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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: kitchen, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. when we are not writing we are living: the kitchen, five months later, is done

In San Antonio, on the TAYSHAS panel, Susan Schilling asked what we do when we are not writing.

We are, in our own ways, living.

Nina LaCour remakes whole rooms, top to bottom. Dana Reinhardt pursues the immediate results—the appreciable outcomes—of cooking. Andrew Smith has not, in fifteen years, missed a day of running—wherever he is, wherever he goes, he heads out into the weather. Blake Nelson learns as much as he can (in sometimes funny ways) about people.

When I am not writing (and most of the time, I am not writing), I do many things that I am not particularly good at. Building objects out of clay. Raising seedlings into buds. Dancing the tango with my husband. And, also, sometimes all-consumingly, turning my nearly 100-year-old house into a home.

This past November, I began a quest to refinish my kitchen. To replace the broken things. To up the ante on the colors. To generate new light and life. It was a fraught proposition from the get-go—famously horrific weather, disappointing contractors, a leaking roof, delays, unforeseen expenses.

This morning she stands. Whole at last, complete.

I am, when I am not writing, living.

0 Comments on when we are not writing we are living: the kitchen, five months later, is done as of 4/12/2014 10:37:00 AM
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2. What's the deal with procrastination?

Procrastination. The word alone is intruiging to me. I can hardly pronounce it correctly, and still, I know very well how to do it. Procrastinating I mean, not the pronouncing.

I know nobody who doesn't procrastinate.
Nobody. I think people who claim they never procrastinate on anything, are not being honest.
I think stopping by at the procrastination station is perfectly normal and healthy. Or well, at least I tell myself. I just did a very, very good job on folding the laundry. Instead of uploading stuff for one of my upcoming online classes. In fact, this blogpost is partly procrastination.
The upside: procrastinating on one thing, sometimes leads to something good on something else that you may loath doing if that's all you need to do: doing the dishes, painting a wall, rearrange your living room interior, do grocery shopping, scrubbing the bathroom floor.... Other times it's just sort of paralyzing, and you're spending way too much time browsing through Facebook feed, Instagram art or get buried deeper and deeper into Pinterest.

Now here's the kind of 'productive procrastination' that I really like: making a drawing while putting off doing a drawing. I was working on an illustration that I promised to make for a friend. She's getting married, and we wanted to give her something personal during her bachelorette day. Once I started working on the illustrated cocktail recipe for her, it felt great to be making something personal, but before starting, it just looked like a big mountain to climb, an assignment for which I actually really didn't have any time in my schedule.

Once I planned some after-dinner drawing time, I did some doodling and sketching, but then got so intrigued by drawing orange peels.... this is what happened:

That's what I mean: a fun result of procrastination behaviour, right?

In the end, I managed to finish my sketches and make an illustration. During a round of cocktails (of course!) we gave it to the bride-to be and she's very happy with it! She will hang it on the kitchen wall.

On April 28, my 4-week online workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot' starts.
I wil show how to make stuff like the above, and much more!
It'll be great fun to work towards the final assignment along with your classmates: creating an illustrated recipe that will be published on the website theydrawandcook.com!
It's only $69 to enroll, so what are you waiting for? 
Click here to read more and join.

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3. Travel Journal - 1

Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn't. I went away for 3 weeks in February. I know, that's already a while ago, but I haven't gotten round to post my drawings I did during this vacation, and 'digital detox'. During which I caught my breath after juggling many, many projects at the same time. 
Here on my blog, I have kept posting happily though: pre-scheduling is a life saver! So while traveling, there was no need to think about any online places, projects or work. Okay, I did check my email every now and then (because wifi appeared to be available everywhere I visited - even on far away beaches!)
So. Anyway. Even though I have been sitting on my butt for about three weeks, sipping coconut water straight from the fresh coconut, I didn't really sit still. If you know me just a little bit, you know I just can't.
Of course I took my art journal with me and drew every day. It was awesome to have so much time each day. Some days, I did elaborate drawings, other days I did more quick ones.

As the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok takes about 13 hours, I started my first journal page while on the plane. Agreat way to spend the first hour of the long flight, before watching Last Vegas, Men in Black 3, trying to concentrate on a book, and trying to sleep.

