Friday, January 20, 2012

No Pictures, No Pictures...Please No Pictures!

I can't quite remember who was known for saying that...but I thought it was an appropriate title for today's post because it indeed does involve a picture frame, yet it does not involve a picture! Creative, right? :)

You will not find yourself surprised when I tell you that I found this crafty idea on pinterest! It seems that browsing the site has become part of my morning routine, my afternoon routine, my evening routine, and even my right before bed routine! The fact that I can browse on my phone just adds to my addiction.  

Anyways, here is the pin I stumbled across I am sure when I should have been completing one of my daunting tasks on my to do list.  

As soon as I saw it, I thought it was cute.  However, then I remembered another pin that I had found a few days earlier (above).  I had already bought a serving plate based on this pin and knew that this shabby, chic jewelry holder would be the perfect addition to my display.

Next step? Investigate this jewelry holder further.  The pin forwarded me to a blog of course!  It was a blog called "Kevin & Amanda"...low and behold there were directions that seemed so easy for me to quickly want to create this craft! 

Off to Walmart I went.  My shopping list was not advanced and for that I thank Amanda.  All you need to buy is a ordinary black picture frame (8x10 or 8.5x11), thumbtacks, acrylic paint, paint brush, and picture frame hanging wire.  I bought all of my supplies at Walmart for $8! The frame was a document frame (8.5x11) for a whopping $3!  Acrylic paint was $1.97 and I purchased the color #515 Vintage White by Folk Art.  For $1 I went ahead and purchased the same brush Amanda used, which is a foam paint brush--my package came with 4 of them.  I wasn't sure if I had enough thumbtacks at home (you need 10 total) I bought a package. The picture hanging wire was the biggest challenge I had locating.  After scouring the picture frame section, the craft section, and the school supplies sections, I finally landed in tools.  I did find it!  A package was $1.67!
[here is everything that you need :)]
Painting the frame took a total of two hours, because you need to paint it with two coats, allowing an hour of drying time in between.  You do not want to put a ton of paint on the brush at once.  I did not use long, smooth strokes while I painted.  I did a lot of dabbing and sloppy strokes.  Why? Because I wanted the frame to end up with a vintage look, not a perfect look.  I allowed the first coat to dry and then I did the exact same painting steps for the second coat. You can see below the three steps. :)
The next morning I was ready to create the wire strands (to hold the earrings).  I took the picture hanging wire across the width of the frame three times, and folded them together.  You can cut it with a regular pair of scissors.  Next you loosely twist them together to get the wires to be thicker and to allow room to hook earrings through.  Once this step is done, you are almost finished!  You just need to decide on your measurements and tack your strands on the back of your frame.  For the first strand I tacked it 1 inch from the top.  The next three were then 2.5 inches from each other.  And the last strand was about a .5 inch from the bottom.  I ended up using the bottom strand for fun earrings that are not dangling.  See the pictures below for examples.
And that was a wrap! I immediately got into my armoire and dug out some of my favorite dangling earrings and a few pairs of studs that I wanted to display.  I decided to leave my lamp on the stand with the frame and my serving stand.  By the way, my serving stand holds every day jewelry.  It gives it a pretty home and it is definitely easy to find each morning!  So my hoops, watch, and bangles are currently living there!

I have to say I am beyond happy with this.  I think I may make more.  It has completely created a decor display that is functional.  So I must say hats off to Amanda for her wonderful idea!  If you have any successes with this craft, please share with me!

Side Note:

I need to share another Etsy shop with you all!  It is called the Yarnival! I ordered a head wrap last week that arrived yesterday! I was hesitant about it at first because I wasn't sure how it would look on me, but I am definitely lovin' it now that it is in my hands.  It is beautiful!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bangle...Bangle...Bo Jangle!

A long weekend with ZERO just what I needed.  I had thought that I would start my craftiness on Friday night...but my mom and I decided to go see the new movie Joyful Noise.  It is definitely a feel good movie...and if you loved Sister Act, Sister Act II, Glee, or High School Musical (I, II, III) will enjoy it.  So Friday night was out of the question, but I did dedicate Saturday and Sunday to some craftin'!

Again this was an idea that I found on pinterest...and I actually found three different blogs that explored different twists and angles on creating your own bangle bracelets out of polymer clay!  

Delighted Momma...explained how to create a marble style bangle!

Delighted Momma...also showed us how to create a braided bangle!

