Posts tagged ‘upcycled’

studio redux, part deux

while the owl tree topper is drying, I thought I’d share an update from the studio.  I finally got around to adding a more functional work space for making my jewelry.  yay!

before, I had a drafting table that didn’t allow for storage underneath it, meaning there was craft crap everywhere, but especially in the center of the room.

it was very hard to feel motivated in this space.  so after I saw this beautiful office makeover in real simple magazine, I realized I could do something similar.  my studio will never, ever look this neat, but I’m secretly hoping that after the photo shoot, this particular office never looked this tidy, either.  hey, a girl can dream.

gosh I love the colors of this room.  if only I had time and energy to paint yet another room…

Home office

so I cleared out my crap (check out all that wasted space underneath there!)…

after that, I put up the tracks so that I could create my own, personalized, highly functional happy place.  once I was finally able to find the studs to drill securely into, that is.  (ps, this project could involve totally screwing up walls and/or electrocuting myself, so I purchased a fancy pants studfinder that even warned me about electrical currents!  if you’re interested in attempting something like this, make sure you attach the tracks to the studs in your wall so that the desk doesn’t come toppling off onto you, crippling you and causing major–expensive!–wall repair.)

I used my trusty level to make sure that these guys were really straight up and down.  I don’t want stuff rolling around on my desk top!

now for the fun part…after removing the old legs from the desk top, I am re-purposing it by mounting it to the wall using brackets.  eco-friendly and budget conscious, huh?

I added more brackets and shelves to give you the final, blissful outcome.  look how much crap I can store under that bad boy!

other than it looking fabulous, I’ve also felt more like making things, not to mention I’m having an easier time getting to all my goodies.  want to see the business end of my studio?  click here.

December 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

transformation: skirt to dress

i have a gorgeous ankle-length wrap skirt that i never wear.  so sad.  but i just haven’t been able to send it to the thrift store because my mommy bought it for me (aww…) and i wore it to the rehearsal dinner for my wedding (…shucks).  so it has memories.  plus, the most beautiful georgette fabric (and it’s already lined!).  the colors are so romantic.  but the length is just…dowdy mcdowdikins.  for lack of a better word.  so it just sits in the closet.

then inspiration hit me the other day as i was reaching for a t-shirt in my closet.  (cue clouds-parting-in-the-sky music).  i could turn it into a super sweet strapless dress!  i mean, how cute?!  flowy, sweet, and upcycled.  so far it’s just in the planning stages, but the goal is to turn it into a faux wrap dress with a little sewing and a zipper.  and a grosgrain ribbon waistband to help define the waist.

i’m trying to decide between simple, which has a fifties kind of a vibe:

or a cleaner, more modern silhouette, which would involve darting and a little side rouching.  more sewing, but i am leaning towards it anyway.

i realize they look almost identical in the pictures, but as someone who is very detail-oriented, they look totally different to me.  and how cute with a little jacket and kitten heels.  ta-dow!

i’ll keep you posted with updates when i decide on the silhouette and finish this beauty.

April 27, 2010 at 5:18 am 5 comments

corral your crap

dear sir or madam,

ever wondered what to do with all that crap that’s just lying around?  may i humbly suggest these trays for all your storage needs.  the fancy crap tray would look wonderful on your wardrobe with your perfumes arranged just so.  your mancrap would look ever so manly in the pewter mancrap container; perhaps for the study or the mancave?  and of course, whose office is complete without a snarky comment graciously provided by the ‘you say it’s my crap like it’s a bad thing’ tray.  while these one of a kind, upcycled trays won’t solve your problems with crap, they will give you a place to put it all.  well, at least some of it.

each tray has been rescued by yours truly from one of the fine riverside, ca thrift store establishments and revived with just the right touches.  lovingly cleaned and stamped or decoupaged to bring out the individual features of each lovely piece.  then sealed so that you can wipe them down, should they ever need it.  they will develop a light patina over time to add to their uniqueness.

