Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cold hands, warm heart.

My hands are always cold, and if I had a dollar for every time somebody said to me,
 "Cold hands, warm heart."
 I'd be a rich woman!

We're into week 2 or 3 of a subzero cold spell.  It's been bitterly cold so long I can't be sure.
It's too cold to paint in the kitchen, so I've been keeping my hands busy
and warm by knitting wool mittens.

I started this pair before Christmas, but set them aside
to concentrate on the holiday season.

 These mittens fit my hands perfectly, so I knit up another pair in gray.
You can find the free pattern "Norwegian Mittens for Mimi"
 by Anna Mazzarella here.

I only knit one mitten in the pattern shown above.   My hands are long and narrow,
and this pattern knits up short and wide.  It was a very labor intensive pattern,
so unless I find myself with absolutely nothing to do (will never happen)
I'm not going to waste my time knitting the other one.
Do you see the fleur de lis pattern on the palm side?

You can find a free pattern for the Fair Isle heart at The Counted Sheep.
  It would make a nice sachet filled with dried lavender,
 but the only thing growing in our back yard right now is snow,
 so I filled mine with fiberfill and hung it from my armoire door latch.

It's cold outside, but at least the sun is shining to brighten up our house.

The mittens above are knit from a vintage pattern out of the same
wool roving I used for my snowball garland.  Because of the
inconsistency in the thickness of the yarn, the mittens have a nice
homespun look.  They are knit on size 10 needles, so each
mitten takes just a few hours to knit as opposed to the Norwegian
mittens which take me weeks (or months) to finish.

In fact, I finished one during our drive to Minneapolis just the other day.
I tried on the second mitten for size, but something wasn't right.

I don't like to look ahead at the last chapter of a book, but it would serve me well
to read through the entire pattern before I start the second mitten.

If you're happy and you know it clap your.......right hands?

The cold weather isn't leaving us any time soon, so I guess I've got
plenty of time to work on two left mittens.

(The pattern can be found at Free Vintage Knitting.)

Keep calm and knit on.

*I'm joining the parties at:
Share Your Cup Thursday  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs.Olson
Tweak it Tuesday   Cozy Little House
Sundays at Home   Thoughts from Alice

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weathered wood.

I love the look of weathered wood in a white room, and now that
our kitchen is sort of whitish, I've been looking to add a few wood accents to
warm up the space.  I wanted an architectural piece to hang over one of the doorways,
and I found just the thing..........


I have no idea what it was in its former life, but it's the perfect size
 to fill the space over the doorway into the dining room.

I also found this vintage souvenir plate.....

  Spomin iz Slovenije translates to Memories from Slovenia, the country from which
 my great-grandfather (my Baba's father) emigrated.   It's got a pretty woodburned
 and painted picture surrounded by a border of hearts.
  Perfect for Valentine's Day!

My other plate comes from the same region, so it seems I've
got the beginnings of yet another collection.  :o)

Since we're on the subject of wood, the tongue and groove planks are primed,
 permanently adhered to the wall, and trimmed out to hide finish the edges.  Whew!

I was all gung ho and ready to plank the entire house,
but my enthusiasm has waned after this little project.

One of my least favorite things to do is caulk, and there was lots of caulking
involved in this process.  It was nerve-wracking trying to fill the little spaces
above and below the quarter round without smearing caulk all over the tile and the planks.

Then there are all the holes to fill where the knots have fallen out.

Thirty-one holes!

I've got the old warped cabinet shelf propped up so I can play with dishes and accessories.
  The cart before the horse decorating style in play again.
The bracket installation should be a snap, but wouldn't you know,
there isn't a wall stud in the location where I wanted to install the brackets on the right.
So, we had to drill half inch holes to insert toggle wall anchors
strong enough to carry the weight of the dishes.
I repeat, big holes in the newly installed wood planking.
Then there's the problem of finding heavy duty bolts to fit the metal hanger on the brackets
and pull the bracket snug against the wall.  We're still working on that.  ugh

Do you  have any idea how much a stack of 12 dinner plates weighs?

