I was visiting my parents a couple weeks ago and since their kitchen is much larger than my apartment kitchen, I decided I wanted to do some cooking. With fresh fruit easily available during the summer, I decided to try my hand at making jams. For many years I have watched from a distance when my mom made jams, but if I had known it was so easy I would have tried my hand at it years ago. I made a batch of rhubarb-ginger jam, which is a standby in my house because the rhubarb plant in my parents' backyard is enormous, and then decided to branch out with this delicious raspberry, jalapeno, and cilantro jam from Cupcake Rehab. If you like a bit of heat in your preserves, this is the recipe for you!
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading and I am a huge fan of British detective stories. I saw a reference to the Rivers of London series with Constable Peter Grant and knew I had to find a copy. One of the blurbs on the back cover refers to the series as "Harry Potter joins the Metropolitan Police" and the books do not disappoint. The first in the series is Midnight Riot and is not pictured above because I have already passed it onto my mystery-loving mom. If you like a little bit of magic, a lot of wit, and a great plot, then you should check out this series by Ben Aaronovitch. I have finished all five books that are currently out and am already impatiently waiting for the next installment!
If you are looking for an easy project to work on this summer, check out this tutorial from Spoonflower on how to make recipe tea towels. I made a batch for my family reunion and they were such a big hit that I had to order more fabric to keep up with the demand! I did not have handwritten recipes to scan, so I used GoogleDocs to create a design that looks like a recipe card. They look great, can be completed in an afternoon, and make a great gift for family members!
Last week I stopped by the craft store, Michael's, to pick up wrapping paper and ribbon for a wedding gift. Of course, it is almost impossible to walk out of there without buying supplies for a D.I.Y. project and that trip was no different. As soon as I walked in, I noticed all the monogrammed items in the bargain bins and thought it would be fun to add the initial of the bride and groom's new last name to the gift packaging. One thing led to another and I ended up creating a piece of D.I.Y. monogram art. In the photo you can see that I tied it into the ribbon on top of the wrapped gift.
This was an incredibly easy and cheap project and I am looking forward to creating a piece for my apartment with the initial of my first name. The best part is that there are infinite options for customization because you can choose whatever paint and paper options you like.
The steps to create this are very simple. First remove the glass and backing from the frame. Paint the wood frame and the wood letter in your preferred paint color(s). I did two coats of paint to get the desired coverage.
While the paint is drying, attach a 4"x6" piece of scrapbooking paper to the backing of the frame with Mod Podge. To create a slightly glossy finish, cover the visible side of the scrapbooking paper in Mod Podge as well. Don't worry, it will dry clear. Once the paint dried, I also added a coat of Mod Podge to both the letter and the frame for a similar glossy finish throughout.
When all the components are completely dry, put the frame back together (leaving out the glass) and then glue the letter into the opening. Then you are ready to display it on a shelf or on the wall!