Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random jewelry storage ideas that I love.....


You know, as much as some people resent Martha Stewart for what she did, you've got to give the woman MAJOR credit for her ability to build such a massive creative brand! And, to be honest, I can only hope to be half as successful as her because come to think of it... I would love to create a design empire like hers! In the past I don't think I've flipped through her magazine more than twice, maybe (I'm more of an Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home gal)... but on the way to Europe my mom and I bought a few design magazines at the airport for the plane ride and let me tell you, Martha Stewart Living has beautiful images, ideas and recipes! Anyway, I perused her website for a while when I got back from my trip and I stumbled upon some ideas for creatively storing and displaying your jewelery - the images are beyond inspiring!

Over time, my jewelry starts to pile up and get wildly messy on my dresser. Currently I try to keep the majority of it in this awesome wooden box that is actually for Spinneybeck leather samples, but it always trickles out onto my dresser. When I worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Design Department as the Design Librarian I got to keep the box when we moved because they were going to throw it out, it's a great box, it has three drawers with magnetic closures and red leather pulls, removable wooden dividers and a red leather carrying handle on top... But as perfect as it is, I still have the issue of "out of sight out of mind," therefore I really like displaying as much of my jewelry as possible in creative ways OUTSIDE the box - so I can see it, all thus not forget about it and actually wear it! With that said, I like these ideas..... more projects for my list of projects... what else is new!? :)

Funny thing is, I have oodles of little ceramic bowls and dishes from Turkey, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and all of the other fifteen or so European countries that I've been to so far! Now, if only I had one large drawer to do this and display them all neatly in.... hrmmmm...



This hanging shadow box display for jewelry is a DIY project using decorative wallpaper, hooks and a wooden wine/liquor crate, the instructions can be found under Stylish Jewelry Storage at Martha Stewart's website. I have two wine crates at home that I use to stack my DVD's and the boyfriend's PS3 games in, but lately I've been considering changing their purpose to this.... hehehehehe....


And last, this is not really a new concept to me, but I it's still one I love and have yet to replicate! So simple and so organic.... :)




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I want to show you ideas from other sources so I did a quick Google image search on creative jewelry displays and found these......

According to the blog All Things Austin Design, this was made from some random sticks found after a storm by artist Gadora Wilder, who reinvents old furniture and objects. Check out her blog Gadora Wilder: Refashioning Life's Furnishings.




This is a picture from Flickr ... the frame contains a piece of knitted fabric which acts as the base for which to hang earrings on.


From Red and Black's How to Make Creative Holiday Gifts here is framed chicken wire... voila, instant jewelry hanger!



From Design*Sponge comes this clever DIY idea to conceal your jewelry... I think it's so cool (with a nicer piece of art of course, harhar). Check out the full how-to instructions here.


Also from Design*Sponge is a DIY how-to guide on making a jewelry display bust... so if you don't have a real one like the one pictured in the Martha Stewart ideas above (first image in blog) then have at this project ladies!!!


This beautiful DIY jewelry display is from Lost Button Studio, it's so so pretty.... and how I wish I had an entire table to dedicate to my jewelry display!!
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And last but not least, for those of you that want something funky like the ideas above but don't want to make it yourself... I found a store on Etsy called Nishka's Niche that sells these and they look pretty cool:





Update: My Garden Gang


Without any lengthy explanations, here are images of my plants taken this past weekend, they're all doing pretty good! The Echeveria succulent above (I call it my bloomin' onion, hehe) is becoming my absolute favorite!!! The picture below is what it looked like before I left for my trip to Europe, as you can see the flower stalks were just babies at that time and now they have grown super tall and are starting to bloom - pink and yellow! SO LOVELY!


This was almost three weeks ago...


And here it is now....(again... because it's so pretty..hehe)...



Here are my sunflowers and flower bulbs, I have decided I am going to hand them over to my mother because they need more room to grow and she can plant them in her yard......


My cactus sprouted a new baby from its side!!!..... how cute....



My grandmother gave me this ground orchid and it finally bloomed!....




The succulents in this big planter are doing wonderful, the purple one on the left has really plumped up and taken on a wonderful rich hue since I transplanted it....






I finally transplanted my Mexican Love plants, one pink and one purple (Julie - hopefully mine will maintain their colors!!)...







Yellow things here and there....


Last Friday after I stopped to pluck my new-found Kalanchoe Serrata succulent from the ground by the side of the road I dropped by my grandmother's house to give her a few pieces to plant and to check out her yard. One of her ground orchids is in full bloom and it is absolutely stunning! Its yellow flowers are so vibrant and precious.....


My grandmother proudly insisted that I photograph this plant below because she says my aunt bought it and it died up on her balcony in the full sun and there was absolutely NOTHING in the pot, but she nurtured it and look at it now! In this picture she is hilariously (if only you could hear her cursing in Spanish) digging through the soil trying to fish out the snails that she knows are eating it because she spotted the holes in the leaves! My grandmother is the real green thumb around this family.... :)


And last, I spotted this beautiful chick yellow McCoy looking ceramic planter turned upside down in her bushes. When I asked her what it was she said it belonged to my great grandmother (on my grandfather's side) and that I could have it... She washed and scrubbed it for me and voila.... I LOVE IT!!!! It has no hole so I'm filling the bottom with rocks and adding in some charcoal to help battle organic decay and I'm hoping for the best. I am anxious to get home today and plant some of my succulents in it now that I finally replenished my supply of soil and rocks, stay tuned for the results!




