Painted Wingback Chair – Nautical Design

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I wish this was my backyard so I would face this view every morning when I wake up. Sadly, it isn’t and I just have to keep imagining how it would feel to have a home with such a view.

In a search to bring this kind of feel into my home I turned to my best friend – PAINT.

Some of you who follow my blog may remember my Reupholstered Chair project from last year. It was a tiresome project, but the upholstery process went smoothly. However, I was not happy with the choice of the fabric color scheme, but I thought that I could live it.

Well, I couldn’t. The colors just seemed so dull to me, and I felt that I had to do something to this chair or leave it at the curb side for someone to like it and take it.
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As you can see I did not leave it at the curb side, but with some paint and a plenty of inspiration from the ocean I created this unique nautical design which has brought that coastal and refreshing feel into my living room.
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The inspiration for this design came from our almost daily walks around beautiful beaches of Victoria BC, so I thought the best way to display the design of my painted chair is from the very spot where the inspiration came from.
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To paint the chair I used the same technique applied to paint this chair. I already had the white paint, and only bought a quart of navy paint ( Arctic Night) at Walmart.
PicMonkey Collage
I first painted the whole chair in white and then, using the painters tape, I painted the navy stripes. I also painted the whole chair cushion in white and then applied three coats of navy paint all around the middle part of the cushion and the pipping. Applying the navy paint to this part of the cushion was the most challenging task, as I had to be extra careful around the pipping and to not mess with the white parts of the cushion.
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While painting the cushion I realized that I was running out of the navy paint so I diluted the paint a little bit, and as a result I did not get the same paint texture as on the stripes.

I am so happy that I decided to paint this chair as it came out exactly as I have envisioned it.
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If any of you out there wants to undertake this kind of challenge, I would encourage you to do so. It is a bit of work and a little bit of mess, but if your chair turns as beautiful as mine, than it is all worth it.
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Happy chair painting everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.

Besa

Triple Berry Dessert

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Sometimes the best desserts are the simplest. This easy vanilla pudding-triple berry dessert cannot get any simpler and it is supper effortless to make. It is very refreshing and eye appealing dessert so it would make a great addition to the desert table when entertaining.
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I made these a week ago for my dinner party, and they really cheered up my dessert table and everyone liked them.

As you can tell, there is no specific recipe for this dessert; it basically is store bought vanilla pudding cooked according to the direction in the package topped with the mix of (my favorite) berries: strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry, drizzled with red gelatin, and garnished with whipping cream and mint leaves.
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To achieve this look I used:

-Clear plastic cups (dollar store find- a pack of 10 for $1.25);
-Filled the cups with (about an inch in hight) cooked vanilla pudding, and left it to cool down completely;
-Washed, drained and tap dried each berry (very important step so you do not end up with a soggy desert);
-Sliced each strawberry lengthwise and arranged them around the sides of the cup;
-Added raspberries and blackberries in the center;
-Drizzled the berries with red gelatin (prepared according to the direction in the package);
-Garnished them each with whipped cream, a mint leave and a raspberry, and there you have it:
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These cute cups with fruit added a punch of color to my dessert table, and most importantly they were soooo refreshing and everyone loved them.
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Sharing with: SYC

This post was featured on Winthrop Chronicles; Embracing Change
Thanks for stopping by.

Besa

Quick Chicken Stir-Fry

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I love stir fry. They are a quick and easy dinner solution. Simply cook up some rice or some noodles and you will have a family-pleasing meal in minutes.

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My favorite is chicken stir fry, and I make this stir fry using a very simple recipe taught to me by a Chinese lady about 15 years ago. Since then I have tried a few of other stir fry recipes, but have come to a conclusion that this one is the easiest, tastiest and the simplest one.

Ingredients:

2 chicken boneless breasts cut into strips
1/2 cup soya sauce (I use light soya sauce)
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix together chicken strips, soya sauce, sugar and set aside.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic- thinly sliced
5 mushrooms- thinly sliced

3 to 4 broccoli florets- divided
3 -4 celery stalks-chopped diagonally
2 medium carrots- chopped diagonally
1 red bell pepper – chopped into 1 inch squares

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, broccoli florets, chopped celery, carrots and pepper, and cook about 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cornstarch mixture:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
CHICKEN STIR FRY
Heat olive oil in a wok or a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the chicken mixture and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes. Add cooked veggies, toss and cook about 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and toss together until the mixture thickens and all ingredients are evenly coated with the mixture.
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Serve over cooked basmati or jasmine rice, and enjoy.

