Wednesday, November 30, 2011

String Art

Project of the Day:

I saw this pin and absolutely loved it. I figured-hey-I'll go to the etsy shop (here) and buy one. Then I saw the price tag: $60. Yeah..that wasn't going to happen. I figured it couldn't be that hard...or expensive. And it wasn't!
I chose to go with Minnesota first, using the Twin Cities as my center mark. (I went with a circle instead of a heart)
To start out I got a little wood plaque from Michael's for $1.99:
 I used some brown acrylic paint and instantly rubbed it off to still show the wood grain. (faux stain, anyone?)

 After a second coat I finally got the dark wood look I was going for:
 I printed out a MN image and simply traced it with a pen:
 Using tiny paneling nails (brown-grey instead of the silver used in the inspiration) I starting hammering around the outline and began looping my string around the nails:

 For my first attempt I didn't leave my Twin Cities point open like the heart in the Texas pin. (I was too antsy to get a finished product!) Instead I filled it with nails.

Cost breakdown:
Wood Plaque: $1.99
Box of Paneling nails: $0.97
String (the friendship bracelet kind): $0.35

A grand total of....drumroll please...... $3.31

Not $60 dollars at all! Although, I'll have to say theirs does look much better after my first try. Next time I think I'm going to do it again with the Twin Cities center left hollow! What do you think?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tape Art

In case you haven't caught on by the 23948230 times I've mentioned it, we have too much white space goin' on in our apartment. The huge walls are overwhelming, so I decided to start with the little nook under the stairs by our dining room table. I found this picture on Pinterest and decided to turn it into a triptych!

All you need for this craft is:

3 canvases (I used 16" by 20")
Painter's tape
1 small paintbrush
Acrylic paint

Step 1: Lay out your canvases side by side.
 Step 2: Begin randomly laying strips of tape across the three canvases, making sure to keep the canvases tightly together.
 It'll seem like a lot of blue space from the tape- but the more crossing lines the better!
 Once your canvases look like a Rhianna-inspired bondage outfit, you know you've done it right!
 Step 3: Begin to paint your base color over the tape (I mixed up a light grey- super bold, I know)

 Leave a few triangles out to be filled in with your accent color. (I filled mine in with a medium grey-blue)
 Step 4: Give the paint a minute or two to set, and then take off the tape to reveal your lovely pattern. Wait until the paint is fully dry and then fix any errors/paint leaking under the tape.

 Step 5: Hang a few inches apart (juuust close enough to see that the lines are meant to connect), and enjoy!

I got the canvases and paint on sale from Michael's - so these three all together cost about $6. Plus, if we get sick of the design, or I suddenly decide to be exciting and use brighter colors, I can just paint the canvases all over in white and start again! (or wrap them to look like gifts for the holidays...)

Monday, November 28, 2011

10-step Galette

I don't really like apple pie. I know, I know, SO un-American. The past few years at family Thanksgiving my mom and I have been making apple galettes - (basically just open-faced pies). By the time dessert comes around I am normally too stuffed to even eat any of the pie I helped make, but I vowed this year would be different. I saw this pin and it made me determined to not only make one by myself this year, but buck up to the American tradition of actually enjoying said dessert.

Looks good, right? To make it you'll just need:

1 pre made pie crust
3 medium sized Mcintosh apples (or another good baking apple)
1 lemon (both juice and zest)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
A preheated 400 degree oven

Step 1: Peel your apples. (I know, we're starting out with a REALLY  difficult one today...)
 Step 2: Quarter your apples as shown
 Step 3: Cut out the inside seeds (this will leave a flat surface on part of the apple making it easier to cut into slices)

 Step 4. Cut your apple quarters into slices- probably about 5 slices per quarter
 Step 5: Use a cheese grater to get all that lovely zest from your lemon-be careful not to go too deep into the bitter rind.
 Step 6: Squeeze all the juice into your bowl of apple slices and lemon zest, being careful not to get any seeds in the mix.

 Step 7: Add your sugar, cinnamon, and flour- then mix.

 Step 8: Roll out your pie dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
 Step 9: Begin layering your apples in the dough- leaving about 11/2 inches around the sides.Put the smaller/imperfect slices in the middle. Go around in one full circle and then do another layer on top of the first. Heap it up high- the apples will bake down in the oven!
 Step 10: Mix your large egg with a little water and lightly beat. Apply a light eggwash around the folds of your galette. Sprinkle the eggwash with sugar and bake for 25 minutes in the oven (or until golden brown)

The galette turned out completely delicious. We had it bake while we ate dinner so when we were ready for it it was hot and bubbly and delicious! Michael ate 3/4 of it, and Matthew and I split the rest. All the lemon juice and zest makes it taste incredibly bright and fresh. 

You proud, mom?

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