Category Archives: Trend Watch

DIY Worry Beads

Many times when I am looking through a magazine or retail catalog I find items that I like, but I know I could make it myself for much less.  Thankfully, most of the time I don’t actually do it, because I would have a house full of things that I don’t really need.  But, sometimes the idea sticks and I find myself trying to replicate an item for a much lower price.

beads on cinder block

The ‘worry beads’ I made this week are actually for a friend.  I thought of her immediately when I saw them in a cb2 catalog, but the $190 price tag seemed a little over the top (they were a limited edition and are now sold out).  Worry beads, or komboloi, originate in Greece and Cyprus as a way to pass the time and relieve stress.  They are typically a small string of beads that can easily be held in both hands.  The act of moving the beads along the string and hearing them click against each other is relaxing, though some people even learn a few tricks to practice with their beads.  Traditionally, worry beads are made from coral or amber, with a tassel on the end, and a ‘shield’ to separate the two sides and allow the beads to move easily.

hanging beads

The string of worry beads I replicated were much longer (more like necklace length) than traditional beads, and were made out of wood.  The ‘shield’ consisted of three beads and there was a black tassel on the end.  I chose to make the string of beads pretty long, because we plan to hang them on the wall as a decorative piece.  

I found all of my materials at JoAnne’s Fabric:

1) wooden beads (two packages of 20 mm natural beads, and one package of colored beads). You could always paint or stain the natural beads, I just already had colored ones at home.

2) Leather craft lace (about 2 yds)

3) Drapery tie back (for the tassel)

Tassles

4) Sturdy wire.

5) Embroidery thread in your choice of color(s).

After a ‘practice’ session or two, I figured out the best way to keep things connected together.  The first step is to connect the tassel to the decorative hoop above it.  I made a hoop out of several loops of wire. (Pay no attention to the already-strung beads.  I had to take them all off…)

Worry Bead Hoop

 

Then I wrapped the cord from the tassel around it.  While holding it all together, I began wrapping the wire and the cord with embroidery thread.  

Wrapping hoop

I kept wrapping until the whole hoop was covered in embroidery thread.  

Embroidery thread

Next, I took the leather lace and tied the center to the hoop.  It was finally time to thread the beads.  I put three beads on with both laces together, then tied it off.  

Hoop close-up

Then, separate the strands and thread the beads on each side until it is the desired length.  I tied the leather cord together at the top and it was finished!

Beads on Hook

For around $20 (with coupons) we have a fun string of worry beads that coordinates with my friend’s decor.  It is great way to add some color and natural wood accents to a wall, without taking up a lot of space.  

 

Hand Painted Statement Wall

Many of my favorite home projects are the quick ones, where adding a simple detail makes a big impact.  It is fun to shake things up a bit and get a fresh perspective on different spaces in your home occasionally. For example, I still love the bright orange wall behind my office desk and shelves, even after living with them for over 3 years.  But, I was in the mood for a simple change that would update the space and add some personality.

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The rope mirror is still one of my favorite projects, but it takes up so much  space on the wall behind the desk.  It has a new home in the guest room (pictures coming soon on that recent makeover).

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The somewhat unlikely pairing of orange and gold has stood out to me lately.  I suppose if gold were on the color wheel, it would be closest to orange and yellow, making it a stand-in analogous color.  For those of you who haven’t studied the color wheel for awhile, analogous colors are the ones next to each other on the color wheel.  Pairing analagous colors typically leads to a more harmonious color palette.

color-wheel 

After looking at some examples of orange and gold wallpaper online, I decided I wanted a hand-drawn look.  I opted to paint the gold onto the wall freehand instead of using a stencil.  Since my wall space was only 2.5’ x 3’, I loosely drew the vertical lines with a pencil and angle ruler.  I didn’t measure the spacing because I wanted it varied, some wide and some narrow.

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Next, I used a jar of Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paint in Golden Pearl that I already had.  It is a really soft, frosty champagne gold color.  I took a medium art brush and painted the vertical lines.

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Then, I semi-randomly added circles to the lines, stepping back occasionally to make sure they were spaced okay.  After the paint was dry, I went back and touched up some areas where the orange was showing through.  All total, it probably took a little over an hour to complete the project.

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Rebecca Hermance Desk Accent Wall

A little post on the desk/office filing accessories coming soon!  I am trying to simplify, simplify, simplify!

There are many options if you are looking to add some color or personality to a small wall space.  Simply adding a splash of color is an easy place to start, but you don’t have to stop there!  Stencils, stamps, chalkboard paint, dry erase paint, murals, vinyl decals and paint markers are all relatively inexpensive solutions to a plain wall.  A small space is also a great place to showcase a bit of fun wallpaper.

Don’t be afraid to try something you love in your space.  If you end up not liking it, a bit of paint will easily change it right back the way it was.  Starting with a small accent wall is just the jumpstart you need to refresh and personalize your home

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Kitchen Update

*For those of you coming over from the Idaho State Journal in hopes of a guest room update, I don’t have it today. Don’t worry, it is coming within the next few months, and in a lot of detail.  My sister and her kids will be coming to stay a few months in the summer, so I will be getting their room(s) ready in the spring.*

BUT, I do have a little update on what is happening in our kitchen at the moment.  I’ll give you a hint: It is not a lot of holiday baking, which may or may not be a good thing.

If you have been following along for awhile, you may have read that I wanted to try a concrete overlay on my kitchen countertops.  I have been reading a lot about it lately, and it seemed like a very inexpensive solution to our uglyish countertops, with just time and effort involved.

BEFORE

The time and inconvenience involved (you can’t really use your countertops for the whole process) meant that I kept putting it off.  I have had my bag of Ardex Feather Finish for about a year now, and finally decided it was now or never!  (I don’t get any money or products if you click on that link, just so you know).

Sanding with 60 grit to rough up the surface.

Mixing up the Ardex. I have ended up mixing it thicker since the first time.

First late-night application. Crazy lighting! Left is done, right is still laminate.

There are some great tutorials out there if you are interested in doing this yourself.  Since I am still in the process, I am just going to show you a few ‘before’ and ‘during’ photos for now.  I will write up a post with some links when I am all finished.

 

Three coats of Ardex later, with lots of sanding in between.

I am hoping some of the color differences and trowel marks aren’t quite so noticeable with the last coat.  I know my application has gotten smoother with each layer.  I also plan to go over the final layer with our electric sander and a very fine grit sandpaper.  But for now, this is what it looked like this morning after a rough sanding…

Keep checking back! I will have more updates and a few more Small Space Solutions soon!   It involves the relocation of some of those cabinets.  Shhhhh, don’t tell my husband, but I am hoping some of that happens this weekend, too.