Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY: Colourful Rug Clutch

Here's what I made over the weekend!

...and here's HOW!

I went to a dollar store that sold home accessories and found some thick cloth rugs that were woven out of recycled jersey t-shirts. I think people in Hong Kong usually use these as door mats. For this DIY, you can always just use a thick cloth fabric of your choice. 

basic materials:
-2 cloth rugs (or thick fabric)
-felt material (or some kind of inner lining)
-thick velvet ribbon

 step 1: fold in the ends of one rug and place the black felt fabric on top. then, sew along the edges of the black felt (to conceal the rough edges of the rug). 
 it should look like this. you should have a straight edge where the rug and felt are sewn together.
 step 2: next, fold your clutch (almost) in half. shift the top layer/half down so that the bottom half sticks out more at the top. then, cut a piece of velvet ribbon that is the same length as your clutch.
 step 3: fold the velvet ribbon in half and sew the bottom ends together. this will create a little "corner" that will make the rest of the ribbon easier to sew. hand-stitch the velvet ribbon onto the edge of your clutch (on both sides). 
 now you should have something that looks like this...
 step 4: take the other cloth rug and insert one end into the clutch. this second rug will be the outer flap.
 then, sew a straight line across, attaching the second rug to the top of the clutch.
 step 5: i wanted my clutch to have a flap that looks like an envelope, so i cut the second rug into the shape that i wanted. (however, if i were to do this again, i would sew a reinforcing line/hem before cutting, since the material started unraveling right away).
 step 6: use more of the black velvet ribbon and sew it along the edge of the envelope flap. (this will also help to cover the uneven edges). i used light pink thread to hand-stitch the edges, but you can always use a darker colour for a more subtle look. well, that's pretty much it! you could stop here...
 ...but i decided to add a few more flourishing details to finish off my clutch. i bought some black lace an interesting triangular button.
 I ended up covering my light pink stitches with a layer of the black lace and added the button at the tip of the envelope flap. there you have it. a colourful clutch made out of rugs!
I also went to the outdoor market at Sham Shui Po for the first time on Sunday (they mostly sell fabrics and shady-lookin' electronic devices, wires and tools), and out of a large mountain of clothes that were selling for $3CDN, i wrestled out a bright NEON sweater that complements my rug clutch. also because i just so desperately wanted to look like a highlighter. 
Since we're on a roll, here's some more NEON for your viewing pleasure...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

inspiration: more jewelry display ideas

Okay so I've shared jewelry storage and display ideas for rings, bracelets, and necklaces. But I haven't done anything for earrings yet. That's probably because I actually bought an earrings holder a long time ago so I never needed to make one. Mine is a rotating birdcage from Urban Outfitters (and I would actually recommend it if you have a large collection of earrings, because even though it's a bit pricey, it holds a lot and I stack bracelets on top of it too). I think the mint green one I have is sold out but they still carry it in other colours. 

Here's mine, surrounded by my little collection of porcelain birds, teacups and floral things.

A lot of other jewelry storage items on the Urban Outfitters site could easily be made or found though. I always see really pretty dishes, tiny boxes, or even crystal ashtrays at thrift stores that would make great jewelry holders.

For me, having these dishes are not primarily for display per se... they're actually little lifesavers placed in every room. I think I've mentioned before that I have a huge tendency to lose rings, especially in the bathroom when I take them off to wash my hands. Consequently, my friend Grace bought me a tiny dish for my bathroom so that I don't lose any important rings... (Actually, one particularly important ring is on that dish as we speak). Clearly, it's being put to good use.

 It's actually a dish intended for soya sauce, which goes to show that you can find jewelry dishes just about anywhere.

Anyway, back to earrings! The other day I was in a jewelry store and I was inspired by the way they displayed their earrings. The display was basically a white rectangular picture frame, but in the middle was a thick, black velvet material (like a giant pincushion). The earrings were simply hanging on pearl-tipped pins, stuck into the velvet cushion. I would've taken a picture of the display but the saleslady was staring at me passive-aggressively, so I backed away slowly and have resorted to poorly attempt a verbal description.

 Well, afterwards I went home, searched online, and found a similar idea by Restored Style using a picture frame. Instead of velvet though, they used screen door fabric. Check out the complete tutorial here!

Oh and on another random but related note, my ring box idea was featured on "Jewelry Display Ideas" a site for... well, the site name is pretty self-explanatory. Click here to see it! =)

Okay, I suppose I've blabbed on enough about jewelry for now. I'll leave you with a picture of this awesome necklace that I want to try and DIY someday.

DIY coming soon

I actually have a REAL DIY to post soon. The only problem is that I ran out of thread while making it so I'll have to go get some tomorrow in order to finish my little project. haha. But here's a little preview: 

I was inspired by this post (by Geneva from A Pair & a Spare) where she made a mini-skirt out of a rug. I was walking by a dollar store in Hong Kong the other day and saw the same rugs for sale! I think the colours are a little bit different (the rugs I found are a bit more vibrant and have some splashes of neon), but I immediately bought three and headed home, determined to make something out of them. Since it's wayyyyyyy too cold right now to be wearing mini-skirts (just the thought of it gives my legs goosebumps), I decided to make something else.

