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Finishing Touches: Last minute X-mas tips for inexperienced hostesses

24 Dec

I love Christmas. And I love Jesus Christ. His spirit forever presides over the month of December each and every year. You want to enjoy the Eve with your loved ones but you are stressing over the decor, the food, the display, your outfit. Well, your only option in this case is to add those last minute finishing touches that will both releive you out of your worries & satisfy your need for accomplishing your heart’s desires. But how do you know what finishing touches to go for and what not to?

I’m not an experienced hostess. Alas! I never gave any attention to the notion of hosting until I got married. All my life I labeled myself as a busy artist who didn’t have time for things like hosting (which needs a lot of skill and know-how). So my tips today come from a qualified anxiety-driven hostess who manages to pull it off at last minute and be satisfied with the results. Thank God!

For the new hostesses: Follow your Heart

Let’s start with the inner part of the equation. The way you feel is very important. If you are hosting the Christmas Eve dinner, you need to be in tune with your inner “heart” to be able to make last minute decisions. Usually when we are panicking, we have more clarity than we are stressing over something for months. Panic requires instant action, while stress has the luxury of time and it goes on for extended periods of time where we also have the luxury of changing our mind a thousand times.

Make use of panic. Panic is short-termed, it comes at the last minute and you don’t have time to change your mind a lot, you need to make quick effective decisions that really work for you.

And here is what I learned.

In such situations, simply follow your heart (which some people terms as “inner gut”). That’s where the truth of the matter resides. If you don’t like that salad, don’t serve it. If you don’t like the way that over-the-top wreath is welcoming your guests at the entrance? Remove it. Keep it plain. If you don’t like the way the dip and veggies are arranged , rearrange them, use a fancier, or plainer, platter.

What you will experience when you follow your-true-heart’s calling  is a great sense of relieve. But what you will also discover later on is that you have applied all the necessary finishing touches that have all worked in your favor, whether it is by wearing the right pair of earrings, sporting the best outfit (that would leave you feeling comfortable to move as well nice-looking), and the right kind of display, decor, and entertainment for your family or guests.

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and a Happy new year,


Inspiration Board: Chalkboard trends & DIY

21 Dec

Today, I’m going to share with you some of my most favorite chalkboard DIY projects. I am a huge fan of chalkboard, and I love seeing it on mugs, tags, and vases.

Here are my latest loves…


Chalkboard Mug DIY

Want to enjoy your morning coffee with some play time? The website in the photo-caption below, takes you to the easy-to-follow tutorial for adding a chalkboard touch to your porcelain mug.

I must add that I am a real fan of Pebeo, and I was really pleased to see that now they have chalkboard paint, too, used in the tute.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Blackboard Coasters DIY

Turn tiles into chalkboard coasters in a heartbeat…

This is a fun project for outdoor coasters.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Tutorial: Rope-framed chalkboard

I really enjoyed reading this tutorial by Messy Mimi.

Love the cute way the rope is hugging the chalkboard she made.

Vintage frame into cool chalkboard tray

A vintage tray, a vintage frame…

and a welcoming chalkboard breakfast tray. Lovely!

Handmade Packaging 101: Let’s talk ‘paper’

14 Dec
Garland & Packaging – By Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

When I first started crafting, I noticed a lot of blogs were into either scrap-booking or paper crafts. At first I thought to myself, “what a waste of time.” I was, of course, looking for “durable” crafts, which led me later on to jewelry-making, here at Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry. What I didn’t realize back then was that paper was an essential part of an artisan’s journey. Packaging without paper, paper bling, and inspiration, simply could not be done!

In general, I’m the recycled paper, rustic-looking packaging, kinda gal. I love re-using cardboard, and all kinds of paper packaging that comes from gifts, things we buy, and unwanted wrapping.

In my recent packaging & display attempts, I attached the earrings below to some recycled paper that I hot-glued onto a mini-wire clothes hanger that I made using regular pliers. This way I went a long way in cutting expenses, while displaying my goods in an attractive and innovative way. I am grateful everyone who has seen these little mini-hanger tags thought they were cute, or “carina,” in Italian.

