Finding the Perfect Kitchen Island

Well, when we tore out the old island I knew exactly what I wanted to replace it with. Some decisions I waver a bit and can’t make up my mind, but not this time. I knew I wanted to find an old store counter and convert it.

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Yup! That is what I wanted. I looked around several antique stores where we live and some in the bigger towns close by. Nothing, nada, zip, there wasn’t even anything close.

Well a trip to my sons was coming up. He lives in a metro area, and near a large antique district, surely I would find it there…..

A wonderful weekend! Lots of shopping, Antiquing, and eating

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Here is the line outside VooDoo doughnuts. Yes we had one, and the line was short when we were got ours! It doesn’t show in this photo but the line wraps almost around the block!

I did find some great things at IKEA for the kitchen, but we never found an old store counter. Great food and time was had on my visit.

So on to plan B- build one. I looked for some inspiration, measured my area, and found out that the “ready made” cabinet we had leftover from the unused bathroom vanity would be perfect to start with. We had Bead Board leftover in the garage from a remodel project. I needed to make it wider, so my friend Frank stopped and picked up some ready made, unfinished cabinets for me to “alter” on both ends.
Work began in the garage on incorporating the pieces and the look. I looked to Sausha and her Island remake over at Sweet Pickins. (No I don’t stalk Sausha, she just has wonderful ideas, and I have followed her for several years and she now sells milk paint! Check her out)

She had a great idea of the black, (which I loved, she has now changed hers) and it included bead board (which I knew my cabinets would be) plus I had a few ideas up my sleeve to make my own “old general store counter”.

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It started with being modified, and base coated. I sure wish I knew about milk paint then. I know I would have gotten the perfect look I was after without all the fuss. I guess I didn’t take a lot of photos of this part, but it is pretty boring.

Good things are coming…..

Hugs,

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The Ugly Chair

The ugly chair girl strikes again!

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I found her at an Estate Sale.

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She was in the back bedroom. In her pinkish melted ice cream colored upholstery.

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The front edge was worn down to the wood, and she had a little odor to her.

Not the kind that has you plugging your nose, but it was there. Perhaps she belonged to a lady who smoked.

She sat at the dressing table where she put on her makeup.

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She had a dark mahogany wood and was sturdy so for the cheap price of $10 I figured I would give her a whirl.

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First off came her clothes, so I could figure out how much fabric and materials I would need to get. Out came her buttons and staples! What is it with a million staples?
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Sorry about the lighting and mess in this one, it was at night and I was excited to get a little paint on her.

She he got her jute web tightened, and all sanded down ready for her makeup. I then mixed up some milk paint. This was “Sweet Pickins” Light Cream, and was the first time I have used milk paint since the 90’s? It mixed up easy and I began painting. It dries pretty fast and I did touch it up a little with a second coat. I needed to spray a sealer on the bare wood to block the pink of the mahogany from bleeding through. I followed the next day with a little antique color by using a little Minwax stain, and followed with wax. She is looking good.

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The fabric is from Jo-Ann’s it was suiting that was Linen. The paint color was tricky to match.

Now for some new clothes.
Before she had tufting on her seat and back. I just really have never liked tufted seats. They seem like a catch all for all lint, dust, and crumbs. So I beefed up her seat padding to 2″ and kept her back at 1″. This was trimmed with an electric knife I picked up at a different Estate Sale. These gadgets work perfect with cutting foam! I then cut out dime sized holes (in the foam) where the button would go into the fabric and connect to the back. Then starting in the center, and working my way up, down, and side to side until they were all in place.

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Then it was pulled around back stapled. Then the padding added.

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From this point on I forgot to take any photos? Not sure what happened. (I think I got excited on how she would turn out) But the foam padding was added, stapled and trimmed to fit. Then the poly batting was stretched over the seat and secured with a few staples to hold it in place. the fabric was stretched and stapled, while rotating the chair. The legs were the trickiest part as the fabric is trimmed very close to the staples on the front legs. From here the trim was glued around the back piece, and the curve of the front leg.

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A few uphostery tacks were added to her backside like decorations to your Jeans pockets. Just a little extra flash.

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She turned out pretty cute, to start out rather ugly. She is small, and the perfect little chair to fit in anywhere.

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This photo makes the back and seat look like they are different colors. They are not in real life, she is a very pretty tone of linen. Now I have 3 different ugly chairs waiting for me. I can’t decide if this one goes or stays?

Hugs

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Milk Painted Buffet

So it all started with this little buffet.

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Sorry about this terrible photo, I can’t find the better “before” one I know I took! Isn’t that how it always goes? I have drug this thing around with me for years. It belongs to my mom. It wasn’t that special to her. She purchased it long after I moved out and had my children. It was refinished and really nothing special. It was however small and the perfect size to put just about anywhere. I even tried to sell it a couple of times over the years I’ve had it, but it never sold and I kept it.

She had her issues many I didn’t realize until I finally decided to give her an update. I wanted to try Milk Paint on her.

So with the help from Sausha at “Sweet Pickins” http://www.sweetpickinsfurniture.com

 I ordered Light Cream and some Bonding agent. I got distracted, and finally found time to start her.

First I sanded her lightly, nothing dramatic. I filled in a couple of spots that were lacking veneer. As I began working on her I noticed this wasn’t her first face lift. She has had a rough go around before. Her sides have been replaced. Her top has been peeled of old veneer and salvaged what was left. Her bottom lifted, and her door cut off and rehung. She is missing parts of her legs, and I found some interesting holes in her.

I had a plan, she was going to get a nice smooth coat of paint with some slight distressing on the edges. She would keep her salvaged top for now, and some new hardware.

