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DIY Table-setting Placemat | Pompom | Handpainted Floral & Botanical Design

6 Sep

I have a special thing for placemats. They can be made by hand, that’s one of their major attractions. And you can customize them to look exactly the way you want them to. You only need some basic sewing skills, some fabric colors, and a bit of imagination.

I have been dreaming about making my own placemats for quite some time, really. Recently I felt I was ready to make them since my sewing skills became a tad-bit better than they used to be.

The ingredients for making these cute placemats are:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Pom-pom trim, and individual pompom balls
  • Fabric paint and markers (I actually used more than one brand, but they all have pretty much the same ironing, and laundering instructions)
  • Sewing machine with the ability to sew a straight line
  • Flatware to trace around

I started by sewing the hems with the pompoms at one go.

Then I freehanded the word “eat” on a paper with pencil, while keeping in mind I wanted it to look like the vintage American Pop font.

I then traced the word on both placemats after taking measurements and centering it, also with pencil I used a basic image transfer technique using charcoal, for more ideas go here). I used the round lid of some cookie canister to trace the plate shapes. I then got me a real spoon and fork and traced around them (with pencil), that’s how I got the fltawre shapes. Once I was done with the basic outlines, I used a black fabric marker to outline them again, then I painted and sketched flowers and herbs to fill the plates.

The inspiration for making this specific design came from different places, which all have one thing in common: A vintage feel.

Inspiration: Table-setting placemats

I found a few table-setting placemats that I really liked. Here are a few ideas. The one above is so lovely, it has a vintage French feel, while the one below is a bit whimsical, especially that lace was used to create the place-setting utensils and plate shapes. So, if you don’t want to invest in fabric paint, you can simply applique the shapes.

Or you can use your basic embroidery skills to create this beautiful and simple placemat by Yellow Spool.

Source: u-createcrafts.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And of course, you can always upcycle a jean pocket to create a one-of-a-kind placemat.

Source: todaysnest.typepad.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

You can actually use the pocket on its own, like this one below. All you need is cut the jean, then place the flatware inside for a cool table arrangement.

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Here is another pocket placemat idea…

Source: bhg.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

And, finally, a cute picnic placemat with multi utinsil pockets.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you have any interesting placemat ideas, or, better still, if you have made your own placemats, please do share your link in the comments section below. Take care for now… K

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Summer Food DIY & Inspiration: Homemade Ice-cream

4 Jun

Strawberry Ice-cream by Karboojeh Handmade: This sorbet doesn’t contain milk; it’s a different recipe from the one mentioned below in the post. This one blends strawberry with sugar only. Put in the freezer for a nice, tasty sorbet.

Homemade ice is the tastiest thing you can ever taste! With a few natural ingredients, you can make your own frozen gelato or sorbetto. You can always use your imagination for coming up with variates that suit your taste, the local produce available around you, and your budget.

Now, let’s make our own fruit-based ice-cream!

Strawberry sorbet – by Karboojeh Handmade

Simple strawberry ice-cream

Try this recipe by Karboojeh Handmade:

  • Put 2-3 cups of strawberry in the blender with some sugar (depends on your taste. TIP: Just remember that when you freeze something it tastes less sugary, so maybe you need to add a little bit more than your threshold.
  • Blend well
  • When the strawberry is well-mashed, add some milk (or Greek-style yogurt for less calories) and blend until you form a strawberry loose paste (not too runny, not too thick)
  • Place mixture in store-bought Popsicle cones or in air-tight plastic container.
  • Freeze – in the freezer
  • Enjoy the next day with a loved one or friend

P.S. I Only took pics of the homemade strawberry sorbet we made at home, that’s why the frozen mixture looks darkish. Frozen strawberry ice-cream mixed with milk or yogurt would be a delightful pink.

Karboojeh Top Picks: Bloggers’ ice-cream recipes

Here are a few recipes that I have collected recently. Click the pics – or the links in the captions right below them – to go to the recipes. Enjoy!

