Friday, June 29, 2012

Sponsored post: DIY botanical print bracelet

Plaid Crafts, the makers of Mod Podge, asked a number of bloggers to try out some of their new formulas and products.

Here's the  loot from Plaid below. Mod Podge, it turns out, came into being the same year I did - 1967. It was obviously a great time for innovation. To celebrate 45 years of adhesiveness, Plaid came out with new formulas and has worked its way down the decoupage supply chain by creating papers and "Podgeable Shapes" that reviewers were asked to feature. (Products are available at Michaels.)

To be honest, the shapes and papers would not have been the first thing out of the box I would have tried - not when there are also new formulas like Mod Podge for fabric, photo transfer Mod Podge and the easy-to-use resin Dimensional Magic. (I plan to dig into these later.)

I chose the smaller Podgeables, some of which had a hole in them and some of which did not and some of which were odd (Odd Podge? I crack myself up.) It's so Resort 2011, but I went with botanical prints, searching Google, Graphics Fairy and the New York Public Library's digital archive for images. I took a hint from Stella McCartney and primarily picked images from 19th Century botanist Robert John Thornton's Temple of Flora for their lush color and interesting detail.

At first I traced around the Podgeable Shape, but ended up with a paper piece that was too big. But, in that big box of stuff from Plaid was a package of tracing stencils, which includes stencils exactly fit to the shapes. Like they all came from the same company or something.

I made a paper sandwich with Podge on the plastic shape, one image face down on the the Podge, another layer of Podge, and a second image face up topped off with a layer of Podge.

Then I experimented with Dimensional Magic.

Dimensional Magic is, well, magic. You squeeze it on top of your shape and it immediately fills and smooths out. My Dimensional Magic had glitter in it, which I didn't really want. I tried ignoring the instructions and did not shake the bottle before applying to avoid the glitter. As a result, I got a big glob of glitter.

I switched to High Gloss finish. The finish emphasized every brush stroke of Podge, but the more coats I put on, the smoother it got. Here is the Dimensional Magic and the gloss finish below.

I attached the shapes with jump rings. I like that I knocked off the exact same botanical prints as Stella.

Each charm is different, with a different image on each side. If  Mr. Bromeliad will drill, I will eventually add more of the shapes to my bracelet.

See other recent Mod Podge and Podgeable projects here.

Here's more info on Plaid Crafts:
I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Floral inspiration

Florals are big every spring and summer, but lately. Wow. Huge flowers. Bright flowers. Flowers with flowers. Flowers eating other flowers and throwing them up. And then there's one of my all time favorites, botanical flowers.

Are you going floral this summer?

Tomorrow I'll share a botanical DIY to get you started.

Images: Style Me Pretty, Plenty for Pennies, Via All Things Stylish, Pinterest, Stella McCartney jacket, via Stylecaster, via Tuulavintage, Stella McCartney.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


One dogwood as a farewell to spring (even though spring has been over for awhile now.)

Taken on Orange Street, I believe.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June is still Beach House Month

Images:  Allison Elebash via Sadie and Stella, Amber Interior Design, Elle Decor, via, Elle Decor, Amber Interior Design, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Allison Elebash via Sadie and Stella

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cool water

New York is experiencing a heat wave right now. Here's some underwater photography to inspire you.

What are you doing to keep cool?

Images: Barbara Cole, Elena Kalis, Cole, Zena Holloway, Karis, via Smashing Magazine, Karis

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beach day

Friday we took our once a year day at the beach. The weather was perfect - 70s, clear and breezy.

It was a full-package suburban Long Island weekend - eating at restaurant chains, shopping in buildings larger than our apartment complex, driving around the block because walking would mean getting run over by an SUV while crossing the street.

I also rummaged through stacks of scattered clothing to buy this at Target.

Target, you make me crazy. But sometimes I love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My DIY dip-dye necklace

Here's part 2 of my Tulip One Step Tie Dye tryout. I made a dip-dye necklace of my own invention.

