Saturday, June 29, 2013

Grand Bahama Island

Just wanted to share some pictures from my awesome vacation to the Bahamas.. 

I made a starfish friend! 

And we drank rum out of coconuts! 

It's just too bad that I have to go home now :( 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Design Your Dream Space

Greetings from the airport! 

It's Jen here, and right now I am sitting in the airport and waiting on a flight that has been delayed for almost two hours. Luckily for me, the end destination of this trip is the Bahamas! I will post pictures from there later, but for now I'll tell you about summer camp. 

For the last two weeks I have been working with the kids summer camp program at Taliesin West. 

The first week of camp was geared towards younger kids and we did a lot of geometric and architecture themed projects. We made mosaics (using paint chips, of course), 'concrete' blocks, tumbled glass mosaics, and 'stained glass' nature patterns. I didn't take enough pictures of the projects during that camp session, but we are holding the same program again in two weeks and I will go photo crazy! 

This past week, however, the camp theme was 'Design Your Dream Space'. 

It was a simple concept- the students were asked to draw their dream home on paper and then build a model of it from the given materials. The model had to be at a 1/2" to 1' scale and the roof had to be removable so that we could see inside. All furniture and appliances had to be crafted as well. 
The materials provided ranged from foam board to fabric to wine corks to anything and everything found around the house. It was AMAZING to see what these kids came up with. All of the students were between 10 and 15 years old, and each one expressed their individuality through this project. 

I can't post pictures of all of them because there were 21 students, but here are a few of my favorites:

**EDIT: The broken picture links are not actually missing photos, just a weird glitch that happened when I tried to post from my iPhone!**

A winter getaway featuring glass walls and skylights, along with a windmill for clean energy. 

A luxury home with a rooftop office and swimming pool, a waterfall in front of the kitchen window, and a spiral staircase guiding you upstairs. 

A spacious home with a luxurious basement that features a dance studio, library, hot tub, and trampoline. 

A beach home with an incredible ocean view that is highlighted by the curved glass walls along each side of the house.

A dome shaped skylight allows light into the master bedroom in the elegant home that features appliances fit for a king. 

An elevated beach home allows the residents to look down onto the ocean as they relax on the stained glass flooring of the living room.

Way up in the trees you will find this two story mini-treehouse, which features a deck for grilling and custom wooden paneling outside. 

This symmetrical design features an extended deck and plenty of living space that anyone would enjoy.

A two car garage is just what he needed in this urban home with a TV in every room.

Alright, choosing a few favorites was really difficult. And I wish that I could show how much work these kids put in to building each and every piece of furniture on the site! I was thoroughly impressed. These pictures do not do enough justice to their creativity. 

Anyway, that's all I have for now... Off to the Bahamas! 

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jewelry Organization

This post is taken directly from Paint and Pawprints, this is the first tutorial that I ever wrote! 

I recently made a new jewelry hanger because I outgrew this one, so I should get that post up here soon.

My friend Jen (that's right, there's two of us) over at Making&Baking and I got together for some crafting and created these wonderful Jewelry Organizers. We ended up with two completely different styles, but they work for the types of jewelry that each of us wanted to display. She'll probably post a tutorial for the blue one over at Making&Baking, but until then I'll show you how to build the white one on the right!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

We started out at Goodwill and picked up some frames; mine is 11"x13" and was under $4.
We then headed out to Home Depot, which is where we collected everything else. The aluminum sheets that we found are usually used as radiator covers and there were many different designs to choose from!

Frame (mine was 11"x13")
One decorative aluminum sheet
Thin strips of wood
Round wooden dowel
Two wooden drawer pulls
Lots and lots of tiny hooks (I used about 30 1/2" cap hooks)
2 larger hooks (mine were 1" cap hooks)
Spray paint

We used some tools for this project which not everyone may have, but the whole thing can be done by hand with just a little bit of extra effort. I had the wonderful employees at Home Depot help me cut my wooden strips and dowels, so we didn't need to have our own saw. We just brought in our frames and the guys helped us measure and cut everything!

Electric drill and various sizes of drill bits
Staple gun and staples
Tin snips
Glue (super glue ended up working the best for me, but I also tried wood glue and hot glue)

Step 2: Cut Your Pieces

I had my thin wooden bar cut into two pieces which fit snugly in the back of the frame. These will become the bars to which I will later attach the small hooks.

The wooden dowel was cut to be the same width as the frame. This will hang underneath as a bracelet holder.

The next thing to cut was the aluminum backing. I used the tin snips to cut this, and it made this step so easy! I'm sure that it can be done with regular scissors as well, but I would highly recommend investing in some of these.

When finished cutting, your aluminum sheet should fit snugly into the back of your picture frame.

Step 3: Spray Paint

Next, spray paint EVERYTHING! I left the aluminum on mine silver because I liked the contrast, but Jen at Making&Baking painted her sheet and it looks great either way! I painted my frame, wooden bars and dowels, hooks, and knobs.

Note: I spray painted my dowel and drawer pulls before trying to glue it together... if I were to do this project again, I would do "Step 8: Build the Bracelet Bar" BEFORE "Step 3: Spray Paint".

Step 4: Wait. 

 And wait, and wait, and wait. It took what felt like FOREVER for this spray paint to dry! But no matter how impatient you are, don't try to rush things! We ended up finishing our projects while the paint was still tacky, and it got very messy. Luckily, we were going for a vintage look and any smudges in the paint were going to add to that effect later (or so we told ourselves).

Step 5: Power Tools!

The next step was to line up my painted wooden bars and determine where I wanted to put my hooks. I used masking tape to hold the wood in place during this step.

When I decided on a pattern that I liked for my hooks, I took the drill and the smallest bit and drilled almost 30 holes into my strips of wood. 
(Note- the wood that I chose was soft enough so that each hook could have been attached by hand, but I took the easy route and drilled the holes first.)

After all of the holes were in place, it was time to attach the screen to the frame! My first experience with the electric staple gun was a bit traumatizing (that thing is LOUD), but I quickly got the hang of it. I put a staple across each corner, one in the center of each edge, and two on either side of each bar to make sure things were secure.

Step 8: Distress the Wood

For this step, I just took some sandpaper and lightly sanded the frame in order to give it more of a vintage feel. 

Step 7: Hooks 

This was the most tedious part of the entire project! One by one I screwed each little 1/2" hook into the pre-drilled holes from earlier.

I also added the two larger hooks onto the bottom of the frame to hold the bracelet bar.

Step 8: Build the Bracelet Bar

Like I said earlier, I should have done this BEFORE I spray painted the pieces! But that didn't happen, so...

All I did here was glue a drawer pull on to either side of my wooden dowel.

And that's it!

We're done constructing the jewelry organizer, and there is only one step left...

Step 9: Add Jewelry!

The necklaces hang from the hooks, bracelets from the bracelet bar, and the dangly earrings can hang from the radiator grate. The only thing that this organizer doesn't hold very well is stud earrings, so I'll have to find another way to store those. 

Since making this I have definitely outgrown this little frame, and I hope to make a new one soon!