Easter Basket

A Floral Easter Basket

Easter is almost here! YEAH! Finally I can eat as much candy as I want to for no reason at all other than being alive, very similar to Halloween, another favorite Holiday of mine.

For this post, my friend Ariel from Pmq for Two is hosting an Easter Basket DIY challenge where bloggers try to create a cute Easter basket.

My confidence is high this week so I will let you know from the get go that I totally NAILED this challenge.

Last week, when I was thinking about ideas of what I could do, I decided to do something with flowers because it is Spring and I am being VERY repetitive. You might have seen in my IG stories that I was at the Flower Market in DTLA last Saturday, surrounded by Spring, and wondering if I should do this challenge with fresh and real flowers. My first instinct was to say YES, but my practical and maternal instinct said no. As Pinterest friendly a natural flower decorated basket can be, it would not be practical for real use. My kids would surely destroy it in less than 5 minutes  and natural flowers die quick without water.  I decided to use faux flowers (Sorry, dad!).

I am NOT into faux flowers. Actually, I kind of dislike them deeply (sorry if I am hurting anybody’s feelings). Why? My dad. He was a flower aficionado. There was nothing more important than having beautiful flowers all around our home at all times. He took care of them with patience and discipline. I am serious about this, our home was a small jungle in the midst of the Patagonia, where I am from.  If you don’t believe me, ask my friends.

Well, with this information, I can also tell you that my dad did not like plastic flowers and he taught me to steer away from them, that is until this project came along.

Here are the details:

A Floral Easter Basket

Difficulty (1-5): 1  Time: 1 hour Cost: $60

 

Materials

Twig basket

Plastic flowers

-Heavy duty or pruning scissors.

-Glue Gun

This is how the wicker basket looked before the flowers spiced her up.And the plastic flowers. They look almost real, don’t you think? I was surprised at how cute they are.

Here is Victor helping to prep the flowers by pulling them out of the stems. He insisted he wanted to participate in this project (love emoji).

Prunning scissors

Instructions:

1) Prepare your flowers by pulling them from stems. Cut the stems of the bigger flowers so you can apply the glue and easily press the flower to the basket, without the stem sticking out.

Victor in the middle of “helping” with this process.
2) Apply glue to the back of the flower and press it to the basket where you want it to go. Press it for at least 3-5 seconds, to make sure it stays in place.
3) Keep on going around the basket adding flowers as you wish. Victor’s face when he realized the project was taking longer than he expected. He quit after 30 minutes. Oh well…

Here is the final result:

CUTE, isn’t?

This is one of those projects that turn out super cute with minimal effort! It is like you can’t go wrong, like this planters I made a couple of weeks ago.

Hope you like it. Now I would recommend you go and visit the other bloggers that participated in this Easter basket challenge. There are some impressive baskets in this round-up. I am sure you will love them. The links are below.

Thanks for stopping by!

PMQ for two // That’s My Letter // Jest Cafe // Hey Fitzy // Our Crafty Mom // Domesticability

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flower arrangement

Tips to Create a Romantic Flower Arrangement

flower arrangement

As I have mentioned already, one of my favorite things about being a blogger is the incredible community I have found online. I had never imagined this existed. I have met a lot of people through blogging; we follow each other on SM, participate in FB groups, go to conferences and make real friends. It is a great experience!

One of my first blogger friends was Jess from Domicile 37. We met through ORC, I think. She is usually hosting blogger projects and lets me participate. One of my favorite ones is “Inspired by DIY” which she co-hosts with Kathy from Up to Date Interiors once a month. In these posts we have a designer or creative person that works as inspiration for a DIY project.

Last month, I created these cement planters inspired by Wes Anderson’s style.

This month, we are supposed to get inspiration from Genevieve Gorder, an Interior Designer.

Gorder’s style is hard to pin point because she does a lot of different things. I decided to inspire myself in this photo from a space she designed:

genevieve border

My initial idea was to make a flower arrangement with dark and white flowers. I ended up choosing darker purple and white.

Here are the instructions about how to do this arrangement:

How to do a Romantic Flower Arrangement

Difficulty (1-5): 3  Time: 1 hour Cost: $50

Materials

-Flower vase. I used a wide and short one.

