DIY Inspired Guest Posts, DIY Craft Ideas - DIY Inspired
15th Oct2012

Add New Life to Everyday Objects with ‘Upcycling’

by Dinah Wulf

If you are looking to upgrade but don’t want to discard, it’s possible to add new life to everyday items by “upcycling” them. Whether they are boring, broken or just taking up unnecessary space, here are three easy Do-It-Yourself crafts using materials you already have in your home.

Problem: Drab Light Control

If your living area needs a face lift but you don’t know where to begin, think lighting. That paint in the store may look perfect under the fluorescent lights of a warehouse, but it will undergo a dramatic transformation in your home’s natural light. You can control how much sunlight streaming into your home will affect your decor by using Blinds.com window blinds and other window treatments. Shutters help regulate light and offer privacy, but all that fancy light control can sometimes be pricey. Why not revamp what you already have?

Solution: Paint Your Curtains

Yes, it’s possible. All you need is fabric paint, tape and a small roller with a thin sponge. If you don’t have fabric paint don’t fret; using that regular wall paint you have stored in the garage will work too. All you need to do is add textile medium to the paint. Its a $2- $5 acrylic paint additive that allows for proper adhesion and permanence on a fabric. AKA it helps them not flake or fade. Now just tape off whatever design you want – stripes and chevron are bold choices – and get sponging.

Problem: Glass Overload

When you’re creative or crafty, a common problem is having a shelf, closet or pantry full of items you can’t bear to toss out. These items aren’t keepsakes, but materials that could someday come in handy when creating. So if you have a closet such as this, here’s a solution for something that’s bound to be in your collection: glass jars.

Solution: Upcycle Old Jars

You’ll need your jars of all sizes, yarn, masking tape, white spray paint, ribbon and tea lights. Tightly wrap yarn in a crisscross pattern around a jar, then tape the ends on the underside or inside of the jar. Don’t place tape anywhere you’ll be painting. Lightly spray the jars with three coats of white paint and let dry. Remove the yarn, wrap the tops with ribbon and add your tea lights for a chic twist on DIY candles and light.

Problem: Outdated or Broken Frames

You probably have some outdated or broken frames somewhere in your home waiting to be used or thrown away. But instead of wasting or willing them away, upcycle them into something new. Whether they are cracked, an awful color or outdated design, this crafty tip will transform them in no time. And bonus, they don’t necessarily need to be used as frames, but maybe trendy wall décor instead.

Solution: DIY Yarn Frames

Mkae sure you have enough yarn knowing that one skein would probably cover five 8-by-8-inch frames. Besides yarn and your frames, the only other thing you’ll need is a light-duty staple gun. Start by stapling the loose ends of the yarn to the top left corner on the back of the frame. To prevent unraveling, loop the yarn around the frame twice, pulling it tight. Then start wrapping, working in a clockwise motion and every so often scrunching it toward the wrapped end to make the effect more substantial. Once you’ve covered the frame, staple the end to the backside of the frame, making sure it doesn’t unravel.

Getting crafty to reuse common items around your home doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be pricey. By recycling something the average person would throw away you are revamping your space in a spunky, eco-friendly way.

Authored By: Justin Greig A self-proclaimed “21st century hippie,” Justin studied Journalism at Berkeley and freelances for many environmental publications. He has a special interest in conservation, and he and his wife recently added solar panels to their home.

 

 

11th Oct2012

Halloween Skeleton Frame

by Dinah Wulf
Welcome, Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box!  So glad to have you again!
I’m so glad you decided to share this AWESOME tutorial!

 

 

The spirits of the other side are ready to come out and play here at DIY Inspired!  Are you prepared the mischief they will cause? I did warn Dinah if I was going to guest blog I was going to bring something spooky and creepy but I am so glad she did!My skeleton is using the a painting as a portal to the world of the living the evil spirits reaches for any passing soul to posses.

