March 29, 2009

Did you Take Action?

I know this was yesterday, but did you participate? I did, even though I wasn't home, but all the lights were out at home and in the hotel room, and I felt like I was doing something significant. We didn't have any candles, but the feeling was amazing.

In any case, I believe we should all take little steps toward helping our Earth stay alive every day. Things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator (unless you live in a skyscraper, of course), or using public transport when you can, switching your lights off every evening and recycling are little things we can all try to do in our day-to-day life.

So, did you participate? Share your stories!

Weekend Pictures

Like I posted below, we had a great weekend. Here’s some pictures!

Bansko 113

View of the mountain.

Bansko 114

That's me walking down the street with the mountain in the background.

Bansko 117

Timmy at the restaurant.

Bansko 121

Bansko 125 Bansko 122

Some interior pictures.

Bansko 136

Bansko 140

An old monastery.

Bansko 139

Timmy and me.

Bansko 149

Some of the tiny streets in town.

Bansko 154

Clouds rolling in over the mountain (ignore the trash cans, please!)

Bansko 162

Dinner! (More like a feast, eh?)

And that was our weekend – now I am refreshed and have the strength to face the challenges of the new week.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


Back Home!

We left on Friday afternoon and spent a few hours at an opening of my mother’s new store in the chain. Afterwards, we headed to the ski resort town of Bansko, where we spent a lovely day and a half and slept in a nice four-star hotel. We went for a long walk, had lamb with mint, and I bought a book… I will post pictures in a few hours.

All in all, I had a great time this weekend. I hope you all did, too!

March 22, 2009

DIY: Decopatch/Decoupage Tutorial

I finally had some spare time to do this project and take some pictures to put a tutorial together. Between this and the serviette technique, I'd have to pick this one as my favorite, even though it's more time consuming. While they both look effective, decopatch gives you a lot more options in terms of motifs and places you can apply it to. So, here it goes!

Decopatch is an effective technique you can apply to almost any flat surface, including wood, glass, plastic, porcelain.

What you need:
  • Decopatch paper
  • Decopatch glue and lacquer. I used Marabu's products

  • Craft knife

  • Scissors

  • Soft, flat-tipped brush

  • A bowl with water

  • Paper towels

  • The object you want decorated (I used the wooden box where I keep my plant seeds)

Here, too, you can apply special varnish if you want to change the color of the object you are decorating to better match the motif. I left the box as it is, though.

1. Using the craft knife, carefully cut out the desired motif/s.

2. Dip motif in the water for a few seconds.

3. Pat dry using paper towels.

4. Using brush, apply glue to the back of the motif.

5. Now place motif on the object and carefully smooth it out with your fingers.

6. Apply glue to the face of the motif.

7. Repeat if you have more motifs you are placing. Allow to dry.

8. Once glue is dry, apply laquer. When first coat of laquer is dry, apply one more.

  • You should apply 2 to 4 coats of laquer, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.
  • I will post pictures of the box once I've applied 2 coats of the lacquer.
Hope you have enjoyed the tutorial!

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March 19, 2009

DIY: Serviette Technique Tutorial

Here's the serviette technique tutorial, quick and easy! Hope you enjoy it.

What you need:

  • Napkin with the motif you have chosen

  • Scissors

  • Object you want the motif placed on - porecain, ceramic, glass, cloth, paper, etc.

  • Medium. Bear in mind regular glue will not work. For this I used Marabu GmbH & Co.'s porcelain medium.

  • Soft, flat-tipped brush (painting brushes work best).

1. Make sure the object you are decorating is free of dust and grease.

2. Carefully cut out the motif you want to use.

3. Remove the uppermost printed layer (you want to use that one) and discard the others.

4. Place motif on the object you want decorated and using the brush gently apply medium over the motif, making sure you start from center and work your way to the edges.

5. Let it dry for at least 4 hours.

6. Place in preheated oven (170C, 338F) and bake for about 30 minutes.

7. Once the object is cooled, apply lacquer (Marabu offers a wide range of lacquers) and let dry.

Quick and easy!

Here's what I have right now (before baking):

After applying lacquer:


  • When working on anything but glass, Marabu (or any other company that has products for the serviette technique) offers varnishes in a wide range of colors that you should apply before glueing the motif. Make sure the varnish is dry before continuing with the motif. A good practice is to choose color close to the color of the motif.

  • When looking for motifs don't limit yourselves to napkins only. You can use almost anything - from newspaper cutouts, through thin gift paper, to leaves and flowers.
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New Projects

Like I promised yesterday, it's time I give some detailed information about the two projects I am working (and experimenting) on. I am very excited about them, but with free time being so short I am not sure when I'll be able to fully dedicate and finish what I have started.

1. Serviette technique - involves placing a motif on glass, porcelain, ceramic, clay, paper, cloth, etc. It's very easy and extremely satisfying. Using this technique can help you decorate almost anything you think needs some color without requiring you to be able to draw whatsoever. Effortless as it is it can definitely become anyone's hobby!

