30 July 2018

Pressed Flower Pendant

Hey, hey, hey! Are you ready for some crafting today?

During the spring, I took some time outdoors to pick flowers. 

Then I put them in my flower press. They were sandwiched in layers of paper to absorb all the moisture. The screws were adjusted everyday to flatten the flowers even more. 

After a few weeks, the flowers were dry and flat. Yet they still possessed their vibrant color.

I snipped off the stems and put the buds in this recessed pendant that I got at the craft store.

I covered the flowers with this nifty dimensional glue.

In the beginning, it was cloudy but eventually dries clear.

Here is my pressed flower pendant (the color faded; the petals must have reacted to the dimensional glue).

And here are the other pressed flower pendants I made. TADA!

23 July 2018

A Quiet Spot in the City

I wish I had a garden, a place where I could plant flowers and edibles like herbs and tomatoes. A garden where I could put a bench or a hammock to spend balmy afternoons. A garden that had a dining table to gather loved ones for a home-cooked meal and a home-baked cake.

I live in an apartment building and I don't have a garden to call my own. 

Thankfully, I found this spot in the heart of the city.

It's in Greenwich Village. It's gated and fenced in but is open to the public.

It's called Jeffereson Market Garden.

It's vibrant in the late spring and the whole of summer.

It has pretty paths and the most spectacular array of flowers...

The noise from the street is tuned out with these tranquil sounds...

A babbling pond...

A collection of fountains...

And gentle wind chimes.

There's a greenhouse...

And a few birdhouses.

There are some benches for rest, reading, and meditation.

I guess having my own garden isn't so bad after all...TADA! 

16 July 2018

A New Iron-on Patch

Iron-on patches are a quick way to turn blah into TADA! It's a fun addition to jackets, shirts, bags, and shoes. 

I got myself this adorable sneaker patch. I'm a big sneaker fan -- comfort all the way!

It's a new addition to my project pouch.

Simply apply to the pouch with a hot iron and allow to cool.

The spaces on this pouch are slowly filling up with patches from travels, turning a plain pouch from blah to TADA! 

09 July 2018

Hostess Gift Ideas

Whenever we're invited to stay at a friend's place, it's always TADA! to be a gracious guest. That means being helpful around the house, being considerate (especially when sharing spaces like the bathroom), and expressing appreciation. And one way to do that is with a hostess gift!

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests, gift basket,
Here is one that I assembled. It has a set of six placemats, a bottle of dish soap and handsoap. These items are useful in any home, but it's also a nice touch to think of your host's lifestyle. The friends who I gave this to cook and entertain a lot. 

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests, gift basket
Instead of putting the items in a gift bag, I packaged them like a gift basket. I painted an empty clementine crate (blah to TADA!) and added "Merci Beaucoup" (Thank you very much in French) in brush lettering. You can't see it but at the base, there's shredded paper so that the items don't move around. And I enclosed a handwritten card, too.

placemats, table setting, gift ideas from overnight guests
Guess what?! My friends loved the gift and used them at breakfast the very next day. TADA!

Here are a few more ideas whether you're visiting for dinner are staying a few days:

gift suggestions from overnight guests, homemade gifts
If you like to pickle or make preserves, a jar of your handiwork will impress them. This is roasted garlic in olive oil that can be used for pasta or salad.

Homemade granola that can be enjoyed with yogurt, oatmeal, and on top of baked goods.

Baked goods -- whether from your kitchen or a favorite bakery in your town.

gift suggestions for overnight guests, candle
A candle (store-bought or handmade) that will bring scent and warmth to a home.

I hope these ideas are helpful! What about you? What hostess gifts do you like to give?

02 July 2018

The Downton Abbey Exhibit

One of the TV shows that I faithfully followed and miss terribly since it ended is Downton Abbey. 

Set in an English country estate in the early 20th Century, it chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. 

Thankfully the Downton Abbey Exhibit is currently on-going in New York City showcasing sets, props, and costumes from the show. 

An audio guide provides helpful references and thoughtful facts. Here are a few photos in case you're a fan, too. 

Let's start Downstairs, the world of the household staff:

This egg holder is my favorite item!

The call bell system indicating the rooms of the estate

Now, let's go Upstairs, the world of the Crawley family:

This is how the table is set every evening

The gong that will announce that "Dinner is ready"

Apart from the beautiful outfits, the lavish accessories were on display, too:

It was a beautiful exhibit! If you're ever in New York City, stop by and re-live Downton Abbey. It runs until September.