Monday, February 28, 2011

Furiture painting gone wrong

Today's post is a follow up to Friday's moment of furinture stripping.  Remember this piece of furniture.  Well a friend mailed the last 4 knobs  I needed.  So I put them on took a picture (I apologized for the glare) and started putting all the linens away.  Looks good so far right?

 While opening and closing drawers a piece of paint chipped off.  A friend recommended "glue it back on and touch it up with a little paint".  Good idea but I was wondering why I could see the wood work.  Three layers of paint a coat of primer come off. 
 So I opened the cabinet I knew there was another piece of  paint that was chipped in there and thought what would happened if I kind of peeled it would it come off?   The answer is YES!  So began the peeling of paint by hand.

 Someone found it more fun to do some paint carvings instead...

 Can you hear my head just thumping the table.  Bad bad furniture painting.  Most of the paint peeled like a latex raincoat.  Here's a pile. 
 As of right now this is the progress I'm making.  I have quite a bit peeled away something to do late at night or while dinner cooks. 
Other random stuff::
  • I probably won't have any Monday links for a while.  I'm actually trying to follow up on my own links and make some things.
  • Way behind on posting at 5 Good Reasons and checking everyone's blogs.  I'll try to be back soon.
  • I'm almost done unravelling a throw that I was working on that was way too wide.  On the bright side I really like the yarn and when I do it right it will look great on my bed.
  • Bought a new organic shampoo at Trader Joe's. A little treat to me.
  • Found this book Knitting America.  Treat for the kids and grown ups about knitting and histrory.
  • Found some really cute art work for the walls for the kids.  Hope to hang those today.
  • Best of all I have been an organizing maniac.  The kid's play room/library is looking better.
Now off to a rainy and hopefully productive Monday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining in today on Ginny's Yarn Along.  My favorite part about Wednesday is the yarn along with my coffee.  I have had a bit of crochet ADD lately.  See this throw that I have been working and can't get done well I'm unravelling it.  It's way too wide for my bed.  A big oops and waste of time. Hate when that happens.  Love the yarn in a double crochet so I will start this over with the right measurement. The yellow yarn was for more kitchen cloths but I'm unravelling it too.  I now have my eye on this cuff.  It is so cute I think I need two. 

 Ok those were the incompletes and here is the yummy crochetting.
I love love this book.  My personal goal this week is to crochet food each day.  I'm starting with fruits and veggies broccoli, celery and watermelon.  I really should have gone right to the cakes :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I heart bookstores

One of my favorite places to go growing up was going to the library.  There were so many books even though I didn't learn to read till I was past 7 years old and didn't enjoy reading till I was 9 years old.  Yes I was a late reader.  I'm sure even then there was concern about that and I remeber going to get extra help outside the classrom.  I can actually remember the first day I learned to read my second grade teacher was so happy she picked me up and kissed me.  I was sooo embarrassed!  Any way what was the big deal I finally understood all the words on the papers and books they kept giving me.  I sweated a lot till I learned to read.  After all that sweating I didn't have any desire to read it was too much hard work to get there.  I was about 9 years old when I fell in love with reading.

As I got older I loved hanging out at the library to do homework, read and work on all those research papers right through college.  After college I probably spent less time at the library till I had kids and then I started spending more time at the library and at bookstores.  Love smelling all those books and knowledge.  Bookstores are another one of my favorite hang outs whether alone, with a friend or  my kids it's definitely one of my happy places outside the home. I hope to share the love for books and knowledge with my kids. 

Now that you know a little more about me I can honestly tell you I love books new or thrifted adult and children there so much to learn right along with my family.  So you can imagine my resistence against those handy gadgets where you can download books.  Really one more gadget?  I spend enough time emailing and blogging and I consider reading a book an enjoyment. It's a pity when I hear about book stores that are going under like Border's and when I read articles about local book store owners struggling to stay open. 
This weekend I got this email from one of my local bookstores Newtonville Books:


"These days customers seem to have the book business on their minds, from Borders's recent bankruptcy filing to the rise of e-books. Some patrons expect us to be gleeful about the quagmire Borders finds themselves in, but the truth is the world needs more bookstores, not fewer, and box stores employ book lovers, too, so there is no upside for Newtonville Books in terms of Borders and their woes. And the e-book market continues to define itself--electronic books currently comprise 9% of all books sold. Not really a significant number...yet. (More people have read HARRY POTTER as a hardcover than own an e-reader at this point, to put it in perspective.)"

