December 08, 2014

diy candle jars.

a while ago i found this pretty copper glitter in the sales bin at our local crafts store for just 50 cents and also some copper acrylic paint for 1 euro. i just had to get it. i am totally into that color right now and i thought why not have it my xmas color this year. so it came naturally that i decorated some candle jars with it. it was super easy and i love how they turned out. they make me happy every night when i light some candles in them. also i think they would make great little diy gifts too. why not make one or two and give them away with a package of scented tea light candles or votive candles. just a little something to bring along when meeting a friend around that time of the year.

i am pretty sure you have about everything on hand already because you really don't need much to make these.
you need:
glass jars
washi tape
glitter glue or mod podge
paint brush
glitter
acrylic paint
1 | wipe off your jars so they are completely clean and oil free.

2 | stick some washi tape around the jar in any height you like. make sure to press it on tight around the bottom edge. fold back the end to create a little flag which makes it so much easier to remove later. 
3 | brush on a thin layer of glue to the bottom part of your jar. make sure to have some glue on every little space and around the edge of the washi tape.

4 | generously sprinkle glitter onto the glue. for easy clean up afterwards make sure you do this on a piece of paper and not on you r working surface.
5 | tap off the excess glitter and let it set for a minute or two. now slowly peel off the washi tape before the glue hardens.
6 | let it dry completely.

7 | now you could fixate the glitter with some fixative spray or even just simple hair spray, but i think it makes the glitter look a little dull and actually i don't mind a little glitter around. i handle these jars with care and try not to touch the glitter parts too much. so it isn't that bad.

you could also use the same technique and glue the glitter on from the inside but it will be a little harder to adhere the washi tape straight. plus i think it looks more sparkly when the glitter is on the outside. 

another way to reuse jars you already have on hand or got for super cheap at the dollar store, is to just paint them with some acrylic paint. this technique works best on frosted glass.

1 | use some washi tape to tape of the top of the jar... or any part you don't want to paint.
2 | carefully peel off washi tape while paint is still wet.

3 | let it dry completely.

yes, it is as simple as that. this glass jar won't be see through anymore but it looks cute anyway. you could also use these as a brush holder on your vanity, a pen holder on your desk,  to hold bon bons on your coffee table... or fill it up with homemade pralines, wrap it in cellophane, tie it with a cute ribbon and give it to someone special.

oh and one last way to decorate some plain old glass jars or candle holders....
don't we all have these pretty glitter nail polishes in our nail polish collection that we hardly ever use because they are a pain to ever get off you nails again?
i have at least these four. they are pretty but i usually only paint one signature nail with these on each hand. this way i can never ever use them up before they dry out. so why not use them for some crafts too.
just paint some glitter nail polish onto a small candle holder...
i did three coats with different colors here... and just let it dry.
very cute too, right? best way to use that pretty glitter nail polish without the pain to get it off again.

alright, that's about it for today. i am going to make myself a cup of tea, light some candles, snuggle under a warm blanket... and just let the world around me fade away. that's exactly what i need today.

xo.

December 04, 2014

xmas 2014 bucket list.

ok, looks like everyone is starting to get into the xmas spirit. i am too but i haven't done too many xmas related things yet. well i have done a little xmas shopping and i have ordered my xmas cards - not written yet though... and does snacking on roasted chestnuts that my mom just brought me from the xmas market count? so i guess it is time to do more xmasy stuff and kick off my xmas workshop for 2014. maybe i should turn on some xmas music now... michael bublé always does the trick.

i made a little xmas bucket list of all the things i want to do until xmas this year.

01 | bake at least 5 different kinds of xmas cookies
02 | have a xmas movie marathon including my faves "the holidays" and "home alone"
03 | read a xmas book by the fire place
04 | give a secret santa gift to someone
05 | take a walk in the snow - assuming it will snow before xmas
06 | mail xmas cards with special notes to everyone
07 | give xmas treats to neighbors
08 | go to the xmas market
09 | have a cup of cheer... uhm... a cup of hot choc with friends
10 | go to the xmas get-together at the village square
11 | stay in pjs all day
12 | donate some toys
13 | get one special ornament for 2014

... i'm dreaming of a white christmas with every christmas card i write.... may your days be merry and bright.... and may all your christmases be white.... oops sorry, i got a little carried away by michael and was singing along with him. good thing you couldn't hear me. ha ha.

what are the things you want to do before xmas? anything special?
xo.

