lifestyle

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist

‘Tis the season to . . . organize! I don’t know what it is about a new year, but I just get the itch to organize and declutter and get rid of everything. I’ve never really bothered with “Spring Cleaning”, but New Year’s cleaning? Oh yes! Maybe it’s because we are pulling all the Christmas decorations down already, and if you are going to the effort of cleaning up after the holidays, it isn’t that far of a stretch to start cleaning up other areas too. I was a bit late this year to get to my regular organizing habits, as I was traveling the first week of the New Year, but last week I was able to finally get around to doing some much neglected organizing.

I was originally going to do a wardrobe declutter, but as I went through my entire closet and found only two sweaters that I no longer needed, I thought that would not be a very exciting blog post! Thus, I turned my attention to my jewellery collection. One of my “style resolutions” this year, is to wear all of the things that I own, and never seem to get around to wearing. One of the major things on that list is my jewellery collection.¬†I have necklaces and bracelets given to me for Christmas last year (as in 2015), that I have never worn. ūüôĀ This is obviously ridiculous, and I decided that I needed to do something about that. One of the main reasons why I don’t wear much of¬†my¬†jewellery is because it was such a mess. If I can’t see things at a glance, I forget that I have them when I go to choose accessories, and I always end up grabbing the same old things over and over again.¬†Am I lazy when it comes to getting dressed? Yes. Yes I am.

Thus, the first step to start wearing more of my pieces, was to do some jewellery organizing in order to make it easier to see what I have. I also remembered to take pictures, so you can see what I unearthed along the way. . .

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, The Artyologist, Before

About 10 years ago, I made this jewelry organizer with an old picture frame, some cotton fabric and a glue gun. Over the years it has proved invaluable as an organizing solution for my ever growing collection of jewellery. Back when I first made it, I sewed 3 pretty buttons across the top (to hold 3 necklaces) and pinned a few brooches along the sides. Well, since then, my jewellery collection hoard has more than doubled in size and this organizer has gotten quite unorganized. What a mess. (This is not all of what I have. I also have two small jewellery boxes for pieces¬†that cannot hang on this frame, and one large one for all of the sparkly special occasion jewellery I don’t wear very often.) As you can see, there are so many items overlapping each other, and all jumbled together that it was nearly impossible to take them off and wear them, let alone find them in the first place!

The first step was to take all of the items off of the board, and then sort through each piece to evaluate whether it needed to go back onto the frame, or whether it was time to pass it on, fix it or store it somewhere else. I decided that this frame is where I want to put my “everyday” jewellery, and the special occasion items can be stored elsewhere.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, favourite earrings

For some, these would classify as “special occasion” earrings, but I love to wear these sparkly earrings everyday. I’ve only owned them for a little over a year, but they have already proven to be invaluable accessories. I wear them all the time, as they give a nice bit of bling to an outfit. Thus, they were all given permission to go back on the frame.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, brooches

My¬†collection of brooches has grown quite a bit lately. I love brooches, but seldom wear them as I am often afraid of them putting holes in my clothes. (I’ve had blouses ruined before from brooches). However, recently I have started wearing them more on my berets, as well as pinning them to my wool coats, so they are definitely getting more wear. I like all of these- some of them are gifts, like the artist’s palette, which was given to me by Jessica. Some, like the goose, I’ve had since I was a child. Others, like the pink basket, are passed down from my Great Grandma. The buckle, I would like to try wearing as a scarf slide, and the stick pins, I would like to try as hat pins once my hair gets a bit longer. Thus, I like each of these pieces and am willing to give them a place on my frame.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, pendants

One of my favourite things to wear, are pendants on long chains, and I have a lot of them. However, I was not wearing many of¬†these, mainly because the chains were all jumbled on the frame, so I always grabbed whichever one was on the top. Also, some of the pendants didn’t¬†have proper loops, so it was difficult to put¬†them on the chains and I always passed them by. I have now added proper loops to all of the pendants, and have given each chain and pendant their own place on the frame. This way all I have to do is grab and go.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, statement earrings

