Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Craft Room Crafts

So Dan and I moved into a small 3 bedroom house back in July. I love having all this space, but I really didn't know what to do with it either. We changed one bedroom into our guest room and the other bedroom we decided could be my office/craft room! My craft room is a project in itself! I have finally gotten around to  organizing it which was the first step. And just recently I bought a plain bulletin board to make into a cute accent piece to the craft room. This is how I made my plain, boring bulletin board into a beautiful craft masterpiece! ;)

This is the bulletin board that I bought from Joanns for $6.00 after a 50% coupon!

The first thing I did was pick the fabric that I wanted to decorate my room around. It is a beautiful navy, green, white, and light blue floral fabric that I love! I decided to pick the deepest color in the fabric to paint my bulletin board. The deepest color is navy so I taped around the edges of the board and painted the sides navy blue with a simple acrylic paint. I used a small roller brush and it took two coats to get it on real thick. The whole thing took me only 2 hours which is a breeze!

After the paint dried, I cut the fabric to the size of the board and used cool metal tacks to keep it in place at the corners. Now I have a fun bulletin board to display crafts and post pictures of crafts I would like to do!

P.S. I found these cute buckets at the Target $1 spot and thought they would go so well in my craft room. I divided my craft tools into each one - one for markers, one for scissors, etc.

I love the pretty ribbons!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Favorite Fishies

I decided I ought to contribute to this blog since I'm supposed to be one of the authors and all...  With Lent fast approaching (difficult to believe... Christmas feels like yesterday) I thought I'd share one of my fast and easy favorite fish recipes my friend and I discovered a couple years ago.

To begin, I am a picky sea food eater.  If it has a shell, I will probably pick at it and grimace.  If it's chewy like shrimp anything or calamari, I will politely say NO thank you.  I am beginning to develop a taste for crab meat, even though it's been slow-a-coming. But give me real fish like salmon, walleye or rainbow trout... and you'll wonder what happened to dinner! 

I used to buy my fish fresh at a grocery store, mostly at Wegman's since I've been living out East.  I still do sometimes, but we all know that fresh deli meats and fish break the bank fast.  To try to save some money, I began searching other stores, and discovered these frozen, wild caught salmon fillets that come vacuum sealed packages. They are delicious and you can get them at Wal-mart for a very reasonable price.  

In addition to salmon, you will need a rice of your choice (I prefer white for this recipe), coconut milk, salt, pepper, olive oil, green onions, and Hoisin Sauce.  

To begin, add your desired amount of rice to a pot and add slightly under the suggested amount of water. I add a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking as well.  Cook on medium.  As rice boils and when water mostly evaporates, add the coconut milk to the rice and let it cook down.  I suggest about half a can of coconut milk for a cup of rice.  

Thaw fish in package (I use hot water and it takes 2-5 minutes)  and add to a skillet or baking dish.  I've cooked both on stove top and the oven.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and begin to cook or preheat oven to 375 degrees and place on middle rack.  I find the stove top to be quicker.  

I'm not entirely certain how long I cook it for... I just know that when the fish begins to flake and comes apart easily, it's done.  I would estimate about 6-9 minutes on the stove top and 15-20 minutes in the oven.  

When the salmon is mostly cooked through, I add Hoisin Sauce to the pan and garish with some green onions.  Allow to cook another minute or so, to heat up the sauce and cook onions a bit.  And here's the finished meal!  
I like to supplement this meal with corn on the cob and biscuits or breadsticks... and of course, a good glass of wine.  Enjoy!


Well, hello January! Since you are just about over and all...

Obviously New Year's resolutions aren't my strong point.

Onto some success stories! I made a lot of Christmas gifts that my family members loved! My Aunts and Uncles really enjoyed the ornaments I made for them. They were quite an upgrade from the last ornament I made them, say, oh, twenty years ago. Glass instead of styrofoam- yipee!

I made about ten pairs of earrings, which of course I didn't take pictures of.  I suppose I'll just have to recreate them. However, I do have four new pairs I just finished and I do have pictures of those!

I found these red glass beads at JoAnns over Christmas break and thought they were really neat.

The beads at the bottom of these have little rose pictures painted inside. They were too pretty to pass by at a speciality beading store I found in Winchester.

I made the following two on the same day. The pink ones look like mother of pearl. The green ones were inspired by a pair of earrings my friend made me for my birthday.

So I think I need to find a better way to display these because I'm hoping to make more and perhaps sell online. Or, perhaps I'll just keep them for myself  :)