Tuesday, April 27, 2010

etching glass. skull coin jar.

Glass etching is one of those really quick and easy crafts that turns out super satisifying and tempts me to etch every shard of glass in site. Essentially, glass etching paste is an acid that creates a frosted effect on clear glass.
Kirsten was working on a project at work and got me in the mood to do some etching myself. I decided to etch recycled food jars that I had saved for a future craft project. I've been wanting to use my all-time favorite special Halloween edition–now discontinued :( –Martha Stewart Crafts oversized skull punch and thought hey why not!

I punched the skull out of a piece of contact paper & stuck it to a squatty jar. To get a crisp punch, and so the contact paper doesn't get stuck inside the punch, I recommend sandwiching the contact paper between two pieces of regular paper.
I taped off right where the jar starts to curve on the bottom and top, with vinyl tape (contact paper works too but I like the tape because it's a tad stickier). I want this jar to have a frosted band all around with a clear skull.

Armour Etch is the only etching paste I have ever used and it seems to work pretty well.
I caked it all over the jar with an old paint brush, dragging the brush over and over again the area being etched to ensure its getting complete, flawless coverage.

Wait just 5 minutes and under running water, wipe off the etching paste with an old sponge.

After peeling off all the tape, give the jar a good cleaning with soap.

Now, for the reverse effect—or so the skull is what is frosted—I again placed the contact paper skull punch out on a jar and painted over and around the skull with nail polish.

The etching paste cannot penetrate the enamel-based polish so it works perfect. Peel away the contact paper after the polish is completely dry.

Paint the etching paste all over the skull. Let it set for 5 minutes and rinse with water.

Once it is rinsed and clean, use nail polish remover and a cotton swab to clean off the polish.

I decided to make these jars coin banks. I spray painted the caps with a grey paint and carefully cut through the metal cap with a craft knife. I used a sliver of tape as a guide because the knife blade tends to pull and slip when cutting metal. I recommend doing this slowly and carefully, making many lighter cuts than trying to get through it with fewer, harder cuts. Cut fingers are hard to craft with.

Once you are through, a quarter fits and the lid is on, you have a cute bank.

I am not sure what a skull has to do with saving money but I do like the graphic!


I want this chair.

The Restoration Hardware catalog is one I will not Catalog Choice against. I have been really inspired by their new collections and am absolutely obsessed with this domed chair. If I only had room for it in my life, it would be my throne.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My very first picture with my new camera, birthday present from Mom & Dad—the Canon S90.
This little sucker was buzzing around my room the evening before, driving me crazy. I swung my blanket at him and knocked him out. sorry. I hate killing, but I imagined him vomiting on Pico's or my face as we slept and neither of us can handle another blemish.
His short life was worth ending that night though because his shell will live longer now than his fly spirit would have ever lasted on the streets on New York City... though there is a lot of shit to land on.

He was a beautiful shiny metallic green, so I put him on my windowsill, and not even a day later, he turned blue. I took his portrait.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Georgian gems

When it comes to jewelry, and especially diamonds, I am the stereotypic girl. The natural beauty, intricate craftsmanship and exorbitant yet sometimes scarce materials, all contribute to my obsessed romance with jewels. I just can't help it! Is it because I was born in April and my birth stone is the most precious?

More recently, I have been quite fascinated with a distinct period of jewelry design—the Georgian. An era of opulence and self indulgence in fashion, design and luxury. The time was named after England's 3 consecutive King George's and span from 1714 until 1836. The aristocratic and wealthy people wore all kinds of jewels, and diamonds were used almost exclusively. Stone cutting was very difficult during the Georgian era and mine cut or the rose cut were the most popular because of this. The mine cuts had a flat top whereas the rose cuts had a pointed top. Every element of the jewelry was handmade, lacking exact precision and manufactured perfection, but making each piece more unique.

One of the most distinct characteristics of the time, besides the cut of the diamond itself, is the way the stones were set. It wasn't unusual for diamonds to be set in sterling silver and then attached to high karat gold mountings. To meet the increasing demand for diamonds in the first half of the 18th century, paste, rock crystal, marcasite, and cut steel were used and considered respectable even for royalty to wear. Paste was a technique in which a special glass was cut and faceted and backed with foil to imitate the sparkle of diamonds. Cut steel jewelry consisted of faceted rosettes of polished steel set in intricate designs. Paste and gemstones alike were mounted with either silver or colored foils behind the closed-back settings, which gave fantastic refraction under the low candle or gaslight of the period.

Unlike jewelry of the Victorian and later periods, Georgian jewelry always involves some hand-craftsmanship on the part of the lapidaries. These jewels were made before the Industrial Revolution of the 1840s and the crafting of pieces were very labor-intensive. It is not unusual to see tool marks on the backs and findings of Georgian jewels, and all of the stones, whether precious or imitation, were set by hand. A complete handmade treasure from start to finish. For sure my favorite period in jewelry history.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pico nests in my hair

I turned 27 on Friday. I had a wonderful Birthday thanks to Ashley, Melissa and my parents, and my incredible friends! I can't begin to express how these people make me feel. Thank you and I love you!

I had a special surprise at my desk this morning when I got into work—remember the Pico Portraits that Ashley commissioned our friends to do for me for Christmas—well, Hosanna and Kirsten's exquisite pieces were finished in time for my Birthday! Check them out here. Yay!

Monday, April 12, 2010

springing into spring...and summer.

Spring is definitely here now. Changing weather involves changing moods and changing activities. Fresh air and UV rays will hopefully get our creative juices flowing. This is my most favorite photograph I took last summer—before we know it, it will be that time of year again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

i used to play with clay

My mom gave Melissa & I polymer clay to play with when we were little. It was one of my most favorite things to do. I made Lou & Dippo while in school and recently stumbled on these uncooked heads in a film container, beaten up and funny.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

flocked egg boxes

I know Easter has passed but here are a few "beauty" shots of the flocked egg boxes that I demoed on Martha's show last week. All the eggs came from Martha's chickens and all the vintage embellishments from Tinsel Trading. Some have gilded insides but the Araucana blue egg shells were just sealed and left natural. Enjoy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

elephant egg

ZooBorns posted this photo of an elephant Easter egg hunt.
If you are interested in animal emotions, you should read When Elephants Weep. Its an excellent book with a fair mix of science and animal stories. It doesn't just make elephants weep—I shed some tears too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010