Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DIY Japanese Fishing Floats

Have you noticed the replicas of glass fishing floats popping up in design magazines and home decor stores lately? 
Pottery Barn's Japanese Float Lamp
Authentic Glass Fishing Floats originated in Norway in the 1840's. It is a beachcomber's high treasure to find one these antique floats. Most of the ones that are washing up on beaches today are actually from Japan. Japanese fishermen started using them extensively from 1910 to the 1940's. They are glass balls, often pretty colors because they are made from recycled glass, that have fishing nets tied around them. They were used to keep the fishing nets afloat, but after wear and tear they escaped and made the long voyage to shore. Apparently, Alaska is a good place to beachcomb for them, so I can look forward to that! Oregon gets alot of them too, so I am not sure why I havent been lucky enough to find one here in Washington.
Image from Completely Coastal
A few weeks ago I saw that Kasia over at Kasia's Crafts posted a tutorial on how to make your own knock-off float decor. Ingenious! Why, if fishermen can make them why cant we, right? Anyway, she used twine for her replica. 
I noticed that I had the same jug she used for her project, so I whipped mine out but couldnt find any twine or rope. Too excited to wait until I could go buy some I decided to try it using yarn. I liked it until I finished it, and then I scrapped it because it reminded me too much of those knitted plant holders from the 1970's...eww! 

I just couldn't shake that image from my head so I bought this sisal rope from Lowe's. I liked Kasia's twine version but after trying the yarn I decided I wanted a super chunky look to mine.
I followed Kasia's tutorial, and made a ring of rope at the top and tied my pieces of rope all around the ring.
Next, I just started tying them into knots, kind of like that funky braid we used to do as kids, do you remember that?
There it is! All done. When I got to the bottom of the jar I just tied the ends of the rope to the rope on the opposite side of the jar...just like Kasia did. Here it is on my mantle...
Yes, I am redoing my mantle decor again. Don't get too attached to anything on that mantle because I change it just about as often as I change my mood. Today I spent ALL DAY deep cleaning. I don't know about you, but I am a Fall cleaner. Who wants to clean in the Spring? I love decluttering, deep cleaning, and redecorating in the Fall. Its such a cleansing process for me. I love it! I love to get rid of all the junk before I am holed up with it all Winter and make room for the holiday decor. The moving sale really gave me a kick start, and now I have to do it because I am taking pictures of the house so I can list it for rent asap! Here is another shot of the mantle. Its not done yet, but I have to keep it really simple until I take all the pictures.
Remember what the mantle looked like before?

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