Home Design

Reclaimed Wood Wall

Hi everyone!
If you are like me, you enjoy remodeling your house and probably do quite frequently. And by remodeling I mean anything from merely rearranging the furniture to painting a fresh new color on the walls. I’m always working on something and by the time I’m finished on one side of the house, I usually start up again on the other side 🙂

Recently I worked on the wall that transition from the kitchen to the living room. I felt there was something missing and that’s when I decided to give the wall a makeover using reclaimed wood. (As you will see in future posts, I LOVE using reclaimed wood!)

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I forgot to take a before picture so here is the best I could find 🙂

So what did we do? We nailed old fence planks horizontally on the wall. Yes, it’s quite a bit of nailing so using a nail gun was definitely helpful but the project can still be done with an old fashioned hammer and nails, just might take a little longer 😉

We then stained the planks with a whitewash stain. And that was it. The wall came out amazing and quite inexpensive since we used reclaimed fence planks. Reclaimed wood, such as pallets and fences, have become such a trend that you can now find them for sale at your local hardware store but look around, maybe a neighbor is redoing their fence and will gladly give you some planks, never hurts to ask 😀

Once the wall was completed, I debated if I would leave the wall as-is, maybe hang some wall décor or do something more. I thought of placing my hutch against it and once I saw it in place, I loved the contrast of the dark hutch color against the whitewashed wall. However, the hutch needed a little updating. To be honest, I didn’t like the mirror backing and the hardware anymore. But those were easy fixes. We placed plywood paneling (which we stained to match the hutch) covering the mirror backing and changed the hardware. Those two minor changes were all it needed to give it new life.

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Before
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After

And the final touch on the transitional wall was adding some wall décor- decorative plates and a picture frame.

 

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Finished project

I hope this project will inspire you to reimagine a bland wall and/or spruce up a piece of furniture that has lost a bit of its ‘luster’ over the years 😉

 

Thank you for stopping by!

Best wishes,
Anabela

Crafts

Candle Jars Flower Pot

Hi everyone!

Ever wonder what to do with all those used candle jars? If you’re like me, you hold on to them because you know you will eventually use them 😊 Today’s post is one of the many ways you can repurpose those jars.

 

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Used candle jars

 

Just a little background of why this project was done. I enjoy browsing through Pinterest and magazines, and visiting Home Goods for home décor ideas. Once I find an item or idea that I like, I try recreating it with items I already own (I don’t want to be constantly buying new things, it will only lead to cluttering my closets  😀  )

More recently I started noticing small plastic plants, such as succulents, being sold almost anywhere. I thought these would be a great way to add some greenery around the house.

I then remembered about my used candle jar stash that I had been saving for some time. I realized they would be the perfect size for plant pots. Some of the jars were ceramic and others were glass. The ceramic jars I merely cleaned out the old wax and used them as-is. For the glass ones, after cleaning the wax out, I sprayed painted them with gold paint. I chose to paint them in gold, not just because it’s a trendy color, but also because I thought the gold would really pop out in an elegant way. But of course, the colors and patterns you can choose from are endless. For example, you can paint them with black chalk paint so you can write on them. Another option is to add stripes or polka dots. So get creative and paint the jars with whatever makes you smile when you look at them 🙂

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Glass jars that were sprayed painted gold.

 

 

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Ceramic candle jar that was only cleaned but not painted.

 

So how did I remove the old wax from the jars? I placed the jars in the freezer overnight.  The next day, once I removed the jars from the freezer, the left over wax easily came off in whole pieces. I wiped clean the jars and sprayed painted the glass ones with gold spray. I let the paint completely dry. Once ready, I added just a few pebbles at the bottom and then dirt on top. Final step was adding the plant. (I used real plants but there is no reason you can’t use plastic ones if you prefer 🙂

Sometimes you just need a little something, like these small pots, to change up a room, desk, hallway, or any area in your home or office. We hope you enjoyed this project and that you will share with us your thoughts and comments about it.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there!

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Best wishes,
Anabela

Hi! Rosaly here. Just wanted to drop a note to say I was not aware of the freezer trick to remove old wax from jars! I have my own stash of used candle jars but I was neglecting to use them just because of dreading the work to remove the wax! When Bela (I call my sister Bela) told me about this, I was like, why hadn’t you told me already? 😀 I’ll be sure to try this project out myself too and most likely with plastic plants just to be on the safe side… (I’m not the one with the green thumb in this family!)

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Recipes

Bolinhos de côco

Hi everyone!

For today’s post I wanted to share with you this simple, 3 ingredient, gluten-free, Portuguese macaroon recipe.

During my college years I lived in Portugal. In a small town (Samel), in the district of Aveiro. I was fortunate to experience our Portuguese traditions first hand especially during Easter time and during the summer when each little town celebrated their patron saint. Something I noticed early on was that these macaroons, called bolinhos de côco or simply côcos, were always present at the dining table during these festivities. (Just as a side note- although Portugal is small in size, its customs and recipes vary widely from region to region and therefore what I experienced might not be familiar to someone from a different region). They were addicting and I could never just have one. Little did I know at the time was how easy they were to make.

For anyone out there that has searched Portuguese websites for recipes you might notice two things: the same dessert will have multiple variations (for example, one recipe will take 5 eggs another 9 but the volume is supposedly the same!) and many times there are no quantities listed. Portuguese don’t usually use recipes (and I, on the other hand, can’t make anything without one!). Try asking a Portuguese mother, or even more so, a grandmother, a certain recipe and she’ll just list the ingredients and when you ask how much, they’ll just say you can see when it’s enough… It might work with cooking but when it comes to baking, I have no ‘eye’ for what ‘enough’ means :/

While still in Portugal, a friend did teach me this recipe. She actually just said, ‘Mix 250 grams of shredded coconut with 250 grams of sugar and 3 eggs and put in the oven’.  No oven temperature and time given but that would be asking for too much 😉 And the only reason I was informed of the 250 grams was because the shredded coconut came in packages of 250 grams 😉  (and lucky for us, the shredded coconut packages in the US also comes in 250 grams 🙂
(You’ll find that when Portuguese recipes have measurements, they are almost always in weight rather than volume).