Modern ice-cream stick:

Source: asubtlerevelry.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Rustic ice-sticks:

Source: joylicious.net via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Pink ice-sticks:

Source: andthenidothedishes.blogspot.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

Shabby-chic ice-sticks:
Lemon ice:

Banana ice-cream:

Source: webmd.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

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For more ice-cream ideas:
Homemade ice-cream – via 2littlehooligans.blogspot.com
Food recipe (ice-cream) – via therealityofskinny.tumblr.com

Bay Leaves: Remedies at your fingertips

24 May

Bay leaves, aka Laurel leaves, are a small evergreen plant, that has more benefits than commonly advertised. In my part of the world, we are accustomed to using laurel soups that come all the way from Aleppo. But only very recently did I learn that this beautifully scented tree can help elevate many physical & beauty-related problems.

Bay leaves can be found in supermarkets. But if you plant them (or buy them already planted in small pots), you can have them in the soil in your garden – or keep them in pots in your small-space garden.

Those dark-green leaves can do more good than flavouring chicken soups & stews:

  • They’re good for relieving aches in joints & muscles
  • Healing an itchy scalp, and dandruff
  • They aid digestion and have a calming effect
  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • The leaves can repel ants, just by placing them the way they are in kitchen cabinets
  • Mom tells me if you put a few bay leaves in pantry containers for sugar, rice, and flour, you are sure to stop tiny pests from growing in them.
  • You can gargle with Bay leaf tea & even use it as a body wash
  • According to e-How, “Bay leaves are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium.”

Pic via freywine.com

Bay Leaf Tea

Simply add a couple of bay leaves to boiled water. Let it sit in the kettle for 10 minutes, then drink. This tea has a calming effect and it can help in digestion.

According to e-How, you can “enjoy bay leaf tea before meals to help maintain blood sugar levels, as studies have shown that Bay leaf helps the body to process insulin more quickly to prevent spikes in blood sugar.”

Pic via cashmere.hubpages.com

Bay Leaf Anti-Aching Remedy

Did you know that buying an infusion like the one I’m about to describe will cost you much more than making it by hand? You need a cup of olive oil in a saucepan. Add several bay leaves to the oil & simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover (so you won’t lose the goodness via evaporation). Allow cooling. Strain and massage into sore areas.

Bay Leaf Dandruff Remedy

Some water plus a few crushed Bay leaves, is all you need. Boil the water, switch off the heat, then add the leaves. Cover the pot and let it steep for 30 minutes, like you would with a tea infusion. After taking your bath, wash your hair with this tea combination, and leave it on for an hour, then wash if off again.

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Remedies come from: homeandgardenideas.com, ehow.com, mom, my observations
For more remedies you can visit: herbs2000.com

 

 

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Sweet Living Magazine: E-mag with a cup of tea

27 Apr

I love online e-mags. They provide lots of inspiration that you can’t find easily on the net. Sweet Living Magazine happens to be a very inspiring virtual publication that promises to give you lots of cool ideas. It’s new & it’s free!

Issue 3 of Sweet Living is out. And it’s full of inspiration & ideas.  Click here to read the issuu version. I particularly loved the homemade ice-cream recipes  provided by the readers at the beginning of the mag. And I love the heart sachet (In the pic above – L).

And to view issue 2 of Sweet Living, click here.

On  their blog, SL offer nice crafty ideas. Here’s one I really loved: A doll garland. Sweet, right?

I just can’t get over this Little chick tutorial! For full tutorial,  go to Petite Purls. SO CUTE!

I leave you with these lovely color palettes & inspirations, wishing you all a very lovely Friday.

With Color,

Karboojeh

 

 

DIY Inspiration: Candle-making

25 Apr

 

I’m not really into candle making, but I’m hoping to inspire someone special to follow through with her candle-making plans once she read this post.

Who doesn’t love candles? They’re romantic & soothing, and they make you want to go to sleep (ZzZzZZzZZzzzz). They are a great decorative piece and they come in all shape, colors and designs to suit every decor type: Shabby Chic, rustic, ultra-modern, boho, Victorian, or even vintage.

 

Above is a thorough step-by-step tutorial by fellow WordPress blogger, Something Turquoise. The first picture in this post is via Anthropologie, they look great don’t they?

Here’s a pretty tutorial from Hey Gorgeous to inspire you to make your own DIY Vintage Teacup Candles.

 

Teacups that have lost their saucers can be upcycled into beautiful candles, see Martha Stewart’s tutorial over here.

 

Candles are just so versatile and so if you plan to start making them, you can actually make candles with your own signature; candles that really stand out from the crowd.

 

Here’s a Martha Stewart video tutorial on making your own molds: Hippocrates Bust Candle – Tutorial – Martha Stewart.

What about making candles in tins?

Love this look, you can get the tutorial from Country Living over here.

 

DIY your own travel candle…

Candles in tins always look great! (See tutorial via Sunset.com)

Source: sunset.com via Karboojeh on Pinterest

 

I leave you with 2 great resources for a number of candle-making tutorials:

Have a great day,

Karboojeh

Naturally Homemade: Grandma’s alum recipe instead of commercial deodorant

30 Mar

Pic via jasminechemical.com

When I was 17, my grandmother told me to stop using deodorants since they blocked the perspiration glands.  Deodorants are dangerous to our bodies… nature has always offered us ways to beautify and clean ourselves. Why not use alum (i.e Shabbeh – شبة) instead?

Alum is not short for aluminum. It’s a natural stone, that once crushed into tiny crystals can be your personal hygiene’s best friend.

Pic via ehow.com

Aluminum, on the other hand, is a harmful component that is used in many of the manufactured deodorants out there!

Grandma, may she rest in peace, told me that over time the blocked sweat caused by commercial deodorants will accumulate under the skin and rot, and I will start to really smell, which means I will need more deodorant to cover it up. Ultimately this blocked perspiration is a form of toxin that is locked within the body… it will harm it.

As a nature-lover, my grandma hated manufactured cosmetics, and always opted for natural remedies to fix everything. She had great insight and respect for the ways of her grandparents. She didn’t need a scientific report to tell if unnatural cosmetics were harmful or not, she knew it innately. And I believed her.

Pic via dipity.com

Alum talc-like deodorant

My grandmother’s basic alum recipe – You can use this recipe like you use talc:

  • Crush some alums until they become a bit rougher than talc (if they’re not already crushed) – about 7 tablespoons of it (or more if you like).
  • In my part of the world you can buy already crushed Musk powder, which is then added to the alum (let’s say about 1/2 a tablespoon), and it gives it a celestial smell. You can check out your area for any oriental shops & ask them if they have it.
  • Mix the two well. Place  the powder in a clean cosmetics container with a lid, and use a cotton pad, or one or those fluffy pads used for applying powder facial foundation.
  • After taking a shower, fluff your underarms and any perspiration-active areas with this mixture.
  • P.S. If you have been using artificial deodorants for a long time, be patient while the body cleans itself. At first you might think the Alum-Musk mixture is not working out because you are basically smelling, but that’s because all the blocked perspiration is now to free to leave your body. These toxins have a bad smell, but after a while when the new perspiration is now dancing with the alum you will smell fresh and quite different than before.

Alum sprayer

Pic via realsimple.com

My grandma’s great grandmothers, back to God-knows-when, used alum and they always smelled superb. In fact if you have a sensitive nose you can always tell the difference between a modern home, around the Levant where I live, and a traditional home that uses natural soaps, alum, rosewater, and all the natural scents & cleaning materials that really make everything smell better.

Another simple alum recipe is making your own alum spray:

  • Crush the alum crystals
  • Mix them with water in a bottle sprayer
  • Spray your underarms, feet, and any sweat-active areas, right after you shower.

Alum with essential oils

You can always experiment with creating your own scented alum powder. If you have a good quality rose/musk/jasmine essential oil, you can:

Pic via ashitherapy.com

  • Crush the alum…
  • add a few drops of essential oil to the alum crystals and mix well
  • use like you use talc.

Home Decor DIY: Rustic-Looking Chicken Wire Lamp

19 Mar

I love the idea of up-cycling vintage home accents & accessories; it’s budget friendly, creative, and it gives you instant gratification. Rummaging through mom’s storage room, I came out with a broken ceramic table lamp, and a vintage wooden pitcher that has this beautiful rustic look. By marrying the two, I re-created this lampshade.

The chicken wire is just a fantasy of mine, but it’s not practical once you turned the lights on. I decided that I will leave it the way it is, though. I just love the way it looks, besides, I can always change the lampshade if I wanted to.

