Friday, July 15, 2011

Tutorial : Craft Fair Necklace Display

Ever since I posted my craft fair preview and the results of my first craft fair I've gotten requests for a tutorial of how I made this:
(1) 36" Window Box
(1) 32" Stair Banisters
(1) 34" long 1x2 lumber
(4) 2" x 1" angle brackets
(4) small machine screws and nuts
(6) 1/4" x 1 3/4" Thumb screws
(4) 1/4" tee nuts
(2) 1/4" wing nuts
(17) 1" diameter drawer knobs

Drill with 1/4" drill bit and 3/16" drill bit
Screwdriver (to match machine screws)
Sand Paper
Paint Brush
Level and clamps

Tip: if you don't know your way around the hardware store, don't be afraid to hand the list to someone working there.  I've done this numerous times and they'll help you find all the little hardware pieces very quickly.

Step One:
This DIY necklace display can be very flexible as far as changing size.  The first step is to cut the wood to size.  I used the 32" high banisters without adjusting.  If you'd like your display lower just cut some off the top and bottom.  Also, the lumber store can cut down your 1x2 for you, or cut it at home to 34".  After all cuts are made sand all three pieces.

Step Two:
Attach all of your drawer knobs.  I found this to be the most expensive item on my material list at $1 each.  You can use small hooks you can find in the hardware section if you'd like to save costs here.  My first knob is 1" from end of 1x2 to center.  The rest are evenly spaced 2" center to center.  Drill holes at all knob centers with 1/4" drill bit and attached knobs tightly.
Step Three:
Prep banisters.  Line up angle brackets with bottom of banister.  The angle brackets may or may not have a center hole already.  Be prepared to drill through angle bracket, wood, and then angle bracket directly in the center of the bracket for the bottom attachment.

Step Four:
Line up the banisters in the window box approximately 2" from each side. Take note of the width (banisters should be about 28" apart) and lay the banisters on top of the 1"x2" board. Be sure that the banisters are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the 1"x2" board with the level and clamp them into place. Drill two 1/4" holes in each banister, evenly spaced and centered, and into the 1"x2" board far enough to seat the tee nuts. Insert the tee nuts into the 1"x2" board. You may need the hammer to seat them properly.

Step Five:
Attach the banisters to the angle brackets with the thumb screws and wingnuts. Attach the 1"x2" board to the banisters with two more thumb screws in each. Stand the display in the window box and drill through the angle brackets if needed and through the bottom of the window box. Attach the angle brackets to the window box with the small machine screws and nuts. You may find it helpful to mark which banister matches which angle brackets, just in case the holes are not lined up exactly.

Step Six:
Take the display apart again and paint everything!  After the paint is dry your done!  And because of the way we built it, it can be broken down for storage.  At the craft fair, place a few bricks or weights in the window box to keep it from tipping over and cover it with fabric or flowers.
I hope you enjoyed this DIY tutorial.  If this might be a good post for your own blog I'd be very welcome to guest blogging and sharing it with as many people as possible.

Contact me with any questions!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Food Network Mag Review : July/August

You know a cooking magazine was a great issue when there are crumbs between the pages and the cover is destroyed.  This is what my July/August issue of Food Network Magazine currently looks like - and it's only July 11th! So here is the run down to help you determine if you're going to pick it up at the grocery store this week or not:

This is a beach read!  These aren't recipes I can include links to, this issue includes fantastic articles exploring behind the scenes of Bobby Flay's new show: BBQ Addiction, and Guy's Diners, Drive ins, and Dives.

I learned: Tyler Florence has a cook book for baby food! Some recipes are included on page 59.

Summer Side Dishes: these look worth trying!  And the 50 recipe pull out is potato salads.  Who doesn't need 50 different ways to make that classic?

Claire's Robinson's Creamed Corn: Page 87
I've never made creamed corn, but this looks delicious and there are only two ingredients!

Lemon-Thyme Biscuits: Page 162
tip: most bread dough freezes well - I'd cut out the biscuits and freeze the extra before cooking.

