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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rough Day

I had a rough day in the kitchen!

I started my day with a second attempt to make lemon poppy seed pancakes turn out. They did not. Where the first batch had been far too thin, the second batch was far too thick. And after I thinned the batter out, it did not want to hold together. The pancake product turned out very dry and crumbly and generally not flavorful. They would have been practically inedible if I hadn't topped them with my tasty blueberry syrup. I'll eventually share that because it is totally worth it, but not today.

Lunch was leftover Buffalo Chicken Pizza thank goodness. Perfect even as leftovers!

I arrived home at supper time after a few late afternoon errands. Peanut had his trip out and enjoyed his supper within ten minutes of my arrival. I, on the other hand, was not prepared to commit to dinner yet. I enjoyed an apple, which would tide me over until I was motivated to tackle dinner.

I settled on a chicken wild rice casserole (which was not what was listed on my menu for tonight). I had purchased a package of wild rice while out on errands. I haven't had wild rice since before the Whole 30, so I was excited to use it right away. But by the time I was motivated to start dinner, it was already 7pm and the wild rice would take an hour to cook. I looked up a microwave time online and followed the directions.

As I prepared the rest of the ingredients, the rice cooked and cooked away.... all the liquid. I was completely deflated to find the rice crispy and bone dry at the end of the cooking time. And smelly. I had been wondering where that burning smell was coming from. I had already prepared the other ingredients, so I improvised by cooking up a pot of quinoa pasta instead. And the flavors of this are so delicious, I know the recipe is worth sharing whether you use rice or pasta.

[Hopefully I will get a picture to share next time I prepare this.]

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

2 tsp olive oil
4 chicken tenderloins
salt and pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
8oz prepared wild rice (or prepared gluten free pasta!)
6 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp arrowroot
salt and pepper
1/2C chicken broth (gluten free)
1/2C cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until browned and no traces of pink remain. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool and chop, then set aside.

3. Saute celery, carrots, and garlic in skillet until tender. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in arrowroot and salt and pepper to taste until a paste is formed.

5. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in cheese to melt.

6. When vegetables are tender, add chopped chicken, rice (or pasta) to skillet and top with cheese sauce. Stir to combine.

7. Pour casserole into a oven safe dish and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

8. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden.

I wish you the best of luck with your rice cooking. My hair may smell like burned rice, but my belly is full from my tasty dinner. And luckily I had enough wine to make me forget about the kitchen disasters of the day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I tried this about a week ago and was instantly in love. But the crust needed a little something. And I determined that something was garlic. What can't be improved with more garlic? So tonight's rendition with garlic was oh so right. This is enough to serve two, but I have to put away the leftovers right away or I'd eat the whole thing.

1/4C water
2 1/2 Tbsp flax meal
3/4 tsp oil
3/4C almond flour
5 1/4 tsp tapioca flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 chicken tenderloins, cubed
salt & pepper
1/2C Franks brand hot sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp arrowroot
1/2C mozzarella, shredded
1-2 stalks celery, diced
ranch dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat water in the microwave for 40 seconds or until hot.

3. Add flax meal and oil to hot water and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, tapioca flour, garlic powder, baking powder, and salt.

5. Add flax meal mixture to flour mixture and stir until dough forms a ball.

6. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/8" thickness. Discard top sheet of parchment, but leave dough on parchment on baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden on the edges.

7. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until golden and no traces of pink remains. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside once cooked.

8. Meanwhile, heat half the hot sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic.

9. In a separate bowl whisk together the other half of the hot sauce with the arrowroot until combined.

10. Slowly stir in arrowroot mixture into the heated sauce. Bring to boil and then remove from heat and set aside.

11. When crust is done, top with hot sauce, then chicken, then mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

12. Top finished pizza with diced celery and a drizzle of ranch dressing.

Can I go back for the leftovers yet?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

On the menu tonight is Spaghetti Squash Carbonara. I've been using a recipe that I have to alter and I have officially made this too many times to keep doing the math each time. I am also a stickler for having the ingredients in the order used and clear, concise directions. It's the way my OCD rolls.

So here is my new recipe to make my life more convenient. Even more conveniently, I roasted the spaghetti squash for another recipe two days ago and have the squash all ready to go in the fridge. I still haven't achieved the perfect sauce, but I think I'm closer with the reorganization of the order of adding ingredients. Please if you have the magic secret to making the carbonara sauce perfect, let me know! I know what you're supposed to do, but it still hasn't come out just right. Luckily it's really tasty anyhow. So give it a try.

