Jute Bottle Vases

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Trying to find a good gift for a girl in college is tough. I had spent some time trying to decide what to get Maren, my brothers girlfriend, for Christmas. She is in her second year of school and recently moved to a new apartment. I was trying to think of things that I would’ve liked during that time… I remember my first apartment being pretty bare; the coffee tables were filled with dirty dishes or piles of books and the walls had random posters hung up with sticky tack. I figured this would be a fun time to try out a DIY home decor project, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! It’s a very simple project that you can customize. Substitution ideas include using wine bottles or old mismatched vases for a unique collection of various sizes and shapes . I used jute because it was sturdy and thicker (takes less time to cover), but you could also use yarn, twine or hemp. Here are my instructions:

Materials Image

  • 1 roll of jute (was enough to cover 5 bottles)
  • empty bottles
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • spray paint
  • twigs or flower, for display

How To

  1. Soak your bottles in very hot water for 30 to 60 minutes to loosen the labels on the bottles. Some will fall of easily, while others may need a final scrub to remove all of the adhesive. Dry the bottles upside down.Image
  2. Once the bottles have dried completely, begin wrapping at the bottom of the bottle.
    Start by squeezing a line of glue all the way around the bottom. Begin attaching the jute to the bottom ring of glue. The first ring is the hardest because the jute will tend to slide off. Using both hands hold the first ring of jute in place for 5 minutes while it starts to dry.
  3. After the first ring, continue on one ring at a time for about 5 more layers. You don’t need to hold each layer for 5 minutes, but do allow about one minute for each ring. One the first few layers are holding you can begin to add an inch of glue around the bottle and wrap the jute in larger batches.
  4. Once you reach the neck of the bottle, repeat the 
    Image teps you took during the first 5 rings of the bottle. The jute will tend to move up at the neck, so keep it to one ring at a time and hold it in place until it begins to dry.
  5. When the bottle is completely covered, let it try for 2 hours, or until all the glue is clear and the jute is secure.
  6. Outdoors, or in a well ventilated space, spray paint your bottles with your desired color. I found that the lighter colors above did not stick as well to the jute, and so I switched to the darker colors — maroon, silver and black.
  7. Allow the paint to try completely before filling your vases with water. I used the twigs from a glitter branch I found at World Market to finish off my vases. It’s helpful to fill the vases with rocks if you are not using fresh flowers to hold your twig in place and to keep it sturdy.

Happy jute-ing!

Snowed in.

First snowThis past weekend was our first big snowfall in Minneapolis. Nearly 24-hours worth of big, beautiful snowflakes had blanketed the city in the heaviest, whitest snow I’ve ever seen! (Well, considering we barely got an inch of snow last year, my memory is a little hazy it’s possible that I may be embellishing.) Everything looked like it was covered in a layer of marshmallow fluff.

Rolled up under my comforter with a warm cat at my feet sure sounded like a great way to spend the day, however, something about the winter wonderland and fact that I was not going to do much outside of the house made me feel like indulging in some domestic pleasures. I find it easier to be motivated when I know that afterwords I am the one who gets to cuddle up and reap the benefits (see: eat all the food). You’ll find below that my perfect snow day consists of equal parts outdoor fun, plentiful treats, and prolonged nap time.

Everyone knows the best part of the weekend is brunch. With all of the snow day activities planned, we needed something that would satiate both the sweet and savory palette. A super simple scrambled egg with green and red bell peppers, topped with avocado and mozzarella alongside a strawberry and honey filled crepe hit all the right spots.

Eggs and crepe brunch

The boy and I took a brunch cooking class a few weeks ago for fun. We’re such brunch fanatics and love to cook, so it was great to learn some additional tips and tricks. It should be said that because I’m Norwegian I do have a pretty strong allegiance to Pannekakke, or Norwegian pancakes. These are thinner than typical American style pancakes but thicker than crepes (and of course, more delicious, in my opinion). However, I feel like I got a handle on crepes during the class, and was happy to see that our at home attempt turned out pretty well! The general secret for perfect crepes is simple: 1 part egg, 1 part water, 1 part milk to 3 parts flour. Below is the recipe we used which made 6 crepes.

Perfect crepes

  • 4 eggs, whipped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 cups flour

Sift together the dry ingredients, blend the wet, then combine. Use a mixer until the batter is thoroughly blended. Lightly grease a nonstick pan over medium heat and cover the bottom with just enough batter so when you tilt the pan around there is even coverage. Quantity depends on the size of your pan, but start small to begin. When the crepes look to be about half way cooked (you’ll see an line between the wet inner circle and the more cooked outer edge) use a spatula to help flip the crepe on the opposite side. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can flip it in the air! The best part is filling it with whatever your brunch loving heart desires, sweet or savory — or one of each.

SnowmanAfter our hearty best-meal-of-the-day we had enough energy to go out and shovel. Now here I am not exaggerating when I say that by the time we shoveled from the stairs by the porch down to each end of the sidewalk, an inch of snow had falled. Welp — so much for easing the pain for later, it was clearly a sign from mother nature that we should just embrace it. In my mind, that means build a snowman. Freshly fallen, it wasn’t the best snowman rolling snow. It was heavy, thick and wet. Instead of rolling we piled. Piled and patted and carved away until we had a slightly round bottom. Another on top of another and we had what some might see as a more …slender… character than the typically plump and convex snow-people we tend to roll. It’s okay, with the top hat, carrot and charcoal additions, he fit right in. I even added a leaf bow-tie!

The day drew darker and mister snowman’s hat added a few layers of snow, it was time to get serious. Movies, sweaters, blankets and snacks — the whole package. We popped some corn and doused it in butter and cinnamon and sugar. Veggies were sliced (you know, to balance it out), dip was prepared and Christmas cookies were made. But to really top it off you need an adult beverage. Peppermint Patty’s are my absolute favorite; they taste like the Holidazzle Parade in your mouth. And, since it basically consists of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, it couldn’t be easier to make. Prepare your favorite hot chocolate mix with milk, add 1 part schnapps to 4 parts cocoa, top with whipped cream and sprinkled and off you go. Honestly, I wouldn’t be upset in the least if I got to spend every snow day like this one.Image

 

 

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