Archive | February, 2011

Plethora of Patchwork

28 Feb

Plethora of Patchwork

After discovering Viva Terra and their patchwork chairs

my mind has been racing with thoughts of patchwork.  Is patchwork old fashioned?  Or is it the new next thing?

Here are some more patchwork chairs, I’ve come across.  Some are a little over the top, others might even be considered gaudy… but regardless, they do get the creative juices flowing.  I have tons of fabric remnants that can be utilized into something like these.

Check these out  - which ones do you love or hate?

Patchwork chairs by Arhous

Urban Outfitters Swivel Seat Chairs

One of Kelly Swallow’s Designs

Tallulah Patchwork Chair by Prismatic

Patchwork side table from Lisa Whatmough and her London based Squint

Showroom of patchwork designs in Lisa Whatmough’s London based Squint

Ginny Avison’s Sumptous Corner Sofa

Ginny Avison’s Bravado Chair

(Category display picture curtesy of Squint)

New Discovery: Viva Terra

25 Feb

New Discovery: Viva Terra

Dear Viva Terra,

Where have you been all my life?  You are without a doubt my new favorite store.

You had me at hello with this coffee bag chair. It was the first thing that flashed in front of me when I stumbled upon your website.  Love at first sight. Nothing better than a coffee sack cushioned chair to help satisfy my never ending obsession with coffee bags.  Great simple but sleek design.

And then you sealed the deal with these patchwork chairs.

Wow – tightly woven rags made into colorful stools and chairs.

And…. poufs!  Love poufs!

I love saying the word “poufs” even more.  Poufs! Poufs! Poufs!

Gigantic woven felts poufs.

These poufs are woven felt made to look like stones.

Here is more felted wool that looks like stones made into a rug.

I love you Viva Terra!

If you want to love more of Viva Terra, check out their website at www.vivaterra.com

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Old Bay Seasoning Steamed Shrimp

23 Feb

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Old Bay Seasoning Steamed Shrimp

This recipe is a great little “hidden” secret.  To discover the secret, just go to your pantry and turn to the back of an Old Bay Seasoning can. The recipe is published on the back of the can.  We have used this recipe for about 15 years and it’s unbelievable.  It is also a great way to make my husband very very happy.  It is his absolute favorite meal.

Two of the best things I love about it, besides the fact that it tastes amazing are:

1) 2 of the 3 the ingredients are typically stored in the pantry.  Whenever the urge strikes, the only thing that needs to be purchased is shrimp.

2) it’s quick and easy to make.

They call this “steamed” shrimp but a steamer device is not required.  The process is really similar to boiling shrimp but because such little water is involved, it actually steams the shrimp, not boils it.

Here’s what you need:

1 pound of shrimp (Still in shell is best.  But make sure it’s deveined.  If you buy at Whole Foods, they will devein it for you for free.)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of vinegar

2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning

Combine water, vinegar and Old Bay Seasoning in a pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add shrimp.

Boil for 3-5 minutes covered until completely cooked.

Then drain.

Done!

My husband loves his served with lime and cocktail sauce but it’s also good by itself.

Tons of rich flavor and very healthy.  Low carb and low fat.

Before & After :: Shutters

17 Feb

Before & After :: Shutters

Remember these shutters?  I made a little something out of them a while back and I think it might be one of my most favorite ‘re-do’ project thus far.

These shutters were on every window in our home when we bought it about 3 years ago.  We replaced them with 3 inch plantation shutters which we absolutely love.  Definitely worth the investment.

My husband wanted to trash the old shutters.

I screamed NEVER!

He huffed and puffed and said ‘what are you going to do with these??’

My response to him…I don’t know but you are not throwing them away.

And he didn’t but he wasn’t happy about it because HIS garage does look like a dump.  A total wreck because I do have a habit of buying things…and leaving them in HIS garage.

I don’t rush into projects.  I buy things…or save things…and think.

And think.

And think until I get a fabulous idea…then get to work.

Then the finished piece gets moved out of HIS garage and he is happy.  And I am happy.

And we do the happy dance.

