Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIY :: Scroll Mirror Redone

This project has been staring at me for quite a while. You may remember this mirror way back when I posted the exciting purchase I made on the fly back in May. I got it for $20. Though I don't have a place for it, I just couldn't pass up this cool wall decor. I'm glad I did, once I'm married next year I'll probably be moving into a new place with the hubbs-to-be. Hopefully I'll find a spot in our new place together!

This has been leaning against the wall in my living room for the last 5 months.

First things first, tape up the mirror. There was a nice gap that this paper
slid in on the edges so I can really get really great paint coverage.

I got this tarp for $3. Money well spent and I'll save for future projects.
Now for the back...

I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get in all the grooves of the detailing.
I recommend painting from each side and angle to be sure to get all the crevices.

In-between each coat I would go in and chill or work on other projects.
Here's a tip - make sure to keep the sides/corners down.
I came out one of the times to the plastic stuck on the top of the mirror! Learn from my mistake!

I put it on the my stairs so that the back and front could dry really well.

Ta-da! Anyone can do this - what are YOU going to paint next :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Bake-fest :: Banana Bread & French Toast

This weekend proved to be a very fun Saturday of Banana bread and French toast making - courtesy of muah! Carb-o-load-a-rama! I love my banana bread recipe - it's super easy and I usually have these few basic ingredients in my cupboard.

Banana Bread ::

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
Makes one loaf.

I don't recommend cooling the bread like this.
It ended up really smooshed the bread so that it was very compressed down.

French Toast ::

Now, french toast has to be one of the easiest things to make. I don't have a recipe - usually I just wing it. First things first, find some great bread that you love and that will absorb the egg mix.  My favorite is texas toast, but today we had this great loaf on-hand and it worked out pretty well.

For my egg mix I use an egg per person with a little water. I also add some cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The secret I've found is patience; cook just under medium so you can cook slow so that the bread cooks through and isn't soggy. It also helps so you don't burn it.

For topping I had some fresh strawberries. After cutting them all, I mash half of them with a fork in a blow until they are mutilated. Then I add the rest that are in chunks. It makes a great and flavorful not to mention colorful topping. No sugar is needed because I also topped with this great agave maple syrup I bought at Trader Joe's.

So pretty - let's eat!

Bon appetit!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pickling for the First Time!

Chad and I finally got up early this Saturday and made it to the Madison Farmer's Market. It's been quite a while since we've made it last, but today is an exceptionally beautiful day with a hint of fall since it's a bit cooler. He had the great idea for us to finally try out canning pickles so here goes nothing!

 First-things-first, grab a nice hot and strong cup of coffee!

The colors are amazing! I never get tired of looking at all the great produce and seasonal things to buy.

I'm always amazed at the quantity of produce as well. Look at those mounds of peppers.

Mums of all colors – everywhere.

We got to the market pretty early, but it always fills up fast as the morning goes on.

We bought lots of Dill and cucumbers of course to make a batch of pickles.

Rumor has it, the secret to good pickles is making sure everything is sanitized. Here we are soaking the cucumbers after a good cleaning.

I'm not allowed to give the recipe since it's a family secret on Chad's side, but it sure is a pretty jar of pickles!

All together it made 8 really great jars. Only time will tell how these will turn out! They sure look good right now :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chad's Bedroom Makeover :: New Night Stand

We were planning on building this furniture... which we will!!! I just have other priorities that may delay this project for a bit. THAT and I actually finally found a night stand that was in the price range I was looking for. It's not a pair as I had hoped, but one will just have to do for now.

Chad and I found this at a random stop into Goodwill. It was a whopping $6 - YAY! I finally found a deal I can work with! The dresser is pretty good quality. Some things are cheap like the paint job, and the top is a laminate, not a wood so it limits the make-over options (no stripping paint and re-staining.) Also, the handles are not screws, but rather pegged into there somehow. 

Chad managed to pry off the handles. I washed down the whole thing with a bucket of soapy water and let it dry in the awesome sunny day we were having.

I probably could have used more than one can, but it did the trick. I probably could have sanded down a bit of the nicks and scratches, but just wanted this done. Also, I ended up going with a flat Matte finish which I was really happy with.  I'm just wondering if that will make anymore scratches show up more? We shall see!

Handles are in! It's definitely looking good-as-new! Also notice the nice lamp? It's like a new room!


So, here's the break-down ::

Night Stand = $6
White Spray Paint = $5
New Knobs = $3
TOTAL = $14!! Not too shabby!

I also love this shape! Someday when we have a room where we can paint the walls, this is going to look pretty snazzy! Can you tell how excited I am given the exclamation points everywhere? :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday :: Hide those Ugly Temp Gauges

Ever wonder how to hide those ugly temp gauges on the wall? I've seen it done with paintings, but I love using this star I found at Gordman's. Originally I had this star on the floor, just lying against the wall, but after kicking and knocking it down so much I sought out another solution.

I love when interior decorating also has a purpose! An easy nail an voila - an accent to the wall and hiding of the thermostat!

