thrifted: bar cart refashioned into a turntable stand

So, I got a turntable. While looking for a new table to put it on I came across this old 60's bar cart at Salvation Army. Immediately, I  knew this would be perfect for holding my new to me turntable and records. 

While I loved the yellow I decided it needed to be brighter.

And since the glass was cracked and the wood underneath wasn't in the best shape I decided to line the shelves with paper. 

After much priming I got out my turquoise paint. It seems like I applied a few hundred coats.
[it turned out that the primer wasn't all that helpful so after I painted the bar cart I sprayed the cart with a clear gloss for extra protection]

I added this paper from the Paper Source to the shelves. Between the turquoise and the daisies, this piece still carries the spirit of the 60's and is just perfect as a turntable stand.

I used this gloss medium from Utrecht to seal the paper, making it waterproof and easy to clean. It also acts as a glue, adhering the paper to the wood's surface.

Another unexpected plus was that the color of this cabinet brightens up the greyish blue I chose for the walls in my craft room. 

And the whole setup fit! I am super happy with the results. Oh, I should also mention that I spray painted the knobs on the door. Once I removed them the wooden centers came out easily and the spray paint adhered without a fuss.

Now... to get started on that record collection!
xo, kim

thrifted jewelry displays

I had a gallery request that I supply my own displays for my jewelry. I never had this request before and at first I was stressed over the idea. I worried that I wouldn't find displays that matched my aesthetic and the gallery's. And since most of my displays are thrifted I was worried about how long it would take to gather up the odds and ends I needed, not to mention time spent refinishing the pieces. There are many more little displays for this sweet little shop but I am saving the grand unveiling for when my collection is neatly assembled in a glass case.

I've seen a lot of folks use embroidery hoops with lace to display earrings but I wanted a more substantial and rectangular frame. {As I neglected to take before and after shots I will need to use my words to share this project with you.} I found a white picture frame at Savers an bought a lace curtain there as well. Getting a lace curtain is key in keeping the costs down, you get a lot of lace for your money. I wasn't keen on the frame being just white so I painted the outer facet which worked well, it matches the lace. 

I cut the lace much larger than the size of the frame so I had some extra fabric to get my hands on. You want the lace to be nice and taut so you need some extra inches to get a good hold on. So, with a helper and a trusty staple gun I got the lace in place. Once it was stapled in nice and tight I cut the excess material away. This works just as well lying flat as is does hanging on the wall. 

My favorite finds are those that require nothing more than a quick soak in the sink. I'm a huge fan of glass dishes and trays. Some {like this one} come in great colors, others have etched designs that I adore and others just need a few coats of spray paint to bring out the character of the piece. {I'll do a post on the spray painted glass pieces soon!} I adore this plate to show off my forget-me-not collection. It's simple and it works. And with glass plates you don't need to worry about the color taking away from your work as you may with thrifted ceramic plates.

happy monday!
xo, kim


DIY: refinishing a neck form

Like most jewelers I had one of those black velvet neck forms to display my necklaces on. Aside from hating it for being so generic {and it's ability to attract dust} it was also falling apart. So, I decided to remove it's black shroud to see what I could do to jazz it up a bit. 
Taking it apart is pretty easy. Just find a corner that is coming undone and tear the fabric away. 
It's easy, I promise!

I thought I was going to save the fabric I removed to use as a template for the new fabric. It turns out that I wasn't able to reupholster it in the same manner.

I cut the base out at least three times before I decided to refer to a bookbinding book to see how I should cut and fold the corners. 

I used liquid stitch to attach the material to the frame. It seems to have done the trick. 

I didn't apply the glue everywhere. On the base I only used glue on the top and back, not the sides. For the circle to the left I applied glue to the back only. With the dowel I put some on the front to hold the fabric still then allowed it to dry. On the board I only applied the glue to the back. I cut many notches out of the fabric to make the curves smoother. It was quite the task.

I then pushed the fabric into the groove with a screwdriver {super fancy technique!}. 

I used some more liquid stitch to apply the circle to the fabric I stretched over the wooden board. 

I used some book cloth for the back. It is easy to cut and has a backing. It doesn't fray, it's super easy to work with and stuck like a charm with the help of sobo glue. The bottom of the base also has book cloth on it. The original finished piece had a waxy white paper and wasn't as durable.

Here it is modeling my daisy chain necklace on my bureau. I almost want to keep it for myself to display my personal jewelry collection. But I think it is best as part of my display, it will attract some attention. 