November 28, 2014

diy pillows for a cozy day in.

i can‘t believe this cozy day in week is coming to an end today but i will end it with the biggest post of all. i told you about some of my essentials for a cozy day in so far but there is one important thing missing - or let‘s say a million because you can never have too many - and that‘s pillows. i love pillows and i always have a ton of them on my bed and my couch. there is just no way to really get cozy without them. or is there any other way to make yourself comfortable than snuggled in between a ton of pillows and wrapped into a soft blanket? i don‘t think so.

in the picture above you can see that i like my pillows to be matching but not too matchy matchy. plus i love mine to add color to my otherwise mostly black/white/grey stuff. pillows are just perfect to add a pop of color here and there. i can easily change the color theme of a room by just switching out the pillow cases and i do that whenever i am tired of a specific color. sometimes i even sew my own pillow cases and that‘s what i just had to do when i found that bright pink fabric that matches my custom „make it happen“ pillow from tiny prints perfectly. i just couldn‘t pass it up.

so i though i could just take you along with me and show you how to sew an easy envelope pillow case that won‘t take you more than half an hour to finish. and while we are at it, i am also going to share four different ways how to completely customize these pillow cases and make them unique.

oh and even if you are not into sewing, don‘t just leave yet. you don‘t have to sew your own pillow cases. i am sure you have some boring ones around the house somewhere that you can easily spruce up. or why not buy some cheap plain once and make them into fancy one of a kind ones? the dollar store or the thrift store are usually great places to finde cheap ones or how about ikea?

without further ado i think i will just jump into the tutorial...

how to sew an easy envelope pillow case

you need:
a pillow
measuring tape
fabric of your choice [i used a pink corderoy]
fabric iron
matching thread
fabric scissors
pins
a sewing machine

1. measure your pillow  

the one i used for this tutorial was 40x30 cm but you can use any pillow size you have on hand.

2. measure your fabric 

you need the length of your pillow [40 cm in my case] and 2x width + 20 cm [8"] [30 + 30 + 20 = 80 cm] so i cut my fabric 40x80 cm. you don't need any additional seam allowance because you want your pillow to be snug in it's pillow case.

3. fold in the fabric 

on the shorter side and iron it down about one cm [1/8"]

4. fold it in again

iron it again to keep it in place. if you use a thinner fabric, you might want to pin it down with some pins but mine held down pretty well so i skipped that step.

5. sew hem down

along the bottom edge with just a straight stich.
repeat step 3-5 on the other short end of the fabric.

6. fold over the ends to form the pillow case

now this is the tricky part to discribe but i try my best.
- find the middle of your fabric and mark it on both sides
- measure half the width from the the mark in both directions
- fold the ends of the fabric over [right side touching] overlaping the ends
- your folded fabric should now match the measurements of your pillow [40x30 cm in my case]
- pin together the open sides

7. sew together

leave about 1 cm [1/8"] seam allowance. if your fabric is prone to frey you might want to hem the edges with a zick zack stich. remove pins.

8. turn right side out

and there you have it, your envelope pillow case.

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Now onto embellishing the pillows you just made - or the ones you found hidden in the back of your closet ;)


how to sew a star pillow

you need:
a pillow case
felt
star template
sharpie
scissors
thread
sewing machine

tip: if you sew the pillow case yourself it is the easiest to sew on the felt star before sewing the pillow case together. so you might want to do this before step 7. if you use a premade pillow case you might want to sew on the star by hand [see monogram pillow]

1. trace your star templare

cut it out inside the line.

2. place star on pillow

place it a little more in from the edge as you'd think because when the pillow case is stuffed it will be more rounded. pin it on to hold it in place.

3. sew felt star on

either close to the edge or go a little crazy like i did.

4. sew pillow together

do so like in step 7 in how to sew an envelope pillow case above. 

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how to create a monogram pillow

you need:
a pillow case
felt
printer and printer paper
sharpie
scissors
matching thread
needle
a plastic clip board [optional but it makes it so much easier]


1. cut out your letter

print out your letter in any font and size you like - i used brannboll fet in 450pt - or draw it by hand, cut it out and trace it onto your felt with a sharpie. cut it out.

2. sew letter onto pillow case

slip plastic clip board into your pillow case - it prevents you from accidentaly sewing your pillow case together.
place letter on pillow case. move it in from the edges a little more than you like it as will be more rounded when stuffed. pin it in place. sew on your letter with small stiches all around the edge. done.

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how to add ruffles to a pillow

you need:
a pillow case
felt
a circle template
sharpie
scissors
needle
thread

1. draw 2.5" circles onto felt

i used my fiskars circle cutter template, but use whatever you have.
if your pillow is 40 cm wide you will need 40 circles - one circle for every cm.

