DIY Gold Rimmed Marble Tray

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Is it just me or does anyone else have stuff lying around you know you want to use for some project, just don’t know what exactly the project will be yet? I have boxes of such „craft supplies” waiting to be figured out. Well, one item is off that list!

Because it weren’t just pebbles that I brought home from Croatia this spring. No, I had to put the Fiance’s nerves to further testing, as on a pleasant walk along the coast we found a pile of construction waste. Ugly as it looked on the otherwise pristine shore, something caught my eye: chunks of marble slabs. Such beauties I knew right then and there I needed to take, bearing in mind how big the marble trend is in home decor right now. There came of course the rolling of eyes and the knitting of brows, but the salvaged wedges were resting in our shed since (Love you Hun!).

I had some kind of tray in mind with handles, but then the wise men in my life reminded me that drilling and polishing marble is not that simple. Special tools are needed that are not what you’d call cheap, and even with the right equipment there is a risk of the marble breaking due to our lack of experience working with it. So, I filed this affair under „maybe some other time”.

But then I came across a post by Lauren Conrad and it got me going again. Inspired by her gilded edge trays, I transformed one of my slabs into a hors d’oeuvre plate and I love how it turned out! Also, I realized that instead of drilling, I could just glue on some cabinet pulls to make my life easier.

Now I’m aware not all of you may find piles of marble waiting to be picked up, but if you like this project, you can buy marble tiles in hardware stores or you can always go to a stonemason’s yard and ask if they sell scraps. There’s even a chance to get them for free, you never know!

What you’ll need:

  • gold acrylic paint and paintbrush (acrilic paint is water-based, non toxic and becomes water-resistant when dry)
  • self-adhesive floor protector furniture leg pads
  • cabinet pulls (mine are Ikea ATTEST handles that I spray-painted gold)
  • 2-part Epoxy (resin) glue

Instructions:

Paint the edge of the slab, let it dry completely.

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If you want nice, clean lines use painter’s tape, but a little excess paint makes it look all the more rustic.

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To make sure your tray does not scratch surfaces, stick on the furniture pads.

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Marble should be cleaned before applying glue (acetone is best to remove dirt or oily substances from the surface). Measure and mark where you want your handles to go, follow the instructions on the glue, and stick them on. Clean excess wet glue as soon as possible. Clamp or place a heavy object over it to help with the bonding process.

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After the necessary dry-time, you’re all set! Note that the tray will be hand wash only.

Now you have a new piece of serve-ware to help you prep for your upcoming soirees. Let me know how you like the marble trend!

Happy crafting!

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*

Friday Finds

Farewell, spring, you were all so wonderful! I am caught up in the excitement of what the summer has in store for us. Let’s see this week’s treasures:

This staircase in the South of France photographed by Didier Massé:

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As David Ogilvy, Father of Advertising said:

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This fireplace filled with candles by Sarah Gibson over at Room for Tuesday:

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Vodka pear lavender lemonade, don’t mind if I do! Recipe by Ashley Rose of Sugar & Clothe:

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The table setting of a modern minimalist beach wedding in Florida, photographed by Lauren Kinsey:

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Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Homemade Herb Butter

When your herb garden starts going crazy (mine is now), or you just couldn’t control yourself at the market and ended up bringing home waaaay more butter than needed (me last week, but the price at Lidl was irresistible!), it’s time to make herb butter.

Just imagine adding this to smoked salmon, stuffing under the skin of a chicken, serving with baked or mashed potatoes, slathering on grilled meat and veggies like corn, melted on pasta or putting a nice pat of it on your favorite bread… Hmmm!

Better yet, making this flavorful goodness only takes a few minutes of your life, keeps in the fridge for weeks, and you can freeze it too (that way, it’s good for months). Ready? Let’s do this!

Homemade Herb Butter

  • Time: 10 min + 1 h chilling
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

250 g (about 1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup mixed herbs (such as basil, thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, oregano or rosemary)

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

chili flakes to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Chop herbs (herb scissors, like this one make it lightning fast, a useful addition to your kitchen gadgets).
  2. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients well until herbs are distributed evenly in the butter.
  3. Dump onto a piece of cling foil or parchment paper, shape into a cylinder and seal ends by twisting. You may also pack butter into ramekins and cover with plastic.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least an hour.

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Feel free to experiment! I encourage you to try different combinations of the herbs listed above, and you can play with the proportions as well to create signature flavors. I just whipped up a batch with equal parts sage and parsley, and oh my. Will be gone in a jiffy.

Next time you are invited to a garden cookout bring this along with the six-packs, hosts and guests alike will love you for it.

Love,

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders, what I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion. I am not being compensated through sponsorship or gifts, but this post contains an affiliate link; I may get a commission for purchases made through it. Thank you for helping me earn a little something on the side!*

Friday Finds

Have you noticed how lights are getting cleaner, sharper, somehow whiter lately? Summer is so around the corner. Dreaming of the Mediterranean…

Cloni ranunculus blooms art photograph by Georgianna Lane:

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Words of the Maestro:

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Mediterranean garden via Tumblr:

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DIY driftwood sailboat via White Gunpowder:

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Silvery Mediterranean fish by Mary Jo Hoffman of Still:

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Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

Homemade Mint Syrup

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Hello guys! After quite a few rainy days we are finally getting some sunshine here. How’s your herb garden doing? I am inquiring because if you want to preserve some of your mint, now’s the time to do it. I found that mine is healthiest and lushest around this period. After overblowing in June, it’s growth slows down and shoots become tougher. Academic literature (a.k.a. google) too advises to harvest before the plant blooms, although it’s never mentioned why. If anyone knows, enlighten me please! It is also said that harvesting herbs is best in the morning just as the dew evaporates, before the heat of the day to get the highest essential oil content.

