Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Loving Memory

When getting married I really wanted to have something to symbolize my family members who unfortunately passed away. I didn't want to do anything that seemed sad or inappropriate. I thought this sign was just a nice reminder that those people are forever present and we should never forget that they will always be with us.
To make this sign only cost me about $1.00! I got the frame from a thrift shop for 99 cents. Then I just printed out the template above and added some ribbon to make a nice border and thats it! It was sitting right where our guests came in and everyone said it was a nice personal touch

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coconut Yam Soup

This soup is a classic for a beautiful fall day. This recipe does make a lot of soup. We ate it for two days and then I froze the rest in a Ziploc container. We probably have 4 more servings of soup. I will 100% make this soup again. It was also very easy! Here is what you will need:
    2 Garnet yams, peeled & cubed
    3 Large carrots, peeled & cubed 
    2 Celery stalks, diced
    1 Large yellow onion, diced
    1 Leek, sliced thinly
    3 Garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp. Fresh ginger, optional
    1 tsp. Garam Masala (Indian spice)
    4 Cups of veggie broth
    1 tbsp Coconut or olive oil
    1 Can of coconut milk
    Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
    Cinnamon & nutmeg for garnish
In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute ginger, garlic, celery, onion & leek in oil until translucent and soft. Add Garam Masala and stir to combine to release the flavor of the spice. Add the carrots, yams and veggie broth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Remove from heat and add coconut milk. Puree soup using a hand blender until thick and creamy. Season with salt & pepper and garnish with a dash of cinnamon & nutmeg!

Variation: Add 1 cup of red lentils to soup while cooking and increase water by 1 cup.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pebble Shower Floor

The things you see when you are surfing around the internet!  I had seen pebble tiles at the Big Box stores, but I didn't like the fact that there was not a lot of colour variation.   What to do.  Online I found a blog that showed a shower done in tiles that looked like river stones.  The guy that wrote it said that sometimes the stones had to come off of the mesh in order to fit into the right spots, so why bother with purchased tiles at all, I thought.  A trip to the dollar store, and many bags of stones, at least 30, and I had the material for the shower floor. 

We used the same 13" tiles that we have on the floor for the shower walls, and then added a chocolate brown glass subway tile as an accent. 

Jeff had laid the Kerdi floor system and we started with the walls.  Having never tiled full walls before, it was an experience, but one we will repeat again in our other 2 bathrooms.

Halfway there with the stones, and I am liking the look. Setting the stones one by one

Complete and grouted.  Can't wait to try it out!

 When the walls had set it was time to tackle the floor.  I have to admit I was a little scared.  What if I didn't like the finished product?    I knew I would just have to suck it up.  Can you imagine pulling up all of those stones!  Well no worries, because I love the look and it is a great foot massage every time I step in.  The neutral colours are great, and it is wonderful to have an en suite that is complete.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crockpot Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Ingredients:
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but NOT peeled. Diced into 1/2 inch(ish) cubes
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced (if you use jarred, it's a 5 teaspoon equivalent)
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup Directions:
  1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (Alternately you could remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
  4. Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!

One of the best soups i have ever had!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Master Bath

This picture has been in my inspiration file since October 2006 and came from Style at Home magazine.  As you can see it is well worn.  It took a little convincing to bring Jeff on board. He sometimes doubts his handy husband talents, but I think the results are fabulous.  

Although not exact, I think our Master En suite, really does mimic the inspiration.  We moved upstairs to our Master Bedroom in the spring of 2010 and then worked away at our bathroom.  We actually just finished well are almost finished now.  Just some trim left to do and then I think we can call it complete.
We searched all of our area stores for a vanity like the one in the magazine, considered having it custom built until we saw the price tag, and then agonized some more about how we could achieve the look we wanted.  We ended up purchasing kitchen cabinets from Home Depot.  The vanity portion is slightly higher than a usual bathroom vanity, but Jeff is tall and it works.  The cabinet that sits on the vanity is actually an upper one door cabinet.  We found the mirror and vanity light fixture at Lowes, and I think they might be exactly the ones in the photo.  A little bling from a chandelier that I had bought with my daughter in mind a few years ago and we were well on our way to a cheaper more cost effective version or the Style at Home bath.

The cupboard at the end of the tub is actually a white kitchen cabinet that Jeff inset into the wall and then completed with trim.  The tub was framed in and ready for a good soak.  So that took a few months, and we continued to shower in the main bathroom until we could get up the courage to tile the shower.  It really was a daunting project.

And here's a sneak peak at the finished shower.  Watch for an upcoming post to see how we did it.  So what do you think.  Do you like our Copycat Bathroom?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our Wedding Guest Book


So I wanted to do something different for our wedding guest book. Something other than a book that will sit on the shelf and I will never look at it again. So there have been a lot of ideas going around about a guest book tree. So I decided to try and do it. Since I cannot draw, I had to hire my cousin Reid to do the art work. BUT in the meantime I would be able to make a sign and find something for it to prop up on.
First thing is first i need a sign. I got this frame from the Goodwill for $1.00.

 Then I found this on the interent. It did have different initials on it, nothing Paint program couldnt fix. I thought it was really cute with the birds and the country feel of it. 

In the frame it goes. I had a change of heart and spray painted the frame white. Looks pretty good for a dollar if i do say so myself.

So then we found this little number at the Cookstown Wing Ding. Which is a small town that puts on a huge yard sale every year. I belive I paid like 5-7 dollars for it.

This is the beutiful drawing my cousin did. It's amazing and fit on the easel perfectly. All that is needed now is to paint it black.