Attic Space Makeover

Attics are usually unfinished spaces known for being either neglected or cluttered. Almost everyone who owns such a space tends to keep sending there all those unused items that one is reluctant to throw them away. However some, who are in a possession of an attic, are not faced with the clutter or neglect issue, but rather are lacking either a working or living space. Finishing this space up costs money and this is why usually people keep postponing tackling such projects.

Nevertheless, in case you are in a need of an extra space, the lack of financial means doesn’t have to be the major issue of not tackling an attic project.

By being creative and with the use of some DIY skills you can turn your bare attic into a very stylish space.

This is an example of an attic space that I managed to turn into a very stylish space, in less than 24 hours spending only a few euros.

To achieve this look I used a roll of white table cover paper to hide the bare front wall. The side attic openings were treated with white second hand curtains. The floor was covered in black sheet of plastic that is used in agriculture.

The used furniture pieces were repurposed and remodelled to fit the overall design.

As the attic lacks natural light more artificial light was aded to make the space a bit brighter.

So don’t let your mudroom, basement or garage fall victim to clutter and neglect. Update your specialty rooms with these money-saving ideas or call a professional to help you complete your projects.

We are here to help. Write us at besagmblog@gmail.com to check how we may contribute in completing your projects.
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Thank you for reading,

BESA GM

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Slow Cooker Noah’s Pudding or Ashura

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Noah’s pudding or Ashura is a combination of healthy ingredients such us whole grain wheat, beans, dried and fresh fruits. Usually it is prepared and consumed during the winter, and this is one of the sweets, in line of many, that is reminiscent of my childhood and cold snowy days.

As children, we would return home from sled ride, all gathered around the wood stove, and enjoyed a bowl of fragrant ashura pudding while, all hungry, were waiting for the supper to be served.

These sweet memories keep coming back to me very often, and I cherish them by taking time to make dishes and sweets that my mother used to make for us, although now I tend to use shortcuts to make those dishes.

After buying a slow cooker, I see myself using it more often than I anticipated.
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I do all my stews and traditional dishes such us stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, bean soups etc. in this “mother of efficiency pot”. I just throw the ingredients inside ( and do proper preparation for some dishes) the pot, select the temperature, turn it on and leave the house to do my work errands. After I am back, I come home and my dinner is ready. It doesn’t get any better that this.

The same way I prepare the Ashura. I add the wheat and water in to the pot, and after 5-6 hrs in a low setting my ashura is ready to be spiced up and garnished with dried and fresh fruits.

So here is my easy slow cooker (crock pot) recipe for ashura.

Add in the slow cooker:

250 gr whole grain wheat, rinsed
2 l water

Set the setting in high or medium (depending on your slow cooker modes) and set the timer for 5-6 hrs. After this cooking time the wheat is totally cooked and released the starch which has thickened the water.

Transfer the cooked wheat in a ceramic bowl and stir in the following ingredients:

200 gr prunes- previously cooked
100 gr raisins
3-4 medium apples – peeled, core removed and chopped or thinly sliced
30 gr candied ginger – chopped
2 table spoons cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon ground clove
200 gr brown sugar
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You may add other dried fruit as desired, but I only had those stated above in my pantry.
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Store it in the fridge and it is good up to a week.

Thank you for reading,

Besa

Ashure – e zier ne Slow Cooker

Reqete praktike e zierjes se Ashure-s me tenxheren Slow Cooker, pasi qe duheni vetem t’a hudhni grurin (pa e ulur paraprakisht) dhe ujin ne tenxhere dhe nuk do te ju duhet te mendoni per te deri sa te jet zier plotesisht. Pas zierje ja shtoni pemet e thara si dhe ato te fresketat sipas deshires, erezat dhe sheqerin dhe do ta keni nje sasi te madhe te ashures per tere javen, dhe ate pa shpenzu kohe reth pergaditjes se saje.

Reqeta:

Ne tenxhere me rryme per zierje te ngadalshme (slow cooker) vendosen:

250 gr grur i pastruar, i shperlare
2 l uje i ftohet

Tenxheren e vendosni ne programin High ose Auto dhe e programoni (nese tenxherja ka timer) per 5 ose 6 ore. Pas kesaje kohe gruri do te jet i zier plotesisht dhe lengu do te jet trashur.

E transferoni grurin e zier ne nje ene qeramike dhe i shtoni:

200 gr kumbulla te terura (ashaf)- te ziera paraprakisht
100 gr rrush i thate
3-4 molla te mesme – te qeruara, te pastruara nga farat dhe te coptuara imet
30 gr xhenxefil i sheqerosur- i ciptua shume imet
2 luge gjelle kanelle
1/2 luge caji karanfil i bluar
200 gr sheqer i pa rafinuar (i kafet)

Sipas deshires mund ti shtohen edhe peme tjera te thara si dhe arra te coptuara, por une i shtova ato qe i kisha ne kohen kur e pergatita.