 Anyway, I'll post my DIY once I buy that ONE spool of thread that I need.

In the meantime, here's another DIY idea: faux-fur collars! Lately, I've been seeing them everywhere in Hong Kong, and I thought to myself, "these could be made easily". But they're not really my style and I don't know how often I would actually wear it even if I made one haha. But for all you furry fashionistas out there, check out this easy DIY on how to make your own faux-fur collar! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

solitary refinement

I don't remember what I was thinking when I drew this...but solitude, adventure, and "the unknowns" of the future come to mind. I think it has a kind of mysterious fairytale-esque, Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it. 

Anyway, today I had a very quiet day by myself. I woke up feeling alone, and then slowly got accustomed to my "alone-ness" and decided to make a good day out of it. So let's see... I ate a bacon cheeseburger, lurked around shady marketplaces for craft supplies, read a short story over black sugar ginger milk tea (that's a mouthful... in more ways than one...), went to H&M and bought a thick-knit $3 scarf on sale from the men's department (I like man-clothes), made a DIY clutch (which I will show you tomorrow), and am currently staying up late to blog about my day. haha. I guess it's not so bad being alone sometimes. My solitary adventures shall continue tomorrow!

"Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement."

Alice  Koller

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY: Ferrero Rocher Jewelry Boxes

Since it's the season of getting a tonne of ferrero rocher chocolates, you might as well put that leftover box to good use. To be honest, it's a pretty nice plastic box. The one I have comes with a triangle-patterned cover and is perfect for storing some of my chunkier and fancier necklaces and bracelets. I don't know if this really constitutes as a DIY since you don't actually have to DO anything besides placing your jewelry into the box... HAHA. But I did fold a thick piece of black felt and place it on the bottom of the box for extra padding so that the jewelry wouldn't slide around. You could also use black velvet for a fancier look. So there you go... who needs to actually buy an expensive jewelry box!?!

Some other ferrero rocher boxes (usually the ones with multiple layers of chocolates) come with a golden tray that has multiple compartments. This is perfect for storing rings and small earrings. My mom actually does this with her rings, and it keeps everything separated and organized.

Here's an example of how it's done:
(image from owl vs. dove)

These jewelry organization ideas are great for me since I tend to always lose my rings. Now I have no more excuse for misplacing things.

 But I do have a new excuse for buying more ferrero rochers...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Year Festivities

This week, I've enjoyed being a tourist again and going to all the different Chinese New Year festivities. This is the first time I've ever experienced a Chinese New Year in Hong Kong so it's been interesting...

On one night, I went to the Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park where the crowd was so insanely huge that I felt more like a cow than a person, being herded and forced to walk in one direction. I've never been in such close proximities to other strangers haha... I didn't even need to walk with my own feet since the people behind and in front of me were propelling me forward on their own. My verdict? I think the Hong Kong Government should take advantage of this event and apply for the Guinness World Record of "Largest Asian Sandwich".
The next day, I went to a tiny, rural village in Lam Tsuen where they had another festival going on. 
 Of course, they had the standard red and gold lanterns hanging from the rafters...
 ... and these tiny orange bushes, which seem to be everywhere in Hong Kong during New Years...
 There was a wishing pond where people could send off their aspirations into the blue...
 ...and the highlight of the festival was the wishing tree where you buy an orange with a blessing tied to it and if you can throw it up into the tree, your wish will supposedly come true. The tree and the oranges were fake by the way, because I think when they used to use real trees, the oranges got too heavy and the branches started breaking.
In theory, throwing the fake orange into the tree seems easy enough, but in reality, it was way too hilarious to witness. There was one woman who kept on trying to throw the orange up... let's just say that if she was playing basketball, it took about 15 airballs before she even got anywhere close to the rim. Oh man... I actually have a 5 minute video of her sad attempts but it's way too cruel to post. So for now, this poor woman is saved from viral video shame.

 During New Years, I also had the chance to go to Cheung Chow (Long Island) to eat a fresh seafood meal outdoors at the pier. I got to eat something called PEEING SHRIMP which totally reminded me of the gigantic ALIEN PRAWNS from District 9. Yup... these aliens were delicious.
Lastly, here is something that isn't at all related to Chinese New Year, but is pretty cool all the same. This is a machine that sells FROZEN COKE. I didn't know these existed until my friend pointed it out. Apparently this product is exclusive to Hong Kong (don't know why... maybe Hong Kong people are Coca Cola's guinea pigs...)... dun dun dunnnnn...
The machine had instructions on how to drink the coke properly. Apparently, you have to take a quaff.
Here's a video of my first frozen coke experience.
 It was a super icy/windy night... perfect for a freezing cold beverage. haha.

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