-Chicken wire

-Pruning scissors

-Water

-Flowers. I used 3 purple lilacs, 5 branches of hellebores, 3 magnolia branches, 4 white peonies, 2 white sweet pea, 4 lisianthus, and 2 white pieres japonica.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

flower arrangement1) Cut the chicken wire and place it inside the vase. Fill the vase 2/3 with water. I like to use chicken wire for flower arrangements because it allows to place the branches (specially the first ones) in the exact position you want. You can also use frogs or foam blocks. I don’t like to use foams as much because they are no good for delicate flowers as you have to push the flowers to insert them. Frogs are good but they don’t work for stems that are horizontally placed (those flowers sticking out to the sides).

2)Prepare your flowers. It is good to have your flowers arranged separately to be ready for use. You can have them on a table next to your vase. Remember to cut the tip of the stems before placing flowers in the vase to allow for better water absorption.

flower arrangement3) Decide the height and width of your arrangement. Place three branches that will delineate the space you want to work with. I used 3 magnolia branches. See above.

4) If you want to do a base of greenery, add it to the bottom. You can build up from it. I didn’t want to have too much greenery in my arrangement so I didn’t do this.

5)  Add your focal flowers- those flowers that will be the main ingredient of your arrangement, the focal point. In my case, I chose to use three purple Lilacs.

flower arrangement6) Start filling up empty space with filler flowers. In my case, I used hellebores, , white peonies, white sweet pea, white lisianthus, and white pieres japonica.

7) As you do this, step back and make sure your arrangement is looking the way you want. It is very difficult to shift the position of flowers once you put them in place, doing so might shift the position of the other flowers, so go slowly.

flower arrangement

Some photos of the final result:flower arrangement

 

flower arrangement

 

flower arrangement

I know I have been posting a lot of flowers lately. Sorry for those that are sick of it but it is SPRING! And I need to take advantage of so many beautiful colors popping up around me. Next week I will be doing Easter posts, in case you want to come back to see.

And now that you are ready to leave, I would recommend you to visit the blog of my cyber friends that also participated in this “Inspired by DIY” challenge. Here are the links to all the projects inspired by Genevieve Gorder:

Domicile 37 | Up To Date Interiors | Jest Cafe | 58 Water Street | The Rath Project | Semiglloss Interiors

6 Projects inspired by Genevieve Gorder

Thanks for stopping by!

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A Chair Makeover and Our Dining Room

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links, I may receive a small percentage of that sale.  Thank you for making Jest Cafe possible.

I was driving back home a couple of weeks ago when I found this beauty on my neighbor’s front yard:

She was standing alone  and sad so I snatched her. I have been looking for new chairs for my dining room for a while so I thought, why not?

These kind of chairs are not expensive. You can find them on Amazon for $85 a pair, free shipping with Prime.  In any case, I am always trying to find cheap/free stuff with beauty potential so I grabbed it and fixed it up.

Painting a wooden chair is relatively easy, but there are some important tips you can follow if you want it to look “fancy.”

The first tip is to keep kids under 6 away from this project. Kids are no good when it comes to paint and furniture. No matter what they promise, no matter what you say, they will ruin your work as soon as you turn your back on them (or is it only my kids?). Also, spray paint is pretty toxic, which gives you another great excuse to keep them far, far away from this task.

The second tip for painting a chair (and any DIY project) is to have PATIENCE! Don’t hurry up. Wait until you complete each task throughly. No shortcuts! Take your time, please.

Here is what you need to do for a wooden chair makeover:

How to Paint a Wooden Chair

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hours + 2 days to dry  Cost: $10

Materials:

  • Chair
  • Sand paper – Medium grit
  • Small wood block to wrap sand paper around (I used a 2″ x 4″). I also had a sand paper block but you don’t need it
  • 1 can of glossy spray paint in whatever color you want – I used Malachite color from the Montana gold brand. If you can’t find the color you want in glossy finish, buy a glossy clear spray paint to apply afterwards
  • Big rug or plastic – to put under the chair when painting
  • Dust mask – Optional. It will keep you from inhaling a lot of the toxic paint fumes

Instructions

1) Sand the chair. Sandpaper comes in different grits based on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. A high grit means a finer sandpaper, while a low grit means a coarser sandpaper. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches without damaging the wood. I used a medium grit sandpaper for this project.

