Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sad Story.....

Well, our home computer crashed last week.  I have no idea how many photos we lost.  Dave said that Picasa was backed up a few months ago, so at least I know that our daughter's existence will be saved:) I have not had the energy to figure out how to get photos on without my program, nor have I been elbow deep in projects....Mothering and wifing have been my full-time jobs.  It's amazing how much time a blog takes up, for me, that is.
So, the sad story is I have no idea when I will be back up and running. I don't plan to close down permanently....this may only be temporary.
So, thanks for visiting and leaving such wonderful and encouraging comments!!
Hopefully, I will "see" you soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kitchen Before and After

I'm joining in on the par-tay over at Thrifty Decor Chic!  I completely forgot about it so I am posting this late...should have done it last night, but falling asleep on the couch at 8 o'clock kind of got in the way of that:)
So, without further adieu....
The kitchen BEFORE:

I should mention, however, that I have no pictures of the before before of the cabinets.  I painted them this green with an antiqued finish in 2005.  Before that they were your standard tract home oak ugliness.  The finished product was the result of FOUR coats of paint....primer, paint, antiquing glaze, and a clear coat.  They WILL NOT be re-painted any time soon.  Thankfully, they look fabulous with the AFTER kitchen.

We also tiled the floor in 2005.  I am the resident grouter-extraordinaire.  Oh, the roosters!

For some reason I always ended up with too many colors....I wanted a more neutral, warm, rustic feel.  This is what we came up with.
The kitchen AFTER:

We basically changed the counter tops and backsplash.  We went with a maple butcher block that we were able to order through a local supplier, Charles McMurray Co.  They sell wholesale only, but my dad was able to order for us with through his business.  The tile on the backsplash is tumbled marble.  I loved the way each piece had striations of color.  We also added this "ledge", for lack of a better term, all the way around the kitchen.  Just wanted some interest in the design.
We added a new farmhouse sink and this little cutie....

Yes, our sink is a mere two steps away from the stove, but why not add a pot faucet when you can?

I decided to leave the butcher block unsealed so it would develop a rich patina over time.  I just fix spots and spills with a little 220 sandpaper and apply mineral oil (for food safety) every so often.

I will leave this post at the photos and, if you are interested, I may post the breakdown of what we did later.  We still need to get rid of the grody florescent lighting, but that another project for another year.... Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave any questions or comments or contact me via email.
Also shared with Between Naps on the Porch....

Special thanks to Lori for taking some of these AFTER photos for me!  For those of you visiting from Kimba's DIY Day, Dave did the tile work, counter tops, and installation of all appliances and sink and faucet.  I painted the cabinets and grouted and gave my opinion:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Awww, Shucks....You Shouldn't Have

PK over at Room Remix has nominated me for my very first Blog Award!!  Thank you, PK! You were one of my very first "unknown" followers! She linked to my Laundry Room Makeover for the nomination and I am blown away by all of the responses I received!  Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
The rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Soooo, here goes!
1. Dave was the first boy to reject me when I was 18 and he was 25. I got him in the end, though:)
2. I am impatient.
3. My first taste of interior design was working in a shop aptly named "Impatience's Collectique". I got the job by walking in and asking for it. First impressions are key! The owner and I have remained friends and she even hosted my baby shower in her fabulous home.
4. I am the youngest of three girls and  we all love to decorate.
5. Before I had my daughter, I worked as a Special Education Aide for 6 years.
6. I live across the street from my parents. No, we are not like Everybody Loves Raymond. We are just not that funny.
7. My first plane trip was to Utah in 2004 at the ripe old age of 26.

Now for the nominations (in no particular order)....drum roll, please.
1. cherrycheckers- she sews! and she's really funny
2. comfort & luxury- she gave me a great idea
3. Leen the Graphics Queen- she was my first "stranger" follower
4. Red Writing- she had a Link party all about food at Christmas, I mean c'mon
5. Norma Lee Good- she also thinks having a stylish door in the laundry room is worthwhile
6. Sweet Pickles and Chocolate!- she made a cozy addition to the kitchen
7. HouseCapated- "when all else fails, start blogging"...we share the same sentiment

Thanks again, PK!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transom, Transom on the Wall.....

