Halloween hub again, which I did include on my board: 10 Unique Free Homemade Kid and Baby Halloween Costume Patterns.  I wrote this hub completely on a whim because the Weekly Topic Inspiration on HubPages was Halloween one week back in September, and I'd been wanting to put together a DIY kids' Halloween costumes hub for a while.  This hub has been by far the most popular hub that I've written to date by a landslide.  Thank you to everyone who has made this happen!  A large amount of my success on HubPages this fall is due solely to this little hub.

Here are a few other links that I love from my board.

Michelle wrote an awesome post over at Delicate Construction about a Halloween party that she hosted this year with lots of recipes and games.

Jamie Brock creates a lot of awesome printables for different holidays.  Halloween is no exception.  You can check out her profile to see more for upcoming holidays.  I will continue to pin them, too.

I have always loved this pumpkin cake from Kraft.  It isn't too difficult, and the result is so perfect.

Alisa Burke posted a couple great ideas this year for decorating pumpkins.  I'm sure that it's not a surprise why I picked this one to feature.  If you are not already following her blog, please head over there and start following.  Her work is so inspiring.

As someone who dressed up as a cat for Halloween for many years, I always have a weakness for kitty costumes.  Erika's little ears are too cute.

Again, you can check out the board for the complete set.  Have fun with all of your crafty Halloween endeavors this year!

Did you use one of the resources, tutorials, or recipes from my link list?  Leave me a link in the comments or send me an e-mail ( with your photos and stories.  I would love to post them here!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Feature: black cats

I'm sure that almost everyone reading this already knows that I love cats.  Some of you probably don't know that I have had a soft spot for black cats ever since I was little.  One of my cats growing up was all black.  She passed away 8 years ago, and I still love to feature black cats around Halloween in her honor.  I'm sure that almost everyone knows that I also have an almost all black kitty now that I also love very much so this is for her, too.  Enjoy.

I have posted tons of items from Tessa here and will spare you another photo (for now) but you have to check out her new black cat buttons.

Black Cat Art Print - 8x10 Photo Print by NatureMandalas

Black Cat Halloween - Cat Art Print - from a Pastel Painting by Alice Wilcher 12 x 8 by myRudyGirl

PLACE AN ORDER for a Needle-Felted Sitting Kitty (82611-4) by BayColonyDesigns

Black Cat Spiral Notebook Journal Diary - Modern Abstract Digital Art - Personalized With Your Name by stevenjameskeathley

Black Cat Halloween or Christmas Ornament by MossMountain

Red linen messenger bag with black cat by sraige

Custom Boutique Halloween Black Cat Shirt NB-10/12 by beauxsacs

Thursday, October 27, 2011

new adventures with my earring cards

As many of you already know, Edi of memoriesforlifesb designed my earring cards.

Edi does awesome design work, and she prints, cuts, and punches the cards professionally.  The design aspect is one thing that I have yet to tackle when it comes to creative endeavors.  However, I'm still pretty crafty and thought that I could handle the printing, cutting, and punching side of the project.  So recently I contacted Edi to see if she'd be willing to sell PDF or JPEG files of my cards for me to print myself.  I was excited that she said yes.  We worked out the agreement, she made and sent the files, and I got to work making my own sets of both sizes of cards.

Most of the cards Edi has printed for me have been on glossy card stock.  All I have left over from teaching is matte so I'm using that for now.  I like both looks.  I purchased all of my card stock in bulk for teaching.  I forget where I got this particular batch, but generally I bought from Office Depot or Wal-Mart.

I think I got this little paper cutter from Target.  It's perfect for smaller projects like this.

Here are my cut out cards.  I trimmed a couple of them down a little more so they would all be uniform size.  Yes, I did botch a couple of them in the process.  Good thing paper is cheap!

Then I punched the earring holes.  I got my puncher from Michael's.  It's a Martha Stewart 1/16" punch.  Sorry that this photo is a little blurry.  I followed Edi's guidelines from the last set she did for me for where to punch the holes.  My dangle earrings vary a lot in width so I may need to make some with holes that are further apart.

Here are a couple cards that are punched.

