You are browsing the archive for November 2012 - Crafted Niche - a lifestye blog that shares DIY crafts, recipes and tutorials.

Giving Thanks

November 18, 2012 in Get the D-Tails

I was reminded of something this evening while letting my dogs outside. I spotted my saddle in the basement, carefully stored away and sadly collecting dust. I was sad for a moment as I thought about how riding fills my heart and eases my mind. I know that sounds ridiculous to some of you, but to a horse-crazy little girl that “never grew out of it,” there’s no other way to explain it.

Sylvester, my Thoroughbred gelding, is currently leased to a hunter-jumper barn where he’s giving lessons to horse-crazy little girls. It makes me sad to not be able to burrow my face into his neck when I’m having a bad day or laugh at his grumpy antics, but I know it’s the right place for him right now. I don’t know if he’ll come back to me or if maybe a little girl will fall in love with him, but I do know that it feels like a little piece of me is missing every time I see that saddle in the basement.

But it’s almost Thanksgiving, and rather than dwell on what I’ve vowed to be a temporary unfortunate situation, I’d rather say THANK YOU.  Thank you to everyone who has ever helped fill my heart with the kind of love only a horse-lover could understand.  …and a huge thank you to my family – for accepting (and enabling) my obsession.

Thank you to my Mom & Dad

I’ll never be able to thank you both enough. I know there’s NOTHING convenient about owning for a horse. From the rainy trips to the barn, sweaty days stacking hay and cold winters breaking ice – you’ve always encouraged and supported me. You’ve both been my biggest fans and I love sharing my passion with you at every chance.

Dad – Thank you for all the times you bagged sawdust and hauled hay. Thank you for helping me get my trail-ride guide job. Who knew how that one summer would lead to an internship and so many other opportunities! I truly appreciate all the days you dropped everything to help and encourage me.

Mom – Thanks for all the amazing western show shirts you sewed in college… and for making me ride even on the days when I realllly didn’t feel like it. Thanks for showing me the true joy of velvety soft muzzle kisses and all those knowing-smiles you gave me, as you saw my love of horses and knew you felt the same.

Thank you to my sisters, Karen & Christy

Christy – I still laugh at the thought of you nervously watching my jumping lessons, easing off your bench and holding your breath with each jump. ….or how you’d wait until I walked out of our house in Baltimore, headed to a riding lesson, and you’d throw open the window and whistle and yell at me as I walked sprinted to my car in shame. Sisterly love…

Karen – I still laugh at the thought of you and your friends wanting to pick a fight with the snotty girls at the barn in my defense. I know we all crack up, remembering how I’d ride my bike on Main St to go feed my horses and how your friends loved to honk and cat call at me as I peddled feverishly… but I also know that you would have been the first person to come to my defense if need be.

My family has endured years of cars that smell like horses, shoes that smell like a barn and Christmas lists pulled straight out of a horse catalog. …and yet, they still love me!

How thankful I am to have a family that supports my hobby. I know you’ve all sacrificed in some way, at some point, to help me have the things that make my heart leap – and for that – I love you and thank you endlessly.

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Thankful Turkey Craft Tutorial

November 14, 2012 in For the Holidays, Gettin' Crafty

I’m a sucker for crafts. There. I said it. I’ll admit it. I love craft paint, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and styrofoam. Yup… love it all.

So when I was asked to run a staff meeting at work, I instantly thought – “How can I incorporate something crafty?”  Haha… No, I’m not kidding. That really was my first thought. I know… I’m pathetic!

I decided we could make turkeys… but not just any turkeys…  we could make turkeys to show the things we are THANKFUL for in each other. Yes, now I’m pathetic AND cheesy.

How’d we do it? Well duh – of course I’ll show you how!

  1. Purchase large styrofoam balls (to cut in half for body) and small styrofoam calls (for head).  Using toothpicks, attach head to body and paint with brown acrylic craft paint. At first I tried spray paint, but it was melting my turkey bodies! Insane!  (and makes me realize I really DO need to wear a mask when I spray paint… no telling what those fumes are doing to my lungs!)
  2. Make the beak – Fold a piece of orange scrapbook paper in half and cut an arrow shape along the fold.
  3. Unfold the arrow and cut notches into the straight end…
  4. …this allows the beak to line up perfectly when folded and ready to glue!
  5. Hot glue the beak to the head.
  6. I had this oversized pipe cleaner on hand (found at Michaels) so I cut about a 1″ piece.
  7. Pull the fluff off one end to expose wire.
  8. Insert the red pipe cleaner under the beak.
  9. Not pictured – hot glue the googly eyes above the beak.

Repeat steps 1-9 to make SEVEN turkeys!

To make the feathers, fold your scrapbook paper in half (so you can cut double the feathers with half the effort). Cut out desired number of feathers and then hot glue toothpicks to the ends.

 

I did all the prep work at home and brought the turkeys and feathers to work. Yup… it was a LOT of feathers!

I think my coworkers might have thought I was at least 83.5% nuts… but they humored me… and we all walked away from the meeting with a token of appreciation. I had fun reading my feathers and smiled at the things my coworkers appreciated in me. :-)

…and the yellow feathers are blank because they were “my color”. I gave everyone their own color to write on. That way people could identify who the feathers were from. I didn’t want my turkey to be without yellow so I stuck a couple blanks in.

I think this turkey craft would be GREAT to make with kids. They’d have a great time assembling and painting them. How cute would they be on your Thanksgiving table!

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{Recipe} How to Make Beer Bread – aka Eat your Alcohol

November 13, 2012 in Cooking and Recipes

Ummm YUM.

I’m about to share one of my favorite, easiest, tastiest recipes with you. I can’t lay claim on all this deliciousness though… I was bestowed this recipe by a horse-loving mentor named Marnie! She was kind enough to let me ride/compete her horses one summer in college… and one evening she served this recipe to me along with vegetable soup.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

okay, back then it was probably more like SHUT THE BARN DOOR… or the stall door… but stay with me here…

Get excited ladies and gents….

I’m ’bout to lurn u sumtin…

That’s right… today I’m showing you…

How to Make Beer Bread

Gather your shtuff:

  • 1 STICK BUTTER
  • 3 CUPS SELF-RISING FLOUR
  • 3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR
  • 1 CAN ROOM-TEMP BEER

Then follow these very difficult instructions that will test your culinary prowess (note the sarcasm):

  1. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray
  2. Melt the stick of butter and pour HALF into loaf pan. Swish around. Yes, swish is my highly-technical term.
  3. Combine all other ingredients in bowl and mix. Note… I’d pour the beer in slowly. Less foam is a good thing.
  4. Pour batter into pan.
  5. Pour last half of butter over batter.
  6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Yup…. It’s that easy!  Seriously.  Most days I flail about in the kitchen… but this.  THIS I can make.

The best part is the way your house will smell – freshly baked bread with a hint of beer.  …and in my book. That’s just fine by me.

Give it a go!  This recipe is just in time for chili season and good ol’ fashioned vegetable soup. I think I just felt my heart smile.

Enjoy! Would love to hear from you if you give it a shot. Leave a comment here or drop me a line on Facebook!

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Monday The DIY Showoff | Craft-O-Maniac | Lines Across | Skip To My Lou Tuesday Home Stories A2Z | Tip Junkie | Coastal Charm | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Not Just a Housewife Wednesday Southern Lovely | Primitive & Proper | Ginger Snap | Someday Crafts Thursday Live Laugh Rowe | House of Hepworths | Stone Gable | Shabby Creek Cottage | 52 Mantels Friday Crafty Scrappy Happy | Miss Mustard Seed | Shabby Nest | See Vanessa Craft | Remodelaholic | 504 Main | Sassy Sites | Redoux Saturday Funky Junk | Tatertots & Jello Sunday Nifty Thrifty Things | Under the Table & Dreaming

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