Monday, November 10, 2014

Ballard Designs SURF artwork Knockoff

I love this wall art but not the price.

At $316 per set for the small size and $676 for the larger set...

Wait, what? I can do this!

If you own a silhouette cameo or other cutting machine, you might just be able to make one of these!

This project only cost me less than $25 which is the price of the 4 frames I purchased at Michaels.
I already had the red and cream colored papers in a 12x12 size and followed the aging processed instructions described here (Baking the paper in the oven will cause it to curl a bit so all you need to do to get its original shape back is to iron it flat without steam).

Simple instructions:

I left the red sheets of paper as is. They have small sparkles spread all over (not visible on the photos) which I found pretty so I did not want to give them the same aged look as the ones on Ballard Designs.

I cut the letters out of the cream colored papers using my silhouette cameo machine before doing the antiquing process. Download files here (if you own a silhouette cameo machine).

I used an adhesive spray to attach the cutout letters to the red background papers making sure they were centered and finished this art project by framing them.

I absolutely love it! Of course it does not look exactly like the ones pictured above but you can achieve that same look if you want to spend more time in the aging process of the papers!

Hung them in a line above Aidan's bed for now but they will eventually be displayed in the playroom.

Your thoughts are always welcome!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bean soup

Kidney beans and pasta combined to produce a filling soup suitable for all the family

This super easy delicious recipe is a real hit in our household especially in the Fall when the cooler weather settles in.


15oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
2 to 3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, chopped and seeds removed OR 1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried
4 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
Salt and pepper
1 cup small pasta


Place bacon, celery and onions in a large saucepan and sautée over medium high heat for 3 minutes or until onion has softened and bacon is cooked. Add garlic and sautée for another minute or so. Place kidney beans, tomatoes, parsley, basil and water in the saucepan with the onion and bacon mixture and bring to a boil. Add bouillon cube, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Raise heat and add pasta stirring well and frequently until pasta is cooked but still firm. About 10 minutes.

Serve immediately. You can add Parmesan shavings.