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Mass Production

Do you remember that post I did for a secret Santa, where I made an earring display hangar. I’ll link here it if you don’t. 

You should check that blog out first because this is me refining that process. Mr. Smith’s Aunt makes jewelry and owns a shop where all the goods are hand made. You can find out more about it on their Facebook page here


I thought it would be fun to get involved by making some fun ear ring cards. I’ve got a few different styles I’m working on, but the most involved ones are a variation on the one I did for my secret Santa. 

I started off by doing a color wash on the laser cut frames in green and purple; they are the primary colors of the store.


I then cut out appropriately sized sections of lace for each frame.


Then my favorite part…experimentation. I used some diluted paint to dye the lace. 


I soaked the lace in a paint and water mixture and then just gave it time to “cook”. By that I mean I zapped it for about 1 minute in the microwave and then just let it sit.


After 10 minutes or so I pulled the lace out of the paint mixture, doused it with lots of salt,  and gave it a good toss. Yup just plain old salt. It acts as a fix for most dyeing projects.


After a very good rinse in cold water I  lay the pieces out to dry. 


In my original hangar I used a second, identical frame to sandwich the lace between. This time around,to cut costs, and because the double frame was a bit hard to situate, I chose to use long slender craft sticks. 


I simply cut them in half and sanded the raw edge round to match its opposite. 


After a coat of paint on the sticks I used wood glue to sandwich the lace between the frame and the craft sticks, and clamped them with clothes pins


After a good drying period and an exact-o knife to clean up any overhanging lace on the back, the finished product is ready for the shop. 

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Secret Santa-ed

‘What did you get for Christmas?’ ‘A house’ ‘Well merry Christmas to you indeed’ am I right?

It’s a little scattered here 

  
How did we get so many chairs, all the furniture we own consists of chairs  

 luckily I planned ahead a little bit so I’ve got a few posts I can share with you 

So lots of people are likely doing their secret this coming week and I thought I would show you what I did for my secret Santa. 

My secret Santa wanted gift cards (boring) or ear rings (I can work with that) 
Most secret Santa gifts are limited to around $10 to $20. You can’t get much for that anymore. And to me small presents are all about the presentation so along with some $8 earnings from H&M I got $2 worth of craft supplies to make a little ear ring holder/ornament. 

You’ll need two laser cut frames like I used in one of my very first posts found here. 

  
Some paint, lace and some ribbon or twine for hanging.

  
First I painted my frames using a stippling technique to give them some texture. 

  
Then I just used hot glue to glue lace to the back side of one of the frames. I also layered some tulle in there simply because my lace had very large holes and the tulle would secure ear rings better.

  
Then I spot glued a small length of ribbon onto the back of the frame to serve as a hangar. 

  
Finally I coated the back of both frames with wood glue and sandwiched the lace and ribbon in between the two by gluing the frames back to back and carefully lining them up.

  
I clamped the layers together with clothes pins while it dried 

  
After about one hour I had a lovely way to gift ear rings and money left over in my Santa budget for other goodies. 

  
  

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Meta Bows

Guess who can actually see what they are doing now?

  
Yeah I broke down and got glasses. I knew I needed them when cross stitching was getting hard, but with one of my new jobs it was actually getting to the point where I would have to stop what I was doing just to let my eyes rest.

So enter my new glasses with bows on the bows. 

   That’s right, there are so many bows at this point it’s getting a little meta. 

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Rings and Things

I’m taking a little down time while remodeling the bathroom… But it turns out I’m really bad at down time. I feel like I need to be doing something “productive”. Luckily this morning I had a little inspiration brewing. It all started with this little mouse that a friend got me as an engagement present after I had forgotten to take off my ring while we were working on a project at her house.

Then another friend who is going through a KonMari (I had to google it and it turns out I’ve been doing this technique for years) purge mentioned “aspirational clutter”. You know, all that stuff you have laying around that you go “well, I might need it… One day”. I generally hate stuff like that, but I do have a few odds and ends that have managed to hang around for no reason other than aspirational ones. So today I decided to use some of that crap.

