Friday, September 23, 2016

DIY Barn Door

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I have been in my house for about 13 years and I've always wished I had a door to the laundry room in the basement.  I have a TV downstairs and my sewing area, so it was noisy when the washer was running and I wanted to use the family room. The door to the laundry was framed out without a door--and a traditional swinging door would take up precious space in the narrow room (or make it really hard to move the washer out should I ever need to replace it).  

I decided to give the barn door trend a go.  I went to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore and picked up a hollow core sliding closet door and painted it with chalkboard paint (with white trim).  It was a steal since the door was only $5 and I had the paint left over from other projects. I had to build my own track because my ceiling is only 7 feet and all the hardware I could find needed a bit more headroom than I had. 

Next, I added a wooden header across the whole opening and screwed it into the studs (which are not 16" on center...darn old houses).  Then I undid my work because I realized that the trim around the door stood out further than my bracket.  I put in spacers and hung the wood back up. 
 



My friend made me some J track with holes for screws, which I screwed into the wood header.  
To hang the door, I used closet door hardware as well as a couple of casters on the bottom of the door.  The hanging closet hardware keeps the door on the track; the casters hold all the door's weight. It rolls across the carpet fairly easily--if I were doing it again, I'd probably use larger casters. 

 













Monday, September 19, 2016

Fresh Peach Pie

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Peach season has been abundant around here.  I have some very awesome neighbors who shared their bounty with me.  One neighbor invited me to pick peaches with her, another left a bag of peaches on the front porch and yet another sets a box out at the end of the driveway for anyone who needs a few.  I've made topping for waffles, I froze peach pie filling, I made fruit leather, I froze some for smoothies--but I also made a fresh peach pie.  Oh, this is a treat for sure!




Makes a 10" pie
7 C. sliced fresh peaches, divided (probably about 10 big peaches)
1 C. sugar
5 T. cornstarch (I might use 6 T next time)
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. butter
1 10" baked pie crust


When you make fresh peach pie you mix the raw peaches with a glaze.  I don't care for the pre-made peach sauce that you buy in plastic tubs in the produce section.  I thought I liked the box of powdered peach pie filling mix--until I made my own.  Yeah, you have to ditch the box. It won't take much extra time.

First, bake a pie crust and let it cool on the counter. You can do it any way you like, buy a frozen one, refrigerated dough or make your own.  Next, peel your peaches (I use the quick blanching method to get the skins to slip off rather than try to do it with a paring knife) and get them sliced up and in a big bowl.



You will need to put the juice that has accumulated at the bottom of your bowl as well as 1 cup of the peaches into a blender.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups of puree (add water if needed, or wait a few minutes and get a bit more juice from the peaches still in the bowl).  Add the sugar and  cornstarch and blend til smooth. 




Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat on medium until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice.  Pour the hot mixture over your sliced peaches.  Gently mix with a spatula then pour into the crust.

Put the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours and serve with whipped cream. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Faux Canvas Wall Art

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As part of my living room redecorating I put up a new shelf, and then I had to figure out what would go on the shelf and on the rest of the wall.  I spent lots of time surfing Pinterest for wall art ideas, for quotes etc...  I finally decided that I needed a piece that was about 2 feet across and about 30 inches long (I could have probably done closer to 3 feet...maybe next time).  When I looked at stores for art, I didn't find what I wanted.  I considered buying a canvas at the craft store and using paint and my vinyl cutter.  But I thought maybe I could do a faux canvas instead--and for less! 


I have been wanting to try out the Engineering prints from Staples since I read about a blogger who did a large print of the Death Star for her boys' room.  The engineering prints are inexpensive, but they are in black and white and lower resolution.  For the one I did, it cost about $3.50 (I uploaded the .jpg and an hour later got a call from Staples that it was ready for pick up).

Next, I had to figure out how to make the photocopy look like it was canvas.  I like the wrapped canvas look, so I decided I needed something that was about 1 inch thick. I thought about foam core board or cardboard, but I'd have to put layers together.  I considered plywood or particle board (and if I had had a scrap big enough in my shed I might had gone that route).  Then I landed on rigid foam insulation--cheap, easy to haul home and cut! I didn't want a big sheet of it, but luckily, Home Depot sells it in small 2x2 and 2x4 panels.  I chose the 1" thick and it was about $3.50.

So, I brought home my print and my foam.  I used a straightedge to trim the foam and sprayed the surface with adhesive.  I centered the print over the foam and carefully smoothed it down.  I cut the corners of the paper at an angle and flipped the whole thing over and sprayed a bit more adhesive on the foam edges and the paper.  I slowly and carefully wrapped the paper around the edge and the back.  It looked a lot like a wrapped package.









 To get the illusion of canvas, I used a big paintbrush (the super cheap bristle brush from the Dollar Store) and dry brushed a bit of Modge Podge in long sweeping strokes both vertically and horizontally.  Don't use much of the glue--dab it on the brush, tap most of it off on a rag or paper towel and then lightly brush (if you get heavy handed with the liquid glue, the thin paper will wrinkle up). 

