Monthly Archives: July 2011

Lamp Lovin’

I have been crafting up a storm the past couple of weeks! While it’s fantastic, it also means that I’ve neglected Pearls. To whet your appetites, here are some pictures of my latest completed project.

Every year, my family heads down to Hill Country to a little slice of heaven known as Wimberley. For the past few years, my sister and I have been meaning to pay a visit to the thrift store that is right by the place we stay, 7A Ranch. This past May we finally made it in.

Lo and behold, I found this rusty treasure of a lamp. I’d never seen a lamp that was also a table–tacky fabulous–and it was still in working condition.

In all its tarnished glory.

It has such a great, unique shape, and I could just see (despite my dad’s doubts) the potential for a beautiful transformation.

I started by deciding the original lampshade just had to go; it had a rough life and the drive back to Dallas in the bed of my boyfriend’s truck didn’t help its rips and tears. After this, I cleaned and sanded the body of the lamp to ensure that the paint would go on smoothly.

I originally planned on redoing the lamp in a rich, creamy yellow, but when I got to Home Depot to check out their spray paint collection, this beautiful plum color called my name. And I’m so glad it did. After three coats, it turned out even better than my original vision.

Isn't it a beautiful color?

Once I had that chunk of work out of the way, I headed down to Target to find a cream/white lampshade. I kept it circular to match the table–a squared shade wouldn’t have fit the feel of the overall piece. I completed the project by putting a coat of polyurethane on the table to protect the paint.

Ta-da!

What do you think?

Linked up at What I Whipped Up Wednesday!

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Building Suspense . . .

. . . is an integral part of any publication.

I had a wonderfully craft-filled weekend, and I’m proud of everything that I accomplished (or started working on).

Preview! Preview!

More (better) pictures to come . . .

(See? Suspense!)

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The Beauty in Books

Issac Salazar Book Art

I think it’s safe to say that you all know at least this one thing about me by now: I love books. My love for all (almost) all things crafty has yet to be showcased much on Pearls, but I promise it’s right up there with books. So imagine my delight to see how popular book art is becoming!

I’ve made one book craft in the past few months, which is nowhere near as advanced as the gorgeous works of art that I will showcase in just a minute. I got my inspiration from a tutorial over at Recovering Craft Hoarder. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make my own; it was love at first sight. So the boyfriend and I made our way over to Half Price Books and went straight to the clearance section. I found the perfect book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure (Harper, 2008), for one dollar! Rather than straight text, this book has pages and pages of—you guessed it—six-word memoirs, all in different fonts, all on different places on the pages. Some of the pages are a natural color, some are black, some are gray with a dotted pattern. All this allowed the look of the finished project to be that much more organic and unique. (And it was an entertaining read!)

I set about folding all the pages in half, which didn’t take nearly as long as I feared it would, and then I cut the pages from the cover. We glued a piece of scrapbook paper to the backing of a shadowbox (for the record, I tried my hardest to find a page that wasn’t red so I didn’t seem like quite such a copycat, but in the end this paper just looked the best–you can’t quite tell in the small version of the picture, but it has a cracked texture), and set about gluing the spine down flat on the paper. To be on the safe side, we also glued the first and last folded pages down as well. We knocked the glass out of the shadowbox frame and placed the backing in its rightful place. Voila! Book art! I won’t lie; my guy and I were pretty proud of ourselves. For more detailed, visual instructions, click here.

The finished product!

And again!

I had a lot of fun working on that craft, and I love the way it turned out. However, these next two artists totally blow my measly folded pages away.

Issac Salazar (also made the piece photographed at the beginning of this post)

Brian Dettmer [The Book Surgeon]

{This is truly some of the most amazing art I’ve ever seen. Hauntingly beautiful.}

Amazing.

Awesome.

Fantastic.

What inspiring art have you seen lately?

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Bacon and Spinach Pinwheels

I have discovered a new delicious  recipe, thanks to one of my favorite link-up parties (which I stalk religiously), What I Whipped Up Wednesday on Sugar and Dots. I don’t really remember the series of clicks that led me to this cornucopia of homemade goodness, but it has been one of my favorite finds since discovering the growing blogging community.

Back in May, Ginny, of the blog Cooking with Chopin (adorable name!), linked up with a recipe for Bacon-Spinach Pinwheels. As soon as I saw the name, I knew it was meant to be. Bacon? Yes, please! With spinach? Yes, please! Turned into a pastry? Yes! Please! Now!

Since first reading this recipe, I have already made it twice–once to take to work as a treat for our staff meeting and once for a bridal shower for one of my best friends. Both times they’ve received rave reviews, much to my delight! The best part is that they really aren’t that hard to make at all! I love when you can pretty much just combine all the ingredients in one bowl and mix thoroughly.

You can find the full ingredient list and instructions here.

Don't they look just scrumptious? {Photo credit: Cooking with Chopin}

I did, as usual, alter the recipe slightly to fit my tastes:

  • Bacon: I used turkey bacon, just for the health of it. (You’ll soon learn that if there is a turkey version of something, I’ll use it!) I also used precooked bacon, because no matter how hard I try or how many other cooking techniques I master, I cannot for the life of me cook bacon well. Plus, let’s be honest, is the mess really worth it? OK, fine, I also added an extra strip or two.
  • Spinach: I used extra spinach–probably about a half cup extra. Come on, it’s delicious.
  • Seasonings: I used garlic salt rather than garlic powder. I think it has a more potent flavor than powder, and I didn’t want the garlic taste to get lost in all the cheeses.
  • Mixing: Rather than mix with a wooden spoon, I used my hands to make sure that all the cheeses were equally distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Miscellaneous: I do not recommend thoroughly thawing the pastry beforehand. I’ve found that it is easier to cut the pinwheels if the pastry is still somewhat stiff.
Ginny mentions that they freeze well, but I wouldn’t know–they’ve never lasted long enough for me to try it!
Go forth and cook, my friends! Let me know how it turns out!

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