Tag Archives: #vintage

We Both Need a Fresh Start: 80’s Jewelry Cabinet Rescue & Blogiversary Recap

One year ago today (happy blogiversary to me), I started this blog with the best of intentions.  Little did I know how much WORK this blogging thing required.  Especially for a girl with a full-time job and full-time life.  Some weeks, especially when I was inspired by the holidays (Easter and Cinco de Mayo, woot woot!), I blogged daily.  Below are some of awesome highlights during these up moments.  I can’t even begin to describe the glee I felt every time another blogger or site featured one of my posts, and I give a big, fat ♥ every time I see one of my posts pinned on Pinterest.  GRINNING EAR-TO-EAR SMILEY FACE.

Hand-Painted Tribal Print Ottoman -- annumography.wordpress

Hand-Painted Tribal Print Ottoman

Take5 Layer Cake -- annumography.wordpress

Take 5 Layer Cake

Boozy Blueberry-Sage Sherbet -- annumography.wordpress

Boozy Blueberry-Sage Sherbet

Copycat Roslyn Spumoni Cake -- annumography.wordpress

Copycat Roslyn Spumoni Whip Cream Cake

Gluten-Free Enchilada Casserole -- annumography.wordpress

Gluten-Free Chorizo Enchilada Breakfast Casserole

Cookbook Bird House -- annumography.wordpress

Catalog Hack Cookbook Bird House

Hand-Painted Otomi Canvas Shoes

Hand-Painted Otomi Canvas Shoes

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream -- annumography.wordpress

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream

Kate Spade-Inspired Painted Nightstands -- annumography.wordpress

Kate Spade-Inspired Painted Nightstands

Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce -- annumography.wordpress

Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce

Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Cocktail -- annumography.wordpress

Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Cocktail

Low Carb Mini German Apple Pancake - annumography

Low Carb Mini German Apple Pancakes

And then there were the weeks…and weeks…okay, maybe months…where it was radio silence around here.  Heck, I couldn’t even manage a daily Instagram post.  SAD FACE.

Let us look at the reasons, shall we?  Not that I’m making excuses.  But, dang it, if I don’t identify my problems, how am I going to fix them?

  1. Photography (i.e. the eye candy that keeps blog readers coming back for more) – I mentioned early on my photography shortcomings.  Then WordPress changed the interface to Instagram, and my blog’s whole concept took a nosedive.  Honestly, though, this turned out to be a good thing.  I am now re-learning photo editing, and the quality of my photos should dramatically improve (no more relying on Instagram filters).  And I’ve promised myself a new camera if I show more commitment to the blog this year.
  2. Not measuring up – Every influential blogger tells you not to compare your blog to others.  Well, I didn’t listen.  Or at least not consistently.  So I tried to Keep Up with The Bloggers, and I failed.  This isn’t my full-time job…or even full-time hobby…so I need to cut myself some slack.  I know that my blog quality will improve.  But if not, I’m happy that I’m back to blogging for me.
  3. And then…bam, boom, wham…major life change – With the news I received about my health this year, my diet has dramatically changed.  With my diet change,my after-work evenings have also changed.  Time formerly spent blogging is now spent in the kitchen planning, prepping, and cooking.  Sadly, I can no longer eat any of the recipes that I posted above.  It feels like I’m learning to cook all over again, and sometimes it feels like I have more failures than successes.

So.  It’s a new year with new opportunities.  I’m going to commit again to daily Instagram posts for my 365 Project.  But my blog content is going to be (even) more real, true-to-life Karen.  I’m going to be less concerned about themes and what the other bloggers are doing and more focused on my interests.  I hope this results in more interesting and dynamic reading, because my heart will be in every post.

Take this jewelry cabinet.  Yes, it is so 1980’s.  But I see potential.  In fact, I’ve been seeing its potential for about a decade now.  I just can’t seem to make a decision about how I want to rescue this baby.  Heck, the style may come back again, if I wait long enough.  Or not.

80s Jewelry Box Rescue Before1 -- annumography.wordpress

I found the perfect place for this curved-line, potential beauty between my two closet doors.  I hate the golden oak stain, but then again I don’t hate how it ties to the clock on the wall above.  And I totally dig the rose pink velvet lining.  Over the next couple of days, I will be mulling over my options.  But no more procrastinating and unfinished projects!  I promise both myself and this Material Girl that her makeover will be complete by the end of January.  Maybe before…CONFIDENT SMILEY.

80s Jewelry Box Rescue Before4 -- annumography.wordpress

What are your ideas?  How would you rescue this stuck-in-the-80’s babe?