"More troubling than Borders, which will likely emerge from bankruptcy to sell books again, or books you can't hold between two covers, is the rate at which independent bookstores are closing across the country. Shelf Awareness, a daily email newsletter for the bookselling trade, is filled with news of neighborhood bookstores shuttering in towns large and small. The white elephant in the conversation is Amazon, but Amazon isn't really the point. Yes, if Amazon's local customers would buy every third book at Newtonville Books, your neighborhood bookstore would be thriving beyond wildest expectations. But the heart of the matter, really, is whether or not our community values a local, independent bookstore like Newtonville Books. From the moment my husband and I rescued the bookstore from closing in 2007 (and steered it through the worst economy since the Great Depression), we've endeavored to make Newtonville Books a cultural center for the neighborhood, introducing book clubs, Grub Street workshops, and our own writing workshops, as well as continuing the First Editions Club and the award-winning reading series established by the previous owner, which brings nationally-recognized authors to the community. This is the sort of literary programming Borders, Barnes and Noble, Costco, Target and Amazon don't provide in exchange for their deeply discounted books. If you haven't shopped with us recently, I urge you to visit and see what we're up to."

This email definitley stuck with me over the weekend.  I shop all over when it comes to books thrift stores, big chain, local and the whole sale club.  My favorites are the thrift stores and local book stores because they have a certain charm.  With all this in mind I have been trying to link my books to Indie Bound and try to remember to shop local and hope that you'll try to do the same to keep the book stores going. 

On another note if you are near Newton, MA this Thursday  7:00 pm Alice Hoffman will be in at Newtonville Books. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday morning muffin

 Lately  I have been in the mood for something warm and sweet. Last night I made a tasty lemon bread but as you can see it's crumbly. I made orange muffins but they were a little bland so I tried them again this morning still didn't taste the orange but they were moist and not too sweet.

Sunday Morning Orange Muffins
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
1 cup sugar
In a cup mix 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tray.  In mixing bowl cream dairy free margarine, sugar and baking powder mixture.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Then stir in soymilk mixture.  Mix batter till smooth and then add orange juice.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 cup full with the batter.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Remove from muffin tray and cool slightly. 

Note:  I made this dairy and egg free so the baking powder mixture is for 2 eggs and the soy milk mixed with cider vinegar is for 1 cup of buttermilk.

Enjoy on those Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee or orange juice :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yarn Along...

Joining along in this week in Ginny's yarn along.  I had to to abandon the novel I was supposed to be reading and now I have these two books I got for Valentine's Day that I'm eyeing.   I'm leaning towards Organizing from the Inside Out because my library/office is an utter disaster. A friend recommended this book and I thought it's much needed right now while I'm in the mode of collecting receipts, filing and other administrative duties. 
I'm still working on the same hat.  It's been a good process project.  I was doing well but then had to unravel half of it because I made a consistent mistake which made the hat too tight.  Ooops.  Now that I know what I'm doing this hat is pretty easy and I think I can actually say I might be an experienced crochetter who can read a pattern :D   So since I have the same hat here for the past few weeks I thought I'd share how to make the popcorn stitch this week. 

 Crochet as usual and when you get to a stitch where you want to make a popcorn do 5 single crochet into the same stitch..
 It will then look like a fan like this.
 Take out your hook and put it through the first single crochet in this group of 5 single crochet.
 While the hook is in the first single crochet insert the hook back into to the loop.
 Yarn over hook and pull through both.
 The popcorn is complete and just continue crochetting along the row.
 As your project grows the popcorns will stick out. 
 On top of  popcorn there is only 1 stitch, so when you are on next row all the stitches are the same.

I wanted to thank everyone lately for leaving such nice and encouraging comments on my blog.  I just wanted give a blog hug.  I haven't been able to visit everyone's blogs (I'll be over on Thursday or Friday to visit) or follow up on comments lately just been taking care of stuff around the house so I won't bore you with that and too tired at night to be on the computer. Just wanted to say I really appreciate your comments and visits. Hope you keep coming by :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Furniture Painting

On top of everything else lately I have been painting. In our previous home this bureau was in my bedroom but here it seems better suited for the linens in the dining room.  The color of the dinning room is golden mustard and the black furniture goes really well with it.  The bureau fit perfectly between 2 matching shelves only problem was the color because it was wood.  So on went the primer and then 3 coats of black paint.   I changed most of the knobs to a white knob with the initial of our last name it looks great against the wall. I apologize the picture isn't greatI couldn't get a very good shot. Now all I need is 4 more matching knobs a couple of lamps and oh yes a table and chairs for the dining room.
For a little while longer it will remain a painting furniture room because it's too cold to paint furniture in the basement.  I have one more piece to paint a night stand for the older girl's room.  That tiny white drawer in the third picture actually goes to the night stand.  Hope to get that done soon between everything else.