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Death of a Succulent

Remember when I said only one or two of my plants appeared to have issues upon my return from Europe? Well, I was only referring to soggy looking leaves on some... Unfortunately, I had no clue that there was a far more serious issue going on with one of them. Over the weekend I was transferring some of my propagated plants into this planter below (one of my favorite little planters) and a bunch of the leaves rained down from the trunk, immediately I was on alert and inspecting it. I remembered that it had been left inside my apartment near the sliding doors while I was away on my trip and so I wondered if perhaps it didn't get enough sun, then after checking the soil I gave it a teeny bit of water because it was bone dry and left it out on the balcony for the rest of the day.

On Sunday morning when I went out to my balcony, to my horror and dismay, the largest trunk (circled in yellow) had turned a radical eggplant purple, shriveled and shed nearly all of the remaining leaves! I squeezed the trunk and discovered it was almost completely hollow, I smelled the roots and they smelled super moldy. Great, I fear it was root rot! I was so upset... I quickly pulled out all of my new baby propagated hen and chicks and the other two succulents in there and I quarantined them. Of course I was so angry and frantic to quarantine the soil and throw it away that I forgot to take a picture of the whole hideous disaster. I took the picture below the day before it happened, if I had remembered to take one of the shriveled purple mess you'd be able to see how rapid and drastic the downfall of this plant was!!! Incredible! I truly believe the bit of water I gave it just finalized the process! Good grief, oh well. I have plucked enough leaves from it in the past which I have been propagating already, and I pulled off the two youngsters that were growing from it and I have put them aside in quarantine to see if they die the same way or if they survive. Only time will tell.

Thinking back, this is one of the first succulent planters I made, over at my mom's house, it was before I had read up on succulents and perfected the planting technique. Therefore, when I pulled the soil from the pot I noticed there were no rocks at the bottom, which is a strong sign that the plant most likely did not have sufficient drainage. Anyway, I am definitely learning from this.

Here it is on Saturday.... I circled the part of the plant that shrivled up and died the following day....


And here it is during better times.... the difference becomes apparent...


Either way I am still very nervous about all my other plants, I am paranoid that maybe I am wrong and in reality there is an infection that could spread and kill them all... I would be devastated! Just in case, I'm keeping a vigilant eye....


My new succulent: Kalanchoe Serrata "Magic Tower" - Found by the road :)


So, this new succulent has quite a story.... Ever since I have become interested in succulents and cactus I have found myself doing something that I used to laugh at my mother and grandmother for: keeping an eye out for plants by the side of the road! Yeah, that's right, I now drive with a mindful eye, always on the lookout for a wild succulent or cactus that I could perhaps snap a sampling from and propagate! Ha, wow... it must really run in the family, since this is how the women and my family grow their diverse gardens, by finding and sharing clippings here and there. With a little soil and a little love we help create and spread nature! Everyone should do this in some way, not only does it give you a great feeling, but it's important for strengthening nature and creating more oxygen for all.


Anyway, for weeks, on my commute home from work I'd always eye what looked like succulents growing under trees near the sidewalk of a shabby apartment complex on US1. I'd tell my mom and my cousin about them and I'd always want to stop, but the mood was never strong enough to actually pull off the road and parade in front of bumper to bumper traffic down a main Miami road to bend over and inspect and pull plants from the ground!! HAHA! Well, you can guess that after weeks of slowing to a crawl and scrutinizing them as I passed my curiosity grew to certainty that the plants were in fact some type of succulent... So last Friday on my way home from work I pulled over to have a look and boy was I right!

Now, I don't know a whole lot about the technical names of all succulent plants, but I immediately thought it might be related to the Kalanchoe family of succulents because I saw that the tips of the leaves were growing new baby leaves. Well, a while back I read on my friend Julie's awesome blog A Succulent Life that that's a trait of the Kalanchoe - in fact she says that is exactly why it's her favorite succulent! Without that knowledge I wouldn't have had a clue, so thank you Julie! After a quick Google search I confirmed my suspicions, according to GFlora.com it's called Kalanchoe Serrata, nickname "Magic Tower" and it's a drought tolerant fast and tall growing shrub, said to be an amazing bloomer. Nice! I'm thrilled... I already gave a few clippings to my grandmother and aunt to plant and I've potted the rest... they have already shirked the shriveled condition brought on by their somewhat violent and excited uprooting and have regained their succulence. I love the black and purple shades of this plant, and its leaves look like little knives! I love it, take a look....


First, this is the infamous spot where I saw these Kalanchoe Serrata's growing... right under those trees, there are oodles of them!!


Pictures of when I pulled them from the ground...




These are pictures after I potted them, a little droopy from being torn from their home... for the time being I'll leave them in this dumpy black plastic planter left over from another succulent I bought. I need to buy some more terracotta pots this coming weekend....





And last... this is what it looks like today.... it has regained its succulence :)

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