Since the foam is so light, I used a loop of twine and some duct tape to make the hanger (tie a knot in the end so the twine doesn't slide out of the tape). 






For my quote, I went with Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.  We had sung it at choir a couple months ago and it has just stuck with me.  

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Industrial Wood Shelf

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I've been slowly redecorating my living room.  It started with a really big couch.  I fell in love with a really expensive sofa at Restoration Hardware, but I'm not ever going to pay seven thousand for furniture.  I looked around and found a local furniture store that had one that was still a dark leather, and still 44 inches deep and 8 feet long (yeah, its about the size of a twin size bed--and yup, I love Sunday naps on it), made in America AND less than 1/4 the price of the RH one.  With a big new couch I thought I needed new artwork over the back of it.  

This shelf was really easy--and not terribly expensive.  I hit the cull bin at the back of Home Depot and found a 10 foot board that is 6 inches deep and 1 3/4 thick.  The end of the board was damaged, so I got the whole thing for $8.  I cut it into a 5 foot length. 
Next was plenty of sanding and then some dark stain and a coat of poly.  Total time in making the shelf:  about an hour.  I let it dry for a couple days outside so that it wouldn't smell too much when I installed it.  
 
The shelf is set on 2 brackets made out of plumbing fittings.  I debated 1/2" vs 3/4" pipe fittings--and decided that the 1/2" looked just right (3/4 seemed a bit too fat).  You need the floor flange, a 6" straight piece and a pipe cap.  The flange was the most expensive at around $6 each.  

I was lucky that I had a stud to hang one end of the shelf in, but the other bracket wasn't on a stud, so I used the drywall anchors.  

Easy.  Total cost for the shelf was less than $20.  FYI, I don't have any little people that could potentially pull or knock the shelf off the wall.  If you do, you may want to add some L-brackets at the back of the shelf and screw it to the wall, just in case.  






Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Patio Chair Re-do

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I was visiting my parent's home in Idaho and went out for a Saturday morning run and the neighbors were having a yard sale.  I've been wanting to change my plastic patio chairs to something more interesting, and these metal bistro chairs caught my eye.  They only wanted $2 a piece, so I bought 4 of them and hauled them home (well, I brought two home with me and my mom was nice enough to bring the other two the next time she came to Utah in her RAV 4). 
I have recovered chairs before, so I know that taking off the current cover and using it as a pattern is the way to go.  I had to laugh when I took off the brown vinyl--it was covering...brown vinyl.  Although one of the chair still had the original vinyl underneath both brown layers; a mustard/floral (which was kinda cute in a retro way, but only one of the chairs still had it). 
I got lucky at JoAnn on the fabric.  The Red Tag fabrics were an extra 50% off and I used a 20% off your entire purchase coupon.  I bought 2 yards of outdoor canvas fabric for only $5.80 

I pulled off all the old vinyl, cut out the new circles and stapled it on to the cushions.  I find that kneeling on the cushion helps you pull the fabric super tight while you staple.  I staple one side, then do the opposite side (basically I divide the circle into 8 sides).  
Next was painting the chairs.  I ordered the paint from Amazon (hello Prime, all the colors, delivered right to my door).  Only $3.68 a can for this fun Aqua color--I bought 2 cans.  I did get 2 chairs done with one can of paint, but I skimped on areas underneath that no one would see.  I probably should have had 1 more can of paint.  


Now I've got some bright patio chairs and I love them.  I also love that my total investment was only about $6 per chair.












Thursday, July 21, 2016

Coconut Chia Pudding

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I've been wanting to try the chia pudding trend--the images on Pinterest all look so tasty, but I was worried that looks would be deceiving and I'd be sad to waste good ingredients.  As luck would have it, I was waiting for a flight and the cafe near my gate was a place called Naked Food with all kinds of whole food choices, including a chia pudding with mangoes. It was a worthy purchase--it was so tasty!  So I headed home to replicate it at home with great success.

This stuff is super simple, and while I've only tried it with the coconut milk, other recipes around the internet use all kinds of milks.



2 C. coconut milk (I used canned full fat Thai coconut milk, not the box kind)
1/2 C. chia seed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 packet of stevia

Whisk it all together and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  The seeds swell and gel the liquid, but mine stayed a bit crunchy.  Top with fruit and enjoy.  I divided it into 6 servings. I hear that if you have a super blender, you can puree the mix before refrigerating and you'll end up with a smooth pudding.  Maybe I'll try that (and maybe I'll try the box coconut milk and some chocolate).


Sunday, June 12, 2016

It will come-Inspirational printable

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I like a good inspirational quote to hang up where I'm sure to see it around my house.  The bathroom mirror, the door out to the garage, the mantle in the living room.  This quote is from runner Meb Keflezighi, the guy who won the Boston Marathon in 2014 (the first American male to do so in about 30 years, and at age 39 one of the oldest).  No doubt, its a good quote for marathon running inspiration--but I think it works for the day-to-day stuff too.

The link should take you directly to a downloadable file. I generally print mine up to fit an 8x10 frame.

Maybe Tomorrow Quote