Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Lighting

There's a corner in my kitchen that gets no light whatsoever. It happens to be the corner that makes the most sense to put my kitchenaid. So, for Christmas last year, my husband got me an under the cabinet light fixture. We decided that we'd really like 2 of them, so I finally picked up the second one on Monday and he finished installing the lights last night. It makes a HUGE difference!

I took these pictures without a flash so you could get the full effect of a before and after.

Before After
(We will be hiding that cord soon. I was just too excited to get that done before pictures.)

My boys and I are totally making cookies today just to celebrate that we can actually see what we're doing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goodwill finds

Yesterday while running errands I decided to stop in really quick at Goodwill. It'd been a while since I'd gone thrifting but it was on the way to my next errand. I got a parking spot right by the door, which reminded me of what one of my good friend's MIL once told me ("if you get a great parking spot, that means there's a killer deal inside that you are now responsible to find"). I was hoping to find a nightstand or 2 for our master bedroom. Instead I found a couple of new globes for our sconces for $2 each (they're $8 each at HD). I thought that was a pretty good deal. But, then I remembered that I'm looking for a small plate for a project I want to do (didn't find one) and went to the plate section. I did a double take when I saw this:

It's china, 8 place settings of MY china. My jaw may have dropped. It's expired, they don't make it anymore and I've been wanting a few more place settings to use with formal dinners. I asked an employee the price and for $50, it was mine! (One place setting on is $27.99 plus shipping!) It's missing 1 bread plate and 4 tea cups, but otherwise it's a complete 8 place settings. Score!

Some history on my china: My mom started buying this pattern when I was a teenager to compliment her expired china pattern when her sister gave my mom her china (my mom and aunt had the same pattern). Suddenly, she didn't need this half-bought set anymore, so I asked if I could have it and she bought a full 8 place settings and all the serving platters/bowls and things for me.

A year or so ago, I started figuring out how to get more of my pattern so I could get 12 place settings total and I learned some things about my pattern. Originally, it was made in the 70s by a German company called Johann Haviland. The pattern was so popular that in the 90s they had it mass-produced in Thailand and it was sold in grocery stores around the country. My pattern is the knock-off - not worth as much as the original, but still as pretty.

Well, I got my new china home and started cleaning it when I realized that I didn't actually buy my china pattern - I bought the original, German made china! Here's a picture of 2 dessert bowls. The one on the left is my old china (the knock-off) and the right is the new stuff I got yesterday. It's faded from use and washing, but otherwise you can't tell a difference just looking at them. (There's a different stamp on the bottom of each piece and there is a slight difference in weight between the two.)

After washing my new china, I put it all in my china cabinet and prettied things up a bit. Oh, I also now have 2 creamers and 2 sugar bowls.

We'll be eating dinner on my "new" china soon, just because! (And yes, I let my 5, 4 and 2 year olds eat off my china, they're just not allowed to pick up the plates. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Dresser

When I decided to use the buffet in our bedroom as a dresser, I knew I'd need another dresser. So, I started looking for one on Craigslist. I had certain criteria: I needed a dresser no bigger than 3 ft tall, 3 ft wide and 18 inches deep, with more than 2 drawers. I wanted a solid wood dresser and I didn't want to pay more than $50 for it. It took about 2 months to find what I wanted, but I did! Isn't it cute?

We picked up this dresser a few weeks ago. It was $45, the exact dimensions mentioned above and a heavy solid pine dresser! The only problem? It's missing the hardware on the bottom drawer. I found a couple of knobs (that originally came on the orange nightstand) to make the drawer usable for now. This dresser is going in my closet, so I don't care about matching hardware right now. I may change my mind about that later on, but for now I need to focus on my nursery projects.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Productive Weekend

Thursday, my good friend, Emily came over to help me clean up my house a little in preparation for our busy weekend together.

Friday afternoon, she came back. This time armed with a LOT of fabric to make curtains for her living/dining areas in her home. I have the bigger house, the know-how and the sewing machine, so she came to me. Since we were sewing, I finally got out my boys' bedroom curtain fabric and crib bumper/skirt fabric to work on. Friday, we got everything cut out while my husband watched all 6 of our kids (all age 5 and under!) by himself. He's such a sweetheart! Oh, and I also had Emily and my husband move the buffet/dresser into the dining area on a drop cloth so I could actually paint where it's warm.

This morning, Emily came back again to finish things up. She was able to completely finish 2 of her 4 curtain panels and get the rest pretty much prepped for sewing. (We're hoping to get together again next week to really finish up). I finished up 1 curtain panel and got 3 coats of paint on the buffet and the cabinet doors.

Here's how things look (with my stuff, since Emily took hers home with her tonight). I'll get a better picture of the curtains when I've finished the second panel and gotten them hung. I did 6 inches of stripes at the top and 12 inches at the bottom with the dinosaur fabric in between. I love how it turned out and all of my boys really like it.

Here's my buffet in it's current form. I still need to do one more coat on the front corners and across the front bottom. I was also able to get the cabinet doors mostly painted. The grooves on the doors need another coat or 2 to make things nice and white. I finished up the last 2 drawers earlier this week.

On top of the buffet, you can see the green fabric (freshly ironed!) that will be part crib bumper and crib sheets and a dark green trim cup that has all the missing hinges and screws for the cabinet doors on the buffet. I'd put the hinges in that cup for "safe keeping" a year ago and finally found them! I was not looking forward to trying to find new hinges that matched the current screw holes.

Even the hinges had been painted with latex black and white paint, so my husband will be stripping that off this week so I can spray paint the hinges Oil Rubbed Bronze to match the new hardware. Once my last few touch-ups are done on the buffet, we'll get some help to move all the furniture around and get the boys in their new room! I'm so excited, because then I can start on the nursery!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chocolate Roses

My friend, Cassie is doing these super cute chocolate roses for a craft night soon. I won't be able to go, but they just looked so fun, I had to make them! I got 3 dozen made in about an hour and a half. (One bag of Hershey Kisses=36 roses) They were super easy and fun to make. Son #2 already ate one, so I'm down to 35, now. My boys are going to be giving these to their teachers for Valentine's day.

I discovered after making them that I don't have a wide-mouthed vase, so I'm using a pitcher to store them until we get around to giving them out. You can also see all the crafting supplies I picked up this morning with my boys. I've got to do something since I can't be in the garage painting right now. We've been having record lows in Tucson lately and it's driving me nuts! My dressers were supposed to be finished by now, and instead I'm forced to do other things.

Friday, February 4, 2011

China Cabinet

This isn't much of a before and after, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. We got this china cabinet last summer on Craigslist, along with a matching buffet.
The hutch part of the china cabinet had gold painted diamonds on the glass (you can kinda see that in the picture above). I tried getting it off (I discovered that nail polish remover would get it off, but it was taking forever) when I finally decided to just get new glass for it. I didn't feel like nailing the trim holding the original glass back into the cabinet, so I hot glued the pieces in. Worked like a charm. My 2 year old came over and started hitting the glass while I was finishing up one of the sides. My head was in the hutch and he thought it was a fun game. The glass didn't budge, so I think hot glue was a wonderful, quick solution - and so does my husband. He'd been a little skeptical.

Here it is with the new glass and my china out of their boxes for the first time in 15 years! I haven't gotten around to making it look cute yet. That'll come after I know my boys aren't likely to want to touch/hold anything in the cabinet. I already told my hubby that now that we have the storage space, I'll be on the look out for some nice crystal goblets at the thrift store, too.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin