More For Less and Lovin' It

January 29, 2012

I don’t know about you but I get “blog ideas” all the time. They just appear in my head and nag at me. “Wow, that would be such a great DIY project!"  Then I let the idea fester for days, weeks, months even or longer.  I may even go out and buy the materials needed for the job. But I don’t DO it. “What if I mess it up? What if it turns out B-A-D?” Then I see someone else writing about it on their blog. And I end up kicking myself for not doing it sooner. How dare they rock the blogosphere with my idea? {Just kidding.} Ideas are out there and we all have them at different times and in different ways.

One such idea came to me recently while looking through a Ballard Designs catalog. I started noticing a bunch of stuff in it that I had either made and/or gotten somewhere else {can you say Goodwill?} for a fraction of the price. What a great blog post that would make, I thought! But other than folding down some pages and sticking a few post-it notes here and there, I didn't actually write about it. Cut to me reading my daily blog list of blogs I love and what do I see? Home Stories A 2 Z wrote the post! And of course it rocked.  I let myself bum over it for like a week day or two and then decided to go ahead with my idea anyway.

First off, meet my fabulous Frenchy mega wall clock.

This thing is HUGE, people -- 23'' in diameter.  I absolutely love it!  I found it in the Home Decorators Collection catalog for $29.00 and free shipping.  $29.00!!!  It was out of stock {no wonder} and I had to wait a few months for it to come in but it was totally worth it.  Today they're charging $40.00, which is still a good deal when you compare it to prices like Ballard's and Pottery Barn.  Look.

   Ballard Designs

Next up is something that I had thought was so passe'.  Then I see a resurgence of them and I'm in love.  Again.  Topiaries.


Are you ready for theirs?

 Ballard Designs

Next up is my all-time-favorite Parsons Chair.

{Yes, you read that right.}

Now theirs.

Ballard Designs

Uh, I just saved $275.00.

Here's a small {but satisfying nonetheless} home decor item that I'm very happy I broke down and bought.

Hobby Lobby 50% off sale.


Ballard Designs. 

 And last but not least, I've always been amazed at the price of  designer name "corkboards" or "memoboards," and blackboards.  I've made both, but today I'll just show you one to give you an idea.

Frame: Goodwill. Corkboard and jewelry my own.

Ballard Designs

Yes, there's even more I could share but frankly I'm pooped.  Maybe another post should be in the making?  I WILL say that it's very satisfying to know that you've saved so much money, and created something beautiful for your home at the same time.

I hope I've inspired some of you to get out there and find some thrifty bargains.  And they don't have to be the spitting image of Ballard Designs' decor.  They just have to be something that you love.

Have a great week, friends.


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One Kiss Valentine's Altered Candle

January 25, 2012

Okay so I lied.  My last post went on about how I don't decorate for Valentine's Day.  And I don't, really ~ at least not intentionally, anyway.  But while taking photos for a soon-to-be-revealed post on a different topic, I realized that I had actually made something that for all intents and purposes could be considered a Valentine decoration.  What do you think?  Remember, I'm into subtle when it comes to V-Day.

I've been in love with with vintage papers, especially vintage sheet music, for a while now.  I was lucky enough to score some great music books at local barn sales and flea markets recently and was looking for a way to use them.  I knew I wanted to alter some candles like I did last Christmas, here, but just a tad differently.  I wrapped burlap over the sheet music and added a heart locket tied on with jute.     

I honestly wasn't thinking of Valentine's Day when I made this, but it kind of works, don't you think?


One kiss, one man to save it for
One love for him alone
One word, one vow and nothing more
To tell him I'm his own.....

The song is "One Kiss," from the Broadway operetta "The New Moon" written by Sigmund Romburg and Oscar Hammerstein (1928). I scoured the book for some hint of a printing date but there was none! Suffice it to say that it's O-L-D.  Oh, and did I mention that it's a Dollar Tree candle? Natch.

Inadvertent holiday decorating.  It's worth a shot.  You just never know what you're gonna come up with.

Hope you're all having a great week.


I'll be linking up here:

Romantic Shabby Chic {Dollar Store!} Valentine's Decor

January 23, 2012


I'm not a big Valentine's Day decorator.  True confession:  I'm actually a NO Valentine's Day decorator.  Until now.  Have you seen these yet?  I'm in love.  I recently ran across a blog that introduced me to these lovely rose petal soaps, a la Dollar Tree ~ Polly at Motley Junket.  Her first idea as to how to use them gave me inspiration of my own.  She later added other ideas here.  (Between you and me I think she's hooked....sshhhh, so am I!)

I can't imagine how I missed these, since the one place I frequent almost as much as Goodwill is Dollar Tree.  Anyway, I brought some of these pretty things home and immediately used them to fill a vintage white ironstone bowl, a cloche and a vintage silver pedestal bowl.  I'll probably do more with them later but I wanted to share them with you before Valentine's Day is just a sweet memory.

I liked the combination of pink and white, but you know me, I L.O.V.E.D. the white all by itself.

For more inspiration I did some research, a.k.a. googled, and came up with two other sites that have fab Dollar Tree flower petal soap ideas. One is  The 36th Avenue.  The other is Pleasant Home.  Their ideas are genious and you've got to check them out.  The only thing I don't understand is how these two posts were written in January and May of 2011 and I missed them altogether? Oh well, I'm just glad I found them now and can share them with you all.

