Gallery 512 Boutique

Modern and affordable clothing, accessories and furnishings…


“Spring” in Northern Minnesota

As I write this post I look longing out my bay window at my garden, which is currently only visible by about a foot of fencing that has not been completely swallowed up by our record snow fall this “spring.” I should be used to it by now, I’ve lived in Northern Minnesota, Duluth to be exact, for over ten years now, but as a transplant I still foolishly believe that “spring” will mean budding trees and new growth greens, silly me! Okay so enough belly aching, onto the reason for this post.

To help me look to greener pasture ahead, I always start my tomato plants from seed in February. Tomatoes are my favorite plants to grow because of their utility for canning and preserving. Modern day homesteading is a passion of mine, and nothing gives me more pleasure than canning the finished product in September that I have begun indoors in February.

I have had many requests from family and friends for my tomato sauce recipe which my family uses universally for spaghetti, lasagna, pizza sauce and marinara. Below is the recipe that I got from my mother in law that was given to her from a friend whose family immigrated from Italy. The recipe was written for canned tomatoes, I use garden fresh so conversion can sometimes be a little tricky but I just guesstimate. I use a combination of different tomatoes for a full bodied flavor but my favorite types for sauce and salsas are the roma tomato as they are meatier with less water content. Other types may have to cook down a little longer, but no worries, it is always worth it in the end! Last year I grew black tomatoes for the first time and really appreciated their smokier flavor in the sauces.

Okay here is the homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, it calls for 2 large cans of whole tomatoes but I use fresh, which for his last batch was a mixture of roma and beefsteak tomatoes so I just kind of eyeball how much I think two large cans would be.  Even when using fresh tomatoes I still use the tomato paste in a can though because it makes it less watery.  Okay here you go, hope you enjoy it as much as we do and maybe even can and freeze it for all year long.  Apologies for picture quality, at the time I took it, I wasn’t intending to share it with anyone other than my mom and sisters:)  ~Mic


*1st sauté the onion and 2 cans tomato paste in the olive oil for a few minutes.  Then I use the food processor to puree the tomatoes and throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer for about an hour or so.  Let me know if you have any questions and how you liked it!

1/2 chopped onion

2 large cans whole tomatoes

2 small cans tomato paste

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 1/2 tea. salt

2 1/2 tea. pepper

2 tbls grate romano parm cheese ( I don’t add this if I don’t have it and still fine)

2 tabls olive oil

2 tea parsley

2 tea basil (fresh if you have it)

4 tea. oregano

4 bay leaves

2 tea. italian seasoning

1/4 red pepper ( I don’t always use this)

sugar ( to your taste)

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Sneak-ish Peek

On Saturday, Jess and I discovered a trove of treasures (which have now consumed my garage, or at least until Kyle returns home soon), and one of the many finds was this chair turned foot stool.  I’ve had an incredibly busy week at work and have slowly upcycled it in my “spare time” — once it’s all said and done, it will accompany my next ‘desk into vanity project’ so I’ll no longer sit on a dinning room chair to do my make up.  I’m hoping to put the final touches on it this weekend, including reupholstering the seat and adding brass or gold nail heads >> D.


Here it is, Hot off the lot (i.e. Garage Sale):


After sanding the fine groves, my fingers were stiff but well enough to capture a progress photo:


Here’s where I struggled… to paint or stain?

I went w/ stain as I can always go back and paint, and So far I’m happy with my decision to stain (however, knowing how impulsive/indecisive I am, in the end I may just paint if I don’t feel that the fabric is receiving the attention it needs up against the dark stain)…


so far, so good… I’ll post my final before and an actual After once it’s all said and done, soon!! 🙂

>> D.


My work in progress….

Recognize these frames from my shopping trip this past weekend?




I fell in love with the texture on these and knew that they would look awesome painted.




I’ve been searching for the perfect frame to use as a jewelry hanger and I think this just may be the one! So far I’ve painted it with Annie Sloan’s Granite paint and used the dark antique wax on it and I’m loving the results so far! Here is a peek at where I’m at with this project right now….




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Successful shopping trip!

Danielle and I went for a little retail therapy shopping trip on Saturday and I’d say it was a success! We are so lucky to have two amazing (and patient) parents who drove both of their vehicles on over to help us haul it all home! Here is a picture of my finds (which includes 3 frames, 2 dressers and an end table). I’ve got so many ideas – I can’t wait to get started!! ~Jess