Thank you for stopping by.

Besa

Painted Rug

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Do you have a rug that you wish it was a different pattern or color palette? Or do you have an unwanted rug which is taking up your space in your storage or garage, but cannot decide whether you should keep or get rid of it?

Well, there is a solution for these scenarios, and it only takes a good will, some free time and of course some paint to make your unwanted rug still lovable and usable.
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My generic, white IKEA rug was neither unwanted nor unsuitable for my decor. However, it was not dog friendly so living with our lovely German Shepherd for almost a year, I had to store away all rugs and live on bare floors. I only brought back the rugs when we were having guests over to make the place more warm and welcoming; and this is the time when I realized that my dog loooved to sit and take a nap on a rug.

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Because I love my dog dearly, I decided to make a dog friendly rug. To make it dog friendly I flipped over this white rug, made a design using painters tape, painted and stenciled it, spray painted it with clear polyurethane and voila…my dog now can enjoy his nap time on the freshly painted rug.
Painted Rug
I am not sure whether he likes the dragonfly design though, but I like it for sure.

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I used exterior latex paint which we used for the exterior of our house (Sherwin Williams – Foothills) and white latex paint. For stenciling the Dragonflies (which I adore) I used white paint and painted on top of it with Artist Loft craft paint in gold. To create the stencil, I draw a huge dragonfly on a A4 paper and copied it on a piece of transparent vinyl, and then proceeded with cutting off the vinyl parts which I wanted to show on the pattern.
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After the paint dried and cured, I sealed it with spray polyurethane. The sealing with polyurethane prevents the fading and “chipping” of the paint and it makes it dog friendly as you can easily clean the rug by just wiping it out with a dump cloth.
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Beside making it dog friendly, now I have a two sided rug, as by painting the back side of the rug the original remains intact.
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This was a non costly project, as I already had paint leftovers from other projects, and I only spent about 2 hours for painting. I only painted the dark stripes, as the back side of the rug was white.
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Do you have an unwanted rug that can be saved by paint?
Linking to: Jennifer Rrizo

Thanks to the following blogsites for featuring this post: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia; Elisabeth Joan Designs; A Blossoming Life; The Turqouise Home; One More Time Events; The Cottage Market; Happiness is Homemade;
Thanks for stopping by.

Besa

Coconut & Quick Oats Bars

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When it comes to food recipes, easier is always better. This bar recipe is one of them, except that it is a quick one too.
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This recipe is pretty much just melt, mix and bake.Easy, peasy and they are delicious!!

I made a batch of these bars the other day and my husband and I, sneakingly from each other, have eaten almost all bars.
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I am very happy to share with you the recipe and the pictures that I took the other day while it was nice and sunny outside. These last few days it rained a lot so I am “craving” for some sunny whether, just like I craved for these delicious bars before baking them.

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Ingredients:
2 cups graham crumbs
1 cup coconut
1 cup oats
1/2 cup melted butter/margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix these ingredients altogether and press lightly into a  8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (or you may leave them a couple minutes longer).

Icing:
Melt 150 grams dark chocolate and 1/4 cup vegetable oil in microwave.
Stir until mixed well and pour over the top of the bars while they are still hot.
These are easier to cut if you put them in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes.
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Try this recipe out, and let me know how your bars turned out. Would love to hear from you.
Thanks to the following blogsite for featruing this post: Carrie This Home; The Cottage Market

Thanks for stopping by.

Besa

Easy Spring & Easter Tablescape

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These last few days spring was in the air, and today we officially marked the start of the loveliest season of the year. I love spring, and all the pretty colors that it brings along. Beside pretty colors, it brings joy, warmth, and most importantly restores my mood.

Being in a good mood, and to welcome spring, I created this informal and colorful spring tablescape which can be applied throughout early spring as well as for sunday easter brunch.

