Tuesday, July 27, 2010



Photo source www.lovemaegan.com. 
As I looked at jeweler Tom Binn inspired necklaces in a few tutorials for research, I wondered how in the world I was going to find all of that bling to pull this project off. Undaunted, I made a version of this decadent design myself and found that for me, the other tutorials did not completely prepare and explain key details that could make this project easily successful.  Here's what worked and how you, too can make one of your own for much less time, money and trouble. Firstly: Most craft stores carry beading supplies and all manner of needful things for this conGLAMeration: varieties of chains from chunky to demure and  faux-bulous shades of pearls matching a variety of direction you may take with your desired "of-the-moment" master piece. I found the most delightful pearls in a pewter, graphite color and I almost did a little dance.


Here's what worked:

1. Inventory your necklaces, deciding what tone (silver/gold) you want. I went for the silver in my collection, then supplemented with the craft store chains and bling, mall costume jewelry, re-sale shops, yard sale fodder are also good sources.  My own finished design contained about 30% from my unused necklaces.
2. Tools you'll need can include scissors or nail clippers, jewelry pliers x2 if possible.
Fireline or other beading thread, not fishing line, for stringing pearls. Use the fishing line as invisible support for key pieces which I'll explain later. Super glue or other clear glue for gluing tied fishing line.
    Lay out your necklaces, findings and tools:
    It was tricky and colorful-word-annoying trying to weave my necklaces into something gorgeous and I had to put it on my unamused son in order to design easier.  This really works best if you can use an elevated surface. If you don't have a statue/bust at your disposal, you may wish to construct this little necklace display tool in order to easily arrange, twist and tangle your pieces.  Using a sheet of extra thick craft foam, roll into a tube similar to picture and staple where necessary to hold.  
    Your design will fasten on one clasp in the back, so determine a sturdy chain ingredient because you will likely attach key pieces to it here and there. Mine was a 24" silver chain from the bead store which included a clasp closure.  I removed links from both sides in the end, reattaching the clasp to shorten. I used it to wrap/reign/weave, also. If this sounds vague, don't worry, it will all make sense as you create.  
    • Study your inventory of necklaces, the Binns inspiration  and others in this blog. Make some portions drapey, put rhinestones off to one side, create a tangled layer, weave portions of chain or pearls throughout to develop a cohesive look. 
    • Use the fireline if you buy pearls, do not think you can avoid restringing them, you risk having the cheap plastic line they come on breaking and scattering your little pretties... 
    • Use the fishing line to attach key pieces by tieing ends here and there to other sections of your design.  The fireline offers most security here (comes in different jewel tones) but if you want invisible attachment, go for the fishing line and glue the knots carefully, allowing to dry before trimming the ends. 
    You should end up with something which is more beautiful once you put it on. I rearrange mine some each time I wear it. It's a little wee bit heavy but I love it! It lends a cohesive, fabulosity to dressy outfits and jeans that I live in. 

    If you enjoy making DIY necklace projects, this blog post link has a less involved jewelry design projects that are also fun! This one uses ribbon and existing necklace to make re-invent. See the pictures below.

    Comments are always welcome =)

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010


    Can a supple and curvy chaise such as this have a place on a bucket list or are bucket lists limited to adventures?  If so, I'll figure a way to work this chaise into that format... until then I can certainly make that neck roll pillow shown. Neck roll pillows, also called bolsters, are fa-bu neck support. Find pattern for one here add a couple of unique tassels at each end which speak of travels or drip with some other sentiment. 

    ...sometimes it's ok to be a follower - like when you follow my entertaining & inspiring blog-a-zine full of recipes & general cures for boredom.
    Vietnamese Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

    1. Vietnamese rol
    ls shown above (recipe Cooking Light) Have you ever had these? Light and full of flavor, I make these every chance I get and have always replaced the peanut oil with  vegetable oil, omitted the peanuts because of nut allergies and still find it tastes authentic and satisfying.  The rice paper may intimidate you so I will let you know that I purchase it at Asian markets and even international markets. It is tricky to work without a demo so maybe you'll enjoy this valuable video because while the rice paper isn't expensive it is fragile if not handled correctly.  Gratuitous stuffed shrimp recipe which hasn't a darn thing to do with this article, just a squirrel which distracted me, heheh.

