I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted a craft tutorial. And for that, I’m sorry. I’ve been busy with work-work, and no one is paying me to do this shit — yet, anyway. (Related: Anyone want to pay me to do this shit? Now taking sponsors!). To make it up to you, I’d like to think I’m back in a big way with this amazing, easy, DIY brass hanging planter-slash-best IKEA hack ever.
Brass hanging planters have been on my mind for a while, ever since my new pal Bev had me over for drinks (her plant game is on point). I wanted to buy one for my own house, but at $198 a pop, let’s just say, um, hell no. So I started thinking about how I could make one. Well, I didn’t think so much as I just started spray painting and drilling into shit and made multiple trips to Dollar General and the hardware store and got super high on spray-paint fumes more than once even though I know I shouldn’t spray paint indoors — only to make something that looked like total trash. Part of the problem was the cheap-ass plastic bowl. The other issue was that I couldn’t find an actual brass-colored spray paint at any of the four hardware stores I visited.
After all that, I knew I needed a better paint color. And I needed a metal bowl, not a bullshit dollar-store plastic one. In fact, I had a shape — actually a very specific bowl — in mind. It just took me two days of fucking around with other materials before I remembered that said bowl was from IKEA — and it cost only $5. And even though I know it’s evil, there’s a store that rhymes with “stobby shobby” right next to my IKEA and I figured they might have brass spray paint, and I was over in that part of town anyway, and God dammit, I was right.
So, in less than an hour, I spray painted a bowl, let it dry, tied some fucking rope around it, and tried to forget about all the time and money I wasted getting to this point. TL:DR: I burned through time and money and brain cells so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.If you want to make your own DIY brass hanging planter, here’s what you’ll need:
- IKEA Blanda Blank Bowl
- Brass (or gold) spray paint
- Sand paper (optional)
- Washi tape
- Potting soil
- Plant (preferably one that will cascade as it grows)
If you’re feeling super not-lazy, sand the outside of the bowl a bit to give it some texture.
Spray it with brass or gold spray paint and let it dry. (I should probably take this opportunity to let you know that the particular brass spray paint I used was not the easiest thing in the world to deal with. I had a few mess-ups that I sanded out, but honestly, they just kind of gave the whole thing a nice aged look. And I give a suggestion for a fairly comparable gold paint down below.)
When the paint is dry, tie some fucking rope around it to create the hanger. I used this tutorial, and I guess it’s macrame? Or not. Anyway, let’s just say it is. It was my first-ever macrame-ish project and it took less than 10 minutes and it was SO easy. One recommendation, though: Do the macrame before you paint the bowl. While the brass paint stood up to the washi tape I used to hold the rope in place, one of the many other paints I tried did not.
At my local plant store, I found an eco liner that fit perfectly in the bowl. I figure it will help a bit with drainage, but that might also be all in my head (this planter doesn’t have any drainage feature, so I’m just going to try to avoid overwatering my plant). I put it all together, hung it in my dining room and decided it looked like a million fucking dollars. Or at least 198 dollars. I liked it so much and it was so damn easy, I made another one for my bathroom using the smaller Blanda Blank bowl. (Speaking of, how many plants is too many plants to have in a small bathroom? Because right now I’m up to six.) For this one, I used the Krylon Short Cuts in Gold Leaf (also from the evil store, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere) and and it was worlds easier to use. No mess-ups, perfect on the first try, and close enough to brass that if I make another one, I’ll definitely use this paint. If you’re looking for a ridiculously easy, super-impressive DIY, this is it.
Okay, I’ll admit it: the whiskey soda is not the most festive cocktail in the world. In fact, it’s kind of boring as fuck. But it’s still so wonderful in so many ways.
To start, the whiskey soda cocktail doesn’t require any measuring, and really, you don’t even need a recipe. Just put some whiskey and club soda over ice in whatever proportions you’d like, and you have a boozy, bubbly drink in less than 30 seconds. And speaking of those proportions, you can make it super strong (e.g. whiskey with a splash of soda) or when you’re super hungover, you can do what I do: club soda with a splash of whiskey.
You can add a lime wedge, a twist, or even a dash of Angostura bitters. Or nothing at all. And if you’re feeling frisky, that club soda can be your favorite flavor of La Croix. It may not play beautifully with the whiskey, depending what flavor you choose and what whiskey you’re using, but — come on — if you’re adding La Croix to your whiskey, do you really fucking care that much?
Plus, when you’re on a low-carb diet, like I’m supposed to be right now, the whiskey soda is a perfectly fine drink that has NO CARBS. Yes, I repeat, the whiskey soda cocktail has zero carbs. I still don’t understand how whiskey doesn’t have any damn carbs, but I’m not going to fight anybody about it.
Perhaps the best thing about a whiskey soda is that it’s a great way to drink shitty whiskey. While I am in no way advocating the regular consumption of bad booze, sometimes you’re out and about and the bar selection is less than desirable. That’s when you order a whiskey soda with a lime. Of course, if you’re making a whiskey soda cocktail at home, you should use something you like — maybe just don’t use your most expensive stuff.
WHISKEY SODA COCKTAIL
Whiskey (as much as you damn well please)
Soda (as much as you damn well please)
Fill an old-fashioned glass a handful of ice. Add whiskey, then club soda. Enjoy.
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If you have any friends in the bar or booze industries, chances are good your Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with images of a bright red cocktail the past few days. That’s because it’s fucking Negroni Week! But if you’re anything like me a few years ago, you’re all, “Cool, Negroni Week. But, wait, what is Negroni Week?”