2 slices bacon
1 tsp minced garlic
6 Tbsp chicken broth
1/2C frozen peas
2 eggs
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 medium spaghetti squash, cooked and scraped out of the shell
salt and pepper to taste
dried parsley

1. In a skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Remove to paper towel lined plate to drain.

2. Add garlic to bacon fat remaining in pan and cook for about a minute.

3. Add chicken broth and simmer for about 5 minutes until reduced by half.

4. Meanwhile, steam frozen peas in the microwave for 1 minute, drain, and set aside.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.

6. Dice cooked bacon, set aside.

7. Once broth is reduced, add lemon juice and red pepper flakes to pan.

8. Remove pan from heat and slowly whisk in eggs.

9. Stir in spaghetti squash, peas, and bacon.

10. Return pan to low heat to heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

11. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

This is usually good for one to two servings. It really depends on how big your squash is. I do love this as leftovers as well.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Swedish Meatballs

I was excited to find a recipe for gluten-free Swedish meatballs recently, but was less than excited with the results. I knew it was worth revisiting, so today I started by dividing the recipe by four to get a reasonably sized recipe for one.

I looked up about six other recipes to look for patterns and find the wiggle room. Then I made adjustments for ingredients I didn't care for. (Hello, why are there onions in everything?) Then additions for ingredients that should be included. (Hello, garlic should be in everything.) Plus and minus here and there and voila... I end up with a delightful gluten-free meatball recipe that I really like. And that's what it's all about folks.

12-14 meatballs

1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp almond flour
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1/2 lb ground sirloin beef
1 egg

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic
1C beef broth (gluten free)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4C coconut milk
1 Tbsp arrowroot
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut flour, almond flour, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice.

2. Add sirloin and egg to bowl and mix to combine.

3. Using a medium scoop, form balls from the meat mixture.

4. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs.

5. Turn meatballs frequently to brown all sides. Then remove from pan.

6. Add garlic to skillet and cook for about a minute, then add beef broth and parsley.

7. Add meatballs back to pan, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes to cook through.

8. Whisk together coconut milk and arrowroot, then slowly add it to the beef broth in the skillet, stirring until combined. Heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

I served my meatballs with a pile of mashed potatoes because I've had a serious mashed potato craving lately. If dinner wasn't so late tonight, I would have been more inclined to add vegetables to my plate as well. Take my advice... you should eat vegetables. I promise to eat more tomorrow.

Sweet Red Pepper Soup

2 servings or 4 appetizer servings

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1C low sodium chicken broth (gluten free)
14oz can diced tomatoes, no salt
7oz roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
1/4 tsp red curry paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in stock pot over medium high heat. Saute garlic for about a minute.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, red peppers, curry paste, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

5. Puree with immersion blender. 

I enjoyed my soup for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich. I'm in love with this bread recipe. I mixed it together and within five minutes my bread was cooling on the counter. I cut off the crown and then cut it in half horizontally. A little ghee and garlic on the outside gives that perfect grilled cheese crust I'm looking for. Today I was inspired by a cooking show to include a little cream cheese along with shredded cheddar and shredded swiss on the inside.

It was really rich and greasy and I almost feel like I might be ready to give up the search for the perfect grilled cheese substitute. I'm not sure my body wants me to eat it anymore. But it was the perfect dunker for this thick Sweet Red Pepper Soup, which is all good. My body says, yum!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rhubarb Sweet & Sour Chicken

If my life wasn't food-centric before, it sure is now. I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of time for cooking. I've been dreaming of some delightful baked goods, but in the meantime, I have to feed myself every day.

I've had my eye on a rhubarb sweet and sour chicken recipe for quite some time. I actually even got a bag of frozen rhubarb, but it has been chilling in the freezer until tonight. I had chicken in the fridge to use and I've been trying to use my pantry to the best of my ability. So rhubarb sweet & sour chicken it was!

1 tsp sesame seed oil
1C diced chicken tenderloin
salt and pepper to taste
1C diced frozen rhubarb
8oz can pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1/2C red pepper, diced
1/2C green pepper, diced

1. Heat sesame seed oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Cook chicken until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile in a sauce pan, combine rhubarb, pineapple juice, honey, and ginger. Heat to boiling and cook, stirring  occasionally until rhubarb breaks down and thickens.