Hope you've enjoyed my attempt at Valentine decor.  I know it's not very elaborate but I prefer shabby chic (and frugal!) over commercial any day.  

Have a great week.


I'll be linking up here:

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Charm Bracelet Diva Adds {At Home} To Her Repertoire

January 21, 2012

Notice the new blog header?

Change.  It can be scary for so many reasons. 
Sometimes it's necessary.
Sometimes we avoid it.
Sometimes it's inevitable.

I believe this, the chaos part.  Looking back on my life I can see that it rings true for all important milestones achieved....

leaving home
having babies

And things have certainly been chaotic these past few months as I struggled to keep up with life, this blog and my crafty pursuits.
Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Over the past two and a half years I have become a different person.  Different than the person who started a blog about making jewelry.  I have become a vintage jewelry designer.  And I have grown in other ways as well.  My creativity blossomed under the tutelage of you, my blog friends.  Your support, advice and incredible talent have actually spurred me on to become a better blogger, a better artist and, I believe, a better person.

In light of all that, I believe it's time to change my blog name


Charm Bracelet Diva


Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

I hope this doesn't end up alienating anyone who is interested in the jewelry part.  Don't worry, I'll still be making jewelry!  But I'll also keep sharing my thrifty DIY and home decor projects.  And my love for ALL things vintage. 

The winds are changing.

To my followers, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
 I hope you'll stay along for the ride.


Announcing the Tarnished Grace Collection

January 17, 2012

Well, now I've gone and done it.  I've challenged myself to create a new vintage-inspired jewelry collection and I'm puttin' it out there for all of you to see.  That way I'll be held accountable by someone other than myself.  Lord knows, if I'm the only one I have to answer to, the collection might never get off the ground! It's kind of like telling everyone you know that you're going on a diet, in the hopes that you'll actually stick with it long enough to make a difference in your life.  I really want to stick with this and create a collection that I will be proud to present to you.  Here's my first piece.


I was so excited when I found the vintage Madonna and Child medal on one of my recent thrift store excursions.  It really became my inspiration for the necklace.  Now all I need to do is make more {10 or 15 times more} and throw in some charm bracelets for good measure.  Then my Etsy shop will be open for business once again!  My current collection of jewelry is for sale locally at:

Sensible Threadz
Clothing, Bedding and Bath
208 S. Kirk Road
St. Charles, IL 60174

Stop on by if you're in the area.

My traditional line of vintage jewelry is there, along with some of my vintage Words in a Bottle Necklaces, which I'll be putting in my Etsy shop soon as well!  Just a peek....



SHINE, PRAY.......

Words to live by.

Have a great week!

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New Beginnings and a Darling Clay Tag Project

January 13, 2012

Have you already created your first (or second or third) fabulous project since the new year began?  Well, I haven't!  Truth be told I did just finish a project (my first of 2012) but it has been a bear staying motivated to even finish it, let alone blog about it.  Am I the only one?  Sure feels that way as I read all my favorite blogs that didn't even miss a beat despite the holidays.  Not sure how they do that....if anyone has any advice on that please spill it!  Well, time for me to jump in.  So here goes....

My first project of 2012 involves something I've wanted to try for a while.  A while means 6 or 8 months ago.  I saw some posts about it (can't recall where, sorry!) and thought, "I can do that!"  And on the list it went.  (You know the list. The list of projects-I-really-want-to-make-but-don't-know-when-or-even-if-I'll-ever-make-them list.)  You've probably seen them, too.  Clay tags adorning all sorts of home decor and gifts.  I just loved them so here's my take on it.

2.5 lb. tub of Crayola Air-Dry Clay

small cookie cutters/cute little jewelry charms

any other litttle doo-dads/shapes from around the house you'd like to try 

rubber and/or acrylic stamps

something to use to make the holes in the tags (I used a wooden skewer)

rolling pin

sculpting tools (I stole borrowed my kids' plastic Play-doh tools)

round object to use to as a template for the actual tag (I used a 1" round lip gloss lid -- really.  It was just the right size.)  

The clay costs around $7.00 at Michael's and JoAnn's.  I of course used my 40% off coupon!  I did some research on the Crayola site and Youtube but was disappointed in what I found by way of instruction and creative suggestions.  Luckily it's pretty basic, so there's not much room for error.

Here's where you pay attention: Grab some clay and roll it into a ball.  Flatten with the rolling pin (no thinner than 1/4" or it'll shatter when dry, trust me) and then use your round template to cut out each tag.  The thicker the tag the easier it is to get it out of the cutter.  Once the tags are cut out you can embellish them with your charms/stamps/doodads, then place the holes in the top for hanging and set them aside to dry.  A word of caution here: (not that I did this or anything, mind you) if you make the hole too teeny weeny you won't be able to fit anything through it for hanging!  Instructions say to wait 2-3 days for them to fully dry, depending on thickness.  I found that 24 hours was enough for my small tags.

You can also paint them after they're dry but I really love the minimalist white look (surprise) so I left them as is and strung them with some natural colored organic string.  My favorite is the "bee" tag, followed by the numbers tags.  Both are very in right now.  I just love them on all my glass cloches and Ball jars.  I'm sure I'll come up with more ideas.  What about you?

Now that project #1 of 2012 is under my belt I'm hoping project #2 will be a bit easier.  A girl can hope, can't she?  Here's a sneak peek at what I'm working on.

Can't wait to unveil the finished product!

Have a great weekend.

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