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ICYMI: Recently on Examiner

In case you missed it, here's a round-up of my Christmas-related posts for Examiner and their respective treasuries.

A pair of gift guides: For the Seattle Sports Fan & Geek Chic



Try something different: Have a merry vintage Christmas


I wish I had done more gift guides, and started them earlier in the month, so that they could maybe have been more useful. Noted for next year!

Get a jump start on Black Friday

Stumped about your holiday shopping? Let Lucy & Larry help! And if you decide to get a little something for yourself... I promise not to tell anyone ;)

And oh, would it really be Black Friday without a special deal? I think not- so starting TODAY through Cyber Monday, November 28, 2011- get FREE SHIPPING on all domestic orders (just $2 international)! No coupon code necessary as adjustments have already been made.

If that wasn't enough... your order may get you a bonus gift too! Any orders of $35+ will receive a FREE ring ($10 value)! Orders of $50+ will get an additional surprise gift. See my shop announcement for more details.

So, got that? On to my gift guide!

Rings & Leather Wrap Bracelets
UW & WSU Bracelets, Baseball Bracelets 1-2-3,
Mariners & Seahawks Green Earrings, Irish Lucky Necklace 
Lockets, Japanese Chiyogami Vintage Necklaces & more!

Happy shopping! Go to Lucy & Larry on Etsy now >>

In Case You Missed It

{ICYMI} Here's a rundown on what was new with Lucy & Larry this week.

In my Etsy Shop:
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping with these brand new items! Don't forget that I'm happy to help with custom items if you have something special in mind for your honey, mother, sister, friend, whoever it may be!

Lucy & Larry via Etsy

Seattle Etsy Examiner:
I have contributed three articles so far, with accompanying treasuries for the two about fashion trends. Any requests for a future post?


Please be sure to subscribe if you like what you see!

On the blog:
I gave my blog a minor face lift by updating my header, adding super cute blue social media buttons from Moxie Tonic, and switching out my navigation buttons for a cleaner look. It was a simple fix but I am so happy with it and hope you like it too. I'm going to take this moment to ask you, if you haven't already, to "like" my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter & Pinterest. You can now check out my Flickr feed too!

Whew, that was a busy week- and I have just as much planned for next week too! Hope you all have a great weekend :)

Let's Play Fashion Make-Believe

I find it both incredibly fascinating and just a little depressing to create beautiful outfits on Polyvore- it would be only the former if anything you create automatically appears in your closet, and without a bill! Could someone get to work on making that happen please?  

In any case- I am pretending that these four outfits below are the choices I am mulling over for some big fancy New Year's Eve party.
Which one is your favorite? I'll tell you mine at the bottom of this post...

Black & Gold
Blue Chevron Sparkly Dress
Dramatic Turquoise & Silver
Coral & Gold Glamour

Did you make your decision? Obviously I love all four of these options since, well, I put them together myself but... is anyone surprised to hear my favorite is #3, the turquoise and silver outfit? The shoes alone (and the umm, $28,000 earrings!) make that my top choice- I can't resist them- but the coral and gold outfit almost stole my heart.

And back to reality. I'll just continue to sit here and stare at these gorgeous outfits, but in the meantime, don't forget to tell me which outfit you like best!

Seattle Etsy Examiner

Earlier this week, I applied to join the Examiner team- and I am thrilled to announce that I was chosen to examine Seattle Etsy! I wanted to let you all know more about what I would be writing for Examiner, and what that means for Lucy & Larry.

All of my Examiner articles will be focused on Etsy sellers from the state of Washington. I plan to write about style and fashion trends, upcoming handmade shows, and occasionally some shop spotlights too. My debut article- which went live yesterday!- is about Thanksgiving decor, and I was able to feature about a half-dozen fabulous local Etsy shops.

Let Etsy help you with Thanksgiving d├ęcor
Photo from Karen's Neat Stuff

My Examiner content will be a fun supplement to what I already do here. My Lucy & Larry blog will continue to host my craft projects and tutorials, Friday Faves, and everything else (and hopefully more!) that I have been doing since I started.

So- do you (or know someone who does) live in the wonderful state of Washington and own an Etsy shop? Let me know if you'd like me to write a spotlight on you! I'm looking for inspiring stories on how you got started, what drives you to create, and shops with a meaning. Also, let me know of any handmade/vintage shows coming up so I can mention those too!

Want to learn more about writing for Examiner? Check it out here.

As always, I appreciate any feedback or ideas you may have- so please share!

Friday Faves #10: Project Accessory, Mint Green, and Friends


Project Accessory

Let me begin this by saying this post is spoiler-free! So, I don't watch Project Runway but when I heard about its spin-off dedicated to accessories, I knew I would have to tune in. This is a must-watch, not only if you make accessories but also if you are just a lover of accessories! The premiere episode had the contestants rummage through abandoned storage units to find pieces with which to create a necklace, belt and other accessory of their choice. These people were taking apart rat traps, couches, teddy bears! The most recent episode had the contestants choose a piece of jewelry by Swarovski (jealous!) then create shoes (shoes!!!) and another accessory inspired by their Swarovski piece. I wish I had half the skill set of any of these contestants... I can't use a sewing machine, much less make my own bag or shoes! Catch Project Accessory on Lifetime, Thursdays at 10pm.