3. When chicken is done, remove from pan. Add more sesame oil and saute peppers--I usually salt them.

4. When sauce has thickened, add pineapple chunks.

5. Add chicken back in with peppers, top with rhubarb sauce, and heat through.

6. I served over a bed of cauliflower rice.

I really liked the sour of the rhubarb as compared to the vinegar sour I got with an alternate sweet and sour chicken recipe. And I'm delighted to be able to incorporate rhubarb into the entree course. Enjoy with a friend as this is sized better for two. Or leftovers in my case.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine

Well Peanut and I have had quite the challenging week! What started with a limp on Monday that I thought was just from him sleeping on his leg too long, turned out to be a flared up back issue.

This morning he could barely walk and whimpered when he did so. I discovered if I could support his weight by holding him up by the harness, that he moved much more freely. But I was concerned about getting him up and down the ramp if he decided he couldn't do it himself.

So I called right away this morning to get him to the vet and told them I may need to discuss putting him to sleep. You can imagine that's pretty much all I thought about today. 

The vet was so wonderful. They had a blanket bed prepared for him to be comfortable in the exam room. She checked him all over and determined it was his spinal issue that was aggravating him. This meant nothing is wrong with his legs and he's going to take some medications to help his back heal.

We still have a long road ahead of us, literally. I'm concerned about the long drive for my old pup, but I know he's going to love seeing the grand folks. I'm so happy to have this Valentine's evening with my sweetheart!

Kickin' Pizza Sauce

I just realized this recipe isn't on the blog and that's a shame! The piece of paper this is written on is falling apart and it needs to be archived for all times.

In a medium bowl, mix together:

14.5oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
6oz can tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp lite salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp grated parmesan (optional)

Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend.

I topped my Chebe pizza crust with this tonight along with turkey pepperoni, green olives, and... CHEESE! Welcome to post Whole 30. I'm going to try to keep cheese to a minimum, but it's pizza for crying out loud. And I resisted having a bottle of wine with it, so I still count it as pretty good.

It almost feels like Friday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cilantro Ginger Tilapia

So I vowed not to do any grocery shopping this week. It's easy for me to get carried away with fresh fruits and vegetables and I wanted to make sure I use up what I have since I will be traveling over the weekend. So I planned to have a steak last night which I managed to prepare simply on the George Foreman Grill paired with leftover mashed cauliflower.

I haven't been feeling very inspired with my menu this week, so tonight when I arrived home I didn't have a clue what I would prepare. I only knew I should get something out of the freezer stat. It's been awhile since I've made tilapia, so that was it. In a 4oz serving, it defrosts quickly. I also pulled out a half cup serving of cauliflower rice.

After sitting around for another hour playing online and watching old episodes of Chopped on the Food Network, I was all of a sudden very hungry and knew it was time to figure out once and for all What's For Dinner. I threw the packaged tilapia into a sink of cold water for twenty minutes to quickly finish the thawing process.

I decided I was going with a clilantro ginger flavor, so I mixed ginger and garlic with my almond flour to coat the tilapia. I threw the still partially frozen cauliflower rice in a pan with sesame seed oil and a cup of chopped frozen broccoli and once it was well on it's way, I added coconut aminos (this tastes like soy sauce) and ginger and as a last thought threw in diced roasted red pepper. Which really made the pilaf.

I pan fried my tilapia. Toasted a few sesame seeds in the pan as the tilapia finished cooking. Then deglazed the pan with a mixture of lime juice, coconut aminos, and cilantro. Half a plate of tilapia and half a plate of the  Broccoli pilaf. (Just the way it is supposed to be! Look at me go on day 30!)

The first side of the tilapia got a little overdone, but developed a lovely almond flour crust. 

1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
1/2C cauliflower rice
1C broccoli
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp roasted red peppers, diced
salt & pepper to taste

1/8C almond flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp lite salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4oz tilapia
1 Tbsp sesame seed oil.
dash of sesame seeds

1/8C lime juice
1/2 Tbsp dried cilantro
1 tsp coconut aminos

1. Toss cauliflower rice and broccoli in the sesame oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cover and cook for about five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl whisk together the almond flour, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cilantro, and coconut aminos for sauce. Set aside.

4. Place the tilapia in the shallow bowl and turn to coat with the almond flour mixture. Heat the sesame seed oil in frying pan over medium high heat.

5. Remove the lid from the pilaf. Add coconut aminos, ginger, roasted red peppers, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

6. Place tilapia in the heated sesame seed oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip. Toss sesame seeds into the pan  to toast. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the second side.

7. Remote tilapia filets to a plate. Pour the sauce into the tilapia pan and stir around to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom. It will reduce quickly. After about  a minute, drizzle the sauce over the tilapia filets.

