Monday, July 30, 2012

Punch List

oh my dog! some times you just have those weekends where, for no explanable reason, you get lots of stuff done! i don't know what happened to us this past weekend, but, whatever it was, i liked it! i always have my list of things to get accomplished written out for Fridays and i never get any of it done.  this last Friday was no exception.  instead of working on an endless ToNotDo list, i took Baxter over to my co-worker's house for some socializing work.  after we got back home, i had no motivation to do anything that i'd put on my list during the week.
however, for some strange reason, Saturday was a different story.  Nacho & i did our usual Sat morning breakfast at the Greece & when we got home, boy did we hit the ground running.  for me it was a deep cleaning Saturday.  we get a LOT of those wispy cob webs around here & i'd ignored them long enough. so my intention was to vacuum everything above eye level.  i did just that, but then it somehow led to more.  so here's just some of what we accomplished.....


Nacho proved me wrong for once!  he got this finished up in about 2 weeks

yes, we now vent to the outside!  horray!  so technically, the kitchen/dining remodel is complete!  i will post a full before/after soon!  this sets us up for the roof redo that we've been needing for some time. can't wait!

Wine Storage

i'd originally posted the bulk of this project here, but it was nowhere near complete at the time.  the steps have long been painted but i never did line the bottom drawers & get everything set up for storage.  check that off the list as well.
this is still by far one of my favorite items in the remodel.  and yes all of that is wine we drink with the exception of 1 empty bottle that is a placeholder!  i did add the verticle corks at the back of each bottle to prevent the bottles from sliding back & so far it's worked great!  the bottom drawers actually have room for 2 rows of wine & each drawer has room in the very back for 1-2 empty bottles.  i plan to keep those handy for that placeholder function so that bottles don't roll around when there is an empty slot.  and yes, Graffina is my current favorite right now - i have 3 different years of it. yum-o!  oh, and if anyone can find me a consistent supply of The Show Cab, i'd greatly appreciate it!


okay, this i actually did Friday morning, but i'd been on Nacho to apply a layer of Tung oil to the bamboo counter tops.  why i didn't just do it myself to begin with, i'll never know.  but that's done now as well!


oh god how we hate HATE hate painting trim around here.  let's see with the kitchen/dining remodel, we had 10 windows to trim out & Nacho did 1. wonder who did THE OTHER FRACKING 9??? oh yeah, that would be me!  i am a saddist!

but it's done finally!  i did also manage to take some time to put 1 more coat of gloss on our bedroom window.  the photos above are the spare bedroom/office & they were dying for some attention.  anyone notice the lovely screen patch in the first photo (check out the right screen).  yeah, that's sticky Cling Wrap that's been taped to the screen on both sides using packing tape.  we can thank Baxter for that nice little remodel.  he wasn't getting enough of a breeze through his hair so he made a minor modification.  well, until we get it fixed.....  i must say, as much as i loathe painting trim, i do love how it looks when you're done.  i spent tonight putting all the hardware back on.  note to self/everyone:  it really is worth your time to remove all that hardware & don't bother taping the windows off, just come back with a razor blade after.  both those tips are such time savers!

Return of the Tarp Curtain

so i did finally get my sewing machine back a couple of weeks ago. and remember whe i modified that existing curtain to add a liner to it for use in the bedroom?  guess what?  i don't like it and i've changed my mind.  i know, simply shocking.  but i never did get rid of the old Tarp curtain!  you know what?  it's rough, but i really do like it!  so since the office/spare bedroom didn't have a good blackout curtain, just an old sheer from Pier1 way back when, i put Tarp curtain back up in here.
for some reason, i still like this curtain best. i like it so much, i'm changing my color scheme when we redo this room so i can keep this curtain. crazy i know!  i think the true test will be if Moser can sleep in here without the street light peaking through!

A Little Extra

and with the old Pier1 sheer i had in the office coming down to make way for the Tarp curtain, i had a tension rod with nothing to do.  so i borrowed from a popular Pinterest idea & repurposed that in our laundry room.
i'm going to revamp that room some day too so you will have an idea of just how small that space is.  it is my ultimate homage to organization and/or use of every square inch humanly possible!
actually this is not all we got accomplished.  we had a couple of other small items that made a big difference (or not):

  • Nacho pulled the dining slider door & cleaned out the track. i do wish i'd gotten a picture of this. the door was so bad that i often had to put all my weight into it just to get it to open the entire way.  he said it was amazing the amount of sand that had accumulated in the track.  i think in the 11 years we've lived here we might have cleaned that thing once.  that is on my annual ToNotDo list now!
  • i attempted to organize some speaker wire behind the couch.  why i have no idea, it will never be seen.  suffice it to say, those Command strips that seem like such a great idea on tv, not so much in my house. fell right off the wall.  i ended up using the plastic nail thingies that electricians use when running wiring to fasten the wire to a floating shelf so i could at least get them off the ground. certainly not photo worthy.
so, not exactly earth shattering, change the way i live stuff, but certainly changed the way i feel.  anyone else getting things off their punch list these days!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Favorite IKEA Hack!

late as usual, but delivered as promised!

