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Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 | 3 comments

Easy DIY House Number Sign

Easy DIY House Number Sign

The numbers on our house were looking pretty rough. Not only was the sign ugly, the paint was chipping, the wood was split in places, and it was only loosely attached to the house. We needed something fresh and new to boost our curb appeal. To make a new sign I purchased/gathered the following supplies: A scrap of wood Saw Sandpaper White semi-gloss paint (I used the end of a can) Polyurethane House numbers Super glue Double-sided outdoor mounting tape Step 1: I cut the scrap wood to fit the height and width of our 4-digit house number, sanded the edges and painted the front and sides with white semi-gloss. Step 2: The next day, I applied some polyurethane to coat and seal the paint. Our entryway is covered so I wasn’t too worried about making the sign completely weather resistant. Step 3: I super glued the numbers onto the wood. Getting the numbers straight and spaced evenly was the tricky part since super glue dries quickly, but I...

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Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 | 0 comments

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

After last weekend’s donation drop off, the MV Big Flea storage facility at 444 Swann Ave. is busting with new merchandise! If you’re unfamiliar with the Flea, it’s an annual fundraiser for the Mount Vernon Community School. Volunteers collect unwanted furniture and household items and then resell them at a huge flea market at the Mt Vernon Rec Center on April 29. But you don’t have to wait until April 29 to snatch up the bargains. Just come to any of their donation drop offs (the next one is this Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to browse the inventory. Here’s a peek at the vast selection we saw last weekend. There’s a ton of furniture, household items, appliances, toys, sporting equipment, lighting and electronics, garden supplies, vintage treasures and more — this is just the beginning. See something you like? Come to the showroom this Saturday or contact mvbigfleadonations@gmail.com — tell them you saw some fab finds on DIY Del Ray! Here’s the final Flea...

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Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 | 1 comment

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

This past weekend, my family took a trip to a primitive cabin outside Shenandoah National Park, one of many cabins owned and operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). Despite really cold temperatures, we had a great time and enjoyed slow-cooked meals, games played by candlelight and peace and quiet away from cell phones, Internet and other modern distractions. We left Alexandria on Friday afternoon and hiked 1/2 mile up a steep trail to Morris Cabin. My kids had never been cabin camping (or camping at all for that matter) so I was a little nervous how they would handle it. Fortunately, as soon as they saw the cabin from the trail, they were instantly in awe and couldn’t wait to get inside. The cabin, built in 1927 by Wayman Morris, has four rooms: a kitchen/dining room, living room, separate bedroom and a sleeping loft. It’s primitive, meaning it has no electricity or running water, but it has everything you really need. Since it was so cold, we...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Register Now: Street Chalk Painting Workshop

Register Now: Street Chalk Painting Workshop

Last May, The Del Ray Montessori School hosted La Bella Strada, an Italian street art festival, where professional and amateur artists from around the area created chalk masterpieces up and down Mt. Vernon Ave. The event is a fundraiser for the school. This year, La Bella Strada will take place on May 13 and all are welcome to participate. For anyone unfamiliar with chalk as an art medium, La Bella Strada organizers have arranged a chalk art workshop on April 29 led by local artist Patrick Kirwin. You’ve probably seen artist Patrick’s work all over Del Ray. He painted the outdoor market scene on the side of VéloCity bicycle co-op, along with children from the Community Kids Club, a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School. And during the winter he painted several of the winter wonderland window scenes in shops along the Avenue. Last year, Patrick was also a featured artist at La Bella Strada, creating a magnificent hippo and a crocodile and...

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Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 | 0 comments

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our first ever in-house cooking class, How to Make Pastry Dough with Kremena Stefanova. Many of you know Kremena from around Del Ray — during the week you may see her at the Caboose Cafe and on the weekend at Four Mile Run Farmers Market (when in season). But for the class, she came to my house and demonstrated how to make dough for sweet and savory dishes for me and eight other attendees. The class was just as we had hoped — informative, fun and very tasty! Everyone got to sample all the dishes Kremena made while sipping wine. First, Kremena walked us through a standard quiche dough: 2 cups flour, 2 sticks cold butter, 5-6 T cold water, 1/2 t salt. Kremena usually mixes this by hand or with a pastry cutter, but today she used my Kitchenaid mixer. You can also use a food processor, but she says mixing by hand works just as well. After forming the dough,...

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