Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of the vintage ring, and the cutest person I know...MaryAnn Nesbit.

I sent my little worker girl Lucy over to her house to deliver it and take a few pics of her with it on. I think it looks perfect on her!
Thanks for joining the blog MaryAnn and hope you have fun wearing the ring!

And here is some fun news...I have officially opened the Etsy store! As I figure out how to do it all, I will post more things on it. Wow, what a learning process it all is, and I am feeling less happy about my computer skills with each passing day! But here it is if you want to check it out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Giveaway! Vintage EarRING!

It's time again for a giveaway! I love how many people are following the blog, but I'd love to have more, so the giveaways are a fun way to get friends on here. The first 5 people that add onto the blog starting tonight (3-25) get entered into a drawing to win the ring. This is where facebook comes in handy for those of you who are on the facebook page.

This is made from a vintage earring (get it...earRing?) and it is on a silver tone band and adjustable. So cute for Spring!

Also, if you are in the Salt Lake area and win a giveaway or order anything from me, I will deliver it to your door! So have a great weekend everyone, and be looking for a new post soon!

And p.s...Happy 23rd birthday to my darling daughter Emma. As many of you know, Em has Asperger's, which makes her truly exceptional. It's been a wild and crazy 23 years but so fun. Em loves the Utah Jazz so I tried to give her a basketball themed oreo cake. Ok, so I have never said I know how to decorate cakes...

Em is truly the light of my life. She brings me so much pure joy I can't describe it, and I know this...there is no truer or better friend around than Emma.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bangles & Purses & Rings, Oh My!

I'm a little sad that winter is leaving us. Mostly because of the fashion issues associated with winter that I dread parting with. The boots, the sweaters, the long coats. Lets not forget the scarves and hats either. It's always hard to make the switch to wearing lighter colors and less layers. But do it I shall. 
     In December, there was a bracelet featured in Martha Stewart magazine. I became a little obsessed, not so much with price, as with how to re-create it. It is a velvet wrapped bangle priced at $110.00. Wow. Sure, there was a semi-precious stone in it, but really? So the quest to make it began.

It pretty much involves: An old bangle (free!)

some velvet or grosgrain ribbon (a few bucks) and some fake turquoise, which looks quite real, I must say.

    I just wrapped it while hot glueing it. Then put the stones on the wire and wrapped it around twice to make the "x" marks. I also made one out of an old cuff I never wore. It turned out to be my favorite.

For Spring and Summer I thought it would be lighter looking to use grosgrain ribbon. You could use any kind of texture, pattern etc. So easy to do.
And so inexpensive! Nautical stuff is big again this year, so I figured I'd add a little starfish into the mix. Lucy wants me to call it "Nautical Nonsense", (which is probably a nod to Spongebob.)
Last week I was also down at "Decades"
looking for some clothes, jewelry, etc. with my bud Lisa, and I found these adorable vintage earrings. I just bent the clip off and glued it to a ring form and done deal! It matches this..

    My grandma's stretchy bracelet that I added to. I needed it for a red and white outfit so I added a few extra red beads to it and put a red netting bow on it. I think it would go great with the ring.
Which leads me to another great thing I just got from my grandma's awesome collection. An adorable, beaded rose purse that no picture would ever do justice! It has inlaid fake diamond stones on the clasp for pete's sake. It is over 50 years old, so considered an antique. It is in perfect condition, inside and out. Honestly, this purse needed nothing to make it better, but I added an organza rose I made just for fun. Though a rose generally needs no centerpiece, I liked how the little green scrapbooking brad looked on it, so there it is.

     Happy first day of Spring everyone. Tomorrow I will give away the cute ring so be ready!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vintage Chandelier Jewelry

My cute mother, who, surprisingly, is now 80 years old, is very stylish and in with all the fashions and what is going on in every way. She is especially interested in the whole idea of re-purposing, or up-cycling things that are old and almost ready to be thrown out. I'm sure everyone raised in the Depression era has these same feelings. Waste not, want not. We've all heard it. So she has been happily digging up all manner of cool things of my grandma's and hers to bring to me. Like a little scavenger, she stealthily drops these goods off at my house when I am gone. I occasionally come home from work find a huge bag of vintage bracelets and rings. The next day it's all broaches. Then one day came the ultimate treasure. On my counter was sitting an old (I have no idea how old) paper bag from Pay Less, the old drug store. I had to take a picture of it because my mother swears this bag has been around for over 20 years. But that doesn't quite fit with the whole recyling theme on the bag. (Does anyone know how long that saying has been around?

Either way, inside the bag was the loot of the century for me. My grandma was famous for dismantling things and then re-styling them. Mostly household objects. So, around 20 years ago, she dismantled a chandelier lamp that was also around 20 years old at the time. She put these teardrop prism crystals in this old Pay Less bag and stashed it in her basement. It is now happily in my possession. When I saw them all I could think of was...Necklaces! Earrings! Embellishments! Joy!!

So first  I soaped them up and rinsed them in hot water and they came out much more sparkly. These are about 1/12" long and in perfect condition. I have no idea at what point they stopped making them crystal and made them glass, or if it depended on the company that made them. I'd love to hear what you all may know about it.
I bought a few chains, silver tone and black and started to make stuff. I ended up really loving the black, long necklace. Of course! I made a few styles of earrings also. One with silver tone and a bit longer, the other one with the black tone. Loving them both. One could be casual, the other dressy. I'm sure grandma had a grand scheme for these chandelier teardrops, and I hope she is smiling down on this project.
   And I just have to share the fun news. I have had lots of dear friends ask if they can buy things from me, so I have been busy making jewelry, flowers, etc. I now have a little "employee", aka my darling daughter Lucy who is a senior in high school. She cuts organza, runs to the craft store, makes deliveries and hand stamps the bags and hang tags. (Oh and cute Hannah is the model for the crystal necklace!)

