Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Balls 2015!

With the help of GraphicStock.com I was able to print out some terrific holiday images and turn them into fun card stock Christmas ornaments!  You can make these with family photos, different colors of card stock or old holiday cards.  Once you get the hang of it, it's addicting!  Head over to GraphicStock.com for a free 7 day trial and download tons of images that you can use for the holidays...Seriously, TONS of fantastic images for every occasion!
Have fun!  xoxo, Mark

See how I made them here!
Print this on 8 1/2" x 11" card stock
OR head to GraphicStock.com and pick some others!
Holiday print out on card stock
8” medium gage wire
Needle nose pliers
2 beads, 2 large sequins
1 drinking straw
Large safety pin or needle
Pin cushion 
10” of ribbon

1. Trim your print out to 6" x 11" making sure the image falls at the 3" mark
2. Cut 6” x 3/4” wide strips as you see in the photo.  You will need 16 strips so save the extra pieces for filler
3.  With your safety pin, poke a hole on each end of each strip 1/4” up from the edge and right in the center
4.  Poke a hole in the center of the large sequins if you need to
5.  Cut the straw to 3"
6.  Bend a loop in the end of the wire
7.  Add a bead and then a sequin
8.  Line your strips in a stack in order
9.  Starting at the top of the stack, thread them on the wire FACE DOWN toward the sequin
10.  Add the straw
11.  Starting from the strip that touches the sequin, thread each strip on the wire one by one
12.  Add a sequin, then a bead, clip and bend a loop in the wire.
Hand on a ribbon and you're done!
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Easy Holiday Decorating

I have tons of clear glass vases from who knows where!  They just seem to pile up year after year. This year, in my attempt to make everything merry and bright, I decided to break out the Krylon stained glass paint and some Allure and deck my halls!  Hey, if you want to skip the stained glass paint, that's fine.  I saw beautiful red glass vases a few days later, for next to nothing.
Happy decorating!  xoxo, Mark
I've officially decked my halls!
This would make a wonderful gift for a friend!
See how easy it is here!
Stuff You'll Need
Flat back gems
Glass vases
E-6000 glue
Paint your glass vases with the stained glass
*Or skip this step and buy a colorful vase
Start decorating with Allure
*Careful not to smudge as you circle the vase
Glue on gems with E-6000 and let dry
Add more Allure until you're satisfied with your design
Try this on all different shaped vases
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Bracelet DIY

Not long ago I posted a beautiful book page bracelet on my FB page by the artists Lyske Gais and Lia Duinker. People went a NUTSO-BANANAS asking how to make one, so I did a little research and came up with a way to make something very similar.  FYI, Lyske and Lia's bracelet is bound like a real book which probably took them weeks and weeks to complete.  My version is a little less time consuming to create but it still took a while!  My suggestion is to hunker down in front of a good movie or two while you're preparing.  As always, have fun, be creative, make stuff!  
xoxo, Mark
You'll need tons and tons of tiny pages.....Did I say tons?  I meant TONS!
Don't forget to make your favorite book cover for the ends!

Not that's a big ass book bracelet!
See how it's put together here!
Stuff You'll Need
E-6000 Glue
Copied and reduced book covers
Cereal box cardboard
Book pages
White glue
Cut a long strip of leather that is 1 1/4" wide and 1" longer than your wrist measurement
Mark 1" at the end of the strip
Cut at least 500 mini book pages that are 1 1/4" x 2" 
*You will be folding the 2" pages in half creating a 1 1/4" x 1" book
Fold 10 pages at a time to get the crease
Line them up one by one and hold them together with a clothespin
*You'll need as many of these as it takes to circle your wrist
Add E-6000 glue to the folds and glue them on the rough side of the leather
Keep pages upright with a wood block on each side so the dry properly
Keep glueing book pages along the entire strip except for the 1" at the end
Cut a 1" x 1 1/4" piece of cardboard
Glue your book cover to it to create a mini hardcover for the bracelet
Glue the covers to each end with more E-6000
Add Velcro on the 1" overlap to close the bracelet once it's filled with book pages.
Julie rocking her book bracelet!
The original by Lyske and Lia.....Just beautiful! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How do you say goodbye?