Well, let me tell you: Founded by Imbibe Magazine and Campari (one of the three ingredients in the drink) in 2013, Negroni Week is a celebration of a great classic cocktail, as well as an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world. For seven days, participating bars mix up any old variation on the Negroni they please, then donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
The Negroni in its simplest form is quite easy: one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. And that simplicity is why people love making riffs on it. In fact, I was in the middle of playing around with adding adding some Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur to mine yesterday when I noticed a fellow Instagrammer beat me to it. So then I tried adding some ginger beer instead. And you know what? NOPE. Don’t do that. It was nasty as fuck.
In the end, I decided to stick to the classic, but add a few bubbles in the form of club soda. This is a good addition for Negroni newbies, too, since the drink is fairly bitter. And it’s really not a terrible idea to add something that’s not booze, considering the base recipe is just three different kinds of alcohol.
Even if you don’t make it out to a participating bar this week, you can still play along at home. Just mixi up this almost-classic version, then donate a few bucks to a cause close to your heart. (If you’re anything like me, there are a lot of those right now.)
Slightly Sparkling Negroni
1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Orange peel for garnish
Add the gin, vermouth, and Campari in equal parts to an old-fashioned glass. Add a handful of ice, stir well, top off with club soda, garnish with the orange peel and enjoy! (You can also just shake the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice, which is what I like to do, then top it off with club soda.)
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Sometimes I like to set goals for myself. While I’m bad at achieving the important ones (reach a healthy BMI by my 35th birthday, save some fucking money…ever), I’m apparently great at the not-so-important ones (start a random-ass greeting card company, learn how to make frose this summer). In fact, it’s not even officially summer yet and I already know how to make frosé, or frozen rosé. So one might even call me an overachiever.
Anyway, now that I’m a fucking frosé savant, the first thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that it takes all damn day. You won’t be slaving over a freezer or a blender or anything for all that time, but you definitely need to plan at least seven hours ahead. Or just start this shit before you go to bed.
That’s because before you can do anything else, the rosé needs to go in the freezer for four to six hours (the recipe I read said six, but I just cranked my freezer temp down to -6ºF and pulled it out at four). At some point — preferably during those four to six hours if you read the recipe beforehand like I did not — you should make a strawberry syrup, let it cool, and juice some lemons. Then you need to blend all that shit together, and if you still have time, freeze it some more and blend it one more time.
The second thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that other than the time commitment, it’s really pretty easy. For the most part, I followed this recipe from Bon Appétit, but added more strawberry syrup (er, all of it) cut the ice completely, and skipped over some of the freezing steps at the end. I’d already been at this shit all day and needed to take a photo while I still had some daylight.
The last thing I want to tell you about making frosé is that it’s really good and totally worth it. So you should try it. Here’s how.
How to Make Frosé
1 750 ml bottle rosé
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
2½ ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pour the rosé into a 13×9-inch metal or glass pan and freeze until it’s almost solid (it won’t get completely solid because booze), for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the strawberries and remove from the heat. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes then strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve (but don’t smush the strawberries to release more syrup). Put the syrup for at least 30 minutes or the freezer for at least 10.
Scrape the frozen rosé into a blender, then add the lemon juice and strawberry syrup. Purée until everything is incorporated. At this point, Bon Appétit says to put the blender pitcher in the freezer for at least another 25-30 minutes then blend again just before serving, but I don’t really think that’s necessary. But if you’re patient, it definitely won’t hurt the consistency.
Divide it among a few glasses and enjoy!
NOTES: In addition to 1 cup of ice in that final step, the Bon Appétit recipe calls for only 3½ ounces of the strawberry syrup. I just threw it all in there and I don’t think it was too sweet (and I hate super sweet stuff). It also says this recipes makes 4 to 6 servings and my mother-in-law and I each had one glass and then blender was magically empty. So…
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You know those people who get an idea and then all of a sudden they’re neck deep in something they have no experience or business doing? Well, I’m totally one of those people. Before I could really cook, I somehow managed to sell and write a cookbook (believe me, I wish I could have a do-over on that thing). And a couple weeks ago, after designing some stationery for a friend’s new business, I decided I wanted to have my own line of greeting cards. A few days later, I placed my first order for five designs. And if you’ve been following this blog for its entire two-and-a-half month life, you know they have some fucking bad words on them.
These cards fall into the category of “inappropriate greeting cards,” if such a category actually exists. But for me and my friends, I think they’re really fucking appropriate — especially the “this fucking sucks” sympathy card. Because you know what? Sometimes shit just really fucking sucks.
I’m really excited about these cards and I can’t wait to add to the line. For now, you get these. All five cards have a pretty little design on the front and they’re all blank inside. They’re printed in the United States on 14-point uncoated card stock and packaged with a coordinating envelope in a protective plastic sleeve. Cards are $5 each and I offer flat rate shipping for $2.50. Even better, if you order eight cards or more, shipping is free. So, by my math — which usually results in lots of debt — you save money by buying more cards.
If you don’t want to deal with shipping at all and live in Kansas City, you can pick them up at Unbakery and Juicery. And for you New Yorkers, I have a big order en route to WORD Bookstores for both their Brooklyn and Jersey City locations, so check in there soon!
The rest of you: check out your new favorite fucking greeting cards here. And don’t worry, I’m already working on the fucking holiday cards. And I promise there will be more inappropriate birthday cards soon, too.
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