Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kitchen with New Paint

I promised kitchen pictures a while back. Well, I finally got around to taking pictures of the new paint job. I am really loving the new color. As I said in the dining room post here, I was a little put out when several people came in and didn't even notice the new paint job. However, I think that is the beauty of the new goes unnoticed because it blends into the surrounding, but the cabinets really pop.

First up, let me say, I know that by today's standards my kitchen would be termed out of date, but I am fully ok with that. I have always loved stained wood cabinets and trim in a house. I love the look of wood grain. These cabinets are simply too gorgeous to cover the wood with paint. My mom is all about white, but not me. And... yes I know plain white countertops are not seen anywhere these days. I really did plan to change those out at some point when we moved in back in 2002. It is white Corian installed in 1984 when it was built. It is in mint condition, and I came close at one point, but I wanted something else done more at the time and I just thought they are in such great shape...well, I put it off. Truth is now they have just grown on me. I don't want to change them. I have actually begun to see white in some recent pictures. Maybe I have outlasted the trend.

The kitchen is one of the craziest rooms in the house with lighting. I have pot lights above each set of cabinets, under cabinet lighting around all cabinets and over head lights and just wait until you see the number of windows, but it still a dark room especially with 50 something year old eyes. I think the white countertops are good, because more dark would be sure enough hard to see. (still trying to justify to the world)

The cow cookie jar has a name. It is Ethel, named after my great aunt Ethel. It is at her house that my mom saw it for the first time (almost 50 years ago). She loved it so much, she went out and purchased one herself. It has served cookies for a very long time. I recently talked Mama into letting me have it:) She has an imprint on the bottom of her which indicates she is probably worth something in terms of collector value, but she is worth too much in memories to get rid of her.

The paint color is called Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware. The blogger that I first saw it on said it was the chameleon of colors. UnskinnyBoppy was soooo right. It changes with the light. Sometimes gray, or blue, or green.

Circling around to the next wall. Going to be honest here too.... I really really really try to keep that island clean, but something always ends up there. I like keeping it cleaned off for cooking and serving though. I know it looks like it should have some decorative item on there, but if you put one thing on it...well, before you know it, it is piled high.

Then, around to the next wall where it quite obvious I have along way to go in the picture taking department, but since this blog is for posterity's sake, it is ok that I don't know how to take pictures with the light not behind me.

Two things about the picture above...

#1 - I love taking pictures of the house for the photo albums, because I actually love looking back to see what has changed and keeping those memories of where we lived. When I was looking for pictures of the kitchen, I found that I never took photos of the kitchen by itself. I have tons of other rooms in the house. I think that is because we truly live there, so rarely are the counters that clean or are there pictures without people in them. I like that though. Lots of life happens in this kitchen!!!!

#2 I realized with this new paint job that I didn't want to be so trendy after all. I bought the cow head that I have seen on so many blogs to hang above the kitchen sink and I hated it even though I LOVE cows. I mean I really love cows and chickens. The wreath is a temporary placement to cover the humongous screw that Hubby put up for the cow head. I am currently cross stitching something to put there. Putting my touch on it, but it will be a while.

Now onto the next wall, the favorite one of all. The one where I realize how blessed I am. The round table that seats the most wonderful family, the view that truly is one of the best anywhere. The sun comes up over that bayou. Baby, it doesn't get any better than that. Only time I hate it is when a hurricane is coming in, then it is an agonizing view.

The overhead lights don't help my light situation either, but they are one of those things that have grown on me over the years too. There is just a part of me that doesn't like to be like everyone else, and those lights are different. My mother-in-law loved them so much. She even gave me one to put in our house before we moved into theirs. It was so me even though I wasn't especially crazy about Tiffany lights. I loved her though, so they are staying!!!

The table was custom made. We had a lower table in this area, but we had grown accustomed to eating at a bar. We didn't move into the house until the children were in middle school. We really missed the height. We went down to a local Amish furniture store and had them build us a bar height table. Who knew bistro tables would be so popular now? Anyway, it is one of my favorite things!

 A look back in from the living room.

And another with Lucy. Lemony can't be too far away.

This week has been awesome. I went for a walk Monday morning and saw that big yellow school bus, but I am not headed to school. Retirement finally seemed real. I am looking forward to getting my very neglected home in order this school year. 

And... letting the Lord guide me into the next steps.

And that is a wrap.

Looking forward prayerfully,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Palm Frond Project

We have been in the midst of a building project at church, and I was tasked with making some palm fronds out of cloth to go in our Upstreet (Kindergarten through 5th grade) hallway.

We needed them to have some stiffness to arch out over the hallway. Thought I would share the process, since I found nothing out there to help me...this was just plain and simply think and come up with it on your own. Once, I figured out what to do this really was an easy project.

First, the pattern. It was just drawn on some brown bulletin board paper. I used it to cut two pieces for each frond. Ashley, our designer picked out several patterns of green quilting cloth. She said don't finish any edges that would lead to the charm. She was right as you will see.

Next, I took some buckram (a thick interfacing used in draperies) and cut a pattern out of it. Then I laid it on top of 1 of the colorful pieces' wrong side. I made 4 sleeves for tying wire to go across the leaf. I left one end open and then cut the tying wire into a piece long enough to slide in, then I sewed the end up, so that it wouldn't slide out.

Buckram is found at JoAnn's in the home decor fabrics and comes on a bolt. I had never used it before, but it was very easy to work with. I found it to be a very sturdy interfacing. I will use it again, maybe a purse? However, I did find a description of it in one of my old sewing textbooks from college. I didn't have a clue what the designer was talking about when she used the term.

Tying wire was found at the hardware store. I got mine at Ace. It comes in a circle of wire. You will see it momentarily in a picture. It gave the fronds some stiffness and could be manipulated to shape the frond after hanging.

The right side of the fabric with the tying wire in it.

Just another photo of the cross pieces. I did use wire cutters to cut the tying wire.

Then I ripped, not cut strips to go the lengthwise of the other piece of fabric. Ripping was just easier and made it quicker to get a straight line than cutting it. Just remember you can only rip on the lengthwise grain of fabric. I laid it the lengthwise making sure it went all the way to the end on the top of the leaf. I sewed it down on three sides, leaving the top open to slip in the last piece of wire that would be used to also stick it in the top of the tree. This piece of wire will need to be longer than the palm frond as you will use it stuff it in the tree.

I also made some sleeves for the wire sticking out, but they weren't needed. Now, for how they turned out. 
I used different patterns for the top and bottom of a palm frond as well as a different pattern for the long strip to put the wire through. I think I used six different patterns for approximately 12 fronds. Each of the fronds was about a yard long.

I was quite proud of myself. Using my sewing talents for good. I would never have thought of this on my own. Our designer is out of this world, but I was proud to bring her thoughts to life.

I did make a test project before cutting on her fabric, which I always suggest. Back in the day we called that making a muslin.

My test project. Just pulled some old cloth out my tubs.

My faithful helper in the background.

Our building project at church is all complete and we were featured in the newspaper today. The building is amazing and most of it was done with volunteer labor. Ashley, our designer, put in countless hours to make the kids' environments a spectacular place. Our newspaper called us the Disney church. I love it! Nothing is too good when sharing about Jesus.

Hope this is helpful to someone!