Monday, 21 August 2017

How to: Contemporary Mirror Wall

Getting a new week started! This morning I felt like Phil in the movie Groundhog Day (1993). You know how he wakes up and it is always the same Groundhog day, same people come across, same activities. It was just yesterday when I woke up and it was Monday and now again. Some people love routine and predictable days with repeating schedules. I have to admit that I am not one of those people who love the so called everyday life. I do like to do plans but I just prefer that I have different plans for different days. I don´t mean by this that I would want life to be constant party and celebrations. More that I could work with variable tasks, take a walk to different direction than yesterday, hobbies that offer new challenges etc. Sure this is something that I can effect myself 99%. Still some days are Groundhog Days because you have to get up every morning, brush your teeth, eat your porridge and drink a cup of coffee not to mention other possible morning, midday, afternoon, evening tasks that keep you alive. Maybe I should buy a toothbrush for every day in different color and use Wednesday brush on Sunday. Excitement!

When I was still studying I worked in a same place for three summers. It was great place to work, work colleagues were fair and practice was clear. Absolutely nothing to complain. What I felt challenging were the routines. Days were quite alike because work included repeating tasks. On third summer I could not tell which summer some things had happened and I sort of lost years in my counting when I tried to remember. If I think my high school years (I might be getting old because I start recalling past things :) I come up with an image of early morning in a bus reading my homework. All three years were the same early mornings in a bus. Going to University was my thing, no routine, no repeating schedule, new ideas every day. Now I am having these Autumn thoughts two years after the graduation. Maybe it is because of the beginning of a new school year for some that makes me think about these. Last week I got it settled that I will go to some lectures and I am super enthusiastic about that. I have big hopes for this new season. I made a plan for this week to be more productive and organized (hope it shows on my blog). Weekly plans and writing BuJo makes it easier to do things consciously and remember what you have been up to some weeks, months and years ago. It also breaks the path of repetition as seeing the past helps to make plans for the future.

Last week I got a three part blog post series done and I hope this week will be equally as inspired and active. I have got ideas listed for the week's posts. New season shows in my home decor as I have wanted some change to mark the Autumn started. Some weeks ago I went and painted the big wall of my apartment. I have had the same wallpaper for almost two years and I was not 100% happy with it. After painting the opposite wall dark grey the white flower wallpaper started looking old. I had planned to put my 2017 quilt on the wallpaper wall but it did not fit, so I painted the wall so it would match better. The new light grey paint was so beautiful that I did not want to cover it with the large bright quilt. Finally the quilt found it's place on the other wall and the newly painted wall was left empty. I remembered a pile of old eighties mirrors in my storage. Mirrors could be a luxurious and light wall element for a small apartment as mine is. Going all eighties and putting the mirrors to a grid was not my thing. I wanted the mirror wall look more like wall art and contemporary. I made some drawings and thought that harlequin pattern made with mirrors and empty gaps might be simple yet stylish solution.

For this project you will need:

A wall
9 Square shaped mirrors
Strong tape that is made for attaching mirrors
Strong cotton yarn
Masking tape
Small weight (like scissors or stone..)
Tape measure

Step 1. Measure the mirrors you are using so that you know how big space you need to arrange on your wall.  Clean the wall and the mirrors. Take a piece of yarn that is well over the height of the three mirrors going on row. Attach the weight to the end of the yarn and use masking tape to hang the yarn to the wall as seen in the picture. This yarn will show you the middle row of mirrors and you have to attach the mirrors so that the two corners go to the line (=you get the mirrors straight).

Step 2. Take the first mirror and put strong tape to four sides like in the picture. Attach the mirror according to the yarn line seeing that the two corners go to the line. Also remember to consider the height so that there is space from the ceiling plus other two mirrors have space under the first one.

Step 3. Attach the rest of the mirrors of the row. Pull off the yarn from under the mirrors.

Step 4. Use one mirror as a measure to get the place for the next row. Put it to the space that is going to be a gap and make a mark to the outer corner. Do the same to other gap. Now you have two marks and you use these marks to set the line with the yarn. Hang it again so that it goes through the marks.

Step 5. Attach the first mirror of the second row so that two of the corners go to the yarn line and third one to the corner of the middle row's first mirror. Attach the rest of the mirrors similar way.

Step 6. Now it is time to go to the other side of the middle row and repeat steps 4. and 5. Polish the mirrors.

Now you have harlequin inspired pattern made with 9 mirrors. In case you have bigger wall you could use more mirrors. It is easy to attach the mirrors with the help of the yarn line. 

