Saturday, June 25, 2011

going industrial...a little bit

We have a "2nd entry" area that baffles me.  
It's between the foyer or main entry area and the main living area. 
It serves no purpose really except that it creates a very small and short hallway 
with a huge blank wall.   There isn't enough room to put a piece of furniture there
and Mandi doesn't live close enough to build in a bookcase with some rockin' moulding for me.

I'm tired of looking at the blank wall so I decided to do something about it.
I'm going a little bold for a change; a little bit industrial.
I hung my collection of "3"s and "G"s, or at least the start of the collection.
I hope to fill it in a little more with some smaller ones.

It's a little crazy isn't it?  I like it but do I love it?
I don't know yet.
By the way, they are all hung very straight.  
You just can't tell it in the pictures :)  

Honest feedback anyone?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

sidetracked: a tip for you

I needed to do a routine task today and as I started to do it
it occurred to me that it might be a great tip to share.
So, here it is.

I've mentioned before that was my dad was a manufacturing jeweler as was my uncle before him.
This is a tip my dad taught me and just about everyone else he knew.

This is the best way to clean your jewelry (except for pearls!).
Handsoap, lotion, dead skin cells and oil can get on your jewelry and then trapped
under diamond mountings and into little crevices and keep your jewelry from sparkling.
The commercial jewelry cleaners you can buy can be harsh.  
Even professional jewelers don't really use those.
My dad used boiling water, baking soda, sometimes ammonia to boil jewelry clean.
Then he polished it with a polishing machine.

You will need: baking soda, a little glass or cup, warm water and dirty jewelry. 

Place at least a tablespoon or two of baking soda in cup.  

I only do a few pieces of jewelry at a time.  If you were doing many pieces,
I would add more baking soda.

Add warm or hot water (from the tap, don't boil) to the baking soda.
You only need enough to cover the baking soda and jewelry plus a bit.

Add your jewelry.

It will become cloudy and start to fizz.  Let it sit for a few minutes.

Then, gently swish or shake the glass a bit to create a little cleaning action.
Then, let it sit a little longer, maybe 5 minutes.
You can actually let it sit as long as you want but if it sits for quite a while,
I occasionally gently swish it as I walk by.  

I"m not gonna lie, it can be a little gross.  If your jewelry is really clogged with
soap and lotion, you can see gunk in the bottom of the glass or sometimes 
floating around when you swish it.
gunk? Is that just a Texas word?  It means gross junk.

Then, rinse the jewelry in water.  Rinse well.
If you are clumsy, please cover your drain so you don't drop your
sparkly clean jewelry down it. 

Ta da!
It's hard to capture sparkly in a photo.

If you want your jewelry extra clean, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub it.
Let dry on a paper towel.

Note: do not do this with pearls.  You should never clean pearls with anything and 
you should avoid spraying perfume or hairspray or anything else on your pearls.
The natural oils from your skin are actually good for your pearls.

Be gentle when cleaning jewelry.  If you use harsh chemicals or rough scrubbing action,
you can loosen stones and wear down mountings over time.

A little baking soda and water is all you need.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I just have to say...


Dallas Mavericks!
2011 NBA Champions...Finally!
It was an amazing season.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Simple Things-Revisited

My pal, Jennie, and I used to love going to one our favorite shops, Simple Things, in the University shopping center in Ft. Worth.  One day, we drove up to the shop and it was gone...closed...everything moved out.  Turns out their lease wasn't renewed to make way for a new Anthropologie store.
 This shop was amazing for both the furniture and items they carried as well as the decorating ideas they showcased.  A little while ago we learned that they had a warehouse and would be open again soon.  Yesterday, we had the chance to revisit Simple Things.  
It wasn't the same shop, but it was fun!!!!!

Click to go to their blog where you can keep up with the changes going on 
and see some of their cool stuff.  You can shop the warehouse now and 
order furniture.  They will be opening a new store soon.

