Sunday, March 29, 2015

Some ideas about how to set your Easter table !

I’m so glad Easter is coming!
I love the colours and the light, the fresh spring air scented with the aroma of orange and lemon blooms. I adore the return to the country, the open windows, the flowers and the warmth of family and friends gatherings in the village.
 It gives me great pleasure to welcome my loved ones, family and friends to my house, while the place smells of freshly cooked food and deserts and a beautifully set table is awaiting us on the veranda.
I always try to find some time, in between preparations for Easter day -which in Greece is celebrated with a big, traditional feast- to decorate my Easter table in a colourful, fun and welcoming way. The guests like this a lot and it makes the whole atmosphere more festive and lovely. I also try to make something that they can keep and take back home. Everybody likes a little gift, even if this is a bar of chocolate, a paper butterfly or a handmade napkin ring.
Today I will give you some ideas about how to decorate your table without spending almost any money, using things that you have at home or that you can make yourselves. You can use decorations that you already have and present them on the table, in a ‘new’ way. You can also find some small decorative items at super markets and arts and crafts shops, at very low prices.
So here we are. Welcome to my Easter table!!!
Do you want to have a look?
While browsing  a big toy and home store the other day , I came across these tiny nests , in packages of six and I thought that they will be a pretty addition to my table , if I added in some chocolate eggs , feathers and colourful wooden eggs and put them on my guests plates. They can take them home to remember our day together!!

Tiny felt flowers and marigolds, red tulips and ladybirds, can be used along with some ribbon or raffia and /or fresh flowers to decorate a  paper napkin. It is important to use matching colours and the final outcome will not let you down. You can also tell your guests that they can take the felt decorations with them at the end of the meal. They will like the idea!

You can make similar decorations yourselves using  some felt in the shape you like. Let your imagination free and you will create  little ‘miracles’!
Use old egg cups on your plates and put in either a real dyed egg or a plastic one in pretty pastel colours. Add some chocolate eggs and your plate is ready!!

It is better not to make a big centerpiece for your table as this usually hinders the vision of the people sitting opposite and take up a lot of space. Opt  for smaller items that you can use in twos or threes along the table.
I have used a  little aluminum  pot which I filled with yellow feathers and some  marigolds . Instead of using the pots along the table, you can place them next to each plate to put the paper napkin and  cutlery inside. These can also serve as gifts for the guests.

Another idea is to use a chick shaped plate as your centerpiece and fill it in with chocolate eggs, tiny wooden rabbits , chicks , ladybirds and feathers . It will add colour and it costs almost nothing to make.
 Flowers are a must for your table. I have used a hyacinth in a pink coloured pot which I embellished with some felt flowers and a tiny wooden peg.

Name tags add a more personal touch to the table. You can use paper tags which you can decorate with some washi tape or tiny blackboards!

Use a wooden box for the bread and the cutlery . Add a felt ladybird for some extra colour. 
Make a quirky garland, using   cardboard rabbits joined together  with ribbon  . Hung it on a wall or place it along your table. You can also use cardboard cut outs, like rabbits, butterflies, flowers , birds  and some ribbon or raffia to decorate plain plate mats!

 I hope you like my ideas and give them a try!
We celebrate Easter on the 12th of April and there are still some ideas waiting to come out to you before Easter Sunday. But for those of you who celebrate on the 5thHappy Easter and enjoy your holidays with the people you love!!!

Till next time,
Tina xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A handmade kitchen blackboard !!

Hello dear readers,
Today I’ll show you how to make a little blackboard for your kitchen, where to write down  the menu for the day , a short shopping list or any ideas that you may come up with, while cooking for the familyJ
You need a   piece of light wood, ideally with a frame. I bought mine from an arts and crafts shop, at a very low price.

Step 1: Paint the surface you want to use as your blackboard with some blackboard paint.  When it dries out,

Step 2: Paint the frame with the colour that suits your kitchen or the room you are going to use it at.

Step 3: Use some paper napkins with interesting   patterns and words and cut out the parts you like.
Step 4: Use some decoupage glue to stick the patterns and words to place. I used the words coffee and coffee house, plus a tiny butterfly and some equally tiny flowers. After the glue dries, you should apply a coat of special varnish on it, to make your decoupage look better and last longer.
Step 5: to give your blackboard a more quirky look, you can add a small decorative detail. I chose a little wooden house, which I painted white and decorated using some decoupage. Then, I used some PVA glue to stick it on the side of my blackboard. 

Step 6: Use a piece of chalk to write down your first note!

I made my little blackboard yesterday and after I finished it, I remembered that I had an interesting piece of wood somewhere in the house that I could use to make another blackboard. This one will be used on the balcony. I’m planning to place it  among my little colourful pots when the good weather arrives.
So here it is!

 I chose some bright yellow colour, plus a cute little wooden rabbit. I finished it off with some painting. I added some flowers and leaves to place my rabbit at a spring setting. I like this one, because it reminds me of Easter which is approaching and of more decorative makes that lie ahead!!
I hope you liked my ideas and that I have inspired you to try something similar :)
Have a wonderful weekend!
Till next time,

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A place I love !

There are places in our lives that are very dear to us for different reasons. Places we need to visit again and again and never cease to give us this special feeling of inner tranquility and comfort. Places related to dear memories and people we love.

I will share with you today such a place. A very green seaside resort where the pine trees reach the sea and the beach is covered with colourful pebbles and red sand. A place of wild beauty and some hidden treasures, secluded little bays where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the emerald waters, away from crowds.
 I come back to it from time to time and it always does its little magic: uplift my spirits and make me smile. I went there again, some days ago. It had rained all morning and everything was very wet and very green. It was cold, quiet and calm. I followed the little, narrow path that takes you from the street to the stone stairs that lead you down to the beach and took some photos to show you.
 This pathway is a ‘secret’ one, known only to people that live in the area. Follow it and you will see the beach ahead in the near distance, with trees ‘hanging’ just above it, dangerously balancing on the red rocks. I love the red colour of the soil and this wild beauty. In the summer, the sun is so strong here that you can’t stand for long outside the cold water and you long for some shade. Now, it is quiet and lonely, yet the memories of past summers accompany me in the sweetest way.

 Walking in the street after leaving the beach, I came across a half hidden tree house. I adore tree houses, especially the ones made of very humble materials by their owners and not ready made ones.
Pine trees, the smell of the forest and the sea, rainy weather, peace and quiet and a beautiful, little tree house . 

Well, it really felt good to be there on that Sunday morning at the beginning of spring. In a few months the holiday crowds will be back on the beaches and by the hotel pools, but on that day everything was just mine and my daydreaming soul!!
Enjoy your walks and favourite places,

                                                                   Till next time,
                                                                        Tina xxx