I’ve been looking for more current inspiration for the pieces I’ve been making – more current than “Hey, I like purple let’s make all purple stuff,” which has generally always been my MO. But now that I’m temporarily over purple, I’m looking around me, through magazines and online to figure out what people are going to be wearing in the coming months.
Let me just say that there are thousands of “trends,” so nothing seems to ever be like “the thing” until it suddenly goes viral and everyone is like “ZOMG I love whales I really need a whale t-shirt.”
SO, beyond my future fascination with whalephernalia, I looked online to net-a-porter to consolidate the upcoming trends that I might use as inspiration, starting first with PASTELS. A color zone that I am entirely uncomfortable with, possibly due to excessive overuse during my high school years. (Like, baby blue pleated skirt with a white t-shirt adorned with pale pink rosettes, with a lavender cardigan. Ew, right?)
So pastel pink and minty blue, eh? Not my strong points, nor my stash contents at all. In fact, I have zero baby blue / minty green anywhere… except my nail polish bin. So.
Side note: after I started writing and crafting, I realized that actually, I do not own pink nail polish. I had to go buy some specifically for this project. Totally feminine, girl.
I was thinking about making a full DIY of this, but at that point I was (once again) dizzy on nail polish fumes, and had forgotten to take “during” pictures. I think one can figure out the process, though:
- Cut four pieces of small chain – mine were about 4″ each.
- Paint the ends with your desired nail polish color (minty blue)
- While that is drying, paint the adjacent sections your second color (pink), leaving the center section unpainted.
- Paint, dry, paint, dry, paint, dry.
- In between coats, it is good to flex the chain around to keep the links from sticking to each other too badly. Though, this will happen regardless.
- Hang 2 chains per earring from around the center, staggering where the ends fall for a nice uneven fringe effect.
The pink nail polish I bought? Not good. Very translucent. Looked like nonfat milk when I put it on my fingernails. But I’m not willing to purchase any additional pink polish to try to accurately represent a Spring 12 fashion trend… so there you have it. A pair of super cool, customizeable color earrings for any fashion trend that may happen upon us in the upcoming years.
This is really a lot like the post I did on my Glitter Captoes, only less glitter and extremely more smelly. Seriously. I’ve burned my sense of smell straight out the brain. I suggest, perhaps, opening a window when you do this. Or being a smoker, because then you can’t smell as much anyway.
I bought a pair of shoes at a thrift store yesterday for THREE DOLLARS. Normally, I’m not really a thrift store shoe wearer, because it grosses me out when they are all collapsed and have mystery smudges inside. What if that is blister juice? I think of things like that. But these shoes.
Spoiler Alert! I’m painting them with that nail polish in the photo. Also note the safety backup in the background. I tried painting these a different color first, but it was UUUgly.
But first I taped off the fabric around the heels and sole. I had to tear the tape a little around the heels to allow the tape to curve (one of the 5 things I’ve learned from sewing).
And, time to put on your respirator and get to painting! Seriously, I was going to look up for you all how safe it is to breathe in nail polish fumes, but then I thought about it and decided I probably don’t want to know right now. Coat one!
On the heel, since I couldn’t cover top to bottom in one go, I painted from the top down to the middle, and then from the bottom up. The brush lines then blend for a more seamless look.
Let the polish dry by setting it near your heater (or in the sun, or on your desk, whatever). Don’t believe them when they tell you it’s 50-second dry nail polish. They are fibbing. Then remove your masking/painter’s tape and marvel.
Amazors. I may or may not top coat them, but for now I don’t want to breathe in my apartment (have I mentioned we live in a basement?), so they will stay like this. The nail polish I used was Maybelline Express Finish in Grape Times, which I have had and loved (in my cabinet) for years. Now I will love it on my feet.
Hot Dang. Or should I say, cold dang. Just a few hours ago I went to lunch with my hubs and brocito, in my cropped pants and flats and denim jacket, and I was fine. Just now, I went out to get something from my car and my toes fell off. And now it’s snowing. Heya winter, I was hoping you’d be that one guest at the party that I manage to avoid making eye contact with for the whole time and then see a year later and be like “heeyyyyy, it’s been so long…”
I’ve been entertaining the idea of having a booth at a local craft fair to sell my jewelry (and other random things I’ve been making/hoarding). The idea itself is kind of terrifying – I remember the tedium of working at the hot dog booth for the Key Club in high school, and the residual emotion of hot dog burns may be jading me a little. AND I’d be there by myself, with the public. The kind who go see parades that celebrate either large gold nuggets or Mr. Johnny Appleseed (these are the two fairs in my own town). WOO DONKEY DERBY.
