Archive for November, 2013

Day 334: A Musical Tribute
November 30, 2013

I couldn’t let the entire year pass without paying homage to the original boys of summer, The Beach Boys. When I think of summer fun and the beach, the soundtrack always is influenced by their music. And, if I am going to honor musical legends, I thought I should find a way that included music. Luckily for you, I am not going to sing. Instead, I modified the case for my Beach Boys CD with my own custom cover art:

Beach Boys CD Art

It just wouldn’t be Beach Boys without the flowers and a surf board, so I had to include those elements along with one of their most famous song titles. And, in case you need some good vibrations: here is Surfin’ USA for your listening pleasure:



Day 333: A 3rd Mojo Inspired Card
November 29, 2013

Earlier this week, I came across a picture of a card in my Facebook feed that I just knew I would want to mimic. In case you haven’t figured it out, I love cards that open in less conventional ways. I was trying to figure out what I could do with it when the idea hit me that I could combine this style of card with the layout of the card over at Mojo Monday. What can I say? I just loved this week’s sketch over at Mojo Monday and how versatile it is. So, I set to work.

Lighthouse Card

To start with, I turned the sketch on its side. Admittedly, I simplified from the sketch and went with a square for my image rather than the circle used on the sketch, but I kept most of the other design elements in tact. What I loved about the Christmas card was the double fold on the front and how the sentiment was hidden behind the square with the image, so I duplicated that with my card.

Here is the inside with the sentiment:

Lighthouse Card Sentiment

In case you can’t read the sentiment, it says, “To keep the reefs and rocks at bay, my light will help you find your way.” I think it is such a tender message for any friend who might be going through a rough patch and it goes so perfectly with the lighthouse on the front of the card.

I am happy with how the card came together and how I combined to inspirational ideas that I was lucky enough to find this week. I promise, no more cards inspired by this week’s Mojo Monday sketch, but another week is coming, and I am not committing to anything yet with regard to next week’s sketch.


Day 332: Sea Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
November 28, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a link on Facebook to a recipe for Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark. It seemed easy enough and sounded absolutely delicious. So, for today’s project I broke out my sea salt along with the rest of the ingredients and set to work:

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark Ingredients

I have never made any sort of caramel from scratch or any sort of bark treat, so this was really new to me. I know that the sea inspiration is tenuous, but without the sea salt, I can definitely say this treat wouldn’t be quite as good.

I started out by arranging a layer of pretzels on a pan lined with parchment paper. Then, I melted the butter and added the brown sugar to create the caramel. (Who knew that it was so easy to make caramel?) We popped it into the oven for about 5 minutes before covering the top with the chocolate chips. After a few more seconds in the oven, the chocolate chips were soft enough that we could spread them around and cover the whole thing with their yumminess. Now, for the most important part, I sprinkled sea salt over the whole thing and put it all into the refrigerator to set up.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

My husband and I just broke it into smaller pieces, and had to sample a couple of pieces. Yes, it tastes amazing and the sea salt really does add to the flavor.

If it lasts long enough, we will be bringing this to Thanksgiving dinner, since we are responsible for bringing the desserts each year. We do have a couple of pies also, so if we eat all of this before we head out, it won’t be the end of the world. 😉

Day 331: Still Working My Mojo
November 27, 2013

One of the many things I love about the Mojo Monday site is how they will regularly post two versions of their sketch–a round one and a square one. The other day, I used the square version as the inspiration for my card. Today, I went back to the sketch and played with the round version.

Round Card with Sea Gull

I simplified the design a little bit, and I went with blues and beige for this card so it has much more of a beach feel to it. For the image, I decided to use my sea gull stamp. I have had it for a long time, but I don’t know if I have actually ever used it for a project. He felt right for on this card.

On the inside, I went with a simple sentiment:

Round Card with Sea Gull inside

Around here we have muddy ground and gusty winds. I would willingly trade them for warm sand and cool breezes.

Day 330: A Very Merry Maryland Ornament
November 26, 2013

While King Crab may come from the waters off of Alaska, in Maryland, crab is king. Blue crab that is. Seriously, growing up in Maryland, it was not uncommon to see people wearing, “Maryland is for Crabs” t-shirts. So, for today’s project, I created a Christmas tree ornament that true Marylanders should appreciate.

Crab on Capiz Shell Ornament

I had some of the Capiz shell rounds left after making the necklace this weekend, so I decide to use on of those leftover pieces to make a smaller seashell based ornament. Originally, I was debating what I might put on it, but then the idea for a Merry Maryland ornament struck me, and I decided to run with it.

I also made another ornament this morning. While I did use a seashell as my base, I don’t consider this project to be inspired by the sea. Instead, it was inspired by my dear friend Laura, the crazy cat lady that she is.

Black Cat Ornament

I had lunch with her yesterday, and I will be hanging out with her on Saturday. I never like to be empty-handed when I see her so I made this ornament just for her. I know Olivia (her black cat) should love it. I just hope Molly-girl (her tabby) isn’t too jealous.

