How to Properly…Show Off Your Bling!

Earlier this week I referred to some really cool blogs I had discovered and told you I would be sharing soon. So, here it is…

Make Under My Life…one of the most exciting finds in a while! This jewelry designer of Jess LC, based out of Chicago, writes an inspirational blog in which she shares her personal inspiration and encourages her readers in their creative pursuits. In the process, Jess develops the idea of make-under  “[she uses ] this term to describe any action that improves one’s life through addition by subtraction. For example, every Friday I get rid of something that I don’t need, use, or love anymore”…something she calls a weekly “exfoliation”. I love that and can’t wait to get started! Those that know me personally can attest to the fact that I am big on clutter cutting. In my opinion, it’s easier to enjoy the things you really love when you don’t have to mill through piles of things you don’t like or need as much to get to them. In one of Jess’s recent posts, she shares some photos of her apartment. I especially liked the pics of her jewelry collection. Notice that each piece appears to have importance and it’s easy to find what you want.

Photo Credit: Makeundermylife.com

Photo Credit: Makeundermylife.com

Photo Credit: Makeundermylife.com

When I looked at my own jewelry storage system, I was a little shocked. Yikes…too much stuff! So, I am putting the exfoliation system to use. Here are a few images I found to inspire me:

Photo Credit: Marthastewart.com

Photo Credit: Marthastewart.com

Photo Credit: Marthastewart.com

One of my favorites…

Photo Credit: Marthastewart.com

Photo Credit: Marthastewart.com

Yet another cool idea… And this type of thing would be so easy to find if you don’t already have one.

Photo Credit: Mariesmarche.blogspot.com

Ceramic egg crate from Joann’s…

Photo Credit: Oh Brooke

Photo Credit: Oh Brooke

And this is an ice tray!

Photo Credit: Oh Brooke

Come back later to see the before and after transformation of my personal jewelry storage/display!

PS, Since this blog is still rather new and it’s identity is ever evolving, I’m trying out a new header today and might be experimenting with a few more over the next couple days. Let me know what you think of them. Thanks!

I Love Surprises…

…And sometimes that simply  means running into something sweet that you didn’t expect. Last week I discovered this adorable little shop on my way home from visiting yet another hotel for school. I finished my research earlier than expected so I took a drive down Broadway in Nashville and something caught my eye. I couldn’t actually tell you what, because I was driving, but I was intrigued so I turned the car around and pulled up to this place: Cake – Vintage Table & Home (home of Knobstoppers, as well).

Photo Credit: Me

They are a wholesale manufacturer that recently opened a store front at their workshop. Remember all those cool reuse ideas I shared with you a few weeks ago (here and here)? Well, here’s someone who has made a business out of it and is doing a beautiful job!

Photo Credit: Me

Can you guess what that beautiful chandelier is made of?

Photo Credit: Me

SPOONS! How cool! And the artist, Robbie, does the same thing with antique door knob plates. You can kind of see a few in the background of this picture. I meant to get a shot of this really awesome spiral key plate chandelier. I guess you’ll just have to check them out yourself: www.cakevintage.com

Their sister business is Knobstoppers – Vintage Door Knob Wine Stoppers and they have products displayed in the shop as well. (Or whiskey stoppers for the guys.)

Photo Credit: Me

These are a few of my favorites from their website.

Photo Credit: Cakevintage.com

Photo Credit: Knobstoppers.com

Photo Credit: Knobstoppers.com

What a great idea! And they recover vintage silver and china, too. This is definitely a Nashville visit worth making.

Thanks for all your creativity and work, guys!

Photo Credit: Me

On a Roll with Buttons

Here is another fantastic reuse idea that could potential alleviate the excess button problem I know so many of us have. Use those odd, discarded buttons for a charming necklace or bracelet…

Photo Credit: Gogetit.com

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Photo Credit: Unexpected Boutique.co.uk

These examples from Marni’s Fall 2009 collection are slightly more embellished than you may want to try but, still an exciting idea. Felt bib necklaces, decorated with various buttons and baubles. Maybe you could try a simpler version.

