Pink, Painterly and Polished

Pink, Painterly and Polished.  The three Ps.  Yes, the three Ps.  Oh, that’s not a thing?  Ok well look here, friend: If you have ten minutes, a vase and some nail polish you’re 100% qualified to take on this little DIY.

easy diy painterly vase

Look in your nail polish stash and pick a few colors that you like or that look good together, or preferably they meet both of those standards.

easy diy painterly vase

Grab that sad dollar store vase that’s been giving you buyer’s remorse (yes, even for a dollar) for months now and give it a wipe-down.  I used rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to remove all of the fingerprints and months worth light dust the vase collected.

easy diy painterly vase

Start with your lightest nail color and throw some random swipes on your vase.  Let dry for a minute or so.

easy diy painterly vase

Move on to the second lightest color…

easy diy painterly vase

And so on…

easy diy painterly vase

Ending with the darkest color you chose.

easy diy painterly vase

Let it fully dry for about an hour in a cool-ish area of your house and then fill that beauty with water and your favorite flowers!  Peachy carnations are one of my preferred picks and they perfectly complimented the pinks in my polishes.  Whoa how many Ps was that?

easy diy painterly vase

Has anyone else given a face-lift to a boring dollar store vase?  Or maybe you like to alliterate as much as me?  Do tell…

Eats: Rahr Texas Red Mac N Cheese

Yeah I cook too.  I know I normally post about home projects here, but another thing I do at home (a lot) is eat.  I recently got a wild hair to make scratch beer mac n cheese and holy beer boil, Batman.  It was good.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Before I get to the nitty-gritty I need to address something.  I am a lover of craft beer, local beer, trying new beers, drinking my favorite beers….  If you’ve never tried a Rahr beer, obtain some by any means necessary.  This, like all of my other posts thus far, is NOT sponsored by Rahr or anyone else.  I just happen to be a huge fan.  They’re local to my area – Fort Worth to be exact – and I’ve never tried a single Rahr I didn’t like.  Not once.  Their brewery tours are ridiculous.  Three beers and a tour around fancy machinery?  Yes, I’ll have that pleasethanks.  Lets get to it, shall we?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry pasta – I used Farfalle (aka bow-tie pasta) which is my fave pasta shape
  • 8 oz white cheddar
  • 4 oz gruyere
  • 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (I used 8… more on that later)
  • 1 or 2 green onion stalks (?) chopped
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Rahr Texas Red Beer (you’ll use one and a half bottles in the recipe, but I recommend drinking some too – after you’re done cooking of course)
  • 1-2 tsp flour
  • Garlic Powder
  • White Pepper

Supplies:

  • A pan to cook your bacon (unless you’re using bacon bits – I’m not judging)
  • 2 pots (one for noodle cookin’ and one for cheese meltin’)
  • A glass bowl (you’re gonna want to make a double boiler to melt your cheese)
  • A whisk, spoons, colander, cheese grater and other standard cooking tools

Prep Steps:

  • Cook and crumble bacon or open your package of bacon bits
  • Shred your cheeses
  • Cube or shred your butter

 

A google search told me that amber lagers pair well with white cheddar (I drink my Rahr with any food), so after a tasting where the fella and I ate a chunk of cheese and then sipped on two of our favorites, we both decided that Texas Red was the winner.  Buffalo Butt was a close second, though.  Time for happy cooking.

The first thing you want to do is cook your noodles.  In beer.  I poured one beer and 12 oz of water (just fill your empty bottle) into my pot.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

When beer boils, it does crazy things.  Keep your heat around 7 or 8 on your stove to avoid this:

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

When the beer comes to a boil, toss in your noodles.  They seemed to take a tad bit longer to cook than when you just cook them normally.  If I were bathing in beer, I’d probably hang around longer too.  Whenever the noodles are done to your liking, drain them and set them aside.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Meanwhile, make your double boiler.  Fill your other pot with water – enough to get good coverage under your bowl but not so much that it will spill over when its boiling.  Set your bowl on top of the pot and set your heat to around 8.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Put your butter (half of a stick, remember) in the double boiler and let it melt down.  It goes faster if its in chunks or grated.  While its melting, pour in half of a bottle of Texas Red.  Drink the other half if you please but do it responsibly folks.  Just because I drink while I cook doesn’t mean its safe.  Do as I say not as… You get the idea.  I don’t have pictures of that part so here’s a Texas Red. :)

