Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Colorful Grunge Christmas


It is time for some Christmas inspiration again! I am very early so don´t take any Christmas pressures. My point is to be a bit early bird so that you have more time to gather ideas and think what you are going to make for this Christmas and plan how your festive season will look like. Also most of my projects are made of recycled material so if you choose to make them you will need time to collect materials needed. Plus now it is the best time to go thrifting and hunting for bargains. My experience is that month or two before Christmas all the prices go up but if you are awake now you can find last season pieces and craft supplies from sale :) And as I make a lot I do need to look at the prices too.

For this post I got inspiration from bottle caps that are nice glittery material if you figure out how to use them. About a year ago I bought metallic colored beads from sale and now I combined the caps with the beads. As a result I got decorations that can be used in a Christmas tree or as a table/wall decoration.


Technique is easy, you just open the plaits from the cap by hammering with ballpoint hammer. Then you use tongs to fold the cap. When you string the beads and caps to a wire close the folded cap tightly from the corners.


Many might think that it is somehow strange to use this kind of recycled material in Christmas crafts. But there is nothing modern about this, quite the contrary. If you look at the home made vintage Christmas decorations you might be surprised  of the innovative use of material. All kinds of (glittery) papers from packages and news papers were saved for festive decorations. Not to mention trillions of school classes that have been using toilet paper rolls and egg cartons in crafts class. As an example I have made the little stars that I put to my mini Christmas tree from an old news paper. 


I made the quilted table cloth for last Christmas and it is made of fabrics found from a thrift shop. When quilting you do not need huge amounts of one single fabric so flea markets are great places to find material and quilting as a technique is great when you want to use all the scraps from your favorite pieces.


 Think again things around you and use color, that is the key to this style. Even though you are using cheap recycled material it does not have to mean poorly made. Use all your crafting skills and make a statement with the pieces you craft!


I would like to hear about your Christmas projects and plans. What kind of Christmas person are you? Do you make all by yourself or are you enjoying the holidays with your friends and family in a bigger gathering where someone else is in charge?

Have a nice Tuesday to you all! 

Sannu

Have you already red my thoughts about Christmas 2016 trends. If not you can find my post here!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Halloween Ideas: Eat, Bake, Decorate



Halloween is coming and as we are going through darkest time of the year it is nice to make and prepare something festive. I think that best inspiration comes from the nature which is waiting for it´s snow cover. I wanted to keep decorations very simple by using nature materials and light tones. For the food I combined cold salmon salad with warm pumpkin slices, which makes it both light and filling. When I made the cake I wanted to combine all things that taste like autumn and coming winter. 

Eat: Salmon Salad with Warm Pumpkin Slices


***
salmon
vegetarian oil
salt
fish seasoning

Massage oil, salt and fish seasoning to the surface and cook in a preheated oven in 175 Celsius degrees for 15-25 minutes depending how big fillet you have.

pumpkin
vegetarian oil
salt
black pepper
lemon juice

Slice the pumpkin (don´t remove the peel, it looks decorative when you serve it). Massage oil and salt to the surface. Cook in a preheated oven in 200 Celsius degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with black pepper and lemon juice.

spinach
curly endive
lettuce
cherry tomatoes
1 carrot
Parmesan cheese

Slice tomatoes and grate carrot. Mix all ingredients together and grate Parmesan cheese to the top. Serve with cold salmon and lemon juice.
***


Bake: Pumpkin Cake with Mascarpone, Lemon and Figs 


***
Use a hand blender to mince fresh pumpkin that you have carved from the inside of the pumpkin.


Wash one lemon and one lime properly. Grate off the peel from both. Add 2 tbsp water and 1 tbsp sugar plus grated peel to a kettle and let cook for two minutes. Put the peel to dry on a baking sheet. Use as decoration and spice for the cake filling.


Cake

2 eggs
1 1/2 dl sugar
75 g butter
2 tsp gingerbread seasoning
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 dl flour
3 dl fresh pumpkin puree

Mix together dry ingredients. Beat together eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add puree and mix. Put the pastry to a well floured baking mold. Bake in a preheated 175 Celsius degrees oven for 30-45 minutes.


Cut the cake to two halves and slice both halves.


