Friday, February 29, 2008

Making Cape Gooseberry lanterns

Are you longing for the sun as much as I do my fellow orange lovers? While I am writing this post I can hear the wind and the rain outside. The sun has shown her face a few times today but the wind took over.I guess I have to wait a while before outside becomes inside again and I can spend my days in the garden and in the sun. Until that time I will have to get my daily orange glow from the colours in my house. How I love those deep orange colours combined with dark wood and yellow. They make me feel warm and cosy like the sunbeams I am longing for :)) I love little lights and I have them in baskets throughout my house. They give a lovely glow. If you turn the basket up side down or use a hanging basket it gives beautiful shades at night. In the summer I have small baskets filled with little electric outdoor lights in my garden. They bring such an peaceful atmosphere when it gets dark.
When you want to add some warm orange tones to your home Cape Gooseberry (Psysalis) lanterns are a beautiful solution. I received a question about how to make the lanterns I showed in My Kitchen post. They are very easy to make and their soft glow makes them my favourite decoration all year long. At Christmas they are always shining in my Christmas tree and afterwards they are in my kitchen or in bowls throughout the house.When they are fresh their orange colour is much deeper. The ones above are at least four years old and I want to replace them. There were some Cape Gooseberries growing in my garden last year so I hope that after this summer I will have a whole new stock :)If you want to make these lanterns just collect some (dried) Cape Gooseberries and little electric lights. Dried Gooseberries from a branch with shrinked fruits inside are the most solid. Make a small hole at the bottom of a Gooseberry and carefully stitch a lights through at one side. I never use glue because this way I can easily remove them when I do my cleaning.They are ready in no time and you can enjoy them all year long. Look for a branch at the florist shop or grow them in your garden. Just give it a try and I think you will love them as much as I do for their warm glow. Hope your day will be orange :))

Well, it is far past midnight but I can't sleep.
So I thought let's share this picture with you.
Now I am off to bed again for a second try.
Sleep well or when your day just started have a lovely day :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Making incense powder

Today I don't have a lot of energy. But I suddenly feel a lot better when I notice my wooden box with incense ingredients in the cellar. It is so lovely and relaxing to grind your own incense powder. Okay; let's do it :) First I collect my ingredients like different kinds of wood (Sandalwood, Cedar and Pine), herbs/flowers (Rose, Lavender and Cinnamon) and resins (Amber, Aloe and Copal). I gather it all around me and then I take my little mortar to grind the ingredients. I also use a large stone mortar for the wood and I always begin with the 'heavy work' and save the herbs and resins for last.It is so relaxing to peacefully grind your ingredients till you have a powder blend. And then the delightful part can begin. You lighten a charcoal and put some of your powder on top of it. Its lovely aroma will fill your room. (Keep in mind that it gives a lot of vapour!)That is the reason why I often burn incense powders during the long summer nights while the fire place is burning outside. It keeps mosquitoes away and fills the air with a lovely scent. I also love to grind incense as a present for friends and family. This way I can grind all my love for them in the present hihi.I found a link for you about this subject. And hopefully there will be lovely scents in the air everywhere this summer :)) If you can't stand vapour you can try aromatherapy. I love it to make my own body oils and lotions with different essential oils and jojoba oil :) It has become evening here and I just lighted my small circle of friendship candle holder, while the last remains of my incense powder are burning on the charcoal. It makes me feel peaceful and connected with all of you :))

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Flower arrangements; Orchids part 2

Well to be honest this isn't a real flower arrangement because I didn't arrange anything hihi. I just put a fresh Orchid in a small bowl with water and; voila! I love to display little vases or bowls with just one Orchid throughout my house.To me Orchids are beautiful enough just as they are. Adding other flowers would only distract our attention from their beauty. They look like little abstract paintings at close and all they need is a simple frame to capture their colours.Creating a still life is so easy with Orchids. They look beautiful in black shiny vases and bowls that underline their powdery colours. They stay fresh for a very long time and from one Orchid branch I can make four little scenes. I love to display a still life with flowers in different rooms throughout my house. To me flowers really add something special to a room :)This is my favourite way to display Orchids in my house. Make sure that they touch the water only a bit. Not like the picture shows because otherwise they don't stay fresh very long.
So far this post for today, I hope you enjoyed it and that it gave you some ideas to display Orchids. If you have a favourite flower you want to see on my blog, just contact me :) It is already late here and I lighted the candles in my Orchid bowl. With a glass of wine I will stare at the flowers and the lights for a while before I go to bed. I hope you all will have a nice evening :))

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Light bulbs

Today I wanted to make some new arrangements for my blog but I have strained a muscle in my neck this morning. So now I am walking around like a character from the Muppet show with moving arms but a stiff neck ;) These cute light bulbs came from my mother's house. She has a lamp with tiny lights which I change for her. I thought the broken ones perhaps would make a nice picture.

