Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite DIYs from 2012

I've had so much fun making all of this stuff this fall, and enjoyed looking at so many creative&beautiful things from other bloggers. You know, sharing is caring:

My Favorite 10 DIYs at A Bird's Leap

(previously Lipstick and a White Tee)






My Favorite 10 DIYs by other Bloggers:


Love the pattern on these:

I usually don't like polka dots, but these are fabulous:


Mod Podge to the Rescue, again!

Wish I thought of this T!

Well hello!

My Inspiration for Hand Drawn Cappuccino Cups:

Gorgeous Headpiece:

Give me!
Doodle Shoes by Wilma

There are so many more fun things out there, why don't you share your Top Threes in comments?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

24th: Gold Confetti Nail Art Tutorial

Christmas Calendar, Day 24

For You (yes, you again!):
Gold Confetti Nail Art

M is visiting from Finland, and we wanted to give her nails a festive makeover.
I saw Arkadia Nail Art's and thought I'd give it a shot.

I made coasters with gold leafing, so I had some gold leaves still lying around.
You can find gold leaves at crafts stores, and they might also have silver or bronze if those colors are more you.

We got to work:

Take a piece of gold leaf paper, and start ripping it up into tiny pieces using something pointy you have at home.

When the confetti is in tiny pieces, it is time to paint your nails.

Make your base (M is wearing Wicked by ESSIE).

When you've applied the last layer of the base color on ONE hand, wait a bit to let it set but not over a minute. Start very carefully dipping a soft brush (I used an old foundation brush) in the confetti, and dab the confetti onto your nails carefully; try not to touch the nail with the brush. 

When you're happy with the amount&look of the confetti, dab them onto your nails gently to attach them better. Brush on your nails to make any excess come off.

Paint the last base layer of the other hand, and attack the gold confetti like before.

When completely dry, apply a clear nail polish on top.

Sorry for the really yellow photos, cannot seem to get them better without making the skin tone look weird :(

Now you're ready for Christmas, or why not do this for New Year's Eve?

Have a lovely day everyone <3

23rd: Side Swept Reverse Braid Tutorial

Christmas Calendar, Day 23

For You: Side Swept Reverse Braid Tutorial

(M is finally here! And she's wearing Lumene Natural Code lipstick, nr 15 "Vintage Red")

Keep your hair in check when doing Christmassy stuff!

Start out with gorgeous hair:

Take 1/4 - 1/5 of your hair from one side, and divide it into three parts (one is from the top of the head, one from the bottom and then the middle section:

Now, this is where this gets tricky: Start brading, by taking the top part and braid it in the middle of the two other braids, but from UNDER instead of OVER.

 Then, take the bottom part and fold it in between the two others like in a normal braid, but still from UNDER, not over.

Continue like this, but every time you take which ever part is on top, you add a part of new hair to it (and keep braiding everything from under, not over).

The new part of hair you add is a sort of slice of hair, all the way from the top of the head to the bottom.

Braid as long as you like, I like to let the braid loosely go more and more down. That is possible since you're only brading slices of new hair from the top side of the braid. Then secure with a clear hairband.

Looks good, but...

... we wanna tease it a bit. Really get in there!

Better :)

If your hair gets in the way, you can discreetly pin it a bit for example behind your ear.

Friday, December 21, 2012

22nd: Cranberry Mulled Wine Glögi Recipe

Christmas Calendar, Day 22

 For the Thirsty: Cranberry Glögi 
(Mulled Wine with Cranberry)

Update: Made tried this with blueberry juice instead of cranberry, much closer to the Finnish mulled wine. The blueberry version doesn't need a lot of sugar, either.

Glögi is something I miss over here, and just had to make my own. 

How to:

* Cook the first batch of ingredients.

I cooked the spices in the cranberry juice for a while, and added the red wine at the very end. If you want to cook away the alcohol, just add it earlier and let it simmer.

* Add as much sugar as you need to, it depends on how you like your glögi & how sour the cranberry juice you are using is.

* Pour into a pitcher through a sieve.

