I love semi precious stones. In fact, I love them so much; I have hordes of necklaces made out of them. Things I make myself, things I buy, things I get as gifts. Semi precious stones here there and everywhere. I have this stunning hand carved wooden box I received as a gift when I was a teenager, which holds all my jewelery. As you can well guess… they became so tangled that I was unable to wear them. I would take out one necklace and pull out another five or six. I have always loved those jewellery trees, but simply did not have the money to go out and spend a fortune on something (those are so overpriced – it’s shocking!) So what to do, I love my necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, but could never find them!
Well, scrounging in my hobby boxes, an assortment of broken things, beads, lace, ribbons, stones, shells and whatever I could not bear to part with (yes, corny I know, but I always find what I need in there!), I found just what I needed!
I took a piece of superwood (which was used as placemats at some event – I have like ten of these) 30cm x 30cm and approximately 1 cm in thickness. I covered it in marble contact paper, but it still looked so bland. So out came the hobby box again… Ah, glass pebbles, off course! I laid out a rough design and played around with it until I liked it. I glued this down with hobby glue and allowed it to dry. Not having a great variety of hooks, I improvised using nails, screws, pins, hooks and whatever else I could scrounge up.
Using the decorated piece of wood as a starting point, I tried screwing in the hooks and hammering the nails. Tried; being the operative word here. Ever tried manipulating superwood? Yeah, you go try and come back to me in a few days!
Okay, not being one to give up, I came up with a solution. Despite my lack of proper tools, I did get a brain (I can prove it too, I have scans of it!) Okay, I would take a sturdy nail and hammer it a few times, after this I would take the nail out (boy, this was fun…not) Then I would twist the screw in, I would remove it and then place my hooks etc.
Needless to say my first attempt was less than stellar. The hooks were not lined up, the hooks did not match, in fact, it looked severely home-made… Oh, but it did the job so I loved it.
Now off course, being forewarned, I had to try again (I’m such a sucker for punishment!) The next one was done pretty much the same though; I used the marble paper again and used some dried flowers and leaves to decorate. I used clear contact plastic to seal in the flowers and protect it from wear and tear. By this time I have gone to buy the proper equipment (off course) I measured out the hooks (yeah I know, I didn’t do this the first time around) Nailed and screwed in the holes and screwed in the hooks. Boy, now I was impressed, it looked great – still distinctly home-made, but I loved that too.
Casey fell in love with it and immediately found a place for it, hung her necklaces and called me to inspect it. Don’t you just love kid’s enthusiasm? My husband went “hmm, seems useful” What a deflating moment. Well, once again, not one to give up on getting the “whoa” factor, I set out and made another one. I got nicer hooks, I used beautiful paisley paper and sealed it again with contact paper. It was the crown jewel of home-made. I gave this to my mother-in-law (whom I adore, fortunately) and she loved it. No WOW though… Oh well, at least I was impressed! (in retrospect, I might as well have spent the money on the jewellery tree… I have spent more on getting all the tools, hooks and pretty paper :-))