Tag Archives: Intimidating

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

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

Adventures in no-knead bread

I mentioned before that I started attempting no-knead bread, and I’m now a few successful loaves in.  I’m also two unsuccessful loaves in, but that was mostly because I didn’t make the bread in time and overaged the dough.  I used Jim Lahey’s recipe, adapted for NYTimes by Mark Bittman.

Here’s what the dough looks like:

I also made in the shape of a sandwich loaf thanks to this hack from The Kitchn. So it looks like this:

And then finally turns into this:

All in all, it’s going pretty well–the bread’s a really nice, chewy consistency that I can use for sandwiches or with just some butter for a snack. I think the next plan is baguettes!

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Filed under Baking, I resolve to...

The shag carpet removal project

About six months ago, I finally decided to remove all of the nasty, ’70s shag carpeting from the stairs going to our relatively unused upstairs.  So it wasn’t the most pressing project, but picturing the nastiness that was living in those polyester strands was starting to keep me up at night.

For example, I am certain that there was lots of dog hair in it from dogs I have never met.  Ew.

Either way, it was me or the carpet, so I collected my husband’s tools, changed into work clothes and set to work.  Only to discover that the project was going to be much harder than I anticipated.

Here’s the before pictures–great swaths of yellow shag horror.  Well, mostly yellow anyway.

So I set about ripping out the carpet.  Which kind of sounds fun.  It was…for about 30 seconds.

Until I discovered that every single stair was individually carpeted.  With approximately 70 staples holding the carpet in place.

Seriously?  Who does that?

So instead of getting a single, satisfying, stair-clearing riiiiiip!, I got to spend 2.5 weekends painstakingly removing carpet remnants from each step.  Was it worth it?

Oh hell yes.

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Filed under Deconstruction, Excitement

Baking and other adventures

I’m taking a stab at my first homemade loaf of “real” bread, as my husband noted. In his defense, I can pretty much make banana bread in my sleep these days, so “real” bread is a little different and a little harder. I’m not used to working with yeast, so this will be a bit of an adventure for me. I’m taking pictures, so those will get posted as soon as I can get them off my camera.

Wish me luck! I guess busting out the Kitchenaid was inspirational after all!

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Filed under Baking, Cooking