 

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Shredded coconut, sugar and eggs

Makes about 45 bolinhos de côco.
Baking time: 15-18 minutes

Ingredients:
250 grams shredded coconut
250 grams of sugar
3 eggs

 

Recipe:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Place the mini baking cups on a baking sheet.

3. Mix together the 250 grams shredded coconut, 250 grams of sugar, and 3 eggs. (Easiest to mix with your hands).

4. Form small balls of mixture (about a quarter size) and place on the baking cups.

5. Place in oven for about 15-18 minutes. They are ready when the peaks have a golden color.

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To note:
– Be sure to check that the shredded coconut has no added sugar. (There is already enough sugar in the recipe 😉
– The egg is a binder. The mix won’t be runny. If you find that the three eggs aren’t enough to hold the coconut and sugar into a ball shape, add one more egg.
– These don’t grow in volume.
– Yes, they will stick a bit to the baking cups but that is normal.
– If you find the côcos to be a bit drier than you would like, give the recipe one more try and simply add one more egg to the mixture.

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This recipe has been approved by my toughest critics, my nephews 😀 Unlike their Madrinha, they don’t simply devour something because it is sweet 😉 So when they do like a dessert that I’ve made, I’m delighted 🙂

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This is a simple recipe for a delicious treat. And although in Portugal these are usually made during festivities, there is no reason to wait for a special occasion, every day is a blessing in itself.

 


 

Thank you for stopping by and hope you enjoy this recipe!

Best wishes,
Rosaly

 

Crafts

Wine Cork Heart

Hi Everyone! 

Today’s project is for those wine cork collectors out there. You know, the folks that have been saving all those corks so that one day they can ‘make something’ 🙂

IMG_3442At our house, that would be my husband, Jeff. His collection was steadily growing and even though we had already used some corks in other projects (posts to come), they never used up many corks. So I decided to make something a little bigger which resulted in this heart (about 2ft tall by 1.5ft wide).

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I cut a heart out of compressed cardboard (strong enough to maintain its shape without bending while thin enough to go practically unseen underneath the corks) using a power jigsaw.

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I then sorted the corks by wine stain color (some corks had no stain while others had a rich ruby tone to them). I did this because I wanted the heart to have a gradual darkening color toward the tip. And final step was gluing the corks onto the board with a hot glue gun (being  careful not to burn any finger as I’m notoriously know for doing when using my glue gun!).

And that’s it! A simple project for a lovely handmade wall décor.

You can easily put your on twist to this project by changing size or even shape. We would love to see your interpretation so please be sure to share with us.

Thank you for visiting!

Best wishes,
Anabela

 

P.S. This could also be a lovely gift for the Mother in your life, especially one that appreciates wine because as we know:  (Though truth be told, I prefer a cold beer 😉

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Did you know?

1.       Portugal is the world’s largest cork exported

(http://www.answers.com/Q/Which_country_is_the_worlds_largest_cork_exporter?#slide=2)

2.       Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree. The first harvest of cork is not stripped until the tree is approximately 20 years old.

http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/Learning-Center/Flooring-Cork-LC/Cork-101
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Cork being removed from tree. http://www.ruadireita.com/info/img/o-sobreiro-e-a-cortica.jpg

3.       Each tree can be harvested once every 10 to 12 years.

http://www.gardenguides.com/91963-cork-oak-tree.html

4.       On a cellular level, cork looks like a honeycomb of air pockets. These pockets make cork both buoyant and fire resistant, which is why it’s quickly becoming a popular home insulation material. This is the same reason cork works so well to age wine — its molecular structure makes watertight seals easy, but lets tiny bits of air move in and out, allowing the flavor and aroma molecules of wine to evolve and become more complex over time.

https://vinepair.com/articles/what-is-cork-and-why-is-it-used-to-close-wine-bottles/

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Crafts

Bird Feeders

Good morning!

Mother’s Day is just a few days away and we are thinking of different gifts that can be made for mom. What better way to say ‘I love you’ to your mom, the mother of your kids, the mother figure in your life, to whomever!, then with something you made!

We found wine bottle bird feeders and tea cup bird feeders on Pinterest and here was our take on those posts.IMG_3434

We used whichever material we had at hand. The wood was old fence wood and other scrap pieces we had. We used leftover roof shingles but if we didn’t have any, we would just have painted the roofs. Used wine bottles and tea cups found at thrift stores. The bird feeders were either: painted with one coat of white paint, sprayed painted with clear or stain sealer , or sprayed painted with a white chalk color. The idea is to use the materials you already have and not feel the need to purchase any item, for example, paint that you might only use one time.

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Before picture of tea cup bird feeder.
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Left side is a clear stain spray. Right side is wood stain with color.
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Left side is white paint and right side is white chalk spray paint.

And for the final touch, since these will be given as gifts, a little goodie bag containing bird seed –

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Bag with bird seed to give with bird feeder.

Disclosure: We are not promoting any product. There is no compensation. We are simply showing which products we used.

 

Uncategorized

First blog post

Hi everyone!

We are Anabela and Rosaly, two sisters who enjoy spending time together and are passionate about crafts and decorating. After creating many crafts, done multiple home improvements, baked many goods, we have decided to share our experiences with you. We hope that we create a creative spark in you too. Thank you for stopping by! We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts with us!