Mint Green
OK, so this is kind of cheating since I've made it clear how much I love this color (see Friday Faves #9 and this treasury). But I have to mention it again because I finally got my mint accessory fix and must share!

Mint Rose Ring & Earrings Set ~ Lucy & Larry
Mint Green Pashmina Scarf ~ Swak Couture
These items match perfectly and are such a gorgeous color, it's going to be hard to resist wearing this every day! I figure I can wear it with black one day, then blush, then gray, then coral...

Friends
I made a risky decision recently. This isn't the right time or place for me to go into details, but I will say that my decision was a good one as it has given me a new perspective on my own self-worth. More than that, it has shed some light on my friendships. I like to think of myself as a low-maintenance friend since I'm not one of those friends who needs constant attention, or even attention on a regular basis, because I know my real friends will be there for me when I really need it. So thank you, real friends. And you know you can count on me to be there for you next time.





Project: Halloween Yarn Wreath




Cute yarn wreaths have been floating all over the blogosphere and Pinterest, so I finally decided it was time for me to make my own. I didn't take enough photos for a full step-by-step tutorial but I'll do my best to explain my process!

Supplies:
  • Foam tubing
  • Duct tape
  • Glue gun
  • Yarn (go cheap!)
  • Wide ribbon
  • Embellishments of your choosing (I used embroidery thread and a plastic spider)

I saved some money by purchasing foam tubing from Home Depot instead of using a pre-made wreath base from a craft store. For a dollar and change, you get 6 feet of tubing- cut it in half, use duct tape to attach the ends together, and you have enough for two wreaths just over 12" in outer diameter!



I took my black yarn and wrapped the loose end around the tube once, tied a knot, and used my hot glue gun to firmly keep it in place. Then, take that yarn and wrap, wrap wrap! I found the easiest way to do this was in increments, passing the whole ball of yarn through the hoop five or six times then tightening it up. This whole process did take me about an hour- perfect for multi-tasking while watching TV! When you are finished, tie another knot and glue gun the ends in place. I didn't worry about it looking a little messy because I knew I would cover it up with my ribbon later.


Now it's time to decorate! I took purple and green embroidery thread and wrapped it around to mimic an argyle look, once again using my glue gun to secure each end in place. I took the glittery orange ribbon, cut it to my desired length and placed it over the messy yarn ends. The ribbon was glued onto the wreath, then I also glued the ends together to make one big loop. I cut another piece of ribbon and tied a giant bow at the top of the wreath and glue gunned it in place.



My finishing touch was to dangle a fuzzy black and green plastic spider down the middle of my wreath! I tried gluing orange embroidery thread to the back of the spider, but he just wouldn't dangle properly. I realized my spider needed to be weighted down a bit, so I found some vase filler that I had (basically flat marbles) and glued three pieces into its hollow backside. It looked ugly so I just cut out a piece of orange foam I had lying around and glued that over the whole thing. Perfect!



I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at a yarn wreath. I think I'll have to do this for every holiday!



Friday Faves #9: Polyvore and Fun with Fashion!

Friday Faves is back this week, thanks to my new obsession with Polyvore! I've been admiring other peoples' work on Pinterest forever and finally decided to give it a try myself. This website is going to be dangerous... not only is putting together fashion sets addictive, it definitely gets the shopping bug acting up.

This first set, was created around two pieces I already own- the bag and the super cute minty moccasins I just purchased (eagerly anticipating its arrival in the mail any day now). I also plan on making a necklace like this beauty from Stella & Dot for myself.

Mint & Camel




I chose a yellow and gray theme for my second set. And then I just had to have that yellow clutch. And now I really want a wax seal monogram necklace. And maybe those flats and citrine studs...

Yellow & Silver




My final set for today is peacock-themed! I fell for the recent peacock craze and purchased a pair of fabulous feather earrings from Etsy shop Feathers With Benefits.

Peacock




You guys like my outfits? Which one is your favorite?

Project: Garage Sale Shelves


I found these great shelves at a garage sale a couple of months ago and paid just $15 for both of them. They were painted a kind of awful shade of green (maybe it was pretty at one time?) and had some rusty spots, but it was nothing a couple cans of spray paint and some sandpaper couldn't fix!


Some of the rough spots:




All prettied up:



So simple, no tutorial required! Just sand out the rust, give it a couple coats of paint, and there you have it.





These are now in my craft room holding my finished jewelry and some other treasures!

New Items: Halloween, Kitty Cats & More!

