diy | flameless fire pit + fake rocks

Flameless Fire Pit

i know,
this is kinda ridiculous.
however, i’m willing to bet
there are plenty of people,
(as it were, my kind of peeps)
who would appreciate this
level of ridiculousness.
it’s been a mild season,
but winter nonetheless,
and i am giving
H Y G G E
the seriousness it deserves.

DIY Flameless Pire Pit

DIY Flameless Fire Pit
adapted from free people

materials:
tree branches, size up to you, but aim for the thicker ones
white or light grey fabric strips
aluminum foil
mod podge glue
paint brush
LED light string (i got mine from IKEA, leftover xmas lights are fine)
rocks, real or homemade. recipe below

wrap branches with aluminum foil, make sure it’s covered

brush glue on a fabric strip and wrap it around the foiled branch. overlap if necessary, but cover the entire branch.

do this for all the branches and set on WHITE/LIGHT colored paper and allow to dry (you risk the paper sticking to the glue/fabric, and having newspaper ink stuck will mar the effect.)

when completely dry, anywhere from overnight to a couple nights (i lost steam with the project after the first sitting… it took me almost a week to get back to it… don’t judge me), using an xacto knife or box cutter, carefully cut down the seam of the branch, end to end. it’s ok if you cut through the foil, the goal is to peel the whole thing off the branch. carefully take the cast off the branch, peel the aluminum out. reshape if necessary. do this for all the branches.

chuck branches and foil.

arrange stones/rocks in a circle, within reach of an outlet. pile the stringed lights in the middle. then like you’re building a fire, arranged the branches in a cone-shape over the lights.

turn lights on and squeal in ridiculous child-like abandon.

Flameless Fire Pit

DIY homemade ROCKS
adapted from handmade mamas
makes 8 palm-sized rocks

26 oz coffee grounds (still wet from the day’s brew)
1 cup corn flour (or cornmeal)
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup salt
1 scant cup whatever flour (i used whole wheat, cus my precious spelt is pricey)
water

preheat oven to 250F. line cookie sheet with parchment paper. if you planned ahead, use an old/used one cus RECYCLE.

in a bowl mix dry ingredients together. the coffee grounds will be wet. as you’re mixing you can determine just how much water to add.

slowly add the water, 1/4 cup at a time. you’re aiming to bring the mixture to play-dough consistency. if you don’t know what that is, i feel sorry for you, aim for pasta-dough consistency. you want the stuff to stick together.

shape into rocks. they don’t have to be perfect, irregular shaped and dents and cracks are nice.

place on prepared cookie sheet.

bake for 20 minutes.

turn off oven, flip over the rocks and leave in oven while it cools.

BAM!

DIY Flameless Pire Pit

3 years ago: kale + tofu balls with pasta
2 years ago: frozen old fashioned waffles
1 year ago: feijoada – brazilian bean stew

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diy | linen pinboard

DIY Linen Board

after what seems like
an eternity
the dressing room is done!
depending on how photos turn out
(i BROKE my tripod)
i might include a dressing room reveal!
just kidding
i was gonna show off the dressing room
anyway

DIY Linen Board

if you know me
you know that i don’t usually do
accessories.
i almost didn’t wear earrings
for my wedding
i take off my wedding & engagement rings at night
(i’m not the only one who
when she sleeps sometimes ends up
with a ring crease on her face
or forehead from cradling her
head in her hand, right?)
but
having said that
i do have trinkets,
lovely ones,
tucked away in drawers
boxes
out of sight
and never worn.
with the creation of our
new space
i wanted to use up some wall
real estate,
showcase some pretty.

enter the linen board.
it’s not a revolutionary item
and the diy route,
while economical,
can be time consuming,
especially if you don’t have all
the materials & tools readily available.
our method worked for us
but i have read
various other ways
of creating it.
do what’s comfortable for you,
for your skill level,
and for your convenience.

diy linen board
as inspired by elephantine & this.

materials:

  • canvas – i went through a phase a few years ago where i painted. i know. i had a few blank canvases lying around that i use to bounce light. purchased at michael’s, value pack probably. free, obviously i paid for it but that was years ago.
  • 1 yard of linen, though you will not use the entire yard. $5.99, purchased from joann’s fabric (for the additional 2 boards we made, i did buy 2 more yards of linen, less than $10.00)
  • styrofoam – leftover from boxes of ikea stuff, was in the recycling bin, reused, so we’ll say it’s free. alternatively, you can use cork board or poly panel insulation boards ($7.25 for 6pk), that’s sold at home depot or lowes
  • staple gun – investment item, which will be used for other crafty stuff. will list price, but not in total. $20.99 BUT 40% coupon so $12.59
  • copper nail tacks – optional, for decorative purposes only, $1.99/box
  • fiberboard – optional, when we did up the dressing room, we broke down my very old, hand-me-down dresser and kept what could be re-used. this piece was one of it. free. it can also be called particle board, home depot & lowes sells them for super cheap and they’ll cut it to size for you.
  • saw tooth frame hanger – it was in dw’s tool box for whatever reason, so free, but it costs like $4.29/pack at the hardware store.
  • wood glue – i don’t know why we have this but we do, thankfully. free.