To create this look I used natural elements, such as fresh flowers, blossom branches and eggs, and the palette of white, yellow and blue with some touch of gold. Sticking to a palette of two to three colors makes decorating easy and the end result looks perfectly put together.
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To incorporate yellow I used branches of yellow blossom from our backyard bush. I created an imperfect wreath and beside adding a color to the palette, the wreath’s imperfectness added a casual and springy feeling to the eating area.

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I also added some branches of the yellow blossom to the hand woven wreaths placed over the black charger plates.
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For the centerpiece I used clear glass vases of various heights and filled them with white eggs which were previously “dip died” in gold, and tied white and blue ribbons around the vases.
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I used a simple white linen tablecloth, and for a punch of color I added a blue velvet runner.
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I used my all purpose white china and beige cloth napkins,and to add some more color and layering I placed colorful paper napkins on top of the cloth ones.
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For place cards I used paper orchids paced inside small crystal glasses filled with menthol candies.
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To create this tablescape I used what I already had, and yet this simple table setting turned lovely, colorful and very, very springy.
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Happy Spring Everyone.
Linking to: Share Your Cup Thursday

Thanks for the folowing site for featuring this post: 4wmn; Embracing Change; The Cottage Market; Satori Design For Living; Elisabeth and Co; Winthorp Chronicles; The Dedicated House
Thanks for stopping by.

Besa

No Sew Table Runner

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Do you like to have an unique table runner but you can not find to buy one, or cannot make one because you don’t have a sewing machine or do not know how to sew? Well, no problem! I came up with a table runner design which is quite unique, simple to make and you do not need a sewing machine or any sewing skills.
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This unusual, no sew table runner design involves some webbing of 4 inch wide ribbon pieces, or stripes of fabric which does not fray.
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To make this runner I used repurposed stripes of sheer fabric previously used for this project.
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For the vertical stripe that runs in the middle of the table I used three 60 inch long and 4 inch wide stripes; whereas, for the horizontal runners I used six 45 inch long and 4 inch wide stripes.
I arranged the three long strips side-by-side then I weaved three shorter strips across to form placemat like setting. I made this runner to fit setting for four, but you can make setting for six or more depending on the size of your table.
table runner
The weaving process is quite simple but the downside of this design is that you need abut10 minutes for the weaving process before you set the table. So, if you are not in a rush to sett the table, and you want something really unique and funky then this is the table runner to use.
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I am loving my table runner design, and I hope that I have inspired you to make one too.
Thanks to the following blogsites for featuring this post: One More Time Events; My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia; An Extraordinary Day
Thank you for visiting.

Besa

St. Patrick’s Day Starburst

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Sometimes I wonder if non-Irish and/or non-Christians have any business celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Well let’s be honest, like St. Valentine’s Day and, arguably, Easter and Christmas, we’ve secularized and commercialized what is really a sacred Christian feast day.

However, I don’t actually think we’ve “ruined” the holiday. When people celebrate the secular side of this holiday properly, they’re celebrating cultural heritage. And I love seeing people celebrate their heritage, but I love even more seeing people celebrating the heritage of others.

And even though the day is named after a Christian saint, there’s nothing religious about the celebration in Canada.

The joke is that on March 17th, everyone is Irish, so let’s celebrate the Irish culture of over four million Irish Canadians on that day.

I decided to incorporate green in my home decor to mark this celebration so I created this simple green starburst. I have put this piece together by using dried greenery, fresh magnolia leaves, and thumbtacks.
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I had these green, long dried stems purchased years ago at IKEA. Luckily, I haven’t thrown them away, and I happen to rediscover them just at the right time when I needed to create something for this holiday.
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To make the starburst, I bended and stapled together each stem, forming a sort of loop. I cut a piece of cardboard in a round shape and attached the loops around the cardboard as shown in the collage. I added straight stem pieces between the loops.
PicMonkey Collage
I traced a clover shape onto magnolia leaves and cut the leaves with scissors.
I cut a styrofoam ball in half and covered it with thumbtacks.

I placed the thumbtack styrofoam ball in the center and arranged and glued the clover shaped magnolia leaves around the ball.

To add dimension, using the florist wire, I attached some clovers around the thumbtack ball. I made a hanger piece using beige ribbon.

This was a very speedy and non costly project, and it turned quite cute.
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Are you decorating for St. Patrick’s holiday? If so, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting.