(Admittedly the above is not Aspiration Clutter, most of it has actually already been used… It was just the only cluttered picture I had)

Enter Pinterest where I discovered this blog post (you can follow me on pinterest at TinyBows, as a warning lots of wedding stuff of late)

Then I remembered the tiny sad picture frame I had hanging around because “I swear I’ll find something to do with it”.

As you might have noticed most of its rhinestones are gone, so let’s just make all of them disappear, and break out my trusty decorating friend nail polish.

 

Much improved

On to the backing which I’ll be doing with some scraps of fleece and wide lace ribbon. The fleece is another aspirational hang around, it’s just scrap from a Finn the human hat I made for my boyfriend two halloweens ago.

I just cut circles of the lace and fleece the size of the glass that used to go in the frame then did consecutively smaller circles of the fleece to act as stuffing

Now just one last thing, a straight pin with the head painted with the same nail polish to match. It’s mint candy apple by Essie if you were wondering.

I’m pretty sure I now need to do a big one of these to stick my myriad of broaches in.

And now I have a nice pretty ring holder to sit in the bedroom and a nice pretty (but also durable and unfazed by water) one to go in the kitchen or bathroom.

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Gobble Gobble

Just a quick post to say Happy Thanksgiving and of course Black Friday. Comical how we give thanks for everything we have then promptly go out and buy everything we don’t have. So here is a way to use up things you have in ways you might not have considered before. I am a bit of an organizational freak. By that I mean I’m pretty terrible at organization and hate myself for it, so am constantly looking for ways to improve that.

I have to wear a full face of makeup to work every day so my vanity drawer where my most used products are stored was getting a little overwhelmed. Enter gift boxes to the rescue.

I won’t show you before pictures of my vanity drawer, the horror is too graphic. I just used some of the gift boxes that I’ve saved over the years to reuse (or in this case repurpose) to give me some compartments to store my makeup in a more organized way. It saves me the hassle of digging around for one particular product and saves my products from getting tossed around and possibly broken in the drawers. I left some blank space in which to put pallets. They will, of course rotate out as the seasons and my mood change. Currently MAC and Too Faced holiday pallets have taken up residence but it allows me to wake up and not worry about hunting down what makeup I’m going to put on that morning.

Hope your holidays find you well.

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Yet another

I wasn’t lying when I said there was an overabundance of jewelry boxes

So another one got a makeover. First off, milk paint has a learning curve. The whole thing was a pretty open and shut case prior to finding a bargain batch of milk paint a Michael’s one day. I was just going to replace the broken handles and paint it to match the existing ones I had already done. But then there it was screaming at me. Those bottles of pretty pastel powder.

Knowing I was going to use milk paint I sanded the box completely down to the bare wood. It turns out its maple, and it smelled amazing.

As is typical of me I just jumped right in without doing any research. Google might as well not exist as far as I’m concerned. I just read the simple instructions on the back and decided that was good enough. A one to one ratio of the powdered paint and warm water. Ok sounds good. So off I went doing test patches on the bottom of the box that I sanded. I found a color mix and consistency that I liked, this one was three parts blue one part green and an equal amount of water. Then I went to town on the box. I wasn’t satisfied with the coverage so I figured I would do another coat. But oh yeah… water soluble, powdered paint. Guess what happens when you go over it with more liquid. It just pulls up what you’ve just put down.

So in the end I just had to thicken the mixture to get a higher coverage. Like I said it was a learning curve. It’s still patchy but in the end I decided to distress it so it fits with the overall look of the box itself.

The handles came from my usual favorite idea-ology line. They are made for cardboard box storage so have brad attachments but I found making a pilot hole and using a small hammer to pound in the brads worked just fine at securing them into the wood.

After everything I sealed it with a couple coats of satin clear coat to prevent the milk paint from wearing off or going all liquid at the drop of some water. Hopefully that will do it, or if it doesn’t it will give me an excuse to refinish it again and maybe straighten out that top handle in the process.

 

It didn’t turn out too shabby for my first (possibly last) attempt at milk paint. I had to custom mix the paint in order to attempt to match anything else I owned but it actually doesn’t look that bad. Clearly I am biased in this matter. Let me know what you think.

