31 Insanely Easy And Clever DIY Projects

•11/08/2012 • Leave a Comment

I love DIY Projects and I have posted quite a few of them here already. So this is a collection of what you can do if you get stuck at home due to snow or rain or anything else these days:)

1. Make a Sharpie Mug

Make a Sharpie Mug

2. Turn a T-Shirt into a Work-Out Tank

Turn a T-Shirt into a Work-Out Tank

3. Ombre Nails with a Sponge

Click here for the full tutorial.

4. Use Bookends as Floating Bookshelves

Use Bookends as Floating Bookshelves
Source: pinterest.com

5. Transfer a Photo onto a Slab of Wood

Source: readymade.com

6. Make a Heart-Shaped Ring Out of Wire

Make a Heart-Shaped Ring Out of Wire
Source: ispydiy.com

7. Nail Polish Key Covers

Nail Polish Key Covers

So you can easily tell your keys apart.

8. Make a Travel Flat Iron Holder Out of a Pot Holder

Make a Travel Flat Iron Holder Out of a Pot Holder

9. Make Your Own Spray Paint

Make Your Own Spray Paint

You can make your own small batch spray paint: mix 2 parts acrylic paint with 1 part water in a spray bottle.

10. Build a Bookshelf With Two Ladders and Planks of Wood

Build a Bookshelf With Two Ladders and Planks of Wood
Source: indulgy.com

11. Create a Couch From Wooden Pallets

Create a Couch From Wooden Pallets

12. Or Make a Bike Rack out of Those Wooden Pallets

Or Make a Bike Rack out of Those Wooden Pallets
Source: lowtechatmo

13. “Fireflies in a Jar” Night Lantern

"Fireflies in a Jar" Night Lantern

14. Ramekins, Coffee Beans and Tea Lights

Ramekins, Coffee Beans and Tea Lights

The warmth of the candles makes the coffee beans smell amazing.

15. Glitterize Anything With Mod Podge and Glitter

Glitterize Anything With Mod Podge and Glitter

Mix the Mod Podge with glitter and paint it on stuff.

(Glitter wine glass source: The Sasse Life)

16. Turn Clothes Hangers Into Shoe Hangers

Source: epbot.com

17. Screw Cheap Furniture Knobs Into Wood for a Necklace Holder

Click here for the full tutorial.

18. Use a Window Shutter as a Mail Holder

Use a Window Shutter as a Mail Holder

19. Stack PVC Pipe/Paint Cans as Shoe Storage

Stack PVC Pipe/Paint Cans as Shoe Storage
Source: pinterest.com

20. Cut Up an Old T-Shirt Into a Tie-Front Tank

Cut Up an Old T-Shirt Into a Tie-Front Tank

21. Make a Lamp Out of a Water Jug and a Headlamp

Make a Lamp Out of a Water Jug and a Headlamp

22. Wrap a Scarf to Make a Draped Skirt

Click here for the full tutorial.

23. Turn Inexpensive Frames Into Chalkboard Signs

Turn Inexpensive Frames Into Chalkboard Signs

Paint the frames, and then paint the glass with chalkboard paint.

24. Color Your Shoe Soles With Nail Polish

Click here for the full tutorial.

25. Make a Stool Using Old Magazines, Two Belts, and a Pillow

Make a Stool Using Old Magazines, Two Belts, and a Pillow

26. Letter Bottles With a Hot Glue Gun

Letter Bottles With a Hot Glue Gun
Source: imgfave.com

27. Sew Five Pillow Cases Together to Create a Body Pillow

Sew Five Pillow Cases Together to Create a Body Pillow
Source: pinterest.com

28. Make a Braclet with String and Hexagonal Nuts

Click here for a more detailed tutorial.

29. Glue Corks into a Picture Frame to Make a Bulletin Board

Glue Corks into a Picture Frame to Make a Bulletin Board

30. Fill a Mason Jar With Christmas Lights

Fill a Mason Jar With Christmas Lights
Source: pinterest.com

31. No-Sew Pillow Cover

No-Sew Pillow Cover

Home Dream Home

•11/08/2012 • 1 Comment

Fall time usually means for me the need to clean up and re-decorate my apartment:) If you want to take it a step further, turn these ideas into reality and transform your house into a home.
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Sankofa and African Relationships under the System of Enslavement

•11/04/2012 • Leave a Comment

The movie Sankofa is about Mona, the Americanized African model who is being spiritually transported back to the past where, as a house slave named Shola on a plantation in the South of the United States, she suffers abuse and rape by her slave masters. The movie shows the life of slaves during slavery and how they dealt with the horrible abuses on a daily base. It also shows the strengths of the slaves and their sense of community.

In the movie we can see different kind of couples like Shola and Shango or Nunu and Noble Ali.  I would like to focus on the relationship between Nunu and Noble Ali.

