Saturday, July 3, 2010

GIGANTIC GREENS

Good morning boys and girls. How are you doing this hot humid and wet weekend? I am suffering from a bit of bittersweet joy if you will. What do I mean? Well, seeing its 4th of July weekend, people tend to engage in celebrations with fireworks. They get drunk and inappropriately use fireworks. I don’t like fireworks! SOOO when it rains and keeps the drunken igits inside disabling their firework extravaganzas, I get tickled pink. But I am not fond of all this rain too… or the mosquitoes that come with it. Plus I know that whenever it stops raining they will be shooting those stupid things off… UGH! So you see, its bittersweet joy.

I woke up to the sun trying to peek at us this morning. With no rain this am, I decided to go check in on my garden… or what may be left of it thanks to flooding and winds. Well I almost fell over with shock when I got out there! A couple of my tomato plants exploded and the eggplant… well lets just say the leaves are bigger than my head! They are about 2-2.5 ft tall now! They are growing like weeds! Apparently I found the right blend of dirt/first aid cause these things are growing like wildfire now! The 2 stick banana pepper plants, still look very sickly but are putting off peppers now. I have cherry tomatoes starting to turn red all over the place. There are bell peppers that need to be picked, eggplant blooms by the dozen, berry vines climbing the back wall of my house, you name it! It’s great! It’s like a jungle out there LOL! The pumpkins both have blooms, but never make a fruit, which I find odd. Once the continuous rains break, I will have to go out there and work in there cause its growing wild! Shoot, I may just have to do it IN the rain, cause the weather channel says rain is forcasted for the whole week. Crazy goodness (and low water bills LOL) for the plants at least!

We got the invitations done last night. My lovely DD decided she did not want the treble clef and such on the front. Just the typed up party info cut out with edged scrapbook scissors and glued onto the blue cardstock. Simple and sweet… Then we also enclosed her picture to go with it. I have to run and make a few more copies of the pictures as I didn’t make enough, but those go out today! I also picked up the briskets for her meal (which HAPPENED to go on sale this week THANK GOODNESS!). I got 3 of the 11+ pounders I could find. I hope that is enough meat LOL! It’s set in stone now! The party is on!

Alright, today’s recycled craft was actually picked after thinking about my youngest brother’s GF. She is in a band and she plays guitar (so do both my brothers, but I don’t think this kind of jewelry would look good on them LOL!). When we went to the Casino, she had thee guitar pick earrings and I thought they were pretty cool. I ran across this and thought it might make a good present! Check it out for the “rocker” in your life!



Craft Idea of the Day: Guitar Pick Necklace

Materials:

Tooth-shaped semi-precious top-drilled stone ( I used Agate, but there are a surprising variety of stones available)
Guitar pick of your choice (I chose the glow-in-dark alien. My son thinks it's cool)
Lobster Claw necklace clasp (optional, but nicest alternative. I'll show you how to skip this step if you want)
Split rings (need 3) (optional, only if you’re using lobster claw clasp)
18-20 gauge craft wire (I used anti-tarnish silver) you’ll need about 2 feet
Leather Cord (at least 3 feet)
TOOLS
Wire cutters
Needle-nose pliers
Sharp abject, like heavy sewing needle, small nail (I used an awl) to pierce pick

Directions:

1. Assemble your materials and tools.

2. Pierce guitar pick in the center of the end you want to mount. Make sure you protect the surface you?re piercing into. You need about a 2mm hole (my kids said I should paint the hole with green or red fingernail polish to look like alien blood, but I declined)

3. Cut leather cord. If you're going to use the lobster claw, measure the length you want for your necklace (try it on around your neck) and add 3." If you?re skipping the lobster claw, cut 30".

4. To mount the pick, cut 4" of wire. Pass the wire through the guitar pick, then pinch ends up toward the top. About 1/4" above the place where wires join, grip both wires with pliers and bend ends at 90* angle. Grip pliers at joint after angle, and wrap ends back over pliers to form a loop, bringing wires down and around the vertical shank wires. Wrap ends around shank a few times, cutting any rough or uneven ends. Tuck edges in to avoid getting scratched by raw edges, and file if necessary with metal fingernail file.

5. To mount the stone, cut 8" wire. Pass through holes in stone, then pinch ends up toward the top. About1/4" above the place where wires join, grip both wires with pliers and bend ends at 90* angle. Grip pliers at joint after angle, and wrap ends back over pliers to form a loop, bringing wires down and around the vertical shank wires. Wrap ends around shank a few times, cutting any rough or uneven ends. Tuck edges in to avoid getting scratched by raw edges, and file if necessary with metal fingernail file.

6. String the tooth stone and the pick onto the cord. If you?re skipping the clasp, use a 30" piece of cord. Take each end and make a small over hand knot of one cord around the other cord, about 4" from the end. Turn the necklace around, and tie another over hand knot with the end of the free cord over the other cord. Pull both knots tight, and trim about 1/4" from the knot.

7. To adjust the necklace, use both hands, one hand on each knot, and pull your arms apart. You will see the necklace shorten as the knots pull further apart. To loosen, pull the knots closer together. Slip over your head, and pull necklace to tighten to a length that suits for wearing. Congratulations! You're done!

8. To attach the lobster claw clasp, cut 6" of wire. Slip a split ring on one side of the cord. Double the cord over about 3/4" and pinch the cord tightly. Bend a 90* angle in the wire about 1/2" from the end of one side, lay the wire against the folded cord and grip near the split ring/fold. Applying pressure so the wire will not slip, wind the wire around the cord tightly about 4 times to secure the cord and the wire. Angle the wire down toward the loose cut end of the folded over cord, and wind 3 or four times very tightly to secure the clasp assembly. Attach the lobster claw clasp to the split ring. There are special pliers for this, and though they are not really necessary, they work pretty well.

9. If this project is not just a one-time jewelry attempt and you want to make more, I suggest you purchase a pair for yourself. Using them makes split rings less aggravating. Repeat on the other side, without the lobster claw on the end. Instead, attach another split ring to the first ring that is strung on by the leather cord. Congratulations! You’re done!

10. The sky's the limit with this design. I've seen some people use metal guitar string instead of cord, and it looks really nice. Good Luck!

For today’s Dollar Store Dining recipe, I noticed that there was this recipe which is quite popular in many restaurants. I found it quite amusing that you can make a Dollar Store version of it actually. So for those of you with a hunger for Italian… try this one on for size!



Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Makes: 4 servings
Cost: about $2.99

This dish is quick, easy, and delicious. Bacon is the traditional ingredient and may be used if desired. If you are hesitant about the eggs cooking on their own, you can turn the heat on under the pot as you toss but be careful not to overcook.

Ingredients:

8 oz. Allegra No. 8 Spaghetti
1 (6oz.) can Libby’s chunks of ham or 6oz. Hot cooked diced bacon
2 country eggs
3 oz. Messana brand Parmesan cheese
McCormick salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook spaghetti al dente.

2. While it is cooking, cook ham or bacon in a frying pan until browned and crisp separating into bits as it cooks. If using ham, heat through until slightly browned and crisp.

3. In a bowl, beat the eggs well. Add 2oz. Of Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

4. When spaghetti is cooked, drain and return to pot quickly, and add egg mixture (the heat of the pasta is sufficient to cook the eggs).

5. Add ham or bacon, toss well, and serve immediately with remaining Parmesan.

(***HELPFUL HINT***) Dried pasta doubles in volume when cooked. Measure dried pasta by weight and cooked pasta by volume.

Well folks, that’s all for today. I have to get ready to go to the post office to mail invites and get a couple of things at the store. But today, since there is more rain expected later, it will be all about cleaning and organizing while it rains, cause some areas have gotten a little out of control thanks to all the baby chaos lately. Have a great weekend and I will see you back here tomorrow! HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"July 3, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Ok. Where do I start? I dont understand. Are those guitar picks permantly attached or are they removeable? It would be cool if they are removeable because you could put several on the necklace and the player could use which ever one inspires them at the time. I saw a female drummer one time on t.v. and she used her drumsticks to hold up her hair in a bun, then would take them out when she was ready to play her drums. Pretty cool, huh? I know that some guitar players have their favorite picks close to them at all time, even some that are supposed to bring them good luck. Musicians are a special breed and I say more power to them. Rock on people!!
    I'm glad your garden is doing so well. It seems that your garden first aid did the trick. I think that the summer heat and fresh rain water probably topped off the growth spurt. If you think about it, rain water has got to be much better for the plants then that chlorinated water we get out of our faucets. I'm a little jealous of your successful garden. Mine is doing very poorly. I can't get out to do anything about mine due to my medical problems right now and its aggrevating the heck out of me. I've tried venturing outside when no one is around to help me and I can barely make it out to check my mail without starting to hurt so I just sit here and watch my little plants wither away. Oh well, maybe I'll be able to work on a fall garden planting. We'll find out in a couple of months.
    That spaghetti dish looks tasty; puts me in the mood for pasta, which is unusual for me, because I'm not normally a pasta eater. But recently I have been trying that new pasta called Dreamfields and its supposed to be better for Diabetics to eat and let me tell you, it is pretty good tasting stuff. And I tested my glucose levels after I ate it and there was hardly any noticable rise in the glucose level counts like there would have been with other regular pastas. I would defintely recommend that everyone, including people on diets and Diabetics, try Dreamfields pastas if you get a chance and taste for yourselves.
    Well, I guess I have put off doing the laundry long enough. Dont forget to do a random act of kindness today. It will make your heart happy and your soul dance. So til next time.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pictures! I want to see garden pictures! I started a few containers of veggies after being inspired by you. Also want to see animal pictures. I like animals! I love spaghetti so I will definitely be trying this recipe. And it rocks that its made from the Dollar store. Just got off work so I am gonna go get changed and relax with my kitty and my DVR. Nite everyone!

    ReplyDelete