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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Outside our house we have two large English Walnut trees.  Growing up I lived in a house that had a English Walnut tree as well.  I wouldn't say these are overly beautiful trees.  They don't turn a vibrant yellow or red in the Fall, more of a mud yellow.  They're also quite messy.  They drop their leaves late in the Fall, usually the first week in December.  This means I'm usually out raking leaves in the cold and rain.  In the summer they drop walnuts with the help of squirrels, who take up permanent residence in the trees in mid summer.

I am, however, a firm believer in never harming a mature tree.  So I rake the leaves in the cold and I sweep the walnut shells up in the heat.  This year I decided to do more with my trees, I decided to make Nocino.  

Nocino is an Italian liquor made with unripe, green walnuts.  

Begin by cutting green walnuts into quarters.  It's best to use a hammer and a flat head screw driver for this.

Next add sugar and warm spices (think cinnamon, allspice, cloves, vanilla,etc) to a seal-able jar.  I added about 1/3 a cup sugar to a pint size jar.

Then fill the container with the quartered walnuts and fill with vodka.  Store for 5-6 months, or at least until the holidays when you can gift your creations to friends!

One thing to note, walnuts will stain your hands and cutting boards so if you care, wear gloves and use a cutting board you don't care about or quarter the nuts outside.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Another Furniture Redo

I know, it's been a while.  I've still got some great soap on the website and I'm still busy making it.  I've also been busy picking up free furniture on the side of the streets and redoing them!  I've got another furniture redo I finished last week.

This armoire was mine that I purchased years ago, when TVs fit inside pieces of furniture, you know, before HD, 20 years ago.  You see a lot of these pieces of furniture at garage sales now days.  I never got around to selling mine at a garage sale and I'm glad I didn't.

Here it is back in the day it had a TV in it.  This is the only "before" picture I have and I had to crop myself out of it.  I need to do a better job with "before" pictures.  I'm just so anxious to get started on refinishing the pieces that I neglect to take any photos.

For this piece I wanted a country-vintage look.  I pictured an old pie cupboard.  The type that would sit on a covered back porch and hold pies to cool.

To accomplish this, I removed the panels on the doors and stapled chicken wire to them.  I then added wheels, because everything is better with wheels!  I finished by painting it in Mustard Seed Yellow milk paint on the outside and Grain Sack milk paint on the inside.

And here's the final product!  I'm quite pleased with it, even if it's holding blankets and not pies!

One more look from the side.  Love the wheels!

I have a desk I'm working on now that was a free find on the street.  I hope to have that finished in a week or so.

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