Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Temptation Island..

So as I mentioned in the last post I needed one more plate to complete my plate gallery. Today I went on a plate finding mission. Easy right? So I thought, but I was WRONG! So wrong...don't get me wrong, I did find a plate. Two in fact. (wow, that was three "wrongs", now four in a row)

But what went wrong was that I was extremely tempted by everything else in the store. I really mean everything...

I went to the Salvation Army on North Main Street in Salinas. Boy was that a mistake. You see I seem to be addicted to...CHAIRS...beautiful, neglected, recently donated..CHAIRS!

Like this one...

I wanted this chair SO BAD!! I sat in it. I wiggled its loose little arm, caressed its smooth shapely legs, walked behind it, walked around it...and in the end..I walked away from it..so sad...You see the problem is that I already had yesterday's chair in my back seat

Now, granted this chair doesn't have as much character as today's, but I can already see how it will bloom into the perfect chair for my new craft room. So I HAD to leave today's chair behind. I loved it & saw the potential, but it just didn't "fit" with the style of my home & I'm just not ready to start selling things yet.(I'm hoping to get there soon, though)


That wasn't all though..

Here are some other things that I wanted to toss in my car tempted me..

Of course..another chair

It was missing its cushion, but that wouldn't stop SUPER BLOGGER! should be an easy fix (for someone that knows how to make cushions of course (so NOT me...lol)

There were so many great items at Salvation Army today which is a bit surprising actually because usually I have trouble finding one thing..anyway keep looking they had more...

I really wanted this table too, but as some of you know, I just can't redecorate the way I want right now, so major purchases have to wait..I think this would have been awesome in black though..can you see it?

Another cute little thing was this magazine rack...a little bright yellow spray paint would spruce it right up..

and this little $4 sewing box was too cute

Makes me wish I knew how to sew, then I could say I needed to buy it for all my sewing stuff..see I don't even know what "sewing Stuff" would include..hopeless, I tell ya!

Now these were just so interesting..I think they were even worn, apparently by a VERY tall, BIG footed man..or woman..poor thing

That's right..WOODEN CLOGS...in Salinas..hmm..who knew??

Well, like I said I didn't leave empty handed. I did buy two little plates for my gallery (which you'll see later) and a wooden utensil holder that you will also see later...

So that's it. After I left I was still thinking about that first chair...I sat in my car for a bit & then I went to put gas & was still thinking about it...actually putting gas is probably another good reason for not buying that chair...that chair was only $10 but gas was..

and I wasn't even on empty ( I consider "empty" to be when my little gas pump light shows up on my dash)  anyway gas prices are a national problem, so I'll get off that and jump into a personal problem...

I must admit..I was completely torn while I was at the store..and I really did need help. I sent details of my plight out on Twitter, but sadly none of my followers were interested in responding. (@greengableart) did respond later, but I had already left the store sans chair.

What I think I need are some blogger followers.

I need people that are going to understand the urgency that is felt when you just aren't sure what to do in a thrift store. So if you think you want to take on my "issues" (kidding of course) feel free to follow me on Twitter @agirlandherhome. I need you, my people! My blogging sistas!

Stay tuned for that plate gallery..its coming soon..thanks for reading & I hope to see you on Twitter...

Monday, May 2, 2011

This, That, & the Other...

Hi everyone..well, Its been a while since I've had something to blog about. I've been a bit behind for two reasons, the first is, I bought the wrong color spray paint & well, the main reason is, I've been enoying this wonderfully warm weather. Its been a long time coming. I know I shouldn't complain, I live in California, after all, but I thought the rain would never end. I'm glad we're in for sunny weather from now on. Sorry to those of you that are still dealing with wet roads, and soggy grass!

So this is what I've been up to..nothing major, but I am working on stuff little by little...

First off, the husband and I finally got around to installing the outdoor lights on the back door.

This is the before

This is my husband installing the first light so that I would know what to do for the next light

This is the one I installed (all by myself) ok, so I know that this picture doesn't really prove that I did it myself, but I really did. :o)

So pretty, and best of all, I no longer trip over the sand mound (another story for another day) when I take out the trash..BONUS! lol!

Also I've been collecting plates to creat a plate gallery in the dining area of the kitchen. Here's what I have so far...

I'll be spray painting them with Krylon's Dove White (I think)..as soon as I find that last missing piece (for the top right corner) I'll be spraying them &  hanging them up..oh, and I also need to remember to order the disc hangers. Does anyone know if they work well on textured walls? Hope so!

I also hit a few garage sales this weekend, but didn't find anything so exciting. Bummer, but TODAY, Monday of all days was a good "hunting" day. I was having a kind of "sad" day today, no real reason for it, but since I needed some alone time, I hit a Goodwill store that I hardly ever get to go to because its a bit out of my way. I was strolling along and I found this...

$10 bucks! Can you believe it?? Sad day over..I was excited! Time to get creative! Now, I can either make it match my other chair or I can get some new funky fabric..that would mean painting the frame..ah, decisions, decisions!

We'll see what happens!

