For a homey craft, here’s an idea I’ve been percolating on for a week or two until I came up with the right solution for our own, personal look: I took a white wooden welcome sign that I’d purchased on sale; it was originally decorated with Easter-themed wooden flowers and dangles of eggs and birds, so I removed all the extra bits except the five small loop head screws. If you can’t find such a sign, you could make one with cardboard, hardening it with a couple layers of paper machè before painting it your base colour and attaching the screws.
The sign, I covered by paper machèing it with the inside of a few security envelopes (the kinds you get bank statements and bills in). Most of the paper beads are also made from the same envelopes. [If you want to find an addictive craft, paper beads will do it!] I laid the sign upside down on the outside of the opened envelope and traced the letters, cutting out the paper before glueing it on. The design can be seamlessly augmented with the security motif, as the sign is longer than the length of an opened envelope laid flat… my seam is overlapping onto the “e” after the “w”, and you can’t see it.
For the dangles, I made the security paper beads, and one bead is made from a magazine picture of the sun; I strung them onto nylon thread (“fishing line”), and used silver beads, cap-beads, crimp beads, and silver charms at the ends. I then strung a length of black satin ribbon to hang the sign on our door, making sure the length allowed for viewing through the peephole. I secured the ends of the ribbon to itself with crimp bead covers (also crimp beads, but a “C” shape to clamp around crimp beads).
[If you’re interested, I got all of the jewellery findings and beads online, at Aliexpress.com.]
This is not so much a recipe, as a tip on what to serve the next time you want starters for a meal, or a meal eaten by hand.
I just returned from a long weekend in Bilbao, Spain; it’s a thriving city on the Bay of Biscay. The Basque have one food that they are probably most famous for: Pintxos (pronounced “Pintchos”). These are a similar concept to the Spanish Tapas, but far more elaborate. 5 or 6 of these will make a meal. Any good Pintxos bar worth its salt will have a wide variety spread out along the length of the bar (which is not usually for drinking at, but for selecting your food), and they pride themselves in personal specialities, so you have to bar hop to get the full experience; I’m sure they’ve got a local term for it – bar hopping, pub crawling, or as my husband and I dubbed it, “Pintxopping”.
They usually come served atop a slice of toasted Baguette bread, and some of the combinations we had were: Diced crab with tomato sauce; an unusually non-distinct mushroom patè fried in a hushpuppy-like batter; crab and vegetables sautèd in tomato sauce and served in an open clam shell, overbaked with cheese; baked squid atop a fish pate; a skewer of breaded and fried vegetables; a variety of fish and seafood in spring roll wraps; breaded chicken on a skewer with rounds of goat cheese; one bar’s signature Pintxo was a mound of crab meat overbaked with a quid-ink-tinted cheese, in the shape of the local mountain. The possibilities are endless! Below is an example found on Pinterest; if you want more ideas and recipes, you’ll find them there. En Guete!