Having a teenage girl has definitely made me think more about jewelry than I have for a long time. I used to care about jewelry when I was still dating……a million years ago, but now I think my husband is just glad if I show up clean and not smelling of paint. To be completely honest, he’ll still take me out dirty and smelly but only because he doesn’t have many other offers……..not that I do. Anyway, back to the jewelry. I got an idea for a hanging jewelry organizer when I was rummaging through my junk and I thought I’d share the steps I went through to create it, just in case you have some junk laying around too…..oh, and some jewelry. In the above photo you can see what I started with. The frame and back board were originally together as a piece of “art” from Ross. The “art” was ugly so I pulled it out and used the back. I bought it at an estate liquidator place for $5, which is high (I think the guy thought it was “art” too) but he gave me two others for $1 so I’m telling myself I paid $2 for it. Ah, the rationalizations of the hoarder mind. The ugly metal knobs are in two pieces and I found them at a thrift store for 50 cents each. I think the metal screen is used for radiators, but since we don’t have those in San Diego, that may be an urban legend. I found it in my friend’s garage and she let me take it for free. Yay! I decided to gild the frame with metal leaf. The first step in gilding is applying gilding size and I always use Rolco Aquasize which is water-based and dries quickly. Gilding size is a watery adhesive that you brush on. The photo above shows the frame after the size was applied, which is why it’s shiny. The metal leaf I used is called Celestial Leaf and the color is Moonbeam. This is a variegated metal leaf, so the color is inconsistent, which I actually love. Celestial Leaf comes in books and each sheet is applied individually. After the size has dried and become tacky, lay a piece of leaf on the surface and push it in to the crevices with a soft brush. Try to not touch the leaf with your bare hands as the oil from your hands can discolor the leaf. When you have the entire surface covered in leaf, smooth it out with a sheepskin pad. If you don’t have a sheepskin pad you can use a really soft rag, but just know that it may scratch the leaf if it’s not truly soft. When the leaf is all shiny and pretty you can spray a coat of varnish on it to protect it from tarnish. I really recommend this step if it will be hung near a shower. Moving on to the knobs….after cleaning them well, I primed them with Faux Effects Black SetCoat, but you could use any metal primer that works with water based paint. I painted them first with with one coat of Antique Bronze metallic paint from Modern Masters and then a second coat in Pale Gold. Metallic paint can be fairly transparent which is why I used a black primer. I stippled (fancy word for blobbing on light layers of paint) a thin coat of each color with a small, badly, crumpled artist brush. Use a bad brush so that the pattern is irregular. Smooth brushes leave streaks if you just brush on metallic paint. You can get a better look by stabbing it on randomly, while allowing a little of the black primer peek through. Now for the fun part; the backboard. I sanded the board to get rid of scratches but it was still a little uneven. I decided to hide the blemishes by using this Blue Pearl paint called Silk Soft, in the color Asian Silk. This is a metallic paint that actually has small fibers in it making it thicker and textured to the touch. To amplify this effect I applied it heavily with a rough chip brush in one direction. It looks very much like raw silk and it’s a great background for the next step. I used a new stencil from Royal Design Studio called Snowflake Lace. Royal Design just released a whole group of lace stencils that are really fun to use. I used Modern Masters metallic paint in Black Cherry and a brush from Royal Design Studio. Please don’t consider doing this with anything other than a stencil brush. Sponge brushes and artist brushes suck and should never be used for stenciling. You can use them, just don’t call me crying about it when it’s hideous. I told you not to use them. Dip your brush lightly in the paint, then rub off the excess paint in a swirling motion on a paper towel until there’s barely any paint on your brush. Swirl your brush lightly on the edges of the stencil openings, working your way into the center of each opening. Lift the stencil to check your progress as you go. It takes very little paint to leave an impression. Do you see any blobs of paint? Any ooze under the stencil? No? That’s because I used a proper brush and a very light amount of paint. It’s not rocket science. Just use the right brush for the project, and don’t go heavy with the paint. When all the pieces were painted and pretty I put them together. The metal screen didn’t need to be painted, I just sanded off the dullness before attaching it to the backboard. The screen and the knobs were attached with bolts after I drilled holes in the board. So from pieces of junk I created a great place to organize jewelry. I love how it all came together. It’s for sale in my Etsy shop now if you know anybody that could use a little help with corralling their accessories. This was so fun, I may have to make another one. Inventory used: Metallic paint
I will admit that Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I don’t like spending endless amounts of money, or overeating and it seems senseless to buy decorations that sit in a box 11 months out of every year. I know you could say the same thing about Halloween, but Halloween is fun. There’s just so much guilt wrapped around Christmas. Did you spend too much? Not enough? Did you cook it right? Cook enough? Are you making it memorable? Are your kids disappointed? Spoiled? Ungrateful? The list goes on and on, mostly in my head, but it weighs so heavily on my heart as well.