Hope this tutorial was helpful. This is one example how different old things can look when you decide to arrange them differently instead of the ordinary way. It feels like the mirror wall has doubled the space and the Egypt posters I have on the opposite wall reflect to the mirrors. It is like Narnia when you look your home through the mirrors not to mention the dancing hall effect when it is evening and no one is looking ;D

You might also like these posts: Furniture makeover ideas and new style for living room and Garbage Treasures: Trendy Magazine Stand.

Have a great start for the week!


Friday, 18 August 2017

Decorate Rattan 3. Boho Flowerpot Basket

Friday at last! Bohemian style flowerpot basket is to close my Decorate Rattan theme week. In case you haven´t seen parts one and two check out the tutorials here: Colorful Coasters / Party Ready Glass Cozies.  Baskets that I have painted today are both from thrift store, 3,50€ per one. In bigger thrift stores it is easy to find a pile of different baskets. Challenge is to go through all and sort the best and most suitable for painting project like this. The more simple the basket is the better the paint and shells will look in it. 

You will need:

-A basket
-Acrylic lacquer paint in two colors
-Cotton yarn
-Small/ Medium brush
-Two needles

Step 1. Choose two colors you want to use in your work. You can use more but I noticed that  the safest way to succeed is to narrow the amount of color because the pattern already makes the basket stand out. Look closely the basket and how it has been woven to see the pattern. Decide which areas you want to paint. In case you have similar baskets you can make all look different just by painting different parts of the woven pattern. 

Step 2. Paint parts of the woven pattern and leave some unpainted. In case you have small details to paint choose smaller brush. Let dry. 

Step 3. I painted two baskets and twined shells to one. Here is how to ad shells. Making a hole to a shell: Take a strong sharp needle, tongs, hammer and  cutting board. Keep the needle with tongs and hammer like a nail to the shell as shown in the picture. 

Step 4. Take yarn and needle. Make a knot to the end of the yarn and come from the inside of the basket to the outside. Take a shell to the yarn and go inside to the basket same route. Repeat coming outside every 3 cm (or depending the size of the basket/ shells you are using) and taking a shell and going back in.

Step 5. The yarn you use to attach  the shells goes neatly inside the basket. End the yarn when you have attached shells around the basket. Place a plant that is in a pot to the basket.

I was surprised how great yucca trees look again. Few years ago I couldn´t have imagined to buy one and now it looks so fresh and new! Quite many eighties trends are now in style. Maybe a bit transformed but still very recognizable.  Rattan, indoor jungles, mirrors, colors not to talk about clothes fashion and music. When trends repeat themselves there is a great chance to use recycled materials and make the original items update to current style. I enjoy this eighties comeback a lot because it allows to use lots of materials, patterns and colors instead of minimalism. Yet I think after this trend minimalism might be the next big thing. Nowadays though, there seems to be few big trends going at the same time so I hope that when one of them is minimalism the others will give a chance to us maximalists :D I have given up with the ideal of finding my own style that would keep year after year not depending what the trends say. For me trends are important source of inspiration and I love to forecast what is coming next. It is fun to get new ideas and find out how to create the same trendy atmosphere with less using upcycled materials and making by myself instead of buying all new from store. Bohemian and DIYed would be great words to describe my style even though colors, materials, patterns and furniture designs might change.

How would you describe your style through the years? Have you found a style you keep no matter what new trend might occur? Or are you more like me and love to participate the trend game?

Have a peaceful and relaxing Weekend! More DIY projects coming next week :)


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Decorate Rattan 2. Party Ready Glass Cozies

Hello Friends! Tuesday and time for the second rattan DIY project of my three part series. I like to have a theme week. I did a series of theme posts last Easter and it was quite fun way to work and create new material to blog. I shall have to think more themes for Autumn, feel free leave suggestions to my comment box what kind of themes you would like to read from my blog. Also if you need special tips for some project or makeover ideas, I am happy to take a challenge!

Even though I was little bit of an Autumn mood yesterday today's project is still summer oriented. I had rattan glass cozies that I bought some DIYing in mind. These are from thrift store like the coasters I did in last post and cost 50 cents per 8 pieces. Rattan products are relatively cheap at thrift stores which is great for us crafters who can ad that 2017 style self. These glass cozies are a perfect match with kitschy straws and colorful napkins. Why not have a backyard party or Birthday celebration with fun beach theme?

You will need:

-Glass cozies
-Acrylic lacquer paint 
-Fun colorful ribbon
-Small brush

Step 1. Paint a stripe to the edge of the glass cozy. Let dry. If you want you can use different color in every glass cozy so that everyone can tell their own glass. I used pink in all :)

Step 2. Measure the ribbon so that it goes around the cozy, cut and glue under the painted stripe. Let dry and you are finished. So easy!