* Pour into mugs/glasses

* Decorate with oranges, and have raisins&almonds at the table so you can add them if you like

PS: If you are using regular glasses, pour just a little bit in each one at a time so the heat doesn't crack them!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend <3

21st: Spicy Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Christmas Calendar, Day 21

For the Hostesses: Spicy Chocolate Truffles

A couple of years now we've made these spicy chocolate truffles for Christmas; a nice addition to the Christmas treats, but also a great gift to give to relatives or party hosts who already have it all.

A tip: If you know there are kids as well as adults on the receiving end of a bag of these goodies, you could mark them for example by rolling only the spicy ones in cocoanut flakes and then kids' non-spicy versions in sprinkles.

How to:

* Mix or whip melted margarine/butter together with sugar 
until the mixture has a more porous consistency

* Add the rest of the ingredients and work into a dough,

work in a very very small amount of white pepper and/or chili powder, 
and taste taste taste! 

(I almost always add juuuust a little bit more cocoa... Sometimes honey... or cardamom!)

If it goes too spicy, you'll just have to add more of the other ingredients. What a shame... ;)

* The dough is probably very sticky&soft at this point, so put it in the fridge until it is easier to handle
(If you've made several batches, you might have to refrigerate once in a while)

* Put the decorations (cocoa flakes or sprinkles) on a plate

* Form the dough into balls and roll around on the plate

* Place the truffles in your fridge to let them set


You can freeze them for later, too, 
they're great when you need emergency treats for surprise coffee visitors.

This recipe yields about 30 chocolate balls, but I tend to make mine quite small.

More is always more, more or less. Right?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

20th: DIY Bohemian Bracelet

Christmas Calendar, Day 20

For the Bohemian: Flowery Bracelet

This bracelet is really quick to do!

You need some chain, a "middle-bit" that has holes in it (I found a pack of these ones with flowers at Michaels originally for by ballet flats, I'm sure they have other stuff, too), a couple of jump rings and a lock. I  recommend using pliers, too.

How to:

* Make a loop which will fit around a finger in one end of the chain.

* Break the chain, and attach it to the flower row with a jump ring (or add charms to the chain with the help of jump rings)

* Attach the other end of the flower row to the chain with a jump ring.

* Break off a piece of chain and attach it to the chain coming from the flower row, so that you have to ends to put around your wrist.

* Attach lock pieces to the ends.


Puuh, photographing hands is so hard! Tried to photograph mine, tried to photograph a friend's... Will still try to get better photos for you guys :)

This was my last Christmas Gift post, still some yummy Christmassy stuff coming up until the 24th!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

19th: DIY Paris Cappuccino Cups

Christmas Calendar, Day 19

For the Coffee Craving: Hand Drawn Cappuccino Cups

I was having a tough time deciding what to make for my sister-in-law; none of my ideas seemed to be a perfect fit. When I saw this really cute photo of a painted mug by Lana Red on, I could almost have hit myself on the forehead.


My sister-in-law loves coffee!

Lana Red had made Holland themed coffee mugs, with a black&white design that resonated with my minimalistic Finnish taste. That of course inspired my way of drawing Paris (have I mentioned J'adoooore Paris?). 

How to:

I got the cappuccino cups at Target (3,99 a piece) and the Deco Art Glass Paint Marker from JoAnns. I chose this marker, since you are able to make the cups dishwasher safe with it.

* Wash the cups. Before drawing on an area, rub it with a paper towel (the grease from your fingers will ruin the marker trace)

* Press the pen down against some paper until color starts to sip down to the tip

* If you want to make a straight line, you can keep the pen on a pile of books and then just turn the cup around to make an even line

* Draw your stuff!

* If you mess up, you can rub the color off with a damp paper towel (at least I could even if it dried for several minutes)

* Allow 4 hours to dry

If you want it dishwasher safe (read the instructions in case they're different on whatever you're using!):

* After the 4 hour drying time, but within 8 hours of drawing, put your pottery into a still cold oven, and then turn oven on to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

* Bake your pottery in the oven for 40 minutes (start timer when 375 is reached)

* After the 40 minutes, just turn off the oven, open the oven door and let the cups cool down.


Thank you Lana Red for this awesome idea,
 go check her blog out and let her cute coffee cup drawings inspire yours, too!

Update: Just washed one another thing I made this way in the dishwasher, and it looks exactly the same.