Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Review: The Earring Style Book by Stephanie Wells

I've been in the mood to make earrings and made these after reading my advance copy of The Earring Style Book by Stephanie Wells (published by Crown Publishing/Potter Craft).

This is the best earring book I've seen in a while. What I love about it is that it gives you all the tools you need to be inspired and make your own earrings. The styles range from chic to bohemian to rock-and-roll. My earrings are my own design, but the techniques I used to make them are in the book. There is even a section in the book entitled, "Designing Earrings on Your Own."

But, that's not to say I don't want to make earrings that are in the book! I especially love the earrings on the cover and have them on my to-make list.

The book covers basic techniques with clear instructions and then builds on those techniques. The projects range from simple drop earrings to chandelier earrings with wire wrapping. There are a few basic frames that can be used in a wide range of earring styles--or to create your own design as I did.

The book publishes on August 17, but is available for pre-order now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pink topaz earrings.

Made with pink topaz, pyrite, sterling silver, and Swarovski crystal.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Projects and paintings.

My living room was pretty monochromatic. The walls and furniture are taupe and on the wall behind the couch I had a mirror with black and white family photos. I'd like to buy new furniture, but challenged myself to make some more budget friendly changes instead. I decided to incorporate shades of red.

I found this watercolor at a local antique mall. The dealer said it had been painted in the 1800s, but I don't see a date on it anywhere.

When I stopped in at the mall another day I spied this as soon as I entered.

I painted the bookshelf Divine Wine by Behr, but something still wasn't right.

Ah, yes. Here's what was bothering me - the table.

It needed some dark red paint and new hardware. Now the lamp that belonged to Mark's grandma really stands out.

I added more pillows that I had stored away in the basement along with some seahorse pillows I found at Pottery Barn. I went back and forth over the seahorse pillows because the room isn't a beachy sort of room, but I like them. They add some brightness and whimsy.

At some point, I will change the rose pillows, but since I already had them, I thought I should use them for now. I am happy to have a little more color in this room. I don't have any plans to paint the chest, but am now considering it after looking at this photo. Hmm...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Leather bracelet.

My mother-in-law gave me this bracelet that was made by one of her colleagues.

The Czech firepolish beads are very sparkly. I've seen these bracelets before, but haven't attempted to make one.

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Painted frame and table.

I've moved on from painting rooms to painting projects. I recently purchased this vintage botanical oil painting on Etsy.

The frame color did not go well with the dark pink of the studio, so I decided to paint it white.

I also decided I needed a small table to put my pliers, etc. on while I'm working at the large table. My mom had been storing this oak table in our basement for a few years, so I asked her if I could have it. I'm not crazy about the hearts cut out on the sides, but I cannot complain about the price! I painted it the same white as the frame.

I'm trying to decide if the frame is too white...should I distress it?...paint it a different shade of white?...leave it as is?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Minnesota.

Last week N and I drove to Minnesota to visit my friend Andrea and her family in Minnesota. We had a great time. In fact, we were so busy having fun that I forgot to take photos most of the time. I did, however, take some of the Minnesota Zoo.

Our first stop was the aquarium, where I saw my favorites: sea dragons and seahorses.

N was very excited to see a lion fish in person after having written a report on it during the school year.

We saw a grizzly bear up close.

And N was very happy to have a chance to play with his friend C in the dirt, digging up dinosaur bones.

N and I decided our favorite exhibit was the prairie dogs.

We stood and watched them for a good 20 minutes.

They were so entertaining that we wanted to take two or three of them home with us.

We also went to the pool, did some shopping, and ate a lot of great food. The best part was being able to stay for Andrea's daughter C's birthday party. N and C got along great. He really took her under his wing, playing with her at the park and reading to her in the afternoon. N is missing his pal today. And I'm missing mine.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More painting.

I have been knocking out projects left and right over here. This week, I painted the master bedroom (with help from my father-in-law), master bath (with help from my mom), and the studio (also with help from my mom). I was lucky to have them help me!

This paint color is called Quiet Waterfall. It was from an old Glidden paint chip that I had color matched. Let me tell you, crawling around on that plant shelf to paint it was not easy--especially since I do not like heights! But, the result was worth it. I love the color and the room looks great.

The taupe color in the master bath is called Castle Path by Behr. It goes well with the color in the bedroom.

I went a little wild in the studio with Beet from Martha Stewart!

I love the color. It took two coats to cover, but was well worth the effort. Now I want to find some vintage amateur paintings to hang in this room.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bookends.

I've been doing a lot of projects around here lately. I needed some bookends and found these fun brass unicorns on Etsy.

I spray painted them white and put them to work.

It's amazing to see what a coat of paint can do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Poppy jasper.

I found this great piece of poppy jasper on Etsy.

I bezel set it, but am not thrilled with how it turned out. I need to either set it again or figure out something else to do with it. Until then, I can admire it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010