11.21.2009

Jackrabbit Jewelry


Ahhhh, the smell of sweet, sweet, success! I made this charm out of precious metal clay. I was able to roll out the clay, cut the local high school mascot out of the clay, allow it to dry for 24 hours, then fire on the gas stovestop. This is what turned out. It's nearly perfect. If only it were a few millimeters thicker it'd be a bit stronger. Live and learn though. There are several more on my flickr. that I've created. Some originally had CZ stones in them but unfortunately never made it without falling out. :( I'll figure it out eventually. I also learned that during the cooling process (dumping the freshly fired charm into water) you can't cool gemstone pieces with water. It cracks them like glass (duh, evan). Had I actually thought that through I probably could have saved one of the CZs. Anywho, I'm hoping to sell these... Its about the size of 3/4 of a quarter. It's also .999 (or 99.9%) pure silver. Sterling is only .995 (99.5%). My husband thinks because of that .004 silver thing that it makes it look a little more costume jewelery-ish. I tend to agree, it doesn't look anything like sterling. Not nearly as mirror shiney... Though I'm thinking I could fix that.

Here I show the charm after firing. First quenching it in cold water.

                                                

Then before brushing with a brass brush.

And After brushing with a brass brush.


11.11.2009

Veterans Day

Thanks to all our past and present men and women in the armed forces. Happy Veterans Day!

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. ~Ronald Reagan

11.05.2009

My newish Design Studio.

Don't you just love the words Design Studio? Makes me sound fancy and professional don't you think? Its way better than, "My Teal Garage." Which is what the outsider looking in might think... But to me, this is purely a design studio.



If you want you can look on the lefthand side over there and gander at the flickr. I've added notes when you mouse over the photo to explain some things. I'll try my best here.

There is red fabric to the left hand side of the photo - that's a wingback chair I'm starting to take apart to eventually reupholster. Now if I could just find some nice faux leather for around a buck a yard (Go ahead and tell me to "Get Real" now..).

The window is going to eventually house some needlepoint and cross stitch samplers.

The brown table in the middle is going to go in the house this weekend. The husband needs it in his office.

The desk in the back - well pardon the disorganization on it, I'm still putting away stuff.

The other small brown desk is an old sewing table I'm giving a modern look to and putting in my guest room. The drawer organizer above it eventually will either be bright orange or hot pink.

My cabinet door wasn't quite dry enough to handle at the time of this photo so alas, you have one door missing. I'll clean out that cabinet tomorrow though. There aren't any drawer pulls on the drawers because the screws they came with aren't long enough (annoyance!).

So yea, this is about 4 months off and on nearly complete! :)

11.04.2009

COTTON!



It's cotton harvest time. That means my allergies are KILLING ME. The dust and seed in the air is crazy. I love West Texas 99% of the time except the 1 month out of the year (November) where the harvest is in full swing. My allergies kept me up for about 2 hours last night because it felt like someone was drilling into my head...


So what, you might ask was so crafty about this entry? I gathered enough cotton in that picture to make 1 tshirt. :) Amazing how little it takes.

11.02.2009

Lasagna for my Garfield




I made lasagna all by myself for the first time ever!

1lb italian sausage
1 can tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
Italian seasonings
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 box lasagna noodles
pepperonis
cheese of choice

brown sausage and drain. add rest of canned ingredients and italian seasonings. Cook noodles and layer. Put pepperoni on top layer and cover with cheese. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Voilla!

Hubby said it was really great and "meaty." I honestly didn't have any because I am no fan of italian sausage. :)

10.28.2009

My Poopers.


I have 3 dogs that I've talked about before around here... 3 very lively basset hounds. My hounds are not the cliche bassets with the big droopy sad eyes, who are lazy scratch that my dogs can be very lazy, but they are generally very active.

They have big long velvet soft ears.


And They act like complete goobers!





I recommend everyone have at least 2. :)

10.25.2009

All Hallows' Eve

Halloween is admittedly my least favorite holiday. I know, I know who doesn't like to dress up and play vampire and goblin? Me. I'm a party pooper. I have a few decorations out that I've stolen from my mom from my childhood. A set of bears dressed in their halloween costumes.

Well, the employer told us we could all wear a halloween shirt on friday instead of our normal "high school spirit" shirt. So I'm making a Edgar Allan Poe "Nevermore" shirt! A screenshot of what's in my head. I really wanted the whole poem to "fill" the raven but I just don't have the patience for picking around all those letters!




Until it's making though I'll leave you with the oh so creeptacular firefighting skull the hubby and I created today. :)




Speaking of firefighters, I also made a shirt using our lovely, lovely vinyl cutter (I LOVE THIS THING).

10.18.2009

shooting and shooting




went out to dove hunt, just wound up shooting the guns for fun and shooting lots of wildlife pictures.
Now I'm fairly convinced that all weekends need to be 3 days, I'm so exhausted!



10.17.2009

You there! Cake or Death?


I choose cake! Coffee cake! I've been eyeballing this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website for a few weeks now, but seeing as how I've started a new "No Sugar" diet I really didn't want the temptation. I finally broke down Friday afternoon when I found out we'd be waking at 4:30am on Saturday (O.o) to go hunting. I wanted something quick for breakfast to go with the 13 or 14 cups of coffee I was going to need.
Let me tell you, this is by far, hands down the BEST from scratch recipe I've ever tasted. The cake was dense and it was just a perfect amount of filling.
I want to add that in that recipe it notes that if you want the cake to focus on the cake itself to use 1/3 cup brown sugar for the filling instead of one cup. I took the middle road and used a half cup and it was just right for me.
I think next time I'll use splenda and splenda brown sugar to see what I can get.


10.05.2009

Kiddos

I had a chance to help a friend of the hubby and I's out by taking some portraits of his kids before the moved out of state. Here are a few of them:

Trey with Abby:



Nicole playing


Daddy with Keegan - he bumped his head.









8.27.2009

What's For Dinner?

I have to admit that I've always been very intimidated by making my own flour tortillas. I thought it was a difficult process requiring lots of special ingredients and spending lots of time in the kitchen. In reality it takes very little effort and only about a half hour. That half hour is mainly allowing the dough to rest to make it not so "elasticy."

I got the recipe off of Homesick Texan's Blog - Her recipe is as follows:

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)Ingredients:
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Method:Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.Makes eight tortillas.



Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.



After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.) *I recommend using a warm towel, like my flower sack. It really helped the dough along.




After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a (damp, warm) napkin until ready to eat.



Making the fajitas. Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Onions. Yummmm.

Savory, savory, success! Hope you enjoyed my first of many attempts at tortillas. I will also say that the husband and I really like our foods a bit saltier. So if you really like a Taco Cabana type of tortilla I would probably add another 1/2 to full teaspoon of salt to the recipe. I'll have to play with the salt content.









8.16.2009

The Horny Toad


It's no lie. I have quite a fascination with horny toads. I really just love the little lizards! My husband would catch them on the jobsite but never would bring them home for me to love on! I had honestly never seen one alive until today. We were at a BBQ fundraiser for a neighboring fire department and I was helping a big engine truck back into the garage. This little guy jumps out and nearly runs under the tire!! Then runs back to the wall where I pick him up and tell him how naughty he was for running out in front of trucks! Being the size of a quarter, If he would have just looked both ways before... nevermind... So I took him home to photograph and set him free in my front yard where there is a plethora and variety of ants and grasshoppers for him to snack on to his hearts desire. Who knows maybe I can have a colony of horned toads in my front yard one day!

7.29.2009

Photography and Updates

I've been traveling again. I flew back Sunday to Lubbock to explain to my boss about needing more time off. Thankfully he was more than understanding and encouraged me to come back and help my family. My mom's knee surgery went fine, but with one small complication: They cut her tendon. She has to keep it as immobile as possible for 6 weeks making EVERYTHING more difficult. It was very stressful for all of us to have me leave after only a week of her being home.
So I drove to Lawton, OK Monday afternoon to take my darling husband more clothes. He was called to a windmill farm to weld on some trenchers and only took 2 days worth of clothes, a week later he was still there with no end in sight! He now currently knows he should be home by Monday.
But I wanted to spend a day with him considering I hadn't seen him in 10 days. So Tuesday we spent the whole day together and I went to work with him Monday and Tuesday night.


I don't really like night photography. Pictures never turn out well for me at night. But this set really boosted my confidence in my night photography skills. I just have to remember more light! :)


Post number 100 ya'll!








7.20.2009

Updates

You may notice some construction on the blog over the next few days. I'm working on integrating this blog onto my actual website so that you can just hop over to evanchandler.com to read it. So if things look a bit funky when it loads, that's probably the reason why... if it stays funky for several hours or days, by all means, let me know!

Since sliced bread.


While bored in a hospital (my mom had her knee replaced) what is one to do? Play with her iPhone, of course!


I found an app from OnOne Software that allows you to wirelessly control your camera from your iphone like a remote. AWESOME and totally worth the $20 bucks. Picture above taken from my camera using my iphone. If you're camera supports liveview (mine doesn't) then you can also live view from your phone too! Totally awesome!
Alright I'm taking a nap then it's back up to the hospital.

6.28.2009

Passed Out

This was going to be my big reveal weekend. I was going to uber clean the house and totally get my craft room set up out in the garage. Well life grabbed hold of me and had different plans. I had a root canal on friday and have been in a good amount of pain since. I'm going back on Monday to see if an infection has set in. The entire right side of my face has been hot and swollen for 2 days and I didn't have that the last time I had a root canal.

Onward to happier things. I went outside to move and water my plants and this is what I found. I normally only have to have a finger on the lock of the back door for my pups to spring up from their naps. Today I walked outside and they were all 3 still passed out. I walked up on Stonewall intending to spook him but instead had to quitely muffle my laughter and take a picture with my phone. He had his nose stuck inside this pot and was just snoozing away. I guess it had smelled really good. I just can't imagine him actually putting it in their intentionally to sleep. I love my bassets, they are such characters.

6.21.2009

Party!

The party was really fantastic! All-in-all we had about 9 people over. Everyone was really suprised about the cake! I was really excited with how well it went over and the taste was awesome. So not only was my cake all sorts of fun colors, but so was the table setting:

We had smoked brisket, baked beans, potatoe salad, jalapeno poppers and of course, cake!
Most people have candles on their birthday cake. I get a house fire. :) (controlled burned of course, not a "real fire.")

It was a most wonderful birthday.

6.19.2009

Party Time - Birthday Cake!

Tomorrow we are celebrating my birthday with our friends and some family. Trey and I are smoking a brisket and I'm making potato salad, deviled eggs, and baked beans. YUM!
I also made myself a cake! I'm so excited because as of lately it seems all my friends have a cake decorating bug. I decided to take the leap and go for it. I bought some wilton gel food coloring and rather than color the icing. I colored the cake! I love it! It'll be a huge suprise when we cut into it tomorrow - so long as husband doesn't give it away. :)
Just your typical looking white cake.



And then, BAM!
There is a turquoise, hot pink, lime green, and orange layers. I went with 4 layers just for kicks. Between each layer is a fudge frosting. The outside and tops are all done with vanilla frosting. I then used a bag and tip for around the edge of the cake. I'm pretty proud - hopefully this sucker doesn't just fall apart tomorrow.
Pictures of it cut, tomorrow! Excited!

6.17.2009

It's (almost) my birthday!


So in about a half hour it's my birthday. My wonderful family got me a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet! I'm sooooo stoked about it. I can write, draw, and sign my own signature on my photos now! This thing is crazy and I've only played with it for a few hours. LOVE IT!


Thanks family!


6.14.2009

The very start

Part of my garage is complete. Tryin to blog with the iPhone. Hope
this works!!

6.11.2009

I'm an awful blogger!


