A Wreath-Making Party

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Some friends and I decided to throw a DIY wreath-making party a couple of weekends ago. It all started when I instagrammed a picture of a wreath I saw at the Farmer’s Market in Mar Vista. It was a beautiful and colorful wreath (here it is). Read more

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A New Perspective On Your Gallery Wall

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There are plenty of instructions on how to create a gallery wall on the web. Usually, these instructions involve a lot of buying, measuring, and planning. My problem is that, sometimes, I can’t plan or measure everything in advance when it comes to decorating. Most of the time, I don’t even have all the art I am going to use at the beginning of a project.  I like to collect my pieces slowly by going to thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets, and that can take months!
This is what happened in my bathroom. I knew I wanted a gallery wall that would cover all the wall, from top to bottom. I knew I wanted an eclectic collection, and I knew it was going to take me months to find the right pieces, so, when we moved into our house a couple of years ago,  I had to start the gallery with 7 pictures that I brought from my previous home. That was it. So I assembled them the best I could in the middle of the wall and moved on from there. 
Most of the advice on the Internet also tells you to keep a general motif and keep frames kind of similar. Well, that advice doesn’t always work. I feel it is OK to be creative and take risks, depending on the look you want to go for. I knew I didn’t want to have a clean look in my bathroom. I wanted and eclectic and vintage look. 
After two years of mellow search around vintage shops in LA, this is the result: My last two pieces were the motel photo and the palm drawing on the top right. Once I scored those, the wall gallery (and my heart) felt complete. What do you think? 

jescafe.com---wall-gallery12As you can see on the pictures, I have lots of frame types. I even have gold and silver frames on the same wall (this is when an interior designer has a heart attack on the spot). There are also spaces that are not filled with art, but, for some reason, it works (for me). It is unorganized and unusual. It doesn’t follow designer rules like these ones, but I do get a lot of comments on this gallery wall. People seem to like it. It cozies up this corner, don’t you think? Usually bathrooms are so boring, but this gallery wall spices things up.jescafe.com---wall-gallery3jescafe.com---wall-gallery4 jescafe.com---wall-gallery5 My favorite picture on the wall is the one of my grandparents, dad and uncle (on the left below).jestcafe.com-wall-gallery1 jescafe.com---wall-gallery8 That green glass head was a flea market find at the Rose Bowl.jescafe.com---wall-gallery11 jescafe.com---wall-gallery13jescafe.com---wall-gallery9

At times, it was tricky to find the right piece that would fit exactly into a certain space, but, for me, this unconventional way of creating a gallery wall worked. What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Thanksgiving Table Decoration – Some Beautiful Ideas

jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting7Let’s talk about Thanksgiving table decoration, shall we? When I moved to America and learned about Thanksgiving, it instantly became one of my favorite holidays. Why? Because it is all about eating, drinking, and sharing with a LOT of family and friends, my favorite activities in the world. Any excuse to eat and drink is welcome in my Holiday world.

I host Thanksgiving every year. I call it the “orphans” Thanksgiving because we invite friends with no family in LA. George roasts a pig out in the garden, and he cooks the turkey in the oven. We tried doing fried turkey a couple of years ago, but, with small children running around, I get scared about doing that again. He also does the gravy, cranberry sauce, and other food items. As for me, well, even though I love eating, I don’t care a lot for cooking, but it doesn’t matter because my big contribution is decoration (my husband rolls his eyes at this)! The Thanksgiving table decoration is my thing! I love this aspect of Thanksgiving  so much that I had to do the 2015 Thanksgiving table decoration dry run this last weekend, and I wanted to share it with you, but, before we move on, here is a picture of our Thanksgiving table last year. I posted it to  my Instagram account:

jestcafe.com--thanksgiving-table-decorationThis year, I knew I wanted to use black tablecloth because it is unusual and colors really show on a black background. I bought these tablecloths. Then, on my search for decorations, I came across this candleholder and table runner, all from the Nate’s Berkus Target collection.
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I also wanted orange candles and I found just the right ones at Pier One. For the garland on the middle of the table, I wanted to use branches from olive and rosemary trees, because I have those trees in my backyard (free) and they are beautiful. Last year, I used branches from my magnolia tree on our front yard. They looked really good too, but you can’t use the same green decorations two years in a row, can you? In choosing branches for the garland, I have found that a lot of greeneries will work. You can be very creative about your choice. Finally, to add some extra color, I decided to include tangerines for an orange color touch that went together with the candles. Here is the first the result.

jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting20jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting19Something is missing, right? Also, I didn’t know which color to use for the napkins. Initially, I wanted a color napkin (orange or gold maybe?), thinking that the black tablecloth was enough black for the table. I also bought these turkey napkin holders, and I tried them out. Take a look.

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After this experiment I realized I DEFINITLEY needed black napkins. No other color would do, so I run to Target to get them. I got the last ones in the store, lucky me. I also decided to use gold decoration plates at the bottom of the plates, like last year; I added pumpkins and persimmons to the garland, a small flower arrangement, and here is the result:

jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting5jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting8jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting10 jestcafe.com-thanksgiving-table-setting4jestcafe.com-thanksgiving table decorationMuch better, don’t you think?

It would be better with gold silverware, I know, but I don’t have a set and I don’t want to spend money on it, plus, I have this gorgeous, silver silverware that my mom gave me and I want to put it to good use.

About the flower arrangement, I tried adding purple flowers to introduce another color to the scheme, but it didn’t work. Keeping the table with an orange color theme seemed to be the best, don’t you agree?

Now, for the actual Thanksgiving day, I will add tea candles and set up the table for 14 people. I am truly excited!

What are you doing to decorate your table? I would love to know. I would also love to hear about any amazing dishes you are going to prepare.

Here are more pictures of the final Thanksgiving table decoration. Hope you like them.

PS: This post was a lot of work! and my husband wasn’t here this weekend, so you can imagine how much I would appreciate some kind of encouragement. Ha!

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Snooping On Etsy – Woven Wall Hangings

Woven Wall Hangings are a thing. If you don’t believe me, look at these pictures.

jestcafe.com-wall-hanging3Decor 8jestcafe.com---wall-hanging2 Coco + Kelleyjestcafe.com-wall-hanging1Design Sponge
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Bohemian Diesel

Cute, don’t you think? A little rustic, a little sophisticated, and, a lot unpretentious.

It is not easy to find the perfect piece to decorate your wall. Pictures are obviously a good start, but you need to add other kinds of decorations to spice your home up. At least, that is why I like to do. A woven or macramé wall hanging is a great place to start. They are trending, they are beautiful, they can use a lot of wall space, and, they add texture to your home, which is something so many of us forget to do.

So, in my search for beautiful things around the web, I decided to look on my best shopping friend website, Etsy, where I found a lot of shops with beautiful handmade wall hangings, as expected.

Here are my favorite shops, if you know of another one, let me know! I would love to hear. A lot of these shops will customize a wall hanging to your needs, in case you want something more specific.

Of course, if you are up for a challenge, you can do your own woven wall hanging. Here is how.

Now, to that shop list:

The Wovjestcafe.com-thewovjestcafe.com-thewov1Astral Rilesjestcafe.com-astralrides2 jestcafe.com-astralrite Juju Just

jestcafe.com-jujujust1jestcafe.com-jujujust2Under the Oak Tree Shopjestcafe.com-undertheoaktreejestcafe.com-undertheoaktree2Hazel and Hunter
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Jamieepjestcafe.com-jamieep1Rowan Studios
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Outdoor Halloween Decorations – A Ghost Family

We put out our Outdoor Halloween decorations last weekend. I wanted to create a ghost family in the front yard, and this is how it came out. Cute, don’t you think?

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Here is what we used,

Materials:

  • 7 – sticks of different lengths. Approximately 1.5” x 1” wide. They need to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the fabric and not fall with the wind. No need to get fancy with the sticks, almost anything will do.
  • 7 – Styrofoam spheres. 6 small 6” spheres for the smaller ghosts, and a big 10” sphere for the big ghost. I bought them at Michael’s.
  • Light sheer white fabric. I went to the fabric district in L.A. and got those rolls that you can buy as is. They are $1.99 a yard! So cheap. I used approximately 25 yards.
  • 7 – 2” Nails to attach the fabric to the Styrofoam
  • 2 – sheet of black felt ($0.39 at Michael’s)
  • Glue gun to attach the mouths and eyes to the Styrofoam.

Here is what we did:

  1. We grabbed sticks of different sizes from our backyard and pounded them in the grass.
  2. I made a small hole in the Styrofoam ball and pressed the stick into the sphere with enough strength to insert it 4-5 inches in. No need to glue.
  3. We covered the Styrofoam balls with the fabric and cut it at the floor level with some scissors to make sure it had the right length; almost touching the floor.  I used two strips of fabric on top of the spheres to cover the ghosts and give them more volume. I crossed them on top of each other like an X.

jestcafe.com-ghosts-for-halloween2    4. I nailed the fabric to the sphere.

jestcafe.com-ghosts-for-halloween35. Cut out eyes and mouths for the ghosts from black felt.

6. Glued the eyes and mouths with the glue gun on low temperature. You don’t want the glue to be so hot as to melt the Styrofoam.

The project took no more than 1 hour, so you still have time to do this for Halloween!

Finally, I want to thank my friends that came out to help me and ended up doing all the work for me. A perfect DIY project, indeed!

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