Packaging my handmade holiday ornaments (and magnets) took a brighter twist. The only reason for this is that I had brighter paper available at hand. I learned to create something from things I already had, or from everyday trash, or things that people usually put in the trash. The handmade garland in the picture below is wrapped around a white piece of cardboard that came from… a Kiri cheese box . That’s right.

In the picture below, I am using pastel-colored paper and bright matching ribbons. I am mostly with the brown recycled paper and the twine wrapping option… much more than the brighter blingy ribbon-centric packaging ideas. But I don’t mind giving the latter a go every now and then!

Paper Inspiration

Who doesn’t love Pinterest?! I have a pin-board over there, where I store & share some handmade packaging ideas. Here are a few paper ideas that I love.

This one is about recycling an old book, or plain newspaper pages, into really attractive wrapping. The buttons look cool too.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Here is another one. Using plain recycled paper and cotton thread; the artist added a dab of color by hand-painting some cute shapes using acrylic or water color. This way these tags look personalized, simple, and utterly eco-chic.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I have posted the photo of the reindeer tags, above, from Pinterest, where it had the wrong source {This wrong source}.

The right source for these lovely tags is via this link, and they are called {Gift Tags – Reinbirds}, and many people have pinned them on Pinterest under the title, Reindeer Tags (while I have pinned them with this comment: “Handpainted tags: using recycled paper and a bit of acrylic or water color, and a pen”).

The tags are handmade and are by Etsy maker, LilaRubyKingShop. The creator’s website is called Lila Ruby King on I am happy to have finally found the source,  and I do urge people on Pinterest to Pin this from its original source and not from my blog or any other source, with the right credit. It’s a big shame that these tags are very popular on Pinterest, and no one seems to know who made them. Now we do, I hope!


And in this one here, a little bit of turquoise stencil adds a touch of elegance to these Eco-beautiful packaging envelopes.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

DIY: Paper Garland

If after reading this post you are feeling excited to try your hand at some paper crafts, here is a DIY idea that you might really like. Enjoy!


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DIY Originals: Bohemian blue feather necklace

10 Dec

Feather jewelry is all the rage right now. I love boho jewelry, and so I decided to make a few feathery giveaways for 5 cute teenage girls who volunteered to help out at the Italian Charity event mentioned in a previous post.

I made this Karboojeh Blue Boho Feather Pendant Necklace in honor of my bohemian adolescence… that’s when I was more free to express my boho self. I doubt many people in the country I am in right now appreciate feather jewelry. Bohemian doesn’t seem to strike a chord with a lot of people who would rather wear either tacky plastic jewelry, or diamonds. No bohos in between. Alas!

Handmade DIY Jewelry: Karboojeh Blue Boho Feather Pendant Necklace

DIY Recipe: A few ingredients for a boho necklace

The feather necklaces in the 3 pictures above are pretty DIY, I used the following materials to make them:

  • feathers
  • craft wire (to wrap the top of the feathers together before inserting them into the bead cap)
  • findings: Eye-pin. I wrapped the craft wire around the feathers several times, then wrapped and wrapped around an eye-pin which went through the top of the bead cap. There, I used the round-nose pliers to create a loop, which I then attached to another eye-pin that had several beads on it.
  • metallic elongated bead cap
  • beads (wooden, ceramic, glass)
  • chain
  • pliers (round nose, and flat-nose)
  • findings: small jump-ring to connect the feather pendant to the chain.

Inspiration: Anthropologie & the feather

Here is an example of a white-feathered necklace that I found at my favorite online-shop, Anthropologie. And of course, I had to pin it on my jewelry-inspiration box on Pinterest.

Source: via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Pretty neat, right? It’s called the Feather Flight Necklace. I love the rosary-like beads attached to the feathery pendant; they look very nice with the white feathers. The beads are an assortment of ebony, white, turquoise & aquamarine gemstones. And the general feel of the necklace is quite bohemian.

Ciao fo

r n


 Karboojeh Tutorials & DIY

Inspiration Board: Anthology e-mag & a mug of dark hot chocolate

8 Dec

Are you in the mood for a big dose of inspiration? Well, I have the right e-mag for you. I just finished flipping through Anthology’s Holiday 2011 special issue, and I found two things I was looking for, two tutorials for stenciling on fabric/felt. Before you go ahead and click on the link below, a hot cup of dark chocolate is most recommended with this “cuddly” mag!

By Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

If you feel the urge to flip through the pages of this amazing e-zine, then click here for a triple dose of truly inspiring ideas – for anything from handmade crafts, to jewelry-making (Bits & Baubles, P36). It is truly a place for “Living with substance and style” –  especially that the magazine has a strong stance towards everything “handmade.”

As mentioned on their blog, “The Anthology Winter Gift Guide is packed with DIY projects, holiday decorating ideas, gift recommendations from guest contributors, a few of our regular columns from the print edition, and so much more.” You can read the full preview about the Holiday Issue on Anthology’s blog over here.

Fabric stenciling tutorial by { Hello!Lucky } - Screenshot by Karboojeh from  The Anthology Holiday 2011 Special Issue

The tutorials I spoke about in the beginning of this post are so superb. I learned a “few tips on how to make homemade gifts from artists and designers like Lotta Jansdotter and Eunice and Sabrina Moyle of Hello! Lucky.” And I am telling you, both tutorials are the best I have read so far about stenciling and painting on fabric.

Lotta’s free-downloadable stencil-template tutorial (Case Study, P62) was so much easy for me to understand, and I felt that all my stenciling fears are a thing of the past now… seriously.

Surprise, surprise!

Oh, my! I just found out a peek-link into a previous Anthology issue, here. For a more elaborate preview, go to Anthology’s blog here.



Handmade jewelry display 101: Karboojeh’s journey in the world of craft shows

5 Dec

To see mini tutorial for making this chalkboard sign go to: "Chalkboard DIY: Display sign from an artists palette" - on

I am grateful! Yesterday (Dec 4, 2011) was a special day. I took part in my first-ever bazaar experience. The display design I made was totally DIY, and a lot of recycling, up-cycling, and improvising went in there.

Start-up logo among the grands!

Karboojeh as Sponsor: Karboojeh was a sponsor among well known brands – at the Italian Charity event… with brands like Benetton, DHL, Lavazza, Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Paris Hilton, Hyundai, The Four Seasons Hotel, and other Italian & international trademarks… which is quite funny. Seeing Karboojeh’s logo in the middle of it all made me smile.

It is the day. Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry made its first-ever bazaar appearance on a completely DIY-ed table set – that I created using different materials, like cardboard, burlap, a hot-glued rope basket and handmade chicken-wire baskets. I also made two chalkboard announcement boards using recycled materials (one of them was actually a cardboard cake plate that came from a patisserie store; I used chalkboard spray paint and rope to create a rustic look – after prepping with primer & sanding the clean surface).

The look I was going for was a mix of rustic, French romance & shabby chic, interrupted by a sharp contrast of eye-grabbing fun colors. I didn’t want a too serious French romance look, so I used small touches of lace and whites just for fun. Burlap and earth hues took the backdrop of the display work, while colorful packaging and jewelry rested on two burlap-covered cardboard planks, cork, and similar-colored props.

Karboojeh: Recycle, DIY & create!

In the pictures above, some of the Karboojeh DIY things  you see are:

  • Chalkboard: This used to be a bamboo painter’s palette, which I spray-painted with chalkboard paint without priming it, since it looked it had a good amount of sealing varnish on it. See mini tutorial here.
  • Redecorated Samples Tree: This used to be a stainless steel mug holder for the kitchen, which I dressed up with white shimmery sequins, while not forgetting to add a handmade sign made out of feather trim, cardboard, rhinestones, and other embellishments.
  • Beaded Christmas ornaments: There is a post about those, here.
  • Beaded Napkin Rings: The fork & spoon… Aren’t they cute? … I sketched those on cardboard and cut them to size to display the handmade napkin rings.
  • Handmade Heart Magnets: I hand-stitched those using linen and stuffing, then hot-glued a piece of magnet to the back.

Technically this is my first-ever craft show, since the British School Bazaar, mentioned in a previous post, is in a different country, where only jewelry items are participating, inshAllah.

Piece of advice?

Quit your day job and start learning crochet, or invest in the talent you already have (which means also investing time, money and effort in developing it). Craft shows are the best kind of work you will ever have. I had a career in media and a parallel one in music, and one was more hectic than the other. I found complete sweetness in indulging in craft-time, and creating things with love!