So the stack of shutters did sit in HIS garage for a quite sometime I will admit.  He tried moving them to the attic but you know that saying ‘outta sight, outta mind’…I was afraid I would forget about them so I begged and maybe cried a bit to keep in HIS garage.

And he did.  And I was happy again.

Then one day walking to my children’s room, I decided I would paint the shutters and put on them on the wall leading to their rooms…hang pictures on them…and be happy.

I went through sample cans of paint in HIS garage…decided on Mermaids Net…a perfect mix of green and blue and grey (or is it gray?)…

Painted then distressed with a knife by scraping the corners and edges.

The shutters went from this:

And this:

To this:

I found these handles at Hobby Lobby (the greatest place on earth!)

And I love them.  And yes the top frame is still empty…I will put a picture in there one day.

I still have a stack of shutters that I cannot get rid of.

Antique markets sell them for lots of $$$.  Round Top Texas always has rows of shutters for sale.

But I have a garage full of them.  Holla!

Sweet P might have a set of pink shutters for her walls in the very near future…I will keep you updated on that project.

Are you like me…do you hang on to things for.ev.er?!?  So glad we can relate!

Check out Domestically Speaking, Shabby Chic CottagePrimitive & Proper, & Backyard Eden, and Restore Interiors and The Shabby Nest for more amazing inspiration!  And our precious friend Jane at Finding Fabulous! And Whipperberry!

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberry,Today’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K,Home Stories A2Z

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Sunday Supper 2

16 Feb

Why eat this:

INGREDIENTS: WATER, CREAM, SOYBEAN OIL, PARMESAN CHEESE (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), MODIFIED CORN STARCH, ENZYME MODIFIED EGG YOLK, WHEY (MILK), SALT, ROMANO CHEESE (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, XANTHAN GUM, GARLIC POWDER, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR.

When you can eat this:

UNSALTED BUTTER, CREAM, FRESH GARLIC, PARMESAN CHEESE, BLACK PEPPER

Does anyone know what the first list of ingredients are?  Jarred Alfredo Sauce

Does anyone know what the second list of ingredients are?  Homemade Alfredo Sauce

My husband loves Chicken Alfredo.  My children love it too.  I’ve always bought jarred alfredo sauce and never really thought twice about it.  In my mind, making alfredo sauce was way out of my league in the cooking department.

Sunday afternoon, I ask the question of the day “what would everyone like for dinner?”

My husband:  Chicken Alfredo.

Sweet P:  YEAH!  Chicken Alfredo!

Bubbie:  YES! YES! YES!  (fist pumping)  Cheekin’ FREDO  PEEZZZ!!!

(He gets alittle excited about food…must get that from his momma.)

Off to the store for my weekly shopping trip.  Everyone knows I am becoming more and more aware the foods we eat, trying to make healthier decisions.

I pick up the usual jar of alredo sauce that I’ve bought hundreds of times…turn it over…read the long list of ingredients.  When I saw ‘enzyme modified egg yolk’…I put the down the jar.

Picked up my handy phone and googled ‘homemade alfredo sauce’.

5 ingredients???  No way.

Should I try it???  It wouldn’t hurt.

I can honestly say making alfredo sauce was the easiest thing I have ever made.

My husband was scared.  My children were too.

But they ate it up.  Asked for seconds.  And thirds.  And even eat the leftovers the next day.

Sweet P told me it was the best chicken alfredo she has ever had…in her entire life.  (The drama of an eight year old.)

Here is the recipe…quite simple yet totally delicious.

Better than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce (from food.com)

5 T butter

2 garlic cloves chopped (I only used one clove)

2 c heavy cream

1/4 t pepper

1/2 c Parmesan cheese (I used about 3/4 c)

Optional:  3/4 c Mozzarella cheese (I used about 1/2 c)

Melt better in pan.

homemade alfredo sauce olive garden alfredo sauce

Add garlic and saute.

Add cream.

heavy whipping cream chicken alfredo sauce

Then Parmesan.

And stir over medium/low heat until nice and smooth.  Sweet P is the official Sous Chef so she stirred.

