Friday, January 29, 2010

Fri-DIY - Bunting Madness

The adorable bunting card How About Orange posted last week has set off another round of bunting madness around the internet. And why not? Bunting is inherently festive and adorable. It brings to mind fairs, carnivals, parties, and just plain old good times. There are a bajillion tutorials out there for how to make full size bunting, but I gathered together a few out of the ordinary tutorials here.

Who wouldn't want a bunting crayon roll? I'm a grown-up and want one. I can only imagine the kind of raptures this would inspire in a kid. Thanks to say yes to hoboken for sharing.

I love machine sewing on paper, so this mini paper bunting from Lavender and Limes had me at 'thread your sewing machine with colored thread.'

Finally, itty bitty bunting from ribbon strung on wire from scissor variations. I like the wire look because it would let you shape the bunting any way you wanted, instead of the traditional 'drooping' look.

Now, with all this inspiration, I need to find an unadorned nook in my house to make one of these into reality!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meatless Monday - Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

I have noticed that portobellos are often touted as the vegetarian's steak. I have always failed to see the comparison, though. For me, portobellos are actually more interesting than most steaks. Dark, earthy, and juicy, they lend themselves well to many recipes. But if I happen upon some pretty portobellos, nine times out of ten I am going to stuff them.

The good thing about mushrooms is they taste good with a lot of other ingredients. I don't technically have a set recipe for stuffing them, I just go with what seems right that I have on hand. So feel free to adapt at will.

2 large portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed and de-gilled
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
zest from one lemon
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus a little for brushing mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400. Brush mushrooms with a little oil and place on a foil lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients to form the stuffing. Stuff each mushroom with 1/2 of the stuffing mixture, about 1/2 cup each. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the stuffing is browned.

This recipe can be doubled to serve 4. I served these with a simple radish and celery salad garnished with lemon juice and cilantro.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fri-DIY - The T-Shirt Restyle Issue

I keep hearing 'the worst of the recession is over.' So what? Does that mean we all have to run out immediately for some indiscriminate spending? Not this girl. I was thrifty prior to the recession and I plan on staying that way, no matter what the pundits say.

In that spirit, I've compiled some truly great T-Shirt restyle tutorials. All are fashionable, even pretty, and definitely a step up from the same old T-shirt-into-halter-top tutorials that seem to be the only ones google can find. There are some great inventive tutes out there shared by wonderfully creative generous women. Like the ladies at crafty stylish who show us how to make the tunic pictured above. I think it is so feminine and that green color just screams SPRING.

No real pics for this one, but this tute at Canadian living looks promising.

Make a T-shirt into an old-fashioned bed jacket? Yes, please.

Not for the novice sewer, but I love this idea of turning an old T-shirt plus skirt into a killer dress.

Finally, a killer don't mess with me kind of restyle, the chaos T-shirt. Just sounds like fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Art - Helen Musselwhite

I am completely charmed by the art of Helen Musselwhite.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meatless Monday - Baked Shrimp in Foil

Baked Shrimp

Sometimes making a home cooked meal is just easy. This is a recipe to keep handy for nights after long hard days. A few minutes prep time, a quick pop into the oven, and dinner is served. I buy frozen shrimp whenever I find them on sale, which is often since I have a network of friends that call me with hot tips on where to find discount shrimp. That's just how I roll.

Baked Shrimp in Foil

Amounts given are per person and will make 1 foil-wrapped package

1/2 pound shrimp, thawed if frozen, and unpeeled
1/2 lemon sliced into wedges
1/2 Tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1/2 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out a piece of aluminum foil about 18" long. Place ship in the middle of the foil. Scatter lemon, butter, and Old Bay over shrimp. Pull up the short sides of the foil and roll together to seal, then roll the two remaining open sides to make a tightly sealed packet. Place packet on a small baking sheet in case any juices escape during baking. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread for sopping up the lemon butter sauce.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fri-DIY - The Scarf Issue

I'm at the point in winter when I feel like it will NEVER end! When will I be warm again?!? I gathered up these scarf tutorials so at least my neck can be warmed by something pretty until spring arrives.

I think the trim scarf above from Ruffles and Stuff is adorable. I also have inherited several bags of trim that I have never settled on a project to use them up. This scarf might be just the thing.

How awesome is the Modern Victorian Collar from Love Maegan? Her instructions are incredibly easy to follow and what an impressive final product.

Pretty Ditty's simple scarf is indeed very pretty. She shows an interesting technique to sew in the balls which makes pretty gathers in the scarf.

This knit scarf from Make it and Love it is so pretty and simple. It's a good demonstration of how adding texture to a simple project makes it incredibly more interesting. In this case, the texture is a few sewn rows of the same scarf fabric.

Finally, for any no-sewers, ah-yi has a good tutorial up for a braided yarn scarf. She's provided easy to follow illustrations for the pretty complex braid, but I suspect steady hands and a patient read would be necessary to figure it out. It would be a great use for any bulky yarn lying around, or I imagine could also be adapted to use thin strips of knit jersey instead of yarn.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Woodsman's Wife

Sorry for no Meatless Monday recipe this week. I was unexpectedly out of town, so my Meatless Monday was cereal at my grandparents' house, french fries on the road, and banana pepper pizza eaten exhaustedly on the sofa when I got home. Not exactly good blogging.

I thought I would quickly share the haunting work of Steven Kenny today. Lovely, mysterious, disturbing. If I owned one, it couldn't be hung in my bedroom, but I love them anyway.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fri-DIY - Get Organized

Did you make any resolutions for this new year? I only made one, to try something I have never done before once a month. I made a list. I'll post it soon and update my progress here as I check things off.

HOWEVER, if you made a resolution to be more organized, this week's Fri-DIY has ideas to help that task be easier and more stylish.

I love the simplicity of the envelope organizer above from Cathe Holden. A great idea for repurposing and every day item into something helpful and pretty good looking. Especially if you spring for some of these pretties. One of these could be hung on the fridge or a wall in the house, or fold it up and keep it in a pocket book so it's always handy.

I have a long, deep affection for labels. So obviously I am madly in love with these typewritten labels from Karyn over at Make Something. I think these would be great sewn onto fabric totes, or onto wide ribbon and tied around sheet sets to keep them together.

If a desk or pantry area needs some help, whip up a batch of these pretty covered cans like these from scissor variations. Any paper would work, or check out this great collection of crate labels at flickr.

A pretty filing cabinet? These are the things pretty organizational dreams are made of. Thanks to the ever talented team at design sponge for dreaming it up and making it happen (and showing us how).

Even better, pretty file folders to fill the cabinet with! Perhaps my stash of vintage sheets needs to be put to use for some of these.
Hopefully these ideas will inspire better organization and not just crafty procrastination. Scissors at the ready!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Meatless Monday - Buttermilk Fresh Cheese

Homemade Cheese

I hope everyone had lovely holidays. The first day back to reality is never fun, so here is a fun recipe to chase away post-holiday blues!

Have I mentioned that I love the Lee Brothers? I think I have maybe once or twice. This is another cool recipe from their Simple Fresh Southern cookbook. The husband and I were intrigued with the idea of making cheese ourselves. Actually, we gasped out loud and shouted 'We can make cheese at home?!? How have we never heard of this before?!' Ok, that last part was just me, but seriously, I can make cheese now!

Once again, the Lee Brother's technique is really very easy. I highly HIGHLY recommend running out and buying their cookbook IMMEDIATELY, especially since I followed their recipe exactly to make the cheese, so I don't feel like infringing on their copyright by posting the recipe here. (psst - it's here, though, so you can try it yourself if you don't get their book right now)