Friday, April 11, 2014

Painting with Fingernail Polish - Who Knew!

Okay, I must admit that I have a rather large stash of old jewelry I have accumulated over the years.  Most of it has been given to me or I have found it at garage sales.  I deconstruct these pieces to use in making new jewelry.  It is a great way to purchase beautiful vintage beads and bring them back to their glory.  On occasion I have purchased a "grab bag" of jewelry that has all kinds of pieces.  Some I am able to use right away, but some need a little more pondering.

I have a rather large supply of silver and gold jewelry pieces that were interesting but basically in a word Ugly!  I kept these pieces with the hope of one day being able to figure out a way to make something that would turn them from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.  Well, I finally came up with a method to transform some of them.  Fingernail polish.

What made the pink lemonade idea pop out was a clearance item in the craft store a few weeks ago.  There were several jewelry enamel kits on clearance.  When I started investigating the process on the package the light bulb went on "Why couldn't you do the same thing with fingernail polish?"  So I came home and thought these ugly duckling pieces had nothing to lose.

Here are some of the newly transformed swans:

The detail on this heart was beautiful.  But it was lost in the ugly gold color.

Here is the painted piece in red.  Wow what a difference.  I added the silver to highlight the diamond shape and give it a little more pop.
This fish was silver only before.  Adding the blue and green gave it a whole new life. See the necklace I made using this at New Necklaces.
He was only silver in the beginning.  I added simple colors to the etched dots and this cat has nine new lives.
Even a simple gold charm turns from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan with a fresh coat of polish.  I have two of these and I plan to make a pair of ear rings with and added dangle.
The basic process is just like painting your nails.  Clean each piece well (I used alcohol), then apply the polish in thin coats.  Let each coat dry well before adding the next one.  The last step is to add a top coat of clear polish.
While I was painting my daughter came out and ask if she could join me.  I said "Sure if you bring your nail polish."  She has many more fun colors like bright blue, purple, black and green.  We had a great time transforming our ugly ducklings into beautiful swans. 
Remember the next time you are at a garage sale and see that ugly piece of jewelry just imagine there could be a swan waiting to emerge with a little help from your nail polish.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Ear Rings

As I posted earlier I was in jewelry making mode over Spring Break.  You can check out the necklaces I made here at New necklaces.  I also made several pair of ear rings.  Some coordinated with the necklaces and some were made on their own.

Ear rings are always fun to do because they use only a few beads.  Then lend themselves very well to using up the last of a package of beads. You know how I am about leftovers and scraps.  I have to find a way to use them.

Here are some of the new ear rings I made.

Red is always a hard color to match.  These go perfectly with the necklace I made earlier.

I liked the crackle glass beads in this pair.

Simple yet elegant.

The two toned large beads in this pair are just fun.

Another red pair.  These have a little more drama.

Purple and silver - always a great combination.
Start digging around in your bead stash and I bet you will find some great beads that you only have a few left.  Pull them out and create some new ear rings.  Who knows they might inspire a brand new outfit from your closet.

Monday, April 7, 2014

File Cabinet Upgrade for $1.00

In my classroom at school I have an ugly file cabinet.  There is no other way to describe the thing.  It is old, slightly beat up and that ugly file cabinet putty color.  It was in desperate need of an upgrade.

Last year I covered the top with contact paper in a pretty green and white. It was $1.00 for the roll and I only used about 1/3 of the roll.  Just adding that one element helped raise it a few points on the upgrade scale.  I have been looking around on Pinterest, and other sites to see if I could find another way to dress it up a bit more.  I am not able to paint it because it belongs to the school. 

While I was in my local Dollar Tree store the other day I noticed the Wall D├ęcor stickers in a fun flower pattern.  Off went the Pink Lemonade Idea light bulb and I thought wouldn't that spruce up my file cabinet.  So I bought a package for only a $1.00.

Here is my file cabinet now. 

So, it isn't off the upgrade scale, but it is better than nothing on the front.

I liked the fact that there were flowers and polka dots.
This is the side.  I can see this from my desk so it holds my inspirational thoughts for the year.

