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Monday, January 31, 2011

Upside Down

A lot of times I just bake because I like too. Sometimes I have a craving for something sweet. This cake is a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I was feeling "pineappley" yesterday and began baking this. It is very important to make sure you have all the ingredients before you start to bake. I laid them all out on the counter and to my surprise I didn't have enough cherries. Sooo it is very important to have a willing husband to go to the store for you to pick them up so you don't have to stop what you are doing.  Thanks hon! Or someone you can count on!

One thing about this cake is that it always comes out looking pretty. The problem with baking is we like to eat it all. Since there are only two of us here, I shared it. Sharing is part of the fun. I love to see people enjoy food. It's the Italian in me!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 20 oz can pineapple rings in juice
1 pkg of yellow cake mix
1 small jar cherries
oil and eggs as called for on cake mix

Preheat oven at 350 degrees Melt butter in a 13x9 pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over top. Drain pineapple and save juice for cake mix. Arrange slices over mixture and put cherries in center hole. Press to secure. Add water to pineapple juice to make 11/4 cup and add to mixture. Fold in oil and eggs and mix. Pour over pineapples. Bake for 40-45 min. When down remove from oven and turn pan upside down. Leave pan on for around 1 min to set. Remove to see this.

Slice and enjoy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Read All About It

It has been beautiful around here. It reached 60 yesterday and feels like spring is just around the corner. With that in mind I started painting another piece.

Since there is a trend out there of birds on everything, I thought it would be fun to do something different with them. This is a new piece for my collection. It is a 16x20 canvas with bird silhouettes. It really goes with anything. I love the background and the black and white pattern.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vintage Wreath

I love vintage cards and decorations. I have an array of tastes and styles that appeal to me. There is something about the craftsmanship and artwork of the old stuff. I stumbled upon a vintage wreath as I was surfing the internet.  I discovered a Halloween wreath which I really loved from William-Sonoma. I think the cost was $39.95 plus shipping. Of course I thought I could do this myself and apply it to any holiday.

Since I decorated my dining room in a vintage style, with old pink depression glass for Valentine's Day, I figured I could incorporate this little ditty to the room. It was so simple to make and it didn't take much time to do.

I started out with a rough cut shape of a cardboard heart. I downloaded vintage Valentine's cards from from free sites and printed them out on cardstock. I think if I made this again I would mount the cardstock to a heavy paper or cardboard so it would raise up the art better. I hot glued ribbon I had in my craft closet to the outside of the heart.

I cut out the vintage cards and glued to the wreath leaving some of the ribbon showing.  I added the red satin ribbon to make the artwork pop a little more. The whole project cost around $6 and was a nice addition to the dining room.
the red makes it pop

my finished creation     

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seeing Red

Well as you can see I did start painting.  This was just to see if I like the color, which I do. The problem is it has been snowing and I haven't been able to get the rest of my paint. I have been sanding the rest of the hutch and I am debating on what to do with the shelves and the back panel. Any suggestions? I thought about staining it walnut or painting just the shelves red. Also the hardware is a pain. These old hutches have nailed metal pulls and I am not sure if I want to keep it or not. Do I want to paint it or leave it alone? Too many questions!!! Please let me know what you think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've Been Framed! part II

I found these antique frames that I have stored for quite a while.  I love the patina on them. I incorporated them into the vignette of the mantel. I think this look can be used all year long not just for Valentines.

The picture is a little dark but the red shows up and it is just the right amount of color. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I've Been Framed!

There are a lot of way to spruce up your home without spending a whole lot of money. I thought I would show you an idea that you can do yourselves. I found this old frame at the Goodwill for 99 cents. I added a heart that I had to the frame. You can do this with anything just think outside the box.
Then for another quick and cheap idea. See the large oil painting above the fireplace? I wanted to change it out without removing the painting. I got a piece of wrapping paper cut to fit and applied it to the picture. I did not glue it I just slipped through the sides added a piece of tape to the frame and it was a quick change. You can see the before and after. I will do this again for Christmas. Its a fun inexpensive way to get a different look.

I am not finished with it yet but I am liking what I see. I will post when I am done. In the meantime, try this out if you like or let me know some of your secrets. I'll be waiting to hear from you!
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Domino Effect

I have had this hutch for awhile now and I decided to finally do something about it. 

