Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kitchen thoughts and pictures

So at long last I'm posting some pictures of the kitchen, even though it's not done yet! Here's the before picture of our lovely 1940's kitchen. This is actually a rather nice picture, the light was very good and it almost looks serene. However in real life, the floor was vomitous, and the yellow was dark and stained and almost flourescent in certain light. It had to go. I wanted bright and clean more then anything so we went with bright white paint on the walls and cabinets. We decided we wanted to keep the classic tile for now, though down the road we might actually remodel this room and if we do, there will be new countertops and cabinets. However...we may not. There's something charming to me about a grandma's kitchen.

Now here's the boys ripping out the ugly linoleum flooring. It acutally wasn't in that bad of shape, but it was just too ugly for words. We debated about putting in new linoleum in a slightly less offensive tone, but our friend who does tile talked us into the tile. Laying a floor is hard work! Of course I wasn't involved ;) DH did it with the help of his friends. But they did a really great job. I'm the painter in the family, so I did all the painting. DH did help me with some of the prep - sanding mostly. Painting a kitchen is a pain in the ass. I look forward to the rest of the rooms being easier by far.

The picture on the left is when the tile is almost done and the painting is half done. Then the picture on the right is current state, except i've finished the last of the cabinet handles. I couldn't find any new handles that I liked better then the original handles so I got metal cleaner and a toothbrush and cleaned off years of what I like to call "finger fudge". Ugh! They came out nicely though. I was left with a bit of a color conundrum because when all was said and done, the kitchen looked clean, yes - but almost hospital white. I went to buy floor mats and saw some dishtowels at Target that were white with yellow, green and brick red stripes. So we got those and red mats to match the red stripe. I think it turned out okay and as you know from previous posts, I'd like to make cushions for the chairs and perhaps new curtains to add some more color. I like these curtains from pottery barn:

I wonder if they'd match with the rugs? If not I could always get some neutral rugs like they have here. The possibilities are endless. The target rugs were cheap anyhow! There still is several little things to do. The pantry door is yet untouched, as is the pull out cutting board. I decided I want to paint the new kitchen/garage door, as it's the wrong white and looks almost blue agains the walls. And my mother in law says she has a pot rack that I can have. I need to go look at it to see if it will fit over the stove. That would open up a cupboard for my canning supplies from the garage! That would be nice. Ah the garage....we're tackling the garage next...or rather DH is. He has some plumbing and electrical stuff he wants to do in there, and we want to get a quote for a garage door. Plus then we want to build shelves and sheetrock most of the walls. A new window is important as well as the garage window is rotting!
I'll be helping with the garage of course, but my own next project is painting the living and dining room. We are going away to visit my parents this weekend, but when we come back I will start packing it up, taping and TSP'ing everything. Joy! Hopefully lovely before and after pictures of that area will grace this page soon.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Shed Satisfaction

I'm glad to say, that we have finished the shed project! At long last the monstrosity that I've spoken of is gone, and a tidy new shed is hiding on the side of the house.

Patio Before:

Patio During:

Patio After:

Oh and let's not forget the side yard!


Now here's a little during. I learned a bit about patio
making with this process. Taking shortcuts makes for a
patio that is a bit uneven. However, it's not bad considering
how quickly we did it (took a day for the patio part).
And its only to sit the shed on top of. If we were ever to
do this for an actual patio, then we'd go to the effort of
digging it out several inches before laying everything
out the way you are supposed to. That way there is enough gravel and sand to actually work with to keep the entire thing perfectly level. As it was we only had about an inch to work with. Still not bad IMO.

And finally the finished product:

So there you have it! We took the junk stuff to the dumps today. I hate the dumps! It stinks so bad and I can't help but think what scourges we are on the planet every time I go there. However, most of the stuff we took was recyclable so it all went in special recycling bins so I felt a little better.