These are my “statement” earrings. I used to wear big earrings 90% of the time, but for some reason I have started to gravitate away from them. I never reach for these more “earthy” pieces, even though¬†I do still really like¬†them. I have placed them on the frame, and have made a note to try to reach for these pieces first, when planning an outfit. Hopefully I will get more wear out of the them now, but if I find, after a while, that I don’t wear them anymore, I will pass them on. It’s OK to change your style over time.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, jewellery to pack away

These are all pieces that were on the frame, but really didn’t need to have such a prominent place. I only wear the Christmas pieces . . . well at Christmas! So, they don’t need to be on display year round. The necklaces and earrings I’ve had since¬†I was probably 10, and I never wear them anymore. However, they hold¬†memories, so I want to keep them. The lion pin I bought at a theatre production of “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”. It is¬†more of a souvenir than an accessory. So, all of these pieces are going to go into my little jewellery box, where they will be safe, but not taking up valuable display space. And, come next Christmas, I’ll know where to find them. ūüôā

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, pieces to fix

These are all pieces that I don’t wear,¬†because they are broken. Leaving¬†them in my room is obviously not the right place for them to be, as some of them have been broken forever, and I always forget to fix them. The earrings needed cleaning. The ring needed to be glued back together. The gold chain¬†needed to be re-looped as it hung crookedly. The butterfly’s antenna needed to be straightened etc. I took all of the pieces¬†and have since fixed them, (or am going to bring them to the jeweller’s for repair) and I am now able to wear them again. Fancy that!

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, pieces to get rid of

And here are the jewellery pieces, and other interesting things I found, that are not going back onto the display. A random blue flower, (I have no idea why this was on there) some coins and a key. These are not jewellery, and do not need to be on display here. The pink flower and feathers are hair accessories, so they can go elsewhere. The owl is adorable, but not a colour scheme I ever wear, so I gave him to my sister (who loves owls). An earring that has no pair (and makes me cry every time I see it, as those were my favourite earrings!) The rest of the pieces are just not my style anymore, so I also passed them on.

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, After

After sorting through and deciding which pieces were keepers and which I was giving away, I put each of the items back on the frame (or into the other assorted jewellery boxes). I have now organized the jewellery by type (all the brooches together, chains together, earrings etc.) Each piece has it’s own place, and hopefully now will not turn into a messy disaster within the week!

I am so much happier with how this looks, and how neat and tidy it is. Already I have been purposefully grabbing pieces to wear for my “style resolution”, and I think that I am going to be much better this¬†year¬†about wearing the things I have. Being able to see¬†the majority of my jewellery at a glance is so invaluable to my dressing routine. Now I can be as lazy as I want to with choosing accessories, because it is all right there at my fingertips ūüėČ

So, have you made any “style resolutions” for 2017? How do you store your jewellery, and what are your jewellery organizing tips? Do you find yourself wearing the same old pieces all the time, or are you pretty good at branching out and wearing everything you have?

Style Resolutions: Jewellery Organizing, the artyologist, jewellery frame

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

My Grandma recently downsized¬†to a new apartment, and wanted to pass on some things she doesn’t use anymore, and no longer had the space for in her new place. She asked if my sister and I would like some of her blue and white ceramics- and we both immediately said yes!

I have always loved blue and white ceramics. They are a popular style, and come¬†from such far flung places around the world including¬†Holland (Delft Tile) all the way to¬†Vietnam. I love hand painted ceramics and am always drawn to¬†crisp¬†blue and white colours. I am always¬†so amazed at the talent and detail that goes into them. I took a pottery course once. Suffice it to say, we will not be handing those pieces down through the generations. ūüôĀ

I already owned this pitcher, which I purchased from Ten Thousand Villages last year, so I was very happy to add these beautiful new pieces, to create a small collection.