Ruhet ne frigorifer, dhe qendron gjer ne nje jave.

Nese e pergadisni ne kete menyre, me shkruani se si doli e juaja, dhe ju befte mire!

Ju faleminderit qe e vizituat kete faqe.

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

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.
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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

Eye Candy – 10 Beautiful Entryways

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I have a small problem which of course could be easily fixed, but I need to come up with an idea. My current home lacks a formal entryway, and a proper place where we or our guests can hang their coats. Our entryway (which is also our living room) seriously needs a little help so next time our guest come over, I do not have to grab their coats before they inevitably ask, “ umm…where do you want me to put my coat” which would translate to, “ You should fix your coat rack problem! Will you please?”.

On the other hand the entryway sets the tone for visitors and is the first and last spot you’ll see as you come and go. Therefore, having a nice and functional entryway is kind of “a must have” for every home.

In search for entryway ideas I hit the Pinterest, and I was lost there. There were hundreds of beautiful entryway pictures that I started pinning furiously, reminding myself few minutes later that I am pinning something that is not applicable to my entryway situation.

In any case I continued pining for the sake of “feeling nice” seeing all these beautiful design choices and ideas.

I hope that you will enjoy viewing these eye candy entryway photos, as much as I enjoyed collecting and commenting on them.

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Bright and simple entryway with a beautiful rustic wooden repurposed console table, which fills the space with character . Oversized repurposed glass “vases” and branches make the entryway feel airy spacious, and natural.

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Beautiful mix of colors give this entryway such a welcoming and cheery feel.

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Dress to impress- is what this entryway suggest. Beautiful white washed console table is all dressed up with turquoise lamps and silver accents. Oversized hand wood carved mirror adds character and the orange roses enhance the glamourous look.
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Informal and very inviting entryway featuring an oversized round mirror and a simple console table made from recycled material.
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I call this Tuxedo entryway. Elegant, white and black striped, lampshades, black console table and gold accents are intended to infuse the formality into this entryway; however, the modern white transparent based bench as well as the fake animal skin carpet makes this entryway feel fun, cheery and inviting.

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I love how this bare wall in this entryway was turned into a beautiful gallery wall. A simple black shelf was used as a nice display and several drawers below provide for plenty of storage. Natural color palette makes this entryway feel cozy, homy and welcoming.
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Another simple, yet very homy entryway. A board with hooks serves as a dual purpose: place to hang coats and other stuff, as well as a wall art display. The black bench grounds the space, and it is being used as a shelf and as a place to sit when putting on or taking of boots or shoes.

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Very elegant entryway suitable for a small space. Transparent legs of the console table makes the space feel more spacious. Nickel lamps add such a sophisticated and polished look. I love the color palette; very balanced and yet colorful.
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The repurposed farm table as well as the oversized jar have added a tons of character to this rather very polished entryway. The contrast of the polished, and the repurposed materials has added an inviting and welcoming feel. Everything has been so perfectly choreographed together so every item in this entryway feels like e piece of art. I love it.

Hope that you enjoyed the photos and I wish some of them have inspired you also.

Thank you for stoping by, and have a great week.

Besa

Açma – Turkish Bagel

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Winter and cold weather keeps me wanting to escape anywhere where is warmer and sunnier. However, chances to escape to warmer climates for me at this time are slim, so the only thing left is evoking the sunny summer days.

When, evoking summer time my thoughts go to Turkey and our summer vacations spent there almost every year. Vacations for me there mean sun, sea and terrific food; bread, baking goods and various types of cheese (there are about 500 types of feta cheese) being at the top in the list, so yesterday I had a craving for a turkish Açma (pronounced “Achmah”) which is similar to a bagel but differs in texture and the way how it is prepared.
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While bagels are bathed in boiling water before being baked, the Açmas are softer in texture and no such bathing is involved in the making process.

Acma is the second most popular pastry in Turkey, after Simit being the first; and these two pastries can be found fresh anytime of day at each bakery, markets and at the streets where street vendors with their small little carts cary always freshly baked, warm Açmas and Simits.
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Paired with black tea and goat cheese Acmas make one of a kind breakfast or lunch. I made them yesterday, so I will share the recipe and my version of preparation:
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Ingredients:
2 eggs – yolks and whites separated
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250 gr) butter or margarine – melted
2 cups of warm water
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast or a small 1 inch cube of fresh yeast
200 gr fetta cheese – optional
1 tablespoon balkan style yogurt
black sesame seeds (Nigella seeds) – optional
ACMA PREP

In a mixing bowl combine egg whites, sugar, salt and stir thoroughly so the sugar is coated with egg whites. Add melted butter or margarine and continue stirring. Add warm water and proceed with adding the flour and instant yeast.

