Dirty Shiny Pretty

Musings on Dirty Shiny Pretty Life

Dec 8, 2011

DIY Gift: Tiger Bike Helmet

Sawako Furuno Helmet
Rawwr! My Tiger Helmet
     A few weeks ago my sister emailed me a picture of this super cute Sawako Furuno leopard print bike helmet saying she wanted it. I looked into it and was shocked to discover it was $200. While I couldn't buy it, I told my sister it looked like something I could paint. She got super excited and asked if I could make her a tiger helmet for Christmas. I didn't give her an answer but I knew that's exactly what I would do.
    The hardest part was finding the right helmet with a little brim. After trolling the internet I found great match in the GIRO Surface helmet. After lots of searching on Cyber Monday I was able to snag it for $22, a steal. Everything after that was easy.

-Orange spray paint
-White primer
-Clear Sealant
-Blue painter's tape
-Print out of tiger stripe pattern

1. I printed out an image of a tiger stripe pattern for a visual reference then using painter's tape started marking out the stripes on the helmet. I tore of the both long edges of the tape for all my stripes so that the stripes would be rough edged.

2. Cover the brim in tape. You do NOT want to paint the brim. Then stuff the air vents and head space with plastic bags and then tape over the bottom so you don't get paint inside your helmet.

3. In a well ventilated area spray the helmet with white primer, make sure to cover thoroughly. Let dry.

4. Spray the helmet with the orange paint. Let dry. Do second coat.

5. Spray with clear sealant. Let dry.

6. Carefully remove tape.

Ignore the black spot. I have no idea what that is.


P.S. Try different animal prints. I'm tempted to try the original leopard print helmet.

Dec 6, 2011

Easy DIY gift: Purse Strap Bracelet

Purse Strap Bracelet

Since it is the holiday season I figured I would try to come up with some more DIY gifts for those of you who love to make your gifts or might be short on $ or ideas. Today's gift took me all of 5 minutes to make and cost me $0.
Using the strap and hardware from an old broken purse I created two chic bracelets. These are the perfect rescue gifts to having lying around just in case, or to give to a trendy co-worker, friend, or family member.

-Old purse strap (best material is leather and pleather)
-Purse hardware to use as clasp, you can also buy this from your favorite craft/fabric store
-Matching color thread
-Sewing Machine

1. Starting at one end of the purse strap cut a length of strap to fit your wrist + about 2 inches for each side that you need to sew into a loop. I was lucky that my purse straps ended in the toggle claps so I only had to sew the second loop meaning I only added two inches to my bracelet length. If you have to add loops on both ends add 4 inches. You can trim off the extra.

2. Thread sewing machine and use the correct needle for the fabric you're sewing. Place either clasp or the metal ring through one end of bracelet strap. About an inch down fold the strap over with the hardware inside, creating the loop. Sew into place with two straight seams.

3. Repeat at other end if you need to. Make sure you size the loops so the finished bracelet will fit your wrist. Trim any extra material.

If you have a really long purse strap you can use this same technique to make a belt. Or you can use this process to turn an old belt into a new bracelet.


Dec 5, 2011

Easy DIY Christmas/Hanukkah Gifts: Zippered Clutch and Make-up Pouch

Leopard and pleather make-up pouch

Leopard clutch
You might remember the post I did on sewing a leopard print clutch a little while ago. It's become one of my go-to bags and the other night I was at my bf's band's show when the lead singer's new lady friend asked me about it. After I told her I made it she asked if I could make her one. Nervous but flattered I said yes. I already had the necessary materials left over from making my bag so I knew it would be easy to make another. This time I just made a single pouch clutch, so much easier, and still had enough fabric left that I also made a little make up bag. I'm handing the bag over tonight. I hope she likes it.
Leopard and pleather clutch with purple polka dot lining

Make-up pouch with black and gold starburst lining

Dec 1, 2011

Caught in the Photoshop Web

I'm pretty sure we're all guilty of it. Staring at models in ads and on the cover of magazines. Dissecting their every non-existent pore. Telling ourselves or anyone who will listen to us that their images are photoshopped beyond belief. And why do we do it? Is it actually because we want to point out the lies being fed to us? Maybe. Or because we have been taught to be jealous and threatened by anyone we perceive as better than us? Possibly. Is it because it feels good? Could be. I know I feel a little better about myself when I can tell myself that none of it is real, and no one is that pretty. Really, it's probably a combination of all these things and more.

Well, now image forensics researchers at Dartmouth have developed a mathematical model that traces photoshop alterations. They applied the model to several ads and magazine covers and hope to use the findings to study the affect such images have on the psyche. This model isn't available for public use but if it was would you use it? Why?

