Thursday, May 31, 2012

Father's Day Finds: Letterpress

Father's Day is coming our way soon, and I've been seeing a lot of crafty goodness in my feed over at Blog Lovin' (shameless plug, you can follow me over there, too).

I'm taking a different bent and showing you some of the great art pieces I've found on the one and only Etsy, featuring my favorite medium - letterpress. I was able to create with a letterpress for two of my classes in college, and I became a quick addict. The quality of ink on paper, the dimension to the letter forms, the richness of material all come together for the unmatched beauty of letterpress.

Here are five great finds, that are affordable, too, for the dad or husband in your home.

For the quirky foodie or chef dad:
 this from here
For the risk-taker dad:
this from here
For the dad that's full of philosophy:
this from here
For the old school, outdoorsy dad:
this from here.
For the artsy, retro dad:
this from here.

Etsy has great finds for dads, moms, and everyone else on your lists. Happy shopping. And give some letterpress printers a little extra love this Father's Day.

Thanks for coming over!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Outdoor placemat DIY

When warm weather hits the Midwest, you'll find me eating every meal I can outside. I have no problem with the little challenges of outdoor eating (bugs, extreme heat, lawnmower noise), and I'm hoping my kiddos will catch the love for dining in the great outdoors.

We purchased a dining set for our deck many years ago, and the circular shape is a great fit for our fam of five. Finding cute, durable tablecloths for said table, not as great a fit.

So, rather than purchase another all-weather, old-timey looking tablecloth, I decided to create some durable placemats from a bright, striped oblong number I found at Walmart (for a happy $3). These summer stripes had me at orange. Seriously, just like Wilbur the pig, so radiant.

I made these in 30 minutes, and I'm ready to make another six out of the remaining fabric. Oh, and those happy potted succulents, see how to make those here!

My favorite was hearing M tell C, "Mommy made these for us." Yes, I did. So spill away, little ones! There's more watermelon and popsicles where those drips came from.

Are you an outdoor diner, too? Any tips to share on how to enjoy a great meal in the elements?

Happy crafting.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Salsamole

Happy Tuesday, friends! I missed you all. Did you have a restful holiday weekend?

We had a fabulous three days of no alarm clocks, sprinklers and s'mores, vegetable garden planting, and good old-fashioned hanging-out-with-friends time. It was just what we all needed.

And now, to get back in to the last round of activities before the school year ends.

I had a little extra time in the kitchen this weekend, and I wanted to share with you some yumminess we put together for a sweet little BBQ/water play date with friends. I was able to shop my own herb garden to make this salsamole (it's got too many tomatoes for a traditional guacamole and too many avacados for a traditional salsa so I've named it salsamole). It's super fresh and pairs nicely with a lime salted tortilla chip.

I became acutely aware of how much I am not a food blogger as I was making this and trying to shoot attractive photos. So I'll offer the throw away line that this tastes so much better than it looks (although it looked better than it photographed, too). And I'll tell you that food photographers are geniuses.
I got this lovely recipe from a friend and adapted a few things here and there to make it just to my liking! So, here you goes...You'll need:

7 medium tomatoes (romas are awesome here, but if you can't get them, or only have big or small tomatoes, think the equivalent of seven medium tomatoes. I am a no stress ingredient kind of chef so make some good guesses, it'll still taste great.) Cut these guys up to about a 1/4 inch.

3 large ripe (Haas) avacados, diced about the same size as the tomatoes

1 1/2 c of thawed frozen corn kernels

1 T of corn oil

3 T of chopped green onions (we took our scissors out to the garden!)

1/4 c fresh cilantro (again, hooray for a short trip to the herb store for us)

1 t pickled jalapeno

1 t minced garlic

1 1/2 t salt

3 T lime juice

1/2 t cumin

1 t apple cider vinegar
(this photo is taken from inside the bowl. Be the ingredient.)

Preheat your oven to 450. Put the corn on a baking sheet and toss it with the oil. Roast, tossing once, for 7-8 minutes until golden good. Let corn cool.

Fold tomatoes, avacados, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Stir in the vinegar, lime juice, vinegar, salt, cumin. Add in the cooled corn.

Cover and refrigerate. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Pair with a great chip and eat quickly...your family will try to gobble it up before you can get your helping. Oh wait, maybe that's just in my home. :) Happy eating.
And if tomatoes and all those vegetable aren't your thing. Well then here's to many happy s'mores.

It's beginning to look a lot like summer around here. And I love it!

Hoping you found a little bit of Heaven peeking out from around the corner this weekend...and that you keep it with you as we head back into the usual.