Hang tag and bag

Since many of you have asked, I will put the prices of each item I have made so far if you would like to buy one.  Thank you so much for all taking such an interest and for buying. At this rate I may not need an Etsy site at all! Or I may add a "shop" part to the blog. Still figuring it all out. If you are out of state, just add 2 dollars for shipping to each price.

Burlap Bag - $20.00

Blingy Black Crow necklace - $8.00
Crystal Chandelier long necklace - $25.00

Crystal earrings, short - $5.00

Crystal necklace, short - $10.00

Crystal earrings, long - $8.00
Organza peonies. Most colors available. Pin or barrette.
Centers available in black, diamond, or pearl - $8.00. For vintage center piece - $10.00
Feel free to email me at if you need to order anything. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Giveaway winner & the ultimate Re-purposers!

I had the fun opportunity of going over to our friends Dennis and Elaine Senior's house to deliver the giveaway over the weekend. Their daughter Michelle Hill was there with her two darling daughters, Natalie (right) and Kaytlin (left) . Both girls get to fight over the hat and I just had to take a picture of each one of them in it.
 They are beautiful girls, and so sweet and excited to get the hat! I had crocheted a soft, mohair/mix scarf and brought it with me and they bought it to go with the hat. How adorable does she look in this?
It was all so cute on her that Michelle said she was sad winter was almost over, and I had to agree. I am obsessed with croccheting and wearing scarves, so when winter ends, I guess it's on to the Spring scarves!

While I was there I got a tour of their beautiful yard that just keeps expanding with cooler and cooler things! Elaine and Michelle are re-purposers extraordinaire, and I always feel like I am learning at the feet of the masters when I am with them! So much to look at in the house and yard. They can truly make anything gorgeous. Just the pillows on their couch look like expensive decorator pillows, but they bought pillows at Savers and just re-covered them in rich, gorgeous fabrics to match their valances they made. But the outside...ah, what a work of art.

First the sidewalk. They had a cute curved sidewalk leading to their fence, which had delicate leaves stamped into the concrete. Having anything stamped into concrete is expensive, but they asked their concrete guy if they could put stamped leaves in, and he told them to just collect them, lay them down in the wet cement, and he would go over them with his tool for smoothing it out. Anyway, it is so gorgeous to see the leaf impressions floating on the walkway in the sidewalk. An easy project with awesome results.

Also, in the backyard was a very tall trellis that I was loving so and taking pictures of. Not surprisingly, Elaine told me she had used an old bedframe for it! Unbelievale. I bet with the greenery on it, it looks amazing.

They also had a large fish pond built with flagstone. Of course, they built it themselves, and got the flagstone all for an unheard of cheap price. Sometimes it's being in the right place at the right time, other times it's just knowing how to barter! I had to take a picture of these incredibly talented ladies by their hard work. There are so many other things I could show that this great family does, but these are a few projects that I figure we can give a try. 

So congrats on the giveaway win, to the family who takes re-purposing to amazing new heights!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blingy Black Crow necklace

Why a black crow you may ask? Years ago I started a little business called Black CrowShay, which was a play on the word crochet, obviously. I had lots of black wire jewelry I was making at the time, hence the name. Then as I branched out and re-started my little venture, I changed the name to encompass more. Plus, I am fascinated by crows, ravens, magpies. Basically big menacing looking birds. I have no idea why.
So I was at Forever 21 with Lucy and I saw these adorable diamond(ish) necklaces with little birds at rest. All blinged out. I call it a crow, but it can probably be any sitting bird. I bought a whole bunch of them and decided to trick them out a little.
So I went to Michael's, (as usual) and got some little faux pearls and black beads and I added them to the necklace.

                    Then I attached some very sheer black tulle netting. Just because...
Once it was all put together, it added a bit more pizzazz to the little blingy bird.

Make sure to "like" the Black Crow Designs Facebook page because next week one of these necklaces will be given away on a drawing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring Burlap Bag

Burlap...not my favorite material. Until now. I have been seeing lots of burlap around on various blogs and in stores. It's always seemed a tad too...uh...earthy? And besides having it used as a feed bag in a feed yard, I really have never found a good use for burlap. And wearing it?? Not exactly wanting the itchy stuff anywhere near me. But...I came across the cutest bag at Hobby Lobby. In fact, they have an entire section of darling bags, many of them burlap. This one was my definite favorite, since if and when I ever carry a purse, it needs to be medium sized, which this one is.

As I said in a previous blog, I have been loving making roses, and really wanted to try it with burlap. The harder part of that is finding burlap on a roll as ribbon. Oddly enough, I found it while I was eating Kneaders. For some strange reason in their cutesy section by the food, they had rolls of burlap ribbon! What the??
I have to say, I had a great time making the burlap roses and I love how they turned out.I added some pearl brads I got at Michael's that I bet are mostly for scrapbooking (which I still don't do). But no matter, it worked as the center for the roses.

So I sewed them to the bag,

and I now have a cute little burlap purse!

So I made Lucy model it, and there you have it!
( I will be starting an Etsy page soon, so look for it for sale on there.)