    Mango Spring Roll by dapan
    2. Mango Spring Roll <~recipe. Had lunch at an Indian Curry type of restaurant and discovered whilst making only necessary slurpy noises with a mango soup, that in India there are more than 50 varieties of mango's... heaven?  That thought tied up my salivary glands for quite a while as did this little recipe. I hope you'll give this a try when mangoes are plentiful where you live. How on earth does one slice mangoes into fingers? Ask no more, here's how in 1:37 seconds (omit cutting into cubes).

    3. Breakfast Rolls, easy fast enough that it's child's play, decadent enough that adults will want more. Don't believe me? Using purchased puff pastry (one of my favorite things in life) or even refrigerated crescent rolls, do this: Combine a fair amount of sugar with a couple drops of vanilla because vanilla is potent. Set aside and unroll and seam together pastry using a pastry roller if necessary, creating a rectangular sheet much longer than wide.  When vanilla sugar has become one, spread onto the dough leaving a half inch margin all around.  Roll, beginning at the widest part, until you have a log. Then cut/slice into 6 logs and bake according to pastry directions.

    4. Ginger (and ground meat) Lettuce Wrap recipe from Food People Want (recipe) ok, they do theirs with ground pork but mmm, I like ground turkey or even tofu. My reason purely silly, I don't eat pork because well, pigs are fat and I can't get beyond that in my brain housing group. And they smell funny when you cook them, except bacon and pancetta.  I always order these at PF Chang's restaurant and one day decided to make my own and these were every bit as divine. 

    Sushi hand rolls

    5. Sushi hand rolls (Temaki-zushi) cooked shrimp and smoked salmon here, (RECIPE) so cringing not necessary from all the squeamish never-try-anything-new types. This recipe has fresh cucumber, carrots, avocados and scallions, it's light and can be as spicy as you like with wasabi paste. I discovered that my local grocery store carries wasabi and ginger in a tube as well as garlic and pesto sauce, the latter tasting too much of citric acid to even smack of worthy, though. 

    Bonus Roll: Strawberry Swiss Roll, pumpkin log roll...
    are two others I've blogged which you may find delicious here in this previous edition of ORH.

    Now roll on down to the comment section and share your thoughts and your URL!! Thanks for showing some love. ~Olive

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010


    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.Robert Herrick 
    I really want you to take the time to smell the roses and so I've assembled a collection of inspiration and instructions to aid and abet you.  Flowers always look lovely in the hair, perfect for date night or when entertaining at home because they are festive and elevate the mood.  We'll explore simple floral designs.

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    Attitudes are contagious, be a carrier... 
    Your home or work space would feel wonderful with the delights of flowers among your things.  No worries if you have seasonal allergies, I've shared sources and images of stunning paper creations. I've tried to keep it simple with the glass vase arrangements and know that you want to know where in the world can you find the vases shown here.  Many of these can be had for a song from your local craft retailers, but other outlets to consider are antique stores and recycle sources such as Goodwill stores, yard/tag/garage sales and such. It's likely though that you will find similar containers in your own home.  Don't concern yourself too much if you don't have the exact flowers shown, just fill in with something which has a similar shape and size.  

    The simple arrangement above, I've purchased this blossom at Whole Foods (fuchsia one) and never can recall the name of it. It looks like a Chrysanthemum to me and it costs $$$ so I only buy one.  This glass vessel can be found in Pier I Imports, along with smooth river rock.  Plunk your blossom in, even add the noteworthy leaf of another plant, tucking them into the rock and filling with water.  I think this looks masculine displayed in this way.

    There are moments in my garden when the only prolific flowers are non-descript, like those silly maiden pinks, marigolds and mums that grow short compact flowers that are just the right thing to go into a little container like this on or a cocktail low ball, poke a daisy on top and that darned grass that keeps growing in tall in your garden can also be put to use by wrapping it around three fingers (you can secure it with floral tape) and tucking under the daisy, cone flower or what ever blossom you deem worthy. To get these diminutives to stay precisely, you can poke them into a water soaked oasis that you may need to trim to suit your container.