Add the mozzarella at the very end if you like…

Stir in shredded chicken (seasoned with Slap Your Mama)

And cooked whole wheat pasta.

Toss all together.

Fit for a King.  Or a 2 year old Prince and his robot plate.

My children love broccoli and blueberries and blackberries…which are served at almost every meal.

I hope you try this sauce…definitely worth the time…it literally was finished in 5 minutes.

Happy cooking!

Coffee Bag Creations!

15 Feb

Coffee Bag Creations!

Coffee bag creations will soon be taking over my house and life!  My mom scored big time. And fortunately I will reap the benefits.  She discovered a lot of coffee bags (over 50!) for me on craigslist in Texas where she lives.  Yeah mom! Love you!

I adore coffee bags and have been itching to get my grubby paws on some.

My mom sent me 3 of the bags so I could see what they looked like and they surpassed my expectations.  They are different textures and the variety will be fun to play with.  All the bags are heavy, thick and durable.  Some are soft with tight weave and others are rough with large weave.

And…they are large!  It’s possible too create two large pillows out of each one.

I already started a small project with the one of them. I white washed the legs on two spider leg stools and covered the tops with a coffee bag material.

My mom only sent me 3 and I am so excited to see the rest. I’ll get to see all of them soon because I am traveling to Texas later this week.  That’s a whole other story I’ll tell you all about later.  It will be quite an adventure involving a Uhaul and a journey halfway across the country with my mom! Our own little Thelma and Louise expedition (minus the driving off the cliff part).

Talk to you soon from Texas…and be prepared to see lots and lots of coffee bag projects coming your way :)

I shared this table with The Shabby Nest…go check her out!!  And our precious friend Jane at Finding Fabulous! And Whipperberry!

Happy RED Valentine’s to Me!

14 Feb

Happy RED Valentine’s to Me!

I finally completed the first coat of red paint on my desk.

I am loving it. Powerful and intense!

The white primer gave me a visual of what it would look like white.  Well, white was simply gorgeous and I was very tempted to keep it white.  (Sorry for the poor quality picture – I was painting after dark).

I slept on it for several days and finally decided to take the plunge and paint it red.  Bright Red. I am so glad I ventured out of my comfort zone.

I feel so empowered!

I am woman, hear me roar!

 

 

Life.

14 Feb

Life.

I always struggle with writing personal thoughts on a design inspired blog.  But sometimes life takes over.  I think we all know that there are real people behind the words and pictures you see every day.

And our lives are not as pretty as the pictures we post.  And I would never want to paint the picture that my life is perfect…because it’s not.  But I like it that way…

Life since January 1 has been crazy.  I think my husband and son have visited more doctors in the past 8 weeks than the entire year before.  We have filled more prescriptions than I would like to admit.

And I will state for the record…I have been puked on more this year than my entire life.

That part I do not like.

Am I complaining?  No.

Do I like my precious boys being sick?  No.

Am I ready for everyone to feel better?  Yes.

Am I staying up all night tonight to wash every. single. piece of dirty clothes in this house?  Yes.

My home is in complete shambles.  (I am refraining from showing you pictures)

I cannot get caught up to save my life.  I am lucky to get somewhat healthy dinners on the table at night, kids dressed and feed for school, attempt to get work done, and sleep at night.

But don’t we all struggle with finding balance?

And who decided Valentine’s Day would be on February 14th this year?  No one asked me…so the day before school parties, I am out trying to find candy and cards along with all the other moms who are trying to be the best they can be.

I could not make myself buy a SpongeBob valentine card so I came home…designed Valentine’s cards for both of my children and sent them to CVS to printed.

I bought valentine break-n-bake sugar cookies…and lollipops.  Found my stash of clear treat bags and red ribbon and while my husband and children played outside, I baked cookies, assembled goody bags, and started on my 100 pounds of laundry.

My children’s teachers are not getting a fancy box o’ chocolate or flowers this year.  Sorry, but I don’t have it in me.  I bought a huge bag of Ghirardelli chocolates…split them up between all the teachers…and tied with a pretty bow.

I think I got more done in 1 hour than I have all year.  And it’s only February.

