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Rings, earrings, and so many more pretty things! (Now on Etsy)

Hello World,

Last week I sold my last listed ring on Etsy, and was a busy little bee this week making so many new goodies. I have expanded my store to sell other items besides zipper flowers, including: rings, bobby pins, earrings, and I just listed my first necklace!

I also bought my first can of chalkboard paint last week and have been painting up a storm. (Project post coming soon.) I repainted an old chalkboard and absolutely love using it as a background for my Etsy photos. My jewelry pieces just pop so well against the black!

Mint Chrysanthemum Ring with Adjustable Filigree Band - So pretty and bright for (almost) spring!
Bohemian Spirit Brass Necklace - I am OBSESSED with this necklace. Maybe it's because of my inner gypsy.
Mint & White Chrysanthemum Bobby Pins - If I could work a top knot I would totally pair these with one.
Bright Purple Zipper Earrings - I made so many pairs of these in different neon colors. I think they are so fun!
Happy Crafting (and Etsy-ing!)

DIY Chain & Braid Necklace

Hello World,

When I go shopping at the mall, I don't just look for items I can wear as is. I look through clearance sections for items that I can repurpose, update, or easily fix. I love it when I find a dress that has a broken strap or a missing button. I can fix that in no time and get a great deal.

Sometimes it can be a better deal to buy an item and dissect than to go buy the supplies at a craft store. Last week, I went to Rue 21 and found a heavy gold chain bracelet for only $2. The only problem was it was way too big for my wrist. I simply removed the lobster clasp and repurposed the chain to make a necklace:

1. Gather your supplies: chain, jewelry cord, scissors, and a ruler.

2. Cut six strands of jewelry cord. I made each of my cords 34 inches long.

3. Fold three of the cords in half and feed these loops through one end of your chain.

4. Bring the tail ends of the cords through the cord loop and pull tightly.

5. Due to the loop, you will have 6 pieces of cord to work with. You can either braid two small braids, or one thicker braid.

6. Tie a knot at the end and repeat this process for the other side of your necklace.

7. Trim the tail ends of your braids.

8. Wrap some jewelry cord around both braids, and tie knots to secure it. If you are worried about it coming undone, add some glue to secure it.

Happy Crafting!

Going Stag Jewelry Holder

Hello World,

Guess what? I have another Darby Smart kit to show you today! The original kit was designed by Los Angeles-based designer, Joanna Reynolds. I think this kit is such a clever idea for a jewelry holder.

I live in Idaho, and most of my friends have actual animal heads mounted in their living rooms. I am not very outdoorsy, and have never been hunting. I know GASP. I went to a high school where the senior guys wore flannel cutoffs, thought mullets were cool, and would go hunting before school sometimes. It just was never my scene. (Plus, I don't really like the taste of venison.)

So I thought this was a nice alternative to having an actual head mounted in my bedroom, and it can be completely customized to your own style!

Darby Smart even included this super cute lollipop in the Valentine's Day spirit!
The kit originally comes with two mini cans of spray paint, a bunch of gem stones, glue, wire, pliers, a wooden plaque, and a metal hanging hardware. Note: I used other supplies in my stash to make my version.

I originally painted the wooden plaque white and hand painted a realistic deer head on it. I was planning on gluing the gemstones onto the plaque as a necklace design on the deer, but I couldn't get the ears right. In the middle of my perfectionist frustration, I painted the entire plaque black and went with a geometric design instead, in neon colors (using my own acrylic paint).

If you want to try this kit out, but want to paint a design, Darby Smart sells some acrylic paint colors separately too here. I didn't end up using all the supplies from this kit, and will be saving the gem stones for another project.

I really like the gold wire antlers with the brightly painted plaque. Does the fringe necklace above look familiar? That was my original prototype for my Darby Smart kit!

If you think this kit is a rad idea as well, you can check out the original gem-stone-tastic kit here. (I know I've said it a million times, but seriously sign up for their emails or follow them on Facebook, they send/post coupon codes periodically. Who doesn't like a deal?)

Happy Crafting!

PS- Unlike my other kit posts, this was my first complimentary kit from Darby Smart and all opinions are my own.

Time for a little (chair) makeover

Hello World,

My mom bought me this chair at a yard sale when I was 11 years old. Since then, it has gained some wear being my craft room chair. My cat loves to use seat cushion to sharpen his claws, I've dripped glue and paint on it, and I've been meaning to give it a makeover for quite some time now.

I started by removing the seat cushion with a screwdriver, and sanding down the wooden frame. I then painted it with primer and two coats of latex paint. (My local Walmart wanted $0.28 for a paint stirrer, when did those stop being free?)

