Sunday, May 17, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Long Green Earrings

Hi!  Today, a new challenge for you lovely fans of Guess The Mystery Thing.  Wanna play?  Take a gander at this cute pair of earrings.



Can you identify the mysterious secret ingredient, i.e. the long, swoopy green-and-white jobbies? 

We're playing on the honor system, so no peeking yet.  What are those stripey things?  Have your guess firmly seated in your brainpan before you scroll down for the reveal.

Brainpan set?  Okay, let's do this!

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Hint: it's not from the dollar store.  Not even from a yard sale or thrift shop.  It's something I got at an actual, honest-to-gosh, full price retail establishment.

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Keep scrollin'...

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I try to predict how easy these challenges will be, but most of the time I'm wrong.  This time I predict 85% will get this one.

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Ready to see the answer? Sure?

Okie doke!   Here it is:


It's the waves in the hair of the mermaid on the cup from the Starbucks!

I cut out the hair with my littlest scissors:



With a thumbtack, I poked a hole in each tress.  Then layered two of them (facing opposite directions), and incorporated them into in a chandelier-style earring, in the same way I would use any charm with a hole at the top.



I gifted these to one of my fave baristas - she loved them.

So let us know in the comments: didja know this one?  If you guessed something different, what was it?

Do tell!





Monday, April 27, 2015

Tender Tendrils Upcycled Vase Tutorial

This is my new favorite project.  A flower vase completely upcycled from trash, featuring a built-in collar of springy tendrils.  Please to check it out!



The tendrils are not only decorative - they also serve as a kind of flower frog.  They cluster together to help your flower stems stay where you put 'em.  Here they are in closeup:



What's it made of, you ask?  An empty plastic milk bottle.  That's right, it went from this:



To this!



Here, my dears, is the very interesting DIY.

Find a bottle and cut away the neck.  You can use most any opaque plastic bottle; doesn't have to be milk.



Make a diagonal cut, from the top opening to about 1/3 of the way down (or whichever spot makes sense for the silhouette of your bottle).  Because of the bottle's round shape, the diagonal cut will actually be more of a spiral.


Parallel to the first cut, make a whole bunch more, going all the way around.  The more cuts you make, the skinnier your tendrils will be.



Grab one of the cut strips and wind it tightly around a skewer.  Then release and - lookee there!  The plastic will hold the curl!



Now, this doesn't seem to work on clear water bottles, at least not the ones I've tried, so stick with opaque plastics and you should be good.  (Side note: this is the same method I used on one of my most popular posts, the uber statement jewel Ring On Fire.)

 


Okay, back to the vase.  Keep going until all the strips are curled.  This takes a little patience, because all those corkscrewy little things tend to get in each others' way.  If you have to say a bad word, go right ahead.

The final result: wowsers!



At this point, your vase is essentially done.  Use as-is, or decorate in whatever way might float your boat.

To make my color-blocked tendrils, I masked off the bottom section and simply spray painted the curlicues.  It took a hot minute, and the effect just delighted the heck out of me.



Other ideas: gold tendrils above a matte black base?  Polkadots or stripes on the white section?  Hand paint the tendrils in multiple colors?  I can imagine all kinds of fabulous versions.

So who thinks they might give this a whirl?  And how would you paint yours?

Oh, wait!  Before I go - let's not forget the rest of the bottle.  Trying to be eco-conscious here, ya know.  So what can be done with the neck and the lid?

http://www.michlinla.com/2015/03/guess-mystery-thing-little-white.html

Well!  In case you missed it, I made something totally and utterly adorable with those - I think you'll be surprised.  CLICK HERE to pop over and see.

Thanks for coming by, you guys.



  

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Mexican Tiled Kitchen

Here's something a little different.  As some of you know, I've been renovating an old adobe house in the desert outside of Tucson.  I've gotten a lot of curious emails....

So today, having splurged on a bunch of fancy lilies for a crafty photo shoot, I tidied my newly finished kitchen, staged it with lilies, and took a couple of pictures.  Just for you guys!


We ordered a lot of gorgeous rustic tiles from Mexico, and did every bit of it ourselves.  I love everything, except wish I could have afforded a fridge in some weird, bright color like aqua.  (Never fear, Aunt Peaches has a cure for the boring fridge - I might just try it.)

