Thursday, December 17, 2015

harmony in a wreath


i have been busy with work and have not found the time to post more but this Christmas, I just couldn't resist making a wreath to usher in my favorite holiday.

i've seen a tutorial of this wreath somewhere and I had the musical sheets for some time since I found them at the thrift store (it is the Mikado no less!). Don't know how that is related to Christmas but the musical sheets sure add a quiet elegance to it.  The blue bauble is from Christmases past.

in case I don't see you on Christmas day, have a Happy Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

reupholstering 101

i have been away for too long!  I guess life happened and I got caught up with all the hullabaloo. Well, now I'm back and I will try my very best to post something more regularly.  I have plenty of stuff to post since then.

well, the other month I happen to stare at our dining chairs long enough to realize that it was the odd one out in the room.
this was how our little dining corner looked with the dated emerald green velvet covering the chairs
up close, the chip board underneath was almost falling apart
so, I decided to upgrade it and without any experience at all in chairs or reupholstering, I dove right in and was very, very pleased with the results!
the painting of the Rock under Van Gogh's starry night is made by hubby; the African mask is a souvenir when we met for the first time in Morocco; i sewed the yellow curtains myself; I DIY'ed the white tissue paper pom-poms/hanging decor and of course, the black dining room table and chairs we inherited from the former owners of the house.
if you want to do some reupholstering of your own, there are plenty of tutorials online and even if you don't have any experience at all, never fret!  All you need is some elbow grease, a staple gun, your fabric of choice and you are good to go!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

written in the stars

inspired by the color yellow and a dark-blue polyester skirt found in a charity shop, i tried my hand at embroidering Taurus and Gemini, two of the constellations of the zodiac that me and the mister were born under.

Taurus is known as "the bull" and Gemini, "the twins".  They are both very near each other up in the skies.

i also came across these personalized crafty projects all over the net so it was just easy to get started.  All I needed apart from the navy blue cloth were yellow embroidery threads, a 12cm embroidery hoop, a needle and a pattern that i traced over the front part.

they are both now hung in our hallway.  Now, gotta get meself ready to repaint the hallway.  and that is another post altogether :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

flea market finds: i don't mind a little soft-soap

it all started with a very grumpy mister who just got out of the shower grumbling that we ran out of his hardy soap and was left with no choice but to reluctantly use my shower gel(!).  he prefers any soap rather than the liquid shower gel as long as it comes in a bar.  the rougher, the better.

i've read somewhere that the soap bars in Portugal were very good.  So good that, in fact, Oprah is a big fan.  Particularly the Claus Porto brand.  It was listed as one of her Favorite Things back in 2007.  

Claus Porto is made by Ach. Brito, the company that has been making most of the soaps in Portugal since 1887!  They make all kinds of soaps, not just the high end ones.

so, i asked a Portuguese friend of mine who regularly goes home to Portugal if she could buy me some regular soap as a tester (Portugal is about 5-6 hours drive from Gibraltar).  She brought me 2 and when we used it, it was the creamiest, most fragrant soap we've ever used!  even the mister is now a big fan!  and they were not even the expensive ones that Oprah uses! from then on, i was hooked and began looking out for soaps (any kind really as long it is in a bar) in my haunts.
love the wrapping in the Ach Brito soaps!  very Pop or Art Deco.  the one on the left is made from goat's milk (soo creamy!)
found a beribboned pack of L'Occitane soaps with milk or honey in a carboot sale for next to nothing!  L'Occitane is a French company that follows and preserves the tradition of Provence, France.

speaking of France, i found two bars of the popular Savon de Marseille in a table top sale...again, for next to nothing.  

here in Gibraltar, there is a new shop in Main Street where you can't help but go in and have a browse.  the smell is just heavenly.  the Gibraltar Soap Shop is not only budget-friendly but they also sell a lot of vegan-friendly products for men and women.
love the tissue paper pom-poms in their window
have tried some of their products and they smell amazing

now, please excuse moi while i take my nth shower for the day ;)

Monday, May 12, 2014

day out to the Sabinillas flea

it was a Sunday and probably the hottest day since summer arrived here in the Mediterranean and on a whim, the mister and i decided to check out a flea market (or "rastro" as they are called in Spain) in Sabinillas, Spain that a friend of ours recommended.  Sabinillas is about 20 minutes away by car from Gib.

so together with another friend of ours, we hopped on the car and looked for the place with a lot of people, hoping for an adventure.

 i love this poster but the mister wont let me buy Jet Li.

beautiful paintings of the idyllic Spanish coastline as well as ordinary things people do (such as a guy standing over a presumably dead guy!).  also, there were a lot of religious iconography scattered about.

surprise, surprise!  we saw the sword from Game of Thrones! made from Valyrian steel no less and.....ohhhhh that helmet!

tutus in all colors of the rainbow!

i love these African baskets!  

i also love this guy.  just dont know where to put him in our house!

animal skulls (maybe cows or bulls)

there's plenty of signs available for the homeowner with a house full of exits

cow bells of all sizes

this guy is rated PG though (you have been warned!)

in the end, i loved all of them but unfortunately i had to leave them all behind.  we bought loads of fresh fruits though: avocados, mangoes, loquats, peaches, green apples; and herbs (we love our mint tea!).

Friday, April 25, 2014

ring the curtain up

once again, busy as a bee with the house.  found the perfect fabric for curtains but my poor tiny sewing machine couldn't take it anymore so i had to borrow a friend's to finish them.

the simple curtain rod i found at a chinese shop for half the price what the home decor shops were offering.  the rings and alligator clips we bought in ikea.

this is my first time sewing curtains by the way so couldnt tell you enough how much this tutorial from Domestic Imperfection helped me! it took me 3 weeks (because i had to borrow a sewing machine) to finish the two panels but here is the final product:

another project that i finished sewing in only about an hour but took two weeks to find the near-perfect fabric is this one below.  the fabric is dark green (because i couldnt find black).  i used this tutorial from Shelterness as a guide.

here's how it looks now:  
i gotta do something about the colours! they're everywhere!

Monday, March 17, 2014

flea market finds: dansk love

i have been coveting (any) dansk product ever since i saw them on other blogs and in pinterest.  their designs are just so different and unusual and interesting.  i've never thought i'd see them in Gib but lo and behold one day in my favorite shops, i see this...

the lady in the store didn't know what it was so she gave it to me for next to nothing! it took me awhile to find the very slim candlesticks though.  they weren't available here in Gib and no one has heard of tall, slim, tapered ones. i was about to ask for it on my birthday from a friend living in the States when I saw a pack of Chanuka candles in our local grocery store with just the perfect diameter but way shorter (about 9.5 cms only).  YES!

i also found this oh so beautiful hand-blown pale turquoise vase with an amber base.  Another one to add to my turquoise glass collection :)

just look at the details!