Monday, April 25, 2011

Copy Cat Grab Bags

I am notorious for saving magazines into large piles until I feel the need to go through each one and tear out the projects that seem to call out to me. This "Grab Bag" was one that I tore out of a Quilts and More Winter 2006. But silly me, I didn't pull out the needed bag Pattern sheet. GRrrrr...

snip, snip, cutting out the bag
 No worries, thank goodness we have this thing called the internet because it chronicles everything. Grab Bag is designed by Bonnie Kozowski and she pulled me in with her cute grab bags using vintage 1930's fabric. Tonight was the night I was going to attempt it. Using some neat fabric and canvas I started....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Breakfast Ideas for Mother's Day

My Easter dinner plans went down the drain when my husband (Lance) and I couldn't wait for our delicious ham. I prepared our Easter dinner the night before Easter so that left room for a delicious breakfast in the morning before Lance had to leave for work. 

These are two breakfast recipes that I make often when I have special occasion or just on a cold Sunday morning. Both are so delicious, rich and would be paired nicely with a cold glass of milk. Tested and approved I would make this for Mom on Mother's day. 

Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast 
From: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia by Joan E. Aller

This is a recipe that I discovered in an issue of Crafts'n Things Magazine (Oct. 2010). It is so easy to make and what I love most about this recipe is that you can make it the evening before, let it sit overnight in the fridge and then pop it in the oven in the morning. It is so delicious and smells so good when baking. My mom and I like to think this is our version of "The Family Stone Strata" since we made it Christmas Eve night and enjoyed it in the morning. ("Isn't Everett allergic to mushrooms?")

Some additions to this recipe would be I love to use both blueberries and raspberries together. And rarely do we ever use syrup.  Also, if you can get the bakery to slice your french bread into thick slices, they are always happy to do this for me when I make it. 

Stuffed French Toast
From: Cook's Illustrated Magazine 2011: Spring Entertaining by: Keri Fisher

The recipe that comes up is similar to the one in the magazine, however there were a few steps that are added and others omitted. I couldn't find the original recipe online nor could I find where you could purchase a copy of this magazine. This magazine always pops out at me when I am in a weird location where the last thing I would think to see is a Cook's Illustrated Magazine (for example Stater Bros. in 29 Palms, CA a.k.a. middle of nowhere or Key Market in San Francisco, CA...both places carried Western Family which was a reminder of the supermarket Barney's back home.)

I did not chill the cream cheese filling for 20 minutes...I put it directly on the bread. Also I did not crisp the bread in the oven. I used just slapped it on the bread. 

Also combine 1 cup of cold water, 1/2 cup of flour, 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, whisk together and dip both sides of sandwiches into this batter then place in skillet. The taste is AMAZING!
This is the stuffed French Toast I made this morning. I added strawberries and raspberries to the top. 

Lance thought the presentation was so well done, he took the pictures. 

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. If you do make your own version, please let me know how it goes and if you did a different variation. Love to hear how you make yours?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Before and After Vintage Rocking Chair

This little rocking chair has traveled some miles in its lifespan. I purchased this little gem in Lake Havasu City, Arizona over a year ago and when we moved to California it made the move with us. It spoke to me on the sidewalk in front of an antique shop for many weeks on my way home from school. Finally I just stopped by and asked how much it was...$15.00. SOLD!

Original fabric
 Well it is HOT in Lake Havasu so it wasn't like I could just get started in the garage....the garage temperature is normally 100*+. So she just had to wait.

We moved to California and so she sat in garage for awhile again. Thought I was going to donate her...but gave her a second chance.

The chair had two layers, someone had already recovered the chair with the red rug, peeling that layer off I was surprised to find the beat up and smelly original fabric.

Pulling that layer off I found that there was this layer of old printed plaster stuff (wasn't newspaper and felt like a plastic). The date reads August 30, 1936 Real Estate News. So I am guessing this chair was from around that time. In this Real Estate news you could buy a three bedroom and two bath home close to catholic schools for $5,500.

This is a close up of the newspaper stamped on to this plastic stuff...

 Ready for the big surprise! Wouldn't be a great find if it didn't have some weird connection to me in some way.

This chair was made in North Coast Chair Company in Seattle, Washington. And it was made for Samm Bros. Furniture in Moscow, Idaho.

Small WORLD!

This chair was made in Seattle, WA made the trip to Moscow, ID and then I bought it in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Lance, my husband, did his apprenticeship in Seattle, Washington and I went to school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho and we both lived in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and now we own it.

I know I am reaching out there but truly we have things in common in so many ways.

You could say I am a huge geek, however, at least I am a handy one!
Finished Chair, distressed paint and new fabric

This is how I lost my thumb nail again...putting these cute decorative nails on. 

Finished product...couldn't be happier. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Silverware Wind Chimes

Silverware Wind Chimes

After making the Starburst mirror, I was totally engaged in using silverware for just about anything. Coming up with different uses for these reusable items has been so much fun. 

Looking up ideas and inspiration on the internet I came across this idea at Whimsy Girl. She took flat ware and manipulated each piece to make a two tiered wind chime. I also found these instructions in a PDF form. It was a fantastic project. But making it my own I wanted to change it up a little bit so here are my creations. 

This is the lid to the flower pot wind chime below.

Most of my miss-matched silverware came from Goodwill. It was only $.15 for each piece so this project is very inexpensive.  

I flattened each piece with a mallet so that it was as flat as possible. Be sure that you use an old towel to lay silverware on and then cover before beating it. 

 Then using a drill, I made an 1/8th inch hole in each piece. ( So far you are getting a fantastic arm workout...Goodbye Granny Arms)

Water pitcher for $1.00 at a flea market. Paired it with pink and crystals.
 Your not done with that drill just yet....

With different pieces such as old coffee pots, water pitchers or pots I picked up at Goodwill or flea markets, I drilled holes into the bottom of each piece so that I could connect the silverware to the base. 

Red glass hearts and crystals
 I used 30 lb. fishing line, however instead of tying knots, I pulled out my jewelry stuff and used my crimps and crimper to secure the silverware to the fishing line. 

After securing line to silverware I used different beads and strung them on each line of silverware.

At the end I used double crimps on the fishing line when connecting it to the pitcher. 
This "Crackers" pot came from a flea market. I made two wind chimes out of this by using the lid as one and the pot as the other. Utilizing the space I planted a flower in the pot  so that it added some charm to my garden. 

This wind chime also has soup spoons...they are very hard to flatten but they do give a very good sound. 

Using beads from my jewelry stuff I strung different beads for each wind chime. For a really beautiful effect I cut old necklaces with glass beads so add to each wind chime. The sun catches it and it just sparkles. 

Which led me to find some old crystals from chandeliers to add to the centers of each chime. The sun hits that and sends a rainbow across my garden. It is so beautiful in the afternoon and the sound  is amazing. 

 This one is an old silver plated trophy cup. The crystal is in the center and I used some yellow and silver glass beads on the string. Catches the light beautifully. 

Living rather close to the ocean, it is breezy most days. And occasionally it can get very gusty and windy, but these wind chimes have held up nicely and really give off a beautiful sounds. 

It was really a workout to flatten and drill, but stringing the beads was the fun part. The best part was I was able to use some beads from necklaces that I love but now I can enjoy them everyday in my garden.

Any questions or other ideas would be great. These are just so much fun to create and display. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Five for Friday- Five Recipes for a Five Dollar Chicken

I know today is Thursday but I am getting ready for Friday. Normally every Friday my husband comes home for the weekend and I want to make something quick and delicious to have when he walks in the door. I found a recipe where you use a roasted chicken from the supermarket and the rest is history. I am sharing my top five chicken recipes.

Vons, Safeway or Vons Pavillions have a special on their roasted chicken for five dollars on Fridays. They start coming out of the roaster around 10 a.m. and are coming out around the clock. One time I was picking one up and a little old man was going through all of them like a treasure trove and I asked him what he was looking for, his reply "when they are tiny...they have been sitting here to long." Not sure if this is true or not, still kinda stick to this advice.  Listed from 5 to our favorite, tested all of these recipes and find them to work out great.

Recipe #5- Southwestern Chicken Salad

A Real Simple recipe, this is probably not Lance's favorite but I really enjoy it. It is something that you can keep in the fridge, but I would keep the dressing separate until you are ready to eat. I did add tomatoes to this for some extra flavor.

Recipe #4- Chicken and Dumplings

Another great Real Simple recipe. You have to be in the mood for some hot, comfort food with this dish. I have never used the leek, but it was fun to make this dish. I put the little dumplings in and it was fun to watch them cook in the juices. I would also add some rolls to dip with this meal.

Recipe #3- Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

This isn't my exact recipe but it is really close. Another Real Simple recipe, it doesn't call for a roasted chicken, I just use one and skip a couple of steps. In any of my pot pies I really try to use fresh vegetable when available and NEVER use peas (Lance's hates them). If vegetables are not available then I use a bag of frozen mixed veggies instead. Also I am a firm believer in Pillsbury pie crusts. When making my first pies I made my own crust and it was time consuming and a lot of work. Pillsbury crusts are just as good and less time.

Recipe #2- Chicken Enchiladas

This is my go to recipe in LOTS of ways. It is fast, simple, crowd pleaser and SO GOOD. Again, it doesn't call for a roasted chicken, but I skip steps and save time by using a shredded up roasted chicken. I also don't like to use the roasted almonds but that really is just my preference. Lance loves when I make this dish because he shreds the chicken as I am getting the dish ready, so really it is team work.

Recipe #1-Chipotle Chicken and Rice

This is Lance's FAVORITE MEAL EVER! It is one of the best dishes ever. Although funny story about the first time I made this...after reading the recipe I had to make a trip to the local Carniceria to find the canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. This is a Martha Stewart recipe so of course I had to go to all lengths to find the ingredients for this. When you do find them, buy at least three cans so you have them.

Anyways, I went to make the sauce and reading Martha's recipe I totally misunderstood when she said "2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo" I read it as "two cans of chipotle chiles" UH OH!

