Friday, August 31, 2012

The Inspiration Board: link party spotlight ~65

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful projects on the Inspiration Board this week. All the home and furniture renovations are inspiring me because I just found my first furniture roadside rescue. For you experienced dumpster divers, roadside rescuers and furniture upcyclers – do the furniture rescues always come with come with spider webs and creepy crawlers? It’s a little daunting!  But still, I can’t wait to start working on it – I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I also loved looking at all the food, crafts and other projects. So many things to add to my list. Thank you all for inspiring me. I hope those of you who stopped by were equally inspired. Here are a few projects in the spotlight this week.

Damask Vinyl Box[6]
A cheese box transformed into a beautiful gift box by The Answer is Chocolate. Pretty paper and a dainty flower is the finishing touch for some lucky recipient of this box.

I don’t recall seeing a grandfather clock linked up before and I love this mint green makeover by Crystelle Boutique. Such a fresh look for a timeless piece.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Blueberry Pancakes by Sweet Boutique. A great way to incorporate a bit of nutrition into breakfast – 100% whole wheat flour and a big serving of nutrient rich blueberries. Nom. Nom. Nom.

porthole mirror 5
Homeroad takes nautical to new heights with a diy porthole mirror. As luck would have it, she had the perfect “old, chippy, round nautical thingy” {her words} and a round mirror that fit perfectly. It was meant to be!

Solar system 2
Creative Kids Snacks used healthy snacks to teach her daughter the solar system. Once the lesson was over, the snacks were all eaten up. Yay!  And, yes, Pluto is on the plate to show that it was once a planet. Poor Pluto!

Beautiful fruit printing with real fruit and water colors by Grow Creative. There are so many fun projects you could make using this technique and kids would get a kick out of using fruit as stampers. Fun!
Ooooh – I love hummus. Feeding my Temple shares a recipe for Roasted Jalapeno Hummus that I can’t wait to try.

Inspiration through photography by Live Laugh Rowe. Beautiful pictures of Newfoundland – gorgeous ocean shots, boats, rocks and more. I love “visiting” new places even if I’m not actually there.

fern dresser-001
A beautiful roadside rescue makeover {see my opening paragraph} by Art is Beauty. I love the stained top, Ce Ce Caldwell paint color and the fern details. The best part – the dresser is being donated to an auction to benefit a nature conservancy. Love!

photo (332)
Are you starting to think about Halloween. Eeeek – summer certainly flew by. Creek Line House made a sweet haunted house pillow to add a touch of Halloween to her décor.

We all better get moving on our Halloween projects – it will be here before we know it.

This week on the Inspiration Pinboard

Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.
Features 65 Collage Final
1. Baby Shadow Box – Smart Schoohouse    2. Covered Closet Dowels – Design Stash  3. Old Fashioned Cupcake Sign – Just a Little Creativity   4. Ruffled Onesie – Etcetorize   5. Tiny Tooth Fairy Notes – Rook No. 17

If you were in the spotlight, please feel free to grab a button.

Thank you again to everyone who linked a project and to everyone who came to visit. I loved looking at all the projects and visiting your sites.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Taste: tomato harvest pizza

I have a delicious recipe to share with you today. I’ve recently discovered how easy it is to make homemade pizza. And with a few shortcuts it’s a quick and easy meal after a busy day.

With the weather cooling down but summer homegrown veggies still plentiful, now is the perfect time to turn up that oven and make a fresh, yummy pizza. And as luck would have it, the super nice people at Carapelli Olive Oil sent me some Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to try out on one of their summer recipes.

I chose their Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Prosciutto and Provolone Cheese recipe but modified the ingredients to use items I had on hand.

Blog Olive Oil Pizza Collage

Here’s the original recipe:

Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Prosciutto and Provolone Cheese

1 (1 pound) frozen pizza dough, thawed or fresh pizza dough*
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded Provolone or mozzarella cheese
6 thin slices (2 ounces) prosciutto, torn into pieces
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, preferably a mix of colorful heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup packed baby arugula 

Cooking directions:
Heat oven to 400oF. Roll dough out on a floured surface to a 10- to 12-inch circle. Sprinkle cornmeal over center of a large baking sheet or in a 12-inch pizza pan; transfer dough to baking sheet. Brush 1-1/2 tablespoons of the oil evenly over dough. Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough to 1/2 inch from edge. Top with cheese and prosciutto. Slice tomatoes thinly; shake each slice to discard excess seeds and juices. Arrange in a single layer over cheese. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. 

Meanwhile, place arugula in a small bowl. Drizzle remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil over arugula; toss to coat. Sprinkle over pizza just before serving. Serves 6. 

