April 29, 2012

Sauseege! Say it, Saw-siege!

If you stopped by yesterday to see the wine cork ornament, I promised I'd show you all the photos of our sausage making and I never break a promise. I was also practicing those photo taking skills again so this post is a little heavy on the photo side.

Drink some wine, my photos seem to look award worthy when I have had a glass. Yes that is all it takes for this lightweight to wear beer goggles. Now on with the meat of this post ( I know, absolutely terrible).
I had to crop my husband's beautiful face out of every photo to protect his privacy. No, he is not in a witness protection program, he just values his privacy highly. I can respect that but I did include his lovely hands in a few.
Cutting up the pork tenderloin because my husband wanted a less fatty link. My kids were laughing when we asked if they had any pork butts... well, frankly so was I

Ready to be frozen for about 30 minutes. Easier to grind when it is cold. So while the cubes were freezing, I took some photos of this years wine on the cool butcher block table

Our name means "little birds" in Italian. I love this label

Here I am "staging" the photo.... more like staging a cheese murder. 

Oh, the cubes are good to go so let's get back to the meat of the post (it never gets old, hee, hee)

grinding the meat 

 Okay the next few photos might remind you of health class and the "contraceptive" talk. Forgive me.
I have serious textural issues so cleaning and loading the "natural" casings onto the stuffer made me gag a few times.  This is true love and sacrifice for the hubs, I tell ya.

This took forever because those casings are wily!

He mixed the spices and the wine into the meat while I was loading the casings. 

This really is a two person job from beginning to end, but it never hurts to have a little overseer to make sure we are doing it right!

The finished product. It smelled so good but it is best to wait at least 30 minutes before cooking it up so the flavors can assimilate. 

We let ours sit overnight and had some for lunch today. I have to be honest with you, I do not like sausage. It is the texture thing but I had to try this because it smelled amazing. 

I will never buy store bought sausage again. Unbelievable. 

The other reason I will never buy sausage again is it was an amazing day with the family.  We got up and went to the Strip District (a local Pittsburgh market area that should be visited as part of your vacation when you stop by to visit me, hint,hint!) to buy the ingredients. Then home to eat lunch bought from said district, everyone helped make the sausage and then we spent the evening watching "Tin Tin", the movie.
Such great memories are created around food.

After I was finished cleaning all the dishes, I came around the corner to see my Izzy just sitting, looking out the window. So I quickly and quietly grabbed my camera and snapped these. 

She turned to look at me and I got this one. She is THAT cool

Always being renewed,

April 28, 2012

Wine Cork Ornament

We made homemade sausage today! What does that have to do with wine or corks or Christmas, for that matter? My husband broke open the 2011 homemade Zinfandel we made in the fall to sip while we worked side by side and we had a few......corks, that is, laying around.

I hate to throw the corks away because we go through so many of them and I haven't really seen a good cork craft that I like enough to start saving them up.

I did come up with an idea you can do with just one cork and about 30 minutes. This also came out of the fact that my kids wanted to watch a movie tonight so this was an added bonus in that I could bead and watch with them at the same time. A twofer!

I have also been practicing my photography skills, and I hope you think they are better then what I usually put up.  I took them in scary mode..... manual!

I used to think that my camera was just sucky, come to find out, it was just me who was sucky! User error! My camera forgave me and took the photos below without reservation or a grudge. How come more people can't be like that? But I digress.....

I know that most people use Christmas ornaments to remember events and vacations, we are no different. But we have been making wine for years now and I can't believe  how slow I am in making something to commemorate it.

So here is how I turned a wine cork into a wine cork Christmas ornament.
Took some corks...

Poked a wire through top and bottom....

Added a bead topper using 28 gauge wire....

Made a beaded grape "charm" to hang from the bottom...

At least I hope these look like grapes..... I have absolutely no idea how to describe how I made this.
But I am gonna try because my loyal readers deserve somethin' since you took the time to stop by! 