 

Watch out it might just me you.
Would you like to make one? Here are a few thing you will need.
Materials:
1. Cardboard (Free)
2. Skeleton (Michaels 14.99)
3. Modge Podge (own or 4.99 at Michaels)
4. Black paint & red paint  (.59 cent)
5. Burlap ($2.00 for half a yard)
6. foam brush (.10 cent)
7. Frame (Michaels on clearance $9.99)
8. Clay ($8.99 Michaels)
9.Tape (own)
10. 24 gauge wire (own)
11. Scissors (own)
12. Saw (own $4.99)

 

 

The first thing you will need to do is to cut the back of the skull of your skeleton because you want him to lay flat on the cardboard. Measure the cardboard to fit the inside of your frame. My frame is 8×10.

 

 

Position your skeleton, my skeleton name is Joe where you want him to be.

 

 

I felt bad cutting Joe up but he feel much better once all the extra weight is off.
I cut through the spice of Joe to make sure he could fit in the frame.

 

Mix modge podge with black paint with a foam brush.

Now the messy part starts, use the mixture and paint the burlap with it.

I told you it was going to get messy! Its going to look a little muddy but it will be worth it once it dries. You will need to cover the entire cardboard. Don’t lay the burlap flat on the cardboard because you will need some depth with it to make it look realistic.

 

Also use the modge podge to clue the down the skeleton. Let the burlap dry for at least 24 hours.

 

 

 
I wanted to have Joe reaching out for someone, so I took masking tape to hold the joints in place. I then used the burlap with modge podge to cover masking tape.

 

 

 
I did not stop there I also cut all the finger off and used the 24 gauge jewelry wire to reattach all the  fingers. Can you believe that Joe had to right hands before I did the surgery? haha. Now his finger can bend and point at you. 

 

 

 
The last thing I did was make a heart out of clay to be place in rib cage. 

 

Imagine that you are done with your skeleton frame tutorial. !!!

 
I think my puppy liked it. 

Happy Haunting’s from Pandora’s Craft Box.

Thank you for having me DIY Inspired.

 

05th Oct2012

Salted Butter Pecan Martini

by Dinah Wulf

Salted Butter Pecan Martini, Written By David Edessa

Check out all of David’s FANTASTIC cocktail party recipes!  Find the perfect one for any occasion.

Many years ago a friend turned me on to dipping salted potato chips into soft pecan ice cream. I was reluctant to try at first, however, the salt and sweetness of the ice cream made me a fan. This Salted Butter Pecan Martini recipe is reminiscent of that taste for me…enjoy!!! :)

Salted Butter Pecan Martini recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka ( your favorite brand will due in a Vanilla Vodka)
  • ¾ oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
  • ¾ oz. Frangelico Liqueur
  • ½ oz. Baileys Caramel
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • Torani Salted Caramel syrup

Glass Prep Instructions:

Place martini glass in freezer for 15 minutes to half an hour. Pour the caramel syrup into a shallow plate and in another plate crushed candied pecans. Then, dip the rim of a chilled martini glass into the plate with the caramel syrup and then dip the chilled glass into the plate with the crushed candied pecans. When done place prepped glass on parchment paper for easy release and place in freezer until ready to use.

If you feel you need more of a salted rim. Try the following rimmer mix along with the crushed candied pecans.

Rimmer Mix Instructions:

  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup crushed Maldon sea salt
  • ¼ cup crushed candied pecans

Instructions:
Place all liquid ingredients in a shaker tin (except syrup) with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 20-30 seconds or tin is frosted. Pour ingredients into prepped glass.

•••••••••••••• DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!!  ••••••••••••••••••

 

Photo Source

 

21st Sep2012

Iced Java Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Iced Java Cocktails!!!! Coffee Cocktail Time!!!

