Friday, December 4, 2015

Three Great Christmas Jewelry Tutorials

Hi, everyone! 'Tis the season for giving, and if you're like me, you love making gifts for the loved ones in your life. Let's kick off the crafting with three tutorials for Christmas jewelry. :)

The first one comes courtesy of Rings & Things - a Christmas Tree Window charm! Isn't it beautiful? This tutorial even comes with a shopping list. You could use the charm as a pendant, or make two for earrings, or use as part of a charm bracelet or keychain. It's a very versatile design.
The next tutorial I'd like to share is to make a "quickie" pair of candy cane earrings: Quickie Candy Cane Earrings from Prima Bead (courtesy of All Free Jewelry Making). Aren't they cute? This design is a fast way to add a lot of seasonal style to an outfit, and works great for stocking stuffers.

Last up, we have a video tutorial from Off the Beaded Path (courtesy of The Beading Gem) to make a pair of Christmas wreath earrings using beadweaving techniques. These earrings have a lot of bling to them because of the crystals.

You can watch the tutorial below, or at the link above (click the picture).

I know I'm looking forward to trying these out! Won't they make great gifts? 

More Ideas:
22 Free Beading Patterns for Christmas Jewelry
Winter and Christmas Jewelry Tutorials
3 Awesome Beaded Wreath Earrings Tutorials 

Just a note: I'm not affiliated with any of these sites. These are just tutorials that I like. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Aging Copper Wire - The Quick Way

Hi, everyone! So, as I've posted about before, I have a bunch of copper wire that my dad gave me, in a very heavy gauge, and I still haven't done much with it. Here's the thing, though - I'm completely out of chain for my usual designs. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that, so I'm taking another look at this wire. :)

Namely, I'm looking at how to patina it. I know that good ol' Mother Nature can and will take care of adding a beautiful patina to metals, but she takes her sweet time with projects like that (sort of like me, come to think of it), and so I've been looking at some quicker ways to do it.

Pearl over at Beading Gem has done a full-blown experiment on two different patina solutions: gun blue (normally used to keep guns from rusting) versus liver-of-sulfur (a very common patina agent). It's a really interesting compare/contrast between the two. At the bottom of her post, Pearl included links to other reading on the subject of patinas, too.
From The Beading Gem's Journal.

The other post I wanted to share is a more DIY method of adding patinas to your work, courtesy of The Amethyst Dragonfly. She shares recipes for how to add a verdigris patina using household chemicals. The verdigris patina looks really neat!
From The Amethyst Dragonfly.

There you have it! I have no idea when I'll ever get around to using any of this, but now the information is available in one spot for me, haha. And for you, too! If you use either of these techniques, please post your results in the comments - I'd love to hear about it, or see photos of it, if you prefer. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Craft Room Organization

So, as I've posted about before, I'm always looking for more ways to make use of the limited craft space that I have. I'd like to share with you today some lovely DIY ways to organize your craft room. :)

The first DIY organization tip comes from It Happens in a Blink - a way to reuse a wipes container to make a cute storage box. The tutorial shows how to cover the box in fabric and make it pretty. Melanie used hers for her washi tape collection; I would probably use it to hold my macrame cord. You could use it for ribbons or other string, I'd bet! I could see using it in the kitchen to hold cooking twine, for example.

I'm only including two links in this post because this next one is a huge collection of storage tips from Better Homes and Gardens. Seriously, there are close to thirty ideas here, for both you and for kids. I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, but I think I'm going to go with #20, which is an upcycled medical cart repurposed as craft storage. It combines two of my favorite things: reusing something old, and using something in unexpected ways. Check it out:

So, I hope this collection of ideas helps you out, the next time you want to organize your craft space. I know it's gotten my brain a-buzzing! :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

What's in a Name?

