Ballerina Stocking With Tutorial

season grettings

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.
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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.
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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

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BESA GM has been nominated for a Leibster award

Even though I started my blog early this year, I effectively started blogging these last few months. Being a new in the blogland, I was pleasantly surprised when Angela at Life in Velvet nominated my blog for the Leibster award.

I am kind of embarrased that I did not know what this award was about, so after doing some research I learned that this award is given to support & recognise up & coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. To accept the nomination the nominee must play by the rules and answer some questions, discover 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers and nominate them for the award.

To accept this award the nominees, listed at the end of this post, should follow the steps outlined below:

Read my answers to the (10) questions selected by the blogger who nominated me.
Find (10) bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate for the award.
Write a post on your blog featuring the Liebster Award.
After writting the post, comment on each nominee’s blog informing them of the nomination.

Thanks again Angela for the nomination! I accept the nomination, and the following are my answers to your questions:

Why did you start blogging?

Throughout my working career, and especially this past decade my work, at the positions I held , was so demanding that did now allow me to pursue other interests. After completing the last tour of duty at an overseas mission, I realized that now is the time to take a little break from work and enjoy all those activities that I am passionate about such as: design and decor, DIY projects, sewing, cooking and baking, knitting etc. I also wanted to share my projects with my family and friends who live scattered around the world so blogging seemed a good platform for sharing. A lot of others, outside my circle of family and friends, have found my projects inspirational and started following along, and I am grateful for that. So far it has been a lot of fun and I am enjoying it.

Most loved city and why:

I have lived in many places, but the time I lived in Vancouver BC I enjoyed the most. It is such a vibrant, ethnically diverse city with beautiful parks and beaches, warm climate during winters, and world cuisine restaurants at every corner; so, the love for this city for me is going to be eternal.

Favorite thing in your house:

My kitchen is my favorite thing in my house. It was an old, ugly and tiny kitchen which needed a complete remodel. I designed the remodel without making any big structural changes, and assembled myself all cabinets and hardware. The weirdly shaped kitchen area turned into a super functional kitchen which is now my favorite thing in my house. I will reveal the remodel in one of the posts scheduled to be coming soon.

Worst habit:

My worst habit is sighing. I sigh a lot ( and sometime quite aloud) when I am tired or stressed out, and I drive my husband crazy with my sighs. Lately, my dog started sighing too, and my husband is saying that I have been a bad influence. Sorry, doggy if this has been the case!

If you could only take one candy to a deserted island, what would it be?

It would be a caramel hazelnut candy. It has been my favorite candy since my childhood.

What is your favorite post you have written (please link)?

A Painted Wingback Chair is my favorite post. I have painted an ugly upholstered wingback chair and it turned beautiful. The project was featured in many blogs and it is generating a lot of views.

What is one interest or hobby you have that is completely different from blogging?

I love reading.

Who influences you the most?

I admire Candice Olson’s design style and I like to say that my decor style is influenced by her designs.

Describe yourself in three words:

Hardworking; decisive; honest.

Favorite holiday:

I love all holidays but Thanksgiving is my favorite

BESA GM’s Blogger Nominees

THE NORTH END LOFT

Salvaged Styles

YOLANDAMARTINS

NaomiHomemade

Homemade by Hollie

Circus Berry

Katie Griffith Design

ICE BEAUTIFUL HOMES

melisaelle

MISS DANIELLE RENEE

BESA GM’s Nominee Questions

1. Do you have ambitions for your blog? If so, what are they?
2. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
3. What time of day do you write the best content for your blog?
4. Do you have a post in your blog which is worth seeing but it did not generate the expected views(please link that post if any)
5. If there was a singular wish you could have granted what would you wish for and why?
6. What is your most cherished memory?
7. What is your most common typo?
8. What is the best thing about you?
9. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
10.What advice would you give a person who intends to start a blog?

Thanks to all who decide to accept the nomination.

Happy bloging.

Besa

Jack Daniel’s Bottle Hack

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As I already mentioned I love everything pumpkin, but my fall favorite is the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Late. I was a bit disappointed to find out that in fact this spicy, I mean pricy, late I have been consuming every season has zero pumpkin in it, so lately I started making my own pumpkin spice lattes.

After trying many pumpkin spice syrup recipes circulating on the internet I have developed my own, which is loaded with homemade pumpkin pyre, and a right balance of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and allspice.

However, this post is not about my pumpkin spice syrup recipe, but it is about the bottle that I “hacked” to store this syrup.

