Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Facts Friday: Misha Version

Today I'm giving my Five Facts Friday a little twist. It has never been that easy for me to talk about myself and there are quite a few personal posts around here already, so I thought tonight I'd write a Five Facts about my cat Misha! He is a sweet little darling who's only one year old but has conquered many hearts on its (still) short way.
So here it goes!

1. I adopted Misha in October 2012 from a local street cat rescue program. I am strightly against purchasing cats and dogs from pet shops or breeders when the ones living a dangerous life in the streets can be as lovable. He was called "Corisco" by the ladies who rescued him.

2. He sleeps pretty much anywhere; by my feet, under the blankets and table towels, in the sink... but his current favorite sleeping nook is a small cardboard box where he barely fits in.

3. He can open certain doors, windows AND the microwave door. Because of this particular talent of his, my neighbour has already been surprised a few times by finding him in her kitchen. Thank goodness she likes cats.

4. Misha loves children! Everytime I have kids playing and running around my house he'll follow them everywhere and goof around.

5. He can also be a pain in the ass. As I wrote this post, he threw an orchid vase to the floor and broke it. A couple of months ago, it was my mother's favorite 40-year-old vase. I still adore him, though.

I have owned many cats since I was a kid, but Misha clearly stands out for his sympathy and smartness. I don't mean I like him more than any other cat I've had the pleasure of loving, but watching him grow has brought many smiles to my face.

Enjoy your weekend! ♥
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY: How to Clean and Preserve Sea Urchins

Sea urchins are fragile but gorgeous members of the starfish family which can be found in almost all oceans, most commonly washed up on the shore. If you are a sea treasure passionate like me and cannot resist to bring a few shells home after those relaxing walks on the beach, this tutorial may surely come in handy to you! When properly cleaned and preserved, sea urchin shells, big or tiny, make a lovely addition to any ocean themed room. They also make stunning centerpieces to nautical craft projects and jewelry!

In this blog post, I'll show you how to clean and preserve sea urchins with just a little effort and care! This is an easy and very cheap proccess, although very time consuming, so give yourself about a week to complete it. Also, make sure the sun will be shining during those days to come because you will need it a lot!

What you'll need:
- alcohol (ethanol)
- a small bucket or bowl
- bleach
- tweezers or pliers
- Mod Podge (alternatively, white glue or epoxy resin)

1. First things first, rinse your sea urchins with freshwater to wash away the salt and let them dry completely.

2. Fill a small bucket or bowl with ethanol, enough to cover your urchins entirely. Allow them to soak for 48h. This will help to disinfect the sea urchins by killing bacteria and removing any dirt or salt accumulations that could cause your urchins to smell.

3. Empty the bucket and let your sea urchins dry under the sun for 2 or 3 days.

4. Your sea urchins' spines should now be a little loose to the touch. With the help of your pliers or using gloved hands, GENTLY pick the spines off. Use tweezers or a needle nose pliers to remove any tissue or flesh remains. This is the most 'patience demanding' part.

5. Dip your sea urchins in a mixture of equal parts water and bleach until you're happy with their aspect (it will depend on the shell's size but it usually takes between 20 minutes and one hour for me). While allowing them to sink, keep checking on your sea urchins every few minutes because they might disintegrate or break if they bleach for too long!

6. Rinse well in cool, clear water. Your shells should now be completely clean but if you find any remaining tissue or spine, gently remove them with your fingers.

7. Let them dry completely under the sun for another couple of days.

8. Finally, seal your sea urchins. For this, you may brush your shells using a soft, clean paintbrush and Mod Podge, or a mixture of one part white glue and one part water, which will give your shells a matte finish. For a shiny finish, you can use a little bit of epoxy resin or, alternatively, clear nail polish. Brush two to three layers of whatever sealer you're using.

Presuming your sea urchins have survived the whole proccess (one of mine did not...sad face), they are now ready to be a part of your room decor as well as featured in your own handmade jewelry!

A sea urchin ring I made last year.

Obs.: Never pick alive sea urchins! Be a friend of Nature and contribute to ecossystem balance. :)
I hope you enjoy this tutorial on how to clean and preserve your sea urchin shells. Feel free to let me know if you try this proccess, or to share your own ideas, by leaving a comment below!

All the best,
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Fall'13 Collection Inspiration

The new Fall'13 collection by Terra Mystique is in the making!
My inspiration is high but my goals haven't changed much. I will be focusing on TM's main aspects like joviality, simplicity and freedom- but this time, with a bigger touch of 'savage'. My desk is currently flooding with earthy colors and earthy treasures like leather, feathers and beauuuutiful gemstones. Can't wait to see this collection growing and to share everything with you guys!

