Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Non-food post- Doggy painting #2!

One of my lovely blog readers saw one of my very first posts in which I showed a painting I made for Nate’s mom of one of her dogs (I should thank Kelly for that since it was all because she linked to a recipe  from that post!). Anyway, this woman liked it so much that she wrote to me asked if I could make one for her too!

I was/am so so flattered and honored to be commissioned to make a painting for someone. I was a little nervous since the ones I’ve made have usually been for gifts, and I felt like this one had to be even better.

Luckily, she got the painting in the mail the other day and was thrilled with the result 🙂 So I present to you “Hannah:”

I told my customer to take some pics once it’s hanging on the wall so I’ll update the post with those soon.

If you know anyone looking to have a painting of their pet done, please sent them my way!

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Nate and I went down to PA this weekend to visit his mom. We also went to an open house at the venue we wanted to possibly use for the wedding and loved it. So we put our deposit down and officially booked the venue and have a date! So exciting. I can’t believe we’re going to be married next October!

While there, we went pumpking picking because Nate had decided that I was going to carve a Where the Wild Things Are pumpkin. There were slim pickins at the pumpkin patch this year. I think maybe all the rain we got wiped out their supply?

I did a lot of walking around and comparing, assessing my canvas, until I found one that would be perfect for carving the image I wanted.

Nate found a good one too.

I spent a little while browsing pictures online til I found one I liked:

I then removed the pumpkin top and scraped it out. I saved the seeds and roasted them with some salt, paprika and garlic powder…taaasty! Totally reminds me of carving pumpkins when I was little because my mom would roast the seeds for us.

Next I sketched out the image freehand on the pumpkin with a pen.

Then I used some wood carving tools I got at Michaels to scrape away the image to the best of my ability. I realized that you have to kind of carve a reverse relief. The parts that you want to look the closest have to be the deepest, and hence the brightest. I found putting the pumpkin in my lap made the carving easiest.

And here’s the final product, all lit up on the front porch!…Nate chose to do a traditional Jack-O-Lantern 🙂

Now, what should I carve next year. Ideas?!

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If you’ve never heard of Pinterest, you’re missing out. I recently discovered it, though I don’t remember where and I’m constantly stumbling across it all over the interwebs. From the Pinterest website:

“Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

It’s really a pretty cool site. Anyway, as I mention in my About Me, my interests do not lie solely in the culinary field. I love being crafty, both through painting, crocheting, and other various ways. One of my favorite things to do, when I have time, is to reproduce something I saw in a store for cheaper, or to create something I want that I can’t find in a store. This post is about the latter.

I’ve been wanting something to hold all my jewelry. I mean I don’t have that much, but I’m the kind of person that wears the same earrings, necklace and bracelets every day because I’m too lazy too switch (yep, I wear them in the shower and to bed too). But  sometimes when I head to work, I want to look a little nicer. However, with all my jewelry shoved in a case in my closet where I can’t see what I have, and with no counter space for a standing jewelry holder, I had to take matters into my own hands! I needed to make a jewelry holder that would hang on a wall…

I had seen a few ideas on Pinterest that caught my attention:

Inspiration #1Inspiration #2Inspiration #3

And so I got to work on my own little project. I knew that while I liked the idea of all three inspiration pieces, I needed mine to combine all parts. I wanted to interior of the frame to be able to hold earrings, and I pictured the necklaces hanging on the sides. I liked inspiration #3, but I felt it would hang too low if the necklaces were below so I’d put the hooks on the side. Also, I liked the fine mesh in #2 because it would give more options for where to hang things. So I started by finding a disgusting old wooden frame from my grandma’s. This isn’t the frame I used, because I forgot to take a before, but this was a similar one I found at grandma’s, since I wasn’t sure which would be better at the time:

I know, ugly, right?? I knew the frame needed to be real wood and have a thick side, so I would be able to screw the necklace hooks in. The frame I found had glass on it and something inside, both of which I promptly removed. I had an idea that I wanted this to look rustic and whitewashed. I took some white paint I had laying around and I got one of those foam brushes wet but squeezed out most of the water. I painted the whole frame in a watered down white, wiping down with a paper towel to keep the application light. Next, I bought some thin wire mesh and some small hooks at an art supply store. I cut the mesh to size and fit it in the back of the frame and secured with large metal tacks. I then screwed the hooks into either side, staggering them left and right so that the necklaces wouldn’t hang on each other.

Slightly staggered hooks to prevent necklaces from hanging on top of each other.

In the end, I was seriously impressed with my creation (if I don’t say so myself). In fact, I’m considereing making a few more and selling them on etsy…when i get some free time.

This whole craft project is part of the Pinterest Challenge, a nifty little idea I saw on the Young House Love site. Be sure to check out the hosts of this fun little idea: Sherry’sKatie’sEmily’s and Lana’s projects. Thanks for organizing the challenge, ladies! Can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with!

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An Egg-celent weekend!

This post isn’t food related, but I promise my next one will be. Here and there I will be inserting crafty posts since art/crafts are another love of mine.

As usual, Nate and I headed down to PA for the long Easter weekend. His family isn’t religious and I’m Jewish, but ever since I was little, my mom dyed Easter eggs with us. To rekindle memories of childhood and combine my love of crafts,  I knew I wanted to dye some eggs this weekend. Neither Nate nor I had done in it probably 15-20 years.

Somewhere amongst my blog reading this year I had come across an awesome technique for dyeing eggs that involves ripping up old silk ties, scarves, or whatever brightly patterned silk fabric you can find at a thrift store. In this case, the uglier the better! Definitely do not use new stuff since you’ll be tearing it into pieces. (I discovered the technique on this site , but I think that this other site’s technique looks even better, and I think I’ll try that one next year).

To perform this awesome egg dyeing method, you first rip the silk fabric into small squares, large enough to cover the egg. You then wrap it in string/dental floss to hold the fabric tightly against the egg. Anywhere fabric isn’t touching the egg will end up white, but having a little white can actually add to the pattern.

Once the egg is wrapped up, you put it in a small square of dye-free cotton fabric (an old tshirt, pillowcase or sheet will work fine) and tie the top with a twisty tie, rubber band, or twine. After all the eggs have been wrapped up, you put them in a big pot and fill with water to cover. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and bring to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, continue boiling for 20-30 minutes.

If you’re impatient like me, and want to see the results immediately, you can remove the eggs to a waiting bowl of ice water once they’re done cooking. Otherwise, you can drain them and let them cool.

Unwrap the eggs and behold the magnificence! Being that this was the first time doing this, we discovered that fabrics that are pastel to begin with will not impart much, if any color to the egg. As I said, dark fabrics are best.

There was one fabric that was a solid dark purple which I thought would be plain…but with the parts of fabric that didn’t touch the egg, it ended up a really cool white and purple design.

Finally (and this step is obviously optional), we painted the eggs with a gold glaze that we bought from an egg dyeing kit in the supermarket. You couldn’t really see the gold, but it definitely added a nice sheen. With or without the glaze, the eggs turned out awesome. I can’t wait to repeat it next year and get some really cool fabrics! I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂


before and after adding gold glaze

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