Month: September 2013

Rustic tray DIY

rustic frame DIYAfter hunting high and low for the perfect little tray to sit on my kitchen counter, I abandoned the search and made my own. Guess what?…it’s exactly the size and color I was looking for. That, my friends, is the glory of DIY. You get just what you want and I’m all for that. Why not whip one up for yourself? Here’s how I got my finished tray which is 14″ long by 10 1/2″ deep:

  • 1″ x 4″ x 4′ pine ($2.76 at Home Depot, I had it cut to 3 pieces, 14″ each)
  • 1″ x 2″ pine, 2 pieces 10 1/2″ long (donated from my brother’s shop, thanks Steve)
  • 12 – #6 x 1 1/4″ wood screws ($2.19 at Canadian Tire)
  • 2 drawer pulls ($2 each at the Restore)
  • sandpaper, paint, screwdriver, drill and bits (I had all these on hand)

rustic tray DIYSand all the pieces of wood just to make them “hand friendly”, as in you don’t get slivers when you pick them up.
Lay your 3 boards edge to edge lining up the cut sides. Lay the shorter pieces on top and on each side creating your tray’s sides. Flip this all upside down keeping all your boards lined up…well, actually just re-align them in the same pattern.
I predrilled 2 holes on each of my boards, also drilling through to the side pieces. Pine cracks and splinters easily so pre-drilling will take care of that risk. See the blue tape on the drill bit? – this is a trick I learned to make a marker where to stop drilling so you don’t go all the way through both layers of wood.
Screw the boards and sides together using the screws and predrilled holes. Tighten them up. Flip it over and you’re almost done!
Paint your tray using 1-2 coats of acrylic paint (the craft stuff is fine). I used chalkboard paint left over from my door project. The door and tray both live in the kitchen and match perfectly, my OCD heart loves that!  Once the paint dried, I lightly sanded the edges and a few spots on the boards to give it a bit of a rustic look – this is completely optional.
The final step is to attach your drawer pulls to create handles on your tray sides. Depending on which you choose, you may need to drill holes from the bottom through the whole tray to attach them, or screw down into your tray handles from above.
I added thick felt pads to all the corners to keep any metal screw heads off my countertop (again with the OCD). And here she is….
rustic tray DIYThis project took an hour-ish and cost under $10. Cheap and easy, just the way I like. Obviously you can customize it by changing the sizes of your boards, side bits, handles and paint choice to get a tray that suits your needs. I’m really happy with how this turned out and have big plans ahead for the wee one…Intrigue!

Blackberry sparkler

Blackberry cocktailIn my quest to do summery things last weekend, I picked blackberries while on a walk in my neighbourhood. Nasty little things really, all thorns and attitude. I couldn’t stick with it for long so I headed home with a tiny batch feeling like I needed a treat. You see where this is going. After topping frozen Greek yogurt with most of my haul, I dunked the rest in a cup of vodka and left it for a few days to infuse. Now it’s cocktail time!

Blackberry Sparkler

  • 4-5 blackberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1-2 oz vodka (infused with blackberries or plain works too)
  • Ginger ale
  • Ice

Choose your glass and combine the vodka and blackberries, lightly crushing the berries. Add lemon juice, simple syrup then ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a berry and lemon wedge.
Blackberry cocktailNow savour the late-summer berry treat, you’ve earned it. Cheers to the weekend friends!

Hosting a fruit fly party

fruit fly trapThis post comes with a sensitivity warning. If you’re reading this with your morning coffee, stop now. Really, come back later for this one, say during your afternoon tea break. There will be deception, carnage and unsavoury comments. You’ve been warned.

So, a “fruit fly party” is actually a euphemism for bait/trap/death. I don’t know how it happens but one day things are going along swimmingly and the next day I’m sharing my home with a flock of fruit flies. I can’t stand it. Does this happen to you too? I mean, I know I’m bringing delicious produce into my kitchen but the idea is to enjoy it myself, not with creepy flyers. Enough already…they’ve got to go!

Here’s my tried-and-true method for fruit fly termination:

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 1-2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent.

fruit fly trap DIYPour the vinegar then the water into a small glass. Top up with a generous drizzle of dish soap. Leave on your counter near your fruit bowl or anywhere you notice flies hanging out. What happens is the flies are attracted to the sweet fermentation of the apple cider vinegar and they dive in for a taste whilst inviting all their cousins to join them – teeny tiny brains, folks. They get caught in the sticky detergent and drown in the water. I warned you it was grizzly. I like to believe they go happy though…swimming, with a fermented drink and all their friends.
fruit fly trapWait as little as 5 minutes and you’ll see the carnage. Within 24 hours it’ll be a full-on blood bath. And it works. Enjoy having your home and produce back without the uninvited guests!

Thoroughly wash the glass out after, run it through the dishwasher and/or send it to recycling.