Anyhow...a last note for the day...Happy late Solstice! I love the Solstices. They always bring about a feeling of change and peace for me. Especially this means midwinter (even though on our calendar it says first day of winter, I consider it midwinter) and that the days will slowly be getting longer. I hate the cold and the dark and it means spring is a mere couple of months away and that soon the fruit trees and acacia trees will be blooming and giving me the hope I need to make it until March. I feel better already.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Booooooo Cold

I don't like the cold! Yes, yes....I know. Technically it doesn't get cold here in the Bay Area, with lows just around freezing at their coldest and highs in the upper 50's. But that's cold for me! I need my excercise, which usually comes in the form of a daily morning walk with one of the doggies. The poor girls have been coming and sitting at my bedside every morning at 6am, with big excited eyes as if to say "walk time mommy"! But I have been too cold to get up and brave the outdoors so I hit the snooze button and they sigh and waddle back to the couch to mope and cuddle with each other. Consequently both me and the doggies are getting very mopey. A lack of excercise and of fresh air is never good. I promise myself, and yes I'm putting it in writing, that tomorrow I shall walk! I must or my brain might start to melt or mildew or something. That's all for now I suppose. Ho hum.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gettin' a move on...

I think I am spending too much time playing video games! OMG, did I just say that? Well I have been, though I've enjoyed every minute of it. The problem is the holiday is fast approaching and I've done little preparation. But I have the day off today and I plan on spending some time shopping and maybe wrapping. Tonight DH and I will be getting our tree and decorating it. Yay! I love the tree. However that means I'll miss the Bistro Bitches meet up tonight. So I should probably work on Miss Sophia's blankie today. I would really like to give it to her for christmas! I have been making progress, mostly on the BART trains.

I figure I'm about half done, not including the edging. So yeah, I best get a move on. I got the pattern from the stitch-ionary in the Encyclopedia of crochet. It's pretty but one side turns kind of funny and leave a little ruffle whereas the other side is even. I tried to alter the pattern, but it didn't work out right. Seamstrix Art (who truly deserves the label of "she who hasn't posted in like, ever" over me), in her wisdom advised me that it won't even show once the edging is on.
And I believe she is right. :) Oh, if you notice the afghan in the background, well my great-grandma made that one. Teensy tinsy little squares - I can't figure out the pattern. That woman had patience! I have some old quilts she made by hand too, though they are too worn and fragile for display. They live inside the cedar chest which is protected by Nana's afghan. I have some of her quilt squares as well, which will eventually go into a quilt of my own making.

Well, gee I guess I'd better get to cleaning the kitchen. DH and his dad put in the ventilation fan last night and there's only a few things left to do. I'll make a list, since I love to make lists:

  • Touch up paint around new door
  • Touch up paint on cabinets
  • Paint and install pantry door
  • Buy and install shelf for over stove
  • Buy and install replacement thingie for stove (alas, when installing the fan a large piece of plaster fell on it and dented brand new stove! Luckily its a replaceable part)
  • Alter the curtains so they fit better cafe style, and maybe add some cute trim
  • Cushions for the kitchen chairs?
Yay!! The end is in sight. So soon, very soon, once my camera charges, I'll post the before and after kitchen pictures.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Practice with Pictures and Ravel-riffic-ness

So did I ever tell you just how bad I am with web-site-y things? My poor myspace page is totally non-pimped. And anything that requires any type of computer-y noodling I'm simply terrible at. And then there is my horrible lack of patience. One of my worst failings, how impatient I am. So I'm trying very very hard to figure out how to post pictures on this stupid thing and have them land where I want them to. I had a lovely long post all typed up and I couldn't get the picture to move around so I hit the "back" key not realizing it would erase my post. :( But I think I figured it out finally, You have to select no formatting for the picture so you can drag it around. I tell you what, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. So now I will practice.

I have a weakness for skateboarders, so much so that I married one! Here is a picture of my totally cute husband doing a method air off a launch ramp:

Yippeee!!! I recently got my Ravelry invitation. After a long and arduous wait I can now search for patterns to my hearts content instead of working. You can find me at ContraryColleen . There's so many many things to look at there. I thought this skirt was cute, though I think I'd need an underskirt for it!

And my last picture of the day is of my beautiful doggie, Littles

Oh and the shed, you know the one I was all excited about? Well it's too small. It hasn't come yet, but I went outside sunday to make a clearing for it and measured it all out. Joe and I were like "um...nope not gonna work". So now once it arrives we'll have to return it, and just accept that I lost 100 bucks on shipping. Good news is that after a day of freaking out and internet searching we found another at Sears which I just bought today. It's more expensive and it's plastic. But at least its on sale, and will fit more stuff and still fit in our side yard. So though my shed sadness ruined my Sunday I am now re-shed happy.

Hasta Pasta!