I'll be finally scanned my journal pages to share them here. I hope you'll enjoy!

While trying to shake off the jet lag, we enjoyed the heat, a cooling iced coffee, and of course: the wonderful food! Both me and my husband love cooking (and eating), and are very eager to taste new things and learn about exotic kitchens. At home, we prepare Thai food often, but there's always more to learn! So I decided to add a little daily project to my art journal during our vacation: 'what we ate today'. This way I would document what we ate, and remember the taste of it, so we can try them out back home. Also, it would be a great way to use different techniques to illustrate food. 

Tomorrow, I'll be adding more travel journal pages.

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4. Journal page

Sometimes you need new shoes. Because on the trip you're on, you only brought superwarm winterboots and it turns out to be warm, with unexpected spring weather at your place of destination... and yeah it helps if they're brightly coloured and affordable too...
Sometimes you have a friend over. Who loves sweets. Who has to have something sweet after dinner. What do you do if you don't have much time to bake, and don't eat sugar at all? Well... you dig into your cupboard to find some superfoods and some favourite flavours and chuck them all in the blender.

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5. It's Winston Wednesday

Once again Winston and Roxxanne have met a challenge. You can find them in the Castle kitchen today along with a most angry Queen Mellameen.

2 Comments on It's Winston Wednesday, last added: 5/6/2010
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6. BIRTHDAY CAKE - a food poem, a cooking poem


Measuring Spoons
Our advice?
Be precise.

Kitchen Aid
I stand…
I mix, blend,
whip, stir, knead…
at your command.

Cake Pans
We’re fickle.
Three layers stick
whenever we pick.

Violets on the Windowsill
We choose
purple for our blooms.
You make the air go blue
because of what the pans decided to do.

Come sit.
Write a bit.
the humor in all of it.
Be resigned,
start again. Don’t quit.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012

Poem #8, National Poetry Month 2012

Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm, Linda at TeacherDance, Donna at Mainely Write, Laura at Writing the World for Kids (daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink (daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe (daily haiku)...and YOU?

4 Comments on BIRTHDAY CAKE - a food poem, a cooking poem, last added: 4/8/2012
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7. Seed Cake - sketch for today

Half an hour goes quick. About half way I say that's enough on the outline 
and work on getting the main subject into at least a rudimentary environment. 
I had no idea the little girl was making seed cake until I drew the bird cage and then it was obvious.



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8. Quiche with tomato and cheese

Hmmmyum... this is a great quiche for parties, and whenever I make a large batch, I make sure to cut some pieces off and throw them in the freezer. They're great for a quick dinner!

I don't have a perfect recipe for it, because I always sort of throw it all together and follow my kitchen instinct :)
Put the dough on the bottom of a oven dish, spread a layer of grated cheese over it, then arrange the tomato slices next to each other, covering the layer of cheese. Chop quite some fresh basil and sprinkle it over the dish. Mix a few eggs with some pepper (you don't need salt -the cheese is salt enough!), chopped garlic and finely chopped onion and poor it over the dish. Make sure it divides well. then top it off with a nice layer of grated cheese and put this in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is goldenbrown.
If you can, leave it to cool and eat it the next day - it will taste even better! (cold or warm)

More creative tips? Download my Free Ebook here

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9. Cliché

It's a cliché, and I am guilty of using it a lot: simplicity is key.
It's just true. Sometimes, all you need is just a few things to make something really good.
Like when cooking, make sure your main ingredients are of great quality, you can't really go wrong. It's a fact that pumpkin and feta cheese just love each other and they will feast on your plate on a bed of lettuce.
Join me in the online workshop on drawing food and illustrating Recipes!
It starts March 3
That's this Monday! 
Just sayin'...

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10. Oranges

'Insalata di Arance'. 
I remember reading this on the menu of a terriffic restaurant in Palermo in Sicily. It was a hot summer day and I was about to order a copious lunch involving fresh fish and pasta. As a side dish, 'orange salad', sounded refreshing and sweet.
This was the culinary discovery of the decade for me. The juicy orange slices were simply tossed onto a plate, a generous amount of olive oil poured over it, and sprinkled with course sea salt and chilli flakes. Quite a surprise and sensational for the taste buds! Since then, I've prepared it many times and enjoy eating it immensely, both because of the memory and the fabulous taste.

