Old Jars Make Desk Storage {Rust Goes Beachy Chic}

Just a quick little post!

I recently picked up these two adorable jars at a vintage sale.

These jars are the cutest. They have great, thick glass.

These jars are the cutest. They have great, thick glass.

They used to be jelly jars and they have a nice, rust to their tops.

I originally thought that I would cover up these rusted tops. I would pick the toppers and then spray the whole shabang. But then I realized...

I originally thought that I would cover up these rusted tops. I would pick the toppers and then spray the whole shabang. But then I realized…

 

Wouldn’t it be cool to embrace the rusty, vintage nature of the jars, rather than cover them up? And so I did. I also decided to go that way with the shells I glued on top. I must have tried four different pairings. Started with beautifully perfect shells, but it just seemed wrong. Then I moved to smaller, tulip conch shells, but they were too colorful and intact. This went on for awhile. So then I realized, I really needed to embrace the old, rustic charm. I plopped a piece of coral that was coming apart and another conch. This time the conch was covered in barnacles and age holes, pretty roughed up. They fit PERFECTLY. I couldn’t be happier with how these two little jars turned out. A little hot glue and drying time, and now I have two super cute jars.

What a great pair. I love the texture, age, and beauty of them both. They're going to look awesome on my desk.

What a great pair. I love the texture, age, and beauty of them both. They’re going to look awesome on my desk.

And what, you may ask, would even fit in these tiny jars that you fretted over? Well, I think they’re perfect for my tonnage of paperclips and binder clips.

 

See? They already look great on my desktop, holding exactly what I need.

See? They already look great on my desktop, holding exactly what I need.

 

So what do you think? This project was under $6 with the jars and the shells. I’m a sucker for office organization, containers, and shells, so this was right in my wheel house.

 

XOXO,

Ashley

On Display, On Display, On Display {Shadowboxes for the Office}

Why hello there!

Can it be? I’m posting multiple times in one week? Who would have thought. It must mean I’m on a break or something (Happy Passover/Easter!)…

Anyway, in my previous post I mentioned some tutorials for wall decor and art for a beachy office. By now you should have checked out my post on making metallic seashells (but if you haven’t, you can find it here). My next task is to show you how I made some awesome shadowboxes for a sea star, sand dollar, sea biscuit, and a couple urchins.

First things first, my supplies. Unfortunately, sea biscuits and other sea creatures are not made equally (or proportionally). I found several affordable shadowboxes at our local Michaels. They were originally $9.99 a piece, but marked down to 40% off. What I love about Michaels is that they STILL take your coupons on top of the already marked down price. I just happened to have a 25% off frame and shadowbox purchases, so I added that discount onto the already marked down prices. This means I ended up with three awesome shadowboxes for the price of one and a half (about $14). I was so happy with my purchase, but they came with meh black backgrounds. Typically, I love the black-white contrast, but with a beachy theme, it’s a bit too stark.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I'm going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I’m going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

The next supply necessary, if you so choose to change the background, is a fabric, paper, or background design you would like to add to your shadowbox. I chose a burlap. I thought it would be very easy to find some cheap burlap at our fabric store, but boy was I wrong. Apparently no one wants to wear scratchy, itchy burlap. Possibly because it may look like a sack? Who knows. What I did find, at a little bit higher of a price, were scrap-booking sheets of burlap that are intended to be page backgrounds. They were about $3 a page, but fortunately on sale for a little more than $2 a sheet. I bought three and also picked up some more shadowboxes. I quickly learned that one shadowbox may fit a flat sand dollar, or even a skinny sea star, but not a sea biscuit or armored sea star. Bummer. Why don’t the shadowbox companies PLAN for these things? Sheesh. So I picked up a few more shadowboxes, which also happened to be on sale at our local JoAnn’s.

After I pulled out my trusty glue gun, a pair of scissors, and my purchased supplies, I got to work. Some of you may have seen this lovely Vine video which included a quick cut of the process.

First, take apart the shadowbox, you can use the backing of the box to cut your burlap/paper. Cut around the edges, making sure that you don’t have TOO much extra around the sides. This will cause your burlap/paper to be wavy and not flat against the backing. That will make it just look messy and you don’t want to do that! Heat up the glue gun, it’s time to go to work. Glue each of the four corners directly to the backing, making sure to not leave room for waves, wrinkles, or the like. Then, center your object (if you so choose to have it centered), making sure it fits proportionally when the shadowbox is reassembled.

WILL IT FIT!?

WILL IT FIT!?

For the items that had natural holes in the back, I used both push pins and tacks to hold it in place. I also used a liberal amount of hot glue to attach the objects to the burlap. Let it dry completely and if you’re a daredevil (as I am, obviously), give your backing with the object a gentle shake to make sure it’s fully attached. Worse case scenario, you’ve got a flying sea biscuit. Best case scenario, you’ve glued and anchored PERFECTLY and it will not fall in your awesome shadowbox. Once you’ve done this quick test, place the backing back onto the shadowbox, wiggle until you can anchor all of the back brackets and enjoy your hard work.

Why hello sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Why, hello there sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Seriously, this project should only take you about 10 minutes. I may have had some missteps (sorry pink urchin, you were a good one), but it took me less than 10 minutes to accomplish the whole project and I made 4.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit. Just a little detail shot.

The gang's all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

The gang’s all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

Fortunately, the things featured in the shadowbox were mostly free because they’re from nature (except for the urchin and the pencil sea star). The shadowboxes cost about $25 and the burlap around $8. Overall, I probably spent under $40 for this project and I still have one more shadowbox to fill. So, I call it a success and a step in the right, beachy-office direction!

