Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.
Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.
So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!
Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
This giant riveted sheet metal magnet board was the centerpiece of my office makeover that SYLVANIA sponsored. And now I’m going to show you how to make it. This is the first of five tutorials from the SYLVANIA blogger makeover challenge. Next week, I will show you how to make the studded mirror.
Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »
This quick fix was one of those aha! inspirations for me. Ever need a straight edge to measure and cut a large piece of fabric, cardboard, or paper? Forget cheap yardsticks (you’ll only slice slivers of wood off when cutting) or expensive T-squares (that for some reason are never really square) or fancy metal rulers (that usually aren’t long enough). Pick yourself up a Drywall T-Square. They’re four feet long, sturdy, and only about $12 at your local hardware store. I use it for cutting everything now. And the next time I cut drywall, it will come in especially handy. Read more »
I am pleased to offer my first book review and giveaway here at Crafty Nest! And what a worthy title to start with: ReSew: Turn Thrift-Store Finds into Fabulous Designs by Jenny Wilding Cardon.
In her book, Jenny turns secondhand basics (i.e. sweatshirts, sheets, pants, etc.) into adorable new fashions and home decor. She offers 20 beginner-friendly projects, including tops, dresses, skirts, hats, bags, and a rug—all made from thrift-store cast-offs. You’ll never look at a boring sweatshirt on the rack at your local Goodwill the same again. BTW: Her projects remind me of my own thrift-store tank-top totes.
Jenny’s instructions are easy to follow (she hand-drew all the illustrations herself!), which makes any beginning sewer feel confident that s/he can tackle her projects with success. And she includes instructions for basic sewing techniques, such as shirring, along with helpful tips and tricks. Her designs are so inspiring that it makes you want to run to your nearest thrift store and start hunting. Here are some of my favorite projects from her book:
This dress makes me long for warm summer days. Sigh. Read more »
I am all about being hands-free and reducing the weight on my shoulders. I use a lumbar bag instead of a backpack for hiking. Being an asthmatic, taking the load off my shoulders makes a world of difference. Any chiropractor will tell you that carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder can cause misalignment, strain, and injury, so I wanted to find a fashionable belt bag for everyday use. But, aside from the infamously hideous fanny packs of the 80s, I had yet to find one. That’s why when I came across these fabulous hip pouches on Etsy, I was excited.
Clockwise from top left: The North Face Sport Hiker, Recycled Leather Hip Bags by Happy Cow, Stow All Unisex Pocket Belt in Green, Black Gold Utility Wear Pocket and Belt, Happy Cow Urban Travel Packs, Recycled Black Leather Unisex Hip pouch.
Then I thought there might be a way to convert a regular purse into a pocket belt. To make one as cheaply as possible, I combed thrift stores for the right purse. I bought this black fabric pouch purse for $3. Converting it to a hip pouch was a cinch. This one is great for casual T-shirt-and-jeans days, but now I’m on the hunt for a more dressy, leather version.
Read more »
Check out my new spray-painting “tent.” I don’t have a garage, and I don’t like to spray paint inside my apartment. Spray painting outside is also problematic because of the lovely ocean breezes. Then I found a plastic wardrobe discarded on the side of the road. It wasn’t sturdy enough to hold clothes, and it was covered in rips. A few pieces of white duct tape, and it was good to go. I simply turned it upside down and laid down a sheet of cardboard to create a spray-painting tent. Works like a charm. The tent blocks the wind while spraying and keeps what’s inside dust free while it dries. Plus it keeps the overspray from floating everywhere. The trick: Zip the flaps closed after each coat and wait about 30 minutes while the paint dries and the dust settles.
All you scrapbook fanatics are going to love these. The girls at camp took this idea and ran with it. I wish I had photos of all their great plaques. These subway tile nameplates to stick on your bedroom door were inspired by a reader, Josie, who asked me for suggestions for what to do with some leftover white tiles that were given to her. I thought of the ceramic nameplate that I’ve had since I was a child, and decided white subway tiles would make excellent nameplates. We decoupaged scrapbook paper and added stickers, rhinestones, ribbon, etc., but you can use whatever artist’s medium your heart desires. Paint? Glitter? Knock yourself out. Read more »