Sunday, December 30, 2012

Grilled Artichokes Recipe

Everyone loves these grilled artichokes and it really is simple to do. At this time of year, you can get a bag of four huge artichokes from Costco for around 5 bucks. There is something about the grill that brings out the hearty flavor and texture and the grill marks look beautiful as well.


Rinse each artichoke thoroughly. Trim off the stem and discard as it can be bitter and stringy.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and cook artichokes for approximately 15 minutes or until you can poke through the heart with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the artichoke when boiling or it may fall apart on the grill. Also keep in mind that they will continue to cook for a few minutes after draining.

Drain water from pot and set the artichokes aside to cool enough to be handled. Cut each artichoke in half and brush with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and lawry's steak seasoning.

Grill the artichokes cut side down on medium heat for approximately 7-10 minutes

Health Benefits

Artichoke is low in calories and fat, but is a rich source of dietary fiber; provide 5.4 g per 100 g, about 14% of RDA. Dietary-fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad or "LDL" cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and help prevent colon cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Handmade, DIY Seashell Lamp

It has been a recent mission to make the most of what I already have. This tutorial is a perfect example. I went to Maui a few years back and paid way too much for a picture frame because it had these beautiful pearl colored seashells. It's been sitting in a closet for years because it fell and one or two shells cracked. I didn't have the heart to throw it out being that I was royally ripped off when I purchased it, but I digress... I was able to make a gorgeous lamp shade with these shells and I finally feel like the purchase years ago was worth it, well.... sort of anyways.

All I needed was a tiny drill bit, my husband's electric drill (and an extra pair of hands) a heavy duty needle and coordinating thread. I guess you could do this solo, but it helped to have one person hold the shell in place and have one use the drill.

-Slowly and carefully drill the smallest hole possible in each seashell, keeping in mind that you need to be able to feed a sewing needle through each one.
-Using the lamp shade as a guide, figure out the spacing of each shell according to how many you have.
-Using a sewing needle and thread, attach each shell with a continuous loop stitch all the way around the bottom edge of the lamp shade. Done!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Anthropologie Inspired Alice in Wonderland Desk Caddy

One of my favorite things to do is re-create a design I see in high end stores that is usually ridiculously over priced. I go window shopping and I come home to get to work on creating a version of the product that doesn't empty my bank account. This time, it was Anthropologie that provided the inspiration. Check out what I was able to recreate for next to nothing!
The inspiration for this project is a wooden desk caddy priced at $58.00. $58.00 for a block of wood with a few drilled holes and an image image adhered to the front... This sounds pretty simple to make and it was! I started out with a block of wood I found out in the garage. This one looks like it could be used for a post or a beam of some sort. As long as the wood has enough depth to hold a pencil, it will work. I cut a piece of the beam using an electric saw (you could also use a hand saw, or ask for help with the cut at Home Depot) approximately 8 1/2 inches long. I then drilled three different size holes measuring 1", 1/2" and 1/4" thick in various places on the top side of the block of wood as seen here:
A little light sanding and here comes the fun part. I visited a local scrapbook store and picked a vintage looking graphic print of the Alice in Wonderland tea party scene. Using the block as a measuring guide, I cut the paper to fit. Using Modpodge and a paintbrush, I applied one thin layer on the front of my block. I then layed my paper over the wet Modpodge and applied a layer over the top of the image. Allow the Modpodge to dry for a few hours and then apply another coat.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Handmade fingerless gloves from recycled sweater

Fingerless Gloves
I have not had much opportunity to wear these cute gloves as the temperture remains in the mid 70's here in sunny San Diego for the holiday season. Still, if not functional, these are a great fashion accessory! This is an easy project using a recycled cable knit sweater that I picked up at my local Good Will for under 5 bucks. Here is how I made it:
1.) I used the front side panels of this red cable knit sweater for my arm warmers as I had already used my sleeves for another project. I simply used the mirrored knit pattern on both the right and left sides the sweater.
2.) After using a seam ripper to remove the zipper, I used my arm as a guide for measure. I left about a 1" allowance for the width around my arm to give me plenty of room for sewing. I used the length of my arm from elbow to fingertips which can be trimmed after sewing. 3.) Using a 1/4" seam, sew the ugly sides of the material together down the entire length of the warmer.
4.) Turn the warmer right side out. Trim the excess material at the opening to leave about 1 1/2" past your knuckles
5.) Carefully snip a SMALL opening for your thumb. Start with a very small opening (about 1/4") as the material stretches
6.) Using coordinating thread, (I used embroidery thread because it's much thicker) hand sew around the thumb opening with a loop stitch in order to keep the slit from fraying and unraveling.
That's it. Pretty simple!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holly Button Christmas Shirt

I wanted to create something a little more sophisticated for a kid's holiday shirt.  This would be perfect for Christmas dinner paired with a skirt and leggings.
With just a few buttons and a needle and thread, you can create this cute kids shirt for about 5 bucks.

Materials Needed:
Red buttons or beads for the berries
Small and medium green buttons
Needle and coordinating thread
That's it!!!

Start out with a plain long-sleeve tee shirt.  I picked this one up from Walmart for $3.88.  I used two different size green buttons to mimic the shape of the leaves and a few red beads for the berries.  You could also use small red buttons.  I chose to sew on my design by hand, but you could also use fabric glue.  It took about half an hour to hand stitch all the buttons in place, but it really could not be more simple and inexpensive for a cute holiday shirt.

DIY Kids Reindeer Christmas shirt

I love the holidays, especially Christmas.  I've seen some adorable holiday clothing that would be great for my two year old daughter, but I just didn't want to spend much on an outfit that she will only wear a few times.
I came up with two fun and easy DIY shirts for Christmas and each one cost under $5.00 to make.
Baby Reindeer Tee

I picked up these plain, longsleve shirts at Walmart for $3.88 each.  You could also makeover a shirt that you already have.

You'll need felt (I used dark brown, pink and white), a good pair of scissors, fabric glue and a needle and thread.  Of course you could also sew the reindeer on by hand or with a sewing machine if you're more advanced.

Download my template by clicking the following link:

Use sewing pins to secure the template in place and cut out the images.  Liberally apply fabric glue to adhere the reindeer to the shirt and the eye, spots, nose and ears to the reindeer.  Allow to dry for 24 hours.  Because the eye is three layers of felt, use a needle and thread to reinforce the layers of the eye with a few stitches.  That's it!

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