Written By David Edessa

It’s been a hot summer and this September there has been both hot and temperate days. Therefore, I thought it would be a great idea to work on some cold after dinner drinks.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Iced Nutty Jamaican Coffee Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Tia Maria liqueur
  • ½ oz. Dark Rhum
  • ½ oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, Dark Rhum, Tia Maria and milk. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

Iced KGB Coffee Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • ½ oz. Kahlua liqueur
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream
  • 4 oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua and Grand Marnier. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

Iced White Chocolate Russian Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ½ oz. Kahlua liqueur
  • ½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3½ oz. Cold Coffee

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine coffee, vodka, Kahlua, milk and Godiva. Shake well and pour all contents including the ice in a tall mug.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Cold Coffee Brewing procedure:

Simply combine cold water with ground dark roast coffee, cover, and let sit overnight or at least eight hours. Use one tablespoon per cup of water. When you are ready to serve the coffee, strain it two times through a coffee filter or a very fine mesh strainer to remove coffee grounds.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

 

07th Sep2012

Hazelnut After Dinner Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Many moons ago when I first turn 21, a bartender friend turned me on to these two Hazelnut After Dinner Cocktails. There those that will substitute the Frangelico liqueur on both drinks with an Amaretto liqueur. That combination also will create a delicious cocktail.  Also, I made one drink as a martini and the other in a tall glass. I wanted to show that you do not have to be limited by glassware.  Furthermore, both drinks work great as blended after dinner drink. I usually will add one scoop of French vanilla ice cream with all the ingredients including the cup of ice.

 

<•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>

Russian Quaalude Martini:

Instructions:

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • ¾ oz. Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 1 oz. Whole Cream

Instructions:

Pour over ice; shake vigorously, Strain into hazelnut prepped martini glass.

Jamaican Quaalude Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Coconut Rhum
  • ½ oz. Dark Rhum
  • ½ oz. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • ½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Whole Cream

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the hazelnut prepped old fashioned glass with crushed ice.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Glass Prep Instructions:

Start by placing the glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place the crushed hazelnuts on one side of a plate. Squeeze about a tablespoon of agave syrup on the other side of the plate. Invert the chilled martini glass and rub it through the syrup to coat the rim. Once coated, rub the rim through the hazelnut until the rim is completely covered. Once you are done, place glasses in freezer until ready to pour and serve the drink.

Hazelnut Rimmer Procedure:

Spread shelled hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in an oven that has been preheated to 275 degrees. Let them bake until the skin cracks, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Use a clean towel to rub the skin off of the nuts. Leaving some skin on is not a reason for concern as long as the majority of it is removed. Make sure to use an old towel when cleaning the skin from the nuts as hazelnuts may stain the fabric. Place the hazelnuts in a freezer bag and lay the bag on a flat surface. Zip partially shut and use the palm of your hand to push any excess air from the bag. Close the bag the rest of the way. Use a rolling pin, or a can, to roll the nuts until they are crushed. Turn the bag over several times while crushing to make sure you are crushing evenly.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Photo Source: ScienceOfDrink.com

 

24th Aug2012

Java Cocktails

by Dinah Wulf

Java Cocktails!!!!

I love coffee. The flavor leaves me wanting another. I enjoy coffee flavored ice cream and enjoy it as an after dinner cocktail.

“Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.”

Talking about coffee, French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838).

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Espresso Cocktail Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • 1½ oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. White Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz. Espresso or Strong Black Coffee (cold… But not iced)

Cocktail Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the cold espresso, crème de cacao, Kahlua, and vodka, and cover and shake vigorously until the shaker has frosted over, strain into a chilled martini glass. You are ready to serve.

Mocha Heath Bar Cocktail Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz. Dooley’s Toffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Dark Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1 Heath Bar
  • Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup

Glass Prep Instructions:

Place the Heath bar and the martini glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Take a hammer and smash the Heath Bar while in its wrapper into fine pieces on a hard safe hard surface. Place them on one side of a plate. Squeeze about a table spoon of chocolate on the other side of the plate. Invert the chilled martini glass and rub it through the chocolate to coat the rim. Once coated, rub the rim through the Heath Bar pieces until the rim is completely covered. Next, turn the glass upright and hold at an angle. Twirl the glass as you drip chocolate on to the inside. Finally, place the glasses in the freezer until you are ready to pour and serve the drink.

Cocktail Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the toffee liqueur, crème de cacao, Kahlua, heavy cream, and vodka, and cover and shake vigorously until the shaker has frosted over, strain into a prepped martini glass. You are ready to serve.

I did this one because I really like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

 

Wanted to add a two minute video I made of the projects featured on this blog over the past 16 months. Thanks for watching! -Dinah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIVsDIpHi0A&feature=plcp

 

 

21st Aug2012

Styling Rooms by Zoning

by Dinah Wulf

Styling Rooms by Zoning , an exclusive Interview with Julia Kendall from DIY SOS talks through how to create open plan designs

“With the growing trend for open plan living and large wet areas, there are endless possibilities to creatively zone areas by adding character and distinctive style with tiles, mosaics and warm woods. Zoning multiple areas to identify individual functional spaces can work just as successfully in large rooms as it can in the most bijoux of spaces.

 

“As kitchens and bathrooms have become multifunctional spaces in the home, creating separate, distinct zones will keep a sense of order and create boundaries. Tiles are an excellent design tool for zoning each function of an open plan room to suit your needs and a must have feature in today’s open plan living designs.

 

“For kitchen and dining areas, consider the function of each area and define it by choosing a practical flooring option suitable for cooking, eating and socializing.

 

“For wet areas, a wet room allows the showering area to blend naturally with the rest of the room and with the use of mosaics you really can create something to be marveled at, whilst still providing slip resistance.”

A special thank you to ToppsTiles for sponsoring this post.

 

17th Aug2012

Cocktails Inspired by Pears

by Dinah Wulf

Pear of Aces: Cocktails Inspired by Pears

I’ve always enjoyed pears. In fact the pear had been on my top ten favorite fruits.

<•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>

Canned Pear Purée recipe:

In a blender, purée the entire can of pears including the syrup and two ounces of Marsanne wine (Pinot Gris will also do). Set pear purée aside in a separate bowl. Rinse blender bowl and return to base.

Pear Mint Lemonade (non-alcoholic) recipe:

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ cup White Cranberry juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 oz. Lemon-lime soda
  • 6-8 Fresh Mint Leaves

Instructions:

Scoop the pear purée and blend with the white cranberry and lemon juice in a blender until well mixed. Stir in mint leaves (tear with hands first) with a spoon. When you are ready to serve add soda and serve immediately over ice.

This recipe will also work as a mixer with your favorite vodka or rhum.

<•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>

Drunken Pear Lemonade:

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. of Pear Mint Lemonade
  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • ½ oz. Agave syrup
  • 5 oz. of Pear Mint Lemonade
  • 16 oz. glass

Instructions:

Add ice to glass then pour into shaker. We will build the drink in the shaker. Pour the vodka, triple sec, agave syrup, pear lemonade in the shaker and shake at least three times. Transfer contents from shaker including the ice back into glass and top with ice and soda water.

Pear Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Pear, slice (garnish)

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, agave syrup, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add the vodka and Cointreau then ice scoop. Shake vigorously at least 10 shakes or shake until the shaker has frosted over. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and add a slice of pear in the center of glass then serve.

Pear Spritzer Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Vanilla Rhum
  • 2 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Organic Honey
  • 1 oz. White Cranberry juice
  • Soda water

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, honey, white cranberry juice, rhum and then a cup of ice. Shake vigorously at least 3 shakes then pour ice in all into cocktail glass. Then add ice if needed and top of with soda water.

Pear Berry Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Strawberry Vodka
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. Pear Purée
  • ½ Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Sprite
  • ½ oz. Hennessy Chambord liqueur

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the pear puree, agave syrup, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add the vodka and Cointreau then ice scoop. Shake vigorously at least 10 shakes or shake until the shaker has frosted over. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and then in the side of the glass add half an ounce of Chambord liqueur to create a layering visual effect. Then you are ready to serve.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

10th Aug2012

Frozen Summer Fun Day Part Two

by Dinah Wulf

Written by David Edessa

Frozen Summer Fun Day Part Two

You do not always have to use fresh fruit to make a delicious cocktail. Canned fruit are a great substitute if fresh is not accessible or if unripe fruit is the only produce to your grocery store currently carries.  In fact I find more often that grocers will carry unripe sour fruit. That should not stop you from creating your favorite cocktails or desserts. Here are some recipes inspired by peaches.