I've been MIA for a little while but I'm back and ready to load up Lucy & Larry with lots of new items! All these items below are posted and ready for you, but keep your eyes out for more goodies the rest of the week too. :)

Halloween Skull & Crossbones Guitar Pick Earrings
First of all- are you ready for Halloween? Here are my special guitar pick earrings designed to dress up your Halloween work day (it does fall on a Monday after all) or perhaps a nice final touch to the pirate, skeleton or witch costume you already have planned. I have a few pairs of these available for all of you this Halloween season!


Kitty Cat Rings
How about these little kitty cat cuties!? Available in several colors! And also, some pretty little umbrella post earrings to brighten these upcoming rainy days.


Rhinestone Umbrella Earrings
Finally, some more rose and sakura cherry blossom rings!

White Rose Ring - Gold Band
Peach Rose Ring - Gold Band
Fuchsia Sakura Ring - Gold Band

Check back soon for even more! :)

Etsy Treasury - Cool Mint ~ for the home

'Cool Mint ~for the home~' by LucyandLarry
Curated on September 24, 2011

This color has stolen my heart and run away with it.


Please 
go here to see this treasury in full!






Project: Sand Dollar Jewelry & Crafts



Glammed up sand dollars!

A couple of months ago, I was asked if I could use sand dollars to make jewelry for somebody as a gift (the sand dollars were picked off a beach by the birthday gal's young son). Without a plan in mind, I accepted the task.

Even before then, another friend of mine (after seeing my sea glass jewelry) had given me a baggie full of sand dollars to experiment with. It was one of those projects that I just hadn't gotten to yet, but now I had the perfect reason to sit down and figure out what exactly I could do with these natural beauties.

After some research, I learned that sand dollars need to first be properly preserved to make them strong enough to use in jewelry and craft pieces.

Supplies (for preservation):
  • A bucket or small container
  • Water (out of the tap)
  • Bleach
  • White craft glue
  • Paintbrush

Step 1: Get them nice and clean
Put your sand dollars in your little container and fill it up with fresh water. Let your sand dollars submerge completely in the water- but don't walk away! When your water gets murky (and possibly a little stinky), pour it out and add more fresh water. If it gets murky again, pour it out and add more water again. Repeat this process until the water remains clear. My sand dollars weren't too bad- mostly just really sandy!- but based on what I read, others have had to replace the water several times before they were clean.


Step 2: Turn them white
Drain your water, then combine fresh water and bleach at a 2:1 ratio of water to bleach (if you use 2 cups of water, use just 1 cup of bleach). But let me honest- I found this ratio online but I definitely eyeballed it, mostly making sure I used quite a bit more water than bleach! Allow your sand dollars to submerge in this mixture, and let it sit there for no more than 10 minutes. Don't let them stay in the bleach too long! Too much bleach will tear away at the sand dollar and make it too brittle and fragile. Once time is up, take your sand dollars and rinse them under running water for a few minutes. Allow them to dry completely before moving on to the next step. I let mine dry overnight.

Step 3: Make them stronger
Mix equal amounts of water and fresh glue (again, I will admit to eyeballing) and apply this mixture evenly over the top of the sand dollar. Let it dry, then turn it over and coat the back side as well. I gave each side a couple of coats. This mixture acts as a hardener and sealant.

Display them in their natural state - via Sea Cottage
At this point, it's choose your own adventure! Leave them as they are and enjoy their natural beauty, or gather up some more supplies to personalize them. I decided to have some fun with mine and painted them by mixing Pearl Ex powders in Aztec Gold and Turquoise (then I combined what was left of both to make a beautiful green) with some Mod Podge.



After I got the color experimentation out of my system, I turned my attention back to the original request- we just want something natural for our birthday gal. I put my PearlEx powders away and simply added a layer of Mod Podge over the sand dollar for extra coverage, glued on a bail, then strung it onto a silver chain.

There was also a smaller sand dollar that seemed perfect for a ring. I attached it to a brass ring base, then decided to cover up a hole that was in the middle of it. I took a purple Swarovski crystal bead (amethyst to represent her February baby) and used a piece of wire to attach it through the sand dollar onto the ring base itself.

See the final product below- I hope she liked it!



Friday Faves #8

Via Cracker Jack Stitchery
Embroidery Hoop Art
This was an impulse buy and I love it. It's now hanging over my craft desk. The only problem is that now it's just begging me to get some more companion hoops!

Via Craft
Cardboard Cat Rocket
This. Do I really need to explain? Do I dare make this for my Lucy & Larry? Will the time and effort it requires be worth the short amount of time it's destined to survive before they tear it apart? Be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial from Craft.




Diet Snapple Trop-a-Rocka Tea
So I'm way overdue on this one- I love, love, love this flavor of Snapple. This was the special edition Snapple created for Bret Michaels after he won Celebrity Apprentice last year. It is a blend of green tea and black tea with pear, cinnamon and mango flavors- and only 10 calories a bottle (you wouldn't know it!). If you can still find it on the shelves at your local grocery store, be sure to snag it... and send it my way!

P.S. Don't forget about my sale!