Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ham & Cheese Scrolls

If you've been looking for an hors d'oeuvre recipe that's easy and delicious, have I got the recipe for you!  This one has been in my recipe book since my kids were small and it's always a hit - even with the kids!  Take a look:
Now, before you think, "This looks complicated" and leave, hear me out.  This is all you need:

Basil Pesto - just a few spoonfuls
A tube of puff pastry - I use croissants
6 thin slices of Swiss Cheese
6 thin slices of ham

That's it!

Here's what you do:

*Smack that tube of croissants on the edge of the counter and roll them out.  Pinch the edges together so you have a rectangle of pastry on the counter. 
*Spread a few spoonfuls of pesto over the pastry.
*Lay the 6 slices of ham and cheese over the pesto.
*Grab one edge and roll the whole thing until it's  a log.  If you want to get fancy, roll one side to the middle, then the opposite side to meet the first roll.
*Slice (with a serrated knife) into pieces and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
*Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

This is what you'll find on your cookie sheet:
These are best served hot, but I've eaten them cold too.  It's just like pizza, delicious at any temperature!  If you have leftovers - not that that happens very often, you can reheat them the next day.

Now that I've written the post, I think I need to make a new batch. I'm off to the store for ingredients and I hope you are too! Let me know how you like them.

As always, thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week and please share, pin, comment and follow.  I love having new friends at the Cottage!


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Repurposed Glass Furniture Coasters

Today is all about a little 'find' I made at the Cottage.  Tucked in the back of a cabinet were these little glass cups:
I knew exactly what they were because I saw them under my grandparent's furniture legs when I was a little girl.  They are called 'furniture coasters' or, sometimes they are called 'casters'. They were used to protect floors and were very popular at one time.  

Hazel Atlas was a popular brand of coasters and I'm guessing these were made by them.  You can see the 'H' etched in the base:
These coasters were certainly used - notice the scratches - but, were not abused - no chips or cracks.  
They needed a new life, so they became tealight holders!  A tealight fits perfectly inside.
Did I mention the glow of the flame shows off the beautiful green glass?
So, the next time you're in a thrift store and see these, grab a few.  You'll have some new tealight holders!  

What have you repurposed lately?


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Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Little Shelf

I'm back again with my very last pallet wood project.  I had 8 scraps left and put them together to make this:

These were the scraps leftover from all of my projects:

After cutting them to size and sanding them, I used the dry-brush and stain technique to finish them.  Click HERE for details on that technique.

After each board was finished, I started nailing the shelf together. All in all, it was a pretty easy project.  It's not hanging on the wall yet....you know, selling the Cottage, moving, etc., but it will be soon!  So for the purposes of this blog post, I staged it on some cloth-covered boxes. Classy, huh??

How about a close-up?
Or two?

So, that's how I used the last of the pallet wood.  Stay tuned for more projects, though, just not with pallet wood!

Thanks for dropping by.  Enjoy your week and come back again soon!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break...

at least that's what I'm calling it.  Have a great week - I'll be back soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Springtime Ladybug!

In honor of the first day of Spring, here is a little ladybug to brighten your day!
 

I had some wood scraps left-over from last Fall and decided I better use them.  The first thing I did was draw a pattern and cut it out of an old cereal box.
The pattern was traced on the wood and cut out with my trusty jig saw.
After drilling a hole for the antennae and smoothing the edges with sandpaper, the ladybug was ready for paint. 

The edges were distressed and a little antique-medium was rubbed on.  I curled two pieces of black wire and put them in the drilled hole with a little glue.  The ladybug was done!
I think it's perfect for the kitchen window, don't you?

Thanks for stopping by...I hope you'll share, pin, and comment...I loooove comments!  Have a great week and Happy First Day of Spring!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

All-Natural Oven Cleaner That Really Works!

Yes, I know, I'm supposed to be packing.  I am, but I can't stand the smell of oven cleaner and the ovens REALLY needed cleaning before moving out.  Take a look:
Yeah, proud housekeeping moment, right?

