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Make Me: Festive & Easy Candle Holders for Your Table

Hello decor8 readers and Happy Friday! Are you ready to get your craft on and make some festive and easy candle holders for your table this holiday season? It’s Lisa here and I have another simple and stylish craft project to share with you this month. With the holidays coming there is much entertaining to be done and tables and mantles to decorate! Do you have any festive decorations planned yet? Anything that you plan to make by hand? Candles are always a wonderful way to add atmosphere and it’s lovely to tie the colors in to your decorations and table setting. I’m going to show you how to make candle holders for your table that will sparkle and shine. They are simple and quick to make and they look great with or without the sequins added, depending on the look you’re after. Let me show you how I made them.


OR WITH SEQUINS – your choices!

* Untreated wooden furniture feet from the hardware store. Odd numbers always work best when you group them. Look for different sizes and shapes that compliment each other.
* Sandpaper
* Paint and a paint brush
* Elasticized sequin trim
* A needle and thread, or double sided tape, or a hot glue gun



Make the candle holders: If the timber is rough give it a light sand and wipe it over with a barely damp cloth. Paint each one in a different color. You may need 2 or possibly 3 thin coats of paint. Let each coat dry between applications.


Make the sequin collars: Stretch the sequin trim around each holder and cut to fit. You may like to make the sequin collar removable, so you can change the look of your candle holders with minimal effort. To make a removable collar, fold the sequin trim in half with the wrong side facing out and hand or machine sew the ends together. Turn it out the right way and fit it over the candle holder. Or, for a permanent sparkle, run double sided tape or hot glue around the candle holder to adhere the sequin collar to it. I told you it was easy!

I hope you enjoy making these candle holders. You could also try decorating them with Sharpies or painting patterns on them. Different trims would also look great: ribbon, lace, yarn or raffia would all be interesting. I’ll see you back here in December with last minute craft idea for Christmas. In the meantime make some time this month to get creative! – xo Lisa.


(text/images: lisa tilse)

Posted in diy, Make Me on November 15, 2013

Delicious Bites: Spiced Pumpkin + Maple Cream Cheese Layer Cake

Are you ready to learn how to make a Spiced Pumpkin + Maple Cream Cheese Layer Cake for my special Thanksgiving edition of Delicious Bites? Hi, it’s me Jillian and around this time last year I spent a few weeks in Quebec and New York, arriving just before Thanksgiving. I found beautiful fall leaves; pumpkins were in abundance at the markets and my hotel served delicious steaming cups of hot apple cider in the lobby. I love all things pumpkin and I love apple cider so I was in heaven. Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, in my mind’s eye I have visions of a Martha Stewart-style spread complete with gleaming roast turkey followed by fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie. I’m sure you already have your own favorite recipe for pumpkin pie so instead I’ve come up with a pumpkin pie inspired layer cake with maple flavored cream cheese icing. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert?


The cake is based on a classic carrot cake recipe using browned butter and grated pumpkin for flavor and texture. Pumpkin tends to be used for savory dishes in Australia so tinned pumpkin puree can be hard to find. If you like, you can use pumpkin puree instead of the grated pumpkin and although the texture will be different it tastes just as good. Just hold back on the buttermilk though, as pumpkin puree is much more liquid than grated pumpkin.


Pumpkin puree is easy to make if you’d like to make your own. Just take a generous wedge of pumpkin; my favorite kind is Kent which you may know as kabocha and I also like butternut. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin but leave the skin on; wrap the pumpkin in foil and place it on a baking tray. Bake at 400°F/200°C for 45 minutes to an hour until the pumpkin is soft. When the pumpkin is cool, unwrap it from the tin foil and scrape the flesh from the skin and blend it using a stick blender or food processor. This is one of those cakes that takes a while to prepare but is a snap to put together. You combine the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients, pour into a tin and bake. What could be simpler than that?


Once the cake has cooled and sliced horizontally into 2 even layers it’s time to ice it with some maple flavored cream cheese icing. I kept the decoration simple with this lovely bunting from Paper Boat Press.


Here’s the recipe for you -

1 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/2  tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (40g) brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup buttermilk
50g dried dates, roughly chopped
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup peeled, grated pumpkin or pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line the base of a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin with baking paper and then grease and flour the sides. Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl and set to one side. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown. Pour the browned butter into a medium size bowl and let stand until cool but not set, about 15 minutes, before mixing in the caster sugar, the brown sugar, the eggs, the vanilla and buttermilk. Stir until well combined. Add the buttermilk mixture, the dates and nuts into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the pumpkin and combine until well mixed. Add a little extra milk if the mixture looks too dry. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake on the centre shelf of the oven at 180°C/350°F (conventional) for 45 minutes. Cook until the centre of cake is firm and the top golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack. When completely cool, slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers.

Cream Cheese Icing
125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
250 g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and extracts until thick and creamy. Add the 2 sugars and mix to form a creamy icing.

