DIY Paper Hydrangeas

Aimee from Twigg Studios made a bunch of beautiful paper hydrangeas in blue- a craft I just couldn’t resist!

I love Hydrangeas. Back in the dreamy hill days, hydrangeas frequented our little beach themed cottage in brass flower pots or bright cups if it were to be put in the porch. We grew with them and also grew them from cuttings, and they were everywhere! In shades of pink, lime green and pale pink. You know…happy days!

In Bombay, I’d sell my soul to you if you can make them survive. From dipping cuttings in rooting hormones to trying to make it grow roots in water- I’ve tried and miserably failed. Apart from short lived blooms (which came with the cuttings) I’ve had nothing. Them blasted hydrangeas…

This was a great way to have them- Forever!

Aimee in her blog has done it in a slightly different way- you can see it all here.

I (the lazy bum central) chose an easy way out and it worked just fine. Here’s how:

Supply

Parchment paper

Scissor

Wooden Skewers

Fake leaves

Water colors if you want a colored one

How

Cut strips of parchment paper- about 3″ wide and 30 cm long

Fold them in squares (Follow the collage above)

Once if you have fold them in squares, draw flowers- 4 petal or 5 petal, up to you. Draw the flowers on the center and cut them out- remember, we want individual flowers, not connected to each other. So keep some margin.

Once you have lots and lots of flowers, string two in each skewer.

Pierce the centers of each with the sharp end and pull them towards the base end. That way you’ll have a concave structure too.

Repeat the entire process until you have a bunch you absolutely adore!

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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
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The Scrub that’s got everyone talking!

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So yeah! a very happy sunday to you all! I am here to talk about a scrub that got quite a bit of attention over the past few weeks!

You see, much as I would love to say that after a 10 hour-full time job, after managing laundry and dishes, and a husband who demands all my attention, and a rabbit that gives me look when i give him spinach I just do not get time- truth is I am lazy. I just do not want to step out of the house on a Sunday unless this 28 year old kid I call husband takes me out on a date or drives me. I mean I don’t know how to drive because I always thought if I knew how to they’d make me drive relatives and friends and family around. For the longest time I avoided cooking too for the same reasons 🙂

Look at me shameless and alright!

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So it all happened, this way, the scrub-

When  I expressed my ardent displeasure in my jiggly thighs- the princess of Egypt AKA Eman Sayyed Fathy gave me a solution that she thinks is common science and I think is stolen from Cleopatra’s tomb! Coffee beans are natural skin exfoliator and work on cellulite like wonder. What’s best is – throw in some sugar and some olive oil and you have a body polishing scrub that work 3 ways-

a) reduce cellulite

b) hydrates your skin

c) Prevents body hair from coming back

What else would you need from a scrub? You tell me.

IMG_0898So here goes the recipe!

Coffee beans residue

Olive oil (I freeze and keep in cubes)

Cocoa powder (for a hint of smell and color)

Sugar (Brown/white)

IMG_0899Mix it all up and scrub your body thrice a week while bath.

When you see the difference- come and let me know!

update: this scrub actually is Eman’s German roomie’s beauty tip. Apparently, some Brazilian guy is also involved in making this scrub effective saying brazilian coffee works best. So yeah- authenticity is pending. The result though is unmatched!

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Beyond the Picket Fence

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Merry Christmas: Christmas Home, Christmas cake and 70’s pop art!

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♥ Sparkly corners, little things, joy and sunshine

Smiles. Gingham cloth on breakfast table. Freshly baked bread

Pear tarts.. Yum.

Family time, love time, under the holiday sun

The man in the kitchen, grilled fish over lemon grass

That little black dress, red wine, Christmas pudding, fairy lights

Quiet corners to dream away, Hot chocolate, Polar express, flannel pajama with teddy bear on it.

Fluffy blankets, movie time, secretly watching stars at midnight!

A glittering Christmas tree with hopes for a better world on its branches.

Wishing you a thoughtful Christmas if you are reading it and all the things above ♥

IMG_9801Now, for the super easy Christmas cake Recipe:

In a sauce pan, put to boil brown sugar, raisins, grated ginger (1/2 teaspoon), cinnamon (2 teaspoon) and Jack Daniels Whiskey

In another bowl, cream 2 eggs and 3/4th cup sugar. When fluffy and doubled, add dry mixture (1 and a 1/2 cup flour, 3 heaps tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt)

Fold it in nice and easy and add chopped almonds.

Bake in 220 (centre rack) for 10 minutes, turn down to 180 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs attached to it.

This is a dense cake and should be like it. It’s not light and airy and decadent at all. Your cake should have a packed, dense base.

Enjoy with coffee or cocoa.

Merry Christmas all!

Christmas

Love & Christmas tradition

Cyber Monday is gone and I didn’t buy anything online. Makes me feel so poor! I’ve been eyeing a teaset for one on Amazon.com but didn’t buy. Not that buying on Cyber Monday is a tradition in here; in fact I have never bought stuff online on Cyber Monday anyway. Just a passing thought and an excuse to buy stuff I guess…

But what is tradition in this hot and sunny corner of the world, is to sit by the air condition on the night before Christmas, sip wine and decorate the Christmas tree together. This is also where I’ll talk about love.