  • Decopatch - somewhat similar to the serviette, but this one involves using different glues and finishers, and a slightly different technique. I haven't tried that one yet, but I am buying some materials tomorrow and will post a tutorial. The project I have in mind is decorating the kitchen cabinets and some of the doors in the house.
Here's the things you can do using these techniques:

2. Button-covered satin bracer/bracelet - that one is a bit different. It requires about 20 buttons, satin bow, lace and some patience. Other than that, you can be as creative as you want when working on that one.

Once I have some more time this weekend to work on it I will take pictures and post a tutorial. I only have 3 buttons done so far (dressed in lace):

I hope the bracer/bracelet turns out alright. I found some cute gems I can put on any future ones I make. So excited!
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March 17, 2009


Haven't posted in a few days, and so I believe it was high time I dropped a line!

It's been extremely busy the last few days with spring cleaning, school projects and work. The fact it's been really gloomy and soggy out doesn't help me feel any better about myself - I am the kind of person who likes the warm touch of the sun in the mornings, and that can get me going all day long. At the very least there are birds singing during the day now, and that makes it all so much better.

I am craving for springtime to get here and transform us all from grumpy winter creatures into happy and cheerful individuals. Life is so much better when the people around smile rather than growl at you (only figuratively speaking, thankfully).

I have started a new project I will post about soon (including pictures) and have been musing about another one I am very eager to try, but more details on that one later. Reading all the lovely blogs I have been reading and following lately has given me a ton of new ideas, some brand new, some wide variations of what I have seen. It's just that there isn't enough time to fully dedicate to that passion!

The garden is doing great, and as the days start getting longer, I am hoping the plants will start growing as well. Here's a short recap of all the "green" updates!

  • Received the order of two Gloxinia bulbs and planted them;
  • Planted chili peppers!
  • Became the owner of a brand new pair of pruning scissors;
  • Lilacs are growing leaves;
  • Liliums continue to grow;
  • My seedlings continue to multiply.

Other than that I have 3 different school projects I am working on and am finding that juggling that many is slowly drawing me to the verge of my sanity.

But above all, I am so proud of finally managing to clean one of the balconies from all the trash that was stacked there.

More tomorrow!

March 11, 2009

New blog on the block!

After spending a couple of weeks trying to convince Tim to create a more professional blog, rather than using the one integrated into MySpace, my quest was finally completed! Here is a link - click me!

Tim has finally been able to work on his lifetime dream - becoming a professional writer. In his blog he will be keeping tabs on his works in progress, future and past projects, as well as rambling (in the good sense of the word!) about the trivial things that happen in our every-day life.


How to plant Liliums

We got a cute set from my mother - a pot, potting tablets, and 3 Lilium bulbs. So when I found some spare time today I decided it was time for them to be planted.

This was my first time working with tablets, so that was learning experience. I have to say it looked a bit creepy - the way the soil grew from a smashed tablet to actual soil filling up half of the pot in a matter of seconds.

This is the tablet.

Place tablet in the pot.

Add 200ml water - 6.8oz.

And pour it in the pot...

In about 10-20 seconds, the little itsy-bitsy tablet turns into soil that is enough to fill half of that pot!

The rest, I am afraid, I wasn't able to photograph, but it is really easy and quick to do. The important thing to remember is that because these bulbs will be grown inside and because of the fact these will be somewhat forced, the bulbs need to be potted shallow, with the nose of the bulb slightly sticking out.

Some people, when planting the bulbs earlier in the year, put them in a pot and place the pot itself in a cool, dark place, while continuing to water it (but not too much, or the bulbs will rot). Once foliage appears, they place the pot in a warm place, preferably in full sun. This helps bulbs "think" that the snow is gone and it is time for them to grow.

If you're planting bulbs in the garden, they need to be put in the soil in Fall. Make sure to place them deeper in the ground - about twice the length of the bulb itself, and cover nicely.

And so, here is the final product! My bulbs happened to already have foliage growing while they were still in the bag!

March 7, 2009

Green Week, Days 4, 5, 6...

Well, I slacked the past couple of days and didn't post any pictures for the Green Week, so here they are today!

(A jewelery box from India)

(An art piece)

(Detail from a candleholder)

Also, I started working on a project I'm eager to finish, even though the weather has warmed up significantly and more than likely I won't be needing a cowl in the near future. But I consider that project more of a learning experience more than anything else, and I have to say I am really enjoying it so far.

My lilac shrubs already have leaves growing, and I am so excited. All in all, it has been a great week so far! Will keep you updated.

March 4, 2009

Cheese Grater Candle Holder

Ever wondered what to do with your old and rusty cheese grater you received from your grandmother? Well, too much free time on one's hands, and look what crazy ideas are born!

Yes, that is right - I used mine as a candle holder! It's surprising to see the way light comes out of the small or big holes of the grater, together creating a lovely picture of light and shadow on the wall. So now the old cheese grater with such a long history can be used again, and whether you put it on a wooden table or a slate counter top, it looks good both ways.

TIP: Use an old ashtray or a wooden block to get a bottom.

WARNING! Do not touch with bare hands immediately after extinguishing the flame - the grater is hot (own experience!).