I combat these feelings with making a lot of the gifts I give and the decorations we put up. For the past few years I’ve had an argument inside about the Christmas tree. I really don’t like putting them up. We had an ugly, fake one for a long time. We bought it because it was ugly. It made me feel like I was thrusting my middle finger at The Christmas Police. “You want me to have a tree? Here! Here’s your freaking tree!” A couple years ago it became too ugly, even for me. Ever since, I’ve had to figure out some way of putting up my ornaments, without buying a tree. This year’s solution is my absolute favorite because it was free and it used up four spray paint cans out of my stash.
I brought home five branches that I found on the ground at the park next to my house. I painted them first with black floral spray paint to make them stand out a little more since my wall is a little busy. To make it look like they had snow on them I sprayed them a few inches at a time with clear topcoat spray and while they were wet I sprinkled them with small mica flakes and then I coated them really well with more topcoat to get the flakes to stick. I had the flakes on hand from when I used to make countertops. (I didn’t want to use glitter because I was afraid my dog might eat it and get sick)
I love the way it really shows off our ornaments. Plus, unlike a tree, there’s no bad side, no broken lights and no need to water it. Way better than a tree, at least for me. Please don’t get me wrong, I think Christmas trees are beautiful and I love all the lights, I just hate doing it. My hats are off to all you Christmas tree decorators out there. I admire your tenacity. You’re a better man than me.
This past week I’ve been working furiously on the display I’ll be taking to A Gilded Life art retreat this coming Wednesday. I say furiously because anyone getting in my way or slowing me down has definitely experienced my wrath (sincerest apologies to my family). I finished it yesterday and I’m pretty happy with the results. I’ll take photos at the actual event….this is just what it looks like in my dining room.
Salvaged Sanity mail organizers should ideally be displayed on walls, but since this venue doesn’t provide any, and I can’t fit those in a Prius, I had to come up with something else. The most important factor the display had to work around was that it had to break down into parts small enough to fit in my car, and be easy enough to put together by myself.
My husband came up with the designs for the table racks and I came up with the idea for using an IKEA $10 clothes rack for hanging the Design-Your-Own message center components. Other than the IKEA purchase all the other parts were salvaged either from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or my studio.
The hanging table racks are made from two 1″ x 4″s and two 30″ sections of 1/2″ x 1″molding to fit a standard 30″ x 72″ banquet table. You could actually fit three of these racks on this size table, but I needed only two. I added hooks at the top of the 1″x 4″s for my boards to hang on. The rack fits right over the edges of the table and the weight of the hanging boards balances each other. They fit snug enough that if you remove one of them, the other side stays in place.
To display the pieces that are for sale a’ la carte I used chandelier chain, s-hooks and gutter screens to hang everything from the clothes rack. All that stuff folds down to practically nothing and yes– I had all that stuff in my studio.
For the table top holders I got lucky at the ReStore when I found an old wooden sliding door track. I cut it into four equal pieces and my boards slide right on to them. I formed triangles out of two organizers tied together at the top and their bottoms stabilized in the wood tracks.
I had the fabric for the tablecloth (a thrift store find) and all the material for the signs in various corners of my home. So this whole thing came together for less than $20 and a lot of imagination.
Today I’m doing the hard part – figuring out how to get it all in my car and still be able to see out the windows. I’ve always loved a good puzzle. Wish me luck!
(this is part of a series that began September 27th)
Thanks to my cousin letting us take her car first thing, (Thanks, Cheri!) Dianna and I got our Starbucks and headed out to the Marburger Farm’s Antique Show as fast as our loaner car could take us. Not as fast as the speed limit, however, which is 80mph in some places…….crazy Texans. You can see by the very first photo that it was totally worth going. Yummmmmmmmm.
