Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wood Flag for the Fourth

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I have wanted to make one of these wooden flags ever since I saw one in the Pottery Barn Catalog and especially after I saw the one made by Stephanie and posted on her blog Under The Table Dreaming.  The one she made turned out great and I knew I could make one too! 

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I already had a piece of wood that I found at the Home Depot.  I picked it up for under $5.00 for some other project that I guess I never got around to. :)  Using a pencil and a yard stick I marked out on the board where I wanted my stars and where I wanted my stripes.  I was able to get the 13 stripes I needed and after looking at the real flag that we hang off the front porch, I noticed that the top and bottom stripes needed to be red.  I marked off each stripe and you will notice that my stripes are not uniform in size but they are close.  I wanted it to look hand made.  I pulled out my blue painter’s tape and taped off the stripes after I painted the blue background for the star area.  I used an Outdoor Opaque paint make by Plaid Folk Art and I love these outdoor paints.  They are thicker than regular craft paint and really hold up to the outdoor weather conditions. 

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After I painted all the white stripes, I then painted all of the red stripes being sure to paint the sides of the board as well.

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Painting the stars was fun.  I had a mini cookie cutter set that I have never used and it was perfect for helping me paint the stars.  I decided to stagger my stars in rows of 6 stars and 5 stars.  I didn’t have room to fit in all 50 stars but who’s going to count?  I think it looks fine.  If you use the mini cookie cutter method I did be sure to have a paper towel to wipe the bottom of the cutter in between painting each star to prevent “smearing”.    Another way to do the stars would be with a stencil or simply find a star shape you like off of Google Images.  Look for a “star silouette” and then modify it to a size you like and print it out.  Cut it out and then trace around it.  Paint it to fill it in. 

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I let my flag dry overnight and then the next day I took some leftover wood stain and rubbed in over the entire piece and WOW!  It make a huge difference it how it looked.   It looks older and more finished…just the way I like it. 

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Right now I have it on the top shelf of the potting bench we keep out on our deck.  It serves as a bar and beverage/food center when we entertain.  The sun has been baking it and all of my beautiful black paint is lifting off in big pieces.  This will be project for later in the Fall when it’s cooler.  I’ll have to scrape and sand it and next time I think I’ll try and use an oil based paint to see if it lasts longer.   

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And there you have it!  My American Flag made out of wood.


And I finished it just in time to take part in the Star’ & Stripes Party over at Centsational Girl.  Come have a look at all the other ways other creative bloggers have come up with to decorate and celebrate the Fourth of July.

Nacho Mama’s Nachos

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Yesterday I was chatting on the phone with my daughter who is away at school taking a summer session class.   She said she was thinking about making dinner for a guy she’s been dating and wanted to know how to make nachos.  I was more than happy to share my vast nacho expertise with her.  I rattled the recipe off the top of my head and we went over every detail on how to make them while she took notes.  “And don’t forget the “Texas Pete” Hot Sauce when you serve them.”  She assured me she already had a bottle. 

Later in the evening as I was drifting off to sleep, I tried to remember the first thing I ever cooked for my husband when we were dating and for the life of me I couldn’t remember.   It was then that I realized with a start that I forgot to include one of the most important ingredients for the nacho recipe that I shared. I forgot to mention to add a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix after she browned the hamburger!  Too late.

The next morning I found a text on my cell phone from her stating that she “did it and didn’t burn them!”.   Not a word about how they tasted.   I quickly texted her back to apologize for forgetting to tell her about the Taco Seasoning Mix.  She very sweetly replied….”Oh, I was wondering why they were so bland!  Not at all like I remember.  It’s okay though, we used a lot of salsa and sour cream to help make them taste good.  I won’t forget the seasoning packet next time”. :)

I think it might be time to buy the girl a cookbook.  Her Mom’s brain has been picked a few too many times and it’s too risky to rely on it when it comes to impressing her dates! 