My new banner! Not bad for someone with zero experience in graphic design, eh? ;)

I got some feedback at my last show about my store name - specifically, why "BokBok Jewelry"? This is a great question, and one that's a little difficult to answer in the short time frame between customer rushes at a craft fair, so I thought I'd go more in-depth about it here. :)

The short answer (and the one I gave at the show) was that when I was young, my family had chickens and I used to call them "bokboks". When it came time to sell online, I needed a name and wanted something short, sweet, and fun - hence, BokBok Jewelry.

This is all accurate, but there's more - my very first memory, period, is of helping gather eggs every morning. I'm pretty sure that was one of my first chores ever, too. I found a photo my mom took when it was time to process the chickens, and I look two years old, maybe three. It looks like I was still in a diaper and using a sippy-cup. So we're talking young, here. (I'd post it, but as a country kid, I was running around naked and there's no way I'm putting that on the internet, haha.) So, to me, "BokBok" represents the work ethic that my parents instilled in me, starting at a very young age. It also represents personal responsibility - how many toddlers do you trust to carry eggs across a good-sized yard? ;)

(The yard was also filled with holes, as well as weird dips and rises, from both gophers and dogs digging. Just sayin', that wasn't an easy task, to traverse all that while carrying a shirt-full of eggs.)

I recently redid my shop and social media banner (the old one was a product photo I slapped up because I needed a banner). The new banner depicts a public-domain illustration of a certain breed of chickens with a lovely farm background. The house that's in the background? It reminds me of the second house I lived in, where I spent the years from ages 11 to when I moved out on my own, and it's where my parents still live. Their house isn't quite that big, but it's a 100+ year-old farmhouse out in the country in a similar style. That chicken picture ties in the "bokbok" thing as well as my family history and background, too.

(Speaking of old-timey things, I love-love-love vintage jewelry, either wearing it as-is or taking it apart to make something new, and I look at jewelry from other time periods all the time for inspiration. Everything from Edwardian and Victorian times, up through art deco, art nouveau, and even the hippie jewelry from the '60s and '70s. It's funny, because if you watch the trends, things come back around every 20, 40, etc. years. Life is a cycle.)

Basically, BokBok Jewelry's brand identity is me, and the name is tied very strongly to me and my past. Family's important to me, and hard work, and responsibility, and trust. I am very serious about all of those values. On the other hand, I don't really make "serious" jewelry - at least, not all the time - I like to make jewelry pieces that are fun and whimsical. I feel that the name "BokBok" kind of bridges the gap between those two ideas, but only if one knows the whole story. Which, now you do! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to Bulk Up Inventory for a Craft Fair

I find myself about to embark on a personal first - two craft fairs in the same month. I'm really excited about the opportunity...yet, at the same time, one idea keeps wracking my nerves - what if I sell too much at the first show? I have a lot of inventory on hand, this is true, but still...what if?

So, I'm trying to wrack my brain (instead of my nerves!) for ideas to quickly and easily build up a "what if" stock ahead of time. I make a lot of one-offs - also known as "one-of-a-kind" or OOAK pieces - and it's a lot of time and energy just to create one piece. I could devote my energy to making more, though wouldn't my time be better spent on designs that I could pump out quickly? I tend to think the answer to that question (currently, at least) is an enthusiastic "yes". ;)
Some of my design processes can take hours, let alone the time to build.
This OOAK cuff, for instance, was on the quick side with a design time of 30 minutes, and it took somewhere around five hours to craft.
That's a lot of time for just one piece!

As a result, I find myself searching my inventory for cute designs that I can easily duplicate or replicate with different colors. Plus, a bonus - this'll offer more variety for the shoppers at the show, and I can even offer more color variations in my online store, for much less effort and time than it'd take to create more OOAK pieces. I've found a few of my designs that are a little simpler than my usual statement pieces that I plan to remake in different colors, so that's my first tip: offer variations (color, length, size, etc.) on your designs.
Take this chevron necklace, for instance.
What if I used rose pink, mint, and gold?
Or maybe black, red, and white?
One design, endless possibilities.

