a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

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Things I covet: Jewelry organizers

I can never remember how to spell jewelry… jewellery… JOOL-REE. Anyway, I have a bunch that I almost never wear because my toddler has the grabby hands. So naturally, I need someplace to put it where I might happen upon looking at it and remember that I should probably attempt putting some on. Sometimes. Rotting in a drawer or box (my current setup) is really not the ticket.

Since we don’t have a lot of dresser-top space or other storage that makes sense, I’ve had this idea in my head for ages to make some kind of wall-mounted jewelry organizer, especially for hanging the long danglies like necklaces.

This burlap number is my top choice, currently:

We even frequent a coffee shop here in town and I know they’ve got burlap coffee bean bags that they often give away to anyone who’s interested. So that might be some awesomeness in my future. So, the above organizer uses simple hooks to hang all the earrings and necklaces, but I love the idea (below) of attaching drawer pulls (upside down half-moon cups or plain knobs). I think it might be fun to scour a hardware store and come up with a few different ones that might work together. See?

So cool. I’m thinking about this so much that I have begun scheming about when I can next get my arse to a hardware store. I kind of love hardware stores. But that’s an aside. Check out this necklace hanger idea using tree branches:

So gorgeous, especially in the teal frame.

So my plan (Ha! As if I have time!) is a lovely frame, possibly painted, burlap in the middle, with the drawer pulls and knobs and hooks dressing it up a bit. Pretty. I even have a spot in my bathroom scoped out to hang the thing. Now I just need the time. Right. That part. Well, a girl can dream.

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Tutorial: Framed fishnet earring display

This is one of those rare projects I came up with all by myself. Yes, that’s right, I fired up the old thinkin’ box and dusted off my sleepy imagination!  It was a day for the history books, as far as my crafting goes. I was deep within my earring-making phase a couple of years ago and decided I needed somewhere to keep them all that wasn’t (a) a tangled mess, or (b) to be kept in a drawer where I would forget I even owned earrings.  So this is what I came up with!

To make an earring display like this, you’ll need (per display):

  1. Fishnet stockings (I used a pair of knee-high ones)
  2. A picture frame (I’d guess a maximum width of about 5″ or 6″ would be best)
  3. A piece of felt or fabric that is larger than the frame
  4. Scissors
  5. Tape and/or thread (e.g., masking or duct tape) — optional

What to do: (Note: Sorry for not having any step-by-step pictures!  Since I made these ages ago, I didn’t document the process at all.)

  1. Open up the picture frame, removing the backing and the glass.
  2. Using the glass to measure, cut your felt or fabric into a rectangle that is about 2″ wider and 2″ longer than the piece of glass that came with the frame.
  3. From your fishnet stocking, cut a piece of the shin/leg part to be about an inch or two longer than the length of the glass. Cut crosswise across the leg of the stocking, but not lengthwise, so that you end up with a tube of fabric.
  4. Stretch your felt/fabric piece over the glass evenly, wrapping the edges around the back. Hold or tape in place. (You could even sew a sleeve of fabric to make this step easier — be creative with how you make it work… just keep it taut over the glass so there are no wrinkles or waves!)
  5. Pull the fishnet tube over the glass, pulling and holding all the excess fabric and fishnet around to the back of the glass (the side where all the fabric/felt edges are held or taped down).
  6. Secure the stretched fishnet by reinserting the glass into the frame with the right side facing out. Since you have a bit of fabric/fishnet around each edge, the glass should fit tightly into the frame, preventing the fishnet or felt/fabric from becoming loose. If you are having problems with slippage, try to secure the stretched material with tape, thread, or other methods.  This can be tricky!
  7. Once the front of your display is smooth and the materials are secured, reattach the backing of the picture frame. This may be tight with the excess material wrapped around the back of the glass. The backing may even bulge slightly when secured in place. If this bothers you, experiment with trimming some of the excess fabric (if you are fairly sure that trimming it wouldn’t lead to the whole thing coming apart). Alternatively, you can simply live with the slight bulging, since no one will be seeing the back of the frame anyway.
  8. Add your earrings, and admire your handiwork!

Note: adding this many earrings is nearly impossible and not recommended.

If you’re like me, you have far too many earrings to deal with… just look at this mess!  I swear, I only ever wear about 20% of these anyway!  I think the photo at the top of this post displays a much more respectable arrangement.  Or perhaps I just need to make another one?

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Bibbed necklace and matching earrings

I saw this design on the cover of an issue of BeadStyle magazine while perusing Country Beads last fall. The original designer, Jane Konkel, called it “autumn origami” (check out her version) and I thought it was such a neat look.  So I made one!

I actually made the vast majority of this set (read: the bib itself) back before the wedding, but didn’t have any chain to attach it to, so it was hibernating for a while. But I finally got around to picking up some chain recently (my guestimate of one foot was spot on!) and finished it within minutes today.  The earrings are so simple as well, they only took me a few.  Instant gratification.


Earrings for getting hitched

Given that I am (was?) such a keener for making earrings, it’s no surprise that I decided I should make my own earrings for the wedding, as well as those for my bridesmaids!  I made these out of what was originally a chain of metal-encased pearl beads I bought from Michaels. Each bead originally had a connector loop on both ends (instead of the one you see in the photos — the one that attaches it to the earring hook or the chain). I actually ended up snipping off the bottom connector  loop and sanding down any jagged metal edges that remained (I have an old school metal nail file that did the trick).  That made them more… hangable.

Wedding earrings — bridesmaids’ on the left, mine on the right.

Bride’s earrings.

Bridesmaids’ earrings.  (I made three sets of these.)

Although the materials aren’t too fancy, I think they will look great for the day (and the pictures, obvs). I made these a while back actually, and since then was reconsidering, thinking perhaps I wanted to do something else entirely for earrings. Then I dug them out today and had one of those revelations you tend to have just a couple of weeks out from a wedding: They’re done, they’re fine, and you shouldn’t think about it anymore because there are a million other non-done things left to do. A pretty practical revelation, but a nice comforting one, nonetheless.

P.S. Who knew my Joby tripod would be such a wonderful little earring modeler?

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Earrings I have loved

Most of my friends will attest to the fact that I was a human earring factory for quite a few months recently.  I made a metric crapton, serious.  I gave most away as Christmas presents, but kept lots for my own wearing as well.  Making earrings, for me at least, involves a lot of hemming and hawing, and the end results are usually only about 30% winners, 50% alright, and 20% for the “chop up and make something else with these beads later” pile. Here are some of the winners (in my eyes at least).

These were made from tortoiseshell guitar picks (through which I punched a small hole). The gold heart was actually a repurposed fingernail decal!

Here are some others I have loved…

One day I’ll learn how to take pictures of earrings like they do on Etsy… (so they actually look good).  I think the trick is to hang them on something interesting.  A glass statue?  Tree branch?  Neighbourhood cat?