Industrial Jewelry

Good afternoon friends!

My merry month of jewelry making continues and I’m loving it. I’ve discovered a completely new aisle in the craft store, which is extremely dangerous. But you know what I like best? When you find supplies in the most in-ordinary of places. Take, for instance, this week’s project, which I hinted at this weekend. A gorgeous necklace made out of the most simple items: some ribbon and washers. You know, washers from the hardware store. You use them in between nuts and bolts or something, to protect it from rust damage. I’m totally pretending I know what these are for, but it sounds close, right?

materialsI recently pinned a tutorial on making a gorgeous ribbon necklace and was itching to try it. I know we had washers in the toolbox but I wanted some fresh ones, that matched and possibly didn’t include rust stains on them. After a short trip to my craft store and then hardware store, I had my supplies. I did have to dart around some burly manly men, hoping no one would ask me what I need these for. Success.

One word: CHEAP! This by far the most inexpensive necklace I own and I adore that. I purchased my ribbon for $1.99 and two bags of washers, 1/4″ sized whatever that means, for a whopping 80 cents a pack. You do the math (I probably can’t). Yup, this is a $3.59 necklace, and I still have loads of ribbon left over. Holla!

necklace making 2After shopping, I set up my materials, propped up my iPad and followed the photo tutorial on Pinterest. It is pretty easy, but you have to make sure to following the movement of the ribbon to a T. Otherwise, the washers will not place properly. If you do this correctly, the ribbon will secure the washer in place and overlay the next one  on top to make a beautiful chain of washers.

You can follow the photo tutorial on the Nestled blog (shout-out to a fellow Ohioan!).  She has great directions. I couldn’t find the link to the first instance of the project, only the pin. So I sadly did not have her great directions when I made this! Because of this, I have a couple pieces of advice to keep you on track with this project.necklaces

1. Don’t forget to pull the ribbon back through the washer to secure! This is photo #5 on the tutorial. I kept forgetting that crucial part and wondering why my washers would look wrong. Doing this ensures that you are set up for the next washer.

2. Make sure to cut a very long piece of ribbon. I wasn’t sure if the washers would line up to the right or the left of the first washer. Once I saw that they lined up to the right, I realized I didn’t have enough ribbon. Just cut a huge piece and start your first washer a bit to the left. You can size up the ribbon with your washers smack in the middle when you are done, then even it out and snip off the excess ribbon. Remember that the washers will not move! This strategy worked for me.1b4a7360ba9b11e2875a22000aaa0594_7

I adore my new necklace and received lots of compliments when I wore it yesterday. It felt great to exclaim, “I made it!! No doubt that is why I appear so triumphant in this picture. Since then, I’ve been thinking of other color combinations. Don’t you think it would pretty in an coral color?

Your turn!



On Finding a New Aisle in the Craft Store

How many of you have now tried out the square knot bracelets? I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted.

I went on a trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels last week to purchase a multitude of jewelry making supplies and was completely shocked at how much there is! I guess I’ve always just completely rushed by that section on my way to the yarn without a blink. Seriously, next time stop! I was able to find different kinds of leather, woven fibers and the like to make more bracelets. Plus, they have a ton of clasps that you can use and anything you can imagine to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Here are some of the goods from my shopping spree.

  • Round Leather Lace Black $1.99
  • Deerskin Lace in Saddle Tan $2.99
  • Copper clasps and beads – $1.29 – $1.99

My HipstaPrint 992364485-11Also, please check out that adorable clutch! Have you heard of UmbaBox? It is a subscription goodies service that celebrates all things handmade.  I recently signed up and this fabulous hand-painted leather clutch from the very talented Florence Oliver was in my very first package. I am in love. I wanted to use it for fancy occasions, but since I rarely go fancy, I decided it will hold my jewelry-making materials for now. It makes me smile every day.

My HipstaPrint 992364485-10The first thing I made from my shopping spree was a square knot bracelet out of a teal colored deer skin. This was a whopping $1.99.  Who knew jewelry could be this cheap? I feel cheated in life.

Check a look at my braided bracelets I’m wearing today. One is purchased and one made. One was expensive and one was not. I like to think you can’t tell! Sure, one has a better clasp and probably a few less mistakes but both are adorable.

Plus, doesn’t it just feel good to wear something you’ve made? Yes, you have the right to bear DIY and brag.



DIY Stackable Square Knot Bracelets

My HipstaPrint 992364485There are times in my life when I believe I am too dense for the most dumb of Dummies books. This week has been one of them. My first DIY accessory that I wanted to attach this month is one dear to my heart because it involves yarn.

