Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yummy Roasted Veggies

Roasted Potatoes, Onions and Peppers

So this is my new favorite side dish this summer!  Anytime I can eat potatoes at dinner and not have my husband tease me about how "a bunch of french fries are not a real meal" (he also says this about popcorn and cereal! Seriously??!!! lol)  So anyways, these are really good and are definitely part of a "real meal".  Just slice up some potatoes between 1/4-1/2 inch thick, slice up some vidalia onions (love Walla Wallas) and some red bell peppers.  Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.  Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper (no trying to scrape up the food and having it rip apart!) and spread out your veggies then sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake at 450 until crisp and roasted.  I made these again at my moms house for everyone during out visit this past month using fresh potatoes out of her garden and it was amazing!  This dish is easy and just makes me happy :) I like to serve this with grilled honey dijon lemon chicken! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Everyone multitasks but I think us moms are the biggest's one of the first things you have to master if you want to survive motherhood.  It can be hard and exhausting at times...I mean, take me for example..Look at all the multitasking I had to do today....what a whirlwind!!!

 Texting, writing thank you notes, listening to the baby monitor while the kids took naps...and absorbing my vitamin D on the's just too much sometimes!!! But I gotta do what I gotta do! :P  Yesterday I had to catch up on my new issue of Family Fun magazine (they finally figured out my new address) while trying to promote my health sitting in the sauna downstairs while listening to the Backyardigans singing "what do you do with a scurvy pirate..." on the otherside of the glass door where J was having a little TV break, and Baby was napping....just so much to keep track of sometimes!!!!!!

And please don't make me tell you how I have to put the babygate at the top of the deck stairs and drink my yummy breakfast smoothie sitting at  the bistro set my mom just got us, while the kids run around and we listen to these doves cooing away.  Can't a momma find any peace????

Ok, Ok...not everyday is so "hectic"  But we sure are enjoying our summer and our new home!

And that yummy refreshing breakfast smoothie I mentioned?

1 ripe banana
1 cup milk ( I use coconut milk)
1 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp cocoa powder

Blend till smooth

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Print a Picture on Multiple Pages

Need to enlarge that picture on your computer for your project but your printer only prints up to 8x11?  There are two ways you can get around this (that I know of) and enlarge your image for your next project by printing your picture on multiple pages like I did in my restoration hardware inspired pillows tutorial

UPDATE***Just found this free easy website that lets you create block posters to print images on multiple pages and it is a big time saver. Try it out it's called

Easy Way to print picture on more than one page
Open your picture in paint

 Go to File and select "Page Setup"

Under Scaling, select "Fit To" and then change the number to 2x2 and your image will enlarge to print onto 4 pages, creating a large square when you put them together.

Select File and Print in Paint, make sure you print all pages.

The Other Way you can Print a Picture on Multiple Pages

Decide how big you need your image to be.

Open your picture in Word

 Copy and paste the image four times.

Use the crop function and while paying attention to the measurement scales around your document, visually divide the image into 4 separate sections.  Then crop each picture accordingly so you get each section of the image.  I segmented mind based on the little pinpoints on the box when the image was selected.

Now enlarge each segment the same amount till you get the desired sizing.  You may need to Change Page Layout to Landscape for better formatting.  In my image, each section is the same width so I enlarge all to be 9 inches across with page layout on landscape.

Then Print all four pages, trim and piece together.

Restoration Hardware Inspired Pillows - Tutorial

Restoration Hardware Inspired Pillows
hand painted on canvas
  I have a thing for the natural linens and natural and neutral colors of Restoration Hardware and am a fan of the  

Presse Parisienne Burlap Pillow Cover.  I love the faded charm and vintage look so I decided to make my own version.  Now, I know these are not a actual knock-off because I didn't use french words to mimic the old bank bags and flour sacks like Resto did and they aren't the exact same style but it was the inspiration for this project.  I like the idea of incorporating stories and meaning throughout your home as much as possible...doing things with intention.  Kind of like how in Art History you see a painting that's interesting/beautiful to look at and you can enjoy it without knowing anything about it, but most likely, there is something more to it, a depiction of an event, a story, symbolism of some kind or another that the artist intentionally added.  So not that these are some great work of art like that....but I was just going for the symbolism aspect.  OK so I made the first pillow a tribute to our wedding date, but the other two pillows may just look like more nautical themed decor, but they represent our family history because my husbands ancestors were ship builders and that's where his last name comes from, and then I also remembered that some of my ancestors were ship owners that brought over some of the first Americans.

This project also cost me nothing since I had everything on hand...I have a big roll of raw canvas from an art project I did back in the day.  

raw canvas, burlap, or undyed cotton fabric or other linen-type fabric
burnt umber acrylic paint 
flat paintbrush
scrap cardboard
sewing machine
matching thread
pillow forms
image or lettering printed to desired size (how to print a picture on multiple pages info here)

Find or create an image you would like to transfer onto your Restoration Hardware pillows.  If you are doing words, just select the right font and sizes and print out.  Figure out the size of your pillow and how big you want your image to be and click here to see how to print a picture on multiple pages.