I am going to paint it red. You see the color is very important and I have been thinking about it for over a year. I thought about hand painting it with scrolls or painting it all black. Then I decided I want something different that I don't have already. When it was given to me I thought it was horrible but I was sure I could do something to help it out. I was going to hide it upstairs but it was too heavy and I didn't want to break my back lugging it all the way up there. So it sits in my hallway. I know it sounds weird but I have gotten used to it. It really is kind of cozy when you walk in the front door. But it is just NOT my taste.(not to offend anyone) The problem is when you start one project it usually turns in to another and another and another. The dreaded domino effect. I began by emptying it today and buying a sample color. This is the before picture. I am not sure when you will see the after but I will post my progress. When it is done I will probably have to paint the hallway and maybe go shopping for some more accessories. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Don't you just love the smell of something baking in the oven? It fills your home with such a wonderful scent. Those scents bring back memories of all different times of our lives. It's like a hug on a winters day. One of my favorite smells is cinnamon and one of my favorite recipes is this Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake by Ina Garten. 

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
11/2cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
11/14 cups sour cream
21/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the streusel
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup a;; purpose flour
11/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut in pieces

for the glaze
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar 4-5 min until light. Add the eggs one at a time then vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place brown sugar flour cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it our with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50-60 min.

Let cool for at least 30 min. Transfer cake streusel side up onto serving plate. Whisk the confectioners sugar and syrup together adding a few drops of water to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you would like over the cake .

Can't you just taste and smell it!  I love the texture and brown and white color. I hope you have a chance to try it.  It is great with tea or coffee or a nice big glass of milk. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mixing It Up

Funny when you look at pictures you see so much more. I read the other day that a woman takes pictures of herself right before she leaves the house so she can make sure she looks good (she doesn't trust mirrors) not a bad idea maybe I should try it!  Now that I am older I am lucky enough to remember to brush my hair before I leave never mind taking a picture. LOL

One of the things I did notice is that my bedroom is already kinda valentine-y.  Sounds corny but its true.  Its a mix of traditional and contemporary with a splash of romantic. I think everyone needs a space to clear their mind and breathe. This is that space for me. 
I love the pops of red against the black and beige.  The tray has a few special items including pictures of the loves of my life, my children(when they were young). This is the room I come up with all my ideas for my artwork. There is something about laying my head down at night that makes my mind race. It is one of those things that is a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is it has kept me in the creative business! I wouldn't know what to do if I couldn't play with colors and ideas. Some inspire and some just add a little warmth to someones life. This painting was one of those things.
Peace and love....we could all use some of that!  So if you would like to order one of these 6x6 paintings just email me. They are $28 plus shipping and handling. Hopefully I will get these custom order paintings and others in an online store soon. I need to manage my time and set a goal. Till then if you are looking for something different for your Valentine let me know.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dreaming In Color

Wow! This is my first attempt to begin a blog. I am excited to start something new.  I am an artist. Color and design are a passion of mine.  I love all things beautiful. You can say I am a romantic with spunk! My blog will be an array of all the things that inspire me. I don't consider myself a writer but I do enjoy being creative. So bare with me as I take you on my journey. Please stop by anytime and share your thoughts and inspirations with me.

Gray days! Yuk! Winter brings out the dulldroms. I have been in the house way to long and the winter storms seem to keep coming. Christmas is packed away only to reveal a dull color palette in my home.  So I started in my dining room. It was a little dark and dreary so I decided to add so color to brighten my day. I should have taken a before picture. This is what I came up with that started me on a decorating frenzy for Valentine's Day.
I started with things around the house because it is too cold to go shopping to buy something. I like to be creative anyway. I found my pink depression glass I had in a hutch and started to decorate the table. I wanted it to look romantic. I added the champagne glasses from my wedding (25 years ago). I looked around for napkin holders that would go with the vignette but no such luck. I had to think up something. I had an old broken bracelet with heart charms I added to some ribbon. I think it was just the right touch.
This changed my mood so I came up with a few more things for around the house.

I made the heart on the door from red felt I had lying around and continued to make some felt posies for these cute little vases. It worked! It brightened up the house and I feel better.