They have a small storefront where they do their primary thing which is custom furniture (and they have some awesome stuff!  Jennie purchased her slipcovered sofa from them).  Behind the storefront is a huge warehouse with piles and piles and rows and rows of the coolest stuff ever!!!  I felt like a picker except there was no bad stuff to sort through to get to the good stuff.  It was all good.  The great folks at Simple Things told us to have fun and dig through whatever we wanted.  Let me just tell you that if I had a ton of money and the temperatures had been a bit cooler, I would have spent that ton of money.  They had industrial stuff, cottage stuff, french stuff, farmhouse stuff, vintage stuff, painted stuff and every other kind of stuff we like.  I can't wait to go back.  We only purchased a couple of things because frankly we hadn't planned on buying anything and the back of my car wasn't empty so we just couldn't fit much back there.

Here's what I did get:

This is an old industrial yarn spool from a Waverly (as in the fabrics) plant 
on the east coast that closed.  
It's almost 2 feet tall!

Some of the top layer of yarn is a little dirty so we'll use that for 
bundling up newspapers or something. 
I think this would look great as a lamp!  
I wonder if I should use all the yarn first or not. 
Maybe I could use the yarn while it is a lamp.
If I use all the yarn, I could easily replace it.
I wonder what it looks like with out yarn
Just thinking outloud here folks... 

Oh, and they have at least one more that I saw still there.

We also bought a few vintage ticking pillows.

They are sewn up all around with down feathers inside. 

There were a lot of these so I may go back to get more!

If you're in the area or come to visit, I hope you'll stop by this place.
You won't leave empty-handed!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

remember this? an embarrassing confession

Do you remember when I posted about my updated front porch?
I did something crazy on a whim but it sort of worked out for me.
I have no idea what possessed me to do this.
I'm a little embarrassed to share it but since it worked, oh well.

Once I purchased my new pillows and set up everything on the porch, 
I really wanted some red flowers for the watering can.
I have some real geraniums but with temps already near 100 degrees around here,
I didn't want to plant something that would need water everyday.

So, yeah, I used fake flowers...but that's not really such a crazy thing to do.

These are the fake flowers I had on hand.  They are almost neon green.

Almost neon green didn't go with my patriotic red, white and blue porch.

Oh yes I did.  
Don't pay any attention to the fact that it's for plastic.
It was just the red I had laying around.

Yes, folks, I spraypainted my fake flowers.

Honestly, I think they look better than I thought.
What do you think?

After I got my hair-brained idea, I did an internet search and
found I'm not the first to do this.  Now they tell me.
There were actually a couple of tutorials and tips on spraypainting faux flowers.  
Some professional floral arranging people
did some amazing spraypainting of fake flowers that were really pretty.
Who knew? 
Who would want to know?
I guess I did.
So I'm sharing with you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

started out as this, ended up as that

I hope you read the entire post. This doesn't stop where you think.

Do you have an old wooden sugar mold?  I just got one and it's the perfect accessory for my home. 
I recently told you about the cutest gift one of my interns gave me.
This week, my other intern surprised me with a thank you gift as well.
It was a wooden sugar mold! 
She thought it would be a cool way to organize pencils and things.
I knew I had the perfect things to put in it.

It was perfect for holding colored pencils and paintbrushes!

I was about to move it to my project room where it would look so cute
and be so handy since I had a few more things to add to it.

Then, something caught my eye.

These are some of my dad's old jewelry tools
just sitting in an ugly cheapo basket.

I've mentioned before that my dad was a manufacturing jeweler for about 40 years.
My uncle was a jeweler and my dad began working for him right out of high school.
When my uncle retired, he passed the business on to my dad.
A manufacturing jeweler designs, creates and repairs jewelry.
Someday I'll day dedicate a post to all of the cool old things I have 
from my family's jewelry business (mental note made :)

I've been wanting a creative way to display these tools.  
They deserve more than just to be thrown in an ugly cheapo basket.

Ta da!  How great is this?

It holds all of his sizers and saws and hammers and pliers and
whatever else these things are called.

I used to have so much fun as a child playing with a ring sizer.
I was alway easily entertained.

Did you ever wonder how they determined the size of a diamond or stone?
Here you go.  Here are two.

Ahh, the wood, the metal, the patina...

They've been well-used and now are well-loved.

I think I may actually tap a couple of tiny brad nails in the front
to hang the diamond sizers.

I can't believe this wooden sugar mold holds it all.
I'm so excited!

Thanks Amy!!!!

I wonder if my interns would do another year of supervision? 

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