Nov 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

He's been called the Most Interesting Man in the World

I'm not sure interesting is the right word

I just wanted to give a shout out to the man who taught me:
1. Bob Dylan is to be respected
2. Style is having self confidence
3. Travel anywhere and everywhere you can because the ability to explore our world is an amazing opportunity
4. Stop restricting your future with what-ifs and worries, pursue what you love and your passion and smarts will help you succeed
5. You're never too old to learn something new (he ran his first marathon at 60)
6. Read
7. History is Awesome
8. Those who talk the most usually have the least to say
9. Sarcasm is a powerful tool, use it wisely or you risk making an ass of yourself
10. Family is #1. Make time for them and let them know they are loved

Happy 62nd Birthday Dad! I love you.

Nov 26, 2011


A necklace B made and wanted to sell, because she wanted to make jewelry like her Momma

Sometimes it can be very hard to feel inspired. You're tired, stressed, burned out. Really you just don't want to bother with the creative process at all whether it's at work, your style, etc. Then something grabs your attention and you realize inspiration is necessary to expanding upon your work and ideas, to moving forward and creating. When you fail to acknowledge inspiration you fail to acknowledge yourself. Of course, you might not agree with me but take a minute to think about a time when you were tired or bored with the way things were in your life. How did you feel? What was your energy level like? What got you moving again? I'm pretty sure it was inspiration. Appreciate what life offers to you and feed your talents with it.

"Moon" a story by B

Nov 25, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...if You Like to Get Pepper Sprayed!

Nothing says I love you more than pepper spraying other customers so you can get that marked down XBox 360 for your children. Seriously, check out this story. Well, let me just say while I hope you love my jewelry as much as that XBox there is no need to go physically harming other people to get good prices on my pieces. All my pieces are under $50 and I'm currently offering free shipping for the holiday season with the use of the coupon code DSPFREE. So save your eyes, your sanity, and your money by checking out my shop, Dirty Shiny Pretty(you can get there by the app on my sidebar as well). I hope you find a great one-of-a-kind piece for a loved one on your shopping list.

Barred Necklace
A Stud Inside Ring
Wrapped and Chained Bracelet
Disco Tassel Earrings

Nov 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your day be filled with family, friends, love, and laughter, and not gut wrenching gluttony.

Nov 16, 2011

Can't Resist that Neon Glow

I try not to watch a lot of TV. I'm one of those people who if I sit down in front of the TV will suddenly snap out of a daze three hours later to realized I've been watching House Hunter International reruns for no apparent reason. Instead, I monitor my TV time by watching my shows online. This way I miss most of the commercials, set myself with an actual time limit, and can work on jewelry or other projects as the show plays. All that being said I'm still a TV lover and am so glad some good scripted shows have made it onto the air in the past few seasons. These are my current favorites:

1. Modern Family- So freaking funny. I laugh out loud every episode

2. Parks and Rec- Ron Swanson. The end.

3. Pan Am- Was resistant to it and the idea that it was a cheap shot at my beloved Mad Men, but I'm really enjoying it now.

4. Mad Men- Can it please come back?

5. 30 Rock- This needs to come back too. I need more Alec Baldwin in my life.

6. Community- Decided to check it out one night, and was left feeling uncertain but wanting to watch more. I still feel this way

7. Parenthood- Don't know why I like this show but I do.

8. Project Accessory- Really didn't think I would like this based on the cheesy previews, and I think Molly Sims is a bland host, but I love the challenges and am jealous of their amazing work room.

9. Project Runway- It's been losing it's appeal but I still like to watch the runway shows and be a judgmental bitch.

So there's my list of shows. I guess if it says anything about me it's that I enjoy creative projects, am nostalgic for a period I didn't live through, find happiness in sarcasm, and value family life, or I just watch a lot of TV. What shows do you like?

*All images from nbc.com, abc.com, mylifetime.com, eonline.com and amctv.com

Nov 14, 2011

What Happened to Me?