Sorry to have missed a bunch of steps. It wasn't easy to do with two hands, never mind trying to hold a camera as well. All I can say is dive in, you will figure it out but it will take time.

happy sunday!
xo, kim

DIY finger paints

I found this finger paint recipe here on pinterest. As I have never before used finger paints I felt the instructions needed a little more, shall we say,  instruction. The ingredients listed below are what I started with. Since I was making two batches of six colors and had some trial and error problems I made one batch to start, tripled this the second time and then made one final batch for good measure. 

I started with these ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. 

It started out looking like warm milk. I made certain to mix most of the time it was heating, mashing up areas where the cornstarch started to thicken first. 

Once it is all heated and fully incorporated it takes on the texture of petroleum jelly. Since I was mixing all the while it is pretty consistent. 

I removed enough to fill one 5 ounce spice jar {bought from Ikea} and put it in a pyrex mixing bowl. I didn't have a small spatula so I used a plastic spoon to mix the color. The food coloring was a gel colorant used for cake icing. {Had I been making these for toddlers who may want to sample it I would have used a natural food colorants. I'm not all that into red #4.} There wasn't a hard and fast rule to the amount of color I added, just enough to achieve a rich, consistent hue.  

Also, I found that while I was mixing the colors it helped to keep the remaining uncolored paint in a covered saucepan. It was much easier and consistent to mix while warm. I scooped them into the spice jars while warm too. As I had to add water to the first batch because I didn't think to cover the pan while I was mixing colors it started to thicken too much as it cooled. I thought any condensation that built up while the colors were in their jars would help keep them moist and consistent. 

And here we are, I decided to mix secondary colors for my nephews. They are 5 and 6, color theory can wait a few years. For now, they just need to have some fun and get their fingers dirty. 

Right before it was time to deliver these I realized I hadn't thought of packaging. Then I came across some clementine crates. I wrapped them up in holiday paper, used some tissue paper inside for padding and addressed them with my ever so favorite paper source labels. Of course these were given with rolls of paper from Ikea. When it comes to supplies that place can't be beat. I just hope they have enough paint to fill the roll. 

I thought some of you may still have some kiddos home on vacation so I shared it sooner rather then later. This is a easy way to keep them busy and maybe even play along. For one time use you could easily get away with a batch or two instead of my hefty 12 jar quota. 

happy monday!
xo, kim

happy christmas!

It's been a few years now since I made my own cards so I went all out this year.

I bought some linoleum blocks thinking that I would carve them. 

In the end I cut triangles from pieces of rubber blocks and mounted them to the back of the lino blocks. 

I had fun mixing the paint.

And using a briar for the very first time! 
{well I guess I did give one a little roll on the moveable type truck} so this is the first time I've used one all on my own like a big girl. 

I wasn't happy with any of the green paint options so I mixed some gold in with the basic green. Each tree was a slightly different shade but they all shimmered.

I enjoyed seeing progress. 

And the third tree got some silver mixed in. 
I couldn't make a card without it looking like it was covered in metal dust. 

I really loved hanging them on the clothes line to dry. I felt so accomplished. 

It seems that we needed more than triangles with stumps. So, I cut some stars from an old cork. 

And the trees were topped. I used a regular old ink pad for the stars and stumps. It seemed easier considering the size. 

Keeping with tradition I made the Callie stamp. It's been seven years now in which I have been putting my girl's face on holiday postage. I have family members who collect her stamps. The first year I did it we received a ton of compliments. While everyone was discussing the Callie stamp one of my aunts asked how everyone liked the stamps she made of her kids. No one noticed those. Callie proved to win the popularity contest.

Finally, my completed pile. Signed, sealed and ready to deliver. 

happy christmas! happy everything and anything you celebrate!
xo, kim + callie too

pinterest etiquette

I've been seeing some of the crafters I love and write about on pinterest included in a 'DIY' or 'To Make' pinboard. These images show up linked to my blog so I feel the need to speak out and say this really isn't okay. This is not something I promote and have been trying to figure out how I should deal with it. Instead of correcting these pinners by commenting on far too many pins I thought this would be a better solution.
{image found on Salt City Spice, click on the image for her take on the matter}
These crafters have worked on their design, worked to market their design, worked to fine tune the details. Those who mark their work as 'DIY' or 'To Make' are taking someone else's idea, stealing it and calling it their own, thus belittling the maker. So please continue to share the work I post here. Of course I want crafters I admire shown off on pintereset. I want their talent to be seen, but respected. Create a new pinboard just for the occasion, 'Handmade' or 'Work I Admire' instead of filing it under 'DIY' or what should really be called 'Craft I Want To Steal'. 