    The tall, narrow vase shown here, intended as a wedding gift and easily arranged  with the flat top flower of daisy and a few wisps of ornamental grass. Other flat top garden florals to consider are the cone flowers, even yarrow but I encourage you to shop in your garden or floral shop for a suitable flat top substitute.
    Floribunda, this overly generous variety bloom all at once on short and skinny stems. Do not despair! These are the very petals which create lovely walkways for brides, romantic bed-scapes that lovers cover beds with, or scatter them in your bath for scented softness.  If all that is too much, fill your bar ware with the petals as above for a lavish looking display. They don't even last on the stem, a good shake can remove most petals and because they bloom all at once you might as well take advantage of their abundant petals.

    The blossoms here are pretty artificial ones of course but festive in large poofs or lovely as small ones.  They come from a kit which can be purchased in creative centers of super stores or hobby stores. The Tissue Pom's directions can be found here if you would like to make them without purchasing a kit.  

    While preparing the blossoms, I came across these butterflies and thought you may enjoy them also. Source Butterfly Bazaar.

    You may enjoy this earlier ORH blog article: FOOD AND FLOWERS 

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    Tuesday, July 6, 2010


    While on the prowl for a clever swimsuit cover-up ...

    Each summer before I head to the beach I try to find a swimsuit cover up.  I did find some really plain ones and over priced ones and do-it-yourself ones when it occurred to me to just do a Sarong! I love the versatility of these beautiful rectangles, you can cover or reveal in a variety of ways, they take only seconds to put on and look wonderful on any body type.

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    bali sarong by wild_rose722000WAYS TO TIE

    How To Tie A PareoI borrowed this step by step guide from A TRAVELER'S BLESSING they tell how to tie this Pareo which I call a Sarong.  Step 1 hold fabric behind the back and under the arms. Step 2 Wrap tie ends around themselves a few times until you get desired look Step 3 Tie tips behind your neck.

    You can purchase a sarong or make one...

    In general a sarong is a light weight fabric like gauze or batik that measures 72" long x 36-45" wide. Adjust this to fit you if you are plus size or piqueno by with fabric purchased at sewing and craft stores.  Go for something sheer, unfinished edges can be nice if you fray them by taking an even weave of fabric and a pin or needle and picking/pulling out about an inch or more or the horizontal weft a little at a time with the sharp edge of pin/needle.  You can use a sewing machine to stitch a straight line above where you want your fray to stop if you feel it's necessary to keep unravel in check or trim along with a Fray Check product.

    A Sarong by Any Other Name...

    Sarongs are known by other names in other parts of the world, including:
    • Kangas : Africa
    • Pareos : South Pacific region
    • A Sri, or sari : India
    • Wraps : USA

    The popularity of wraps(sarong) are not limited to the ladies, I was watching a FoodNetwork show recently and spotted one of the chefs wearing one as he rode his motorcycle  through town.  I can't imagine any man in my life being comfortable in a wrap but differing cultures don't bat an eye at this sort of thing.

    With a small investment of time I'm sure you can find a fabric rectangle that will match your bathing suit or harmonize with the pattern in an eye catching way.
    I wanted to show you these sheer numbers and share something I learned one day at the beach. There was a beautiful woman there in a bikini wearing a lovely sheer pareo like the black one shown.  She wore it in and out of the water and I was thinking I'm going to do that!. I complimented her on her beautiful choice and she blushed before revealing that she chose it because it was camouflage to the tell tale lines child birthing had bestowed upon her. I would never have guessed by the way she draped the sheer mini sarong around her waist, the gathers working in her favor. She said it was actually a scarf she'd chosen because she just loved bikinis and was not ready to give them up. She had a pleasing figure and I'm glad to have her little secret to pass along to you.
    sarong flower girl 2 by Mad Gringo


    Skirted the Sarong can be adjusted to any length, a simple fold over at the waist will shorten it to the length you desire and even make it a delightful option for the little ladies as shown below. This nearly 9 minute video will show you 15 simple but beautiful ways to tie Pareo's to include varying lengths as well as sarongs for gentlemen. Many of these seem very similar at first but worth a watch through to the end where you'll find a one sleeve tie at the shoulder and not to be missed is the way they create a dress with a between the legs move and the butterfly sleeve looking shawl.