I believe a picture wouldn't have looked as good since there are already so many quadrilaterals on this wall.
I apologize for these awful images that I'm about to post. Unfortunately, they are the best I could muster for this post! I solemnly swear to work on having much better quality images! Someday I hope to have a job where I can work from home so that I can take images while it's still light out! :)

Luckily this star sticks out so far off the wall that it doesn't even touch this gauge on the wall.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chad's Bedroom Makeover :: New Lamps

Chad's place is a bit bare. He doesn't really have much more than a bookshelf and a bed for his actual bedroom, so I've been working to find some cheap lamps and furniture that we can make his room a bit more cozy for the mean-time.

I found these awesome lamps at a garage sale while meandering with my cousin. I couldn't resist the price of two for $5 including the shades! Plus, they have a nice silhouette.

Chad did a great job taking charge of the spray painting. He taped off the chord and top and went crazy.

We got a bit creative on a stand so they could dry. A 6-pack box seemed to do the trick!

Chad's bedroom is not so exciting, but it's so much better with these lamps! These sheets don't look like much, but they were a nice find at Marshall's. Just $40 for very high quality Ralph Lauren bedding. Before, he had these college-quality sheets that just didn't cut it!

I love that he really likes the lamps - they are not too feminine as well. Now we just have to get rid of the towel covered speaker!!! We are looking into what it takes to build the end tables that I talked about here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You're Engaged! Now what....

So my posts have been sort of off-track the last month or so since I've gotten engaged. No fear, I'm working harder than ever to get back on the blogging train more consistently AND I have a lot of fun projects in the works that I'm excited to share with you! So here's a bit of an overview of the larger projects that I'm currently working on!

1. Furniture Build

I've been looking around for a while now for some night-stands for Chad's place and have not been very lucky. I came across this pin on Pinterest and am convinced that we can make these, NO PROBLEM - of course! Chad has agreed that he loves them as much as I do, so we are going to try and get these things build. I'd like them done and off my checklist, but with Badger games and weekends filling up, who knows when it will actually get done!

Night Stand

Console Table
Don't these designs looks so do-able? I'm not going to hex myself and say the word 'easy'. Luckily between Chad and my cousin we have most of the tools needed. One thing that is not specified is wood - I guess we will have to rely on the advise of people at the hardware store for that one, or trial and error? Do you have any advise on wood to use?


2. Wedding Plans

This one is constantly on my mind, of course! When do we have the wedding? Where do we have the reception? How many people do we want? How much do we want to spend? Chad and I are weighing our options and picking out the details of what is really important to us right now, but it's slow-going. While we are aiming for around October of next year for our date, we are definitely not tied to that. So, if we find a date sooner and the dates seem to line up... who knows when we could be married! One decision I did make? My wedding ring! It's gorgeous and I can't wait to wear it - it just could be the drive to getting married in December of THIS year - hehe!

3. Thumbprint tree

I feel like this was such a success and I loved doing it so much that I want to be able to create more of these for other peoples weddings! I'm working on getting an active Etsy site up-and-running for this, but that takes a lot of though on things like 'policies' and 'how do you handle shipping' and not-so-fun stuff like that. Also, I need to come up with some designs of my own so that I can take pictures and make these my own!

Here are some images I took of trees in my neighborhood that I think I'm going to model some of my designs after. Any ideas or suggestions or ideas? Please share! They are greatly appreciated!

4. Craft Closet Painting

I've been talking about this one for quite a while! Now that the weather is getting cooler and the windows are open more, I'm getting more of an urge to get organizing and painting this space! I think I'm drawn to a grey color for this wall because there is SO much going on in this room I would love to have a nice grey with a white pattern painted over the top of it. Here are some pins of examples I love that I'm hoping to use as inspiration.


5. Fun 'secret' project!

Ok, this one is a project that I have been collecting materials for - meaning when I go to goodwill or resale shops I've been scoping out items for. It involves metal sheeting that is magnetic which is where my hold-up is. This material is something I've found, but would like to see if I can find it cheaper somewhere else. Also, this project is one that I'm a bit stuck on in my head and haven't made a real priority given my previously listed projects. The good news is I believe there is a deadline! My Aunt always hosts an art sale  in November right before Thanksgiving. I'm hopefully that I can get my act together on this one and "get 'er done!"

In Conclusion...

So here is what is tying up my time lately! Please comment and let me know what you think! I'd love any feedback you can give me on if you have a design idea or other inspirations that could help. Also, I have a facebook page for my blog (I know - kind of weird) but if you like hearing about my posts via facebook vs email, this is where you want to 'like' to see new posts. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday :: Bird Hooks

I don't know why I love these hooks but I have since the first time I saw them in a kitchen boutique on State Street. I also saw them again on one if my favorite blogs. I love her taste so it was nice to have the support from someone with very good taste. It's always nice to have that reassurance!

So, I finally broke down and bought these. There they sat in my craft closet for about 6 months before I actually put these up. It always feels so good once you do! Part of the reason was because Chad's drill was stolen. You need a drill to put a nice hole in the wall. My Grandpa said he had one that I could use, but it took a while for us to remember to take it home.

This weekend was finally one where we were in town. It's been great to actually get those little jobs done that have been sitting around!

Poor guys - they've been living in the dark closet for way too long.

Here is the before wall.

Ta-da! I managed to make them nice and even.

I feel like you can never have too many hooks.
Plus, I needed a place where I will always have my keys.

These are so cute and functional! Love it!

Here is what I need to tackle next - putting all this stuff away!
I'm glad that winter is coming because it will force me to get more done inside.

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