31 May 2010

Getting Ready For Summer

I can feel it -- summer is in the air!
More time outdoors and a great excuse to
do some shopping.

I got this nice berry-scented body lotion.

Plus nail polish in cool shades.

And here's my signature summer scent --
it takes me to the beach even if I'm far
away from the water.

I also got myself this sexy hat from a
street market in New York City.

I've worn it several times already
and sometimes, I feel it looks a little blah.

TADA! I added a brooch to spruce it up.
{It's a TADA! from the bag of scrap}

I think my hat looks more expensive than
what I spent for it ($10) and I think
I can wear it with a dress like this
from J. Crew:

Perfect for an outdoor wedding or
cocktails at the rooftop perhaps?

28 May 2010

Recycling Tea Bags

Another wonderful week has come to an end.

Today, we conclude our "tea" series.
Let me show you how many times I can recycle
these blah used tea bags.

First round: Iced Tea made by
steeping a few used bags in hot water,
allow to cool, then add honey & ice cubes.

Second Round: Use the same tea bags to stain some lace
or fabric to give it a new look.

I think a third round of recycling is in order.
Yup, we're squeezing the life out of
these tea bags!

Remove the tea from the bags and
add the used tea to your compost pile
and then to your soil.

TADA! The tea will provide nutrients to your plants!

Have an exciting weekend everyone!

27 May 2010

Tea Staining

After making a cup of tea, don't throw out the bag immediately.

Save the bags and use them as natural dye.

I'll show you how with this piece of inexpensive lace.

Fill a bowl with hot water and dunk in the used tea bags.

Add the lace, making sure it's entirely underwater.
Allow this to soak for at least 24 hours or until
you've achieved the tone that you want.
{It may require a few days.}

TADA! Tea-stained lace!
Rinse your new piece of lace with soap & water
and allow to dry.

Attach an elastic band to the ends...

And you've got a romantic headband!

26 May 2010

Second Life

Today, I'm going to tell you about this little habit of mine.
I keep used tea bags.

It's weird, I know.

After brewing a cup, I let the tea bag dry
on a tea caddy (or a small sauce dish).

Then I store the bags in a jar until I'm
ready to use them again.

These may be a blah, but I'm definite that
these tea bags still have flavor in them and
can be used a second time.

I gather them, knot the strings together and
let them steep in hot water
for a few hours.

Then I take out the bags and stir in
some honey or simple syrup.

TADA! I've got iced tea perfect for
the warm summer months!

25 May 2010

Green Tea Salad

It's all about tea this week.

Tea isn't just for drinking.
We can add it to sweet & savory treats, too.

Did you know that you can make a salad dressing
using green tea leaves?

I've adapted this recipe from an issue of
Rachael Ray's magazine.

Here's what we need:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup green tea leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno (stemmed, seeded & finely chopped)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
One 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens

Here's what we need to do:

(1) In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden,
about 3 minutes.

(2) In a small bowl, combine the tea leaves, lemon juice,
soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, jalapeno & garlic .
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

(3) Strain the dressing into a bowl, pressing with a spoon,
and discard the solids. Add sesame seeds.

(4) Toss with the mixed greens and serve immediately.

Now you can have your green tea
and eat it, too!

24 May 2010

It's Tea Time!

It's another new week to turn blah into TADA!
And this week, it's tea time.

I love tea.

Asian tea...

English tea...

Tea in boxes, tea in tins -- I'm an equal opportunity
tea lover!

I can't even throw away the blah bits left behind.
So when you've got left-over loose tea...

Make cookies!

I added the remaining tea (2 tablespoons)
in a butter cookie recipe.

TADA! Sweet & soothing Chamomile Tea Cookies!

You can see the flecks of tea all over the cookie.
These are the reason I look forward to
tea time even more.

Have a nice Monday!

21 May 2010

Trying My Hand at Applique'

Hey, hey it's Friday! Aren't you glad the weekend's here?

I've been sewing like a mad woman thanks to this fabulous book
and its equally fabulous book launch showing off actual
crafts and several on-site projects.

Among the many things in the book, applique' is one thing I'd like to learn.
It most likely originated as a means to patch holes in clothing,
but is now used for decorative purposes for bed linens...

and drapery...


and pillows!

These projects are a little too ambitious for me,
so allow me to practice first.

I found an old shirt.

Then I cut out a starfish shape from
another old shirt.
{Can you tell that summer's on my mind right now?}

Position & pin the starfish.

Stitch in place, folding the fabric inside as you sew,
for a clean edge.

TADA! -- my first attempt at applique!
I know, it could be much neater.

Hope you like my sweet summer silly starfish shirt!
Now go and have yourselves a fun weekend.

20 May 2010

Ribbon Art

These past two weeks, I've been doing some blah to TADA! crafts based on this book:

I also had the chance to go to the book launch
called Stitch Fest in New York City,
where I found the cutest display:

Flowers made out of ribbons!

This technique is called ribbon embroidery.
I really liked how they turned out so
I had to try it myself:

I got myself some blah fabric scraps.

Then embroidered away using pink ribbon.
{You'll need some force to tug the ribbon through the cloth}

I also used some thread since I
had no green & yellow ribbon on hand.

TADA! I made this all by myself!

I put it in a frame to decorate the hallway.

I think it makes a nice gift to someone you'd like to give a bouquet of flowers to -- but it's fantastic because this requires no watering, there's no wilting and it's a gift that's completely handmade!