Kitchen Color!

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We have these grand plans of renovating the kitchen, building an addition to make it twice the size, and doing it all in Rachel Ray’s eggplant, orange, and lime green color combo (and by “we” I mean my wife).  Here’s Rachel Ray’s collection, if you can’t picture it:  http://www.rachaelraystore.com/Department/List/Bakeware/102-4294958180  I do kind of love the color combo.

That’s probably not going to happen any time soon (unless Rachel finds my blog and offers to pay for it all in a huge sponsorship/promotion extravaganza).  In the meantime, I’m trying to make things that help the wifey keep the tiny space we do have more organized and appealing for her to work in (thus motivating her to make more yummy stuff for me and the boy).

I picked up this little wooden Crayola crate at a thrift store in North Carolina when were on vacation last Spring and knew I wanted to save it for something perfect.  When she took an old spice rack off the wall (after realizing that the spices in there had likely been purchased when the first Clinton was in office) the spot it left was the perfect size for this box.

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I started off by putting a shelf it in from some old dresser drawer wood I cut down.  It’s just wood-glued in with two more pieces of wood as supports but feels pretty sturdy.  I painted the inside a vibrant purple, a little brighter than the purple from Rachel Ray’s collection, but it was similar to another accessory my wife made for the kitchen a week before (see below).  I  screwed in cup hooks before painting the outside because I didn’t have the right color paint for the outside yet and I was being impatient.  That was a silly thing to do, because then I ended up having to carefully paint and varnish around the hooks for every subsequent coat.

I only painted the top, bottom, and fronts with the green, because I really wanted to keep the sides with the Crayola logo on them visible.  It’s also a nice combo of her contemporary and my vintage aesthetics.  (Those sides are my favorite part.)

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It was still looking rather ordinary (as ordinary as a purple and lime green Crayola crate spice shelf can look), so I tore some pages from a second-hand Bacardi cookbook we picked up at a tag sale and decoupaged them in the backs of the shelves.  It’s kind of a nod to our honeymoon, which was in Puerto Rico and during which we toured the Bacardi factory.  I think they added the perfect touch.

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I also sanded the edges down a tiny little bit to distress it before slathering the whole thing with varnish (I won’t say it’s because my wife tends to be a little messy when she cooks so I wanted it to clean up easily because she took a wee bit of offense when I said that in my last kitchen post).  🙂

I’m also going to submit this to Make My Monday’s challenge this week:  Anything But a Card.   http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/midweek-motivation-anything-but-card.html  There are so many card and scrapbook challenges out there, it was nice to see this one deviate from that for this week.  (Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE me my card challenges!)

The other new addition to our slowly-becoming-colorful kitchen is a clothes pin recipe holder that the wife made at a super-fun workshop at my favorite local upcycle crafting haunt, Knack: (http://www.knack.org/).

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She and the boy worked on this one together.

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He helped us both paint (I was working on another one) and then he somehow found the most amazingly perfect glass fruit beads to decorate the clothespins.  A woman who had a huge bead collection was no longer able to use them because of arthritis, I think, and found it too hard to have them around the house so she donated them to Knack.  The collection was magnificent and this was such a great way to spread her love of beading far and wide, I think.

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These beads are so sweet- tiny little glass fruits- but my photos don’t do them justice.  Macey found the perfect glue to stick the glass to the wood (Amazing Goop) and so far the little suckers have held right on.  She also told me about this awesome web site, http://www.thistothat.com/, where you can select two different materials and it will tell you what glue to use.  It’s brilliant!!

I made one of these clothespin boards for my craft space, but I think I’ll save that post for another day.  School started today and the boy’s school this year starts a full hour earlier.  I was not happy waking up at 6am (and will probably not be happy doing it again tomorrow).

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It all started with a little nick

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Disclaimer… this post is more about my wife’s creative outlet than mine.  I’m the crafter and she’s the cook.  And an amazing cook she is.

A couple days ago, she noticed a little nick in the top of our glasstop stove and then realized it had turned into a hairline crack that went from one side to another.  Not good for a glasstop stove.  Then, all these amazing things started happening…

1)  I had an old friend who we haven’t seen in a while come by to tell us whether or not the gas line in the kitchen looked like it was in good enough shape for a gas stove.  We decided it might be but we couldn’t be sure, but we did make plans to meet her and her new girlfriend for dinner this week.  (Her girlfriend, it turns out, is just finishing school in graphic design and my brother works for a company that does graphic design, so I gave her my brother’s info to pick his brain.)

2)   So, we started pricing new stoves, realized we probably couldn’t afford one, and then turned to our Facebook family for help.  Within an hour, a friend posted that she had a stove in her basement that she and her girlfriend had used for about a year and then hadn’t needed when they moved to a new house.  She was willing to sell it to us for a really good price.  Sold!

3)  Then, we had to find someone to help me go get it.  Having a dad with a truck is great but having a wife with a bad back is sometimes problematic (she makes up for it in other ways).  So, we started asking around and checking Craigslist for people who can be paid to do such things.