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On the Horizon

I MUTILATED A CLOCK

I know… it was a crime of passion and I feel no remorse. Mainly because I have diabolical plans for its remains. You are probably thinking “What steam-punk rococo funk monstrosity is this woman attempting?” But I can see it, and it’s going to be marvelous…. Or it’s going to be a disaster, either way the clock ran painfully slow so no harm, no foul. I’m actually going to use its hollow remains as a shadow box/display case. I can’t really take credit for the idea as it is something I saw in the Tim Holtz idea-ology section at Michael’s today. Michael’s actually sells brass alarm clock shells, but… screw that I have one at home that would be so much more fun to tear apart. With bonus steam punk gears inside! Side note: if anyone knows how to remove pins from sprockets that would be helpful information. This is just a “side” project with no deadline or motivation other than “oh my god I’m going to tear apart a clock older than I am”. Not that everything else I do is a primary imperative in any way. I’ll get there eventually or I’ll just have a torn apart clock laying in a box for a long time and I hate useless things laying around; I guess that’s the motivation.

So what else will be coming up in the next few weeks, possibly months, maybe by the end of the year? I’m not good at deadlines when it comes to personal projects.

As previously stated in Old Junk New Funk (one day it will have a better title) I do really have an overabundance of jewelry boxes so another makeover is coming along with one of them. This time it will be my first foray into Milk Paint. If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share with me regarding that please let me know. I figured I better start small when it comes to that because I have a couple of future projects that I know I want to use either Milk or Chalk paint on.

Speaking of those (far off) future projects one is a new (and by new I mean antique or thrift store) desk, seeing as though my marvelous computer that has allowed me to start this blog is currently sitting on a fold up table. That will have to wait until funds allow, which shouldn’t be too long off. Another major project to be tackled is liable to be my boyfriend’s new (and by new I mean thanks to our dear friend who moved to the sunshine state) table. We will be reupholstering the seats at the very least and likely painting the chairs and table base, though maybe not all of those things all at once. We have yet to decide if we will paint or just refinish the top. It’s something that I would like to do in chalk or milk paint so I’m doing this dry run on the jewelry box to see how things go. And once again any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated. This is another something that is going to have to wait until funds allow (upholstery fabric is surprisingly expensive) but the greater obstacle is waiting until the weather cools down a good bit. 95 degrees plus 95% humidity is not ideal for painting.

It is never a good idea for me to go into a craft store or any HBA section as I spend too much money and time there. Clearance at Michael’s was amazing. I have a $10 gallery wall in the making. This is a project that will take longer to arrange than it will to actually make. Just slap some paint on it, find a good wall space, and figure out how to arrange them. And I have exactly the wall. Because they are so light weight I’m guessing if you placed strip magnets on the back of the smaller ones they would make wonderful refrigerator frames for kid’s artwork. Something I don’t have to deal with, but it’s a quickie tutorial I might do for those who do have little ones around. I can also probably attach them to the wall without putting holes in the wall thanks to their weight, so they would be great for apartment use as well. My mind is just going crazy with the possibilities of these cheap and wonderful little do-dads.

I don’t have any health and beauty blogs lined up. Mainly because I don’t feel confident in myself (despite it being my job?) but also I think beauty tutorials come across much better in video form and I don’t have the equipment for that. But I will continue doing write-ups on anything that I find particularly interesting. If I happen to try out any new products I’ll do reviews (Clinique smart serum review may be incoming). I have just started using prescription retinol (tretinoin) and will be chronicling my experiences with it but I would like to give it at least four weeks (more likely 6 or 8) to see how it does.

Anyway these are the things I have lined up. There are lots of little crafty things I have done over the years that (unfortunately?) haven’t been documented. I’ll put a couple pictures of finished projects below. I’m also working on a follow up blog post that is nothing but projects I’ve completed in the last year. Let me know if there is a project you would like to see me do a tutorial on, whether it’s a project I’ve finished once already or a new endeavor entirely.