The lamp base

The ingredients for this lamp are:

  • A broken lampshade: … so I would use the lamp’s wired candlestick & bottle adapter (this is what they call’em apparently) – I didn’t take a photo of the original lamp, but you can see the lamp candlestick on the far right side of the above pic.
  • A shade riser: I totally DIYed mine using the metallic ring you see in the pic, and some wire to create a middle ring and tripod to help me attach the shade to the lamp skeleton.
  • Chicken wire
  • Scissors or Wire cutter.
  • Some skill in wiring and rewiring lamps. Well… that’s my husband’s domain.
  • Newspapers or sponge.

What you basically do is ask the electrician to insert the lamp’s cord through the nozzle of the vintage wooden pitcher you have and to keep the switch close by.

Insert the pipe that comes at the tail of the lamp skeleton inside the vase (the vase should be deep enough to accommodate it). To keep the lamp from moving, and to be able to change your mind later on, try to stabilize it by squishing in some crumbled newspapers, or sponge, or whatever that can just keep the lamp in place.

The lampshade

Now, if you have a shade riser then all you need to do is just cut the chicken wire to size and attach it to the shade riser.

But if you don’t have one, just use an old round ring, and using craft wire, you can create your own shade riser.

Watch out for your fingers when you cut the chicken wire. You can use the loose wire ends from the chicken wire to attach it to the ring.

Anyhow, with this kind of base, you can amplify the rustic look by using a basket as your lampshade. The effect it gives once you turned the lamp on is so cool. You can run your own lamp fashion show and try different lampshades until you finally find your beat. The important thing to remember is that imagining what a final product looks like has nothing to do with actually trying to make it & seeing for your self. A DIY looks much better in reality!

Cheers,

Karboojeh

 

 

{Interview} | BOOST your handmade business with Hmade

29 Feb

Vintage jewllery and pretty hair clips from Charming Grace soon to be on Hmade

There are blogs that you keep going back to, like Hmade. Loaded with lots of inspiration, affordable online packages, and advice to help you market your handmade stuff, Hmade is one of Britain’s most interesting blogs.

At least that’s what I think!

Around the time Hmade interviewed Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry a while back, I wanted to interview Kellie, Hmade’s creator, to learn more about why she started her blog, her future plans, and most importantly her handmade marketing program, “BOOST” – designed to help you market your stuff over at Hmade. Artisans, designer-makers, cooks, and crafters, can visit the blog for very reasonable packages to help you with your online marketing experience.

Interview with Kellie, creator of Hmade – People who make, bake & create

Have you seen the new look at Calladoodles? (via Hmade)

  • When did you start Hmade? What inspired you to start a blog/shop that helps promote indie designer-makers?

I started Hmade in May 2011 when i met Clare from Calladoodles. It all began when I noticed Clare’s pretty shop and i fancied having a go at some product and interior photography. So I sent her an email asking her if she would like some photos in return for me practicing in her shop, and she loved the idea. Clare ran part of the shop by renting space out to designer-makers, and nearly every week there was someone or something new happening. I assumed she had a blog and was telling everyone about it all on Facebook but she was just too busy, and that’s where the idea for Hmade came about. We needed a way to tell people about the wonderful designers and their products who were selling in the shop, and what better way than a blog with lots of pictures.

Hmade began with lots of inspirational posts to get a good following and then we interviewed the sellers about themselves and their businesses. We had a really good response to it with viewing numbers being more than we expected. As Clare was busy with the shop i took this on myself and built it up to what it is today with the design, features, and new features to come.

  • What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

The idea behind it is to promote designer-makers and provide information and inspiration. I love blogs which are pretty and full of images, which is how i wanted mine to be. Not everyone wants to read something everyday so to have posts with just images can make things a bit refreshing!

I have a small shopping side to the blog but this will be phased out soon as i felt that it wasn’t quite what i want to achieve with the blog. I want it to be more of a promotional, informational blog rather than a shop. My ‘thing’ is photography so i will be offering more advice and services on that side as well as business advice and ideas.
The original sellers in the shop were the designers from Calladoodles which made things easy for me to take photos of the products and then send out when a sale was made. We may revive it when the time is right.

