It's Valentine's Day! I decided to do a little crafting in honor of this day so I could post some things to my badly neglected Etsy shop. These solid wood switch plates were purchased in at a flea market and I made them so pretty with just some chalk paint and ink!
Of course, Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world so why not add a touch of romance with stamps?
Well, readers ...anyone still out there? I am back for a while, I hope. A lot has happened. A couple family things (I'll explain in another post) and the Christmas holiday and work and it's just been a whirlwind.
So, the stove. My 19-year old stove broke in July. I got a new one, which I'm not super happy with -- I mean how do you keep stainless steel and those black glass tops clean? That will be the death of me! Thanks goodness I decided to get a white refrigerator two years ago.
When we got the stove, we had to rip out part of our backsplash so that's when I decided that this 19-year old, formica counter topped, warped beadboard backsplashed kitchen needed to be updated.
Our plans: Keep the cabinets -- they are in great shape, but probably need to be stained or painted because they are pretty banged up. I think we will paint and I would save a bundle if I did it myself, but I honestly don't have the time. Get glass for the cabinets -- I never put the glass in 2 of the cabinets -- yep, dusty dishes. Ditch the formica countertops -- I've longed for marble or granite and I think it's time. But, I have to say, the formica still looks pretty good after all of these years.See the beautiful quartzite to the right? -- our new island top! Find a compatible, more functional backsplash. Beadboard looked great for about 6 years ... then it started warping behind the sink. It's been that way for a good 15 years. Change up the island. I want the island to be the centerpiece. We are going to do some fun, inexpensive (except for the countertop) things. Add cabinets to where the desk is -- We need storage for our waffle maker, mixer, etc. Right now they are stored in our family room. I honestly thought this would be inexpensive, but it is not. The problem -- the cabinet depth is not standard. It has to be under 21 inches. Looking at vanity size cabinets, but most have to be ordered. Kind of expensive -- way more than I thought. Heading to salvage yards this week. Get a new dishwasher. Ours is almost 20 years old. It does an okay job. I mean, sometimes we have to wash the dishes again, but it's still going. I don't want to let go, but my husband is making me. Get a new sink -- basic stainless steel. NEVER get a white enamel sink if you have 3 boys and/or well water. Just sayin' Remove the railing between the family room and kitchen to open up the room a bit.
So stay tuned readers. I will be posting some before and after shots over the next few weeks.
My friend's daughter is getting married in September. She grew up in our neighborhood when it was a tight-knit community. A group of us decided that we would pitch in for a gift that would remind her of the great times spent growing up in Annapolis. We pitched in for a fire pit and a party tub, filled with fix in's for s'mores, beverages, and other outdoor items.
To present it in a pretty way, I decided to mimic the look of ice with bubble wrap -- the square bubble kind...I love the results! It looks just like ice in my opinion. We also decided to use tulle to give it a wedding look.
I found some other innovative shower gifts on Pinterest:
Very busy, but I had a custom order that made me smile. I have little time to devote to my Etsy shop with my job, but really enjoyed making these baby blocks for a customer.
My son and I ran a race this weekend. It was a gorgeous morning for 5 miles (ugh), but we did it! I posted my second best time and he actually won in his age group. (He's lightning fast.) Other than that, we've just been plugging along with work, work, work, lacrosse, lacrosse, lacrosse and end-of-year school events.
Here's a glimpse of my dining room...300 grab bags, which I agreed to fill. (What was I thinking?)
Beautiful sunny weather greeted my friend and me when we visited the Barn Show this weekend. And, the trends I saw were bright and saturated color along with those pretty chalk paint colors that bedecked most the furniture. Since we had such a snowy cold winter, my eyes were naturally drawn to the bold and bright colors. Check these out:
Of course, there were not so bright findings, too. I'm always drawn to maps and printers blocks.
Well, I have 10 bags/boxes already packed up ready to go for my 40 bags in 40 days project. My house is neater and less cluttered already, but I still have way too much stuff. I started with my craft area...which was growing. Actually, I'm so busy, I paid my youngest to organize it...and organize, he did! I apologize for the poor quality of photos. I was using my phone camera.
Here's the before:
Now the after:
I've been going through my office, too. Getting rid of things. Feels good. Hope I will be able to show you more as I clear things out. A new project, too!
My favorite blogger, Sarah at Clover Lane, just reminded me that it's time to do the annual 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Here's how it works: the challenge is to use the 40 days of Lent (starting today) as a way to simplify your life and give to others.
"The gist of it, says Sarah, "during Lent, rid your house of 40 bags of stuff…things you don't love, don't use, junk, accumulated stuff, clutter, garbage."
After you fill the bags, donate them, recycle them or toss them. I have done this for two years now and have managed to fill 24 and 26 bags, respectively. The bags can be filled with items or trash (mud room here I come!). I probably won't have that many this year because I gave away so much in previous years, but hey, I'll try.
You can visit Sarah's blog as she goes into much more detail. Wish me luck!