Trim the pages and line up your image and tape all sections together.

Flip your printed image over and shade the back with charcoal as pictured.  I used a willow stick the first time and it wasn't as messy as the chalky charcoal I used in the picture.

Once the back surface is covered with charcoal, flip the image over and line up on fabric (raw canvas in my case) and tape down so it doesn't slide around.

Using a mechanical pencil or sharpened pencil, carefully trace over your image with firm pressure to transfer the image to your fabric.  Carefully pick up one side and take a peek under the paper to see if your image has been fully transferred or if you need to go back over a couple areas.  It won't be perfect but it will give you a good outline to go by.

Using Burnt Umber Acrylic paint (I used Dick Blick) I would get the paint on my flat paint brush and then run it over the cardboard to keep the tip flat and remove excess paint.  I did not use any water.  Then carefully go over your pencil lines and paint the outline of your image (or just paint your letters this way). You may want to practice first on some scraps.  After I had my outline done, I went back and did some filling in and shading but it was very you can see in the ship wheel, on the spindles I would place my brush down on the outline and then drag it towards the middle of the spindle and pull up just a little bit and did that all the way up the spindle to create some dimension.  But how you decide to embellish on your outline is totally up to you and dependent on your image.  But with these pillows, the simpler and more basic you keep the image and detail....the better.  I also reminded myself not to go crazy trying to make these so perfect  because they are supposed to have a vintage, worn look to them and so every line doesn't have to be perfectly evenly shaded.  And I promised I wouldn't care when they got thrown around either, if the image gets worn from'll just add character. :)

Now, measure the size of your pillow form and then cut the fabric to fit, adding room for seam allowance. (I added 1/2-1 inch which is being generous, but I figured I could always make it smaller...can't make it bigger)  Then cut fabric for the back, cut two pieces large enough to overlap by a couple of inches.  Give yourself a few inches to work with.

Fold the raw edges back on the overlapping pieces and iron as pictured above.

Sew a straight seam to finish the edge on both pieces.

Now line up your pieces with the right sides of your fabric facing each other.  Finished seam down against painted fabric.

Place the overlapping piece on, right side down also as pictured.

Pin around the edges.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam around all four edges, back stitching at start and end.

Using the slip opening, flip the pillow cover right-side-out.

Take pillow form (or in my case, nasty crusty kid wrecked pillow) and insert it into your custom, hand painted "vintage" burlap pillow cover to add some rustic charm to your space!

On the anchor, once the dry brushing was done, I wanted to add some faint color to the rest to add more dimension so after I had painted the outline and dark areas of detail, I did go back with a little water and a super small amount of paint just to barely tint it and went over the interior of the anchor, added a little more detail.

NOTE: I just saw this tutorial on Knock Off Decor and it's a much easier/faster method, especially if you don't feel comfortable hand painting!

Drop Cloth Pillow Case Knockoff

from the Shabby Beach Nest

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Problem Child - I mean Crib Makeover

This is my little guys crib BEFORE
with his sister's old bumper that was falling apart
So I decided to make a slip cover to spruce it up and make it more "boy" you know...cover up the butterflies and flowers!  So anyways, I started this "simple" project many months ago...way before we moved, when he was a much smaller SOOO long ago...and right from the beginning....this project that was supposed to be quick and easy was just a tedious pain in the ***!!!  Every single step, something went wrong...I don't know what my problem was...sometimes it was me, sometimes it was the sewing machine and mostly it was just that stupid green fabric!!!  But alas...I finally hunkered down and got it done...Once his first birthday passed in April and I still hadn't finished this project I knew I had to finish it...I just started getting to the point where everytime I thought about working on it I just got anxious because it was not fun!  I got it done pretty soon after the move in May, but then had computer issues and then was finally....Here it is...The Crib Bumper Slip Cover
I originally was going to make this into a tutorial...but given the way it went for wouldn't want MY instructions! lol

The green ribbon trim on the bottom is the result of a mistake of making the outside panel too narrow and needing to make it wider I had to cut long 2 inch strips of fabric, sew them together then add them to the whole thing...I decided to make the mistake into an opportunity to add to the design by adding in the green ribbon.
Those green ties were my nemesis!  That fabric did not hold the stitch so I sewed all 12 of them...sat down and flipped them rightside out with a wooden spoon and then discovered tons of huge gaping holes in the just like shreads at the seams....I don't know what I should have done then I had to just hand stitch the open seams.  That was the most annoying of all the things....but so much went wrong with this project I can't even remember it all anymore, I've blocked it from my memory! lol
Finally it was done, and when I set it up in the crib...I just pulled on the corner here slightly to fluff it up and that green trim just ripped right there is not a hole in the main seam but the trim just shreaded and came out.  But you see what kind of trouble this turned crib bumper cover out to be!?!??!  lol...well, at least it's done and it does look better than BEFORE!  I hope my 15 month old appreciates what I went through so he doesn't have to sleep in a girly crib anymore!!! lol!