Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bling a chandelier in two minutes!

Here's what I blinged today:

My ugly dining room chandelier!  Here's the plain, everyday chandy:

Okay, maybe it's not truly hideously ugly.  Just overly ornate and faux.  And I can't wait for it to accidentally become chipped or damaged or stop working or somehow be stolen by thieves in the night.  Chandelier thieves, yeah, uh-huh.

But I came up with this two-minute blingification for the holidays, and I am almost charmed into thinking my chandelier looks cute.

Want to see how quick and easy this was?  Here goes!  My chandy has six arms.  So I found six glass bead necklaces:

I bought them online for less than a buck apiece.  You could also string them yourself from random beads of any size, shape or material.

Or popcorn!  Cranberries!  Anything!  Be as creative as you like.  Basically, you want continuous-loop necklaces of something pretty.  For my wide chandelier, I used 36-inch loops.  Adjust smaller or larger for the size of your fixture.

There are just two simple steps.

Loop the necklaces over the arms, like so:

Let's say that took a minute and a half.

Then take a piece of ribbon, and use it to gather all the necklaces together in the center.  Tie a knot.

Done!  Two minutes flat.

If you have a cute chandelier to start with, yours will look even nicer.

Bling away, my elves!  Bling away.

Postscript: Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who left such insightful comments on yesterday's post about a copyright issue.  A fascinating topic and a bit of a gray area.  You all helped me think it through and feel better!  I love you guys.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The aquaflower brooch.

They're aqua.  And they're flowers...

Yesterday I came up with the aquaflower brooch.

But they're not 'aquaflowers' because of the color.  They're auquaflowers 'cause they're made from a pool noodle.

Tutorial!  First, roast a large thanksgiving turkey, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.  While you're waiting, take your electric knife and cut your pool noodle into slices.

My husband did not understand.

While you're working, try explaining to a little dog why you are waaay over there on the other side of the kitchen slicing a pool noodle, when there's an enormous turkey over HERE!

The little dog did not understand.

If it's not Thanksgiving anymore, you can slice your noodle surprisingly well with a serrated steak knife.

Take two flower slices, and snip off a single petal from one of them.

Take the 4-petal flower and simply criss-cross it, to form an X-shaped small flower.

Squish that leftover single petal (the one you cut off, earlier) into the center of the 5-petal flower, to fill the hole.

Then just stack the 2 pieces and connect them together.  (You also need a small piece of felt or craft foam, to use as a backing.)  There a couple of ways to do it.  You can sew up your flower with needle, thread and two buttons, like this:

Or, for a wire connection, use two beads and a headpin.

 Here's how it looks from the back.

Done!  Aquaflowers!

Just add a safety pin and - presto!  It's a brooch.

Now, you could wear these like any old brooch.  I mean, if regular is your thing.  OR...

HEY, these things are waterproof!  How about pinning them to a winter coat and heading out into the snow?   Add to a ski hat?  Wear on a fleece scarf?

Maybe they ought to be called 'snowflowers.'

But HERE is the real reason I made these.  My mom is a little snowbird who flits down to Palm Desert every winter.  When I told her about these aquaflowers she had a hilarious - or possibly genius - idea!  A brand new twist on resort wear...

Wanna be too cool for school?

Wear your noodle jool in the pool!

I find the idea of pool jewelry irresistibly funny.  Thanks for the great idea, mom.

In the end, the little dog got plenty of turkey, I made aquaflowers, and my husband was confirmed in his belief he has married a fruitcake.

What a fun Thanksgiving!  Hope you all had a good one!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I built a crooked house.

Have you happened to hear about The Great Tissue Box Challenge challenge?  It's up right now on the beautiful, wicked cool blog Michele Made Me.  The challenge is to see how many teensy, adorable cardboard houses you can make from one tissue box.  Check out her examples!  Quite amazingly lovely.

I wanted to play along, but I have a couple of handicaps.  One - I am a little too unfocused (read: profoundly lazy) to work at one thing for very long.  And two - no matter how hard I try, I cannot cut straight.  So I did not manage an entire village of perfect little domiciles.  But I have made one single, lopsided teeny tissue box house.

Oh, also - it's a secret compartment necklace.

I used Michele's template, slightly modified, and cut out the panels from my tissue box.  I placed them onto a sheet of my favorite magical, super-strong metal duct tape, like so:

(Regular readers may remember the magical tape from a previous post, the One Minute Pendant.  It's so useful!)  I put another sheet of metal tape on top, sandwiching the cardboard inside, and cut out the panels.

Although I thought I'd cut straight, um, no, I guess I hadn't.  I realized my house was going to be crooked.  I soldiered on.  On another sheet of tape, I arranged some metal bits and pieces, then used that to wrap up the house.

So I had the two halves of my teensy crooked house.

I poked three holes.

I made an interesting contraption with craft wire and a long skinny chain.  Then I stuck the contraption through the house, and made a loop underneath the floor.

I threaded the chain up through the two holes in the roof, and added some heavy beads and a clasp.

The heavy beads are important, they hold the roof down in a windstorm.  Or if your cat breathes on it.

Finally, a little tassel.  Because I love tassels.

And that is how I built a crooked house.

The roof is lift-off-able, for hiding little treasures.

Just for fun, I shall enter the challenge.  Thanks, Michele, you are one of my greatest inspirations in this bloggy landscape.

Now if only you could teach me to cut straight!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cheep. Cheep.

Hi, everybody!  This is kind of a quickie, silly post.  But in case there are other cheapskates out there who haven't thought of this one, here's a little trick for the holiday gifting season.

What's the deal with padded mailing envelopes?  Why do even little ones cost so much?  I am waaay too cheap to spend fifty cents a pop.  But I always need small ones for jewelry gifting.  If they could be cute, that would be a nice bonus.

So I made these, for twelve cents each.

Found a package of wall stickers at the dollar store, so nice and big and useful for covering up stuff that might need covering.

This size was eight stickers for a buck - hence the twelve cents.  (Extreme Supercheapskate Tip: you could skip the stickers, use plain paper with homemade art instead, and your mailers will be Pretty Much Free!)

So here's the big idea.  Used padded mailers.  Recently I received this  lovely free gift from some company I've never heard of.  (Tee hee.)

Setting aside that beee-yoo-tiful and classy mug holder (another craft for another day), I snipped the large padded envelope into 4 pieces.

Then I slapped on those stickers, and sealed all the cut edges with packing tape.

Label on the other side...

There you go.  Four cute mailers from one free junk mail envelope.  It makes me happy.

Okay, must run to the post office.  Later, crocogators!

P.S.  In case you're new to this blog, I guess I should mention that those are earrings made from aquarium plants.  Here is where strange objects are transformed into fun jewelry.  Hope you stay to check out some of the baubles!