All day today I kept hearing a song from church this morning….this is the day, this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made…I will rejoice, I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day the Lord has made.  And I will rejoice and be glad in it.

I have a precious family that I have been given to take care of daily.  No words could ever describe how thankful I am or the amount of love I have for them.

My laundry will be finished tonight.  Valentine’s bags are packed and ready to go.  I have a yummy recipe for you on Wednesday and before/after design post too.

Things are looking up…and getting back on track.  I am thankful.

Thanks for listening to my ramble…I know you can relate.

Do you need to ramble?  Feel free to ramble away in our comments…you’ll feel better!!

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

Happy Heart Day, friends!

Kiss. Kiss. Back At Ya!

10 Feb

Kiss. Kiss. Back At Ya!

Carrie, we truly are 221.  Two friends in two cities with the same ideas and plans going on!  Synchronized lives but living apart halfway across the country.

Anytime we talk, we are always thinking about the same things.  And when I saw you posted this today I couldn’t believe it because at that exact moment, I was getting my hair done admiring these.

Lips!

It is a collage of different lips all brightly colored with lipstick.  It gave me the inspiration for a new project. But instead of lips, I am going to use my dog’s paws.  I just love my little furry friends.  I’m aware it sounds like childish craft project but I promise, I am going to make it modern and sleek.

I’ll show you soon!

Kiss. Kiss.

10 Feb

Kiss. Kiss.

It is only fitting to show you these lips I found.

Perfect little stamp for love notes this week…

via atypyk and eat.drink.chic

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Real MEXICAN Hot Sauce

9 Feb

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Real MEXICAN Hot Sauce

Why is it real Mexican hot sauce?  Because I asked the cook for the recipe when vacationing in Mexico!

She provided it in Spanish.  But lucky for us, my Spanish is weak but I know just enough to interpret.

It was so delicious, I just had to ask for it.  I am so glad I did because it was very easy to make and replicate.  Tastes just like it did in Mexico.

This isn’t salsa.  Not a chunky clumpy dip.  This is hot sauce.  Meant as a splash of heat and flavor on your food.  Great on tacos.

Or my favorite way to have it in Mexico, on eggs.  Smothered.  Yeah, I’m no pansy. I like it heavy and hot.

Since hot sauce is something most people use delicately, this recipe makes about a cup.  If you like massive amounts like me, double it.

So here’s what you need:

1 Tomato

3 Chiles (I used Serrano here)

1 Garlic Clove

1/2 Onion

First step: chop it all up.  Doesn’t have to be perfect or finely chopped.  Just a quick chop because it will all be pureed in a blender later.

Next dump all 4 ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on high heat for 20 minutes.  Stir every few minutes.

After it’s done cooking add:

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Throw it all together in a blender on medium for 1 minute.

Done!

It tastes so intense and fresh, I won’t buy store bought again.

The Power of Pink in House Beautiful

8 Feb

The Power of Pink in House Beautiful

My partner in crime, Carrie, brilliantly recommend that I subscribe to House Beautiful.  Today I received my first edition and boy what a surprise it was.

Their spring color edition is devoted to PINK.

So fitting since I’ve developed a recent mad obsession with pink.  So much so I’m actually renovating our guest bedroom into a pink workspace wonderland.

The House Beautiful cover states “The Power of Pink! It’s warm, flattering, sexy (and men love it!).

I completely agree to all but maybe the men loving it part. I doubt very seriously my husband will venture far into my pink office.  I actually picture him grimacing as he passes it in the hall.  But I love it and that’s all that counts.

Here is my favorite room featured in House Beautiful.  Notice the yellow chevron chair in the mix.  Genius.

You need to check out the magazine yourself if you love pink.  It’s devoted to pink paint recommendations, color mixing ideas and pink home accessories.  If you don’t have a subscription, it’s possible to see some of it online here.

They also feature 10 rooms they couldn’t stop thinking about.  And they are beautiful.  But you can’t see those online, only in the printed magazine. So go run and get a magazine!

Also, here’s a link to a gallery of pink paint colors they recommend.

What a great start to a new relationship.  I love you House Beautiful!

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