Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inspiration Collage: ♥{Etsy Love}♥

I am inspired by love, romance and weddings these days. The beautiful images that come to mind are just amazing! As I googled "ny love" I was brought to the Etsy Wedding blog which was full of gorgeous images, some of which I chose for this inspiration collage:

Clockwise from left: Paris Love- Eiffel Tower by artsharkdesigns on Etsy, HAITI RELIEF A World of Love..unused Vintage postage post 5 letters by Verde Studio, 40 mm Pink Heart Resin Cabochons 5 pc set by delishbeads on Etsy, Sweet Black Dress with Vintage Fabric by TheGarbologistsWife, Cherished heart notecard set by yourwishcake on Etsy.

I made this collage using picnik and it's wonderful premium sticker collection! I think that if I ever get married I will register with Etsy because there are so many awesome vintage finds and I want to have a vintage wedding. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

{I ♥ shopping!}: El Principito Kids...

Shopping locally is often a bit of a task as nowadays almost everything comes from China but the brand El Principito Kids is from here and marketed throughout Latin America and Spain. I have the good fortune of being near the outlet store so I can get the clothes at a large percentage less than what one would pay at any of the other stores. I wanted to share the beauty and quality of these articles of clothing with you today in hopes that someday soon EPK will export to the US and other parts of the world. Here are the three shirts I bought my two nieces and nephew last week:

These shirts are brilliant and beautiful, designed in France exclusively for EPK and are just too cute for words! I love their collections and while I was in NY was contemplating how I might get some cute articles of clothing for my nieces and nephews from this store and at a good price so I am very happy with my purchase. All three shirts were under Bs.F 110 together which was a real bargain since a small baby shirt alone at any other store here can cost a minimum of Bs.F 120.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these lovely things with you all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: Creating a collage out of what you've got...

I love collages and each one I make is always different. For this one I decided to do a little painting, a little cutting, a little pasting with some whimsy on the side! First, the supplies:

I used two different colored paints, one pink and one purple for the background painting, the back photos of CD cases (I got a CD notebook and got rid of all the plastic cases), a piece of yellow cardstock, some pens, markers and a glue stick.

First I painted the entire background pink:

Afterward I let it dry and caught up on a few blog posts by personal friends from college. It was great to be able to check out their blogs. Once that was dry I painted the trees and drew the flowers:

Once that was all taken care of I pasted down the photos I'd decided to use plus a print out of the Irish Blessing I had lying around. It was fitting because the band photo I chose was of U2, my favorite Irish band.

With a little bit of imagination and creativity you can turn anything into a work of art using that which you find just "lying around." I think I will frame this little ditty! Oh, and of course, chocolate must never fail to be around for crafting pleasure:

YUM!!! I love milk chocolate! Enjoy the craft and share your own!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Musings: Retro games and something more...

I have often said that my grandma's apartment here in Caracas is a house of relics and today I was able to once again prove that this is so. I have not seen so many retro things together under one roof in my life and while my father was helping clean out the large shelf in the living room we came across a few interesting things. Of course, I had to snap up a few photos for posterity's sake. First up, an old Sorry game from 1958:

Check out the retro styles of the board...

I'd never seen Sorry played with game cards before...

Being ever crafty I couldn't pass up these great finds: mounting tape and floral tape all from some time ago but still good enough to use:

Don't they look lovely on my bookshelf?

I think it is sometimes a great thing to explore the nooks and crannies of an old apartment. You never know what you will find. I have acquired, besides the old tapes, a few sheets of cardstock to make cards with, some old stamps for my collection, an entire collection of old matchbooks which I want to photograph and many other things.

Well, tomorrow I hope to have a super tutorial for you! Until then, au revoir!

♥Vintage Inspiration♥: {Paris 1960}

I am inspired of late mostly by Parisian-themed images and photos. Here is a collage I created using images from around the web:
Photo Credits: 1. Fashion Photo-Paris 1960 by Mark Shaw, 2. Helmut Newton photo via the Paris End: Photography, Fashion and Glamour from the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 3. unknown, photo via The French Mouse blog, 4. Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin in the courtyard of the French National College of Fine Arts, Paris 1969 via The Perfect Pucker Smokeye.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Tutorials: Gathering Inspiration

As a crafter I often look for inspiration in various places and forms. Sometimes it comes from what I am eating, sometimes it comes from a picture, sometimes the color of a certain article of clothing and other times it comes from what I am reading. As I have mentioned before, I read many blogs and lately they have been a great source of inspiration but, more often than not, it is the magazines that I read which provide me with the most inspiration. One of my latest acquisitions, Marie Claire Idees, has given me a great new French inspiration for crafting and even decorating. I purchased a copy from January of this year at a bookstore here in Caracas called Las Novedades.

