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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Party Time!

Today we celebrated birthdays for Wyatt, Grace, and Garett. The party had a Super Hero theme, as did many of the gifts. Spiderman, Transformers, and I'm sure you know this is Iron Man.

The twins turned 4 in January, and Wyatt will be 6 in March. That totals 14. Pay no attention to the 25 candles on the cake...By the time the gift opening was over, it looked like Christmas morning. Lucky kids.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remember the Old Adage...

that says when children are quiet, it's probably not a good thing? Why did I forget that?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today was Warm Sweater Wednesday, but no sweater was needed. Windows and doors were open and the fresh air was lovely.
Alas, the tease of Spring will be over by tomorrow when rain and snow are on the way...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The New Old Kitchen

Welcome to my 2nd "Met Monday"! Today I have some before and after photos of a little kitchen renovation we did last summer.
We live in a 12 year-old manufactured home, and over those 12 years I've painted over the patterned vinyl wallboard in every room. A couple of summers ago I finally did the kitchen. I must admit that the red was a bit out of both of our comfort zones, but we love it. I also replaced all of the door and drawer pulls, and Greg took down the ceiling light above the sink and put in a small pendant.
Last winter when we put in the wine and coffee centers, we chose the countertop with the red paint in mind, knowing we'd be replacing the laminate on the counters in the kitchen eventually, too. Last summer that project got underway. My honey is a very handy guy who can DIY pretty much every aspect of a small home renovation. This time he got to not only replace countertops, but also did a little electrical work and some plumbing. (We live in a tiny rural village that does not require licensed contractors for plumbing and electrical.)
We have a small galley kitchen. Here, I'm looking into the main kitchen area.
Here it is after Greg replaced the counter tops, changed out the rangehood, and put in the new faucet.
The fan over the stove had stopped working years ago, but Greg hadn't replaced it because the rangehood is an odd size, and he couldn't find one for a price we were willing to pay. Finally we found we could special order from Home Depot and the price was definitely affordable. Over the past 4 1/2 years we've changed out all of the appliances to stainless, so that's what we went with for the rangehood.
The gooseneck faucet is actually the third try for a kitchen faucet we've had in this house. I love it.
We also put in a garbage disposal - hadn't had one in this house. You can't really see it, but instead of a light switch on the wall, there is a little button for the disposal to the right of the sink, set in the countertop.
We planned to change out the sink, too, taking the double bowl out and putting in a single bowl. I did the measuring, and purchased the sink. Unfortunately I measured the top, not inside the cabinet, and the new sink was too wide. (Stupid manufactured homes have nothing that is standard measurements!) Fortunately we figured that out before Greg cut the hole for the sink. We just put the old one back in. (Yes, I could special order the correct size single bowl sink, but $600 is out of my budget...)
In this photo, Greg is removing the counter from the left side of the stove. You can see what the old wallboard looked like. No, I didn't paint inside my cabinets. If you look closely, you can also see the little jingle ball kitty toy on the floor. Not a safety hazard, was it?
Here's another view from the other end of the kitchen. See those plates on the wall at the far left? The bottom two are those tacky souvenir state plates that I spraypainted white. The top is from Avon and is a pale green, but light enough to go with the white ones.

This area is opposite the kitchen sink, next to the refrigerator. (The refrigerator that doubles as a bulletin board.)

And here it is after. Those canisters are actually antiques. I bought them at a garage sale several years ago for just a couple of dollars. They started out pale yellow, but all scratched up, so I spray painted them. The black is the third color they've been since I've had them.