  • What are your future plans?
 My plans for Hmade are to become a source of information and to have other guest bloggers sharing their own knowledge with everyone. I also want to help people to get their products noticed by getting their images into the press and provide features about them and their products on the blog. It is all about support and promotion. It seems the designer makers are great at what they do but they don’t have enough time for some of the business tasks, which is where we can help.
  • Tell us about BOOST?
We have just rolled out BOOST which is a promotional package and we will be announcing a new photo appraisal service very soon, so keep an eye out for that one :)
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To learn more about BOOST’s latest offers, go here.
To contact Hmade, go here.
To visit Hmade’s Facebook page, click here.
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Interview by Karboojeh Handmade Jewelry

Naturally Homemade: The healing touch of Tea Tree Oil

28 Feb
Tee Trea OIl - The Body Shop (vie The Body Shop's website)

I got introduced to Tea Tree Oil many many years ago, and used it for treating a variety of skin problems & other ailments. Tea Tree Oil  fixes with no side effects, it’s inexpensive, and proves to be nice to your liver!

Many people I know use unnatural skin treatments for treating zits & acne, and what they don’t realize is that these treatments hurt their liver (as indicated in small print on product packaging).

Let me reiterate the fact that using non-natural medicines & treatments for fixing skin issues has real bad side-effects. International trademarks that are known for their miraculous skin-treatment properties can cause great damage to the liver. Plus, they’re pretty expensive. Moreover, they often don’t really treat the problem! I have read in small print on the leaflet of one very famous brand – that starts with the letter |R| – that this anti-acne facial cream may cause liver problems, but hey, who cares? Well, I care.

Good news is, we have nature’s beautiful Tea Tree gift, which is a natural anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-oxidant, and disinfectant oil – with all of this goodness packed up in the healing drops of this “liquid gold,” i.e Tea Tree.

Thursday Plantation seems to be the brand my family often purchases oils & creams from; I personally like this brand & have read pretty excellent reviews about it. They produce Tea Tree products – including essential oils – such as ointments, creams, lip balms, and sprays, etc.

On their website, Thursday Plantation states:

“Sadly, this remedy from nature  [i.e Tea Tree] was forgotten for almost 30 years as cheap, synthetic antibiotics flooded the world’s medicine markets and became a way of life. The tea tree industry collapsed by the 1960’s and the oil became a rare commodity.”

But of course it picked up again.

Today, franchise shops like The Body Shop make it pretty easy for you to get your hands on some Tea Tree Oils & products (like shampoos, and creams), due to the fact the brand operates over 2,000 stores in over 53 countries (I was once personally involved in the inauguration of one of the flagship shops in the Levant, but that’s another story). Boots chain-pharmacy is another franchise shop that sells Tea Tree oil and creams.

Tea Tree – Thursday Plantation (via baronepharmacy.com.au)

let’s take a further look at some of the benefits of Tea Tree Oil as tested by this writer (me):

  • Anti-inflammatory facial skin care: I believe we all need to have Tea Tree Oil as part of our skin-care routine for fixing blemishes, healing zits, and dealing with other skin problems, like dandruff. To heal a zit, dab a cotton swab with Tea Tree Oil, then touch up the infected area. Tea Tree penetrates into the skin and hugs all inflamed areas with it’s loving touch. In no time you are acne-free, and your liver is not compromised
  • Scalp & hair care: As for dandruff, a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil in your palm, mixed with a bit of shampoo, can really heal the scalp. Of course, now they carry Tea Tree Shampoos so you won’t need to mix the oil with shampoo to get the results. However, I’m old-fashioned and I like to use essential oil, and prefer it to other Tea Tree products.
  • Coughs colds & flues: Tea Tree Oil, which might be toxic if swallowed by mouth, can heal the respiratory system in cases of soar throat, and running nose. A few drops in a pot of water, inhaled with the steam, can heal one’s throat. I tried this several times during my health craze a few years ago, and it worked fine.
  • Dental care: Although you’re not supposed to drink Tea Tree Oil, you can actually mix a few drops with your toothpaste to heal your gums.
  • Anti-fungal foot-care: In a previous post about the healing powers of garlic, I spoke about garlic as a nail-fungus healing agent. The same goes for Tea Tree. Just dab a cotton swap with some oil and cover the infected nail with the oil; don’t forget the area between the nail and the bed.

P,S… Tea Tree oil can also be used for treating feminine hygiene issues as indicated here. It is also used to cure lice, injuries, and many other ailments as shown here.

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