Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spray Paint and Hot Glue

To say that I love spray paint and hot glue would be an immense understatement of the absolute adoration I feel towards these two gold medal decorating helpers. I love them so much I would write them an ode and plant fields of flowers in their name if only they asked.

I seriously don’t know what I would do without them.

Here are two prime examples of the awesomeness that is hot glue and spray paint (and these aren’t even that great).

Spray Paint:

Ugly wood box I found at the thrift store for $2 bucks:



Two quick coats of the leftover spray paint I used in my earring holder DIY and presto:



Much better.

Hot Glue:

When I was at the craft store stocking up on some alligator clips, I found these adorable iron-on bird patches:



In little more then the time it took for the hot glue to heat up, I had two new hair clips:



The cool thing about alligator clips is they can be used for anything.

So what are you waiting for? All you need is a little glue and some paint. The possibilities are endless....

Check out some of the before and afters over at Design*Sponge to get a good idea at how paint can completely transform something.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Paper Straws

After seeing these gorgeous photos that were styled by Paul Lowe, I realized a TON of blogs have a soft spot for these paper straws.

(See here, here, and here.)


Photos by Alexandra Grablewski


But I have a confession to make: I freggin hate paper straws!

Yes, they're cute and come in all kinds of different colors. But ultimately they get soggy and have a papery taste that I do not enjoy.

I don't know which is more environmentally conscious (I would guess the paper), but this is where I put my foot down. Sorry world.

Friday, June 19, 2009

PW’s Chicken Scallopine

Last night I made another recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

I seriously think I've fallen in love. And if she wasn't married already, I would move to wherever she lives and court her till she finally gave in to my bubbly personality and cooked only for me. Her recipes are that good.

Last night I made her version of chicken scallopine. All I can say is....mmmmm....



I will post the recipe below in case any one's interested. (Head over to Pioneer Woman's to find step by step photos.)

As usual I made a few changes. I decided to bread my chicken in my usual flour - egg - breadcrumb system and then pan fried the cutlets. This time I tried using Panko breadcrumbs instead of the usual and they were AMAZING. I'll never use any other breadcrumb to coat my chicken. Ever.

It made the chicken flavorful and crunchy in a way that regular bread crumbs can't achieve. I'm day dreaming about eating them again as I type this. Seriously, I think I might start sporting a mustache and calling myself colonel. Cause I'm a chicken cooking ninja.

ummm...where was I? Oh, I also substituted evaporated milk for the heavy cream. Don't look at me like that. It works perfectly and I challenge you to give it a shot.

PW’s Chicken Scallopine

Ingredients:

1 pound linguine
6 boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts
Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
Chicken broth (optional)
1 lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half & half)
1 heaping tablespoon capers
chopped fresh Italian parsley


Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour.

4. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

5. Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine, then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.

6. Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t undersalt!

7. Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Painted Canvas Rug


I totally love this idea of using canvas as a rug from Martha Stewart.

The first time I had seen a painted canvas used as a rug was in a magazine that had featured the most amazing attic that had been turned into a children's playroom (unfortunately I lost the pages).

I have been dying to make one ever since.

-Just follow the link at the top for easy to follow directions.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Crafts I Heart

Even though I don’t update too often, I still look up a lot of different craft sites and projects everyday. (I tend to put my Stumble Upon topic on “crafts” and just stumble away when I’m bored.)

And since I haven’t been doing too many projects I can easily share, I thought I would post some projects I’m looking forward to trying.

Cool?

-I am crushing on DIY coasters hard core right now.

I just love these ones by Style Me Pretty :



I also thought these from Urban Threads were great as well:



The ideas are endless, and what better way to use that gorgeous scrapbook paper you want to keep forever?

-I am LOVING this fabric necklace idea from Naughty Secretary Club.



I mean how awesome is the idea of printing on fabric? I feel like a whole new world has opened up to me. Of course, I rushed right out and picked some up for myself (in the quilt section of the craft store). Even though I haven’t actually made anything yet, it still makes me happy knowing I can.

The downside to buying printer ready fabric, is it’s pretty expensive. I found this great tutorial on how to make your own printer ready fabric at HP:



Now I have a printer similar to the one pictured, so please check to see if your printer manufacturer has any specific instructions of it’s own before trying this.

-And is it just me, or does skittle vodka sound like the most awesome thing ever? After seeing this post from Lutine on Livejournal, I just knew I had to give it a go:



I can’t wait till I’m not so broke!

Also, I made the best burgers EVER for dinner tonight. It’s called the Smokin Chicken Burger from Rachael Ray.



Seriously, how can you go wrong with ground chicken, mushrooms, onions, and red wine sauce? The mushrooms kept the patties ridiculously moist and flavorful, and the red wine sauce added the perfect twang.

I didn’t have any bacon, but I’m pretty sure my brain would have exploded if I had put two slices of peppered bacon on each burger. I’m making this next week as well. I’m not a big beef fan and it’s nice to have a go-to recipe for when you’re craving a burger.

-I made the picture above using a free Polaroid program. You can find it here.

And that’s it till next time. Cheers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shrink Film/Plastic Jewelry

If you’ve never tried using shrink plastic, then you need to right away. I first got the idea after seeing a tutorial on Poopscape Projects and now I can't seem to stop.

The first thing I tried to make was a pair of earrings. Even though they didn't turn out too great, it was good practice and as good a place to start as any.

What you'll need:

Shrink Plastic (from the craft store)
scissors
markers or color pencils (good quality smooth-blending ones like Prismacolors work really well)

Keep in mind that Shrink Plastic can shrink 30 to 50%. You’re gonna want your image to be a lot larger then what you’re hoping the end product will result in.

Just look at my pictures:





The size difference is HUGE.

Directions:

This really couldn’t be simpler. The first time I tried this I bought regular clear shrink plastic. (This means you can’t use it in your printer, and you need to sand the surface if you are planning on using colored pencils.)

All I did was print out the image I wanted to use, in this case two pin up silhouettes, and traced them onto the plastic with a black sharpie.

Then I cut out the image and punched a hole in the plastic (with a regular hole punch) so I would have someplace to attach the jump ring.

Next, put the Shrink Plastic in an oven or toaster oven (on a piece of parchment) at the recommended temperature, mine was 300 degrees Fahrenheit, for two to three minutes. You will be able to tell it is done since the plastic will curl up some and then flatten out. Once that happens wait about 30 seconds and then pull them out.

Larger pieces will curl more and I’ve found it easiess to use a piece of parchment paper, folded a bunch, to flatten the object as soon as you pull it out of the oven. (If you try this and the parchment sticks, don’t mess with it for a minute and once it has cooled a little the paper will come right off. Don’t pull too much.)

After your plastic has cooled, all I did was add a protective coating using a spray sealer and add the earring hardware.



It's seriously that easy.

Once you get a hang of using the Shrink Plastic, I recommend trying all different types. My favorite one has to be the plastic specially made for your inkjet printer.

The options are endless and I’ve made all sorts of things from this stuff.

Here are just two examples of different things I've made:







You can find Shrink Plastic at any craft store or here online.

You can also use regular #6 plastic (like the to-go containers a lot of take out places use- just check the bottom for the number 6 surrounded by the arrows). You can find directions for it at the Poopscape link the top.