July 30, 2009

Wallpaper Projects

Do you get the Martha Stewart’s Organizing Tip of the Day? If so, you are probably familiar with today’s newsletter, but for those of you who don’t receive her daily e-mails, here’s what’s on the menu today: decorating with scraps of wallpaper you have left! I have to say I’d never thought of that, but good ol’ Martha is always full of fresh ideas:





Aren’t they just gorgeous? Head on over to MS's website to take a look at all of the lovely ideas posted there.

In the meantime, I’m working on the first few items that I will list for sale on Etsy very soon. I actually have the first four completed.

Hope you’re having a fabulous week!


[All images courtesy of marthastewart.com]

July 21, 2009

A Trip to the Mountains

We had a great time this Saturday!

Last week I got to remembering the many endless summers I spent with my grandma and grandpa at their gorgeous little house high up in the mountains. But when Gran passed away in 1997, the house was left to my aunt, who doesn’t have time to take care of it, and so in 12 years no soul has gone there. Consequently, the yard is now so overgrown with grass and shrubbery that you can’t even see the house from the street.

I thought that maybe it would be a great little adventure if I and Mr. G&C took the train and hiked all the way up there to go visit – not that I would be able to enter, but I just wanted to ‘scratch’ my emotional itch.

So, we took off and got on the train at 7 a.m. for an hour-long ride. Needless to say, I had forgotten how gorgeous the place is:

Lakatnik - Milanovo 001View of the mountains as you get off the train

Lakatnik - Milanovo 011The river

Lakatnik - Milanovo 020

It isn’t very clear from the picture above, but there’s a large monument at the top of the cliffs, dedicated to all who died in the September Uprising. Here’s a close-up as viewed from the bottom:

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Lakatnik - Milanovo 027

We decided to walk along the road up the mountain to the village, about 6 miles from the train station. Thankfully, it was still early in the morning and the sun wasn’t too hot, but by the time we hiked up there it had gotten very very ‘warm’. Took us about 2 hours, and a lot of panting, but the scenery was gorgeous:

Lakatnik - Milanovo 038

Lakatnik - Milanovo 047

Lakatnik - Milanovo 042 And the very sweaty own selves!

Once we finally made it to the village, I was overwhelmed by an emotional wave. Familiar sights and places brought memories of my dear Gran and all the months we spent there, tending the vegetable garden all summer long. Then we walked to the house, and this is all you can see:

Lakatnik - Milanovo 056

It’s so overgrown that even peeking through the gate I couldn’t see anything but greens. The house that I so miss was barred from my sight.

Lakatnik - Milanovo 093A very old house in the center of the village

We had lunch and headed back down. This time however, we took the hiking trail.

Lakatnik - Milanovo 116

After about an hour and a half hike down, we came out on the top of the cliffs. Remember where the monument was? That’s the view as you’re looking down this time:

Lakatnik - Milanovo 131

Lakatnik - Milanovo 133The town and the train station, looked from the top of the cliffs.

After another 2 hour hike down. we made it to the bottom again. We sat and had a late lunch at the restaurant near the waterfall and then headed to the train station. We were so tired by that time that I actually took a 45-minute nap while waiting for the train.

When we got home at 6 p.m. we spent a couple of hours relaxing and went to bed at 8. Yes, that’s right, at 8! I know I slept like a rock, but it felt so good. I am very happy we went, and we might do it again next Saturday.


July 20, 2009

Been So Long…

I know, I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to keeping the blog updated lately! I can’t really say I’ve been swamped with projects and things to do, but work has the tendency to suck all juice out of me to the point where when I come home all I want to do is… nothing. Is this really bad of me?

In the past couple of weeks (and then some) I’ve only worked on a couple of things. On a good note, I have the rest of the week off of work!

I bought a cardboard sheet to use as backing for my serviette technique pictures, but I still need to go out with mom to buy some frames for them. I’ve also got a random ideas for napkin rings, which I will probably complete by the end of the week, so that will give me a chance to finally start that Etsy shop. In addition, I’ve got some cups and plates lined up that I can work on, and I’m buying some really neat boxes I found at the craft store that I will decorate and list there as well. In fact, something similar to the box I did for my mom:

Decoupage box

decoupage box  July 17 006 

And I had a neat little ‘thrifty’ find! While rummaging though my grandma’s closet I found this little beauty:

teapot vase

teapot vase

teapot vase

Isn’t she gorgeous? I have a couple of leaves in there that I am trying to grow, but imagine the teapot with a small bouquet of random little flowers! I think it could make the perfect provance center-piece!