Linking to: A Stroll Thru Life
Besa

Knotted Pillows & Tutorial

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Throw pillows are everyones best friend – and with good reason! Vibrant throw pillows can transform an entire room’s decor and deliver a bold color statement. If such pillows happen to be vibrant and dimensional, like these knotted ones which I made few days ago, then they can have a double effect in any room’s decor.
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I made these pillows using a purple fury like fabric which was a leftover from a DIY floor pillow featured in this post.
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To make the knotted pillow I cut a strip of fabric about 1.5 yards long and 8 inches wide. I folded the strip of fabric in half and sewed the long length of it leaving 1/4 seam allowance. I used a straight stitch to sew the fabric into a tube, and after the sewing I turned the tube inside out.

To stuff the fabric tube, I rolled un unused poster board and placed it inside the fabric tube. I scrunched the entire length of the fabric tube onto the roll, then I proceeded with the stuffing, pushing it through with a wooden spoon. This is the hardest and most time consuming part of this project, as the process was proceeding quite slowly and I had to make sure that the tube was being stuffed evenly, without lumps. The last few inches, at the start and at the end of the tube, do not need to be stuffed as they will be sewn together.
PicMonkey Collage
After the tube was stuffed I proceeded with creating the knotted design as shown in the pictures of the collage. As the stuffed tube is not very long, there is only one knot and the two loose ends are tucked as shown in the collage.
knot collage
The pillow then is flipped over (at the back) and two lose ends are sewn together.
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For the design with thiner tubes, I cut 2 stripes of fabric about 1.5 yard long and 4 1/2 inch wide, sewed the withs together ( to turn it into a 3 yard stripe), and followed the same method as explained above; except that for this design I doubled the tube (making it as one strand) to make the knot.
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The pillows have turned really cute; they have dimension and texture and for sure are adding a punch of color to this corner in my home.

Hope that I inspired you to make one of these cute knots for your home. In case you decide to make one, I would love to see how yours turned out.
Thank you for visiting.
Linking to: The Shabby Nest
Thanks to the following blogs for featuring this post: The Boogieboard Cottage; To Much Time On My Hands; The Cottage Market; A Pretty Life In The Suburbs; Cupcakes and Crinoline; Upcycled Treasures (The Makers Link Party); The DIY Dreamer; Place of My Taste ( Work it Wednesday Link Party); Ivy and Elephants; Bloom Designs
Besa

Thin Crust Homemade Pizza

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Friday’s are usually pizza nights for us, and this is slowly becoming a tradition at our home. Now that my husband and I have more time to devote to cooking, we are not any longer ordering pizzas. We are making our own delicious, thin crusted, fully loaded pizzas in our little kitchen, and we are loving them.

In fact, my husband is now in charge of making them. I only take part in throwing the dough ingredients in the mixer, and then wait for few hours to be served with delicious slices of custom made pizza. It doesn’t get any better than that, don’t you think?

I used to make pizzas, but my husband thought that he could make them better and after the first pizza he made, I was convinced that he is definitely doing a better job than me, and I am sooo happy for that.
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So here is the recipe and the photos of the pizza that we had last Friday.

Dough (makes two 16 inch pizzas):
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 teaspoon sugar


1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
 

Sauce:
1 cup pasta sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1tablespoon soya sauce
1teaspoon sugar
1teaspoon salt
1teaspoon oregano

Toppings:

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, pepperoni (or canned tuna) , mushrooms, peppers, chopped tomato, onion, spinach,olives.

Directions
Sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm milk in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, water, olive oil and then stir in the flour about 1 cup at a time. When the dough is together enough remove from the bowl, knead on a floured surface until smooth, about 5-10minutes. Divide into two pieces, and form each one into a tight ball.
Coat the dough balls with olive oil,cover them with pastic foil and let stand for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Using one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust the dough with flour, place it in a pan and stretch gradually throughout the 16 inch pan.
Using a large spoon, in circular motions, spread the sauce over the crust.
Layer the crust with toppings of your choice and cover with shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
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Bake for 17 minutes in 425 degrees F or until the crust begins to brown.
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Cut into wedges, serve and enjoy.
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Thank you for stopping by.

Besa