Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Short getaway trip....

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while. We went away on vacation to Antalya, Turkey's Mediterranean coast. We caught up with my in-laws who were already there on vacation. I tell you, what a difference it is to have family around when you're on vacation - I actually got a break from my little darling. It was a short spur of the moment trip and boy are we glad we were spontaneous for once! Here are some pictures from our getaway.

~ A few hours after arriving we hit the beach ~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magazine Files: Mediterranean Villa

The other day at the bookstore I picked up this month's UK edition of '25 Beautiful Homes' magazine. I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the 25 homes featured is located along the mediterranean coast of Turkey (representing!). Very rarely are homes in this part of Europe featured in international shelter magazines so this is a big deal, for me anyway :)

Coincidentally, this villa is located in Kalkan, a vacation town I visited with the Mister a few years ago. According to the article Kalkan is supposedly the "Beverly Hills" of that part of the Mediterranean which I didn't know at the time I was there. I'll include my pictures from that my, but first I want to show you this villa.
This 8-bedroom home was built from scratch by a gentleman from the UK. It took 2 years to be completed because local restrictions prevented him from doing any construction work in the summer. Interesting fact. Of course my favorite thing about this place is the spectacular view of the turquoise water, or turkuaz as locals would say. Here are the photos of the villa and a glimpse of one of Turkey's many, many gorgeous summer destinations.

~ That view, that view, that view! A-mazing. On that note, I think I would have preferred to see glass balustrade to maximize on the view of the sea from those comfy looking lounge chairs ~

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tutorial: Graphic shirt for kids

Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up I've been hitting the stores and stocking up on shirts for Noah. The shirts I tend to pick out for him are ones with silly graphics, like the Paul Frank shirt below with a jacket and necktie graphic.

Baby Gap makes a lot of these humorous outfits like this tool belt onesie I saw last season:

I also saw this at the baby section, a lifeguard whistle tee which quite honestly I'd buy for myself if it came in my size.

The girls section always has the most adorable clothes, check out another graphic tee I love, it's inspired by Chanel handbags.

Anyway, I'm getting carried away here. You've probably gotten a gist of the type of graphic shirts I like to buy for Noah. For a while I had been wanting to make a similar humour shirt for him and I finally tackled it a few days ago. First I cheated and purchased a ready made shirt. This one is from Zara Kids.

Then I picked out my graphic. Cool and simple was my motto for this first attempt so I went with these right on trend aviator sunglasses. Do you like? I then printed out the image on plain paper to make sure it was the right scale, I wanted it to look proportional to the shirt and Noah's frame. Voila! Looks cool aready!

Once I was happy with the scale, I printed out the same image on a sheet of transparency (hunted for stencil sheets to no avail), and then I cut out the shape with an x-acto knife and proceeded to paint using fabric paint.

My big 'oops' moment was when I accidentally painted right over the bridge of the sunglasses so it completely disappeared. With a single stroke of my brush the sunglasses went from cool aviators to also cool futuristic sunnies. I can easily envision Kanye West sporting this pair at the Grammy's hehe.

Even though it looked cool even without the bridge, I still really wanted the aviators. So I had to go buy white fabric paint and paint stripes over the black area to get the bridge back. It was tricky but I think in the end I hid my mistake pretty well, what do you think? Here is how it looked after I was done painting, bridge in place this time.

And of coures, this post wouldn't be complete without my Noah modeling the final outcome. He wore the shirt today and I overheard a mom comment to her daughter that she thought the sunglasses were really hanging on his shirt. Noah's grandpa thought the same thing. It made me smile to see it was getting noticed.

~ Side note, we just bought a junior stroller for Noah and am thinking of maybe sewing a new fabric seat or painting the bars. This means possible stroller tutorial to follow in near future. ~

In the meantime, below is the tutorial for this graphic tee. I think it would make a really nice gift, am thinking Father's Day perhaps? Maybe do one for your son/daughter and one for Daddy? Or make one for your BFF with rhinestones??? So much room to play with this!

Things You'll Need:

Fabric paint
Transparency, stencil sheet, OR freezer paper (never tried this but heard it works pretty well too)
Graphic image, printed on transparency
X-acto knife

Simple Steps to Follow:

1) Print your image onto a sheet of transparency. If applicable, make sure your image is proportional to the shirt by doing a trial print out on plain paper.

2) Cut out the shape with an x-acto knife.

3) Place the cut transparency where you want the graphic image to appear on the shirt. Tape it in place.

4) Before painting make sure you put something beneath the fabric so the paint doesn't seep through. I just used a plastic lid from the kitchen. Once everything is in place start painting, stroke the brush from the outside edge of the image towards the inside to minimize the bleeding of the paint in the edges.

5) Let image dry and follow instructions on fabric paint, in my case it was to iron the dried paint after 24 hrs. And last but not least, wear with pride!

Oh, I should probably add that if I were to do this again I would paint just one really good, thorough layer and that's it, let it dry. I ended up doing a light coat in the first round, and then a second coat, and god knows how many coats of paint later and the black area started to look sloppy. And if you've done this before I'd love to hear some tips for future reference!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seat Cover for Boys

A few months ago I met a mom and her son who is only a few months older than Noah. We became dear friends but sadly she is leaving the country for good. The other day I accompanied her shopping for a booster seat for her son to sit on in the plane. She found what she was looking for, it was light and compact, however it only came in pink and it was as girly as they come.

~ This is what we found but they sold out of the boy version and this was their last piece ~
So I offered to sew a more boyish looking cover thinking it would be easy to whip up. At first I was just going to sew together some left over fabric to go over the existing pink cover, but as I was working on it I decided to customize it a bit and add her son's intial to the cover.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ikat Invasion

Not all interior and fashion trends in the States make their way to Turkey. The color 'grey' for home interiors, and Pantone's color of the year 'honeysuckle' for example have remained on the other side of the pond, for now anyway. Hence I was really surprised to see a lot of ikat prints appearing in shelves of home and fashion stores around here. Bathing suits, tea cups, trays, rugs, you name it, its got ikat all over it.

I think more than any other print this season the ikat stands out the most to me because I studied the technique in a Textiles class. I won't bore you with the details (well, that and I cant remember the exact process), but naturally when I walk into a store the print is the first thing that catches my attention. Anyway, here are pictures of some ikat items that I've come across in my window shopping expeditions, starting with a bikini below...
A catalogue picture of the bikini

Monday, May 16, 2011

DIY: Tree Mural

UPDATE: This tree mural is finally complete!!! If you want to see a more recent blog about this please click here.

I wanted to share with you a sneak peak of a project I've been working on for Noah's room.

For the longest time I didn't know what direction to go in his nursery. It wasn't until recently when we finally found a decent rug for his room that I felt like I had a good starting point. The rug (pic below) is neutral and has a playful texture similar to tree bark.

Monday, May 9, 2011

(Belated) Happy Mother's Day!

"God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."

Although a day late, I still want to wish all my mommy and mommy-to-be friends, family and readers a Happy Mother's Day! Hope you were spoiled on your special day.

We spent a good half of the day lounging around in our pyjamas. My little man and I watched a bit of TV.

For Mother's Day my two boys surprised me with a beautiful necklace + snowflake pendant!

In the afternoon we went to visit hubby's family. Noah got all dressed up for grandma. He had a hilarious moment where he was having an intense discussion with their cat, hands flailing and all.

What has being a mom taught me? It taught me what unconditional love is all about it. It also taught me the value of time and to appreciate and cherish every moment of it. It's not until I had Noah and witnessed someone grow so quickly that I truly understood the concept of fleeting time and to make every moment worthwhile. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

DIY Project: Napkins to Throw pillows

I'm so happy to blog about a DIY project I recently completed. The other day I was looking around Zara Home and came across these table napkins with a unique ethnic print. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew they would make the perfect throw pillows to update our tired sofa. Table napkins to throw pillows you ask?

I recalled a blog from Centsational Girl (check out her blog for some seriously creative DIY projects) where she sewed napkins to pillows. I followed her simple instructions and was done in no time. Minimal effort, optimal results, and a really affordable project. The total dent to my wallet was $6 per pillow. No damage done there!

Love the subdued colors and eye-catching print.
Overnight transformation from above picture to this...

 What do you guys think? I'm so thrilled with the results I keep looking over at them as I'm doing chores around the house. My husband's compliment was "Are you going to start selling them?" :). Do you think you'll try this?

Oh and side note, I blogged about these curtain tie backs a few months ago and in the last picture you can (sort of) see them installed in case you were curious what I ended up doing with them.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello 2011 and New Year's Resolution!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start heading to the gym again. The last time I was on a treadmill was last summer, so I really, REALLY needed to get back to addressing my post-pregnancy weight gain and building muscle to carry my little man around. Ironically, as I'm typing this I'm uncontrollably stuffing my mouth with mini eclairs fresh from the bakery.

One of the amenities at our residential community is a clubhouse complete with fitness center, pool, sauna, etc. When we left for the Philippines, it was still under construction and we were told it would be done by January. I have been looking forward to its completion because I was ready to get started on my resolution. Well, a month came and went, and when we returned it was STILL being built.

But alas, a few days ago, we drove by the building and saw it completed, and residents seemed to be using the facilities. So today hubs and I decided to see it for ourselves. M has also been itching to go to the gym since we moved here but we weren't prepared to pay $2.7k annual membership for the nearest gym (I kid you not, thats how much it cost a year), when a few months later one would open at no additional cost to us, and a mere 30 feet from our front door.

I digress. So today we FINALLY toured the gym, and since I've been in this "interiors" mode lately my heart fluttered when I saw the sauna and group exercise area. This clubhouse really exceeded my design expectations. So what about it made my heart smile? Check out this lounge area in front of the saunas (and please pardon the quality of my phone's camera):

This space is in the basement level so the hidden skylight above is such a spectacular solution to bringing natural sunlight into what otherwise would have been a dark and dreary area. It's hard to tell from the photo but water runs down from the top of the lit wall. That and the greenery they added to this space gives off a calming effect and makes it one of the more exemplary examples of "bringing the outside in".

Forget using the facilities, next time Noah has a temper tantrum this is where hubby can find me, curled up in one of those lounge chairs.
This skylight, wall water fountain, lighting, shrubbery, wood floors combination has me dreaming about Bali. In fact, I think it's where the concept originated because I remember going to a restaurant (albeit in Jakarta, not Bali) and marvelling at the soothing ambiance that these simple elements create. Here's a pic of the Indonesian restaurant I'm referring to:

And now on to the other room that I can't wait to use - the studio.

This is one of two studios, both laid out the same way. This is again in the basement level but you would never guess from the way they brought light in via skylight and all the greenery. I've been to a few gyms/sports clubs in all shapes, sizes, and budgets, but never have I seen one with a garden view! I LOVE IT!!! I don't meditate, but I just might start with a room like this, especially if I could have it all to myself.

So anyway folks. With a place like this to work out in, I don't have any reason not to follow through with my New  Year's resolution... all year round. What do you think? Is it too much for a fitness center, or do you think this is the direction that all sports centers should be going?

Friday Night and We're Live!

It's Friday night and while there are a ton of other things I should be doing like cleaning up the chaos in Noah's nursery, finishing up a job application, or a hundred other things (I'm trying not to remember), here I am on my laptop, desperately looking for excuses websites to divert me from the more urgent tasks awaiting.

But then I had a better idea, instead of passing time by reading other people's blogs, I thought it might be more productive for me to write on mine - something I've been wanting to do for the last couple of weeks. I've been doing so many DIY projects (some successful and some not-so), and seen some really fancy things that I've been wanting to share with you through this blog. So the time has come. We are live again!

And please do pardon my extended absence. You might be wondering where I've been, or not, but either way you're going to hear the reason for my disappearance :) I've been having too much fun! Two weeks after my last post about my Mediterranean vacay, we went on another vacation to the Philippines. Although we spent a month there, it flew by really quickly thanks to all the festivities that took place - Noah turned 1, hubs and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, my brother got married, and then of course there was Christmas and New Year’s.

I still have to upload a good 80% of the pictures and since our time there kept me away from blogging, the whole vacation really deserves its own post. Until then, here are pics of Noah enjoying his favorite past time during our vacay.

My muscle man with Papa on the first day we arrived. He wasted no time getting familair with the pool.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, allow me to post my first blog of the year!
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