Filling

2 dl cream
250 g mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp lemon juice
lemon peel in sugar

fig lam
figs

Whisk the cream and add mascarpone, mix properly. Add the other ingredients and mix.
When you fill the cake put first a layer of fig jam and then mascarpone cream. Cover the cake with mascarpone cream, lemon peel and figs.
***


Decorate: Pumpkins with Patina and Golden Dry Flowers


I have seen beautiful chalk painted pumpkins in blogs and as I had leftover paint I decided to try. To add something extra and get more ceramic look I also used antiquing wax that worked well. Do like this: Paint pumpkins with chalk paint and let dry. Use a soft cotton cloth to rub antiquing wax to the surface. Be gentle not to rub off the chalk paint. Let dry.



Collect some dry flowers that you can find outside this time of the year. Spray paint with gold. Put glue to one plate and glitter to the other. Dip gently the flower to glue and then to the glitter. Let dry.


I really like this simple decoration, pumpkins look almost like ceramic and dry flowers glitter beautifully. This combination makes kitschy skull lanterns look stylish :)

This week I have been learning new things. I am on Instagram now! It is so nice to connect with all the creative people in the world :) You can get to my Instagram page here! I am sharing pictures from my projects, food inspiration and walks to the nature. Yesterday I made a garbage find, check out what it was :)

Sannu

Friday, 14 October 2016

Christmas Trends 2016

Space shuttle is heading towards the planet Christmas! Are you a bohemian and slightly vintage like Doctor Who or more of a minimalist ultra modern space traveler? In either way this Christmas will be Earth loving, adventurous and full of magic.


Hot Rio summer has turned into fall and winter is coming soon. In these levels snow might be on the ground any day soon. Stores have already put Christmas ornaments to the shelves and it is the best time to dream about Christmas 2016 while digging your nose into the new glittery collections. What will we do with our indoor jungles and baskets when the new season is on the doorstep? This year´s big trends have been dark grey paired with petrol blue, old rose and gold, hotel  style minimalism, indoor jungles, rattan and bamboo, bright colors, recycling and vegetarian eating. These trends will continue to the Christmas season with small variations and some addings.


Don´t take pressure to have the best Christmas ever. Pictures about countryside Christmas with the whole family and relatives makes us long after something quite rare in our modern urban world. I have spent all my Christmases at the urban scene and learned to love it. An urban apartment is as much a loved home and though deserves just as many decorations as a countryside house in the middle of fields. What would be more beautiful than huge house of blocks when it glitters in the dark December night with different fairy lights and chandeliers on the window sills and balconies? We DIYers start our Christmas a bit earlier that others as the best part is to make decorations and gifts. I have surfed through the internet and got inspired by the popular culture and as a result I will reveal the Christmas Trends 2016 as I see them. You can apply these trends to your home whether you live in the small town, big city or countryside. I hope you get inspired to design and make your own projects as well as relax in the candle light watching movies and listening to Christmas songs.

Futuristic boho. This trend gets inspiration form the past centuries as well as from the current pop culture. Fairy tales, vintage decorations and space & time travel novels give a lot of inspiration to create the Christmas magic that lets us fly away from the everyday. Fill your holidays with best series, books and dreaming on the window watching stars and aurora borealis. Decorate with toys, glitter, heavy curtains, trims, exotic plants, fruits, stars, planets and hang fairy lights to the ceiling. Get inspired by the Victorian era post cards, Doctor Who Christmas specials, Cloud Atlas -movie and misty forests.


Space the final frontier. Minimalistic and ultra modern Christmas. Play a mind game: How would Christmas look at the Starship Enterprize? Get inspired by the thought and combine futuristic Christmas to your modern home decoration. Flowers in test tubes, minimalistic plants in square planting pots, pale colors, layered food servings that allow the eaters to see what the portions include, metallic geometric decorations placed in lines instead of organic shapes and decorative settings in terrariums. Get inspired by Finnish functional era architecture and Japanese design. Instead of futuristic bohemians, who watch other universes from the Earth, ultra modern minimalists will book a flight to moon.


Forest undergrowth. Flower arrangements are essential part of festive home decoration. Instead of looking up to the palm trees we are tuning our view towards the undergrowth. Christmas time flowers and plants will be moist thick leaved plants, moss, and deep colored flowers. Decorate arrangements with pine cones and branches.  Indoor pond might also be a good idea; maybe a vase with water and floating candles would do that?


