Upper Metal Class

Who doesn’t love cool jewelry? And who doesn’t love a good pun?? Well folks, with Upper Metal Class you get both! The shop is full of sleek, modern designs in silver and bronze. Dainty stud earrings and necklaces come in a myriad of geometric shapes. As if you needed a reason to think this shop was any cooler, but 100% of the profits from the I LOVE JAPAN bracelet series will be donated to the ANIMAL REFUGE KANSAI: TOHOKU-PACIFIC QUAKE ANIMALS. Given that we’re life long dog lovers/owners, we more than highly approve and applaud this effort!

ENVIABLE PERK: T uses windmill powered electricity to run her energy when working on the jewelry.

How lovely that you don’t have to be upper-middle class to wear Upper Metal Class!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Upper Metal Class is giving one very lucky winner the pairing of the Sunset Rocks Earrings AND the ImPerfect Faceted Necklace, both in bronze (nearly a $100 value)! To enter, comment on this post and tell us what is ImPERFECT about you. Ash has a double ear lobe on her left ear that reminds her of her uniqueness. Kimmy has an epic scar on her thumb from slicing it open with a swiss army knife one summer.


Photo: Courtesy of Upper Metal Class
Available: http://www.etsy.com/shop/uppermetalclass

Kris Nations

We may have a soft spot for sister-run companies, but we are pretty sure y’all will be as equally obsessed as we are with the eclectic jewelry from Kris Nations. The style is free-spirited and bohemian, yet sophisticated and graceful. Kris and Kim envision the wearer of their jewelry to be “a graceful, worldly, confident woman, with true personal style that transcends time and trends”. The jewelry is made from recycled metals, which is clearly awesome. But even more so is that their pieces range from funky – like the State Pride Necklace (love it!), to classic – like these stacking bangles. Add some personalization with alphabet or zodiac signs! And for those that need some color, you will find it in fun, surprising combinations. We love their mix of bold, colorful, statement pieces and delicate, subtle pieces… and pretty much want it all.

 

ENVIABLE PERK: All Kris Nations jewelry is made in the USA from recycled metals.

Yay for eco-minded sisters!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Kris Nations is giving away a pair of orchid earrings. To enter, comment on this post and tell us your favorite funky color combination. Ash loves pink and red together (no not just on Valentine’s Day!). Kimmy is always daunted by the color orange but thinks it looks fabulous with navy blue (really, ANY color looks fab with navy blue!).


Photo: Courtesy of Kris Nations
Available: http://www.krisnations.com

DIY Floor Bed – The Finale!

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DIY Kid’s Room: Part 3
**FLOOR BED**

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The moment has come! Sunny’s floor bed is finished! Woo hoo! She’s had a successful few nights on her new “Big Girl” bed, only rolling out three times. Thanks to the bed’s convenient location on the floor, the fallout (ha!) has been minimal. And man, Operation: Rainbow Explosion was most certainly achieved with this design. And for less than $100. Boom!

I’m so pleased to share the process and results with all of you. James deserves 99% of the credit for its creation, so I’ll let him talk you through the steps. Enjoy – although we don’t think it’s possible for anyone to enjoy this bed more than Sunny. She is positively beaming with pride and keeps proclaiming, “Daddy make a’Sunny bed! Sunny like it!”

Now we just need to tackle the rest of the room redesign. Oof!

MATERIALS

Wood - We got all of ours for free from friends who had some lying around their barn (thanks Joe and Geraldine!), but you could buy it all (plus extra if you make a mistake) for less than $40 at a lumber yard. Saw - I used a miter saw for cutting, but you can use any saw that will cut right angles. After you've cut the pieces, double check the right angles.

Hardware, $15 - Bed Rail Fasteners. There are hundreds of different versions; you don't have to use this version, or any at all, but they allow for easier dismantle when it comes time to move the bed either into storage or through a door into a new room.

Bed slats, more free wood (found in our attic). These are 3/4 inch thick, which is fine for a kiddo bed, but you may want to step up to 1 inch thick if the bed is for somebody over 150 pounds.

Ikea canopy, $19; Fabric & batting, $30

To build the bed, you’ll also need: a drill,  a screwdriver, a pencil, a ruler or tape measure, a staple gun, and plenty of sandpaper….

You don’t need these, but they’ll make it a lot easier: an electric sander (orbital or belt), a table saw, a drill press, wood clamps, an electric or easy squeeze staple gun.

DIRECTIONS

1. Measure the mattress you’re planning on using. Ours, from Ikea for around $75, was 39in x 60in x 4in.

2. Sketch out a plan for the bed. Draw it from above, from the side and from the foot (or head). It may seem silly, but you’ll be able to work through a bunch of the design by doing this step, and it’ll save you several headaches down the line. Draw it to scale if you want, or just make your best guesstimate. Where will the feet be? Will I use posts for the feet, or will the sides and foot and head of the bed rest on the floor? How high will it be? Do I want any space underneath the mattress for airflow? There are many plans available online for building a bed. If drawing plans isn’t your strong suit, search around for a bed that’s close to what you want and then change them as desired.