It’s not only the public that scares me, but the commitment to actually making a large volume of work, and the not having a totally bobo booth. Especially the first – I mean, filling up a 10′ x 10′ booth when you are selling 2′ x 3′ photographs or hand-painted milking stools isn’t so daunting, but when the items you make each take up about 4 square inches of space, that is SO daunting.
So I’ve made myself a challenge. Which will not only help me create a volume of things, but also pare down the ENORMOUS stash of beads I’ve collected and/or hoarded over the years. Some of the things I pick up and think to myself “Jenny, WTF? This is a string of possible meteor rocks or just regular rocks. WHAT were you going to make with this?” (Answer: I have no idea).
The challenge is: pick an item in my hoard I’ve never used and never had a plan for, and make something wearable out of it. Bonus points if I use up all of the item.
I started on Friday with a $1 strand of teardrop beads that I don’t know why I bought, besides the dollarness. Normally when I’m picking out beads, I don’t buy multi-color packs, and I don’t do random assortments… making me wonder if I actually bought them at all or if they magically appeared in a bag on my desk. (It’s possible. My desk is a void of magic and mystery).
Challenge 1: Dominated.
I’ll let you know how it unfolds when I finally decide to tackle the space rocks.
I’ve been a little jewelry making factory these last couple days. Well – jewelry making and internet-watching, to give you a sense of what I actually do. And I had an idea – an idea involving small chains and fringe and fantastic, that needed to happen RIGHT NOW (right then).
When I reached for my small chains stash (base metal chains, purchased on a 50% day at Michael’s), I found them in a sorry state:
So I solved the problem with SCIENCE. Not that I could tell you exactly how the science works, but I CAN tell that it does work.
First things first. Fill up a microwaveable mug with a couple shakes of baking soda and some water, then microwave it until it’s hot (about the same temperature as you’d want your cup of coffee in the morning).
While it’s heating, line a small bowl with aluminum foil and plop your chain/jewelry in it.
Next, carefully (so as not to spill the coffee in your other hand) pour the hot baking soda water over your chain in the foily bowl.
Now, you can just let this soak for a while and eventually the tarnish will science right off that chain. Or, if you’re like me (impatient), you can take 5-10 minutes and scrub the chain with some additional baking soda. I just dumped some more into the bowl and swished it around, and then ran the chain through my fingers to squeegee that tarnish right off.
If you encounter any especially grody spots on the chain, put some baking soda right on your fingers – it also acts as a mild abrasive.
And… tada! Cleaned up chain! Ready for some creative action.
Now my dad, who once dressed up as Mr. Wizard for funsies/Halloween, suggests that putting an insulator (like that piece of rubber you just have hanging around, or some paper towel or something) would make the process even better/faster, because of something about the metals reacting something something. This could work – I don’t know. My chain is pretty clean without any more science being added.
- This can be done with finished jewelry as well. Just be sure that your stones, if any, aren’t too delicate or affected by chemicals and/or hot water. So no opals, pearls, or emeralds (ha!). I’m not sure about foil-backed rhinestones are anything attached to the jewelry with glue – it could melt the glue or loosen it somehow. Glass and crystal are great.
- I can’t vouch for ALL base metals here, and I’m thinking that if the plating has worn off and brass or copper is showing through, this could even make it worse. I might just scrub those with a baking soda paste and see if that helps.
- I’ll let you know about the additional science part. I have one more package of chain to clean.
Glitter! Shoes! Makes me sound way more girly than I profess to be!
I’ve been swing dancing for about 9 years, and I’ve had this pair of shoes for about 6 of them, so they are pretty beaten up. Don’t you judge me. I am proud of their dance-battle scars, even though the vast majority of them were self-inflicted when I managed to kick myself in my own foot. That’s why I bought leather shoes – more shoe damage = less foot damage.
So check out these before/during/after shots of the glitter transformation, though it’s less of a “ZOMG I was just on an Oprah makeover episode” transformation, and more of a “ZOMG I just got my nails did” sort of change.