send no money now!  simply go to my etsy store and choose one of these instant heirlooms for yourself or as a gift for that special someone who deserves something this fabulous.

sadly, you will have to provide your own crap, as i do not provide my crap with these items, whatever the pictures may imply.

sincerely,

the sultana of the inland empire

April 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm 3 comments

good day…sunshine…

this weekend i put the finishing touches on a light diffusion box i’ve been making.  we have an overabundance of sunshine here in the sunny south (of california), but it’s mostly very bright, direct light.  great for contracting carcinoma; not so good for taking pictures.

i read a lot about people taking their photos next a bright window, but we don’t seem to have one positioned to capture the light just so (design flaw)…so i researched light boxes and diffusion boxes…and found that i could not really justify the cost.  the cheapest one i could find was about $80, but it would only work for very small items.  so no props, no changing background color outside of photo shop, no good.

but with the magic of pvc pipe and grafix drafting film (a matte plastic “paper” purchased at an arts supply store), i made a 2×3 foot diffusion screen for less than $10.  plus i was able to repurpose pvc pipe that i had from a hamper (the college years), so it was green.  ish.  i only had to purchase one 10 foot length of pvc pipe, which i am happy to report cost all of $1.26.  with tax!

combined with my very fancy reflector–aluminum foil over a piece of cardboard–i can now take super schwanky shots on budget.  i can even shoot directly into the sun–with the diffusion screen inbetween–to capture the sparkle of translucent gemstones!  below is an un-photoshopped example of the difference it makes in my photography:

shot in bright sun

shot in bright shade

diffusion & reflection

this setup keeps colors true and reduces the shadows.  it means much less time with photoshop and i don’t have to wait for bright shade to form in our treeless backyard.  in short, much less work, better payoff, and–most importantly–cheap!

March 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

flattery will get you everywhere

when i first put my jewelry on the interweb, i was unsure how it would be received.  sure, family and friends loved it and encouraged me to get out there, but it was still scary to ask total strangers if they liked my work.

just the act of putting myself out there has made me more confident about my jewelry, but compliments from strangers never hurt!  the other day someone said to me that they like my jewelry because they rarely wear any jewelry.  although it may not sound like a compliment to others, i thought it was a great because i strive to create everyday, not-too-fussy pieces. so i was really flattered!

then today, my upcycled red and aqua jewelry storage board was featured in the top picks on cosa verde‘s website!  so cool.  thanks everybody.

February 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

aww snap!

putting the fun back in functional: here’s the camera bag i made for our new tiny camera.  this camera is much easier to fit into a back pocket than our canon rebel!  but i still wanted to protect it from scratches and other owies.

i used some denim i had in my fabric stash; the lining is repurposed madras fabric from a shirt.  for that jeans-y feel, i used yellow jeans thread to sew it all up.  it closes with a pearl snap!  fun!

February 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm 1 comment

another upcycled jewelry board!

i really like how this one turned out!  i even managed it with a mangled hand!  well, now i have a matching bandage on my left index finger, but it’s all good.  this time it was my fault.  i forgot how sharp those exacto blades can be…

i found this sweet vintage frame at an antique store.  separated from all its bits and pieces, it looked kind of sad but like it had potential.  so i took it home.  well if that isn’t just the story of my life.

i cleaned it up and added a few details: i sewed a brown velveteen strip onto a rich taupe silk shantung at the bottom (very secure!); the pocket has an elastic band so it makes a great pocket for rings and bracelets.  i added two strands of grosgrain ribbon for earrings to hang from and 14 brass hooks at the bottom of necklaces.  the brads and buttons at the top are the place for hoops and i include 10 pearl top pins for leverback earrings.  shazam!

the center is foam core, but i’ve added a sheet of thick chip board on the back to give it a finished feel and so that pins don’t poke through.  the frame hangs from a matching grosgrain ribbon; over a nail, a hook, or a door knob.  it even has little rubber bumpers on the back to keep it from scratching your walls.

it’s available at my etsy store for $46 USD as part of the ‘where to put it all’ collection.

February 17, 2010 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

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