Thursday, October 28, 2010

A New Life for Old Beads

I would like to share with you a new product that I am offering. They're earrings! We all know them, we all love them and I have extended the wastenot theme to them. The thought occured to me - when my daughter and I were making necklaces out of a set of disfunctional doorway beads - that there are probably enough beads in the world to avoid creating any new ones for at least a few hundred years. So, armed with some hand-me-down necklaces and thrift store finds, I embarked on the mission of creating jewelry from spare parts. I have found that older jewelry findings are typically tarnished and/or gold-plated. I'm not into either look, so I do start with new findings (aside from a wonderful silver chain I found at a thrift store). I am currently looking for a jewelry findings supplier that is based and manufactures in the U.S.A. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Here's the first batch of earrings ready to go to market.

Besides the earrings, you may also notice the attractive display, compiled of a picture frame I found at a thrift store and wood scraps. I removed the glass and backing from the picture frame and infilled within the frame using wood scraps. Wood scrap feet and some 'big box' hooks were all I needed to complete this simple little beauty.

I'm branding my earrings and other jewelry I make as christilou, affiliated with the Wastenot Workshop. I'm going to be selling this first batch of earrings at a friend's yoga studio in Carmel, New York. Thanks Amy! Here's your plug!

The YogaScape and Spa

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mid-Century Night Table with a Twist

Recently, I started dwelling on the fact that our bedroom is not the relaxing, soothing place that I want it to be. In fact, it had become quite the opposite - a dumping ground for everything we didn't know what to do with - piles of unfolded laundry and plastic containers full of bedding and other miscellaneous items. The worst was part was that my books had no home next to my bed other than the dusty floor. Something had to be done! After doing a simple reorganizing of my closet, I was finally able to put away all the laundry. I cleared out the boxes and sold two disfunctional dressers and an oversized bed set on Craig's List. Sometimes you just have to start with a blank slate. I decided the first thing I needed to get the bedroom redo going was a proper night stand with a drawer and a shelf for my precious books.

As usual, I hit the thrift stores. I had in my mind that I wanted the room to have a mid-century flare, so I kept my eyes peeled for an old piece in need of some work. When searching for items like this, I specifically do not want a pristine piece of furniture - one, because of the price, and two, because I would never get over the guilt aquired from comprimising the integrity of an antique. The third store I went to turned up a fantastic result. One corner of the night stand was a little banged up, but I had an idea for that so I laid down my ten bucks and got out of there.

To deal with the banged-up corner, I added some wood trim and used a little wood filler. After a good sanding, I painted the entire thing a deep chocolate brown and sprayed the handle with silver paint. Now, this would have been fine. But these days, fine just ain't good enough. I wanted to add a little something extra. Knowing what the accent color of our room was going to be, I got out the orange spray paint.

Now what? I thought for a while. I really wanted to make this easy on myself and I knew I wanted circles of some sort - i.e. no hand-painting. Then it came to me that I could simply cut blue painter's tape into any shape I would like. So I cut out little circles free-hand, stuck them onto the drawer, and spray painted it orange. I had to put a plastic bag over the parts of the drawer that I didn't want to be orange.

I was able to peel off the circles without too much trouble. If you ever try this method, however, I recommend using a pin or needle to get each peel started. Don't use your fingernail as it can gouge the base paint.
Among the other projects I have planned for our bedroom are building my own platform bed and jazzing up a torn paper lantern - both projects to be featured in future blogs. Stay tuned!