February 2012 - Dimples and Tangles

Dining Room Decision...Help!

Happy Leap Day!!

Isn't this just the coolest little extra day?  My favorite memory of Leap Day is from when I was little, too young to be in school.  Our next door neighbors were like our grandparents, and Mr. McClain took my sister and me in his old black pickup truck to McDonald's for $0.29 french fries that day.  Isn't it funny the things that stick in your mind?

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend and college roomie Julie today!  She's 10!!! (really 40!!)  She's the only leap day baby I know, and we always got a kick 
out of her birthday in school.  Happy Birthday Jules!

I wanted to do a fun Leap Day design related post today, but came up with nothing.  
So, I have a dilemma for you to weigh in on instead.

My dining room re-do hangs in the back of my mind every day...it's slowly coming along.  I've been searching for a new china cabinet to go on the one wall in that room .  I love a classic style-to be painted most likely-to mix with the other pieces I'm using.

Here's my dilemma: most older china cabinets are fairly short and I'm not sure it works with my high ceilings.  These older china cabinets are my favorite, but they're just not very tall.  Could I get away with just putting something on top of it to add some height?

Here's a little peek of the wall and a rough estimate with tape of the size of a cabinet I'm considering.

Excuse the poor quality of the photo, I'm still trying to work with a broken camera.  
But, you can see my new chairs!  Those are the only thing that is done so far!  That table's not staying there, probably not the drapes, etc., etc., etc.!
 I have 10' ceilings, and this cabinet is 76" tall.   I feel like it might be too short, but know that any older piece I consider will probably be about the same size.



How to Add a Little Bit of Cute to Your Kitchen

Actually, this project is so simple it doesn't need a "how-to". But, here's what I did:

1.  Find some cute towels on clearance at Target.

2.  Add a monogram.  Find a friend with a fancy sewing machine 
who will work for Sonic drinks. {Thanks Pam! :) }

3.  Add some ribbon and trim.

4.  Display in your kitchen!  

I've never really kept towels hanging on the dishwasher and oven handles before, but since adding the stainless appliances I think it will be helpful in keeping those smudges at bay.

An easy project if you have 10 minutes to spare-it may not have even taken that long!


My House Smells Really Good!

Do you buy grocery store flowers?

One of our local stores had a floral coupon I couldn't resist last week.  And, even though it took 3 different stores to find one with a decent fresh selection, 
I came out with an armload.  

Ray is even convinced that he knows just which grocery store has the best flowers and the best selection.  That's just fine with me...more bang for your buck and I'd rather stick them in a vase myself, anyway.

I love stargazer lilies.  Just about the time one dies off, another is ready to burst open and show off it's brilliant colors.  

I've enjoyed these as a reminder that Spring is just around the corner!

P.S.-  I dropped my camera-on the brick kitchen floor!-right in the middle of taking these pics.  I didn't take my friend Sumer's advice to USE THE NECK STRAP every time you pick up your camera!  As far as I can tell we just lost the LCD screen, which we have already replaced once before so it shouldn't be too complicated (or expensive) of a fix.  
Little blessings!


Our Kitchen {The Details}

Let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start...
Photo via MLS listing
About 2 months after moving in, I stripped all of the wallpaper.  

(Tip-warm water in a spray bottle with a few drops of Dawn original dish soap is the best I've found to remove wallpaper.  Spray thoroughly, wait about 20 minutes, and start peeling.  If your paper doesn't come off easily or completely, respray and wait a little longer.  Usually if I had a problem I either didn't get it wet enough or didn't wait long enough.  Still, stripping wallpaper is the worst job ever!

I textured and painted the walls.  We also changed out the sink faucet around that time and switched out hardware, but no other major changes until about 3 years later.

Sometimes you just have to live in a space for a while and figure out what works and what doesn't.  I loved the island in the kitchen, and because of the layout, I did 95% of my work there.  On about 24" of counter space.  I really thought about the idea of enlarging the island.  There was tons of unused space at the end of the island, but the bar counter angled in towards the center of the kitchen.  If we lengthened the island, there would have been mere inches between the edge of the island and the corner of the angled cabinet.

Photo via MLS listing

I consulted my dad and a friend about what would be involved in slicing the sink counter where it started to angle and  making the angle wider.  They both seemed to think that wouldn't be too difficult.  A meeting with a contractor (didn't want to do this big of a project ourselves...we're not that good!) confirmed that this would be a relatively simple and inexpensive project, so enlarging the island was a go!  We had already planned to get new counter tops, so the timing was right to just do everything at once.   

