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Martha Stewart Lving lakeside photo

from Martha Stewart Living

This is one of those “duh” ideas, but I have to admit that it didn’t cross my mind until I saw it on Martha Stewart Living. I am really enjoying having a deck. We have a small table with a small umbrella that we use for dining. We usually eat outdoors in the evening when there is no need for the umbrella. If we are out during the day, we are usually relaxing with a glass of tea. No shade. This is a bummer, especially with a hot weekend coming up. I want to be out enjoying it before the rainy season. I think if I did something like this, the umbrella would get much more use. It’s an easy project. I can find a small wood table at a thrift store or yard sale. I’ll slap some of my exterior mistint paint on it. I

Here’s the tutorial.

I’ve been very busy this week wrapping up some loose ends while I still have the time. I’m still working on before and after pictures. This helps me see how much work we’ve actually done. It’s easy to get obsessed with the “what’s left to do” stuff and ignore everything that you did. It’s supposed to be near 90° this weekend. I doubt anything will be getting finished on this house. Time to hit the coast!

-Victoria

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DIY Picture Frame Shelf

shelf from Country Living

Here’s a really cool DIY shelf from Country Living. Since I found the picture, I’ve found it on many other sites too. I’m trying to find an easy way to incorporate storage in our super small 1930’s bathroom. I like this idea.  I always find fancy picture frames at thrift and antique stores. I don’t buy them because they don’t have glass and because I have to stop hoarding picture frames. (I never use frames). I also can control the depth of the shelf. This is the issue in our small bathroom. Pre-made shelving and storage is too deep. So, now I’m on the hunt for a nice picture frame. Like always, once you are looking for it, you can’t find it. Here’s the tutorial for the shelf on Country Living’s website.

I’ve been super busy trying to finish some of the loose ends around the house. The weather has been oddly cool, rainy, and fall like. This makes me feel like I’m missing out on summer but it makes me keep busy in the house.  Saturday was our 6 year wedding anniversary and our 1 year home ownership anniversary.  So, I’m trying to make up for lost time.

-Victoria

Maire Claire Maison great room

I love a foresty lichen green. Perhaps because I like fungi? Could be it, but these two rooms are tops. This first rooms is from Maire Claire Maison. It was a cool article that took an unbelievably beautiful space to begin with and gave it 3 makeovers. I like the lichen green one for many reasons. Like I said, this was a great room to begin with. It has dark wood floors in immaculate condition. The ceilings are tall and the natural lighting is breathtaking. And there are great features such as millwork, the fireplace, the door hardware. I love the lichen green walls with the milk chocolate brown trim color. This is unexpected and a bit “moody”. The red accents make the green color pop. I like the room because it has a  cozy feel. Open shelves make books accessible and the large ottoman acts as table. And I’m a fan or antlers/horns. You put those in a room and I’m in love. This room has a very “exotic” feel to it because of the color combination and the mix of objects and textiles.

The other room, a foyer, was featured in Coastal Living. I love this room because the color combination is unexpected and I love this earthy green with wood tones. I also like this room because it is a coastal house that isn’t all light and white. I have been totally inspired by this room. I love the salmon door. I would love to see the exterior of this home. But, it looks awesome against the lichen green. I know what that color combo dominating some portion of my house. Lichen green walls and salmon painted thrift furniture or

Coastal Living lichen green foyer

salmon walls with lichen green fabrics…But, all of the colors work in here from the green to salmon to chartreuse to sky blue to sea pebble gray. I love it. Plus, the space isn’t too shabby with the all of the hardwoods. I also like steps playing bookshelf and the cool collection of pictures and how they line the stairs. And I love ship art. Especially ship art in a seaside home.

So, yeah. I’m liking lichen green rooms.

-Victoria

DIY Burlap Curtain

Here's my curtain!

I did it! And it was super easy. It really was just as easy as the tutorial on Life To The T made it look. I finished one curtain from start to finish in 20 minutes. I thought this was really good for a person who has never done this before!

I followed the steps on Life To The T. I did not fray the bottom of my curtain. I hemmed the bottom(and all of the sides) with Stitch Witchery. *I have never used that stuff before and it is awesome. It’s the microwave of the sewing world. I felt like I was cheating using it. Well, it is cheating. This stuff was so easy to use I’m thinking about making more curtains, table runners, table cloths, place mats, etc. Somebody take this iron out of my hand!

Close-up of DIY Burlap Curtain

Close-up hem

Burlap has an aroma that I like and I’ve found that the smell has faded in 2 days. Burlap does shed but no worse than the pug like creature living in our house. I seriously couldn’t distinguish the Frink the Frug hairs on my clothes from the burlap hairs.

I did sort of a cafe rod thing with my curtains. I wanted to let some light in while offering some privacy from the neighbor’s window that looks right in. See light is hard to come by here in the Pacific Northwest. I take it while I have it. I wanted the rod to be higher but my handyman  husband wanted to line up to the leaded glass…My curtains aren’t hanging the way I want them to but it doesn’t bother me enough to change it.<bleh>

I’m still debating hanging a curtain on window over the little built-in desk. My original plan was to do it. I wanted the light to be a bit diffused and I wanted something to protect from bleaching UV rays. But, that window faces the back of the house and it isn’t easy to see in. And this window offers a mountain view. I really don’t want to cover it up.(Well, I may cover it up during the “rainy” season.) It was so great in the spring putting on my makeup and only seeing a white sea of plum blossoms and the sun coming over the mountains. Yeah, I live a good life.

pink boudoir window

The "naked" window.

I spent about $11 on this curtain. This price includes all of the materials, hooks, and rod. It was so funny. I was purchasing the burlap for the curtains and I was waiting in line for the material to be cut. The lady in front of me was a sweet Filipina grandma. She asked what the word was for this fabric. She asked me what I was going to do with it. I said,”Make a curtain”. She gave me a look like I was insane. I told her that it’s actually pretty popular and I see it in home magazines all the time. Still got the crazy look. She says, “You know we use this for potatoes and onions in the Philippines.” I was also told it was itchy and should line it in plastic. She spoke with the lady working at the store in Tagalog and I heard a cognate “potato sack curtain” and they laughed. I guess it is a bit odd to have burlap curtains. I’m sure if I told my grandmothers I was spending the evening making burlap curtains that they’d think I was crazy too.

-Victoria

I’ve been wanting something rustic to off-set my super cute pink boudoir. I like pink but there is more to pink than “pretty, pretty princess”. I’ve been meaning to purchase burlap or raw linen curtains for the 2 windows in the super tiny room for months now. There is nothing I hate more than paying money for curtains. Window furnishing are killing my home budget.I can’t think of anything less fun to spend my dough on.

I am so happy to find this DIY burlap curtain tutorial on Life to the “T”. Not only does it look adorable and much more expensive than the small amount of money put in to it, but there’s no sewing! This is great for someone like me who doesn’t have a sewing machine. I’ve seen these burlap curtains for $50 a panel too. If you make your own no-sew, I’d say you have about $5 in each one. I have about $3 in mine plus my sweet time.

Here's the final curtain from Life to The T. Cute, huh?

Go check out the tutorial on the blog, Life to the T. Mrs. T makes this look so easy because it is. Guess what? I “made” a curtain in less than 20 minutes. I’ll definitely share pics with you tomorrow. It is exactly what I wanted. Right now I’m in the “finger wave” stage. I’m creating waves with clothespins. It is seriously like setting a Marcel waves but with fabric. I also have to say that I love Mrs. T’s room, great use of color and accessories. And great mix of prints!  I have the exact same curtain rods in our great room. And boy do they look snazzy against that acidic green paint! Makes me want to paint my walls this color again…

Tomorrow I’ll post my burlap curtains and give you a tour of my “boudoir”.

-Victoria

*Check out the blog, Life to the T, for more fun DIY home tutorials such as an old window used as a “hanger” for papers or towels.

Lychee Rose Fro-Yo Recipe

Here’s another one of my frozen yogurt creations. So far this summer, Lychee Rose fro-yo has been my favorite. It’s sweet and floral. And the color is so pink and saturated. The color gives Lychee Rose a presence like it is in a Bollywood film. Like all frozen yogurt recipes, this one is super easy.

First prepare your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. For me this requires pre-freezing the bowl. That’s why I keep in the freezer at all times. Never know when I want to create a new flavor!

You’ll need:

32 oz. (about 4 cups) of plain nonfat yogurt I use Trader Joe’s French Village Non-Fat Yogurt because I like the price and the texture.

