Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Favorite Zucchini Recipe

This is my favorite zucchini recipe and these muffins are fresh out of the oven!!   I {heart} this time of year.  All of the fresh produce coming into season!! 

I found this recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/.  It is called:

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (this time I only had pecans - - they're great, too!!)

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla;  mix well.  Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened.  Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts.  Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the muffins test done.  Remove from tins and let cool on cooling rack.

Yield:  12 muffins

These muffins freeze well!!  They are so moist and yummy!!

Please let me know if you try them!! 

Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe you'd like to share??

Thanks for stopping by!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

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I've Been Hiding.......

I've been hiding out in the garage!!  And - Man O Man - it sure is hot out there!!!

I've been working on finishing doors...............  A few years ago I did a faux wood grain on our steel front door.  It turned out great and I love it!!  But there are a couple of things wrong with the door....
     First - when we bought it, it was just the door, no casing.  (But we got it for a GREAT price!!) So we used the casing from the existing door.  And it was ok for a few years...  but not now.  The screws that hold the door into the casing and the holes themselves are all stripped and worn out....  You have to LIFT the handle to get the door to close correctly....  What a pain!!
     Second - when I did the faux wood grain and then stained it, I didn't seal it......... and the sun has taken it's toll on the finish.  It's all faded out....  and yucky...

So, Mr. Inspiring and I went to Menards (isn't that the coolest store???) and bought a new front door.  And I told him that I would do the faux finish again, if he wanted me to.....  And since it was like almost $250 cheaper, he said OK!!

Here are the pictures at the beginning of the project.

At first, I couldn't get the glass and the trim off the door on both sides, so I covered the glass with old Christmas wrap that I don't like.  After I took this picture, I pushed a couple of chairs up to the door.  Good thing I did because the next day, the glass had dropped out and was on the chairs.......

Anyway, here are the pictures after I put the wood grain coat on the back of the door.

I'll take more pictures tonight of all the equipment I'm using.  If you've never tried this, it is really easy.  It just takes practice and patience.

I just want to say that I used the Minwax Gel Stain........  I LOVE that stuff.  It is perfect for this type of application.  My only issue - it isn't with the stain, it's with the weather.  Because it's SO hot, it isn't taking long for the gel to set.  I have finished the back of the door, and it's darker than I anticipated.  The stain itself is darker than what I used on the original door, and I did that on purpose (don't want any orange-y, golden stain).  But with it being so hot and drying so quickly, I believe I ended up with more coats on different parts of the door.  At first I didn't really like the darkness........... I thought I really messed up!!  But - - It's kind of growing on me and I'm ok with it!!  After I got the finish the way I wanted, I sealed it with clear polyurethane.  I gave it a few days to dry.  Last night, we flipped the door over and I started all over on that side, which is the front.  Like I said, I'll take more pictures tonight and post them.  Maybe I'll even attempt a tutorial!!

I also spray painted the new back door.  After these 2 doors are done?  Nope, I won't be finished with doors.  I'll be starting on staining and finishing 4  6-panel interior doors and 3 sets of 6-panel closet doors.  I'm ready for this reno to be done!!!   And I can't wait to start on the floors!!  I'm doing the paperbag flooring treatment!!  I'll take tons of pictures of that while it's in the works!!!

Have a great Tuesday!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking up with these Fab Parties!!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Knocking Off - Again!!

I hate purses.  I hate having to carry one because it just catches all my junk and trash.  Yes - - trash!!  If I don't see a trash can, bam - - in the purse it goes.........  I hate buying purses.  I hate spending money on purses....... 

Well, last year, I was invited to a Thirty One party.  So, I bought...........

A purse.

I know - - what was I thinking??   Well.   I bought the purse that you can change the outside 'skirt' to make it look like a different purse.  And I really like that part about it.

Yep  - -

There's a BUT in there....

I'm not so thrilled with their choices of fabric this year.   I'm not the kind of girl to carry a bright purse. 

And I just didn't find one that I liked to go with the brown purse.  So - - I bought...........

Another one........... 

I know - - what was I thinking???

Well, the new one is black and I bought the skirt that is black with white swirls...... 

But I still didn't see any new 'skirts' for the brown one...........

Last week when I was shopping at Hobby Lobby, I found some wonderful fabric that I could use to make a skirt for my brown purse.  I think it turned out ok.  Actually, I really like it, but....  If you know anything about these purses, you'll know what I'm talking about.....

The part that hooks to the purse, that's under the flaps?  Well, it has a weird curve.  And since I'm not a seamstress, I just don't know how to make that part of it.

I looked for a pattern online, but I couldn't find one.  I see where people are making these, but they're just not sharing their pattern.......   So......I took the stitching out of the corners on my first skirt, and used that as my template.

I stitched up the sides (My new sewing maching does the edge stitching to keep your fabric from fraying - - how sweet is that?!?!?!?!?) and then stitched the bottom.

Then I 'opened' the corners, and matched the side seam to the bottom seam, and ironed it flat.

I measured how long the seam was at the corner on the original skirt.  It was 3", so I moved my ruler up the seam until I had 1 1/2" on each side of it.  I drew a line and stitched it.

At this point, I just kind of winged it.  I folded the top down and stitched it.  I made 4 button holes on each side to slip the hooks into that hold the skirt in place under the flap.  I didn't take pictures because this is the part I'm not 'getting' how to make. 

Here's what the finished product looks like......  I really like it.

I found some really great black, grey and white paisley.  I'm going to make one for the black purse next!!!

Thanks for looking!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking up here:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Journey of a Ladder

Hello, Blog-Friends!!

Last evening, Mr. Inspiring and I went to his sister's house to pick up a couple of things they needed taken to the dump.  Since Mr. I was already planning a trip, he asked them if they had anything that needed to go, too.  On our last trip walking by the side of their house, I noticed that my BIL had a wooden ladder laying down next to the garage.  (OMG - - what was he thinking??? Does he not know all the cool stuff you can do with such a treasure????)   As we were getting ready to leave, I just mentioned to him (as casually and as calmly as I could), "If you ever decide to get rid of that ladder,  you can get rid of it at my house!!"  He grinned and said, "TAKE IT!  I'm looking for a fiberglass ladder anyway.  I got this one from work a few years ago for free because it didn't have all the OSHA stickers on it."  Well, Mr. I almost died laughing at me and how fast I grabbed the ladder!!  I didn't want to give my BIL any chances to change his mind!!!

When we got it home, I asked Mr. Inspiring to (pretty pretty PLEASE) help me take it apart and/or cut it up.  I didn't take any pictures of this.  It wasn't pretty.  It was hot.  Mr. I was sweating. 

We cut the back off of the ladder and I had him trim it up a little bit.  we'll be using this as a towel rack in the bathroom.  I really want to paint it with my Eidleweiss off white and distress it.  Mr. I likes it the way it is.  (Yeah - - uh-huh, we'll just see about that.  Just wait til he finds out what I have planned the next time he goes out of town........)   Anyway - I put it up in the bathroom as is.  Here's a picture, but PLEASE don't look too closely.  We got to the middle of re-doing the bathroom and I stopped.  I don't like the wall color.  So I didn't finish it.  And I left the tape up.  (that's the project he doesn't know about, and won't, till he comes back from being out of town...)

I'm not done with it.  I just ran out of time last night.  I'm planning on making a cute little sign in a frame that says BATH or Le Bathe..... or something cute, maybe........  we'll see what path that project takes me down!!

The front half of the ladder will be staying outside (for now).  We, I mean Mr. Inspiring, had to cut off the bottom rung - it was just too tall!!  I spray painted a little pail with the wonderful "Rusty" paint I used for this project!  I cut out my vinyl "W" with my cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot, and that's what I used for the "Welcome" in the picture frame.    I had the star.  The sunflowers are in a mason jar that I tied to the ladder with twine.  The basket at the bottom is an old milk bottle carrier.  I still have some things that I want to add, so I'll post updated pictures when it is finished.  In the mean time - - here are some pictures!!

The name sign?  It's just a piece of concrete border that I painted a few years ago.  I didn't seal it like I probably should have, but it's holding up pretty well.  The empty-for-now flower pot??  I snuck it out of my neighbor's trash last night when I took Lucy out to go to the bathroom.  Gonna spray paint it a different color, then no one will know my secret, right??

That's it for now.  I'm planning on something pretty cute for the wire bottle basket thing.....  I'll post pictures!!  Have a great day!!

Oh - - Mr. Inspiring said that his sister is going to be asking for the ladder back now.  I don't think that's a possibility!!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Ballard Knock Off!

I've posted a few times the fact that I'm in the process of redoing my master bedroom.  I've chosen to do it in chocolate brown and aqua. 

Using this collection of prints from Ballard as my 'model', I made my own wall art.

Blue Patchwork Prints -Set of 9

I saw this in the first catalog I received from Ballard and have been in love with the prints - - NOT the price!!  Can you believe they want $169 for the collection????  I knew I could come up with something a lot cheaper!!

I've been wanting to make my knock off for some time, but finding a SQUARE frame was NOT an easy task.  Plenty of rectangle frames to choose from, but square????  Nope. 

I ended up going into GoodWill one afternoon and found 2 square frames!!  They were $3 each!!  YAY!!

I had to sand them both down, and then I repainted them in my Edelweiss paint and sanded a little more to distress them. 

For the picture itself, I just used different cardstock and cut most of the shapes with my cricut using my Sure Cuts A Lot program.

I used Coordinations Paper.  I sanded it, inked it, and used markers.  I used a tan colored sharpie on the center flower and I love how it gave it some detail with out overdoing the definition.....  I love Coordinations paper!!

I hope you like my knock off.   It was a fun project to do.  But....  I think I'm going to re-do my picture.....

I've been searching for fabric for my bedding, and since I can't find THE fabric I love in these colors, I believe I'm going to have to use different colors and go with something else.........  I'm so sad.  I found fabric that I love in these colors in the current Quilt magazine.  It's Bella by Possibilities for Quilting Treasures.  The collection has 14 different fabrics and I designed my quilt to use all 14.  The bad news???  I can't find the whole collection anywhere!!  Seriously thinking about 'opening' my own business so I can get it from the manufacturer......  but I'd have to buy full bolts of each, and I am just not made of money!!!  And then what would I do with all the fabric I didn't use???  I don't think I would like the fabric as much if I used it to decorate the WHOLE HOUSE!!!  Mr. Inspiring would have a cow, too!!

Oh, well.........  I'll figure it out.  Maybe I'll come up with a color combo I like even better!!  I hope so, because I really had my sights set on this one!!!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!! 

Hugs ~~ Suz

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