Photo Credit: RTW Fall 2009 Marni via The Glamourai

Save Those Old Calendars

Today’s post is a healthy dose of DIY information as a follow-up from yesterday’s subject…well really from the past week. Recently, I been talking a lot about reusing the good items that you already have for a new and exciting purpose. Yesterday, I shared a few images of vintage posters that I absolutely love! Well, today you get it all in one. Every year, I am saddened by the thought of tossing my beautiful calendars that I so carefully selected 365 days earlier. It’s seems like such a shame! Well, a couple years ago I decided to keep those lovely prints around by clipping and saving them for various DIY projects. One such project was actually a school assignment in my lighting design class. We were asked to design a light fixture as a solution to a personal lighting problem. My personal lighting problem: one long sofa and only one side table and lamp. Solution: combine the two and use my old calendar of vintage european prints on the shade. Result…voila!

Photo Credit: ME!

Ok, so it’s humble, but a great idea for using your old calendar prints and enjoying them for a bit longer.

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Of course, you can always frame your favorite prints and create a grid or gallery collection.

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

For another idea, use your prints as a collage but, unlike your third grade art class, elegantly framed and hung on your wall as a piece of personal artwork.

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Happy clipping!

Un – new Design

So, today I’m a bit on the run but here is a short addendum to this week’s post about recycled designs. It’s fun to think about the endless possibilities.

Photo Credit: Weburbanist.com

Photo Credit: Weburbanist.com

These cargo car buildings are especially cool. Love the example on the bottom left!

A New Perspective On Recycling


Photo Credit: Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

Welcome back everyone!  Here are a few photos I discovered recently from a fellow blogger, Roz, at Clothes, Cameras and Coffee.  I was struck by her ingenuity and innovation with seemingly common materials, such as film negatives and newspaper.  I continued thinking about her images over the weekend and felt that this would be an interesting post to start the week with.

Photo Credit: Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

Photo Credit: Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

Photo Credit: Clothes, Cameras and Coffee

One of the hottest topics in design school (and the design community at large)  is the Green Movement. As many of you have probably noticed, it is also a big trend in the commercial sector, as well. Due to what we call “green-washing” and profit hungry marketers, these critical ideas of sustainability are in danger of becoming commercial fads.  I won’t speak on large-scale issues such as energy consumption and environmentally responsible design (they’re a bit out of my reach at this point) but I would like to bring up an idea of perspective.  I believe that if the “everyday man” looked at his/her surroundings with a new set of eyes, many of our growing problems with trash and waste would see tremendous improvement.

Photo credit: Anneke Jakobs from anekejakobs.nl

Take a look around and consider the incredible potential of so many common items that would ordinarily find their way into a landfill. Or if you can’t imagine the potential, take a look at these images showcasing real examples. Above is the Chiquita Chandelier made from used Chiquita Banana boxes. Amazing innovation!

Photo Credit: Anneke Jakobs from annekejakobs.nl

Photo Credit: Inhabitat.com

Isn’t it ridiculous that we would throw away perfectly good items into a growing hole in the ground just because they are of no use to us!  If it still functions then there is probably someone out there who actually needs what you are about to dispose.  Now I realize that this approach could lead to an overzealous practice of hoarding and keeping everything that could be reused but let me make it clear that I am certainly not promoting this lifestyle. I strongly believe in the psychological and emotional importance of an organized and uncluttered environment, which is why I love thrift stores. You can donate those unwanted items to a cause that will make them available to others instead. What could be more sustainable? There is no legitimate excuse for not taking advantage of this system.

Photo Credit: Hangeliers by Organelle Design

I realize that I am being unusually opinionated and passionate about this issue but it’s an idea that I have considered for a long time and have gradually formed a very strong view on.  I guess the simple point of all this is that very few things are useless…it’s simply a matter of opening your eyes to the many possibilities beyond what you see.

Photo Credit: Anthropologie- "In Our Own Words"

Photo Credit: Anthropologie - "In Our Own Words"

I thought these plastic bottle flowers from Anthropologie’s spring display windows were especially delightful.  Wouldn’t they make a cute spring decoration or party centerpiece? Ideas…