Going Nautical With Tropicali from Cousin

If you are looking for a fresh look for your summer social get-togethers, Cousin's Tropicali line is right up your alley!
I received this gorgeous mix of summery goodness in the mail and my mind immediately started to spin with ideas on how to put it together.  Here are a few pieces I've created that should light your creative spark as well.

The first piece is a necklace made from the blue and cream rope and featuring the lovely silver coral hanging charms:
Simply knotting the ropes together at regular intervals and adding the rope ends using E6000 adhesive it is just that easy to make. 
And by finishing the look with the coral charm grouping, you have a fun, beachy look that would look great with your bikini or a sundress!

The second piece I made is a bracelet using the silver buckle closure with the coral and blue rope:
For this bracelet, I looked up different kinds of knots you can do with rope and (after a lot of trial and error) decided on this simple slip-knot design which gives the bracelet bulk without looking too fussy and still highlighting the sweet charms and buckle-like closure.

From the day I received the Tropicali components I knew I wanted to incorporate the sweet octopus into one of my designs, but was a little stuck as how to do it.  In the end, I decided to make a fun keychain with him:

To make it, I used the coral rope, brass end, E6000 adhesive and the octopus charms which I rearranged a little bit on the focal.

Now that I have my summery jewelry and keychain, I am all ready for the beach!

If you are interested in making your own beachy accessories, Cousin's Tropicali line is available in your local Joann stores now!

Cousin Creative Circle Blog Hop

Welcome to this fun blog hop with my unbelievably talented fellow Cousin Creative Circle ambassadors!  The premise for this hop is that all of us received this same bead haul:

Beautiful, right?  Lots to work with!  We could use whatever pieces and parts of the beads that we wanted to use, and then add to them with our personal stash.

Here are the pieces I made with mine:

"Southwest Summer":

If you have seen my jewelry before, you know that I love to combine copper with, well, just about anything!  One of my favorite combos is turquoise with copper, and so that's what I did here.

The necklace is made from beads and chain from the haul, along with a length of my handmade chain.  In addition, the focal hangs from a handmade soldered and textured copper ring.  This is my favorite set of all of the pieces I made, and plan on wearing it out and about later today.

The next two pieces are made with a Steampunk-y vibe:

"Soft Steampunk"

"Sweet Summer"

For both of these pieces, I used my handmade copper focals and hung them from 18" chains made from the Czech roundels and the earthy brown gemstone beads.  I love the juxtaposition of the girly sparkles with the rustic earthy copper tones.

The next piece is a simple but striking l-o-n-g (and I mean really long) necklace:


I've already worn this once, and plan to again!  The antiqued brass of the chain and focal keep the rustic tone of the piece, while the leaf and peace sign add the needed pop of color.

Ok...confession time.  I almost didn't post this next piece because I didn't like the way it turned out, but I really wanted to show off the new "beaded bead" technique I learned:

I used the black bicone beads and paired them with some smaller aqua bicones to form the focal.  I'm not sure exactly what I will end up doing with the beads, but I don't think I will leave them like this. Any suggestions as to what to do?  I'm at a bit of a loss!

Over the next few weeks, I plan on posting some tutorials on how to make these necklaces - I hope you will come back to check them out!

Meanwhile, please take a minute to check out the amazing work of my fellow Ambassadors:

Ambassador Dawn Doucette
Ambassador Shelly Owen
Ambassador Rachel Nielsen
Ambassador Molly Moore Alexander (you are here!)
Ambassador Rebecca Grafton Untermholen
Ambassador Carolina Moore
Ambassador Lisa Crone

Thanks so much for hopping with me!


30 Word Thursday: Watercolor Doodles

I wanted to share the newest project tutorial that I wrote for the Bella Crafts Publishing blog.  If you have a few minutes, check it out on their blog here.
The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

Amazing and Fabulous Grateful Living Contributors: An Introduction

I love hearing people's stories, which is why, after I sent out the call for contributors for the Grateful Living blog, I was so excited that these wonderful ladies responded.  For each of these women, I have either spent time with them in person or admired their work from afar, and am so excited they are on board with Grateful Living.  I am certain you will enjoy reading their stories over the upcoming months:

Molly Alexander: Beautifully Broken Me (me)

Karen Baruth: Elderberry Street - I started following Karen on Instagram last year, and absolutely love her creativity, her style, and, most importantly, her faith.  I know you will be blessed by the posts she writes for GL, and I am so grateful to have her on board!

Manon: Sisters of the Sun - this woman is a fantastic artist and (I just found out) is a fellow Arizonian!  Her jewelry pieces are to die for, and her paintings are absolutely stunning.  After following her on social media for a while, I can tell you that Manon is a woman full of love and compassion, and we are blessed to have her on our team! 

Barbara Lewis: Painting With Fire Artwear - I fell in love with Barbara's artwork the minute I opened up Belle Armoire Jewelry to find her article on torch-fired enameling years ago.  Since then, I have gotten to know her better through her blog, her books and the enameling Ning community she formed, and I am excited for you to get to know her as well.  

Christie Murrow: Charis Designs - Christie is a woman whose work and faith I have admired through social media.  She is transparent in sharing what she believes and what she stands for, and the posts she has submitted reflect the strength I've seen in her artwork.  She has a lot to share, and I can't wait for you to read her story!

Alexa Nolte:  Alexa is one of my girls, and a young woman who is rooted in her faith like few others I've met.  She is smart, funny and gracious, and I can't wait for you to meet her!

Wendy Nolte: Wendy Nolte Photography - Wendy and I serve together in our church's high school ministry, and I had the privilege of co-mentoring our Goldfield, Nevada student missions team last summer with her.  You will be blown away by her stunning photography, and her story is one I can't wait for her to share with you.  She is also the amazing mom of Alexa!

Shawnee Penkacik: Blessed On The Bright Side - I met Shawnee through her son 4 years ago, as one of his mentors at church.  This woman is the mom to 11 (yes, I said 11!) unbelievable kiddos, all the while building up her paper arts business.  I have been a lucky recipient of her handmade cards, and even more lucky to be blessed by learning her family's story.

Teresa Roberts - Teresa is an art sister who has been a blessing to me through Facebook groups for a couple of online classes we both have taken.  I have been able to see her story unfold through her artwork, and her writing, and I know you will be blessed by her posts.

Shelley Smith: Laughter, Lyrics and Life - I am so happy that Shelley agreed to be a part of Grateful Living!  She is married to our Creative Arts Pastor, and is the mom to three beautiful girls.  Her writing is funny and heartfelt, and I know you will relate to the everyday life stories she shares.

Samantha Tennant - I have known Samantha since Middle School - over 35 years - how crazy is that?  Since reconnecting a few years ago through Facebook, I have loved developing a deeper friendship with her that I am excited to share with the rest of you.  Her observations on her family and her life are generous and sweet, and I know you will enjoy the posts she shares with us.

Well, there you are - the newest contributors for Grateful Living!  I hope you are as excited as I am to learn more about these amazing women!

The first post by one of our contributors is scheduled for tomorrow and is written by Samantha Tennant.  I encourage you to spend time on Grateful Living tomorrow to read what she shares!

Grateful Living Blog Re-Boot

Join us tomorrow for the official re-boot of the Grateful Living blog!  I am so excited to share the list of amazing contributors with you - their stories are truly inspiring!

Dreaming of Designing: Style

I am so excited about this new site I found that completely feeds my interior design fantasy:  If you haven't checked it out, you absolutely have to.  It has everything vintage, cool, industrial, funky, artsy and chic (shabby or otherwise). I decided to put together my dream loft apartment living space, and here's what I came up with:

Follow Miss Molly's Designs's board My Ultimate Charish Room on Pinterest.

If you have some time, check out their site at and put together your own Chairish design!

30 Word Thursday: She Is Loved

she is loved: mixed-media canvas

she is

kind and sweet

strong and gentle

courageous and bold

quietly confident

transparent and real

in unique, incredible ways

but most importantly

and above all else

she is loved
The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.