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How to make Moroccan invitations for a party

September 14, 2010
Because we are doing Moroccan month this month I figured we might as well go ahead and have a Moroccan party – what could be more fun than deck out the whole place with candles, poufs and….camels? Or at least some over-sized pillows. Can I set up a tent in here?

I am not much for evites and regular pre-made invitations. Instead I like to embark on complicated projects where I have a gazillion ideas starting out and somewhere half-through sort of run out of energy – sounds familiar to anyone? So when that happens I usually get Mario and force him to sit down with glue and scissors to finish whatever project I didn’t. Though this time I actually finished the entire project by myself. Maybe as it was not very demanding.
I went on google images and googled for anything Moroccan and came up with a picture of a lantern, a mosque, a hand that wards of evil, a teapot and a mosque.



I then enlarged each image on the computer to the size I wanted the invitation to be and cut them out. Once I had one of each I used them as template to create my invitations on thicker paper that was double folded.
Then I just colored them.
For the actual written part of the invitation I downloaded an Arabic looking font called xxii Arabian Overnight Stand, typed my invitation, which I then printed on regular paper and glued on the inside – and done!
Now I have to put together a Moroccan menu that will consist of more than hummus and falafel and figure out where I can get a camel. Any suggestions?

How I added a Caribbean touch to an IKEA table

September 11, 2010

So do you remember a few weeks back I was asking for some feed-back about how to make my plain, boring kitchen table a little bit more fun.

Some people e-mailed me directly and Tom suggested black and Mia said to paint it cream. But I felt I wanted something a little bit more spunky as I always sort of revert to – well – dark walnut or – ehum… – cream. So I went for something different altogether and painted it intensely Caribbean light blue!

Flower molded out of plaster
…and then painted

How do you like that? I molded little flowers out of plaster and glued to the side.
Painted them in that same cobalt blue I used for the vase on tip a few days ago and then a little touch of gold in the middle and I think I am done!

I am very happy with how it came out and I think you have to admit that even if you don’t like light blue it is still a lot more fun than that Scandinavian natural wood 🙂

Moroccan inspiration for your home

September 9, 2010
Today I have gathered some of my favorite pictures and clippings of Moroccan style and ideas. As you probably know – if you come here regularily – I am a big fun of stencils. Besides adding a personal touch, I feel they can also very much help to create a special feel or atmosphere. So here it goes. The gorgeous shoes above offers great ideas for patterns and colors to use – but the main reason I like this picture is because of the background they are laid out on. I am not sure how that could be re-constructed on another wall but it sure looks good. Any ideas on how to do that?
These little flowers would look great stenciled on a Roman curtain in light fabric. I would blow one flower up and center it and then paint it right on. A very bright pink flower would be fun. Or they could be stenciled as they are to draw attention to a wall in for example a bathroom. What would you do with these?
This one is actually Indian but I like it so much I threw it in here anyway. It sure is a project and a half to stencil but if you copied it in black and white you would get an idea of where the lines go and you could probably pull it off by free-hand. Where would you put this? Maybe one wall in the hallway?

And here is more of a modern take. It looks great with the oranges just trailing down the wall. It is further highlighted with the pillows and a lot of fun. In a sparsely decorated room this would work real well. I, of course, would go ahead and find a spot in there for a real orange tree as well.

How do you use your global fabrics?

September 7, 2010
Shopping at New York City Street Fair

Well, since this is Moroccan month I figured we may as well stretch it a bit and throw in a post about some global fabrics. This is one of my obsessions – every time I am outside of the country I feel I need to look for some sort of “representative” fabric of where ever I am. That’s real smart because now I have a drawer full of pretty fabric that either I am too afraid to cut in or not sure what the heck to do with! Any ideas are very welcome! What do you do with your one of a kind, over-pretty fabrics?

This one I got in Dominica down in the Caribbean. This fabric was used every where – for table cloths, for curtains, for clothing. The little thing on top of it was a kind of child guard. The kid sticks his or her finger in the opening and when you pull at the other end the opening will close around the finger and the kid is basically stuck. Interesting take on child guarding… but I love the fabric.

This is a piece of silk I bargained for in Varanasi, India. I had zero intention of getting it but as always in India, you just get kind of dragged into things and then you leave with things you never realized you needed in the first place. Now, of course, I adore this very shiny, smooth fabric and I am as clueless today as back then on where to put it.

