Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Making a Statement

For the first time in a few weeks, I have not had a scholarship or job application to worry about. That being said, I have been scheduled almost forty hours this week, most shifts beginning in the afternoon and running until 10pm. This makes for very little time spent blogging and organizing. I did have monday off and was able to make some purchases to help complete my new jewelry project and to finish my beaded collar. While looking for apartment items at Walmart, I also bought some paint and jewelry items in order to help make crystal-like pieces that I found into statement necklaces. While the bf was in town, we stumbled upon a discarded chandelier on the curb a few houses down from mine. The crystal pieces caught my eye as they reminded me of J Crew necklaces I have been loving. I am hoping to achieve the same look at less than half the cost. Here are some of my tools:
 A blurry (sorry!) photo of the crystals I found attached to a discarded chandelier. I wanted to paint some of them different colors because there are so many. I originally considered using spray paint for an even finish but when I actually looked at a selection of spray paints, I found I was not in love with the colors and that it would be pretty expensive when I really only need a small amount of each color. My mom suggested using paints so I bought some acrylic paints in a "gloss" finish at Walmart. I was worried the paint would turn out streaky and unpolished looking, which as you can tell from the photos below is true. However, what I also discovered is that the color shows through the back of the clear crystal and looks very nice and polished. It may be hard to see in the photo but it looks good in better lighting! 

I am still wondering whether another coat will make the white color acceptable with a matte finish but I am also very pleased with the way the color turned out showing through the crystal. I hope the other colors will turn out just as well, including a possible use of black, which would make for a nice dramatic piece of jewelry that my collection currently lacks.

 All of my lovely color options in gloss finish. I may do some mixing to get different shades but that seems like a daunting task when I think of having to make enough of the perfect shade for multiple crystal pieces!

I also bought a pewter/silver chain and a black chain. Although I originally imagined gold for this project and for a possible chain closure to use for my beaded collar, the gold chain looked cheap at Walmart so I will need to look elsewhere first. I also need to find matching jewelry pins and other accessories because I think I only have gold at home. Now all I need to do is divvy up the crystals, decide what colors to paint them and change out the ugly existing "hardware" for some new jewelry hooks and chains and I will have some beautiful new pieces of jewelry!
P.S. A little peak at what inspired this project beforehand: While sorting through my desk I found a box of old musical instruments and this maraca I made in elementary school.  I pried off the plastic jewels with a cute screwdriver gifted to me by my mom. Funnily enough I remembered that one of my objectives in choosing craft materials when I was young, was to reuse them at home for other projects. I was considering doing just that and making these into a statement necklace by arranging them into a pattern on a piece of felt and attaching a chain but was afraid it might look cheap. Glad I stumbled upon the chandelier and found new nicer looking materials for free! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hangers Away

A problem that I run into being a petite person, is that hangers often bend the shoulders of my clothing out of shape. I have resorted to using children's hangers from stores like Kid R' Us that were still hanging around my house. I am now on a quest for stylish, space saving hangers that will not destroy my clothing!

Current Hangers
I currently have a variety of hangers in my closet. I removed all the wire hangers years ago and purchased some colorful new ones because at the time it seemed like a good idea. Now I have been sticking to white plastic hangers because they are always available. I tend to buy hangers at Target because they are reasonable, especially during dorm shopping season. They often have deals on large quantity packs which I need for all my clothes. I have a few different types, the Multipurpose hangers which work well for tank-tops and sleeveless dresses, Heavyweight standard hangers without indents which I use for tops that have wide necks or are made of sturdier fabrics that will not stretch out, and Attachable hangers which have indents like the multipurpose hangers but also have a hook where the hanger hook meets the base of the hanger allowing the hangers to hang from each other saving closet space. I do like the hangers that I have currently but they are a bit bulky and they do not work for my smaller and more delicate tops. I also want to be able to replace the clear plastic and children's hangers that I have taken home free from stores in the past.
On the Top Left: Multipurpose
Top Right:Attachable 

Bottom Left: Heavyweight
Bottom Right: Plastic Hangers

New Options
It seems that the consensus on the internet is that Huggable Hangers are the best  if you want to use all uniform hangers to organize your closet. Retailers and magazine editors alike boast that they save space because of their thin design, are strong enough for heavy items, and that clothing will not fall off of the velvet base. I decided to investigate further.
After reading up more on the product on the HSN website, I found that many of the reviews said that some hangers arrive broken or that the metal hook detaches from the hanger easily. Some people also mentioned that they wished that they could purchase more regular size hangers in a set because the large hangers are too large for many of their clothing items. Others also mentioned that the hangers do not work well for knits which leads me to believe that they would be too large for the clothing items I am most worried about. I also found the hangers on the Target website at a higher price for smaller sets. While I will not purchase them from Target, I may try to get a better feel for these hangers in one of their stores to make a final judgment before ordering any from a different website.