XOXO,
Ashley

A Plan Full of Sand {Redoing My Office}

Hey all,

Maybe it was the beach trip, or my obsession with the sea, but I’ve finally decided what to do with my office. I’ve been working on different little projects to use in my office (like the seashells), and I’ve decided to go nautical for my office. It’s comforting, casual, and a perfect style for a small room like my office. I’ve even gone so far as to make a Pinterest board with ideas. Here are a few of my pinned ideas, some of which may have to wait until I have plenty of time to devote to the cause.

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These frames are very driftwood inspired. They’d look great with either some nature shots from the beach or just happy snapshots. Plus, the prices aren’t awful for great frames (at Target: $16.99 for the large, $12.99 for the small). 

 

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This might be taking it a bit too literally, but I love the shape of these ceramic replica urchins. They suggest using these as candle holders, but I think they would look great on my white desk with pencils and markers (Target again, thanks Threshold, $16.99 for the big, $5.99 for the small).

 

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A little sea glass never hurt anyone, right? The color might not be right for these guys, but I definitely like the style and shape. Maybe if they were just plain, clear glass (Target, $19.99 and $14.99).

 

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Might not be completely beach inspired but here me out. I love peg boards and pin boards, obviously. I also love a subtle chevron and Nate Berkus. So a couple of these on a wall will add texture and interest to my ever full idea wall.

 

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Another possibly too literal beach-themed option. I found this urchin lamp at TjMaxx for $30. He’s adorable and I love the burlap-textured lampshade. I didn’t buy him, but I am getting a twinge of regret for not taking him with me.

 

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I might have to do a treatment of white, peeling paint on some of the furniture in my office. Make it look more weathered and aged by the sea.

 

The biggest change for the office will be the wall color. It's currently a sad, dirty green from the previous owners. This is the perfect shade of blue-green, San Clemente Teal 730 (Benjamin Moore).

The biggest change for the office will be the wall color. It’s currently a sad, dirty green from the previous owners. This is the perfect shade of blue-green, San Clemente Teal 730 (Benjamin Moore).

So, too themey? Maybe. But you don’t have to work there, I do! And I always seem to find peace by the sea. That means an office with a sea theme is in my future. What do you think? Plus, I may have already started some sea themed projects for the room-to-be…you’ll just have to wait for the tutorial on those!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

 

Rummagine All The Opportunities {Yard Sales in S. Florida}

Hey all!

I’m writing you as I eat a delicious piece of freshly baked breakfast bread (including nuts, cranberries, sunflower seeds, apricots, and raisins) and drink a great cup of coffee. We’ve got a full day today and tomorrow, so I’m taking a moment to write a quick post about the on-goings down here.

I never realized just how many yard sales could happen in a small place in such a short amount of time! We must have gone to six or seven, some better than others, but all very interesting. The prices were good and I ended up with some great swag. I figured I’d share some of the things I picked up (and of course their prices).

This, plus a couple dresses, was my haul for the morning. See the blue sculpture, two apothecary jars, two crystal candle sticks, and not pictured, a stunner of a green candlestick.

This, plus a couple dresses, was my haul for the morning. See the blue sculpture, two apothecary jars, two crystal candle sticks, and a stunner of a green candlestick.

 

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This was actually picked up AFTER rummaging all morning. A friend of my grandmother’s was trying to clear out a lot of her things from her condo, and this was just going to be left behind! I decided to keep it and possibly put it in my continually growing garden out back.

 

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These were probably the steals of the day. I found these at one of our last sales that we went to. They had some crummy potpourri in them that I dumped. Each jar was tagged with $6, but I asked to her to take 2 for $10 and she did! I think my sprayed shells have finally found a proper home!

 

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This green stunner will look great with our green glass pieces in our bedroom. The cost? $1. I’m not really sure what they were asking for it, based on the other things on the table it could have been $5 or $10, I just walked up with a dollar and she took it, so fine by me!

 

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These candle sticks were $6 total. They’re pretty, a bit more formal that my usual taste, but I’m trying to build my crystal candlestick collection a few at a time. These didn’t break the bank, so I had to make them mine.

After all the rummaging, some tasty lunch, and some shell cleaning, I decided to get back out on the beach. I was ill-prepared for this outing, thinking that I was just going to pick up a few shells if I saw them. I was carrying my phone and DSLR, hoping to get some good shots of wildlife (which I did), but I didn’t anticipate walking for two hours in the water and snagging so many more GREAT shells. I see a silver future for many of you…

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I’m still learning to identify many of these but I do know that the conch with the “spikes” are called Fighting Conch. I think the smaller, softer spiral ones are called tulips.

 

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Other than my sand dollar find (which broke apart in my bag not suited for this outing), these were the catch of the day. They’re pairs, still intact! I play to keep a couple for the classroom science center and use a few in my office re-do this summer. Oh so many plans ahead…

 

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Casualties of shelling, my poor old shoes. They’re pretty gross anyways, so I just plan to toss them. The main reason for posting this picture is for you to see how much sand and shell bits get into every little nook!

 

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Looks gross now, but soon these coral and sponges will be clean and look great. To make sure there are no critters taken home in your shells, coral, and sponge, make sure to mix a solution of two parts water, one part high concentrate bleach. Gets all the gook and sea water smell right out!

 

Well, my journey continues! Today we plan to go to a place called Stan’s, which I’m told is quite the experience. I’m sure I’ll have pictures to share later. Enjoy your Sunday and believe me, all these finds and shells are really making some DIY ideas brew in my mind! Better write them down somewhere…but where can I put them…?
XOXO,

Ashley