2 of 5: Upper Pantry Storage

Like pretty much anyone else who's ever planned an IKEA anything, it doesn't take you long to realize that what they don't make, you can easily hack.  i mentioned the hack that we did to create our boxer feeding station!  of course, that wasn't really an IKEA thing, because we'd done that years ago with an unused drawer in our old kitchen.  however, it showed us that just because it may not "fit" in the planner, doesn't mean it can't be done.
I guess we only really have 3 hacks (one more coming soon) in the kitchen, and the pantry/fridge storage is my favorite
i've never been a fan of that useless black hole over a fridge or at the top of a pantry.  whether it's the same depth as the fridge or not, doesn't matter. that space never gets used. at best we throw nic-nac plastic-y pic-nic-y crap up there that we think we'll use for some cookout we're never going to.  with the remodel i swore i would not do that again. and with the remodel, we opted for a counter depth fridge (not sure that was a wise choice but maybe i'll talk about that in detail later, maybe not). so with the pantry & the fridge cabinets, one side of our kitchen was looking like this
pretty standard.  pantry on the left with the upper cabinet & the fridge cabinet overhead.  We used the AKURUM WRD and HD to create this:
AK WRD 498.867.72
AK HD 398.868.38
You can see from those pics the the refrigerator cabinet & the top of the pantry cabinet is typically open space.  SO here's where things get all hackey!
Pantry pullout
Refrigerator pullout
Ta-da! not only do we have storage, but we have pull-out storage!  now every time i've shown this to anyone, they've all commented "yeah, but how often do you have to get up there?"  not very often, but they are missing the point!  when i do have to get to something up there, at least it's easy to get to. with 24" deep cabinets, i don't have to struggle reaching all the way to the back to dig something out!  yes, it's still way up there & i'll explain that soon too!
The idea for the shelves came from the pantry actually.  you can tell from the IKEA photo above, that we went with the pantry that included pullout drawers.  well, why not use those same drawers in the top?  seemed simple enough.  we just ordered an extra drawer that matched the ones installed in the bottom section.
Rationell  501.099.84
Rationell  201.323.87
For the refrigerator pullout it was a bit more complicated.  we found out quickly that they don't make a 36" wide drawer if you look in the Storage Organizer section.  the widest drawer they have is the Rationell 30" & it's not a Deep Drawer.  i could live without the DD considering this is going above the refrigerator where i hope NOT to spend a lot of time!  but surely they make a 36" drawer b..e..c..a..u..s..e.....we used a 36"AKURUM Base Cabinet with 2+2 Drawers!  see, you gotta think outside the BigBox!  of course i can't find the individual drawer online, but we simply ordered an extra 36" drawer like the base cabinet & used that above the refrigerator.  
UPDATE:  Thanks to Sam's comment below asking for clarification on exactly how we did the refrigerator pullout.  I think at the time i wrote this, i simply didn't remember all the details & didn't want to bother my husband with repeating them.  so i took the time to go back over that hack with my husband & here is what i told Sam:
(1) because we used a 36" base cabinet drawer, there is no hardware for the front.  that means, unlike the pantry drawers, the base or shelf is exposed.  that's the gray-ish part you see running across the bottom of that pullout. they don'tt make a 36" Drawer Front (or didn't at the time), 30" was as wide as they had.  so we bought an extra Drawer Front (901.323.92) just to use the left & right pieces.  this holds the bottom shelf piecce, the tubes that run to the back of the drawer & the "silver" horizontal piece across the front (that's up next).  so you will have to deconstruct the Drawer Front to use pieces of it.  
(2) the "silver bar" going across the bottom front is actually a modified piece of the Rationell Drawer Divider (501.822.53) which does come in 36".  we just used 1 horizontal piece because the whole thing (3 horizontals) would not fit in the Rationell Drawer Front (901.323.98).  we did this just to give us some stability in the drawer & to create a stop for anything that might roll forward.  so you don't have the deep/tall front piece that the pantry drawers have, but at least it's some sort of "lip" that holds things in.  
here's a photo so you can see where we had to chop the Divider down to get it to fit into the Drawer Front 

so the formula is:  Extra 36" Base Drawer + Rationell Drawer Front Kit (size doesn't matter cuz you just want the left & right pieces) + Rationell Drawer Divider (deconstructed to use just the part that will snap into the Drawer front).  
You can see from our finished products that, due to the door hinges, we could not install the drawers in either cabinet at the very bottom.  i wasn't sure i was going to like this at first, that tiny bit of space below the drawer might be wasted.  but so far, it's come in handy for storing flat trays and serving plates.

up next!  how do 2 people who are only 5'5" get easy access to these drawers even though they do pull all the way out.  stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the Answer to the Ultimate Question of the Universe?

why Nacho of course!  can you believe this
turned 42 yesterday?  really 42!  that's not a typo
yes it can be quite exhausting!

