Monday, March 27, 2017

PAINTING THE DINING ROOM



It has been almost 2 years since Mr. Thrifty painted the Great Room and foyer.  Mr. Thrifty was going to take a week off work so he suggested getting back to the painting.  A lot of people would laugh, but when we have 'vacation', a lot of times we do projects around the house together.  We are so much alike in that we enjoy working around our house and we get along well, which is great.


The Mr. had painted the foyer and Great Room Repose Gray.  I still love the fresh look of the gray palette.  The shade I picked for the dining room was one shade darker--Mindful Gray.  Once the prep work was done--taping and protecting the 3 white pillars in the foyer, Mr. Thrifty was ready to do his thing, and he does it so well!!!

The next day he painted the walls of the dining room.  The following day he painted the 4th column.

On Wednesday of the 'vacation' week, we pulled out the new pressure washer and cleaned 3 of the larger rugs.  I love this new toy.  All the porch cushions that live out on the porch were done too.  They look brand new!  I am amazed that using COLD water from the outside faucet, with a bit of liquid soap can renew these items.

Sorry to get off topic, but here are a few pictures of the dining room.

Prepping...

Trimming...


The paint is dark in this picture, but some of this was because the windows were covered and the light was diffused.


Once the windows were uncovered, the color brightened up.






The next posting will be a surprise.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UPCYCLED CABINET DOOR AND IRON CROSS


I was asked to help out with the grade school fundraiser. In 2 short days, I pulled this one together.  It all started with a cross that I purchased. (I bought two at the time since they were on mega clearance)

I had always intended to use these crosses to create auction projects.  My problem was that I had nothing to work with.  Two days ago, I started to panic.  When the plea for help came out, I had to run with it.  I said a little prayer for help.  I headed off to Habitat ReStore to hopefully find something to pair with the  cross.

As luck would have it, I found two cabinet doors right away.  I wasn't sure that one of them would work but since I liked the lines, I purchased both anyway.  I have to tell you, I paid a total of $12.75 for both doors.

Here is the first door.

For some reason, I favored the second door which had a paneled insert.  Now, I had to figure out how to update this colonial style door.

First, I removed the hinges.


Even though the price was $8.00, the cashier knocked a few dollars off of it.
In my mind, I wanted to make the insert resemble bead board.

A good sanding was the first step.



After sanding, I applied a coat of Americana D├ęcor LACE chalk paint. 

I should mention that I had to fill the hinge holes with wall putty.

















Next, I re-sanded the piece.

After sanding, the insert bead board lines were not popping.


Using General Finishers DRIFTWOOD, I filled in the lines.



In order to  make the door more vintage, I applied a coat of  crackle medium.
Next, I applied two more coats of the chalk paint to the frame.

The miracle crackle medium begins its magic.


In order to make the crackling pop, I went to my acrylic paint supply and pulled 4 colors to pull in the rust effect from the cross.  I decided to not use the metallic copper paint.
After mixing the 3 colors, I came up with this mixture.


I was now feeling more positive about the end result.
The mixture was painted onto the frame and then wiped off leaving a hint of a rust color.


Next, I sanded the frame again.  It actually looks like an old door now.  I painted another coat of the Lace paint on the very edges.

The hardest part of this project was how to attach the cross to the frame.  Since it did not easily fit within the confines of the reset, I had to get help.  Thank goodness for Mr. Thrifty as he pulled a few nuts and washers out and drilled a hole for the top of the cross.

I hope the fundraiser reaps a good price for this latest up cycle.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

ST. PATRICK'S DAY CARD

In preparation for this year's St. Patrick's Day card, I purchased this fabulous seed packet at a local nursery.  Instead of planting the seeds, I chose to use this image as the base of this years' card.

Using a glittered scrapbook paper, I placed a photocopy of the Bells of Ireland on top.  I found this 'fun' lime-green pom pom  ribbon at Hobby Lobby.  I glued the ribbon to the left side of the card.

To finish the card, I glued a gold shamrock embellishment at the corner.


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

BONDING WITH MY DAUGHTER MAKING WON TONS AND DUCK SAUCE


















































Years ago, in my single days, I took a Chinese cooking class with my sister no.4.  We had such a fun time and learned many new authentic recipes.  There is a fabulous won ton sweet and sour sauce recipe, called Duck Sauce,  that I will tell you about.  I can make it up, split it in two and freeze the 2nd half in a Tupperware container for up to 2 months.


The real reason that I am blogging about the kitchen is today after making won tons for 30 some years (gosh I sound old!), I discovered the best won ton skins.  All this time, I had been picking up the won ton skins at Kroger's or my regular neighborhood market to use for this recipe.  After going to pick up skins at the Walmart super center, they were out.  So, I went to an old time Chinese market up the street.  The only skins they had were in the freezer section.  I always question about how fresh their freezer food, but that is another blog.  So, I spied the won ton skins.  They looked more yellow than the normal ones that I usually buy, but with my stuffing for the won tons was already made,  I had no choice.  I purchased them and thawed them over night in the fridge.

  This afternoon, my oldest, a 14 year old helped me(she is an amazing won ton wrapper!-I'm sure that won't go on a college resume.)  Anyway, I started the canola oil in my Dutch oven on the stove and turned it to medium.  To test if the oil is hot enough,  I  put a drop of water in the oil.  When it instantly bubbles, it's ready.  I layer old newspapers to the side of the stove so I can just transfer the won tons when they are golden brown.  It you want to freeze some for later in a week or two, I cook them until they are light brown and remove them from the oil and drain.  The frozen won tons just take about a 15 minute warmup in the oven.

Here is the label from the authentic Oriental store.  I'm sure any brand at one of these stores would be fine.



Now, back to the posting.


We have an annual bonding time in our house, when my daughter and I make fried won tons. My Mom taught her daughters to make this special appetizer when she would put on family wedding receptions. This was such a special memory to me and I wanted to pass it on to my daughters.

The recipe follows at the end of this postings.

First, the ingredients:









After peeling the fresh ginger,

slice it.


 Using my mini chopper, I chop the ginger.
Next, I chop the water chestnuts the same way.
 Both the ginger and water chestnuts are added to the ground pork.  After pouring some sesame oil in the pan, all of this is cooked. Salt, soy, thinly sliced Napa cabbage and sliced green onions are also added.




















































































When finished cooking, drain the mixture in the colander and let cool.













Filling a small bowl with water.  Take out your won ton skins out of the fridge.  Keep them covered while working with the skins as they dry out quickly.
Place a small amount in the middle of a won ton skin.


Here is where my daughter does her magic.  You really need two sets of hands to make these won tons.  One to shape them and the second to fry them.
Daughter number 1 dips her finger into the water and draws a line on two sides of the skin.
Next, she folds the skin over to make a triangle and press the wet edges together. They stick beautifully to each other.











Then, she turns the two corners



And cross them at the tail.


Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Drain on racks over paper towels.






















I couldn't resist posting this picture.  I think she was tired after spending a few hours making the won tons.  Boy, it was a great time.
























This is truly a time tested awesome recipe.  I usually let them cool after cooking them, place them on a cookie sheet spreading them out and freeze them.  When frozen, I place them in freezer bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.  When I do take them out of the freezer, I place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake them for 10 minutes at 350.