So in case you want to try this yourself.....
I took a 10 inch length of 28 gauge wire and threaded one bead onto it and twisted it to anchor the bead.
Then I threaded purplish/ blue beads on both of the wires, sometimes one at a time, sometimes two or three, and just kept bending the wires to simulate the shape of a bunch of grapes. You will notice that I threw in a few pink beads so it didn't look too uniform.
 Once I got it to how I like it, I looped a few green beads for the leaf,  2 amber for the stem and then made a loop at the top.

I think I like it!

I think the first photo of the two corks is the best.  I was shooting the photos of the hanging ornament as the light was seriously fading but I think those turned out okay. Not great but on their way.

In my quest to figure out why my photos looked so poor once I uploaded them into Blogger, I came upon Aimee at It's Overflowing and her photography series.  It is ......Incredible! I am only through aperture, ISO, and shutter speed but wow, what a wealth of information. 

I came up with a great solution on how to keep all that ISO, aperture, shutter speed stuff straight. But you'll have to come back in a few days to see what it is! 

And if you come back tomorrow and you can see some more practice shots of the sausage making process. Stimulating, I know.
So what do you think of the photos? Am I making progress?

I bet if you drink some wine while you read this, my photos will look phenomenal!!!

Always being renewed,

Please see the link party page to see where I link arms with those blissfully beautiful bloggers that host every week. So gracious they are. Todays Creative Blog vif187 all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {5/1}

April 27, 2012

Husband challenge

Did I get your attention???

Okay before I go on,
 to all of you who have left funny comments with concerns for my safety, my sanity and my indoor skiing! Y'all are too kind. I did not injure myself in the making of the tutorial, I have a clause in my marriage contract that prohibits me from being down for more than a week. My husband does not like being a single parent! But I did have fun and I am glad you found the pics amusing. I certainly had fun posing for them.

So let's get on with this challenge!  SO No, this is not how you can change your husband, because we all know that is a challenge that is better left alone. It will never happen and usually we are the ones who need to change how we deal with all those endearing elements of our man.

But how about challenging yourself to name a few things that you LURVE about your hubs? I found out about this challenge from Amber at Live, Love, Green after she became a follower of mine. So naturally, I had to follow her back. Anyone who likes me is obviously brilliant, hee, hee! No really go see her and link up to her Husband Challenge.

Here is the scoop directly from Amber:

Welcome to the Husband Challenge Linky Party!
How do I join?
Just write a post on your blog about what you appreciate about your husband/fiance/heck even boy-friend. Then come back here and copy and paste the link into the form below (very bottom of the post.) If you don’t have a blog that’s cool, leave a comment and let me know the same thing! Oh and here is the button to add to your posts.
Life Love Green

So what do I lurve about my hubs? I am just going to compile a list because that seems to be the easiest way to think it out.

1. He loves Jennifer Lopez so my butt can never get "too big". I am golden!!
2. He lets me do my crazy orange everywhere.
3. He trusts my decorating skills. Poor fella.
4. He loves me!
5. He knows he does not understand me sometimes but he always tries hard to not judge me. Especially during "that" time.
6. . Idea man.
7. He is the hardest working man I know. 
8. He is so smart and helps me analyze things in ways I could never do.
9. Super funny, makes me laugh daily
10. Such a great dad. I can not tell you how special he is in this department
11. He thinks I am sexy and that is important when everything is migrating south and there is no hope of recovery. 
12. Loyal and ethical
13. Buys me power tools.
14. Puts up with the warehouse look of the house when I get going on a furniture binge ( we do NOT call it hoarding in this household, k?)
15. Thinks I am a good mom
16. Finds me funny

 I guess I just love him, that's all there is to it.

Always being renewed,

April 25, 2012

Little Birds and a SHAZAM! moment

This post will focus on two things: some beauty and some frustration

First, the beauty: My sweet little frames I found for $13!