Nunu is an African born field hand and Noble is a head slave at the plantation Nunu is enslaved at. She has a mixed race son named Joe, who was the result of a rape when Nunu was 14years old. Nunu is a proud African women with strong believes in her roots and culture. She practices her traditions and carries herself proud even while being enslaved. You can see her in the movie as being strongly connected to her  roots by trying to heal the beaten pregnant woman and singing in her African language, for example. You can also see in this scene that she has not lost her sense of African community thinking by asking the warriors to “stand behind me”.

Noble Ali is a head slave and has lived his whole life as a head slave. During the movie you can see his transition from being a head slave, being forced to beat the other slaves and who does what he is told, to a smart maroon member, trying to fight the slavery system.

The relationship between Nunu and Noble Ali is not a based on asexual relationship. When Noble comes to bring a basket for the baby from the mother he had to beat to death, Nunu and Noble have a deep conversation and he tells her that he would rather be dead himself than beating the other slaves to death. Nunu nurtures Noble Ali’s broken soul. She helps him sort his feelings and shows him ways out of his frustrating situation. Nunu also tells Noble in this situation that she would never sleep with a head slave who kills their own people, but on the other hand she also realizes that Noble is a slave as well and has to do what he is told in order to not get killed. The two are never shown as being sexual with each other, but you can definitely see that they are being intimate with each other by sharing their deepest fears and thoughts. Noble Ali joins the maroon community after a long deep conversation with Nunu, to proof to himself that he can fight the system and to show to Nunu that he does want to change for himself and for her.

Furthermore you can see that the system of slavery severely disrupted black male and female relationships. Nunu and Noble Ali are put into a situation where they can’t be with each other because of one being a field slave and the other one being a head slave. This obviously leads to confusion and extreme disruption between them and creates issues where they shouldn’t be any. Nunu is torn between her feelings for Noble and her anger because he kills slaves every day and tortures them. Obviously he doesn’t have a choice in the matter but this situation leads to conflicts between the two. Violence during slavery was a daily matter but people didn’t feel different about it then they do today. Noble also talks to Nunu about him being reminded of the master selling his own mother and him wishing that he could go and find her some day when he is free. He thought he could someday buy himself free, but it is frustrating and leaves him in a desperate situation that he realizes he never will be free. Furthermore you can see that slavery had the slaves do things they never imagined they could doa; Noble tells Nunu “ instead of finding my own mother I took somebody else’s”. Having this disturbing imagine about yourself can make you be unable to love another person the way they deserved to be loved.

In addition to the conflicts they already had because of their different slave positions, the inhuman treatment of the slaves and being born in an enslaved situation made it hard for people to have a normal relation to the meaning of true love.” Opression and dehumanization have damaged the African psyche and led to a loss of self-respect” (p.39). Furthermore the slaves were owned and were not allowed to decide who they wanted to be with. No relationships between slaves were allowed. The slaves were property and the master could do whatever he decided to do with them. Being in a relationship and knowing a master might just rape your partner is nothing people can just deal with, especially not when they don’t have the power to change or to help it. Nunu was a field slave, so compared to a house slaves, the chances of her being raped were smaller but we saw that at one point in the movie they decided that she was being sold to another master. Not being able to decide over your live doesn’t leave you in a position where you could have a satisfying relationship because you are not free to do what you want. If you can’t decide over your own body, it is impossible to try and share your life with a partner of your choice.

Despite all the effort of the white men to separate black people, there were still relationships between black people during slavery. “In this environment it is not easy to develop the positive self- image needed to achieve intimacy” (p.45). Nunu and Noble might not have had a sexual relationship, but they loved each other in a deeper, more spiritual way. Nunu nurtured Noble’s soul and their African culture connected them; it let them have a special bond. Africanity and afrocentrism also created a strong bond between them. Nunu did exactly what afrocentricity stands for: She “hearkened back to tribal loyalty and showed that to “hurt someone else is to hurt ourselves”(p.50). She “nurtured, uplifted and validated” (p.50) Noble in the situation where she could have also blamed him for a lot, but she doesn’t. Nunu reminded Noble about the way Africans act together in their communities, they don’t fight for themselves, they stand up for each other and work for the success of the community. She showed him the values they still have, to stand up against the white master .Also, their resistance in the end against their master and Noble Ali joining the maroon community, of which Nunu was already part of, connected them. Noble Ali pretended he was the head slaved who listened to his master during the day, but at night he helped planning a revolution against the plantation owner.  Only by doing all these things together they were able to stay together. Noble had learned that his sacrifice “ a sense of collective identity allowed him to give up certain aspects of himself without regret in order to advance a larger cause”, in this case the resistance against the master for the greater good of all slaves.(p.51)

This community thinking and staying together no matter what shows us that as for today, we have to look back to the past and see how these couples were still able to maintain a relationship even though they had to endure all these struggles during slavery.  The movie Sankofa urged us to think about the struggles we have in relationships today and how we try to solve them, and what real struggles black people fought against during slavery. If they made it then, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work nowadays. “Without an ideology of heritage the person is like an ant trying to move a larger piece of garbage only to find it will not move”(p.49).

