Monday, March 31, 2008

Vintage Sin Ring

I've got a new batch of rings and accessories coming out within the next two weeks. This is the first in line, and it is up for sale right now in my shop. The text is from an actual advertisement in 1941. How cool is that? I love looking through old magazines, they are so much fun. I found a big batch of old magazines at an estate sale. Unfortunately, many of them had water damage - which is a shame. But the plus side is that I felt fine about cutting them up since they were already damaged. Estate sales really are the best.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Yesterday I was featured on Celeste Jean's blog at
Check it out! There are all sorts of interesting artist's being featured there.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Recycled Art

I'm always inspired by what other artists can create out of recycled items. Here are a few featured pieces that I found interesting.

Linda Raynsford made this sculpture, titled "Link," out of discarded painted metal, tool boxes, cabinets, and car parts.

This amazing sculpture, titled "Earth Tear" by Marta Thoma is made out of steel rebar and recycled plastic vodka bottles!

Artist John T. Unger uses recycled steel to create these goregous fire pits.

Photo by Bob Easton

This entire gown is made out of plastic bags!!! Artist Jayne Ottesen used knitted, ironed and sewn plastic grocery bags to create this gown.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finds of the day

Bubble World Wall Art by Emma Florence Harrison $24.99

I fell in love with a new website called ModCloth. I came across it this afternoon and ended up browsing for a full hour! Thankfully I was able to justify it because I had just the entire morning cleaning my house ;)

Here are some of my favorite things I stumbled across (they had clothing too, but that will have to be different post!):
These Nature Cute Mini Mirrors are too cute resist - especially at $6.99 each.

I instantly fell in love with this Just My Type Necklace by Tilly Boom $27.99

I was just looking at a pair of these in a thrift store. Perfect for adding 50's flare to your kitchen. Retro Napkin Holder, $11.99 each.

Music Lover Pillow Cases $24.99

Monday, March 24, 2008

New re-created necklace series

I have started a new series of necklaces using the process of re-creation and assemblage. The idea was born this weekend while visiting some yard sales and thrift stores. I kept seeing all these interesting old bits of jewelry and hardware, and it seemed such a waste for them to be unloved and tossed away. There's nothing I love more than seeing potential in items that others might pass by. So I collected various odds and ends that caught my eye, and came back to my work table to re-invent them into new treasures. I have alot that are still in progress, but here are two that I finished earlier. As always, I had a blast. These will be up for sale in my etsy shop by the end of this week (I just need to take some decent photos of them first).

Friday, March 21, 2008

DIY antique tray

This is a fun, easy project using an old serving tray, some paint and some images. For this project I used old wine / liquor labels, but you can use anything from old fruit labels, poster prints or photos.

Start with a plain serving tray. You can pick one up at a thrift store, flea market or yard sale (you can also find new ones for cheap at your local arts and craft store).

Step 1 - Paint the tray

If your serving tray has old paint on it, it can work for or against you. If the old paint is in bad shape, or just ugly, simply give it a quick sanding and a nice fresh layer of paint. If the paint is in decent enough shape, you can add a top coat of new paint (your color choice) over it, then distress it with sand paper so the old paint is showing through. It's especially helpful to do this on the corners and edges where the piece would naturally wear down sooner.

Step 2 - Getting your labels ready

Once you have the background color, you will need to add old wine / liquor labels. You can get these from your own collection, or by printing them off the web (I've added a link to a nice source for these at the bottom of this post). If you labels / images are too white and 'new' looking, you can give them a nice aged yellowed look by dipping them in soy sauce. This is a very effective staining method I stumbled across a while ago. But in this case less is more. A simple dip to coat both sides is good, no more is needed. Do not soak the image, because it will become dingy brown and just look dirty. When the labels are dry, they are ready for attatching.

Step 3 - Attatch your labels

To attatch your labels or images, simply use "Modge Pogde" (again, available at any craft store). Coat the backs of the images and attatch them to the tray, making sure you get all the air bubbles out. Then coat the top of the images of few times to make sure they are permanently affixed to the tray. Let dry. Serve some nice snacks or refreshments on your new tray and impress your guests with your creativity!

