Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kitchen Renovation Reveal...


Well, folks, it's been long in coming, but I've finally gotten around to posting our kitchen renovation. For starters, it took about 5 1/2 weeks from start to finish, but I'm sure it could have been a week less if we hadn't gone on a 10 day vacation in the middle of it. I did get sick of eating out -- and for a girl who eats out a lot, that's saying something. One tip I would give if you are thinking about a kitchen renovation is to keep your microwave till the end of the reno. We had the kitchen gutted and all the appliances but the fridge taken away at the beginning of the project. It would have been great to have the microwave on a table to use during the reno. That's about the only thing I would have done differently. Also, we didn't change the footprint of our kitchen. I've always loved the spaciousness in our kitchen and I've never needed or wanted an island. That's due to the large peninsula we have with so much working space. Not changing the footprint really cut down on costs, which was great. Our kitchen does have plenty of room to add an island if someone would want to do so in the future.

Let's start with some before and after photos from different angles. Here's the angle showing the before desk area and the after. I guess you could say we changed the floor plan by taking out the desk. In the 25 years we lived here, we never used the desk as a desk. The counter above it became a catch-all for mail and the likes, so we didn't want it in the new kitchen. We love that the new area has more storage with more cupboards below and above...



Here's another angle. We always had a "built-in pantry" in the kitchen (shown in second photo), but the new pantry has pull-out shelves, so it is much more usable.



Another angle...




I absolutely love the products we decided upon. The cabinets are a warmer "white" than it shows in the photos, and the glaze around the cabinets picks up the dark brown in the granite. I wanted a really simple subway tile for the backsplash. I don't care for a "busy" backsplash. I would much rather the granite and the cabinets be the star, than the backsplash -- although the backsplash is often what your eye is drawn to first. I love the gray tile with the cream cabinets. The tile picks up the gray in the granite, and the cupboards pick up the whites in the granite -- beautiful...


I love decorating once a room has been renovated, and I always tend to add a touch of whimsy. I didn't want a lot on the counters. Most of the time anything on my counters in the kitchen has to be functional... except for these mice. I bought them in Bar Harbor, Maine, on our trip. Fell in love with them... even though I cannot stand the real thing...


Well, that's about the end of the tour. I did buy one more thing that pretty much typifies my life right now. It's this sign....


I choose joy. That's something I want to be reminded of daily -- that joy and happiness are a choice we make -- not a circumstance. One more thing I choose is fresh flowers -- often. {P.S. - I'm a sucker for Joanna Gaines' new line at Target. Get a load of that beautiful pitcher.}



Monday, November 06, 2017

Another Dishtowel Curtain...


A couple of days ago I posted about a dishtowel curtain I made for our kitchen windows. I decided to make another set of dishtowel curtains for our nook area -- our informal dining area just off the kitchen. A little background info...

I've had a collection of blue and white plates for years. My parents started my collection with plates from Williamsburg and various places in Europe. Each time they would visit a spot they would bring me home a blue and white plate. After awhile other family and friends continued the tradition and soon I had enough blue and white plates to cover the soffit around my kitchen. Here's what it looked like...


I liked it for a long time, but for the last several years I was definitely in the mood for a change. Ergo, the kitchen renovation and the removal of the plates. The plates, however, have a sentimental place in my heart, so I wanted to find a way to use some. I ended up moving some of them to a wall in our informal dining area off the kitchen, but that created another problem. What to do with little window to the left of the plates and the other identical window on the other side of a sliding glass door in the same room.


I knew I wanted to play off the blue and white plates, and I had just bought the dishtowels for the curtains in the kitchen, so I decided to look for another dishtowel that might work. I found another dishtowel at Cost Plus World Market that I loved...


I bought a tension rod from Amazon and made a simple gathered curtain.  These windows are narrow -- only about 17" in width. I used two towels per window. 

Here are some very simple instructions for how to make these curtains. All you'll need is:

a tension rod
double fold bias tape
 & dish towels 
That's it!

I picked up some double fold quilt binding bias tape at Hobby Lobby and cut a length the width of the towel + 1".