Thanks again, Edi!  I will continue to use this awesome design for a long time.  I always get compliments on the cards at shows and any other time people look through my items in person.

New hub up this week: Blog Horizontal Navigation Bar: How to Create a Bar and What to Include.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

in the works: leaves and flowers

I was so excited to get started on my custom order that I took at my craft show this month that I didn't take any pictures of it until I was pretty far into the set.  At this point, I had finished the earrings and bracelet and was almost halfway done with the necklace.

Here's a picture of the remaining leaves that I had laid out for the necklace.  You can see the earrings hanging out in the corner of the box.  Yes, the box is a little crowded right now!  Getting ready for this order inspired me to get out leaf beads to make a new fall leaf bracelet and a new turquoise/medium-dark blue leaf bracelet.  I have those beads in there as well as all of the seed beads that I pulled for the custom order.

I'll be sure to take pictures of the completed set before I give it to the customer and will post them within the next couple weeks.

Here are the turquoise/medium-dark blue leaf beads that I pulled.  I sold the first turquoise leaf bracelet that I made a couple years ago before I even listed it on Etsy.  I've sold two dark blue leaf bracelets so I think that it's worth making another one (or two).

Here are the leaf beads that I pulled for my new fall design.  I'm only going to use a few orange and bright red and keep it darker with lots of brown, maroon, and gold.

Here is my seed bead mix with the larger glass bead focals for the fall design.  A few green beads got in there with one of the seed bead mixes.  They won't be in the bracelet.

I started the fall bracelet after I finished my custom order set.  The box is a little emptier now.

While I was pulling Czech glass, I also pulled out all of my flower beads.  They are still in the box.  I originally thought that I'd make another embellished peyote cuff, but with my new interest in herringbone, I'm now planning something similar to my new challenge piece but with flowers.

I included this post in Michelle's 10/28 Delicately Constructed Friday Link Party.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

November EBW Challenge Piece

I listed my November EBW Challenge piece earlier this week.  The theme for this challenge is Twisted.  You can read more about it here.  You can also see a breakdown of the glass beads that I used here as well as an in progress shot here.  To briefly recap, I've been designing a line of herringbone bracelets and wrap bracelets/necklaces for 2012.  When I found out that the theme was Twisted, I knew that this would be a perfect opportunity to make a sneak peek twisted herringbone piece for my line.  For some reason, I decided that it had to be in blue.

I was originally going to mix all of the blues together but I decided very early on that it would be better to do twisted stripes of light, medium, and dark blues.  It brought out the twisting in the design much more...and it made it a lot easier to follow where I was with the stitch.  Now that I've worked it once, I might be able to work it with a single color or mix of colors more easily.

As always, the embellishment work was a lot of fun.  I loved pulling all of the different blue Czech glass and adding it in after I'd completed the base.  Since I'd never made a twisted tubular piece before, I didn't know how well this embellishment technique would work, but I'm pleased with the result.  The beads follow the twisting pattern and rest comfortably against the bead work.

This piece can be worn as a necklace or a triple wrapped bracelet.  This is the first time I'd photographed a necklace with my new display in the light box.  I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I can easily add an extender chain of any length to this piece which furthers the versatility possibilities.  I've been wearing a couple of my new herringbone pieces this past month as part of my process to "test drive" the new line.  I am pretty picky about bracelet size, but these pieces really do fit a range of wrist sizes.  I haven't custom designed any for myself and have still worn several of them comfortably.

I'm not going to add charms to all of my herringbone pieces.  I love having the focal for these longer ones that can be worn as necklaces, though.  The herringbone works as a necklace on its own, but I love how the focal anchors the whole piece.  For the focal, I used a leaf charm with a piece of drilled sea glass from Kristina of akkricket.  I've been holding onto a batch of glass for a while and am so glad I have a new use for some of it.

My challenge piece is available for sale here.  I will do a preview post before Christmas of what else I've been developing for my new line.  I have a bunch of different color combinations and styles in the works.  If there's anything you'd like to see, let me know.

Voting for the challenge will take place November 9-15.  I'll have all of the voting information here when the challenge starts.