Wrap the sand paper around the wood block and use it for sanding flat surfaces. This helps to sand only the imperfections that are above the surface.  Use the sandpaper alone (or sandpaper block)  when sanding curved surfaces. Sanding your chair is important because all the details that you don’t easily see before sanding (like holes or bumps) will clearly show up after you paint your chair. Be patient! Pay attention to detail! Don’t rush through this or you will have to come back again to sand back the imperfections that show up after a fresh and smooth coat of paint had been applied.

Rub surfaces to feel for smoothness!

This is how my chair looked after I finished sanding it:

2) Wash the chair with soap and water. Wait until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
3) Start spraying. Make sure the spray can is around 8″ -10″ away from the surface you are trying to paint. Don’t start spraying directly into the chair, this could create drips if you apply too much paint (see below). Start spraying by aiming away from the chair and then go into applying smooth strokes to the chair. Again, take your time with this step. You don’t want to create drips with your paint like these ones: Because then you will have to sand down the imperfections all over again! Whatever imperfections show up, you will need to sand them down the day after you spray paint, otherwise the dust will settle on the damp paint.

When painting, you need to get to all the “difficult” places. Turn the chair upside down and make sure no space is left without paint.

4) If you spray painted your chair with a flat finish like I did, you will need to add a coat of glossy transparent spray paint to give it a glossy finish. A glossy finish is VERY important for kitchen furniture, especially. It is easier to wipe down when dirty with filthy children’s food.

Here is the after photo of that (previously) ugly chair:
Here are photos of  the chair in our dining room. By the way, I am taking this opportunity to introduce our little dining room to all of you! I have not shared photos of it before. You might already know that our house is small, so this little breakfast nook works as the dining room, project table, homework space, and many other things. I like how happy and vibrant it is.The Saltillo tile that George installed is pretty charming. It gives the kitchen a rustic look.
The seats work as drawers for storage, too. The shelf has vintage finds and a beautiful plant. Just how I like it.

Some old baby shoes just hanging in there because they look cute. No sentimental reason.

I just ordered 2 more wooden chairs from Amazon so I can paint them and add them to the dining room. The chair I just painted looks cute but lonely. It needs some company, so I will be making some friends for her this weekend.

Have a wonderful day!

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Outdoor Painting – The Reveal

First of all, I want to say I am sorry. I promised I was going to do an outdoor painting months ago and I never delivered. What is worst is that I have a lot of views on that false promise post and I am sure some of you are wondering why I am such a flake!

Well, I was supposed to finish this outdoor painting months ago but then the weather decided it was time to put an end to the draught in CA and ruined ALL MY PLANS! Buah!!!!

Yes, my friends, it has rained in LA every week since the beginning of January so I was only able to finish this project last week. I have been trying to find ways to improve my garden and outdoor room and I came up with this idea some time ago.

Here is the post that details my plans and inspiration. I wrote it back in January and promised I would have it ready in two weeks. HA! Well, I FAILED! I am a failure and a liar, but like most people who fail, I say: better late than never. Ha. I am SO funny today.

The truth is that, even without the rain, the project would have taken much longer than anticipated. Although it doesn’t require a lot of technicality, it does need patience and time to create straight lines and perfect triangles. You need to make sure everything is perfectly dry before moving on to a different section of the painting, so yes, I failed in my timing but not in the final execution because it got done and it looks quite good.

The garage wall went from blah to Baboom!!!!! Which was the only intention behind this project. Also, I wanted to have it done in time for our Easter Hunt, so that worked out. Pat on the back. Pat on the back.

Here is what you will need for this project:

Outdoor Painting

Difficulty (1-5): 4  Time: 1 week Cost: $70

Materials:

  • Lots of latex paint colors for walls. I used 13 sample sizes of flat color, mostly from Behr.
  • 8ft x 3ft sheet of plywood
  • Pencil
  • Blue tape
  • Small and big brushes
  • Measuring Tape

To hang the painting:

  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Level
  • 2 1/2″ screws (to hang the painting outside)

Instructions:

1) Cut your Plywood to whatever size you want. Mine is a square shape of 6ft x 6ft.


