Sunday, February 26, 2012

Veggie Calzone

What is better than veggie pizza???  a veggie Calzone... or maybe not better but equally yummy on the taste buds.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Zip tie your chandelier

Hosting a party is always fun and sometimes you need to move the table to allow room for more guests but that pesky chandelier .... gah.... that hurts when you bang your head and sometimes creates an awkward space.  You know you want it higher  but goodness are you really going to break out the pliers and crank open the chain links?  Give it a zip with a zip tie.  Don't have a zip tie?  You could also use a garbage bag twist-tie.

Friday, February 24, 2012

St. Patty Day Inspired Wreath

I wanted to make a St. Patty's day wreath but wanted something that could possibly go into spring.  I love the natural look of the "haystack" wreath and I thought it would look great with the shredded fabric flowers that I saw on this tutorial at BCheniful 's Blog.

Click on the READ MORE>>> to see how I made the fabric flowers and  put this together


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reuse Wine Corks for Food Markers

Don't have enough corks to make a beautiful wreath? 
Slice the tip and use them for food markers at a party or table assignments at a dinner party.  

I decided to use wine corks to display the "food labels" for the cheese plate and appetizers at a wine tasting.                 

What do you need for this project???  Corks, stock paper, fancy writing skills and a knife!

Here is some info on making your own labels and utilizing those corks that are laying around.  Just click here...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Leaky Pitchers - Quick Tip Saturday

I think the pictures say it all!  If you have one of the rustic looking pitchers that leak everywhere, grab a plastic tumbler, fill with water and your beautiful fresh cut arrangements... these "antiqued" pitchers aren't for dry flowers anymore!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Menu Sign

I finally made it... after sitting on the project for 6 months because of moves, settling and other projects, I finally made the menu sign.  I got the inspiration to make one of these after reading A Content Housewife's Blog on how she decided to make a dry-erase board after an impasse with her husband on a chalkboard painted wall.   I thought it was a great idea!!!  I wanted something that was mobile, could be packed up and doesn't have to be painted over during the next 10 years while we move for Keith's career in the military.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I love you because sign...

Yes... I know this is part of the Pinterest bandwagon... but I thought it was so sweet and just well... rather perfect for my Keith.  Sometimes he needs a confidence boost, a love you because...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Veggie Roast

Sunday Supper -
One of my favorite meals growing up was a pot roast supper on Sunday.  It isn't that I miss the Roast part of the dish... I really really liked roasted potatoes and carrots in a bouillon.  Becoming a vegetarian a gazillion years ago, I missed those little vegetable guys that came from pot roast and were awesome reheated with ketchup.  I decided to try making a veg-friend version of the dish by substituting roast with Quorn Ck'n Cutlets and using vegetable broth as the much needed liquid to steam the veggies.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tea Towels and Table Decorations

Quick Tip Saturday!    Cute little tea-towels that you find at craft stores, dollar stores during the holiday season can quickly become a cute table anchor instead of purchasing an expensive table runner 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dollhouse Unveiled

Hopefully, you have enjoyed following the progress of the dollhouse made out of an old entertainment center. In case you are visiting my blog for the first time and want to see how the various pieces of the house were made, feel free to click on the embedded links that I have provided within the key words and it will take you to that specific blog entry in a new window.  Happy Reading!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pinterest gets Miniatured

I love Pinterest!  Who doesn't?  Even those who hop on once and don't see the benefit usually come around when it is time to plan a party, decorate for a holiday and the list goes on...

Dollhouse Ottoman

I created an ottoman for the dollhouse.  Before I begin, let me just say this was one of those projects where half way through it, you totally think of a much better way to go about it and end up with something different than you think... SO... that in mind.  I am going to tell you what I did... but I think you should not walk in my original shoes... follow alternate suggestions.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

7 Ways to Love Wacky Paper

BOLD... WACKY... COLORFUL... BRIGHT... LOUD... how many terms are there to politely describe the ugly paper hanging out in your craft area.  What can you do with all of the wacky scrap book paper that comes in the multi-pack sets?  I present to you my 7 Ways to Love Wacky Paper

You can't beat 250 pages for $19.99 and when it goes on sale or on clearance ... It is like mantra from the heavens...  250 pages for $7.57.. gotta buy it... but lingering, hidden (sometimes not so well ) among those stacks of beauty are crazy patterned papers.

Every mega-pack of scrapbook paper has them...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Re-purposing Old Shirts

As mentioned in the couch post, old clothing that is too used for a proper donation to goodwill can be re-used for other projects.  Think green before you send too small, too worn clothing into the garbage can.

Doll Couch - Adventures in Crafting

There is a reason why the description of this blog is .." an adventure in crafting".. versus "expert advice in crafting."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Children's Art Hanger

I made something like this for my two daughter's but stenciled their names on some years ago of which was before the age of the Cricut, personal cutter system.  With the use of a Cricut, you can get crazy and make all types of designs and not have to worry about the splattering of paint, smudging paint lines or making a mistake that you need to figure out how to cover.

Dollhouse Bathroom Sink

I bought this cute bathroom tub set from Target - it is part of the "Our Generation" collection- retails for about $20.   It came with a bunch of little pieces that will likely get lost as soon as I move the house into the play room.  I decided to use the colors on the tub as a basis for the patterns on the bathroom walls, color scheme.  Although, you can't tell well, the tub is really a lighter version of the Boysenberry house color and looks great against an orange back drop of which was one of the colors on the bins that I am using as the overall color pallet for the house.   

The set came with a toothbrush and toothpaste but where were Molly and Julie going to brush their teeth at?  

So I set off to make a bathroom vanity.  I had a couple of failed attempts....  :/

I tried to construct one out of repurposed wood with moving cabinet doors but it was a little (ok a lot ) wonky and too short.  That led to trying to have the the sink just hover in the corner and it was too strange and too small.  

I came up with this.  Techinically, it is still a hovering vanity but much larger with "storage curtains."  This same vanity could be easily created as a stand alone vanity by adding four additional 1x1 boarding cut to size for table legs.
Supply List: 
  • 8" piece of 1x3
  • 4 pieces of 1x1 cut at 8.5" (for stand alone vanity)
  • craft board cut or balsam wood board 8.5"x4"
  • drill or nail setter
  • 6 small screws
  • 4 tack nails
  • Two pieces of 3/8x1.5 craft board (found at Lowes) cut at 3.25"
  • One piece of 3/8x1.5 craft board (found at Lowes) cut at 7.25" 
  • small hacksaw
  • clothing wall hook (this becomes the faucet upside down)
  • 2 1/8" Cup Pull (found at Lowes in the door handle area..LOL) this becomes the actual sink
  • fabric of your choice 7"x40" 
  • Paint in a satin finish or craft paint and clear coat
  • measuring tape/ruler
  • wood glue
  • hot glue gun
  • clamp 
  • sander, sandpaper
  • two 1" wood screws

Creating the counter top.  
In order to repurpose some wood from the failed vanity attempt, I used two pieces of wood that when put together were the aproximate size of a 1x3 that I am suggesting you use.  The thin craft board was glued and tacked onto it.  This created a strong platform and a smooth counter top surface for the sink area.

I painted the newly built counter top the matching boysenberry.
While I waited for the paint to dry, I re-installed the clothing hook, upside down on the side wall of the bathroom.  If you are making a stand alone sink, you could  add an additional pieces of craft board to the counter top and create a splashboard to hang the "faucet" on.  I also hung a small cup hook on the other side of the bathroom for the dolls to hang their bathrobes on.

Making the storage covers.  I chose a striped fabric that highlighted the colors found in the house and on the bathtub.  You will need a piece of fabric that is 7" wide and a minimum of 40" long so that you can create four 10" panels that are 4" wide.  If you are making a stand alone vanity, you may want to consider making an additional panel for the back side of the vanity or using another craft board to close up the back.

I measured, prepped and using my Serger cut 4 panels that were 10x4"

The end result was four panels that were ready to be installed.   Using my trust glue gun, I applied glue and placed two panels on the front and a panel on each side.  Place these half way down the underside board so that when you install the outside wood panels the fabric and glue won't be in the way of screws/drill holes.

