Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Tiny Little Kitchen Trick = A Big Difference

This post is way off my beaten track but bear with me.

Have you ever spent untold time, energy and scouring pads trying to clean off the burnt on grease that stubbornly clings to your stove burners? If you have a self-cleaning oven, I've got a tip that will change all that. It was something I discovered after my own countless and futile attempts to clean my burners.

It occurred to me that burners are made to withstand the high and sustained heat of cooking, like an oven. I figured if the burners could withstand the heat of the oven, they could probably withstand the much higher heat of a self-cleaning cycle. Sure enough, the next time I set my oven to self clean, I placed the burners inside. Hours later when the cycle was over and the burners cooled to the touch, I sponged and rinsed them off and...VOILA!...clean burners. They actually looked like new again after all that accumulated schmutz (that's a technical term) was removed. One year I needed to have a repair made to the stove and I mentioned this to the repairman. He looked at me in surprise and said, "Wow, I'm gonna tell that to my customers."

You're welcome.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Revisiting Spring - Update

(Click on any picture to view a larger image. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the update.)

Original panels 2011
New panel 2016
Filigree butterflies adorn each corner.
One of several whimsical ladybugs.
About five years ago I created some simple floral panels as part of the spring decor for the Dorchester Senior Citizens Center. After years of use they were in need of some refurbishing so I decided to spruce them up. As usual, what started out as one thing turned into another and I didn't refurbish them at all. I decided to remake them. I kept all the same elements of the original panels -- a winding vine with flowers attached and butterflies flitting about -- but decided to make them really pop with color and texture. The updated version has larger flowers in clusters and leaves in vibrant colors. The butterflies are really fancy and are suspended off the face of the panel so they appear to be floating over it. I reused some of the flowers from the original panels and I even added little ladybugs for a touch of whimsy. I folded and manipulated the paper so the various elements had three dimensional depth and didn't lay flat against the background paper.
At 28 inches, the new panels are about two inches longer than the originals. This first prototype panel took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do. Now that it's completed, the other three should come together a lot more quickly.

As the days grow longer and the weather is turning slightly warmer, it won't be long before spring erupts in its annual display of color and sound. This year the Dorchester Senior Citizen Center will be ready to welcome her in style.

UPDATE (2.26.16)
Four Completed Panels
The new spring panels are complete! As you can see, they are much livelier than the original panels they were based on. It won't be long before they're mounted on the wall at the senior center. Spring soon come. Bring it!

Ballo ergo sum 
- Gitana, the Creative Diva