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Your water under your glass bowl should be boiling at this point and hopefully your beer and butter mixture is decently hot.  This is when you add in your cheese, bit by bit.  Give it a good whip with the ol’ whisk after each oz or so that you add.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

I also opted to add about a half tsp of garlic powder and a tsp of white pepper.  I like the taste of white pepper better than black, but really you can use whatever spices you’d like at this point.  I don’t recommend adding salt to this recipe.  The white cheddar and gruyere are rich and salty on their own.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Once your cheese is liquefied (that part takes a bit of patience), you may want to add a tsp or two of flour to thicken the sauce.  I added only one, because I like my mac and cheese just slightly on the soupy side.

Then, my friend, put your beer noodles in your bowl of beer cheese and toss to coat.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

Put your beer mac n cheese in a bowl, top it with bacon crumbles and green onion, pop open a Texas Red, chow down and drink up.  Oh and remember how I said I used 8 strips of bacon?  Don’t do that.  That’s too much bacon for this dish.  I hate myself for saying that, because really there’s never too much bacon, but it’s the truth.

rahr texas red beer mac and cheese

A food photog, I am not, but it tasted 1000 times better than this picture looks.  It’s definitely really rich, and more of a hearty winter food than spring, but it was fun to make and damn delicious.

So friends, what is your nearest, dearest craft beer?  What about a dish that calls for your favorite frosty?  Do tell…

A First Date With Chalk Paint

I’ve seen almost exactly 257 pins and blog posts about different chalk paints and the various projects that folks do with them.  Last Sunday morning I decided I wanted in on the chalk paint game.  This is how that went…

diy chalk paint stool makeover

If you remember (and thanks if you do), I bought a little sample of chalk paint during my visit to Fort Worth Vintage Market Days.  The brand is Oh Lola! Vintage Paint and the color I got was “Antique Egg Blue”.  I really wanted “Marseille”, a delightfully buttery yellow, but Yadi (the owner) said she sold out of that early.  I wasn’t surprised.  That yellow was hot.

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Anyway, when I bought the sample, I was already pretty much set on using it to update this pathetic little stool I had sitting around.

chalk paint stool makeover

You know the one.  Most of us have had or even still have one of these.  That sad little $10 blonde stool sold by that one huge retailer.  I actually got mine from the same warehouse sale where I bought my file cabinet that I painted.  It was maybe two bucks or something.  It seemed to have a checkered past, judging by the nicks and paint spills.

chalk paint stool makeover

Chalk paint was the perfect match for this stool.  If you didn’t already know, you don’t need to prep your surface when using chalk paint.  No sanding, no priming.  Just a wipe down to remove dust and dirt.  Also known as a lazy Sunday project dream.

So I broke out my tiny Blue Hawk brush and got to work.

chalk paint stool makeover

The first coat provided awesome coverage.  It was thick but not gloppy, and a tiny bit went a LONG way.

chalk paint stool makeover chalk paint stool makeover

I went ahead and did a second coat (after an hour long nap) since there were still bits of blonde wood poking through.

chalk paint stool makeover

This next part was a random idea that popped into my head after my nap.  I let the second coat dry for a couple of hours and then broke out my hot glue gun and a ball of polished hemp rope.  I marked the middle of the seat, glued the rope down and started working in a spiral from the center, gluing as I went.

chalk paint stool makeover chalk paint stool makeover

Always be careful with your glue gun, kids.  I’m currently sporting a less than sexy blister on my wrist.  Sometimes my arms get flail-y.

