Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blessing Barrells

At our St. Vincent DePaul, they have "Blessing Barrells" out front that they fill with donated items that they decide they don't want to sell. Most of the time it is just junk, but every once in awhile I find some nice items, like a random old drawer.

I think it probably went to an old work bench. I thought it had a great patina, so I strengthened it up and decided to turn it into a unique collage frame. I tried to balance rustic elements with modern ones to give it a freshness and so it doesn't look "country". Not bad for junk.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another day, another chair

I didn't take a before shot, because I didn't think it would translate. It was covered in ugly brown vinyl that I thought might just look like leather in the picture. Ain't she a beauty?
She's a gift for a friend. Can't wait to see it in her house!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thanks sissy-boo!

I can't tell you how much I admire my sister. She's one of the strongest people I ever met (except perhaps when there is a spider around.) You have to be strong to be the spouse of a serviceman, especially when he is deployed and she does it with grace.
One thing I especially admire is her dedication to take care of her family, starting with meals. I always struggle with getting meals on the table, which makes me feel like a failure because I am a SAHM and it seems like this is part of the job. Anyway my sister has told me before it's all about having a plan which she lays out in a helpful post on her blog here.
For Christmas, she gave me a fantastic gift, a binder full of recipes she's already made for her family; complete with a dry erase page where I could work out a meal plan for the week. (Also she handmade me a beautiful apron.) Above is a recipe for Sausage Ratatouille. Mine even looks like the picture!
Super easy and yummy... a medium eggplant diced, two zuchinnis slices, a bell pepper, an onion, three minced garlic cloves, sauted. Add sausage (in this case I used pre-cooked polish kalbiesa because it was on sale, but the original recipe calls for sweet italian sausage) add a can of diced tomatoes and a couple of spoonfuls of tomatoe pasted and some seasoning and presto dinner.
I'm told my nephews even eat this meal, but I wasn't so lucky with Jack...sooooooo picky! I just served it with crusty bread, but it would be good noodles too.I was so inspired I even bake a spice cake, simple box mix and store bought frosting. I just added some nuts to the side to make it a little fancy. With myy first week of meal planning under my belt, I feel ready to puruse my cookbooks and make some more culinary plans.