Note: If using fresh yeast, dissolve it first in a lukewarm water and then mix it together with the liquid ingredients.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it sit for an hour at a warm spot.

Preparation:
Sprinkle generously the working surface with flour and transfer the dough from the bowl. Fold in the dough gently to form a big ball.

Flatten the dough ball with a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 20X15 inch (50×38 cm) in size.
Sprinkle the flattened dough with feta cheese crumbs.

Place the half of the rectangle on the top of the other half to make a sandwich like shape, and proceed with cutting one inch (2.5 cm) thick vertical stripes using a pizza cutter.
Swirl each stripe and close their ends forming a circle. Place them in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Beat the egg yolks and yogurt together and brush the tops generously. Sprinkle them with black sesame seeds (optional), and bake them in the preheated oven in 400 F (220 C) for about 25 minutes or until the tops get golden brown.

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Enjoy them with black tea and cheese.

Afiyet Olsun ( “Enjoy” – in Turkish)

Thank you for stopping by.
Besa

Valentine ‘s Day Decor – Wine Glass Candle Lampshades

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With Valentine’s Day approaching, some of you may have already started thinking about what to buy or create for your loved ones for the Valentine’s, or what to incorporate in your home decor which would reflect the Valentine’s Day mood.

Until yesterday, I did not think about any of the above. However, I created something really simple and lovely for that day.

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While checking my pinterest boards for a paint color for an undergoing project, I came across a pin featuring beautiful mini wine glass candle lampshades.

After seeing the pin, and knowing that nothing sets the mood like candlelight, I immediately pictured these wine glass candle shades decorating my diner table for the Valentines.
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Since the project seemed so easy I wanted to get it going immediately. I downloaded and printed the shade pattern from here. My wine glasses are bigger than usual, so I had to adjust the pattern and make a larger one by adding an inch on the sides and an inch to the bottom of the original pattern.

Candlelight glowing through translucent paper is more appealing to the eye but I did not have that kind of paper to use in this project so, instead ,I used waxed paper which I use for baking.
PicMonkey Collage LAMP SHADE
As seen in the collage above, I laid a sheet of wax paper at a size to fit the pattern at hand.

For a “Valentine” touch, I decided to incorporate rose petals into the shades, so i cut each petal into a heart shape and even wasted some petals trying to cut them into lip shape. After waisting a few I finally ended up with a pair of lips which more look like they had undergone un unsuccessful silicone job, but still they will look fun for that day.
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I placed the petals on the laid wax sheet and covered them with another sheet of wax paper. Subsequently, using the iron, in a low setting, I pressed the wax sheets together, and ended up with a perfect translucent paper product.

Afterwards, I traced the shade pattern on to the created wax sheet and proceeded with cutting. From the paper remnants I cut some small circles which I added to the bottom of the shades.

I applied a thin line of glue to one straight end and wrapped the other end over the glued end adhering them together to form the shade.
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After finishing the first two, I got carried away and made more shades which I placed them on various candleholders, and they all look nice.
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Using wax paper for this project proved to be a good choice as this paper is resistant to heat, so it does not present an immediate fire hazard used together with lit candles. Of course, you should never leave any candle unattended (disclaimer, just in case).
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This is a very easy, quick and non costly project and these can be used for many occasions such as: any special day in your life; weddings; tea parties; birthday parties and list goes on…
Use your imagination for the shade design, as the posibilites are endless, and enjoy making them as much as I did.

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Happy shade making, and thank you for reading.

Linking to: The Dedicated House; Tuesday’s Treasures; Inspire me Tuesday; Share the Cup Tuesday; The Girl Creative
Besa