Closed system design. This year recycled materials have become an even bigger hit than before. Beautiful products made of recycled material are nowadays  a luxury. We have to do with what we have and learn to use the massive amount of material we have already produced . This Christmas we will go even bolder and decorate with absolute trash and DIY statement pieces. Flea market finds are also a thing: instead of decorating according to the latest trends and casting away last season pieces we hunt for unstylishness like paper angels, old plastic baubles etc.  

Golden glamour. If copper was so 2015, gold is so 2016. Best thing is that you can add a golden layer into almost every style. With golden elements you can get ultra modern, vintage or luxurious style. What comes to recycled elements or a quick Christmas decoration update, just add some gold and you will be in the season 2016.


Feel good Christmas. A Christmas jog and sauna have been my tradition for the past years. Lots of people spend time at the gym during Christmas holidays or load batteries in nature. In Finnish traditions Christmas has been all about food and eating. Many people prepare and buy traditional Christmas food even though it would´t be such a treat anymore. Why not to choose the favorites from the traditional menu and mix with new treats? Remember that you do not have to load all your favorites to one dinner. You can make a smaller portion of food every day and that way get fresh festive treats.


What do you think about these trends? What kind of Christmas are you planning to create this year?

A very inspirational weekend to you all!

-Sannu

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

DIY: Lampshade in Bloom


It is one foggy Tuesday. Not in a way that my head would be foggy, I feel clearer than in months and I have got lots of energy. I have had electric lights on all day as it has been foggy & cloudy outside and dark inside. Which gets me right into today´s DIY project: a little lampshade makeover tip.


Please do not mind the mess on the background. When I took this photo I was making sitting pads you saw in my last post on Sunday. This wooden lamp with lampshade cost only 2€ at the flea market and it is working. It is quite retro and I was planning to paint it and change the lampshade until I came to completely different thoughts. Now that we are heading towards the darkest months it is nice to have cozy lamps with a bit old fashioned (= Christmassy :) look. When spring comes I might make it over again, or not, who knows. This is very well made lamp, beautifully painted and in good shape although it is from the 70s or something. 


Flower lampshade DIY

You will need

a lampshade
fabric scraps
glue fabric
embroidering yarn
pearls/ faux crystals/ sequins

Iron, needle, pins, scissors
How to
1. Design what colors suit to decorate your lampshade.
2. Iron glue fabric to fabric scraps.
3. First cut circles from the fabric and then form the flowers as shown in the picture. Cut few leaves from leftovers.
4. Use pins to design how to arrange flowers. Sew flowers, leaves and pearls by hand using embroidering yarn.


A place for this lampshade will be the same as in before picture, in the entrance. Today the light was so poor that I took after pictures in the living room. I really like the bohemian look that the lampshade has now. Now it looks more vintage than retro.

Wishing You inspiring Tuesday and rest of the week

Sannu

Sunday, 9 October 2016

A Good Day Sunday


I am just having a very good day. I have got chocolate flavored coffee in my mug, I have been on a long walk, prepared good food and got one project finished. Yesterday I felt I have got too many projects in my mind and new ideas are coming on a constant flow before I get old ones done. I know that taking one project at a time from the list helps but sometimes it is just difficult to get started. Although I would be more worried if I would get all ideas done and run out of creativity. 

Today I listened Christmas songs for the first time this year. My Christmas season always starts with Elvis and Santa Claus Is Back In Town. When the first notes come out of the player it gets me into good mood. This week I begun to think the coming season and plan Christmas projects. I know someone thinks it is too early but for a DIYer and a blogger wishing to inspire other DIYers it is a good moment to start the creative work. More about Christmas coming soon :) 


I red from a mag that drinking coffee is beneficial to one´s health. Just google drinking coffee and you get lots of  info about the benefits (for example this article).  I drink 2 cups of coffee per day, one on morning and one on midday. But if I understood correctly a good amount would be 3-5 cups per day. I am just planning a schedule to get all that coffee through my throat. Though what means a cup? My cups are about half a liter.  And have they made a study about the beneficial effects of all those buns and cookies that company that coffee cup?? :D

Alice Hoffman writes good books with a hint of magic added to everyday life. Last week I read The Museum of Extraordinary Things. In the book a girl named Coralie trains to be a mermaid in her fathers museum. She also dreams about being like normal people she sees passing her in the streets. Eddie is a photographer who has taken part both legal and illegal businesses and wonders his relationship to his dad. New York in the beginning of 20th century was an interesting scene to the happenings and the story was so good that I ended up reading through the night. I have also read The Red Garden from the same author some years ago and I remember enjoying that reading experience too. I have to check her other books and ad some to my must read list. 

