Archive | Creativity

my hutch

It is time to share the story of my hutch. Which wasn’t always my hutch. First, it belonged to my Great Grandmother, in her home in Elizabeth NJ. Then it was passed on to my Nana, then she passed it on to my Mom (it was in our kitchen growing up), and she eventually passed it on to me, when I moved to my second apartment in Philly.

It eventually came to Brooklyn with Joe and I. It didn’t fit up our first apartment steps (we found this out the hard way ..of course) – so it went back to be stored at my dad’s for a year.. when we moved into our second apartment, the hutch fit through the door… hooray!

After all these movings and all these different owners and locations, the hutch had been worn and torn. Something banged into one of the doors when we moved out of New York, so we had shattered glass on one of the doors, and the sides were scratched and damaged from tape and trucks and years of use.

It’s solid oak, with beautiful details. We got both of the doors re-glassed at Toms River Glass ($37.00) – and then got to work! I purchased a quart of a high quality Benjamin Moore paint, in a pearl finish ($20.00) – washed the entire hutch down with soapy water, let it dry, sanded it, wiped again, let it dry, and then got to painting.

The doors came off the bottom portion (I spray painted the hinges black) – I decided to leave some of the original details raw and natural. This piece has such special corners and curves that I couldn’t bare to sand them! .. I also left the knobs original, because they were so worn in from the hands of my family. They needed to stay that way.

While I was at it, I also dragged an old telephone table out and quickly sanded and painted that the same color. It needed a new life desperately that I almost didn’t want to include the photo of it because its so ragged looking! How did I let that thing hang in my home for so long!?

There was a LOT of cutting in, so this job took me an entire day, into dusk. I listened to the majority of the first Serial podcast. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. My last desire is to go back to the glass place and get three pieces of mirror to affix to the back of the interior of the hutch. I thought about painting it a light pink or a white, but I just think mirror would complete this piece.

What do you think!?






Update – Here are some photos of how it looks currently. See how dark? I need mirrors to reflect all the light. Also, check out that telephone table, upgrade – eh?



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Naturally Dyed Eggs

I am obviously a little late to any Easter related post. But, in my defense, we eat hard boiled eggs year round in these parts, so I excuse myself. Every year when I dye my eggs, I think … this is so easy, why don’t I dye them all the time? Just for fun? I’ve always thought it would be a cute way to get children to eat those protein packed snacks .. got a little girl who loves all things pink? Make her special pink eggs. You can make something really good for you(or them), really fun, really easily. Just a thought. Onto the project ~

I did some naturally dyed eggs with what I had in my kitchen already. So, we’re talking red cabbage and turmeric, which gave me blue and yellow eggs. We had already hard boiled a dozen white and a dozen brown eggs, so I experimented a bit to see how the color would turn, using six of each.

With the brown eggs, the cabbage ones turned a little too gray (not happening next year) and the turmeric turned them a darker version of the brown eggs they started out to be (but with a little orange tint, again, not happening next year) — You can expand your palette with beets (for pink) and spinach (green) and onion skins (purple). Needless to say, next time I plan on using all white eggs.

It’s so easy, too. Follow my instructions, please, because if you look it up you will find about 10 more steps that I really don’t think are necessary. Unless you like to make more dishes and complicate things, which I do not! Have fun .. and enjoy that egg salad! 😉

What to do:

1) put dye source into saucepan with cold water
(I chopped some cabbage* and used about 4 tbs of turmeric)
2) bring to a boil, lower, simmer for 15-20 minutes
3) use slotted spoon to remove any vegetables
4) let mixture and eggs both sit to reach room temperature (20 minutes)
5) mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar for every cup of water
6) submerse your eggs in your mixture
7) cover, put pots in fridge, let sit anywhere from 2 hours to overnight**
8) remove eggs gently with tongs, place back into egg crate, let dry completely
9) enjoy!







* I used a quarter of a head of cabbage (and cooked the rest for dinner!)
** mine sat overnight, for time reasons, which also gave me deeper colors

PS- in previous years I wrapped string around the eggs before dying to create a fun striped effect. Next time, I might rotate the eggs in the mixture half way through dying to avoid the spots on the egg where you can tell they were resting on the bottom of the pot.

PPS- with all this vinegar (between the actual hard boiling process and then the dying), these eggs peeled like a dream!

PPPS- EGG SALAD!!!!

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