My maiden name was "Short". Not that it was short in length but Short as in, "Hi my name is Kim Short, what's yours?" I married an Italian. His last name is really, really long. Why did I change my name????? The first few months when I would sign my name, I did it with such pride and love. And then I realized I had to do this for the rest of my life.

17 letters from start to finish. Yikes!

Guess what my signature looks like now?

K scribble,  U scribble, add two big loops for the l's, scribble,  add two dots for the i's. Done!

I found out that our family name means "little birds" in Italian. Such a beautiful language and I like to think that our name reflects the fact that two little birds got together and made one great family!

I would love to say that the little bird frames that I found yesterday were purposefully bought because of the family name. It truly did not hit me until I was telling someone about the cute little bird frames that I found yesterday! DOH!

I hung these on either side of the door so before you fix your hair in my silver tray wreath, your realize you are visiting the house of two birds! Or bird brain; I won't say my husband is a full fledged nut like me, (you have read this blog haven't you?) but he has to be at least one feather shy of a full pillow to have married me!

This leads me to another part of this post: picture posting on blogger.

I have been very frustrated by the fact that I edit my pictures in Lightroom and they look so nice and crisp and clear in the final export.  Then I load them into Blogger and blow them up to extra large and kablammity blam, blurry, crappy pictures. GRRRRRR....

So I asked in one of my posts if anyone had any advice?  Well, guess what? Nita from Mod Vintage Life answered me. Not only did she answer, she actually took time to download a picture from the post, analyze it, and find out what I was doing wrong. So like she spent about 20 minutes analyzing the problem and then took another 10 minutes to send me an email explaining the issue and the solution! Nita rocks!! I think I love her.

So here is what I am talking about:

This is how I would have imported them: I made them purposefully smaller on export than usual so you can see the difference better and see how changing the size makes such a huge difference. I load them in just like I saved them and then choose the "extra large" option for display and this is what happens:

 Nita told me that I had been exporting them to be about 4"x4" so when I blew them up in Blogger, that made them to grainy.

So I went back and saved them like she told me and SHAZAM! I don't need my glasses!

Here they are saved to be 8x11. Better huh!! Nita have I told you you rock??

What is this magic I speak of? 

1.  First you want to save the picture either the exact size you want them to appear or larger.

2.  Since I use Lightroom, I stay in "Library",  highlight the photos I want to export and then hit EXPORT on the bottom left.  I could not find how to do this in Lightroom on my own so I googled it and found how to do it in about 3 minutes. 

3. That brings up a menu where it will ask you to name the file and if you scroll down you can name the size you want. 
 Multiply the size by 72 so you get the correct amount of pixels.
 For example, 8 x 72 = 576 and 11 x 72 = 792 so an 8x11photo should be saved as  792 x 576 pixels.  

I got this little piece of info from Nita as well when she sent me this link http://www.kazdesignworks.ca/images.html

4. You also need to change your resolution to 72 pixels per inch (ppi) because that, apparently is what the web uses so you can get quickie downloads!

5. If you use other editing software like Nita does then, and I quote her, "You go to the top menu bar and select image and scroll down to image size. A pop up box will come up where you can alter the size".

So now YOU know because I believe in paying it forward! 

Thank you Nita for the time and effort you took to help me solve this issue. 
Please, Please, Please head over to her blog and give her some love. 

Until tomorrow,
Tweet! Tweet!

Always being renewed,

April 23, 2012

Wurlitzer table

Do you know the name "Wurlitzer"? Yes, they made organs and juke boxes.  Who knew they also made office furniture! I had this little table laying around my house for about 20 years. I acquired it during the first few months after I moved from Philly to Pittsburgh. Yes off of the trash in my alley!

It has been used in various capacities around the house but I finally decided it needed a little pep talk and a facial so I got to sanding it and refinishing it. In the process, I noticed the Wurlitzer name on the inside of the drawer and the name kept nagging my brain. SO I finally did some research and this is what I found out.