Here you can see the footprint of where the cabinet base used to sit, and how much we swung it out.  Providentially there were exactly 
enough tiles found in the garage to patch the spot.

Here is the island with one end torn apart.  The plan was to add another 2 foot section to the end, where I had them install two pull-out drawers.

We added one big cabinet door to those pull-outs and that is where I keep my toaster oven and mixing bowls.  Very handy.  The workers had removed the end panel and trim molding, so they just replaced it after the additional section was completed.

For all of my cabinet painting, I've used the Behr paint with primer in it from Home Depot.  I didn't sand, just cleaned with TSP beforehand.  We removed all of the doors and drawers and laid them outside.  They were all painted with a foam roller and a brush for the corners.  I painted the fronts and backs of the doors but did not paint 
the insides of the cabinets.

Finished!  That entire right panel is the new section added, so you can see how much empty space there was before.

I added glass knobs and pulls here for a bit of sparkle and to lighten things a bit.

There was an opening left when we widened the angle, which they patched and I added some moulding afterwards to cover some seams.  If we would have thought a little more before hand we probably could have added another tall skinny door there or something, but didn't realize that there would be that big of a empty spot created.  Oh well, live and learn.

The white color was "Cottage White" by Behr with a glaze over it.  I sprayed (aack!) polyurethane over the glaze which set and sealed it quickly.  I've read that the spray poly that I used may have a tendency to yellow over time, but we'll see.  I believe you can just glaze and put nothing on top of it, but it takes forever to dry and cure.

My hardware was fairly new and I still liked it, but it was an antique-brass.  I spray painted all of the knobs and pulls with Rustoleum's Oil-Rubbed Bronze (ORB).  It has a really pretty slightly sparkly finish.  The paint has held up well in the 1 1/2  years since we've done this, although I have noticed a knick on 1 pull that I need to touch up.  

I purchased an in-stock sink from Home Depot.  One bowl is slightly bigger than the other, and that larger side is HUGE and DEEP.  Love it.  Only drawback-I can pile way too many dishes in there before they make it to the dishwasher!  It's a composite granite sink and I've been very pleased with it.  I've always had a white cast iron sink before, and this one really resists markings and is easy to clean.  

The kitchen was already wired for fluorescent under cabinet lighting, but Ray took those down and installed halogen spots that we found at Home Depot.  He also put them on a dimmer switch and the glow is nice and warm.  We used these little boxes to contain all of the cords.  I intended to paint the cords the color of the cabs, but just realized seeing these pictures that I forgot.  We never see them-out of sight out of mind!

The pantry doors were large and plain, so I bought some trim that matched what was on the rest of our interior doors and added those boxes before painting the doors.  I also sprayed those knobs with the ORB paint.

We already had done some backsplash work that I'll talk about in another post, but these are the tin-looking tiles that are really plastic that you can purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot.  They are also spray-painted in ORB.  We re-used them for now but may do something different for the backsplash in the future.  

So, that's about it!  Way more information than I'm sure you wanted.  But, if there's anything I didn't address that you want to know feel free to 
leave a question in the comments.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick



Hey!  I haven't finished the kitchen details post yet, it's going to be a long one but I'm still working on it.  I got distracted by my favorite sale of the year at Dillards- 75% off plus another 40% off!

I was on the fence about these, but seriously?  
I could not walk away and leave them there.
 I'm going to need a pedicure.

I think I can wear these with the cuff in or out:

A little bling:

And a new purse for spring:
It looks red in the photo but is really a shrimpy-coral color.  This is one of my favorite moderately priced brands-Big Buddha.

Back to work- I WILL show you the rest of the kitchen next!

Our Kitchen

I'm working to add more to the "Our Home" tab on my home page, and today I wanted to share our kitchen with you.  I'm not going to say much, just show pictures.  In another post I'll tell you about the changes we made and give you all of the details.  
Alright...get your scrolling finger ready...

 And, here's a few before and afters taken from similar angles.  The before photos were from the MLS when the house was listed and show the previous owner's items.

Ahhh, the power of paint (and granite, and new appliances ;-).

Go here to see the remodel pictures and read about the changes we made.

Linking up with Crafty Texas Girls,


Tag...I'm It!

