Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!

My children's school, Sullins Academy, recently held its annual auction to benefit the school. This is the school's biggest fundraiser and there was no shortage of work done by the students, teachers and moms. Each class has an art project for the live auction and I was in charge of the 3-year-old class (after all, I do have 3 of the 10 toddlers in the class!).


The goal of the project is to do something creative, have each child participate and sell (you hope) to a parent at a high price! I decided to do a mirror surrounded by handpainted tiles fired in the kiln at our local ceramics studio, Kil'n Time (a big thank you to the owners, who graciously donated all the supplies).


All of the classes had amazing art projects, but I must say I am especially proud of Mrs. Oliver's class for doing such a wonderful job! Here is the finished mirror (and my reflection, snapping the photo!):

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First, I painted a border around the tiles the kids were to paint, along with each child's name. Then they painted whatever they wanted on the tiles. Mrs. Oliver painted a tile too.

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Next, I took pictures of each child (and Mrs. O.), traced them on a tile, and painted a background. Kil'n Time used a special technique to fire the photos in a sepia tone on the tiles. I painted a couple of filler tiles with the school and class name, and voila, we had a finished product that went for $1,200 at the auction! Ok...I must admit that my dad was the one who bought it, but still there were many bidders driving up the price!

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I also donated 18 pairs of earrings for the silent auction. Last I checked they were going for around $900, which made me very happy!

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I displayed them on this enormous box that almost didn't fit on the silent auction tables. Covered in turquoise burlap (fun but messy) and leopard ribbon, it has an artsy sphere made out of chicken wire at the top.

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Before we put the tiles on the mirror, Jackson helped me paint the frame.

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His t-shirt may not have helped the Cowboys win, but Sullins definitely won at the auction!

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“A Necklace” by Kay Just Made My Day

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The lovely, talented, and maker of all things cute and classy Kay Adams just mentioned me in her blog, Necklace a Day by Kay (I even got a picture!) For those of you unfamiliar with this jewel of a lady, Kay and her mother own Anthill Antiques in the historic Richmond, VA shopping district of Carytown. I make it a point to stop by her shop every time I’m in town – and she makes it a point to ensure I don’t walk out of there without one of her awesome creations!

Kay has a penchant for finding all sorts of everyday objects and turning them into beautiful necklaces. These are three of the pieces I have at home:

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Her pieces are both elegant and esoteric; I think she has such a wonderful eye for detail and form. Plus, who couldn’t admire an eye that can see the potential in a plastic bumblebee?:

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Kay, thanks so much for mentioning me in your blog! For the rest of you, if you are ever in the Richmond area make sure to stop by her store and take a look at what she has on offer. Tell her the “other” Martha sent you!

Rose Bowl Flea Market Finds

One of my very favorite bloggers, Eddie Ross, is leading another fun shopping excursion, this time through the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California (if you're in the area on March 8, you must go! Check out this post on my recent trip to Scott Antique Market in Atlanta with Eddie). I thought I'd share two fabulous finds I made at the Rose Bowl market a few years ago.

My husband and I were in CA for three weeks, working with the wonderful surrogate who would eventually give birth to our twin baby boys! At this point we were gathering eggs, making embryos and transferring all of the good stuff to her in the hopes of making at least one baby (were we in for a surprise!).

The day finally came to harvest my eggs after many rounds of shots and medications, a procedure which required my being sedated. This also happened to be the only day during our entire stay when I could catch the Rose Bowl market (and it was only minutes from the clinic!). I didn't care if I couldn't stand up or see straight, I was going to the Rose Bowl! After all, it's not like I had to lie down for a specified amount of time to make the procedure take...my eggs were already safely nestled in their new temporary petri dish home, awaiting my husband's swimmer counterparts to be made into embryos.

Despite my condition, I made several great finds that day. Here are my two favorites. The first is a gorgeous vintage rhinestone belt buckle or scarf holder.

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I've been sort of admiring it every so often in my jewelry box, waiting for inspiration on exactly what to do with it. A couple of weeks ago I had my Aha! moment. We were going to a black tie dance on Valentine's Day and I was looking for the perfect blingy necklace to wear with my little black dress and thought of this.

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I put it on a crystal chain and voila! A very sparkly statement for the evening (and by the way, the vintage rhinestone earrings were scored on ebay).

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The second is this vintage clear acrylic evening purse, which has a diamond pattern and rhinestones on front and an oversized rhinestone clasp. When I bought it I failed to notice (perhaps due to my woozy state) that you can't simply carry items loose in it without some type of covering, unless you want everyone to see your lipstick and unmentionables.

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So, when I carry the purse (which is quite often), I use a colorful scarf (such as one of these) inside to wrap up my belongings and switch it out to match my outfit. Many of the scarves I use were my grandmother's, so I'm certain they feel right at home in the vintage bag.

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You simply must go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I highly recommend it, pre- or post-surgery!

Hoops & Loops

A few sick kids can really set you back in the blogging world! After several days off I'm back with a quick post to show you some of my latest earring creations, many made with vintage beads.

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Much easier to come up with than necklaces, these hoops, loops and dangles are keeping me busy. Lately I've been making them for friends, stores and shows.

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If you see something you like, dangle me a line. I'd love to make your ears happy too!

Eye Candy

This is my collection of vintage brooches, earrings and belt buckles. I've picked them up over the years at flea markets, yard sales and on ebay. Sometimes I wear the pins on a dress or jacket. I also turn them into one-of-a-kind necklaces and sell them in stores, to friends and on my website.

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It's fun to just look at them too and imagine their history. They may have gone to fabulous balls, state dinners or walked the red carpet!

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My latest project was to hot glue several of them onto a belt buckle. I think I'll wear it with jeans and my cowboy boots (vintage, of course).

Heart to Heart

Here's a quick and easy jewelry project to make for Valentine's Day. I found a clear plastic heart-shaped pendant at a bead store (similar ones can be found at craft stores).

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Then I cut a heart shape to size out of zebra-patterned tissue paper. Extra-sharp scissors should be used for the cleanest cut. Next I covered one side of the heart with Mod Podge decoupage glue, using a small sponge paint brush, and laid the tissue on it, face down. This is the underside of the pendant; the front side of the tissue will show through the other side of the heart. You may have to work with the tissue a little while the glue is wet in order to remove any creases and air bubbles. I used a straight pin to gently work a hole into the tissue paper to correspond with the hole in the pendant. Finally, I covered the back side of the tissue with another coat of Mod Podge and let it dry.

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After the glue dried, I put a red leather cord through the pendant and tied it to make a necklace. Make a Valentine for yourself while waiting for one from that special someone!