In my family we didn’t get much handed down in the way of clothes, like many vintage lovers I know, who have gotten dresses, hats and jewelry¬†from past relatives. However, from both sides of my¬†family, I have gotten dishes. Not all of them are antique, but they are each special, because they are a part of our family history.¬†They will become heirlooms, even if they aren’t very¬†old right now, like these pieces. Really, if you think about it, everything that is antique and old today, was at some point brand new. However, someone thought it was special enough to preserve. And so it will be with these. They will always remind us of our¬†Grandma,¬†and they will be preserved and passed down. And maybe someday, my distant great-great-granddaughter will be using this very same pitcher, or candy dish herself, getting ready to pass it down to the next generation too. It’s a nice thought anyways ūüôā

Do you have any special collections? Do you have any pieces (of anything Рnot just dishes!) passed down from your family? If not, have you ever thought of starting a new collection of heirlooms yourself?

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The blue teapot is my sisters, and the white one is mine.

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

Such a neat design for the candy dish. 

The Beginnings of a Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

I use this pitcher often, not as a pitcher, but as a vase! It makes a lovely vase for weedy roadside bouquets like the ones I picked here, or for pussy willow branches in the spring. It’ll probably be lovely for some evergreen boughs this winter too!¬†And, on the right is the beautiful lattice design bowl of my sister’s.

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The little teapot is a tiny little knick-knack that my Grandma gave me years ago. It is a favour that Red Rose used to include in their teas years ago!

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The Beginnings of A Collection: Blue and White Ceramics, the artyologist

The entire “collection”, (to date!)

The Ladies Garden Tea, Part 2

Ladies Garden Tea Party, Part 2 The Artyologist

So continuing with the second instalment of the Ladies Garden Afternoon Tea party.

I’ve always loved pretty dishes, and silverware and fine china teacups. I’m pretty sure I get¬†this from my mom, who I’m sure learned it from her mother. When my Grandma was a young lady, living in a farm¬†community, once a month the ladies would get together for a tea party. ¬†It was a way for the farmwives, some of whom were probably fairly isolated, to get out and see each other. Each month was hosted at a different farm,¬†and each lady would bring her own teacup.

A few years ago, my Grandma downsized, and passed¬†on her teacups to us- and a collection was born! With that humble start, I’ve started picking up pretty teacups at thrift stores, or antique sales, and I’ve been able to form quite a collection. I love to throw parties, and as my¬†collection of fancy dishes has grown, I have tried to come up with ways to use them, rather than relegating them to the china cabinet.¬†A¬†few years ago, continuing in the tradition of my Grandma, the Ladies Afternoon Tea was born. It gives us a chance to use all the fancy dishes, and is a way for the ladies in my church to get together for an afternoon treat.

teacups the artyologist

As I mentioned on Tuesday, we¬†got rained out and we were forced to bring the party indoors this year. It was too bad that the party couldn’t be outside, as there is something so lovely about enjoying tea and sweets out of doors, but at least we do have a large living room, where we were able to spread out several tables and chairs for everyone to sit at.

When we were planning for this party, we counted up my cups, my moms, and my sisters and came up with 29 teacups! Needless to say, the ladies didn’t need to bring their own to this party! We did end up borrowing some cups from another lady, just in case we ran short, but¬†fortunately we didn’t.

invite and teacups the artyologist

Every good party starts with an invitation.¬†There is something so personal about an physical paper invitation, even if it isn’t handwritten, and I think it reminds people of the party more than a verbal invitation or email, which can be easily lost or overlooked. Also it is a great place to write the address or location of the party, because unless everyone is very familiar with the area, they might get lost en route!

teacups and chocolate the artyologist

silverware tea party, the artyologist

plates and tea service the artyologist

For the party, the¬†food was set up on the kitchen table, and the tea was set up on the kitchen counter, which was dressed up with a lace edged tablecloth, so it wouldn’t look so “kitcheny”. The peonies were blooming in full force the day of the party, so we¬†had a gorgeous bouquet on the dessert table, and a weedy little bouquet of daisies and alfalfa collected from an “obliging field” for the tea table.