For testing purposes I made two rope necklaces - one a simple wrap necklace and the other a macrame necklace. The first one used cotton cord and the second was polyester. (Natural fibers are recommended for dyeing.)

I presoaked the necklaces in water and then just squirted some blue dye on one end. The dye wicked up the necklaces more than I imagined it would.

I wrapped the necklaces in plastic and let them sit overnight. Then I let them dry then rinsed them in cold water and let them dry again. (Don't know if the pre-dry was necessary or not.)

As you can sort-of tell, the cotton cord held the turquoise dye better and created a more intense shade of blue. However, the poly didn't do so bad either. If I were to do it again, I would soak only the bottom bit of the necklace in water.

I haven't figured out what to do with the macrame necklace yet or whether the whole concept would be better as a bracelet. Any thoughts on that?

I"ve already worn the wrap necklace a couple of times. It's a very summery item.

Should I make more?  Still debating this.

Regardless, the dye was ridiculously easy to use. With planning, you could whip out a dozen necklaces in 10 minutes.

Tulip's One Step Tie-Dye kits are available at Walmart, Walmart Canada, Michaels, JoAnn, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, and Meijer. Different types of kits have different colors. You can buy one-color refills for about $4, which I'm thinking about doing since I'm on this blue kick lately.

Would you attempt tie-dying?

Sponsored post: Easy Tulip tie-dye pillows

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sponsored post: Styled by Tori Spelling

Darice just debuted a new DIY jewelry line with Styled by Tori Spelling (TM).

Styled by Tori Spelling is basically deconstructed jewelry that you can reconfigure any way you want - without requiring standard DIY jewelry tools like pliers or findings - and is available at Jo-Ann and Michael's. (Tip: Both stores are running their 50% off one item coupon right now through to Saturday.)

The jewelry comes in four styles: Glam, Boho, Noir and Glitz. Darice generously sent me the entire Boho and Glam line to try out. Below you can seem Glam on the top and Boho on the bottom.

Each collection provides a choice of necklace tops, long necklace bottoms, short necklace bottoms and pendants, as seen with the Glam collection below.

The line also includes sets of bracelet chains and "danglers", which can be attached to the line's earring findings or to necklaces.

All of the pieces come together (or come apart) via these easy-to-use connectors.

So, you take a necklace top and pick out a necklace bottom to connect to it.

Or pick them all and pile them on.

Or keep it simple with just a chain and a pendant.

Here's one of my favorite necklace bottoms from the Glam line. I mixed it up up with a pendant, necklace bottom and danglers from the Boho line in a combo I will save to wear to the next Met Gala, should I be invited.

You can also use the connectors to incorporate your own jewelry. Here I added a $2 Annie Sez lucite necklace.

To road test the jewelry, I tried out my Pinterest inspiration and went for something chunky, sparkly and not too long.

This was super easy. I combined two Glam necklace bottoms with a necklace top. Clip. Clip. Done.

I've already worn it a couple of times.

My only complaint was that all of the necklace tops are the same length. For variety, I'd like a shorter option. However, I figured out that you can easily make a shorter style by using half of a necklace top, as shown below.

Here are some things to love about Styled by Tori Spelling:
  • The jewelry does not look or feel cheap. The pieces are solid, stylish and bold.
  • The product is great for someone who likes to mix it up with jewelry but doesn't have time to be dinking around with a million little beads and bits. Swapping pieces was quick and easy, which is a requirement when you're getting dressed for work at 6 a.m.
  • Prices range from $3.99 for connectors and necklace tops to $14.99 for the fanciest necklace bottoms, which is affordable enough to start an addiction.
  • The stuff was just plain fun to play with.
Get more details and see the other collections at the Styled Facebook page.

Would this type of DIY jewelry interest you? Should I plan a little giveaway?

(I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Darice and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.)