You may agree that Jack Daniel’s Whisky bottle and the label have an unique design, and I have always wanted to find the way to repurpose them.

Last night, while I was baking a huge Jack O-Lantern, I spotted an empty Jack Daniel’s Whisky bottle in the recycle bin, and this is how I came up with the idea of hacking the “JACK” bottle.

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I wanted to keep some of the original design and get rid of the lettering, so I taped off the original design that I wanted to show. Next, I painted black the white lettering on the label and allowed to dry.
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Using the Windows-Word Art and different fonts, I typed the text which I wanted to place on the label.
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After printing I cut the text to the desired sizes and created small labels. Using a black marker I went over the edges of each label to create an aged look. I glued these labels onto the desired spots as shown, and gave each a coat of clear nail polish to stand the wear and tear.
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I thought that using this bottle as a pump would be more efficient, so I used one of the dish detergent pumps from my kitchen and the pump screw fitted perfectly to the bottle screw.
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Now my coffee station is perfectly complete with this unique bottle of my very own pumpkin spice syrup, the recipe of which I will be sharing next time.

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Have you “hacked” something lately? I would love to hear from you.


Thank you for reading.

Besa

Completed Renovation of our Old House

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It has been about three weeks that we finally moved in to another city and we are in the process of adding finishing touches to our newly renovated house

It has been a lot of work inside and out since we moved in, and I am feeling quite tired from all of the unexpected work I have come across in the past few days. On the day we moved in, the renovation seemed finished and i thought there are only few things left that can be managed easily.

Well, I was wrong. We needed the installation of our new kitchen and even though I have assembled all the kitchen cabinets myself in a record time, the arranging for the installation of the wall cabinets, the countertop and appliances took more time than I have expected. Luckily, now I have the cook top installed so I can prepare hot meals at home, but my oven is till in the middle of the living room waiting for installation by the electrician.

I am very happy with the choices we made with regard to the color scheme, the materials we used etc. For the flooring we chose 12.3mm ENVY Laminate Flooring Silver Maple color and it very well coordinated with chosen enterior colors which are Silver Plate for the walls and Cotton White for the trim, both by Sherwin Williams. The old tiling adjacent to the fireplace has been replaced with black granite tiles, and the new 6 inch baseboards has added a nice and rich finishing touch throughout. The decision to remove the wall dividing the living room from the kitchen and replacing the kitchen window with the french door proved to have been the right one. The space now looks and feels larger, and moreover provides a direct access to the backyard. Previously, we had to use the laundry room door to get to the backyard, and it was an inconvenience.

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During the past few days I was busy with the back yard. It is huge, and during more than a decade it has been grossly neglected by the renters. One portion of the yard was filled with scraps of wood and other junk, so it took us a lot of muscle work, two full days and three trips to the landfill with full truck loads to clean that mess up. Finally, my backyard is free of junk and does not resemble to a yard of a hoarder.
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I have planted a lot of hydrangeas along the fence and I hope that those will do well considering that it is a shady yard as result of two huge willow trees.

Today I planted a few lavender plants in this built in planter (or a flower bed or whatever the creator called it) made by one of my previous renters. Even though I dislike very much the design of this planter, it would require a lot of work for demolition and disposal, so I decided to keep it for a while, hoping that lavenders will grow tall enough to cover it.
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One little thing that fills up our flowerless big yard is our adorable 11 weeks old puppy. He was eight weeks (as seen in the photo) the day we got him, and it is amazing how much he has grown in just three weeks.
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In a few days i will be leaving for a long vacation overseas so when I come back after two months, I assume that my puppy will be grown to a full size dog.

Thank you for reading.

Besa

Spring Flowering Bulbs

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Even though it has been more than a month from the official start of spring we did not get to experience the true spring weather during this period.

I even made a cake to welcome this spring and prayed loudly for some more sun. Well, such efforts seems to have paid off as we finally are getting some truly spring weather here at the west coast. I am now enjoying my walk and strolls in beautiful Stanley Park, Vancouver BC. The other day I took my camera along and took these pretty colorful photos which I wanted to share with you.

Stanley Park Rose Garden, Vancouver BC

Stanley Park Rose Garden, Vancouver BC

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Beside sharing these photos I will also share the story about how, lured by the beautiful scenery, that day I lost my jacket, wallet with my ID’s, credit cards and KEYS.

