Monday, 28 October 2013

Sewing DIY: Curling Iron Travel Cozy From an Old Placemat

I am busy getting all of my ducks in a row for an upcoming business trip to Europe. On any trip I take, I make sure to pack my curling iron or flat iron.  My hair is a wild mane if I don't tame it with some sort of extremely hot apparatus, and so there are times when I am ready to leave the house or the hotel room to catch my flight when my curling iron is still too hot for my luggage. In order not to burn my clothes, I've realized that a travel cozy is a necessity and I set out to make one this weekend.

A few weeks ago, I bought a set of 6 vintage quilted placemats at the local thrift store for $2. I was drawn to the vintage floral pattern and had it in mind to reuse them in different craft projects.

For this project I only used one placemat and started by folding in one edge and sewing a straight line at about a third of the way up.

I then sewed along the bottom of the third to create a long pocket for the iron.

I then flipped the placemat and sewed a ribbon and a bead in a contrasting colour in the centre of the back. This allowed me to place the curling iron in to the long pocket, fold the placemat over and tie the ribbon around it.  Before tying it up though, I also sewed on a snap button to make sure the fabric stays in place.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and glad that I got to reuse something and didn't have to buy a plastic protector to only throw in a landfill later.  I look forward to using it on my trips and keeping my clothes safe from the heat of my hair fryer.  Now as for the other 5 placemats... any ideas for what I should make with them?

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Healthy Eats: Pomegranate Chicken Medley

I made up this dish, and so I made up the name, but it was delicious and so I'm going to share the recipe with you here. You'll find that this has a pretty tart flavour, and so you may opt to add some water or more honey, instead of the lemon juice I added.

This dish can be made in the oven or on a bbq. Be sure to preheat your heat source before you place the meat on there.

Step 1: Mix all of the following ingredients into a casserole dish:
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1/2 cup of parsely, chopped 
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 of red bell pepper (or another spicier variety if you prefer), diced 
  • 1 tablespoon of Pomegranate Molasses (I bought it at the ethnic foods aisle) 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 10 Chicken Thighs 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Step 2: Once you've combined all of your ingredients, place your dish in the fridge for 20 minutes to an hour.

Step 3: You can either pop the dish into the oven and cook for 25 minutes on 450 degrees Fahrenheit, covered, or do what I did and give the hubby BBQ duty.

Step 4: If you're barbequing, bbq your chicken first, then place the remaining marinade in a saucepan and cook on medium for about 10 minutes to make a sauce. This will be great poured all over the chicken afterwards.

Step 5: Serve on it's own or paired with jasmine/Basmati rice.

I hope you like it. I didn't add any oil because I find chicken thighs fairly fatty themselves and I like the way pomegranate molasses absorbs into the meat better without any additional oil. If you must have it, I would add a touch of olive oil.

Bon App├ętit

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Recycled Goods: Plastic Bottle Ceiling Light

I'm always impressed by people and companies that can turn trash into treasure. Imagine how much stuff we could save from landfills if we only knew what to do with them after they have served their initial purpose. Take plastic bottles for example, the world is overrun with them, wouldn't it be great if it was mandatory that people recycle their bottles?

Every now and again, I'm going to feature recycled goods being made and sold by people out there in the world wide web. This week, it's the amazing work of Sarah Turner of Eco Art & Design in the UK.  She collects plastic bottles from local cafes and households, cleans and sandblasts each bottle to give them an opaque look, then hand cuts and sculpts them into decorative forms. The waste bottles are totally transformed and it’s almost impossible to tell what they originated from.

I'm loving this turquoise light feature she made out of thirty plastic 1.5 litre Coca Cola bottles. Check out her Etsy store, she has many other designs to choose from if you don't fancy this one, though I can't imagine why you wouldn't. The best part is, 30 bottles are kept out of the landfill or out of our lakes, which is always a huge selling point in my books.

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