I next gave the seat cushion an update. I simply just laid my seat upside down on some cotton fabric, pulled that fabric tightly over each edge and stapled it into place. I then reattached my seat to my chair with a screwdriver.

The seat might look uncomfortable due to its not-cushiness, but trust me, this baby is pretty dang comfy.

Happy Crafting!

Apartment Therapy Homies Awards

Hello World,

I have exciting news! Can Can Dancer has just been nominated for Apartment Therapy's Homies Awards! If you are on the search for new blogs to follow, check out their massive blog lists. It's a great way to find blogs in many categories, including: DIY, Home Design, Family & Kids, Health & Diet, Sweets & Baking, and many more!

Check out the full list of nominations here. Week 1 voting ends Feb 22nd at 5AM. I would love your support! Happy Crafting!

Bacon wrapped dates (with goat cheese and almonds)

Hello World,

Last week for my birthday, a friend made these and I just had to share them with you. Due to their bacon-ness, they were gobbled up pretty quickly by my guests. They are really easy to make and only require four ingredients:

To make this finger food you will need: raw bacon, dried dates, goat cheese, and sliced almonds.

Start by butterflying your dates. Add goat cheese and a few sliced almonds to your open date. Next, fold the date closed, trapping the cheese and almonds inside it. Wrap the raw bacon around your filled date, and trim the bacon once the meat has overlapped. Place this roll overlap-side down on a baking sheet.

Repeat this process until you have filled an entire baking sheet. Broil them in the oven until the top side is crispy. Flip the rolls over and broil until the other side is crispy as well. Remove rolls from your baking sheet, dispose of the bacon grease properly, and enjoy!

Birthday Freebies

Hello World,

Instead of a DIY project for you today, I thought I'd share a list of places that sent me birthday deal emails. I do love a good coupon, and who doesn't like a freebie to help celebrate their birthday?

I received emails from the following companies in 2014:

Cold Stone Creamery - My local Cold Stone is located right next to a movie theater, so just about anytime I see a movie during the summer, I get a Like It (small) sized ice cream. Their birthday email had a Buy One, Get One Free Creation coupon, good for seven days after my birthday.

Hot Topic
 - I signed up for a HT+1 account a few years ago, and each year they send me a birthday coupon. This year it was $5 off my next $30 purchase in store or online, good for the next 30 days.

Jack In The Box - I received an email on my actual birthday, with a coupon for two free tacos (with any purchase). It was good the entire week of my birthday. I redeemed mine yesterday, and ended up spending $1.00 + tax on fries. (Off subject, but I have not stepped foot inside a Jack In The Box in years. I always just use the drive through. Have they always kept all their condiments hidden behind the counter?)

Kellogg Family Rewards - Inside specially marked Kellogg's products are 16 digit codes that you can redeem online for coupons and goodies. Back in college, I ate my fair share of Pop-Tarts, and redeemed my codes to buy even more Pop-Tarts. For my birthday they sent me a code worth 100 points. (The email also included a $20 credit to Shutterfly.)

Olive Garden - Good for one week after my birthday, Olive Garden sent a coupon good for one free appetizer or dessert (good with the purchase of two adult dinner entrees (not including soup, Garden Salad, or pizza) on the same check). I haven't redeemed this yet, since my favorite thing to eat at Olive Garden in the Zuppa Toscana soup.

Pizza Hut - Pizza Hut is constantly sending me coupons. Their birthday email included a coupon for free cinnamon sticks with my next online order.

Qdoba - I signed up for their rewards program, and received a Buy One, Get One Free coupon on an entree, good for a seven days after my birthday.

Sally Beauty - If you don't have a cosmetology license, you can join their Beauty Club for $5. After buying a Beauty Club Membership, you receive a coupon for $5 off your next purchase. For my birthday they sent me a $10 of $20 coupon. I redeemed this yesterday and added even more colors to my Gelish collection. (Off subject - dark Gelish colors take about three coats if you want to avoid streaking.)

Sephora - If you sign up for a Beauty Insider account, you are eligible for a birthday gift. I stopped by my local Sephora (inside JCP), bought a sale Sephora eyeshadow palette, and picked up my free Make Up For Ever deluxe minis.  It included a Smoky Extravagant Mascara and a Rouge Artist Natural lipstick. The birthday gift changes every year, with last year's being Benefit deluxe minis.

 - Signed up for the Pie Club last year, and both years I have received a coupon for a free slice of pie, good for about a month after my birthday.

