Vinyl Record Art!

Today I am supposed to be prepping stuff for a big yard sale at my house this weekend. I have done just 1.5 loads of laundry towards that goal so far.. because it took just one two-second look into the craft room closet for me to get completely off-track. CRAFT SQUIRREL! 😉

Stuff’s happening with my parents’ old record collection. 🤓

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I had really good intentions, I promise. Before I began to look in the closet I thought, “I’ll find some craft supplies we aren’t using anymore and sell them in the sale!” but my eyes fell instantly upon my parents old record collection and it was over. Ever since then I’ve been melting and molding old vinyl records into art. It’s so easy and fun to do, and the results can really be beautiful!

Vinyl Record Art
These are just the initial pieces of what will be an wall art installation in our new rec room.

All you have to do is pre-heat your oven to 200°F, turn an oven-safe bowl upside down on a cookie sheet, place a clean record on the bowl and let it warm up for about 4-8 minutes, or until you see the record begin to droop with the heat. Then you’ll quickly pull it out and begin to mold it as desired. I say quickly because you really only have a few seconds before it begins to harden again, so don’t hesitate to begin shaping when you get it out of the oven. And don’t worry- if you don’t like your initial design you can pop it back into the oven for another 4-8 minutes and reshape it! Told you it was easy, quick and fun!

I got really excited about this find because it was the perfect excuse not to work on my yard sale. 😛 Also, because these are really all the best old records- Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Bob Segar, Golden Earring, Meatloaf, Eagles- the real good stuff. The music of my childhood. The actual records we listened to in my childhood home. My parents loved their 60’s and 70’s rock n’ roll! Forever, I will too. I’m a sucker for sentimental stuff. I knew right away what I wanted done with it.

Vinyl Record Art
This is such an easy, quick, fun, cheap project.

I made five of these today. My daughter and I are going to melt all of the rest of these suckers up and mount them on the wall as an art installation in the rec room she’s going to design this summer. More on that project soon. 🙂

So, do you happen to have some old records laying around that you’d like to melt and play with? They can be made into some really great things- bowls, wall art, garden flowers, plant pots, bookends, and more. A perusal of Pinterest can show you about 101 things you can do with old records. I can’t wait to show you guys this project, finished and mounted. Likely it won’t be until summer, so check back if you wanna!




Today’s Project: Vinyl Record Art, obvs.. and some yard sale prep.

Today’s Soundtrack: Kendrick Lamar’s new album Damn. Yo. People keep saying crazy things like Kendrick Lamar is the “greatest rapper of all time” lately. I just don’t get that. I’m trying to acquaint myself better with his music so I can decide what I think about it.

I’m Reading: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

A Happy Accident – It’s It Cookie Bars

Creamy, messy, chocolatey, chewy It’s It ice cream bars are just one of those special treats that I really enjoy once in a blue moon. They take me back to happy summer memories spanning a lifetime. I remember saving my change and enthusiastically picking them up at the little mini-mart down the road from my house on hot summer days growing up. Ice cream trucks that sold them were golden. As an adult we get them so rarely- sugar is my enemy.. but YOLO! Here and there I really enjoy one. They’re just so satisfying to eat!

So it was in fact a happy accident when I managed to ruin oatmeal cookies this weekend by leaving out the flour in the recipe (dur)- and used the results of that failure to make cookie bars that turned out tasting a whole lot like an It’s It.

I was aghast when I pulled the trays of cookies out of the oven and found the cookies flat and mushy. What kind of a baker forgets to put flour in the cookie dough?! Me, that’s who. But I couldn’t stand the idea of throwing all of that goodness away. I had used up the last of my mini chocolate chips and walnuts in that darn recipe!

I thought for a few minutes about how I could still use the ruined cookies- they did not rise and wouldn’t hold together in cookie form, but they were still delicious! I decided to press them down into two greased 8×8 square pans and top them with melted chocolate chips. I really thought my family would think it a wasted effort- but they loved them and have requested I make them again.. this time on purpose! And a new recipe was born.

I regret not photographing the debacle turned miracle for you all- but I was in a hurry to bake up a bunch of stuff for our Game Night: 17th Anniversary Edition. That’s right- I’ve been married 17 years! It’s been real, it’s been good, it’s been real good. We had a great time celebrating the event with friends over a dirty game: Drawing Without Dignity. It’s like Cards Against Humanity crossed with adult Pictionary. I can’t recommend that game to you unless you have really chill friends with no filter. Ha. I do. It’s all about the right crowd. 😛

17 Years Ago

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There are some really great photos of our game night here– thanks to the amazing photographer Adam Freidin. 🙂

But anyway, here’s the recipe!

It's It Cookie Bars - A Happy Accident
A happy accident!

It’s It Cookie Bars
3/4 shortening
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1tsp vanilla
1tsp salt
1/2tsp soda
1/2tsp cloves
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 12oz bag of chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°. Mix thoroughly shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients (saving the 12oz bag of chocolate chips for later.) Grease your pans- I’d use either 2 8×8 pans or 1 9×13. Press the dough down into the bottom of the pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour the remaining chocolate chips over the top and toss it back in the oven for 4 minutes or so- until you can easily smooth the chocolate chips with a spoon. Let cool completely, until the chocolate topping solidifies, then cut into bars. I put mine in the fridge for an hour or so after the pan had completely cooled to speed up the process. Then, I just cut long horizontal bars and broke those into jagged pieces like candy.

Enjoy!




Today’s Project: Prep for our upcoming yard sale… lots and lots of prep.

Today’s Soundtrack: Roller Derby Road Trip on Spotify (recently updated!)

I’m reading: The Stand by Stephen King (still. My goodness it’s a long book! But soooooooo good. It had been some years since I’d read it.)