total for the first linen board: $7.98. take that pottery barn & restoration hardware.

note: dw made two more for me (the man spoils me. i also have a niggling feeling that he liked playing with the staple gun), and again the cost was so minimal compared to what the finished product retails for at designer home stores. keep an eye out for things that you can reuse, recycle, and use COUPONS.

directions:

so the back of the canvas has that space, fill it with either the styrofoam, insulation foam or cork board. measure it out accordingly. the sytrofoams i used were in pieces so i had to glue them to each other and dabbed a bit on the corners so they adhered to the canvas. (the last two boards were made with the poly panel insulation boards. we used one sheet for both boards, and there’s still some left over. super easy to cut, i used an old bread knife. this method did not require the glue, we measured it so it would fit snug int the space)

DIY Linen Board tutorial

if you want, iron out linen piece. measure it to size, you want there to be enough for it to fold over the canvas and be stapled comfortably. lay out the linen piece, place the canvas face down on it and pull the sides up & over it.
carefully staple one side, keeping the staples evenly spaced. when you reach the corners, fold them like how you would wrap a box. when you reach the opposite side of the canvas of the already stapled side, be sure to pull the linen taut. it helps to have someone pull and the other staple.
at this point, the board is done, it can be hung as is, but dw decided to add the backing and picture hanger.

DIY Linen Board Tutorial

cut the fake wood to size and lay down on the stapled side. staple it down onto the canvas.
if using, add the hook to the middle of the canvas.

DIY Linen Board Tutorial

hang and pin to your heart’s content.

BAM!

DIY Linen Board

february | remember

february

today being the Last Day of Feb
meaning
we’re right on the cusp
of Spring
or
something nothing like it
it being much more bearable one day,
the next being pretty effing awful

i find myself deadline crocheting,
again
i also doodle in my notebook
listing things to pack for
our upcoming trip
things to buy for/during
our upcoming trip
one of which is potentially
a NEW LENS
which could be death
of me and my nikon friends
who i keep pestering for their opinions
but they’re all the same
and i haven’t won the lottery yet
so i can’t buy all of them
only one
gawd, the decisions!

flowers

felt … omg, the excitement as we countdown till we leave
watcheda movie, with friends, that made me simultaneously laugh & cry inside. i also spent a good portion of the drive home ranting about parents and family and divorce and how fucked up people in general are
drove … for miles. to southern va and i am reminded again of how beautiful the blue ride mountains are
commenced … a juice/smoothy type thing. let’s just say that i adore chewing & leave it at that
swooned … over this book, that is making me love pride&prejudice all over again, despite what twain says about austen

cauliflower rice with roasted tofu & pomegranate relish

a few pinterest and internet discoveries:
||i’d wear this dress everyday
||thinking about this pretty cake for a dear friend’s baby shower this summer
||blueberry season cannot get here fast enough
||i need to make this, and i will, once i get over my crush for her dandan noodles
||i may have gotten teary-eyed over this
||just this
||seriously considering going even shorter!

gifts

photo captions:
||the view of muddy gut creek. don’t let the name fool you
||dried flowers, early morn. dear spring: just get here already
||an adaption of this recipe. we’ve made this thrice, once with cilantro instead of mint, another time with paprika instead of chili, yet another time with millet, all times were fabulous. now that pomegranate season is over, i’m wracking my brain for what other relish i can make…
||pickled mango: what am i supposed to do with it? i received it from my foodie penpal this month. he actually sent me a box of random condiments and spices and goodness and that jar of pickled mango has my utmost interest right now, though i don’t rightly know what to do with it. thoughts?

january | remember

January

today’s the last day of the month
which means
it’s the first day
of the Year of the Horse

park bench

may this new year be:
prosperous
joyful
flavorful
simple
healthy

waffles

felt … falling snow, wet and hard and unforgiving. this winter has been brutal. 30F has actually felt balmy around these parts.
saw … perfect 20/20 vision. my lasik procedure was a success and while i’m still recuperating, it’s been a revelation to wake up to an in focus world.
reada book! actually, still reading it and i’m serious, i’m about 18% in and my heart is breaking already

seeds

a few pinterest & internet discoveries:
||i have a serious thing for tutus and sequins
||i don’t even like camping, but how delightful does this look?
||i have my heart set on making this, even though we’ve been shedding books
||i’m a fan of this solemn man and i need his action figure in my life
||this is magical
||my creative writing professor never gave us this assignment, thank gawd
||i loved this read so so SO MUCH: What’s wrong with me? Plenty. But that was never the point.

