Thursday, September 4, 2014

Acorn Earrings

With fall at our doorstep, I wanted to share these earrings I made last year. I was waiting for my family to pick up me and staring at the ground where there were these adorable little acorns.

I stuffed a bunch in my pocked not knowing what I'd do with them... they ended up being just about the same size as beads I had at home so I popped the top off and drilled a small whole in the top.

Then took a beed pulled it together with the cap.

I think they look cute and are a nice fall touch of whimsey...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

G Clef Earrings

While I wasn't blogging... I was still being creative. I can't really turn that creativity thing off and survive.

I did manage to document a few projects, not always the process, but often the finished pieces. So I'll be posting a few of my favorites... these in particular I've remade on more than a few occasions so perhaps one of these times, I'll pull together some pictures of the process.

I ended up taking orders for this last Christmas through friends and family. For some, I went with a distressed hammered look, others wanted them smooth.

The most challenging part of these was that I love wearing what I make, but I'm not musical at all and it felt wrong to wear a symbol of music while having NO musical talent at all.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Baseball Bracelet

I have a baseball boy... he would eat, sleep and breath baseball if it worked. He loves all sports, but baseball really is his love.

He's also fidgety little thing and with second grade starting next week I was hoping to make a bracelet that he could fidget with in class that would be less of a distraction. I had 2 ideas for bracelets, this is the one I thought he'd like best so I started with it.

It is really quite simple, all you need is a baseball and knife of some kind. Each ball will yield 2 medium bracelets.

Very carefully cut around each side of the stitches. In design school we had to cut boards, mattes and all kind of materials, they taught us it was better to strike several light cuts than to try and muscle through a material with a single cut. Cutting a ball seemed like an opportunity to take this advice and not end up dragging 2 kids to the emergency room to have my thumb reattached. Thankfully, no thumbs were severed during this project.

Then peel back the leather from the ball. I started with the larger sections which made the sections with the laces much easier to remove.

This is where I got confused. How on earth did they tie the knots of the red laces INSIDE the baseball. Mind blown.

Untie the magic laces and begin to unravel them.

Then cut the leather so you have one long-wavy snake... If you work with the leather to warm it up, pull it straight, it will relax some of the curl. But after just 2 hours of wearing the actual bracelet there is hardly any curl left in it anyway.

Continue unraveling the laces until you have about 2-3" of thread at each end. Then cut the leather in half and unravel the laces at the other end.

I used a safety pink to attach the bracelet to my jeans so I could braid the ends of the laces together.

And then tied the bracelet on my boy... who I thought was going to be thrilled. He was not.

Thankfully, it seems to be growing on him a bit and I have caught him fidgeting with it, which is just what he's supposed to do... Hopefully he'll stick with it and save his second grade teacher the torture of trying to deal with my fidgety britches.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sports Boxes

I just completed another little detail for my son's big boy room. Kids always seems to have little treasures that can quite easily take over their rooms if left uncontained - I had a set of 3 nesting boxes that I got on clearance somewhere that I was going to do something with that I'd long abandoned. I figured they would make the perfect treasure keepers, and I knew just how I could dress them up.

With all that I did in his room that I had to spend money on, quilt, paint, silver tape... I was determined to have projects that were just using what I had on hand, both to save money AND to use up some of the things that have been doing nothing but taking up space. 

So I started with the boxes, paint and brushes:

You'll see I didn't have the right brown for the basket ball, I had to mix red, a touch of black and yellow  to get the right blend.

When dry, I lightly penciled in the lines that make these not sphere shapes more identifiable as what they are intended to be, balls.

Ad then I painted them... that is really about it.

I'll add a coat of varnish once the paint has fully cured. That is one thing I've learned when it come to craft paint - if it isn't completely dry when you coat it with varnish, it runs and smears.

Now baby bear has the perfect places to keep his treasures without having them take over his room. When the boxes fill up - then it's time to pick what can be pitched.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Unique Border Solution

I knew I wanted to have 2 paint colors in Bear's Big Boy Room... what I couldn't figure out was how I was going to set off those two paint colors.

I didn't want to do chair rail. Not in the budget, not the look I wanted.

Didn't want a wall paper boarder.

Just having the 2 colors meet wasn't going to work either.

