My Personal Pinterest Test Kitchen....

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My Personal Pinterest Test Kitchen Says....

Thumbs up on this one. Here in Texas we wait a long time for Fall. It stays around for about 5 minutes and BINGO! It's winter, follwed by our 7 minute spring that leads into our six month summer. We have to pack all those hoarded harvest recipes into the month of November.

I just happened to have a nice pork loin and no idea what to do with it. This recipe kept popping up on Pinterest. I've had some success and a lot of fails with Pinterest recipes, but I can vouch for this one. It's crock pot all the way. You don't even have to sear the pork.

Thanks to the folks at candcmarriagefactory.com for Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin.

A couple of hints: The secret to succulent pork is not overcooking it. Mine didn't take as long as the recipe called for. Keep an eye on it during that last hour of cooking on high.

Substitution: You probably have everything you need in your pantry. I happened to be out of sage, so I used poultry seasoning, which has a lot of sage in it.

Mine didn't have that perfectly thick glaze as in the picture, but it was plenty flavorful. I suspect that if you want the glaze in the picture you might need to put it in the broiler for a few minutes, but it's not really necessary. 

What to go with it? Try this recipe from Whole Foods: Kale and Apple Saute. I used frozen kale and it was fine. Fresh is always better, I know, but I can't keep fresh greens because I never know when I'll have time to cook and they usually end up spoiling.

I didn't know quite what to think of it at first, but found that as the flavors settled and mingled, it was a perfect companiion to the pork. I suggest making it in the morning as you're preparing the pork, or even the day before.

 

 


The (almost) Free Lamp Re-DO

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This lamp belonged to my mother. In her house it seemed just fine. Everything was always neat and dusted and in unyielding good taste. At my house it just seemed forlorn and ugly. Out of context, I could see the worn, dingy, shade and the dated brass finish was something I was never fond of. I decided to embark on my first lamp re-do. I want to use things I already have and spend NO money.

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Ahem... And these are the things I have. Lime spray paint and one roll of green tulle. Neither are my favorite colors, but I must have had some big idea about the lime paint because I have three cans.

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Not bad! I kind of like it.

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Reunited, but all is not well. It's going to take a lot of tulle to cover that dingy beige if I don't give the shade a coat of green.

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All well and good, but suddenly, I have a thought(yes!). If I don't coat the inside with white, everything in the room, including me, is going to look like the wicked witch of the west. I find one almost empty can of white paint and barely manage to cover the inside.

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Cute, but now I've run out of green tulle. I find some pink netting. DSC_0166

Pretty, but not what I had in mind. I wanted some darker, richer colors. Now I'm too far into the project to stop, and if I put it on hiatus I'll lose interest and it will never be finished. I make the 40 mile round trip to the craft store and buy two more rolls of tulle. That's why I call this project almost free. I also manage to acquire a pint of Ben and Jerry's Caramel Core Ice Cream, a frozen pizza, and one package of King's Hawaiian Rolls.

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I want more stuff! Let's head to the craft room and see if there's some ribbon. DSC_0176 DSC_0201 DSC_0208

Sorry Mom, maybe I went a little bit over the top, but it's bright and cheerful. Now, about your gloomy 70s furniture....


 


The Shabby Trays

Love at first sight. That's what it was when I saw these trays nestled together at a flea market. Alas, they were bought to be sold and I will have to sell them. The thing I can't decide is whether to sell them as is, or create something with them. But What? I usually don't lack for ideas. Perhaps it's because I hate to part with them! So here they are. Feast your eyes on the shabbiest, most charming, perfectly beat up but not too, just cutest trays I've ever seen. Tray1 Tray2


Fashion, Color, and Trends 2015

I just did a little whirl around Pinterest to see what might be coming up in the next year. You know, so that I can keep my crochet and knick knack empire on track ;) There are lots of things I like, and lots of things I don't like. The things that I don't like I've simply decided not to pin and just pretend they're not trendy. I only collected 36 pins so far. You can have a look at them on my Pinterest boards.

Here are some of the ones I like best. It's a mixed bag. My girly pastel side is always at war with my wanna-be exotic Bohemian side. One of these days I'm going to learn how to properly embed these pins so that you can check out more info and people will be credited. For now, here are the pictures. Visit my Pinterest Boards (link above!) to actually follow the pins. 6cadad2d8b0d6aa46697edd889d97429 8a87003c5d75b65334042e58992bc844 9ad723839a3bb1a6a2bef7764cb1f3d7 9dc1836389df5449bef533410b172f6b 807faf855245cea729d1f58c17798264 8284995f539a2bb4dce2561d12e1052d 35640004bad99395a700361f4ef0aef9 36756328c973945874b65108a1939734







 


One More Halloweenie-Thingy...Post Mortem

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I'm sorry to report on the failure of this project. Instead of the one afternoon I planned, I had to abort the mission after three days of trying to paint the skeletons (without spray paint). I simply had to move on. Still,it's a good idea as is. If you don't get too ambitious like I did, the only real work is crocheting the garland part. Then all you have to do is hang the skeletons, bats, or what have you, and you've got a cute (and cheap!) Dollar Store Halloween decoration.


