Canvas Photo Art

Have you ever seen those beautiful canvas photographs?  I had some amazing close up shots of my dog and cat that I wanted do have done that way but WOW is it expensive.  So I decided to give it a try and make my own canvas art.

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I used the following materials:

8×10 canvas

8×10 picture

Acrylic craft paint, flat black

Mod Podge

Foam brush

Picture hanger

First I determined what size canvas would be available to the size of the photo that I wanted.  Then I ordered the photo’s ( I order all my pictures on-line and have them delivered to my house!).  While I was waiting for the photo’s to be delivered, I worked on the canvas.  I purchased the extra deep canvas and painted the sides with the black paint.

DSC_0029This is Jack.

Then when the photo’s arrived, they needed to be trimmed ever so slightly to fit on the canvas.  You can figure this out by laying the photo on the canvas and either determine by eyeballing the excess OR using a ruler and measuring precisely.  I don’t recommend laying the canvas on the picture and cutting it by using the canvas as your guide, you can ruin and scratch the canvas.

I used a ruler and an X-acto knife to get a straight and even cut on the photo, and I made the cut on the back side of the picture.  Make sure you lay the photo on a surface that you can use the knife on.

I used a foam brush to smooth on the Mod Podge on the top of the canvas, I tried not to let it go over the  edge of the canvas.  And I made sure I had enough glue to adhere the photo but not so much that it would damage the picture or  leak out of the sides.  Then I placed the photo on the canvas and slid it into place while the glue was still wet.  I used a piece of thin clean cardboard to lay over the picture so that I could smooth it over (and not get finger prints on the picture) and to make sure it was pressed firmly on the canvas without damaging the picture. However, I would ask that you remove the cardboard while the glue dries,  you won’t want the cardboard to dry to the picture!!   And again, I didn’t press down on the cardboard, I really just wanted to make sure there were no bubbles.  If any glue does come out from under the picture, wipe it away as soon as you can, before it dries.

DSC_0027  This is Gibson.

Then I just left it dry for a day.  After it was dry I attached a hook on the back to hang it on the wall.

And that’s it!!!

This is Charlie, my daughters kitty.  I surprised her with the canvas.

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Grandma’s Chocolate Sauce

My Grandmother used to make my brother and I this chocolate sauce for our ice cream…..  and trust me, she always had ice cream!  She also made it for my kids as well, my oldest son still raves about it.

Chocolate sauce (1)

Like I mentioned before in earlier posts, my Mom was raised on a farm, they were a poor family.  They made do with what they had, lived within their means (unlike most folks today) and were Pennsylvania Dutch.

I watched her make this chocolate sauce many times, she never measured her ingredients.  Must be where I get it from!  And, she only had three ingredients for this sauce, milk, cocoa and sugar.  It was sort of a glorified hot cocoa drink that was instead used for an ice cream sauce.

Chocolate sauce (3)

And since that is usually the only way I make hot cocoa for myself, I needed to try to make this sauce a little differently.  So, in honor of my Grandma I will still use two of her basic ingredients.  I really don’t want to change it too much so I’m going to just “enhance” her recipe.  I’ll be using some squares of chocolate to make it more rich and I’ll be using sweetened condensed milk to thicken it and replace the sugar.  Back in her day, they only had one kind of cocoa powder , not the dark chocolate that I prefer.  I really love using the Dark cocoa when I bake and I decided to give it a try in this sauce and I LOVE it!!

I melted 2 squares of a good unsweetened chocolate and butter in a glass bowl that sits over a pan of simmering water.  When that is completely melted I poured in sweetened condensed milk and blended it well.  I have a little hand whisk for sauces and gravies, it is my favorite kitchen tool!

Then I slowly drizzled in milk (about a tablespoon at a time) and the dark cocoa powder.  And that’s it!  The sweetened milk is sweet enough, so there is no need to add additional sugar (sorry Grandma!), and it also makes it just a tad bit thicker.

Chocolate sauce (4)

Store the sauce in a covered container in the fridge, IF you have any leftover!!  It makes about one cup of sauce.

Here’s the recipe:

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1 T butter

½ cup plus 1 T sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup milk (measured by tablespoon at a time)

1 T dark cocoa

With a double boiler or a glass bowl sitting over a pan of water set to simmer, melt the 2 squares of chocolate and the butter.  When completely melted, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir gently to blend.  Once the chocolate mixture is heated, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to desired thickness.  When the chocolate sauce is heated again, blend in the dark cocoa and stir until blended well.  Cool the unused sauce and keep in the fridge.