182 BH0514 I Did It PaneroI am so happy to share with you some very exciting news! I had been contacted by Better Homes and Gardens to be featured for the “I did it” story of their May 2014 issue!

 000 BetterHomesandGardens-May14
“Material used with permission from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. 2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved”

 

It was unbelievable! I cannot tell you how happy and surprised I was to know that one of my favorite magazines of all time was interested in featuring me and my night lights!

These little “Casita” night lights started because I wanted a night light for my kids and couldn’t find anything that they really liked.  So I decided to make them myself. In fact, all of the little night lights in my shop are completely hand made from scratch.  

 

photo shoot preview2Here is one of the pics from “behind the scenes” of the photo shoot.

Now I’m so grateful to be given the opportunity to share my work with Better Homes and Garden readers.  Hopefully this little business will continue to grow – I just love designing and creating them!

 

 

playroom casitas1

I had been working hard to add more night lights into my shop! I designed new little houses in different styles and colors!

 

playroom casitas2

 

Now you can get a night light personalized with a name or any cute message you want like “Sweet Dreams”!

To see more of these additions you can head to my shop on Etsy!

Hope you like them!

On my next post I’ll be sharing with you some exciting news about my “Casita” Night Lights!

 

 

 

alfajores6 There are few things that remind me of home… one of those is a good “alfajor de Maizena” (which is the brand name for corn starch).

Alfajores are made with two soft and crumbly cookies sandwiched around a luscious dollop of dulce de leche and shredded coconut.

 

alfajores2

To make these you will need:

1)   2 1/2 cups cornstarch (Maizena Brand)

2)   1 2/3 cups flour

3)   3/4 cup sugar

4)  1 cup butter (room temperature)

5)  3 egg yolks

6)  1 -2 teaspoon lemon zest

7)   1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8)   1/2 teaspoon baking soda

9)   2 teaspoons baking powder

 

alfajores3

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon rind. Sift together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating until thoroughly combined.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and let cool.

 alfajores4

When cool, spread some dulce de leche on the bottom half of the cookies and make a sandwich. Squeeze the sandwiches and roll the sides in the grated coconut.

 alfajores5After tasting one, you will agree that alfajores are the best treats you have ever had!

 

 

painted beads5

 This is a simple project and very easy to make! All it takes are a few easy-to-find supplies and a bit of patience…

 

painted beadsThe wooden beads are sold in any craft store and you can find them in different sizes. I used a string for the necklace but you can also make it using a thin chain, if you have one lying around.

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I wrapped the masking tape around half of each bead and applied two coats of paint. The tape also makes it easier to both hold onto it while painting and also to let the beads stand to dry.

  painted beads2

Once all the beads are completely dry, peel the painters tape slowly and then string them with the same colored part facing inward towards each other…

This was a fun project to make on the weekend… It has endless possibilities and you can use any color you want…  Oh, and perfect for Spring!

 

 

welcome spring1At last, spring is officially here! After a few grey rainy days, today the sun is shinning bright and welcoming the arrival of the new season! And with the end of winter, my daughter’s birthday came as well.

 

welcome spring3She is 9 years old now (… sigh… can’t believe it…) she still likes playing with dolls and other toys, but I can see that now she spends more time crafting and really loves it…

One of her favorite presents came all the way from Canada. Her godparents are, and always have been awesome and very kind, never forgetting our little one’s special day… the same for all the rest of the family!

  welcome spring4It’s a colored sand art by numbers craft kit, that comes with pre-printed images of exotic birds. The colored sand sticks perfectly onto the adhesive board making the bird designs even more pretty… and it was so enjoyable that she sat for hours by herself and was thrilled when it was done.

 

 welcome spring2Once finished they looked so beautiful! We decided to frame them and hang them up along with the other bird prints we have in our guests bedroom wall.

Aren’t they beautiful? And isn’t it a lovely way to add color especially made by two little hands?

 

welcome spring5 Happy Spring to all of you!… and happy Autumn to everybody in the Southern Hemisphere:  to my blog friends in Australia and to my dear ones in Argentina!

 

 

 

cloud playroom7Recently our playroom got a good makeover: a new coat of paint, molding, wall decal and more “grown up” furniture. On one part of the room we decided to install shelves along the wall,  but because of the high ceilings it looked kind of empty on the top.

 

clouds playroom2To make this clouds I used some leftover of  1/4″ sheet of wood. After drawing its shape,  I cut them very carefully using a scroll-saw; the same machine I use to make my night lights.  Then I applied two coats of white paint in an eggshell finish.

 

 clouds playroom3Before painting the clouds and in between coats, I used a fine grit sanding sponge to get a better finish and also to smooth out the edges all around them.

 

 cloouds playroom4After drilling two small holes on the top part of each cloud, I hung them up by installing hooks on the ceiling and secured with anchors.

I think that they look pretty nice, giving a fun and whimsical touch to the playroom.

At first I thought about just leaving them in the natural wood tone, but I couldn’t help it. I love white and think they tie the moldings and furniture in the room together much better.