Another way I plan to beef up my inventory is to make alterations on some of my designs. For example, I have some pendants made up already that might look really good as earrings. Some of my earring designs would be totally cute as pendants! I can add ribbon or chain to a bracelet design to make a necklace, or shorten a necklace design to make a bracelet. Get creative with your existing designs; will they work as a different piece? What if you flipped the design? (For example, by making "A"-shaped chevrons instead of "V"-shaped ones.) You can get a lot of mileage from your work just by playing with an existing design, and that's exactly what I plan to do! :)

Have you had to bulk up stock for a craft fair? 
What were some of your methods of doing so? 
Please share in the comments!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bracelet Tutorial Round-Up!

It's summertime, and there's no piece of jewelry I love more in summertime than a nice bracelet...or an armload of them. ;) Summer shirt sleeves are short or non-existent, and what better way to show off your arm candy than in the bright sunshine? With that in mind, I've rounded up five of my favorite tutorials for DIY bracelets so that you can keep busy making your own bracelets, cuffs, and bangles.

The first tutorial I have lined up for you is a cute way to upcycle brooches or large earrings into a modern paracord bracelet. DIY Jeweled Paracord Bracelet from Honestly WTF

This next one combines two of my favorite things: upcycling, and leather! Thrift Store Belt into Leather Cuff

The third tutorial I have for you is quick, simple, and is a wonderful way to use up leftover leather scraps and beads. (I hate throwing things away!) Both men and women can wear this Easy Beaded Leather Wristlet.

Make a cute bracelet from handmade paper beads with this next tutorial from Lots of DIY.

For the fifth and last tutorial, continuing my recycle/reduce/reuse theme (does anyone else remember those PSAs from the '90s?), here's an upcycled zipper bracelet found on ReFab Diaries.

Originally on Craft and Fun.

And there you have it! Five fun, fabulous, and fantastic DIY bracelet ideas to get you through summer. I know I'm feeling inspired!

Do you want bracelets the easy way? Shop my selection of handmade bracelets on Tictail! ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Craft Space Overhaul! Part 5 (of 5)

This was a really big project! To see it from the start, click here.

Remember what my crafting area used to look like? In case you don't, one of the obligatory "before" photos is right over there. :) Everything was cluttered and unorganized, and there was a lot of valuable storage real-estate being taken up by boxes that should have been unpacked and/or stored in the attic four years ago when we moved in. The way that the table was set up, there wasn't enough room for me to sit centered and be comfortable, and the large surface area was a great clutter-magnet.

Over the course of this project, I learned some organizational techniques which I shared in the corresponding posts, and discovered quite a few materials (beads, mostly) that I had completely forgotten I even had. Some stripped screws stood between me and converting my craft table into a computer desk, but I took off one of the leaves to open up the back and am using it as a desk anyway. :P I also found new ways to approach organizing, and picked up some great new storage! There are still a few things I want to do with it, but I declare it "done enough". So, without further ado, here are my "after" photos...

New crafting area! I use my old computer desk (an antique writing desk that's been in the family for four generations now) as a crafting surface. I have my digital photo frame set up, along with a bucket for dry-erase pens and my DIY lightbox for taking photos. Some notes are taped to the wall.
POV of my crafting area. The glowy blue thing on the left is the photo frame. I have some wonderful light now, and can go directly from crafting to shooting product photos.
My little photo studio, now in a semi-permanent spot on the crafting desk. Also featured: a sneak-peek of a pair of feather earrings that I don't have listed yet. ;)
The newly cleaned-out and organized closet. I put the antique sewing cabinet thingy in there, but to open it, I'll need to pull it out, so I may need to find a different home for it. It has all my tools in it, sorted by function within its drawers. Speaking of drawers, I have my new bead-drawers stacked, too, and there are still a few boxes that I haven't gone through yet. I plan to screw jar lids to the underside of the cabinet so I can have extra storage there, and I saved the leaf from the table to salvage for more shelving.
Mounted on the outside closet door is a white board that's just been hanging out on my desk since Christmas. I have a Twitter promotion calendar with related hashtags to use, and a list of meals to make for the week is held on by a magnet. Side note: just the small, simple task of planning out the week's menu every week has been a huge time-saver for me, and we're eating healthy meals at home more often.
Finally, my revamped computer station. I minimized the surface area so that it'll be easier to dust, and the table is at a better spot for my wrists when using the mouse and keyboard. I have my little microbe plushie keeping me company, and my daughter added her own touch - a vintage My Little Pony that I saved for her from my own childhood toy collection. There's another MLP on my craft table, as pictured above. I have my printer behind the monitor, out of the way.
Like I said, there are a few other things I eventually want to do with the space (the wall above my crafting area, in particular, is just crying out for some sort of decoration), but it's good enough for right now! :) Hopefully this has been an inspiration to someone out there who has been looking to revamp their own craft room; if nothing else, I have photographic evidence of how bad it used to be, haha.

