Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tuesday Etsy Roundup-Marbled Home Accessories

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a minute.  We’ve had tons of stuff going on for the last couple of weeks and I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance this work-family-blogging-exercise-clean the house thing.  I’m sure you get it.  Anyway, I’m going to try to write more often, even if it means that no one has clean socks.  I really love blogging, and ya need to make time for things you love, am I right?

So, on to the post.  I sweat some Etsy you guys.  If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a “global marketplace” of artists, craftspeople and collectors who set up virtual stores and sell their wares on the good ‘ole Internet.  I mentioned here, how much I love Etsy for vintage, home decor shopping.  I thought it would be fun to declare Tuesday, “Etsy Roundup” day.  Every week I’ll pick a theme, shop for home accessories and share the collection with you.

This week’s focus is “Marbling.”  A process that involves manipulating pigments with a straw or comb and applying the design to some kind of surface, like clay, paper, or fabric.  You’ll find a much better explanation of the process here.  This ancient technique with its striking, color combinations, is so hot in interior accessories right now.   I’ve come across it in all the major interior design magazines and home stores, including West Elm, Jonathan Adler, and Clayton Gray Home.  

So, here are my “marbled” Etsy finds.  I’m gonna try to control myself and not buy all of them, but seriously, I can’t take my eyes off of that clock.  

Etsy Marble Collage

1. Hand Marbled Porcelain Planter by LeahBall, $90. 

2. Marbled Wall Clock by ShannyBeebo, $50

3. Ceramic Serving Bowl by MudlovePottery, $54

4. Hand Marbled Cotton Pillow Cover by A Lunar Venture, $30 

5. Hand Marbled, Ebru Painted Card by Ebru For You, $14.12 

6. Beacon Hill “Dolomite Marina” fabric, Decorative Pillow Cover,

by Chic Decor Pillows, $110

I recently did a project for Rosie’s room using beautiful, handmade marbled paper (made by someone else’s hands, not mine) that I’m going to share with you later this week.  Do you own any marbled home accessories? Do you have any suggestions for future Etsy Roundup themes?

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Last Minute Handmade Valentine Cards

easy valentine card diy

I totally planned on buying a box of Dora or Doc McStuffins Valentine cards, (weirdest cartoon name ev-ver, by the way), for Rosie’s class party and calling it a day.  I was staring at my computer a couple of days ago though, when she walked up with her little scissors and construction paper, “will you cut out a heart for me?”  Ugh… seriously? Another heart? When will this obsession end? I’ve been cutting out heart shapes for weeks and I’m checking my Facebook feed right now.

Hold on a minute. What is wrong with me?  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in computer stuff, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring to ballet, swim lesson and preschool, and then a week goes by and I haven’t sat down and spent any one-on-one time with her.  Go spend some time with your kid and make some Valentines, you crazy person.  So I closed up the computer, and told her I would not be cutting out one heart, but 25 hearts, because we were going to make Valentines for her class.  “Yippee! Can we use glitter?” Hell yes, we can use glitter.

valentine diy hearts

I cut 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of white cardstock into 4 cards, and then we gathered up some of my craft supplies, including several sheets of scrapbook paper, paint chips, glitter, buttons, stickers, glue, and of course, some googly eyes.  The printed papers are from The Paper Source  by my house.  They have a beautiful selection of craft papers and notepads with printed cards.  I love them for all types of crafts.  For the envelopes, I used these that I had leftover from Rosie’s last birthday party.

valentine diy envelopes

My job was to cut out several hearts and butterfly shapes from the paper, and Rosie was in charge of using an obscene amount of glue to attach everything to the cards.  She did a few drawings on some of them, threw on some glitter and we closed them up with some of her Hello Kitty stickers.  When she finished each card she would say, “this one is for Jack, or this one is perfect for Sarah…” I didn’t have the heart to tell her the teacher requested we not put the kids’ names on them, so they’re not spending hours passing out their Valentines.  Hopefully, she’ll be so excited to open her own Valentines that she won’t even notice.

easy diy valentine day cards

Stop growin’ will ya, pizzaface?

So anyway, this was a super cheap and easy project and we had a blast together.  When we were finished, Rosie asked me to, “take a picture of them because I worked so hard, and I want to remember them forever.”  OMG, how did she get so freakin’ cute?

Did you do any fun Valentine’s Day craft or baking with your kiddo? How do you spend quality one-on-one time with your kid?

Portabella Mushroom Melt Recipe

portabello mushroom melt

Sometimes I miss a good, meaty sandwich.   In fact, one of the hardest things about becoming pescaterian (I don’t eat meat, except for fish and shellfish) has been giving up juicy, Philly cheesesteaks and giant, pastrami reubens.  My options have been limited to grilled cheese, tuna salad, and PB&J.  Did I mention grilled cheese?  I complained to my friend Amanda about my sandwich funk.

Amanda: “What about a portabella sandwich?”

Me: “Nope, don’t do fungus.”

Amanda: “Girrrl, I can make portabellas taste like steak.  Mix up a really good marinade and grill ’em.  Delicious.”