Did you find a treasure this weekend or when you least expected it? Let me know in the comments. I read them all (though I haven't figured out how to reply to them..sorry)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Left Over Easter BBQ Chicken Tacos

Hi all!! I hope you all enjoyed your Easter. I certainly did. It was filled with lots of family and loads of food. We had barbequed steak, chicken, oysters, shrimp, & salads of all kinds. Sounds like a good mix right? Well, it was. Super delicious, but there was no way we were going to finish it all.

We had some left over chicken so today I made chicken tacos. Its the easiest recipe.

All you need is the following:

left over chicken (I used 2 pieces; leg & thigh)
3 small roma tomoatoes or whatever kind you've got (for mixture & topping)
1 jalapeno
yellow onion
a few springs of cilantro
corn tortillas
canola, vegetable, or corn oil
lettuce (for topping)
queso fresco (or jack cheese if you prefer)
salsa verde (preferably homemade)

First I shredded the left over chicken & fried it in a tiny bit of oil. When the chicken is fully coated with oil, add chopped tomato, jalapeno, & onion. When onion is translucent, add cilantro. Stir it all and let everything heat through. Turn off flame & cover to keep warm.

Should look like this, but any variation works..

Doesn't that look so yummy??...the cilantro really makes the meal here...yum!

Next I put a bit of oil in another pan & at the same time warmed a corn tortilla on the griddle. Warming the tortillas serves two purposes. First it helps to keep the tortilla from cracking in two pieces when you  fold it over & second, since its already warmed, you end up using less oil to fry them. This recipe is not very healthy, I'll admit, but it is really, really yummy! Sometimes (not often) you have to just not think about the calories. I know, bad, bad..shoot me!...you'll agree with me after you taste these tacos, I promise...

Ok, after the tortilla is warm, you fill it with the chicken mixture...

and fold it over. Add it to the pan & then do another...

Let them brown and then flip them over to the other side...

When they are browned on both sides remove them from the pan and place them in a bowl that has high sides. This is so that you can stand them up and any remaining oil can then drain out.

Note that I placed a napkin in the bowl to catch the oil. This is important or else the tacos will just be standing in oil..umm..not good.

Once they are all crispy, you can add shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, and crumbled queso fresco

That is the way I like my tacos, but you can also add guacamole (mashed up avocado) or any other kind of veggie you prefer..

Also you're probably thinking... "She said to use homemade salsa, but I don't have homemade salsa verde" Well you will have it if you follow these easy steps...

There are two ways to make salsa verde & both are extremely easy...

Way #1

roast 1 tomato on the griddle(medium flame); wrap it in a piece of foil, kind of like an envelope so the juice stays inside
roast 2 jalapenos (also wrapped in a foil packet)

flip the foil packets every so often so that they roast evenly.

after the tomato & jalapenos feel soft remove from heat & plop them in a blender.
add a bit of water & blend away (for how long depends on how chunky you want your salsa)

Pour it into a bowl & add salt to taste

that's it, you're done..easy right?

ok..Way #2 (also known as the cheater method)

Fill a small pot with water & add 1 tomato & 2 jalapenos. boil. When tomato & jalapenos are soft, plop them in a blender with some of the water from the pot. Pour into a bowl & add salt to taste..

Now why am I thinking that most of you will opt for way #2 over way #1?? hmm..well, if you find yourselves with a bit more time & a bit more bravery or just plain less laziness, try way #1..roasting them adds a bit more flavor. Also the ratio of tomato per jalapeno will dictate the heat of your salsa. If you want it spicier add more jalapenos..just that easy.

Ok, peeps..start a cookin'! oh, and let me kow what you think of this recipe after you try it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Upholstery is Not for Weenies!

I wanted to name this post ...

"I Did It! I Did It! Woot Woot!! I Really Freakin' Did It!! That's Right! Yup Yup, I Did It!!"...but it seemed a bit long..

Now what is it that I did??

Well, do you remember this chair??

Isn't she lovely in her horrible retro-ness?? No?? Yeah, I didn't think that fabric was wonderful either, but I loved the shape & it is just the comfiest reading chair.

I was given this chair years ago by my mom's co-worker. It belonged to her mother, who I'm told, lived an amazingly adventurous life before passing at a ripe old age.

I had always planned to have it professionally upholstered in a "happy" fabric, but just never got around to it. I'm a bit of a procrastinator (just thought you needed to know that..full disclosure & all)

So anyway..the other day..OK, more like weeks & weeks ago, I decided I'd do it myself even though I had NEVER done anything like it before & had absolutely NO CLUE where to start. Mere details..I immediately set about taking it apart.

I did know enough to pay attention to where & how things had been originally attached to the frame & also to not throw those pieces of fabric away.

After I took it apart..it sat for days, weeks..like three weeks...

It was very patient..just waiting for me to get on it...but I was scared...like really scared..I didn't know what to do...I avoided it..literally walked around it while I completed other projects or just watched TV instead...

After a while my husband started asking.."um, so what's up with this chair?" & then "hey, are you ever gonna get to that chair?" and every time I would say "oh, yeah..I'm just looking for the perfect fabric..its not easy you know?!" Yes, I was a bit defensive, but I didn't want him to know I was freaked out because then he'd say.."throw it out"...he doesn't like useless junk hanging around...poor guy..I LOVE useless junk..lol...

