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It all hinges on hinges

It all hinges on hinges

I began transforming our converted attic / game room into a medieval lair at the suggestion of my oldest son. Little did I know how fun or how challenging it would be. Of course part of the challenge is being thrifty, as in not spending any money on the decor. Medieval design uses a lot of iron work. The trick was to give the illusion of custom iron work without the cost of a forge. A five dollar sheet of 3/8 in. MDF provided enough material for over 25 hinges. A Dremel, ball peen hammer, chalk paint, glue, polyurethane,  sandpaper, and ingenuity provided the rest.

A huge box that encased duct work became a medieval chest. (Remember this is a converted attic and I had to work with what was there.)

The built in cabinets and door to the lair earned faux hinges too.

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in cool stuff, creative cottage, thrifty

 

It all hinges on hinges

It all hinges on hinges

I began transforming our converted attic / game room into a medieval lair at the suggestion of my oldest son. Little did I know how fun or how challenging it would be. Of course part of the challenge is being thrifty, as in not spending any money on the decor. Medieval design uses a lot of iron work. The trick was to give the illusion of custom iron work without the cost of a forge. A five dollar sheet of 3/8 in. MDF provided enough material for over 25 hinges. A Dremel, ball peen hammer, chalk paint, glue, polyurethane,  sandpaper, and ingenuity provided the rest.

A huge box that encased duct work became a medieval chest. (Remember this is a converted attic and I had to work with what was there.)

The built in cabinets and door to the lair earned faux hinges too.

image

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in cool stuff, creative cottage, thrifty

 

Fit for My King

I was with several girlfriends recently when my phone rang. The room was filled with Aragorn’s theme music from the Lord of the Rings. It was my husband calling of course! The ringtone I chose for my husband raised a few eyebrows, but he is my hero and I remember that everytime he calls. It’s all too common for the girls to complain about their husbands when they get together. I prefer to think on the love and forget the dirty socks.
This ” treat him like a prince, and he’ll treat you like a princess” philosophy carries over into my creative efforts. When upcycling a really nasty roadside rescue chair, I selected fabric and finishing techniques that read “throne.” My husband loves his new chair.

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May’s Magnificent Woman

May’s Magnificent Woman

Happy Birthday Tina Fey! Funny, smart, beautiful, and humble (at least in public and that’s where it counts), this magnificent woman makes geeky sexy. What more could we want!

Tina Fey, May's Magnificent Woman

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in magnificent women

 

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Just Like A Warm Hug

Just Like A Warm Hug

Have you ever heard that if a present has a power cord, it is no gift for a woman? My husband gave me a towel warmer. “Well,” I pondered, “he knows I’m always cold. This is a thought full gift.”

Later that night as we snuggled, he admitted that a towel warmer seemed like a goofy gift. “But,” he said, “I’m always gone before you get up. This way you can have a warm hug from me every morning.” Awwwwww. I LOVE that man!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in cool stuff, hot men, pampered

 

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Saffron is a Hoax

Saffron is a Hoax

My wonderful husband received a tagine as a gift. Since he planned to use this piece of Moroccan cookware to feed me marvelous dishes, I journeyed to our local middle eastern food market to purchase some typical Moroccan ingredients, such as preserved lemons, green olives, couscous, and saffron. The saffron was kept behind the counter and I had to ask for it. The check-out clerk asked, “How much?” I was stupefied. I didn’t know saffron came in sizes. I thought you bought a jar, you know, one-size-fits all like oregano.

“How much?” I repeated.

“A gram, half a gram, a third of a gram.” The clerk presented my choices.

I thought the metric system was only used for illicit drugs. Come to think of it, a third of a gram was a pretty small, drug-like measure, and the clerk did keep the saffron out of sight. $6 later the 1/3 gram was stowed safely in my purse. My saffron came in a small, shrink-wrapped, clear plastic case. The orange-red threads were a jumbled promise of the exotic feast to come.

Days later my husband treated me to Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Almonds. In it, he’d added a healthy pinch of the treasured saffron–I know, because I watched. As he dropped that healthy pinch of saffron threads into the pot (about $2 worth I guessed), I expected something wonderful to happen: an unusual aroma to waft up from the pot and surround me like a veil, a deep golden color to spread throughout the broth as though touched by Midas, my husband to sprout a luxurious mustache and woo me in a husky accent. What really happened was . . . nothing. The saffron was stirred into the broth, steam rose, my husband remained clean shaven.

An hour later we dined on Lamb Tagine over couscous. I tasted (humbly admitting that I have an excellent pallet) lamb, apricots, prunes, almonds, garlic, onion, cinnamon, honey, cilantro, pepper, and turmeric. All familiar flavors deliciously melded. In vain I searched for the one, elusive, unfamiliar flavor. The saffron was in there, somewhere. I had witnessed two bucks worth of the rare spice stirred into the pot. Still nothing. That’s when I decided that saffron is a hoax. Really, how could a pinch, one-twelfth of a gram of anything, stand up to even half a clove of garlic? It’s a great racket. Find a hard to acquire item, such as the stigma of a small wild flower that blooms once a year, make a fantastic claim about its seasoning prowess, and watch foodies beat a path to your door with wallets outstretched.

The problem is that I really, really want to believe in this spice. I want to believe that there is a mysterious taste that can transport me to exotic places. However, it appears that saffron is all mystique and little flavor.

Unless, I purchased a third of a gram of a crocus stigma knock-off. If so, there is still hope.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in delicious, simply magnificent

 

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Museum Stores

Museum Stores

Museum stores have the best jewelry hands down. Whether I’m at the California Academy of Sciences or The Museum of Modern Art, I always make a bee line for the jewelry section in the museum store before I leave. While there are some cheesy finds like the jellyfish earrings at CalAcademy or the uninspired ankh charms found at most Egyptian museums and exhibits, there are also spectacular items such as my Etruscan inspired gold and lapis earrings and bracelet. Without trying to sound virtuous, I don’t want the real thing–real as in ancient jewelry–even if I could afford it. It’s rather selfish to posses part of the fabric of the world’s history for oneself. I’d prefer artifacts to remain in museums for all to enjoy while I’m quite happy with reproductions.Kinzie Balfour shops CalAcademy Store

Wow, that was a big leap from musing about stores that carry the best bling to the philosophy of possession. Sounds like the title to another steamy romance, “Philosophy of Possession.”

Cheers,

K

 

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