I’ve always wanted to like mushrooms, but the texture is just so weird.  I decided to take Amanda’s advice and give them another go, because #1 – I was growing tired of my limited sandwich options and #2 – I’m definitely not a girl who refuses to try something again.  Shortly after our mushroom talk, Jeff (who also detests mushrooms) and I were on a road trip and we stopped for lunch in Knoxville, TN at a place called The Tomato Head.  I ordered the “Lucy,” a sandwich with roasted portabello and onions, hummus, carrot, spinach and walnuts.  It was incredible.  The mushrooms were sliced thin and full of flavor.  They weren’t rubbery and didn’t taste like dirt, like all the mushrooms I’d had in the past.  In fact, the texture reminded me of shaved roast beef and inspired me to try making something similar at home.

sliced vegetables portabello melt

If mushroom texture freaks you out a little too, I recommend using a mandolin slicer for this recipe.  I have a love/hate relationship with mine.  It is the bomb for slicing potatoes for chips or shaving vegetables for salads, but Jeff and I have both sliced our fingers on it.  Bad.  Not go to the ER and get stitches bad, but bad enough that I start sweating and have serious anxiety every time I use it.

mandoline picture

This by no means, is a quick lunch recipe. I like to call it a Saturday afternoon sandwich.  I added caramelized onions, banana peppers and jalapeños for a sweet and spicy combo, and bought some really great bread from Whole Foods, made by a local baker, Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe.   This sandwich is so yummy, and it fulfilled my need for a sloppy, melty, meaty sandwich without the meat.  Now to get that ‘shroom hatin’ husband of mine to try it…

portabello melt skillet

Portabella Mushroom Melt (Serves 2)

1 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, chopped

Small yellow onion (sliced thin)

2 tbsp sliced banana peppers (I used the jarred, pickled kind)

1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced and seeds removed (or 1-2 tbsp jarred pickled kind)

2-3 large portabello mushroom caps, stems removed and sliced 1/8″ or so (see image above)

1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tbsp milk

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Your choice of cheese (I used Trader Joe’s New Zealand white sharp cheddar)

Dijon mustard

1 small carrot, cut into matchstick pieces

Handful of leafy greens (I used arugula.  Ooh…I bet sprouts would be delicious too!)

2 rolls (crusty, baguette type is best)

Whisk together garlic, sugar, worcestershire and soy sauce in a bowl and set aside.  Melt butter in a large skillet on low heat and add onion, banana peppers and jalapeno.  Saute for 1-2 minutes adding salt and pepper.  Add the bowl of sauce, (keep the heat on low), and cook covered for about 15 min, stirring occasionally until vegetables are caramelized.  Uncover, add milk and stir in the sliced mushrooms.  Saute for a few minutes or until the mushrooms have cooked down and softened.  Turn the heat up a little, add the cheese and cover again until cheese is melted.  Spread dijon mustard on bread, add mushroom mixture, and top with carrots and greens.

Gallery Wall, Y’all

So, while our tree has decided to knock out the neighbor’s fence during Ice Storm 2014, I’ve been inside knocking out some projects.  Yikes!  Sorry girl.

Ice storm 2014

Today I’m sharing a Gallery Wall DIY.  Gallery walls are an easy way to fill up a large area of wall space with a collection of things you love.  They’re the “it” thing right now, in case you didn’t know. I love this one from Oh Joy!:

oh joy gallery wall

“Baby Proofing Your Stylish Livingroom” -ohjoy!

We have two really long hallways in our house, and I wanted to fill the walls with pictures of friends and family that I could look at all the time, (instead of putting them in an album that I would never open.)  I did one gallery wall with multi-color frames on the first floor, and upstairs I did a shrine to Rosie.  She deserves it.  In the dining room I’ve started a collection of our favorite artwork, including the Mt. Fuji piece I mentioned here, but it’s still a work in progress. There are tons of gallery wall tutorials on the web right now, but this has been the easiest one for me.

Gallery Wall Upstairs

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A roll of wrapping paper with grid lines on the back side
  • Measuring Tape 
  • Painter’s Tape 
  • Scissors
  • Collection of frames  (I usually get frames on my quarterly excursion to IKEA, at Joann’s or Hobby Lobby with coupons, or from my vintage sources.)
  • Marker 
  • Picture Hangers (I use these because we have plaster walls and they seem to work best.)
  • Hammer
  • Smart phone or camera 

Gallery wall blank

First, you’ll measure your wall space and figure out the width and height of the area you want to cover. Or if you have a cute little helper like I did, you can unroll the wrapping paper, hold it up to the wall and go ahead and mark the size that you’ll need.

wrapping paper measure

Mark and cut those dimensions from your roll of wrapping paper.

mark wrapping paper 2

Next, arrange your frames on the cut piece of paper.

gallery wall frames

Now, lift each frame a little and mark where the hanger will go.  My frames were arranged kind of randomly, but if your arrangement is more precise, you could draw a line around each frame and mark exactly where the hanger is on your frame outline.

mark frame hanger gallery wall

Next, (and this is important), take a picture of your arrangement with your camera or smart phone, so you can refer back and know exactly where each frame is supposed to go.  Remove the frames from the wrapping paper and attach the paper with painter’s tape to your wall.

gallery wall wrapping paper

Take your measuring tape and measure from the floor to the bottom of the paper at both ends and the middle, and make adjustments to get your paper straight.  Next, take your hammer and nail your hangers into their marked spots.

gallery wall hanger

Finally, remove the wrapping paper carefully.  You might even want to take your scissors and remove sections, so you don’t pull out your hangers.  Refer back to your smart phone and hang the frames in their correct spots.  Voila!  Easy-peasy gallery wall.

gallery wall finished