Do you remember the first thing you cooked for a date you were trying to impress?

And do you have any good beginner cookbook recommendations?   The recipe file in my head can’t be trusted! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine


Hot Tub Time Machine comes out on DVD today. 

I didn’t get a chance to see it in the theater.  Did you?

Roger Ebert liked it and that’s good enough for me.  ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Subway Art Inspirations

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This is how I feel lately.  And this 100 degree weather isn’t helping any!! 

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Here are a few more of the mini subway art signs I saw in a local garden store.  The middle one reads “Refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies” in case you didn’t catch that last word.  Kind of like playing Wheel of Fortune.  :)

These look kind of easy to make don’t you think? 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market

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So, me and my camera took our trip to the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market yesterday.  It was hot.  We are melting down here in the South.  High 90’s, hot, and humid and it’s only June!  The nice thing about this Farmer’s Market is that is well organized and sheltered.   That means lot’s of shade. 

I tried to grow cabbage one year.  The bug’s really liked it.  :(

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I had my pick of tomatoes.  Lot’s of different varieties but the one I saw most were German Johnson’s.  I don’t know why but North Carolinian’s  LOVE their German Johnsons. :)

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I Love to eat green beans sauteed in a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.   

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This guy has some nice looking tomatoes and I love the name of his farm!  Lick Fork Farms!  Isn’t that a great looking sign?  I just had to take a photo.

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More German Johnson’s and peaches.

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You can get the best peaches at the this market.

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I loved this sign too.

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And look how gorgeous these peaches are!

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You can find lots of garden plants there too.  This market is HUGE.  

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I thought these jars were pretty.  Makes me want to can some salsa myself.  I might a bit later in the summer.

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These Rosemary Flatbreads looked delicious too.  I am definitely going to try my hand at making these for myself. 

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And how pretty are these jars of preserves? 

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Not a Blueberry in sight.  I was mistaken about it being “Blueberry Day”.  I was a day early.  We actually might go back today to get some Blueberries.  I guess all the vendors were saving them up for today.   I have some new tart pans I’d like to try out.  Blueberry tart sounds pretty good.  :) 

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Farmer’s Market



I am headed to the Farmer’s Market today.  “It’s time to make the donuts”….I mean It’s time to make the pickles.  My garden is not producing the cucumbers I need this year.  Mostly because I haven’t planted them yet!  I tried to grow them last year and ended up with strange looking and bitter tasting cucumbers that make me believe there are some serious soil nutrient issues going on.  And I don’t have the energy to try an “fix” it.  And besides, the Farmer’s Market is so much easier and more fun.

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I have been working like crazy over the past couple of months and I am finally taking a day off!  Wish I had bigger plans than I do but somehow I think I will enjoy my day and I’ll start it off (after many leisurely cups of coffee) with a trip to the big Farmer’s Market.  There was the cutest mini Farmer’s Market near where I live in Summerfied that was open every Saturday morning  and I loved to zip up there and get my tomatoes and gorgeous “country” flower arrangements for my house.  But I am sad to say that the Shop “Dwelling” who hosted the market is closing it’s business and so too the Farmer’s Market is no more. :(


So I guess it’s back to the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market in Greensboro…the “Big” one for me.  I am looking for perfect pickling size cucumbers and some great tomatoes since my plants haven’t started producing quite yet.  I have lot’s of green ones but they haven’t turned red yet.  I might pick up some green beans and whatever else looks nice.  Oh, and today is Blueberry Day….need to get some of those too.  And a bouquet of flowers would be nice to have for the weekend.    I’ll let you know what I find. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Incredible Chocolate Cake


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For Father’s Day this past Sunday, I made the most incredible chocolate cake (from scratch I might add) and I  could not believe how delicious it was.  My husband and son both agree that is the best cake I have ever made.   Especially since most of the cakes I have made have come from a box.  This one was  Moist and chocolaty and for the life of me, I could not get a good photo of it.  These are the best I could do with the sad camera that I have.  (New camera is high on my Wish List these days.) 

