Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Holiday Branch

DIY Holiday BranchDIY Holiday Branch

DIY Holiday Branch


Embroidery thread — it’s not just for friendship bracelets. This year we had hella extra branches left over from the bottom of our Christmas tree, so I thought I’d repurpose the colorful embroidery thread left over from the warm, long-gone days of summer bracelet making for a wintry, holiday project. Here's how to make your own!

What you’ll need:
-Extra tree branches
-Scissors
-Embroidery thread
-Optional accent berries/flower/pinecone/moss/lichen

DIY Holiday Branch
Start by picking out your branches. If you have two that are the same size and symmetrical, you’re set. If not, pick two that can be trimmed and pruned to be symmetrical. You’ll want to line up the parts of the branches that you’ll be tying together later to make sure the branches look right together.

DIY Holiday Branch


DIY Holiday Branch

Once you have your trimmed and matched branches, line them up one on top of the other where they’ll meet so that you can roughly estimate how much of the branch you’ll need to clear of pine needles. Once you’ve measured, scrape off the pine needles with the edge of your scissors so you’ll have a smooth surface to bind with the thread.

DIY Holiday Branch
Pick up your first thread color, match up the smooth parts of the branches, and line up any accent materials (Next year, lichen!).

DIY Holiday Branch
While holding together the branches and accent between your fingers, pinch the embroidery thread on top of the pieces and start wrapping, tightly and in at least semi-neat lines, from front to back. Once you've wrapped it around a few times, the loose end you started with will be bound in securely.

DIY Holiday Branch
Keep wrapping until you have the desired width of that color, and snip off the thread leaving a little tail angled toward the back of the branches.

DIY Holiday Branch
Pick up your next color and lay it on top of the end of the last color. Wrap the new color from front to back like you did at the beginning. It’ll be a little loose and tricky at first, and it might take a couple tries and a little finesse to get it to overlap the old color and wrap around neatly to the front, but give it a couple tries and it will work.

DIY Holiday Branch

DIY Holiday Branch
Keep going in this way with your alternating colors until you reach the end of the branches.

DIY Holiday Branch


DIY Holiday Branch
To finish off, tie a knot at the end. VoilĂ !

DIY Holiday Branch

DIY Holiday BranchDIY Holiday Branch

DIY Holiday Branch

These look great on a mantle, but would also be cute hanging on a door like a wreath, or on the front of a bike basket!
DIY Holiday Branch


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kathleen Whitaker Jewelry

Kathleen Whitaker Jewelry


Kathleen Whitaker's jewelry is my latest boutique-trolling find. Once I saw it, I couldn't unsee it, and it's definitely landed on my x-mas wishlist. Her pieces are somehow really dainty and refined but also stark and edgy. It seems like the kind of deceptively simple jewelry you wouldn't want to take out of your ear. 

Kathleen Whitaker JewelryKathleen Whitaker Stick Earrings

I love the stick earrings because they're minimal but exaggerated, which means they could go with anything, but are interesting enough to catch the eye.  They're sold individually, so a set is a little pricier, but consider it an invitation to make them even more striking by wearing one asymmetrically with your other earrings, or no other earrings at all.

Kathleen Whitaker Stick Earring


Kathleen Whitaker Stick Earring

The image above is from Totokaelo (one of my favorite places to boutique-troll) where, in addition to her own shop, you can find Kathleen Whitaker's jewelry online. Locally, it's stocked at James Rowland in Berkeley, a place I've been meaning to check out for their seriously amazing vintage shoes and boots (more on that later).