I searched the internet for options and here's what I ended up with:

Here's how you do it:

Get some vinegar, baking soda, and salt.
Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water in a spray bottle.
After removing the racks, spray the interior of the oven with the vinegar/water mixture.
Then sprinkle it with baking soda and salt.  I didn't measure, I just threw it around!  I'm precise, like that!  😁
Spray it lightly again and close the door for 2 hours.  
This is what it looked like:

After 2 hours I took my blue plastic scrubbie (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it) and lightly scrubbed the oven surface.  Believe me, I do mean lightly - I don't scrub anything if I can help it! Remember the fence? The result was amazing:
.
This was a win-win.  Clean ovens and no stinky chemicals burning my throat!  
Of course, if you have a new stove/oven with a self-cleaning option, this is not the tip for you.  On the other hand, if you have an older model, like mine, give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
I will miss this beauty - vintage 1959 with double ovens and everything works great!

I guess I'll get back to packing now.  You have a great week!

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Cottage Is Sold!

You may remember, several weeks ago, I mentioned some 'Big News".  Well, here it is...we sold the Cottage.  We didn't plan it, it just happened, really!  Are you ready for the story?

Last July I was sitting in the front yard weeding the flower beds, when a car drove by a few times and finally stopped.  The woman asked me if I knew anything about the house next door.  It had a FSBO sign with no contact information.  I told her the only thing I knew was that it was a 3-bedroom house and the owners were rarely home.

We continued to chat about houses, etc. when I told her that my husband always says for the right price, you can have ours!  She thought I was kidding and I informed her that I wasn't.  My husband heard us talking and came out on the porch to join in the conversation. We chatted for a while and just 'hit it off'.

Finally, we asked if she'd like to see the house.  She said she would. After being in the house for about five minutes, she turned to us and said, "I love this house and I want to buy it.  How much do you want for it?"

The rest is history, as they say.  She had to sell her house, which she did in December.  She then started house-sitting for a friend and applied for  a mortgage in January.  We closed the other day and we are now looking for a place to live.  Where it will be is yet to be determined - across town or across the country - Stay tuned!

I have mixed emotions about this event, but it really is for the best. Owning an older home is a lot of work and physically, we are finding it challenging. But there are some things I will miss...

Sitting on the front porch on a Summer afternoon:

The Cozy Side Porch:




And so much more....

The one thing I can tell you is this blog will continue.  Even though I won't be living in the Cottage, the Cottage will live on through me!  So, stay tuned my friends, life is about to get interesting!


Bouquet of Talent
Saturday Shuffle
Sunday's Best
Sundays At Home
That DIY Party
Do It Yourself Crafty Party
Silver Pennies Sunday
Happiness is Homemade
Dishing It & Digging It
Makers Link Party
Amaze Me Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Make It Pretty Monday
Wow Me Wednesday
Wonderful Wednesday
Party In Your PJs
Homemade & Handcrafted
Vintage Charm
Creatively Crafty
Create, Bake, Grow & Gather


Monday, February 27, 2017

Minestrone

How about some soup?  After having every kind of weather this weekend - that's right, temperatures near 70 turned into thunder and lightning, changing to snow  - I thought a nice pot of soup was in order.  

Ingredients:
3 - 14 &1/2  oz. cans beef broth
2 - 15 oz. cans canellini beans - rinsed & drained
1 - 14 &1/2 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 - 1 &1/2 oz can vegetable juice
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 12-14 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups cooked pasta (1 cup uncooked) I used Ditalini 
Grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  
Add the mixed vegetables, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add cooked pasta and remove from heat.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan.

Serves 8.

How's that for easy?  

Here's hoping the weather calms down...I'm really ready for Spring!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Quiet Week

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  We got over a foot of snow here this past weekend...needless to say, the shoulder is feeling it! So have a wonderful week and enjoy my new Featured Post, in honor of Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Shirt Pillow

Well, it finally happened.  My favorite chambray shirt ripped through at the elbow.  For 15 years I was a Close To My Heart Consultant and I LOVED that shirt! So, rather than throw it out, I decided to make a pillow.

I decided on an 16-inch pillow, smoothed the buttoned shirt flat and cut (both front & back) into a 16-inch square.