Want to see the Before shot?  Pretty dreadful.  No ceiling, no cabinet doors.  And yes, the curvy stucco range hood is painted a greasy, shiny metallic copper.  Blech!  Identities concealed to protect the innocent:



We tore down that ridiculous claustrophobic wall of appliances, opening the kitchen to the dining room.  Big difference, eh?


The cabinet color: dill pickle!  Isn't that the best name?


I hope you enjoyed this little peek.  Can't wait to show you the crafty project for which I bought the lilies.  Hint: it's a vase.

See you then!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Silver Peacock Fan Charm

Hi again!  Another Guess The Mystery Thing challenge is here.  Wanna play?  Take a look at the fancy silver 'tail' on this peacock necklace:


Can you figure out what I deconstructed to make it?  What is that mysterious bauble?  Here it is nekkid, hanging on a keychain:





As always, we are playing on the honor system.  So no scrolling allowed until you have your guess firmly in mind.

Got it?  Firmly?  Then scroll at will.


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Hint: it's not made of metal.  Wha...?  Suddenly a bit harder, eh?  You still have time to change your guess.  Sure, we'll wait...got a new idea?  Great!  Now scroll onward.

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Ready?

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Okay, here goes nuthin'...



A plastic hand mirror from the dollar store.  Isn't that funny?  Looks so vintage-realistic, yet cost a buck.  I bought a basketful!

Here's the DIY:

The plastic is what made this one fun for me!  Instead of needing to fuss with a dremel tool or electric saw, I just scored the mirror handle with an exacto knife and snapped it off.  Then I melted a small hole with a hot wire to add a jump ring.  How easy shmeasy was that?


By the way, I now have several pretty oval mirror sections, sans handles, with which to play.  Picture frames, maybe?  Open to any and all suggestions for ways to use them.

Okay, do tell - did you get it right?  If not, what was your guess?  Let me know in the comments.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Pretty DIY Earring Display

Well, hiya!  Today brings a fresh new Guess The Mystery Thing challenge.  Can you guess the origin of the fancy half-spheres in these cute earring holders?



As always, we are playing on the honor system.  Do NOT be peeking until you be guessing!  So take a moment and really concentrate...what are those mysteriously familiar objects?

Got your guess?  Then start a-scrollin' for the answer!

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I think (maybe, possibly, perhaps?) this is an easy one.  Hint: I found them at the dollar store.

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Ready?

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Okay - check it out.


Plastic hair bun covers!  You know what I mean, right?  It's really difficult trying to selfie the back of one's own head, but here's an attempt:



The DIY:

For the tortoise-shell one, I used a headpin to combine two bun covers, with a heavy bead underneath for weight, and a rubber washer in between for stability.  For the white one, I just glued a bun cover into an upside-down crystal candlestick.  Nothing could be simpler!



Now, do tell: did you guess the Mystery Thing?  Let me know in the comments!


   

Friday, April 3, 2015

Guess The Mystery Thing: Simple Metal Tabletop Frame

Hi!  A new round of Guess The Mystery Thing is here.  Let's see if anyone can identify the mysterious secret ingredient in this nifty stand-up picture frame.




I came up with the arrangement of curly wires to suspend the art like it's floating in the center.  Isn't that fun?  Here's how the frame looks with nothing inside:




So what on earth is that dark oil finished, antique-y looking base?  Remember, we are playing on the honor system - no peeking until you have a guess.  Then scroll down for the reveal.

Pause for thought...longer pause to reject the first thought and recombobulate...okay, got it?

Scroll away!

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I will give you a hint.  It's not from the dollar store.  In fact, it only cost fifty cents.  Care to change your guess?  Last chance!

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Almost there.  Keep scrolling.

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Ready, Freddy?

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Here's the answer!




I know.  A bunch of you are going, "Um, yeah.  That's nice and all.  But what the cock-a-doodle-doo is it?"  Welp, it's called a rod chair and it's used in construction.  It holds rebar in place when pouring concrete foundations.

You need some rod chairs in your life.

They are so cool.  They stand up in both directions!  They look all vintage-rusty-oily-industrial!  They are delightfully cheap and multi-talented!  In addition to making these cute picture frames, I love using them as little stands to display earrings.  (A bit more advanced: I also solder them together to make exciting geometric wire sculptures.)  I bet you guys could come up with other ways to use them - any thoughts?

And I definitely want to know what your guess was.  Who knew the answer?  Who had something completely different in mind?  Do tell!



I hope you enjoyed that one!  See ya next time.