Saturday, March 26, 2011

Manzanita jewelry tree.

So I decided to get really domestic over spring break. And one of my "projects"(wow, I really am getting old right?) was to make a jewelry tree.

I am constantly dealing with tangled necklace syndrome. I used to keep all my necklaces in this little, multi-shelf jewelry box, and every time I would pull out a favorite necklace to wear there would be knots on top of knots. Because I lack dexterity and don't know someone with tiny, tiny little hands to help me out-I've accumulated a lot of tangled and thus unwearable necklaces. Which is silly. Because there are so many ways to store necklaces without tangling them.

Over Christmas I went on Etsy (a website that will literally suck hours at a time of my life away) to look for a cute, distinct little necklace holder. And I came across this insanely cute little tree. I can't find the actual one on Etsy anymore, but it looked a little like this.

Except it was even cuter and sticking out of an antique tea pot. It cost about $60, and I almost ordered it. But then I thought, "I could make that." Okay, so normally that sentence ends in disaster for me. I am sooo not crafty. I cannot tell you the number of craft related disasters that have occurred under my watch. I don't do glue guns or drills or stencils or any other crafty method. I usually prefer to buy cute, crafty things and then just pretend I made them.

But this seemed do-able. I went online and found a few how-to guides for similar trees. The constant in most of them was to use a manzanita branch, which I had never heard of, but which are apparently very big in interior design. I looked around Richmond for one but did not find any. Yet they are super available and easy to order online. Some are fairly pricey (they range in size a lot) but I found smallish, 18-24' manzanita branches online for $9 a pop on the website 

I was going to do this little project over my spring break, but the branches took a little while to arrive. Save on crafts is cheap but they are not so speedy with the shipping. I finally got them this past week, and they were gorgeous. My original plan was to paint the branches white ala the Etsy tree I found. But the wood itself was too gorgeous to cover up. It's laced with all of these deep red and gold hues, and so I decided to go natural. Plus that cut down on my work time by like five hours.

I went to an antique store off of Lakeside to find a tea-pot or large mug to put the branch in. I thought it might be difficult to find one of these, but clearly I have not spent enough time in antique stores. My goodness are there are a lot of old tea-pots out there. Some were incredibly fugly and decorated with cartoon pigs, but there were a ton of really cute, farm looking ones, which is the look I was going for. I found one for $15 that looks like this.

I managed to get out of the antique store without buying anything else. I have a weird obsession for old cameras and typewriters and phones. I do not own any old cameras or typewriters or phones. But one day, when I am a real person and have my own apartment/house to decorate, I will find a way to incorporate these things and hopefully do it without coming across like a crazy hoarder.

So the rest of my project was really easy. I mixed up about six cups of some of plaster of paris (enough to go to almost the top of the tea-pot), poured it into the tea-pot, stuck the branch in, and then put the tea-pot and branch in a small bucket that would support the tree while the plaster dried. I let it alone for almost 24 hours.

Then. Voila!

Cute right? And the branch is super sturdy and great for all sizes and weights of necklaces. So I gathered up my necklace collection, draped away and then..... (the dots are supposed to be a drum-roll)

Yay for the end of tangled necklaces! Although this may be bad, because I might think from now on that I can do crafts. Which is sure to end 9 times out of ten in disaster and severe glue gun related burns.

But hey, I guess this was my one out of ten non-disaster :)

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