Installing the outer wood panels

Grab the hacksaw, drill with a tiny drill bit, 1.5"x3/8"x2' craft board and began plans to make the wood panels.  

I measured and cut the wood.  Using the small hand saw, I cut the craft wood at the proper length for each panel.  Pre-drilled the screw holes to ease placement.
At this point my camera died and I had to switch to taking pictures with my phone so I apologize for the quality.

After creating the drill holes, place your tiny screws in each hole and screw them in.  I put 2 screws even spaced on each side on the upper half of the supporting board.  After the screws were in place and everything secured, I lightly sanded the edges to remove any potential splinters.  I painted the newly built lower outside panel to match the counter top.  I thought about painting it pink but decided to play it safe with the boysenberry
After the paint dried, I set out to complete the final installation of the newly built vanity.  I drilled two starter holes in the counter, partially screwed in the two large wood screws and called my husband for help.. LOL... I just didn't have the hand strength to screw it in to the wood framing of the dollhouse.

After it was in place, I used the hot glue to secure the cap pull.  I was really pleased with the outcome of this design on the fly vanity!

Now the bathroom is complete!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vegetarian Ideas and Advice

Black Bean Soup with Sweet Corn Bread

If this is over the top – too much info, I apologize... I am really not that obnoxious... lol

I don’t know if you have been a vegetarian for awhile or just starting out on this new venture.  Nor do I know what your take on eggs or cheese is, etc.  We are lacto/ovo so a lot of my suggestions are based on that kind of traditional vegetarian diet.  Most of the meal options listed are more of a Western palate.  I love Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Indian and Chinese Food.  My Keith will tolerate it out of politeness but truly is more of a meat and potato kind of guy... minus the meat part of course 

So with that, two cook books that I have really enjoyed using are “How to cook everything” and the “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” – they are setup the same but one is tailored to a Vegetarian diet.  Although, I like the Vegetarian book – I also like waffles and other meals that are meat centric that I could replace the meat with a meat replacement.  You can get them at borders or Barnes and Nobles.  What I like about them is that it gives recipes and ways to make the recipes better with different variations.  Additionally, it goes into the different types of grains, ways to cook it rather than just giving you 1 recipe using red lentils and now you have 2 additional cups that you don’t know what to do with.  I just discovered another cookbook, “The Happy Herbivore.”  I haven’t bought it yet but plan to.  It provides over 300 low-fat vegan recipes that the book proclaims “everyone will love.”  I have seen a few of the recipes on the website and they look good and a great way to substitute mash potatoes, etc.

Depending on your taste preferences and what you like to cook, this website may have some great recipe ideas for you.  There seems to be another one that had some really good options on there but I can’t find it right now. Especially, if you like to play with different food flavors and aren't afraid to try something non-traditional.

I also look up “mock recipes” online when I try something at a restaurant that I really like to figure out how to make it.  Like PFChang’s eggplant dish.
Through FB, there is a site that you can like that has a vegetarian recipe/tip/idea of the day.  I like that as well.!/vegrecipes
In the winter, i really enjoy soup. I make soup nearly  each week and freeze what we don't eat the first night and then take out bowls at a time to keep us from eating the same thing night after night. I use vegetarian broth /bullion for all of my soups.  Most stores carry canned broth.  Making your own is super easy and just takes about  an hour of time and some containers for freezing.  Most whole foods type stores carry vegetarian bouillon in different flavorings as well.  I like to keep extra bags of frozen mixed vegetables around for a quick soup.
Going dried grain is a great way to cut on the budget, reduce sodium and increase flavor. Use dried black beans and pinto beans instead of canned for Mexican dishes, etc.  Instead of buying large bags, bring your measuring cups and buy only what you need for a specific recipe from the bulk section at an organic/whole foods type store – sounds a little geeky but it is a lot easier than storing a 1/2 pound of dried grains that you won’t use again.

Most larger cities have a vegetarian society. If you are looking for other veg-heads that try veg friendly restaurants, it is a great way to get out.  Some websites have a veg friendly online link for area restaurants. The key to making nights out and day trips a success is planning ahead.
I like to use website because it helps gage what I am eating and if it is within guidelines for protein, balance of carbs, cholesterol, etc. I use it to track calories but more so for the health side of things
Fake Meat – We do use meat replacement products – not daily but probably 2x a week for family meals.  I like Quorn for soups, ck’n pot piet, “hamburger” crumbles, etc.  Morning Star brand is good for chicken nuggets and morning sausage/fake bacon.  boca is good for burgers and there “Chk” nuggets taste pretty good as well.  In that Happy Herbivore book is a bunch of meat replacement, make your own, recipes.  I recently found a new cookbook called “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way” and we have only tried one of the recipes but it turned out pretty good and there 100 plus grain/bean/tofu/vegetable patty versions.  I anticipate us moving away from store bought meat replacers as I become more comfortable with making our own. 

Lastly, here is a list of our common meals that we make - some of which are using meat substitutes (i.e. Quorn, Morning Star, Boca or homemade Seitan, store bought Seitan):
  • Black Bean Tacos
  • Tostados
  • Nachos
  • Fajitas
  • Enchiladas
  • Bean Burritos
  • Taco Salad
  • Fake Meat/Bean Hard shell Tacos
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Stir Fry
  • Vegetarian Sushi (avocado, cukes, carrots) with Miso Soup
  • Malaysian Fried Rice
  • Falafel sandwich with salad
  • Lentil Soup
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Chicken Wraps
  • tomato Soup and grill cheese
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Minestrone
  • Black bean soup
  • Navy Bean with fake bacon
  • Chili with Bulgar
  • Potato Soup
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Southwest Tortilla Soup
  • Chili
  • Onion Soup
  • Stuffed Pizza
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Quick cheese pizza on a pita – 200 calories of pure yumminess!
  • Calzone
  • Pasta Bake
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Lemon Garlic pasta with fake chicken
  • Lasagna (Vegetable Lasagna, gouda sauce lasagna, classic sauce and cheese)
  • 3 Cheese Stuffed shells
  • Cheese or Portabello ravioli
  • Italian Rustico - with peppers and fake sausage on egg noodles
  • Quiche
  • Meatball Subs
  • Stuffed Green Peppers with black beans, rice and corn
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Chicken Sandwiches
  • Big Macs
  • Portabello Sandwiches
  • Portabello Paninis
  • Portabello on focaccia
  • Portabello with red wine reduction and red potatoes
  • Super Salad
  • Ck’n Pot Pie with Quorn ck’n
  • Salisbury Steak (Boca Burger) with Mushroom Gravy and Potatoes
  • Chili Dogs
  • Stuffed Ports with potato mixture
  • Hot Turkey Sandwich dinner
  • Bake Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese
  • Grilled quorn on salad with granny smith apples and red onion
  • Frittata – asparagus, southwestern, etc
  • Baja Fresh Burritos style
  • Caprese Sandwiches

Best to you as you continue on this journey and if I can provide any support or ideas, please let me know.  I am hoping to make my way through the above list with updated "how to cook" blog posts in my "How to Feed a Vegetarian for under 500 calories."  So tune in...    Thanks!

All Things that Glitter aren't Gold

very true... but all things with glitter look much better!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An American Girl Doll Bedroom

Kitchen Wall Art - Dollhouse

I have a large fork on my kitchen wall...   So naturally I needed to make one for the dollhouse kitchen.  I just finished this today.

What you need for this project: 
  • scrapbook rub-on embellishment - in this case a kitchen set
  • exact-o-knife or very strong hands
  • 2 pieces of balsam wood 12"
  • coordinating paint with your project

Using the exact-o-knife I scored each piece of balsam wood at the 8" point.  From there, I snapped them at the newly cut point.  I painted the wood a coordinating blue to match some of the other colors that will have come out in the dollhouse.  I hot glued them to the wall.  I would recommend using a balance to make sure the first piece is even.  After the gluing your new "frame" paint the inside a matching color, wait for the paint to dry, rub on your embellishment and if you like add a clear coat!