hand made & DIY

painted deer antlers

Recently I saw painted deer antlers at the Brooklyn Flea Market. I think they look fantastic! So during my Montana visit I decided to pick up a few antlers and try painting them myself.

Male deer shed their antlers every year starting around January, and grow new antlers in the spring. The antlers start out fuzzy and soft, and will bleed if cut. By fall, as a buck’s testosterone increases, the antlers become hard, like bone. By mid-winter, bucks start shedding their heavy burdens, and antlers can be discovered lying on the ground. You can tell if an antler was shed naturally by the “button” at the base of the antler. If it has a button, the antler was shed with no harm to the animal.

gold antler button

Now that you know all about deer antlers, we can get to the business of painting them. There is something about the contrast of the earthy hue and texture of an antler juxtaposed with the vibrant color of acrylic paint that is really exciting to look at. To be fair, antlers alone are pretty beautiful. And painted, they are startlingly lovely.

Mule deer antler in copper, aubergine and yellow

I am lucky to have to wildly generous people in my life. In addition to the antlers I picked up at the Montana Antique Mall, I was also given several antlers from friends.

The first antler I received was from a nomadic fellow who spends half the year hawking super tasty breakfast sandwiches at the Missoula Farmer’s Market, earning him enough dough to chill with his kid for the other six months of the year in Costa Rica. Pretty sweet! Despite his minimalist lifestyle he has carried this antler with him for years. I was honored to be given this shed, which is from a young moose. With its flat base, this antler was calling out to be reborn as a table centerpiece. With that in mind, it was the first one I painted.

Moose Antler

First, I taped off the parts I didn’t want to paint. Then, I spray painted the antler on one side only, creating an ombre effect on the edges.

Moose Antler Centerpiece

100% cruelty free upcycling at its finest!

Top: White Tail Deer Antler in Metallic Gold
Middle: Mule Deer Shed in Copper, Aubergine and Yellow
Bottom: Painted Young Moose Antler Centerpiece


being 40

some say as you age you get older, wiser, and more elegant. of those things, I just feel older. one thing i do have now that i didn’t have as a young person is tact. but since that was missing entirely from my skill set in the past, it’s small consolation that i have a {READ MORE}


upcycled picture frames

i have been on a mission to find old wooden picture frames to restore. i hoped to frame some super cool art i found on etsy: amazingly cool animal artwork printed on dictionary pages from the 1800s. it’s well known that i’m a sucker for animal art. and when you combine type with animals—well, i {READ MORE}


white: the best non-color

living in nyc, i see a lot of black clothes. i’m not really one for black. i love color, and lots of it. plus, i don’t think i look good in black—it’s a little sad on me, not glamorous at all. i’m too blond, too california, too something for black. heading into summer i’m reminded of {READ MORE}


crowned princess

ever since my girls were small, my mom (aka “mana”) has been making paper crowns for their birthdays. she makes one each year for my niece, too. by now she has created a dozen or so different crowns and is something of an expert in paper crown making. it has become a tradition to receive and wear {READ MORE}


making for mom (part two)

i got on the plane at laguardia laden with a big, colorful wreath. heavy with anticipation. okay not really about the anticipation part. but i did lug the thing from nyc to carmel, ca to give to my mom during our visit. (read part one of making for mom here if you missed it.) i {READ MORE}


sticky fingers: decoupage easter eggs

this past week the girls and i traveled to visit the grandparents in carmel, ca for spring break (and brought with us the wreath). carmel is home to clint eastwood, whose former notoriety as town mayor has been overshadowed by his conversation with an empty chair. anyhow, we’ve spent our time soaking, frolicking in the green green {READ MORE}


making for mom (part one)

my mom has amazing taste. every place you look in her home you see interesting eye candy. she has a lot of treasures, this lady. i remember a three foot leather camel next to the fireplace growing up (weird but cool). she has little installations all over the house. i love it. here we are {READ MORE}


diy valentine’s day sweetheart wreath

i never thought of myself as a wreath person. but i just can’t resist exploring all those wreath ideas floating around, and now this blog is dangerously close to becoming a wreath making how-to. maybe i can make 13 wreaths in 2013. or 39 wreaths in my 39th year. ouch! that second one hurts a {READ MORE}


calendar give-away

it’s happened—another year gone. looking ahead at 2013 i see sunshine and smiles. optimism. and calendars! simply “like” treasure seeking on facebook and you will be entered to win one of these vibrant, detailed 2013 “resilience” calendars with images of nature and warmth by artist claire emery (and designed by me). good luck! beloew are images for {READ MORE}