Update, 7/1/15: I finally went through two of the boxes that were still in the closet, and they were full of seed beads from my grandma. Check it out:

Baggies and shower hooks from the local dollar store. Beads are (mostly) organized by color, with a separate hook for some very sparkly beads in (relatively) small quantities. Off to the left are some other materials that were in the boxes, mostly shells.

If you have your own great organization tips, please share in the comments! :)

Related Posts:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 1
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 2
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 3
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 4

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Craft Space Overhaul! Part 4

To start reading from the beginning of this project, click here.

Hip-hip-hooray, the big ugly green tub is empty! Mostly. I still have exactly three plastic bags in there, containing seed beads, feathers, and pieces I intend to salvage for parts. But all my little boxes of beads are now in their proper places in the drawers, and there was even some extra space in the bottom two drawers for my collection of how-to manuals. Check it out:

The cabinets are all full-up.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

I was smart and sorted the beads before I started putting them away. ;) There are still a few cases of beads that don't have a permanent home yet (you can see part of one on top of the cabinets in the photos above; what you don't see is that there are three more stacked on top of that one), and the table is still a mess, as you can see:

It's maybe difficult to tell, but I am making progress. :) There's a space behind the wooden box in the center, so I have almost half of the table cleared off. Once I dust off and vacuum out the little antique cabinet there on the right, I'm willing to wager that even more of the table surface will be visible. I'm still on the hunt for some jars to stash the hundreds of wooden beads that I have, and some things might just have to be left out because they hold things I use all the time.

Like this container.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to stash my tools. I have four pliers, three hammers, two wire jigs, one dapping block (and a partridge in a pear tree!), as well as sundry other tools, that I want to have accessible but visible - in other words, not jumbled together in a drawer like they are right now.

If you have some great organizational tips you'd like to share, post a comment! 

Next Post:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 5 (of 5)

Related Posts:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 1
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 2
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 3

Monday, May 11, 2015

Craft Space Overhaul! Part 3

To start at the beginning of this project, click here

After sorting through the piles of things in the closet and cleaning it up, I went out and purchased some storage items - three fabric boxes in a sky blue, and three stackable cabinets with three doors each. Here's what I have so far:

The closet as a whole.

Close-up of the shelf with boxes.
I found some vintage macrame books in some of the moving boxes while I was cleaning, as well as some other crafting literature, and there was just enough space on the shelf for the three boxes, the books, and my case of embroidery floss. I used to do quite a bit of cross-stitching, and I still have all my supplies in case I want to pick it back up, or if my daughter ever needs a hobby when she's older. My aunt got me into the hobby, and that's what I was doing right before I picked up on making jewelry. It was a very easy transition - floss for cross-stitching, then floss for friendship bracelets, then all sorts of other materials for all sorts of other jewelry. ;)

I admit to not being a very good Susie Homemaker - the items in the boxes are still in the bags that they were in when they were stashed in the closet before I cleaned it out. I didn't even dust off the bags, haha. Don't they look nicer in the boxes, though? Plus the boxes are sturdier than plastic bags alone; I can pull out a box as I need it without worrying about what's going to avalanche down on top of me. The box on the right has my cross-stitching and other embroidery supplies; the middle box has general crafting items (cardboard tubes, contact paper, and so on), and the left box has fabric and sewing supplies.