It was quite warm that day, so while taking photos I took off my jacket (with a wallet and keys in it), and left it on a nearby park bench. Such a careless act, you might say, and I agree.

I was carried away by the beautiful scenery so while taking pictures I realized that I ended up being quite far away from the bench where my jacked was. When I returned the jacked was not there. I panicked. The first thing that struck my mind was that the jacket was stolen, so I needed immediately to start canceling my credit cards and find a locksmith to open my condo door. But, before starting doing all that I started running back and forth the park lanes (all in panic) hoping that I will see someone holding my jacket and asking me “are you looking for this?”.

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Stanley Park Rose Garden, Vancouver BC

Stanley Park Rose Garden, Vancouver BC

Well, that did not happen because the whole thing would sound too good to be true. Instead, I found myself sitting hopeless on a park bench having no idea on what to do next. At this point at time there was a gentleman passing by the bench I was sitting on and, even though I did not expect any positive answer, I asked him whether he saw anybody taking a white jacked from this bench? To my surprise he answered that he saw the garbage guy taking a jacket. Bingo. I knew at least what to look for before starting canceling my credit cards.

I went to the nearby offices of the Stanley Park Service Yard and I was lucky to run into the park supervisor named Guy who immediately made a phone call to find out the phone number of the person who was collecting the garbage that day. In the mean time he got into the car and together we drove along the garbage collection route hoping to find the garbage truck and the garbage guy who took my jacket. Luckily, before nearing the finish of the garbage route we saw the garbage truck. The driver had already received the call that we were on our way to pick up the jacket. I took the jacket, and the valet and keys were in the pocket.
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I could not thank enough the Park Supervisor for his tremendous efforts for helping me find my wallet and keys. What happened that day will always remind me that there are some extraordinary people out there that will go above and beyond to help others, and you just have to be lucky to run into them. I was indeed lucky that day, but I also learned that regardless of my love for spring and flowers I should not be carried away by beautiful sceneries and should be more accountable for my belongings.

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Hope that you will enjoy all these beautiful colors and perfectly manicured lawns in the Rose Garden, Stanley Park.

Happy weekend. Sit back relax and enjoy.

Stanley Park Pavilion, Vancouver’s preeminent banqueting venue.

Stanley Park Pavilion, Vancouver’s preeminent banqueting venue.


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Thank you for reading.
Sharing with How Sweet the Sound
Besa

Wall Art Redo

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At the time I was furnishing my condo bedroom several years ago, I opted for an easy and cheap way of adding a wall decor to my bedroom. I bought four frames and a piece of fabric at IKEA, and framed cut pieces of the fabric to those frames. I hung the frames above the headboard, and although I was not thrilled with this decor, at least I knew that I am not going to have a bare wall above the headboard. My husband didn’t like this idea very much and he thought this decor appeared to be kind of cheap, but he did not make a big fuss over them so I was not in a rush to take them down.
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Over the years I got used to this wall decor to the point that I wasn’t even noticing until the following happened; it was the middle of the night and my husband was deep asleep when one of the frames fell down behind the headboard. The noise from the falling frame and the cracking glass not only woke him up, but scared the hell out of him. He did not know what happened and, as he recalls, he thought that somebody threw a rock on the bedroom window so he rushed to check the window out, and realized later that one of the frames had fallen down.

I happened to be away at that time, so next morning he called me and said: “Your decor idea was about to kill me last night”. So the same day he got rid of the wall decoration from the bedroom. I do not blame him. I would do the same thing if I had experienced such a scare in the middle of the night.

Well, since then I had these frames stored for a while, and I thought with a fresh redo we can maybe have them around for some time before deciding to give them away.

I started with the project by detaching the back of the frames. For the previous project I have glued the fabric to the back of the frame, so now I only had to paint over the fabric. I used grey latex paint which was a left over from one of my previous projects.
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While waiting for the paint to dry I measured and cut in three identical pieces the image of an Ancient Hawaiian Petroglyph featured in the Big Island Dining and Entertainment Magazine. With a permanent marker I drew lines around the edges of each piece for a sharper look of the image.
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Subsequently, when the paint was completely dry, I glued the cut pieces of the image to the backs of the frames. Lastly, I attached the backs to the frames using the duct tape.

And here they are.

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They seem to blend in nicely with the colors in my living room and appear to have that “gallery look”. I think that until we find some serious art for our living room, these will do the job for now. But most importantly, let’s hope that these will not fall down again and make a big mess…..
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Do any of your DYI projects have a funny story behind? If so, would you be willing to share it?