18 3/4 pounds!!!!!

The whole set weighs about 55 pounds (and I think we can add a few more pounds
 of vintage accessories I'll be trying to cram on the shelves), so I want to be sure
 the shelves are secure and my dishes don't come crashing down onto the tile floor.

I also found one more wood item for just a few dollars.

Adorable, don't you think?

Mystic Weather Forecaster will join my collection of souvenir chalet music boxes
 in bedroom number 3 when I get around to making a display shelf for them.
After the kitchen is done, that is.

Work in progress.

The planking will remain primed until I repaint the cabinets and decide on a wall color.
  I don't want to muck up the planks with too many coats of paint,
and I sort of like the whitewashed look for now.

If (and it's a big if) we tackle this project and it looks somewhat professional,
it will be a miracle.  A miracle performed by 2 homeowners who don't have a clue
 what they've gotten themselves into.  I say we, but the blame rests entirely on my shoulders
 for opening this particular can of worms.

That's another fine mess you've gotten us into!!!

(I'm on the left and I've had that look on my face since I started this fiasco.)

My ideas are much more grandiose than the skills I possess to actually tackle the job,
but that hasn't stopped me yet!  So tell me, have you opened a can of worms lately?

Thanks for visiting!

* I'm joining the parties at:
Mod Mix Monday
Tweak it Tuesday
Vintage Inspiration
What's it Wednesdays
Share Your Cup Thursday
Sundays at Home 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kitchen update.

I've been trying to stay focused and only allow myself
to work on the kitchen project I've already started
before I get sidetracked by another.

Did I happen to mention that we've got 2 kitchens?  hehe

Don't worry, this kitchen was finished months ago.

The red shelves were made from a window cornice that I had Bill
cut out for me.  I didn't care for the way the cornice looked, but we were
able to repurpose the bottom scallops for open shelving in the play kitchen.

I found a set of vintage faucets and a bright red sink (Rubbermaid).

An ironstone pitcher to hold mini utensils is a must!

I wasn't able to find a Keurig, but this old tin coffee pot
makes a mean cup o' joe!

These stove knobs actually click on the different settings.

I had a serious love affair with Brach's Malted Milk Balls for years,
so when I spotted this fluorescent light at a local flea market,
 it had to come home with me.  I don't care for fluorescent lighting
anywhere else, but this one provides plenty of light for junior bakers.


(5 years ago.)


 I don't think I need to tell you how long it took me to finish this up.
Disclaimer:  I did not choose the baseboard trim color, but give me a break!
  We've only been in the house 10 years.  hehe

Now for the progress in the big girl kitchen...
I chose to use the wider tongue-and-groove planking.  Since we aren't
finish carpenters by any means, I figured it's less expensive to make
mistakes with a single plank rather than a whole sheet of beadboard paneling.

It's moving along at a snail's pace because I've been cutting each piece
with a hand saw!  The cuts are straight, but the bullnose tile is uneven (it's made to look that way), so we'll cover up the edge with 1/4 inch quarter round molding when we finish.

Bill cut out the openings for the outlets where I marked them,
and believe it or not, we got it right!  Woo hoo!  Now we just have to remember to pull
the outlets through the openings and add the plastic spacers
 before we glue and nail the boards down.  Tutorial at Thrifty Decor Chick.

A brief look back at where it all started....

This photo does not do the kitchen justice.  :o)
In 30 years, somebody will be viewing my planking and painted cabinets
the same way I looked at the Z-Brick, faux butcherblock countertops, wallpaper,
dated cabinetry, fluorescent lighting...............

I'm not even going to try to explain this.
That's the upper cabinet I removed on the right.
I'm keeping it for a while......just in case.

I especially like this view showing the dark doorway trim butted up
against painted trim in the kitchen and dining room.

A look ahead....

(Found on Pinterest.  Original source unknown.)

Um, yes please.

Thanks for stopping by!

Junior bakers use only the freshest ingredients.

*I'm joining the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs.Olson  Share Your Cup Thursday 
Knick of TimeVintage Inspiration Party 
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