Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Reclaimed Wood Wall Art Roundup

Ever since I met {J} over at Twigs and Twine, 
she's kept me busy, busy, BUSY with more reclaimed wood orders.  
If you head over you can see my latest batch displayed.

Some are custom like this one and this one, but for the most part,
I get to just play.
From the next several pictures, it's obvious that I've been playing with
different fonts, different designs, and different colors.

I seriously have crafting ADD.

It's funny to go through my stash of supplies and remember which phase I was in at the time.

Scrapbooking.  Check.
Card making.  Check.
Jewelery making.  Check.
Quilting.  Check.
Vinyl.  Check.
Sewing Fabric Bags.  Check.
Sewing Maxi Skirts.  Check, check and still checking!

But now it's on to reclaimed wood.
For the most part it's pallet wood, but occationally
I will score some different pieces like a sheet of lovely beadboard and plywood.

And since none of these signs will be going up in my house,
I just put them in the best looking place for display for the pictures.
Hence, they are all taken in the same spot.
If you want a different setting... well use your own imagination.

So here's the round up.

First is a Bakery sign on beadboard.
I love the font.  It's the same one I used in my blog header.
Again the process is the same as this one and this one.
I make the transparency, print it at Staples for $1,
take it home and set up my projector and start tracing.
I used to use contact paper and the Cricut, but I felt limited on what I could design.
The projector method takes longer for sure, but I have more artistic license.

There I go talking like I'm actually a real artist.

Nah.  Just a crafty girl who likes to play with power tools and paint.

Bonus is that I'm actually getting paid to craft.
That's never happened before and I'm savoring every moment.

I like playing with birds and have used them quite a bit in the past.
These are some new images I found and thought I would try them out.

This one is a throwback to this board I made at the beginning of the year.
Same image, totally different design and color.

Again more bird love.

I think it's fun that you can see part of the labeling on the wood.
It says product of Canada.
Kind of cool.

I love this word-art.  
I plan on doing something like this for my daughter for her room.
I just have to decide on the medium.
Haven't got that far yet.

Last was a quick piece that was super easy to paint.
I love it when pieces come together quickly with out much extra work.
I've wanted to  play with come kitchen images and have done a few in the past.

I definitely see some zinc letters in my future.
But for now... enjoy!

That's enough for one day.
Sheesh.  I'm tired.

Another day saving the planet using reclaimed wood
and making things a little more beautiful.
If I do say so myself.  ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Stock

Market on the Move started back up again around here
and it's time to get back to canning.
I love vegetable stock and use it all the time.
It's a great way to incorporate more veggies into our meals
sneaky style, plus it adds great flavor in place of plain water.

I was looking around on the internet for different versions of stock
and came across a roasted version,
I've recently decided I like the flavor of roasted veggies.
Usually for dinner I will cut up a few different kinds of vegetables
into chunks, drizzle them with olive oil, and my favorite seasoning.
Then put it in the oven with the rack at the medium height, turn on the broiler,
then let bake for 7 minutes, stir, 7 minutes more, stir, 5 minutes, stir...
etc. until they are done to my liking.  It usually takes about 20 minutes.
Something about roasting boosts the flavor exponentially.

So I thought I would try roasting my veggies for the stock.
Let me just say that I will never go back.  So good!

So lets get started.

Roasted Vegetable Stock

Wash and chop the following:

1 pound carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch celery cut into 1 inch pieces
3 medium onions cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 bell peppers of your choice, I used green but red or yellow would be good too, cut into pieces
2 large tomatoes seeded and diced.

Place in oven on broil with the rack at medium height.
Roast for 7 minutes.  Remove and stir.
Roast for another 7 minutes, stir, repeat.
Roast for 5 minutes, stir, repeat.

When the veggies are done to your liking, remove from oven.

Put roasted veggies into a large stock pot and cover with water.
Add the following:
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dry whole thyme
8 peppercorns

Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 1-2 hours to reduce the stock.

Scoop a few cups at a time and place in your blender.  Puree.

Then pour through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove large chunks.

Don't discard the chunks.

I saved these and use them in my noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup, 
and replaced some of the liquid for the veggies in my wheat thin recipe for a veggie cracker.  
Very good!
You will have a lot of the chunky stuff, 
so put it in your cupcake tins to freeze individual portions.
When they are frozen, pop them out and put in ziplock bags to use later.
Easy, and nothing wasted.

Pour the strained stock into washed and prepared jars and attach lids and rings.
Remember to slightly heat the lids in simmering water to soften the rubber.

Put jars into a pressure canner.
Because there are more veggies than just tomatoes, you can't use a boiling water cannner.

Follow manufacturers instructions for pressure canning.
Process jars: 30 minutes for pints, 35 minutes for quarts at 10 pounds of pressure.
Let pressure come down naturally.

Remove from canner and let sit on a wire rack for 24 hours to cool and allow the jars to finish sealing.
Once the jars are done, lable, and add to your pantry.

Did you know that you can remove the rings after the jars are sealed?
The lid keeps everything protected, and you can re-use the rings on another jar.

Sometime I forget to remove the rings, but either way is OK.

Roasted Vegetable stock.
So good.

Need some ideas on how to use it:
Use it place of some of the liquid in Garden Breadsticks.
Use it in place of all or part of water making chili, stew, or other soups.
Use it to replace all or part of the water when cooking rice or pasta.
Use in place for all or part of the water in Artisan Pizza Dough.

Really, you can use it just about anywhere to replace the water in a recipe.
Instant flavor and nutritional boost!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day with a little Pallet Love

Happy Valentine's Day!  

I wanted to share a little Love from me to you with one of my latest Pallet Wood projects.  

Remember this board that I did at the beginning of the year.  It will always be one of my favorite projects, even it if was a lot of work and is super heavy. 
The color combination and fonts used worked perfectly together.  

Sometimes I think I'm pretty creative, but for this one, it was all the customer.  
But since I now have the transparency with this image on it, I've used it again and again and again.

Actually this design has become my bread and butter.  
And if you know me well enough, the pun was intended.  

I have made many, many pieces just like this one.  
But rather than take pictures of the same design over and over again, 
I will just show you this one.

Sometimes I will use the apple cider vinegar to darken up the wood before painting.  
This time I didn't and kept the whole thing au natural.

I have also had a few customers ask for one that is white washed, with black or brown letters.
Sorry I didn't take any photos, but I can guarantee I will be making more of them.

So here's to a Happy Valentines Day!

Love you!

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