OK, I was tagged by Lisa at Shine Your Light in a little Q&A going around.  I've enjoyed reading this post on other's blogs and getting to know them a little better, 
so I figured I'd join in the fun!

1.  What's your favorite place in the United States?
My family has been visiting the mountains in New Mexico since I was 12 years old.  
From the first sighting of a far off mountain peak, I know it is time to relax and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

2.  Where would you love to visit that you've never been before?

So many places!  Canada, Hawaii, Europe, a tropical island...I'm not very well-traveled so there are a ton of options!

3.  Favorite song you're loving right now?
"Everything" by Michael Buble, "Hold Me" by Jamie Grace & tobyMac, "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band, "Toothbrush" by Brad Paisley-love the lyrics.

4.  Good book recommendation?
There are so many I love, but I'm kind-of a Christian Fiction junkie.  The Mitford Series by Jan Karon, anything by Terri Blackstock or Dee Henderson, the Anne of Green Gables series.  I want to read the Hunger Games.

5.  What's your best quality?
I am very calm.  It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers.

6.  What is something about yourself you'd like to change?
I tend to procrastinate on way too many things, and I'm not very good at small talk.

7.  What is the number one thing you hope to accomplish in 2012?
As far as house goals go, it's a tie.  
My dining room and my master bedroom MUST be done soon!

8.  What is your favorite project that you've ever accomplished?
I don't know if it's my favorite EVER, but I'm still really loving my daughter's room re-do.

9.  What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Really, so many people are kind to my family on a weekly basis in one way or another.  
It makes me feel like I need to be doing way more for others!
10.  Favorite kitchen or home improvement tool?
Right now I'm loving my huge 12" cast iron skillet that I got for Christmas.  

11.  What do you enjoy about blogging?  
The incredibly supportive community, the opportunity to share tips and creative projects, and all of the fun, extremely talented people I've met!  Mostly I feel like I have learned so much more from other bloggers than I could ever contribute myself.  

I'm passing the game along to these amazing bloggers...go visit them if you don't know them! (I know, I'm bossy, but do it anyway!)

Kristin at The Hunted Interior
Shelli at Alamode
Debbie at La*tee*da*kids
Cassie at Hi Sugarplum!
Laura at Finding Home
Samantha at Crafty Texas Girls

What was your first job?
What's your favorite kind of ice cream?
What is the one chore you would never do if you could get away with it?
What's your favorite book?
Would you rather spend a weekend a) at the beach b) in the mountains or c) at home alone with no agenda?
Who is 1 person living or dead that you would like to sit down and interview?
What is your favorite beauty product?
What do people compliment you on the most?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
If you could live in another time period, when would it be?
What blog do you love that you want others to know about?

**You must post the rules
**Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you; then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
**Tag 11 people and link them in your post
**Let them know you have tagged them


Botanical Gallery Wall

Several of you guessed my latest project correctly!  
I used my new botanical book  for a fabulous gallery wall in the kitchen.  

The pages are just about 9x11" and sweet Emily Clark tipped me off to some great budget-friendly frames at Michael's.  They are 11x14" and come in a 2-pack for $7.99.  I used a coupon and ended up getting each frame for about $3. Even though they are plastic frames, I think they look relatively high end, and the backs were super quick and easy to remove and put back together.

To remove the pages cleanly from the book, I used an X-Acto knife to cut the page while holding the spine open as far as possible.  Once the page was out I used my scrapbooking paper trimmer to clean up the cut edge a bit.  

Before framing the prints I spread them all out on the floor and worked with them until I found an arrangement that I liked.  Then, I took pictures so I would remember the order to put them in when ready to hang them on the wall.

The pictures are mounted on a piece of white poster board...easy peasy!    

The hardest part of the project was marking the wall, but even that was simpler than I thought it would be.  It just involved some persistent work with a tape measure and my trusty laser level.  I used two nails close to the top corners of each picture so they wouldn't get crooked on the wall every time the kids slam the back door.  ;-)

I'm really loving the cleaner-but dramatic-look on this wall. As a reminder, here it was a few weeks ago:

and here it is today:

I hope your weekend is fun and productive!  There's a pillow-making fest going on here, and, I'm behind on some e-mails.  Promise I'll catch up this weekend!

Linking up with: Remodelaholic, Homemaker on a DimeCrafty Texas GirlsSavvy Southern StyleIt's OverflowingSouthern LovelyThe Shabby NestShine Your LightTatertots and JelloClassy ClutterThrifty Decor Chick

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