Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sea and the Mountain!

I was very lucky this week to spend   some time close to nature, 

breathe in the fresh breeze of the sea early in the morning,
 and  enjoy a late evening drive to the mountain, just before  sun set.

For those of us who live in big cities the contact with nature is always a precious gift.
Especially, when this is accompanied by some time spent at a nice café with some friends or an unexpected encounter with one of the sweetest creatures you can think of:
WILD DEER !!  Yes, deer who live in the mountain free, beautiful   and majestic. They are not afraid of the people at all, because people give them various treats to eat and you often see them in the middle of the street looking at you.

  Children and adults stop  to admire their beauty and sweetness.

Few days before my visit to the mountain , I had spent some hours at a seaside resort very close to my hometown, Athens . 
Early in the morning the mist over the port   of Nea Makri  and the cloudy sky, created  a serene and calming ambience , one that made you feel  grateful and happy for the chance to be there on that October day.   
An extra bonus for me was a cup of hot chocolate at a very nicely decorated café. The wooden tables have 'built in' flower pots and lovely decorative lanterns are hanging at its entrance, from the ‘branches’ of a metal ‘tree’ .

I always like it when cafes and restaurants are decorated with attention to detail and have artistic and quirky elements. Do you feel the same?
I hope I ‘travelled’ you a little, with my pictures.
I will leave you now with a picture of Athens from above, just before the sun set, as I was driving back from the mountain and an evening spent with the deer!!
Have a nice week dear readers!
Till next time,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something old…….. Something new !

Hello dear readers from around the world!
Today, I will show you how you can give a new and ‘glamorous’ life to an old and neglected object which is just a step before being thrown into to the recycling bin. I suppose we all have quite a few items in our kitchen which, though useful and practical they might be ,they have long lost their ‘attractive younger age’ appearance and we often think of replacing them with more modern and ‘happy’ looking ones.
Before you discard them though, think twice! You can probably be able to transform them and use them in a different but ‘interesting’ way. That’s what I did with my old and not so good looking heat pad.
 So here we are! This is a picture of the pad before its transformation, old, with faded colours and tired. I had often thought of either recycling it, or putting it inside a drawer to rest forever, but, something in it made me want to see it around for a bit longer. I suppose, it is its shape , the shape of a tea pot and I can honestly tell you that I love tea pots!
Last weekend then, the moment came for this humble heat pad, to be reborn as a decorative item for a shelf in my kitchen and forget its previous life forever!
The transformation :
STEP 1: I used some sand paper to gently rub its surface and then I painted it with some acrylic paint. I used white colour and mixed it with some ochre. I used almost two coats of paint to cover the patterns on its plastic surface.
STEP 2: When the colour dried, I added a third coat of paint, in a colour between turquoise and light blue. When  it dried,

STEP 3: I waxed the whole surface using a white candle.
STEP 4: I added another coat of light beige colour on the pad. When it was dry,
STEP 5: I very gently rubbed the surface using the sand paper. This way, the light blue colour underneath the beige one, appeared, giving the surface an old and weathered look.
This technique gives a vintage appearance to painted objects and makes them more ‘appealing’.
STEP 6: I used my beloved decoupage technique to decorate the pad. I chose patterns from five different paper napkins. I have previously described the technique in my blog and I can assure you it is quite easy to use. The most important aspect is to choose the ‘right’ patterns and place them in such a way that accentuate the shape of the item you want to decorate.
STEP 7: I applied two coats of varnish to give my pad a better look and make it water resistant, too.
STEP 8: I happily and ‘proudly’ placed it on a kitchen shelf to start its new, life ,as a decorative item this time!

I hope you like this idea and you give it a try with something similar that you have at home and needs your love and attention !
Good bye for now dear readers  and  thank you for reading!
Enjoy the week ! 
Till next time,

Tina xxx 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Decorative Bird Houses

Hello dear readers from a rainy Athens!
For me, rainy weather ‘requires’ snuggling in a warm house with a cup of coffee or tea in your hand, having happy thoughts. Beautiful, colourful pictures always help us improve our mood, especially when it is pouring with rain outside. That’s why I would like to share with you, this rainy evening, some pictures that make me smile.
I’ve always been ‘fascinated’ by decorative (and real) bird houses. They are tiny, cute, sweet homes, and although they are just decorative, whenever I look at them, I always imagine of little ‘interesting’ creatures going happily in and out of their door! :)
As you will see in the pictures below , I have a 'modest' collection of them , ranging from really tiny ones that you can hung from  a cupboard knob or the branches of a tree, to quite big ones which are perfect for decorating with fairy lights at Christmas.

You can either use them separately or all together on a shelf or mantelpiece.
 I personally, prefer to ‘create’ a little village , placing the one after the other  and add some little toy creatures around, like dwarves, fairies , birds, turtles or anything else that is cute and tiny enough to live in this little fairy tale space.
They are also perfect for welcoming   your visitors, placed in the garden or hanging on the wall next to your front door.

I hope you like my little houses and make you smile, too.
Have a lovely evening!!
Till next time, my love to all ,

Tina xxxxxxxx

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gardening and a bit of Decoupage!!

Last Saturday, I spent the day in the garden which ,I must confess, desperately needed some love and care.
The day was good and we soon rolled up our sleeves and started to work.

After some hours of hard but satisfying efforts to bring the garden back to a more appropriate state, it was time to get creative on the more artistic front!

 A little bit of decoupage on wood was the next step towards a productive morning outdoors! Some weeks ago, I came across this candle wall sconce and I thought that it would look nice somewhere in the house. I didn’t know exactly where, but I was sure I needed it! I bought it at a very law price from an arts and crafts shop and I decided to give it a new, more glamorous life, through the miraculous technique of decoupage!
 Inspired as I was by the garden, the flowers and the serenity of nature, I wanted to depict all these on my sconce…. :) hehehehe The first step of the transformation came in the form of a layer of acrylic paint .
 Then, I chose patterns from  four different paper napkins. Butterflies in different colours, flowers, a tulip, all inspired by the beauty of the natural world. (More details about the technique of decoupage you can find in my previous post, here) After just a few minutes, the whole process was over. I added some varnish to give it a better final look and here it is!

Do you like it? An interesting, happy, tender and romantic new creation, ready at such a short time and without spending almost any money. Not bad at all. Do you agree dear readers?

 I’m now working on a new idea for decoupage ,which I hope to share with you soon!!
 Have a nice week, dear friends from around the world.
 Till next time,