Monthly Archives: June 2012

Decoupage Earrings


It’s a great way to upcycling and decorate things.

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I’m so excited about these earrings because I was able to use some more garbage, YAY!!

I don’t throw away much, especially if I think I may be able to use it in the future. I’ve been working on cleaning out my craft room and ran across a stash of small scraps of scrapbook paper. I use scrapbook paper for just about anything including scrapbooks (well I used to use it for scrapbooks – I’m a few years behind); I love that there are SO MANY patterns to choose from.

I nearly decided to throw out the scraps but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then BAM, an idea hit me. I had some little rectangular pieces of unfinished wood that I purchased at Hobby Lobby a long time ago (I don’t remember why), and Mod Podge (of course). I decided to make my own earrings! Soooooo, my little…

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Healthy food recipes: ratatouille


As you have already figured out, ratatouille is a French cuisine dish. It means the ‘food that is being stirred’. It’s a common rusting food, also called naff stew. I won’t go into the history details of this dish. I have found many ratatouille recipes online. Finally, I had to come up with my own recipe, as I had to cook it with the ingredients I had at the moment. So, here is my ratatouille recipe:

healthy cooking: ratatouille recipe

I know, this looks pretty unusual for ratatouille recipe. I just did not have any other stew pan to cook it in.

Ratatouille recipe ingredients:

2 squashes

2 egg plants

1 large tomato

Garlic cloves

Green onions

1 small carrot

Chicken and vegetable broth

Mushrooms

Vegetable oil

Ratatouille recipe making:

As you may see, I was out of one of the essential ratatouille ingredients. That is sweet pepper. So, I had to do without it. First, I cut egg plants in half and left them soaking in salty water. Then I boiled chicken broth, added few garlic cloves, few mushrooms, 1 onion and few pieces of chopped carrot. I also added some salt and black pepper. Once the broth got ready, I blended it.

Next, I sliced squashes and egg plants and placed them into a stew pan.

squash recipe

As you may see, I have made pretty thin slices and interlaced egg plant ones with squashes. I have poured in some vegetable oil, added sliced tomatoes and sliced garlic cloves. Then I placed the pan into the oven. I let it stay there for some 20 min for the veggies to get a bit fried up. Then I poured in the broth.

Finally, I added some greens (chopped green onions) on the top and turned the heat down. I have also added some coriander seeds and curcuma to my Ratatouille.

Ratatouille recipe

Old clock decoupage and restoration tutorial


This is one of my early decoupage projects. I had a very old clock. It’s not an antique clock. Rather it is an old Soviet time vintage clock. It’s a wood clock. The wood box has almost fallen apart, so I have to restore it.

wood clock decoupage and restoration

Here is what I got. And here is how this olc clock decoupage project has started. Unfortunately I have lost some of the photos I made. I had to reglue the wooden box of the clock and apart its clock work and dial plate.

wood clock decoupage and restoration

I had to clean and repaint the dial plate. I have also removed all the digits from it. Then I decoupaged it with coffee pattern napkin. I have also placed back all the digits. But, I had to throw away the clock work as it was beyond repair. So, I got a new cheap wall clock, took out its clock work and installed it in this old clock.

clock decoupage tutorial

I have used the paint scotch to cover up the window pane in the clock and then repainted it with water based white paint. I let it dry and then applied a bit of candle wax on the edges and angles of the wood clock box. Then I have repainted it in a different color, let it dry well and easily scrubbed off some of the paint. That is how you get shabby chic effect on your wood decoupage projects.

clock decoupage tutorial

Finally, I have decoupaged the wood box in few places and installed the dial plate back into it. I have also covered the clock with few layers of transparent polish. That is it. It’s a pretty simple decoupage and restoration project and clock decoupage tutorial. Since the pendulum in this vintage clock does not work, I plan to use it as my kitchen wall clock and my coffee box, too. I’ll store coffee supplies in it. So, it’s a nice upcycling idea, too.

Thin pancake recipe: we call them in Ukraine Nalisniki


Ukrainians love pan cakes. I have provided few pancake recipes on my blog, such as huge pancakes or apple pan cakes. Here is another one, we call Nalisniki. This word means that the pancake is large and covers all the pan.

Nalisniki pan cake recipe

The plate beneath the pancakes is large.

Nalisniki pancake recipe:

Milk 1 quart

1 egg

2-3 table spoons of sugar

Salt

5 table spoons of all purpose flour

These are the basic ingredients for these Ukrainian pancakes.

