Saturday, January 31, 2009

Positive and Negative

Out of the distinct possibility I will go crazy from unemployment if I don’t keep busy, I have been doing a lot of crafts. Since we also have to be careful with our money, I’ve been trying to rethink things around the house and deconstructing some old projects in order to remake them.

I had made a three part painting to go on the wall separating our living room from our dining room, but later decided to make it a picture wall so these paintings have pretty much just been getting beaten up in our office.

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I decided that was a total waste and decided to cut the top one up. I happen to LOVE the way it turned out.

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I just hand drew the skull on the back and cut it out with an exact-o-knife.

(This would work with pretty much any decorative paper/wrapping paper. If you don’t want to hand draw the image you could pretty much use any stencil making technique.)

Then I framed them in some inexpensive (like $7) poster frames from walmart.

I think I might do this again but using pretty paper and our silhouettes.

*Great instructions here. Just put the paper on top and cut through both layers or use carbon paper to transfer the image.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Santa Fe Nacho Pizza

Even though we aren’t vegetarians (I love love LOVE chicken), my family likes to eat meatless meals ever so often. In fact, I’m trying to include at least one vegetarian dinner every week for now on.

No reason really. We just like vegetables and I don’t want to get stuck in cooking ruts. This helps keep me on my toes and trying new things.

One of my favorite vegetarian meals so far has to be Santa Fe Nacho Pizzas. I found the recipe in Betty Crocker’s Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook.

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It is super easy and super delicious. It’s so good I’m going to make it the next time I have my friends over for dinner. It would be great with some Spanish rice and a salad on the side.

Santa Fe nacho Pizzas

Ingredients:

1 can (10.8 oz. size) refrigerated dough for large flaky biscuits
3 tablespoons black bean dip
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 tablespoons canned green chilies; chopped
2 medium green onions; chopped
2 tablespoons ripe olives; sliced
1/4 cup Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese blend; shredded
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro; chopped

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll biscuit dough. Press or roll dough into 5-inch circles on ungreased cookie sheet . Spread bean dip over dough. Top with salsa, chilies, onions and olives. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.

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Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted.

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For a little more spice, top these individual pizzas with 2 jalapeno chilies, sliced, instead of green chilies.
That's it. Super easy.

I made mine a little different because the only black bean dip I could find was almost five bucks so I decided to buy a regular can of black beans. Then I drained them really well, mashed them up a little with a fork, mixed in about half a tablespoon (do it to taste) each of cumin and chili powder, and then mixed the whole can (I think it was 4 oz) of green chilies into the can of beans. It tasted great and saved me almost four dollars.

I found it really easy to flatten the biscuits in between two pieces of wax paper (I baked the pizzas on parchment just to make sure they didn’t stick as well.)

I also don’t understand why the recipe calls for using only five of the biscuits when they come in eight, but I guess that’s cook books for ya.

Anyhoo, give it a try. I promise you'll love it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obamicon

In celebration of Obama, I found this site Obamicon Me.

They take any photo and...

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...Ta Dah!

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I printed one out for each of us and framed them in the cheapest frames I could find at Walmart ($2.50). I had a small space in the hallway between two doors so it worked out perfect.

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Go make your own. I had a ton of fun. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kama Sutra Advertisements

I love when someone actually takes the time to be inventive with their marketing instead of the generic computer vomit we usually see.

This one in particular really caught my eye. Mostly because it’s bound to upset some folks and it amuses the huge perv lurking beneath the surface to no end.

It’s for a Turkish youth clothing company and I found the pics through Stumble Upon. These are all kama sutra positions:

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Brilliant.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I LOVE cookbooks and recipes to the point where I have stacks upon stacks of torn out recipes and hand written scribbles all over my house. Even though I’ve been trying to organize them since…well forever…I can’t seem to get it done.

That being said, one of my favorite cookbooks is from Sam the Cooking Guy. He has real recipes with real ingredients that don’t require a ton of work. I bookmarked almost every page in his book. I love him. LOVE HIM!

Did my love for him get across to you? Good. :)

So last night I made his Chicken Enchiladas and all I say is major YUM.




They were super easy and super tasty. I served them with some beans and Spanish rice on the side.

This is the sort of dish I would make for friends (bring on the margaritas!). It would be especially nice to do during the winter when everyone’s dreaming of summer.

