Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fixing Up an Old Chandelier

I need help from you, my crafty friends. I saw this vintage chandelier hanging in a friend's kitchen eating area when they first moved in and said, "when you replace this light, I'll take it". So a year later or so, I got a message; "it's yours if you want it, come and get it". I did. It's not as shiny gold as the picture and shows lots of age. It needs an overhaul. I'm not sure if I want to put it in my closet, my dining room, or my back porch. So, my question to you is should I paint it gold, bronze, silver or what?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bedroom Color Enhancement

I've lived in this house for 8 years and just now realized that my bedroom has not reflected my husband's and my personalities. It's been blah and beige for way too long. It's had little furniture except for a bed and an old, ugly chaise lounge that I didn't even want to show. It has built-in night tables, dressers, a frame around the headboard, and even an entertainment center. Even with the padded headboard that I made, it was past time for a color enhancement. I started with knowing I did not want to spend a lot of money. It wasn't necessary. First came art above my bed. It took quite a while to find something that fit the space. I got this print on The Foundary for $150. It had many colors which almost froze me with fear to continue. But I pursued on the internet, and in many stores, multiple times. I got advice from friends and yet it was the next item I purchased that sealed the deal. Adding color without changing much is easy. It's done with the accessories. It's done with art. It can also be done with paint....no ready to do that yet. I also needed some functional furniture.

When I saw these amazing pillows for my bed, I suddenly realized that my room of grey and yellow just wasn't going to happen. These were a little more than I wanted to spend but they really bring color  ($29 each at Pier One)

I added table lamps ($39 each at Home Goods), a chair (on sale for $135 at World Market) and accent table ($39 at Home Goods) as well as a fun pillow for the chair ($34.95 at Pier One) and a crocheted throw that I made. I had the standing lamp and just changed the shade ($12 at Target).

Next came the yellow mohair throw ($21 on QVC) and an end of the bed wood slat bench ($64 with coupons at World Market). I know I'll never stop hearing from my husband "you got something else to bump into in the night". I'm such a klutz. The last step will be drapes and since it's taken me 8 years to make decisions, it may take me a bit longer. I am getting new blinds though. How do you like those verticals, huh?

Kabocha: What Rhymes with That?

I came across some interesting recipes the past couple of days watching tv and browsing the internet and thought it would be a good time to do some recipe testing for Thanksgiving and at the same time feed my family dinner.

I just learned of a squash called Kabocha. It's supposedly has a starchy texture like potatoes. I came across this recipe for mashed Kabocha and thought, hmm, may be fun to make something other than my normal mashed potatoes or at least incorporate Kabocha into a mashed potato recipe to add color and a little bit different flavor. I bought 2 and prepared and mashed them according to the directions. I then added minced and sauteed garlic, butter, salt and cream. I didn't add any cheese this time.

As a garnish, I saw the White House chef on The Nate Show the other day making Caramelized pepitas which were calling my name but I used Arizona Dreaming spice mix from Penzey's Spices that my friend Kristin got me instead of the espellete powder, which is like cayenne pepper.

Pleasantly surprised I found the texture to actually be like potatoes and it's my new favorite squash for many uses. The biggest issue is peeling the darn thing. Next time, instead of preparing it by peeling and dicing it to steam, I would cut it in half, take out the seeds and bake it in a dish face down at 350 degrees for about 45 min-hour, then simply scoop it out and mash it. My blister on my finger would agree.