Just like everyone else during the depression, Wurlitzer was suffering some pretty heavy loses financially. In in a bid to stay solvent, it started making a line of office furniture. It didn't really take off and the company was eventually sold to Tab, not sure if that is the soda company or not. It was eventually sold to the Gibson Guitar Company in 1986.

So my little table is a little bit of depression history!

Here she is before:

She had a broken leg that had to be set first and once the cast was off we could send her to the plastic surgeon.

The veneer on the top had to be removed because it was in bad shape as well.

Here she is after. She got a nice oil-rubbed bronze facial and then a straw flower yellow finish on her legs finally,  a full body wax.

I don't think she is depressed any longer! What do you think?

You can also go see her in the shop!

Always being renewed,

April 22, 2012

Ski Pole Floor Lamp tutorial

Hi gals! I hope your weekend has been restful and full of creativity. Yes, did you try a new recipe? Guess what.....you're being creative. Did you pt together a new outfit? Yes. Creative. Rearrange a room? Creative.

Step out of your comfort zone? Creative and hard so you get bonus points for that! Sorry, I can't give cash back for all these points but you'd only buy more things and go into debt and I can't be apart of that.

So just enjoy the fact that you did something different!!!

And because we are different here at Reposhture, I promised I'd show you how I used ski poles a little differently to make a floor lamp.

You can go here to find out why on earth I needed ski poles in the first place!

SO I snagged these bamboo ski poles for $9.95! at the local thrift shop and I already had a shade that I got for $0.95.

I also needed to purchase a lamp kit from the Home Depot and I also figured I would need a longer nipple ( is it weird that I feel slightly uncomfortable writing that in my blog?) for the lamp kit to work.

This cost $7.50 and the extra nipples cost $2.50. So my grand total to make the floor lamp was about $18.00!

Okay quick review of what you need:

Legs of some sort
lamp kit
might need longer nipple ( please don't judge me. Figures a man named this piece of hardware!!!)
piece of wood about 2" x 2"
screws and screw driver bit
Drill and drill bit (you had to know this would involve power tools)
fishing line or clear heavy duty thread

Okay now you are ready to get started.

Measure your nipple and pick a drill bit that is the same size around. Clamp your wood and drill all the way through.

It should look like this when you are done. You'll see why in a minute.

Assemble you light kit according to the instructions. I am not giving instructions because they really do a nice job on the back So just follow carefully and you'll be fine.  Also the piece of wood is so you can attach the poles to the lamp kit with screws. You can make this as long or as short as you want. My shade was pretty big and I don't like a lot of the underthings to show so I used a piece of wood about 3.5" long.

Notice the wire is going through the bottom of the wood, through the nipple and then into the socket. 

CHECK THAT IT WORKS! Now you can move on to attaching the legs.

 You can tell I am not a skier because I just assumed the poles would be all the same length! Not so Joe!
One set was about 2" shorter than the other.  I removed the wrist holders (?) which left a convenient opening in which to thread the screws. So I screwed the two longer poles opposite each other on the wood. And then added the shorter poles to the other sides. This was the hard part as I had to make sure they were actually sitting on the ground and not just hanging there looking ridiculous.

You will also need to screw them left or right of center as you do not want to hit the metal nipple running through the wood. I had to use 2" screws. Just hold up your screw next to the pole (leg) and wood and make sure that once the screw is through the handle, you still have about 1/2" that will go into the wood. Then you'll be fine.

Here is a closeup of the final product. The screws also allowed me to adjust the legs a bit to make the lamp stand straight.  When I was all done and had the legs how I wanted, I took some fishing line and secured each opposite set of legs so the legs had some further stability other than just being attached at the top.

I may try and add something else to make it a little more stable but for now it is just fine.

 So here she is, my ski pole, fishing line, quad-pod (instead of tripod) floor lamp for under $20!

Maybe I should call it the outdoors man lamp since I have so many things for outdoor sports involved here.

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

Always being renewed,


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