Google+ Nine Red: February 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Steaks & Wine

Source: Tasty Kitchen
Hey, whoah, panic - Valentine's Day is this Friday.  What's that? You haven't decked your house in hearts, arrows, and bowl after bowl full of adorable candies? (Kudos to those of you who are on top of it!) Yea - me neither, I'm still wrapping my head around writing 2014 on all my checks (yea, I still write checks sometimes!). No big deal, you're house doesn't have to look like a vignette from Victoria's Secret to enjoy the day.  Personally, this holiday has never meant very much to me, and I can't stand those little pastel heart candies anyway.  Seriously, thinking about them makes me feel sick, and I think their wrapper is even worse.

Anyway... whether I've been single or not on V-day however, it's always been a fantastic reason to eat a really really good dinner. Whether it be with a partner, a group of good friends, or alone  - the only strict rule I've had was to eat & eat well.  So,  all the restaurants are going to be packed, why not make a great meal at home?

Ralph and I have held up a great tradition of eating steaks & drinking red wine on Valentine's day, or some variation of it. (Here's last years post).  Many moons ago, one of our first dates was trying to learn to cook a steak together. Neither of us knew how to do it, so we thought learning something together would be a fun & cheesy date, right?  Well it was really easy, and really delicious, and this year, I want skirt steak!

It's even easier, and I swear even more delicious.  Luckily it's not the most expensive cut, either. Recently we found (and tested) the most perfect skirt steak recipe ever, from the blog Tasty Kitchen.  It's easy, and it's amazing.  As for sides this year? I'm leaning towards shrimp, asparagus, and more red wine.

Any plans for you this year? Any interesting traditions that aren't the norm? Enjoy it either way, even if you aren't into Valentine's Day per se, hey - at least it's a Friday! 


Linkies: FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterSubscribe & of course, Email me.
Grossest Candies EVER! haha....

Post a Comment

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY Air Plant Sphere

I'm so excited to share this project! I had this idea a few weeks ago, and since it was finally raining in California recently, this made the perfect Rainy Day Project.
While finishing up the details of the great Bathroom Project, I had originally planned to make this pot hanger, but overflowing in ferns. Well the ferns mentioned they wanted to live on the mantle, and then I thought a pot might be too big hanging in the corner anyway. I needed something  lighter... literally and figuratively.....air plants! So Pinterest & I brainstormed (see this post) and the embroidery hoops really spoke to my heart.  I tried my idea out, and it worked - so here it is for you.  It's nothing crazy, but it felt good.  This is a very easy & satisfying project, perfect to get your crafty feet wet.  Gather this crap:
 You'll need:

  • 3 wood embroidery hoops - very cheap, I used 10" hoops.
  • Paint & Paint brush (while you're buying paint, grab a few extra colors. They're cheap & really handy)
  • Hot Glue & Glue Gun
  • Reindeer Moss - I got mine at the store, but later found a better deal here on Amazon.
  • Air Plants! I got mine from this Etsy Seller. They came fast!
First up, start painting. Pretty simple. I did mine all white, but I think I might make another one where each hoop is a different color.

Let 'em dry, you don't want your paint wiping off.
Then the fun begins! I started with the solid hoops, which is the inner portion of the embroidery hoop set.  Gently squeeze one inside the other, to make an X:
Yep. It'll be snug, but don't fret - grab the third solid hoop, and either send it inside, or wrap it on the outside of the other two. Don't worry if they move around on ya, there is going to be a lot of that during this project. Just roll with it, you can move them around as you please.
Now take the outer hoops, and loosen them up enough to add each hoop on the outside of your sphere. When you are choosing where to add them, look at the sphere and see where it's too open, and disect that area with a hoop.
Play with your sphere, and gently push around the rings until it's as you like.  You can start to tighten the 3 outer hoops hardware when you are happy with how it looks. Don't over-tighten, just do it enough to keep things from slipping.  Now, it should be pretty snug, and it'll hold itself together. If you feel yours has some loose spots, just use a lil hot glue, and watch your worries melt away....

Let's add moss already!
Sometimes your sphere may look.. lumpy? You can play with it to fix it, or just go with it. I went with it. I think it adds to the organic look of the sphere, handmade & all that, and besides - it'll be gently spinning and know will notice/care.

Back to the moss! Choose which area of your sphere will be the bottom, and start laying the moss in. A dab of hot glue, and a gentle puff of moss, voila. You're so good at this.
Keep layering until you make a nice bed for your air plants. Remember, everything you're working with weighs almost nothing, so the moss bed doesn't have to be the sturdiest thing in the world. Just overlap a few cute pieces until it looks right.
I stopped there. It was hard to stop, the moss is so pretty...  I just wanna put a lil bird in there.
Now add your air plants! Wait-wait, did you soak them? I know - they are unfortunately named air plants, but they DO need water still.  The care card says you can mist them now and then, or you can soak them for an hour a week. I prefer the soak method.

DON'T glue the air plants in. I mean, I guess you could, but why? Just let them rest on the moss, and intertwine with your new sphere/orb/cage thingy.   Also, if they are loose, it will make soaking them a million times easier.
The angle of the photo above makes either the sphere look tiny, or my hand look enormous. I assure you neither are true, the sphere is a pretty good size, and my hands are sort of normal.  I used baker's twine (new favorite stuff! Amazon linky here) to hang the little baby:

What do you think? The hardest part of this project was waiting for them to dry! I was excited to get my craft on.. haha.  I really like how it came out, and I'm so happy there were no major hurtles along the way. I would love to do a grouping of these in many sizes.  Air plants everywhere!!

Ok for your pinning pleasure, the cover shot:

Thanks for reading! If you make some, let me know! Send pictures or post them to my facebook page.

Have fun!


Linkies: FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterSubscribe & of course, Email me.

Post a Comment

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Strings n' Things + DIY kits!

It's been a busy past few months for the string art sector of my life, there have been some new ideas along the way too. Just a quick showcase of the latest gear for your walls, starting with my favorite font on the planet:

I've done quite a few of these sets, but never in these colors, so pretty:

And KITS! Yes! I'm finally doing kits! Now you can get any of my patterns sent to you in a complete kit. I thought of this because I looked at how many people wanted to make these themselves (which I totally get!) - but when you think about it, the amount of supplies you have to buy not only racks up, but your left with a lot of leftover materials. If you live in an apartment (or anywhere short on space) these kits are perfect:

Shop around for them here: DIY String Art Kit

My aunt asked for this one for my cousin, totally new take on old Otis here:
I added a few sakura flowers, couldn't resist:

And just a few more miscellaneous ones:
Shop Link

Shop this style
Anyway, just a little show & tell - might show why I've been kinda M.I.A. lately! What's new in your house?


Linkies: FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterSubscribe & of course, Email me.

Post a Comment

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Downstairs Bathroom Details

We're done. We're done! The downstairs bathroom is done, and I'm just waiting for the right time to take the tour pics. Bear with me, it's hard to get good light down there. We wrapped up the finishing touches, which was all about trimming. This was our first time with crown molding, and WOW - what a learning curve! I thought it would be pretty simple, you know - corners are 45 degrees, duh.  What I didn't expect was the corner moldings shape when you buy it.  It's not a full corner, it's kind of.. empty behind it once you put it up. If that makes sense. And it threw me for a two hour loop of flashbacks to geometry.  We finally got it figured out, in a very primitive way - I had to pretend the base of the saw was the "wall", and the back of the saw was the "ceiling". It was the only way I could conquer all these angles.  For the rest of you, until I master this technique - I won't even try to explain - here is a fantastic tutorial from Sawdust Girl, that I totally should have studied before I started. Ha!

Picture time.
This is a picture of what I was doing wrong. Can you see the problem? Now that we're done, I totally understand what was going on. Before, it was a mystery.

Here's the room without the crown, it's very.. unfinished looking.
We peeled back our rope trim & got to work (should have waited on the rope trim until AFTER all the crown, no biggie)
We tested each piece in it's place to make sure it was a fit, and then used our new nail gun to throw in some brad nails. We used this nail gun because it was affordable, and it totally did the job. Nail guns, are my new favorite tool. Why did I not try these sooner?!

It all went up pretty easy, then we wanted to fill in the tiny gaps.  We used Wood Filler to fill in the nail holes and cracks, but I've heard a lot of people use paintable caulk, especially on uneven walls like ours.

After the wood filler dries you can paint, and then that's it. The crown really adds a finished touch, and since it was getting dark ALL my photos are night shots. That's winter for you... dark! Oh well - stay tuned for cute daytime shots soon. Sowwy.

Did a little hot glue action for the rope trim, like we did in the Entryway Command Center post.

One last little detail was bothering me, the inside trim on this light fixture:
 This rope I found at Beverly's was the perfect touch, and easy to add while the glue gun was out.

Ok done.  With the final details taken care of, we can wrap up this bathroom. That took way longer than originally planned, but I absolutely love how it came out, and that's the most important part.  So if you're struggling with a project that was supposed to be short, just keep on truckin'. It's worth it.


Leftover things to do in the bathroom:

Linkies: FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitterSubscribe & of course, Email me.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...