In any case, now that I have a few days to myself, I can not fully indulge! I will keep you all updated!


July 1, 2009

A New Month – New Beginnings

Today Bulgarians celebrate July Morning – a tradition that is traced back to the 70s and the hippy movement in America, and was regarded as a quiet protest against communism in the 8os (and gets its name from the famous Uriah Heep song July Morning). Enthusiasts travel to the Bulgarian sea-side to greet the morning sun on 1st of July – symbol of a new beginning.


That being said, I hope to see some new projects on a more personal level this month as well! Needless to say, I am very much behind on my June list, and I’m quite embarrassed about that. I guess I didn’t really take into account the fact I was going back to work full-time after my finals and how that would cut into my spare time – significantly, I have to say. And as much as I would have loved to have crossed all items off that list, I only managed to do a few… very few. Here’s a recap:

1. Go shopping for craft materials:

  • Spray paints – various colors (Not done, but at least I have a vague idea about what colors I want)
  • Wooden picture frame, plus some cheap plastic ones (On the to-do list this month)
  • Chicken-wire and some hooks (Not done)
  • Mother-of-pearl ornaments and shells (Some progress)
  • Twine (Not done)
  • Bamboo piece (Not done)
  • Decoupage paper and some napkins (Done)
  • Wooden jewelry ornaments (Done)
  • Wind chime kit (Done)
  • Felt of various thickness and colors (Not done)
  • Buttons (Not done)
  • Sea salt (fine) (Not done)
  • Glass bottles (Found some while cleaning the house)
  • Metal plaques (Done)
  • Tin wire of various thickness (Not done)

Such a sad, sad state of affairs. But the list continues!

2. Work on some hand-made jewelry. (Not done)

3. Figure out what to do with that tin can I salvaged (love being so vague, ha!) (Done – for now, the tin cans are perfect for storing my brushes)

4. Find some old glass jars and use them as hanging planters on the wall. (Partially – found the jars, haven’t used them yet)

5. Make the jewelry rack for mom. (Erm… not done)

6. Make a tag from the metal plaques. (Got the materials, still working on the creative part)

7. Make the chicken-wire ‘hanger’.(Not done)


1. Repot the Dracena Marginata in a larger pot. (Not done, I think the plant is doing alright in the pot it’s in)

2. Move the cherry tomato plant in a bigger pot. (Not done – but I got a ripe tomato)

3. Move the Pelargoniums outside and prune them. (Not done – some serious space issues. For now they are out on the steps are not doing too shabby)

4. Buy potting mix and more planters to plant the rest of the small petunias. (Done)

5. Sow more basil. Also, check the lavender seeds and transfer into a pot. (Not done – I bought a lavender plant, and don’t need more basil)

6. Buy some petunias from the market and plant in pots at the bedroom window. (Done)


1. Stick to my diet at all costs! ‘Cheating’ only allowed on Saturday/Sunday. (Semi accomplished!)

2. Do some exercising. (Not accomplished – not in the least)

3. Find a good book to read. (Done)

Alright, after this boring wall of text, I am ready to proceed with the July list, which is not ready yet, but will make sure to post it once it’s ready. To shed some light, though, I am working on several projects, some personal, some not so. My mom has a set of cups she’s donating to my future Etsy shop, where I’ll be offering similar items. In addition, I’m working on decorating a small vintage stool she has, and I actually can’t wait to start on that. Right now I am working on decorating a cigar box she found, and that’s been a fun little project. The box is almost complete, so I’ll make sure to post the “after” pictures soon. Oh, and I scored some vintage chairs from my aunt (which she was getting ready to throw away), so I can only picture the yummy goodness these will be! Of course, in order to do that, I’m planning on taking two weeks off of work sometime at the end of July/beginning of August. Fun fun!

Are you guys getting the BHG newsletter? They have some beautiful flower arrangements and tips today. Check this out!







Beautiful, aren’t they? And the tips are so simple, and yet form the ‘core’ of flower arrangement. Head on over to check all the gorgeousness!

I would also like to say one big WELCOME to the couple new followers I have. You all make this so worthwhile!


[Click on image to go to source. Flower images from BHG.com]