Creamy Coleslaw with Grapes and Walnuts: page 162
I made this Saturday night and it was a huge hit! I skipped the grapes and walnuts because I was using it as a topping for BBQ hot dogs (another great FNMag recipe.)  They were delicious.

Weeknight meals are all on the grill - there are tons of great ideas: these are my two favorites:

Grilled Pirogis and Kielbasa: page 112  When I saw this I honestly wasn't sure what a pirogi was - but I thought they looked liked raviolis.  So I tried the recipe with that.  I replaced the apple cider vinegar with balsamic and used garlic paste instead of mustard (but only one tbsp.)  We grilled tomatoes and onions to go along side and it was delicious.  Just be careful - they cook quick!

Grilled Polenta and Veggies: page 120  I thought this looked like a beautiful spread for an upscale BBQ.  And I finally found tubes of prepared polenta - at Trader Joes!
And The Weekend Cooking: I love this section because it always challenges me to cook something different and try new techniques.  And I've already made two of them!

What's more summer than tomatoes? Once again I was drawn in by the beauty of this dish.  I haven't tried the Heirloom Tomato Tart but I want to, especially after a visit to the farmer's market this summer.

Lobster? Yes Please!  I can't even count how many lobster rolls I've had living in New England but I've never made one.  At prices close to $18 a lobster roll it was time to take on this classic.  Matt and I had my parent's over for dinner this past Saturday and just three lobsters fed six of us very stuffed Lobster Rolls.
I'm making this Skillet Eggs with Squash while I write this blog post.  I love breakfast and anything that resembles a fritata, (meaning it goes in a pan and then in the oven) I want in my arsenal.  Tonight we're having breakfast for dinner with this meal.  It's also a great way to use more seasonal vegetables.  It was delicious! 
If you haven't figured it out already my recommendation on this issue is to buy it.  The recipes are simple and all use seasonal veggies which means you can easily shop for them at the farmer's market.  I also didn't share, but there are about four different fruit pies in this issue.  I've never tried a fruit pie, but the plum tart on page 178 might become my experiment of the summer.

(All photos used in this post are from

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two for the Summit : Mt. Washington

July 1st was the big hike.  If you've been following along the Two for the Summit features you know that Matt and I have been hiking a summit each month gearing up for our big physical challenge of 2011; Mt. Washington.  It was by far the hardest and most incredible thing I've ever done.  This is a picture heavy post but it's so worth it! 
Mt. Washington is the tallest in New England standing at 6,288 ft.  Getting to the top and back was quite the accomplishment.
The first 2.4 miles of the hike is relatively easy - and follows a rushing river

About 3 miles in we hit the Alpine Zone - now the weather changes - we couldn't see a thing!

Simply a really awesome photo of us! Certainly Christmas card material

Approaching the basin of Tuckerman's Ravine

The basin of Tuckerman's Ravine and the first clear view of it due to all the fog.  People ski these 55 degree slopes!

About halfway up the Ravine - I look so small! This really puts the mountain in perspective.

This shot is from Tuckerman's Junction.  We had about .8 miles to the top, in the hardest terrain of the day.

And we made it!  We're on top of all of New England!  It's a little weird because both cars and a train bring tourists to the top of Mt. Washington - but they all were impressed with the hikers and took our summit photos.

You can't hike Mt. Washington without encountering some kind of weather.
On the descent we hit a downpour for about 20 minutes - boy was that rain cold!

We were rewarded for enduring the downpour with a rainbow over the valley, I'll take it.

Matt putting the rain gear away for the rest of the trip down.

We took Lion's Head trail for the descent.  Note for the future: this was probably harder than Tuckerman's.

We got back to the hermit lake shelters at about 5:30 PM, we had 2.4 miles left to get back to the car, what an incredible day.

Have you hiked a mountain this summer? You should! Check out All Trails for a summit near you!  You'll be surprised at what you find in your own backyard. 

Thanks for taking the time to check our of photos of the hike!

Check out the other Summits we've hiked:
March: Hollywood Sign  Los Angeles, CA
April: Washusett Mountain - MA
May: Sleeping Giant - CT
June: Mt. Monadnock -NH
July: Mt. Washington - NH
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