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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tutorial: Coffee Filter Roses.

Romantic, eye- catching, beautiful, inexpensive, easy-to-make, great as favors and as tokens of love, friendship or appreciation...
Thank you to all the lovely ladies that sent me sweet notes about them!! And sorry if I couldn't share this tutorial earlier on my blog.

OK, let's start with gathering the supplies needed. Nothing outside the ordinary tools and materials you have at home.
For one rose you'll need:
- coffee filters (about 15)
- scissors
- a pencil
- normal sewing thread
- coffee
- a cup
- cinnamon, spices
- tin foil
- oven
- paper adhesive tape
- stripes of cotton
- ribbons, button
- a wooden stick for the stem
- a bbq stick
- tags, clothespins, rubber stamps (all optional)

1. Start tracing the petals on the coffee filters, with a pencil, then cut them out. I used the patterns available on Martha Stewart's website here:

2. Start assembling the rose, simply using thread to keep the bottoms of the petals together. Do not cut it from the spool until you're finished. This is my own method, you could also use florist's tape instead of thread.
Use the smallest petals first, and then proceed assembling the bigger ones, always turning your 'bud' and making a knot every now and then as you proceed.

3. When you're happy with the size of your rose, cut the thread and secure with three or four knots.

4. To age the rose, soak it in a cold mixture of coffee, cinnamon and other ingredients that stain, you can easily find in your kitchen. Just experiment to find the 'magic recipe' that works for you! It might be necessary to wash a bit of the color off, for a more natural look.

Then put the rose on an oven pan covered in tin foil (to not damage it), and sprinkle with cinnamon.

5. Bake at medium heat for about 15 minutes. Always, always keep an eye on your work when it's in the oven!

6. With adhesive paper tape, attach the rose on a common wooden stick. Twist the tape very firmly.

7. With a stripe of ripped fabric, cover completely the wooden stick, as showed. No glue is necessary.

8. With the help of a skewer stick, turn the edges of the petals downwards, to conphere a natural look to the flower.

9. Finish the rose off with a bow made of ribbons, stripes of cotton, ... and a handsewn button.
Add a tag if you want, with a handwritten or stamped sentiment on.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Am... I Love... I cannot Live Without...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! For my new followers and readers, here's a little bit about me...

I am...

An artist.

A photographer and stylist.

A crafter.

A good listener.

A sentimental keeper.

I love...


Flowers and gardens.


Golden Retrievers.

Books and bookstores.



Antiquing and thrifting.

To write.

To paint.

To capture beauty through my lens.

To listen to the silence.

Stationery, since I was very young.

Paper of all kind.


Inspiring quotes and readings.

Teddy Bears and dollshouses.

Rag Dolls.

Polka dots, checks and stripes.

The Ocean.

The Cotswolds.




Hats and bags.




Seasonal living.

Mail peeping out of the mailbox.

Growing orchids.

Patchwork quilts and eiderdowns.

Adirondack chairs.

Vintage luggage.

New England.



Anything beachy.

Candles and lanterns.


Photographs, both old and new.



English thatched cottages.

Country style.


Panna cotta.

All vegetables and fruit.

Old movies.

Museums and libraries.

Linen clothes.


Pony tail.

To make, to re-make.


Anything beachy.

Wool and Autumn.

Pumpkins and gourds.

Woolen blankets.



Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

Simple Abundance.

Marjolein Bastin.

Brambly Hedge.

Coordinated colors.

To always look for the silver lining.

I cannot live without...



My dog.

My Nikon.

My art supplies.

My Mac.


Neck heating pads.

Moisturizing cream.

Turtle necks.

Monica x

Dried Flowers.

I've always loved dried flowers... they add a touch of old- fashioned beauty to my home, and help preserve the scent and colors of Summer for Winter enjoyment.
I made this arrangement for my happy Mom this year :) with the hydrangeas from my aunt and peonies my Mom gave me when I had surgery in May.

You can see the vintage suitcase I lined with old book pages too... I'm very happy with it as storage for my mixed media canvases.

To dry my flowers, I use the 'classic' method of hanging them upside down in a not-so-bright and most importantly not humid, spot of my home. Love the result.

And you? Do you like dried flowers?
Monica x.

Long-Awaited Tutorial coming on Wednesday! Yay!

After so many requests, I'm eventually able to release the photo tutorial of my coffee filter roses!
Apologies to the lovely international people that have been waiting for so long, but I couldn't post this tutorial until the next issue of the magazine where it was published was out. By the way, a new exciting issue of Somerset Life is about to hit newstands next week :)

Come back on Wednesday for the complete instructions on how to make these roses.
Monica x.
FYI: Comments closed on this post.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspired, Inspired (... With One Palette).

There's very little you can do when you're inspired...

You can't resist... you just have to follow your Muse, and do what your inner voice is telling you. No matter what other people expect from you... or what you thought you were meant to do.

... I am spreading my wings, enjoying the flight, and feeling a deep joy following the path meant just for me! I wanted to share this with you, today!

Happy Tuesday!
Monica x.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tutorial: Felted Acorns.

As promised, here's the first of my new crafty tutorials! Felted acorns... They are so sweet, arent' they? And just perfect for Fall or Winter decor.
The technique I am going to explain is the one I use, with my own personal 'touch' (like using a cheese grater! Hehe)... no idea if someone else makes these differently, this is the way I make them.

Tools and Materials:

Some people make use of a single needle, but I strongly suggest to use multiple needles in a pen tool!
Be extra careful when using this tool, because needles have 'barbs' that are responsible for the felting of the wool. If you don't feel comfortable in holding the acorn with your hand, use a fork or pliers to hold it.

Step 1: Rolling the wool in your hands, make a ball.

Step 2: Place your acorn-to-be on the felting mat and start hitting it with the needles. Always wear a brace when you do ripetitive movements with your hands!!!! I will never tire of saying that. It helps preventing the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Here you can see the acorns in different stages of the process.

Now ready to further felt. Your acorns are already felted, this step just imparts a smoother look.

Step 6: Soak the acorn in warm/hot water. The following steps should be done at the sink (I did them on a plastic plate for shooting reasons).

Step 7: Soap your hands as well as the acorn, and start to roll it in your hands and on the grater. Don't apply too much pression, be gentle!

Final steps: Rinse out the excess of soap, wipe in a clean towel, and let the acorns dry.
Then hot glue their original cap, holding it tight for a few seconds.

Hope you have fun, too, making these!
Linking to:
Monica x

Monday, September 12, 2011


... and totally love that!!

My true bliss is to share my colors...

... but sometimes I self- impose boundaries, I let my fears or tiredness prevail. What I've learnt from generous mentors is don't let the fear of having your work stolen prevent you from showing it.

After all, the most perfect way I have to tell who I am, is showing you what I make.
Monica x.