The final step was to pad the feet of the stool.  I was going to use some felt from my craft stash, but since I was already in the rope-spiraling mood, I went ahead and made cute little spiraled hemp foot pads.  I really did that part just for me, unless you want to come over and turn my stool upside down and take a look.  In that case, I did it for us.

chalk paint stool makeover

The stool ended up being a little more “farmhouse” than I expected, which isn’t really my style, but I kind of like it’s simplicity.

chalk paint stool makeover

I’m still not sure whether it has a permanent spot in my home, but I did enjoy making it!  The chalk paint was a lot of fun to use, and I’m excited to have another go at it.  I’ve got more than half of my 8oz sample left (I only needed about 3oz for this project) and I’m sure I’ll find a good use for it.

If you decide to try this yourself, you’ll need less than one ball of polished hemp rope (you can get it pretty much anywhere – even the dreaded W), a glue gun and about 20 glue sticks, chalk paint, a paintbrush and a smidge and half of patience.  Definitely doable for the novice and experienced DIYer alike!

What do you guys think about chalk paint?  Love it, hate it?  Do tell…

The Liebster Award

I don’t know if you know this, but, I’m kind of a big deal…

Not really, but hopefully I’ll make some new friends after this!

liebster award

 

You see, Annie was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster Award, along with 10 other fine bloggers, and I am super excited about it!  This award helps new bloggers connect with others in the blogosphere, and encourages participants to promote each other.  I’m so glad and thankful that Annie nominated me!

She’s given me a set of questions to answer so here goes:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?

I’ve always loved to create things and have also enjoyed writing, and have spent a considerable amount of time doing both of these activites.  When a few friends and family members encouraged me to start this blog, it just felt like the natural next step.

2. Do you think your blogging has encouraged you to create, explore, read, etc more?

Absolutely!  I definitely still do crafts and diy projects on my own terms and timeline, but I also feel a responsibility to this website and its readers to create interesting, meaningful content that people will enjoy reading.  I want what I write to be useful and entertaining.  I want to write a blog that I want to read.  That has definitely caused me to stretch my legs and explore things that I hadn’t before I started writing.

3. If you could leave next week for a paid vacation to live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you go?

Tough question!  Somewhere in Europe, preferably with pretty architecture, delicious food and sandy beaches!

4. Why did you choose the subject of your blog?

I’ve been doing crafts and diy for as long as I can remember.  My parents tell me I used to take my toys apart and put them back together as a child!  Growing up, I was a Girl Scout, took after school / summer art classes and even started several clubs with my sister.  All of these things gave me wonderful opportunities to explore my imagination.  I chose DIY and crafts as my subject because I am passionate about creativity.

5. What’s your favorite meal to cook for yourself?

The cool answer would be scratch Mac N Cheese with bacon bits, but the real answer is instant loaded mashed potatoes.  #keepitreal

6. If you were going to come up with a book or album title for the last year of your life, what would it be?

Progress

7. Do you have any animals?

My four-legged child is a black pug / miniature pinscher mix named Turkish.  He owns me.

8. What’s your vice?

Craft Beer (a fact many of my Instagram followers are well aware of, I’m sure!)

9. What’s your favorite museum?

The Kimball Art Museum in downtown Fort Worth is definitely my favorite.  The Bernini and Picasso exhibits in particular are a couple of the highlights from my many visits.

10. Celebrity childhood crush?

Same as my adulthood crush – haha!  Mr. DiCaprio is the bees knees

11. Thoughts on tomatoes?

The fruit itself, thumbs down.  The sauces it creates, thumbs way up!

So now what?

I’m nominating the following 11 blogs for The Liebster Award:

La Vida Lopez

Musings From Providence

Living: Pure & Simple

Amber in Florida

Revived by Delia

Babeland

Harper Larper

Fox on an Island

Imagination Unlocked

Fact or Pin-tion

Duck Egg Blue

The rules?

  1. Answer the questions you were given by the person who nominated you
  2. Keep the ball rolling and nominate 11 new blogs with 500 followers or less
  3. Post 11 new questions for your nominees to answer
  4. Tag your nominees and be sure to leave a comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been nominated
  5. Of course, you are not required to participate.  But, if you don’t want to accept your Liebster, let me know and I’ll nominate someone else to keep the “chain” going!

