{sneak-peek blogs} :: ishtar olivera

Hello dear friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I just went away from Lisbon another weekend, but the truth is that I miss this little spot very easily! What have you done on your weekends? So… as you may all noticed, this is something new here at {…a place for twiggs}, as usual, news are becoming very common around here! I think that vacations spent at home are also good to clear our minds, we get to feel free to do those things that usually we don’t have time to… and all this time, has another benefit… we become more creative! At least I feel this way so much these last weeks! But to start… welcome to {sneak-peeks}!

{sneak-peeks} is a new column at {…a place for twiggs}, that will happen every week, on mondays! So, this weekly column has the purpose to take you into a sneak-peek on different subjects, and these will be:

{sneak-peek :: blogs}
{sneak-peek :: handmade pledge}
{sneak-peek :: photography}

This means that on a weekly basis, we’ll take you into an inspiring journey through beautiful and interesting blogs by talented bloggers, talented artists that create exquisite objects with their own hands, and present to you talented photographers, that inspire us with their unique images and perspectives. So, today we will have also a talented person that besides having a blog, it is also a talented photographer and artist. Today we will take you through…

{beautiful header with Ishtar’s drawings}

Ishtar Olivera presents herself in the most simple way…

“Illustrator, I´m an illustrator who loves all the beautiful things in life! Arts and crafts, photography, sewing… Creativity is my life! Welcome to my blog, welcome to my world!”
{a few of Ishtar’s images of her world}

According to Ishtar…
“I can tell you that my blog first started as a place to showcase my work and illustrations, but with time I wanted to give it a try writing “real posts” about things I loved. It kept evolving -always is- and now I feel more than happy, not only to share the things I love, but also to encourage people to be more creative! When people write me and tell me they are putting into practice the tutorials, feel inspired to take more photos, draw… This makes me feel like I´m really contributing and giving a small part of me to the world.”

Actually, one of the most amazing features on Ishtar’s blog is that she has created a few tutorials that besides colourful and pleasurous for the eye… they are pretty easy to follow and inspire the readers in being more creative and explore new skills.

You can learn about photography, carving, drawing… and I think that Ishtar will have more to come, because she indeed has so much pleasure in preparing these for us! You can explore your skills here!

Besides exploring Ishtar’s blog, which I really hope that you’ll do this right after reading this post, you can also feel inspired by her photography in Flickr!

So, this is it! I really hope that you liked this new feature that I have here at my place! I also would like to thank Ishtar for allowing me this guided tour into her world! Thank you Ishtar!

And to all of you, have yourselves a sweet and peaceful week!!!

interview with mari

Hello hello!
How are you been doing these days?
First of all, I’m so sorry for not being able to post some inspirational talents, as these days became a lot more to handle than I was expecting, but instead I prepared you a very interesting interview!
Today is {at home… far away from home} day…
…and our guest is a very organized woman, as she herself says it that way. She lives in California and presents herself as “happily married with my geek husband and two cats, who are not getting along…yet”. She loves to organize, but she doesn’t see herself as a minimalist.
As I told her already she inspires me so much when concerning home organization! I remember from the first weeks in Flickr, when I discovered this well-organized home, all in neutral colours… so peaceful and warm at the same time! And she inspires me that much, because every time I look at my cabinets… not looking so “straight”… I think to myself “How could I get these things organized in a clean way?” So, in a matter of speaking I almost think about her home and these good-looking shelves in order to focus on what I want!
Her name is Mari… and you may all know her from almost bunnies.
So, to remind you of our goal with this column, {…a place for twiggs} invites guests that live far away from their home country to share with us some things that they felt when making the decision, they feel nowadays… and by this, it will help you that are thinking in moving to another country, or for you that live far away from your first home and feel yourself in this same place.
Sharing experiences… is also a way of learning.
So,let’s hear from Mari…
1. Hello… How are you? Can you tell me something that describes who’s almostbunnies :: Mari?
I live in Orange County, California with my husband and two cats. I love organizing and I’m always looking for something I can organize.
2. You were born in….
Tokyo, Japan
3. And now you are in… … for how many years?
Orange County, California. I was in OC for about 4 years before I had to go back to Japan in 2002. After surviving a 3 years of a long distance relationship with my now-husband between Japan and here, I was able to come back here for good and it’s been 5 years now :)
4. Do you remember what were you feeling/thinking in the day you decided to go abroad?


I was really excited when I first decided to come to California to go to a college. I’d been to California twice before that as a teenager, but I remember my English was so horrible so this time I wanted to be able to speak English fluently while I go to college.
5. What do you like the most in your current place?


One word. “Weather”. Tokyo, Japan where I grew up had lots of cloudy and rainy days and it would really affect my mood. Here it’s sunny most of the time I get energized so I get a lot of more stuff done.
6. What do you miss the most from your country?


Although I’m pretty lucky, there are a full range of Japanese markets and restaurants in the area I live in now, I still miss depachika so much. Depa is a short slang for department and chika means basement. In Japan food stores are usually located in the basement of a department store. The department stores are usually located near or at a train station – It is SUPER convenient just go in there and get some food before you go home after a busy day at work or if you just wanna grab something and eat right there.
7. Let’s say that I’m going abroad for some reason… and I’m at the airport, on the departure side… your words for me would be…?
If you are only going for a week, I’d say “Have fun!” but if you are going for a couple of years or more, I’d say to you “Try to learn their language and culture and do your best to blend in!”
And last but not the least… I would love to learn something in your language… can you tell me what’s your favourite word? :)
My husband loves it when I say “Ara?” which means something like “hmm?” When you question something.
Thank you so much, Mari for being here at {…a place for twiggs}!!! I would love to visit Tokyo, so this has had a sweet taste for me!
Let’s get to know a bit of Tokyo and California, shall we?
Thank you so much for reading this!
Have a wonderful Friday!!!! The weekend is almost there!!!! :)

{random} stories :: a botanical story

This afternoon I went to one of the Botanical Gardens in Lisbon, which happens to be almost on my street. It has been a long time that I wanted to visit it, but time flies and it never seems to be the right moment. A few days ago I saw some pictures of a Botanical Garden in one of my friends in Flickr and decided that this visit had to be made asap!

Today I really needed this time to wander around fresh trees, exotic plants, lakes and swans… I was missing a photography trip, and also needed to focus and to clear my mind with some dark clouds around my head.

I found that peace, but unfortunately I found a very sad scenery… it appears that this garden has not been taken care of just as it needs. Though I found some pretty scenarios for my photography session, I also found dirty lakes… with some very green water (it reminded me of Shrek!), greenhouses closed to the public, empty lakes and streams… it appeared to me that trees were being taken care off, animals too… there were even peacocks, which I always find fascinating… those amazingly beautiful feathers and that magnificent dark and shiny blue… oh nature has its own way towards perfection, hasn’t it?

So, as I told I also found pretty details to capture… here are a few.

{a green lake for shrek}

{a fabulous hawaiian skirt?}

 {is it growing in the sky?}

 {too attached?}

{a green sky?}

{a magical garden?}

 {two exquisite green hearts?}

See you around, friends!! May you all have a sweet thursday!

{random} stories :: creativity sneak-peeks

Hello there everyone, how are you?

Today I just felt like writing you, as it is been so long!

Well, I’ve been so busy in these last days… you wouldn’t guess, and I wouldn’t either! I’m on vacations for three weeks, while I don’t start on my new job and I just keep having so many things to do every day! To be honest, sometimes it gets difficult to deal with all these things, because I want to do so many things that I get a little disorganized… but to be honest again, I was always like this! I always felt that I’m a little bit of hyperactive when doing things around the house… I start something and then I have to go to the kitchen and manage to start something else too… then I go to the living room, I sit to peek Flickr and I remember that it is a good moment to post some of my pictures and/or leave some comments and when I look at the time… it is so late! To help, my laptop is so old, that it takes like forever to do anything. But as I respect the elderly… I truly respect the time that it takes to do what I want. Just relax and enjoy the ride.

Deal with your own “imperfections”… and this is one of my imperfections… maybe a special feature… oh well!

So, I have news!!! My Etsy sweet corner is filled with new goods!! Here’s just a sneak-peek!
{baking session}
{cherry session}
{cherry session}
{cherry session}
These are available on my corner as individual “sweets” and as a set… actually two different sets! As there are other pictures that may fit here, you can choose other one to complete the set! At twiggs’ place, flexibility is the word!
Other “sweets” on Etsy include…
{the single cherry}
{the white stork}
{the creamy flowers}
{the cotton flowers}
These postcards… which whose I truly hope to cherish your senses… were pictured in a very natural environment, as I used my weekend away from Lisbon to find a good spot to make them look even more pretty! Look at me, complimenting my own work… well… as they say, we must believe in our work, before expecting someone else to believe in it, right? So, that’s what I’m doing!

And as I seem to be always busy… yesterday I had this handcrafted moment… I always go to bed really, really late… I like to think about my work, I like to appreciate my Flickr friends pictures… read blogs, find new ideas and get inspired by so many talented people that I know or get to know… And like a fiew weeks ago, when playing a visit to a museum near my house, I felt inspired by this wall art that I saw, and thought about… postcards! Why not some DIY postcards? Will I be able to do it?
{inspiration part…}
Yesterday was the day they were born… through some old postcards, small pieces of wood, golden traces and love inspiration, as one of my favourite expressions is…
Love is all around us.
{one heart}
 {hearts & love}
{heart & path}

Well… and this is a way of saying that my sweet corner at Etsy is filled with goods and I just need clients so that I can share all these sweets and as promised… tea & cookies!