Would you like to learn to draw your food, or how to illustrate a recipe? 
You can join the online group workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot'. 
It starts this Monday!
Click the logo for info and to enroll

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11. 5 tips to make illustrated recipes

Let's draw and illustrate like there's no tomorrow! 
Or well. Actually, there sure is a tomorrow. Because that's when my online workshop 
on illustrating recipes and drawing food is starting!

1. Keep it simple when you're drawing. 
A recycled piece of cardboard, white paint and a black fineliner can get you a long way. 

2. To give your lettering that 'je ne sais quoi', 
use alphabet stamps. Play around with them to get fun results!

3. Draw your food to get a daily routine of making art.
You're eating every day anyway, right?
It also helps you to document great recipes.

4. You can totally pull it off and create a simple illustrated recipe like this too!
Choose something with few ingredients to start with an take it step by step.
 5. Submit your recipe to TheyDrawAndCook.com
You can do it!
Like these three previous participants did for example:
By Tina Johnson
By Cathy Levesque
By Kaiva Narbute
There's so much more where all this came from
Will you join my online class? 

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12. Flipping all year long

Today is Pancake Day! Also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday if you take part in Lent. It’s traditionally a day to eat up all sorts of yummy things in your house that you are promising not to eat during Lent, like chocolate. It’s a long month if you’re giving up your junkiest habit so first of all you need to eat a shed-load of pancakes.

It’s strange people MAKE and EAT pancakes only one day a year.

HOW ODD?! Why only eat such a great food one day out of 365? We must change this silliness once and for all.

But how? …Time for a Seed Agent Mission.

WHAT IF?! We rename pancakes Flippers! Every time we make a pancake we call it a Flipper. Everytime we eat a pancake we call it Flipper. Everytime we see a pancake we call it a Flipper. Soon the world will call pancakes – Flippers!! And then we can eat Flippers ALL year round, and not just on Fat Tuesday.

There’s nothing that can’t be used to fill a flipper, sweet or savoury, hot or cold, the choice is yours Seed Agents! Try some veg-flippers! “Move along old-school lemon and sugar”, “Bye-bye gooey joys of chocolate”, “Hello pongy cheese, spinach and mushrooms!”

Have a go at making your own flippers here and experiment eating them with different fillings. Discover which one you like best!

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13. Spring kitchen

I was informed by my brother yesterday that he is tired of the bedspread and he would like another post. I'm not sure why he's even interested in my blog given that it's pretty girly! But lots of my friends seem to keep in touch with me through my blog so if I stop posting for awhile I get more phone calls. It's a bit weird if you think about it. Another thing is that I find myself not telling friends about some things for fear of repeating myself. Sometimes I mention things and they say "I know. I read it on your blog".

The main reason for the lack of posts is that I've been babying myself due to a cough/cold recently that kept threatening to get worse (but never really did) and now seems to be wrapping up. Right now I just have those throat clearings that sound like I'm about to make an announcement and would like people's attention. Thank goodness I can get back to blogging about our kitchen.

The big news is that we finally have a sink in our kitchen! So luxurious! I have to stop myself from going in to the bathroom to fill up the kettle because after 3 months it's just habit. I love our new sink, it's white ceramic from IKEA (so you know it was very affordable). It's a good size - we can even soak our cookie trays - which admittedly are small because our stove is tiny. We bought the new faucet just before the renovation, so we're enjoying having it again. The gooseneck style is great because we can still fill the kettle with a sink full of dishes.
Not that we'll have any more sinks full of dishes because we have a dishwasher now! The plumber hooked up the water and Bradley did the electrical connection. He just looked online and in some books and figured out how to do it. So clever. I'm so glad he does that stuff because it's beyond me. This picture shows our new baseboards too, we've only done them behind the cabinets but will be adding them everywhere in the house. They had to rip the old ones out when they did our floors.

And lastly I filled the remaining bare wall with two small decorative (and somewhat functional) shelves. We didn't want upper cabinets on every wall so the kitchen would feel airy and spacious but that wall was looking too bare. This is in keeping with my tendency to do finishing touches before the work is actually finished but oh well it makes me happy. Next we have to do the backsplash and attach the fan over the stove and add finishing panels over the gaps at each end of the cabinets... but for now we're enjoying it as is.

