The holiday season is officially over now! It’s been two weeks of non-stop eating and family gatherings and, although I’m a bit sad it’s over, I’m happy to go back to normal. The season started with Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch, which we celebrated with Andoni’s side of the family. You already saw what we made for dessert, but other than that his aunt and mom prepared all the food, which consisted mostly of appetizers and was delicious.
The day after Christmas I had to go to the University for a morning meeting, but after that we drove to Madrid for a quick visit. We arrived there just in time for lunch, then checked out the outlets nearby in the afternoon. The next day, the 27th, was one of my aunt’s 50th birthday so we had a celebratory family lunch and then drove back home. So it was definitely a short stay in Madrid! We hope to visit soon(ish) again though and hopefully we’ll be able to do more stuff while there. Oh but we brought something home with us on this visit…
I spotted this chair at my aunt’s place and loved it. When I asked here where she got it she said we could take it home with us, because she no longer had a place for it in her house and didn’t know what to do with it. Turns out my uncle and her bought it at Ikea a long time ago. I did a little online digging and it’s the Hova chair from 1993. It’s too bad Ikea no longer sells those because I think they’re really cute.
Saturday the 29th we had a Secret Santa gift exchange and dinner with our friends at our place. It’s the second year we’ve done the gift exchange and this year we drew the names very early so that people could DIY gifts if they wanted to, instead of buying them. I was very excited to try out something I had seen on Pinterest so I DIYed the gift I gave: photos on wood blocks. It was very easy to do, although very time consuming (the step by step process is at the end of this post). The exchange was really fun and there were some awesome presents! For example my friend Maite, the one who made my wedding dressed, gave a beautiful handmade skirt. And what I got was great, too: a Recesky DIY Twin Lens Reflex Camera Kit. It’s a camera that you have to build yourself and then works with standard 35mm film. It takes Instagram-style pics, although the actual camera is cool looking and would look great simply sitting on a shelf even if you never used it. I had no idea those existed until now, but I love it, I thought it was a very original gift. Obviously my friends know me well. So, the gift exchange + dinner = a total success in my book.
Of course, the 31st we celebrated New Year’s Eve at my parents’ with a delicious dinner. My mom made several appetizers and a main dish, and Andoni and I brought dessert: coffee mousse with salted caramel in small glasses. I have to blog the recipe because they were one of the best desserts I’ve had lately. January 1st we always gather at my aunt and uncle’s house and we all have a huge lunch there (now you’re probably starting to realize why I’m glad the holidays are over… too much food!). Then on January 6th we gather there for lunch again on Kings’ Day/Three Wise Men and we have a family gift exchange there as well. I received the Socker mini greenhouse from Ikea as a gift (I dropped not-so-subtle hints about my Pinterest wish list… ha).
And now the season’s over, and we’re back to normal. Like I promised, here’s how I did the photo on wood block craft:
Transferring Photos to Wood BlocksI was inspired by the numerous pins and followed this tutorial more or less to a T.
Materials: wood blocks, photos printed on normal paper with a laser printer, matte gel medium, modge podge, a brush.
- Cut wood in desired size/pieces.
- Print the photo(s) you’ll be using on normal paper, using a laser printer. This is important. Do not use photographic paper or an InkJet printer. If you want to transfer the photo as you see it on the computer, take into account that you should print a mirror like image, so that when you transfer it onto the wood it mirrors again and you end up with the original photo. If you print it as is you’ll transfer a mirror like image.
- If you wish, cut out the silhouettes of people in the photo, or leave them as is. I did a total of ten or so pics (it was sort of like a mini gallery) and the ones that were portraits, I cut out the background of the pic and just transferred the silhouettes.
- Use a brush to apply a layer of gel medium on top of the photo, on the side of the photo. Turn the photo around and stick it onto the wood, face-down. Let it dry overnight.
- Fill a bowl with water and, with the help of a clean cloth, wet the photo. You have to peel out all the paper but leaving the ink, slowly, rubbing the cloth or your fingers on the photo. Be especially careful around the edges or you might peel the ink as well.
- You’ll have to take your time with step five. I found it easier to do it in stages/layers. So I peeled most of the paper, dried the block with the hair dryer, saw which places needed more peeling, and continued. Drying in between peeling helps you see where you need to keep rubbing because when the paper is wet you don’t notice that there’s still paper that needs to be peeled.
- When you’re satisfied with the results, modge podge on top of the photo to protect the pic. Don’t worry if you think there’s still a very thin layer of paper that you can’t get rid, because you won’t be able to notice it once you modge podge on top. I was a bit preoccupied because although the photo looked great when it was wet, as soon as it dried you could tell there was a veeery thin layer of paper. When you apply the modge podge, though, everything looks perfect.
P.S.: I’m having trouble with categories & the new design (that’s why this post is filed under “in the kitchen” but I hope to be able to fix it quickly. In the meantime, take a look around because I’ve redesigned most pages in the navigation menu, and let me know if anything doesn’t work! Thanks for your patience as I continue to tweak the blog around. Update: looks like the categories are working fine now, but please, do let me know if you see anything that doesn’t look right.