Holiday Crafts: Handmade wire ornaments & beaded butterflies

28 Nov

So… I’ve been busy making holiday ornaments, using wire, feather, beads, and sequin. Here’s some of the things I made.

I love butterflies, and I always wanted to make my own butterfly ornaments. I’m so grateful I got around to making some this weekend. These are for sale, to be available at a local bazaar soon, inshAllah.

The one above celebrates my love for the color turquoise… This is a color my mom loves, and I kinda borrowed that love from her, hehehe.

This is an angel. I am so in love with the shabby-chic look this season, so I thought the white on white beads and sequin worked well in this design.

And this one is a butterfly…

Here’s a better look at the little darling…

I guess this is a good enough sample show of what’s in store for the bazaar. Pray for me!

Handmade Jewelry Fun: Boho adventures from the Levant

22 Nov

UPDATE: Dear all, I am sorry for all the broken links on this post. I will update the photos as soon as possible, thanks!



Boho Jewelry Fun: Bracelets, rings and earrings from the Levant. This is my new collection of handmade jewelry – by Karboojeh Jewelry. I had great fun working on these, and more, to be revealed soon inshAllah.

Karboojeh Wood & Blue Boho Rings

The first piece is called the Karboojeh Color Power Boho Bracelet. The three wooden rings above are nicknamed, Karboojeh Wood & Blue Boho Rings. The three earrings below are just a sneak peak into a boho earrings collection I might reveal soon.


I made a couple of key-accessories, I am showing one here below. I’m calling it, Karboojeh Blue Levant Key Charm.

I’m particularly in love with seed beads (little glass beads that if stacked together can make a big impact): In this piece, turquoise beads go lovingly well with bronze. This (below) is called, Karboojeh Mixed Brass Levant Pendant Necklace.

Karboojeh Mixed Brass Levant Pendant Necklace

And here is its sister, Karboojeh Mixed Levant Pendant Necklace.

Karboojeh Mixed Levant Pendant Necklace

That’s it for now. Take care… :)


This post is is re-posted from my other blog:

Maximum inspiration: ‘Once Upon a Tea Time’

20 Nov

Once Upon a Tea Time

A few blogs have really tripled my blogging-experience lately, providing me with a lot of inspiration, and filling my days with a great sense of enjoyment.

In this post, I will start with my latest find on the blogosphere: Once Upon a Tea Time.

Once Upon a Tea Time's office(In the pic above: This is where the blogger behind Once Upon a Tea Time writes her posts. Pic via)

The lady behind this blog (as I have understood) is of Indian roots. I believe her exposure to many cultures (having lived in different spots on the map), as well as her cultivated personal taste (and talent), are reason why her blog is truly one-of-a-kind.

Marie Claire Maison Italia(Pic above via Once Upon a Tea Time/’ouatt’, via Marie Claire Maison Italia)

Her appreciation – and connection – with the infinitely-rich Indian heritage can also be  another reason why her blog stands out both aesthetically, as well as in terms of penmanship.

West Elm Jute Rug on OUATT(This West Elm Jute Rug is via ‘ouatt’ – via West Elm)

Once Upon a Tea Time is a pleasant experience, and a great resource for beautiful homes, brands, and visual stories. In there, there is a story and an album full of really inspiring pictures, which makes it the best blog I’ve ever been to since I started my beautiful-things surfing journey.

Elle Interior Sweden (Pic via ‘ouatt’ via Elle Interior Sweden via Style Files)

My ‘beautiful-things journey’ started almost a year ago after I had decided to end  a 14-year career in media and communication. I started experimenting with jewelry instead. And, I’ve never been happier. On the blogosphere, I was part of another realm, a realm of analytical, serious, stressful news. Today I swim in a new current, in a new part of my life, surroundings, as well as the blogosphere – where beauty reigns supreme, and I am grateful for that.

Rachana Saurabh art(via ‘ouatt’ via artist Rachana Saurabh blog)

I am grateful for getting a second chance at life, where I can look for, discover, experience, and enjoy new things, and build a new aesthetic and life-concept around me based on the appreciation of beauty, inside-out.





P.S. This is a repost from my other blog


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