Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wall Art

I saw a pin on pinterest that I really loved, but it turned out to be a "fake" pin that lead no where.  I hate that.  It is only one of the many things I dislike about Pinterest, but I digress.  It still gave me a good idea.
Since we moved to a new place, we have had a hard time figuring out what we wanted to do on this enormous wall that stretches from out kitchen to the front door (basically two rooms long).  As you might remember or find from some other posts on this wall, we light bright colors in the kitchen, especially because of the Fiesta dishes.
This phantom pin was a wall hanging with the outline of a state and a heart over a specific city.  We both thought it was adorable, we both love where we live but didn't grow up here, we both have lived in a few places that have remained firmly in our hearts, so this was the perfect idea.  Here is what we did and some pictures to go along with it.  I just used my phone for pics, so the quality is bad, but you get the idea.
The materials we used:
  • cheap canvases from Hobby Lobby
  • cheap acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby
  • outlines from a website Nate found
  • pencils
  • thin cardboard (I used a giant gift box)
  • painter's tape
  • wax paper
 I cut out the outlines of the states that Nate found.

Then I traced that shape onto the cardboard and cut that out.  I didn't take a picture, but I think you get the idea. I used the cardboard so that I would have a more sturdy outline.

Now, at this point I used two methods.  For some of the states I simply traced the shape onto the canvas and then painted around it free hand.  Here are some pics of that:

The other method I used required wax paper and painters tape.  I tore off a piece of waxed paper and laid it flat.  I then layers enough painters tape on it to cover the size of the outline.  Then I traced the outline onto the painter's tape.  I cut out the shape and peeled the waxed paper off.  Then I stuck the shape to the canvas and used it as a reverse stencil.  I really liked this method and it still gave me really clean lines.  I originally did it with the yellow because I was worried that the pencil lead would bleed into the color, but it worked so well that I did it with the green too.  Here are some pictures of that.


And here is the final product above out lovely red table!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Finishing Touches

When I was living alone in grad school my mom and dad found this adorable table with green painted chairs and legs and a varnished top.  It had a few scratches and bad spots on top, but it was adorable, so they bought it and gave it to me.  A few years and 4 states later, we are still using it.  The varnishing was neither in good shape, nor waterproof, so I had been thinking of refinishing it for a while.
Enter summer (excessive heat)
The weather finally cooled off enough for us to go for it.  I didn't get a really good before picture, but I think this first one gives you an idea of the condition of its condition.

We are so thrilled with it.  The wood turned out to be in beautiful shape.  What a happy surprise!  Now it looks good and I can relax when we or guests put sweaty glasses on the table.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tater scale

Things have been busy.
Things have been good.
I'm doing a lot of teaching
And a lot less with food.

What kind of poem is that?

I got this from a student family this week.  We cooked it on Monday and have been eating it ever since.

This picture has not been manipulated in any way (I did make it black and white, because the color version was a little too vibrant), I am holding the biggest sweet potato I've ever seen right beside my head. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Days Like This

Listen here
Scroll to "Days Like This"
Sip favorite drink
Enjoy with me


*I stepped out my front door, looked one way and took the top two, turned around and took the bottom.  It is so beautiful I had to share it with you immediately*

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another dirty job

In preparation for the class I'm teaching, I'm watching videos of Eric Clapton and John Mayer. So, dear readers, I ask you, can I get an amen?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's a dirty job

Hi everyone!! We're back! Nate and I were out of town for two weeks.
Week 1 we spent working at Way of Life Christian Camp. It was a huge success and we had a great time! We spent the week working at camp with the people we usually work with (people Nate grew up going to camp with), but this year we were at a new facility. It was a great week, and it is a huge honor for my name to be lumped with the others on the Leadership team. Seriously wonderful people with whom I am honored to work.
I know its all about the kids when we go to camp, so I feel like I'm cheating by having as amazing a time as I always do. I was really blessed with new, old, and renewed friendships, and a lot of time talking about Jesus and loving on kids. I can't say enough good about it. But I'm guessing you can hear enough about it, so I'll move on. Unfortunately not really any pictures to share because I was too busy!
Week 2 we spent at the beach in South Jersey with my family. Talk about more blessings. I'll get misty if I get into the details of how great the last two weeks were. Suffice it to say, I'll share some family pics when I find my camera cord.

We got another installment of produce from my in-laws. I appreciate them so much (I appreciate them even when they don't load us up with goodies), and I'm in awe of their gardening skills. They had a ton of stuff. Some of it we tried to grow with moderate success (beets), less success (tomatoes, green beans, carrots), and maybe more success (basil, peppers, we'll have to see). I'll get into the status of our garden and maybe do a postmortem on it sometime. But its not dead yet, so I'll put that on hold.

The in-laws gave me tons of fresh beets, so I pickled them, hence the dirty job. Here are the pictures

They are hanging out in the fridge right now.

I used this recipe from my MIL, which I think is from BHG.

1/3 C vinegar
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C water
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground cloves
Bring to a boil, add cooked and peeled beets, reduce and simmer for 5 minutes, cool, let the magic happen, enjoy.

I doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled (I'm not sure) it. But I left the ratio of vinegar to water in tact, which I understand is the important part, and I'm not canning them, I'll eat on them over the next couple weeks (let's be honest, few days is more likely).

My next post is sure to be about something really exciting, sexy, and intriguing in an effort to convince you that I am not, in fact, a senior citizen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Granny square beach bag

I have been working on this bag for a couple weeks. My plan was to use it as a tote bag, especially for the beach. It is made out of acrylic yarn so it should dry relatively quickly (if it even soaks up water) and be washable and durable.
I would also use it as a grocery-tote or carry small books in it.
Because of the colors I wouldn't carry it all the time as a purse. I thought I wouldn't want to use it as an everyday bag because of the homespun vibe (I think clothing and accessories can look a little too homespun), but now that it's done I don't feel that way.
Nate and I talk about me selling some of my crochet, and he thinks this could be a big seller. What do you think?