Tastier than it looks
I, not unlike many others, have been wasting (okay, spending) valuable hours on Pinterest. In addition to that, I've logged many hours watching HGTV, DIY Network (Rehab Addict baby!), and Cooking Channel. Why? I want to cook, redecorate, refurbish, and quite simply, create something new. It occurred to me that with the kids out of school and my not being employed (yet), there really is no reason why I can’t tackle some of the fantastic things I've been wanting to do. The dilemma is that now I've started no less than five different projects this past week and only completed one, a dessert recipe. Which, in all actuality, would be weird had it not been completed once started, so perhaps it doesn't count.
My daughter and I tackled the task of making a peach cobbler, which is a great way to get in some math in without her knowledge. It was also an exercise for me in practicing patience as my kitchen is minuscule and my tolerance for "what if" questions is extremely low. "What if I put in two tablespoons of baking power instead of one?" This pretty much went on for every ingredient and funnier (for her) every-single-time.. My answer for the hundred times she asked, "It will blow up, just follow the recipe." Oh, and by the way, she doesn't like peaches and wouldn't taste it. Eh, more for me. Next!
Coming to a Pinterest board near you, and In no particular order, let's start with the nearly done project first. I reupholstered my dining room chairs, okay, only three out of six (guess it’s not nearly done after all). I bought enough material to do four chairs and quite frankly was a bit nervous, even after the great advice from the lady cutting fabric at JoAnn's.. It’s never as easy as it looks when others do it, especially when you have to run the fabric choices by the Husband, who as we all know has an opinion about what to wear, even if it’s furniture.
I was wrong, it was so easy! For starters, the Husband liked four of the six fabric options I presented, which are great odds considering, and surprisingly he chose the boldest, most colorful one - and my favorite. We both like warm tones and the fabric pretty much covered every one one of them.
Once starting the reupholstering I realized I had an advantage over the many people I watched in my video research, my staple gun is electric (estate sale bargain), rather than manual. It made everything a breeze and I got a little help from Son #2 who had no problem sitting on the cushion while I wielded an automatic staple shooter near his rear. Well, he was a bit nervous, but I let him try the staple gun as a consolation. This is how mom becomes an instant hero when she shares the power. Just don't do it too often. I’ll be working on my fourth chair today (maybe) and returning this week for more material to finish the last two. I pretty much feel like reupholstering everything in my house now. Muhahahaha..
Next, we have a small, but arduous task of refurbishing a miniature cabinet thingy (not sure of the technical name) that I bought quite literally four years ago. I started this project recently to see if I like the idea of refurbishing furniture as it appears to be all the rage according to HGTV and Pinterest. The jury is out as I don’t have the space in our current abode or the help of electronic gadgets. That’s right, I’m manually sanding this thing (mostly) and working on it in the carport area. I am in the market for a palm sander, especially if this works out and there’s income potential. I do have the help of a Dremel tool, but the sanding bit is limited to half an inch. As you can imagine, it really isn't such a great idea for larger areas. Let's just say, lots-o-divots. I must add that manually sanding the wood hasn't been at all disagreeable, so I can only imagine having a sander would make it a breeze. I’m on the next phase of getting some primer and choose a paint color. I'm thinking of going with a distressed look as it only seems fitting with my lifestyle. I'll keep you posted.
Side note: this could have been a great project for me as one of my neighbors set it on the curb, which of course translates to free-for-all. I just knew I could turn this dresser into something fabulous and I considered all the factors before deciding to walk away: sanding by hand would not be fun or fabulous, no garage to work in and protect it from the elements, and the Husband would probably not appreciate toting it down the street.
It was really just the last one.
Long ago, in what literally seems like a galaxy far away, I took up the art of sewing. I call it an art because the finished product, even if you follow a pattern, pretty much is your own little masterpiece. Oh yeah, and skill is involved. I took a sewing class at JoAnn's right after my daughter was born a little over eight years ago. The bonus is that I already had a sewing machine my mother-in-law picked up for me at a garage sale and I had a guinea pig, I mean daughter to sew cute things for. I wasn't going to make a some pillow or hand towel, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I wanted to go big and the class was going to show me how anyway. It was so much fun and I may have become rather obsessed. at the time. I mostly made things for my daughter, but I did venture in making clothing for myself, quilts (which is a whole other animal by the way), one-and-a-half bowling shirts for my boys (son #2 never saw his, finished), baby gifts for friends, and pillows (it was okay at this point). My toughest challenge, and what I think was my greatest sewing accomplishment, was my daughter’s red coat as it called for lining and sleeves and a whole bunch of other advanced moves I had yet to master at the time. I think it turned out rather nicely, right?
So, here’s the thing, I found this great fabric (okay, so it’s a bed sheet) at an estate sale and knew I had to make something with it. A friend suggested an apron as there’s a demand for vintage everything and the sheet pattern screams mid-century, the last one that is. I already had the pattern since I made a cute little number for my son’s teacher back in the day. Shazam! Project! I haven’t officially started this one yet as the presser foot is missing from my sewing machine and not having used it in 5 years, not a clue why it’s not there. I think it’s a plot from the Husband, who literally managed to roll his eyes to the back of his skull when I pulled the machine out of the closet. There’s no doubt it's some residual annoyance as the last time it was used I may have neglected him and the children, but it was totally sporadic neglect and they ARE all alive after all. So what’s the problem? Again, I’ll keep you posted.
Lastly (not really) is my crafty card project. This is totally Pinterest’s fault because of all those snazzy handmade cards people keep posting totally enabling me to do the same. Luckily, I'm well stocked with plenty of scrapbook paper from all those albums I haven't finished, yet. By the way, do you know how easy it is to make your own envelopes? Very. And, I have enough paper to make hundreds of little envelopes and cute, little paper cards to insert into them. Yes, I could buy them, but what's the fun in that when I could easily do it myself by cutting out a template, tracing it onto scrapbook paper, cutting that out, folding it strategically into a little envelope, applying glue to the appropriate edges, and allowing to dry for at least six hours. See, easy peasy, right?
I've actually printed out a template that assisted me in creating a lovely little dress that I may apply to the front of a card. It took way longer than I anticipated, but I did it! Disappointingly, I didn't feel like making another afterwards . . . or ever again. However, I have all this paper and will keep searching for new ways to be crafty with it.
Well, that about sums up my list of projects that I'm working on, yet oddly enough don't feel like there's too much on my plate. Surely I'm not alone in the whole juggling of Pinterest projects and I'm fairly confident that I have enough motivation within to see all of these to the end . . . okay, perhaps not the envelope thing. I'll keep you posted.
How many times have you followed a recipe only to be disappointed in the end? It looks nothing like the photo and never mind if it tastes good – it doesn't look like the picture! Isn't that why we like the photos to begin with, to know the end result? I would think it’s just my own personal cooking OCD, but Pintrest demonstrates time and time again disillusioned cooks with their own disappointing culinary adventures.
I’m definitely not excluded from these food tragedies and that's really what they are, tragedies. I was wandering through Pintrest when I came across Peppermint Oreo Pops and I wondered how hard could it be? More often than not with the recipes I seem to be attracted to, I'm required to purchase some exotic ingredient like a West African guinea pepper. And yes, I'm still looking for them.
The photo link was to Lulu the Baker’s web site and I was immediately taken in by her step-by-step instructions accentuated with photos, which assured me that I couldn't fail. And, I didn't!
I did realize later that I missed an essential step because I used my memory of the instructions, which is never a good idea. But, I prevailed in the end, even though I burned the first batch of candy melts. This success includes having an eight and eleven year old helping each step of the way. I know! I still prevailed!
I’ve been trying a new recipe/project practically every night it seems and I have to say that I depend on photos for encouragement. Unfortunately, it doesn’t guarantee everything will taste good…another lesson I learned this week with some cookies I made. They did look like the picture, though. Score!
In the end, I was successful in my quest to try something new and have it turn out almost like the one in the photo. How about you? Any tales to tell of success or fail?
My photo adventures in Florida