11 Comments on Spring kitchen, last added: 4/2/2008
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14. Playing house

These lilies of the valley showed up in our backyard. They last very well if you pick them, and with only these three the kitchen smells lovely!

We took a long break after the main part of our kitchen renovation was done and for the past few weeks we haven't done much at all. But there are still lots of finishing details to do (you know, minor things like baseboards). Recently we've been starting to get back into it and I finally cleared out all the paint and tools that were in one corner. If you're pausing in your renovation I recommend it. It's worth trouping out to our shed to get a paintbrush in exchange for a (sort of) tidy kitchen again.
Today I filled the big bare wall in the eating nook area (we're nook people) with shelves from IKEA. They're just plain white ones, rather than something charming and countryish but they match the cabinets and when we sell the house someday I can leave them behind without any regrets.
As you probably know by now I love monochromatic schemes, and especially blue so I've put lots of blue/green things on the shelves.
Sometimes I feel self-conscious about blogging, I suddenly realize I'm showing you pictures of my kitchen shelves, which is kind of trivial. And I worry I'm boring you. But before I put the shelves up I was looking around on Flickr (how pretty is this) to see how other people had arranged their shelves. And I was trying to decide if I was happy with this style of shelf, or if we should take them back. So my point is I guess I find it helpful when other people post pictures of their kitchen shelves and a surprisingly large number of people do.

While I was looking I also found this brilliant idea for the shelves - if you had a cat. I love how Egyptian the orange cat at the top looks.

p.s. I really really want that couch too

18 Comments on Playing house, last added: 6/16/2008
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15. Kitchen fan

Thank you for the shelf comments, they really cheered me up! This weekend we finally put up the fan back up over the stove, and I can't tell you how happy I am about it. When I say "we" I mean Bradley because I did very little aside from finding screws and washers, picking them up when they fell, and holding the fan for a few minutes. Also saying things like "wow, it looks so good", "do you want me to leave you alone now?" and "I can't believe you finished that bit already". The latter because it was much more difficult than expected.

The problem in the first place is that given the height of the cabinets and the hole in the wall where the fan used to be, there was a new gap between the two. Otherwise the cabinets would have been too low on the wall and too close to the countertop. This is the kind of thing that makes installing your IKEA kitchen tricky.

So first Bradley used finishing panels to construct a box that would be the shelf. Finishing panels are just big flat pieces from IKEA that have the same finish as the door fronts so that you can attach them to the sides of your cupboards so that they match. So dad-in-law helped cut pieces to size with his table saw. That was a few weeks ago.

Then after assembling the box, Bradley had to move the entire row of cabinets (they hang on a rail) a tiny bit to the left to fit the box in, then back again so that it was snug. This involved taking everything out of all the cabinets. Then finally an extra hole was needed in the wall for the fan to fit in place and then the fan was attached onto the new shelf.

This is sort of what it looked like before (I took this picture before the countertop was installed). The fan was sitting between the stove and countertop since it was still attached by a power cord. It was in the way, was accidentally scorched when I turned the wrong burner on one day, and was generally driving me nuts.And this is the fan finally back in place! With an extra little shelf that I've decided to put our Denby Blue Linen baking dishes on. I just need to do a little caulking and paint touch-ups. And in case you're wondering we don't usually have a blue jug of peonies on the countertop, I went out and picked them specially for the photo shoot. ( I guess without the fan there the countertop was looking kind of bare). I love peonies and was thrilled to see two bushes grow up this spring, one in our front and one in the backyard. Such a luxury after condo living.

1 Comments on Kitchen fan, last added: 6/11/2008
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16. Swapping

The weekend before last I finally did a whole bunch of craiglisting and swapped all kinds of furniture. I sold two storage ottomans(men?) and threw in the cushions I'd made for the top because the person who came for them seemed to like them so much. I sold an IKEA bureau that just had camping gear - all that went into the shed. I sold a sideboard and a bedside table, also from IKEA, neither of which had a place to go anymore. And finally our very tall IKEA hutch. Oh, and my old camping backpack. I can't tell you how good it was to clear all those things out!!