    You may also enjoy these wraps from a previous ORHblog edition:

    Thursday, July 1, 2010


    "It's hot in here, open a door so we can get a breeze." It's that same cooling breeze we desire to cultivate by opening the door that is also slamming doors closed and disturbing the peace we sought in the first place.  We need to put a stop to this, a door stop. Of course most people would go out and buy a solution but you and I? We're not ordinary like that - we're extraordinary and we're going to make one because it's things like that which make our house a home and give certain death to the phrase "I'm bored".

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    I looked around for some things which were homey but not limited to a particular definition of homey.  In my home, I like something which has a little sophistication but you may prefer cottage or contemporary, so keep an open mind and adjust these projects to suit yourself instead of  sitting there cringing and going "ew". That makes you look so unattractive anyway. Oh... there are lot's of door stopper ideas here...

    Hold that door open with a good old fashioned rock.  

    These beetles and asundry buglets are traced out with a rotary tool and thought them a suitable project for my teenage son. Surely you realize you are going to require a larger rock than these presented to keep that door from slamming.  Add a spray sealer in matte or gloss to complete your little project.  Please remember the safety glasses and try your hand at simple grooves in the rock or entire shapes:

    Door stopper weights  Some of these triangular stoppers shown here were also spotted accessorized with wattles of roosters and little bird faces.  These simple cotton ones do the job as would ones made of scraps of decorator and upholstery grade fabrics but the patterns are basically the same for the pyramid door stopper and you can find one here on this charming blog: Bake and Sew.  I also learned that you should fill them with something heavy and not poly pellets, something like rice or sand and if you velcro an opening, you can include a scent sack or baking soda to absorb odors.  As charming as these are I know some bumbling clod will come along and trip over them. If you know such a clod, no worries, just sew up this strip door stopper instead. Use measurement of your doors length, 3 inch diameter and include seam allowance when cutting.

    This girly plush thing is something of potential for those with a sense of the unique.  She wears fish net stockings, change out that dress fabric for something more custom, perhaps the hair color, too and you're on to something darling and personalized for gift giving, house warming or name your occasion.  She wears a little heart button in her hair, this too could be customized into something more symbolic like the button from a favorite outfit or add a piece of jewelry or ribbons for shoe laces, necklace, earrings. Go crazy~

    Rock STar
    Once, while at a friends beach cottage, I noted that their door stopper was a rock. Not just any old rock of course, it was a rock shaped kind of funky and painted to look like a tennis shoe with untied laces. Very detailed piece of something with shading and all and I thought "kewl". Now I wish I'd taken a picture but you'll have to give these painted rocks a gander: The painted rocks on the right are simple, one color/element.  You can use graphite paper to trace an image you find on the internet or where have you. Then using a size 0 round brush or other suitable size, create a painted monocolor masterpiece and then apply a sealer (matte or gloss, can use acrylic brush on sealer also) to preserve your mini-masterpiece. Have fun with these.

    You don't paint, sew, own a rotary tool - but you do have a door slamming issue.  Well, you can glue, right? I have a solution: Mosaic's.  You can find the colored glass and grout at any local hobby store but before you go I want you to get familiar with how you're going to do this so check out these directions and consider embedding items more creative than the obvious products that first come to mind.  I think buttons, foreign coins, that little artifact you picked up off the ground and examined because you thought it might be valuable... embed them in your moasaic door stopper.  Basically you are going to glue clean items to a surface and then smear a mixed grout in the crevices and behold, a creative door stopper. Keep in mind the spacing beween the glued pieces as this will effect the amount of exposed grout in your finished product.

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