How could this face ever be in the evil mouse army?
     This past weekend was interesting. Saturday was cloudy and rainy and filled with movies, dance classes, homemade soup, and The Nutcracker rehearsal and Sunday was the day I realized I'm no longer a teenager and my body is done trying to pretend it is.
She's also an angel. The duality is quite fitting
     The day started off with beautiful weather and me excited about a trip to Magic Mountain. My bf's dad invited us and since I hadn't been to Magic Mountain in about 10 years I nervous but ready to ride some crazy coasters. We started off strong on X2, the absolute most insane roller coaster I've ever been on, Revolution, and Tatsu, another death defying feat of engineering. They were crazy, thrilling, and scream inducing but after just three rides I was out.
Tatsu. Yes, you free fall head first while you pray that your harness holds.
     My head was throbbing, my stomach was in my throat, and I just wanted to take a nap somewhere nice and quiet, which is impossible at Six Flags. Instead, I popped Advil, continued to feel terrible, and followed the group from ride to ride to sit out on the sidelines and feel like the ultimate party pooper. In my mind all I could think was "Who are you? You've never been the girl who sits out with a headache. Pull yourself together and rally." Then I realized "Oh yeah it's been 10 years since you've done this and your body has changed a hell of a lot. Remember, you can't even read in the car any longer without getting a headache. What did you expect riding a bunch of head jerking roller coasters back to back? A relaxing head massage?" I did manage to rally for Collossus, one of my absolute favorites, laughing and screaming the whole ride, but after that I really was done. All I could think about was the long car ride home and how I didn't want to puke in the car. The car ride was marked by a nap. Yep, I was able to pass out at 3:30 in the afternoon and you know what? That was fine with me.

X2-sending up another prayer about harness strength.
     Even with the headache and nausea I had a fun time because I enjoyed what I was able to and I realized that I'm more than alright with no longer trying to keep up with teenagers. They will always be younger and more energetic but they will never have the level head and self-acceptance that I have. As my grandma always says "Age is just a number, it's your state of mind that matters." Besides, I'm too busy to worry about competing with the youth. Not only do I have a family, job, and social life to balance but I've got to focus on bigger battles now, like the fact that I slowly seem to be metamorphosing into my mom.

Nov 12, 2011

DIY Studded Ponytail Holder from Repurposed Belt

It's currently raining here, and what better excuse for some DIY time than a rainy day. I completed this ponytail holder in about 5 minutes last night. My bf had asked me to cut up his old studded belt to make some bracelets for him. After I did this I was left with a little strip of studs that I didn't want to waste. This project was the perfect use for it.

 -small studded strip of leather
-thin black piece of elastic
-strong hold glue
-small flat nose pliers

1. Cut strip of studs so when you wrap it around your ponytail there is about an inch of open space. Cut right next to the studs so that the tabs are right on the edge.

2. Cut elastic to fill empty space to fit your ponytail with extra space to attach elastic to each end of the studded strip.

3. Open the end tab on each end stud. Peel back bottom layer of leather strip to about each stud's midpoint. Add glue between leather layers and sandwich ends of elastic in between. Pierce stud's open tab into the elastic (is key to keeping elastic in place). Close tab with pliers. Clamp down edge until glue dries.   

4. There isn't a whole lot of stretch in this ponytail holder so you will have to use a regular elastic tie in your hair then slide this over your hair. It will stay in place and add a little interest to your basic hair style.

Rocking the hair fountain look!


Nov 9, 2011

Mod inspired DIY Bold Collar Necklace

I have a slight obsession with classic films and British period dramas meaning my Netflix queues are full of them. On any given night you will probably find me winding down for bed by randomly selecting a movie from my watch instantly queue. A few weeks ago I decided on "The Grass is Greener" starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. While I wasn't in love with the film (laughing away infidelity isn't my thing) I was in love with Jean Simmons bold style. Particularly in one scene where she wears an all orange outfit with matching orange necklace and earrings, one of which sits as a crown jewel in her bouffant. I decided I needed a necklace like that to call my own and what better way to get one than to make it myself.

She's crazy and fabulous!

The complete ensemble

-Several brooches, rhinestones, odds and ends from broken pieces of jewelry, nothing has to match
-Strong adhesive made for metals and plastics
-Spray paint
-Backing strong and soft to handle the weight of the jewels and movement. I used embrodiery cloth because I had it on hand, but now I have to layer it with something else because its so scratchy
-A clasp

1. Cut out a circle from a piece of paper. It will be your guide for the inner circumference of your necklace. To get mine I traced the inner part of a collar necklace that had the same fit I wanted with this new piece.

2. Lay your backing down and position the circle on top of it so that there is enough room to add all your pieces. Position everything in a way you like then use the glue to join each piece to the backing. I had to redo this because I forgot the backing the first time.

3. Cut away the extra backing.

4. Make sure everything is solidly attached and spray paint the whole thing. It might take a few coats. Finish off with a sealer so the paint doesn't nick or chip.

5. When dry and the clasp and viola! You now are ready to rock an amazing one of a kind necklace.

Of course its only right to pair it with an outfit the same color.