Sunday, August 13, 2017

Updates in the Kitchen

Friends, it's been so long since I blogged!  My apologies.  No excuses here....just life.  We are winding down summer vacation before homeschool begins again, so of course I'm attempting to squeeze in multiple house projects while I have the time.
I'm working my way through a project list, and the kitchen is my current focus.
You may recall the kitchen from previous blog posts and a feature in Romantic Country magazine.  I think this photo from Mark Lohmann is one of my favorites:



This area of the kitchen hasn't changed much, but I am trying to sell the chairs (and a bistro table) on craigslist, while looking for a primitive wood bench to use for seating.

I haven't ever shared the stove area of our kitchen before, because, well, it's boring.
As you can see below, there was an original narrow built-in at the wall which I believe housed a pull-out ironing board.  (We found the cupboard door for this built-in in our basement).  Love those 1939 features.

Along the way, someone had installed these tiny shelf holders inside.  We decided to have glass cut for little display shelves.  Here's an older photo (circa 2012):

Cute, but not all that useful and the glass shelves & glasses always got dirty being so close to the ventless stove.

My recent idea was to turn this built-in into a plate rack, at least on the upper shelves.  So I grabbed one of my favorite books "A Touch of Farmhouse Charm" by Liz Fourez and used her tutorial for a plate rack as inspiration.

I bought some 1 x 3" boards for 3 shelves ...


... and also these flat trim pieces. It doesn't hurt to use a cute pencil for measurements:


Next I painted all the wood pieces white and nailed the trim in place.  Just a tip - it helps to use tiny finishing nails for this, since the wood trim is so light and thin. I tried a bigger nail and the wood started to split:

I touched up the white paint, and here's my new plate rack!

I could have removed the other tiny shelf holders, but that would have been tough and would force me to do more touch-up and painting.  They don't bother me enough (wink).
 
Now I've got another place to showcase my vintage plates and platters - yay!


Thanks for visiting, friends.  I try to post more on Instagram these days, but blogging is better to describe more in-depth projects.
Enjoy the rest of summer!

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Winter Snippets from Instagram

Hello friends!  Before winter is over, I thought I'd share with you some snippets of my Instagram photos.  I find that it's easier and quicker to post there, but I didn't want to leave out those of you who read blogs only.  I still enjoy reading blogs myself, so it's important that I share here every now and then.

Here are some scenes from our busy winter days...

This photo is of a lap blanket in the works.  I really enjoyed knitting this small blanket with big yarn & needles.  Just love that chunky look!  I used Premier Yarns couture jazz yarn, color 'Milk' and size 50 needles with a simple knit 4/purl 4 pattern.


Here it is in our sunny dining room on the vintage settee I re-upholstered.  It's a favorite place to sit and read during homeschool hours.


I always get the knitting/crocheting bug during winter.  Other projects I enjoyed making were this tea cozy (a bit too small for this pot, alas) and this crochet basket for our bathroom.




The dining room buffet had a simple winter look, with this stencilled chalkboard reindeer:

One exciting addition to this room is a new-to-us farmhouse table!  We found it on craigslist in January after searching for months.  It's the perfect wood tone and size for us, and even has a drawer at each end!  The table is not terribly old (probably 20-30 years), but it was found in an antique store in England by the previous owner.



I'm still loving our German-smeared fireplace, too.  Here it is with simple winter decor, but I'm already making changes to it for spring:


Flowers always cheer the winter days, and these were some favorites during Valentine's week:




I finished up stenciling some dining chairs that we scored on craigslist last fall.  I used a faux grain sack stencil, hemp sheets, grain sack and burlap on these various chairs.  Still need to trim out some of the bottoms, but they're a big improvement in here!  We had sold our dark furniture last fall, and this room is so much brighter and more welcoming.



That's a wrap for winter.  Hope you enjoyed these Instagram pics.  I'll be back sooner to share SPRING!
xoxo,
Susan

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas 2016 - Living Room

I'm calling this tour of our living room "Mad for Plaid"!  As you'll see, plaid flannel made quite an appearance in here.  I went for more of a rustic farmhouse theme.
Welcome to our living room...here's the view as you enter the room:



This year we decided to put the tree near the fireplace instead of in that back corner.



I put some pillows I have for sale in my Etsy shop on the couch for this photo shoot.


Above the couch is my favorite vintage shelf, decorated with a winter forest theme.
I have decorated with the sitting paper mache reindeer in previous years, but it was brown. This year I acquired a similar one, covered in gold sparkle.  I decided to paint them both white.



Still adore this rustic grain sack stocking I made a few years ago:


In front of the couch, our vintage trunk (which I painted last year with MMS Shutter Gray milk paint) holds some vintage books and our Advent wreath.
(the book on top is of Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens)



Instead of our tree being in the back corner, I set up this vintage chair, table, shutter, and ladder.  This is definitely where the 'mad for plaid' theme was showcased.  I picked up that comfy wool throw at HomeGoods this fall, and hung some plaid fabrics on the ladder.  My favorite blue Shiny Brite ornaments look lovely tucked in their box.


Now if you turn around, you'll see our fireplace wall.  Notice a difference in the bricks???

