Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Home for my Baubles

Ok, so I am out of excuses (finally) for why I should put off posting any longer.  Actually, I finally feel that I have something to post about.  Never mind that I finished this project three weeks ago...  But here is the new home of my necklace collection:

I didn't know if I wanted to post this, because I definitely didn't make anything here.  But...  I did use these objects in a creative way, in my opinion.  I have been wanting to put my necklaces on hooks for a long time.  My boyfriend gave me a very nice jewelry box for Christmass with two rotating necklace hooks, but I have found that it can't handle anything very long.  I am very proud of my necklace collection, so framing them and displaying them on the wall seemed like a natural move, plus it gets my dresser top cleared off!

This is the ikea UNG DRILL frame.  I bought it while helping my cousin pick up her ikea day bed.  I didn't have a pronounced idea of what I would do with it, but I liked the style.  It's got that Young and Baroque thing going on.  It also comes in a version with a mirror, according to the web.

After I hung the frame, I just added a hook and two knobs from Anthropologie (Fun fact, I worked there last year, and boy do I miss that discount).  The garden and bunny knobs make me think of Alice in Wonderland.  The hardest part was probably finding the right dry wall anchors for the job.

So here it is all decked out.

I will post again soon.  It will probably be a post detailing a few different projects I have going on right now.  I just saw an application for the Ann Arundel County Craft Fair, and I really want to apply.  It's October 6th and 7th though, I don't really know if I could have things made by then, especially as I'll be on a 4 day cruise a week before that!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hard Boiled Jell-O Shots

This one's a little late, but I have been crafting up a storm lately, and I've been meaning to do a post on these Jell-O shots I made for easter since before my first post.  I'll explain:

I could go into a long story about how these eggs came about, and the scramble to find the molds, but I'll just share the current revision.  I made one batch mango margarita flavor, and the other batch was a Malibu rum + mango Absolut concoction.  I spent a long time trying to figure out the best method for molding the mango yolks inside of the Jell-O eggs, but eventually realized that since I planned to serve them as half eggs anyway, and Mangos are difficult to form full balls from, I would just mold the eggs sans yolks.  After the Jell-O cured, I just cut it in half (you'll want a very sharp knife for this), scooped out a yolk depression, and added the mango pieces.

 Voil√†!  See the broken egg?  That's due to one major flaw:  Mango contains an enzyme that breaks down gelatin.  I had only read this about pineapples and papayas before I bought my supplies.  Using canned mangos next time should solve this.

Me and my beautiful cousin, about to do shots before Easter Mass.  Yeah, I'm just going to leave it at that.

Mango Margarita Hard Boiled Shot Recipe:
  • Whole canned mangos, or big enough pieces to make half yolks with — I am going to have to do   some research here.
  • 2 pkts Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 c boiling water
  • 1/4 c Tequila
  • 1/3 c Absolut Mango
  • 1/3 c triple sec
  • 6-7 oz condensed milk — Tip:  Eagle brand is a very cool, bright white.  The other brand I tried was Target's Market Pantry, and it was a creamier color.
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Use a melon baller to ball mangos, (half balls are ok) and soak them in tequila in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.  If you have to go longer, just throw them in the freezer.  I used ¼ c tequila to two mangos.

In a large bowl, stir the gelatin into 6 tablespoons of cold water and let it 'bloom' for 5 minutes.  Add the boiling water, the Absolue, triple sec, condensed milk, and lime juice.  Let cool off before pouring into molds.

When the eggs are finished in 3-4 hours, cut in half, scoop out pieces and add mango yolks.

For the Absolut + Malibu recipe, I replaced the tequila with Absolut and the triple sec with Malibu.  However, this recipe came out too strong in my and others' opinion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I figured I would do a simple project to get the ball rolling on this blog.  While this only took me a total of maybe 6-8 hrs (including shopping for supplies) spread out over a weekend, I still had been wanting to make a version of this Shadowplay necklace for months:

This particular piece reminded me of sea foam on the shore, full of shiny pebbles, and other ocean treasures...  er seaweed and dead things.  Not that I want to wear any of that around my neck—but it's about the essence of the beach, and the easy-going organic shape of the necklace and peak-a-boo of the crystals.  I have seen this, and other necklaces from Heather Goldberg on for around $300, but I knew I could make a version of this for much much less.

I checked out my yarn supply, and only found some black yarn that was a suitable gauge, then headed out to a local yarn shop and a Michael's for the rest of my supplies.  I bought a teal skein of yarn at the shop, and another multi-color (great for this project!) skein at Michael's with tans, whites, and greys.  I also found beads, clasps, and beading needles at Michael's.  I guess the main difference in our necklaces is that I didn't use Swarovski crystals.  I wanted to take this further into that easy-going beachy direction, so I got a stone chip bracelet in a dark grey color.  Then I just turned on Hulu and cast on some 15 or so stitches, and knit, decreasing the stitches, adding beads, and changing colors whenever it felt right.  And this is how it turned out:

This may need to be refined, but overall, I am happy with the piece.  I've noticed it is a bit scratchy and it doesn't quite have what I can only describe as the "sloppy chic" look of the brand name version—at least not unless you look at it up close.  But with that said, I think it has a preppy meets surfer quality, and I think it's a perfect style fit for my current city, Annapolis.  I have yet to wear it, but I will soon because I am anxious to see if I get any comments.  Here's another picture of the original, on a model this time:

I didn't see this photo until tonight.  It certainly clears up my questions about scale.  I had originally thought the necklace was slightly smaller and more delicate.  I may have to make a version with thicker yarn now.

That's all until next time, which promises to be a very unique post about an Easter project I took on this year.



I am finally kicking off this blog I started to build around a month ago.  I have already made two projects to share, I just got too lazy to write the requisite posts.  Also my camera is MIA (good time for me to start a blog, I know), so that contributed to my procrastination.  For now, you'll have to deal with my photo booth pictures √† la my ol' MacbookPro.  I promise I know about photo quality.  Don't you see a lot of apologies about bad photos online?  Then you don't really notice any big quality issues when you do look at the photos...  are people just apologizing because they don't own SLRs?

So what will this blog be?  Not just a bunch of rhetorical questions I hope.  I like to dabble all over the place.  My most consuming (and kind of new for me) interest right now is furniture design / construction.  However, I am fresh out of school and semi-nomadic, so my furniture output is currently zilch (other than Rhino models haha).  I have plans though, boy do I have plans.  I'll share, don't worry.  I also have plans for several paper engineering projects, general decorating ideas, as well as fashion and accessory ideas, and I am sure I'll pepper in the ocasional fine artwork.  I big reason I am starting this blog is that I always have tons of ideas, but I am very lazy.  I think it will be motivating and inspiring to have a track record of my work and process, and to be able to keep tabs on other people who's work I find provoking.