Have a Wonderful DIY Week Everyone! Next and last rattan project is coming at the end of the week :) Hope you have fun finding treasures at thrift stores and making. My evening continues with Jack Kerouac's On the Road, still have few pages to travel in that crazy companion :D


Monday, 14 August 2017

Decorate Rattan 1. Colorful Coasters

It is weird how rattan keeps it's appeal in home decor and trend seems still current after what is over a year. I like the natural palette but because I can't keep my hands off from colors I have taken a needle, brush and some bright colors to add a more bohemian vibe to my thrift store finds. I also took a look in to my cabinets to find small extra decor to mix with color. You know how boxes somehow fill with ribbons, shells, stones, beads, buttons.. even though you would not intentionally collect those things :D Small DIY painting and embroidering projects are a good chance to forget week's to do lists and let yourself fly on creative clouds. This week I am going to share three easy DIY projects on how to decorate plain rattan objects. You might not be able to find exactly same kind of baskets or mug coasters, but these ideas can be adjusted in what ever small rattan object you have in hand. Today I will show you how to create bohemian vibe to cheap rattan coasters.

Who would´t like to have a little bit of colorful bohemian style to brighten up coffee table or everyday meal? I found these rattan mug coasters very cheap, 6 for 50 cents. Plain beige rattan offers a good chance to play with color. First I thought about painting stripes or flowers to these but I came to second thoughts. Because I make quilts I always have embroidery yarn in storage. To this project I chose six colors to embroider a simple sun  pattern.

What you will need is simple: 
-embroidery yarn (left overs are perfect for this project!)
- sharp needle

And the best part, only technique you need to know is how to make chain stitch! I took these two pictures so you can remember how it is done. If you need a more detailed instructions, you can google it. But it is one of the easiest stitches when you find out how it is done.

Step 1. Take yarn to the needle and make a small knot to the end. *Come through from the backside to the front. Turn back to the backside near the point you just came. Pull yarn and leave a little loop to the front side.

Step 2. Move straight few millimeters and come to the front and through the loop you left. Pull the yarn and you have a first chain*. Repeat** making chain stripes from the outer circle to the middle with different colors. Make about eleven or twelve stripes.

So simple that you can embroider these while listening to radio or audio book. I have been going through BBC Proms concerts as I have a goal to listen all that come to Finnish radio. This is also easy project to carry in a purse or backpack in case you know you have some spare time to make stitch or two. 

Tomorrow I will post a new small rattan DIY project. While waiting for that you can read about rattan headboard makeover or this easy basket decoration idea. In case you are in embroidering mood this embroidered lampshade project might be for you :)


Last week I was on a small trip to Southern Finland to meet a good friend. I had forgotten how close towns are in Southern Finland, I got to see three in four days. Here distances are bigger and it is quite rarely that I make a day trip. The week was full of inspiration as you can imagine when seeing new places, shops and museums (I love going to museums). Also Lahti is a great place for thrifters! Huge thrift stores to make great finds. Price level is reasonable and it is possible to make great finds. These coasters are from that trip. I also found Finnish glass and ceramics in a very good price. I should actually take a picture to my Instagram this week about what I found in case you are interested. 

Now that summer's trips are behind it has been time to schedule Autumn. I cannot believe that it is time to talk about Autumn, but I heard from news that last week some kids already started school after summer holidays. August is still summer but September is syyskuu, freely autumn month, in Finnish so I have to admit that the season is changing. A good thing is that nights are darker so I get to sleep better and it is easier to keep some rhythm in life :P. I might get in to better posting schedule now that the hot summer days don´t keep me outdoors all day long. I also like the darker evenings as it gives a healthy break to sit down, read a book or watch a movie.

Today I have had a very good feeling about things and this Autumn season. I have wanted to learn more about digital content creation's technical side and now I have found a way to take part in some lectures. I have to say, now that I am older (late twenties) my attitude towards studying has changed. As a teen and early twenties I used to think studying as a duty. Now I am just eager to learn more about things that really interest me to become better in what I want to do. 

Every Monday is a new start! Great week to you all!


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Welcome to the Quilter's Residence!

I have finally completed the quilting project that I started in Easter holidays! It has not been a full time job for me so that is why it took so long. I have made smaller DIY projects and furniture makeovers every now and then (plus of course a lot more that is not related with crafts or DIY). During the July heat I made very little progress until the end of the month when I decided it was time to get this done before it is covered in dust. I had fun making this quilt and it has been a combination of two techniques that were new to me and I wanted to give a try. It had enough challenge although making 54 similar blocks begun to feel like routine sewing. Friendship braid was great way to use all leftovers and super easy to make. It is like making one corner of a log cabin. I had to be creative with corners as even the leftovers begun run off and I used small squares instead to make moving birds. After all solving problems and finding out new solutions is what makes every quilt so special. If I would have made this 100% according to the plan it might not be as beautiful and interesting as this is.