I believe that a long term relationship always needs the effort of commitment from both partners. Without efforts and compromises from both partners there is no way a relationship will work long term. Conversations like the ones Nunu and Noble had are essential for a relationship.  Being in a relationship is a commitment you make to your partner. A relationship should always be balanced and treated with respect. When you are with somebody who has feelings for you, you need to treat these feelings with respect, just how you want your feelings to be treated like. While the early months of a relationship can feel effortless and exciting, successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners. Building healthy patterns early in your relationship can establish a solid foundation for the long run.

Spinach Gratin with Hard Boiled Eggs

•10/22/2012 • Leave a Comment

Spinach Gratin with Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

If you want, you can also sauté some chopped onion, and/or a persillade of minced garlic and parsley to mix in with the cooked spinach and béchamel. Either way. Without these aromatics, a cleaner flavor of the spinach comes through.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of fresh spinach, cleaned (or 24 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or 3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg if you aren’t starting with a whole nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • 6 hard boiled eggs*
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs**
  • Olive oil

*To hard boil eggs, place eggs in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with at least an inch of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, remove the pan from heat, and cover. Let sit for 10-12 minutes, covered. Then run under cold water to keep from overcooking. Crack the shells while the eggs are still under water and let sit for a while to cool before peeling.

**To make your own bread crumbs, take a few slices of day old bread and toast either in a toaster or in the oven until browned, then pulse in a food processor or blender until you have crumbs. Stir in a little herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning and a little salt to taste.

Method

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1 If working with fresh spinach, blanche the spinach in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and run cool water over it to cool it down. Press as much water as you can out of the spinach. (A good way to do this is to put the drained spinach in the center of a large, clean tea towel, wrap it with the towel, and wring the moisture out by wringing the towel.) Chop the spinach. Place in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and set aside while you make the béchamel.

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2 Heat milk in a medium saucepan until steamy, set aside. In a separate saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking the mixture until smooth, about a minute or two. Remove from heat. Slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking the whole time so that the mixture is not lumpy. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps. Return the pan to heat and let heat to a simmer, continuing to whisk to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The béchamel sauce will thicken as it cooks. Sprinkle in the ground nutmeg and black pepper.

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3 Stir the thickened béchamel sauce into the bowl of spinach.

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4 Grease the inside of a 2-quart gratin pan or casserole all around with a little butter. Pour the spinach béchamel mixture into a gratin pan, and even out the surface. Sprinkle the surface with the grated Gruyere cheese. Slice the hard boiled eggs in half, and arrange, cut side up, on the surface of the spinach mixture. Press into the spinach mixture so that the cut side of the eggs are level with the spinach. Sprinkle with 3 to 4 tablespoons of seasoned bread crumbs. Drizzle the top with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. At this point you can make the gratin a day ahead and chill until ready to cook to serve.

5 Bake, uncovered, in a 375°F oven for 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned.

Posted by Elise

Clever Billboard Ads

•10/21/2012 • Leave a Comment

This is a series of brilliant billboard ads dedicated to promoting science in Vancouver, by Science World Museum in collaboration with Rethink Canada…I wonder which cool ideas the Academy of Science in San Fransisco could  come up with. This is awesome:)

Nicki Minaj – The Boys ft. Cassie (Official Video) Premiere 2012

•10/18/2012 • Leave a Comment

The new video from Nicki Minaj ft. Cassie – The Boys just dropped. I feel like the setting is barbie town, but Cassie is looking good though!

Turn Zippers Into Great Accessories

•10/18/2012 • 1 Comment

Turning unconventional materials into wearable accessories is awesome. Today, it’s tackling zippers! Here are 5 simple, beautiful ways to create bracelets, cuffs, and bangles out of metal, plastic, and repurposed zippers.

Materials:
– zippers
– E-6000 quick hold contact adhesive
– velcro or snap buttons
– leather crimps + clasps
– Tools: needle nose pliers, sharp scissors

First thing to do is get your zippers! You can get them for $1 a piece. And if you’re really on a repurposing kick, you can steal one from an old hoodie or that dirty windbreaker you’ve been hanging on to since the late ’80s.

1. Zipper Bangles

These bangles are sweet, and have a definite friendship bracelet vibe.

Use colored zippers for these, in whatever colors you like. Cut close to the zip so that there’s almost no fabric on the sides and measure around your wrist. Cut any excess zipper but make sure it can still zip!

Attach cord ends so that you can add a clasp and loop. Repeat with each color and you’re done!

 

2. Braided Cuff

For this one, you’ll want a zipper with some contrast.

Here is a  black zipper with gold teeth. Cut it in half and then unzip so you have four pieces. Discard one. Clamp three with a leather crimp and braid! Add a crimp to the other end, clasp, and done.

 

3. Denim Bracelet

This one is silly simple!

Get a zipper with a more interesting material like denim. Cut it down to the size of your wrist. Clamp one end and twist. Clamp the other end. Zip or unzip, and rock it!

Found on Brit& Co.

 
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