So to make it look like I was actually moving forward on the project I went to Joann's and secretly hoped I wouldn't find great fabric, but I did..

This is an outdoor fabric, but of course I didn't notice that until I got home & quite frankly since I had no clue if that was OK or wrong, I went with it anyway...my chair, right?

So now I had fabric, you would think that would mean I jumped right on it, right?..No..it sat in the bag for another week...I'm such a scaredy-cat! Its really annoying how chicken butt I am sometimes..

In fact I was getting quite disgusted with myself over it..I knew I had to start so last Saturday I put my big girl chonies on & I cut my first piece of fabric...and then my second...

I just laid my old fabric atop the new fabric..closed one eye, said a prayer & CUT! After that..I have to say it wasn't that hard...I actually got a little scissor happy there for a minute...I sighed a HUGE sigh of relief & started stapling...first the backrest & then the arms...

Not sure if you can see this, but the curve of the arms gave me a bit of trouble...the fabric just would not lay flat..can you see the wrinkle in the arm in the above picture?? Well, it didn't go away..in fact the other arm was going to get a wrinkle of its own..No matter how hard I pulled or in which direction..it just wouldn't lay flat..Then I noticed that the original arm pieces were actually split in two sections that were glued together..I just left the wrinkles in..more character..or so I keep telling myself..

That was actually the hardest part..the rest was easy peasy! After covering the arms as best as I could, I covered the center of the frame area. Before covering it with fabric though I added some batting (I forgot to mention that I also put two layers of batting on the backrest as well)

Again..it wasn't perfect, but it was on..major triumph here so far...

Next section to put on was the seat cushion area. This really stumped me because I knew that I was not going to be able to sew a separate cushion for the seat. My solution was to forgo the separate seat all together..I just added more batting to the bottom & covered the whole thing in fabric.

I used the original stuffing that had been in the separate cushion (forgot to take a picture of it, sorry)
Before stapling it down I added some batting on the front end of the chair so it would even out

After that I covered the sides of the chair with more batting and then fabric

I did this to both sides and used the original nail strip to finish the front ends..exposed staples would just look yucky

I couldn't find the finished end picture when I was posting, but what I did was wrap the nail strip with the fabric and folded it over so that it stayed even with the edge

Next I covered the back & final part of the chair

I added batting & covered it with fabric

Again I could not find the pictures of this step..maybe I was too tired to take them or I just thought I had taken them..it was pretty late at night

Anyway this is what the final product looks like...

I love it..even with its imperfections..and I'm happy to say..I'm not a weenie or a chicken butt or even a scardycat any more...in fact...I'm already itching to reupholster something else...

So what do you think?? Let me know in the comments..I read them all!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Great Idea I No Longer Love

Remember that lamp I told you I bought at the Habitat for Humanity Store??

I was SO excited when I bought it... so excited that I immediately went out to Joann's and bought this fabric so I could make a new shade (the original shade was stained & so not my style)

I did the happiest of happy dances when I found this fabric..the day was going just my way..I had found a cool retro lamp & now the perfect fabric for it..plus, hello I had coupons! SCORE!!

Well, yesterday I finally got down to putting it all together...

First I measured out some white tagboard so I could make a new shade

I had to use two pieces of tag board because I wanted to keep the lamp as long as the original.

Then I cut it to fit and folded it into shape. I held it together with little pieces of masking tape until I got it just right.

Here it is next to the original

I used masking tape to keep the edges together with the interior wire. (oh, yeah, forgot to mention that I took the wire off the original shade) and maybe I should also mention that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started this project..really, no idea!

So next I split the original shade and flattened it out on top of my fabric

Remote weights optional :o)

Once you have your old shade stretched out, trace it lightly with a pencil (on the back of your fabric of course)

After tracing my fabric, I cut it leaving an inch around my traced pattern.

So that's the scary part (for me anyway..I'm always afraid I'm going to screw up the measurements & ruin my fabric..I'm a worry-wart)

So anyway then you spray glue your shade and wrap your fabric around it

After that warm up your glue gun..its hot glue time!!

I folded my edges in and glued them down

And I think that's pretty much it...It looks good..

Really good actually...but I don't love it... Am I crazy?? I like it a lot...but I just know that I jumped the gun with this project...I should have thought about where this lamp was going to go in the house..did I mention that it matches absolutely nothing in my house?...nothing...there is a possible solution however...
Remember I mentioned that I was going to turn our small guest room into a craft room?? Well I guess I could build my craft room around this lamp...but truth be told, it feels forced...

I really do like the lamp...*sigh*

maybe I should have used something like this instead...

or this

I know..it doesn't match the orange base..well, that's because I should have spray painted the base white..duh, Bernadette!!

look how lovely this fabric would have been...

Hello birdie!

or this...

I could build a room around this, right??

So lesson learned..My advice to you ladies, gents, or whoever is reading this, is..let it marinade..just like beef..let it sit there & soak up the possibilities...I for one will never jump the gun again...

I do like the lamp..I just don't love it...

so maybe I'll change it..what do you think?? Let me know in the comments...I read them all!

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