Friday, September 10, 2010

Slow Love Life

That's the name of  Dominique Browning's blog -- and I love this recent post of hers:

As for me, I got the wall boards for my kitchen stained last night, along with all of the trim and quarter round.  Whoooeee my house was stinky!  Now I am ready for either polyeurathane (more stink to come, for sure) and/or installation -- whichever scheduling allows to come next. 

I am rapidly nearing the stage where I need to make a decision on shelving.  My dinner plates are 11 inches wide, so if my shelves are going to be flush up against the wall, they will need to be 12 inches wide.  If they are set out a little from the wall, then 11 inch shelves will work.  I also want shelving that is thicker than the usual 1/2 shelves.  I think they need to look more robust than that for the right look.  Home Depot, Lowe's and The Container Store have white melamine shelving, but I believe only 1/2 thick.  I think IKEA has 3/4" shelving, but it's hard to tell on their website; you have to plow through so many teeny tiny images to find what you want!  I may force myself to do a road trip up there this weekend.  (Waaay outside my 5 mile bubble...) 

I have out of town guests coming 9/22, so the pressure is on!  I'm best under a deadline though...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ohhhh Hermine!

This will shock you, but I think I may have to start a new project:  Building an ark. 

I got eight -- EIGHT -- weather-related emails overnight from the National Weather Service.  Oy!  Apparently they weren't anything life threatening, (which is good since I slept through their buzzing on my phone) because I awakened this morning all snug and dry in my bed.  No surprise here, but all I want to do is hang out somewhere on a covered patio or porch (not mine, because mine is very wet!) and watch the rain.  It's just divine!  My rain gauge tops out at 5" and when I left for work today it was nearly overflowing.  That is since yesterday morning... and it's supposed to rain all day today.  Speaking of work, I chose what to wear today by what shoes I have with the thickest soles... Makes me happy.  Makes me want more rain barrels -- as if 210 gallons isn't enough -- but makes me happy.

I got the 2 largest of my dining room walls painted yesterday afternoon and evening.  With the wall texture, and the paint color, my walls look EXACTLY like a pan of my mother's brownies.  Strange, yes, but true.  Honestly, it made me crave brownies.  Her brownies.  And, I happen to know that last week she baked a double batch because 3 of my sisters were going to be home over this past weekend.  Lucky dogs.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Project Updates, II

I don't have any photos yet, but I did a little butterfly garden update this weekend.  I decided my parsley plant and my butterfly bush were past their prime and needed to come out.  They were 2 of my tallest plants (my parsley at one point this year was over 5 feet tall!) and couple that with the fennel plant that I took out a few weeks ago and you have a butterfly garden that had some major open spaces in it.

I finally let myself go to Redenta's Garden  ( for the first time in months -- SO FUN -- and picked up a few replacement plants.  Their selection this time of year wasn't over the top, but they did have a few things I liked.  One plant I've never had before -- it's called Lion's Ear.  Supposedly it blooms blossoms that are creamy white and apricot color that smell like honey.  I also got two butterfly weed plants that looked sort of sad but Carol at Redenta's said they would revive.  I got three little ground cover plants that have tiny fragrant yellow blossoms on them (can't recall the name) and two larger groundcover plants that bloom a purple-y blue.  (Also can't remember its name!)  I'll get names and photos posted when the rain relents.

I also bought 20 bags of cedar mulch (yes, I swapped vehicles with Red!) to spiff up my front and back beds.  It smells divine.  I had hoped to get them cut open and spread before the rain came, but I ran out of time.

Last week I had brought home a ton of paint color sample cards.  My neighbor helped me choose one, and it's called Clove, and it's by Martha Stewart.  I tried to find an eco-friendly no VO2 paint in a similar color but was unsuccessful, so I guess when I paint it is going to stink.  I hope to start taping and painting this week.  It is a bold color, but I think it will work in there; there is a lot of light.  Plus, I do want my dining room to be sort of cozy.  I think it will look great with the chandelier, too.

Kitchen Project Update

With Red's help two days this weekend (8 hours on Monday!) we made great progress on my kitchen cabinet project!  It's looking sort of cabin-y isn't it?   Having once thought I would build a log cabin, I like the look!

The walls are down the the lath:  behind the wood is hollow wall (uh huh -- you know where you might usually find oh, say, INSULATION) and then it's my exterior brick!  The wood look convinced me that I want the final look to be very similar to this.  The wood is a warmer look than a totally white wall, and it will tie in well with the woodwork on the other side of the room.

We decided to take down that awful white and lemon yellow tile that was the back splash.  And that that lead to continuing around the corner to the door.  We managed to remove all of the backsplash tile without breaking any of the countertop tile - yay us!  During tile demolition I found a penny -- I was very excited (of course I was) thinking that maybe during the 1929 construction, someone dropped it there intentionally for good luck. But no. It's from 1979. Borrring! LOL

We also noted that the ceiling had a cabinet plank attached there... and when that came down the ceiling in that area is without drywall and texture.  We've decided to wrap the new call covering up and onto the first foot of ceiling above the shelves.  I think that will look fine, and then we don't have to sheetrock and texture a 12 inch area for 8 feet over our heads.

The decision of what to have on the walls as a final product took me quite a bit of hemming and hawing.  I considered cork and bamboo -- both beautiful but about $150 and one (both?) of them were special order and a 7 day delay time.  Then I wanted OSB with the random woods splintered and pressed, but the oh-so-helpful factory now prints horizontal lines on them for ease of construction.  I considered trying to sand them off, but in the end was convinced it would be too much sanding.  I also considered, on a neighbor's suggestion, a sheet of faux brick.  I was tempted by that, but ultimately wanted a lighter color than that.  I was scared of dark red brick! 

My final decision is rough cut plywood, in the 3/4" thickness.  Using that thickness relieves us of having to put up a layer of sheetrock behind the final material.  the 3/4" is about the same thickness as the existing sheetrock that we need to match up with.  And, the plywood is roughly $21 a piece and I needed 3 pieces.  That's a pretty cheap makeover.

So where we are now is this:  All of the wall boards and the two ceiling pieces are cut and they are ready to install.  I have them propped up all over my kitchen because we are getting a lot of rain all week this week due to tropical storm Hermine in the gulf...  We selected a stain color (similar to what you see in the photo,) and I need to stain them, and polyeurathane them.  I chose a semi-gloss poly.

We also got a new piece of butcher block wood to put on the far left there on top of that open cabinet; before it was just a narrow piece on top of the lower cabinet because of the upper cabinet that stuck out; now I can have a full 24" x 24" piece there!  It's feeling all really nice and open -- I am pleased.

Also remaining is to paint the bottom cabinets white.  I think that will also make a huge visual difference.  I guess I will keep the existing hardware -- it isn't offensive and hardware is spendy.  I need to decide if i am going to cut out the center of the cabinet doors and put in a decorative center or not...

I need to make the final decision on where I am getting the shelving and shelving spacing -- once I do that the shelving will go up very fast.  I am really pleased that I will have new room to put up my magnetic knife strip -- I love that thing and there has been no room in this kitchen to install it!  And I may leave a space for my three-tier wire produce basket;I haven't totally decided on that yet.  I will have to measure some glasses and vases for height, to figure out shelf spacing.  I measured a dinner plate for width, and I think my shelves will be 12" wide.

It's coming along!  I am a little stiff today, though...