… So I leave you with another set that I’ve created… {squared pieces}

{the heart}
Take care my friends! See you tomorrow for some inspiration talents, and don’t forget… Friday it’s {at home… far away from home} day!

Who will be our beloved guest?

Tip: extremely organized woman!

See ya!

step-by-step recipes :: chocolate cookies

Hello there my friends!!!

Here we are again with some tasty post!! I hope you have had a good week! I don’t know about the weather where you live, but we have had some pretty summer days in Lisbon! So, I’m enjoying some really good summer days while on vacations!

So, as you all may now in this column I invite someone to share a recipe, always a tasty one, of course, and some pictures made during the cooking/baking session! And to end this, the honourous guest has to finish a sentence about his/her feeling about the kitchen!

For this session, I invited someone really special. Oh yes, you must believe in every word I say about this person, because as you all may know talent has no age and you may be very talented even at the age of six, but even so… there are certain subjects where you have to me mature, and this gal is very young, yet mature and talented as she shares with us her world in unique images.

She’s 21, going on 22… and a student. She lives in Romania. She has green eyes, not blue. She has the dearest of friends and boyfriends, that has been with her for six years, and she’s no afraid of telling everyone “ti amo punto”. Her name is Smaranda.

So, this week I asked Smaranda to be my lovely guest here on {shall we eat something?} and as I was saying that I would do some cookies too, she made this amazing suggestion… “why don’t we share the same recipe, bake the same cookies and share the pictures and results?”

It would be a nice project, one recipe, two girls, two countries… one/two results :)

Oh boy, I was thrilled by this!!! I should thank Smaranda right this instance by this, because it was my very first time as a baker of cookies!!! :) So, as you may see, I agreed and we baked some cookies!

What was the recipe?
Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1+1/2 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 table spoons flax seed
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup grated coconut
2-3 tablespoons coconut dehydrated flakes for decoration

{twiggs’ version}

How to bake it?

Stir together the butter and sugar until well combined, then add the eggs, the vanilla extract and the lemon peel and mix them.

{smaranda’s version}
{twiggs’ version}

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, instant coffee, baking soda and salt. Add to the previously mixed wet ingredients in batches, stirring gently. If desired (and I do recommend it), add the flax seed.

{twiggs’ version}
{twiggs’ version}

Finally, add the coconut and the chocolate chips and mix everything together gently.

{smaranda’s version}
{smaranda’s version}

{smaranda’s version}

Smaranda added coconut.

{twiggs’ version}

Failing to go to a proper grocery store, I boutgh 200g of dark chocolate and sliced it. Next time, I must slice it in smaller pieces.

{twiggs’ version}

Instead of coconut I added some sliced almonds!

Now chill the dough for 30 minutes and dream about warm cookies. Don’t forget to preheat the oven.

{twiggs’ version}

{twiggs’ version}

Drop small balls of dough on a cookie sheet, distanced from one another. Add some coconut flakes on top of each one and bake in the oven for 11 to 13 minutes, until they are golden brown.

{smaranda’s version}

{smaranda’s version}

Remove the cookies from the sheet and place them on a cooling rack. Then call your friends.

{twiggs’ version
{smaranda’s version}

{smaranda’s version}

Quite delicious, don’t you think?

{smaranda’s version}

The cookie jar that actually started all this delicious cooperation!

{twiggs’ version}
{twiggs’ version}

Guess which one is homemade?

{twiggs’ version}

{twiggs’ version}

I’m not grabbing, but I’m very proud that after one day, they still have this melting chocolate!

So, this is a means to say…

Yay to homemade chocolate and coconut/almond cookies!!!

 To finish this… let’s see what Smaranda has to say about her kitchen…

Dear Kitchen, for me you…
…are a place of joy and experiments, of quick breakfasts before leaving for school or long time spent with the cooking book in my hands. You’re the tiniest room in my small apartment, but you can still hold together surprises, failures, successes, deliciousness, long talks over a good coffee, inviting flavors and hours of phone conversations with my mum (that would be me calling to ask about how to make a particular soup or the missing ingredients to my French potatoes and ending up talking about all the kitchen-unrelated things in the world). All in all, my dear kitchen, I couldn’t do without you!

I would like to thank Smaranda for being the nicest guest in giving her support while I was baking these cookies! And of course, I would like to thank her, also for being so fast in answering and sharing pictures and recipe!! I surely made it because of you, always so supportive! Thank you in every way!

Have a nice weekend, my sweet friends!!!

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