So They Can’t All Be Successful {Jewelry DIY Fail}

So, it’s happened. I’ve fallen into a project failure funk. A few weekends ago, while I was still on break from teaching, I came down with the dreaded flu. I thought the coast was clear, I’d been home for a week and hadn’t been sick at all! Then, the weekend before returning to work, it happened. Aches, fever, sneezing, coughing, headache, fatigue, the whole sha-bang.

Needless to say, after a couple of days feeling badly for myself, I decided to get out of bed (and onto the couch). I was bored. AND I couldn’t eat much of anything outside of soups. I decided that I needed to keep myself busy during this germy pity party with a project. I had started this washer necklace while watching Pitch Perfect, but was obviously not focused enough to complete the project. Let’s be honest, how can you focus on anything OTHER than Pitch Perfect.

Anyway, the picture tutorial looked easy enough. What could go wrong, right?

Doesn't it look easy? Just weave in, under, out. Continue to repeat...

Doesn’t it look easy? Just weave in, under, out. Continue to repeat…

 

Maybe it’s my inability to follow directions well, or my horrible need to try and do it without really reading the directions, but it just didn’t work. This tutorial, jewelry making, and I are not friends right now.

Yup, not supposed to look like that.

Yup, not supposed to look like that.

This is the best I could do, even after many, many attempts. I couldn’t decide if it was my inability to follow directions, my ribbon being a stiffer fabric, or it really just not being meant to be. Plus, let’s be real. The gorgeous blogger who created the tutorial is a jewelry maker (go look at her blog here and her etsy store here). Who am I kidding? Why would I be able to make that! Maybe I’ll try this again…someday. I’ll just reread the directions and continue to be frustrated. Could it be that I’m just not that coordinated? This is completely possible. Anywho, as I stare at my heap of ribbon and bag of washers, I figured I would share this DIY fail. Let’s all do a big old WOMP WOMP (sad horn) for this attempt.

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- Yes, I’m a teacher and I don’t read directions so well. It’s a problem I’ve been working to remedy!

Framing Fabric {Pinterest Project}

Hello all!

If you follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram, you’ll know that I teased this post a couple days ago. Sorry about my late posting, but I forgot to publish this guy! Anyways, enjoy!

 

Ever wonder what to do with your extra fabric pieces from upholstery projects? You can sometimes end up with quarters that are not quite the right size for any projects. Until now! I’ve seen this idea on pinterest, Young House Love has discussed it (in their upcoming book!!!), and many other DIY blogs.

Our guest room is in a constant state of getting upgraded. First, it was my snazzy bench project. Then, the mirror getting a matching treatment and moving the old mirror back to the family room where it belongs. Now, it’s the walls! We had some sad, baren walls in that room. They were a cute blue color, so that wasn’t the issue. The issue was the emptiness of it all. I haven’t ever had anything on this monster of a wall, even before rearranging the room.

You can see the wall to the left, just a bit. This is prior to the mirror and bench project. Plus the cover on the bed is old!

It’s one of the first spots you can see when you walk up the stairs. Just a big, blue wall. Not so inviting and definitely not exciting to see when you might be staying as a guest (sorry guys!). So I decided that this needed to be remedied. I had plenty of fabric pieces from my bench project that I could use and a frame to start off. Needless to say, I got to work.

Step One: If you’re like me, and you just balled up your fabric and threw it back into the bag for storage (whoops!), you’ll need to iron out the fabric to make sure it’s nice and flat for framing.

 

Step Two: Measure and cut the fabric so that it fits into the frame and is centered the way you want on the matting.

 

Step Three: Place mat back into frame. Using a hot glue gun, place four beads of glue at each of the mat’s corners. Push fabric into the glue beads, pulling in opposite directions to make the fabric taunt.

 

Step Four: Replace frame backing, marvel at your awesomeness. Continue making framed fabric art until you have as many as you want! Arrange and rearrange until you get the collection you’re happy with and can hang.

 

Step Five: Hang your new art as you like! And yes, this time I did use a level AND a yard stick. I wanted to make sure that they were level and in a PERFECT straight line.