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your comments on my previous posts.

Besa

Flowering Leeks from My Veggie Garden

Bolting Leeks

Bolting Leeks

I always wanted to have a vegetable garden of my own. I dream of having one where I could go and pick my home grown fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, fresh herbs……

Two years ago I was working overseas and had a chance to grow a small veggie garden for one season in a property that I own over there. It was a hard work to put it up and maintain, but I enjoyed every bit of it (even though that was a short lived experience). In that garden I had also planted a few leeks, but they did not grow well that season, so I did not harvest them. My job contract ended and I came back to Canada, so my garden was totally neglected. A year after, I went back home for a short visit, and to my surprise the leeks in my neglected garden had flowered and turned to these adorable pop poms.

Neglected Veggie Garden

Neglected Veggie Garden

I had harvested them, and I think they could make a nice dry floral arrangement. I took some shots and, again, I think these photos (if they were professionally taken) would make a good piece of wall art too. Personally, I am not a big fan of dried flower arrangements, but these look kind of cute an can be somehow incorporated in a modern décor.
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I have never seen bolting leeks before, so I would never guess what those blooms were. However, as I have planted those leeks myself, I knew that those beauties were the product of neglected leeks. I never knew that bolting leeks can turn to be so attractive.

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If you were not a knowledgeable gardener (like me) do you think that you would recognize if those were leek flowers? Would you consider having them as a dry flower arrangement in your decor?

Thank you for reading, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Besa

Vintage Look Wooden Box

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My husband loves Cuban cigars. In fact he is passionate about them. Several years ago he quit smoking, but once a while he used to smoke a cigar. His craving for cigars grew bigger over the years and, along with the craving, the empty wooden cigar boxes started to pile up.

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I liked these boxes and was kind of reluctant to throw them away. I was sure that there must be a way to repurpose them somehow, but no idea clicked my mind on how to make them usable. Well, yesterday I got stricken by an idea on how to beautify these boxes. I was reorganizing my storage and came across to a can of “wood black glazing paint for untreated wood”; so, I thought I should try to paint the empty cigar box so we could use it to drop the keys, wallet, change etc.

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This vintage valet inside the box is over 150 years old and used to belong to my husband’s predecessors. Throughout a century and a half this wallet went through some interesting experiences, and even survived three wars. Now the valet has found a cozy and glamorous spot, and it appears to feel relaxed there

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Before starting to paint, I used the masking tape to create a design and make the box more appealing.
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After the paint dried, I lined the inside of the box with animal print fur fabric, so this box now even has a touch of glamour.
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Hope that you liked this idea and design. I am planning to make more of these boxes with different designs, and give them away to my friends.
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Thank you for reading. Hope you will visit again for more fun ideas which will be coming soon.

Besa

Home Office Design Ideas

After purchasing our Vancouver condo 8 years ago, we immediately started with major renovations. I was working abroad at that time, and as we did not hire a professional interior designer for our project, I took a month leave from work to oversee how the work was progressing.

We were extremely unlucky with our contractors so we changed a few. The renovation project lasted for quite a while and was completed after several months. However, as my husband and I used to live in this place on an OFF and ON basis, for me decorating this place has always been an ongoing process. This place has now finally taken the shape of a HOME so I would like to share with you some of the picks of our place.  Our condo is not big and, as it faces north, it is not the brightest either. However, thanks to our well thought design choices our place feels quite spacious and bright.

In this post I will show you my Home Office Space design. Originally this space was a hot water tank and a laundry room sheltering a rusty washer and dryer.  Above the washer and drier there was a horrible wooden shelving made by the previous owner as his DIY project. Well, after getting the possession of the condo, I could not wait to tear everything down, and boy how right I was.

I replaced the old washer and dryer with a new stackable set and placed them adjacent to the hot water tank. I divided the laundry corner with some self made curtain panels using fabric and hardware from IKEA.

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I placed the computer desk/shelving against the angled wall and the drawer chest against the wall facing the entrance and placed the file binders on top.

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Recently, I have applied a fresh coat of paint (Benjamin Moore’s Sea Haze) and I slip covered the chair.

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I am enjoying my home office. It is very small but it has an advantage; everything is within the reach, and this is where I will be writing my blogs from.

I got to go now. It’s coffeeeeee time.

Fresh Ground CoffeeThank you for reading. Hope you will visit again.

Besa