March 6, 2012

Jewelry Organization

My husband loves to make fun of me because I take a long time getting ready for bed and getting ready in the morning.  But those moments, alone in the bathroom, save my sanity sometimes!  Most days, those are the only times I have to myself.  If I’m getting ready for bed, I’m thinking about the events of the day and the things I have to do the next day.  If I’m getting ready in the morning, I’m arranging my day in my head.  I shower, blow-dry, put on make-up, go to get dressed- and it all comes to a screeching halt.  I walk into a closet full of clothes and can’t find one single thing to wear.  How does that happen?!  I’m sure a big part of the problem was my lack of organization.  My closet was a bit of a disaster.  So in an effort to extend the serenity of my morning routine, I decided to do a little work in my closet.  I bought new hangers and hung everything in order- shirts together, dresses together, pants together.  Perfect!  Looking at my clothes hanging neatly made me so happy!  Until, I turned around and saw the mountain of jewelry behind me.  Alright, time to do some shopping…

A $50 frame for $5?!  Can’t beat that!  With a piece of metal screen and a couple cans of sample paint, it’s perfect!

I added some adorable Christmas ornament hooks, a lamp and a jewelry stand from IKEA and it’s all organized and accessable.  And more important, the serene feeling of getting ready in the morning can now be extended into the closet!

August 17, 2011

Foot-stool Makeover

I’ve always loved the idea of taking something old and giving it new life.  When I was in college I would spend hours in Value World (a thrift shop in Ypsilanti) with my room-mate Katie, looking through the racks for the perfect item of clothing that I could take home, give it a nip and tuck and create something brand new.  One of my favorite finds was a men’s suit vest that I took in on the sides. That vest spent many hours on various dance floors around Eastern Michigan’s campus (and it’s waiting patiently in my dresser drawer for the day when I can squeeze into it again).  Another favorite was an AMAZING vintage mustard yellow leather jacket that I would give my left foot to have back; I’m pretty sure I left it at a party… Pretty sure.

Since we’re trying to re-do parts of our house on a budget, I’ve decided to apply this vintage re-invention idea to my house.  I’ve been checking out clearance shelves at places like Hobby Lobby and Home Goods, and I’ve found a few good bargains!  One being this cute little foot-stool at Hobby Lobby for $3.00!!  It’s a very plain stool with very little personality.  But with a little foam and fabric, it’s unrecognizable and, if I do say so myself, ADORABLE!!!

Katie would be so proud!  🙂


August 3, 2011

Message Board

My little family and I live in a small brick house that was built in 1868 (above a window in our attic, the date 1868 is written in the mortar, so we assume that’s when it was built).  We instantly fell in love with the charm and character.  And this being our first home, we had no idea what home-ownership entailed; let alone what owning an OLD house entailed.  There’s chipping paint, knob and tube electrical, walls that are like cement and impossible to nail into, the list of cons goes on and on.  But there’s also the nine inch moldings, the original pine flooring, nooks and crannies full of old coins or pictures, the list of pros goes on and on.  Basically what I’m trying to say is we have kind of a love/hate relationship with our house.  After living here for almost four years, we’ve decided to go room by room and making each one more functional and ORGANIZED.  My ultimate goal is to decrease our belongings by half and make sure that everything has a place.  My first project on an incredibly long list is a message board in the kitchen.  My husband and I each have individual calendars but we don’t have a central calendar that keeps the whole family’s schedule together.  So with the goal of re-purposing wasted space and making the family a little more organized, I re-vamped a small corner of my kitchen.  The space before was basically a crap-collector.  Various hooks and nails welcomed random aprons, step-stools, etc.

For about a month, I kept my eye out for pieces that could be put together to create a message board.  I wanted this to be a cheap project, so I only bought things on sale.  Speaking of cheap, I think this entire project cost maybe $60 at the most.  Anywho, while the hubs was at work one day, I decided to rip all the hooks, wallpaper and boards off the wall, which created a huge mess and caused a lot of eye-rolling from said husband.  The plan was to patch and paint the section of wall, but after seeing the condition of the wall I decided (okay, my husband decided) to just nail up a piece of wainscoting; which looked beautiful!

I painted the wainscoting and spray painted the message board pieces a robin’s egg blue.

After a day of painting and hammering, I gotta say, I love the finished product! Not only did it give wasted space a purpose and help to organize my family, it also made my kitchen look nicer!  And when you’ve got a love/hate relationship with your house, it’s nice to add another thing to the “love” column.

May 31, 2011

Ribbon Necklaces

When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in antique shops and at auctions.  A lot.  The reason being, my parents were trying to furnish a house built in 1908 with period pieces.  Almost every weekend we would go hunting for sideboards or hutches or iceboxes.  But me, being 6 or so, I wasn’t so interested in sideboards, hutches or iceboxes.  I was looking at the little things.  Delicate tea cups that, somehow through-out the years, had lost the rest of their set.  Sparkly pieces of costume jewelry that I could imagine myself wearing to some very grown-up party.  Toys so worn and shabby, there was no denying that they had been loved to death.  The love of these little things has carried into adulthood.  I could spend hours in one antique store, looking into every nook for that tiny piece that speaks to me; that lights a small spark of creation.

It was on one of these hours long shopping trips, deep in a case of jewelry, that I spotted a long strand of the most beautiful turquoise blue beads.

I bought the strand for $7.00 and held onto it for at least six years before inspiration struck.  On a side note, this happens to a lot of my purchases.  They sit for quite a while waiting for me to make up my mind as to their purpose, much to the chagrin of my husband.  So anywho, I bought this strand of gorgeous blue beads, just knowing I would come up with the perfect project for them.  And here it is: Ribbon Necklaces!  Once you understand the process, they’re really not hard to make.  By varying the color of ribbon and beads, you can make one for every outfit!  Or if you don’t feel like taking the time to make y0ur own, you can buy mine here:

Here’s what you’ll need: Beads, Ribbon- cut into 2 pieces (but read all the directions before you cut your ribbon), stainless steel beading wire- .012 in., crimp beads, crimp ends, clasp, jump rings, scissors, wire snips, needle-nose pliers and jewelry glue


1. Using a crimp bead, attach a long piece of wire to the middle of one of the pieces of ribbon.  The length of your necklace will determine how long to cut your ribbon.  Each piece will need to be folded in half so keep that in mind when cutting, don’t cut too small or it won’t fit around your neck!  You can always trim it before you attach the clasp.

2. String beads onto the wire, tucking the small extra end of the wire into the beads.  You can make a pattern or randomly string them on.

3. Using another crimp bead, attach the other piece of ribbon.  Tuck the extra end of wire into the strung beads.  I like to slide a bead with a larger hole over the ribbon and down onto the crimp bead.  This covers up the crimp bead and gives the necklace a finished look.

4. Place a dot of jewelry glue in one of the crimp ends.  Fold the ribbon into it and crimp the end with your pliers.  Repeat for the other end of the necklace.

5. Attach the clasp using the jump rings.

6. Wear the necklace and make all your friends jealous of your craftiness!