 

<•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>

Canned Peach Purée recipes:

In a blender, purée the entire can of peaches including the syrup and two ounces of pineapple juice. Set peach purée aside in a separate bowl. Rinse blender bowl and return to base.

<•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>

Strawberry Peach Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Silver Rum
  • ½ oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • 2 Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Honey
  • 1 Fresh Lime

Ingredients:

Juice one lime, and pour juice into blender. Add rum, schnapps, peach purée, strawberry and honey. Fill serving glass with ice, add ice to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with whipped cream.

 

Banana Peach Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Silver Rum
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • ½ Fresh Banana
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Honey
  • 1 Fresh Limes

Instructions:

Juice one lime, and pour juice into blender. Add rum, peach purée, banana and honey. Fill serving glass with ice, add ice to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into cocktail glass.

Peach & Mint Martini:

Ingredients:

  • 2½ oz. Citrus Vodka
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 2 oz. Peach Purée
  • 2 Mint Leaves

Instructions:

In a cocktail shaker add the peach purée, agave syrup, and two mint leaves (torn to pieces). Add in the vodka, lime juice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

For more frozen drink recipes, check out Frozen Summer Fun Day Part One!

 

Photo Source: Amazon.com

 

07th Aug2012

Decor & Design Inspirations

by Dinah Wulf

Written By: Lisa Jolan

Decor & Design Inspirations for Creating Unique Live Space Around Your Sofas

In every home, the living room is the one space that is used rather frequently. The family tends to lounge, work and do school projects in it. Sometimes, this room even doubles up as an entertainment space as well. With such multiple uses, when designing your living room, it should accommodate all the activities that are carried out on a regular basis. Besides the theme of the living room, your sofa is one of the largest elements in it and designing or choosing one to suit your theme will help in creating the perfect ambiance.

Living rooms can be of several different types. Interior designers have a range of terms to classify styles such as modern, eclectic, traditional, Victorian, contemporary and bohemian. When designing your living room space and planning for your sofa, you need to keep a few points in mind. The first is that there should be a flow from one room to another. If your foyer leads to your living room, then continuity in terms of wall colours or flooring material can help set the base. Similarly if one steps out from the living room to another space, it should not come across as a whole new world, but rather a fresh interpretation to a single theme.

Themes you can choose from

Eclectic: If you are a family that loves to socialize, then you can tweak the eclectic theme to suit you. Try to put earthy colours on the walls and mix in some metal tones as well. Add in some silver strie to the paint on the wall to give the space additional texture. When you are choosing your sofas for this theme, stick with high backed ones so that you create a close-knitted setting that will facilitate good conversation. Another version of the eclectic theme would be to add in low cushioned seating interspersed with antique chairs. This ensures that you have comfortable seating for all age groups.

Romantic: Many couples who are doing up their spaces for the first time would like the romantic setting. You can choose Tudor styled furniture or even a Victorian set. Light, neutral shades on the walls with heavy drapery, the right size chandelier, an intricately carved love seat and a few single sofas with deep set soft cushioning will create the ambiance you are looking for. Throw in sofa backs of silk taffeta and you have the perfect setting.

Transitional settings: These are designs that are meant for people who prefer to have the best of both worlds. In this kind of designing, older styles are blended in with modern furnishing allowing a transition of sorts between the old and the new. Your sofas can be covered in plaid or classic floral designs. You can add in more solid colors that are soft on the eyes rather than being bright. Materials for your sofas can be leather, cotton or even corduroy. In your choice of wood, go with natural shades of wood, even if they are a mix of dark and light.

Contemporary settings: This is a term that for the layman can be a bit difficult to understand. Contemporary living room and sofa settings are based on the trends that are popular at the time you are designing. One of the best ways of coming up with ideas for such settings is to visit showrooms at your favorite interior designing companies; they will have on display the latest in designs. You can mix and match themes from such showrooms to create something unique of your own.

Modern theme: The basic idea here is to convert your space into an artistic one with minimal furniture that exudes an aura of being high end. Based on the scale of your room, you will need to choose sofa pieces that function as the single largest piece of furniture in the room. You will have to have a very clear colour scheme and stick to a maximum of three colours on your palette. Using larger prints will give the look of a modern touch.

 

When choosing your sofas…

In most cases, your sofa will be the largest element in your room. Therefore, you want to have the right amount of space to accommodate it. In larger spaces, it is left entirely to you as to how much space should go to the sofa. Consider the other elements you want to add in and allot space to everything. In the end, you should also have maneuvering space as well. This will give you a good idea about the size sofa you should get, personally I have Alston sofa shown below in my living room area.

 

Keep in mind that the sofa has to be brought into your home. If you are on a high floor then your sofa will have to fit through elevator doors and your home’s doors and walkways so size is an important consideration here. Also, decide which direction you want your sofa to face and think of all other elements in relation to this. Once you have settled on a particular design for your sofa, changing its alignment is not going to help much.

The shape of your sofa will also determine the flow of your living room space. With all these factors considered, you will be able to have a living room that has the sofa as its centre attraction and which will leave all your guests in awe at your designing capabilities.

 

Lisa Jolan is the writer of this guest post of home décor. Connect with me on twitter @lisajolan

 

03rd Aug2012

Summer Fun Day

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Summer Fun Day! Just in time for Sunday Fun day!!!

Watermelon & Strawberry Juice recipe (non-alcoholic Agua Fresca):

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. Strawberry
  • 3 cups Watermelon
  • 3 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 cups of drinking water.
  • 4 tbl. Organic Honey (I like to warm honey…. Not hot)
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

Instructions:

To make watermelon & strawberry juice we have to prep the fruit.

Heating the watermelon draws out more of the flavor and juice. Cut the rinds off the watermelons. Slice the flesh into small chunks. Blend the chunks until the watermelon becomes mushy. Pour through a sieve into a saucepan. Press down using a wooden spoon to release the most juice. Mix the juice with honey. Turn the heat on medium-low. Heat to reduce to a desired thickness, stirring frequently. Make sure that the mixture never comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a container and chill until cold.

Wash and remove the leaves from the strawberries. Then slice the strawberries in halves and store in refrigerator. If you freeze the strawberries you can create a smoothies effect.

When ready to serve, place the strawberries, watermelon mix, lemon juice, water, and salt into blender. Blend the mixture for about one minute when you reach a nice juice thickness. Serve immediately over ice as non-alcoholic beverage or if refrigerated before make sure to stir vigorously before serving.

If juice mix is not sweet enough, warm up a little more honey and stir in (not hot).

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

As a mixer for a cocktail this is an awesome refreshing drink.

Also, a greet replacement to your mimosas by substituting the orange juice with the Agua Fresca and combining it with your favorite

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

 

 

Watermelon Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Silver Rum
  • 2 oz. Pink Lemonade
  • 4 oz. Agua Fresca (strawberry & watermelon)

Instructions:

Fill a tall glass with ice and build your drink with all the ingredients starting with the Rhum and ending with the Agua Fresca. Pour all the contents from the glass into a shaker and shake at least 10 times. Return the contents from the shaker to the glass. Garnish with a mint leaf or lemon wheel and serve.

Strawberry & Watermelon Coddler Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ oz. Vodka
  • 5 oz. Agua Fresca (strawberry & watermelon)

Instructions:

Fill a high ball glass with ice and build your drink with all the ingredients starting with the vodka and ending with the Agua Fresca. Pour all the contents from the glass into a shaker and shake at least 10 times. Return the contents from the shaker to the glass. Garnish with lime wheel and serve.