The following website has a great collection of printable vintage images!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trying my hand at jewelry

Click here to see this vintage inspired necklace in the shop

There are so many jewelry sellers on Etsy right now, I felt discouraged from making any. But then I decided it didn't matter. I was making it because it was fun, not because it mattered whether it sold or not. It just so happened that I had today off. So I sat down, spread my supplies out and did some serious jewelry making! I have to say, it was a blast. I'll put them up in the shop and see how they do, but I'm not too worried about it. I had a great time and that's all that matters. I've also been experimenting in metal work. I made a really cool sterling silver fork ring today.

Antique fork ring

Monday, March 17, 2008

What's new in my shop?

I recently organized my sewing box, and decided that my measuring tape needed a little vamping up. I decopaged a nice vintage image onto my measuring tape container, then painted the edges for a nice finshing touch. It came out so cute I decided to make more and sell them in the shop. Thus my "retrospects" accessories were born. I will be listing different ones as the week progresses. I can make the borders in any custom color you want, so let me know if you have any special requests. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thank you Eco Etsy!

Eco Etsy had a treasure hunt today in honor of st. patricks day. I participated this morning and won this awesome coffee cup cozy!! I did it for fun because I like browsing people's shops to see what they have. I never expected to win anything, but I'm so thrilled that I did! I'm a big fan of minimizing my impact on the planet, and now when I have my coffee or tea in the morning, I don't have to use one of those cardboard cozies. I can save them and bring my own! If you're interested in purchasing one, you can check out more from

Saturday, March 15, 2008

spring pillows

Maggie Pace is the founder of Pick Up Sticks, an Oakland-based company that produces gift-friendly kits with patterns and yarn to make home and fashion accessories. This Plum Blossom pillow is so adorable, I'm tempted to get into some comfy pj's, throw on a movie and start making my own! It's a really simple design, yet very eye catching. It would be easy to come up with your own design and make one. Or, for those of you that are craft-challenged, or just want to relax and not think about it, Pick Up Sticks offers a kit for this pillow (and many other projects!). The kit for this Plum Blossom Pillow is $32, needles and pillow form not included.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Projects for Spring: Give your lamp a makeover.

Now that spring is on the way, you'll probably be wanting to make some color changes around the home to lighten things up. Rather than go out and buy lighter colored accessories to make your home more bright and cheery, there are some easy ways to re-invent what you already have. I will be posting different projects on different days. Todays project will be simple ways to re-invent your lamp shade. Get a whole new look without having to buy a new one. These were taken from Better Homes and Garden.

1. Give it a paper or Fabric makeover. Covering your lamp with paper is an easy, inexpensive and effective way to quickly make a new lamp shade. Trace the top and bottom of the shade by rolling it on wrapping paper, allowing extra to fold ends. Cut. Use cut paper as a pattern for a second piece if needed. Place paper on shade, aligning patterns. Fold ends, securing seams with double-sided tape. Glue ribbon on top and bottom. (The same technique can be used with fabric, but instead of double sided tape, attatch the fabric with spray adhesive.)

2. Use stick ons. This fabulous 10-minute embellishment is as easy as peel and stick. You can use just about any self-adhesive sticker, but we recommend these repositionable vinyl-coated die-cut ones from ($12 for two sheets) to decorate the outside or inside of a shade.

3. Dress up the inside. A hint of color and pattern is an eye-catching touch on the inside of a shade, especially for hanging lamps. Make a pattern by tracing the shape of your lampshade onto paper, allowing enough to overlap ends. Cut fabric using the pattern, coat the wrong side with spray adhesive, and carefully adhere the fabric to the inside of the shade. If you have difficulty controlling the fabric as you work, first back it with paper to stiffen it, then use adhesive to attach the paper side to the shade. Glue bias tape along the top and bottom edges to give the lining a finished look.

4.Lovely Doodle Designs
To create this fun shade, start at the seam with a black opaque paint marker, draw evenly spaced vertical lines for different numbers and sizes of circles. Every fifth row draw a series of single circles; connect the circles with loose, squiggly lines. Then apply the lighter color paint first, let dry. Next, paint the darker circles.