SeeKarenFollow: This Week

So, yeah, it’s been a while.  And you would think that I would have lots of pictures from Instagram to share during my absence.  But when this lady takes a break, she means it.  So here is what little I have to show and tell from the last two weeks.

I saved some of my hubby’s old t-shirts from the donation bin to make some t-shirt yarn.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet.  There are just so many options to choose, it overwhelms me.

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brunch #seekarencook #annumography

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The hubby made me a brunch sammie on gluten-free bread and served it up with some pickled shrimp.  Yum!  Who’s a lucky wife?

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137/365 do-over #365project #seekarencook

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This is the only evidence remaining of my latest epic recipe fail.  Crab-stuffed something sounded good, I had some zucchini in the fridge, and quinoa would make it all gluten-free.  Long story short, do not try to talk yourself into thinking that canned crab meat will work in a pinch.  It doesn’t.  Didn’t I learn anything from Top Chef?

Fortunately these lovely people have been much more productive than I over the last couple of weeks, giving me lots of goodies to pin on Pinterest.

  1. Okay, so if I had this blooming monogram on my wall, do you think I would keep my promise to always have fresh flowers in the house?
  2. This bulldog corkboard mural is too cute to be confined in a kid’s bedroom (though it is awesome there).  I say do some excellent pop art installation on your living room wall with it.
  3. I want one of all my favorite animals as framed fabric art.
  4. Direct your attention to your best asset with this lace-embellished t-shirt.  (Yes, I mean your booty.  Don’t you think the lace draws your attention down the line?)
  5. I need these rummage sale tips to get my resale mojo back.  More selling = more buying, so I need to get to it.
  6. Really, do I need to say anything else except strawberry margarita cupcakes?
  7. I know that I don’t need to say again how much I love bacon.   Besides, I will just be reminding you again in a few days.  But don’t you want some of these maple-bacon muffins with crumbled bacon glaze right now?
  8. I think I will have lots more success with this crispy buffalo quinoa bites salad.  No canned crab to make it go oh-so-wrong.
  9. Shut up!  Peanut-butter-cup-stuffed chocolate-dipped Oreos?  I might be salivating like Pavlov’s dog.
  10. I experienced another great minds think alike moment with this chocolate sour cream tortilla cake.  I have some leftover corn tortillas that I know would make a kick-butt dessert.  Once I get it down, I’ll be sure to share it with you all.

I also wanted to encourage everyone in or around the Indianapolis area to attend An Enchanted Spring Market this Friday and Saturday, May 24-25th.  Nicki has been posting about all the great vendors who will be there, and it sounds like it’s going to be great.  Memorial Day Weekend is a busy one around here, more because of the Indy 500 than my birthday of course, so don’t forget to make some room in your calendar for this vintage/crafty shopping opportunity.

Down-Home Goes Upscale with an Apple Moonshine Mint Julep

Are you watching the Preakness today?  Hoping that Orb will win?  Either way, this cocktail is a sure bet.

Inspired by Country Spoon’s Classic Mint Julep, I wanted to give my version a little extra down-home, Southern flair by using Apple Pie Midnight Moon Moonshine.  Don’t have silver julep cups?  No worries!  I gave my juleps a little uptown flair with these vintage, silver-dipped martini pitcher and glasses.

And they’re off.

Down-Home Apple Pie Moonshine Mint Juleps

crushed ice
1 T. xylitol, pulverized (or powdered sugar)
6-8 fresh mint leaves
1/2 c. Apple Pie Midnight Moon Moonshine

Fill martini pitcher or mixing glass with crushed ice. Add mint and pulverized xylitol and stir until dissolved. Add moonshine and stir again. Pour into glasses garnished with a fresh mint sprig and additional crushed ice (if needed).

Makes 2 cocktails.

Take 2: Catalog Hack Cookbook Bird House

Almost two months ago, I crafted this Uncommon Goods bird house cookbook catalog hack.  You can follow the link to get the full tutorial, but here are a few fun pics from that project.

A pre-made bird house, a vintage cookbook from the thrift store, and outdoor Mod Podge made the project quick, fun, and easy.

I “cracked” myself up by using all egg-based recipes to cover the walls of the bird house.  Get it?  Cracked.  Eggs.  Cracked Eggs.  Hello?

My first challenge in the Pinterest Challenge; the walls were wider than the cookbook pages. Never fear, I MacGyvered a solution by using some painted appetizer picks.

So this is where the story previously ended.  I called it my prototype, because I wasn’t happy with the results.  It was out of proportion, and I needed to find a solution before putting this baby on display.  (This is where I resist singing a certain song by a certain housewife from New Jersey and embarrassing myself with my trash TV viewing preferences.)

