Category Archives: This could get ugly

My jewelry project!

My sister made herself an earring frame based on an idea she got from me, when I was living in an old apartment. So I’m stealing an idea from myself, via her.

Anyway, she has this frame in her room, with wire mesh in place of a picture, to hang her earrings up. It looks awesome, and she always knows where that one pair of earrings is. So I decided I wanted to make my own.

First step: find a suitable frame. I decided that I wanted a vintage wood frame, preferably painted and looking cool. So I did some poking around antique stores in town, had no luck, and turned to Etsy.

I found this:

It looked a little different online. OK, it looked a lot different online. In fact, I was more than a little bit alarmed at the color that showed up in the mail.

Step two: Figure out what to do about a color I didn’t like. Enter Art Media, and a can of matte spray paint in the color “pine.”

Step three: Spray paint something for the first time in my entire life. And discover that I would be the most hopeless, hapless tagger ever. I couldn’t even figure out that the spray can was being prevented from spraying by a little, plastic washer. Clearly, I am the brains of the operation.

Step four: Spray the bejeesus out of the frame.

Step five: Source wire screen mesh, from Home Depot, thanks to our BFF Sylvia in the door/window department. Sylvia is actually a family friend, who has now sold me and my husband five windows and the front door. She’ll probably sell us a few more things before we’re done. And she helped me score some screen mesh that was perfect on one end and squished on the other, and marked it half off. Seriously–ask if your local hardware store keeps the damaged screen mesh for crafts–you just might score.

Step six: Find out that the staples in your staple gun are longer than the frame is thick. Fortunately, do not find that out by stapling through the frame. Go buy smaller staples.

Step seven: Figure out how to use the staple gun properly, and finally get the mesh stapled into the back of the frame. Realize that your dining room table wasn’t the best place to do this, as some of the paint is now transferred onto the table, and will require elbow grease and a scrubber to remove. Oops.

So here’s what the frame finally ended up looking like:

and here’s what it looks like with my earring collection:

Moral of the story? I need more earrings. Time to go shopping!

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Filed under Blah blah blah, Excitement, Little help?, Looky looky, This could get ugly

More door adventures…

So the door got an additional facelift, thanks to my fabulous husband. He picked out the stain and the trim color all by himself, and it looks amazing, in my opinion. It was a pretty funny process–we had to spend the entire day hanging around the house with no door, since the door was sitting in the carport curing. Awesome.

During the staining process:

More staining:

The doorless house:

And the final product:

So, all’s well that ends well.

Unfortunately, the reinstallation of the door hardware somehow irreparably damaged it, and we can no longer reliably open the door. The key gets caught, the handles don’t always work, and we’ve had to let ourselves into the back door several times. So now we have that problem to solve. Argh. Any suggestions?

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Filed under Construction, Excitement, Little help?, This could get ugly

Kale Chips!

I have bought more than one bunch of kale thinking I would get around to making kale chips. Not so much. This time, however, things were different. I actually did it! They are tasty little buggers, eaten hot off the baking tray. They are a little less exciting the next day, after softening in the olive oil. That said, they make a terrific snack for movie, game or TV show watching, or anything else, really.

The recipe I used is from The Kitchn, of course, and here are the pics:



I know–the before and after baking pictures don’t really look that different. But it was nice and tasty!

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Filed under Cooking, Excitement, This could get ugly, Uncategorized

The mess was worth it.

I absolutely trashed my kitchen last night, but it was totally worth it. My parents came over for my mom’s birthday dinner, and my husband and I pulled out all of the culinary stops. Well, almost all. I did buy the brownies for dessert after realizing that I had completely forgotten about dessert and had time to swing by the store between work and dinner. Oh well.

That said, I made baguettes for the first time with my brand new couche. Here they are baking:
It’s a bit of a blurry picture, but you can see the pan of water underneath the baguettes, which apparently helps the oven maintain the correct humidity. I learned a couple of very important lessons about baguettes, though. One, they don’t take all that long to proof, and two of them jumped the couche, which made me really, really glad that I’d left the couche on a cutting board so that I wasn’t scraping excess dough off my dining table. Two, I should have dusted the couche with more flour or Crisco’d it or something, because even though it is supposedly non-stick, those suckers DID NOT want to come off after baking. Seriously. Three, even mildly mangled baguettes straight out of the oven are pretty darn good.
Homemade baguette, plus Ubriacco and Wensleydale cheeses

Our second adventure was homemade ravioli. I improvised a filling of 1/2 cup goat cheese ricotta, a whole bunch of spinach chopped up in the Mini-Prep, and sliced pancetta that I started cutting into smaller pieces with a chef’s knife and then resorted to cutting with kitchen scissors. Add dashes of fresh rosemary and thyme as well as a solid splash of olive oil, ground black pepper and kosher salt and voila! Ravioli filling.

The pasta itself was interesting, because I was having some trouble with the dough/moisture thing. At one point it was too dry, and shortly thereafter, it was too wet. Argh!






I should had taken a picture of the finished product, in retrospect. That said, they were delicious, and very filling. Awesome bonus–we even had dough leftover for fettucine:

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, This could get ugly

New toys!

In preparation for cooking my mother’s belated birthday dinner on Friday, I stocked up with some new toys tonight. Since the no-knead bread thing has been going so well, I decided to go ahead and try baguettes. Baguettes are a little bit more work, so I wanted to give myself every possible advantage. Hence, I went to Sur la Table and bought a baguette shaping pan. Hopefully, this little gadget will help! I also got a bench scraper, since I inexplicably don’t own one.

While I was there, I decided to go ahead and commit to a ravioli maker. Since my husband is far more sensible than I am, he insisted that I go with the $26 ravioli tray and rolling pin instead of the $130 Kitchenaid attachment that I wanted. You know, to see if I even liked making ravioli. See why I married him?

So watch this space to see if it is an unqualified success, or if I’ll be cleaning my kitchen with a toothbrush for the next month.

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, This could get ugly