Before: this corner of the kitchen used to be a workshop, with all the tools and supplies for the renovation.

Then we bought a new hutch in a vintage style I like so much better, and a glass door bookcase that now holds all my yarn and some spillover fabric. I'll probably post that later once it's sorted out. The new hutch is similar in style to our china cabinet that holds all my fabric, I would guess 1930s, which seems to be my favourite decade for design.It's nice little details like this handle that I like so much:Then we bought the new IKEA Fusion table and chair set, which luckily matches the hutch since the wood finish on the hutch is very nice and I wouldn't want to paint it. So now our kitchen nook is almost done!
The lamp on the table was a family yard sale find, there's a pair of them and I just need to find glass lampshades for them.

It's basically done, but someday we'd like to replace the sliding doors (that don't slide very well), the ceiling fan and the dusty old stucco on the ceiling. The Fusion set is great because the chairs curve around the table and it doesn't take up much room. I didn't care for the black seat covers, so I replaced those with a striped aqua and white fabric that I bought at the Textile Museum Yardage sale.
I was trying to pick a fabric then noticed this one matches the curtains perfectly, hurray!

Speaking of which, I can't tell you how much great stuff I found at the Yardage sale, but to paint a picture, I looked like a bag lady who lives on a bicycle on the way home. I had huge tote bags sort of wedged and tied to the baskets at the back. Most of it is in the new bookcase so you'll see it then... Read the rest of this post

8 Comments on Swapping, last added: 6/27/2008
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17. It Get's Prettier

Click on the photo above for a closer view....

Husband K worked all day prepping the floor and tonight was ready to cut the carpet out of the hallway...Yikes! Not that I doubt his talents for a moment, but once you cut the carpet in two, you are committed.

We had several funny conversations revolving around me picking out the boards tonight, so I could choose the colors I wanted next to each other, and he remarking that if I waited too long it would all be planked by the time I returned home from work tomorrow.

The kitchen floor, not pretty, but soon it will have a shiny new surface!

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18. "20 Little Things"

This bird thought he'd join his friends in the birdbath....

With the hardwood floors almost completed, it's just about time to paint the walls. The color is one I have never gravitated towards before however we are looking for something that will enhance the richness of the wood cabinets and hardwood floors. Currently the walls are white. We are looking for a golden shade with a hint of Tuscany flavor, not too bright, not too yellow, not too orange-muted, yet rich in tone. Ok, so what's left you say? Here are two color swatches. We tried the Laura Ashley Gold 3 but against these colors and the walls it actually looked like it fell more into the tan family. Our kitchen and dining area are small and both colors look suitable, even in a smaller area.

The cabinets and flooring are golden oak in color. The other color we thought of was a pale blue shade with a hint of turquoise (enhances the rich golden oak) however it might clash with our great room which is in a midtone muted evergreen shade.

What do you think? Your suggestions would be most helpful!

Melissa from The Inspired Room posted a list of "20 Little Things" that inspired her in Autumn. Since autumn is my favorite time of year, hear are my list of 20 little things:

1. Painting the kitchen and renovating (always autum projects)
2. Family gatherings
3. Crock pots of bubbly beef stew and fresh baked loaves of bread
4. Riding in an open topped convertible through Breads Hills, Michigan
5. Thick and cozy handmade sweaters
6. Teracott pots over flowing with Chrysanthemums
7. Paint chipped chairs and furniture
8. Hot Pumpkin pie
9. Candles scents of cinammon and berries
10. Thick warm blankets on a cold night
11. Gourds, squash and pumpkins
12. Fall festivals
13. A hot latte with a warm berry Stella
14. Flannel jackets and duck boots
15. Early morning mist
16. Apple cider
17. Bike rides around the lake, through the leaves
18. Knee high boots and skirts
19. Fresh fruit scones with marmalade
20. Fresh breezes through open windows!

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by Maurie J. Manning

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20. Before and After Kitchen Updates

Before here and here... The kitchen and dining area before had white walls and blue and burgundy accents with linoleum flooring.

Now the walls are a warm maple cream with deep berry brick curtains and black and cream accents.