spoons

photo captions:
||it’s not so much the snow that kills me, it’s the damn cold. it’s like a soul-sucking siege, a state of which i see no end of
||weekends in general means dw makes breakfast. i’m not complaining, the man spoils me rotten
||not seeing these seeds any longer at the markets, meaning the season is over… meaning, winter needs to make her exit now already
||i walked into michael’s for yarn and walked out with these spoons, completely unnecessary
||finally, i signed up for a foodie penpal thing back in november. it happened to fall during a busy time and can i just tell you, seeing a package on my desk after an absence from the office was just what i needed. my penpal Alyssa sent me some trader joe’s ingredients and cookies will be forthcoming, i’ve had an idea floating in my head for the last 3 weeks and it just might be born this weekend… stay tuned. meanwhile, to join the fun, go here

choclate

last. i must share this with you. my current celebrity crush is tom hiddleston. i like me a bad boy and he as loke had me quivering. this is him doing a reading of ee cummings’ may i feel said he. swoon

diy | toy kitchen

DIY Toy Kitchen

nowadays the conversation
inevitably turns to children
it’s that Time, you see,
after Marriage
actually,
it’s been that Time
for awhile,
since i’m in my 30s

i like kids
though it has been easy in
the past for me to say otherwise
truth be told,
i adore children
but since i was sixteen
i’ve been assertively
against procreating
i have a running tally of
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
it’s in the millions right now

the main reason though,
the only reason that counts:
i don’t want to be a Mother
it has nothing to do with
the fact that i didn’t meet
bio mom until i was 30
or that i have barely concealed
passive aggressive emotions
twds my stepmother
but it has everything to do
with the fact that
motherhood is just not my thing

know what is my thing though?
being an aunt
like i said
i like children,
other people’s children
i see a kid
of holding in your arms age
and i will butt in line,
elbow grandmothers out of the way
to hopefully be the first Asian
to hold that child
when poop and tears make an
appearance
the package is returned
and my uterus can stop panicking

dw is a fine man
i wouldn’t have balled&chained him
if he wasn’t
and everybody knows
my lurve for him is so deep
the goddamn ocean is jealous
so when i see him like this
my ovaries quiver
and i start to think about
having babies with this man
and how our kid would likely
have shitty eyes
cus both of us have shitty eyes
or that our kid would be lanky
cus lord knows dw has a bottomless pit of a stomach
despite the amount of food he puts away
and i was all knees & elbows
until i discovered alcohol
and the Waffle House in college
he makes me realize that
fathers do participate
willingly,
that motherhood with him
could be my thing
if only the other million + one
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
didn’t exist

DIY Toy Kitchen

diy toy kitchen & what i learned:

|| i’m useless with carpentry stuff: i’d been wanting to make a toy kitchen since before pinterest came along. so when dw’s friends’ kid expressed interest in the culinary arts i decided the time had come. i basically told dw what i wanted and he went forth and made like Jesus and did a bunch of wood-working while i sat on the couch & told him what to do.
|| things add up: we thought that it’d be a quick and cheap project. then we realized we didn’t have any tools, like, oh, a drill. in the end it still was a relatively inexpensive endeavor because we added to our inventory of tools. i meant to keep tabs on all the costs but with the holidays and birthdays the receipts got annoying.
|| dw is detail oriented. i wanted knobs, he measured every single space to ensure it all lined up and made sense. had it been me, i would’ve plopped the dang things anywhere there was a smooth surface.
|| on the one side of the stand that i did not photograph there is a dry erase magnet board attached to it, for menus or you know, doodling. initially i wanted to paint a chalkboard surface but it seemed a lot of work.
|| miniature kitchen tools are adorable. i damn near bought an entire set for fake cooking use.
|| for the sink, the bowl is actually a doggie dish from the dollar store and the faucet is a plastic pipe i painted grey.
|| for the burners, i bought wooden circle thingies from Michael’s and painted the top red. i almost did the spiral but again, it seemed like a lot of work.
|| the side table was a craigslist purchase for $15, it used to be a record stand holder.

inspiration & resources:
i wanted a backboard to either put a shelf or hang kitchen tools.
for extra counter space.
knobs are from anthropology.
other supplies from Ace Hardware and Home Depot and Michael’s.

DIY Toy Kitchen