For now, here are some pictures which have helped me trigger my creative proccess:

May this new week bring you great possibilities and much joy,
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Giveaway by Roots & Feathers: Sheinside Shopping Spree

One of my favourite bloggers, Laura Michelle from Roots & Feathers, is giving away a 100$ shopping spree with Sheinside!
I didn't know Sheinside until I came across this fantastic giveaway, but as I browsed their online store I got really addicted to their products. The result: I cannot pick a favourite piece of clothing!

Although many others have drawn my attention too, here are some of my personal favourites:

If you also wanna try your luck at this awesome prize, visit Laura's lovely blog!
Personally, money's quite tight right now and I am in need of new Fall goodies. It would be really fun to be able to pick 100$ on Sheinside's amazing clothing.
And speaking of giveaways, don't forget to enter Drawing Dreaming's latest giveaway for one of my ombre chevron necklaces!

Have a great Saturday,
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Facts Friday

I thought Five Facts Friday would be a great way to help myself reach Terra Mystique's niche! One of my favourite parts of running my own small business is this much more direct contact with clients and thus, learning about (and with) their preferences and needs. Making it all more personal gives me so much pleasure.

If you met Terra Mystique through my giveaway with Drawing Dreaming, please make yourself at home. :)
 On the other hand if you haven't entered the giveaway yet, be sure to visit Ester's lovely blog and try your luck for one of my Ombre Dipped Chevron Necklaces!

1. I'm not really into pink, unless it's coral or peach/salmon. If I have a baby girl, she will never wear that stereotyped 'princess pink'. Or have pink walls.

2. As a preteen, I was a Pokemon nerd! I could recite all the 150 Pokemon off the top of my head, in the right order. No kidding.

3. I have so many ideas for my store; I just wish I had the time to create them all. 

4. Although it doesn't apply to every aspect of my life, I am a perfectionist. Of course, that means both upsides and downsides. I really enjoy paying attention to detail and striving to make my work better, but everything takes longer to get right and, sometimes, I can be a little hard to please.

5. I used to have singing classes when I was a kid. Nowadays, I'm kinda regretful for having dropped out of them.

This is it for this Five Facts Friday. Nevertheless, thank you all for coming to visit and meet Terra Mystique! ❤
Wishing a lovely weekend,
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday: Peneireiro Dam (Vila Flor, Portugal)

Remember my Wanderlust Wednesday post about my vacation in Vila Flor? I wasn't kidding when I said I'd have to leave some of it for another time. Well, this is it.

Although me and D. spent most of our mornings having fun at the pool, there was one when it was closed for biweekly maintenance. Also, it was quite of a grey morning (although still very warm), so we took the chance to take a walk around Peneireiro dam. This embankment dam serves as a local water reservoir and is located right beside the campsite of Vila Flor, in a mountain area overgrown with cedar woods and wild flowers. As a main element in the touristic complex of Peneireiro, this place surely praises the beauty of the local landscape and natural heritage. It is also a great spot for jogging and exercise as it features a maintenance circuit.

Although it may not seem so in the pictures, this place is huge. We spent almost the entire morning there.

Coolest cardio machine ever!

Also, there was DEER. ❤

As I've mentioned in the first post, I miss all of this already but I'm really glad and thankful we were both able to visit and remember a place of our childhood (nope, we didn't know each other yet but the world is such a small place!). A dreamy road trip, walking through the woods, having a drink under the open starry sky and listening to Nature herself - these memories will surely be kept in my heart... until a next time. 

Lots of love,
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Late Summer Musings

Alas, August! It pains me to even type "late summer". I am not a 'proper' believer of the idea that all good things must come to an end, but when it comes to Summer, there's really nothing we can do about it right? Between easy grilled dinners and daytrips to the beach, hints of Autumn are already there too. The sun is starting to set a little earlier and the fairies have started to paint some leaves crimson and gold while the meadows prepare to draw back their plenty, and in no time Nature will start declining to rest in the earth.

There are although some things I really love about late summer. One of them is the relaxing scent of lavender. After taking these pictures outdoors, I could not resist and grabbed a few stems for myself- before they are all cut down.

[Disclaimer: All the following photographs were taken by myself, so if you plan to share them on your website or social media, please don't forget to include a link to this blog post! Thank you ❤]

I do love stepping on crunchy leaves with boots and high cozy socks but, to me, nothing beats the jovial beauty of bright blue skies and oceans and wildflower meadows in bloom. So please Fall, take it easy 'cause I'm not done yet!

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Friday, August 16, 2013

It's a Gloomy Summer Friday

Today I'm not making a new Five Facts Friday post as I haven't had the time to post other stuff. And to be honest, I'm not quite in the mood... so instead, I'm dedicating this Friday to Misha.

Just because he's way too damn cute and I was able to capture this moment.

Wishing a purrfect weekend,
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