I have been to a fair share of shows, but I’ve never seen one this big or with such a high caliber of display and merchandising all in one place. I’m used to going to big shows and seeing a handful of vendors who go all out with eye catching booths. This show didn’t have one display that was boring or uninteresting.
Even the vendors who specialized in a certain thing made an effort to grab your attention. I loved these crates. The vendor adds the handles and varnishes them to really bring out their color. Love that.
This was the first booth we saw, in the first tent we went to . They had a little bit of everything, so we took our time. My goal was to see as much as we could but not rush. It was hot so I didn’t want us perspiring anymore than necessary. A sweaty shopper is an unhappy shopper.
Now for an intermission: The heat outside made us steer clear of the bbq stands. We settled on egg salad on homemade bread with pickles, Lays potato chips and sweet tea. Scrumtious. The egg salad was cold and yummy and fortified us for the rest of the day.
Taxidermy is big right now. This will make my friend, Amy G., never speak to me again, but I am going to say that I really liked this display. I’m not saying I’m going to go kill one of my own, but if someone gave me one, I would probably hang it in a similar fashion, and I’d probably name it, and put hats on it.
Sorry again, Amy. I really loved these, and if I had $450 burning a hole in my pocket I probably would have come home with one. She also had skunks that were really cute. Dead…….but cute. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Sorry.
Okay, sorry again, Amy. They’re friggin’ everywhere. This one’s pretty creative. Who would have thought that a deer head, old film reels, metal siding and branches would make such an awesome headboard. Obviously Amy wouldn’t think it’s awesome, but some people would. Someone like me, unfortunately. (I can almost feel her deleting me from her Contacts)
Anyway, the lengths that some of these vendors went to was awe-inspiring. These people brought live birds all the way from somewhere. Sheesh. That’s committment. Bravo. I’m going to pretend they released the doves back into the wild after the show. Come join me in Fantasyland, will you?This is one of those things that I truly wish I needed because it’s so dang cool. They had it filled with upholstery trim and metal junk. I’m sure I could find a use for it, right after I find the $2000 I would need to make it mine.
I hate to close with another deer head, but it was pretty hard to find displays with out them. This was outside one of the tents. There was so much good stuff that they couldn’t contain it on the inside.
Although we sweated a lot and were overwhelmed by this size of the show, we had a really good time. We didn’t buy hardly anything because everything was a lot more expensive than most shows we go to. I saw a lot of designers with clients, so I think the vendors were aiming for that lot. I don’t blame them. The cost of their booth, as well as shipping costs and lodging during the show had to be astronomical. I’m still really glad we went and loved looking at all the creativity. If you’re ever in Round Top around this time of year, definitely make time to attend. It’s totally worth it.
September is one of those months that I get really motivated. September and January I end up doing Spring Cleaning, which I know doesn’t make any sense, but there it is. I recently made a few new message centers that I’m particularly proud of. They go along with my seasonal organization disorder.
This dark one has what I call a Forever calendar at the top. I’ve also heard them called perpetual calendar. The idea is, you write in the dates for each month with a dry erase marker. I left room around the edges so you have room to write other notes as well. I stenciled a calendar grid on canvas and hand painted the corners in grey and dark mustard colors. I installed it under glass in an old frame I picked up at an estate sale.
The other two boards I built are being sold as a set. The thing is, I had a bunch of pieces that I wanted together and I thought it would be too wide, so I split the board up. This gives the owner the flexibility to either hang them side by side or vertically, or in two completely different places.
This first one has a large book that can hold file folders. Beneath it is a magnet board covered in a vintage fabric and sports two magnets made out of antique looking bottle caps. On either side of this are two clothespins attached to the board to hold invitations and reminders.
This message board has a dry erase board with vintage tablecloth fabric under the glass. There’s a tin for holding pens and pencils right where you need them. Under that is a small mail holder and a hanging frame.
Both boards are painted in high gloss white which is different for me, but I really like how it looks. All of these can be viewed in more detail at my Etsy Shop. Have a great holiday weekend.
Inventory used: latex paint, Stain & Seal