Red Lamp Makeover

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I ran across these beauties at an auction a few month ago…

Unsure of whether or not they were in working condition, I took the risk & bought them {they were cheap:)}.  I was thrilled when I plugged them in & they worked!

I decided they were perfect candidates for the spray paint treatment.  And not just any spray paint, RED spray paint!  I wanted them to be a little funky & really add a pop of color to whatever room they ended up in.  So, after a little tape work…

It was time to bring on the red!  I used Valspar spray paint on these & it went on beautifully.

After the proper drying time, I topped these with basic white shades {found for a steal at a garage sale!}.  With every intention of selling these, they’ve taken up residence in my kitchen, hmmm….

So there you have it, don’t be afraid of those ugly unloved brass lamps.  A little spray paint therapy is all they need:).

Linking up to:

Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed


The Garage Sale Report

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I’m realizing as I’m writing this that I’ve had an awful lot of posts showing off my fun finds for refurbishing, but hardly any showing completed projects……I’ll have to work on that. :)  Let’s just say, my project pile is well stocked!

Garage sales were a little slim this past weekend in my little town, but sometimes it only takes one good one to get loaded up!  I only had to go 2 blocks Saturday to find an unexpected treasure trove…

{please excuse the messy/dirty garage in to background!}

I love this dresser & unlike most dressers I find, it’s in fantastic condition.  It’s already made it’s way into a spare bedroom in our house, I’m not sure I want to resell it just yet :).  Eventually I plan to refinish it, but because it’s in such great shape, I’ll just use it as is for now.

I also picked up this dresser.  It’s not a style I love quite as much as the other, but it’s still in very good shape & will look super cute once it’s refurb’d.  I’ll be sure to share pics once I get to it.

Don’t laugh, I’ve actually been looking for a chair similar to this for a while now, orange stripes and all!  {Totally kidding on the stripes}  I’ve got plans for this baby, hopefully it turns out the way I have pictured in my head.  If nothing else, it’s actually a very comfy chair to sit in.

Then there’s this little guy…

 He’s a bit rough for what I like to take on, but the gal having the garage sale insisted that I take it, for FREE!  I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time saying no to free, unless it’s just absolute garbage.  It may not turn out to be anything too great, but it is a cute little piece if we can get the oil stain worked out of it.  I love the natural distressing it already has but it may not be salvageable once we get the oil stain out, we’ll see.

I also picked up a kitchen chair & an ironstone looking tureen from the same sale.  I may have been that gals best customer :).

Anyone else do any garage sale’n last weekend?


May 3rd Garden Update

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The last few days have been some busy ones in the garden!  I remember a few weeks ago feeling like I was maybe putting some things in the ground too early {I was sure we’d get hit with a late April blizzard or something!} & now after a couple 80°-90° days, I feel like I’m way behind!!

This year I’m definitely trying to expand our gardening spaces & trying out many new crops that I’ve not grown before.  I’m really excited to see how things turn out.

I took a few snapshots this morning as I was walking around the yard…

I planted these peas at the beginning of April in our alley garden {it’s the space between our garage & alley, gotta be creative when you live in town:)}.  The seed was actually leftover from last year & I think about every seed I planted here germinated!  We’ve got a little ways to go before we start plucking delicious sugar snaps off these babies but they’ll get there.  I’ve been planting a couple new rows every couple weeds so that we have a fresh harvest for as long as possible.

On our back patio we have this fun wooden trough thing that we picked up at an auction last Fall for a buck or something like that.  At first, my plan was to turn it into a table but I’m really liking it as a place to set more of my garden!  I have some lettuce growing nicely that I planted at the beginning of April as well.  As you can see here, if something holds dirt, I’m probably going to plant something in it!  I really like unconventional planters {just be sure to drill some holes in the bottom for drainage!}, they create a much more unique, homey space I think.

These are some garden boxes we made from scrap wood from my hubby’s work.  They were my first attempt at having part of my garden in the backyard where our dog could get to it.  Unfortunately, this has created some setbacks…

In case you can’t tell, in this picture the middle box has been almost entirely emptied of it’s dirt.  I’m pretty sure Miley is telling me here that she just thought she was helping.:)

So, we’ve resorted to chicken wire & lovely bricks for the time being.  From all of her dirt throwing I also have little plants sprouting up in different boxes than I had planted them in.  I’m thinking about calling this the “Can you name that plant?” garden.

These boxes are also a new addition this year & have all been planted with herb seeds over the last couple of days.

Check out my nifty new garden markers too…

I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure how quickly the permanent marker will wear off but it seemed like a cool, cheap {more like free if you have a couple rocks laying around} & aesthetically pleasing option to try out.

It’s killing me that I don’t have these in the ground yet…

I was a little slow getting my seed potatoes ordered this year & then I let them sit around forever it seems{check out the size of the “eyes” on those things!} before I got around to cutting them.  I cut these a couple days ago so they’re ready to be planted, hopefully tonight!  {If you’re not familiar with growing potatoes or have just never done it like this before, I let my potatoes air dry for 2-4 days after cutting & before planting.}

I got a little carried away ordering garden seeds!  Lots of seeds to get in the ground yet {I’m not ever sure where all of these are going to go!}, better get back to planting!!

How’s your garden growing going?


Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Roasted Tomato Sauce

I’m going to share a recipe today that, I know, is drastically out of season.  It certainly seems that it would make more sense to share this later in the Summer.  But, if you’re a gardener like me, you are probably wondering just how many tomato plants to put in your garden this Spring.  This recent revelation in making my own tomato sauce will definitely have me planting a few extra tomato plants this year.

This is the easiest method for saucing tomatoes that I’ve found & the finished product is delicious!  I think after seeing how easy this process is, you too will be making space for more tomato plants in your garden this Spring!

If you don’t garden, that’s okay too!  Check out your local farmer’s market for great deals on garden fresh tomatoes.  Later in the Summer, you can usually find boxes of tomatoes at bargain prices!

So, check out how easy this process is, plant some tomato plants (or make plans to buy out the tomatoes at the farmers market) & come back in a few months to start making your own fresh, from scratch, Roasted Tomato Sauce!

Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

I like to use Roma tomatoes for saucing.  They contain less water than other varieties so there’s less cooking down to do.  To be clear though, any variety of tomato should work with this method.

Wash & core your tomatoes..

& slice in half…

Spread into a large pan with tall sides. {Tall sides are important!  The first time I did this I used a short-sided pan & I had a HUGE tomato juice mess in my oven, oops!}

You can also use frozen tomatoes, like I have…

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When I’ve used frozen tomatoes, they are just cored.  I don’t worry about them being sliced & they’ve always turned out great!

Place in a 400* oven for 1 hour, stirring & turning the pan once or twice.  When they’re done, they’ll look something like this…

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The skins get kind of blistery & weird looking, that’s what you want.

Let them cool for just a few minutes on the counter.

Using a large spoon, scoop out the tomatoes from the pan into the jar of your blender, leaving most of the juice in the pan.

Blend it up!

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Now, if the sauce is already to the consistency you want it at, you may be done here- move ahead to seasoning the sauce if you’d like, or prepare it for freezing or canning. If you’d like it a little bit thicker, transfer to a stockpot to simmer & reduce down.

Simmer until the sauce has reached the desired consistency.  {By leaving most of the juice in the roasting pan, I’ve never had to simmer my sauce for very long.}

At this point, you can season the sauce with the seasonings of your choice.  Some of our favorites are basil, oregano, parsley etc.  Or, you can leave it plain & add the needed seasonings when you cook with it.

If I’m not using the sauce right away, I transfer it to small freezer containers or glass jars (be sure to leave plenty of head space if using jars).  Allow the sauce to cool down some before placing in the freezer.

This sauce can also be canned.  I’m not a canning expert, so you’ll want to follow the USDA’s guidelines for Home Canning to be sure you do this safely.

Use in place of store-bought, canned tomato sauce in any recipe or use to create your own pasta or pizza sauce!

There you have it!  This is such a simple process.  You don’t have to peel slippery little tomatoes or simmer on the stove top for hours on end!  Just roast them in the oven, blend them up & Voila`!

Come back tomorrow for Spaghetti & Meatballs! Yum!

Updated 9/9/13 with more recent {& better} pictures

Update 8/7/12: Linking to Sundae Scoop Link Party at I Heart Naptime

Update 8/21/12: Linking to Tuesday Talent Show at Chef-in-training