Before: Some battle-hardened white shoes:
First: Assemble your supplies:
Next: Tape off the border between white leather and the sole of the shoe, and paint a base layer of a similar color. I chose metallic green, which looked more like gold when it was dried.
Next: Mix up some Mod Podge and glitter. Try for not nearly as much Mod Podge as seems reasonable - I think about 2 teaspoons would have done me for this project. Mix it up with nearly the same amount of glitter (NOT like what I did in the below photo – there is tooooo much white and not enough green in that mix.
Next: Add more glitter, because you’ve realized what I said was true. I had to take out some of the sub-standard mixture to fit in all the glitter I was going to add.
Paint on glitter podge until you are happy with the glitter coverage on your glitter shoes. Let them dry, remove the tape, and marvel at your completely over-the-top shoes.
In fact, these are SO over-the-top ridiculous that my husband has asked me to do the same to his battered white captoes (yes, we have the same pair of shoes). But maybe in red, or black, or some other such manly glitter color.
I know this has been floating around Pinterest for a while now, but I’ve finally gotten around to creating my own. I’ve got lists of projects to do everywhere! On scraps of paper in my purse, in various notebooks that I swear I’ll keep with me and never do, on two separate google docs spreadsheets, and on a task app on my phone. But none of them are visible where I actually do my work.
I was originally going to use a nasty frame that house an extremely pastel florally house print provided by my mother, but I promised my husband that I’d frame his Skyrim map so I did. Since this was a project I really wanted to do, I hied myself over to the thrift store near work and spotted this simple, faded, pictureless frame with glass.
Note the $4.99 sticker, which I was fine with. BUT, it turned out that Tuesday was 75% off school-paint-green tagged items, so I got it for a whopping $1.34, which I was even more fine with. So I took it home, took it apart, and cleaned it. I painted the cardboard background with two coats of soft grey latex paint that was leftover from a wall -painting project and let them dry. **Actually, I didn’t let them dry enough and ended up ruining the Sharpie marker I had been going to use. Live and learn from this mistake – let your paint dry ALL the way**
After the paint was ALL THE WAY DRY (the next day), I started tracing my background stencil onto it. I got this stencil template and traced it onto posterboard so I could pin it down to the cardboard more easily. I used a teal Sharpie marker to trace the design – I had pulled out two of the same marker just in case I ran out of ink. But guess what? Just because two markers have the same color cap and plastic does NOT apparently mean they have the same color ink. The benefit of patience and testing, which I obviously am not best at.
Once the background was done, I started painting the frame with Martha Stewart’s craft paint in Beetle Black, which is the best black paint I’ve used. It covered up the country blue nastiness very admirably. I started with a sloppy base coat just to cover the faded blue (which I didn’t sand or prime or do anything to).
While I waited for coat 1 to mostly dry, I traumatized my dog by taking him into the shower with me and cleaning us both thoroughly. He has spent the rest of the day giving me “How could you do this to me?” looks, like the one below:
Then on went the second coat, which was the last as this paint is awesome and provided a smooth, glossy look without too much work.
And then, I put it all back together. It wasn’t until I had the pattern under the glass that I thought to myself, “Am I going to be able to read this once I write on it?” Which obviously is something I should have asked myself waaay back at the beginning when I thought up the spirograph idea. But I hadn’t, so luck for me, it wasn’t too illegible.
Finito! Mounted on the wall next to my pegboard at a reasonable writing height, I really think this is going to be a good way for me to keep track of upcoming projects and ideas that I have. I’m seriously considering hanging a corkboard next to it to pin stuff (actually pin, unlike my virtual pinning habit) to. I bought a pack of four retractable dry-erase markers at the Dollar Tree, for… a dollar…., bringing my grand total expenditure to $2.42. Bam.
- I might not try painting the backing board again – it made the board warp a little, and there is a space between it and the glass leaving un-awesome shadows. I think I’d paint a piece of cardstock, or use scrapbook paper or fabric in the middle.
- If you’re drawing with Sharpies, let the paint dry! And make sure they are the same color before you switch off.
- Definitely buy your markers at a dollar store. Those things cost $7 for 3 at the office supply store.
- Canine trauma is optional
Can you tell I got my new camera this week?