At Las Novedades I have always found interesting magazines ranging from decorating to crafting to cuisine, all very good and slightly different from the magazines we get in the US. I like to have a mixture of things from different parts of the world so it is nice to be able to get magazines from France, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Mexico, England, Germany and even the US. Another magazine which greatly inspires me is ReadyMade which has a great many DIY projects and tips for the creative person to enjoy. I have two copies from last year and really wish I could get a subscription to the magazine, I am working on figuring that out. In the meantime I check out Ready Made's webpage for the latest projects and news.

Beyond Ready Made and Marie Claire Idees, my other source of inspiration comes from within my e-mails. Nothing like the daily dose of inspiration I receive from Martha Stewart. One of my favorites from last week was the Organizing Tip of the Day: Bookcase Armoire. I've been looking for some room decor inspiration and lo and behold I found that link in my e-mail! I just love the look and feel of the armoire and the fact that it is in itself a craft makes it all the more fun and intriguing! The armoire calls my attention because it is such a space saver and the room I am going to be living in for the next few years is such that while it is somewhat spacious it would work better to have something similar to be able to better organize my things.

So, now you see more or less where I get my crating and decorating inspiration, where do you get yours?


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Conscious Shopping Wednesday: Take Me to the UK!

They say that cleanliness is next to Godliness and I think that cleanliness should also be stylish. No need to have ugly and gruff looking cleaners when you can have wonderful things such as those found in UK based summerill&bishop 's online boutique. I have always loved the beautiful things that come from the UK and after reading Chelsea Fuss's post on {frolic} today I was hooked!

One of the things that first caught my eye in the Utility & Laundry section of the boutique were the glass liquid soap bottles. Plastic is so over used today and I've been more inclined of late toward finding products bottled in glass. Here is my favorite from the boutique:
Have another look at the Savon de Marseille products they sell:

With such beautiful and natural presentation who wouldn't want to spend lots of time in the bathroom?

This feather duster makes me want to go out and clean all day long! It's so cute and chic, it reminds me of those Victorian Era stories I used to read as a child. I don't know how many of you used to read the American Girl Collection books but that duster reminds me of the Samantha stories.

I absolutely love this waste paper bin for my bedroom. I must see if I can get one either from the boutique or find one similar here in Caracas. Either way, the wire basket will dress well and keep in line with my classic meets modern idea for room decor!

So there you have it! You can be clean and look good doing it! There are so many wonderful things at summerill&bishop, you'll never want to leave the boutique!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Tutorials: Decorating a notebook with gum wrappers...

That's right! Tuesday Tutorials are back in action! Late but nevertheless here. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a chewing gum addiction that I just can't seem to kick! Everytime I chewed a new piece of gum I wondered what I could do with the wrappers and started saving them to see what I could come up with...the gum wrapper decorated notebook was born!

I took the following materials and embellishments to create my recycled work of art:

All the materials...
  • Composition Notebook
  • Various sticker packs
  • Paris Rubber Stamps
  • Stamp pads
  • Gum Wrappers (kept inside 5 Gum box)
  • Contact Paper
Using a normal glue stick I began to glue the colorful gum wrappers down in a pattern, like so:

The notebook, front cover

The notebook, back cover...

See how pretty it looks already? After having covered both sides with the gum wrappers I embellished another type of gum wrapper with a Paris Eiffel Tower stamp I have using the black ink stamp pad. The paper is patterned from Orbit gum. The rest of the embellishments are stickers but you can use cut outs, print outs and any thing else you can get your hands on. Get creative and go your own way! The main thing about this project is that you are reusing wrappers so they don't go to the landfill!

Paris stamp on patterned gum wrapper paper...

Finished front cover....

Back cover shot...