I have a confession.  I wish my home had more of the "old" and less of the "new".  Since viewing Layla's "handsome transom"at the Lettered Cottage, I have been brainstorming ideas on how to get some old house appeal into our newer one.  Okay, so maybe it's not the true definition of a transom.  No natural light.  No cutting out the wall.  No caulking and painting.  No demolition took place in the installation of this window.  So, I guess there are some positives.:)

I purchased this window at a yard sale over 7 years ago.  Ain't she pretty?  At the time I thought it would look great hanging from the pergola.....problem was (is) that there was (is) no pergola.  So, it made it's way into the attic.  Since then, Dave has found his inner craftsman and can do amazing things with free wood.  He made the frame over a weekend and I knew it would be the perfect addition to the laundry room.  We brought it in and soon realized that it was not going to fit in the space.  Luckily, I found something that did.

Dave, always quick on his feet, suggested using it over the doorway to the office.  I had a salvaged piece of gate hanging there that I was attached to, so I wasn't crazy about the idea....until he brought it in and held it over the doorway.

Dave had to hold it up for the "before" photo....I am still not in the habit of taking those!
Doesn't it look right at home?  It fills the space perfectly and adds some great architectural detail to the room.
The only problem is....you miss the great detail of the window itself because of the red wall behind it.

The concensus around here is that I should paint the wall, an insert, the glass itself, something to highlight the detail.  Any ideas?  Suggestions?  Tips?  Have you done something like this before?

Check out other transformations at Met Monday with Between Naps on the Porch.  And transforamtions at The Shabby Chic Cottage!

You Had Me at Free......I Mean Pillow

I love me some pillows and Kathy over at Creative Home Expressions is giving one away!  All you need to do is leave her a comment  here to be entered to win.

This cutie is courtesy of AllModern.com and will look soooo good with my collection, don't you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

With Love, I Give Thee Drapes

My husband, Dave, works as a School Psychologist which means that every summer I get him home with me for 8 weeks....Every time he goes back to work, I cry.  It takes me two weeks to get used to him being around all the time and then two more weeks to adjust to his absence.
This past August, I was whining and complaining about needing wanting new fabric for the drapes in our living room.  I came home with the swatch I had gotten just that day and, lo and behold, it was the EXACT fabric I had envisioned for the room.  Dave feigned interest in my plight....as per usual.  I even showed him how they would coordinate PERFECTLY with the other fabric I planned on using for the Fall.

The coveted fabric...plaid in top photo
I stopped talking about it, kind of, and instead put all of my mental energy into how I could raise the funds needed to purchase said fabric.
A few days later, after a rough day of parenting and being sad and grumpy about his return to work, Dave surprised me with a gift.  As I got into bed that night, I pulled back the covers to find 6 BEAUTIFUL YARDS of the beloved fabric. I think he was hoping for the reaction Debra Barone gives Ray when he starts vacuuming the drapes.   
Debra: You are going to do the drapes?
Ray: No, silly, the Humm Vac is going to do the drapes. I'm just going to take the credit!
(Ray starts vacuuming the drapes)
Debra: I have never been more attracted to you in my entire life.
Instead, I cried.  
How is it possible to teach the lesson of not rewarding bad behavior when I received such a gift?  Thank God for Grace.  Thank God for Dave.  While I was treasuring and hoping the fabric would make me happy, it was the simple act of love and devotion on Dave's part that made me happy.  I was astonished that he picked out the right fabric and the right amount.  He was listening.  He does care about the stupid small things in my life that may not affect him, but definitely affect me.
So, while I write this, I am reminded of the husband who would buy me fabric because he knew it would make me happy.  And, I wonder, what am I doing for him that is seemingly insignificant to me but means the world to him?  I pray that I am showing him that he is the treasured thing in my life that I want to show and tell.

Have a wonderful weekend treasuring those in your life......
Shared with Cindy at My Romantic Home and Melissa at The Inspired Room.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Peas

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is having a recipe party!  I am a little late in getting this posted, but I thought I would share a new recipe tried just this week.  And, you may have noticed that I didn't use Fettuccine.....so, you can use whatever pasta you have on hand.
Cook 12 oz. of pasta according to package
Melt 1 TBSP. butter in pan. Add 1 shallot, diced and cook until soft.
Add 2/3 c. heavy cream to the pan. Next, add your 8 slices of prosciutto that has been cut into small pieces.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 TBSP Lemon juice and zest.  Stir in 1/2 c. Fresh Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pour mixture over your pasta and you're good to go!

This recipe was so quick and easy....Great for a weeknight meal.  Serve with a green salad and garlic bread...YUMMY!