4)  My amazing aforementioned brother agreed to help.  He usually works on Saturdays, and this was bound to take most of the day (our friend lives about an hour away), so I’m really grateful that he was willing to take time out to help.  (p.s. He’s an amazing photographer and photo-retoucher, check out his blog here:  http://lorrinbaker.wordpress.com)

5)  We drove out and got the stove, caught up with our friend (another one we haven’t seen much of lately), and brought our treasure back home.  It was in even better shape than she described.

6)  Literally less than 5 minutes after putting the old stove on the curb, a couple guys (father and son, maybe) in a salvage truck came by and took it away.  They gave us their card for next time we had something to get rid of and were really appreciative (as were we).

It was like everyone was a winner in this story.  I like this stove even better than the original.  It has a much more classic look (with the “old-fashioned” electric coils) and fits perfectly with our kitchen.

This is what I woke up to this morning (she’s the early riser in the house):

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Decoupaged Dresser Do-over (and an Armoire)

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This dresser was my first furniture purchase as an “adult”.  I bought it from a woman in my friend’s  dorm at Parson’s when I was staying with him during the summer after college.  I hauled this thing around NYC to 3 different apartments and then an apartment and 2 homes in Western Mass.  It was desperately in need of a makeover.  (It was probably in need of a makeover when I first got it, but all I did was chop off the legs so it would fit under my loft bed with a clothes hanging rack over the top.)

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So… I spent a couple days decoupaging pages from “Thoreau: On Education” on each of the drawers.  It was actually a really easy project.  I sanded it down a little (mostly just to get the grime off) and then just slapped on the pages.  The hardest part was actually just keeping dog-hair out of the glue while it dried.  I like the little illustrations from some of the chapter title pages that I snuck in there.

 

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This armoire was even more desperately in need of a makeover.  I originally intended to strip and refinish it when I bought it, but as I got to work I started realizing that a lot of the wood was veneer.  IMG_4703

So instead of stripping, I painted and covered it up.  The top is actually a really deep purple acrylic (that looks brown in most light).  The cards are from a set of Penguin Books postcards that I got on Amazon (I found the link in a neat wall-art project on Pinterest).  I laid out a kind of a pattern with the cards, took them off in piles, and then started decoupaging them back on.  To hold them down while they dried (because there was a bit of a relief design that I had to cover up and because they REALLY wanted to warp), I laid my all my wife’s cookbooks on top of them for about a day.  A couple new knobs, a ribbon across the bottom and voila!

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These were both fun, easy projects and it’s almost like having new pieces of furniture.  They’ve really brightened up and added interest to our room.

Dresser Drawer Shelves

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It’s Spring!  That means Spring cleaning and people putting out unwanted/broken stuff on the tree belt!  That means fun new crafting items for me.  My latest adventure:  making shelves out of dresser drawers.

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I’ve found quite a few in various states of “distress”.  I haven’t taken any of dressers that seem to be in good shape (in case someone actually wants the whole dresser).  First, I cleaned them off and took off any contact paper in the bottoms of the drawers (I hate that stuff).  I decoupaged scrapbook paper to the backs of the shelves from my favorite handy-dandy scrapbook pad:

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The good thing about this pad (from Jo-Anne’s Fabrics, I think) is that there are 3 pages of each pattern so I could piece them together to make a single pattern in each drawer.  And I love this “Heirloom” look.  It seems perfect for this project.  For my decoupage medium, I just used a mixture of white glue and water.  It did bubble a little, but I kind of like the creases for texture.  If you want to make sure it adheres more smoothly, I’ve read that you can soak the paper in water to “relax” it first.

So… here’s what I came up with:

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For the dining room.  This one sits on the floor and I added the front from another drawer that was more broken to the top with glue.  Another drawer front sits on the floor, which seemed to give it a little more stability.  I drilled through the bottom of each drawer into the one underneath it and only had long screws so I put in chunks of 2×4 to screw into.  These drawers are a little more flimsy, so I thought that would be helpful, too.

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For the porch.  This one is for grill stuff.  I attached them to each other sideways so the knobs could be used on either side to hang things from.

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Another one for the porch.  This one is for gardening stuff.  I hung it on the wall by just screwing it in.

p.s.  I found the link for my inspiration for this: http://diyshowoff.com/2012/04/04/diy-drawer-shelves/  – I LOVE Pinterest and I love DIY & Show Off!

Here are a couple others I’ve found on WordPress blogs:

http://applesforolive.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/dresser-drawers-turned-wall-shelves-phase-1-installation/ – I love her arrangement and the way she set them up ahead of time using paper templates to get the perfect display.  All in all, one of my new favorite blogs!

http://thepearlowl.com/2012/08/20/drawer-turned-craft-shelf/ – I love this one.  The dowel and the jars make it the perfect craft material display case… and who couldn’t use more of those?

Update:  I just added a spice-shelf to the dining room one at my wife’s request.  Anything that helps her cook more delicious stuff for us is fine by me. 🙂

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