Strawberry & Watermelon Margarita:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Silver Tequila
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • ½ oz. Fresh Orange Juice
  • 4 oz. Margarita Mix

Instructions:

Fill a tall glass with ice and build your drink with all the ingredients starting with the tequila and ending with the Agua Fresca. Pour all the contents from the glass into a blender and blend for at least 30 seconds. Pour the contents from the blender to a glass that has been rimmed with the sugar & salt mix. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Prep Glass:

Place lime juice in a shallow dish. On a second dish add a mix of equal parts powdered sugar and kosher salt. Invert a glass and dip the rim in the lime juice. Immediately dip in the sugar & salt mix to coat the rim.

Whenever using an electric blender to crush or make a cocktail with ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can without damaging your blender.

******DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!! ******

Photo Source: Amazon.com

 

27th Jul2012

Frozen Summer Fun Day Part One

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Part One

The original daiquiri was a mixture of rum, lime, and sugar, served over ice. The name Daiquirí is also the name of a beach and an iron mine that is near Santiago, Cuba. The drink was a local favorite of the area. However, an American mining engineer by the name of Jennings Cox and a Cuban engineer named Pagliuchi, who happened to be in Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American War refined the drink by adding cane sugar.

Constantino Ribalagua, the famed bartender at Havana’s La Floridita blended the drink with shaved ice, thereby creating the frozen daiquiri. And bartenders have been experimenting ever since by adding exotic fruit juices & fruit.

The basic recipe for a Daiquirí is also similar to the Brazilian Caiparina (recipes below) or the grog British sailors drank aboard ship from the 1740s onwards. By 1795 the Royal Navy daily grog ration contained rum, water, ¾ ounce of lemon or lime juice, and 2 ounces of sugar. These are common drinks across the Caribbean and South America.

On July 31, 1970, Britain’s Royal Navy officially stopped its daily ration of rum to crewmembers aboard naval ships, ending a centuries-old tradition.

 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

When using an electric blender to crush or chop hard ice always check the manufacture manual to verify that you can crush and chop ice without damaging your blender.

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

Classic Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Light Rhum
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Superfine Sugar

Instructions:

Shake all ingredients well with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass or a martini glass will do in a pinch.

 

Hemingway Daiquiri recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. White Rhum
  • ¼ oz. Maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ oz. Fresh Grapefruit juice
  • ¾ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • Lime wheel

Ingredients:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a V-shaped cocktail glass or in a martini glass (not the traditional glassware… But it will do ). Garnish with a lime wheel.

You can also serve it over crushed ice in a cocktail glass…. My favorite!!!

 

Banana Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz. Coconut Rhum
  • 1 Banana
  • 1½ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Superfine Sugar
  • 1 cup Ice (crushed ice is easier to blend.)
  • Maraschino Cherry

Instructions:

Pour all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then at high speed until smooth. Pour contents into a chilled hurricane glass or tall glass. Garnish with the maraschino cherry.

 

Cantaloupe Daiquiri:

Ingredients:

  • 6 Fresh Cantaloupe slices (medium-sized)
  • 1½ oz. White Rhum
  • ¾ oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Superfine Sugar
  • 1 cup Ice (crushed ice is easier to blend.)
  • Mint leaf

Instructions:

Place the sliced cantaloupe in the refrigerator uncovered so it may soften for an hour or two. Then, pour all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then at high speed until smooth. Pour contents into a chilled hurricane glass or tall glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.

 

Caiparina recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Cachaça (liquor made from fermented sugarcane)
  • 1 Key Lime medium-size (cut into 8 wedges)
  • 2 tbsp. Superfine Sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 cup Crushed Ice

Instructions:

Put the lime wedges and the sugar into a thick-walled rocks glass and muddle together until the pulp and the juice of the limes are well macerated. Muddling well is the key to releasing the fruit’s entire flavor. Add crushed ice to glass, and then pour the cachaça over crushed ice and fruit.

 

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!!