5. Wrap It with Ribbon
Ribbon wrapped around a plain paper shade creates the look of pleated silk. To keep this project affordable, we hit the clearance bin and found four 8-yard ribbon spools for $2.45 each. Use fabric tape to secure a ribbon end (and subsequent ends) to the inside of the shade. Wind ribbon around the shade, overlapping more at the top than at the bottom if using a tapered shade.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Old Picture Of The Day - Featured Blog

I stumbled across this blog randomly, and I think it is worth noting! If you're like me and you find old photographs facinating as well as beautiful, then this is the site for you! This blog features one vintage photograph a day, and they are all spectacular. I have attatched the link below. Careful though! It's easy to get sucked into viewing these gems from the past. I killed about thirty minutes this morning over coffee just browsing through the archives :) It also inspired me to go through my own box of vintage photos. The ones you see above are from my collection.

You can find today's featured blog at:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Necklaces on sale now at the shop!

I've got a new batch of necklaces that are going up for sale in the shop. I made one for myself a long time ago, and I kept getting comments about it. So I decided to put them to the test, and see how they do in the shop. It would be great if they do well because they're alot of fun to make!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pieces of the day

While browsing the web today for new artists and their work, I was struck by several pieces, and wanted to share them. It's so inspiring to see what other people are doing, and it always seems to leave me feeling very happy. I could do it for hours. In this particular search today, I was interested in artists who deal with "found art, " in any sense of the term.

“Blue River” By John Dahlsen. Medium: Recycled plastic bags behind perspex

Title: Driftwood Assemblage # 1(Diptych), also by John Dahlsen. Medium: Found objects (driftwood) on plywood

"Coffee" by Rosa Murillo. This piece was done by the artist, then left taped to a park bench for someone to find. A note was attatched saying that it needed to be set free, and was meant to be kept.

"In the Garden" by Barbara Irwin. Barbara creates assemblages out of found items. They have a very sculptural feel to them. This one pictured above was my favorite.

Glacial erratics: landscape found art (and origins of cubism), by Edward Tufte. This artist finds art in Rocks. I love the concept. He wrote: "Helping to build a road today, I threw a rock (about 0.4 cubic feet in volume) into the road bed. The end of the rock shattered and revealed the ultimate source of Cubism. "Fractured planes" is a good short description of Cubism.
Today's fractured rock is on the left; Braque's Rio Tinto Factories at L'Estaque, 1910, at right."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spring is Coming!

Winter is almost over and it's time to celebrate. I have compiled a list of fresh new items to help chase away those winter blues and get you ready for spring!

This "bikini vase" by Chiasso can be found at
Or by clicking the title of this post. The best Part is, it's on sale for $14!

Rosebud Door mat. $24.95 by Wrapables.

Mini Tomato in a bag. $9.95, also at Wrapables

Two's Company Cottage Mirror $39

Two's Company Insect Citronella Candles. $13.95

Nest Tea Light Holders, by Roost. $34 set/3

Prede'Provence (25g)soap set $14.99

Beautiful Paper Art

My grandmother emailed this artist's stuff to me and I was amazed at how beautiful yet simple they are. His name is Peter Callesen and he creates all of his works using a flat piece of paper. The sharp edges of the positive and negative space give a nice contrast to the soft blanket feel of the white. He truly is uniquely talented.

To view more of his works, visit

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gifts in a jar

Why are gifts in a jar seemingly only given around christmas time? I think these gifts can be given all year round. With endless recipes to choose from you can talor it to fit the occasion. Give one of the recipe soup gift jars for a quick get well to a sick friend. Or give a dog biscuit gift jar for someone who just got a new puppy. Perhaps you have a stressed out Partner? Give them one of the many bath salt gift jars and share a nice cozy bath with them. You can essentially use your creativity to make a gift jar for any occasion. And with a simple tag, they are super easy to personalize. I found some great websites with free recipes for gifts in a jar, which I have listed below. Check em out!