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I found the recipe in Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa At Home Cookbook.  Last week the episode where she actually makes this cake aired and after watching it I thought I would give it try.  It’s the episode where she surprises her friend Michael the Florist with a cake made from his Grandmother’s recipe.  You can find it on page 165 and it is called “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake”.

Honestly, this recipe alone is worth the price of the cookbook.  How’s that for high praise???

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The icing for the cake is also from scratch and the recipe makes a lot. 

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I stored the cake in the refrigerator and the icing firmed up nicely as reflected in this photo.   Ina always says that adding a bit of coffee brings out the taste of the chocolate and she is not kidding.  There is coffee in both the cake and the frosting but the end result is the most chocolaty tasting cake you have ever eaten. 

If you would like to try this on out for yourself, the recipe is posted on Food TV and you can get the recipe if you click here:  Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

We have been nibbling on this cake for the last few days.  Next time I need a special dessert or it’s someone’s birthday…this is what I am making.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An English Lesson Please

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I saw this in a garden shop not too long ago and thought it was the cutest thing!

But…I am not sure if it’s “proper English”.

I am thinking that maybe it should read “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy marshmallows, which is kinda the same thing.”

Should the phrase read  “is” or “are” ????  Where is Mrs. Lonteen (High School English Teacher) when I need her?  This one is tricky!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Look What I Won!


I about fell off my chair when I browsing in the Google Reader of my favorite blogs and there it was.  My name was posted on Layla’s The Lettered Cottage as  the winner of her Address Plaque Giveaway!  Layla’s blog is huge.  It’s beautiful.  It’s inspired and it’s very popular.  She and her husband Kevin are in the process of transforming their house  and their amazing progress is highlighted on their blog.  It’s what I would love my blog to look like when it grows up.  :)   There were 871 entries for this giveaway and the number 104 was picked and that was me!!

The company that makes these beautiful custom made signs is called Ramsign and it is located in Denmark.  Take a minute and browse their website to see some samples of the variety of signs and address plaques they offer.  My prize is worth $249.00.  And if you visit Layla at The Lettered Cottage, she has a coupon available where you can get $50.00 off if you order before the end of June. 

“These splendid address plaques offer good visibility from the road, yet the design is clearly “old world”.”  Here are some more examples.  And if you visit their website, click on the headers at the top of the page to see other signs and nameplates that are available too.

Enameled Address Plaque
Enameled Address Plaque
Enameled Address Plaque

Not sure which design to pick.  Decisions…Decisions.  :)  Such a fabulous problem to have!!

Thank you Layla and Thank you Ramsign!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Sun Room

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This is my favorite room in the house.  It’s the Sun Room. 

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It is always bright, cheerful, and filled with light. 

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I especially love all the light in the morning. 

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It even feels “sunny” on the days it doesn’t shine. :)

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Yesterday, I decided to move some furniture.  The Small green table I found earlier this year was in my kitchen.  But I thought I would try it in the Sun Room today.  I think I like it here better!

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The lamp looked great in the kitchen but not so much now in the Sun Room.  I’ll be keeping my eye out for a new lamp.

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I was also thinking of re-painting this room.  Right now it is a sage green.  But I kind of like it again.  Believe me , there are plenty of other rooms to paint.  I am moving this one to the bottom of the list for right now. 

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We have big plans for the weekend which is nice.  Our friends host a golf tournament each year and pick a different charity to give the raised money to.  In the past, money has been raised for Alzheimer’s, ALS, The Heart Association, and this year the charity is a local one called Red Dog Farm which is an animal rescue organization here in Greensboro.  The weekend will kick off tonight with a party and then the golfing will take place tomorrow.   I have opted not to golf tomorrow but my husband will be golfing.  Let’s hope the daily thunderstorms we have been having hold off for tonight and tomorrow! 

Enjoy your weekend!!