And then I have this ridiculous collection of fabrics I got at the Keneshi Market in Accra in Ghana. In an old concrete building with just holes for windows was, on the third floor, the  largest fabric market I have ever seen. Fabrics were just overflowing every where. This is just the beginning. I have lots more – about one yard of each – not enough to make a piece of clothing and too much to just lay in a drawer. So what do you think?

Here are some other very pretty fabrics for inspiration from the book African Style Down to the Details by Sharne Algotsson:

Typical Kente cloth – so beautiful
Not sure where this is from but my guess would be West Africa
I great place in New York City to pick up fabrics from just about all over the world is in the Garment District. Also, for African fabrics like the ones above I would go to Harlem. I have so many more inspirational shot of gorgeous fabric we may have to do another post on it. Meanwhile, let me know where you get your fabrics and what you like – silk, tie-dye, woven or anything else!

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How I found a good excuse to play with fonts

September 5, 2010
This past weekend Mario and I were strolling down second avenue on the East side of New York City. This area used to be full of artists and creative folks and though it may still be it seems a lot of them have taken their creative stuff somewhere else as the area is now lined with bars and restaurants. But with some luck you can still find some cool stores. I popped into the irresistible Timbuktu – a intersting name for a store specializing in Moroccan goods – but what it lacks in it’s name it certainy makes of for in what it sells. There is not a thing in there I don’t want. On the other hand there is not a thing in there I could afford. But everything sure is gorgeous.

A few side streets further up is a very neat Mexican-and-everything-else-South-and-Latin-American store called La Serena. Ever needed one of those smiling Halloween skeletons they pull out of their closets for All Souls’ Day? Or perhaps a little Frida Kahlo printed on a plastic tot bag. Well – this is the place. 

I was lucky to come across a tiny flea-market on the corner of 7th street and 2nd avenue. A very charming transvestite by the name of Greta and his assistant, an older lady wearing her Sunday best including a 1940’s hat with a net, sold me this gorgeous case for type fonts used in the past.

Did I need this? No. Was it cute – oh yes. So off I walked with this and was then lost in the prospect of figuring out what to use it for.

Well, I recently downloaded some new font so what better opportunity to print some of those out and stick’em in the case. A nail in the wall, a wire on the back of the case and – done. Or so I thought.

Printed out some fun fonts. Can you figure out what it spells?

Then I realized that all of those tiny compartments would actually be ideal for my silly collection of Ecuadorian baskets. 

Why did I ever think I needed about 25 of these? There is an answer to this question but I leave it for another post…

So out went the print outs of different fonts and in went the baskets.

So there.  From type case to basket case – what do you think? Better with the baskets, no? 

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How I painted Moroccan tiles on a kitchen shelf

September 3, 2010
  I had these two things: One Moroccan tile. One shelf.

As I had no way to get another tile or two (I had the other one since before), which would have looked nice on top there was nothing left to but to simply paint my on tiles.

At the Home Depot they can match most colors. Said and done I walked out with one sample size of Behr’s cloudless and another with Cerulean blue. I then copied the tile to paper in a copy machine – slighter larger as the shelf was slightly wider and then simply cut out parts of what I needed.

One layer of Cerulean blue did not look anything I had in mind since yours truly painted the shelf outside on the fire escape and then forgot to take it in when the rain came. I just had to take this shot though, and show you what some acidic rain can do to your paint. I really kind of liked it, but I was not going for that sort of washed out look. A few more layers – painted inside – and I was good to go with my stencils.
Essentially, I just taped the stencils on and painted in side them and around…
…one after the other
The last part was kind of a pain as it was so much details so instead of funegeling too much with the stencils I just painted it in by hand and took a few things out.

A last layer of lacquer to preserve my hard work from the cooking elements and here it is.


And you know what? I don’t think I like it too much. I think it is just a little over the top and a bit too cute. What do you think? I suppose I leave it there for a little while before I decide if I just paint the shelf blue or white. I could always take it out on the fire escape and get that washed out look…

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First day of Moroccan month

September 1, 2010

It is Moroccan month again – hurrah! Last year when I started this blog I made September Moroccan month because of my love for anything Moroccan and then I was drowned in work. So this year we get to do it again – but much better.

So I start out right away with a new glazed vase. Sort of. So you see that blue glazed vase up there all the way on the left. I wanted that. But I had this. It is one of those vases you usually get for free in your florist shop.

Plain old florist vase
So my question was then – can you paint glass with ordinary latex paint? Only one way to find out.
First coat
Second coat
I added a line of gold paint at the bottom and at the top – some flowers – and done! Just keep in mind that the paint will not survive a dishwasher wash or too much scrubbing.

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