Have you ever washed a pullover in a wrong temperature and got a doll´s pullover in return? I have saved all those woolen memories in my closet to become a material in my future projects. That future got waiting for five years until I made these sitting pads. These are very handy now that the temperatures are colder. Just cut sixteen 12*12 cm squares from felted pullovers and sew together. Use the block as a measure and cut the back side and one layer of patting. Collect the pieces together: first the patting, then the back side piece right side up and the right side piece wrong side up. Sew together and turn around. Stitch and decorate with woolen embroidery yarn.


Have a good Sunday!


Sannu

Monday, 3 October 2016

3 Fun Fall DIY projects


Sometimes we need a bit silly DIY projects to cheer up and enjoy just the making process without pressure. Some materials like colorful garden twine and old glittery bracelets offer good feelings per se. As much as making crafts can be serious art the process of crafting can also offer a chance to play. These simple projects offer that fun moment in the middle off sometimes hectic and stressful life. Don´t mind the result, take a cup of coffee with a bun, put your favorite music on and enjoy the journey!


You will need:

a basic stool (mine was faux wood plus metal)
white primer
chalk paint
antiquing wax
glue
colorful garden twine
scissors, paintbrush, cotton cloth, builders tape

1. Paint the sitting part with white primer two times.
2. Paint the sitting part with chalk paint two times.
3. Apply the wax to the sitting part with a piece of cotton cloth.
4. Cover the legs with colorful garden twine. Use glue to attach the twine to the surface. Hide twine ends under the second color as shown in the picture.



You will need:

a glass jar
old metallic bracelets
glue
wire cutters

1. Cut old bracelets with wire cutters to small pieces.
2. Glue bracelet pieces to the glass jar´s surface.



You will need:

colorful garden twine 
crocheting hook
needle

1. Chain 4 (= a loop and first double crochet) and crochet 11 double crochets to the first chain stitch. Close the round with slip stitch to the first dc.
2. Chain 3 (=first dc) and crochet two double crochets in all stitches, close the round with slip stitch.
3. Change the twine color. Chain 3 (=first dc), *crochet one simple crochet in every next 3 stitches, 1 dc in the next stitch and 2dc 1chain 2 dc to the next one (=corner of the square) and 1 dc in next stitch* ** repeat.
4. Finish the twine end´s with a needle.


Wishing you all a good start for the week!

Sannu

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Blue orient and one cabinet´s tale


Darkening nights have inspired me to add fuller shades of color to my living room decoration. I decided to re-decorate one corner with different hues of blue, turquoise and green. It demanded some painting and choosing the right decorative elements from my own storage and some new pieces from flea markets and shops. 


I was happy to find a very old picture of this cabinet. In the 2013 picture the wooden cabinet is in the original condition and I have already put some builders tape to the windows before painting. If I remember right this cabinet cost 30€ at the local flea market. According to 2013 trends I painted cabinet with pastel turquoise and stored my crafting equipment in it. This summer I made re-arrangements and the cabinet got to store books until I got an idea to paint it with orient shade of green/blue. In my trip to southern Finland I visited a craft supplies shop, Presento in Turku, and I was tipped to use chalk paint with antiquing wax to get a nice look.



As I am now very enthusiastic about this painting technique I painted also the plant shelf you can see in the corner. It was so easy to paint with chalk paint (3 layers) and then apply the wax using a piece of cotton fabric. The end result is so pretty and antique looking. 
To this orient corner I also knitted a decorative light from paper yarn and bought some new decorative elements like the lantern, curtain and flower pot from flea market and a beautiful quilt from Indiska. The quilt would be easy to make but it is impossible to find such a beautiful fabrics. I have been looking for this kind of quilt blanket for long and when I finally found it I did not hesitate a minute to buy it. It adds nice glamour to my living room and suits well with candle lanterns and darker orient shades. 


I am now in the middle of projects so more DIY tips coming soon :)


Happy October!

Sannu