I don't have anything stored in the stackable drawer system yet; that's my big step for today. I plan to sort through my beads and put them into some sort of order, then store them in the drawers (while still in their plastic boxes - see #5 on this list). I have some larger storage cases and don't know what to do with them yet. Oh, and I went looking for jars with one-piece lids while I was buying the other storage pieces, and couldn't find any; all I found were two-piece lids for canning. My mom might have some mayo jars laying around (the old ones, back when the jars were still glass and the lids were metal), so I'll have to check with her. If not, then the canning jars might work; they're just not what I originally had in mind.

Quite possibly the smartest thing I did while creating this storage center was to take some of the stuff I wanted to store with me. In this case, I knew I wanted some drawers like the ones I got, but I also wanted to keep my beads in their boxes. Rather than take a lot of measurements, I just took one of my little bead boxes with me so that I knew at a glance whether the drawers were tall enough to fit the boxes. That is a free tip, from me to you. You're welcome. :P

Next step: sort the beads, stash them in the drawers, then see what else I still have laying around that I need to be able to neatly store. Once my craft table is cleared off, then I can see about maybe rearranging it and my computer desk to improve my work flow. Stay tuned. :)

Next Post:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 4 

Related Posts:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 1
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 2

Friday, May 8, 2015

Craft Space Overhaul! Part 2

If you missed Part 1, click here.

So, as previously mentioned, I'm working to get a handle on my craft space and make it something that fits me, instead of just working with what I have. It started as...well, a big ol' mess. There's no gilding that lily; it was just a mess!

Obligatory "before" photo.

After working on it today, well, it's still a mess, but it's a slightly more organized one. I decided to start with the closet, since that's where I plan to store a lot of my materials anyway, and it was full of boxes that we hadn't ever unpacked from when we moved in, about four years ago.

I pulled everything out and sorted it into two piles: craft stuff, and other. I found my old Walkman, which was awesome! I also found a lot of dust and a bajillion computer cords. I don't even know what they go to. My husband and I have a mutual friend who builds computers for fun, so we'll probably ask him if he can use anything; if not, then yippee for me because I just got a bunch of wire to upcycle into jewelry! ;)

Obligatory "after" photo.
Now, my craft table is a mess again, but the closet's empty, and I can see what space I actually have available to work with. I think I might hang some glass jars from the underside of the shelf, and I have some other storage ideas. I've got to get all the dust out, first! Stay tuned to see what I come up with. :)

Next Post:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 3

Related Posts:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 4
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 5

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Craft Space Overhaul! Part 1

Having a lovely little space to call my own for my crafting and jewelry-creating has long been a dream of mine, and I am finally going to get the ball rolling on this! First things first: here's my craft area as of now:

The mandatory "before" picture.
We got the table at a garage sale a few years ago, and it's served me well; it's just time for something new with a lot more storage space. The top tends to be a clutter magnet, and I don't have much room to work unless I put everything away, which really puts a hamper on my creative process because then I can't see what I have.

The tackle box in the bottom-left foreground is what I use to transport my inventory and essentials to craft fairs and really gets in the way because it doesn't fit in the storage space under the table; the little cabinet-thing on the right is actually empty right now, I think. See - I don't even know what I have! The two boxes in front of the door are full of seed beads, half-finished projects, buttons, and other things which I inherited from my extremely craft-centric grandma, and I'd like to do something a little more accessible with them. Right now, they're blocking the door, which in turn is blocking the light switch to the room. Plus I have a few more boxes in the garage somewhere.

