Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Upcycled Car Hood Is Now A Cool Tabletop



Reclaimed sheetmetal from an old car makes a pretty cool table.


Yes, this table was made from the old, worn, automobile hood shown below it. And I just can't decide what I like best, the fiery orange color, the worn spots, or just the fact that it's one of the coolest upcycled furniture pieces that I've seen. 

Made by Weld House furniture in Arizona, each piece is constructed from salvaged metal. Check out their website and be impressed.



Reclaimed sheetmetal from an old car makes a pretty cool table.



What do you think?





Have a great week!
 Laura

Monday, July 16, 2018

Upcycled Clothes: Turn An Old Tank Top Into A Tote



 upcycled clothes tank top made into a tote



I have to say I was thoroughly impressed when I saw these amazing totes made from old tank top summer t-shirts by Monica at Crafty Nest. You can find the complete step by step DIY instructions on her site but I can tell you there are only a few steps to making these and it's a pretty simple project that's probably easy enough for a beginner to tackle. 

Of course the first thing I did was mentally go through my closet, seeing flashes of the different tops I had that might work for this project, the ones that were too small or that I just no longer wore for whatever reason. I think I have one in mind and I hope to try my own hand at making a t-shirt handbag one day soon. 











What do you think?






Have a great week!
 Laura


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Now Taking Custom Orders From Your Own Family China! Broken China Jewelry



Big news! I am now once again accepting custom orders from your own china! Yay! 

Yes, send me a plate or a piece of your or your mom's or grandma's old china and I will make you and your family beautiful, custom pieces of jewelry from your china plate.

Right now is the best time to get in your orders for Christmas gifts since I will probably have to stop accepting new custom orders as they pile up and as summer fades away and we creep closer to the holidays. 

Check out the photos on this page for a few examples of some past custom orders that I created for customers.


Before:



After:

 custom order broken china jewelry necklaces
custom order from a few years ago



When someone requests a custom order from their own china the first thing I ask is that they email me a photo of the china that they would like to send to me so that I can take a quick look at it and determine whether or not I can work with it - I look at the material and the shape and thickness or thinness of the plate or china pieces.  

I won't work with certain types of china, such as super-hard porcelain and thick, heavy stoneware such as restaurant ware. This may seem odd, but it's for good reason. These materials are just too hard on my tools. It's like it using expensive jewelry cutting pliers that are made for cutting precious metal wire and using them to cut a steel fence. Do that and you can say goodbye to those $50 pliers! 

The same goes with my cutting and saw blades. They are tough, but they're also expensive to replace. It's easy to ruin a $100 saw blade just by using it to cut material that is too hard or thick. Yes, saw blades are an item that are routinely replaced when they wear out, but they should normally last months and months before needing to be replaced. I've many times used a saw blade for over a year without having to replace it. 

So some materials are just off-limits and that's why. But sometimes I can make more of a shard-shaped piece of jewelry if the material is not suited for cutting into a specific shape, so it also depends on what you want, so be sure to also give me an idea of what you would like - what shapes or from what part of the plate's design you would like made into jewelry. Then I can take a look at it and let you know if I think I can work with it. It's also helpful to send me a photo of the reverse side of the plate, as that will often tell me the material.

Before:



After: 

 custom order broken china jewelry necklaces
custom order from a few years ago 


Custom work can be extremely time consuming and therefore it is sometimes a bit more expensive than my regular jewelry. When an artist does a custom order they are taking time away from their regular work to make something to your personal specifications, so it is very specialized work. You are paying for years of work and expertise when you ask for a custom order! 
Before:



After:

 custom order broken china jewelry necklaces
custom order from a few years ago


After I take a look at your plate and you let me know what you would like made, I will then give you an estimate of how much it will cost, and I will let you know about how long it will take for me to make your jewelry. I usually have a pretty quick turnaround time of a few days, but it does depend on my current workload! 


Before: 

After:

 custom order broken china jewelry
custom order from a few years ago


Custom made broken china jewelry makes the most amazing gifts for holidays such as Christmas, for wedding anniversaries, and bridal party gifts! I've created necklaces for large and small groups of bridesmaids (order early!)




My jewelry featured in Country Living magazine - Editor's Fresh Picks section


Before starting out, have an idea of what you want made, but be willing to be flexible. I will tell you what I think would look best but will make as close as I can to whatever you request.

Are you on a tight budget? I also offer shard pendants at a bit lower cost than my heart and oval shaped pieces. The shard-shaped abstract triangles do not require as much cutting and therefore I charge lower for those types of pieces. 



Interested in a custom order? Email me at sales@dishfunctionaldesigns.com with a photo of your china and let me know approximately what you would like made and we can get the ball rolling! 


 https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


Have a great week!
 Laura

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns


article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2018 all rights reserved

Friday, July 6, 2018

Old Fashioned Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe




Homemade strawberry rhubarb pie has been a tradition in my family from as far back as I can remember. Our bushy, large-leafed rhubarb plant grew right along side of my parent's home, and I remember as a child my mother and father telling me how the plant came from my father's childhood home, transplanted to my parent's home when they built it in the early 1960's. 

On pie-making day, mom would send me outside to pull out the long, colorful stalks of rhubarb, instructing me to just "pull the stalks straight out from the plant" where they would make a snapping sound when pulled, and then cut off the giant green leaves with a paring knife. She would wash the stalks and then cut them into one or two inch pieces, and then mix them in a bowl with fresh strawberries, dust them with a concoction of powdered ingredients, and then finally, when the filling was put into the bottom pie shell, she would work on crafting the intricately woven lattice top crust. 

My entire family loved the tart rhubarb and sweet strawberry blend, and mom would sometimes alter the quantity of sugar depending on the sweetness or amount of strawberries and rhubarb used, a skill perfected by her years of baking.