There are several ways to conserve herbs and today I’m going to show you how to make mint infused syrup to step up your beverage game.

Simple syrup is nothing more than a solution of sugar in water, a commonly used ingredient in many drinks and thus an indispensable part of your arsenal as a cocktailian. Referred to as one-to-one, it’s made of 1 part sugar and 1 part water. So easy, I just can’t believe people are buying it premade.

To make, combine sugar and water in a small pan, turn heat to medium and stir occasionally to dissolve crystals. Bring to a boil than remove from heat, allow to cool, bottle and refrigerate. For a more flavorful syrup, consider using raw brown sugar, it maintains more of a molasses character.

A stronger version, known as rich syrup is the same thing with a larger proportion of sugar. Some bartenders make it with 1.5 parts sugar to 1 part water, while others go up to a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. Rich syrup gives you the advantage of using less per drink and it also keeps longer before spoiling. The reason? Sugar acts as a preservative (think jams, which are also called preserves).

Syrups have a decent shelf life when prepared and stored properly, that is, made with boiling water and stored in a sterile container in the refrigerator. That, needless to say, doesn’t mean interminable — syrup can get moldy, so make quantities you’re likely to use within a reasonable time frame. As a rule of thumb 1:1 hot-process simple syrup should last 2 months, while 2:1 simple syrup should last 6 months. Always check for mold and you’d be ok.

To infuse your syrup, roughly chop 1 bunch of fresh mint (about 1 cup), stems and leaves together.

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Add to sugar and water, make syrup with lid on. Essential oils are volatile, they will evaporate easily in the increased heat otherwise. Let cool with the lid still on, strain through a sieve and can up. You can discard of the mint, it has served its purpose.

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Use it for making all kinds of refreshing drinks, and be sure to try drizzling over chocolate ice-cream.

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Enjoy!

Fruzsi

Friday 13th Finds

Hey there! Today is considered an unlucky day in Western culture. Did you know there’s even a scientific name for the fear of Friday the 13th? It’s called paraskevidekatriaphobia. I’m thinking of making this the password for all my devices. 😀 Don’t fret too much though, today’s the only doomed Friday this year, and we will get it over with soon enough. Since I’m not superstitious, all I can do for you is post images of black cats with their, umm, pretty cool owners.

Elizabeth (photo cred Peter Stackpole):

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Brigitte:

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Audrey:

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Cherylin:

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Twiggy (photo cred Burt Glinn):

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Happy weekend!

Fruzsi

DIY Felt Bookmark

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I commute every day from the suburbs and the inevitable trek from my front door to work and back is not the shining moment of my day by any means. Like most of you, I feel the need to lug a ton of crap to and from, toting around half my life (plus gym change) and finding the number of my bags multiplying and getting more ridiculous in size by the minute.

But enough of the misery! What makes that train ride considerably tolerable is the books I also carry with me. Always love myself a good read! Helps shutting the world out and the journey just flies by.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.

Mason Cooley

I must be old-fashioned but still prefer paper to an e-reader… And with my love of books comes the constant need for new bookmarks. The card stock ones I used to having quickly got destroyed or lost, so I decided to DIY more durable pieces for myself and the bookworms in my life. Pinterest was full of great ideas, and I chose to make some cute heart-shaped felt bookmarks.

Not much was needed: some felt material, scissors, pencil, thread and a needle. After a quick pit stop at the drapery shop on the way home, everything was ready for crafting. I have to admit sewing was never really my thing (although I try to improve), but this project is really what they call stupid easy, you’ll see.

This is how it goes:

First, design your template on cardboard (make corner right angle to fit pages). With a pencil, trace it on your material twice for each bookmark, cut out hearts.

DIY felted bookmark collage

Now you stitch them together, making a pouch for the page. Time to show off your fancy needle technique! I am sure most of you could do this part in the blink of an eye while watching TV but for me, it took some time. Had fun though, despite the pinpricks. 🙂 I was using gold embroidery thread, and this is the outcome:

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DIY Felted Bookmark on bookpage

Next time you buy someone a book, top it off with this little personalised, hand-made present.

Have an awesome week!

Fruzsi

Friday Finds

Here we are again, at the doorstep of another weekend. What do you have in mind for the next two days? I think I will decide after I catch up on my sleep. 🙂 Anyway, your weekly collage of entertainment is right here:

Still crazy for succulents. And the basket. And that floor.

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As simple as that:

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Handwoven Diamanta Throw in indigo by The Citizenry:

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Roasted Honey Pear Crostini by the Reluctant Entertainer:

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And meet Juniper the pet fox spotted on Bored Panda, who’s basically “an orange dog”:

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Happy weekend!

Fruzsi