I found a candle holder at the thrift store for a buck, which I just knew would make the perfect pedestal for my bird house.  So I adhered the pedestal to the bottom of the bird house using clear silicone caulk.  I also decided to flip the orientation of the cookbook so that the graphics at the top of the pages showed from the front of the bird house.

When I was satisfied with the overall look, I began applying the Mod Podge.  In between Mod Podge sessions — it took four — I used clamps to make sure that the pages and cover of the cookbook glued flat to the bird house roof.  Next step: remove the clamps and apply Mod Podge to the entire bird house one more time.

Sometimes I’m not so good at thinking through cause and effect.  Silly me, I removed the clamps from one side first.  It promptly fell off my craft table, and my perfect pedestal broke.    Arrrrrrgh!

I first tried Super Glue to fix the broken pedestal, but with no luck.  What did I do?  Turn to my trusty silicone caulk, that’s what.

All’s well that ends well.  But is this the end?  If you are being picky, you can see the repaired crack on the pedestal.  Maybe I will end up painting the pedestal to disguise it more.  Maybe I will just call it character and leave it as-is.

Besides, from some viewpoints, you can’t even see it.

Also, if you are visiting from Details or Copycat Crafts, WELCOME!  I love comments, visitors, and followers.  You can also find me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

DETAILS      Copycat Crafts

SeeKarenFollow: This Week

Maybe these posts should be sub-titled ‘What I Do When I’m Not Blogging’, since I seem to be on Instagram all the time lately.

I started the week with some thrift store and antique mall shopping.  Every time I look at the shot of this brass trunk, I want to jump in my car and go buy it.  Sigh.

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I’m not going to buy this baby, though.  I’m going to hack it and put it in my kitchen.  I think it will be a pretty easy project, and I get to use power tools.  Bonus.

There were also a few pictures of furniture made from wagon wheels.  I share these for my husband, because we have a running joke about wagon wheels a la When Harry Met Sally.  We even have a wagon wheel, which I will make into a table.  Someday.

This is a my Goodwill haul.  I am Madison Avenue’s dream, because marketing TOTALLY works on me.  Example: I buy more at Goodwill to get the discount with my rewards card.  But this $50 worth of junk will give me hours of joy.

Play along: Do you see the bunny in the picture above?

I ate all of this Aussie Burger: lettuce, onion, pickled beets, grilled pineapple, local fried egg, Smoking Goose bacon, ketchup and mayo.  And then I had a tummy ached from eating the bun.  Dear Punch Burger, will you still serve me if I B.Y.O.B. (bring my own bun)?

I made Cocoa Puff muffins to celebrate my boss’ birthday.  But he took an unannounced vacation day, so we ate them in his honor.  In front of his closed office door.  What?

Speaking of work, I have my own little plant nursery going on in my cubicle.  I didn’t think I would have much success with the little forget-me-not seeds that I received during the 14 Days of Valentines, but those little suckers are GROWING under the flourescent lights.  Good thing something flourishes there.

Last week I watched Contagion for the first time.  I know.  I’m a little behind.  But now I think of Dr. Ian Sussman every time I write a post.  “Blogging is not writing; it’s graffiti with punctuation.”  That’s me alright.

Now on to what I am pinning this week.

  1. 29 Rue House is inspiring me to pimp my own spider-back chair.
  2. Man…now I have to add vintage light globes to my list of things to hunt for in thrift shops.
  3. I absolutely need a couple of these granny square pillows in my life.
  4. I’m always looking for a way to dress up a t-shirt and wear it to work.  Now I just need to decided on which one I will add leather shoulder trim.
  5. I’m a little scared, because I haven’t had the best luck in the past, but I may try making some jewelry this weekend.  This chevron necklace inspires me.
  6. I love bubble tea, and it’s not easy to find in Indy.  Maybe I need to make my own and add this coffee version to the mix.
  7. Poaching an egg in olive oil?  Love it!
  8. This cookie stamping technique is giving me soooo many ideas.
  9. Cross-stitch?  Yes.  Foxes?  Yes!  I’m so excited about the faux-stitch pattern on these bags.
  10. You may find me on the couch this Sunday night watching The Ten Commandments and crafting these plastic lace woven hangers.  Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner just do it for me, what can I say?

Here’s wishing you all a happy, sunny, blessed Easter weekend!

Gluten-Free Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars and Easter Decorating (Some Admittedly Tacky)

Easter comes so quickly after St. Patrick’s Day this year, that I’m finding it a little difficult to switch gears.  To help me get in the mood, I made these Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars.  They are super easy and gluten-free.  The recipe, inspired by You Gotta Have a Hobby, is at the end of this post.

