Tuesday, September 5

Upcycled Chalkboard Signs

OK, so yeah.  I'm a trash picker.
I will definitely stop along the road if there is something in someone's trash I can reuse or repurpose!

And that's where I picked up the drawers to make these:
Vintage Display Shelves
and where I scored the wood for my Chalkboards signs!

These chalkboard signs are actually the ends or sides of kitchen cabinets.
The cabinets already had the old, flaky grayish-blue paint, which really gives them a vintage weathered look.
You could also use an old heavy picture frame or mirror. Heavy because you don't want the wind to blow the signs over.

All I needed to do to turn these cabinets into signs was apply the chalkboard paint and add a stand or brace to the back to prop them up.
The results are marvelous!

What You"ll Need:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Painter's tape or masking tape
  • Cabinet frame or large heavy picture frame.
  • 2 x 2 board for the brace
  • L bracket and drywall screws
  • Drop cloth

Step One:
Add the brace or stand so the sign will stand upright.  I used a small L bracket and drywall screws so the brace can be easily removed for storage.  You could also use a hinge or build a frame around the bottom to make it stand upright. I just used what I had on hand.

The sign brace

Step Two:
Tape off the area you wish to paint. Smooth any rough areas on the surface as best you can.


Tape off area you wish to paint



Step Three:
Spray paint the area you wish to be the chalkboard. It may take a couple of coats of paint.

Paint with chalkboard paint


Step Four:
Remove the tape.

You are now ready to decorate the sign for:

  • Parties 
  • Parking or directions 
  • Shops or stores
  • Craft shows 
  • Weddings 
  • Farm Markets
  • Numerous other events


Sign is finished!

What is "upcycling"
"To reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original."



For our annual Halloween Party

The second one is used for a parking sign


I have used these many times already at the local farmers market and for parties.


For our New Hive Installation party

For a wedding, used in front of the venue
(Photo by Danielle)

Smudged after being used for a wedding

I'm not a person who has chalkboard everything in their home. I know, I know, it's been kindof trendy.  But I like to be able to actually have a purpose for things I make or else it be pleasing to the eye, like art or flowers.
So if some of the things I repurpose or create also happen to be "vogue", well then, bonus points.

We're enjoying the cooler weather here in Ohio and love that Fall is right around the corner!
Elizabeth


Other Posts:

Vintage Display Shelves

The Longest Yard Sale in the World

Honey Cilantro Chicken Kabobs

Maple Leaf Quilt Block









Wednesday, August 30

Honey - Cilantro Chicken Kabobs (Skewers)

This is one of my most requested recipes!

And not only is it flavorful and delicious, it's easy to make and very versatile. You can add any additional veggies or fruits you like, but the kabobs are perfect just following the recipe.

I sometimes add quartered peaches and red bell pepper or whatever is in season from my garden.


I usually serve a peach or strawberry salsa with this dish, along with roasted red skin potatoes or spring greens salad, yum. 

Thursday, May 18

Sweet Smoky Barbecue Sauce

Summer is here and we love to barbecue!  My husband even bought a smoker 2 summers ago and we smoke everything and even have what we call "Smokin Sundays"!
Years ago my sister Debra and her husband Phil came over on a lazy summer Saturday to show us how to make our own homemade barbecue sauce.  
They brought all the ingredients with them and we spent the day mixing, stirring, simmering and tossing back a few cold adult beverages.  
Once the barbecue sauce was thick enough, we generously brushed it on ribs and had a wonderful backyard barbecue.
I didn’t write down each ingredient as my sister added it to the sauce, nor could I have, without just guessing at the correct measurements.  My sister had a way of cooking without a recipe and everything every time turned out delicious. Let me tell you, I am not that person.  
I lost my sister a few years back but I'm still trying to recreate some of her recipes.  One of our favorites I was able to somewhat copy is Debra’s Stuffed Hot Peppers.

Thursday, May 4

The U.P. Pasty

The hubby and I love to travel and although we take an occasional week long trips, my favorite trips are just 3-day weekend adventures. Living in Ohio we are centrally located near numerous beautiful states with lots to see and explore.

One of our favorite states to spend a weekend in is Michigan. There are tons of lighthouses, wineries, bodies of water and beaches, ATV and snowmobile trails, historic sites, beautiful scenery, and tree lined winding roads.

A couple other trips we have taken to Michigan are Holland, Michigan's Tulip Festival, and a Lake Superior Circle Tour Camping Trip.

On one summer weekend trip, while touring wineries,  we stopped at a little roadside vegetable stand and diner. We noticed many signs advertising “pasties” (pronounced pass-tee) as we came into town, but were just not sure what they were.
We ordered one at this little roadside diner and I fell in love!
Of course, I had to immediately talk to the cook and get the entire 411 on Pasties!