Assembling the cake
Put one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/2 the icing on the layer. Top with the second layer then ice the top the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate as desired. Refrigerate the cake. Before serving allow the cake to come to room temperature for maximum flavor. Cut into generous slices and enjoy a little taste of Thanksgiving on a plate. Delish!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! See you all again next month with a special Christmas themed Delicious Bites treat for you! – Jillian

(text/images: jillian leiboff)

Posted in Delicious Bites on November 14, 2013

Colorful Artwork of Ana Montiel

The artwork of London-based, Spanish visual artist and designer Ana Montiel takes me to a happy place today. The first two works were part of a show at the Pop up Galerie recently in Paris. Artists were invited to choose an album cover and revisit it for the show. Ana combines her passion for flowers with a favorite album, New Order’s iconic “Power Corruption and Lies”. About this project she says, “I love the album, the original Fantin-Latour still life and the Peter Saville album design. I originally made the drawing with watercolour and sumi-e ink to then translate it to a 3 ink composition ready to be screen printed.” The album is shown below the first two paintings below. Lovely, right? By the way, I know we’re heading into Christmas but I’m really into yellows and greens lately. Crazy!




I really like seeing work like this because I’m a music lover and actually miss the care that I feel once went into album covers. It seems thoughtful covers are a dying art these days, at least in mainstream music. In fact, the last more mainstream album art that I got excited about was Keane’s, “Under the Iron Sea“. I must confess though, my ultimate favorite record cover was from The Smiths, This Charming Man, which I have framed on my wall at home. I love the image showing Jean Marais from Cocteau’s film Orpheus.

Below you can see more stunning watercolors by Ana for the ultimate eye candy escape today. You can also learn more about Ana here (I love her bangs!) and watch this charming video about her life and work. What an interesting woman! I especially enjoyed seeing her paint and hearing her thoughts about, “Living in the NOW”, which I feel are so important. Some of her clients include Anthropologie, Carolina Herrera, Jo Malone, Nina Ricci and Rolling Stone Magazine to name a few.








Lucky for us, she has an online shop where you can purchase lots of these paintings as prints to frame. Aren’t these pretty?

By the way, do you have a favorite album cover? I’d love to know more!

(images: Ana Montiel)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 12, 2013

Currently Crushing On…

Good morning everyone and welcome to another week of inspiration and joy! I thought I’d round up a few interiors and notes from my style files lately so you can see what I’m inspired by at the moment. Some things are rather random and have more to do with non-decor stuff, which may seem funny but so many of these ideas generally cross over to interiors eventually for me. Perhaps a few of my notes will inspire your next decorating project! While looking through my notes below, you simply must listen to this mega sweet song, “Subtle (feat. Mikky Ekko)” from Active Child.


A yellow framed window – love! By stylist Tina Hellberg who is represented by Söderberg Agentur.


Okay, another one from Mokkasin but I can’t help myself, this over-scale floral wallpaper by Mr Perswall that she installed on a single wall in her home BLEW MY MIND.


Push Pop confetti from Umba. Just because. And for New Year’s from my new balcony! Also, the colors make me happy. Imagine filling a present with confetti mixed in with tissue paper. What a treat for the recipient!


Always will be inspired by big, gorgeous shelves filled with kitchen things. This is from a favorite blogger of mine, Mokkasin.

fre 024640

I also LOVE the color palette in this moody floral shot taken by Mokkasin. Such a great palette for a room, don’t you think?


Pale green walls above staircase, floral wallpaper below. Yum. (Lovely Life)


Black countertops, mint tiles. (Lovely Life)


Multiple strips of wallpaper – fab! (Lovely Life)


This home (4 images above) in Sweden from Lovely Life. Oh my, a bevy of decor ideas. Love the green doors and this gorgeous geometric tilework.


I really like the home of my friend, Berit, from Snug Studio, who is a new mom and has the sweetest apartment nearby to me. I like this pendant that she created and hung above her dining room table.


I love this gray/brown script in this Home Beautiful Australia article snapped by the Sweet Style blog. Not only does it look so warm and inviting this time of year for a magazine spread, but it’s also a paint color I imagine to be quite gorgeous on my living room wall!

blogged Nov 11

Wooden walls, a running shelf around a room (love) and copper pendants as seen in Elle Dekoration DK, shot by Line Klein. Stylist : Mille Collin Flaherty. Home of Tanja Vibe.


Working by a window (what my goal is for my next apartment – I’ll show you once I move in). Seen in Elle Dekoration DK, shot by Line Klein. Stylist : Mille Collin Flaherty. Home of Tanja Vibe.

blogged Nov 11

I know every blogger has one, but I still want a Moroccan Beni Ouarain rug like this. I wish I had taken a vintage one home with me when I was in Marrakesh visiting Maryam back a few years ago – I came THISCLOSE too. Ugh. Photo: House & Hold.


Fresh flowers. I can’t get enough. Beautiful mix shown above by Willow & Jade.


Half painted walls by VTWonen.


And more partially painted walls from Farrow & Ball. Only this time, from the top down. Love the green door, too.

What’s inspiring you at the moment?

(image sources appear directly under photos shown above.)

Posted in inspiration on November 11, 2013


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