New Year’s Eve Table Setting

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Have you made your New Year resolution yet? Aren’t there things that you need to change or goals you would like to achieve?
With New Year’s Day coming up, the question about the New Year’s resolution(s) is quite common. It is that time of year that we all tend to make decisions to either reform our old habits or achieve new goals.
One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is very simple, realistic and attainable, so it would be embarrassing if I cannot keep it.
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I decided that every once a week no matter what, I will be making a dinner, set the table with fresh flowers and wine, and take time to enjoy the dinner and keep the happy conversation going on throughout the dinner.
I know that some of you out there do not have to make such a decision, because you have this thing ongoing on a regular basis, but I realized that I had departed from that routine for quite some time.
Lately, I have become kind of lazy and even though my husband and I cook and bake regularly, unfortunately I am not taking time to set my table in a manner which would allow us to enjoy our dinning time more, be it visually or conversation vise.
I will start my New Year’s resolution on the New Years Eve with this very simple, nature inspired and romantic dinner table setting.
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To achieve this look I used a white tablecloth on top of which I put a black and white wrapping paper as a runner. Very simple and informal, but it added a very festive, elegant, and chic look. When it comes to informal and fun dinner gatherings, using wrapping paper or other decorative paper products for table setting proves to be a very affordable option of achieving elegant and modern look in an instant.
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For a centerpiece I made these two pears to serve as candleholders. I placed the pear candleholders on a white porcelain tray and added some silver ornaments.
For layering and a fuller look, I placed a white place-mat under the charger and the striped black/white thick napkin on the plate. For some festive sparkle I added silver leaves on top of the napkin and tied the cutlery with fresh baby breath.
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I wanted my New Year’s table to include things that we love and enjoy all year around, so I collected some moss from our walking route and tied it around the black painted whisky bottles.I enjoy the mossy walking route with our dog, and my husband enjoys a glass of scotch on the rooks in the evening by the fire, so topped with my favorite red roses this floral arrangement became a very appealing and will add a romantic touch to our New Year’s Eve table setting.
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I already started loving my New Year’s resolution, and I will do whatever it takes to keep it alive. It is so easy, effortless and so much fun, and for now I do not see a reason which could prevent me of keeping it going.
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Have you decided to make any New Year’s resolution this year and, if so, what is yours?
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Happy New Year 2014
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Linking to: Tablescape Thursday; Make It Pretty Monday; Coastal Charm
Thank you for reading.
Besa

Gingersnaps

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Whether you’re a gingersnap fan or not, the combination of spices in this recipe will for sure make you become a gingersnap lover. No store bought ginger cookie will ever satisfy you again once you have tried these spicy goodnesses.

After making these cookies last night I had to share them with you in an instant. They came out so tasty, crunchy and spicy and I am so happy that I found this great recipe by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn.
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As I was in search for a very spicy gingersnap recipe I was brave enough to add a bit of cardamom, which the original recipe lacks.
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I remember reading somewhere that adding cardamom to gingersnap recipe take gingersnaps to a whole new level, so I added a 1/4 teaspoon to a batch. Cardamom is somewhat peppery, and after trying I agree that it is a perfect addition to any gingerbread/snap/cookie recipe.
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So here is the recipe by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn, slightly adopted by me:

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
¾ cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar plus more for rolling
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg

Directions
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter, sugar, and molasses in a large bowl and stir until combined. Drop in the egg, mixing until incorporated. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, mixing to form a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the dough into walnut-size balls, roll in sugar, and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. (If your kitchen is quite warm and the dough balls become soft, set them in the refrigerator until chilled and fairly firm.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies have spread, are light golden brown, and the cracks still appear moist. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets set on wire racks for about 1 minute before removing them to the racks to cool completely.
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Store the cookies in an airtight container or in a zip-top bag for up to 4 days.
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Makes about 30 cookies.

Happy Holiday Baking

Besa

Ballerina Stocking With Tutorial

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There are so many beautiful stockings out there, and they are all affordable, but I decided to make my own this year. I found an elegant fabric at a local fabric store in the remnant bin. It was 0.50 m, and that was exactly what I was looking for. The price, if you were wondering, was $ 3.50 (happy dance). Getting hold of this beautiful fabric gave me the motivation to immediately start with a project.

Without any specific measurements I made the stocking pattern and traced it onto the fabric. Since my fabric was 2.45 m wide and 50 cm long, I was able to cut three stockings. To maximize the use of fabric, I placed the pattern as shown in the first picture of the collage.
Sewing
After cutting, I placed the cut stockings right sides together. I stitched around edges, leaving top open. I made a triangle stitch at the stocking heal to enhance the heal portion for a more natural look. Then, I turned stocking right side out. Four inches below the stocking top, I aded ruffles made out of coffee filters which were left overs from my previous coffee filter wall art project.
From a long piece of fabric, I made a cuff by folding right sides together then stitched across the short edge. I ended up with a cuff tube which I attached to the stocking.

With the stocking right side out, I covered the top edge with the cuff tube. I stitched around the bottom of the cuff tube to secure the cuff to the stocking and enclosed raw edges.

For the hanger piece, I folded a piece of ribbon in half and stitched it on at the top back of the stocking.

Using some greenery and leftover painted pine cones, from the Magnolia Leaf Wreath and Tea Light Centerpiece projects, I made these nice looking ornaments and attached them to the back of the stocking.
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I ended up with this gorgeous ballerina like stockings.
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The evergreens and pinecone ornament gives this stocking a natural and elegant feel, and it can be used not only as a stocking but as a decor piece throughout the house during the holiday season.
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Are you inspired to make one today? If so, start right now. You will love it.
happy holidays
Happy Holidays everyone, and thank you for reading.
Linking to: The Shabby Nest; Liz Marie Blog; Finding Silver Pennies

Great thanks to the following blogs for featuring this post: What Megan Makes; Cottage Market; One More Time Events
Besa