Unfold the bias tape and iron the middle fold flat. {See above right.}


On the wrong side of the towel, pin the bias tape 1 1/4" from the top of the towel to make a casing for the tension rod. When you get to the edge of the towel, turn under the ends of the bias tape about 1/2" on each side. Then stitch the bias tape to the towel close to the top and bottom edge, leaving the ends open.


Insert the tension rod through the casing you've made and you're done. It's the easiest curtain I've ever made. 


These curtains literally take minutes to make. Like... five minutes -- maybe six if you're feeling a bit sluggish that day.


I was kind of limited by colors, but here are other samples of cute dish towels at World Market that could be transformed into curtains...


Love those pom-poms. Anyway, one last look at the dishtowels turned curtains I made. Love these simple and easy-to-make curtains...

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Kitchen Dishtowel Curtains...


When we decided to renovate our kitchen, I knew it would be a gut job. Everything went. Although we contracted out all the heavy work, I knew the decorating tasks would be left up to me. {Yay!} There's nothing I love more. I started looking on Pinterest for some curtain options for our corner kitchen windows and the windows in our nook (right next to the kitchen). One of the options I found on Pinterest was this dishtowel curtain idea from "Refresh Restyle."


I fell in love. So simple to make and I love the looser weave on cotton dishtowels that still give privacy, but allow light to filter through. I especially loved the little tassels on the ends of the towels.  So, I started looking for some creamy towels with a touch of gray and I found these at Cost Plus World Market...


Love at first sight. This inexpensive dishtowel (regularly $3.99, but often on sale for $3.19 each) has the same adorable tassels with just the colors I needed. Unfortunately, I have two corner windows that are much taller and wider than the window in the picture above, so these dishtowels were not as long as the length of my windows. That's ok, however, because I love my curtains in these windows to be a little more than half the length of the window. Weird? Maybe. But, my windows have a northern and eastern exposure, so I get the glorious early morning sunshine through them. I love my curtains in that spot to reach a little more than halfway up the window allowing us the privacy we need, but low enough to fill my kitchen with sunlight! I tried just folding the top a few inches more than they had in the above window, but then the window coverings looked bulky and weird, so I went a different route.

First, as I said, my windows are wide, so I used four dishtowels per window. I sewed two together lengthwise for one side of one window and two more together for the other side of that window.  I cut off the top of the towels 23" from the bottom (tassels not included). I marked, folded, and pressed the fabric 21" from the bottom of the towel. Then I folded the hem under twice, so I had about a 1" hem and the dishtowel was 21 inches long.


I ordered some curtain clip rings and a couple of tension curtain rods.  Put them all together and whaaalaaa....


Mind you, I only have my iPhone to take photos, so inside photos are always dark, but you get the idea. One more...


Since I was on a dishtowel roll, I also made some dishtowel curtains for the nook area that I'll post about soon. Wishing you a wonderful fall weekend!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cruise...


This month the hubs and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary. For our anniversary we went on a cruise from Quebec, Canada to various ports in northeast Canada and the United States.


It was heavenly. The fall colors were beautiful, but even more impressive were the amazing ports we visited. Here's a very quick one-photo-per-city tour of our trip...

Quebec, Quebec, Canada...


Sidney, Nova Scotia, Canada...


Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada...


St. John, New Brunswick, Canada...


Bar Harbor, Maine, USA


Boston, Massachusetts, USA...


Portsmouth, New Hampshire...


I came back to a kitchen renovation that is just about complete. Tomorrow the appliances arrive! It's been a long five and a half weeks without a usable kitchen, so I'm very excited to break in the new appliances with a little home cooking. I will publish a post next week of the kitchen "before" and "after."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

40 Halloween Decorations


Forty Halloween decorating ideas and their links are posted on Shutterfly this morning -- including my "Countdown to Candy!" {If you want to request the "Countdown to Candy" document, do so before October 12th, or you'll have to wait till October 23rd for the document to be sent to you.}


Go here to check out these fun ideas at Shutterfly! 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Reed's Quilt...


One of the challenging things about making a quilt for everyone in our family is the fact that a bunch of them are older boys and men. There are so many fabrics that are appropriate for girls or women, and so few for teenage boys or men. This quilt is for our almost-twelve-year-old grandson Reed.


