Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jewelry storage / display

I recently made a magazine rack from cutting an old slatted closet door in half. I picked up the door at our local Habitat Re-Store for $7.00. You can see the project in one of my previous posts here http://arcticlilysloops.blogspot.com/2012/03/diy-magazine-rack.html  So that left me with the other half of the door to do something with. Below is a picture of before and after I cut the door. For some time now I had been trying to figure out how to store some of my jewelry and had scoured Pinterest but had not really found something I thought would work for me.  Staring at the other half of the closet door I came up with this idea. I still need to get it mounted on the wall and need to buy a few more S hooks for more necklaces and earings but having gotten it finished I was so excited to share it on my blog I did not want to wait. If you read my post on the magazine rack this one will look remarkable similar since up until the finishing touches it is made the same.


 I cut out every other slat. Now ideally it would be nice to use a Dremel Multi-Max with the right attachment to cut the slats flush with the sides and with a little sanding and painting you would never know the other slats were there in the first place (this is shown here on the site I got the idea for the magazine rack http://www.myrepurposedlife.net/2011/10/repurposed-shutter-magazine-rack.html). However I do not have that tool and am trying to do this project on the cheap so was not going to go out and buy it either. So I just used a Black and Decker HandiSaw (as shown in the following picture of my hubby), and just cut it the best I could without nicking the surrounding slats and removed the pieces.


 Then I sanded it just enough to score it up a bit. I also used wood puddy to fill in the cutout from where the hinges were. You don't have to do this, I think leaving it there kind of adds to the whole re-purposed look but I had the puddy on hand and figured why not.




I then proceeded to primer it. I already had the primer on hand from when the house was being worked on. I put two coats of primer on it because the wood was so dark and I thought it would be easier to put multiple layers of primer than multiple layers of paint. This is a picture of the magazine rack primered.



 Then I painted it and varnished it. The paint I bought from the Lowe's discount rack (you know the paint that people have mixed but then don't buy). From the choices available this seemed like the best option. The varnish I had from previous projects. The ornamental wood molding I also bought at Lowes and spray painted purple using paint I had on hand from another project. The hooks are just standard S hooks I picked up at the local hardware store and also spray painted purple.

 Hope you enjoy and are inspired to re-purpose something! My next project I have in the works that both my hubby and I are working on is making a coffee table using re-purposed materials. I will share when we have it finished!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Thin Mints


As most that read my blog knows my eldest is on a specialized diet and therefore there a lot of foods he cannot have. I was super sad when Girls Scout cookie time came around and we could not have them in the house because he cannot eat them due to some of the ingredients. Rest assured we still supported our Girl Scouts and hubby bought them to have at his office. However I make so much from scratch that I got on the internet to do a search for a recipe for GS cookies and found this one for Thin Mints. http://bakingbites.com/2005/10/thin-minties/ I gave it a go and they turned out great on the first try! My eldest said they were the best thing he had ever tasted, my husband loved them and so did I. I assure you I will be making them again soon. The dough is made ahead of time and frozen for a couple hours before slicing.

Ingredients for wafer
 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature (I used Tillamook)
1/3 cup milk (I used Horizon)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Ingredients for chocolate coating
18-oz dark or semisweet chocolate, (I used Ghirardelli and did half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half milk chocolate chocolate chips)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (not in original recipe but I found the mint taste a little lacking in the wafers)
(I also added a couple teaspoons coconut oil)

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture may look a little curdled.

Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated. If too crumbly add a tad more milk.


Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.






Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp. As I was slicing I would rotate the log after each slice to help prevent one side from getting flat. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes (I had a few a little too done at 10 minutes, so check them, ovens vary), until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

In a double boiler combine chocolate, peppermint extract and butter (and coconut oil if using it). Using double boiler in pot with a couple inches of water, melt until chocolate is smooth. If mixture is too thick add a little more butter or coconut oil. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating. If you do not have a double boiler you can melt in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.  I will caution you however, chocolate is easy to over cook and even burn in microwave so only put it in for 25 seconds at a time, stirring inbetween.

Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.
Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.

Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Worship


I posted this a few days ago on FB and thought I would share it here as well.
Psalm 95 was in my Bible reading this morning and of course made me think of this song. "Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxPH34udgN0&feature=share So beautiful and soothing. It also makes me think of this Lent season. To me recognizing and following Lent it is a form of worship. The scripture talks about kneeling before the Lord, which is an act of humility, an act of humbleness, denying our self and focusing on the Lord. So too is the time of Lent, when people deny self and yield to God through prayer, fasting, and repentance. While I don't think this should only be reserved for the Lent season, Lent is often a time when people put forth an extra effort in this area. How beautiful is it to just lay everything out before Him, to strip away the old self, humbly kneeling before the Lord, Our God, Our Maker and how beautiful is it that the Maker of the Universe when we do not deserve it shows us grace, takes us in, completes us, and fills our spiritual emptiness. We truly serve and amazing, wonderful, loving, just God.

The other part of Psalm 95 that spoke to me was verse 8 "Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert" This verse has a history and personal meaning for me and my hubby, but what struck me about it today was that as previously stated in the text we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care and I really don't want to be one to harden my heart and choose not to hear his voice. I know there have been times when he has spoken to me and because of my busyness and other self placed obstacles I have not heard him. How I have missed out! It is heartbreaking for me to come to this realization and admit it but I want to make a whole hearted effort for that not to happen. To be quiet and listen and open my heart to all he has to offer.

Come, All Who Are Thirsty

My reading this morning started with Psalm 55:1, "Come, all who are thirsty, come to the waters;" It immediately reminded me of this song, "For Those Tears I Died" that I first heard as a teenager when my youth pastor sang it in church, it spoke to my heart then and still does today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwIoSGY7bLY
"And Jesus said, Come to the water, stand by my side,
 I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied.
 I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried,
 And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died"
My reading continued in Ezekiel 47 where the Bible shares the prophesy given to Ezekiel about the restoration of Jerusalem and the healing, life giving water flowing from the temple. Kind of fitting that the water flows to the Dead Sea restoring it, freshening it, giving it life and sustaining life. This meditation from The Word Among Us sums it up really well. http://wau.org/meditations/current/   Jesus is our new temple, restoring us from the death of sin and giving us new life in him allowing us to drink freely of the water of life. He quenches our spiritual thirst and is the only source that can. Searching elsewhere for this satisfaction is pointless. His love to us is free, he has already paid he price, as the song says all we have to do is pray, invite him in. He is knocking on the door of your heart, will you hear and open the door and let him in?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY Magazine Rack


Another Pinterest project! I have long been wanting to do something in our downstairs bathroom for the magazines other than just stacking them on the floor or behind the toilet. I found this link while browsing Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. http://www.myrepurposedlife.net/2011/10/repurposed-shutter-magazine-rack.html I had wanted to use an old shutter but could not find one. I did however find this old slatted closet door at our local Habitat for Humanity restore for $7 and thought it could be used for the same purpose.
So I cut it in half and decided to use the top half for the magazine rack.

I cut out every other slat. Now ideally it would be nice to use a Dremel Multi-Max with the right attachment to cut the slats flush with the sides and with a little sanding and painting you would never know the other slats were there in the first place (this is shown on the site I got the idea from). However I do not have that tool and am trying to do this project on the cheap so was not going to go out and buy it either. So I just used a Black and Decker HandiSaw (as shown in the following picture of my hubby), and just cut it the best I could without nicking the surrounding slats and removed the pieces.









I chose to fill in the indentations where the hinges were with wood putty but you don't have too. Not doing so I think kind of adds to the whole re-purposed look, so either way works. I already had the wood putty on hand otherwise would probably not have gone out to buy some just for this.

I sanded the whole thing a little, just enough to score it a bit and then primered it. The primer I already had on hand from when the house was being worked on. Because the piece was so dark I primered twice because I figured it was easier to do that than multiple layers of paint.
Then I painted it with paint I already again had on hand from when the house was being worked on. If I was buying it I probably would have gone with a different color but again I was trying to go on the cheap. I made it work though. Our bathroom has kind of an African motif going on so to not make it look too bland I used brown spray paint to stencil on these designs. And as a last step I applied a varnish. I am very excited to get this up in our bathroom!


Stay tuned for what I decide to use the other half of the closet door for!!