The making:

Add egg to the milk, stir well, then add salt and sugar. Finally, start adding flour spoon by spoon. The mix has to be pretty liquid, but with no blobs. Usually, I mix it with a hand whisk, but you can also use an electric one. Only in this case you would have to add more flour.

The mix has to be as thin sour cream in its texture. Then you heat up the pan, pour in some vegetable oil, take a larger spoon and pour the mix on hot pan. You fry the pan cakes on both sides. That is the basic Nalisniki pan cake Ukrainian recipe.

DIY project: playhouse with slide


This is one of my husband’s wood DIY projects: a playhouse with a slide. It did save us lots of money and it has given our kids lots of fun to play with it.

Here is this wooden playhouse with a slide, two swings and sandpit.

DIY project: wood playhouse with slide

You may see only one swing on the right, but there is a tire swing next to it there. As you may see, the sandpit is below the house, so kids can play there during sunny and hot hours or when it rains. The playhouse is made of wood and the slide is made of zinc coated iron.

Here is how this wood playhouse DIY project has started:

DIY project: wood playhouse with slide

DIY project: wood playhouse with slide

And, here is the kind of fun we have with it now:

DIY project: wood playhouse with slide

We have placed a PVC pool underneath the slide. Poured the water in and got our mini aqua park at home with this wooden playhouse with a slide.

DIY project: wood playhouse with slide

Here we have some grand splashes in the pool!

This DIY wooden playhouse project has save us lots of money, too. If we were to buy it ready made, we had to pay around $ 3 – 5 000! For the DIY project my husband had to buy some wood and iron, sand and nails, etc. But, roughly estimated, this DIY playhouse cost amount to less than $1 000. So, that’s a lot of money saved.

And, we have all the ‘white envy’ of our neighbours. They all really love this playhouse. When we have a church home group meeting, they love to have it over at our house, because we can let kids run and play and they let us pray and fellowship.

Housekeeping tips: Cleaning wonders you can do just in 15 min!


I am a mother of two kids and I have a house to keep. I have to confess to you: housekeeping is a dull work for me. Plus, I am a working mom. I work from home and this means I always get torn between working and housekeeping.

But, the good news is that I have discovered little magic to help me along. This magic is in just spending 15 min on something you do not like doing and seeing the amazing results. Here is a picture for you to see:

housekeeping tips: cleaning magic

And here is another one:

housekeeping tips: cleaning magic

I hope, you never have such a mess in your kitchen. But, at times I get that in mine. That’s a monster I need lots of magic to deal away with! Only to make things worse: I do my dishes by hand. I do not have a dish washing maching. And, I do not have hot water in my kitchen. So, what I have to do is to heat up a pot of water, wash dishes in a bowl and then rinse them under cold running water.

But you know what, there is no mess in your house you cannot clean in 15 min! Of course, you do not believe me now. But that is true. Only this 15 min work has to be done day after day. The reason I have such a huge pile of dirty dishes in my kitchen is because I missed one day. So, today I had to spend 30 min on the dishes.

And, you know what? I did it. Just in 30 min with no hot water and dish washer I got done most of the dirty dishes you see on the pictures. To prove that cleaning success I have more picture to offer to your attention.

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Busy mom cleaning tips

Those are the same table that were piled up with dirty dishes just 30 min ago. Yes, I still have few to go, but it’s already much cleaner than it used to be!

So, you see, the main tip in keeping your house clean is working just 15 min a day on each room or area of your house. 15 min of daily cleaning can do miracles. I have learned it from the flylady book and I am very grateful for this knowledge. It works like a house cleaning magic for a desperate housekeeper! I hope it would help you to start enjoying your life in a clean and shining home. You deserve it!

Brownies! or What to make when you have cute straws.


I love Brownie and this would be a new recipe in my collection

We Call Him Yes!Chef!

Yesterday Brown (UPS) brought me a package that I had ordered from Amazon.com last week. I was pretty excited about it and I was anxious to use it in a photo.  What was it?

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Plastic sewing box decoupage


This far I have decoupaged two plastic boxes for sewing and one wood box. These were just simple white plastic boxes for storing sewing supplies, such as needles, yarn, etc.

plastic box decoupage

This is the smaller box. I have used spring flower napkin to decoupage it.

Here is the second and larger decoupaged plastic box. I used lily pattern for it.

plastic box decoupage

Here is how I started this easy DIY project.

plastic box decoupage

As you may see, I have started to repaint the box here. It does not look good at first. I tried to use sandpaper to help the paint stick better to the box, but it wasn’t needed.

Once the paint get dried up, I decoupaged the box and covered it up with more polish.

Here is the second and larger decoupaged plastic box.