Hellooooooo!! Long time no see! How has everyone been? Hope all is good. I have been busy busy busy with a bunch of stuff and I have so much to catch up on with everyone's blogs. I will be over to visit you all soon, promise.
So what have I been up to? Well I've been working my tuckus off so that's why I haven't had much time to write but other than that I've been switching things up around the house...namely my main bathroom but I'll get to that in a bit.
I've also been going to the beach FINALLY! It's turned into summer weather here fortunately so this is where I was last weekend....
This is a beach in Brindisi, Puglia. The beaches in Italy are the best in June, beginning July and September. August is a mess and the beaches are jam packed full of people. But June.... ahhhh pure bliss! Not many people... the water is crystal clear...the sand is clean and white and the weather is juuust right.
Don't be jealous now!
I got to see my beautiful cousin and best friend Francesca while I was there and we caught up on so many things. I really needed some girl time and it was wonderful seeing her again.
We grew up together and when we were little we would always dress up like twins telling everyone we were sisters. We used to write letters back and forth when I was in the States and then in the summer I used to fly over to Italy with my family and we would spend June, July and August together. She knows everything about me and is the friend that I go to every time I need some advice. She's the best!
This was her on her wedding day. I of course was the Maid of Honor :-)
See that dress? That was hand made and designed by my Aunt Pina. She's pretty amazing. She has sewn and designed all the wedding dresses in our family as wedding gifts. She's made about 15 wedding dresses designing them all as couture gowns. My cousin Francesca's above was the last one she sewed and this one below was one of the first.
Soooo I sew sometimes.....
like obviously not wedding dresses or any type of dresses for that matter but I can make ruffle curtains :-)
Which kind of looks like a wedding dress....
Ok so I was obsessed with these shower curtains for my bathroom and of course I couldn't find them anywhere in Italy and buying them online would cost me much more on shipping than they are actually worth so I decided to take on the challenge and make them myself.
It's really not that difficult and if you have a cotton bed sheet to use you can also save a lot of money on fabric (shhh...secret).
You will need a base that will be used to sew the ruffles on. I used the valence that I already had on my window.
You will then need strips of fabric that you will use to make the ruffles.
Fold the strips as shown in the photo below.
Now set the sewing machine to a low tension level (I set mine to 1) and sew along the fold.
Make sure to leave your thread long before beginning because you will be using that thread to pull the fabric creating the ruffles. I'll show you in a bit what I mean..
Now sew all the way down the fabric. Fold it over and take the long thread you had previously left out and pull ONE of the two strings lightly creating the ruffles all along the fold.
Now you should find you have created your first layer of ruffles.
Fold over the top part and this is what you should have.
That's pretty much it. Now it's all repetition. Make the rest of your layers. I used three layers for my curtain. Once you have your layers, position them on the base fabric and space them out so that everything lines up nicely.
Here is my first layer positioned and this is what my final layer looked like positioned below.
Now that everything is in place, use pins to hold the ruffles on the bottom piece and sew in place along the ruffled line.
In case you're curious...this is what the rest of the bathroom looks like.
I'm very happy with how it turned out and I didn't spend a dime!
I decided not to go with the top to bottom ruffles on my shower curtain just cause I thought it might all be a bit too ruffly :-) so I just added a top layer.
I made the valence for my powder room also, as well as a cover for my washing machine.
Most average Italian homes have a washing machine in their bathrooms...which I HATE! I would have loved to have a separate laundry room but it just isn't possible, so I tried to hide it as best I could.
I added a cabinet door I found at the IKEA clearance section for 3 bucks and used it as a "table top" for the washing machine. Then I added a cover that matched the curtains and I am pretty content with the end result I must say...
Moving on to FOOD....
What have I been cooking lately?
Not too much...but I have been obsessing over these oven baked Parmesan asparagus. SOOO GOOD and so easy to make! Just coat with some olive oil, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and bake for about 30 minutes or until nice and crispy. Trust me they will be gone in no time!
I also made this delicious chicken lemon scaloppine which was really really good and low cal. I'll do a separte post on this recipe.
That's pretty much all I have to share for now.
I'll be back soon with my original Italian Braciole recipe...my sweetheart's favorite dish!
Take care all and have a great week ahead!