Recycled Book Birthday Chandelier

Its best to recycle when you can but it makes even more sense to recycle when you live in Mozambique and a simple birthday banner costs you $10. I love to recycle and enjoy finding ways to use items, that would normally be destined for the trash, in a new way.

Here is my latest creation and one that we will use over and over.

I used clips tied to string for holding the numbers, that way you could change the numbers for the next birthday.

I even recycled this little egg carton into my flower shape holder!

Knotted Capalana Necklace

Remember the necklace I was wanting to make out of the capalana material? Well I made it. I didn’t have any beads to use so a friend passed on to me a broken necklace that had larger seeds as beads and told me I could take it apart to use the seeds. So that’s just what I did. I think it turned out so cute. I will be making many more. Still debating if I should sew on some fabric flowers onto one side or not.

Even my house help said she liked it, I will have to make one for her.

I will put a tutorial up next week! This is very simple to make, just a little time consuming.

Pinterest

I am sure you have seen the new Pinterest site, where you essentially go to catalog the things you love. I have not been invited yet so I am still waiting as its in the Invite stage right now, but without being an actual part you can still look through the site and find amazing pages that people have put together. Its so much fun, and a bit addicting to say the least. I stayed up way to late last night looking through the site and wishing I pin some of the itmes myself. Instead I have a bajillion pages open that have items I wish to make or love to look at…. someone stop me!

One of the beautiful pictures you will find on Pinterest.

Well if you haven’t had a look, take a look now and make sure you have some time to actually look cause once you start looking its hard to stop.

Click here to check out Pinterest.

The Challenge is Finished and Modified

I made a bunch of cute little flowers and sewed them together and than looked at them and thought, this just doesn’t look right so I went to my little drawer of goodies and found these little shell beads and connected a few and decided this looked more African and much cuter. I cut up a leather necklace and used pieces to attach the beads.

What do you think?

Glazed Almond Cakes

When I was packing to come to Mozambique I knew I had to take some of my favorite cookbooks and recipe magazines with me. So I sat down and started looking through all my recipes and put a few books/magazines aside that I use most often. One of my favorites is the old Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines. I found this Glazed Lemon Cakes(recipe here) inside and decided to give it a try. I loved it but when talking with a friend we were saying how much we love Almond flavor and she wondered if I could make them Glazed Almond Cakes instead. I figured why not. So here is my recipe, adapted from Martha Stewarts Glazed Lemon Cakes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for muffin tin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt ( I used plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (plus 1/2 teaspoon for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons milk plus 2 Tablespoons milk for the glaze
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin(I used a 12-cup muffing tin). In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons milk. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk mixture.
  3. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.
  4. Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract until smooth. Pour over cakes, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set 30 minutes.

The Challenge: Flip Flop Flowers

My friend who claims she has no ability to craft or make or sew, has asked me to make a flower for her flip flops. The flip flops came with a little something in the top but they fell out and so she has asked if I will add a little flower or something cute to the tops of them. She even gave me part of an old Bandanna she was throwing out for the flowers. Not sure what I will come up with but I am looking forward to doing something creative… its been a long time.

I Dream of Necklaces

I have been busy, like usual, with trying to get this house in order. I finally have hot water in the kitchen and was hoping that the washing machine would be working by now, but no such luck, but they say tomorrow. Famous last words here – amanha(tomorrow).

I have been actually dreaming of making these necklaces out of capalana material and am so excited to try it out. And when I say dreaming, I actually wake up wondering if what I dreamed would really work. I dream about how to sew them and where to buy stuff, it seems crazy, that’s why you can believe I have.

Similar idea as this, courtesy of craftjuice

My friend actually said I could use her machine while she is gone, she is going to the states to send her oldest off to college and will be gone for 7-9 months. I was all excited to get it last week when another lady said she was wanting to use it first… ok, I can share but I have to say its been a little hard when I have an idea stuck in my head.

Be keeping your eye out for some beautiful necklaces, hopefully in the next week or so, I may even sew them by hand if I get too anxious!

Have a lovely week!

Cheers

Recycled Table Runner

I found this shop near the bay that has some beautiful handmade items and bought myself a table runner for the living room. The table runner is made of strips of Capalana’s(material that women wear as skirts, to carry babies or fresh food and multiple other uses) and old car tires.

I love that they recycle so much here, it looks different than the recycling we do back home but the items are still getting recycled and that’s something to be excited for.

This table runner was handmade by orphans in Mozambique to help them learn a skill they can use to provide for themselves and take them further in life.

Beauty Abounds in Mozambique

I have not been able to put any posts up due to the lack of internet at my house and the fact that I have had to wait at my house while things get fixed or not fixed, whatever the case my be.

I wanted to share some photos of Mozambique with you. Its a beautiful place but the differences in cultures can certainly stress you out, or at least me. I am trying to be a little more relaxed but my personality is one that likes to get things done and in Mozambique it doesn’t work that way. So here’s to trying to go with the flow and to being happy when things do get done… Cheers!