Not so long ago when I dated this man in this house, we use to frequent a slope. It was our favorite spot. You see, we were not the “happening” couple, frequenting discs. We both love our beer with Smashing Pumpkins or Devendra Banhart, lying down on the slope, as the sun goes down and as the stars starts twinkling. We both appreciate silence, deep breaths and recollecting thoughts. So on one such occasion, I expressed my sadness about being away from family and not getting to celebrate Christmas, not having a tree. Those days I used to share a room with a roomie. This man gets up and tells me, well, why not? “We can buy the tree and deck it.” I was not ready for it. I was absolutely not sure what to say considering I shared a room so, I said, “Well, I don’t have a house of my own and I’m sure you would not do this for me every year so I should get used to it”. He took out a piece of paper and wrote these lines down:

“I will be there for Christmas every year. When you have a home for yourself, I will buy you 1 new tree every year, each tree bigger than the year before and we’ll celebrate it just like you used to. If by passing year the tree gets too big and we can’t buy, I’ll make it for you. I’ll come from office, take out 2 hours everyday and make you a tree to the roof”

After all these years, he still keeps his promise every year. We have negotiated a bit on the tree height but there is never a Christmas that he is not around and we are not sipping wine by the cooler, decking the tree up, the night before Christmas. This guy’s love is for real. I now share a beautiful house with him which we call home.

I have put him through a lot. I whine, I cry, I am overtly emotional at times, I pretty much torture him. But he never walked away. He never gave an excuse, never lied.

He may not be the romantic guy who gets you expensive gifts. He is definitely not the one who surprises you with breakfast in bed. But hey, he is the guy who buys me pink roses, 2:30 at night and tells me whenever he passes this flower shop, he thinks of buying. But the traffic doesn’t allow! He is the one who keeps a record of the most minute things I like and I dislike and sorts me out. He is the guy who once told me that down the line your life will be divided in two parts: one that do not have me and the one that does. I now see the difference.

That’s us on two wee hearts! We drew them with markers and we dangle on the tree, very close to each other. Another tradition that we made up. Writing our names on ornaments, and hang it the last on the tree, beside each other. Lets see who else makes it here.

Its been 6 years that I am dating him and I just cant get enough of this man and his ways. As I took out our holiday decor accents, I couldn’t help but do this post. I assure you there is love. Just believe.

toodles XO

P.S: Do not forget our Enamel sign Giveaway 

Hutch Reveal, How to fill scratches in wood & What’s coming up this week

Hutch makeover story, folks, hutch makeover story is what we have here in this teeny apartment. From rags to riches, from zero to hero- come on, have a look, darlings, come on now.

haha, much as I want to sound like a professional hawker, the fact remains unaltered that I suck at it. But what I really don’t suck at is reusing things! The carpenter gave up on it and told me to put sun mica sheet worth 500 bucks, the paint guy refused to paint it and some advised to change the whole panel because the “scratches are too deep”.  No scratch in this world is too deep to not heal- you hear me?

In fact, making a wood plank or piece look like new is surprisingly easy. All you need is sand-paper, putty and lots of patience.

Remember the hutch I made last week by assembling a shelf and a cabinet? It had just one flaw. The wooden doors beneath the cream and gold cloth were completely abused- it had ugly scratches which apparently came from attaching sunmica on it- when I first bought it, not to mention, the cabinet came with an ugly sunmica sheet which was uggs as hell.

Denied help from pretty much everyone, I remembered my late uncle’s word: “Putty can heal hearts too”. He was from the airforce and did pretty much everything till the day he passed away- from cooking to sorting cracked ceiling. He was a genius.

So I went to the hardware guy, asked for a can of putty, putty knife, water paper with 3m grits, a can of white paint and 2 medium brushes. And with this as my arms I began…

Top left is where I started.

Step 1: How to remove dendrite/adhesive off the wood

Best is if you use a thinner but warm soapy water and sand paper will do the trick. Just let it stand wet for about 10-15 minutes before scrubbing

Step 2: How to fill in gaps or scratches

PUTTY. woodwax is good if you are working small scale. If you are working with more scratches per square centimeter than wood, you better go with putty. With a putty knife, apply putty on all the scratches and then strike smooth. a putty knife is a square tin plate than helps you even the surface.

Step 3: How long should the putty stay before I paint over

A day or as much time as it takes to dry completely

Step4: smoothing the putty

take water paper and soak it in water. Rub it over the puttied surface in circular motion to smoothen any bumps. If required fill in any gaps that has not been done and wait for sometime

Step 5: Painting

Once the putty is dry, paint it over with a rolling foam. If you want a shabby texture, give strokes of light blue first and paint with white over it, when its 75% dry. This will give you a worn off look and give a lovely hint of tones, once sanded

Step 6: Sanding the paint

With a sand paper (light grit), sand it over for a smooth surface and a distressed look

can you see the texture?

There are 2 tiny holes, which needs to be filled with white cement but I have plans for it 🙂

This is my final hutch reveal- the baskets are coming for insides!

