Thursday, June 27, 2013
I love anything fried or crispy and with summer here and Independence Day right around the corner, I thought I would share three of my FAVORITE crispy treats that are a little healthier because they are all baked in the oven but still taste YUMMY!
Avocado chips are all the rage right now but they are typically fried. I decided to bake them for healthier version. Add your favorite spices or flavor to the crispy outside and you've got a treat perfect for a salad topper, as a side dish instead of french fries or just eat them right out the oven- like I do!
We eat a lot of tofu in our house and we like it nice and crispy! It is another ingredient that typically needs to be fried to get a good crisp. I've perfected my "crisping method" in the oven (coating with a light oil and baking high on both sides) so well that I will never fry tofu ever again. Serve with vegi's/rice, as an appetizer with dipping sauce or gobble them up fresh out of the oven- once again- the way that I do!
First it was kale and now crispy zucchini chips are sweeping the nation! While a little time consuming to prepare, they are a great alternative to potato chips. Serve them along side your favorite sandwich, throw them in your kids lunch box or have them handy to snack on throughout the day for a low calorie, low carb snack!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I love using bleach to dye fabric (bleach discharge is the technical term) to create surfaces filled with pattern. Bleach chemically pulls pigment away from the surface of fabric, leaving everything that you bleach white or a lighter version of the fabric. You can use all kinds of fun techniques with bleach to transform fabric into something beautiful (I write all about it in my book Sew Wild). After finding some super cheap canvas shoes (fake Toms) from our local drug store, I couldn't resist altering them with bleach.
1. Any kind of fabric or canvas shoes will work but make sure to do a little test on the inside of the shoe to see how the fabric reacts- different colors and fabric will have different results.
2. I used a brush and a little bowl of bleach. I dipped my brush and began covering the surface. TIP- Make sure to use a synthetic brush because the bleach will not eat away at the bristles.
3. I let the bleach react with the surface. TIP- Canvas or heavy/dark fabric can be slow to react with bleach, to speed up the process I like to use a little heat (hair dryer or heat tool).
4. I covered the entire surface of the shoes with all kinds of marks and doodles.
The result are two pairs of really funky and unique shoes- perfect shoes for summer walks on the beach!
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I receive all kinds of inquiries about how to mount and use rubber stamps and since I have a new batch of stamps in the shop, I thought it would be fun to dedicate a post to some of my favorite tips and techniques for using rubber stamps (any kind of rubber stamps).
Please note- I am not a traditional stamper- instead I am always looking to use my stamps in new and creative ways in my art and crafting projects!
Since I use stamps for a variety of different projects I like to keep the mounting process simple and economic! In my opinion, you can pretty much mount a stamp to just about anything but I prefer acrylic blocks (you can see what you are doing better) and craft foam. These are the two materials that I use in my own stamping.
I simply spray the back of the rubber stamp with spray mount. It gets the back side of the stamp nice and tacky and you are able to stick it to anything! Its also easy to peel off and switch out different designs.
If I am working with clay I keep my stamps unmounted.
I am obsessed with pattern and all of my stamp designs were created with pattern in mind! I like to fill a surface (my favorite is brown craft paper) by repeating and overlapping the different designs. This concept is perfect for creating wrapping paper, decorative paper or fabric.
When you think of stamping you don't usually think of watercolors but you can get some really beautiful effects!
I paint my color directly onto the stamp and then start stamping! Stamping into a wet surface will cause the design to bleed and it's beautiful! Stamping into a dry surface will get you a more clean print.
There are all kinds of really cool inks out there for stamping and my favorite is permanent ink made for all surfaces. I love using this ink to create unique stamped accessories from a variety of materials (wood, plastic, metal).
I love finding simple and unique surfaces to stamp on! Stamping on masking tape is such a great way to create your own decorative tape (but on a budget!).
My parents are potters which means I have a special place in my heart for clay. Unmounted stamps can be used to create texture, pattern or an imprint in all kinds of clay projects.
I think my favorite way to use stamps it to cut the designs out and turn then into something new. From tags to wreaths to garlands there are SO many different ways to craft with cut out stamps!
To view all of my unmounted rubber stamps and my hand carved stamps you can visit my shop HERE!
Monday, June 24, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
The sharpie tie-dye technique has been around for a while and I thought it was time that I tried it out and put my spin on it! My goal- less tie-dye look and more pattern.
The supplies are simple-
Some kind of bowl (could even use a variety of shapes and sizes)
1. I started by stretching my t-shirt over a small bowl and then wrapped a rubber band around it. 2.Then I started doodling- I used my "signature flower doodle" that I always use for creating simple floral pattern. 3.I added color to my doodle. 4.Then I dipped a brush in rubbing alcohol and lightly brushed it on the surface. Now is when the magic happens- the pigment in the sharpie begins to bleed all the way to the rubber band and your doodle is transformed! 5.The more alcohol you add the more the pigment will bleed.
Last, I removed the rubber band from the bowl and was left with a really unique and colorful design!
I filled half of my t-shirt with lots of doodles. I overlapped them and varied the size by using different sizes of bowls. The result a really funky and colorful t-shirt!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
this was not a tantrum- it was an opera singing performance!
You can read my series of posts about Life With Lucy (dating all the way back to pregnancy!) HERE
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
One of the items on my bucket list has been to grow food in a garden. My mom is an amazing gardener and I have watched and envied her gardens for years and I have been dreaming about the day when I could walk out into our yard and pick herbs and vegis for our cooking. With our move back to Oregon we were able to make this dream come true and over the last month have SLOWLY started the process of landscaping our 1/4 acre lot.
The first project to tackle (this year) was the front yard. Since our soil is very rocky and full of clay we decided to built some raised bed planter boxes for our edible garden. We have the perfect spot next to driveway that gets lots of sun and was just begging for a little raised bed garden.
My husband Andy (the brains and the muscle) got to work making the raised beds. Here is a look at the plans that he drew up for our project-
We have been filling the planter boxes with edibles and I've had to do a little moving and shifting of things that we grow because these guys (below) and their friends (that live in in our neighborhood) ate our first harvest of kale, lettuce and arugula. I knew it was risky to grow all the greens without netting but I had to try!
We went back to the drawing table and our solution was to built some smaller planter boxes for our deck where we have moved all of our lettuce and greens and kept more of the deer proof plants in the front- but when you live with deer you learn that nothing is really seems to be deer proof!
While everything is still in the beginning stages, things are doing well (gardening can be tricky on the coast) we've already been able to harvest lots of herbs for cooking, lettuce and kale! I can't wait to see how our garden grows as summer progresses! We'll keep you updated so stay tuned!