Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Toenail Shell Pendant

In Nantucket and on the shores of the east coast, the collectors of toenail shells are many.  The usual way to display them in a big glass jar that showcases the color variations.  The colors they come in are sublime- from a pearlescent white to a vintage peach, and even gorgeous steel grays and toenail yellow (which is how they got their name I suppose).  This necklace is a good way to wear or two simply and elegantly and comfortably.  It makes a great gift or souvenir for someone too and can be made with only a few supplies. 

This is a doubled shell.  A couple dabs of clear epoxy helps  keep everything in place.
My collection from the shores of Nantucket.
1.  Take a head pin and a bead and run it through a naturally occurring hole in the shell.  If there isn't one, you can make one with a pin or pin tool.
2.  Make a loop, then wire wrap the tail three times around the pin.  Cut excess.  Use a toothpick to add a dab of epoxy behind the pearl to keep in place.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rue Royal- the color

For the past 6 years I've had 2 pieces of Ikea furniture that I just left half done.  Knowing for years that they could really use some color yet just not sure what color that should be.  Red, natural, painted with stripes?  I was in a holding pattern that I couldn't seem to break.  Well, finally I asked my neighbor Nanci, who is just brilliant with color and design in general and she said "Paint them the same color as your car!"  With this bit of guidance, I rushed to the paint store and found this gorgeous blue color called "Rue Royale" by Ralph Lauren.  It's not quite the same color as my car but I could just see it so well and just knew it was right.  Not sure if my decision was based on the awesome French name of the color or really the color itself, but either way, I love the results.

The armoire before.  It didn't bother me as much because it was in the garage.  The sidebar was the same horrible color but I didn't get a before picture.
Here is the armoire.  So much better blue in this green room.  

The fish is so much happier looking down into the deep blue color!

Some coordinating Anthropologie knobs that I found in the sale section for $2.95 each.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Square Beads and Suede Bracelet

Ever since I discovered the K&S section of Lincoln Hardware, it had become so much more than a place for getting  keys made.  It has become my new candy store- my go to place for tubing to turn into beads.  There is something about cutting metal that makes me feel like a real craftswoman- seeing it melt away under the blade of the Dremel is just really cool.  A few weeks ago, I posted a project that I made with round copper tubing- the Neon Ladder Necklace, the last project was also a K&S gem East Coast/West Coast cufflinks.  Today, another hardware store piece.  These rectangular beads are square tubes cut into short lengths.  Something about the geometry of these beads and the fluidity of the soft suede that is tactile and appealing.

The inspiration from Anthropologie.  Painting the bead is an option, remember to prime white first. 

1.  C-clamp a square tube to a work surface.
2.  Cut at the desired length with your Dremel or a fine-blade saw.
2.  Thread beads onto suede.  It helps to use a needle to poke it through.
3.  Crimp with end-clasps.  Add a dab of super glue so the cords stays put.

The finished back.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

East Coast/West Coast Cufflinks

California-Nantucket Lovin'
This anniversary, I got Chris the usual- a pair of cufflinks. It's my go-to project for him every year because it's the only bling a man can wear and I just love buying them.  This year I decided to try my hand at making a pair.  The K&S section of the hardware store was my first stop. I've had a Dremel for a long time but haven't really had the space to use it much but now with my new studio- it's much easier to work on messier projects.  Finally have been using it to cut and polish metal.  I wanted to go East Coast- West Coast with them because although we live here, his heart will always be in Nantucket.

1.  Trace shape of state on sheet metal with pin tool or a pin.

2.  Cut with metal cutters.

3.  Sand with Dremel.
Here are the two shapes- California and Nantucket (not to scale ;)!

4.  Spray paint white then mix two part epoxy with epoxy dye.

5.  Dab on epoxy and let sit.

6.  Glue cuff link bases to the back with an epoxy glue.

7.  Add heart with nail polish.  If you mess up the heart, you can remove it with nail polish remover without affecting the resin at all so feel free to play.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nantucket Adventure-Pt 1

Every year we head out east for our annual Nantucket family reunion around the 4th of July.  This year was no exception, and it was just as lovely as ever.  Perfect weather the whole time, warm Atlantic ocean, hydrangeas in bloom, and endless toenail shells to be collected on the beach.   Nantucket has such a unique character. All the houses are grey and shingled, the downtown is paved with original cobblestones from the 1800s, and the buildings are crooked and time-worn, some originating from 1600s.  We sailed, we sunbathed, we swam, we ate lobster.  Ohh heaven!

1st Congregational Church and the lovely hydrangeas.  They were in full bloom all over the island.

Sconset is a tiny village at the east end of the island- this is where Broadway actors used to summer.  So cute and full of character.

From the beach to Aunt Ann's house... far away for little feet.

Our anniversary is July 1st so we got a sitter and went to the Ships Inn for dinner to celebrate.

A grand grey lady in Sconset- (used to be in the family but no longer.)

A gorgeous hand sewn Olivia Le-Tan  felted clutch from Paris in one of the stores downtown.

Lots of cross-stitch on Nantucket- an old tradition. 
Family time at Aunt Barbie's house with the cousins.

James loved being dunked in the Atlantic- we did this for hours!

Heading back after collecting toenail shells-  going to make necklaces with them.
All (Nan)tuckered out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Royal Copenhagen Inspired House Numbers

I've always admired the translucent blue of Royal Copenhagen china.  There is something so old-world, unique, and pretty about it.  Here I've tried to recreate the different hues of blue on some numbers for our mailbox area.  I also made cufflinks using a similar technique, which I'll post later this week.
Royal Copenhagen plate.

Hardware store numbers.  Sand a little to rough up surface.

Spray paint white.
Mix Envirotex clear resin with blue resin dye.
Paint epoxy on numbers.
  I always wear my mask (even outdoors) when using resin or else I will have a big fat headache for hours afterwards.  Let dry overnight.

A simple voile of color yet numbers stands out against wood fence.