Here’s how my tiny room looks with everything in place.

I know its small and nothing but hey, that’s the challenge!

Likey or no likey?

The light were really low today so the yellow wall is seeming a little whiter. the wall is yellow 🙂

have a great week ahead

COMING UP THIS WEEK

French pots & growing microgreens for decor

How to make vintage look alike tin boxes under 10$

Some knobs I ordered for cabinets

Easy Coconut macaroon recipe

An antique find

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Wednesday

DIY: Kitchen Shelf to Beach House open Hutch

Morning people! A warm hi from the wannabe beach house and we have a beachy hutch in white and Robin’s Egg blue! Cool or cool no! Oh and do you think I should change trumatter to The wannabe beachhouse as my blog name? Do let me know your thoughts!

Now, onto the beachy hutch that I am oh-so-loving!

You see, like most of you I am not fortunate enough to have my own house. It’s been 5 years that I am making peace with the fact that I stay in a rented apartment and that I cannot alter lay outs or drill walls and fit things. I have to live with fluorescent green as my living room wall color and bad, black cheap granite as my kitchen counter top. There is nothing I can do about it.

Because of such limitations my stoneware and crockery was stashed away below my kitchen counter all this while- I cannot install open shelf and I hate glass cases for my stoneware. It just doesn’t cut for me. I used to take it out from time to time but there was no way I could display it and also have it at hand when needed. No way, until I discovered that my spices can actually go below the counter and the shelf can be fit on top of a 2 door, half length dresser! What on earth! Why didn’t I think of this before??

Here’s the shelf and the dresser individually:

Phew! Now that I think about it, I wonder how I pulled it off, considering I am supra lazy.

Here are the gross steps:

Day 1

First, I washed the shelf thoroughly (lots of grease, seeds and stuff to clean) and took out its extensions on the base. (See photograph below)

Next I put it on top the dresser and drilled 4 holes through the shelf base.

Step 3, I secured the shelf with the dresser top

Step 4: I gave it 1 coat of pure white and let it dry.

Day 2

I gave the rims and the dresser top 2 coats of Robin’s egg blue or you know what, you can call it trumatter’s beach blue because I mix it up myself with 1 can of pure white and 2:1 ratio of blue and green. Feel free to call it what you like.

Next, I opened up the doors of the dresser and attached a cream and gold fabric on it- This is temporary and you shall see new doors to this very, very soon. This is simply “kaam chalau” 😛 which means “for the moment”

Step 3 of day 2: I stud it with my stoneware and china and put an “ocean” sign on top which I made myself. The conch is a gift from ma from Orissa.

Although there are a lot of changes that need to be done in terms of decorating and I’ll hang teeny jam jars from its sides but the improvement was too large to not put it up. Or maybe let’s call this Part 1 🙂

I am loving the change, the color against yellow and everything that came together as one.

What do you all think about this? Suggestions welcome!

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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty
Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday 

 
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Thursday
Sunday

DIY: Beachy Planter from nail box & Tropical House plants

Afternoon lovelies.

It’s 3:06 here in India, lunch has been had, the air-conditioner is making me sleepy, I’m at work but I have no work so yeah, perfect time to blog about a recent addition in my wanna be beach home- a super white, chippy little beachy planter that’s gracing my end table at the mo!

But she was not a beautiful beachy planter when I found her. When she was rescued day before yesterday evening, she was just a scared tattered, beaten, battered and sad with time nail box. I wonder how many tears she’s shed!

So I picked her up and fixed her up.

First, she needed to be washed. That evil carpenter kept her under shackles in a dim corner, unwashed, unfed. Here she is~

She was numbered – 922! God only knows what evil number that is.

After a good wash, it was time for some for some body polishing and nutrition-WP (White paint. Ya, you guessed it right)

I gave it a good sanding and 3 coats of paint, white, beach blue and white again. I let it rest for 2 days and sanded again to chip.

Step next was a message I’d like to have.

I taped two sides to keep my alphabets in line and wrote: “Nurture”. I wanted to write “Beach” or something beach house but somehow the word nurture really appealed to me. Or maybe its the subtle quality, the attribute I’m intrigued about. What may look like a lifeless bean is actually an entire tree- all it needs is suitable conditions or nourishment. We are but a clump of cells if not for the nourishment of our our mother’s womb which put life onto our wee bones. The barren open plot opposite my window is now full of trees- it’s been raining for a while. The monsoons nourished the grounds. I keep looking out at the field everyday and each day i see something new. It’s a miniature ecology system, mushrooming right infront of my eyes. Today I saw 3 marigold plants in full bloom. Who put them there? The wind. Who nourished them? The earth. It’s magic. I sound like I’m stoned, but I am not. We see a lot of things everyday but we don’t look. If you look carefully, you’ll see tiny developments in everything, everyday and it will befuddle you. That magic within that makes it happen is “nurture”.

Once everything was completely dry, I sprayed it with a coat with clear varnish and let it dry for another 6 hours before planting the shade loving coleus! Love the bright red leaf with green rims + it takes one very little to keep them happy!

So, what do you all think? I’m going to heaven or no?

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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