So after trying, and hating several different options - what I feel in love with was metallic tape.

Note: this is NOT duct tape, though with all the decorator duct tapes out there you likely could use it. But I wanted something VERY shiny, with almost no texture of it's own.

While exploring Lowes, I discovered this metallic tape in the HVAC section - It's day job is holding duct work together throughout a house. But it was exactly the look I wanted for a boarder.

Putting it up was a challenge. Definitely a 2 person job - thankfully, my mom and stepdad had come up for the day. I had to go to Ikea for a smaller train table and if I had gone without inviting my parents, I just might have been disowned.

A few tips if you decide this solution is something that you might want to try:

  • 2 people is key, you need one person to remove the backing of the tape and press the adhesive to the wall while the other person holds the roll in front of you moving as you go along.
  • Keep the roll at the level that you are applying the tape, if you go even a bit above or a bit below where you want the tape to be, you'll get kinks and creases in it.
  • Have the wall below as perfect as you can get it - if you've got a tape line under the tape, it is going to show. I wish I'd sanded more before I applied the tape.
  • You will have imperfect spots, but once you load in the room with furniture and accessories, no one is going to inspect your board for flaws and if they do - then there are more issues than the imperfections in your boarder. 
  • And last, like with any project, the only person who knew what it was supposed to look like is you, so if it come out different than you expected, you'll be the only one to know.
Got an interesting boarder solution? I'd love to hear about it - I'm looking for something else to do in our kids bathroom. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paper Pennant Garland

One of the things I love most about my son's new room are the paper banners I created.

Here is how I made them...

Cut the the layers out on my cricut, red background layer (which if you look closely you'll see also has an oval cut out to help me thread them evenly), the white layer and then the blue letters.

Then I assembled the individual banners:

Then I flipped them over to reveal the guide on the red layer that was cut by the Cricut so that each pennant would have their slits cut in exactly the same spot - what I tried and discovered didn't work was to precut the slit in both layers.

Why didn't that work? First, lining the two slits up perfect was a challenge, and second, the cricut couldn't get the slit as narrow as I wanted it - too wide of a slit and the pennants slide around on the ribbon and gravity is not the friend of the garland. 

So I cut them by hand. 

And then I threaded them onto the ribbon, first trying and not liking them on white, then loving them on red. 

And that was it - 3 fabulous custom paper pennant garlands for his room.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Boy Room - The Before and After

Well I did it - I transitioned my son's nursery to a big boy room. There are still a few loose ends to tie up but in the span of the long weekend, while the husband and kids were visiting family in NY, I got the room cleaned out, walls washed, repaired, taped and painted. Created the artwork for the walls, sewed the window treatments, made what felt like 47 trips out to get things I didn't realize I needed until I needed them and got everything put back together before they got home.

I'll post some other details and how-to's later in the week, for now, here is the straight up before and after. Please, please, please don't judge too much by the before's. His room was a mess... embarrassing.


And after:

The best part of his new room - he loves it. Absolutely loves it.

After almost a year of not linking to any parties I think I'll link this up over at Be Different... Act Normal's Show and Tell Saturday. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From Nursery to Big Boy Room

Well - my baby boy, isn't much of a baby boy anymore. In fact, he's growing up faster than I ever could have imagined. On Friday he received his "advanced white" belt in Tae Kwon Do.

And in just over a week, he'll be starting kindergarten - how is that possible?

What isn't working - is that his room, is still his nursery theme. Sure, we've added bunk beds (his sister, despite having her own room - sleeps on the top bunk in his... they are so stinkin' cute.)

I really want to his bedroom to be finished before he starts school. And as luck would have it, my husband is taking the kids camping labor day weekend and they'll be gone for 4 and a half days... leaving me to transform his room.

My inspiration is coming from this quilt:

It suits his personality perfectly - he loves sports. I didn't want to go with decor that was specific to a single sport or a single team... he's 4, let's face it, his tastes are going to change. So the mix of 4 sports, without team affiliation is perfect.

I've fabric in the dryer for new valances and a little surprise I've got planned for his bunk bed. The paint has been bought. I've got the artwork ready to fire up the Cricut to create some fun personal touches:

Hopefully - I'll keep up with the progress here. Fingers crossed.
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