18 March 2019

A Bead Necklace

Hi guys! What a pleasure to see you today. 

I saw this necklace at a store and was inspired to make something similar.

You see, I have a lot of beads. They sit inside a box hollering, "Turn me into a piece of jewelry!"  Any reason to craft is fine by me so I heeded the call. 

I attached each bead to a chain using head pins and pliers.

I kept adding beads to fill half of the chain. 

And this is what my D.I.Y. necklace looks like...TADA!

It can turn the plainest outfit from blah to TADA!

11 March 2019

Handmade Stickers

I have a pack of plain white adhesive paper. I got it at the craft/office supply store. I didn't have a particular project in mind when I bought it, maybe use it for labels? I got around to making some stickers. Let me show you how:

Step 1: Add color to the blank sticker page. I used watercolor paint 
to make a marbled effect. Allow the paint to dry.
Step 2: Use a craft punch to cut out shapes.
Step 3: Use a single shape or experiment with different shapes.
Use a pair of scissors if you don't have a craft punch.
Step 4: Make smaller stickers from the trim to avoid waste.

gift wrapping ideas, creative gift wrapping
I like to use them to embellish envelopes and packages...TADA!

gift wrapping ideas, creative gift wrapping
 Playing around with print on print!

watercolor, paint your own stickers
Here's another DIY sticker idea using small labels decorated with paint...TADA! 

rubber stamps and ink pad, cup and saucer, coffee, gifts for coffee lovers
You can also use rubber stamps and ink.

rubber stamps and ink pads, sealed with a kiss, kiss stamp, heart stamp
I really like these...a kiss and a heart!

stationery, sealed with a kiss, rubber stamps and ink pad, snail mail, writing, correspondence
They're perfect to use as envelope seals. A cute way to say, "Sealed with a kiss".

04 March 2019

Coffee-Inspired Crafts

I think you'll agree that many of us can't start a day without a cup of coffee. It's a necessity. 

It's coffee that inspired today's blah to TADA! transformations.

I saved this disposable cup from a coffee run and cleaned it up.

While keeping the eye-catching bull's eye, I used it as a canvas for some abstract art...TADA! 

Here's an idea from the archives. Dress up a cardboard coffee sleeve to "wrap" a reusable coffee tumbler when giving it as a gift...TADA!

Another one from the archives: a coffee sleeve made from an old t-shirt...TADA! If you like to knit or crochet, you can make something similar using yarn in your favorite color. It's perfect to keep reusing!

This is a greeting card that I found at a drug store. I found it so cute -- look at the tiny box of doughnuts and that adorable cup of coffee! I'll use this photo for reference...maybe I can make something similar with a match box, scrap cardboard, paint, and glitter.  

Here's an idea for a coffee-loving friend:

Give him or her a gift card to their favorite coffee shop and wrap it in a "To-Go cup".  

It's a quick craft made from card stock, cardboard, scissors, and glue.

I also used paint, rubber stamps, and an ink pad to decorate the To-Go cup "sleeve".

I folded the card stock in half, trimmed the edges to look like a cup, attached the gift card with tape, and wrote a short message.   

I glued on the sleeve and the lid (both made from cardboard) and it's ready to give away...TADA!

Cheers coffee lovers...have an awesome week!

26 February 2019

In the Kitchen: Canele de Bordeaux

Yesterday, I wrote about this book I've had for several years now:

My Little French Kitchen is written by Rachel Khoo where she travels all over France while sharing recipes along the way.

She's your girl next door, always up for trying something new. She likes to paint and she has a cute collection of vintage dresses.  

The book showcases beautiful shapshots of food and France.

How lucky was she to make Christmas cookies with a French grandmother. 

She even went to a flea market in Bordeaux and shopped for plates.

Of all the recipes, the Canele was the first one I wanted to try. Whenever I see these at a patisserie, it has to come home with me. A Canele is a small cake that's soft and custardy on the inside, crisp with the taste of caramel on the outside.

It's traditionally made with copper molds that need to be lined with beeswax. Copper molds and beeswax are way beyond my budget, and this entire process was too tedious and intimidating for me.

But Rachel encourages the use of silicone molds (I got this for about $10).

The batter has to sit for 48 hours or up to 5 days, resulting in tender cakes (it can be spelled "Canele" or "Cannele"...I checked! Regardless of how you spell it, the pronounciation is "ca-neh-lay").

Ladle the batter in the silicone mold, four-fifths full. Bake these in an oven pre-heated to 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake for 1 hour. 

After an hour, I flipped the mold and removed the caneles.

And here they are. TADA! 

Light inside with a nice sugar crust formed on outside. Not bad for my first try!

Thank you Rachel for this! You'll find the recipe here.

I also can't wait to dive into her more recent cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen

25 February 2019

Rachel Khoo's Little French Kitchen

Hey, hey, I'm writing about a cookbook today. It's an old one that I found on my book shelf.

In a previous post, I featured Rachel Khoo, a British cook, author and TV personality. She's a trained chef but she has this no fuss, unpretentious approach to cooking and eating.

I'm feeling the urge to travel but can't at the moment. Which could be the reason why I've been looking through this book.

In My Little French Kitchen, Rachel travels all over France to celebrate cuisine and culture. I'm pretending to be her travel buddy. Here's what she discovered:

Brittany is known for its galettes, crepes, caramel, fleur de sel and dairy products like butter and yogurt.

Bordeaux is known for its wines (here, you'll find the most expensive red wines in the world). It's also here where the Canele de Bordeaux was born. Caneles are small cakes that have a custardy interior and a burnt sugar exterior. It's one of my favorite desserts!

The Pays Basque has a lot of Spanish influences like the use of Espelette peppers (similar to paprika) and the popularity of pintxos (small snacks served in bars).

Rachels says, "The flavors of Provence sum up the taste of summer for me." She tasted her way through this region visiting Nice (olive products like oil and tapenades), Menton (citrus goods like spreads), and Marseille, abundant with sardines. 

Lyon is the capital of French gastronomy and the home cooked meals are the highlight. Also, I'm making a mental note to visit Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse (a food hall named after the father of modern French cuisine).

Alsace has German influences in its food (such as sauerkraut with smoked sausage, kugelhopf and beer). It's also known for its wine (like Riesling and Muscat). She even went to a Christmas Market (a dream of mine!).

The recipes inside the book are based on the cooking in these regions and some have her unique twist.

And of course, the photos are stunning! It makes me want to book a trip immediately.

If you can, please stop by tomorrow for a recipe that I tried from the book.

18 February 2019

My Black Bag

Hi guys! I have this black canvas bag that's over-used and abused. It's light, matches my outfits, and is easy to travel with.

Maybe a little blah to TADA! is in order?

Some felt brooches.

A cluster of pins.

And even more buttons.

Or perhaps a pompom and tassel keychain?

And add a handmade bag charm. TADA!