Day 4 was Organize your bead area. I cleaned up my tote bag. I would take a picture but would just think, lord, her bag is a *mess*. But all the stray little beads got put away and my findings and pendants and grouped nicely and believe me, it is about eighty times better and that’s what counts. If you’re feeling disappointed by the lack of evidence, here is a picture of someone who is seriously organized:
There are many other fly ladies on the Fusion Beads Facebook page, if you like that sort of thing.
. . . . . . . . .
Day 5 is incorporate chain into something. I made a rosary-style long necklace with a mix of gunmetal and brass, vintage glittered and Czech glass and gemstone beads.
It seemed like a nice place to hang my favorite old rhinestone button.
Here it is, the end of February, and I totally failed at the Necklace a Day challenge. I even got an extra day. If you want to see a real winner, go check out Katherine’s results on per:cent blog — she kept up and made a month’s worth of fantastic pieces.
I’m not going to be too hard on myself because I did get quite a lot done — I actually have a whole nother week’s worth of necklaces that I photographed but never got around to editing/etsying/blogging — and have had a non-necklace productive month. I’ve been working for the first time in a year, and working full-time on-site for the first time since I started blogging (which was waaaaaay back when I still worked at dotcoms, if you kids remember those). It’s been a big adjustment but a great experience, the company is impressive, everyone is nice and super talented, my work is engaging.
I went to an amazing Wonderland-themed birthday party — decor by the birthday boy’s set-designer girlfriend and WOW. I wish I’d taken pictures before the sun set because it was a craftopia of bunting and garlands and flowers and teacups everywhere. I made my first apron for the party, here’s a very flattering photo where I am wearing it while shoving Hotwing Dip (which looks like vomit but is delicious) into my mouth:
Jill wanted to go thrifting to find tea cups for the party — you’ll notice she’s glued hers to the saucer in the photo, how ingenious is she? and I came home with these this lovely vintage Made in England pastoral:
and a Dutch Garden bowl:
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring them to the party.
I built the site for Lucky Ladies, the local small business owners group I’m part of, shopluckyladies.com, and we’re putting together a big launch party on Saturday, April 28, which you should definitely attend if you’re in the Bay Area. We have several etsy members who make fantastic things and the others offer all kinds of useful services, there’s going to be a dress-making-athon to send clothes to girls in Africa, yoga and health classes, free food, and a pop-up shop/craft fair. The Facebook event page has more info.
AND I was mere feet from Tony Bennett after his 50th-anniversary “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” event at San Francisco City Hall on Valentine’s Day. He’s been on my bucket list since I was a kid and we didn’t quite meet but close enough.
I’m going to try another challenge for March: Fusion Beads is having a 30-day because apparently it’s National Craft Month. Theirs is more structured, and maybe it will be easier for me to keep up, though I expect I will pop in and out and do the projects I want. Or start off gung-ho then peter out. But you never know.
Early last month I read a blog post talking about ways to reorganize your jewelry-making stash for the new year by dividing it into three categories: keep, discard, and repurpose. Which I thought was pretty genius — I have a zillion little half-finished or finished-but-I’m-so-over pieces in piles everywhere yet it never occurred to me to take them apart. Really.
This necklace comprises the cannibalized remains of several necklaces and bracelets I made a couple years back when I was super into the vintage buttons. I still am, but something about each piece just wasn’t quite right, so I put them aside and let them gather dust for a long time.
So when I read that blog post, the button pieces were the first things that popped into my head. I took them apart and collaged all the buttons and a couple accents beads together then added a fatter chain for a little more heft. Which I really like and am tempted to keep (that green focal button is one of my favorites, it has this really awesome fading along the edges) but I really don’t need more jewelry.*
You, however, DO need more jewelry and you can buy this necklace on etsy.
Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.
I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.
* I say that, but really? If you are looking for a Valentine’s present to buy me, I would wear this every single day.
One of these days I’m going to get around to putting stuff up on my etsy but I feel I’ve accomplished quite a bit just by managing to take a photo of something.
I made a couple of these vintage button necklaces awhile back and am just getting around to photographing them…the warm summery gold and cream of this one is my favorite so far.
Available at gwen.etsy.com
It’s been awhile since I’ve made a nest but I recently sold my favorite nest necklace and it seemed like time to make another.
I scored some antique chandelier crystals at an estate sale recently. They will be added to pretty, sparkly accessories soon!
And here are some of the necklaces I’ve made but haven’t had the time to list yet. One of these days…
If you’re a 7 1/2, they’re for sale over at Allen Company Inc..
I’ve been self-employed as a web designer for 10 years and mostly work at home — my desk is my entire office, and I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to do with everything because it has to go with the rest of the room so the office-purposed furniture I’ve looked at just doesn’t work. So mostly it’s been a hodgepodge of little fixes to meet my needs and usually, a giant pile of papers and bits that have nowhere to go. A terrible, chaotic mess.
A few weeks ago we were at the thrift and I spotted this headboard — you remember the white and gold girls’ bedroom set you or your BFF or that girl you were just SO envious of had? From that set. It had shelves and little cupboards and high enough up to put my printer under and was exactly the thing I’ve been looking for for years.
I’ve been working a lot so the headboard’s been sitting in the middle of the living room for several weeks waiting for me to chip off the ancient D.A.R.E. stickers [these things are so weird, little piglets and ducklets with slogans like “FRIENDS DON’T SLING DOPE” — really! this is the language they use with kids?] but I finally had a few hours free the other day to take care of that and completely clean everything off the desk and get it set up and it is even better than I expected.
May I present: my new desk shelving unit!
It works perfectly. One cupboard is for my craft/stationery boxes, the other — I’m still deciding.
And there’s a nice space for my souvenir architectural minis collection, which have been looking for a real home forever.
Next up is the craft cupboard.
The best thing I spotted on our date day at the sea glass beach in Hayward last week was an intact green bottle stopper.
p.s hi Paul, I found your dishes from when you were a boy!
Hope you all had a good weekend. We spent Valentine’s Day at the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa and some quality time at the thrift store yesterday. Things I acquired at the half-off Presidents’ Day sale*:
The sweetest little espresso cup there ever was. Look at that hand lettering — it just kills me! 69¢
Two vintage silk scarves *MINT* for 99¢. TOTAL. One’s Pierre Cardin and I am not real big on navy but I love the orange/tan/cream stripes. The other says both aboriginal designs and “designed by Neil” and I am not sure who to believe. But again with the earth tones.
A most excellent round-handled 70s-80s handbag. It’s got the oldschool industrial zipper so you know it’ll hold up for awhile. I totally splurged on this, it was $2.99!
Faux milk glass-y vase/jar/sugar bowl/King Cake baby earring display, 99¢.
Look, it’s the other side of the demitasse and more of Neil’s aboriginal scarf.
I also bought a pale yellow threadbare knit top with vintage-y beads sewn around the neckline but cannot take a good photo of it. I will wear it when it warms up.
And I finally got around to making a thrifting set on flickr of our many finds and sights – check it out!
*** This post inspired by IS*LY’S Thrifty & Chic and someone else [I’m blanking here] who went to the Rose Bowl swap meet over the weekend.
Holy cheese this makes my loins quiver!
[more! photographer unknown but it looks like something out of Life magazine.]
1. Club vintage aluminum pots in turquoise
We got this at a neighbor’s yard sale a couple years ago. She made me promise I was going to use and love them and not eBay them — they belonged to her mother — then gave me the whole set for less than the cost of a cheap pan. I am not sure if they are barely used or if mom was a scrubaholic 1950s housewife, the bottoms are pristine but there are a couple discolorations inside. We use the dutch oven all the time, the other pots and pans when there’s some kind of big dinner thing going on.
2. Juice-O-Mat juicer
My friend Donna gave me this ages ago. It belonged to her mother and she made me promise I would never, ever, ever get rid of it, if I was tired of it, I’d return it to her because they used it for fresh orange juice ever morning during her childhood in Long Beach. We use it practically every day, it is by far my favorite kitchen gadget and if you can score one [there are a few on eBay, make sure it’s one with the cup], I guarantee you will not regret it.
3. General Electric hand mixer
My old roommate gave me this when she upgraded to a spanglier retro mixer. She did not make me promise anything. Sometimes I wish we had one of those big stand mixers but this takes up almost no space and it’s adorable. Plus the little lever there says BEATER EJECTOR which cracks me up because I am eternally nine years old.
I made this last weekend at a craft day from vintage beads I got at the antiques fair.
Limca is available at Raja Market in Neptune Plaza.