The project hasn't been without it's problems, namely the finishing of the hardwood floors. We had problems applying the polyurethane with the applicator the manufacturer recommended and had to strip the two coats we applied. Husband K did all the work including all the sanding between coats. Tips for applying polyurethane: lightly sand floor before applying 2-3 coats by hand with a brush. Allow to dry more than 16-24 hours. Sand and reapply additional coats.

The light fixture we wanted for over the island didn't come in black so I sanded it and sprayed it black to match the new black chandelier.

All the hardware was gold and we replaced it with a burnished brass. The chandelier is black with gold brushwork.

It's hard to capture the color of the walls however they are a beautiful warm maple cream and we couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. K also upgraded all the baseboards and added new corner pieces throughout the main floor.

We just love the new hardware! We'll replace the faucet with a new black one as soon as we can find the one we want.

The flooring continues down the full length of the hall to the upper bedrooms and is just beautiful. We plan to change the countertops to granite or granite like in the new year and we'll replace all the appliances with stainless steel or possibly black, still undecided yet.

New blinds for the windows (for under the drapery) will be ordered and I'll swap out the china in the cabinet for the cranberry Wedgewood "Bramble" from one of the other rooms.

We found the table cloth but I am still not sure if I like it, the pattern is quite large, but it has black it in. My husband says one can never have too many table cloths so live with it, see if it grows on you and purchase new ones as you find them. (What woman wouldn't love to hear her husband say this! :) I may even have one custom made if I can find a fabric I like. We've been searching for two oil paintings for each side of the china cabinet but still haven't found the ones we want.

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21. Quiet

Perhaps because it has been raining. Perhaps because the trees keep losing their leaves at a rapid, unstoppable clip. Perhaps because I have allowed myself back inside a novel I have trembled about for months.

Perhaps I don't know why, but the house is a different sort of quiet.

Yesterday, running outside with my camera between rain showers, I stopped and glanced toward the kitchen, so unpeopled just then, so still. No stacks of my son's homework on the table, my mother not there with her cup of tea.

This quiet is a new quiet. I'm learning to bend it toward me, finally.

4 Comments on Quiet, last added: 11/9/2008
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22. Backsplashes

Our kitchen before tiling the backsplash: cleaned up and looking a bit bare

So today I started on tiling our backsplashes. First the bathroom as there aren't any outlets to worry about and it's a small area to do.
Tools of the trade: trowel, pencil, tile adhesive
Tip: if you put some moisturizer on your hands before doing this kind of work it's easier to clean them afterwards

This kind of tiling is quite easy and so I'll mention how I did it in case it's helpful to anyone. First I placed the tiles where they would go to see how I should space them as I wasn't going to try to cut any of the tiny glass mosaic tiles.

Then I drew lines on the wall with pencil to mark where the tiles would be placed. This was mainly so I would apply the adhesive over the right area. I used pre-mixed adhesive and a notched trowel (it says adhesive trowel on the label so you know you're getting the right one).
Sorry for the crummy photos - it's a dark and gloomy day today

After you spread on the adhesive, you drag the trowel over it at a 45 degree angle. What you are doing is making the adhesive all the same height. It's better to go a bit over the borders of where the tiles will be placed because you can clean up any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. If there weren't enough adhesive at the edges the tiles might not adhere properly.

Don't rush, the adhesive doesn't dry quickly so you have at least 30 minutes to futz around and be as much of a perfectionist as you want to be. Or make mistakes. Or have trouble getting behind the faucet and find you're getting a bit fractious.
Then at this stage I used a long wide quilting ruler (choose whatever you like) to press on the tiles and make sure they were even. Some excess adhesive might squeeze out but it's easy to wipe up. Pay attention to the ones on the corners and make sure they're straight.

The bathroom backsplash is almost done! Just need to let it dry 24 hours then do the grouting. If you want to see that step let me know because otherwise I might think I'm boring you with all this.
Then I did it all over again in the kitchen. It's a bit brighter in there so you can see the colour better.Unfortunately I opened the box of tiles to start on the other side and discovered they were all dark smoky grey. So now I have to wait before finishing the kitchen...

I guess when I show that I could talk a bit about outlets... the only thing that really makes it tricky. So I think this is going well, but before trying it yourself you might want to wait and see how it turns out in the end - and remember I'm not an expert!!

