Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maybe it is a holiday thing...

Every holiday and family get together something strange and interesting happens to me and my kitchen. All of a sudden I come under the delusion that I am a great chef. Somehow the holidays make me believe that my cooking will suddenly become perfect, beautiful and tasty. However, the delusion never seems to manifest itself in reality. Last Christmas I made spice cakes and left out the stick of butter. Today was no exception, I made too-salty deviled eggs that were beautiful when I left the apartment and a mess when I arrived at the brunch. The list of mishaps is too long for my liking. I suppose I should not expect a miracle when I don't cook on a regular basis. I am more of a fair weather cook. When I cook I like to have lots of time to go slow, enjoy some wine and enjoy myself. The only problem with this is that during the week I have neither the time nor the energy for this cooking method and my weekends are when I enjoy dinners out with my hubby. So now to my point ...a resolution (yes in April)!! I refuse to be the relative who brings food to family events and has it "forgotten" in the fridge when it comes to dinner time. I am going to make it my goal to try at least one new recipe a week. After all, practice makes perfect. I will let you all know how they turn out. When I come across a good recipe I will share it with my blog buddies! Wish me luck and God bless my husband for having no idea what his stomach is getting into. Here goes nothing...tonight I will start with potato pancakes. 
A beautiful Thanksgiving job was chopping. I look like I had something to do with that turkey though!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Make it pretty...stools you can use!

I am short. I admit it proudly and my students make fun of me for it constantly. I prefer to quote a T-shirt I once saw, "I'm not short, I'm fun sized"! Needless to say, I make great use of the good old fashioned stool. But why must my stool be plain, boring and even dare I say... ugly? There is no reason that everyday items can’t be pretty and make us smile. So I set out to the craft store to remedy this problem. My painting skills are elementary at best, so instead I headed for the decoupage glue and scrapbook paper. After I settled on a color scheme I liked, I made my way home for a glass of wine and some crafting. Here is what I came up with…
 This project did not require a lot of supplies (which was great because I am running low in my crafting budget this month). I purchased the stool for $4.00 after coupons, 3 pieces of scrapbook paper for $.59, modge podge $5.99  and turquoise craft paint $.89. Not too bad! 

To start I traced the parts of the stool that I wanted to cover. Then I just cut and pasted the paper, covered with 2 top coats of modge podge and painted the rest of the surface. *I forgot to buy sand paper which would have given me a smoother finish on the painted surface.* Very fun and easy!!
Now for the unveiling...

Not too bad for my first decoupage project!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cork, Cork and More Cork! Place cards and Cork board DIY!

OK I admit it, I love wine! After a long day at work there is nothing quite as relaxing as cuddling in with my hubby and a nice glass of wine. Apparently my friends and family love wine too. When I asked them to collect corks for my wedding place cards I had more than I could possibly need. (THANK YOU EVERYONE!) So here are some things that I have created with my wine corks... 
Wine Cork Place Card Holders
*To create these I hot glued three corks together and then used a heavy duty X-acto knife to cut a slit in the top of one cork. I was careful to glue the corks together so that you could see the pretty designs on each one. The best part? One of our best friends was able to reuse some of my corks in her own wedding. She spray painted them silver to match her beautiful winter theme.

After our wedding I was left with lots of extra corks. So I created a "cork board" for our kitchen. Take a look...
To make this I used a cheap shadow box frame, hot glue, rolled cork board and left over  corks. I tried arranging the corks a few different ways but this way looked best. After that I just hot glued the rolled cork on the frame backing. Then I glued the corks in place. Ta-da! A cork board worthy of any bar area or kitchen. Practical and cute!!
*I have also thought about making this into an appetizer tray by adding some antique drawer pulls to the 2 sides of the frame. That is a job for another day.
So you can have your wine and drink it too!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Great Mirror Redo

Hello again! I hope you are all ready for my very first project as The Not-So-Domestic Housewife. Drum role please...da da da...The Great Mirror Redo! As you will find out Goodwill is one of my favorite furniture stores. Where else can you buy beautiful and unique furniture for practically nothing? So when I was there the other day I found this great mirror and all it needed was a little tlc.
I wanted something that would match the silver-blue of the beautiful bedding we received as a wedding gift, so I took myself over to the home improvement store to pick out some tile. I had a few criteria :
1. I wanted a relatively streamlined look to go with the rest of our furniture.
2. I have been dying to work with the trendy glass tiles you see on all the home shows...that was a must
3. It needed to make it neutral enough that it would fit in multiple places in our home if I wanted  to move it.

Soon I was off to the home store and this is what I found...
The materials included:
 3 squares of the small tiles
2 squares of the rectangular glass tiles...(if  you buy extra you can always return what you don't use)
Light sand paper, I used 150 grit
grout/adhesive in one, pre-mixed, they sell this in 1qt cans

This is how it went...
1st: I lightly sanded the wood base of the mirror.
2nd: With a clean rag I removed the excess dust from the wood. This gives the grout something to cling to on a smooth surface.
3rd: With the trowel I applied the grout/adhesive and started laying the tile.
            ***Make sure you know how you want your tile to lay. I went through a few different layouts before   
                I figured out how I wanted it to look. You might also want to make a template of the piece so that 
                you know exactly how it should look. 
Lay the grout in small sections as you work. If you grout the whole thing first it might begin to dry before you get all the tile down. 
4th: Once you have laid all the tile on the bottom layer of the grout you will apply grout over top of the tiles and then sponge it off. 
          ***Follow the directions on whatever grout/adhesive you buy. Each one has it's own specifications and the manufacturer knows best!
That's pretty much it, let me know what you think!
PS...Until we have a king size bed we can't use our new bedding. As a result, the mirror currently resides in our dining room.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My First Blog!

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my blog! I am so excited to join the world of blogging. I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Casey. I am a middle school English teacher (a tad masochistic I know) and a brand new wife to my fabulous husband, Jorge. As a new wife I am making it my mission to make our small apartment a home, learn to cook and stay on a budget. Unfortunately, for both my pride and my husband's stomach, my cooking career is off to a rough start. As I blog I will fill you all in on my mishaps and successes in the kitchen--if nothing else you should get a laugh! On the other hand, I have been crafting and sewing for quite a while and I am, dare I say, pretty good at the hands on stuff. I will be posting tutorials and projects as they come along. I hope that you will all enjoy reading about my adventures as the Not-So-Domestic Housewife.