One thing is for certain, however, and that is most teenage boys like cars. When I saw this Jeep fabric I considered it a shoe-in for Reed. The coordinating fabrics put the icing on the cake!


Reed is our oldest grandson and when the grandkids are all together they all look up to Reed. Our younger grandsons particularly adore him. He's fun-loving and patient with them all. Since there are seventeen grandkids under nine, that's says a lot about Reed's personality.


I've decided I love this particular pattern for a quilt. It's an easy quilt pattern that works up in hours, rather than days, which is important since I have so many quilts to finish. It also highlights the fabric -- rather than the pattern on the quilt -- which I love!


I chose a quilt pattern that reminds me of puzzle pieces for the quilting...


And the back is a mix of the fabrics found on the front of the quilt...


I hope to put a few more quilt tops together this week. Right now I have five quilts at the longarm quilters that will need binding when I pick them up and six more quilts to make. {I can do this!}


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Blake's Quilt...


It's been awhile since I've published a post, but I've been very busy with a complete kitchen remodel and completing quilts. Mind you, we're not doing the kitchen remodel ourselves, but it still takes a lot of time to pick out fixtures, cabinets, countertops, etc.

A couple of weeks ago I had nine quilts that I'd gotten back from my longarm quilter and each one was in need of binding. I'm happy to say I have finished all those quilts in the last two weeks! Two of them were for grandkids and seven for sons or daughters of ours. This one is for our eight-year-old grandson Blake...


When I asked Blake for his favorite colors and themes for a quilt, he gave me -- green, teal, and orange; tigers, cats, and owls. Unfortunately, he didn't get one of those in this quilt. When I saw this fox fabric I immediately thought of Blake, and that was the end of my search! It wasn't hard to find two contrasting fabrics...


I love this foxy fabric from a Robert Kaufman line called Minis Fox Natural.


Blake is such a fun kid. He always has a smile on his face, and he has no fear. He came for a visit this summer with his brother and sister. One day we drove up to a swimming pool for an afternoon of fun, and he immediately stated he was going to jump off the high dive {operative word being "high".} The mother/grandmother in me got a little scared. I didn't want to be accused of my cutie patootie getting hurt on my watch from a colossal belly flop. He, however, was undeterred.


Without a thought he marched right up to the end of that diving board and hurtled himself off. I held my breath till he broke the surface of the pool multiple seconds later. I love his enthusiasm for life.


I chose a cute swirly pattern for the quilting. It's playful and fun like Blake...


I've decided I'm not going to post photos of my kid's and kids-in-law's quilts. I was going to post pictures but not tell whose quilt it is, but some of them look so much "like" the person that I'm pretty sure they will know it's theirs. I want their quilts to be a surprise, so I've decided not to show a picture of those quilts till after they open them for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Miles' Quilt...


This week I hope to work on binding the nine quilts in my closet that need binding. Me = deer in the headlights look. It's a little overwhelming. The other day I counted and I only have eight more quilts to make. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that they are all adult sized quilts, so they take more time, but I'm on the downward slope so I've got to keep a positive attitude.

Little Miles turned six-years-old this summer. He and his cousin Hudson are pals, so I used the same inspiration fabric on both quilts, but the accompanying fabrics are different. Here are the fabrics I chose for Miles...


Miles and Hudson have several things in common. They are only a few weeks apart in age, and they are the only boys among the children in their families. This, they deem as a mighty weight upon their slim little shoulders.


Miles is the oldest child in his family. He has three younger sisters who he adores and watches over with love. He's a charming little southern guy, who opens the doors for the women/girls in his life, and says "thank you" at all the appropriate times. I love him so much.


From far away this quilt looks like it has off-white blocks and the dino blocks, but there are actually three major players in this quilt. There is a natural cream colored fabric, the dino and the circles fabric...


For the boarder and back of the quilt I chose a light and dark chocolate brown diamond checked print that is really cute with the other fabrics...


For the next few weeks we are having our kitchen renovated. Today they are completing the tear-out that they started yesterday. Thursday and Friday new cabinets will be installed. We're very excited.


In the meantime I will be plucking away at binding the quilts in my closets!