I also found the Chrome 6-Tier Multiple Blouse Hanger from Bed Bath and Beyond. This seems like it may be a good, stylish solution to supplement a collection of larger hangers with chrome hooks but I could not find measurements on the website. I think I will also pay a visit to Bed Bath and Beyond on my trip to Target. At least they are in the same plaza!

I will update when I find hanger solutions and with more of my adventures in organizing soon. In the meantime if anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I am typing this post to the sound of a lovely summer thunderstorm. I love the sound of pouring rain and often use as background while I am doing homework or if I cannot sleep. I am feeling a bit unorganized lately between working my summer job and typing up articles and essays so I have been slacking on starting up my blog. I have tons of posts drafted, I just have yet to actually execute them. Despite this, I now have a direction and idea of what I want my blog to be. After starting this post and feeling the need to draft many others I have realized I want this blog to focus on my inspirations, from fashion, DIY, and organizing, to anything and everything that speaks to me. I realize the people who inspire me most are the people who surround me, friends and family. I want to try to feature all of them here. I am very amateur in my photography so you will have to bear with me as I learn but I think that it will at least be a good read!

Room Organizing Update:
Last time I posted, I had gone through most of my clothing and accessories and was just working on organizing them. Since then, my mom has also been going through her wardrobe and I now have added    sweaters, belts, shoes and purses to my collection that have thrown off everything. My wonderful bf also bought me a beautiful pair of neutral pumps at Marshall's so I currently have no space left on my shoe rack and lots of new pairs of shoes. I am at the point now where I either need to get rid of more items to make room for the new, or rethink my whole closet and storage set up. Decisions, decisions!
To the right is my current shoe set up which spills over into my closet, some of which you can see. Again I apologize for the photos. I know they are awful but I did not want to post without any images.

On left: Vintage velvet heels from mom.  On right: Neutral pumps from the bf.

Also, so many belts in my collection now that I have snagged most of my mom's old high-waisted accessories. Hopefully I will figure out some solutions and update (with better photos, sorry again!)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Late Night Project

My room organizing has been on pause for a few days as I have messed up my sleep schedule and and I can't make too much noise with everyone else asleep. I decided to continue working on this Peter Pan collar that I cut from felt and started beading last summer because beading doesn't make very much noise : /
Here is the progress I have made so far!

 While sitting on my bed calmly doing needlework, I thought of Game of Thrones which I have been reading on and off. They have not even made it to King's Landing yet in Book I so I don't know if this will remain accurate but at this point Sansa is a sasspants and Arya seems to be the Stark sister the reader is supposed to be rooting for. Her sword, needle, is named as a sort of joke making fun of her loathing of needlepoint. She would rather play outside or learn to fight with a sword than cross stitch. I guess what bothers me about this is that the idea of sewing is given negative connotations.
In reality, it would take Sansa just as much effort to learn to sew as Arya learning swordplay. I personally have never been very good at sports and I guess that would also translate to sword fighting if I lived at that time. I ran around when I was young and rarely had legs without scrapes and bruises but I now enjoy sewing as well. While it is just a story, I have seen this pattern in so many books I have read growing up and I think it is important not to give a bad name to things like crafting and sewing. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, just do what makes you happy!
I will cease my late night ranting and end with more on the collar. This is one of the first beading projects I have ever taken on myself and it is full of mistakes. While it is not perfect, I have learned a lot from this collar that I hope to use for future projects. After I finish beading, I will probably attach a hook and eye to the front and sew pink ribbon to the back so that the length will be adjustable for wearing over different shirts and dresses.
I will post more photos soon of the hopefully finished collar and more organizing!

Finished beading, here is a crappy cell pic of how the pieces look!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I should be sleeping...

So it's almost 4am and after creating a new google account in order to start this blog I am finally creating my first blog post! I have no idea what any of this looks like yet so hopefully it is not terrible and ugly. I am using the same name from my old blog. Sadly, I deleted it today but there was only one post and an awful photo of me so I'm ok with getting rid of the old.  That is why I am starting this blog, to document the progress of cleaning up and reorganizing my room. Out with the old and in with the new, or in my case whatever I find lying around my house that works. I need to take more photos before any cohesive story of progress becomes apparent. Hopefully posting about my daily projects will motivate me to conquer more of my room each day.

This is part of my dorm room from the past year. It was a little sparse but I liked it and this photo inspires me to keep cleaning especially because of the mess on the nightstand.
This is a photo of my closet doors which shows my affinity for collages especially in middle school. I really hate 12 year old me for using tape instead of sticky tack because this was not fun to take down. 

I will update with more photos as I make changes but enjoy for now!