Once you'ved finished emellishing the notebook as much as you want you can go ahead and cover it in contact paper so that the embellishments and gum wrappers remain neatly on and don't start to peel off. If you decide to make this project I would love to see what you come up with! Please link back to this post and let me know what you have made or place photos of your own creations on the wall on our Facebook page.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings: Life in Caracas

I've been here in Caracas for about 2 weeks now and so far I've been sticking mostly to La Candelaria and the surrounding areas. I've not really ventured very far away from the area I reside in much lately. Last week I went to BECO with my parents and got a few things, also went to the Centro San Ignacio (a very swank mall in Chacao) with my parents to show them around a bit. A couple of things we did: got new blinds for the window in my room, got a hook-rack for my purses which we placed in the closet, finally got a lamp/light fixture for my bedroom (it had been without for a few years now) and walked around checking some things out here and there.

Purse rack from BECO Chacaito

New white blinds from EPA

I've been to church the last two Sundays that I've been here and have seen some good friends from before which was nice. I've also been giving private tutoring sessions to a little girl in my building in one of the apartments downstairs twice a week and I hope to get more jobs in soon! I enjoy keeping it as local as possible but I know that I will eventually have to branch out some more if I want to make enough money to have a pretty good salary. I've got so much to share with you guys and am getting ready to prepare a tutorial for you this week! I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.

The girls and me: Nadia, Andrea and Maria Alejandra.

I had a tasty breakfast today (the cheese here is spectacular!) and watched Friends as well as The New Adventures of Old Christine while I ate. It comes on the Warner Channel in English with subtitles but it is nice just to be able to watch something in English! The breads here are also amazing...pretty much all the food is!

For breakfast: Whole Wheat bread toast, egg, and Palmi Zulia Cheese with coffee! Yum!

Later today I will be off to church to see my friends and fellowship with them! Here's to a great week and more posts to come!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things to do....

How I wish I could be crafting all the day long but I've not had the chance to do that at all! I've been mostly helping do things around the house, photo editing, updating flickr, and trying to keep from getting bitten by the tons of mosquitos that keep attacking me all day and night long! They seem to get feisty when it is hot here and then they get worse after it has rained and is still hot out (I guess it's a tropical effect or something). So, things are just a bit hectic and tiring but hopefully all will be normal after a while.

On Sunday, after church, I ran all over La Candelaria looking for a birthday gift for my friend and finally found a few things I thought she might like in Ferka. Thankfully we've had rain the last couple of days but my main concern is that it rain in the parts of the country where it is most needed, with this drought the rivers are not filling up and it is bad for us because Venezuela runs mostly on hydroelectric power. Conserving energy has never been more difficult. Anyway, my friend's birthday was a ton of fun and the fabulous cake our other friend made for her birthday got many oohs and ahhs, you can check the photos out on her facebook page: Marianna's Cakes. Here's on of the photos I took:

I hope to be able to keep you more updated throughout the week. I seem to be busy all the time here and I am not even working yet! LOL!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

☺Happy Easter and Happy Weekend! ♥

Easter weekend in Venezuela is usually spent at the beaches and other tourist spots of the country when you love in the capital. I, however, prefer to spend it in Caracas because the city becomes more tranquil with less people and you get a rest from the everyday hustle and bustle that can sometimes seem chaotic. There are many interesting traditions during this time of year that occur as well mostly because of the major Catholic influence on the society. Perhaps the most interesting of the traditions during Holy Week in Caracas is the Wednesday processions to the Basilica of Santa Teresa known as the veneration of el Nazareno de San Pablo. The faithful dress in purple robes and make promises to God as a sort of penitence or payment in exchange for that which they desire and are asking for whether it be the good health of a loved one or a better economic year.
Purple robes and rosaries for sale during Holy Week
photo from Medelhi's Blog.

Another thing that people in the area where my grandmother lives have as a tradition for Easter is the eating of an Empanada Gallega Sunday afternoon. Since there are many Spaniards and families of Spanish and Portuguese decent here in La Canderlaria, almost all of the tascas (spanish style bar-restaurants, similiar to pubs) make the dish especially for Holy Week and people often order the empanada gallega in advance so as to guarantee having one. I have to say that the empanadas gallegas really are delicious and I could probable eat some every day.

They are very easy to make and there are scores of recipes on the internet for making them. When we were living in Florida my mom made one after we watched Chef José Andrés prepare some on his show Made in Spain which aired on PBS. There are various ways to make this type of empanada, some make it with fish, others with chicken and I believe some even make it with meat (I personally like the chicken and tuna ones). Here is a peek at the show that we watched that day:

Jose Andres: Made in Spain from El Aderezo - Blog de Cocina on Vimeo.

Well, I hope this gives you a taste of what things are like here! When I get better organized I will write more and show you more as time goes by!

Cheers and Happy Easter!


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