Walter Przedpelski 1923-2015

I was just a kid when I opened my first store in the East Village of NYC.  Within a few days of opening, Walter, who lived in apartment #3 above my boutique, shuffled in with fresh baked cookies and changed my life forever.  How do you say goodbye to someone you have spoken to nearly every day for 25 years?  I'm still figuring that out.
Walter was born IN the apartment on 9th St. between 1st Ave. and Ave. A, where he lived for almost 92 years.  He first lived there with his mother and sister and then alone after his sister left and his mother passed.  I believe that was sometime in the 1950s.  I wish I had time to tell you all of the stories he shared with me over the years.  Like how excited he was when they first got a toilet on each floor and didn't have to use an outhouse anymore.  Or how he would take the tin milk bucket to the corner for fresh milk and swing it around on the way home without spilling.  Or how he and his friends would play kickball in the street when there were no cars and only an occasional horse.  Or how he would sneak in to the movies as a kid.  Or how he told his 3rd grade teacher that he had to go home because he had yellow fever and she actually let him go home knowing he just wanted to ditch.   I have a thousand stories but as I write this, all I can feel is a huge hole in my heart.

I have always thought that Walter was my guardian angel.  A cranky, opinionated angel, but definitely put on earth to look after me.  He helped me with everything from picking up fabrics in the garment district to researching my latest whim at the library and checking out the books for me.   Every day he would come in for his list of errands and then be on his way.  In his younger years he was an accountant at a molasses company, and in all of my years in business, I only ever went to my bank twice.  He took care of that for me, too.  When I had a party, he bought the wine, baked the cheese sticks and would make a special cake.  He loved my friends but would only ever show up for a few minutes for the hellos and then disappear.  He was not a kissy huggy person, and as many can tell you, he would barely stop to talk if he was on a mission.  He told me once that he liked to pretend he didn't hear people so he could go on his way.  I loved that about him.  He especially liked his privacy and would not answer if you called his name in the street. He didn't want people knowing who he was......yet, everyone did.  I used to yell his name just to get a rise out of him.  I couldn't help it.
 I have always felt I got the better end of the deal in our relationship.  Walter wasn't a saint, but I was no picnic either!  Early on in our friendship I gave him a set of keys to my apartment.  It was then I learned that maybe our friendship was just as much for him as it was for me.  Walter was a morning person.  I'm talking a get-up-at-5 a.m. (or earlier) and-sweep-the-sidewalk-in-front-of-our-buildings kind of morning person.  When he was done with that he would "sneak" into my apartment in the loudest way possible, stand by my bedroom door and whisper my name over and over again until I responded.  When I finally answered he would ask, almost innocently, "Oh, did I wake you?"  I would always reply that he woke me when he was sweeping right outside my window at 5 a.m.  I think, no, I'm sure, he felt lonely in the morning.  He would take my bagel order and be on his way to get us breakfast.  There were days I left the chain on the door and went right back to sleep, 
but they were few and far between because I liked our bagel mornings.
The day I got the call to move to LA to host 10 Years Younger my immediate thought was who was going to take care of my friend?  Everyone on my block, my assistants in the boutique and all of my besties assured me that they would be there for him........and they were.  The minute before I hailed a  cab for LA I handed him a cell phone and told him to call me whenever he wanted and I would pick up no matter what.  He had never had a telephone!  Not even a land line in his apartment.  Right before I jumped in the cab he hugged me for the first time ever.  When I let go, he had tears in his eyes because he knew I wasn't coming back to New York, even though I swore I would.  I kept my apartment and my store for many years, but most of my time was spent here in California.  I held on to both the store and apartment for as long as I could, but 
after a while I just had to accept my new life here in LA. 

For the 12 years I've been in LA, we talked on the phone nearly every day.  Sometimes he just wanted me to listen to him yell at Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  Sometimes it was to tell me that he thought our tree was dying or that beautiful light was streaming through his kitchen window.  Sometimes it was to play his severely out of tune upright piano for me.  And sometimes it was just to let me know that he thought, because I grew up in Colorado, that I was poorly educated.  "Anyone who wasn't educated on the east coast was at a disadvantage!"  Apparently in all the time we knew each other we had never had one intelligent conversation.  It must be said that 95% of the talking, when we were on the phone, was him.  If I had something important to tell him it had to be done in a letter.  So I wrote.  I wrote to tell him all of the things I couldn't say on the phone like, I MISS YOU and I LOVE YOU and I'M THINKING ABOUT YOU EVERY MINUTE and IF YOU EVER NEED ME,  I'LL BE ON THE VERY NEXT PLANE.  I last saw Walter in September and he was definitely winding down.  I knew it was only a matter of time and I thought I was prepared for it.  But, as most people know, you're never really prepared to lose someone.

