Category Archives: DIY

Summer Sundays

I love sundays. The week looming before me drives any thoughts of boredom out of my head and I am left planning, cleaning, and then winding down with a good book and a glass of wine. It is my no-stress, productive day of the week. Suits me perfectly.

This sunday was mostly in the kitchen. Now that my garden is in full swing in the backyard, I am brining in zucchinis, squash, green beans, and peppers daily. This bountiful summer glut however means I have loads of veggies I need to either gift away or use up in my kitchen. One of my favorite ways to use zucchini is to make zucchini bread. I am sure some of you winced hearing that. I am not talking sickly sweet zucchini bread. I am talking blueberry cinnamon zucchini bread. Spicy, moist, a little sweet, it is the perfect summer breakfast…er, or snack…food. Here’s the recipe for you to try at home.

BLUEBERRY CINNAMON ZUCCHINI BREAD:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 cup oil if you choose to not use apple sauce)
  • 1/2 apple sauce
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
  3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

I spent the rest of the day prepping for this week, drinking iced tea, and digging the lazy, hazy days of summer.

And spending time in my garden harvesting all my goodies…

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Filed under DIY, In the Kitchen

A DIY: Collage Therapy

What do you do when you stress? Well, I work with my hands. I am the kind of person who feels much more fulfilled when I am doing something that allows me to fiddle in a productive way. I woke up and looked up at my wall and realized for someone who loves art it was startling blank. Being the crafty sort I always have and array of canvases tucked away. Today, the project was a collage, not of the hokey high school art project kind. The plan was to take a square 24″ x 24″ canvas and using good ol’ Elmers Glue and magazine and newpaper bits, collage a japanese cherry tree. They are often depicted using watercolors on rice paper. It creates an abstract, blurred vision of the vibrant pink and red blossoms. Here’s some examples:

Instead of watercolor, I chose to collage it in hopes of creating the abstract look for half the price of paints. Warning this type of project is time consuming. However, the results are very rewarding. My empty wall will finally have some life displayed on it. And I will begin to feel a bit more settled in this life after college with my collage. (Excuse the very very bad pun. I couldn’t resist!)

And now, a look at how my project came together. On a side note, I apologize for not including photos of the newspaper and branch creation process. My fingers were far too gluey to handle a camera.

AND THE FINAL PRODUCT!

Total cost: Canvas $15.00, Magazines and Newspapers (Recycled) $0.00, Glue $1.99.

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Filed under DIY, Random Musings

Dress This Mess: A DIY (The Carry All Bag).

So I am obsessed with the fold over clutches that are popping up everywhere. Like these by American apparel and by Clare Vivier:

But these bags, as simple as they are, break the bank. Instead. I am following the advice of ECAB (Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business) and Just B. It’s a DIY experiment folks. I am going to take ECAB’s tutorial on making the clutches and Just B’s refashioning ideas to make two spectacular, versatile bags.

Here is what these two crafty bloggers came up with:

All the materials you need can be bought at your local fabric store without a problem. Here’s what you need:

2 pieces of fabric both 13.5″ by 24″. (The fabric should be a heavier weight so you can get the necessary structure for the bag. I chose two types of linen.)

1 metal zipper

need and thread

…and maybe a thimble

I am not going to belabor you with the instructions on how to make these. I am no seamstress. Instead,I am just going to direct you to ECAB’s directions here. The directions are clear and simple, she even has images to help you. I had a bit of trouble with the zipper but I worked that all out.  My DIY carry all clutch went a little like this:

 

Amazing how I went from having a zipper prepped to a whole bag! To be honest I was struggling and the prospect of photographing each step got to be a bit overwhelming. Next time folks I’ll give you the whole low down on how to do this.

Obviously my bag is a little wonky. But ladies (and the few gentlemen that probably read this), this was only take one of this DIY. I also purchased some white linen I am excited to use. For that bag I am thinking I will do the color blocking recommended by  Just B. If linen isn’t your thing I am sure you could try you hand at this with some faux leather. That will be attempt three at these bags for me I think.

The grand total cost for this bag is a whopping $13.00. I’ll take $13.00 over upwards of $50.00 any day.

Thanks ECAB for the formula and thanks Just B. for the ideas.

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Filed under DIY, Dress This Mess