Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why buy, when you can DIY?

I craft simply because it helps me wind down after work. A two-buck-chuck bottle of wine and my glue gun is all I need.

I'm not sure what sparked it though - it could be from my dance costuming days. Or because I simply can't afford to buy everything I want. Either way I found myself going to my favorite boutiques and flea markets thinking "I could make that for less money." So I did.

I by no means, am claiming to be an artistic genius. I'm not one. I take mental notes from things that inspire me in a store, from nature or from an outfit on the street. My most recent inspiration is Pinterest. (I'm addicted to that site.) I'm pretty much self taught. And I accomplish things very unconventionally - from a trial and error basis. ANYONE can do this.

 Recently I'd been craving some new jewelry, but was too broke to splurge. I had just paid a visit to Micheal's and really wanted to use some of the great feathers I picked up. I took two different kinds of feathers and wire wrapped them together. I sealed a clamp bead that has a eye hole at the end over the tips of the feathers. The hole in the clamp bead allowed me to hook the earring through. Ta-dah! Feather dusters!

A coworker of mine, asked me to make two headpieces for his sister's wedding. She was a young bride so I knew I could be a little trendy. (Left) I call the feather piece "Mermaid Meets Big Bird." I used Swarovski crystals in satin rose from Rhinestone Biz and beads and sea pearls from Michael's
(Right) I hand made the ribbon roses using silk ribbon. In the middle I glued a cluster of sea pearls, stringed pearls, and Swarovski crystals. Both have hair picks glued to the backs for easy application.

(Right) "Peacock Talk" was made for a best friend's birthday. She loves antique costume jewelry and bright colors, so I knew I could think out of the box for hers. At the tip I glued amber Swarovski beads, two sea pearls, a teal bead and topped it off with some gold wire wrapping. Scatted throughout the peacock feathers I glued in some black feathers that I threaded with purple Swarovksi, diamond shaped beads. It looked awesome with her long wavy brown locks.

 (Left) This brother-sister duo I made was for another best friend's birthday. The actual band of the top headpiece is braided with three colors of swede and gold chain. I envisioned this one worn as either a headband or wrap around bracelet. The bottom piece was pretty heavy. I wanted it to be exaggerated and more of a showpiece for going out, or for a hot date. The center of each flower is adorned with a black, metallic button-shaped bead that had contours on the face, which really made it look geometric. The showpiece head band has incorporated beads that played off of the olive tones in some of the flower petals.  The smaller piece has gem-like beads that bordered that black centerpiece.
(Right) Yet another birthday piece. This girlfriend is more simple and wholesome in her style so I wanted to make her something that mirrored that. Her birthday was in December so I light dusted the piece with gold glitter to keep things festive for the holidays. At the center is a marble green stone and rimming it are sea pearls and clear crystals.

 These next two are actually candles that I made for some of my coworkers for the holidays. At FIDM we are surround by fashion, so I really wanted to stay away from clothes, jewelry and accessories. Candles seemed like the perfect medium. The candles came from Michael's because they happen to be on sale there. I knew I was going to cover them up so I didn't want to spend a fortune on them. (Right) I kept it a little springy for this green piece. I used red beads, sea pearls, a marble green stone and a wooden toggle. It is topped off with gold wire wrapping and some gold spray glitter.
 (Left) This candle was for the Executive Director in my office so I knew it needed to be classy and sophisticated, but also still be a reflection of me. The top flower has metallic beads, sea pearls and two turquoise marble stones, topped off with gold wire wrapping. The bottom flower is hand stitched together with leftover petals from the bigger flower. I glued some green leaves to back, and in the center is knotted gold chain and a sea pearl. I really like this one.

These next two feather pieces were for my best friend and her sister. They live in Minnesota so I was really hoping to show them and their friends something they hadn't seen before. They are extremely fashionable and love to shop so that gave me a lot of creative freedom. They were my first feather pieces so the elements were new to me. The tip where I glued the stones was much more three-dimensional than the flat center of a flower I was used to. I embraced the cone shape and really liked how they turned out. I was actually on a very low budget so I ended up using recycled pieces of jewelry that I hadn't worn in years and mixed it with beads and jewels I bought from my previous Michael's run.  They turned out pretty awesome. My girlfriend wore hers the night she opened it, to her birthday party.


  1. all those stuff are just amazing!
    great post :)

  2. Hey "Bubble..." Thanks for commenting on my post! Means a lot that you dig my projects! Let me know if you have questions. ~ Carly