Next summer's project will be the floor. I've picked out some black and white laminate, but Greg is dragging his feet. We'll see what we end up with. I'd also like to do something with the cabinets. The bottom doors and some of the drawer fronts have seen better days...
To see more metamorphases, head over to Between Naps on the Porch and check out the talent. You may be inspired to try a project of your own!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Furniture Re-do

This is my first Metamorphosis Monday post. To see more inspirational before and after projects, visit Between Naps on the Porch.
Several months ago I picked up this little dresser at the Goodwill store. I wasn't sure what I wanted it for, but for $11 dollars, something could be figured out. What I did figure out first thing, though, was the mint green paint color had to go. Oh, and the knobs. Those are the same style knobs that were on Grace's cupboard. They must've been quite popular in the 70's. It sat in the garage while I worked intermittently on Taylor's desk and Grace's cupboard. Another flat surface to stack stuff on top of.

Then it came to me that this would fit in the dining room and be a good place to store table linens, napkins and napkin rings, and doilies. It's big enough to store my few tablecloths and place mats, too.

It still sat. Procrastination should be an Olympic sport - I'd be first on the team...

One lovely Autumn day I started in with some stripper. There were several spots where the paint had peeled and left a glimpse of varnish underneath. I started with those.

Then it sat awhile longer.

On another nice Autumn day, I pulled it out onto the sidewalk and got out the hand sander. The stripping was slow and tedious. The sanding went quickly. Turns out there was a layer of white paint under the mint green, but no one had sanded the varnish, so the two layers of paint were coming off in big chunks. The hand sander took care of all paint and varnish and didn't take long to strip the piece completely.

Then it got put back in the garage and sat some more.

After the New Year, I promised myself I'd get those garage projects finished, even though the weather outside was frightful. The dresser came inside and I took my time cleaning it up and primed it with Zinsser Bin 1-2-3. Then a couple of coats of satin enamel, and I had my linen storage.

Then knobs are a brushed nickel finish. I was hoping for decorative glass, but couldn't bring myself to pay more for a couple of knobs than I did for the entire piece of furniture.

I may still do something more decorative to the drawer fronts. Perhaps some wooden embellishments or some decoupage, but for now I'm enjoying the simplicity.

The Birds Again

We had a big snowstorm on Friday that left us with those 40-hundred inches of snow. :o) Actually, I haven't heard the official totals, but my guess is we got 6-ish inches. I'm not going to complain, we could have had 10-12" according to weather forecasts.
I was fortunate to be able to come home shortly after the snow started. I got the birdfeeders filled as soon as I got home, before it got too bad. The birds emptied them by late afternoon, but by then the snow had stopped and Greg had scooped the sidewalks and decks, so I went out and filled the feeders again.
By early afternoon we had new guests at the party, our local cardinal couple. Cardinals are pretty skittish, and any time I approached the windows, they flew away. I finally was able to stand there long enough that the male came back to the feeder and I could get a photo.
Here we have a sweet little American Goldfinch. He was dipping his beak into the snow on the deck rail - I suspect for the moisture.
See how big and fluffy they make themselves when it's cold outside?

This house finch was drinking snow, too. There are probably more house finches than any other kind of bird to visit my feeders.

I haven't been able to get a picture of the dark-eyed juncos, and there are doves out there now, but they all scatter every time I get anywhere near the window.
Tucker has stopped whining and crying at the birds - he just lies there for hours watching them, twitching his tail.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Wishes

Wishing you all a day full of love!

My honey is going to pick up steaks and scallops and plans to grill our supper. We had 40-hundred inches of snow yesterday, so I don't know how he's going to get to the grill, but he's determined. Gotta love him. Well, I do. You don't have to. :o)
No other grand plans for the day besides puttering around the house and doing some scrapbooking. Unless Randy's kids show up for a little while. Then we'll play and maybe make some Valentines together. Either way it sounds like a good day to me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Warm Sweater Wednesday

It was a good day to have WSW here on the Great Plains. Temps were mid-40's and the sun shone, so I left the furnace set at 63 and it hasn't come on all day. That's a good thing, especially after the last gas bill...
Though temps have ranged from the mid-60's to mid-40's so far this week, I'll not get my hopes up for an early Spring. The snow, it is a-comin' for the weekend. Sigh.