Polyform...explained how to make bangles with a wire decor!
I set out to Hobby Lobby to buy my supplies once I had decided that the braided ones were what I really wanted to re-create...but I thought I bet I could try em all! It is important to watch the sales ads of Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and Joann's Fabrics.  As in one week's time, I found the polymer clay on sale 50% off at both Hobby Lobby and Joann's. That is a good sale, and I took advantage on BOTH occasions! :)

[Here are all of the supplies that you need to create your own jewelry!]
What you need to buy:

  • Polymer clay ( I ended up buying 7 colors to start.  Each 2 ounce block was $1.99 and then 50% off! I decided to get all neutral colors that could be very versatile at first. I purchased jewelry gold, black, silver, copper, bronze, beige, and chocolate. I will go back for funky colors next time).
  • Aluminum wire (click here to see) in the jewelry making section.  It was $1.99.
  • Clay roller (click here to see) in the clay section. It was $5.99.  If you have a kitchen roller that will work fine too!
  • X-acto knife (see my blog about my PIMPed earphones!)
  • Soda can (save one when you are having a beverage)
  • Bangle (that you already own)
Overall the process is simple.  It was definitely painless and I found a rhythm to it as I continued to work. Once you unwrap the clay brick that you will be working with, you should cut it in to even pieces.  I noticed quickly that my bronze clay was extremely hard.  And later found out that others were super soft.  It might be something to "feel" for when you are in the store. The picture below shows the difference between the appearance of the hard and soft clays.  It didn't hurt my bracelets one way or the other.  It just took a while longer to "mash" it up.  You want to soften it by rolling it out and spinning it into a ball in the palm of your hand.  

As it softens you will feel the difference in the clay and then it is ready to be rolled out.  You will roll the clay with your hand on a flat surface. You want long, thin tubes of clay.  The nice thing is if you are not 100% satisfied with the clay tubes, you just roll it back up and start again.  For the braided bracelet you want three equal long, thin tubes.  You will lay them parallel to each other, mash up the top of them (you will cut this off later, so it is OK if it is "ugly"), and then begin to braid. Use the can to measure the size of your bracelet.  I used the bangle and the can to see the difference.  You will also leave the bracelet on the can to bake!  Cut the length that you have decided is right with the X-acto knife, then take the two ends and gently connect them.  This is the tricky part to make sure it does not look too, too bad.  I got better at it as time went on. Below you can see the finished product with this braided bangle.  
Look below to see how to measure with the bangle!
I also decided to try the marble style bangle.  This is definitely a trial and error process.  I am not even 50% happy with the results.  However, my friend and fellow crafter, Shannon found a book that may help us the next time.  You follow the same steps as above, but instead of braiding, you take two tubes and wrap them around one another.  Next roll them together until they are mixed.  I only rolled them one time. Shannon read that we should roll them multiple times, so hopefully next time that will help.
The solid bangles were the exact steps from above except there isn't any braiding or twisting.  You just have to roll out the desired size and then measure it onto the can or bangle measurement.  Once they were baked, I took the aluminum wire and wrapped it (10 times) around the connecting spot.  You can see them in the finished products collage below.  Truthfully I think they were my favorite! They have a uniqueness to their style as each one turned out a tad differently.  I will probably wear them the most.

I read on several blogs about different temperatures needed and different time lengths.  Some even said you HAD to buy the clay oven.  I proved those people wrong! LOL I baked my bracelets at 275 degrees for 23 minutes.  It seemed to be the best combo of the suggested times I had found...and my bracelets turned out just fine.

I ended up not LOVING the bronze color...I thought it was too dark for my liking.  And similarly I did not like the jewelry turned out very yellow.  However the silver, black, and copper--I LOVE! I already wore my silver braided bangle out to dinner last night!  I saved the beige and chocolate for the next time.  Not to mention the fun colors I plan to buy!

Side Note:
I just wanted to share a shop I found on Etsy.  The shop is called Sienna's Closet and the owner, Melissa handcrafts perfect, elegant boot socks and leg warmers.  I have ordered three pairs from her already.  I wore my first pair out yesterday shopping and I just am so pleased!  If you like them, visit her shop!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Want a Scarf... that Loops the Loop!

Not sure about you girls, but I love me some infinity scarves!  I used to just love a nice scarf to accent my coat...and then slowing I began (I would say like 3 years ago) to pair a cutesy scarf with an outfit.  Most times I could make it through the day without taking the scarf off! (That was an accomplishment!)

Last year though when my cousin got me my first infinity scarf, I was hooked.  She got me the perfect gray one from "fever" a line that Macy's carries.  I LOVE this scarf and thus began my love affair with the scarf that can perfectly shape itself around your neck and accent your outfit from morning to night!
[excuse my non-make up-ed face...I just wanted to show the scarf off, as it is my fave!]

This year I was counting down the months for it to be scarf time again.  And I even expanded my infinity scarf collection by visiting Express.  Check out the super cute ones they carry...and a lot of the times they will have a buy one get one 50% sale! Like right now!!

I have this one which I wear all of the can you not love a grey sparkly scarf? 
And I also got this one in magenta...which it seems they do not carry anymore!

Anyhoo...let me back to the topic at did I turn this into a craft?  Well I am a regular reader of the The Small Things blog (Kate is her name) and I found a post where he made a SUPER easy way to take your everyday regular scarf and turn it into an infinity scarf!  Check her blog with directions!

What you need:
  • a scarf with strings at each end 
  • scissors
  • a neck :)
Cost: FREE!!

So the other night, while I watched PLL (Pretty Little Liars) I decided to use two old scarves and see what happened.  Both scarves came from Forever 21 (like YEARS ago)  and at that time did not even cost me 10 bucks!
I tried it first with this brown (yes, it looks gray) scarf. It is not very full so it did not take long at all, max 5 minutes.  You need to lay the scarf flat, matching the ends up like in picture 1...and then you simply tie together the strands of yarn (picture 2 is all of them tied together).  Last steps...cut off the extra length and you are ready for wear, picture 3.  I wear the area that is tied on the back of my neck so my hair covers it up!
This was my second go at it...this one was a little "fuller" (no pun intended) and probably took me 15 minutes!  I went through the same steps...but took more pictures so you can see exactly what I did!

Now that I know for sure that it is in fact as simple as those steps...I think I will not hesitate when I am shopping to expand my collection...because even if it is not an infinity to begin can QUICKLY become one! :)

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

PS--thank you for those who made the brave decision to "follow" me or "subscribe" to me! I appreciate it greatly! If I ever bore you... please do not let me know! LOL

Friday, January 6, 2012


Do you know that song by 50 Cent? I don't know what you heard about me...But I am a (I edit his language) P.I.M.P! Well I decided to change his meaning of P.I.M.P. to reflect my latest craft challenge.  As I mentioned last time, I had a month to make my second January craft...who was I kidding!?  All week (at work, in the car, at home, grocery shopping) I was constantly on Pinterest browsing and just my brain was spinning...thinking..."What can I make next?" Ironically, I knew I was too excited as Thursday night when I ventured out in the 22 degree weather to Hobby Lobby, I did not just buy materials for one craft, but for FOUR!  I hope I stay this motivated...who knows maybe I will get all four completed in January!  Staying true to my goal (Stay thrifty, don't go broke being a craftswoman) I only spent $25!

Anyways, back to my reference of 50 cent...I decided that P.I.M.P. shall stand for...(drumroll please)....

Which leads me to my latest craft that I again found rummaging through the many pins on Pinterest.  Craft and Creativity posted a blog on how to "pimp" your earphones.  They weren't actually going for a pimpin' look....they actually wanted a way to keep the Apple earphones from tangling up everyday when you stash them away in your purse, bag, pocket, drawer, etc.  

A picture from Craft and Creativity's Blog entry of the PIMPED earphones. Cute, right?
Once I made the decision that these were going to become a part of my iPhone attire, I had to have a second thought.  About three lovely weeks after I got my iPhone, Henry (who was 3 months old at the time) had eaten my earphones.  Since then, I have been earphone-less.  Enter my good friend, who just got a new iPhone and graciously said he would not use them and donated them to my crafty New Year's Resolution cause {thank you!!! :)}.  After my trip to HL and the donation made to my cause, I was ready to create.  

What to buy:
  • hama beads (I have to admit, I had a hard time deciding which color of beads to buy!)
  • X-acto knife (I bought a pretty, pink one!)
  • earphones (I had the standard Apple phones that accompany the iPhone!)
  • cutting board (I found it useful, borderline necessary to protect my kitchen table from my pretty pink X-acto knife!)

[Like I said, it was hard to pick my colors, so I went with the multi-colored pack!]
The process is simple, but it is definitely time consuming.  I will be completely honest with you all (my 4 readers, hee hee) it took me 3 hours to complete the left and right sides of the wires.  The middle part is the same length as both of those together, so that is another 3 hours.  I had to take a day break because of the pain I was experiencing in my thumb nail.  Which brings me to my biggest tip, have a thumb mail to complete this tricky craft.

You take your hama  bead and slice it down the side with your x-acto knife.  Next take your thumb nail and separate the two sides and then snap it on to your wire of your earphones.  

It wasn't until the 10th bead that I successfully latched on the wire that I felt confident in my skill (not my pace)...therefore, I turned on the most recent Grey's Anatomy episode!  So maybe my speed was due to paying attention to one of my favorite shows. :)  However, I am happy with the end result.  See my pics below! :)

[This is just from the mouth piece up...this took about a half hour!]

[I had a small celebration when I had one side completed!!]
After all the hard work..I reveal my P.I.M.P. earphones! I will be trying these out tomorrow as I drive to Akron to see my dear friend from OU! Call me, then you will know what I am talking on, lol!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Warm up with some hearts...craft numero uno!

So after my resolution decision making escapade last night, I woke up this morning determined to try my first craft of the New Year. So anyways, one of the blogs I ran upon last night was "the hybrid chick" and a talented gal named Heather had posted how to make a  paper heart wreath.  I looked at our front door and noticed the snowman decor still hanging and decided that I would make this craft as my first criteria of the New Year's Resolution!