And to those artists who's work has been pinned in this manner from my blog, I am sorry. I've only meant to show you off because your work means something to me. I adore you, keep crafting, you are amazing and truly inspiring.

keep it real, kim

diy table runner

I have been doing a lot of thrifting as of late.  

I couldn't help but get this working singer sewing machine from salvation army. Then I couldn't help myself from using it. 

I had this fabric from Lorraine's Fabric. My original idea was to trim this lovely fabric with some twill tape. But It was a nightmare to work with when I got to sewing it. 

I went back to just pinning and ironing the hem and made a trip to Lorraine's Fabric to look for another trim. 

My rickrack find was way better than the twill tape in so may ways. Maybe it was just working with rickrack, or that I love turquoise and pea green together. 

It may be simple but I love the results. The color combination is just perfect for my home. 

happy tuesday!
xo, kim


thrifted before and after

I debated for quite some time over whether or not to get this cabinet. I finally decided that for $12.99 what could really go wrong, with a little elbow grease it would only get better.

I set out to get a dusk mask. For lack of eye protection I went with sunglasses, which it turned out I needed, it was darn sunny out that day.

And I sanded away, determined to get every last part even. The cabinet may have been solid wood but it wasn't well built. In the end I had to screw a plywood board under the top for extra stability and fill many spots in with putty.

I nearly stripped this piece trying to get it well sanded. And I removed the knobs that I so despised.

Then came some choices. I found this gorgeous paper on sale at Utrecht but wasn't certain what color to go with as the base for the whole piece. I was leaning toward the mustard yellow on the right. Then a smart twitter friend asked what color the room was that this cabinet was to find it's home in. I realized I didn't know. We are still trying to settle on room colors, suddenly grey was safe and just right.

And I love it!

I wasn't able to remove the hinges but I plan on taking some tools home from the studio so I can carefully remove the paint I got on them and shine them up while I am at it. My attempts to scrape the paint off resulted in scraping off the faux rust revealing a shade of silver underneath. My goal is to get them back to silver with a brushed finish.

And this is the dreamy medium I found {thanks to that ever so helpful and knowing Utrecht employee}. I used this to adhere the paper to the surface of the cabinet as well as provide a protective layer over the paper. It's like magic! 

After some pacing and swigs of whiskey {kidding} I dove in and cut my first piece of paper. I cut it larger than the panel it was to occupy. After the medium dried I used a sharp blade to trim the paper to the exact shape on the door. They weren't perfect to begin with so I used the raised area as a guide and trimmed away. 

I started adding the gloss to to my newly papered panels. 

After three or four coats they seem shiny and well protected. It dried completely clear which was nice as it had a creamy appearance in the jar and it made me nervous. 

My shiny new cabinet found a home near the coat closet and under the key hooks. A sweet little place to store my bag. I'm sure the insides will be overflowing with something soon. The top is also home to my weed clippings from my walk with Callie {here they are on the former table}. 

These knobs really added the finishing touch. It took me a while in Antropologie to decide on the perfect ones as their selection is just amazing. In the end I went for silver to match the glitter in the paper.

A sweet little recap thanks to diptic. It is a great feeling to see this progress in one frame.

We have quite a few projects around the apartment we have been working on. Once we get some of the furniture we got for a song as thrift shops we will have to hunker down and settle on a color/colors for our walls. I look forward to a nice, cozy winter in our familiar apartment that is becoming more and more of a home. 

happy monday! 
{it snuck up on me while I was writing this post, i started it on sunday}
xo, kim

monday's muse : the left bank look

Another Monday's Muse post inspired by another book from my sister-in-law. 
She really knows me all to well!
This book came in the mail as my birthday present a few years ago. 

It has many great ideas some requiring more time, skills and materials than others. 

But this one is super easy.

In fact, this only took a few minutes to complete. 
I decided to dive in {even though I was nearly out the door} in a desperate attempt to create an easy layer to keep me warm outside but to quickly take off when my studio hit 90.

This picture is about all you need for instruction. 
I did some additional cuts to create raw edges around the neck, hem and arms. 

Then as suggested I fastened the cardigan with a brooch "for a touch of bohemian glamour!"

As you can tell I love wearing this "new" cardigan over hand silk-screened shirts from designers I love.

And this little project gave me an excuse to buy that Fiesty Elle brooch I spent the winter lusting after at Craftland.

Next I hope to try one of the sewing projects in The Left Bank Look. I am certain there are more t-shirts waiting to be cut, pinned and sewn into something new.

xo, kim