Ingredients:

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• 3 cups shredded cooked chicken - one of those deli roasted chickens is perfect for this
• 1 cup Salsa Verde (green salsa)
• 1-4 ounce can chopped green chilies
• 1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotles in sauce (more if you like it hotter)
• 8 - 8 inch flour tortillas
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 2 cups whipping cream
• 1.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Steps
1. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl.

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2. Pour 1/2 the whipping cream in the bottom of a 9x13-baking dish.
3. Pour chicken broth in bowl and one by one submerge each flour tortilla.
4. Place approximately 1/8 chicken mixture in each wet tortilla and roll up.
5. Place all 8 side by side in dish, sprinkle with cheese, and pour remaining whipping cream over top.

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6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy. :)

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Try it out and if not, give the rest of his recipes a look.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learning numbers

Here is a video of Holden playing with one of his new toys:



I just wanted to share since I thought it was adorable. :)

Table bookshelf

I really want to make this:

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I have no idea where I would put it, but I am on the lookout for two tables that would work for this.

Craigslist here I come!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Picture frame wall

So I finally filled all the picture frames on my photo wall. It took me forever, but I had tons of pictures from Christmas and my new printer can print bad ass quality photos so I really had no excuse.

This is the wall that separates my living room from my dining room/kitchen. I just took inexpensive Ikea frames and painted them all black, hung them up and added pictures.

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I found it easier to hang them using a technique I had seen on Martha’s show.

I put the frames in the order I wanted on the floor and turned them so the back (hook side) faced up. Then I used two pieces of wax paper I hade taped together (to make it wide enough) to mark where the nails would go.

I taped the wax paper on the wall and just nailed right through the paper. Once done, all I had to do was tear down the paper and transfer the frames from the floor to the wall. Easy peasy.

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Today I put in the last photos and used some of those foam squares used in scrapbooking to keep the frames level.

Have to say I totally love it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wired Pictures

So I stumbled across the idea for a memo wall at Poopscape Projects. (I know the name is cooky, but she has some cool ideas so check it out.)

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I had tried something similar to hang art, but the weight was too much and the wire kept sagging in the middle so I decided to try this instead. I already had the hook clips and I spent less than four dollars for the eye screws and picture hanging wire combined. It only took me about five minutes to do as well. Here are her directions:

What you'll need:

• Picture hanging kit (that comes with eyelet screws and picture wire)
• Clips (I used some from Ikea, but any clips will do)
• Hammer

I decided that 5 rows would be sufficient for the wall I was dealing with. I measured 5" in from the corner of the wall, hammered in a guide hole for the screw, and screwed in the eyelet screw. I threaded some picture wire through the eye, wound it tightly and pulled the wire across the wall. I used a level to make sure the wire was straight, (if it isn't, all of your stuff will slide to one end) measured 5" in from the other edge and marked it. I screwed in another eyelet screw, wound the wire through the hole and tightened the eyelet as tight as it would go. I did this for the next four rows- each 7" up from the lowest one. And that's really all there is to it. This is a really good project for people like me who like to pin a lot of crap on the wall- you only make 8 small holes in the wall instead of 200.

I used a tack instead of a nail and it was just as easy. I also bought the eye screws and wire separately since the kits come with a lot of junk I didn’t need. She didn't specify the size wire so I bought the one that holds 15 pounds. It was the smallest one they had and I was able to cut the wire with scissors.



As you can see I only made three rows, but I think I might add a few more since there’s plenty of space.

I also have another pack of those clips hiding somewhere in the mess I call a house.



All in all I like it. I plan to eventually paint my hallway so I think I’ll just frame it out with molding so I don’t have to stress about painting behind the wires.

Knitting for psychos

I found pictures of these totally macabre creations on some random site and tracked them down to a person on Flickr.

I don’t know what inspired the person to make them or actually anything about them besides the that I LOVE them.

Too bad they’re not for sale.

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Check out more at Knitting for psychos. You know they're awesome.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Work in progress

I am going to try and finish up some of the projects I have been putting off around the house so I don't feel too much like a dirty hippy.

My main problem is I have way too many hobbies and I focus all my energy on one at a time. Then, without any warning, my interests shift like the breeze and I’m off to something else.

This is not a productive way to do things. (Normal people don't tend to take over a year to sew some drapes for their living room.)

Today I finally covered the tops of my coffee table with wrapping paper. Here they are before in all their plain Ikea glory:

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And Now:

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Not sure how I feel about them yet. I still need to repaint the rest white and I eventually want to put a length of wood across the bottom with wheels so both tables are connected.


There are also some wrinkles in the wrapping paper. I might also paint something over the top. I don’t know.