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crafts

    Macramé Hanging Planters

    I’m so excited about my new hanging planters!

    Before a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea what macramé was. I learned it’s a 13th-century form of weaving that was popularized in the 70’s and is making its way back into design trends. I saw a couple of macramé projects on my reader, and decided I’d give it a try. During the process, I realized I’d been doing Cavandoli macramé since I was little. Anyone ever make friendship bracelets? It’s basically the same thing! (Also, a fun fact: Wikipedia says macramé may be derived from a Turkish word!)

     

    DIY Macrame Succulent Hangers

     

    Macrame hanging succulent

     

    First, I purchased three small pots from Bauhaus and filled them with little stones for drainage:

     

    Succulent pots

     

    I found these cute succulents at a flower shop in Kızılay:

     

    Succulent trio

     

    Now for the macramé. Here are the basic steps. (For more detailed instructions, I followed this site and this site.) I used jute, but other people use nylon cord. Any kind of stringy stuff should work. Cut 8 strands, each about 5 feet long.

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Knot the pieces together, but leave a couple of inches below your knot. That is the bottom of the planter. Separate the strings into 4 groups of 2 strands each:

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Select one group. About half an inch from the big knot, tie the strings as though you were tying your shoe. Then make a second knot and tighten:

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Repeat that step with the other 3 groups:

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Choose a single strand and repeat the double knots with the adjacent strand from a different group:

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Repeat until you have a second layer:

     

    Macrame DIY

     

    Then repeat to make one more layer. You can make these fancy with different kinds of knots, but I kept it pretty simple because my pots were so small. Once I put the succulents inside of the macramé hangers, I had to make a lot of adjustments to even out the knots.

    To hang them, we mounted Command Hooks to the back side of the crown molding. Our crown molding sticks out from the wall about 5″ in front of the windows to make room for the curtain tracks. (No curtain rods here.)

     

    Macrame hanging succulents

     

    Macrame hanging succulent

     

    Macrame hangers

     

    Some leaves broke off of the during transport and planting, so I’m also trying my hand at propagating succulents. We’ll see how that goes!

     

    Propagating succulents

     

     

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    Christmas Craft Fair

    Last Saturday was our school’s annual Christmas Craft Fair. Our parent association works hard almost all year to create hundreds of beautiful, handmade crafts. The fair is a fun event for our students and their families as well as for the community.

     

    Christmas crafts

     

    Christmas crafts

     

    In addition to the crafts, there was a little cafe with hot soup, wassail, and sweets. There was also Christmas origami and story time for the kids:

     

    Christmas craft fair signs

     

    Story time

     

    David and I revised our roles from last year as Santa’s Elves. Here’s my elf shoes!

     

    Gold elf shoes

     

    We have one of the few Noel Babas (Santas) in Turkey. Lots of children came to tell him what they wanted for Christmas and to get a photo. We helped manage the line and tried to get the little ones to smile for the camera.

     

    Christmas elves

     

    Christmas elves

     

    It was a fun start to the Christmas season!

     

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    DIY Frame Jewelry Holder

    Now that we’ve settled into the new place, I’ve been trying to add more decorations to make our apartment more of a home. One thing I wanted to make since last year was some kind of jewelry holder. I’d finally gotten tired enough of having everything lying on my dresser, so we stopped into Bauhaus in Cepa mall. (Bauhaus is kind of like a Lowe’s and Home Depot.)

    I found the perfect supplies! Here’s what I used:

    First, I trimmed the cork with scissors so it fit inside the frame. My cheap-o frame didn’t come with glass, so it made it even easier to place the cork.

    David was gone one evening, so I put on a movie and started screwing in the hooks. It was a lot harder than I thought it’d be. We have a mallet hammer, but when I hit too hard it warped the hooks. The frame was quite tough to hand drill into, and we don’t own many tools here. I finally managed to screw in all 7 hooks.

     

    Hardware hooks for necklaces

     

    Only a few were warped:

     

    Hardware hooks for necklaces

     

    Next, I attached the Command Picture Hanging Strips. All of the walls in our apartment are concrete. You cannot nail or even easily drill into concrete. I was quite pleased when I found these. Depending on the size and how many you use, they can hold up to 10 pounds.

     

    Command Picture Hanging Strips

     

    They attach together kind of like velcro:

     

    Command Picture Hanging Strips

     

    I followed the directions. You have to wait an hour after you attach the strips to the wall.

     

    Attaching command strips

     

    After I reattached the frame to the strips, I stuck some sewing pins into the cork. I’m sure you can find cute push pins in the States, but I all I could find in Turkey were bright plastic ones. So sewing pins it was:

     

    Sewing pins

     

    I used the pins to hang my rings. Once I had the pins placed, it was time to load it up!

     

    Framed cork jewelry hanger

     

    I didn’t bring a ton of jewelry with me overseas, but my new jewelry holder fits what I have perfectly:

     

    Necklace hooks

     

    Ring holder

     

    I’m super happy with it! I might try to paint something on the cork later. I didn’t hang any earrings because I have a pretty bowl I use for those. If you wanted to, it would be super easy to attach a string across the top to hang dangly earrings.

     

    Frame jewelry holder

     

    The whole project cost around 25 TL, which is about $13 USD. The Command Strips were the most expensive piece of supplies. Hooray for craftiness!

     

    Wood Pallet Art: Joshua 24:15

    We’ve added a few things to make our white-wall apartment feel more like home. (It’s amazing what a few light fixtures and house plants can do!)

    I’ve seen a lot of cute DIY wood pallet decorations on Pinterest. Our friends found pallets at Bauhaus for only 10TL, so I got some paint and decided to give it a try.

    First, I printed out Joshua 24:15 on paper. I laid the paper on top of the wood and traced it with a pencil. The pencil made an indent, which gave me lines to follow.

     

    Painting a wood pallet

     

    My original plan was to have two pallets – one with the verse in English, and the other with the same verse in Turkish. The project took a lot longer than expected, and I only finished the English one. I’ll eventually get around to finishing the other one…

    It sat propped against a wall for several weeks. It’s difficult to get nails into the walls because they are concrete. David surprised me one day and hung it up and even added greenery and pinecones! Perfect for some holiday decor.

     

    Pallet art

     

    As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

     

    Joshua 24:15
    But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

    Yeşu 24:15
    Ben ve ev halkım RAB’be kulluk edeceğiz.

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