The contact paper is stuck directly to the top.  It fit perfectly without trimming at all.

I liked the simple color and fun design.

This is the package from my flowers. 
I literally peeled the flowers off and stuck them on.  It took less than five minutes to complete this upgrade.  I wish all my upgrade ideas took such a short time.
The next time you have an ugly piece of office equipment that you can't totally redo look at your dollar store for some peel and stick stickers.  They might give you a mini upgrade for just a $1.00.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New necklaces

Over Spring Break I was busy creating (and playing) with jewelry making.  I am a crafter that does things in waves.  I will spend several weeks sewing, then move to quilting, then to card making etc.  I think I work this way because I am fortunate enough to have a crafting/sewing area that I can leave projects out when they are in progress.  So, once I start making a few items I tend to leave out my supplies for several days or weeks at a time.  Therefore, my craft/sewing area is always a "bit" messy.  Some might even say down right trashed. But hey, you have to work with the way you are wired.

Now, back to the point.  Below are several new necklaces I made over Spring Break and the weeks following. (Like I said I sometimes leave out my supplies for weeks at a time.)

It is hard to find a pretty red.  I have had some of these beads for a long time.  With the addition of new beads this necklace came together quickly.
This pendant was an old ear ring.  The larger piece dangled below the smaller one.  I took them apart and liked the way they looked on top if each other.  It also adds a little movement to the necklace.

This pendant was purchased and for once I did not add anything additional.  I usually "tweak" things but this time it was perfect in the original form.

Okay, this necklace is just toooo fun.  The large fish shape was once an ear ring.  I am not sure who would be able to pull off wearing two of these on each side of their head, but it is certainly not me.  In it's original state it was also plain silver.  I added the blue and green color with fingernail polish. 

The blue and green fingernail polish really made this fish pop.  When it was plain silver it really did not have a lot of pizazz.  Now it is just plain fun.  I might have to keep this necklace for myself.

The clear beads in this necklace are rather expensive.  I am not sure exactly what they are called but I purchased them at a local bead store for more than I would normally spend on a few beads.  Since the centers are colored blue and green they added just the right touch to bring out all of the colors in the surrounding beads.

The zebra stripe piece in this necklace was purchased in a pack that had some of the additional beads included in the necklace.  The large clasp is one more detail that can really make a necklace look nice if you have short hair.

I added the flower type pendant on top of the zebra stripe to add more interest.

I always enjoy creating jewelry.  Putting together different color combinations and fun embellishments brings out my most creative side.  Hopefully some of these pieces will inspire you to pull out your bead stash and let the creative juices flow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Recipe - Chicken and Veggies in a Pan

If you know me at all you know that I am not a cook.  I only cook because my family insists on eating three meals a day.  I do not like spending time in the kitchen when I could be in my craft room.

So I am always looking for new recipes that are easy and fairly quick.  I like the kind that calls for placing everything in one pan and tossing it in the oven.  Presto - you have dinner in a flash.  Then while it is in the oven I can go to my happy place - the craft room.

Several weeks ago a friend posted on Facebook an all in one pan recipe.  

The original post is from here

In a 9x13 pan, cut 3 chicken breasts in half, add 2 cans green beans on one side and cut up red skin potatoes on the other. Sprinkle a packet of zesty Italian dressing mix over the top. Drizzle a stick of melted butter over it. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

The original version.

I made it the very next day.  Only I used Russet potatoes because I did not have red potatoes and I used olive oil instead of the butter.  It was delicious.  Here is my version

My version using Russet potatoes.
Since then I made it a again with a few variations.  This week I made the chicken in a separate dish (I know this defeats the purpose of dinner in a single pan) and used a package of Italian dressing mix on it.  Then in another 9 x 13 pan I placed red skin potatoes, sweet red, yellow and orange peppers, onion, and asparagus.  I covered this with an additional package of Italian dressing mix and a little olive oil drizzled on top.  The extra vegetables were fabulous. 
In an effort to add more vegetables to our diet I think I will use this recipe many more times.  I can't wait to try it out with possibly squash this summer.