Off to the right, there's a closet that's just kind of full of stuff that we never unpacked when we moved here about four years ago. The drawer in the table is my tool drawer - you know how practically every kitchen has a "junk drawer", and how messy and unorganized it usually is, but if you're looking for something and can't find it, it's probably in the junk drawer somewhere? That drawer is pretty much my crafting junk drawer, and I want to change that.

My first step is to clear out the closet. Once that's done, I'll be able to actually see how much space I have to work with in there. Next will be to clear off and clean off the table - I'm thinking about switching my computer desk and craft table around, as my desk is an antique and isn't really comfortable to use with my mouse and keyboard because people didn't have such things back when it was made. ;) I might have to do some DIY on the table to convert it to a usable desk - there's a support leg underneath right where I want my legs to go - but I'll be able to better see what I need to do with it once it's cleared off.

Next Post:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 2 
Related Posts:
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 3 
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 4 
Craft Space Overhaul! Part 5

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Five Things I Seem to Forget About Craft Fairs

Hi, everyone! I just completed my second craft fair yesterday, and since I've already done a few "What I've Learned" posts about craft shows - both during set-up and during the show itself - I thought this time I'd talk about some things that I completely forgot about, between one show and the next. :)

Memorial Middle School Drama Club Spring Fling Bazaar
Albany, OR - May 2, 1015

1. Craft shows are physically demanding.
One would think, oh, it's just standing around or sitting around, how hard can that be? Well, except then there's the unloading, reloading, reaching across the table, walking around to look at other booths or trying to find the bathroom, not to mention that just standing uses quite a few muscles on its own, and I did a lot of standing. My entire body is sore today, haha.

2. They can be emotionally demanding, too.
This one depends on whether you're an extrovert or an introvert (like me!). For me, I like talking with other people, but it wears me out, and after a while, I need a calm, quiet space to recharge - except I can't exactly do that when I still have three hours of the show to do. ;)

3. Jewelry takes a long time to set up.
I took note of which tasks took the longest to complete during the set-up last show, and I packed those displays ahead of time and plastic-wrapped them so that I could transport them easily, and I was still putting pieces up when the show started this time. (Set-up was much quicker this time than the last, though.)

4. Hand out business cards to anyone who seems interested.
Thankfully I picked up on this after the first customer who came by, said "I'll be right back," then disappeared, never to be seen again. This happened a few times at my first craft bazaar, and it happened probably ten times at this most recent craft bazaar, but nine out of those ten times, I remembered to hand them a card before they walked away.

5. You will forget something - and that's okay.
Last time, I forgot to make a sandwich the night before to bring for lunch, so I just packed up sandwich fixin's the morning of the show and made myself a sandwich during a slow time (which, coincidentally enough, was during lunch time). This time, I straight-up forgot a chair, but it was okay, because the event manager had a few chairs to provide to folks who forgot. As long as the thing you forget isn't something vitally important, like your inventory, it usually all works out. :)

Related Posts:
Five Things I Learned While Preparing for a Holiday Bazaar
Five Things I Learned At My First Craft Fair

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Between tearing a shoulder muscle somehow and letting it heal up for three weeks, then catching either a spring cold or a sinus infection from allergies, plus having a fun birthday party for a now-three-year-old girl, and now preparing for another craft show in about three weeks, it's been busy around here! :) I haven't made many new pieces, but I've gotten quite a few new-ish pieces listed in my Zibbet shop

For the next week or so, I'm going to be focused on getting my displays up and running so that I don't have the huge set-up time the day of the fair like I did last time. I've already gotten new hooks for my pegboard display, plus necklaces draped on said hooks, and I wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap so that I can keep the necklaces on there and it'll be easy to transport. I plan on doing something similar for my earring display. I ordered and received more business cards to use as earring hangers, so I'll actually be able to display more than half of my earrings (woo!). There's still plenty to be done - off the top of my head: updated inventory sheet, set up earring display, do up price tags, and do a "dress rehearsal" of my table - and I'm getting an early start on it. :D

If you're going to be in the Albany, Oregon area on May 2, swing on by! There'll be lots of vendors, including yours truly.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Product Story: Ladder Necklaces (and then some!)