Valentine's Weekend

Reading and decorating.
Lemon cake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Finally made one of these hearts this morning.
Also tried this heart and but them on bobby pins.  
Hoping for some sugar cookies today too. 
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yarn Along with FPdc

 Joining in this week on Ginny's yarn along.  I don't have anything new to show I'm still working on the hat I started  last week.  It actually looks more like a thick doily.  I'm hoping it will form into a hat soon.  As for reading same book as last week because all I have beenn doing is reading this pattern over and over.  The level for this hat is experienced.  I think by the end of this projects I will be experienced. 
What I did learrn from this pattern is FPdc.  So instead of a new book this week I thought I'd share a tutorial on Front Post double crochet.  Hope that's ok with you all and I hope this helps anyone out there trying to decipher those crochet acronyms :)
Here is a sample.
 First thing you need to know with front post double crochet is that you are NOT working the stitches on top like we usually do when crochetting. 
 Instead you are going to double crochet right into the post here.
 Start by yarn over hook then insert hook on the right behind the post and come up on the left. 
 You now have on your hook the post and two loops.

Next yarn over hook and pull it through.  (I don't have that picture it didn't download.) What is on the hook now are 3 loops.
 Yarn over hook and pull through two loops.
 Two loops remain.  Yarn over hook and pull through both loops. 
 One loop remains and you have completed FPdc.  Neat.  I was excited figuring this out. I know just something simple to make me happy. 
 I did a few more and this is what they look like.  They are raised and a little thicker compared to the rest of the stitiches. 
If anyone is interested in homeschooling I have another post up over at 5 Good Reasons.

Now off to check out everybody else on the yarn along :)

Another chili

Yes another chili simmering in the crockpot yesterday  for dinner.  This one is a white bean chili with chicken.  If you choose to make it vegetarian omit the chicken and use vegetable broth.

White Bean Chicken Chili
1 can routelle
16 oz of chicken or vegetable broth
1 can cannellini beans rinsed
1 can white kidney beans rinsed
1 diced tomato (fresh or frozen)
1-2 cups cooked chicken diced
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
 salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander

Put all ingredients in crockpot and put on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  Maybe spicy.  Goes well with rice.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Moment

Sewing a new bag.

Random :: Forgive me for my shameless plug.  But I was a bit behind over at 5 Good Reasons this week so come on over and check out this week's posts.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chcken Pot Pie

Latley we have been in that mood for comfort foods.  To be honest not every night around is a homemade meal night.  Last night it was tater tots, fish sticks and ramen noodles and today there was grilled cheese on fresh bread with a side of hot dog wieners.  Sometimes there are lunches of just french fries and a salad.  We did a lot of take out while I was pregnant.  My favorite foods were the worst things. 
I had to come out with it because I tend show the better meals and share the recipes I get excited about but truth be told we are not vegetarians, we still shop at the grocery store and the food club.  I am buying less processed than before. I love to make homemade food. We love fresh fruits and vegetables.  But we love them more in the summer from our csa and farmer's market that's when it's way easier to buy local even the eggs and meat.  Love that.  I am well aware of where our food (after doing some research) comes from but ignore it till summer when better choices can be made.  After watching Oprah the other day with  Michael Pollan and where our meat comes from I'm thinking  a little more tofu in my diet wouldn't hurt even if kids don't agree.  They aren't too fond of it.  But I'm back in that mode thinking about food, signing up for the csa again and possibly a small garden this summer. Possibly keeping my fingers crossed. I also have hopes of canning pickles and peppers.  If you have been following this blog for a while you know I'm not a fan of canning.  I just get tired and dread the thought of all that boiling.  But pickling vegetables with vinegar.  I'm open to the idea.  Maybe it's time to read Animal Vegetable Miracle before the summer. 
Well after showing you this beautiful chicken pot pie I had to get this all out what's been on my mind about food lately.  I also didn't want to give the impression that every meal is a wonderful homemade meal.  Because nothing is ever perfect no matter how ideal we would love it to be.
Now for the chicken pot pie.  The crust I made it myself I never buy a crust because the allergy ingredients but here is the rest of the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie
1/3 cup dairy free margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup onions chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup soy milk
2 cups of cooked chicken diced
2 potatoes (boiled, peeled and diced)
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup green beans
1 cup frozen corn
Pie crust (your own or store bought)

1. Prepare ahead of time the following and set aside:  cook the chicken and dice it,  steam or boil carrots, celery and green beans, boil potatoes then peel and dice into cubes.
2.  Line your plate with half the crust.
3.  In a pan melt dairy free margarine over medium heat. Blend in flour, onion, salt and pepper stirring constantly till it gets thick or bubbly and onions are clear.  Stir in broth and milk and heat to a boiling stirring constantly.  Let it boil for 1 minute it will start to look like gravy.  Remove from heat stir in all vegeatbles and chicken.  Then pour into pie plate.  Cover with pie crust, tuck the edges in and make a couple of slits in the top to let out steam. 
4. Cook uncovered 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees till crust is gloden brown. 
Enjoy your comfort food.
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