2. cut out circles

try to cut off all the sharpie marks because they will be visible if you don't.

3. fold circles

fould each circle in half and then in half again.

4. pin them together [optional]

pin each folded circle together.

4. / 5. sew on ruffles

- mark every cm along the line you want to sew your ruffles on.
- sew on first ruffle:
needle coming up threw the pillow case fabric, through the left side of the bottom corner of the folded felt circle, down through the right side of the bottom corner of felt circle, down through the fabric of the pillow case, up through the fabric of the pillow case and the the left corner of the folded circle, down through the felt and the pillow case and up through the pillow case where you marked the next cm. [i hope that makes sence.]


6. sew on all the folded circles

alternate like pictured. open side to the right, open side to the left, open side to the right....

7. almost done

now pull each ruffle to the side, open side down.

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how to make pom poms and add them to a pillow

you need:
a pillow case
yarn
pom pom maker or card board*
scissors
a little felt
a hole punch
needle
thread

* make your own pom pom maker:
cut out two 3" circles with a 1" whole in the middle, cut them open on one side. 

1. start wrapping

fold back one side of both card board circles and start wrapping yarn around the cardboard in a couple layers. the more layers you wrap the denser your pom pom will be.

2. continue wrapping

fold the other half of your card boardcircle forward and continue wrapping the yarn around it.


3. done wrapping

when you are done wrapping almost the whole card board ring leaving just the edges, cut of the yarn. also cut of a 12" | 30 cm piece of yarn and set it aside.

4.  cut cut cut

carefully cut the yarn by sliding your scissors in between the two pieces of card board. be careful that the cut pieces don't slip out of the card board circle. you might want to stuff a spool of yarn into the middle to hold them in place. [see pic 5.]

5. fix it

slide the extra yarn you cut in between the two layers of cardboard. carefulle remove the spool of yarn if using.

6. tie it tight

tightly wrap the yarn around twice in between the two card board pieces and tie the two ends together.

7. remove card board

slide off the two card board pieces.

8. have any stray pieces?

just snip them off. but don't just cut off the long ends of the piece of yarn you just used to tie the pom pom together.


11. cut out little felt circles [about 1/2" to 3/4"]

use a hole punch to punch in two little holes. thread one end of the yarn you just used to tie the pom pom together down through one hole andup the other again. s
sew the little felt circle onto your pillow case were you want your pom pom to be.

12. tie it in

tie the long ends together over the felt circle and snip them off. done.
make and sew on as many pom pom as you like.

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puuuh, now we are done with four differnt ways of embellishing your pillows.

now throw all the pillows onto your coach or bed and get cozy.
i added mine to my current collection.

black happy home
domestic bliss black custom pillow from tiny prints

black stripes
henrika from ikea - the black is discontinued

multi colored „make it happen“
vibrant diamond begonia custom pillow from tiny prints

white with grey dots (and an m that is hiding behind the star)
forever dots cobblestone custom pillow from tiny prints

by the way, don‘t you think these handmade pillows would make great diy christmas presents too. i actually do and i am planning to make some monogram ones for some friends and family members. stitching on the letters is the perfect task to do on a cozy day in while watching a christmas movie,  sipping on some hot cocoa and getting into the christmas spirit.

alright, that‘s it from my little corner of the world.
if you have any questions feel free leave them in the comments below or find me in a big pile of pillows on the couch because that‘s where i will probably spend the rest of the day.

xo.

November 27, 2014

snickerdoodles | cozy day in.

yesterday i talked about baking something on a cozy day in. on days like that i want to bake something simple - chocolate chip cookies, brownies or snickerdoodles are on top of my list for these occasions. this time i opted for the latter. i love snickerdoodles and think they get way too less attention. i would even dare to say i prefer them over chocolate chip cookies most of the time. maybe it's because of my love for cinnamon. even though i usually don't mess with my cinnamon but this time i switched out the cinnamon in the recipe for pumpkin spice. i got to say it wasn't too bad and very season appropriate.

snickerdoodles

[makes about 16 cookies]

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice

preheat oven to 350°F | 180°C and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

in a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until smooth and creamy [about 3 minutes]
add eggs one at a time and mix well until each addition. add flour mixture and mix until dough comes together and everything is just combined.

in a small bowl mix together 2 tbs of sugar and spice.

use an ice cream scoop and scoop out cookie dough, form into little balls and roll each ball in the sugar mixture, place them on the prepared cookie sheets. leave plenty of space in between each cookie dough ball. press each ball down with the floured bottom of a glass.

pop cookies into the freezer for 15 minutes.

bake cookies for 9-13 minutes or until golden.

let them cool on the baking sheet for a little bit as the snickerdoodles are very soft when you take them out of the oven.

serve them with a glass of milk or if you want to go all the way, with a mug of hot chocolate.


nutella hot chocolate

[for 1 mug]

1c milk
2 tbs nutella
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 pinch salt

mix everything in a small sauce pan and slowly heat it on the stove top.
pour into mug and top it with marshmallows or some whipped cream.
enjoy!

i tried to make homemade marshmallows the other day but somehow i ended up with one big clump of marshmallow mixture. guess i was to slow spreading it into the baking dish. ha ha. they tasted great though. maybe next time.

that's it from me for today.
have a good one.
xo.