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Easter @ Fiserv

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you may know that I covered my cubicles walls at work with four-leaf clovers.  I kept them up for days after St. Patrick’s, because they made me so happy.  Now, thanks to the Dollar Tree, these flower streamers have taken their place.  Yes, I did mention that this is my cubicle AT WORK.

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As you may have noticed, I am a collector.  I am slowly acquiring a collection of glass rabbit candy dishes.  Slowly, because I am pretty picky about which ones I will buy…and they always end up being the more expensive ones.  So far this is my collection of two.  Doesn’t it look bare (i.e. enable me to buy more)?

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The Last Supper Chalkware

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I found this chalkware Last Supper at an antique mall about four years ago.  I’ve never seen another like it, and I absolutely adore it.  My husband is less of a fan, but he tolerates it on the mantel each Easter season.  (For a while I was keeping it out year-round.)

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2013 bunny from my honey

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Speaking of my hubby, he bought me this ceramic rabbit candy dish a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling blue.  This weekend I bought the rabbit a ceramic cabbage dish.  He looked hungry.  The rabbit, not my husband.

And speaking of hungry, this is my first time ever using a box mix to make cookies.  Since I am also new to gluten-free baking, I hoped this would be a quick, easy way to make cookies when I am craving them.  And I was absolutely craving them after seeing You Gotta Have a Hobby’s tempting version.  If you want to make your cookies from scratch and/or you don’t want/need them to be gluten-free, then head over to see Michelle.

This cookie dough does not look like your typical cookie dough.  The box states that it will be crumbly, and it is.  I’m not sure how well these would do as drop cookies, but making them as bars worked perfectly.  Also note that the bars will be gooey in the middle when you first take them out of the oven.  They firm up as they cool.  Watching for the edges to brown is your best test for when the cookies are done.  In my opinion, these are best served slightly warm.

Did you know that I only like chocolate chip cookies on the day they are baked?  True story.

Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. gluten-free vanilla
1 egg
1 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs, slightly crushed

Heat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.  Grease 8×8-inch square baking pan and set aside.

Mix together butter, vanilla, and egg at low speed.  Add cookie mix and stir at low speed until soft dough forms (dough will be crumbly).  Add Cadbury mini eggs.  Spread dough in prepared pan.  Bake for 21-23 minutes or until edges are golden brown (the center will be soft).  Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.  Cool at least 5-8 minutes before cutting.

Gold-Painted Vintage Frames: One Thing Leads to Another

Remember when I told the story of 1960’s Annette painting a pair of watercolors in her pretty pink bedroom?  Well it turns out that Annette is actually Artis, and these watercolors were really painted in 1947.  Doh!

I’m sure that I read this handwritten inscription on the back of each painting when I first purchased the watercolors.  They have been hanging in my foyer long enough, however, that this detail was conveniently forgotten when I wrote the first post with such romantic, creative license.  That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.  Truth be told, I could have just as easily forgotten that detail in a week…or less.

Ahem.  So I mentioned in my previous post my plans to bling-up these blonde frames with a little gold-leaf action.  I decided that this weekend was THE time to give these Asian beauties the glitzy love they deserved.  Too impatient to go buy some gold-leaf, I decided to use some of the metallic gold paint that I had left over from this project.  With painters tape in one hand (I didn’t want to disturb the original framing and Ms. Stover McKersie’s inscription) and a cheap sponge brush in the other, this project took less than 15 minutes to complete.  The change is small, but I love how the gold frames look against the wallpaper.

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nook #seekarencraft #annumography

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Now, as usually happens when I make one improvement, I noticed all the other little things I wanted to change.  To pull more color from the paintings into other parts of the foyer, I moved the Crate and Barrel pillows from the living room swivel chairs to the built-in bench seat.  I also bought a new shade at Garden Ridge for the credenza lamp (on the far-left).  Hmm.  I love the shade with the vintage tangerine glass lamp, but the scale is a little off.  It may not look like it in this photo, but trust me.  Expect to see this duo move to another part of the house soon.

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48/365 hanging wallpaper chads #365project

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I also finally got around to trimming the wallpaper around the stairway.  It’s only been like this for about…oh…three years.  Yup.  I’ve never been a good finisher; ask my high school track coach.

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Buddy approves #365project #petsonfurniture

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Speaking of little things, my sweet Buddy boy approves of the new changes in the foyer.  What is he staring at so intensely, you ask?  Oh nothing.  He’s just concentrating on givng the camera his best profile.  Divo!