Earlier this summer, my youngest and I were on the way home from a trip to actually drop off a couple of boxes at Goodwill (I know...strange, isn't it?! The thought of actually donating instead of purchasing?!) I had just been lamenting the fact that I really needed more storage space in my studio when, on the way home, we passed a dresser. A long, low dresser, under a tree, near the street, leaning half way into the ditch beside the road. SCORE! Much to the chagrin of my 17 year old, we turned around and hoisted this beauty (yes, I realize that "beauty" is probably a stretch) into the back of the truck.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
While refinishing my roadside rescue dresser for the studio, I decided to change from the traditional waterfall bale pulls that came on the cabinet to something a bit more my style. You guessed it, farm girl french. I wanted the cabinet to have an older, more utilitarian, feel. I chose Restoration Hardware Dakota 3/4 inch button knobs in rustic pewter for the smaller, top drawers on the cabinet.
|Source and Photo Credit: Restoration Hardware|
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
I have to admit it, today's post was yesterday's news even before I wrote it. I know that some of you will probably even feel like you've read it before.
or not to even write it,
I thought to myself, !What the heck. You're all good
Sure. Why not!? I started folding
Sometimes I just can't help myself. Now all that's missing is a couple of live Maine Lobsters, a few clams, some corn on the cob and new red potatoes and we'll be good to go. I guess that a trip to the fish monger is in order! But before I go, I'd like to leave you with just two more words on this topic:
The other good news?! When we're finished, it can still be recycled!
I Gotta Try That
Nifty Thrifty Things
Six Sisters Stuff
Crafting in a Green World
Thursday, July 19, 2012
In the words of the band, The Who, (to whom I may or may not have listened at some point in my lifetime),
"...There ain't no cure for the summertime blues." They were talking about working during the summer, trying to afford gasoline and only having two weeks vacation. Yeah, I've got those summertime blues, too. But today, I've got these blues:
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Have you ever come across a solution that was so brilliant in its simplicity that you wondered how in the world you didn't figure it out earlier? Yeah., me too. Last night, I was looking through the West Elm catalog. I happened upon this:
Of COURSE I Pinned it to my Knock Off board. This morning, after my youngest son left for his morning run, I walked into the boys' bathroom and was greeted by this:
|SOURCE: WEST ELM|
Monday, July 16, 2012
Do you have a cabinet in your kitchen that you're afraid to open? Do you cringe and step back just a little as you slowly open the door (in fear that something will fall out and hit you on the head) yet you're forced to open the offending cabinet at least three or four times a day? I'll be honest, I've got one. This is it:
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Okay, before you go getting all jealous and thinking to yourself, "How DOES she do it all and still manage to have the time to blog about it?" I've got to confess that what I'm talking about is not several advanced courses of study by which I've become a subject matter expert in some lofty topic. The PhD's that I'm talking about are my Projects Half Done. That is a topic on which I am a subject matter expert!
I'm currently working simultaneously on PhD's in Exercise (room make over) and
I'm also pursuing PhD's in several areas of U.S History from various periods:
I am, however, happy to report that, after an extremely strenuous week of working until midnight for two nights, I have completed my PhD in Herbal Science with an emphasis on making new Lavender and Chamomile dryer sachets! It was tough. There was some harvesting and drying of herbs. Mixing was involved.
Now that I've completed one PhD, I think that I'll to go to a few estate sales this weekend to see if I can't find another one (or two) to pursue!
P.S. A special note of thanks to my dear friend, Laurie, for sending me the cartoon that inspired this post!
DIY Sweet Home
Monday, July 9, 2012
Remember these from last week? or how about these?
Last Monday morning, I went to one of our local farmer's markets where vendors from Michigan sell their produce. It's a really good thing that I did! I was able to get the last of the Michigan strawberries for preserves! Since I was going to be
slaving over large pots of steaming water in the 100 degree plus heat having a free facial anyway, I decided to grab some sour cherries and make cherry preserves too!
Easy peasy! Pitting cherries, however, is another story. The recipe that I use calls for a cherry pitting tool. Well, I don't have one and I'm certainly not going to buy one to make preserves once a year! I've tried several methods for removing the pits. I even tried using a plastic straw to push the pits out the other side of the cherry. I mean, what the heck, it works for strawberries, right!? Well, let me tell you, it's not the same with the cherries. I'm sure that it can be done but it's a job for trained professionals, in a controlled environment. You know, like those drivers in the car commercials who navigate winding roads at high speeds without a problem while I have difficulty making it to the market and finding a spot to park without running over anyone!? Do not attempt to remove cherry pits using a straw at home. You'll end up with cherry juice all over your shirt...and walls and cabinets. Just stick with pitting them by hand, no tools, trust me.
- Large enamel canning pot
- Glass jars with rings and seals. My Grandma used to use melted wax but, really!? I find that the screw on lids are easier and it makes it easier to store in the 'fridge after they're opened.
- Regular tongs for removing lids from boiling water.
- Cool "gripper thing" to pick up the hot jars with (that's a technical term, anyone trained in the art of canning will know what you're talking about.
- Wide mouthed plastic funnel.
- Ladle for transferring preserves to jars
Strawberry Preserves (Jam)
Ingredients:(Yields about 12 250 ml jars depending upon how long you boil the strawberries.)
13 cups fresh strawberries (about 4.5 to 5 lbs)
6 cups of sugar
½ cup of lemon juice (I use organic lemons.)
- Place berries into a large, deep, pot and mash berries with a potato masher while bringing them to a simmer over medium-low heat. How much you mash them is up to you. Some people like big chunks of fruit in their jam, and some don't. I do, so I don't smash them much.
- Add sugar and lemon juice. I used an old fashioned hand juicer and squeezed real lemons (organic) for the juice. Make sure to pour the juice through a strainer if using real lemon juice.
- Stir. Bring to a boil for a approximately 30 mins. Skim the foam as you are boiling. The foam builds up quickly when the mixture begins to boil again after adding the sugar. Watch it closely.Periodically, test the thickness of the jam by spooning it onto a plate. If it runs like syrup, it’s not ready. (I spooned it onto a plate and let it cool for about a minute, giving it time to set before deciding.) When it's thickened enough, skim the foam one last time and remove from heat.
- Remove the hot jars from the water.
- Place canning funnel into sterilized jar. Ladle jam into hot jar leaving proper ‘head space’, which is the space at the top of the jar between the underside of the lid and the top of the jam. For jam it’s about ¼ inch or, up to the bottom line at the top of the jar. Over filling and under filling may cause the jar not to seal properly.
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth.
- Place a lid and a screw ring on the top of the jar and tighten firmly. (But not so tightly that it requires tools to remove it.
- Return the sealed jars to the hot water making sure that the water covers the top of the jars by an inch. Boil for 15 minutes.
- Remove jars from water and place on a towel to cool and listen for the "pop" sound that the lids make when they seal. It's like music to my ears and it means that everything worked the way that it was supposed to!
In The Old Road