Day 329: Feels Like a Monday
November 25, 2013

Before I even went to bed last night, I had pretty much decided that I was going to make a card using the new sketch over at Mojo Monday as the basis for today’s project. That gave me the layout, but I still needed to figure out colors and an image.

Turtle on the Half Shell Mojo Monday Card

When I saw this little guy, he just seemed to work for a Monday. I was debating whether to go with an “over the river and through the woods” theme since Thanksgiving is right around the corner which I think influenced my color selection. But for the sentiment, I thought of my friend Laura who is off from work all week and decided to go with a less Thanksgiving-inspired thought for inside the card.

A Bad Day in Paradise...

I figured this little guy looked like he might be having a bad day, but it is still a day spent on the water which seems like paradise to me.


Day 328: Frozen Oceans
November 24, 2013

I woke up this morning and the temperature outside was 25 degrees (and that is Fahrenheit not Celsius). Winter has arrived. The one positive about the weather turning colder is that it helps to get people into the Christmas spirit. But, that is the only positive about it that I can find.

Combine the cold temperatures and the thoughts of Christmas and that is where the motivation for today’s project came from.

Penguin Seashell Ornament

You may recall that I have made an ornament like this one before but with a summery feel to it. That one featured sand and palm trees. Switch out sand for snow (which really is just white sand) and palm trees for a penguin and you have a wintery take on a seashell Christmas ornament.

Throughout the year, I have debated with myself about whether or not penguins count as being inspired by the sea. I mean, they technically are aquatic birds more designed for swimming than flying. What are your thoughts? Do penguins count as being inspired by the sea?

Even if the penguin isn’t inspired by the sea, this project still works since I used a seashell as my base and sand to embellish it.

Day 327: Capiz Shell Necklace
November 23, 2013

I don’t even remember how long ago it was when I bought a bag of 1 1/2 inch round capiz shells. I didn’t know at the time what I was going to do with them, so they sat in my stash until today.

Capiz Shell Necklace

I decided to make a simple statement style necklace using 5 of the shells, some jump rings and chain. I will admit that I am not sure quite how I feel about this piece. I think that is because it doesn’t really fit with my personal style. But, I have seen other people who this piece might be well-suited to. What do you think? Is this something you would consider wearing or should I take it apart and start from scratch? (Either way, I am counting this as having made something today, since I made it. I just don’t love it.)

Day 326: Flowers for Helen
November 22, 2013

Several times over the course of the year, my mother-in-law, Helen, has suggested that I make some sort of flowers out of seashells. Today, I finally did.

Seashell Flowers Framed Art

To create these flowers, I used seashell beads and freshwater pearls that I bought way back when the family was on vacation in Myrtle Beach. I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with them, and after playing with mixed media projects this week, I decided to create this piece. I cut the bowl from vellum to simulate the glass. I used some light blue paper that I had leftover from some other projects for the water in the bowl. The stems are pieces of green ribbon. I include some sea glass pieces in the bottom of the shadow box frame, but may take them out since I am not sure if I love them there or not.

So, Helen, I hope this was worth the wait.

Day 325: Ocean Scene on Canvas
November 21, 2013

So, after a late night last night and a sleeping pill, I was in no shape to craft much of anything this morning. So, as soon as I got home from work, I headed up to my craft room. Now, while I was driving home, an idea was forming in my brain. Luckily, when I got home, I was able to make it come together.

Seahorse on Water Color Canvas

I knew that I had a few 6×6 stretched canvases. I decided that I wanted to try using water colors on the canvas and then layering paper embellishments to create an ocean scene. I started out using a couple of shades of blue paint and a pretty good amount of water to cover the entire canvas. I wanted variations in the tones, and I wanted to keep the colors pretty light.

Once I was happy with the canvas, I set it aside to dry and started cutting seaweed and coral using my Cricut. The key piece of course was the seahorse, since I just think they are the coolest creatures in the world. As I got my pieces cut I arranged them on a blue piece of paper, rearranging elements until I liked how everything looked.  I clicked a quick picture of the arrangement with my camera phone and then I started running the smaller elements through my Xyron to convert them to stickers. I put everything onto the canvas and created this little scene.

I am actually quite happy with how it all turned out. It really is almost exactly what I was envisioning in my mind as I drove home.

I also wanted to share with everyone that it is once again time for the Festival of Wreaths at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, MD. For those of you who don’t remember, or just didn’t know, one my first nautical crafts before I started on my 365 Days, was a wreath for last year’s festival. Well, this year’s wreath is not nautical, but I still thought that I would share it with you here.

Feel the Love Wreath

I call it, “Feel the Love.” You might remember that I used this wreath technique for a beach-themed wreath several months ago. While it was labor intensive, I just love how they turn out. Maybe next year, I will create a wreath a month instead of focusing on creating something each and every day.