Lance was sitting in the living room crying and I was in the kitchen crying and sweating because the air was burning with chipotle chiles. Bless his heart, my dear husband did eat one of them and drank a gallon of milk. He really does love this dish.

Again with this recipe you skip the first step and twenty minutes when using a roasted chicken.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finished Peck and Hills Furniture

Didn't she turn out beautiful! My kitchen is mostly "sun-glow yellow" with accents of blue and red. It is really retro so this red accent really brings more color to my dining room. The color I chose was called Posh Red, but really it reminds me of a barn red. Red is also tied to Al Capone because of his St. Valentine's Day Massacre (if you know your mob history).

 This was another flea market find. It is a scale from American Cutlery Co. and on the front it has the patent date of 1913. After purchasing this to go on the table I realized it was from Chicago, so both the furniture and the scale are from Chicago. I added this beautiful table runner my mom gave to me awhile back. It ties in the yellow and red well.

And here is the finished product. Jade vase of roses and one of my Anchor Hocking "Fire King" bowls and a silver shell key dish. I am really happy with this I kept all of the hardware original. Now it houses all of my vintage linens and table stuff.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Starburst Mirror Project from Flamingo Toes

I discovered this AMAZING project from Flamingo Toes called Starburst Mirror For The Dining Room. I just loved the idea and having the small round mirror, I just had to make this myself.

Okay, my three starting pieces. I already had the small mirror on the right. Scored the white plate at a thrift store for .30 cents and the silver tray at a flea market for $2.00. I liked the silver and white clean look to go with my chrome table. 

After the superglue incident, I decided to try this Gorilla Super Glue.

Superglued the mirror to the plate ( I didn't superglue myself to anything this time :-) )

This is where I did something different than Flamingo Toes instructions. She used cardboard to glue all of the silverware to. Instead I used the silver tray,  I drilled holes and used steel hanging wire so that it would be secure when I hung it on the wall.

 After all the glueing and drillings. I superglued the mirror/plate to the silver tray with the silverware and put water weight on it overnight. Overall, silvertray ($2.00), plate ($.30), superglue ( $6.00), silverware ($6.00) was a total cost of $14.30.  Not bad for such a beautiful Starburst. It looks fantastic on my wall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peck and Hills Furniture Find and Al Capone

What does this fantastic piece of furniture and Al Capone have in common?  This beautiful dresser was made by a company based out of Chicago called Peck and Hills Furniture Company. It was first established in 1896. I really couldn't find a date when they closed but it seems it was the late 1940's, possibly early 1950's, but this is an educated guess. ( If anyone has more information I would love to know).

    So this stamp was inside one of the drawers to identify the manufacturer. I didn't realize this until I got the piece home. It was difficult to find good information about this company, it was a lot like genealogy for furniture. I found an article that was published in Los Angeles in 1941 stating that Peck and Hills Furniture Company was hiring lots of men to help boost the economy. Could this piece be from that boom?

SO- what does this piece have in common with Al Capone? In my searching of this company, a legal document came up many times referring to Al Capone's Tax Evasion smack down. He was brought to the slammer not for being a gangster...but for his taxes. It was stated in some of these documents that he purchased "three or four dollars worth of furniture from Peck and Hills Furniture Co." I know this is really kinda far fetched but I could own a piece of furniture that may or may not have been something he had in his Chicago home.

I didn't get this piece from Chicago, it was a find from the Child Abuse Thrift Store. It was something that I had seen earlier and I kept thinking about it...when that happens I was meant to have it. So I was up late coming up with ideas and woke up early so I could get it first thing in the morning.  You can see it above with a rocking chair and the plants that I hadn't planted yet. (big TO-DO list today).

All the suitcases :-)
This looks like a yard sale. Good thing Lance isn't home. 

Sun bathing beauty!

 Okay, it was $89.98. It was more than I would have liked to spend...but the money was going to Child Abuse, so really there was no bad feelings. Then after getting it home and finding out it was an old find, I couldn't help but feel like it was meant for me.

 The inside of the drawers were in such good shape I left them as is. There was candle wax near this stamp, it was the only clean up I had to do for the inside of the drawers. HAIR DRYER works "wonders" if you ever spill candle wax.

*I know this because we had some house guests stay overnight at our home and decided to use candle wax for one reason or another (eww).  They left the bedroom covered in wax all the way up the wall, in the carpet and splattered on some photo frames. It all cleaned up with a hair dryer and paper towel.  They were NEVER invited back.

Back to the dresser, I had to use my stripper, sander and tools to remove old stain, smooth out rough patches and clean her up. After this she really was beautiful.

*I was born and raised in a hardware store. You always had a ton of jokes for the old guys when they were looking for strippers :-)

 At the end of today I have put my primer on and one coat of paint. I will post later with the finished product ( then you will find out what color I chose).  Also noted that I didn't cut myself or glue myself to anything today. I also finished planting my flowers and washed all of my suitcases. Audrey was in heaven because she got to play with the hose and tried her best to kill the sander.