Monday, March 13

Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage

A traditional St. Patrick's Day dish I make every year. 
But first, what is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is made from a beef brisket that is cured or pickled in Brine. Brine is salt water.

In North America, corned beef dishes are associated with traditional Irish cuisine. However, there is considerable debate about the association of the corned beef and cabbage dish with Ireland.

In the 1800's, corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants because it was cheap and considered a luxury in Ireland. Corned beef and cabbage is really the Irish-American version of the Irish dish of bacon and cabbage.

Wait, bacon and cabbage?!?!  Well, now that's on my list to make!

Thursday, February 23

The Longest Yard Sale in the World

The 127 Yard Sale
The weather has been in the 60's here in Ohio and spring is in the air so yep, I'm daydreaming about gardening and yard sales!!

The World's Longest Yard Sale is also known as The 127 Yard Sale or The 127 Corridor Sale and is a 4-day event every year. The dates are always the first Thursday of the month of August, from Thursday to Sunday.  And that's 4 whole days of yard sale heaven!
If you are a yardsaler, antiquer, flea-marketer, thrift store shopper or anything in-between, you will love this!
The 127 Yard Sale covers 690 miles of sales, through six states, from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama and boasts thousands of vendors every year.
And it's even been featured on HGTV!


Friday, February 17

Texas State Flag Quilt

Click the photo to view larger.  
My daughter Jami and her husband Donnie and the kids moved to Texas for a job in 2009. I hate that they're so far away (I'm in Ohio) and that I don't get to see them much. But we have taken numerous trips to Texas and we think it's a nice state to visit. We've even been to the Dealey Plaza and the Grassy Knoll in Dallas.

I have been making quilts for family members for the last year so decided to make Jami and Donnie one for Christmas gift.

I searched Pinterest for ideas and knew as soon as I saw it that the Texas State Flag would be the perfect quilt for them. And besides, patchwork is my favorite quilt pattern.  I always seem to be drawn to it the most, even before making quilts myself. Of all the quilts I've purchased over the years, I have the most of the Patchwork pattern. It just feels very homey to me and very “usable.”

Monday, February 13

Best Ever Monster Cookies

I make these cookies for different holidays, so this week, they're for Valentines Day!

Monster Cookies are not new and the recipes for making them are endless. Probably 95% of my cookies are homemade, but sometimes you just need a quick and easy recipe. 
I decided to come up with my own version of Monster Cookies which are easy and great to throw together when we have unexpected visitors or to serve at club meetings or any other last minute function I need to take something to.
For me, there will always be room in my recipe collection for a few super easy and fast recipes for busy days.

They're called Monster Cookies, I believe, because it's easier than saying “peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal M & M super yummy cookies!”

Besides easy, did I mention they're a wonderful tasting soft chewy moist delicious cookie?

Monday, January 9

The Mercantile

A few years back I received The Pioneer Woman's first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, as a gift for Christmas. 
I love it and have since bought for myself or received as gifts all her other cookbooks!
The Pioneer Woman or Ree Drummond also has her own blog and recently opened a shop called The Mercantile in her hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Ree and her husband Ladd purchased an old red brick building in downtown Pawhuska and she had it completely remodeled.  And the results are stunning. I just love old red brick buildings and am always so happy to see them rescued from demolition.

According to The Pioneer Woman's website, the building was originally a mercantile beginning in 1910 and was known as the Osage Mercantile.
It was a place for trading goods and browsing. Ree and her family wanted to honor that legacy by recreating that shopping experience with hints to an earlier time in small town America.

Monday, December 19

Fran's Holiday Cheese Ball Recipe

Cranberry coated Cheese Ball
We've purchased or made from scratch and tried many different types of cheese balls.  A cheese ball is nothing more than a mixture of cheeses, maybe chopped veggies and a few spices rolled into a ball and served as a dip with crackers.

It's an appetizer that has been in and out of popularity many times but still seems to hang in there.  Even though a cheese ball may be considered sort of retro by some, it's one appetizer you can be sure of.  And there's an entire book devoted to it.  The book, Great Balls of Cheese by Michelle Buffardi has more than 50 savory and sweet cheese ball recipes!

This cheese ball recipe is our favorite and was created by my sister Frances. It has great flavor and can be easily changed to make many different cheese balls.

My sister Fran is a wonderful cook and I have been lucky enough to acquire a few of her recipes. She even wins numerous first place awards and ribbons (plus second and thirds) every year for her desserts at the Ohio State Fair!
Here are a few ways we have slightly altered this recipe in the past.