DIY Snakeskin Picture Frame

DIY Snakeskin Picture Frame

My family loves to go out four wheeling, camping and hiking. Every once in awhile we stumble across a rattle snake and if we have time and resources we usually hunt the snake to eat later. (Don’t worry, we are legally hunting them!) Oh, and I cook the best snake. I’ll have to post the recipe the next time we get one.

We save the snakeskin as well, so far other family members haven taken home the skins and rattles, but this time because I skinned and gutted the snake I was the one to keep the snakeskin and rattle. I had the snakeskin pinned up to dry for the past six months and finally got around to making something with it. I couldn’t believe how paper-y and thin the snakeskin was after it had dried.

Easy Way to Dry Snakeskin: I didn’t have the right tanning materials, so I just sprayed olive oil onto the cardboard where the snakeskin was going and used thumb tacks to pin the snakeskin to the cardboard. I made sure that I stretched the skin out flat as I pinned it in place. I then sprayed more olive oil onto the skin itself and let it dry. It would probably have been dry after a few weeks but I was too lazy (and lacking ideas) to do anything with it then.

DIY Picture Frame: For the picture frame I used foam board and cut out a frame shape with a box knife. The cuts were fairly clean and easy with a straight-edge. They would have looked much nicer if my two year old wasn’t right there trying to ‘help’ the entire time. For the backing of the frame I used cardstock and just glued it on, and also attached the ribbon and the stand with glue. When I find a picture I love it will be glued in as well. Picture frames are usually hung on the wall or out of the way on a shelf so there is really no need for them to be too heavy duty.

Cutting Snakeskin for Picture FramePicture Frame Decoration: Decorating the picture frame was the fun part. I decorated it before I glued the back on. First I cut out the pieces of snakeskin and laid them out how I planned to place them. They cut very easily with a box knife, scissors or most any cutting tools would have worked just fine because of how thin the snakeskin was.

Mod Podge

Next the snakeskin needed to be glued down. I painted mod podge to the back of the snakeskin and to the foam picture frame and used that to glue all of the snakeskin down.

Lastly I pulled out the hot glue gun to glue down the rattle to the front of the picture frame and to add raffia to the sides to hide the foam board and add a little flair to the frame.

Finished Frame Standing

That’s all it took! My snakeskin frame was finished in a short period of time if you don’t count the drying time and the time it took me to try to chase off my little one from getting into my work space.

Check out these other Arizona-y Posts!
Toddler Outings in Arizona
The Unofficial Guide to Arizona Cacti
Arizona Valentine’s Day Cards

15 Minute Supper: Chicken Parmesan

Super Easy Chicken Parmesan #15MinuteSuppers

This is one of our favorite dinners, but I had forgotten about it until recently. At first I called it Redneck Chicken Parm, because I felt totally cheesy for making Chicken Parmesan with microwaved chicken patties. Now I realize that it’s just genius. And delicious. Plus, who can go wrong with a delicious meal in 15 minutes?

15 Minute Supper: Chicken Parmesan
Author: Monica
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Pasta
  • 4 Cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 5 Chicken Patties
  • Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook your noodles, just as you normally would. The noodles take the longest so start them first.
  2. In a separate pot start your spaghetti sauce. Add the tomato sauce and all of the spices, and let it cook until the noodles are ready.
  3. Heat up your chicken patties in the microwave. After they are mostly heated, pop them in the oven on broil for a minute or two for each side. This just helps make them a little crispy and much tastier!
  4. When everything is finished cooking, dish it and serve it with plenty of Parmesan on top!
  5. If you are storing leftovers afterwards, store the chicken separately so that it doesn’t get too soggy.

I used my new favorite spices for this recipe- the Gourmet Garden fresh herbs and spices, just like in my Burrito Mix Recipe. The giveaway has ended but for more information on the Gourmet Garden Herb and Spices check out that recipe and see why I love these spices.

Need more quick 15 minute recipe ideas? Check out these other great #15MinuteSuppers!

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15 Minute Suppers

BLOGGERS: Would you like to join us at #15MinuteSuppers? We’d love to have you! Please check out the 15 Minute Suppers website or ask to join the Facebook group (for bloggers) to participate on Fridays…we’d love to have you join us.