8. Add pilaf to your plate and enjoy a sweet and savory dinner for one.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coffee Beef Stew

I looked up several stew recipes and compiled a plan for my Sunday night dinner.  I really wanted to use red wine, but because I'm not quite to day 31 of my Whole 30 yet, I could not. I decided to throw in a tablespoon of the red wine vinegar to make me feel better about the missing ingredient. I'm not sure if that worked, but the two cups of coffee sure made me perk up!

It was pretty tasty and that is what it's really all about. The only thing I may have done differently is to saute the mushrooms before adding them to the stew pot. I may try that next time around. And perhaps a decaf coffee would be better for Sunday night dinner. I'm keeping fingers crossed the caffeine burns strong and then I pass out from the caffeine crash. Here's hoping!

1 Tbsp bacon fat
1 lb stew meat
salt & pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, sliced thick
3 celery stalks, sliced thick
1C mushrooms, sliced
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, no salt
2C beef stock, gluten free
2C coffee
6oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp lite salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
more parsley to garnish

1. Melt bacon fat in large stock pot over medium high heat. Add stew meat and generously salt and pepper. Sear on all sides.

2. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and give it a stir. (I would be inclined to saute the mushrooms first next time.)

3. A few minutes later add the tomatoes, beef stock, coffee, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and seasonings.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for two hours.

I enjoyed this stew over a pile of mashed cauliflower. Very tasty. I can't wait to try it again on day two!

Valentine's Vision

I mixed a little Valentines into my winter decorations. I can't help but love the splash of red on this gray and rainy winter day.
I have holiday Coca Cola advertisements for these two frames and the Valentine's ones are two of my favorites! It helps that they are all from the 50's and 60's.
I added red snowflake accents to the winter white and a little heart on my hearth.
 I finally finished my snowy ornament swag with a little netting and more red snow flakes.
The glass ornaments were perfect to convert to snowballs. I poured glue in to coat the inside and then shook kosher salt around until it stuck. Voila! Snowballs! A few of the ornaments received sprigs of paper doilies. So cute on my little red snowflake place mat in a trifle bowl for the center piece on my dining table.

These little velvet hearts I made perch atop a red glass candy dish who lost his lid. And this little cherub traveled all the way from Germany in 1997 to grace the little mirror.

It's a shame the Valentine's decorations only last a week or two, but by then I'll be ready to toss aside winter for a little breath of spring air. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken Bake

Before Christmas I had picked up a jar of artichoke hearts with dreams of whipping up a spinach artichoke dip. Well, that didn't happen. And while perusing Pinterest, I was inspired to use those artichokes for dinner.

It was pretty tasty. In the future I think I would add a tablespoon of arrowroot to thicken it up a little. But flavors were spot on tasty. I'm going to share the recipe because I feel like I haven't shared many lately. I've been trying new things from Pinterest and I always have to pair them down and I usually make substitutions. I just haven't been writing them down. I vow to get better and share more. I just love a good idea for dinner.

2 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
6.5 oz jar artichoke hearts, quartered (I rinsed them)
2 Tbsp kalmata olives, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp freeze dried basil
1/2C tomato basil sauce--no sugar!
salt & pepper to taste
1 chicken breast (I cubed mine, but may try it whole next time)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalmata olives, garlic, olive oil, basil, and tomato sauce.

3. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Mix in chicken and pour mixture into an individual baker (alternately I would put the chicken breast in a baker and top with sauce).

5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.

6. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Hardest Part

You know the first time I tackled a Whole 30 a year ago I couldn't even imagine going thirty days without drinking alcohol. At all. Not even a little bit. Not even in cooking. What? I can't do that. How will I ever do that?

Let me let you in on a little secret. It is actually pretty easy. You just don't have any. Period. I can want a glass of wine or vodka straight up, but you just decide not to have any. It is really so easy. Hey, it's only thirty days and I will enjoy wine again. Just not now.

The hardest part is giving up sugar. Because you can choose not to add honey to your tea or baked goods. Hey, that's fine. Okay, I got this. I probably shouldn't have too much fruit either. Okay. Check. But how many million times over the last twenty-five days have I had something I thought was Whole 30 acceptable only to find out after the fact that it contained sugar. Sugar is in everything.

If you have diabetes you know you have to watch these things, but you could do better. The rest of everyone else doesn't even know how much sugar they eat unknowingly. And what life could be like without it. I think everyone should try a Whole 30. It's all about awareness. You'll be amazed at what you learn.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 24

For anyone contemplating beginning their own Whole 30 journey, I would advise you to do it. And stick to it. 

Remember how I had to blog through every horrible day during the detox? Well, that ends. I know I haven't been keeping up with updates, but that is because I'm doing pretty great. I'm still working through the stuffiness, but this is the best part of the Whole 30. It's so worth it when you realize you could feel this good every day! Simply amazing. Earth shattering even.

I'm sleeping so soundly. Most every day I awake just before my alarm and my inclination is to get up, not roll over and continue snoozing. This is a REALLY big deal for me. My energy levels are consistent throughout the day when I see my co-workers hitting their afternoon slump. At the end of the day I'm tired and ready for bed. Hallelujah!

I am not bloaty, which in my opinion is what actually makes you feel skinny. There are no digestive issues. The food I eat makes me feel good, not gassy. I eat as much as I want to and find that I eat less because I'm not as hungry. I've got this theory that you get more hungry when you eat grains because your body is telling you it needs real fuel.

I take a snack to work each day and a lot of days I'll forget to eat it because my meals sustain my energy. It took reading someone else's Whole 30 recap to realize I no longer was having blood sugar crashes. It was common for me to get shaky, dizzy, and crabby in between meals. That doesn't happen at all anymore. Can I get an amen? It's so frustrating when your body is out of control like that. And it turns out you can do something about it!

What else? Oh my mood is phenomenal and it turns out I am much more capable of handling stressful and emotional situations with a higher mood level. Go figure.

Anyway, for anyone thinking about trying this out, please do. And give yourself the opportunity to get to day 24 (at least) because this is the good stuff and you deserve to feel this great too!

I Can't Believe It!

Ta da!
I almost want to nix that whole I Haven't Done Anything Yet. Because I absolutely cannot believe I've reupholstered this chair! This has to count as something!

My grandmother gave me this chair when I was in my early twenties, I believe. Needless to say, it's been awhile!   The covering matched my grandmother's old drapes and was seriously smoke stained (much more obvious when you take it apart).

I moved this chair around with me in my youth and always dreamed of making it new again. I even moved this chair back to my grandmother's house when I bought it in '05 and it still matched the drapes!

Now after a week of putzing through this makeover, it is finally done! And now it matches my drapes. Whew. I'm so tired.

It all started here with an old chair and scraps from my $3 fabric find at the antique store.
Here she was all stripped down.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Sexy

On this day 22 of my Whole 30 I decided to test my health. I had a splitting headache for the last three days (I'm thinking perhaps medication withdrawal) and today I woke up virtually headache free. My health is once again on the upswing.

So I was thinking a spray painting project in my basement was a great idea. That's not true. I knew it wasn't a good idea, I just couldn't wait for the weather to agree. I'm impatient like that. Did I mention how much I miss my old workshop with ventilation?

So I set up my old sheet on the ground and masked off the innards of my special chair. And then I started spritzing the shiny black paint onto the wooden frame.

It never smells that bad while you're in it. But a whiff of fresh air sends my head spinning. Whew! High as a kite!

So after a second round (yes I HAD to finish), I'm airing out the house a little before bed. I'm actually afraid I'll drift off to never never land in my sleep. Peanut may already be there. He's enjoying a deep restful nap on this his birthday eve.

But I digress...the chair is looking super sexy, no? We're so close to the finish line!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Project Progress

This was a pretty lazy weekend. Thank goodness! Considering I just came off two crazy busy weeks with over a hundred hours logged, I really needed it.

I decorated for Valentines day and managed a little cooking and cleaning. Other than that, I mostly worked on my chair. I finished stripping it down to the frame, and then used the old pieces as a pattern for my new fabric. I JUST had enough of the leftover furniture cover fabric.

Because the furniture cover had cording, I needed to work that into my chair cover. If I hadn't, I would have come up short. So I cut apart the original seat cover into four parts and then placed those along the cording on the new fabric.

I forgot to cut the main piece a little larger to allow for the new seams, so now that it's all said and done, it just fits over the edges of the chair. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed it works when I go to reassemble. Because I put in A LOT of work ripping out the seems of the cording to piece it all back together.

And there was this rubber backing on the fabric that made it impossible to sew. My brilliant mother suggested attaching tissue paper on the rubber side to help the fabric slide through more easily and it totally worked! I was super stoked as I breezed through the multiple seams of the back piece. Then I just needed to pull the pieces of tissue paper off the finished seams.

So all the sewing was finished Saturday. Today I tightened screws and nails and glued loose joints. Hopefully it will sturdy the chair up for years to come. I sanded the frame and intend to paint it before tacking the fabric back on. 

In the meantime I put a few coats of varnish on these shelves that have been on my project list for way too long. I'm looking forward to finishing those and gaining a little convenient storage in my back hall off my kitchen.

I feel like I've had a pretty productive lazy weekend, all things considered.


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