It’s Like Sunlight In My Mouth

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day to all, and to meeeee, for it was a three-day weekend! I love those. Especially in this dreadful weather. We drive a lot on a dangerous stretch of freeway and the cold affects my health negatively so I’d just rather skip winter each year. GTFO Winter. Yo.

But yeah- I had an extra day to fiddle around with this weekend so I decided to candy some lemon and make lemon simple syrup in between posting MLK memes on Facebook.

Martin Luther King Jr Quote
Martin Luther King Jr Quote

He was so great, we need someone like him so much right now. Don’t you think?


I have to say, the result was really spectacular. After candying the first batch of lemon I immediately had to make another batch. They were so wonderfully flavorful and pretty that I couldn’t resist. And then there’s that sparkly delicious syrup…. I could die happy right after ingesting it all.

There are really some fun ways to use candied fruit and simple syrups. My husband puts the simple syrup in his tea and in mixed cocktails. I used some of the lemon simple syrup for my lemon bread recipe, and my daughter used it in her fruit and yogurt smoothie. I used the candied lemons to garnish lemon bread.

Poofy is creeping up on my lemon bread.

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Pretty much the moment I was done with the lemon candies and simple syrup I started working with blood oranges. I’m so stoked that we put that tree in.. these are glorious fruit. They are small but visually striking and fantastic tasting.

I plan on making blood orange upside down cake later this week and will garnish it with candied orange slices. My kids especially like the candied blood orange slices. They taste like fruit gummies, but lighter and brighter, if that makes sense. I just can’t get over how these taste like the sun! On these dreary  gray days there’s nothing better than a little bit of sun in my mouth. 😉

Oh, and I learned a few interesting things about blood oranges yesterday. I was treating mom to some candied blood orange when she asked how they got the red coloring. I had no idea so I asked Siri and she hooked me up:  All About Blood Oranges

According to Wikipedia’s Blood Orange page, “The flesh develops its characteristic maroon color when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night.”

Pretty cool! So, if warm days/cool nights helps blood oranges turn a deeper and more thorough red- I’m wondering if I kept them in the garage at night and brought them in during the day for a few days, could I deepen their color myself? My daughter Lillie, The Brilliant One, actually suggested this. She’s cool. I’m going to try it. Mine are about half as bloody as they could be, mostly. I’ll let you know how it works.

Project Details:

Candied Lemon Slices (& Simple Syrup)
I used this super easy recipe: Candied Lemon Slices
Tips & Modifications: I cut up two lemons (slice it very thin!) and used two medium saucepans at once to increase my yield. I used tongs to turn over the lemon slices every five minutes while simmering. After removing your candied lemon slices to parchment or wax paper, just pour the liquid leftover from the candied lemons directly in a jar and there’s your simple syrup!

Candied Blood Orange Slices (& Simple Syrup)
All you have to do is the exact same thing as you did with the lemon slices above. Easy. Fast. It’s worth buying a few blood oranges from the store if you don’t have access to the tree at home to make these.

Lemon Bread
I used this recipe from Taste of Home: Lemon Bread Recipe
Tips & Modifications: I thickened the very thin glaze recipe by doubling the powdered sugar, but I still wish I would have made an even thicker glaze. I wanted the glaze to cure white because I wanted to cover up or distract from my ugly poke holes. See, once I transferred this bread to a plate to cool I poked holes in it with a toothpick and then drizzled it in lemon simple syrup before applying the glaze. Oh well, like I always say, “it doesn’t matter what it looks like when it’s in your belly.” It was brilliant tasting. Highly recommend.




Today’s Projects: I think I’m going to try one of the Starbuck’s copycat lemon loaf recipes I see floating around on Pinterest. We can’t get enough of the lemon stuff around here right now. And the kids want to have a side-by-side taste-off to decide which of the two lemon breads are the best. Also: handwarmers again , maybe, if I get a chance to sit.

Soundtrack: Today’s Top Hits Playlist on Spotify

I’m reading: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I’m a Many Trick Pony

… and it’s all because I believed that I could do anything I put my mind to. And also, YouTube videos. Check this out: Ark. mother of four builds home by watching YouTube tutorials

How cool is that?!

More than a decade ago I was home with my young children and my creative impulses were firing but I just didn’t have the time, money, or energy to do anything too involved. A few of my friends on the interwebs knitted and I had all my mom’s old yarn stash from her crocheting days so I decided to give it a try. I learned how to knit in a day from tutorials I found on YouTube. Since then I have made many a knitted present, and have even sold a few finished pieces.

Just off the needles- something for me. 🙂

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I have learned many, many skills from YouTubers across the globe. My husband has fixed our appliances, cars, bikes, and house more times than I can count thanks to YouTube videos.

My kids groan every time.. (they’re all teenagers, they groan no matter what I say).. but when they ask “how do I…?” I usually respond with either “google it” or “YouTube.” It’s amazing what I’ve seen them be able to learn and achieve thanks to resources readily found online.

I asked Liana to model the new hat I just finished. So she did.

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To learn anything new you need a can-do attitude, but I often feel immediately overwhelmed by the challenges that face me. Where does one even begin to say, fix a problem with a bicycle? In the old days you would ask a friend to help or hire a guy if you didn’t have a clue. Today you can pick up your phone, complete an internet search, watch a video or two, and do just about anything, anywhere. The process of watching someone show me how to do something completely demystifies it, and emboldens me to try.

You can do it.
I can do it. Anything. Even become a blogger (who makes an income doing it, one day.)

All we need to keep growing and achieving is each other.. and YouTube. 🙂




Today’s Project: Handwarmers- I might bake something too but I have a sick kid home from school who needs to go to the pediatrician.

Soundtrack: I’m still listening to Today’s Top Hits Playlist on Spotify

I’m reading: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi