Monday, February 8, 2010

Spice it up

First order of business: I told a few very special people that I would post the recipe for delicious, fresh, and all together amazing homemade fresh Salsa. I learned to make this from my roommate Kristen, who learned it from her previous room mate, who is rumored to have learned it from mouth of Martha Stewart herself. I later saw a recipe note card for the almost same exact stuff in Becca's super de duper cute recipe cards, so I'll post that for you and note the variations I made.

(Isn't that the cutest little card you've ever seen?? And she has dozens of them! Dozens! Check out The Renfroe Scoop for more of her amazing recipes, stories, and opinions. If you want. I don't wannna be pushy.)

Now, I don't have a cute card prepared for ya'll, but the recipe I actually use goes more like this:
5 fresh and firm red tomatoes, diced and drained (Two cans of Rotel work in a pinch)
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained (or 2 cups frozen corn is super delish)
1 bunch of cilantro (chop off the stems and remember: you can never have enough of this)
2 fresh limes or lemons
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 avocados, diced
2-3 gloves of garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

To make: Drain all juicy ingredients--and mix together. Add avocado last, and mix gently. Squeeze lemon/lime juice over the whole thing, and enjoy! My roommates and I have found that a giant size plastic ice cream container works excellently for storage. If you don't happen to buy ice cream by the giant plastic caseful...well, congratulations. But I don't know what you're going to store this dip in.
I'm partying with:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fine Art

Our landlord gave us permission to paint in our newest house! This is a decision she may live to regret. We each picked out special colors for our rooms, but after the painting was done, we had a LOT of leftover paint. Then Micheal's had a sale on canvas, and everything snowballed from there. We've solved the age-old problem of finding wall art that matches the room--using the leftover paint insures is a perfect match, every time. :)

I mixed the navy blue paint with some white to lighten it, and pieced this flower together for one of the roomies:

This space definitely needed some action. It really does the trick, don't you think?

I'm partying with:

Show and Tell Wednesdays

Dream Big

Sometimes, when I've been hitting the crafty blogs a little too hard, I get ideas. Sometimes these ideas are small projects--painting, beading, rearranging furniture--these don't cause problems. Sometimes I completely lack the skills needed to complete a task, and my knowledge of the required skills is so lacking that I'm blissfully ignorant of what I'm getting myself into. Reupholstering a small couch is such a project.
Salvaged from the old high school library, this little bench had seen better days. The fabric was some kind of itchy wool-tweed (yes, thats the technical term), and the arms were scratched up and fugly.
"How hard can it be?", I asked myself as I headed down to Jo-Ann's, armed with my carefully printed 40% off coupon. I picked out 2 yards of couldn't take more than that, right?
The arms got a coat of Heirloom White first, and at this point I was feeling shanty-fabulous. While those dried, I discussed the best approach to re-upholstery with my very sweet-and-helpful, but-even-less-experienced-than-I-am boyfriend. We decided to leave the suede all in one piece so as to keep it uncomplicated. Lets call that "Mistake #1." After learning how to use the staple gun, we were off. The front went well, but when we got to the back we found we didn't have quite enough fabric to reach all the way around. Whoops. Eventually we added a strip of burlap to the back with fabric glue to hid that little mistake. It took FOREVER, but I learned a lot.
See the cute little burlap on the side, wrapping around the back? Yea...

What I learned:
1) Measure
2) I'm more of a 30 minute crafter--after that, you lose me.
3) Measure
Party Hard with:

Candlestick Maker

This poor little whatever it is was looking pretty down when I first saw it--I had no idea what to do with it, but I loved it. 50 cents later, here we are:

My art teacher gave each of her students a basic paint set--very basic. I mixed some black into the fire engine red, and gave her a facelift. Its amazing what a layer of paint will do!

For now she's a candle holder. I'm awaiting the creative juices to come up with something better. Any ideas?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Animal Magnetism

I've been wanting to explore the capabilities of mod-podge for a while now. I knew the moment I saw this beauty at Goodwill that the time was right.

She's a beauty all right. I hammered that gorgeous embroidery right outta that frame, and got down to business.
Step 1: Spray paint frame black
Step 2: Get a piece of galvinized tin (can be found at Lowes for about $15.00) the fits your frame. If they don't have the exact size you can cut it down with some tin shears...or if you don't have those, you can play the ol' helpless card at the store until the poor associate goes to the back and finds a way to cut the sheet down to your specs. We went with the second option. You can leave it plain, but we decided to mod-podge wrapping paper. It was a little tricky. The wrapping paper was very thin, and tended to wrinkle. Character, right? Right. Thicker paper would have worked better. When it dries, insert it into frame.
Step 3: Glue cute buttons, ribbons, flowers, etc. onto cheapo magnets.
Step 4: Enjoy your new super cute memo magnet board.

And whats better than having a magnet board? Having 2 magnet boards!! The embroidery was stapled to this wooden frame:

I'm going to use some left over tin and make a more casual board for the kitchen--I'll let you know how it goes. For now I'm going to link this one up to the Shanty Sister's "I did it without my (future) hubby" party, and Today's Creative blog.

The Big To-Do (list).

I'm a believer in to-do lists. When I have a list, I can accomplish anything--I can focus on one task at a time, and the urge to mark a task off the list works as motivation. Without a list...well, to be honest, I sit around and look at blogs all day. It's not pretty. But, keeping track of the lists is a pain, and I'd writing down all of my tasks for the week was getting out of hand. I found an old poster frame in the laundry room, and with it, the solution to my paper list making problems. Some wrapping paper, ribbon, and dry erase markers later--we're in business!

I dragged my roomie and BFF down with me on this one--she couldn't resist the call of a cute, cheapo, personalized dry erase board either. Who could??

Heres a to-do list for this to-do list:
Frame with glass/plastic insert
Wrapping paper
Letter stickers
dry erase markers

1) Glue your paper to the cardboard insert (for a simple dry erase board, just put it in the frame and your done here!)
2) We arranged our lists in a weekly basis, and put down stickers for the tasks we have to do everyday, cleaning, daily prays, etc. We left some empty room for stuff we would write in, like homework and daily workouts.
3) Once you have everything just the way you like, put it back in the frame, and you're done!

I can't get the button to show up, but I'm posting this at the Thrifty Home Penny Pinching Wednesdays Party.
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