Saturday, September 20, 2014

DIY Stone-Adorned Lucite Jewelry Box //

Confession:  I have A LOT of costume jewelry.

In fact, I have such a collection, that I sometimes forget what I actually have.  I know, it’s a sickness; but I do love it so.

Because of my addiction, I found it necessary to adopt a way to display my bobbles; something that would be both attractive and functional.  Enter – the Lucite box.

Yes, I now, I’m a little late to the Lucite craze.  At first I wasn’t so taken with it, but over time it’s grown on me.  Lucite is so much more than just a plastic.  Typically, the thickness of the Lucite {regardless of what form it takes – box, tray, stapler, stationary holder} is about a quarter of an inch, giving the edges of your item a lovely reflective quality more along the lines of glass, rather than plastic.  All the durability of plastic with the crystal-clear look of glass.

Now, some of my favorite retailers sell these exquisite Lucite jewelry boxes adorned with rough-cut semi-precious stones.  They.  Are.  Beautiful.  But -- full disclosure -- they are WAY overpriced.  Honestly, some of them retail for over one thousand dollars.  Now, I have to ask myself, WHO IS BUYING THIS STUFF?  Not I.

So, I decided to make a facsimile.

Here’s what you’ll need {with accompanying links}:

- Lucite boxes with hinged lids

- Rough or semi-precious stones.  I found mine here and here.

This is a geode I found online. It breaks into two halves with the lovely crystals inside.

These agate slices are amazing. The druzy in the center adds sparkle too!

- Clear-drying Glue {that adheres to plastics}

- Something to line the bottom of your boxes.
    This is optional, but I thought it was a great opportunity to add a pop of color.  I happened to use some decorative patterned paper I found at a local art shop.  But you could use anything you like -- magazine clippings, wrapping paper, scrap fabrics, old linens.

There's my blue and gold paper!  Fifth from the top.

Many of these papers, like the two silver and gold ones at the bottom,
had wonderful texture as well as color.

I really liked these. They had tiny sparkles embedded within the paper. Really caught the light.

I was very temped by these gold and black striped papers,
but I opted for my blue and gold because I wanted to add color.

At this point, it’s as simple as you think.

Optional Preliminary Step  -- Gilding the Agate Slice Edges:

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love metallic accents.  When the opportunity presents itself to add a touch of gold, silver {pick a metal} I usually take it.  So, when I saw the raw edges of my agate slice, I heard it begging to be painted.

The two polishes I used are shown above.
The first coat was the yellow {left} and the second was the lighter gold {right}.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any gold paint {how?!}.  But I DID have some gold nail polish!  That’s right.  I painted the edges of my agate slice with gold nail polish.  When in doubt, branch out.  I painted two coats.  Let it dry overnight and continue on with the next steps.

Step One – Arrange Your Stones:

Arrange your stones the way you’d like on your Lucite box.  Once you have it the way you’d like it, glue it in place.  Remember, less is more when it comes to glue.  Yes, it dries clear, but if it oozes out the sides, its texture will still be visible.

Step Two  --  Line Your Box:

Measure the inside dimensions of your box.  Cut your paper {or fabric} to those dimensions and simply line your box.

This was the paper I ended up with -- a lovely robin's egg blue with gold.

The gold was SO reflective; just love it!

Now, I did NOT glue my paper to my box.  I didn’t do this for one simple reason: I may get tired of that pattern and want to change it later.  By not gluing it, I keep my options open.  I can change it any time I want and to suit any décor I may have.

That’s it!

Arrange your bobbles and enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pre-Fall Wool Treat || Sept. 11 2014

This season my indulgence was this beautiful sweater from Acne Studios. It was an investment {had to save for weeks!}, but the quality is out of sight and it is soft. I also have to tell you that I'm really loving the deep V neckline. It's just sexy enough without being risque. It ends just at the base of the breastbone.

The 'oversized' trend is still white hot, but it can, ironically, be a little dangerous, only in that without the right cut oversized can equal frumpy. I chose to purchase from Acne for their high-quality and also because of the 100% wool factor. If I can, I like to buy natural fibers.

Also, as a footnote to all this, when it comes to designers like Acne, you can actually purchase their wares in several locations {Net-A-Porter, Shopbop}, as opposed to just their personal website. It's a good idea to price out what you want. A price on one site may be different on another. For me, when everything was said and done, I found the best price at the time at Acne's personal website.

I like to keep it simple, more often than not, so I just pair this sweater with my go-to consignment boyfriend jeans {cuffed of course} and my black handbag. Somehow, one small feminine detail {the deep V neckline} becomes magnified when paired with masculine elements to I chose my tomboy-esque brogues.

//  Sweater: Acne Studios  //  Jeans: Consignment shop - mens  //  Brogues: Jack Wills out of season but similar here and cheaper  //  Handbag: Brahmin  //  Necklace: borrowed from my mother {we have a barter system}

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Faux Fur that's as luxurious as the real thing

Faux Fur that's as luxurious as the real thing //

Few things are quite as luxurious as fur.  I personally, though, can’t abide the sacrifice.  So, I opt for faux fur, which is surprisingly well-made and realistic these days.  Retailers from ASOS to Topshop to River Island to Pottery Barn have all gotten on the faux fur bandwagon and this blogger couldn’t be happier!  Selections are varied and customizable, allowing consumers {like you and I} to keep clear of the antiquated and cliché ‘raccoon skin hat’ {so to speak} and stay chic in a myriad of patterns, colors, textures and garments.  Best of all, faux, as one might expect, is far more reasonably priced than its ‘real’ counterpart.  ||