When a friend found out that I was looking for DIY accessories to create, she posted this fabulous tutorial for me on Pinterest.

Yes! This is the best idea to start off my month because I don’t even have to go shopping yet for gear! Plus, it’s super cute and reminds me of 6th grade camp friendship bracelets. Winning!

The Yarn Stackable Bracelet promised to be a quick accessory that any knitter could quickly make to enhance their outfit. Every knitter has colorful scrap yarn and this is a great way to delve into DIY accessories…I mean, we knitters excel at yarn, right?

At least that is how I was going to present it to you all.

And then I tried to follow along with all of the simple directions. Psah. Simple.

I spent two nights looking at web tutorials and recommended YouTube videos. There is one spot I would consistently be frustrated with because I could not figure out if my yarn went in the loop or under the loop. One video looked promising and then poof! The creator actually just drew an arrow and skipped that part in the video. Really? REALLY?!

Finally, I found this one.

My savior! It finally all clicked.

This bracelet is created by doing short square knots, which is easy once you figure out where you are supposed to put which yarn and get a rhythm going. Finding that out is key…the rest is a breeze

Hints:My HipstaPrint 992364485-3

  • There are a few ways to do this, as evidenced by the multitude of videos I saw. If this one doesn’t work try another one.
  • Don’t bother with picture tutorials! It is helpful to see someone in action. This is why God created YouTube.
  • You have to alternate sides and this proved too difficult for my late night brain. To help keep me on track, I would repeat “ONE” while working the right side. Then “TWO” while working the left side. I think I kept these thoughts in my head since my guy was studying for a final, but also feel free to yell them out loud. Maybe in  German?
  • Tape is your best friend. Really anchor that middle piece down or you will be screaming profanities (maybe in German as well?)


Mayday, Mayday

Yep, that’s a big old alert there. Why, you ask? Because for the month of May, my blog theme is a big scary mess of DIY experimentatin.

I know, I didn’t quite learn from my DIY spring cleaning…but since this challenge involves fabrics and yarn I think I will be safe from harm. Stop scoffing at me.

Here’s the skinny.

owl necklace

When I moved to Texas I was struck by how many well-accessorized women sashay around this state. For the most part, these gals know how to put together an outfit. (But one thing I can do without? Large rhinestone-bedazzled crosses on a background of pink camouflage. Sorry to offend but war-decorated, sparkling visages of religion/hunting just aren’t my thing.) In comparison, my boring San Diegan self just lacked a whole lot of sparkle. So I embraced the bling and started adding to my earring collection and buying more necklaces, like this lovely owl necklace pictured to the left. Charming Charlies is my bestest friend in the land. I’m still trying to add some color to my jewelry, I fear I’m a bit of a plain Jane.

This brings me to my challenge. Confession. I am cheap and have an unshakable confidence in my ability to make things. I live by the phrase “Why buy it when I can make it?” (remind me later: Because sometimes its just a whole lot easier, my friend).

Hence my very dangerous Why Buy It When You Can Make It? Pinterest board, which includes DIY treasures from home good to super cute accessories.

My goal this month is to make one accessory a week. I have selected a few simple looking goodies: from zipper bracelets, DIY pouches to necklaces that include washers. Yup, washers!

Good grief I’m excited.


Packing & Cracking Up

Hello, my name is Allison and I am a list maker. It’s a bit of a problem. I make lists every day, my iPad has three different apps for lists: my Outlook Tasks for work and life, Wunderlist for my grocery and shopping lists and finally, TripList for my packing lists. I travel a ton and I tend to worry incessantly that I will forget something crazy important. You know, like packing enough underwear. This may or may not have happened before. In Ireland.


Making my list and checking it twice…maybe thrice

So, I’m a ceaseless list maker, especially when it comes to travel, as you may have remembered from yesterday… and the day before. I love to make lists of things I want to do and places I want to eat. That is just how I start my vacation planning and I don’t think I’m alone one this one. Next up, is making a list of things I need to pack, so I don’t forget my underwear again. This is where list makers, like TripList come in handy. I have the free version which is fine for me because I pretty much pack the same things over and over so I like to reuse and modify my base list for each vacation.

And if I still forget something, at least I now have the perfect excuse to shop.


Hello there, freebies!

To piggyback on last week’s posts about my obsession with beauty products, here is where my online shopping addiction at Sephora and Ulta really pay off. Look at that handy bag of sample skincare and haircare products. No need to pack any of those pesky, leaky bottles for me!

Hope you have caught the travel bug too. We set out on the road tomorrow so now you can follow along on my obsessive-ridden travels! Cheers!


Pookah Asks

Because “Being Stuck on a Deserted Island” is just so conventional…