Cushion for the Tush-ion

i cannot believe it has been 2+ months since i've posted anything on the kitchen!  really!  THIS was the last post i think i did. i am failing at so many of the Must Haves of a Good Blog!
so i'm making a goal (not a promise cuz a goal gives me an out):  i will do 5 more post on the kitchen "reveal".  number 5 will be a "finished" post with some before & afters.  no really!  it will!  even though we are not technically finished: 2 more items that stick out in my mind right now.  so....

post 1 of 5:  bench cushions

i know i said in an earlier post that i found a great tutorial at SewMammaSew on how to make your own bench cushions.  and i just knew i could do it myself!  then i pulled a very typical ME.  i read and re-read her post until i talked myself out of it.  also, i needed these cushions done for a cookout that we actually had back in May for Nacho's hockey team victory celebration - they won their league division or whatever!  so this was the weekend before Mom's Day.  that's how long they have actually been done!  nothing like putting a post off eh?
well, suffice it to say, we so many butts riding on the line, i didn't want to take any chances & i actually (head ducking below the monitor here) paid someone to do these for me.  i know i know!  besides, my sewing machine is still in the shop - yeah, cuz that would have made a diff!  i used a local upholstery guy but did stick to my guns & used the shower curtain material that i said i would.  thank goodness i bought so much because i can't find this shower curtain in Target anymore.  so here they are!

not only did the upholstery guy love the pattern, but he thought the use of a shower curtain was genius!  i'd come up with that idea before seeing the SewMammaSew posting, but she certainly solidified my choice!  he did such a nice job & assured me they would hold up fine, certainly until i change my mind AGAIN & decide on some other pattern that i love - i won't even link to the other shower curtains at Target i'm in love with now.  thank goodness i don't really know how to sew or we'd be buried in pillows right now!
i do have some material left over and when i finally get my sewing machine back, i really am going to sew the back pillows myself.  i think i've proven that i'm not afraid to sew a few envelop pillows thanks to Shannon over at Madigan Made!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fairy Garden

i love to work in my garden. that surprises people some times, but really i do! i'm not very good at it. i like to call myself the Spastic Gardener.  i'm all over the place. but last year i became enchanted by the trend in fairy gardens. yes, enchanted! a quick search in Pinterest & you can find tons of examples.  i stumbled upon Kathryn's blog earlier this year as well.  
but i really love cruising through one of my nurseries to check out their displays.  this first photo was taken last year. it's their main/largest setup.
it used to be a coy pond & they have completely transformed it.  and here is the same garden this year
gotta love the little frog on the right sunning herself!
i chatted up with the lady who creates these last year & that is her full-time job!  can you believe it? someone gets paid to pretty much do nothing but create these cute little "stories".
what i like most about them, besides feeling like a giant walking around these, is you can use pretty much anything & make them any size you want.
i fell in love with this galvanized tree bucket!  shhhh i will probably be back at end of season to buy one!
and just all the cute stuff you can dress them up with!

perhaps it's the fact that i never played with dolls & doll houses when i was a kid, but i just love these! and to that point, i decided to make one of my own this year. but i'm not a doll house kind of chick.
yeah, this is my strange twist on something otherwise sweet & innocent.  actually this was a blast to put together, but let me advise you.....not all succulents are sun loving? who knew? oh yeah, the nursery where i bought them! i guess i should have asked first. the stars of our little display are
and his baby brother
and the twins
Brach & Terry
and then finally
yeah, i couldn't get creative on that one!  but this was so much fun to "build".  i have also come to appreciate my littel exhibit in the heat wave we've had over the past couple+ weeks.  only 1 plant seems to be suffering, that light blue thing in front of Spin, but everything else is loving the heat & the sun despite some being listed as more shade loving.  i'm already working on next year's theme.....redneck trailer park or dragons.  not much difference there really!


so how long does it take for duck eggs to hatch?  apparently 28 days after she is done laying.  well our little lady started laying on the 16th but i don't recall exactly when she stopped & started sitting.  on June 22 i counted 6 eggs but i have since seen 9.  today marks 3 weeks total so we could be off by a week easy.  in the meantime, here are some pics i snapped last night while waiting at the end of the dock for her to return.
she saw me waiting in the grass and was a little leery of me.  here she is stretching that neck out checking me out
after what seemed like forever in this heat, she finally jumped back up into the nest to settle down for the night - my favorite part!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

hope everyone had a happy 4th of July!  how did you celebrate?  we started a little early with our boat club party last night.  Nacho & i were hosting so i decided to make some centerpieces.  i took this
and made this

i know, very uncharacteristic of me!  what can i say?  Pinterest has inspired me somewhat - although can i say 4th of July ideas are the hardest to find.  i love looking at old photos & it was fun making these & going through the few that i received.  
the meeting was hot & it was a small turnout but we made the best of a sweaty situation.  i also planned a little "leave your mark" activity.  a few weeks ago i gave the picnic tables a much needed makeover & decided they also needed a little personalization.  so anyone that wanted to was welcome to leave their mark & boy did we?
apparently our benches are 8 feet long!  
that was all last night.  today we did a little wakeboarding in the morning & kept cool int he AC the rest of the day.  oh yeah, and a little firework watching to finish it all off

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