Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Halloween Kids Costumes

I could surely state that Halloween has been one of the most celebrated events of the year since my son turned 4 in my family. We never once purchased a cosume in a store and we always make them at home. The kids are happy to participate and we always get a lot of praise. Sharing some of the past costumes and DYI costume ideas for kids.

Halloween Costume Rabbids Invasion

For this costume we used paper bag, ping-pong balls,cardboard and my son's taekwando uniform. 

Harvey Beaks Costume

For this costume we used cardboard only 

Thomas The Tank Engine Costume

Materials used here are cardboard, wool for the smoke in the chimney, led lights

Little Elf

DYI instructions found here

Monday, October 3, 2016

Micro Bathroom Renovation with large white ceramic wall tiles

Our recent bathroom renovation. Total square footage of this bathroom is 35sf. Using bright and large format finishes helped visually making this bathroom appear larger. 

Materials used white 20 x 20 large ceramic wall tiles, mosaic gray gradient penny round floor porcelain tiles, aluminum trim, aluminium tiles, white finish plumbing fixtures, and IKEA cabinets.

This was a limited budget renovation and we had to implement some design tricks. For the shelving we used inexpensive all wood shelf by Croydex, model Maine and we cut out an opening to match the same size as the cutout at the cabinet door. This added uniform and custom look to our accessories. 
This is the picture of the shelf detail

We also added aluminum edging trim Schluter to finish and add a trim around the unfinished edge of the ceramic tiles. The trim gives more complete and nice detail to the tile design. Same trim repeats at the wall and floor where the ceramic tile transitions to the penny round mosaic tile.

And just for fun. Here are the before and after comparison photos. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


When it comes down to Halloween costumes, homemade is no comparison to commercially made polyester costumes. This year my son is into planets and the solar system, and his wish was to have his favorite planet earth as halloween costume. We created this costume while hurricane Sandy was at its full pick, as we were reminded of the power of nature. It turned out to be pretty successful costume, so I'll share the DIY instructions with all nature lovers out there: 
For this costume you will need:
-Used cardboard box size 20Wx30Lx30H. we used Target box that we had.
-Heavy duty scissors
-Xacto knife
-Kraft packing tape
-Tissue paper (recycled preferable, after all this will be the earth)
-Clear packing tape
-Green recycled construction paper

*** The Moon lantern is made by painting craters on the regular white paper lantern.

1. Creating the sphere

Start by dividing the cardboard box into equal vertical segments about 3" wide on all sides. Using xacto knife create surface cuts at each segment to allow for easy cardboard folding. 

Cut the top part of each segment into wedge shape with slightly curved sides. Repeat this at both top and bottom of the cardboard box. The depth of each cut should be about 12" at the top of the box and 8" at the bottom of the box with 6" of uncut space in the middle. 

Connect the wedges together using craft packing tape. The result will be two openings, one large for the legs, and one smaller for the head. 
You may want to adjust the opening according to the child's body. Make sure the openings are large enough for the head to squeeze in and legs to move freely. 

Once the sphere is created, and both sides are taped, the arm openings can be cut out. Measure and mark the openings with the sphere on for best accuracy. The arm openings should be about 5" diameter.    

 2. Creating the visual, Earth look.

Use aqua blue tissue paper to create the oceans. We used light blue paper at the top and bottom and white tissue paper at the bottom for the polar cap. 

All voids should be covered and taped using clear packing tape. 

Make sure to return the tissue paper at the head and arm openings. Use long and narrow, about 6" wide tissue sheets to avoid lots of wrinkles. If you have time to play around you can add deeper blue color for more realistic effect. We used whatever we had at home. 

Draw the continents on a green construction paper or tissue paper if available. Cut them out and paste then on the globe. It is tricky getting them to be proportional. I suggest dividing half for south and north america and half for euroasia, africa and oceania.
The arm openings will be located at the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 


Here is one side Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Here is the other side with South and North America and Greenland. 
Last is to make the costume more durable tape with clear packing tape the entire globe from head to feet opening OR use clear plastic wrap to stretch from top to bottom. 

This is what the back looks like

Sunday, September 30, 2012

IKEA hack

Our new IKEA hack- Converting Snille Visitor Chair into Baby High Chair

One idea for small space apartment dwellers. Recently our IKEA Snille chairs seats broke again after being replaced for the second time so we decided its time to get a new set of chairs. The two seats were discarded and the frames reused to create the base for baby highchair. We are using this convertible car seat around the apartment as a baby seat, and now the baby can join us at the dining table.  

The frame after the seat was removed and additional cross frame (from another Snille chair added)

The baby seat sits on top of the frame, it is secured by one of the seat belts looping under the steel frame and attached on the sides.

Side view showing the attached seat belt.

And a detail view of the second steel bracing reclined to support the back of the seat.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Boza is old and popular drink in Macedonia, usually sold in the pastry shops. It is made from various kinds of grains, corn, wheat, bulgur...
It is rich in proteins, vitamin E and all natural. For this homemade boza I used:
-1 cup bulgur
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 teaspun vanilla
-3 cups water

wash and drain the bulgur, soak in water and let it rest overnight. Transfer the bulgur in large pot and add 3 cups water. Cook on medium temperature about 3 hours, if you have a pressure cooker you can cook for 30 min. on constant medium heat.
Take the boiled bulgur out of the stove, add additional 3 cups of water and squeeze all the liquid out using cheesecloth. The result will be thick and milky liquid. Add additional water if too thick to achieve milkshake like consistency. Add sugar to taste, you can increase the amount if you prefer sweeter.
Let the liquid ferment for about 2-3 days until lightly carbonated, and fermenting bubbles appear on the surface. Store in refrigerator until cold and serve as a refreshment in the hot summer days.
***You can speed up the fermenting process by adding about 5 grams of dry yeast about 1/4 of the package.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photo of the Week, Oct, 27th, 2010

one of the many photos my 5 year old takes around the neighborhood. Woodside, NY

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aluminum Kitchen Backsplash

One of my recent projects this year, installing cheap and durable backsplash in my kitchen.
After long research considering tiles, stain proof plastic, glass and stainless steel, I decided to use aluminum panels. It has the same clean look as the stainless but much more easier to work with , lighter, easy to cut and does not hold fingerprints as much as the stainless.
This backsplash was about $100.00 off course I did not pay for the labor as it was all done by my super crafty husband. The aluminum sheaths size 15"x24" were purchased on e-bay, and they fit perfect because i had only 18" space between the overhead cabinets and the countertop + I wanted to add the suspension rod above the backsplash for my cutlery basket and the dish drainer.

For backing 1/4" plywood was used. Important is to find as much straight piece of board as possible. Measuring and cutting openings for the electrical outlets on the wall.

Before applying the glue (we used contact cement) all the outlets are cut in the aluminum sheaths also. I used the first piece of aluminum at the edge of the wall outlet because it was easier to cut the rectangular opening like this and it made sense for the joint to be positioned here.
The first piece is installed. Next to follow.

At the end after the aluminum sheaths are all glued and dried, aluminum "L" edging was also glued to the panel. The corners were mitered. I had to use some caulk at the wall as it was not perfectly straight.