I know, I know, I'm an AWFUL blogger. I'm so sorry! I've worked somewhere around 45 hours just this week and I just haven't had ANY time for crafting, much less blogging!


But I do have a pretty picture of my (technically my mother-in-law's) amazing roses that are blooming.
This weekend the hubby and I have a few projects in store that I'm planning on documenting. One is a smoker that'll eventually have axles so we can pull it. We are kinda huge into bar-b-ques and smoking meat now. The other is a garage renovation. My garage space has been significantly increased due to the selling of our four wheeler. I went from stepping around all sorts of things to actually being able to move in our garage. So now it's time to set up a space just for crafting. I even got the husband approval for painting it all sorts of fun colors and making it into my space. WOW! Right?!
So I promise I'll try not to leave you in the dark for quite as long next time. :)

Yay now I can post from my phone! So fun!

5.11.2009

Happy Mother's Day

I searched West Texas high and low for bluebonnets in hope that I could photograph one for my mom for mother's day. I kid you not they just don't exist up here! Until I ran across an old abandoned house that someone obviously planted before they left just down the street from me! Hooray! I snapped some pictures and ran to my local camera shop to have it printed on canvas. Then I took a trip to hobby lobby and stretched the canvas myself. Voila! I love you momma! Happy Mother's Day!

4.21.2009

Cooking Time!

I have been inspired! I finally bought The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh!

Let me tell you it's amazing! All the recipes sound simply delicious! I'm making Chile Rellenos first tomorrow night. I'm crossing my fingers they are as amazing as they sound.

I also bought Robin Millers Quick Fix Meals - She is a host on Food Network that will make one thing during the weekend and her family can vary from that one thing the rest of the week. I'm hoping that with all this working I've been doing I can cook big on Saturday and not have to do much during the week when I'm dead tired and pooped.

I'm also going to try my hand at a recipe I found online for Outback Steakhouse's Honey Wheat bread. It contains instant coffee and cocoa powder so I'm not holding my breath but we'll see....

4.19.2009

busy bee

I have not forgotten about this blog! I swear it! Between working five days a week now, the fire department having an arsonist on the loose and tornado watching (I set off the tornado siren for the town!!) I haven't had time for anything really.

I did however, set up a small vegetable garden this weekend. I bought a bell pepper plant, strawberries, and jalapenos. I'll also be getting okra and big jim peppers for chile rellenos. Yummy!

Pics to come soon! I do have some great baseball, softball, and fire shots up on the flickr. Link to the side or click here

4.04.2009

Zaza Gallery - Photo on Canvas

So I joined Twitter. You know, the social networking place where you "tweet" what you are doing to no one and everyone at the same time (that's from a hilarious parody video, btw). Haha, anyways it was there that I ran into ZAZA gallery. I found out that Hughe puts your photos onto canvas! His prices are really the best I've researched out ($25 for an 8X10!). Today was the day I recieved mine and I couldn't rip that box open fast enough. I literally gasped when I saw my canvas. I think the colors are 10X more vibrant than in my original photo!
Original:


The Canvas:






I'm so impressed! I wish everyone could see it in person, my pictures are really not doing it any justice. I'll definitely, definitely, be ordering other photos for gifts and such. These are just too great to pass up! I can see a wall full of flowers on canvas now... Thanks Zaza Gallery!

3.18.2009

Desser - Fin.

dresser-finished

Well, it's all done. The dresser is all done and moved into our bedroom. I'm thrilled!! Although, you will notice I totally forgot one pull knob. I'll pick it up on my next run to town though.

It's so gorgeous!

3.17.2009

The Transforming Dresser

It's halfway done. It's spring break so with my time off from the schools I've been busy getting the house un-naturally clean and tidy, while also working on the dresser. I ran out of 240 grit sandpaper though and my local hardware store should have a new shipment in tomorrow. Oh the joys of small town life.



Transforming Dresser


So in this photo you can see the blue the dresser used to be -- where I have left it on the bottoms of the drawers. The places where it's been sanded down and of course how the drawers and top have been stained. I LOVE it!!