chocolate muffins the artyologist

menu and silver service for ladies tea party the artyologist

desserts at the tea party the artyologist

For food, we served a variety of desserts: Coconut Macaroons, Ganache Topped Chocolate Cakes, Lemon Drizzle Loaf, Coconut Cream and Dark Chocolate Squares, Pineapple and Pecan Cheesecake Tarts, and Toasted Almonds and Pecans. We chose such a large variety of desserts, including chocolate and non-chocolate, as we wanted to make sure there was¬†something everyone would enjoy. (I mean, l love chocolate, and the entire menu could’ve consisted of different varieties of chocolate, but something I find hard to comprehend is that some people don’t like it ūüôĀ so we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed the desserts!) Also, it was very fortunate that my best friend was visiting that week, so the day before the tea party, when we were baking, baking, baking, she was there to lend a hand ūüôā

party preparation the artyologist

lemon loaf the artyologist

Overall, the party was quite the success- even though hours and days¬†of work was consumed and destroyed in the space of an hour ūüėČ Ah that’s the best thing about parties right? It was a lovely time, spent with some very lovely ladies! As people were leaving, we¬†had a lot of requests to do it again. Don’t worry I’ve already started planning for next year’s tea party!

macaroons and desserts the artyologist

teacups for ladies tea party the artyologist

Making Your Own Makeup Organizers

image of lipstick makeup organizers the artyologist

I’m not super into makeup; for that department you’d have to talk to my sister. However, despite the fact that I never used to wear makeup, and I still don’t even wear it daily, over the past few years I have apparently managed to build up a bit of a collection, as my rather disorganized makeup cupboard was clearly showing me.

I used to have a drawer to store all my lotions and potions, so three old kleenex boxes fit neatly into the drawer and were¬†a perfect (and free!) organizing solution. I’ve since moved though, and now have a¬†medicine cabinet to hold my makeup. The kleenex boxes just weren’t cutting it anymore, so I decided that it was time for my non-organized cabinet¬†to get an overhaul. I grabbed some spare glass jars to hold my brushes and mascara etc. and found a few small boxes and containers to hold the rest. However, the two items that still didn’t have a good home were¬†my lipsticks and my new eyeshadow colours.

image of pure anada makeup the artyologist

About a month ago, I invested in some nice, Canadian made, mineral eyeshadow, by Pure Anada. I became aware of the fact that many of the ingredients in makeup are not all they seem when I read Wear No Evil a few years ago, and so I have slowly been switching my makeup over to pure, natural and organic makeups ever since. The last step in that process was the eyeshadow. The cool thing about Pure Anada is that their pressed eyeshadow powders are in metal containers, and their palettes are magnetized, so it makes it very easy to create a custom palette and to replace them when you run out of a colour. However, the case was designed to hold 8 colours and I only had 5, so this left the palette almost half empty. I may be slightly obsessed with how things look (ok maybe a lot obsessed), so a half empty palette¬†just wouldn’t do. I thought, how hard could it be to make one myself?¬†Well, with a bit of trial and error, I ended up with a pretty good case. (And I gave the original palette to my sister, who had bought more colours than me!)

image of eyeshadow palette the artyologist

The other thing I needed an organizing solution for, was my lipstick. My first thought was to get a vintage lipstick stand, however my internet search didn’t bring up any that 1.) were big enough to hold 10 tubes, and 2.) I liked the look of. (See, there is my obsession with how things look again!) The next thought was to purchase one of those acrylic lipstick organizers. I love the look of those as they remind me of the accessories of the Art Deco and Mid Century eras, however, no one in our town sells anything like that, and as I am not the most patient of people when it comes to organizing things (get it done!!) I didn’t want to wait until I next time I went to the city. I also thought that, since I had had success in making an eyeshadow case, I might as well try my hand at a lipstick organizer too. (You may be wondering, also, why a self professed non make-up wearer has 10 tubes of lipstick. Well, I had a few colours, and one day, when I was going to buy some new colours, there was a buy 2 get 1 free sale, so I bought 4 and got 2 free! Sometimes these things just happen. . . )

image of lipstick organizer the artyologist

Anyways, here is, sort of, how I made the two organizers.