Starbucks - Register a Starbucks Card on their website, and they'll credit your account with a free handcrafted beverage, Starbucks bottled beverage, or food item of your choice, for your birthday. They also sent me a code for 15% StarbucksStore.com.

Ulta - I signed up for their rewards program, and was sent a coupon for a free full-size Signature CK (Calvin Klein) One Mascara, valued at $18. I redeemed this coupon yesterday, and was excited when I realized the mascara wand is adjustable - never seen anything like that before.

Vanity - A week before my birthday they sent me a 20% off coupon, good towards my entire full price purchase. It also stated that sale, promotions, and clearance cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons and discounts.

I also received a happy birthday email from my student loan repayment company. Unfortunately, there was not a coupon or discount in their email. A girl can dream...

As a warning, if you sign up for promotional emails, be prepared to have your inbox flooded. I have multiple emails, with an old high school one that I always use when signing up for deals/newsletters. Gmail's new categorized inbox tabs also help to filter important and promotional emails. As a tip, sign up way in advance. Some of these companies skipped me last year because I signed up in my actual birthday month.

*There is no guarantee these deals are sent to everyone on these companies' mailing lists. Almost every email stated that the deal is "subject to change," are valid at only participating locations, and hold no cash value. Remember to be careful with who you give personal information to.

Do you have any birthday deals that you have redeemed?

DIY Birthday Crown

Hello World,

Today is my 24th birthday! This last weekend I celebrated my birthday jointly with my friend Sam (who is two days older than me) and made us birthday crowns. I am a firm believer that age is just a number, and that you should never stifle your inner child.

When I was in junior high I remember looking at college graduates and thinking they were so old. Now that I am that age, I don't feel like a total grown up, but junior high students do look young to me.

I decided to embrace my inner child and had a blast making birthday crowns with pipe cleaners and pom poms. Check out the very simple tutorial below:

1. Gather your supplies: pipe cleaners, pom poms, a hot glue gun, and glue sticks.

2. Start by creating the band for your crown. I used two pipe cleaners to create the base ring.

3. Wrap pipe cleaners around the base you created, forming triangle shapes.

4. I did a second tier of triangles to fill the crown out more. On my crown, I added a heart shape.

5. Glue pom poms on as your pretend gems, and enjoy!

I didn't need booby pins to hold my crown on, even while dancing.

So stylish. :)
Happy Crafting!

Gradient Vase from a Bottle

Hello World,

My favorite craft projects involve repurposed materials. I previously showed two techniques for sprucing up vases with spray paint. Check them out here.

Last summer I found a tutorial for cutting bottles with yarn, nail polish remover, and a lighter- and failed miserably. I blogged about my Pinterest fail, and asked for suggestions to succeed next time around. I decided to give the technique another try, and actually succeeded this time!

Check out how to make your own gradient vase below:

1. Gather your supplies: spray paint and a bottle. If you want to try cutting your vase you also will need: nail polish remover, yarn, sandpaper, and a lighter.

2. Remove all labels from your bottle.

3. Wash your bottle. If you have sticker residue, let the bottle soak in sudsy hot water. Load a scrubby with soap and then have at the sticker residue. Dry your bottle.

4. If you want to cut the top of your bottle check out this tutorial. From my experience, I rotated my bottle more quickly, and for more than 30 seconds. Dull down the sharp edges with sand paper. If you don't want to risk accidentally lighting anything on fire, skip this step.

5. In a ventilated area, spray paint your bottle. For a gradient effect, spray more towards the bottle, and quickly work your way up the bottle.

6. Allow to dry. In my last photo, I placed the top of the bottle upside down inside the vase portion to help hold my fake flower stems in place.

Ladder Fringe Necklace

Hello World,

I love a good statement necklace. You can wear them layered with a scarf, or by themselves to spruce up an outfit. Check out the tutorial below to see how to make your own bohemian statement necklace:

1. Gather your supplies: pliers, beading pins, beads, jump rings, and chain.

2. I didn't have eye pins in my stash, so I instead made my own by bending the pin around the tip of a pair of pliers.

3. I then trimmed the flat head tip off the pin, and added my beads onto this end.

4. After adding all my beads onto a pin, I bent the other end into a loop, securing the beads.

5. Instead of closing the chain like a traditional necklace, instead line up your beads pins with each tail end of your chain.

6. Attach your beaded pins to the chain with jump rings using your pliers.

7. Create your bead fringes by adding beads onto flathead pins.

8. Attach your bead fringes to the end of your necklace with jump rings.

This is my first version. I want to create another with turquoise beads, longer pins, and a tapering fringe. (similar to my Darby Smart necklace)

Happy Crafting!