Mom is now 84 and still in her home though my dad passed on about 17 years ago. It's sometimes hard to believe it's been that long. The years just fly by, don't they? But each spring and summer my own daughters and I look forward to visiting mom and pulling some rhubarb to carry on the family pie-making tradition. We were just there the other day, and I thought to snap some photos while I replicated mom's old recipe. 

 My daughter Erica with rhubarb from mom's yard - that's enough for two pies!

I showed my daughter Erica how to pull the rhubarb, and off we went to make our own pies. Though my mom always made a homemade pie crust, to save time I used a refrigerated crust this time around, since well, sometimes I just can't do it all! Whichever route you choose to take, you will need two crusts, one for the bottom and one for the top. I like the premade ones that you just take out of the package, bring to room temperature, and unroll. 

I like to get out my rolling pin, sprinkle my tabletop with just a tiny bit of flour so the crust does not stick to the table, and then give the crust another one or two quick rolls with the rolling pin to smooth it out and to make sure its the same thickness throughout. Okay, time to make pie! 



You will need:
2 pie crusts, homemade or premade refrigerated type
Fresh rhubarb, about 2 cups
Fresh strawberries, about 2 cups 
Cornstarch, 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons
Flour, 6 Tablespoons 
Sugar, 1 & 1/4 cups 
Butter, about 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons cut into  6-8 small pieces
Waxed paper



Wash your rhubarb and strawberries and assemble your work space. Make your pie crusts and then line a pie plate with one pie crust and set aside. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cornstarch. Set aside.


Chop rhubarb into bite-sized pieces, about 1" to 1 & 1/4" in size. Hull the strawberries and chop in half. I keep the small ones whole, and I quarter or third any super-gigantic ones. Place the chopped rhubarb and strawberry into a large bowl.



Pour half of the dry mixture onto the rhubarb and strawberries and toss to completely coat.


It should look something like this.


Pour the coated strawberry-rhubarb into the pie crust-lined pie plate.


Now sprinkle the remaining half of the dry ingredients evenly on top of the strawberries and rhubarb. Cut the butter into about 6 to 8 small pieces and dot the top of the pie with butter. Set pie aside and preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.


Now it's time to make the lattice top crust. It's easier than it looks! Roll out the second pie crust - I like to make sure its on the thin side, but not too thin that it tears when you lift a strip off of the table. Use a pastry wheel, knife or pizza slicer to cut the crust into long strips. 


Try to make each strip about 3/8" to 1/2" wide.


Tear off a sheet of waxed paper a little bit larger than your pie crust. Starting with the longest strips of crust, create a cross on the waxed paper by first laying one strip vertically. Then lay the second strip horizontally so that it overlaps the first vertical strip.


Now add a third strip as shown in the photo, placing it vertically over that second horizontal strip that you just put down.


Add the fourth strip of crust horizontally (see photos above and below) and lift the vertical strip up to weave that fourth strip so that the strips go over and then under. 


You are creating a woven pattern of over and under. Each time you lay down a strip you have to lift every second strip so that the strip you are laying down goes under and then over, and then under, and then over. 


Keep repeating this pattern as shown above. If your strips get too short you can re-roll them or just stick two short ones together to make a long strip. It doesn't have to be perfect! 


Once you have finished weaving and used up all of your strips it is now time to place the crust on top of the pie! 



Keeping the lattice crust on the wax paper, very carefully put your dominant hand beneath the wax paper and lift the lattice up and off the counter. I am right-handed so I use my right hand beneath the lattice. (You will use your opposite hand to help guide the lattice onto the pie.)


Hold the lattice on the waxed paper right next to the pie and very carefully and slowly turn the crust over onto the top of the pie - try to get it as centered as you can because you will not be able to move the lattice once it is on the pie. Do not flop it on quickly. Take your time and go slowly.



Once you have the lattice on the pie, very carefully remove the waxed paper, watching that it doesn't stick to the lattice.  




Whew! Now to get rid of those scraggly ends...


Fold any scraggly ends neatly into the crust, creating a nice edge. If you prefer, or if you have too much extra lattice hanging over the edge of the pie plate, you can carefully cut it off and discard it. Once you are finished, you can sprinkle a little bit of sugar on the crust if you like.


Cut a few strips of aluminum foil and form a cover for the crust so that it does not burn while baking. You will remove this foil for the last 15 or so minutes of baking. 

Bake at 425 degrees Farenheit for 40-45 minutes. Remember to remove foil from edges for the last 15 minutes of baking.

If the pie becomes very bubbly while in the oven and starts to drip over a bit too much, you can put a piece of aluminum foil on a rack below the pie so that the drippings don't dirty up your oven.




Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Best served at room temperature.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired. Refrigerate
 any leftovers. Enjoy!




Are you a fan of strawberry rhubarb pie?
Please leave a comment below!



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Have a great week!
 Laura


Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

DIY Rustic Farmhouse Mason Jar & Wood Pallet Wall Decoration





I loved this combination of glass Mason jars and an old wooden shipping pallet to create this pretty, rustic farmhouse wall decoration. 

Mason jars are available everywhere nowadays, and I see them all the time at thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales. If you can find vingtage green or blue Mason jars, even better!

It looks like the jars are secured to the pallet with metal duct clamps - available at any hardware supply store for under $1 each. 

The clams are wrapped around the neck of each jar, and then somehow attached to the pallet.  I do not have a DIY for this project but my best guess is that the clamps might have been first attached to the pallet with a nail or screw and then the jars were added afterwards. Either way, what a great DIY decoration.

What do you think?







Have a great week!
 Laura


Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved