Planting (Bead) Seeds

Who would have thought when the gladiator craze hit three years ago that it would still be growing strong in '09? With a fresh take on what is fast becoming a summer classic, Antik Batik has upped the ante by adding a bold pop of color and texture. Rejuvinate last season's It sandals sitting in your closet for round two simply by adding some seed beads. The candy colored shades punch up neutrals and liven basic blacks, which make accessorizing for a hot day easy breezy!

What You'll Need:
Gladiator sandals
Seed beads (variety of colors)


Take your sharpie and section your sandal straps where the different color beads will meet. You may want to note which color goes where so you don't wind up getting too much of one color in a certain area (if you have OCD like me). Covering only one color section at a time, spread a thin layer of super glue over the sandal strap and pour the seed beads onto the wet glue.

Shake off the excess beads. To make sure the beads are secure spread another layer of either superglue or clear nail polish over the top. Using all your colors, make a circular pattern up the middle sandal strap then haphazardly drop beads around it. I impulsively grabbed these chunkier gladiators on a grocery excursion to Walmart, but I think the design is better suited on sandals with lots of thin straps.



Buggin' Out

You've got to hand it to that Fendi clan; they're one talented brood. The latest to break away from the pack is 21-year-old Delfina Delettrez, daughter of Silvia Venturini Fendi. However, don't expect her to follow in her mother's footsteps of classic motifs (Silvia created the famed Fendi "Baguette"). Delfina has a penchant for the macabre, incorporating skeletons, reptiles, and other creepy crawlers into her jewelry line. Her latest collaboration with Parisian 'créateur de lunettes' Alain Mikli takes couture eyewear to a whole new level...and price point! Her limited edition line is available at Colette just in time for summer and starts at a mere $925. Not heading to Europe this vacation? With a street vendor pair of sunglasses, paint and a steady hand, you can craft up a pair of edgy sunnies that'll have all your friends buggin' with jealousy!

What You'll Need:
Acrylic paint
Hot glue gun

Start by wiping the lenses of your sunglasses and removing all fingerprints for a clean surface. Dip the sharp end of a toothpick in the paint and lightly dot your design on the edge of the frame. Acrylic paint wipes off easily, so don't worry if you mess up on the first few tries! I found that dotting the web and lightly blending the dots together gives you the thinnest line.

Take the clean end of a toothpick and gently wipe away any flaws from bleeding paint. After the paint is dry, hot glue your charm to the corner of the frame. If you have arachnophobia, try a sea creature charm and paint blue waves, or a dog charm with painted paw prints...the possibilities are endless!



Anchors Away

The nautical theme is everywhere these days, from the always iconic Michael Kors to D&G's latest French Riviera inspired collection; however, Phillip Lim beat them all to the punch this season. He crafted up an exclusive little tee for Brooklyn hot shop Bird last December, touting the piece as adding "some major sparkle to your holidays." While the blinding gems certainly make you feel giddy with Christmas cheer, the winding rope helps the piece transition between seasons (perfect for the lazy days of summer lurking around the corner!). Throw this versatile piece over your swim suit for a day at the beach or pair with smart trousers for cocktails and cookouts.

What You'll Need:
Rope (about 3 yards)
Pack of large crystals (with holes for sewing)

Start by arranging the crystals around the neckline in the general pattern you desire. Remember to leave enough room between the crystals for the rope to loop around.

Next, sew the crystals to the shirt with a needle and thread. Do not stretch the shirt when sewing, but let the fabric fall naturally. This will help you avoid puckering. Once all the crystals are secure, snake the rope around them tying loose knots. I folded my rope in half and started at the center of the shirt, working my way out on both sides. Secure the rope with thread by sewing from the underside of the shirt.

Once the rope is tied around all the crystals, sew it completely around the neckline to the back of the shirt. The two ends of the rope should meet at the nape of your neck. Tie some thread around both ends (so the rope won't unravel) and snip off the excess. I then added a spiral for a more finished look, or you can experiment with other ways to tie off the rope. Check out the original.

Now you have your very own nautical knit. Let the fun in the sun commence!


P.S. For any loyal readers out there still kindly following my crafty endeavors, I apologize for my much too long hiatus. However, now that the pesky little obligation called college is out of the way I fully intend to update more frequently in the coming months. Thanks for sticking around!