Glad it's Friday

May 24, 2013

To all my lovely readers, I hope you have a great Friday and the best weekend ever! I'm planing on a relax family time and making some garden updates. What are you planning?
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My favorites from Euro Style Lighting

May 22, 2013

Modern lamps from top to bottom: Planetarium Chrome Ivory Fabric Possini Euro Ceiling Lamp, Vienna Full Spectrum Stacked Chain 26-1/2-Inch-H Table Lamp, Opal Glass 37-Inch-W Possini Euro Design PendantLilypad Etched Modern Possini Euro Ceiling Light Fixture
Now that summer is almost here, some of us tend to look for new ways to liven up and refresh areas around the house. Sometimes this task can bring excellent results with minimal changes. Maybe a new cushion here, or a big mirror there can do the trick. But what about changing the lighting fixture of (lets say) the living room? I can guarantee that this simple change will bring new light to your space. 
Enter Euro Style Lighting, a company that has a large collection of contemporary lighting besides offering a wide variety of European inspired lighting that includes modern light fixtures, ceiling lights, lamps and shades in every size, color and style to fit any area of your home.
Some of their designs come from European lighting sources while others find their inspiration on design icons such as Karim Rashid, Holtkoetter and Jonathan Adler. From retro modern looks, contemporary art shade lamps and pendant lights to dramatic crystal chandeliers and more, Euro Style Lighting has an unique approach to all thing with light!
So before you make a final decision about what to do or what to change in that same old same old living room, I invite you to take a look at my selections from Euro Style Lighting.

Industrial inspired lamps starting from left to right: Industrial Atom Edison Bronze Modern Mini Pendant Light, Cerno Silva Baltic Birch and Ebony Table Lamp, Planet Chrome and Black Possini Euro Pendant Chandelier and Antique Brass Web Sphere Ennis Table Lamp.
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Succulent cupcakes

May 18, 2013

Yes, you read correct! They taste good, look good and the best part is that they are very easy to do. I know, I know... these are not real succulents, though some might look as the real thing. I made this tutorial base on a great Pinterest finding a I did a while ago. You can check out my "Easy tutorial board"  here. For this tutorial all you'll need are some vellum paper, scissors, skewers or toothpicks and some cupcakes that can be store bought or you can make your own.

Here is the recipe I used. I have to say they came out perfectly moist and soft and the frosting was just perfect. Both recipes can be found on the Simply Sweet magazine but I'm putting here the cupcake recipe for easy access.
Butter cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose soft wheat flour (I used regular all purpose)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
3. Place paper baking cups in muffin pan (I used the aluminium one since with the black one time varies). Spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
4. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes. (I waited around 6 minutes and then turned the pan around for the other half of the time. This way they cook evenly.) Take them out of the oven and leave them to rest for 10 minutes.
This recipe was way too easy and the results were spectacular. For the frosting I used the basic vanilla frosting but you can used any type of flavor and color.
While the cupcakes cooled down, I started preparing my succulents. I took some pictures and placed them all outlined on a Photoshop document. After they were all arranged, I printed them on vellum (available at Michael's) and started to cut them out. I'm sharing with you the hi-res one that I used for you to print it. Remember to adjust the size so it will fit in a letter size vellum paper.

When I was done cutting, I used a pin to make the hole on the center of each succulent so I could pass the skewer through them. To decorate each cupcake, I combine some small and the big plants to make a great mix. This is how they end up looking. These mini yumm-ariums (Yummy terrariums) are an attention grabber and a fun thing to do for a party. Hope you enjoy this easy tutorial and let me know your feedbacks. I really would love to read what is on your mind! I'm also posting this tutorial on Whipperberry so, join the fun and take a moment to say hi to her and others on her "Link party". She's got a terrific tutorial on chalkboard banners.

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Fast and easy camera strap

May 3, 2013

This was one of those projects I've been procrastinating, but finally I taped myself to the chair and in front on my sewing machine. If it weren't for the beautiful fabric samples I've received from the new collection of HGTV (now available on Jo-Ann), most probably this idea of making a camera strap would have been shelved already!
As a warning before I start with this tutorial: "I do not know how to sew". Having said that (and feeling a lot of relieve) I have to add that indeed this was very easy to do and fun.
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Easy Kokedama

May 1, 2013

A rounded based plant surrounded by moss, is how I can very briefly describe how a Kokedama looks like. There are some people that think this might be an evolved form of a bonsai, but for me it is like a mini- ecosystem as round and almost as perfect as our planet Earth.
These plants are very easy to do and take care of. And the best part is that they can go almost anywhere in your home like a hanging garden. The selection of plants is of your choice, thought I recommend to keep in mind the place where this Kokedame is going to be living: direct sunlight, indirect, etc.
Because this project is so easy to do, I'm going to give you a step-by-step with photos. This way you'll have a better idea on how to do it.

Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
All you need for a Kokedame are a good potting mix (I use organic), peat moss, sheet moss , plants of your choice and some string rope. I bought all of these materials at Home Depot.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
I made a mix of 3/4 potting mix and 1/4 peat moss and pour some water over the mix until the consistency was strongly enough to hold into a ball shape.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
Before placing the plant in the ball, I remove all the soil it had from the previous pot.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
Making a hole on the dirt ball, I placed the plant and its roots on it and proceeded to close it with my fingers.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
You should end-up having something like this
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
After I finished placing the plant inside the ball and molding it to make sure it holds its shape, I started placing the sheet moss around my dirt ball.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
To finish it all, I wrapped my moss ball with some string rope. The beauty of this step comes on trying to be as creative as one can with the way you wrap the ball. There is right or wrong way. It just works out like a  piece of art.
Kokedama, plant, tutorial, easy, steps, diy
After my Kokedama was finished, I dunk the little fuzzy ball on water for 2 minutes to let it absorb some water. Remember to spray it with water , maybe once every other day. 
kokedama, garden, hanging, easy, tutorial, diy, plant
Here is the recap step-by-step of the Kokedama.

So there you have it, your own little moss world. So peaceful and full of life it is an astonishing thing to look at. Hope you like this tutorial and if so, drop me a comment. I would love to read you! I'm also sharing this tutorial on Remodelaholic. They are having a "Link party", so jump in the fun.
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