20 oz. can of whole lychees in syrup There are many brands available. I have used Aroy-D and a few others. I pick up whatever is at the Asian market I’m at.

about 3 fl. oz. of rose syrup I really should be more keen on measuring things out. I usually add as much as I want. I think 2.5-4 fl. oz is enough. I use Dabur Rose Syrup. It’s my “comfort” rose syrup, the one brand that has always been in the pantry. I can’t say that it is the best but it is affordable and it makes for wonderful beverages. It’s my “soul food” rose syrup.

Because lychee syrup is so sweet and Dabur rose syrup is pre-sweetened, I do not add sugar. You could add about 1/4 cup to the mixture if you want a super sweet frozen yogurt.

In a blender dump the can of lychees and their syrup. Add the rose syrup. Blend the mixture until it is completely smooth, no chunks. If the lychees are still chunky, they’ll add an unpleasant texture to your frozen yogurt. Breathe in that aroma of this mixture. It’s a beautiful smell.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt and lychee/rose liquid. Mix with a whisk. If you would like a sweeter mixture, now is the time to add the sugar. Mix until all ingredients are blended and (if you choose) the sugar is dissolved.

Put the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I have to leave my mixture churning in the machine for up to 2 hours. The machine is deafening and I can seriously hear it when I stand at the street.

Spoon the yogurt mixture into a container. I usually use the yogurt container and Ball Plastic Freezer Jars (with the green lid). Freeze until mixture is firm about 2+ hours.

Before serving, let fro-yo soften so that it is easy to scoop. I find that this mixture needs a longer time to soften about 30 minutes before scooping. The mixture will be a bright pink. The more rose syrup the pinker it is. You could garnish this with a few lychees on a toothpick, like you would a lychee martini. I did not do this because I find lychees unattractive and a bit grotesque in appearance. And you could always garnish with culinary roses. This would be very beautiful and supper feminine. I really think that if this lychee rose fro-yo was garnished with roses that it would be the cutest thing to serve at a bridal shower or OTT girly girl birthday party.

-Victoria

House and Home white bedroom

Canadian House and Home white bedroom

I love both of the bedrooms here because I like their simplicity. Both rooms have dark metal/iron beds. Both of these rooms remind me of the Tudorks bedroom: dark metal bed, antique luggage, fancy lighting. What do I want after seeing these rooms? White bedding.

This first crisp white bedroom was featured in Canadian House and Home. This is one of those rooms that would be pretty even when standing empty. The ceiling has interesting lines and the floors are stunning. If we were to refinish our hardwoods, this is the stain that I would use. There really isn’t a more classy look that light walls and dark hardwoods. This room has nice accents. I love metal beds and old suitcases and luggage used as storage. This is a winning combination. What would I have done differently in this room? Well, I wouldn’t of painted the window trim a darker shade of white for a needed contrast. People underestimate the power of that little trick when they have bright white walls.

The other bedroom is beautiful as well. I do not recall where this room was first featured. I apologize. It reminds me of the first room because it is white, neutral and the dark metal bed adds needed contrast. This second white bedroom is much more rustic. It looks less new than the House and Home room. This white bedroom has a very old home shape. It looks like the bedrooms in our home. It really looks like a smaller version of our studio.This room also has a dark metal bed and dark pictures for high contrast against the white walls. This room’s floors are the opposite, painted white. It’s such a beautiful look. This room has such a fresh feel but it is grounded by rough antiques. This grit gives this white bedroom character. And note to self: We have walls like the ones in this room and I haven’t put pictures up. I love the row of low paintings. I need to do this. Great excuse to hang

Rustic white bedroom

Rustic white bedroom

up my Audubon  bird pictures.
I really do love both of these rooms. They are my “style”.

I’ve been going through the house taking so many pictures lately. Next week will be the 1 year anniversary of our home ownership and our home restoration. We’ve done so much but it’s easy to think you haven’t when some things are still a wreck. I’m happy we have pictures to remind us of all our hard work. I’m trying to get before and after pictures ready to share. You’ll get some giggles out of the “befores”. Who else do you know moved in a house with a 13 foot mural/silhouette of  a naked lady? Who else do you know had to peel faux fur off of every door in their house? Who else do you know was peeling adhesive off of the ceiling where mirrors used to be? Geez…

-Victoria