 

And yes, I’m aware that all my frames are not the same. I wanted it to be cool. Not only is it an odd number of frames (odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye), I wanted something to look like it was POPPING out of the wall. And now, when you walk up the stairs and look into that room, you see a nice, decorated wall!

 

Ta-da! This was a super simple and fun project. The not fun part? Hanging the pictures. I hate hanging things! Also cool side note, they reflect in the new mirror!

 

Project price breakdown:

Fabrics were scrap from my previous project- Free

Glue gun/sticks are always in stock at this house- Free

Frames- $15 for all five. I got the four similar frames in a pack from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, using a $5 off coupon. The 3-D frame was from IKEA and $1.99

 

So filling up a wall only cost me $15 and about a half hour to make all the framed fabric pieces? I’d say it was definitely worth it.

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

Dear Weather, We’re Not Friends {Rained Out Projects}

Hi all,

I apologize for the radio silence. I could list the ridiculous amount of excuses for not posting, but I’ll save you the effort of reading them. Today was supposed to be a slow day, a recovery day of sorts where I could finish some projects while I still had off from school. A day to get my mind off of things that I’d been dealing with since last week. Unfortunately, the weather and I didn’t agree on those terms. I had started a new bench project for our guest bedroom, but those plans got monsoon rained out.

See? She’s almost done! All that’s needed is a coat of awesome green paint for the base. But noooooo, rain must stop this plan.

I’ll post about her later when she’s finished, but I wanted to let you see what I had been up to in the bigger project realm. She was a sad little vanity bench that needed lots of love. Now she’s an unfinished project in our kitchen, which irritates me to no end. This little lady will have to wait until I can get to her, meaning sometime this weekend (I hope).

So needless to say, I needed something else to do (reading for my class or planning for the rest of the week of school were not options). I wrote several weeks ago about my whirlwind trip up to Connecticut for a funeral. I’m currently planning another trip up there soon, but in the meantime my mother and I received a package. It was a nice little box with a note from my uncle. He’s trying to go through all the possessions of my Aunt Claire and he found some of her costume jewelry. My mother and I are the only ladies in the family without pierced ears, so he filled a box with her costume clip-on earrings. I kept several because they’re my style and I’m sure I can get some use out of them. I also sorted out a few pairs that my mom overlooked but that she could probably keep and wear. Then, I was left with about 12 pairs of “not our taste” clip-ons. In his note he said we could donate them, but I hated to just let them go. I always remember my aunt being dressed with all her jewelry, bangle bracelets, earrings and all. Because it was up to us, I decided to make use out of them and give them a new life.

 

Yeah, not gonna wear any of those.

Let’s rewind a second to gain some background information. We recently had to upgrade our cable connection/billing, and surprisingly, the cheapest way to go was to get a home phone. We’ve never had a phone for the house and we didn’t really want one. The easiest jack to use was in the kitchen but plopped in the middle of a wall. It was just so noticeable, so awful. We got a little cheap cordless phone, but then all you could see were the hideous cables and cords. I needed a way to hide this old-school monstrosity. So, I sprayed an old cork board white to match the kitchen and leaned it against the wall. Cord problem solved. But now I needed some functional, but cool, push pins. Enter old costume jewelry earrings.

The before: these earrings are begging for a second chance at life.

So here’s a super easy tutorial on how to take your out of date clip earrings into this century.

Step one: snap off the clip backs.

Using the backend of a hammer, pry off the backing of the earring. This can be done with your hands, but some of the older jewelry is stubborn and won’t snap easily. I did about half with my brute strength (haha) and half with the help of the hammer.

Much better sans backing. Now it will be much easier to glue a tack onto the back!

 

Step two: gather your thumb tacks. I used gold thumbtacks, mostly because it’s all I had around the house. It also helped that the majority of the earrings I was using were “gold.” Heat up your hot glue gun and place a bead of glue on the head of the tack. Be careful here, not only because of the hot glue, but you’re putting a hot substance on metal. It can get a little iffy.

Place the tack with glue flush against the back of the earring. Hold until you can’t feel any movement between the tack and the earring. If it doesn’t fit on flush the first time, just wiggle with it (wiggle with it, wiggle with it, yeah).