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23. So much to do, so little time...

Well, can't say I've had time for any art!!! The baby is starting to settle into some good sleeping patterns (Woohoo). But, she lost a lot of weight and wasn't gaining it back - she dropped a whole pound in her first week of life and then gained only 3 oz. back during her first month. It was very worrisome, to say the least. Nothing can tear you apart like the thought that your baby isn't thriving or is suffering in some way. But, praise God! Combining nursing and formula seemed to solve the issue - she's gained over a pound in the past week! She's got rosey cheeks and a sparkle in her eyes, now. She smiles and coos - so happy!

Another distraction is that we've officially put our house up for sale as of today. That has meant a lot of cleaning (me having to be a drill sargeant in making sure the kids pick up their messes), and finishing a few unfinished projects around the house. I recently repainted all the kitchen cabinets and put new hardware on the doors-n-drawers. So, at least I've gotten to paint something.

Yet another distraction was the recent Jesusita fire down in Santa Barbara. While that was about an hour away and our home was in no danger, it did come within a few miles of my husband's work. He had to be evacuated last Friday. The last thing we need is for him (primary breadwinner) to lose his place of employment. Praises (again) that his workplace was spared.

We'll see what happens as the school year comes to a close here soon. Maybe there'll be time to draw again soon.

0 Comments on So much to do, so little time... as of 5/13/2009 11:03:00 AM
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24. WIP - Kitchen

So lately we've been doing lots of work on the house, mainly painting, and I've been trying out some new colours. When it came to the kitchen I wanted something very light. Our old kitchen had sliding doors out to the garden, as well as a large window and it was very bright. The new kitchen has a large window but only a single back door with a small window in it.

you can see the colour here, pretty subtle...

I liked the grey we used for the old kitchen, Benjamin Moore Titanium, but I wanted something that would work well with the blue in our living room. So I picked a very pale, bluish/greenish Benjamin Moore colour called Dewdrop. It has a sort of beach glass colour to it, but it's so pale it almost looks white. If you compare it to the trim you can see the colour. In the end I'm happy with it, it's subtle but my second choice was just a classic white kitchen so this has the same effect while having a hint of pretty colour.
Before and After

I wasn't planning to paint at all, the previous colour was a pale sandy-beige that was fine, but after doing the electrical work the walls were full of holes that we had to patch. Now I'm happy I did paint it as I love the way the kitchen feels now - more bright and airy, and it also feels more like ours. As you can see above, it's not much of a change but I like it!
When it does come time to renovate I'm not sure if we'll keep the original cabinets, probably we will but update the doors. I like the way they extend right up to the ceiling. The kitchen has a sort of 50s charm, but we could use more drawers and general storage. We would like to update the counter top, faucet, sink and add a tile backsplash. I do like the wood floor and it's larger than the galley kitchen we had before. Do I miss the renovated kitchen in our last house? I certainly do, but I still love our new house so it's ok!

2 Comments on WIP - Kitchen, last added: 8/6/2009
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25. Spring decorating

Now that the house is sunnier I've been feeling more motivated to do lots of little decorating projects. My decorating budget is still non-existent, so stay posted for lots of easy changes you can do that cost next to nothing. Most of these involved things I had lying around already, so it helps if you already have things like leftover paint from other projects etc.

The first thing I've done is add more shelving in our kitchen. The wall over our table was completely bare. When we moved into our house there was some wood left behind in the garage and I had found three more planks just like the ones I used to make shelves in the studio.

All I did was a quick sand before priming and painting. So they are still a little bumpy but I like that look. These were installed with some inexpensive brackets from IKEA.

Originally I had planned to just put a bunch of stuff  that was cluttering up our countertops on the shelves, but after I'd added a couple of ceramic pieces, I ended up gathering up the ones I had in the studio as well to have them all gathered in one place.
The bottom shelf is the more utilitarian shelf, with the regularly used salt and pepper, butter dish, napkins and coasters. We do use the ceramic planters to store things like garlic cloves but really I just think they look pretty..
Then at the bottom I added hooks for my collection of tea cups. What can I say I love granny decor whether it's chic or not!

1 Comments on Spring decorating, last added: 3/31/2010
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