 

 

Barn1Here is another addition to my “Casita” night lights! I made a barn, complete with a couple of cute farm animals and some green bushes around it to give it more color…

 

 

Barn2

For all of my night lights I have been choosing soft pastel colors, and when I thought about making a barn I was a bit dubious about painting it red, but this is its characteristic color and I truly love it!

Hope you like it too! It’s available right now at my Etsy shop!

 

 

 

flower quilt2We are having an unusual cold winter this year and it seems to me that it’s going to be a long one too.

I am so longing for spring and sunny warm days, that I decided (between juggling quite a few tasks and activities) to gather some “springy” colorful fabrics and begin quilting again.

 

flower quilt1I am always more inclined to choose same color fabrics and patterns; this time I decided to try something completely different and see how it turns out.

So far, I love it!

I’ll share more pics with you as soon as I finish… (hopefully very soon)!

 

 

 

giveaway Thank you so much to all of you for participating in my giveaway

I am happy to announce that Mina is the lucky winner of the necklace!  Congratulations!

I really enjoy organizing giveaways and so I will be in the hunt for more special things to share with you very soon!

Thanks again!

 

 

E's room1On a Saturday morning when the temperature outside is -6 C and your kids are bouncing back from a cold, there’s nothing better to do than rather just stay home and keep warm.

 

E's room2The good thing is that it gave us the opportunity to catch up with the messy week’s stuff and do some clean up.

And from there, we went on moving furniture around and re-thinking the whole layout of my daughter’s room.

 

 E's room3I am so thrilled about the fact that my daughter agrees with me and thinks that embracing change is good, and so we have become “partners in crime” taking charge of the entire house’s decoration. 

On the other hand, my son and my husband are a bit resistant and prefer avoiding change at all costs… may be it’s a “man” thing.

 

 E's room4Once we were satisfied and agreed (that’s another great thing that I love between my daughter and I) it was time to do some drawing and painting.

So far, we are really enjoying our day at home!

Don’t forget to participate in my giveaway. There’s still time until January 31st!

 

 

paper punch2

This paper punch makes one of the prettiest flower shapes.  It has a very detailed cut out of a daisy and those cuts are crisp and clean. I haven’t tried to use heavy card stock though, but it works really well with regular paper.  It is so pretty that it can be used in so many creative ways.

 

paper punch4Like a paper garland that I made, using twine and just passing the punched daises through. Unfortunately I got distracted for a second and now my garland is all coming apart and tangled up. Oh well…

 

 

giveaway2I completely fell in love with this necklace when I saw it. The tiny pair of scissors and the little sewing machine charms are just beautiful!

It quickly became my favorite and I had been using it for a long time now. It’s not a pricey necklace, but I think it’s lovely with its gold tone, lobster-claw clasp, and peach enamel on the scissors charm.

 

giveaway4A week ago, when I went shopping at that same store, but in a different location, I found another one.

I thought it would be nice to buy it and organize a giveaway for my blog friends that, as I do, love sewing and keep me inspired by being so talented and creative! But everyone is welcome to participate… worldwide!

 

giveaway3So, if you would like to be part of this giveaway, go ahead and just leave a comment on this post and one winner will be drawn at random on Friday, January 31st!

I am not being sponsored by anyone. I just love how cute this necklace is, and wanted to share it with you!

 

dress1BI must have taken this dress apart at least three times. I never worked with thick elastic denim fabric before and probably this would be the last time I do! After a while I gave up.

Although the dress doesn’t look the way it should, I am not completely dissatisfied with the results.

 

dress2 Perhaps I’ll add some buttons and may be a pair of pockets on the front, but my daughter seems to like it the way it is. She already wore it with a pair of warm tights and a cardigan on top.

I think my sewing machine will get a break… the desire of sewing faded away… at least for now!

 

 

yellow big casita2I just finished building another night light. This time I made a little house in a different shape that took me a bit more time to finish because of its size and many details but in the end, I am very happy with the results!

 yellow big casita3

 

I hope you like it too. It’s already available at my shop and you can always visit it here!

While building this little house, I listened to a great audiobook that I really enjoyed not only because of the book itself but also because of Rosalyn Landor.

She is one of my favorite narrators and her voice and the way she recounts the story is truly a delight. I do recommend it!

 

Indy1 We visited our pet store by chance a few days before x-mas and saw this little guy… then I couldn’t stop thinking that this would be the best present ever for our kids.

Growing up, I never had cats and instead considered myself more of a “dog person”.  But our children kept talking about how much they would love to have a kitten as a pet.

 Indy2In the beginning it took me a while to get used to him.  However, I could never have imagined how much I would have got to love him as I do now.

I thought cats never showed emotions, but I was wrong. He is so sweet and playful and my kids adore him!

This for sure is the best present that Santa could have gotten for our family.

(Oh!… my daughter sewed the little mattress for his basket all by herself! She did a great job… It turned out so soft and comfy! You can see it on my Instagram account)

 

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