Sorry I was so excited to reorganize and get started, I forgot to take a before picture. And I tried to take pictures of the process of making the makeup organizers, and then I got busy and forgot to take them along the way. Oops.

image of makeup organizers how to the artyologist

The first thing I did was lay out the eyeshadow, and measure the size needed. It just so turned out that they fit perfectly onto an old magnet I had. (You know the kinds that realtors or museums etc, hand out to you? Usually they are business card size.)

I measured the magnet and cut out pieces of stiff cardboard to create a little box. I glued and taped the pieces together.

I decided to cover the cases in some vintage clip art. As this project was just for my own personal use, I googled “vintage hats Sears catalogue” and came up with these images that I printed out onto some 8.5×11 scrapbook paper.

Once I had the decorative paper, I traced¬†the box and lid, cutting it all out in one piece, making sure to add a bit of an allowance to wrap around the edge. Then I decoupaged the paper onto the box. One of the errors I made was to not allow enough to wrap the lid (oops!), so I had to cut separate pieces to finish the inside of the lid. That’s why it is made of a few pieces. It gives it more of a decoupage-y, collage-y feel though right? ūüėČ

Then I glued in the magnet, and put the eyeshadow inside. The only thing I do not like about it, is that the lid doesn’t close tightly, as the paper gives it enough bounce to pop open easily. I think I am going to find another small piece of magnet to attach to the lid so it will stay closed. Right now it’s fine when it’s in my cupboard, but if I am traveling I have to put an elastic around it to keep it shut.

image of makeup organizers eyeshadow and lipstick the artyologist

As for the lipstick holder, I followed the same method of measuring the lipstick and determining how large each cubicle needed to be, and then cutting out the cardboard and making a box. Then I measured the inside of the box, and cut the divider pieces, two for the length and three across the width.

These I cut halfway up at one inch intervals across, (which I conveniently don’t have a picture of) so that the pieces would slide together to create a grid. I hope you know what I mean?

Then I covered and decoupaged the box and the grid pieces individually. Once dry, I slid the grid into the box, and added the lipstick.

Perfecto! Actually, the one thing I didn’t remember was that I should have cut my grid pieces a bit shorter, as they stick up just a smidgen above the box. This is because I cut them at the same height as the box, the decoupage added a bit of height, and the grid doesn’t fit tightly. Maybe someday when I am feeling ambitious, I will take it apart and cut them down a bit. But, in the meantime it works perfectly.

So, how do you organize your makeup? Do you like the insides of your cupboards to be as pretty as the outsides too?

image of makeup organizers lipstick holder and eyeshadow palette the artyologist

A Day of Hearts

valentines heart shaped cranberry and pecan scones

The heart shaped celebration of Valentine’s day continues!

Here is what we had in celebration of the day. First were heart shaped cranberry and pecan scones, served with butter and jam, for breakfast.

the artyologist- image cranberry and pecan scones in the shape of hearts

the artyologist- image of valentines cranberry and pecan scones in the shape of hearts and jam

And then later in the day, not a heart shaped, but heart decorated, hazelnut, cranberry and chocolate ganache covered cake, topped with whipped cream.

the artyologist- image of valentines heart decorated chocolate cake top

the artyologist- image of chocolate ganache hazelnut cake valentines with dusted cocoa heart decoration

the artyologist- image of chocolate cranberry hazelnut cake with whipped cream for valentines

Can we have Valentine’s every day?