 

Photo Sources: Amazon.com

 

20th Jul2012

Going Bananas

by Dinah Wulf

Written By David Edessa

Going Bananas!!!

Most mornings I wake up to a nutritional breakfast of a banana and cup of coffee…. I know… I should have better meal to start the day.

Well, I thought it would be fun just to keep it simple and use the banana as the main ingredient in this week’s cocktail recipes.

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

Banana Margarita:

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz. Banana liqueur
  • 1 oz. tequila
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier liqueur
  • ¼ large bananas

Instructions:

Build your drink in the glass you will be using. Start by filling the glass to the top with ice. Combine the lemon juice, lime juice, banana liqueur, tequila, and bananas. In the container of a blender add the built cocktail. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into margarita glass to serve. Drizzle on top the Grand Marnier. The reason you want to build in the glass is to make an exact portion…Waste Not!

Banana Foster Cocktail:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
  • 1 oz. Banana liqueur
  • 2 oz. Godiva Original Chocolate liqueur
  • ½ banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Instructions:

Fill a glass with ice to the top. Build your drink by combining all ingredients (except powdered cocoa) in the ice filled glass. Pour the ingredients into the blender container and blend until smooth. Take a glass and drizzle the caramel

Put syrup in the inside of glass. Pour ingredients from blender into the prepped cocktail glass. Garnish with a dusting of powdered cocoa, and serve.

Banana Split Martini:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ oz. Vanilla Vodka
  • ¾ oz. Godiva Original Chocolate liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Banana liqueur
  • ½ oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
  • ¼ oz. Pineapple Juice
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Cherry

Instructions:

Swirl three syrups in Martini glass. Add vanilla vodka, banana liqueur, Godiva liqueur, Malibu and pineapple juice into a shaker. Add a cup of ice to shaker and shake vigorously. Pour chilled ingredients into prepped glass. Garnish with a cherry

•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•<~>•

 

DRINK RESPONSIBLE & DRINK SMART!!!And Go Bananas!!! ;)

Photo Source: Amazon.com

 

17th Jul2012

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

by Dinah Wulf

Hello everyone!  I’m Barbara from Chase the Star, and I’m thrilled to be a guest here at DIY Inspired!  I’m such a fan of Dinah’s work, so having an opportunity to share one of my projects with you guys is so exciting!  I have a super simple project you can make with what you may already have (or can run to the dollar store to pick up), a Mason Jar Soap Dispenser!   I’d seen these pinned and around the web a while back, so today, I figured maybe I can try to figure out how to make them myself!

What you’ll need:

  1. Mason jars
  2. Glue (I like E6000 for these kinds of projects)
  3. Pumps (I bought some cheap soap dispensers and used theirs)
  4. Hand soap, or lotion, or whatever filler you’d like
  5. Drill
  6. Hammer
  7. Nail
  8. Twine (optional)
  9. Love (mandatory) ;)

Tutorial:

Take the lid off the mason jar and separate its parts.  With a nail and hammer, puncture a few holes on the top of the lid.  Then with a drill and the biggest drill bit you have (ok, use your judgment here!), drill right through the holes to create an opening large enough to fit your pump securely.  Put the pump through the hole.

I glued the lid parts together so they wouldn’t slip, although in retrospect, not sure if that was necessary.  Better be safe than sorry I guess!  Once the glue dried, I made sure to clean the jar and lid/pump, before I actually put the soap in it (oh, the irony!).  I wanted to make sure all the drill, nail, and hammer cooties were washed away.  Then simply filled the jar with the hand soap (also a dollar store find) and added the twine as a rustic and decorative touch.

In about 30 minutes, we went from this, to this:

You can get really creative with what you put in the jars; I love these for any other occasion, or just around your house!   I made 3 of these in half an hour, and spent about $6 for the soap, and the dispensers, the rest came from my good ol’ supply closet.  Pretty simple isn’t it?  Again, a big thank you to Dinah for giving me this great opportunity!  Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you at Chase the Star sometime soon!