I made a wild decision when hanging the quilt. I put it to my sleeping space where I already have the last years quilt as a blanket. It surely will divide opinions but I think it looks great. Overall impression is artistic and super colorful. Warm quilts also create wanted coziness which is not bad for sleeping corner. My intention with this years quilt was to collect the essence of summer to one work so that it would warm also mentally when winter storms arrive (not soon I hope!). I named last year's quilt Southern Ocean (click to see more). This year's work is Spirit of 2017. I love to combine traditional patterns and ultra modern colors and fabric. I think this year's work has a hint of pop cultural hues and modern art inspiration bound with folklore patterns and symbolic like moving birds in the corners.

As I already told on Instagram the final part of making a quilt this big is always the most challenging. It is like a workout to manage huge work than weights a ton. Because I made patterns so petite it means that the seams took as much fabric as the right side. With patting and back  fabric it was a good weight lifting exercise to stitch. Now that the work is on the wall I begin to forget the difficulties and plan next project. My back still hurts from this one so it might be that I make something smaller like decorative pillows (that corner might need some quilted pillows don't you think :P) and return with my blanket projects next year, laugh. 

Have you been quilting or sewing lately? Or making other DIY projects? It would be nice to hear about You! I love to connect with DIYers, makers and people who love to read about these subjects!

Have a wonderful Thursday and Weekend my friend!


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Books and BuJo Evaluation

You know how keen I have been with my BuJo. It has kept me on track with everyday activities, goals, dreams and bigger happenings. I believe keeping BuJo can have a life changing effect like they say. Somehow it becomes easier to notice how you spend your time and what you want more in your life when you sit down and go through days with a tracker or draw a future log.

You see how enthusiastic I am. Still when summer came time started to run so fast that I almost entirely skipped making July monthly spread and tracker. I was surprised how quickly I lost the touch to all great things I wanted to achieve. It is not so much about having a calendar but the process of writing down activities, goals and plans that are important to you. Investing time for the thinking process already makes future plans more real, at least for me. I noticed that when being organised with my BuJo my head was organized too and I could work from task to another systematically. As soon as I didn´t seem to find time to draw the monthly spread and go through the goals I began to run from task to task without getting anything done. Now that I know how important it is for me to write BuJo I am more motivated. Today I spend hours making August monthly spread with care. It is still over a week until August but I decided to be early just in case finding time later would be difficult. 

I have made some changes to my BuJo during the last two months. I have my calendar as I had before. Tracker has now less things to track. I have removed activities I feel I have no need to track. Mostly I like to see that I am getting enough exercise, that I reach my reading goals and keep blog posts in somewhat regular. I also felt that keeping blog ideas and blogging calendar on a one page was practical, so I have kept it that way. 

New thing on August is personal development goals. Some weeks ago I made a mind map considering professional development and free time activity possibilities here in my home town. Summer months are quiet here and I wondered if here is anything to do ever :D I listed down all interesting groups, hobbies, courses, lectures and happenings. Usually most of the activities start at the August or September after having a summer pause. I thought that looking all choices in advance makes it more likely that I really take part in some. Short days (what comes to light) and busy schedule makes it easy to start skipping free time activities even though I know I would feel refreshed afterwards. Now I got all written down and I have already signed in to some. 

The other side of the personal development has been to think about who I want to be and what things are important for me. I have been thinking what is the field I want to work in the future and what skills I need to develop to achieve my goals.  I admire people who spend time learning new and who have a sense what goes in the world. Reading and studying has always been my Hermione Granger type answer and that is what I want to do more in the future. That means reading goals and trackers will be used :) And maybe I will take few interesting courses in Autumn. 

In June I made a reading plan that has proven to be useful. I haven´t read yet all categories mainly because I didn´t have the tracker and I sort of missed  a few days.  But I have already read four books to these categories: long book, classic, new 2017 and not originally English.  Especially new book and not originally in English language book were challenging because I didn´t want to go the easy way, it being to pick Finnish literature to both :D I have a list of interesting releases from this year but finding them from the library was tricky and I didn´t want to go and buy them from a shop. What comes to book that is not originally published in English I was surprised how many of the popular books have been written in English. Still after having challenges these are reading plan categories I am most stubborn to maintain. Reading literature from different countries opens wider horizons. One of the benefits of living in a small language area is that a lot of effort is done to translate literature from all over the world to Finnish language!