How to Order Custom Colors For Stool Covers

Since I've been selling crochet stool covers on Etsy, I've had several requests for custom sets, but haven't known quite how to go about it. Duh, the answer is simple. Cv2

My favorite yarn for this project is I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby. It's an economical, yet soft and durable yarn. For those who prefer cotton, I use I Love This Cotton by Hobby Lobby. I don't blog or work for Hobby Lobby, these are just my favorites, and there is a store within driving distance of my small town. To choose your custom palette, simply go to their online catalog. You can find I Love This Yarn and I Love This Cotton on their website. Simply choose the colors you like, from 1 to four colors. I don't reccomend any more than four. Convo me on Etsy with your choice. If you are ordering a set, I will make a special listing for half the price as a deposit. The last half will be due upon shipping. I don't like to be 100% paid for something before I finish it. It keeps me motivated to know that the rest of my money will come when my work is done :)

If there is a Hobby Lobby in your neck of the woods, I suggest going there to actually look, feel, and put the colors together. Now, I realise that Hobby Lobby has been the focus of some controversey, and that some may not wish to shop there. I can also work with the Red Heart line or any other brand that I can obtain either in person or on the internet.

Keep in mind that if your creativity ramps up and you would like to order something with an exotic texture or a super premium yarn, it may be that it is not suitable for the structure of the project or that it may end up costing more than you want to spend. 

So with that problem solved, I hope I get to make a lot more barstool covers and I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks, Tanna

 

 


Easy Easy Pretty Project With....Mason Jars

This is a work in progress, so you'll have to wait for the final pictures. I just wanted to share my latest project while I'm still working on it. Months ago, I discovered some very old Perkins paper napkins at Eagerly Sought, our very own hometown vintage emporium. I put them in my craft cabinet and looked at them every day, always with a decoupage project in mind. Then one day, I cleaned up some jars and just started doing. It turned out to be so easy and pretty! I used good old Elmer's Glue mixed with water for my decoupage medium, and sealed with floor wax to give the jars a soft sheen. I really don't like using acrylic sealer...it's always goopy and The finish can be too shiny or too matte. I like the ease of use and the finish of floor wax. It used to be called Future, but now its branded pledge. It wipes on and dries to a soft shine, which can be buffed. So is here is where I am now. The next step is to crochet some tiny flowers to go around the top. Stay tuned for the final pics.

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The Little Cabinet

Here's more about the little cabinet. It came to me painted dark brown with sort of a tole painting of a wine bottle. The first thing I did was to give it a primer coat of plain flat white. Just whatever white paint was around, then I added the main color. For my base color I like to use Walmart's brand in a color called Vanilla Shake. I try to stay away from paint colors with the word "antique" in them, because I find that they tend to be too yellow. Vanilla Shake is just right. Cabinet3

I've been experimenting with textured stenciling, so I taped my stencil down and used an artist's modeling compound to acheive a raised pattern. So far, so good...It dried like plaster, so I now had a paintable, sandable surface. Cabinet2

After a lot more painting and sanding and a little distressing with my good ol' Foredam flex shaft machine, this is what she looks like! Cabinet5


3D Stenciling with Artist's Modeling Compound

Months ago I picked up some artist's modeling paste at my favorite place in the whole world, the craft store. I didn't really know what I was going to do with it, but I just kept it in my cabinet and thought about how to use it. Finally I started a project re-doing a small chest shabby chic style, which called for some stenciling. I taped the stencil down and instead of paint, used the modeling compound. I liked the result. The compound dries like plaster and you have a raised, sandable, paintable image . For the second coat I mixed the compound with acrylic paint to add my color. Voila! I've got a colorful 3D stencil. The project isn't completed yet. I'll post more pics when it's done. I plan to sand the stenciled art down to make it smoother and give it a slightly distressed look. 

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Kool Kat Finally Finished

I set out to make a Mid Century Christmas pack for Etsy
. First, I gathered vintage images from around the web, restored and re-colored, then put them all together to make 3x5 postcards, 4x6 cards, and sheets of gift tags. I was also able to use (under license) the art of Andy Nortnik, who is sort of the king of retro clip art. It took about three days to put everyting together, but I'm rather proud of the results. 

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