After putting the right sides together, I pinned the edges - all the way around the square.


Now it was time to sew a 1/2-inch seam all the way around.  That's right, no opening for turning!


At this point, you are ready to unbutton the shirt so you can turn it right side out.


Using a 16-inch pillow form, I slid it in the unbuttoned opening, smoothed it and rebuttoned the shirt.  The pillow was done!

The entire project took about 15 minutes and it's a great way to preserve a shirt that has special meaning to you.
My pillow sits in my Craft Room.

This is a wonderful way to preserve a memory of something you did or someone you love.  I hope you'll give it a try!  As always, please share, pin, follow, etc!  😊

Have a wonderful week & thank you for stopping by the Cottage!


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Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Vintage Coat

Last summer, while digging around some antique/vintage shops, I came upon this coat.  Honestly, I am not usually a 'Vintage Clothes Gal', but this coat spoke to me.  I slipped it on and fell in love. My husband took one look and said, "Buy it".  Eighteen dollars (that's right, $18) later, the coat was mine.
This pic was taken on a hot August afternoon!

It's from the 1950's and it's is great shape:
That's the arm - not a tear in sight!
It's wool and very warm.
I did a quick search of this company.  They started in the 1950's in New Jersey.

I bought a pair of dark brown leather gloves to match.  Yes, I paid more for the gloves that I did for the coat!

The coat has been worn many times this winter and I can tell you, it's very warm! 

Short and sweet this week, my friends.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about my 'Vintage Find'.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week! 


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Friday, January 20, 2017

It's Still Winter...

...so the snowman stays!
I made this guy last fall.  I drew a pattern on paper, traced it on the pallet wood, and cut it out.


Here's a close-up:

After sanding the pallets, I screwed a piece of wood across the back to hold it together.  The hat was painted and a thin piece of wood was attached with Liquid Nails for the brim and more stability.  The rest of the snowman was painted and distressed with my palm sander.  
The final touches: painting a face and adding a red burlap scarf. The snowman was done!

I'm keeping him on my side porch, where he's not exposed to the weather.  The red burlap might 'bleed' and I don't want to re-paint! I plan to put a piece of burlap outside for a test. If it 'bleeds' I'll have to find a new scarf.   I'll let you know what happens.

I'm so glad you stopped by.  Please be sure to share, pin, follow, etc.  I love having new friends at the Cottage!


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cabinet Do-Over

My daughter makes and sells her own nail polish.  As you can imagine, she has a LOT of nail polish bottles.  For over a year, we've been talking about some sort of rack/cabinet to hold all of those bottles.  I spent some time 'trolling' her Pinterest boards to see what she liked and, low and behold, I found a little cabinet at a yard sale that needed a do-over.  Here's what I did:

This little beauty started out off-white with a plastic window and knob.  
Cute, but not the look I was going for...

As I 'trolled' my daughter's Pinterest boards, I noticed she liked 'distressed-black'. So, I got to work.  The first thing to do was remove all the hardware and that plastic window.  The window was hot-glued in and I thought I would have to heat-up the glue.  My husband gave it a little push and it popped right out!  Problem solved!
I gave the entire cabinet 2 coats of black chalk paint.  The hardest part was getting all the nooks and crannies inside the the cabinet.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I turned it over, around, and upside down! Once the paint dried, it was sanded to let some of the off-white peek through and then it was given 2 coats of polycrylic.  
A old lace curtain was cut apart for the window.  Since the wood on the door was so thin, I used a stapler to attach the lace.  The rough edges were finished with seam binding.
Since the knob was plastic, I planned to replace it.  The problem was the fact that the wood on the door was very thin and every knob I looked at was too long to bolt through it.  So, the old knob was reused.  I had some silver spray paint leftover from the hutch hardware.  Just a quick spray and it looked brand new!
This cabinet doesn't begin to hold all of her polish, but she uses it to hold her favorites.  I gave it to her for Christmas and she tells me it was a hit with all of her nail polish friends!  

If you're interested in her polish, which is hand-made without all of those harmful chemicals, you can find her Etsy Shop HERE.
Vixen Lacquers is also on Facebook.