 

Step three: marvel as your work cools before putting it into your pinboard.

See? So cool!

 

This whole project took me MAYBE a half hour. I had all the materials already, so it didn’t cost me a dime. Plus it was a great way to reuse something that would normally have just been given away.

A quick way to pay homage to someone you care about, reusing their things instead of giving them away. Thanks Uncle Bobby for sending the earrings. From MD, we love and miss you Aunt Claire. ❤

 

I promise to post soon about the bench, but until then, I’ll keep myself busy indoors and dry.

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

Collages {Showcasing Photos and Knick Knacks}

Hey all!

A quick update about one of my favorite things– wall decor. S and I are avid photographers, so we have many prints we collected throughout the years.

I love using quirky pictures, prints, and knick knacks that have a story. I would rather decorate with our own things, instead of buying a lot of pieces that don’t have a story. Plus, it’s fun to see the pictures and prints we’ve collected and thinking about the memories associated with each piece. So today, since I had some time (being finished with the tables and all), I decided to tackle some of our empty wall space.

First things first, had to collect all my tools. I have an assortment pack for hanging things that I had to pull out of the toolbox. I needed my hammer, level, and a screw driver (for my diploma hangers). I planned to add to the stairwell collage, so I started there. Using an IKEA frame ($4.00), I gave a necessary upgrade to one of my old black and white print from college. It’s the interior cafe at the Franklin Institute, one of my favorite places in Philadelphia. I’m missing a frame for the Death Cab for Cutie tour poster, but it’s going in the space below the print.

See? There’s a perfect spot for a tall, rectangular concert poster to fit.

Then, finally deciding what to do with our big (almost blank) wall in our kitchen, I set to work. There was an assignment in college to complete a process work, showing how something starts as one thing and ends up as another. I decided to document making brownies. It ended up being an awesome way to showcase texture (brownie batter) and ordinary tools in a cool way (beaters). And now, it’s perfect for the kitchen! I asked for S’s opinion on placement and set to work. I plan to balance the pictures on the other side with two prints from an cool market in Philadelphia, which also showcases food. Now we’re really cookin’!

Big wall that needs a little help. See the space where I plan to balance it out? Just need two more frames and that’s a done deal!

My parents recently returned from a trip to Puerto Rico. One of their adventures included a trip to the Bacardi factory. They returned with a perfect addition to the ever-growing collage in our downstairs family room. I adore tin signs and this one is just great. And it fits in perfectly.

It fits just right! And it goes perfectly with the red of our big F sign and the Budweiser odds and ends. Those crates were from my great uncle and I add the third when I found it at a neighborhood yard sale. Scott loves the Redskins, so last Christmas I scored the awesome felt pennant with the different Redskin helmets. And those license plates? One is from my great-grandmother’s bike, the other from my grandfather’s old ’56 Ford.

And finally, not really a collage, but still fills wall space– our college diplomas. Now, my college indulged in FREAKING HUGE diplomas and frames. I did not realize that this wasn’t the norm until I saw friends diplomas and more specifically, S’s. There was no way to hang them together and have it not look a bit awkward, so I decided to fill the space between our living room windows. As S’s expertly noted, there was more wall space on the left than the right, so it would be more balanced to put the bigger diploma there. And so I did! I think they look pretty cute together. Though, it does look like I’m trying to compensate for something. Eh! Oh well! And the wood of the frame echoes all the dark wood of the furniture. So happy together!

Big lady, little man.

What do you think of the new wall additions? I think they’re fantastic, obviously.

XOXO,
Ashley

PS- For these pictures, I did not use a ruler, straight edge, or level (with the exception of the diplomas). I know, gasp away, but I always feel more comfortable putting holes into my walls on my terms. I find that when I measure it out and plan it, it never lives up to the extra work it takes. This style of hanging things is not for the faint of heart. I accidentally tried to NOT measure out the diplomas the first go around and ended up with some nice holes in the wall that I had to fill in. If you think you’re going to be upset with yourself for making a mistake, always measure twice, hammer once.