What I have read since last reading update:

Long book: Barbara Kingsolver: The Poisonwood Bible (1998). Price missionary family is moving to Belgian Congo in 1959. Family's dad's decision to move affects to his wife and four daughters who have to survive relying on each other what ever obstacles they come across.  Political situation in Congo has been cleverly pictured between mundane happenings. Conflicts between the Price family and local people question the western all knowing attitude. Experience affects every family member in a different way which was interesting to read.

Not originally in English: Svetlana Aleksijevits: War's Unwomanly Face (orig. 1985 but I read the extended version that came out 2017 in Finnish). This book is a document of Soviet women who took part to the second world war. Aleksijevits interviewed 200 women who had been in the war in different positions. Living descriptions of the wartime reality and it's inhumanly dark shades are heavy to read. Aleksijevits' one goal has been to write a book that makes war so unappealing that new wars wouldn´t begin. Even though the events women tell about are unimaginably horrible the once you open the book you have to read it through. Women's stories open a new brutal side to the heroic war tales.

Classic: Michael Cunningham: The Hours (1998). I found this book from thrift store and thought it is time to read this modern classic. I have to say that when the writer is right a lot can be said in a small number of pages (239 pages in the Finnish translation). Book moves in three time levels telling about one day in three woman's lives. All three life stories are connected by Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway in some way. Virginia Woolf is in the middle of the writing process, Mrs. Brown is reading the novel and Vanessa is doing last minute preparations for a party. It is beautifully written how one day can sum a whole lifetime.

New 2017: Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (2017). Great read that really surprised me. It is a love story of Nadia and Saeed who have to leave their home city when militants take over and it becomes difficult to plan a future. When reading I noticed that the plot was actually nothing but traditional. Time was blurred with elements of past, present and future avoiding straight forward connections to any city or country. This allowed to think the immigration theme in a much broader perspective. Thought provoking novel.


Inspirational and creative week to you all!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Garbage Treasures: Trendy Magazine Stand

It is crazy how much good stuff goes to garbage! Great materials and quite often complete pieces of furniture that would need just a wash and few layers of paint. This magazine/book stand is one example. Or to be clear magazine/book stand is what I saw in this metallic piece, I have no idea what this has originally been. As I found this it had a little bit of rust and dirt and lacked the shelf boards. Otherwise it was in good condition, firm metal stand that could easily be transformed in to trendy home decor accessory. This stand is one of three items I found from the garbage a few weeks ago. I also had to leave lots of good stuff because I just don´t have space to all and I am already giving away some of my works. Also I am not a kind of decorator who puts all away and then starts all over again. I love to keep memories and build a layered home with elements from past and new founds. This small piece had power to change the whole furniture order in my living room area! I am quite lazy cleaner and only way to make a proper cleaning for every corner is to do it among the decorating process.

 As I said it was rusty and needed a good wash. After cleaning I used 3 in 1 metal lack in golden that goes against the rust plus gives a good firm paint cover. I applied two layers which made the look even and finished. After this I cut the shelf boards from left over board ( I have found the board from garbage as well some four years ago). I had to clean the boards too as they have been in storage for years and gotten spray paint dots and dust. So far I had used just half a can from 7€ paint.

I wanted to really transform the look and have a neatly finished and luxurious piece. One of my guilty pleasures is to buy interior magazines and books. I love to put piles of beautiful books with inspiring covers on every drawer and table. The stand would be perfect for the most beautiful books and magazines. Marble has been a trend for a while but still seems to get space in interior blogs and magazines. I thought marble looking sticky back plastic would look perfect. It was very easy to attach the marble to the shelves and the look changed completely. I used about half from a 17€ roll of sticky back plastic. Then I glued the shelves to the stand. Yet it needed stoppers so that the magazines won't slip away. I sawed the stoppers from wood and painted white. Now the look was complete! Cost of materials was about 15€ including plastic marble, paint, glue and white acrylic paint.

One of the luxuries of life is definitely clean and organized home. As it is me living in here it means that this state won't be long. Rainy days have allowed me to stay inside and finish my quilting project. I started the project on Easter and still it is in progress. Today I might get all the parts ready and attached to each other so the next step will be stitching the layers together. I will show pictures of that on social media and blog. What I can promise is that my quilt really puts colorful in to a new level! I have already shared photos from the mid part and the borders are at least as colorful :) It is wonderful to stay indoors sewing even though it means fabric dust spreading all over the house. Well, home is for living, right?

Have a great Thursday and Weekend Friends!