They look so lovely with their soft tones and colours of silver and frosted glass. I guess this restricting neck brings me something good after all, because otherwise I probably completely had forgotten about them ;))
Their colours change with a different background! Now they have blue and silver tones in many different shades. I love these fragile water colours. So far today's unexpected post with light bulbs. I hope you have enjoyed it anyway and that tomorrow I will be able again to show you a new arrangement. Have a nice day :))

Monday, February 25, 2008


Yesterday was a lovely day on which I travelled by train for almost six hours. The trip gave me such a big amount of impressions that I decided to take it easy today. The sun was shining so that wasn't hard to do :)When I want to relax and get to myself I love to read a book. The smell of the paper and the turning of the pages make me feel relaxed within ten minutes. The best places for me to read are my couch with my dog on my lap or when it's sunny outside in the garden. Although I hardly could read in the sun with the sweet sunbeams dancing through the lines and the words jumping up and down, I felt completely warm and relaxed.I must admit that I haven't read that much today. It was more a scene of me in the sun holding a book. But it worked and it felt like I was on a little vacation. When it got colder outside I changed my place in the garden for the couch and while my dog was snoring loudly on my lap I gave the reading another try. By now it is dark and in ten minutes Toek will come down to drink a glass of port with me and to discuss the day. I have done completely nothing today and it felt great. There was a time when I always had to do something and the idea of sitting still frightened me.With the years I found out that it is important to sometimes do nothing for a while. To find the rest in yourself to let go of all the things you have to do and to just sit down and relax. I really had to learn that, but I feel I am getting better at it each time I try :))

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thoughts over tea

Today I got up early for a Sunday, at eight o'clock to be precise. I am going to visit my parents in law today and I wanted to make my blog first. It is strange but in the lazy comfort of a day free from work you suddenly seem to notice how important friends and family are in your lives.We will have to travel three hours by train and I love it to watch the other travellers during the train journey. Where are they going to and who are they going to visit? It always intrigues me and the most exciting stories spin through my head while I watch the other passengers come and go. My first cup of tea today is a feast because I have a little fruit cup cake with it. It is sweet and the jelly sparkles in the sunlight. Cakes always remind me of birthdays and celebrations of some kind. I know that later this day we will get a lovely home baked cake or an other treat along with our tea again. Such a lovely way to let people know that they are welcome :)) Well the cake is finished and after I made a little flower arrangement for a present, we will be on our way. I wish you a lovely day with the ones you love. Or maybe you live alone and are enjoying the warm comforts of your home today. Anyway let's make it a lovely Sunday with tea and cake to celebrate it:))

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flower arrangements; Orchids part 1

Today Toek came home with beautiful Orchids from the market. These flowers are incredible! Their deep fuchsia colours and shapes are fairy-like and seem almost unreal. Although I buy them regularly they keep amazing me. As a child I loved the story about a girl who was so small that she used a flower as her bed. When I look at Orchids they always remind me of that story. How lovely it would be to sit on their petals, save and surrounded by the most beautiful colours :) I love it to make flower arrangements with Orchids. They make a great still life next to a Buddha sculpture with some candles or in little vases next to your bed. They stay fresh for a very long time and keep their colours beautifully. When I look closely at orchids it seems like someone just finished airbrushing them. Their details are amazing and powdery almost like chalk drawings.
So far this post about Orchids. This week I will show you an arrangement with them. But first I wanted to show you their beauty at close range. I hope you will have a lovely weekend :))

Friday, February 22, 2008

Home fragrancing

One of the easiest ways to create a new atmosphere in your house is to scent it. I often use incense and aromatherapy with essential oils to relax and to refresh the energy in my room. Incense is available in so many different shapes and scents that you just have to try to find what suits you.To me the scents of Auroshika and The Mother's Fragrances are very soft and friendly. Something to keep in mind when choosing your incense is to guard that they are made out of 100 % natural ingredients. Otherwise the healing and relaxing quality of incense are lost. Trays with different kinds of incense holders make a lovely still life. Apart from that, by putting them on a tray they are easy to move over to different rooms and corners. Because the incense holders can become very hot I use brass trays to protect my tables. When you like to add a scent to your home but don't like the vapour caused by burning incense, aromatherapy is ideal. A bowl filled with water and essential oil is placed above a light. Through the heat of the flame the water evaporates and your room gets filled with a lovely aroma. I love Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Orange in an essential oil mix. It makes me feel relaxed and safe :)So far this scented post for today. I hope you liked it and for suggestions about future topics feel free to contact me :))

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Brass accessories

Today's post is about brass; brass accessories to be precise. Let's see what they can contribute to decorating our homes, or in this case my home :) This is the first thing I see normally when I wake up in the morning. My gold plated Buddha with the sun on his face and some brass accessories reflecting the light. I love it to see the sun on these objects.They reflect the light beautifully which gives them a wonderful glow. I have some brass trays and incense holders that travel around in my home creating cosy corners wherever they are :)In my house in places with many orange tones I like to use brass objects to deepen the orange tones. They really seem to underline eachother's warmth.My kitchen is a good example of the harmony between orange tones and brass. My home is quite dark because of the lack of many windows but the orange coloured wall paint and the brass objects seem to absorb and reflect the sunlight throughout the kitchen.
I always watch out for brass boxes, trays, incense holders and plates. They make lovely table arrangements and are a handy base for a warm still life. Mine I collected from flea markets and outlet stores and they are priceless for Holiday decorations :)So far this post about brass accessoiries, I hope you got to like their warm glow too :)

Some little lights I wanted to share with you. I hope all of us will see lots of them today :)))