I sat down at my craft table the other day, not really sure about what I wanted to make. While I was doing so, the kiddo was off to my right, coloring on a piece of paper, as she is wont to do when I make jewelry. After a minute or so of staring at my beads and sighing, she asked me what I was doing, so I told her. She then started playing with some beads, so I let her, because I wasn't doing anything else anyway and I could keep an eye on her. Watching her actually gave me an idea for the necklace below, and the design took off from there...

That was the first one I made. I so wanted to add to it, but I've been aiming for simple designs lately that I can market as gifts (as opposed to most of my work, which is comprised of statement pieces that one would more likely buy for oneself), so I refrained from embellishing it. Then I took a longer look at some of my materials left-over from the Victorian-inspired necklace, and all sorts of lightbulbs went off!

I moved on from specifically the goth-esque materials into the rest of my leftovers - namely, the large-hole beads I didn't use in my DIY business card holder...

Sold out! 
Sold out!

It's really amazing how one simple image (in my case, watching my kiddo put those rod-shaped pewter beads together on a headpin) can blossom into an idea, then a virtual avalanche of ideas.

Have you had a blossom of creativity lately? Tell me about it in the comments! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

First Sale on Zibbet!

Exciting news - in case you couldn't tell from the post title, I finally made my first sale on Zibbet! I moved there from Etsy over a year ago, found the time to step up my promotion game for the last few months, and made a sale this weekend!

This gorgeous piece will be on its way to its new home in Kentucky once I get down to the post office. :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

DIY Project: Trunk Makeover

When I moved out of my parents' house after college, they helped hook me up with everything I would need for my new place. A lot of it was from yard sales because hey, money doesn't grow on trees, and holy cow - college is expensive! Anyway, one of their finds was a perfectly usable, though dreadfully dark trunk/chest/lidded box (I prefer the term "trunk" even though that word evokes a box that's slightly fancier than the one in question).


It wasn't a bad box - certainly functional - but the colors were just so not me. It took me ten years to finally get around to painting it, but I finally did!

I did not go paint-shopping, because we had gallons of paint in the garage from our house's previous occupants, and it was a lovely off-white color. I also decided to use some fingernail polish to update the woven section and the handles. I decided on a "mixed metals" look.

My high-tech painting station all set up.

The first step was to paint the whole box in that off-white color. I knew that's what I wanted the main part of the box to be, and I figured it'd make the new colors for the woven part show up better. I used a rolled-up old sock to lay down the base coat as it covered a wide area, and because I am thrifty and wasn't going to spring for a new brush if I had something at home that worked just as well. (They call that "upcycling" now, right? :P) After slapping down two thick coats to cover the black, I put one more over the top with an actual sponge-brush, and somehow managed to get this wood-grain-esque texture to the paint. It looks pretty darn spiffy, if I may say so myself.

Base coat and handles painted.

I picked silver for the handles, and then I ran out of that silver polish, so the rest of the "silver" on the box is actually a glittery gunmetal color. It makes the handles stand out, plus it's a neat color.

Top in progress.

When it came to the woven part, I had a coppery color, a silver, and a gold. As it happens, the gold one that I had was so old that it dried out, and I haven't found a suitable replacement yet. Anyway, individually painting all the little woven parts took days. I could only paint for a little bit at a time because nail polish is stinky (go figure, haha) and even in a well-ventilated area, I got a little loopy. As a result, I've still only finished the top, with the front still to go. I'm totally skipping the back of it, though. You know what? I may even skip the gold. I think it looks really nice as-is (apart from the front still being all-white).

Finished-for-now product.

The trunk currently resides in a little corner by our front door, and holds our shoes.

Do you have a DIY project that you want to do, or have completed? Tell me about it in the comments! I love sharing tips and ideas. :)