Nominees, your questions are:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your greatest passion?
  3. What is your greatest fear?
  4. Of the places you’ve lived, which is your favorite?
  5. What is your dessert of choice?
  6. What was the most memorable vacation or trip you’ve taken?
  7. What is your favorite movie genre?
  8.  If you knew you were about to eat your last meal, what would it be?
  9. If you had to move from your current home to another and could only bring five items with you, which five items would you choose?
  10. Which famous person’s house would you most like to live in?
  11. If you could be someone else for 24 hours, who would you choose to be?

Big thanks again go to Annie for nominating me for a Liebster.  It was a lot of fun answering her questions and finding new friends to follow!  Can’t wait to see everyone else’s answers!

xo

DIY Eco-Friendly Brass Tarnish Remover

In my recap of my visit to Ft. Worth Vintage Market Days, I ended with a little teaser as to what the third and final item was that I purchased at the event.  If you guessed that it was the brass clock…

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

You’d be close, but wrong.  I reeeeaallllly wanted that clock, but they were asking well more than I wanted to spend.  The brass-rimmed wicker bowls, however…

Brass and Wicker Bowls

Were priced oh so right.  Here’s a better (non-phone-in-dark-lighting) picture of them.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

They were marked at around $7 each, and I ended up walking with all three of them for a cool $12 plus tax.  I love the rustic, sort of primitive look to them.  Problem was, they were pretty tarnished.  Most store bought tarnish removers on the market have a ton of chemicals in them, so I decided to go the au naturel (aka safer and cheaper) route.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

I tried three different methods, and I’m here to share ‘em all with you!  It’s like a Goldilocks (Brassilocks?) Cleaning Story.  Come along.

Supply List:

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Lemons
  • Frog Tape
  • Rubber gloves (both to protect my hands from the mixtures and protect the brass from the natural oil that hands produce)

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

Procedures:

They got the frog tape treatment in an effort to protect the wicker from the cleaners I used.  If you’re thinking that it seems difficult to tape these guys with massive man-hands like mine, you’re correct.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

“Too Hot”

First up, the square bowl.  For this, I mixed a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.  Just like it would in an elementary school chemistry lesson, the mixture fizzed up and made me feel like a mad scientist.  I didn’t measure exactly, just used enough to make a paste.  I put the mixture on a soft tea towel and buffed the rim in little circles all the way around.  Thirty minutes and a bit of elbow grease later, I was pretty pleased with the results.  Check out how much better it looks than the other two.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

“Too Cold”

This time around I used the juice of half of a lemon and baking soda.  This mixture was also fizzy, but smelled much better than the vinegar mixture.  No measuring involved, I just used enough of each ingredient to make a paste.  I used the same method of dipping a soft tea towel into the mixture and buffing in little circles.  This bowl (granted it’s the largest) clocked in at around an hour and this method took a LOT more effort.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

My hands were cramping so badly by the end, I looked like I was repping some sort of gang.  The results, however, looked much better than the vinegar method.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

“Just Right”

The third and final method was super easy, and produced the very best result.  I cut a lemon in fourths, sprinkled some salt on the lemon and rubbed it around the rim of the small round bowl.  I applied little to no pressure, and in under five minutes, the tarnish disappeared completely and the brass had a beautiful shine to it.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

I did a lil’ bad photoshop to put the before and after together so you can see just how dramatically different the after really is.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

Of course I had to use this treatment on the other two bowls as well and damned if they aren’t one of my favorite $12 purchases in the history of ever.

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

And what does a lemon cost, like 10 cents?  My wallet loves me.  I got so excited about the finished product that I started writing this post immediately.  Seriously I haven’t even decided where I’m going to put them yet…  One last bit of before + after action:

diy eco friendly brass tarnish remover

So the next time you’re staring at that tarnished brass whatever in your house, grab a lemon and some table salt and treat yourself to this super simple, satisfying polishing technique!

What are your favorite DIY / eco-friendly ways to clean?  Do tell…