2014 blog favorites!

Best Of-2014-Banner-Clemmo

Bonjour, everyone!

What a great year! 2014 was punctuated by many changes and moves (Seattle-Lyon-Paris-Seattle). I hope you will keep following my new adventures wherever I settle down!

Change brings new challenges and exciting developments. The fresh air boosts my creativity. Sharing my projects with you through this blog is my biggest motivation. In 2015, I want to improve my technical knowledge to provide you with a better website and find ways to realize bigger, crazier ideas.

I particularly want to review these 10 most popular DIY from 2014 — each with little anecdotes!

See you soon,
xoxo Clemmo

Kokedama-DIY-Clemmo  leather-clutch-DIY-Clemmo
1. The Japanese Kokedamas: decorative hanging moss balls.
—> A star article, thanks to Pinterest! Pin it here!
2. The no-sewing leather clutch
—> I found the leather near Lyon, at “Boudin’s”, which is French for “sausage”! This word-of-mouth gem provides the best fashion designers in Paris with exceptional quality leather. And if you buy past-season, it is really affordable!

pumpkin-cookies-clemmo  bikini-diy-clemmo
3. The American recipe for delicious chewy pumpkin cookies!
—> My mother-in-law was told French people don’t value pumpkin much because it is used to feed the pigs… I have never heard this, anyone to confirm it?! From my French point of view, I agree we don’t cook pumpkin enough — it is truly tasty!
4. The tropical pin-up bikini
—> We shot at Îles du Salut, French Guiana, in the middle of the tourism season. Visitors were staring at us while my family was openly mocking us. Thankfully, this devoted blogger doesn’t know shame!

howl-hibou-clemmo  NY-kitchen-clemmo
5. The owl leather necklace (article in French)
—> After the photoshoot, we discovered a hidden box under the tree. It was filled with someone’s childhood souvenirs and drawings!
6. A kitchenette in “New York style”, with adhesive tiles.
—> Letters on the wall are covered with ELLE magazine pages and humorous drawings about modern women!

statement-necklace-clemmo  bracelet-friendship-clemmo
7. The statement necklace
–> This necklace article was also shot in Guiana. I was so devoted to the quality of the picture, I wore this knit sweater in a 90° jungle haze and kept sweating in it.
8. Friendship Bracelet Cuffs
—> This morning, at Montabo beach, Guiana, we witnessed baby turtles rushing to the sea for the first time! It was magical and I filmed it for you!

9. Semi-precious gemstone necklaces
—> The young owner of this antiquities shop near Châtelet was a look-alike of Roch Voisine, a Canadian pre-teen idol from the ’90s. (I am old enough to know him, yet young enough to never closely listen to his music! Me, I loved Backstreet Boys and Linkin Park, duh!).
10. Relaxing bath salts
—> Big-ups to my friend, Val, who dangerously climbed on my washing machine to take this picture in my tiny bathroom. (What, you wanted me to tell you if I were really naked? ;)

In 2015, be creative!

happyNewYearClemmoHappy New Year, dear readers!

I want to thank you for reading, enjoying and sharing this blog. And I want to tell you that the encouraging messages I receive from you go straight to my heart!

In 2015, I wish for you to stay creative. It is easy to restrain creativity. Society encourages us to be always more serious, rational, influenceable. I want to shout “Let it Go!” — if only it weren’t such a popular song. Be unique, then; and sing what you want to sing. Remember, when we were kids? We would draw, build, invent, craft and imagine crazy stories from scratch. Nobody was trying to hold us back. On the contrary, adults kept encouraging us to create, regardless of the quality of our productions. What was fulfilling to us was the act of creating — not the overall judgment on our creation. Full of confidence, we would keep creating, until we reached the ultimate museum of contemporary art: Grandma’s fridge.

Then we grew up. We stopped listening to what we liked. We began liking what is “cool to like,” and begun the course to become “what we should be.” We were blown in a direction that does not support creativity.

My wish for 2015 is that we find again the spark of creativity children enjoy. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed — applaud difference. Listen to your instinct, trust youself, please yourself and create. In your personal and professional life: unlock your imagination. Happiness starts with being yourself.

I wish for you to remain creative. Find your inner resources to realize the projects you believe in, even though especially when people say you’re crazy!

xoxo Clemmo


Merry Christmas from Hawaii!

Hawaiian-Christmas-ClemmoHello (or, I should say, Aloha) from paradise!

I am extremely lucky to spend one week in Maui, Hawaii, for the holidays. Plane tickets are less expensive from Seattle to Maui than to New York… So we will visit New York another time!

I am spending most of my time in the water, stand-up paddling, and working hard on my Pacific Northwestern (read: vampiric) tan. No DIY or recipe this week, but I will leave you with a nice montage of my pics from the week, including a bunch of sunsets to delight your eyes!

I wish you all an amazing Christmas break with your family and friends. “Mele Kalikimakais Hawai’i’s way to say, “Merry Christmas” to you… ♪♫ 

xoxo Clemmo


Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo

A Ginger Bread Village

Ginger Bread Village @ClemmoHello, y’all! Merry Christmas!

I think I caught a baking fever lately. John likes to say the coolest aspect of living with a Frenchie is that when she is doing well, she bakes like crazy — and when she is down in the dumps, she cooks crazier.

I have been in the US for more than two months now, and I absolutely love it; the hardest part is to be far from my group of friends. It is harder than I thought to stay in touch with everyone. If you read me, you should know you are irreplaceable <3

I can’t wait to receive my work permit (soon!). It will be easier to meet people, and I will bring my home-baked pastries to work instead of being a glutton at home.

This week, I wanted to share with you a traditional Christmas recipe both in France and in the US: gingerbread and pain d’épices, or “spice bread” in French. Many families design a gingerbread house during yuletide festivities in the US; in France, and especially in the Eastern regions, “spice bread” is an institution, too. Below are the two traditional recipes. You can try to bake these cute little houses, directly imported from Hansel and Gretel’s tale.

I wish you a delightful holiday time, and I’m off to spend Christmas in Hawaii with my in-laws!

xoxo Clemmo

Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo 1- Traditional Alsatian “Pain d’Epices” – for the houses

Ingredients – For 10 miniature houses
– 1 cup flour (keep flour on stand-by; sprinkle dough liberally to prevent sticking)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 cup honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon mustard powder
– 1 teaspoon ginger powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon allspice
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup warm milk

Preparation – 90 min.
– In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and the spices.
– Gently heat the honey in the microwave, then pour it onto the other ingredients and mix.
– Add the eggs, then add the milk. Mix until smoothe — no powder chunks!
– Pour the batter in a buttered mold.
– Bake in the oven at 320° F for an hour. Once cooked, set the bread aside and wait until cold to remove from the mold.
—> With a large knife, cut the crust off the bread in the shape of a simple house, as pictured above. The key is to make a flat bottom and a ^-shaped roof.

For the gingerbread cookie roof, use the recipe below!Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo2. American Gingerbread Recipe – For the roofs and other cookies

Ingredients – for 30 cookies

– 3/4 cups brown sugar
– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 3 cups flour
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup molasses (or honey)
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation – 2 – 8 hours (including rest time)
– In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dry spices.
– In a larger bowl, beat the butter with the sugar, then add the egg, molasses and vanilla.
– When the dough is smooth, divide it in two halves, then wrap each half in plastic wrap and let them rest for at least two hours at room temperature. The longer you wait, the more airy and light the texture will be.
– Adorn a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
– Clean a wide space on a table or counter top. In this space, unwrap one half of the dough, keeping the plastic sheet underneath the dough. (Quick note: If the dough sticks to the plastic wrap, remove the plastic gently and sprinkle flour on the space and the dough.) Flatten the dough with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about 3/4 centimeter (or 1/4 inch).
– Cut out the cookies in your desired shapes; for the roofs, cut little rectangles with a width and length according to the size of the houses you cut during step 1.
– Preheat oven to 375° F, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Ginger Bread Village @Clemmo 3. Decoration

– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 egg white, whisked until strong
– Decorative confectionary icing
– Candies, chocolates, mini Oreos…

– Mix powdered sugar in the beaten egg whites until a paste forms. You can use this mixture as a glue to stick the roofs to the houses. Careful, it dries rapidly.
– You can use the rest of the paste to create icicles dripping from the houses’ roofs!
– Draw winter designs, doors and windows on the houses with the icing tube.
– Finally, add colorful candies.

And voilà!


A Christmas terrarium

1Christmas-terrarium-enHello, dear readers!
I hope you are doing well — wearing ugly Christmas sweaters and basking in the holiday joy! On my side, I am still stuck at home, waiting for my work permit to arrive… I wouldn’t be surprised if it came with a lump of coal in Santa’s sack. I have plenty of time to blog, bake, and do crafts. I even wrapped all my gifts already. That’s a holiday miracle!

Today, I am glad to present you this funny and educative DIY. It’s perfect activity for the family! Little guys will have to sacrifice a few of their favorite mini-dinosaurs; you’re going to douse them in glittering gold. Little girls will be amazed learning how to grow sparkly salt crystals.

Let’s do it!

xoxo Clemmo

2Christmas-terrarium-en – Tiny plastic dinosaurs (or any sort of miniature beast!)
– Gold acrylic paint
– A paint brush
– Paper (to protect your table)
– An old shirt (to protect your clothes)
– A big glass transparent jar, like an aquarium
– Nice rope or ribbon to adorn the jar
– Vegetation from the woods (pine branches, mini pine cones, licens etc…)
– Silver glitter
– 4 mason jars
– 1 liters of tap water
– 1 kg of Epsom salts (you can find it at the grocery store)3Christmas-terrarium-enStep 1: paint the dinosaurs in gold!
– I advise you to apply paint repeatedly in thin layers all over the dinosaurs. The paint will dry quickly and you won’t have to wait too long in between layers. This way, the render will be more uniform.4Christmas-terrarium-enStep 2: Epsom salts cristals!

– Pour 1 cup of epsom salts in each mason jar.
– Heat water until it is almost boiling, and pour 1 cup in each jarjar.
– Mix until the salts are totally dissolved into the water. It must be clear and transparent.
– Add some glitter, then mix again.
– Place the jars in the refrigerator to cool down for a few hours — up to one day, if possible. The longer you wait, the more the crystals will grow!
– When you’re ready, carefully strain the water from the jars by pouring slowly.
– With a fork, softly remove the salt crystals from the jars (they are super fragile!), and let them dry on paper.
– What happened? You created a solution saturated by salt. Once dissolved and cooled down, salt particles agglomerated to each other to form crystals!

Step 3: the terrarium
– Dispose various layers of crystals in your big jar. Keep the best looking ones on top!
– Add the golden dinosaurs & the items from the woods.
– Voilà, you just made a christmas terrarium!


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