November 26, 2014

what to do on a cozy day in.

ok, now i slept in had breakfast, probably caught up on my blog roll on feedly, maybe watched some of my favorite you tubers, had a delicious tomato caprese soup for lunch... but what to do now? no no, i can't get any work done. cozy days in are off work. they are supposed to be relaxing and just filled with fun stuff. stuff you never get to do because regular days are just too busy.

here are 10 things to do on a cozy day in - in no particular order - and nothing too fancy but you know its the little and simple things that usually do the trick...


1 | finally start that book waiting to be read on the nightstand


i have a couple books on my nightstand that want to be read.
silber - das zweite buch der träume wich is the second book of the silver trilogy by kerstin gier. it is not available in english yet. the first one - dream a little dream - will be in april 2015.
divergent by veronica roth is another book i meant to read for so  long now.  i know i am super late to that party and the movie is already out. but i really want to read the movie first.

2 | call that friend that you haven't talked to in ages and meant to call for so long

i never forget my long distance friends and i always wish i could see them more often but sometimes everyday life just gets too crazy and i don't take the time to just pick up the phone and call them. i do think i should all the time. but push it off to the side. does that happen to you too? please say yes. i do feel bad about it. so whenever i do take a day off i take the opportunity and finally call them.

3 | take an afternoon nap 

isn't it weird that as a toddle we started to fight every nap we had to take and now we would just love to be able to take one. we didn't know back than how valuable it can be to just recharge our energy during the day. 

4 | start knitting or crocheting

at the end of fall i usually get hit by the urge to knit or crochet a new hat for myself. cozy days in are the perfect days to do little projects like that. i can usually get one hat done in about 2 or 3 hours. depending on the pattern and if it is a new to me pattern or one i already know. and while i am at it, i usually can't stop and make a couple more until all my yarn is gone. they make perfect handmade gifts. it is this time of the year you need to finally start thinking about xmas presents after all. this year i am crocheting a hat.

5 | watch a movie or catch up on your favorite shows

just recently i got maleficent on dvd but haven't had the chance to watch it yet. so that would be a good one to watch while crocheting. one of my friends told me it was a really good one - better than she has expected. have you seen it?
i am also way behind on once upon a time which is one of my favorite shows at the moment. i have almost one season to go.

6 | write xmas cards or just because cards

i love to send snail mail to friends because who doesn't like finding something else but bills in their mailboxes? it always makes my day to find a pretty card or a letter in mine. so sometimes i just send out little notes to friends to let them know that i am thinking about them.
not that xmas is right around the corner, i do send out xmas cards of course.

7 | bake something

you know i love to bake so i do not mind any kitchen time on days that are meant to be relaxing. but most of the time i am going for something really simple on these days. no fancy macarons. just a simple cookie like snickerdoodles or a quick pumpkin bread. by the way, i just found the perfect pumpkin bread recipe ever. it's by joy the baker and it is simply awesome. i made it with some left over pumpkin puree from my pumpkin and ricotta stuffed shells. best decision ever.

8 | invite your best friend over

everything is more fun with your best friend. watch that movie together. bake these cookies with her. teach her how to crochet. take a trip down memory lane. talk about everything and nothing. just have some quality time.

9 | play some games

if you have a cozy day in with your family or some friends, why not turn it into a games day. get out those old card and board games that have been neglected. a good old round of clue, apples to apples, bezzerwizzer, cards against humanity or phase 10 are always fun. do you have any fun games that you can recommend? i am always up for new ones.

10 | pamper yourself

take a bath with a fun bath bomb that colors your water in your favorite color. use a face mask. treat your hair with a nourishing mask as well. afterwards dress yourself in the fluffiest rope you can find. make yourself a hot chocolate. light a delicious smelling candle. snuggle up on the couch in between a ton of pillows. listen to your favorite music. and just dream away.

like i said, it's nothing fancy but that is what helps me to recharge after or during busy times. just a day or even just an afternoon to blend everyday craziness.

hope you are all having a wonderful thanksgiving.
xo.

