Coonhound Caviar

A dump and mix recipe using black beans and diced tomatoes with green chiles

A good bit of my kitchen repertoire is based on dump and run recipes. You know the technique – a couple of cans of easy to acquire ingredients, combined with a few fresh ones, some time in the fridge or on the stove, and voila!

This one is extremely loosely based on a dish a co-worker brought to a potluck. Known as Texas Caviar or Cowboy Caviar, there are literally hundreds of recipes out there.  It’s usually presented as a side salad or a dip for Fritos or those bowl shaped Tostitos.

The problem with all of them is they are loaded with a lot of fat, salt and high carb items. A few years ago, we radically changed our food plan because we were dealing with the carb counting challenge that a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis brings. (BIG DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. Consult one or both for best management of a major health condition).

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Show and Tell: Winter Letters

A project I tried from another craft site

3D letters cut with a Silhouette Cameo
The test letters came out great. The final version for the actual craft? Not so much.

I really love 3D paper art, and I’ve been wanting to do something cool with letters for a while. I saw this craft post that looked like a good starting point.  It’s on a craft supply website, so naturally they are using pre-made letters. Not my thing. I sourced around and found a few options for using my Silhouette Cameo 3 to cut letters, as well as some printable versions, and morphed them up to make my own patterns.

I test cut  and assembled an “S” (for Susan, naturally) and a “P” for my better half. They went together pretty well (a few glitches in my pattern but I fixed them).

I even found a green bottle brush on super reduced after Christmas sale, so I figured I’d be set.

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Home is where the heart is

A Silhouette Cameo Craft with maps

I had an old framed cross stitch that no longer suited my style. The frame has a heart shaped mat, and I have saved it for several years, always thinking it would be good for something.

We also have several road atlases, from back in the day before GPS existed. Yes, there was a time when the passive-agressive voice saying “Re-calculating” was more a frantic voice in my head saying “Oh no. That was my exit.”

This craft puts both the old maps and the old frame with mat to good use.

I’ve use the maps to highlight the four cities Mr. SuzerSpace and I have lived in for a very personalized wall decoration.

Click the red arrow below to see how I made it.

How SuzerSpace created this

Sunday Scrolling: February 19, 2017

A pen holder, sprinkles and a beagle being a beagle.

Looking for a little happy this week – here’s what I found:

  • Handy with Scissors has a great pen holder craft.
  • Via swissmiss – A guy in Philadelphia filled a crack in the road with sprinkles.
  • Mia the Beagle didn’t win the agility competition this year at Westminster. But she won every dog owner’s heart.

Upcycled Jean Pocket Coasters

A no-sew project

I’ve been working (like everyone else) on purging items from my home that no longer belong. I’m not so much in the “does it spark joy” camp, as I am in the “why do I still have this sh*t” camp.

I’ve actually found the clothes closet the easiest place to work – I have a small box in the back and anytime I put something on, only to take it off again because it isn’t right somehow, I drop it in the box. Maybe it doesn’t fit, maybe it has a hole, maybe I have never found a matching shirt, whatever it is, if I keep on not wearing it, it has to find a new home.

Of course, the box does present a dilemma – donate or turn into crafts?

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Roasted Chickpeas

A quick, spicy dish

Roasted chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are another one of those recipes that is more of technique than an actual list of steps and measurements.

And it’s been posted in some form or another all over the food blogs.

But I’m going to put it here at SuzerSpace, too, because it’s a staple in our house.

It ticks all the boxes – super simple to make, inexpensive, tasty and good for you.

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Teeny Tiny Tip: Folded Plastic Bags

A quick trick for tidying up that pile of plastic bags

Just about everyone has a bag/box/drawer full of plastic bags from the grocery store. And there is no denying they have a seemingly endless list of uses (dog pick-up bags and trash bag liners for small trash cans are my top two).

But storing them in that tangled mess is not great.

Fortunately, if you ever went to fourth grade and played flick football, you already have a solution. Or we can call it origami and sound much more upscale! 🙂

Flatten out each trash bag and fold it in half so the loops line up.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

And fold that in half again.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

And then start folding in a triangle from the non loop side.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room

Twist the loop over the finished football shape and you are done. A pile of these takes up much less space than a pile of squished up bags.

Fold plastic bags into a football shape to save room


Show and Tell: Rolled Flowers

A project I tried from another craft site

Testing a cut file to make a rolled paper rose wreath
I almost always test cut projects out of 80# white smooth coverstock.

This project came to me from my Pinterest feed, and landed me at Unoriginal Mom’s post on Paper Rosette Wreaths.

She credits another crafter for the inspiration. (Side note: I totally love the craft blog community. It doesn’t feel competitive as much as it feels cooperative.)

In her post, Unoriginal Mom is even friendly enough to give away her cut file.

Which works perfectly. I test cut several flowers of various sizes. They are easy to assemble. And I can see how her process of making all the flowers and gluing them while binge-watching TV and then assembling the wreath would work.

But I can also see I’m not going to follow through with this one.  I’m sure it would be worth it, but I don’t want to end up with a big paper bag of roses that never become anything.

I do have visions of cutting them out of pastel paper and making magnets or gift wrap toppers.

Birthday Badge

A personalized pin for the birthday boy or girl

Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday. And you want everyone to know it’s your birthday without actually having to tell them, right?

Wear this badge, and you can accomplish both tasks at the same time!

Or, make this badge for someone (a co-worker, maybe?) and get their day off to a good start.

Click the red arrow below to see how I made this.

How SuzerSpace created this

Sunday Scrolling: February 12, 2017

Healthyish eating, doormats and “lasers”

Via Dinner a Love Story – Bon Appetit’s website has a new section that looks really good.

I’ve seen a lot of pins and tutorials for making your own doormat, but most of them look like they require a lot more patience and talent than I have. This one looks like it might be right in my league.

Last fall I accidentally discovered the Silhouette Cameo, and my craft world was blown up (in a good way). Last weekend my sister showed me this cutting tool, which is awesome because it’s awesome, and also because it give me the opportunity me to say “lasers” with air quotes like in Austin Powers.