I went to Hobby Lobby this am, and after rummaging through the 80% off Christmas decoration deals, I headed to the scrapbook section to find some double-sided paper.  I did not use the photo paper because I did not have a printer (with ink!) at home and I was determined to try this out today. [as a side note, I see how the photo paper is important now--but that was realized after the fact]

Nevertheless, I decided on a collection pack called "sweet threads", grabbed some glue dots, and a spool of pink glitter ribbon.  You also need a paper cutter, but I already had one at home (bonus!).
 [Here are my supplies all laid out on the table ready to go!   :)]
[In hindsight, I wish I would have bought the more expensive glue dots...the $2.99 special lived up to its price!]
[I decided on the pink ribbon with some glitter because it matched perfectly with my paper selection!]
 Next up was to pull up the blog with directions, which I followed to a "T"!  Cutting the strips of paper, folding them precisely, applying the glue dots in the correct spots, and alas building tiny hearts for my wreath!
[Check the link at the top of this entry to go to "the hybrid chick" and get the directions!]
[Pretty strips of paper that are about to become cute little hearts!]
[I recommend folding the strip in half before creating the heart.  It helped to "form" the heart.]
[12 hearts reading for attaching]

Now here is where my mistake was made.  Because I did not use the photo paper, I believe my glue dots were resistant to holding a) the heart shape and b) staying put in the wreath.  So of course, I figured this out when I was ready to hang it up on the door!  So I gently undid each heart and applied some rubber cement glue.  I also had to take the extra measure of using bobby pins to hold them in place while drying.  I will add pictures of the final product below!
[Before I hung it up!]
[I did use a glue gun and make the top of the ribbon a little fancier!]
[Hanging on the door!] 
{Success! Will you be my Valentine?]

Lesson learned: if you are going to use scrapbook paper you need something stronger than glue dots, or the expensive glue dots!

I am not sure what my next craft will be.  I have to complete at least one more before the end of the month, so I somewhat feel ahead of the game! Go me!  I head back to the real-world tomorrow (work, after 14 days off).  So I will see what I can cook up!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...purpose?

So every year, we all sit around and think about what we need to change about ourselves or lives.  Why is it important? I mean I guess no one can be perfect, can they? But to be expected to change a particular part of yourself or life seems I don't a tad demanding....just me!

And so it is January 2nd and I am sitting here thinking man I still don't have that ONE thing picked out that I will be changing about me.  So I started to think about the past...I think the most successful New Year's Resolution was three years ago. I vowed to send a birthday card in the mail to all family and friends (ON TIME)!  I made it until June before I just didn't keep up with it.  But in the long run, six months is my best effort yet.  And hey, 30 years in...who says I can't beat that record now!

So I have spent the last four hours scrolling through pages and pages of blogs and pictures...between beautylish and pinterest! And I have had my come to the light moment, I know what my resolution SHALL be.  In the year 2012 (sung in the voice Conan O'Brien uses for his skits, and if you don't it!).... I will be more CRAFTY! Yep, I said it. I am going to VOW to partake in at least two craft making sessions a month. Woah nelly, that is a lot to commit to since I own hundreds of dollars of scrapbooking materials and yet never sit down to create a page, let alone a book! I guess a side resolution stems from this too. I just started this blog, not too sure anyone will read it...but I will use it to journal about my craftiness! :)

I am not just diving head first into the world of crafts.  I started my love for this a couple months ago.  My friend, Danielle, came to visit in my hometown (which does not lend itself to a whole lot to do).  I conned her into visiting the local Hobby Lobby to find a Christmas craft.  Now it was not Christmas time, but thankfully the stores believe in stocking their shelves as early as October! ;) So I gathered as many supplies as my two arms could hold (trust me, they were overflowing) and began my Christmas Craft...aka pretty pretty wreath.  I used a pre-made wreath made of garland, bought bright colored bell ornaments, and a central focus ornament that looked "snowman-ish".  To top it off, I even got my first glue gun.  

These were my supplies.  I even laid down newspaper on my kitchen table to prevent a mess!   Now about an hour later and one very painful glue gun burn (ouch!) I was left with this finished product!
For my first go around, I thought it turned out pretty nice.  It hung on my door for a good solid two months...actually I just took it down today, even though I was reluctant to say good-bye to the holiday season and even more reluctant to accept that winter break has come to an end. Hey and maybe she will be right...we may hit the bazaar world by storm next winter!

So really that about sums it up! I have made a page full of ideas (12 to be exact) and if I stick to my resolution, it will only take me until June to get those under way!  Wish me to the craft store I go tomorrow! :)

Up first a Valentine's themed wreath for the front door!

That's....just what jess is up to! :)