September 29, 2012

“faux”– boarding


In the two and a half years I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen quite a few fads come & go. Some are understandable while others leave me saying, “Why? Just who thinks this thing/process/color is vital to the existence of every blogging (or Pinteresting) household?”

Having begun my teaching career in the pre-multimedia projector & pre-whiteboard dark ages; I pretty much had my fill of chalkboards, chalk, erasers & chalk dust… That could be why I don’t “get” the current infatuation with all things blackboard. Sure, I would love to get my hands on my grandfather’s 100 year old slate (& hand-carved pencil box!) but painting the side of my refrigerator or entire hallway with chalkboard paint is not quite to my liking.

But this time I have caved (on my own terms) to the decorating dictators who demand a chalkboard in every home. Here is how it came to be:

  1. dumpster dive and find a down & out headboard
  2. store headboard in garage for 7 (seven!) years Picture3
  3. find headboard under subsequent crap junk finds Picture2
  4. dust & displace spiders Picture4
  5. paint blue 4
  6. decide it needs to be antiqued with black glaze6
  7. store outside by front door a couple months to determine what the heck to make out of it (seriously!)100_0050
  8. determine, well, the kitchen décor needs some class100_0028
  9. paint upper panel with black craft paintPicture5
  10. letter lower panel with gold Sharpie® Oil-Based Paint Pen10
  11. determine lettering would be improved with calligraphic border
  12. squint and determine “blackboard” would also be improved with gold borderDSCN5151
  13. use white Sharpie® Oil-Based Paint Pen to impersonate chalkDSCN5150
  14. be thankful it will only be viewed from a distanceDSCN5155
  15. stand on counter to place on upper cabinets & accessorize

September 27, 2012

gotta brag

The youngest son did a fantastic job in his Junior High school play a couple weeks ago. He was Toto. He barked & growled in the right spots, he played with ruby slippers & giant balls of yarn left by the wicked witch’s cats, and he unmasked the Wizard of Oz and brought down the house!

I was glad his costume came together in a timely fashion.three

The wired tail & ears worked perfectly on stage!wire

After the Toto suit was sent to school, I was entrusted with making Dorothy’s dress. For being a “simple” costume, it sure was time-consuming & frustrating to sew. Actually, it started frustrating me with the cutting out of so many pieces on the bias! (fortunately, my largest bias-tape maker helped out in the many-yards-long band around the skirt…)band

But, I eventually got her all stitched up so I could move on to my next

First, I made the wizard’s turban.turbam

(cheerfully modeled here by my eldest…) DSCN4657

Then I constructed the cape. It needed to be about six feet long because he’s standing on a stool & the drape of it hides how short he is.xcape

I wish I had better pictures from the production, but…

It was a marvelous play, directed by an incredible English teacher.Scan_Pic0039programme

She worked alone with 40 jr hi kids & about 10 high school assistants for stage crew & make-up. They built the set & props & learned their lines in about a month’s time.

We are so happy our sons are part of the arts program at their school! (…that means ya gotta stay posted – imma be braggin’ on the other son’s marching band, next…)

never knew eggs could taste like this

The hubs & I have a new breakfast ritual.

It starts with me putting a small stainless skillet on medium heat.

I add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil.DSCN5113

We take four eggs out of the fridge and scramble them. (On Mondays we take out five, but give one to Auggie – he s eggs!)

If the pan’s heated just right, it starts to form a little “skin” as the eggs are poured in. I use a silicone spatula to gently turn the eggs. Nothing really sticks to the pan.DSCN5029

When they’re done, the eggs are shuffled off to a waiting plate.

We eat them with a sprinkle of garlic salt & a dab of sriracha sauce.DSCN5031


September 26, 2012

Monopoly®-izing the family room

The long-awaited day has come. Today is the “reveal” for those of us participating in Erin’s brainchild: the Random Acts of Craftiness (henceforth referred to as RAoC) challenge. (I previously referred to this activity in a post sometime last month…)

The beneficiary of this RAoC in my home was this lonely, little table lamp. (There’s a back-story as to why it was procured last year from the thrift store, but I won’t bore you with details.)

It somewhat straddles the demarcation between breakfast nook & family room.

It’s not imposing enough to really anchor that end of the sectional which is our only seating in said family room.

Enter Erin & her tossed gauntlet: what can you make/remake by upcycling an old board game?

This does play into our decorating scheme for that room. Above a portion of the sectional is this statement:So, Erin & all your RAoC participants – GAME ON! It will be so much fun to play this edition with you! I foresee a decor improvement on our horizon…


Now, when my guys play Monopoly®, this is what it looks like:DSCN5109

…but I wanted my lamp to portray the more classic version of the game. I scoured an antique mall, frequented thrift shops, even went Goodwill hunting… I gotta tell you – I refuse to pay what some of those vendors believed their used merchandise to be worth!

Fortunately, there was the internet. Equally as fortunate is the lovely shopping experience which is Etsy. And most fortuitous, there is Judy Ashman’s shop, Vintage Paper Works!DSCN4982


So, I took my little green wooden houses & big red wooden hotels and the hubs' big cordless drill and went to work. (*insert woodworking skill or lack thereof disclaimer here*)bead

Next, I used the router to faux-age the buildings; then I “strung” my beads on a length of chain.strung

I stitched the chain to the bottom of the lamp shade.stitch

While taking time off to stop the blood from flowing from the needle pricks  During breaks from old shoulder fatigue  In between stints of stitching, I E-6000®-ed the tokens to the lamp base utilizing a template to ensure equitable spacing.DSCN5032

I waffled between three or four possibilities for using Monopoly® money on the shade. Originally I had planned to stitch it on the fabric I’d cut to cover the shade. But I wasn’t wanting a ruffle-y look. Thought about découpage, but that felt like too much work & too much clean-up.

In the end we determined our solution would be to print scanned images of the money onto iron-on transfer paper. (I was hoping it would bring more of a translucency to the shade when illuminated.)money

I really wanted to place the money in a way that would account for the curve in the shade, but that would’ve used up a lot more of that expensive transfer paper than I was willing to part with. Oh! And did you see the section that I accidently ironed on upside-down? PSHHHHHH!

The top & bottom trims from the original shade had come off during all the maneuvering – so I painted them black & reused them.paint

Have you stuck with me thus far? Are you ready for the reveal?

Drumroll, please.

Curtains up!




You really need to go to His and Hers to see what other crafty people have done with their game pieces.

September 20, 2012

GF Zucchini Scones with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

Soooooooo...  My guys were asking what Kristen (the improv director/wizard) had chosen for this month's IMPROV ingredients. 

I began by saying, "Zucchini..." but was interrupted by loud cheering because they were envisioning grilled olive oil-drizzled zucchini slices and zucchini chunks on grilled shrimp kabobs and sautéed zucchini with sliced green onions & mushrooms & Parmesan.

As I continued, "... with brown sugar," I could hear the inward gasps of despair.

NOBODY puts brown sugar with zucchini.

Until I "Googled" it and found out that, indeed, many people brown sugar their zucchini.

"Oh Mom, you are going to skip it this month, aren't you?" ( ~ the horror ~ )

So, for breakfast I surprised them with these:
Since the guys don't get fresh-from-the-oven goodies on most school mornings, the scones disappeared rapidly.  I made sure there was plenty of brown sugar whipped cream available.
(This is how I made it:)

Each one eats his scone a little differently -- no whipped cream, just butter on the side:
split, with the cream melting into the scone:
halves slathered with cream to be slurped off:
or one dollop of whipped cream per bite:
One of them even complimented me on the delicious pistachio scones!

Fooled 'em!