3. Cut the wood based on your measurements. I made the mattress cavity 1.5 inches wider and 1 inch longer than the mattress. This allows room for bedding. I also made it 2 inches shallower so that the mattress rests above the side rails.

4. Since we went with a design that uses slats underneath, I built the sides first. I used a piece of 2×4 ripped down the center (most big hardware stores will rip lumber for free) and secured it to the sides with screws spaced every 10 inches. I left room for the head and foot of the bed as shown below.

5. Put all the pieces of wood together without securing them. Make sure that everything will fit together before you go screwing it in place. It’s like playing with blocks. Really big blocks!

4. Sand it all down. Don’t oversand where wood will connect to other wood. Also, be sure to sand in areas that are most likely to elicit splinters. The last thing you want is your child getting a splinter from pressure treated (or barn aged) wood because you were lazy through this step. Note: The scraggly wood in the first picture is the same piece of wood shown directly above here. A good belt or orbital sander can do wonders (or you could build some pretty serious biceps without using power sanders).

5. Install the hardware. You can measure to get the right distance from the edges and the top and bottom. Or you can put the pieces together and then trace where you’ll need to put the screws. Drill guide holes for the screws. The second to last thing you want is for your pretty sanded wood to crack because you tried to put too big a screw in it.

6. Put the bed together and give it a test drive. Screw it all together, but don’t glue anything (not that I used any glue). You’re going to take it all apart in a minute. Now’s the time to make those small corrections if it doesn’t quite fit right. Once it’s covered in batting and cloth, making adjustments will be much much harder.

Editor’s Note: Feel free to dress like a hobo. (See above)

7. Cover the bed in batting, or some other soft layer. If you really want a protective, soft layer, you might want to opt for a foam, but batting makes a difference and is easier to manipulate than foam. Measure and cut the batting so that it will cover all the sides that will be seen. Remember, the mattress is going to hide a side of your wood, so that’s the side that you’ll use to staple everything together.

8. Staple the batting to the wood, leaving room on the side that will touch the mattress.

9. Measure and cut the fabric. Give yourself PLENTY of extra fabric in case you make a mistake. Pull it taught, and staple it over the batting. This is much like wrapping an oddly shaped present (don’t I wish I could just put it in a decorative bag), so use that training when you’re working on corners. When you get to difficult corners, try to keep the “ugly” ones on the sides that won’t be easily seen. The head board corners on this sucker are something awful…but you’d never know without pulling it away from the wall and looking for them.

10. Once completely covered in fabric, put all the pieces together. Again.

11. Put furniture feet (those things on the bottom of chair legs) on the bottom if you’d like to make it a bit easier to move, and spray the fabric with some Scotch Guard, or other fabric protector.

12. Allow your wife to decorate said bed with all the necessary bedding, accents, etc. Then revel in your new bed….maybe remove your hobo clothes before reveling.

THE RESULTS

Photos: Courtesy of Green Eyed Monster®

Miss Betty Lou

Though we are still weeks away from roses blooming here in Massachusetts, mother nature cannot hold us back from wearing silk rosettes whenever we want! Miss Betty Lou’s beautiful lush fabric roses on her statement necklaces have us lusting for June to arrive! Her entire shop is full of floral flavor – necklaces, earrings, rings, and other accessories that girlishly celebrate spring’s splendor. These are perfect pieces to wear to garden parties, weddings, graduations, etc. Miss Betty Lou also loves CUSTOM orders, allowing you to create a piece that is uniquely yours!

ENVIABLE PERK: All Miss Betty Lou shop items are made by hand.

Don’t wait until June to get your roses fix!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Miss Betty Lou is giving away an item of the winner’s choice. To enter, comment on this post and tell us your favorite color of spring. Ash loves the bright yellow of daffodils – so cheerful against a still drab, leafless backdrop. Kimmy loves the sickly pale green of baby buds on trees – just starting to show on Cape Cod!


Photo: Courtesy of Miss Betty Lou
Available: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissBettyLou

Inspiration: Embroidered Eggs

We are loyal Design Sponge readers and couldn’t resist test-driving last week’s DIY embroidered egg tutorial. What an awesomely beautiful idea! We searched high and low for other examples and turned up very little. Ash thought she’d add to the pool while also providing some unique table decorations for Easter supper. She was grateful for the table of 20+ admirers.

She thus spent her Saturday evening drilling and stitching eggs while watching marathon episodes of various TV shows on Hulu. Hey, everyone gets their kicks somewhere. This project would be lovely for any number of occasions, and you can really go hog wild with the patterns and thread color.

Ash’s experience looked a little something like this:

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James taught Ash how to work the dremmel. That’s the tool that we used to cut and drill all the necessary holes in the eggs. Just look at his face of concentration. And yes, egg guts sprayed everywhere. It was a messy affair, indeed.
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We were awed when we'd made it this far in the process without completely cracking and destroying the eggs.

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Ash tried a fancy tulip pattern on one of the eggs, but opted to do the rest of the half dozen in a playful firework pattern.

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All of these eggs were done in various threads of pink and green - Ash's favorite preppy pairing. She then offered them up as a hostess gift at Easter supper. They were admired by all!

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We hope that everyone had an egg-cellent weekend!

Photos: Courtesy of Green Eyed Monster®