More of Our Family Dinner Ideas and 15 Minute Suppers:

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole
Italian Chicken Pasta
Burrito Mix

Random Ways I Love to Save Money

4 Different Ways to Save Money

I have been wanting to write about some of my random ways to save money, and this week’s Ask the Readers question over at Wisebread inspired me to finally get to writing about some of my favorite ways to save. I hope that these ideas help inspire others to save money in new ways!

As you are reading this remember that everyone’s level of thriftiness is different- where I don’t mind doing certain things to save money they may be way out of your comfort zone, just like many things are out of my comfort zone. (Have you seen that show on tv about cheapskates? I couldn’t do most of the things that they do to save money!)

Make What You Would Otherwise Buy-

This can be food, crafts or anything really. I do a little of both. It helps that I usually enjoy cooking and DIY crafts but many times you will realize how easy it is to do something that you could pay to be done instead. When you see something you want just ask yourself “Can I make that?” and see if it is a feasible way to save some money. I was totally thinking this after driving by the tamale stand last week, so I will probably be making tamales soon.

I joined the 15 Minute Suppers group where we post new dinner ideas on Fridays that take 15 Minutes or Less- the idea is to make something at home in the amount of time it would take to order delivery. Cooking these easy meals saves us money because instead we would be eating out way too often. I try to do the same with packing my husband lunches, but lately I have had way too hard of a time getting up in time to make him something. When I do make him lunches I will sometimes make him Homemade Lunchables or Homemade Chicken Snack Wraps– both things I can easily make at home for way less than what you would buy them for.

I also try to make all sorts of DIY projects at home. Check out some of my Best Tutorials to see what kinds of things you could make instead of buying. My latest DIY projects have been Jeep-related, but I need to get to making new carseat strap covers and fixing up a playmat for the new baby before he comes in a couple of weeks. For me the time and materials to make most of these things is way less than buying them new, plus they are personalized so many times I am more happy with them and less likely to buy replacements.

Water Bottles-

Reuse Water Bottles to Save MoneyReusable water bottles are nice, but they can also be expensive and a pain in the butt. Our compromise is to use bottled water and refill them a bunch of times before tossing them. I love the convenience of just being able to grab a cold water bottle whenever I want and being able to throw it away if I need to.  I don’t worry about losing it  or breaking it but at the same time we aren’t just thowing away money. I probably buy a case of water bottles once a month or less.

Be Lazy-

How to Stop ShoppingBe lazy at going shopping and wait to buy stuff. Don’t go straight to the store when you need something, wait a few days or so. You might realize you don’t need whatever it was in the first place. I have written about Ways to Stop Shopping but I’ve taken it to a whole new level- I am just lazy and haven’t wanted to take the time to go shopping for things we need, let alone things we don’t need. It has saved me money because by the time I actually do go to the store I realize that I have lived a few days or a few weeks without whatever was on my list and I probably don’t need it at all.

Hide the Paper Goods-

Paper Goods=Money Wasters They are easy to hide for special occasions though!
A basket is an easy way to store paper goods/fine china until they are pulled out for special occasions or a special lazy day!

We do have paper towels, paper plates and even *real* tissues but we don’t have them out where they are easy to access. I hide them from myself and my family mainly. Visitors are usually confused, some of my family even gets a little upset that I hide the paper towels. Hiding the paper towels, and paper plates and things makes you stop to think about how easy it is to grab a dish cloth instead of a paper towel or to wipe your nose on TP instead of more expensive tissues.

I love using our “fine china” aka paper plates because it saves me from doing dishes, but having them set out of the way keeps me from being lazy and grabbing them for every meal. Saving the paper goods are all little things but the savings really do add up. What are a couple more dirty dish rags or dirty dishes when you are already doing a load of wash anyway?

On the other side of things, when we get a bad cold I will bring out the nice tissues (I buy the expensive ones with lotion) for when your nose gets too raw. Otherwise my TP Tissue Box is out and works great. When my father or guests come over and ask for paper towels I don’t mind grabbing them from their hiding place and letting them use them. If anyone wants to use my “fine china” I am happy to bring it out. I just try to save everything for special occasions so that we aren’t constantly wasting money on paper goods every week.

These are just a few of the ways that I try to save money around the house. I figure that being a stay at home mom means that saving money is my job, and most of the time I am good at it. So tell me, am I going overboard with saving money or do you do any of these things too?

More Money Saving Ideas:

How to Stop Shopping (Curb Your Spending!)
Our Family Dinner Idea List
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves