Mixed Media Beach & Floral Art

A couple years ago I started experimenting with combining my two favorite mediums, acrylic paint and polymer clay. I painted simple backgrounds and created basic dimensional shapes, then combined them together on canvas boards. The first set was floral-themed.

Meanwhile, through my jewelry making, I’ve been developing my polymer clay caning skills. So when I got back to my mixed media work, I started making the clay embellishments more detailed. 

I also received some acrylic mediums as a gift. Some of the textures worked perfectly for sand and waves, so I made a beach set for summer, incorporating more clay pieces as focal points for more detail and dimension.


It’s wonderful to find that two great things can be even better together. The larger pieces, some of which can go together as pairs, would accent a room nicely, and the smaller ones can be used as bookshelf art. I even made some magnets! You can find them on My Website or My Etsy Shop. I had a lot of fun creating these pieces and hope you will enjoy them too.

Simple Homemade Salsa Recipe

  
The tomatoes in our garden are not quite ripe but we were given some, as well as a cucumber and some jalapeños. So I made cucumber tomato salad, a summer favorite, and decided to try my hand at restaurant-style salsa.

I basically made this up as I went along, but it’s probably a variation of one or two other recipes floating around in my head from the internet. 

This should go for one or two meals or a few helpings of chips. You can multiply  the ingredients to make more. 

Ingredients:

1 large tomato/handful cherry tomatoes

1/4 onion

1-2 jalapeños*

1-2 cloves garlic 

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon lime juice

Dash of salt 

Instructions:

Chop the vegetables, carefully removing and discarding the seeds from the jalapeño.** Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor. Adjust to taste and enjoy, or store in closed container and refrigerate. 

  
Please excuse my falling-apart leftover taquitos (another simplified Pinterest find). They tasted better than they look, even reheated. For these I simply put chicken breasts and salsa in the crockpot overnight, then added cheddar cheese, rolled small portions into tortillas, brushed with olive oil, and baked. 

*This was a tad spicy for me but my husband liked it, so you may want to start with less and add more if desired. 

**Also consider wearing gloves or avoiding touching your face (or children) for a while. I learned this the hard way, twice >.< 

Garden Update!

When it comes to gardening, I’m definitely not an expert but I’ve done my share of experiments. I think I tried too many things last year and not all of them were successful. 

So this year I decided to keep it simple. In fact, with so many other projects going on, I almost didn’t do a garden this year. But something changed my mind.

There is something very therapeutic and sort of magical about nurturing a tiny little seed into a living plant that produces food to eat or flowers to enjoy. 

So here’s my garden so far – tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs, because we use them a lot and they do well here, and flowers because they’re pretty. Yes, it’s kind of a jungle at the moment. The PVC structure is a makeshift greenhouse; I took off the plastic already. 

  

I also transformed this ugly cinder block thing into a fabulous ring of sunflowers – and this year I got some tall ones!  

  

Polymer Clay Seascape Canes

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If you follow me on any social media, you know I’m always making new things with polymer clay. I often bounce between dry spells and bursts of so many ideas I can’t catch up. If only inspiration and motivation went hand in hand!

While checking my Pinterest recently, I clicked on a pin from a fellow clay artist and stumbled upon my new favorite tutorial channel on YouTube. Monica Resta at Mo Clay not only makes and demonstrates amazing cane work, but she does a variety of other polymer clay techniques as well.

Since summer is coming and I love the beach, I was particularly inspired by her seascape canes, and I decided to try my hand at them. I used some ideas from her videos that I never would’ve thought of, but also tried to make them my own.

Here’s a link to my favorite of her videos, and photos of a few of the recent projects they inspired.

Beach Design with Umbrella

Seascape Design with Boat

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Some of these are finished and available in my Etsy shop {here}, and the others will be soon! If you like this, please share!

Beach Jewelry for Summer & Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

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Summer is almost here!
It’s time for beach trips, backyard barbecues, and why not some colorful necklaces and earrings in shades of turquoise and coral red, complete with whimsical seagull and bicycle motifs? So I’m restocking my Etsy shop {here} with some of last year’s designs, and also some brand new ones.

If you’re a last-minute shopper like me, you might also be looking for a Father’s Day gift. I don’t have a whole lot of man-friendly items in my shop (though I’ve recently come out with a line of Crossfit and Paleo items!) so I thought I’d send you over to the Father’s Day browse section on Etsy {here}. They’ve picked out awesome Dad-inspired finds from all different sellers, including some wonderful personalized options.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect accessory for your new summer outfit, or just the right gift for Dad, I hope you find something great. And if you’d like to see some behind-the-scenes shots of my work, as well as my adventures in cooking, gardening, and owning the world’s goofiest cat, find crafty_girl_88 on Instagram.

(If you’re subscribed to my shop newsletter, sorry for the redundancy of this post. If not, sign up {here}! It’s not all the same stuff 🙂 )