As I write this, I'm about to jump on the very next plane and bury a very big part of my heart........
and I really have no idea how I'm going to say goodbye.

Let's Make Art 2! Vintage Flowers

My original Let's Make Art post was well received so I decided to do a Let's Make Art 2 post featuring a simple technique for painting vintage looking flowers.  These were seriously easy, too friends!  Gotta say, I LOVE painting and sharing my process with all of you.  Once you know how something is done you can change it up and make your own version.  Change the colors to match your decor and go nuts. My favorite part of this painting is adding the dimensional paint at the end.  It's then that everything just comes together.
Enjoy! xoxox, Mark   
My new addition!
But I'm loving this version, too!
Watch the fun video tutorial here!
Thought it might be fun on my dresser
This version has a gold background instead of black.  LOVE the gold, too!

Couldn't decide between a gold or black background so I painted both
Stuff You'll Need
Allure Dimensional Design Adhesive Paint (puff paint)
Americana Acrylic Paints in
Ebony Lamp Black
Snow Titanium White
Holly Green
Sunny Day Yellow
Carousel Pink
 Paint the entire canvas black or gold
Paint circle and flower shapes in white
Paint leaves in white
Loosely fill in the round shapes with large strokes
*leave some white showing around the edges
Loosely fill in the flower shapes
*also leaving some white showing
Fill in the leaves with green
When dry, sketch around the shapes with Allure in black

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rock Your Wrists by TrinketsinBloom

My friend Cathy Attix just published the perfect e-book for the holidays filled with 25 bracelet tutorials called ROCK YOUR WRISTS 25 DIY Bracelet Tutorials.  Each one of these little gems would be the perfect holiday gift.  I say download a copy, find your favorites, gather the supplies, turn on your favorite Netflix series and start making your Christmas gifts.  Easy peasy!
Have fun.  xoxo, Mark
 The perfect way to jazz up some simple chain!
Make them in every one's favorite colors! 
You know I love this one!  Give me some chain and charms and I'm IN! 
This scarf bracelet is super chic and perfect for the fashionista in your life! 
Come on! A trip to the hardware store and you've got something unique!
Why not grab a copy of this book and send it to a crafty friend?
I know they would love it!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Salon Talk with Mark and Julie

My fab assistant and I work like DAWGS......There's just no other way to say it. Now don't get me wrong....I LOVE my job....LOVE it!  However, between shopping for supplies, filming, editing, moving equipment and staging our photo shoots, we barely have time for lunch.  In our attempt to make work a little more FUN, Julie suggested that we paint each other's fingernails (and have salon talk) for a collab video.....Of course I was game.  Come on!  Why should girls have all the fun?  Plus, let's face it, there is nothing craftier than Japanese Decoden fingernails!  Make sure you head over to Julie's channel to see how she painted my nails.  Gotta say, I think she did an amazing job!
Have fun.  xoxo, Mark

See me decorate Julie's nails here!
Watch Julie paint my nails here!
Feeling bad-ass after Julie rocked my nails!
I cheated and made most of Julie's nails before we filmed.
Let's just say Julie can be fidgety!

Julie did a fab newsprint technique on my nails....I actually really liked it!
Make sure to head over to her channel to see how she did it.
Stuff I Used
Tiny flat back gems
Tiny plastic flowers
Acrylic nails
Glam fingernail glue
$ store earrings
Galaxy glitter
Cheap nail polish in black, silver glitter and clear
I taped the acrylic nails to a chopstick so that I could decorate them first
Tape or glue them to the finger
Add the small plastic flower toward the base
Add green and clear rhinestones with tweezers
Dollar store earrings make terrific decoration
*Break off the back first
Add glitter polish to the tips so you can see what you're painting
When wet dip into fine glitter
Coat the entire nail with clear coat