Be sure to head on over to Rhoda's for a few more inspirational cooking ideas!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time's Up: Laundry Room Reveal

Can you believe the TWO WEEKS are up?  The time has flown by....and I have to admit, I am a little glad it's over.  My confession from this experience is that I LIED.  I actually don't like a deadline.  The only way I like a deadline is when everything goes my way.  Very realistic, don't you think?  So, even though I cursed and cried my way through this project, I am THRILLED with the results!
Just a reminder of what I started with......

Very drab, very boring back door.  Cluttered shelf practically disappearing into the wall...AND, the biggest crime of all....NO ACCESSORIES!!  How to change a boring door into one you LOVE: Add CHALKBOARD....and ask your very talented sister, Deanna, to paint sweet birds for you.

Deanna used acrylic craft paint to fill in the pencil drawing she did first.  I think it took her all of ten minutes.  Yes, it's ridiculous, really.  The girl's got talent.  After she painted, I distressed them with  fine sandpaper.  I love their faded look!

Then, if you're like me and don't go near the power tools, you ask your husband carpenter (AKA Dave) to install trim. 
And, of course, Dave will run into the garage and whip out his OWN trim from some random pieces of wood on the side of the house.  Hopefully, with any luck, you will end up with something like this....
 From DRAB to FAB!  This is probably my favorite addition being that I see this from the hall.  I LOVE how the trim changes the door and the black chalkboard against the cream.  (FYI: wall color MARTHA STEWART: Everyday Green, trim color MARTHA STEWART: Butter White)

The disappearing shelf came alive with a coat of flat black spray paint.  I had originally planned on re-painting the walls, but after doing the shelf in black, I decided the green walls looked perfect with it.  I added the #'s on the pegs with a paint pen.  Sweet bunny in his place of honor:)  The bottle was wrapped with jute, thanks to Sarah@ThriftyDecorChick.  I added a simple fleur de lis to coordinate with the art work I added on another wall.

I used a wood frame from the closet and applied more of the same flat black.  A little distressing and you've got yourself a new frame for your burlap work of ART.  The burlap was wrapped around the existing cardboard backing just like in the Fancy Pear project.  I used a stencil and colored in the design with a black SHARPIE....I know it's genius.  Unfortunately I can't take the credit for it and I can't thank the person who really is the genius.  So, if you know the blog where she made burlap place mats and used a SHARPIE, be sure to let me know!
This is the project that the glass broke just after I cleaned it up real nice and was trying to get it back in the frame.  Dave (God love him) said he liked it better with the texture of the burlap and blah, blah, blah....I have made my peace with it nevertheless.  I was thinking of taking it apart and adding cork board so I could use it as a memo board.  Any thoughts?

Candlestick revamped from the thrift store and painted flat black.  Dave tied these candles together and they were set out on our wedding night with many more.  I love having a touch of the sentimental....
Next up, the CABINETS.....
Now, if you recall, I was attempting to do the makeover  for next to nothing.  So, the first thing I did was take inventory of the supplies I had on hand.  I had two quarts of black paint; one semi-gloss and one satin.  Because I had painted my other cabinets with semi-gloss, that is what I chose to use for these.  IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BLACK FOR YOUR CABINETS, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING SATIN.  This is just my humble opinion.  The cabinets still turned out great, but the look I was after (not quite so shiny) would have been achieved better with a satin finish. 

The distressing turned out better than I could capture on film....the darn things are so shiny!!  It's okay...it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  And, don't get me wrong....You can't go wrong with black bead board.  Am I right or am I right?

Dave added bead board by cutting out the insert and nailing it to the back.  That way we preserved the design at the top.  This added instant character to builder-grade cabinets with very little effort on my part. (Looking beat down and pathetic usually does the trick...)
The window is a mistreated using just one yard of fabric.  Pastoral toile....so pretty.  I even have enough for two pillows on the couch as well.  I added another bamboo roman shade ( I have them in almost every other room of the house)  I really wanted to play up the rich browns and blacks against the pale color of the green.
I added a frame underneath the cabinets that was in the abyss of the guest room closet as well.  It was dark green and had a white matte.  I tea-stained the matte, added postcards given to us from my mother-in-law, and again hit the frame with paint.  The glass stayed intact:)

I love using items I already own....and it's even more meaningful when they are family memorabilia.  Most of the postcards had a postmark of 1915....To think they were just piled in the hope chest!  Now we I can appreciate them every time I do a load:)
Last, but not least, I was able to find the PERFECT rug and it was on clearance!  I know this could have been, like, 5 posts....So, if you stuck with me till the end THANK YOU!
It was a fun two weeks.  I may even sign myself up for another Procrastinator's Party......after I ask Dave, of course:)

Happy Loading!!
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