craft hack

A good day for creativity…

My horoscope for today–

“Today is all about art. It’s a great time for creating new work if that’s where your interests lie, but it’s just as good for soaking up culture in all its forms. Your creative energy is magnificent!”

OK, so it’s not just MY horoscope, it applies to Scorpios all over. Including the other resident of this house. Which is probably a good thing, as I may need Tim’s guidance in today’s endeavor: I’m building a desk. Yesterday I left work early and hit up a ton of antique stores; while I didn’t find anything that was exactly right, I did come home with a ton of ideas. Couple those with all the stuff I’ve curated on Pinterest recently and… you’ve got a recipe for a one-of-a-kind desk with personality. Keep your fingers crossed that I can translate what’s in my head to a functional piece of furniture.

If you don’t follow me on Pinterest (hi, Mom!), here are some of the sorts of things I’m drawn to for inspiration:

Garment Factory Desk

Deco Industrial Desk

Simple wood and industrial vibe

I’ll incorporate lessons learned from my current desk into the design of the new one.

My current desk. Soon to become a dressing table.

My current desk. Soon to become a dressing table.

Those lessons:

  • I like real wood.
  • This desk is a good size in terms of height, length and depth.
  • I need drawers for storage.
  • I also need to be able to fit my legs UNDER the desk, which completely can’t happen now. And it’s not about the chair. If I lower the chair enough to get my knees under the desk, my keyboard is in my boobs. Awkward for typing.

Wish me luck. I’m off to finish my coffee, put on some lipstick and head to the lumber yard.

 

 

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Craft hack: 1920s head dress

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My successful craft-hackery

One of the highlights of my work trip to Austin: a 1920s themed Christmas party. Good stuff.

Naturally, having to pack for a party away from home poses a challenge, but I was up for it. I had a dress that I’ve worn in the past that elicited comments that I looked like I stepped out of the ’20s. Perfect. Shoes? Easy. Hair? I got a quick trim to make the back of my bob a little sleeker, and felt almost ready.

Almost.

I needed something else to really make everything pop. A quick trip to the craft store, a text to Bernadette, and a few glasses of wine later, I had a fabulous feathered hair adornment.

The supplies:

  • some sparkly tulle or netting
  • a barrette or pin curl clip
  • feathers
  • glue (hot or craft, your pick.)
  • a fancy clip earring
  • crystals and/or jewels.

The assembly:

Pick a few feathers–ideally, one long one and a few smaller ones. Arrange them until they look suitably dramatic, then gently glue them together. Hold them together with your pin curl clip while the glue dries. You want the clip close enough to the spot where you glued the feathers together to keep them properly arranged while they dry, but not so close that you glue the feathers to the clip yet.

Cut a piece of tulle or netting slightly larger than your feather arrangement. This will go behind the feathers.

Now glue the tulle to the barrette (or pin curl clip, if you chose that route) and let it dry. Use the fancy clip earring to hold together your feathers and the tulle. Glue some crystals or jewels to the tulle where it connects to the barrette. Let everything dry overnight, and you’re done!

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The finished product on display.

Display shelves

A long time ago, I mentioned that I didn’t really have a good way to display my compacts…they were just sort of scattered willy-nilly throughout my office. I started building some shelves with old drawers I found in the loft over our garage, but got stalled when it was time to figure out how to hang them.

Drawers from the loft in our garage.

Drawers from the loft in our garage.

Fortunately for me, Tim stepped in and decided to surprise me while I was travelling for work. He came up with a way to connect and hang the shelves in a way that captured the juxtaposition I was going for. I like unexpected contrasts…something rustic up against the industrial, or something rough and unfinished paired with something polished and ornate. It’s not for everyone.

The drawers had traces of BRIGHT PINK. Which I hate. So I sanded them down and stained them with a black stain that let traces of the wood grain peek through.

First pass with the stain.

First pass with the stain.

Tim cut some smaller pieces of wood for me to put inside the boxes to create more shelves. I stained those, we nailed/glued them in, it looked great and then….

They sat in the garage for months.

I got distracted. Fortunately, Tim decided that shelf-finishing was a great way to entertain himself while I was traveling for work. I returned from my trip to find beautifully completed shelves. Yay! He used copper plumbing fittings to connect the shelves.

My finished shelves!

My finished shelves!

They fit nicely in a corner next to my bookshelves. We live in a Cape, which has sloped ceilings in some spots that can make it tough to fit things in, but these work perfectly.

A close-up of the fittings.

A close-up of the fittings.

I love the way the compacts fit in here...there's enough room to stand them up or set them flat.

I love the way the compacts fit in here…there’s enough room to stand them up or set them flat.

Tim put a bit of a blue stain on the edges of the middle shelf. It’s subtle, but I like it. Sorry the photos are a bit dark – the light in my office is tricky and it’s tough to photograph. Overall, I’m really pleased with these. I like the hint of rawness in the shelves in contrast to the polish and delicate appearance of the compacts.