Shower Curtain Turned Wall Art

2011
06.11

Alright, I admit it has been way too long since I last posted. The good news is that I have a week off until school starts back up again so I plan on loading up on projects, and then remembering to blog about them. When I was trying to think of different project ideas, I knew I had two criteria: thrifty and at least somewhat useful. So, I decided to start with ways I could turn my rented itty bitty house into more of a home, make it feel more comfortable and inviting. I went to a discount store to see if anything caught my eye and spotted a silky shower curtain with a cute design for $2.99… sold! Here is how I turned a shower curtain into wall art.

Place the shower curtain face down on the floor. Then lay whatever type of framing device you want to use (I had plenty of braced stretched canvases laying around so that’s what I used) on top. Cut the top of the shower curtain off where the holes are along the seam. Then cut around the frame leaving 3-5 inch margins, whichever you feel more comfortable about.

Next, you will want to determine if it needs ironing, and if so use an ironing board or place a towel underneath the curtain on top of the carpet. Once it’s all smooth, place the frame on top and fold the fabric over the frame, folding in the corners like you’re wrapping a present.

Using any type of pin available, pin the corners to help hold fabric in place.

To fasten it to the frame, I used a staple gun, but depending on how hard the frame wood is, you could use a regular stapler. Make sure you pull the fabric taught as you staple it to the frame so you have a smooth finished piece of art.

As you can see here, once I hung it up on nails, it scrunched the fabric a little, so if that happens you can take it down and add a few more staples to keep it in place better. And there you have it, wall art for $2.99.

More Uses for Coffee Grounds

2010
03.06

Coffee grinds have so many uses that go unnoticed! This is a list I’ve compiled of the research I’ve done on what the grinds are good for. I will continually update this page as I stumble across other uses. Hope you enjoy trying these out!

1. Face and body scrub (as depicted in my post from 3/2/10)
2. Garden/ plant fertilizer- just add to soil
3. Deodorizer- down the garbage disposal helps freshen and break up any clogs (when mixed with hot water for the latter)
4. Keep pests away- ants don’t want to cross a line of sprinkled coffee grounds
5. Scalp health- prevents and reduces dandruff when wet or dry used coffee grounds are massaged into scalp then rinsed out
6. Hair color enhancer- liven up brunette and black hair by steeping used grounds in hot water for 15 min and use it as a rinse.
7. Baking- use fresh grinds or leftover coffee in sweets such as brownies, cookies, and cakes for an extra java boost
8. Furniture- mix grounds with water and dab onto furniture scratches (obviously only to darker colored furniture)
9. Drain Cleaner- mix coffee grounds with warm or hot water and pour down drain to help keep drains clear of clogs

Homemade Limoncello

2010
03.05

The Urban Vegan, by Dynise Balcavage has become one of my favorite go-to books ever! She’s very insightful, has great recipes and many DIY tips as well. One such recipe from her book is how to make your own Limoncello. It’s a very refreshing alcoholic beverage great on its own or used as a base for other alcoholic beverages or baked goods. (See my previous post on my own creation of Limoncello Shortbread Squares using my homemade Limoncello).

All you need is a 750mL bottle of organic vodka,
12 organic lemons,
3 cups vegan organic sugar
4 cups water.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lemons, trying to avoid getting much of the white pith. Put the rinds in a large glass pitcher or bowl and pour the entire bottle of vodka over them and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let sit for 7 days at room temperature. Then strain it, disposing of the peels down the garbage disposal (helps freshen up the scent) or compost. Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and are left with a syrup. Let syrup cool to room temperature, then add to the vodka mixture and stir well. Store in the freezer for a few hours to chill thoroughly, then it’s ready to be used. Can keep refrigerated or in the freezer for up to a couple months.

Tip: freeze the peeled lemons or juice them to make fresh lemonade or after juicing them pour into ice cube trays and freeze for simpler use down the road.

Limoncello Shortbread Squares

2010
03.05

In the past couple years, I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to “veganize” my old-time favorite comfort foods and desserts. Not only that, but I didn’t want to make them “just as good as,” I wanted to make them better, in hopes to dismiss the common myth that when “veganizing” a food it inherently means that the outcome is inferior to the original. I’ll get off my soap box now and explain how to make my new all time favorite lemon shortbread squares with a twist: Limoncello Shortbread Squares!

Shortbread Base Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic slivered almonds (I buy raw almonds from the bulk section and chop them myself for a thrifty version)
1/2 cup organic 100% whole wheat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar (I use Whole Foods Brand 365, also cheaper)
1/2 tsp salt (no such thing as true organic salt)
4 TBSP Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (it’s vegan)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Starting with the almonds, food process until sandy, about 30 seconds. Continue adding each of the above ingredients processing about 15 seconds between adding the next. Once it is all blended together in a nice sandy texture, press firmly into an 8×8 or 9×11 greased (with Earth Balance) glass baking dish. Size depends on if you want them thin or thick. Bake 22 minutes. While this is baking begin preparing the filling:

Filling Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan sugar (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 TBSP+ 1/2 tsp powdered or granulated Stevia (I use NuNaturals brand)
1/2 cup unbleached organic flour
3 TBSP organic soy flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp vegan egg replacer (I love Ener-G brand), mix with 4 TBSP warm water
1 tsp orange oil or zest of 1 orange
1 lemon juiced
5 TBSP organic Limoncello (store-bought or homemade: recipe provided in post above)

Combine all ingredients into medium bowl and whisk until smooth. It should have a gooeyness and slightly thick consistency. Once shortbread crust is out of the oven, pour this mixture on top and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, then let cool completely before eating. You can keep it out if covered or in the refrigerator.

Face and Body Scrub for Coffee Drinkers

2010
03.02

Many people know that coffee grinds are a great garden fertilizer, justifying our consumption of the energy booster by making use of the entire process. But what should eco-conscious minds do with their left-over coffee grounds if they don’t have a garden or house plants to fertilize? After experimenting with different ingredients for a DIY face and skin care regime, I found that coffee grounds make an excellent facial and body scrub! Talk about invigorating!

Instructions:
Just add a couple drops of agave nectar or pure organic maple syrup to the grounds to make it into a paste and gently scrub face and body in upward circular motions. Add normal moisturizer or lotion as usual and Voila!

Re-energized, glowing, firmer looking skin is the result from the caffeine and the exfoliation process. There are so many cosmetic companies out there trying to sell you anti-cellulite products when their main active ingredient is caffeine. Save your money and go straight to the source! Now, I’m not trying to say that it’s a cure all because, just like with those creams and gels, it has a limited time frame for which it makes the skin appear smoother. Caffeine, applied topically, boosts the circulation in the skin, increasing blood flow to those areas to which it is applied, making the skin seem fuller and less dimpled.

I don’t believe any woman or man should feel they need to “correct” their (usually genetically inclined) cellulite but I know there is a want by some folks so I thought I would throw that info out there about this homemade scrub. I use it solely because it’s less wasteful, cheap (free if you drink coffee anyways), and an effective invigorating exfoliate that makes my skin radiant!