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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Open Pantry Living

I've always had issues with decor vs utility.   Our existing kitchen reluctantly held my grandmother's behemoth hutch.  The bottom drawers were catch-alls, and the top shelves displayed dusty, unused, barware.  Cordial glasses.  Brandy glasses.  Champagne Flutes.  Port Glasses.  Glass Carafes.  Shakers.  Seriously, the most action seen by any of my six (!!) "on display" brandy glasses was when I converted two of them into terrariums.

Inspired by M moving in with me, I've started downsizing & organizing.  The kitchen hutch was one of the first to go.  In its place, I wanted to put an open pantry for our dry goods.  This not only inspires us to eat healthier, but it transforms utility into decor, which is a huge goal of mine.

Click "READ MORE" below for the Open Pantry Upcycle

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cherry Pies and Steak Cakes

Cooking with the BF is always fun.  Hanging out in the living room and pitting two pounds of cherries is a great bonding experience.  "You have cherry juice all over your face"  "You just squirted me in the eye with cherry juice...again"  "Take a picture of my hands; it looks like I just murdered someone!"

I use the Basic Flaky Pie Crust Recipe and some variation of this Baked Cherry Pie

Lattice tops are cool, but cookie cutter shapes are THE COOLEST.  (One of us may have gotten a little drunk one night was repeated scolded for eating all the delicious star crusts*)

In addition to Cherry Pies, this week has a second confection:  STEAK CAKES!  mmmmm
Please sir, may I have some more?
Ten year old puppies get Bacon Wrapped Filets on their birthdays.  Look how clean that plate is!?!

Happy Baking.

*it was me


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Edward Gorey & DIY Poster Wall Art

This blog post shows a remarkably cheap way to decorate your home with some unique Edward Gorey Illustrations, perfect for kids and adults alike.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

No Reason Cakes

I don't bake often.  All of my cakes come from a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe mix.  And my baking pans are limited to 9" rounds and cupcake trays.

So when I was inspired to make a two tier wedding-esque cake last night, I was probably overreaching.  Especially because the cake was a surprise for my boyfriend.  And we're not engaged.

Friend:  Ummm, did you seriously just make a wedding cake for M?
Me: kinda, i guess
Friend:  What's next?  Are you going to surprise him with a Seating Chart?

Honey, I hope you like yellow cake, frosted with subliminal intentions!

The challenge for me was creating a ~5inch layer with only using a 9inch pan.  It was like that story of the shrinking paper heart: snip snip snip.  Also: umm hello? frosting the crumbly-cut side of a cake is a miserable task.

Cake finally assembled, and decorated with baby's breath and green hydrangeas that M picked me up earlier that day.  Add a last minute wooden dowel chopstick down the center, and I had my first ever two-tier layer cake.   I think it looks pretty snazzy. 

And jokes aside, M LOVED that I made him a cake, and he didn't even mention that it was suspiciously matrimonial.  :)

PS: there really were no subliminal intentions.  Just too much Pintrest lately.

No really.


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Manifest Destiny

I love boho stylings: mixed fabrics, floor pillows, wall-to-wall books, plants.  To me, this style screams "lay down, take a nap, relax!"  Who doesn't like to take a nap [on the floor]?

Of course this styling also lends itself to: clutter, dust, dinginess, eventual hoarding...but I digress.

One sweet boho fantasy that I've always had was to have an indoor swing.  Two ropes.  One Plank.  Seems like a pretty easy order, but for some reason because I'm lazy, I never got around to it.

Recently I started kicking myself in the ass over the amount "ideas" I collect without any follow through.  (embarrassing confession: this may or may not have something to do with reading an excerpt from The Secret) (embarrassing confession #2: the excerpt was enough; i have no plans to read this book)  So I wrote out a list of things I wanted for myself.   Positive Thinking.  Visualization.  I see myself as a homeowner.  I see myself with Camilla Belle's eyebrows.  I see myself lounging in a bitchin' indoor swing. 

And then it happened!  Just like The Secret said!  The power of visualization worked!  Or rather, the power of going online to and ordering a $49.95 Brazilian chair hammock which ships incredibly fast, like Amazon Prime fast, and then going to Home Depot and purchasing an S hook and Eyelet Screw, and then leaving everything in the back of my car for three weeks, and then inexplicably leaving it in my yard for four days, and then finally bringing it inside, drilling sixteen pilot holes in the ceiling looking for the joist, screwing in the eyelet, and hanging it all up!

Behold: The Power of The Secret Online Shopping!

It's not quite the "two-ropes-and-a-plank" look I originally wanted, but you can't exactly fall asleep, nesting with a glass of wine and your TV remote, on a plank.  Ya hear?  

What did I learn from this?  Well for one: it's impossible to find a ceiling joist unless you're drilling at least 1 inch deep.  Also that an indoor hammock chair generates a lot of sex swing jokes.  And that a little daily positive thinking can go a long way towards getting things done.  [see: hammock chair; this blog; my unruly brows]

Cheers to happy thoughts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saul Bass & DIY Painted Cornhole


For Christmas this year, my brother gave everyone in the family a custom set of Cornhole boards (Bean Bag Toss,  Corn Toss, Baggo, not sure what you call it.)

He built them from regular 1/2" ply and 2"x4"s and I think it is one of the coolest gifts ever. (Build Your Own Cornhole Board Tutorial)  Even though I live in New England and had to wait over five months to consider using them.  :)

Now that we are in full swing of Yard Game Season, I decided to finally paint the boards.

Being a movie fan AND a serious admirer of Saul Bass' graphic designs from the 50's/60's, I decided on replicating some Saul Bass Movie Posters.   

I sanded them down, primed them, and used 8oz sample paints from Home Depot.  

I'm really diggin the way they turned out and considering hanging one or two in the house.

LawnGames-cum-WallArt.  How Utilitarian!  :)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Coffee Stained Bread Boards : A Tutorial

Inspired by Diana at Our Vintage Home, yesterday I made several little pine bread boards.

Being pine, they are not ideal for heavy duty cutting/washing.  But they make adorable bread boards, cheese boards, etc.  Plus they look nice around the kitchen!!

Each is stained with extra extra strong coffee and sealed with Butcher Block oil, making them food safe.  Some are also letter punched with an iron stamp set.

I'd like to experiment with different stains next: varying strength coffee; tea; beet juice; tung oil; etc.

Click "READ MORE" Below for the Tutorial!