November 25, 2014

tomato caprese soup | cozy day in.

in my opinion on a cozy day in you just need to have some heart, soul and body warming comfort food. oh and something you don't have to put too much effort into because you are in relax mode and you don't want to spent hours and hours in the kitchen - well at least most of you won't. i love baking and cooking so i don't mind some kitchen time on cozy days in.

one of my go to comfort foods is tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. i just can't help but love it. but i wanted to give that simple dish a little twist and italian-ize it a little and this is what i ended up with- a tomato caprese soup that is just perfect for a cozy day in - or after a long day outside in the cold - or whenever you fancy some. 

tomato caprese soup 

[serves 4]

2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 glove of garlic, minced

5 dried tomatoes, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbs tomato paste 
28 oz. canned tomatoes
2 c + extra vegetable stock,
1 bouque garni (thyme, bay leave, parsley - tied together with some bakers twine)
1 tbs sugar
salt & pepper
1/2 to 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh basil
mini mozzarella balls
ciabatta bread

in a large pot heat olive oil on medium and sauté onions until translucent. add garlic and dried tomatoes and celery sauté for another 3 minutes then add tomato paste and sauté for one more minute.

pour canned tomatoes into your pot and bring to a boil, add 2 c veggie stock, bouquet garni, salt, pepper and sugar, stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

remove bouquet garni then puree soup with an immersion blender. add more veggie stock if soup is too thick.

add balsamic vinegar and cream, season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

divide soup into 4 oven safe soup bowls, top each soup with a couple basil leaves and place a couple mini mozzarella balls on top. place bowls under the broiler of your oven and broil them for about 4 minutes or mozzarella is melted and golden - keep an eye on them.

serve with some toasted slices of ciabatta bread.


tips
this soup freezes easily. i like to cook a big batch and freeze the leftovers in portions to have some on hand for a quick bowl of hot soup on a lazy day or to warm up after being outside in the cold. 

if you can't find any mini mozzarella balls, just either dice or slice a regular mozzarella cheese. 

want to go the extra fancy route, drizzle soup with some balsamic reduction. 


now my mouth is watering and i wish i had some leftover soup but as i shared it with my loved ones after i took these pictures, there is none left.
xo.

November 24, 2014

cozy day in


the days are gloomy, the sun only makes an appearance every once in a while... actually more like only once a week..., it gets dark around 5:30 pm and it is freaking cold outside. yes, that's what novemer looks like around these parts of the world. i am jealous about ever one who already has snow. seriously. i am so ready for winter and snow. every time a snowy picture pops up in my instagram feed or my feedly, i am like ... ahhh, i want that too. every one thinks i am crazy. am i really alone? isn't winter just wonderful? and snow? oh my, i just love snow and i really really hope that we get more than we got last year. i want bundle up and get outside, take a walk in the snow and hear it crunch underneath my boots, breath in the fresh cold air, feel my nose getting cold, ... it is just the best. yes i am a winter person and if i had to choose between all the seasons i would seriously pick winter. early fall is not so bad either. but this nasty novermber weather - no thank you. i don't need that! those grey days... what can you even do on these days?

all i want to do is having a cozy day in. just hide from this weather and not even think about going outside at all. just like this morning, when i opened my blinds i could hardly see my neighbors' house because it was that foggy. i wanted to crawl back into bed. i dread days like that specially when i have some food photo shoots planned for the day, the lightning is just off and horrible. but i faced the day anyway. i always try not to let the weather let me down ever - and i didn't today. but i wouldn't have minded a cozy day in anyway ;) so this week is dedicated to all things i need or want to do on a cozy day in.

i know it is thanksgiving week for all my american friends out there and i actually wish i could have a thanksgiving feast with you - thanksgiving food is just the best. but we don't celebrate thanksgiving over here... maybe i should change that in my family. but no one is actually off on thursday so... guess it won't work out too well. anyway, today i am kicking off my cozy day in themed week. i guess some of you might have black friday off and maybe sneak in a cozy day in and just relax. or are you planning on going to hit the stores and catch some amazing deals? i am actually hoping for deals on cyber monday and hope i will get some online xmas shopping done.  maybe i will get all my presents before the day before xmas after all.

anyway... so this week is supposed to be cozy and relaxed before all the xmas craziness starts. i will have a yummy soup recipe, a fun diy that is perfect for diy xmas presents too, some yummy treats to treat yourself on a layed back day and a couple more things... just essentials to get cozy. what are your essentials for a cozy day in?

hope i will see you tomorrow.
xo.