The fireplace has been 'German-smeared'!!  I guess that's what Joanna Gaines calls it.  Basically, I researched some brick treatments on Pinterest and found this technique.  I simply filled in the mortar lines with thin-set white mortar (found pre-mixed at Home Depot), and rubbed some on the surface of the bricks as well.  If you want to see what our fireplace looked like before, see this post.

What do you think?  I also had fun hanging our reindeer on a rustic old wood panel and decking him out with a plaid scarf.  This 'olde farmhouse' sign was for sale at the Vintage Bazaar this fall, but I'm keeping it for now.


Two new additions to the mantel this year are this battery-lit snow-covered house, and this sweet white church ornament (50 cents at the thrift store!).

Next to the fireplace I placed a chair holding a basket of sachets for sale in Etsy.  I also tucked in some cute reindeer bags with plaid flannel for ties.


"Mad for plaid" under the tree, too!  I focused on plaid and brown kraft paper wrapping this year:


Behind the tree is our bookshelf.  I didn't add too much decor to this shelf, considering we use it to store the childrens' reading books nowadays.  It's filled with the classics for our homeschool.

Plus some cute nutcrackers:






Just an interesting note...see that blue book behind the sparkly Santa below?  It is called 'On Being Catholic' and is written by a dear friend of ours, Dr. Thomas Howard.  He and his wonderful wife are fellow parishioners at our church.  I met his wife through our parish Bible study (which she runs) and my husband delights in meeting regularly with Dr. Howard to discuss literature.  You can read about his amazing conversion story in "Lead, Kindly Light".  I want to be like them when I grow up!



A vintage door and table rest on the other side of the fireplace:

I placed a sled that I found on clearance at JoAnn's (after Christmas last year) on this table.  It's been painted white and decorated with greens and a lovely ribbon given to me by dear friend Michelle.

This table also holds this sweet box of vintage ornaments I scored for $3 at our thrift store!  I added the tissue to cushion the bulbs.  Just love each one's string hanger, too!

We don't have an 'Elf on the Shelf', but these bears are reminding the kids to behave:


The last area to share is the front of our living room.  I kept this cabinet and shelf very simple this year.






Well, thanks for sticking around for this long tour.  Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear friends!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas 2016 - Dining Room

Happy Gaudete Sunday friends and welcome back to the blog!  I know it's been ages since I've posted, but better late than never for 2016.  I couldn't let the year go by without posting Christmas decor.  I just finished some updates to our dining room, and am ready to share.

First off....we sold our mahogany dining room furniture!  Table, chairs, buffet - all gone!  We sold them to some happy folks via Craigslist.  If you recall, our dining room used to look like this.

Here it is today:



Right now we have our kitchen table in here until we find a new dining table.  We're looking for an old farmhouse table, hopefully authentic and well-loved.  My husband reminds me not to 'settle' on it, so I'm patiently looking.  This cute vintage kitchen table functions fine in the meantime:


The 4 dining chairs were scored off Craigslist over a year ago, and I finally painted them this fall.  The color is Sea Breeze by Benjamin Moore.  I kept the same slipcovers from our former dining chairs, and they fit just fine!
Here's a close up of the back of a chair.  I made a simple decoration with upholstery webbing, a $1 reindeer ornament from ACMoore, and a plaid bow I found a Dollar Tree (3 for $1).  Easy!


Tucked behind the table you'll see a new-to-us settee.

(see that runner on table?  It's a $3 clearance valance from Homegoods!)


The settee was part of a parlor set I also found on Craigslist last month - one settee, two side chairs and one arm chair.  They've all been painted Sea Pearl, and the chairs are in the garage awaiting new upholstery.  I did find time to upholster this settee right after Thanksgiving.  I used a hemp sheet from Miss Mustard Seed for the seat and front.  I attempted to tuft the front, but it isn't perfect.  I also added a loveseat cushion I found on Amazon, which adds height and protects the hemp sheet from stains.


You may recognize the pillow on the settee - it's a Society 6 purchase from Miss Mustard Seed's watercolor collection!  She's so talented.



I thought the pillow went well with my paper mache rocking horse nearby.  And this year we put a real tree in here!  It sits atop a Craigslist carpenter trunk.  The trunk isn't too old but I loved the gray color and vintage feel (and storage for homeschool stuff!).  I also knitted a chunky tree skirt, inspired by Maria of Dreamy Whites.

Here's the view from another corner.  That huge wreath was a $5 thrift store find, and I raised my two gray shutters to hang alongside the window.  Now the window looks bigger and has more impact.

Back in the corner you see our white cabinet.  Here's a closer look:

I went with a soft white and sparkle theme here, with some touches of yarn creations.




Love this new ornament I found at Marshalls:



On the other side of the room stands our homeschool dresser.  It is packed to the brim with homeschool books and supplies inside, but I cleared off the top for Christmas!








Lastly, I added a few Christmas touches to our vintage shoe rack:









Hope you're enjoying your Advent season, friends.  I'll be back to share the living room soon.  Yesterday I finished a project in there that's been on my to-do list forever.  I 'German-smeared' our fireplace bricks!
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