2) Mark your middle point – the place where all triangles meet.

3) Draw the straight lines from the middle point to wherever you want the sides of your triangles to go.

4) Align a strip of blue tape to the lines of the first triangle you want to paint. Make sure you press it down5) Paint the triangle and wait until paint is dry. Touch the paint to make sure is not tacky.

6) Do the same for the triangle that is not right next to the one you just painted. So, for the first pass, paint every other triangle of your painting.

7) Now it is time to paint the triangles that were left without paint and getting a straight line is vital! To do this, place the blue tapes on both sides of the triangle you want to paint. Make sure the paint is completely dry.

8) Paint on each side of the blue tape with whatever paint is below the tape, meaning the color of the triangle right next to the one you are trying to paint.

9) Wait until it dries and paint the whole triangle with the final color. Now wait until the painting is completely dry. Sometimes this will take hours.

10) Strip out the blue tape

11) Drill through the painting into the wall to hang it. Find the studs to do this.

12) Fix details with your small brush, for example, fix lines that are not straight, paint over screws, paint over any imperfections.

So, what do you think? I like it. It has the soul of Spring!

In case you want to make a painting for the inside of your home, here is a tutorial about how to make a mural.

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Hanging Flowers Decoration

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links, I may receive a small percentage of that sale.  Thank you for supporting Jest Cafe.

My dear friend Janna is getting married and I am SO happy for her. [I know you are reading my friend so congrats!]

As you know, organizing a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many possibilities! That is why Pinterest is such perfect place to get started. Are you getting married? Well, create a board and pin your way to a perfect wedding, I would say.

There are so many gorgeous images in there that make me wish I was the one getting married, but I am sure George won’t be up for it. Maybe vow renewal? No, that is not going to happen, so my best bet is to live my dreams through friends, in this case, Janna. (Btw, I have a board with images for wedding inspiration, in case you want to see click here)

The weekend before last we spent a lot of time looking for photo inspirations and I realized, once again, that I am attracted to photos that have a LOT of flowers, specially hanging flowers. Weddings are beautiful! I could spend hours pinning wedding photos! There is so much cute stuff out there!

After hours of pinning and drooling (yes, very productive, I know), I decided to create a statement piece of my own that uses flowers and is cheap and easy to do. Something that could be used at a wedding or when entertaining, this is how the hanging flower decoration was born.

Humans! This decoration is simple, budget friendly, and it looks so good. Here is how you do it!

Hanging Flowers Decoration

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Time: 2 hrs Cost: $70

Materials

  • Plywood – I used size 2ft x 4ft
  • 42 1/2 “ Brass Cup Hooks
  • 4 1 3/4″ Eye Screws
  • Rubber bands
  • White paint – I used a Behr sample from Home Depot.
  • Flowers
  • Rope
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pruning scissors
  • Pencil

Instructions

1) Paint the plywood with white paint on all sides. Let it dry. Paint it again.

2) Mark with your pencil the places where you want to drill holes. I marked 42 holes with 6in. in between and 4in between rows. I alternated rows of 4 and 3 holes.

3) Drill the holes

4) Screw the hooks into the drill holes

Also, a little tip from my handy man… when opening packages with hooks or other small pieces, it helps to cut a door in the back of the box instead of fully opening the package. This way, you can keep the package for storage.

5) Drill and screw 4 hooks to the other side of the plywood. One on each corner. Attach a rope to the hooks. You will use this rope to hang the decoration (see full photos below).

6) Start hanging your flowers with rubber bands. Choose the length and colors of your flowers and hang them one by one. I used bundles of 2-3 flowers at a time. You can use anything that is in season on your local grocery store. Roses and tulips are good options.

And, here is the result. Let’s take a look at some beautiful photos:

The result was better than I expected. The flowers looked so good, especially from down below. The project was done in just a couple of hours. It was easy to make.

WARNING: Some flowers don’t last long without water. I would say that you have around 5-6 hours of beauty before you they start withering but the “withering” look could also be beautiful.

Hope you liked this project!

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