Archive | January, 2013

Spice Organizer

30 Jan

One of the best ways to save money is by cooking at home, and since this girl is back in school, the budget is tight! When cooking at home, spices are your best friend, but your cabinet’s worst enemy. My spices have completely overtaken an entire shelf of cabinet space and I have been wracking my brain for a solution. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to use magnets and hang them all up in plain sight, or the money to buy a fancy spice rack, so here is the simple solution I came up with.

Supplies:

Box – smaller size, with shallow edges is best

Paint

Sharpie marker




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Online shopping is another way to save some dough(as long as you don’t go overboard) because you can find amazing coupon deals and you don’t have to waste gas driving to the store. My most recent purchase came in this box, which is just about the perfect size for my spice collection.

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I cut off the top flap and painted the inside of the box white and used some of the gold paint from my last project on the outside. This will take a few coats to cover the natural color of the cardboard. Some other ways you could the cover the box are with patterned paper, fabric, newspaper, magazine images, spray paint, Mod Podge, etc. So go crazy with the personalization!

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Here is my disorganized spice cabinet. I have to shuffle them around every time I cook and there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to where they are placed back. What a mess!

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While all of my spices don’t fit in the box, the ones I use the most do. This is a huge help because when I go to cook something, I can just take out the entire spice box, rather than running back and forth between the stove and my spice cabinet!

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All organized and look at all the space I have now! The stuff that didn’t fit in the box are mainly back-ups that I had purchased because I will be running out of the other one very soon. This quick project can also be just as easily done with a store bought box/basket, tupperware or a serving tray.

–Heather

Skinny Alfredo

29 Jan

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I love Fettucini Alfredo – but I feel my heart slowly exploding every time I eat it. It’s so good, but so bad for you (like many things that are so good). So I went on a little internet search and found some inspiration for my own Alfred0- with a lot less love handles involved.

Supplies:

3 Chicken Breasts
1 bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 box penne
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
minced garlic
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup parmesan cheese

I didn’t take any photos while cooking- sorry! I was in the zone I guess. But this is really easy to make- your secret ingredient is the greek yogurt. This takes the place of your heavy cream in the alfredo sauce.

Chop up your chicken and cook it. Chef’s choice- grill it, bake it, whatever your heart desires. We pan fried it on the stove top.

Cook your broccoli in the microwave- just follow the instructions on your package.

Cook your pasta in a large pot.

While your pasta is boiling- it’s time to make your sauce.

Pour the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan along with a few dashes of minced garlic. Let it simmer on low for a minute.

Next, add your flour, and whisk while you add. This will thicken your little mixture up a bit and it will start bubbling. Keep whisking!

Slowly add your chicken broth and milk while you keep whisking.

Next you will add in your secret ingredient- greek yogurt!

Lastly- whisk in your parmesan cheese.

Let your sauce heat up on low while you add your chicken and broccoli to your pot of penne (drain your pasta first incase you forgot about that).

Pour your alfredo over the top and you are ready to go.

Top each plate off with some extra parmesan cheese and pepper- and you have yourself some skinny alfredo! This recipe feeds 4 very hungry people.

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Constellation Series

27 Jan

All things galactic – stars, constellations, the sun, the moon, planets etc. have fascinated me ever since I was little. I vividly remember being about 5 years old and sitting in the backseat of my mom’s Toyota Camry on a night drive home from wherever and buckling myself into the middle seat so that I could lay down and stare at the stars while we moved along. The fact that people would travel wide open oceans using only the constellations to guide them romanticized stars in my mind to a point of no return. I still get giddy when I spot my first star of the night and so a mixed media series on constellations was inevitable.

Supplies:

Canvasses

Magazines

Scissors

Sobo glue

Heavy gel medium

Acrylic paint

Ceramic paint

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To start I picked out five constellations that had myths or meanings that resonated with me, which ended up being Orion, Andromeda, Perseus, Ursa Major and Sagittarius. In researching each story I was able to draw out some major themes and then collaged the canvasses in relation to each constellation’s main idea.

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I had intended on taking pictures of each step of the process but got caught up in the project instead. So after gluing the images to each canvas, I coated them all with a layer of thinned out gold paint. Then I thinned out a vibrant phthalo blue and layered a coat on top of the gold paint. The result was an ethereal iridescence that changes depending on the lighting. On top of those layers I put a thick coat of gel medium. I then drew out each constellation and painted each star a bit differently with gold centers and white starbursts. I connected the stars with dots of a more saturated phthalo blue. It was at this point that I remembered the “Starlight, Starbright” nursery rhyme – a rhyme that I sang often as a child, mainly on my walks home from my Nana’s house as I picked out a star in the sky and made an earnest wish. So I used the ceramic paint and drew out a phrase of the lyrics on each canvas. I then coated the letters in a gold glaze. As a final touch I painted the names of each constellation on the canvasses in the style of old star charts.

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Orion – The hunter, which for me translated into goals and aspirations.

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Andromeda – The chained lady, which I interpreted as obstacles.

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Perseus – The hero, signifying support from others, whether it be moral or physical.

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Ursa Major – The bear, since this constellation can be seen year round and is famously used for navigation, I interpreted it as routine and steady progress.

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Sagittarius – The archer/centaur, my sun sign, that I designated as reevaluation and the creation of new goals.

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Here is a panorama of where they have been hung in our livingroom.

IMG_2315And here is a photo collage of all of the pieces together.

–Heather

Spray Painted Phone Case

24 Jan

This is a super simple way to take a phone case you already have and make it new and fun again.

Supplies:

Phone case

Paint – I used spray paint, but most any kind would work

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Seems like almost everyone has moved into the smartphone world, and while the things these phones can do is amazing, they are fragile pieces of technology that really need a case to protect them from accidents.

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I bought this case off of Amazon for under $5 and used it as is for months and loved it. The consumer in me won out after a while and I purchased a different case and threw this one into storage for the time being. Then one day I came across a blog that was showing ways to use glitter and paint to create a fun case when it dawned on me that I had some silver chrome spray paint that would make that black case look amazing.

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So I laid down some newspaper outside and got spraying!

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I let the paint dry overnight before handling it, just to make sure I wouldn’t leave any finger prints on the finish.

IMG_0071All done and ready for a few more months on my phone! Simple, quick, easy and using stuff I already had on hand – it doesn’t get much better than that!

–Heather

Update! After actually putting this case to the test, the paint begins to wear off on your hands a bit so I have gone back and coated the case in a clear gloss lacquer to protect it from further wear.

Join us on Facebook!

23 Jan

Thanks to everyone who has viewed, appreciated, or inspired Heather and me over the past year and a half! Two Girls now officially has a Facebook Page!

We are looking to create a creative outlet for all do-it-yourselfers out there and would love for you to be a part of it.

Please “Like” our page and grow with us 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/TwoGirlsMakingStuff

Framed Fabric Wall Art

22 Jan

So I have this pillowcase that is probably older than me, and it is subsequently the softest thing I own and one day I noticed a small rip in the fabric. I flipped the pillow over and tried to pretend it would mend itself in my dreams. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like a fairy tale so I threw it in the wash with my sheets and the rip more than quadrupled in size, which equaled minor devastation. I take pride in my ultra-plush bed that would make the “Princess and the Pea” sleep soundly through the night, so I decided to turn my sad, unusable pillowcase into a piece of art.

Supplies:

Poster frame – or any frame

Fabric

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Santa brought me a few large frames for Christmas and I hadn’t gotten around to filling them yet, so when the pillowcase ripped beyond repair, I suddenly had something to frame.

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First I ripped the seam of the pillow case to open it up wider and give myself more options for layout. They sell seam rippers at any fabric store, but I didn’t have one on hand and just used some nail clippers and they got the job done just as easily.

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Then once the pillowcase was just one large piece of fabric, I laid it out on the cardboard backing for the frame and took a peek at the composition. I was pleasantly surprised with the contrast between the white fabric and brown backing, as well as the black frame. Afterward, I just folded the tabs down on each side, making sure to pull the fabric nice and taught in the frame.

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Here you can see what the fabric looks like all framed. A bit of simple, modern-style art using something most people would have thrown away or turned into rags.

IMG_0079My office/studio had some blank walls that were begging for some artwork, so this piece got hung up promptly. While my framed piece of fabric has a bit of sentimentality to it, the project could be done with endless other things – wallpaper, patterned fabric, ribbon, material samples, scrapbook paper etc. In just ten minutes I had turned my unhappy accident into a beautiful piece of art!

–Heather

The Kitchen Cupboard Face Mask

18 Jan

I’m always looking for interesting face masks, I love the way my skin feels after washing them off. I have seen a lot of at-home masks lately and combined a few recipes to make my own. This is great because they are items you probably already have in your kitchen!

Supplies:

1/4 cup water
Baking Soda
1 tsp lemon juice

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Combine the water and lemon juice in a bowl and then slowly add your baking soda. Keep mixing it in with a spoon until it starts to turn into a paste.

Scoop it out with your (clean!)fingers and start to gently massage it into your skin. Gently massage for a few minutes and you will start to feel the baking soda turning into less of a paste and more of an exfoliant scrub.

After my entire face was covered, I let it sit for 10 mins and then washed the mixture off with warm water.

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This may be one of the most unflattering photos of me…but I felt like I had to share so you can see what the paste becomes on your face.

My skin was left feeling clean, soft, and tight! I’m going to continue to use this face mask every few days and I’ll let you know if I see any difference in my skin.

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