DIY Blueberry dyed Easter Eggs and Toasted Coconut nests are my Easter tablescape must haves this year! To compliment the beautiful dish and glassware, I wanted to try dying Easter eggs with natural ingredients. I stepped out of my color comfort zone and choose a blue theme, and made my dye from blueberries. You can use fresh or frozen Blueberries, but I found the frozen yielded a deeper blue. I used Martha’s tutorial for dyeing with natural ingredients (she suggests cabbage for blue eggs) It was super simple! Next up, I toasted shaved coconut in pan on low heat on the stove, then formed it into little nests while warm to put in the bowls. Add a chocolate egg for a sweet little treat!
My family cut down a tree last summer, and I volunteered to take the stumps because I knew I wanted to try to make gold dipped side tables using spray paint from my amazing longtime sponsor Krylon® Brand! I honestly thought this was going to be a huge undertaking, I’ve seen the high price tags of stump side tables in stores, so thought they had to be impossible to make, right?! Not at all! I was blown away at how quickly we were able to strip the bark and sand with the right tools and some elbow grease. The key is drying out the stump as much as possible, I had mine sitting in the basement all winter, but since we are in Wisconsin, I still saw a little dampness when we took off the bark. I sat the stumps in front of a couple electric heaters overnight once the bark was off, and it was good to spray paint the next day with Krylon ColorMaster®Paint + Primer – 25% More Metallic Gold and Krylon ColorMaster® Paint + Primer – 25% More Matte Greige.
Tips for taking off the bark: We tested a couple different techniques, the chisel and hammer worked great, just be prepared for an arm workout, ha! And the hand guard was a game changer because you can hammer away without smashing your fingers. After we got the big chunk of bark off, I used the putty knife as a chisel to take off a thin layer of wood to really clean it up, and it worked great (note that under the bark was damp, and a putty knife might not work as well on dry wood). Next experiment was using an electronic grinder with a flap disk attachment, which just blasted all the bark off (power tools are cool!) If you have a grinder or want to make a bunch of these, this way was quicker, and made the sanding process faster.
Tips for sanding: I used both an orbital and palm sander, and the orbital with a rough 60 grit worked great for smoothing down all the bumps, and then finished up using a palm sander with a 220 grit to smooth it out before painting. The stripping of the bark and sanding took about an hour and a half total (less when using the grinder), and the spray painting about 15 min. So it is a totally doable project!! I wanted to use this stump in my bathroom to hold my shampoo and conditioner, and thought spraying the bottom part gold would make it look super luxe, and I am SO happy with how it turned out! I love that some of the original stump is peeking out creating a cool contrast between the metallic and wood. The top was not cleaning up a nice as I hoped, so tried out the Matte Greige (Grey/Beige) and LOVE the neutral color! We have a few more stumps and I think we might spray one entirely Greige.
Project Time: 2.5 Hours
What you need: Stump Chisel (with hand guard) Hammer Putty Knife Sander 60 Grit sandpaper Safety glasses and mask Painters tape 1 can Krylon® ColorMaster® Paint + Primer – 25% More Metallic Gold 1 can Krylon®ColorMaster® Paint + Primer – 25% More Matte Greige
Check out all the steps and supplies after the break! (more…)
I have been having a lot of fun making more meals in the Barnhouse kitchen! I have to admit, I was spending way too much at the coffee shop every morning, so started brewing coffee at home, but the bigger bummer was not having the smoked salmon sandwich to go, so I set out to make it myself. I used one of Martha Stewart’s recipes (because she is a domestic queen) and put my own spin on it.
What you need:
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
juice squeezed from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 slice whole-grain toasted bread
What to do:
1. Combine the onion, lemon juice, capers, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a bowl. Let stand until the onions soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
2. In another bowl, mash the lemon zest and avocado with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
3. Spread half of the avocado mixture on one slice of toast, layer on Smoked Salmon, and top with the onions and capers. Garnish with Dill.