*Pizza dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110o to 120o F)
Pinch of sugar
2-1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in work bowl of food processor, combine 2-1/2 cups of the flour, salt and olive oil. Process until combined. With motor running, gradually pour in yeast mixture through feed tube. Process until dough is elastic and pulls away from the work bowl. If necessary, add additional flour until mixture easily pulls away from work bowl. Place dough in a medium bowl lightly brushed with additional olive oil. Brush top of dough lightly with oil; cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down and divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes before rolling dough out or freezing up to 3 months. Makes enough dough for two 10-inch pizza crusts.
Preparation time: 20 minutes 

Rising and resting time: 55 minutes 

Here’s my version. I used frozen pizza dough that I let defrost and rise in the refrigerator overnight. I substituted ham for the prosciutto and bell pepper for the baby arugula. Use whatever you have – that’s the best part about pizza! For even more fun, make several individual pizzas and let everyone add their own toppings.

Then get out the napkins and enjoy!

Thanks for visiting.
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I was provided with samples of Carapelli Olive Oil but received no monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fresh Look: my kitchen chicken {crackle paint technique}

Have you ever used a crackle paint technique? It’s something that’s been on my list for awhile and I found the perfect test subject in my kitchen.

Nestled on my spice shelf was this cute speckled chicken. I’ve had it for years and although I don’t have  country kitchen décor, she’s been happily sitting there looking very country for the longest time. Funny how things just start to blend in. Time for a fresh look…

Crackle Paint Examples FinalPhoto Sources:  1. Cameron Homemade   2. Frivoli Tea   3.  Wild Roses & Blackberries   4.  EHow
You can buy crackle paint medium or you can diy with Elmer’s Glue. Here’s the Elmer’s glue tutorial from their site. It couldn’t be easier.

How do I use Elmer's to create the painted crackle effect or antique look on furniture or crafts?
  1. Paint the object or furniture with an acrylic craft paint. Let dry.
  2. Cover the paint with a coat of Elmer's Glue-All glue.
  3. While still wet, paint on another coat of a different color of acrylic paint. The painted item will begin to crackle as it dries.
  4. When dry, cover with another coat of the Elmer's Glue-All as a sealer.

Blog White Chicken
I followed the instructions but my chicken didn’t crackle very much with one side having more cracks than the other. I had read that a thicker application of glue will result in large cracks and a thinner application will result in small cracks. In my attempt to get a lot of small crackles, I don’t think I applied enough glue.

It’s okay – she was test subject and I’ll practice the crackle technique on another piece using more glue next time.

In the meantime, she’s back up with my spices looking less country and partially crackled. 

Thanks for visiting.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Inspiration Board: link party [65]

Hello friends and happy Friday! I’m so happy you’re joining me for the Inspiration Board link party. Whether you’re linking up a project or visiting for inspiration I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by. I know how busy life gets and I truly appreciate each and every visit, comment and link.

I was looking through some of my fall projects and I found these pictures of my trusty assistant in my archives. Are you working on autumn décor? Or are you trying to hold on to the last days of summer? I’m somewhere in the middle. Whatever you've been creating, I can't wait to see it. I’ll be going through the projects and featuring some on Friday.

A few rules:
  • Link up your own project - something you created, made, did, etc.
  • Grab a “homework” button and include it somewhere on your blog.
  • Follow homework.  You’ll find the “Follow via Google Friend Connect” gadget on the right sidebar.
  • Please visit the other links that intrigue you and make someone smile with a comment or two.
If you have a giveaway, I have a separate giveaway link party -  see the Giveaway Link Party tab at the top of the page.

I’m ready to be inspired - don’t forget to add my button somewhere on your blog. Spreading the word helps bring more visitors to your linked project.

Want to host your own link party? Click here to sign up for InLinkz

Thanks for visiting.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Fresh Look: twine vase

Fall ideas are starting to pop up here and there and although in my mind it’s still “flip flop” season, I’m trying to think ahead for fall décor. One idea I had was to make a textured vase with twine and paint.

I made two vases but decided to leave one of them unpainted.

Twine Vase CollageI’ve seen a lot of projects where the twine is wrapped horizontally around and around the object but I decided to place my twine vertically. I cut several strips of twine and using Mod Podge, glued them on one by one.

Once the glue was dry, I trimmed the twine at top edge. 

This vase is the unpainted version. I liked the natural look of the twine.

This vase is spray painted giving it a completely different look.

I like both versions – what do you think? Painted or unpainted?

Thanks for visiting.
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