Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pallet Art with Pennants

Tonight was another one of my monthly craft group meeting and I thought I would show you what I made. I am really liking it a lot!! My friend had mentioned that she would be creating the pallet itself and staining it and that we were to come up with a saying or something to paint or stencil on the front of the board. It was so fun to search the multitude of examples all over the internet and it just so happens that my inspiration piece came from Pinterest (no surprise there...)

We used the Cricut machine to cut out the words on contact paper and then carefully placed the letters down and stenciled with regular old acrylic paint. After it was dry I lightly sanded all the edges to give it a distressed feeling. I chose to make pennants out of fabric die cut scalloped edge squares, turned on their side and strung on jute cording. I just hot glued them in place. I have to figure out a way to hang it appropriately over my couch where it will be living. I am sure my family will appreciate it not falling on their heads at any point in the future. ;-)

This is my weekly Pinterest project. #5 to be exact. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

My hubby and I enjoy going to our local farmer's market when we can and we made the Saturday morning visit this past weekend. While we were there, we picked up some peaches (which I will be turning into jam within the next couple of days,) and some excellent eggplant. I just got in the mood for some eggplant parmesan. Can't explain why, just decided that it was the best tasting meal I could imagine that day.

So... I made it Sunday afternoon and my family gobbled it up, as usual. I only make it about 2 times a year and everytime I do, I swear I will make it sooner. Never happens. Darn it! It is a little time consuming, but really the easiest vegetarian meal that my family will joyfully consume. (They are huge carnivores, after all.) And it makes the best leftover lunch. I promise! Anyway, I thought I would share my recipe with you so you can give it a shot. Enjoy!

Easiest Eggplant Parmesan

2 med  firm eggplant -
slice in rounds, sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for 20-30 min on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, flip the pieces and salt the other side, allow to sit for an additional 20-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly, allow to drain over paper towels for about an hour, rinse again and pat dry.

Flour (enough for dredging, about 3/4 cup) seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and pepper, to taste
Italian style breadcrumbs (enough to coat, about 1- 1 1/2 cups)
3 eggs, beaten
"enough" oil, to fry the pieces

Dredge the dry rounds in flour, one at a time, then dip in beaten eggs, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in preheated oil until golden brown on one side, flip and fry other side until golden brown. Set aside.

1 1b. ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
1 egg
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

mix above ingredients together, in separate bowl, until blended well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather the largest baking dish you have (I used my 15" x 10" glass casserole) and begin to assemble.

1 1/2- 2 jars, good spaghetti sauce (if you make your own, great! I don't though. ;-) I used Prego, roasted garlic and Parmesan flavor)

1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Pour about 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of the dish, spread to cover the surface. Lay out the eggplant in a single layer, (squish them all in there to fit the whole bottom,) cover evenly with the ricotta cheese mixture, then pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top to cover all the ricotta, then sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and grated parmesan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven. Remove and allow to set for about 10 minutes, then serve!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Patriotic Rag Wreath

I had a couple of friends over the other night and we made a craft and talked like grown ups. I had a fun time, yet again, and am pretty happy with the results. It is hanging on my front door as we speak. Thanks to Pinterest for showing me the idea.

Here is a word of caution, if you attempt to recreate this project. PLAN ACCORDINGLY!! It took me about 6 hours over the course of 2 days to tie the 1" x 6" fabric strips into knots on my wire wreath frame. Of course, I chose the 24" frame which probably was a little ambitious of me... Anyway... my sister-in-law made a smaller version and she was done before the evening was over. I wished I was her for a second. ;-)

I chose to put an "A" (for Avila) in the center and so I went to Hobby Lobby and found a plain wood letter which I chose to paint with Americana acrylic paint in white wash and attached it through the frame with wide organdy ribbon.

This will be my 4th entry for my Pinterest Weekly Project file. I have been keeping my word to do something weekly! Aren't you proud of  me! ;-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paperclay Donut Ring and Mushroom Pendant

  My oldest son's good "friend-girl" is having a birthday again. Funny how that happens... She will be 12 and we needed a cool unique gift for her. She likes little animated characters and cute little girly things so it kind of made sense to craft her up something sweet.

I just happened to have picked up a brand new package of Creative Paperclay that I was dying to put to good use and so I searched Pinterest for some inspiration. I found so many super cute ideas and was finally able to narrow down to one direction.

 It just so happens to be time to post my week #3 Pinterest Project anyway, so, yet again it was great timing! I am so hooked on this fabulous stuff. I can see a fun crafting future with my Paperclay!

I will try to roughly explain exactly how to recreate what I have made, just in case you were interested. But basically, you just grab a hunk of the stuff and start rolling it and shaping it until you have a recognizable figure. Then you set it aside to dry (it took about 24 hours to completely set.) Before you leave it alone to dry, you would put a screw eye in the top of each item, if you need one. When the pieces are dry, you paint them and let them dry, yet again.

Then I Mod Podged each of the pieces to seal them.

 For the bottle cap ring, I measured and cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit in the bottom and Mod Podged that in place and allowed it to dry. Before you put the donut pieces on top with E6000 adhesive, you would add glitter or any other embellishments that you choose. The last step is attaching the jewelry hardware, etc.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cute Little Fabric Tissue Holder

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to go on a fabulous girl-friend trip to Southern California. I was so excited to go since it was my first girls trip EVER!! We went to Burbank and the IKEA store (first time in that place...WOW!! is it BIG,) but our main event was going to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. While we were down there, we stayed at the most beautiful hotel, The Langham. We ate at all kinds of fun places, shopped at all kinds of cool stores, talked like grown ups and behaved like them too! It was amazing. Totally what the doctor ordered. It was so cool that it worked out for me to go and to be with a great group of friends. I am truly blessed. :)

To "celebrate" our trip, I was inspired to give a little gifty something-or-other to my travel buddies. I searched for the perfect thing to whip up and found this really cute little tissue holder tutorial that seemed like it would be perfect!
Since I had also made a commitment to you guys, to do a Pinterest inspired craft or recipe weekly, my gift project did double duty. So, Pinterest Project Post week 2 complete! Hooray! (Check out week 1 here.)

Super easy to make. I finished mine in about an hour or so. You could easily make up a bunch and keep them handy for last minute thoughtfulness. Here are my final results, all packaged up. :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects
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