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Well I think she wasn’t happy about another facelift. Mixing the paint, bonding and getting it on her was the first part. Then sand and another coat, then another…..she did do a little crack and peel. Some area required more coats than others. It was not the paint, it was HER. She had so many different parts, with what I now know where different finishes. She distressed on her legs more than anywhere else. And her doors showed their remodel as a light color. She was sort of “Frankenstein”.

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All in all, she chose what she wanted. When I do my “ugly chairs” I let them tell me what they want. So I finally started to listen to this little girl. Her doors would have some kind of graphics on them. And since she wanted to be chippy, and rough we would let her age show proudly. I searched through “The Graphics Fairy” but couldn’t find anything I really thought was her. I did find some words I liked, so decided to would free hand some words on her doors. Went with the Tea and Coffee theme. Painted it by hand so it is old and primitive, then sanded it and aged it with a mix of 2 colors of stain and wax.

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(Here I’ve applied the stain wax mixture to the drawer and the left hand door). Then I sanded her real good before adding, more coats of the wax. I let the wax settle into her crack and holes. Like maybe she was a coffee server at one time and is stained from the years of grounds and drips.

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I found some old clear glass knobs in my box of hardware I keep, so those went on her. She now looks like she is ready for service as a Coffee Bar. She has plenty of storage for everything you might need.

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She isn’t perfect. And this one lives with me.

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Hugs

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Kitchen Updating Turns Remodel part #1

So when I decided to remodel the kitchen, it came about in an odd way. It all happened really by accident, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

It all started with a new washer and dryer. I told Mr nostalgia I thought it was time to update our set of front loaders. We had had them for a while and used them a lot. I just figured it was better to upgrade before we had to.

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This is the old set, there is a funny story how we sold them on Craigslist! That will be a later post.

While in Lowes one day I checked out the current brand and models we all ready owed. Check! They look good to me, I would love to venture out and do a color but, white is fine and goes with everything and blends well. Oh yeah we will go will the pedestals too.

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Well a few months before Mr. Nostalgia and I had been in Lowes to pick out items for his business remodel and bought ourselves a new microwave. We looked at new refrigerators and of course men being men he picked out the biggest and best that he liked! We didn’t buy one just cruised.

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So while I’m there looking at washer’s and dryers, I check out refrigerators, and ranges. The wonderful sales associate answers all my questions while I took photos on my phone to share with Mr. Nostalgia. The sales associate informs me that they will be have a sales event coming up and all the details, writes up my selections and I’m on my way.

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Of course when I show Mr. Nostalgia his refrigerator photos well that the one he has to have. So on the sales weekend I head to Lowes to purchase my new appliances, Washer, Dryer, range and the refrigerator. They are all set and delivery is set up.

Here it comes…..the refridgerator is to wide and to tall for the opening. So I tear out the cabinet above the old one, and the little cabinet next to the stove. Now we will have to do some work, but not to bad.

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Delivery day!

I have to take a lunch from work to come home while they install the new washer and dryer, range, and refrigerator. Everything goes pretty smooth until the refrigerator.It won’t fit between the pantry door and the kitchen island. They have to remove the French doors and bottom freezer drawer. Thankfully it fit! However you cannot really open the doors and work in the kitchen.

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Sorry about this blurry photo, only one I could find of the enormous island!

So the remedy was to hire help and we tore out the island. We hauled in an old cabinet from the garage to sub in while we figured out what to do with the kitchen.

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Until part 2

hugs

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Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have made these for years. I made them when my children were at home, for parties, School events, and just to have in the cookie jar. (However they rarely made it to the jar!)

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They are not diet, or really healthy. I have over the years made them with better ingredients. whole wheat flour, real butter, then fresh eggs out of the hen-house. I use organic flour, sugar, and try to make them as healthy as a “real” cookie can get. Without turning them into something different. I rarely make them anymore.

Today I made them. No special reason really, was something to do. I had a break in a some furniture rehab projects. Besides my hired hand was working out back and I knew I could send some off with him.

I would get asked for the recipe all the time, then when people made them they would say “My cookies didn’t turn out as well as yours did, what is your secret?” I had a secret? Well I started referring to my “secret ingredient” when I shared cookies with someone new. So when they asked for the recipe I would say, “Do you own a Kitchen Aid mixer?” If they said yes, I would tell them that was the secret to the cookies. You see these cookies need to not be just mixed, but beat, well almost whipped! That is the only thing that makes mine different. So let’s whip up some cookies

in your mixer bowl add

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup shortening (I have used Butter flavored Crisco, but palm shortening would work.
1/2 Cup softened, not melted Butter

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Place into mixer bowl and mix at medium speed.
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Remember to stop and scrap sides. Continue to mix at medium speed for another 5 minutes.

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Crack 2 eggs in small bowl, then add to mixer.

Continue to mix, add

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract.

1 small box vanilla instant pudding. (I told you these weren’t healthy)

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Remember to stop and scrap sides. Continue to beat at a higher rate of speed for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Remember this is the secret ingredient!
In a separate bowl.

2 1/2 Cup Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

dash salt

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Add flour to mixer slowly into wet ingredients. It will become stiff. Remember to scrap sides. Remove bowl and add Chocolate Chips. I added the Ghiradelli bag and it was too many!

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What? There is no such thing as to many chocolate chips! Well these are oversized and I had a hard time keeping them in the cookie dough while getting them onto the cookie sheet.

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Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for. 8 to 10 minutes.

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They will not look done, just slightly brown around the edges. They will continue to cook a little and settle into a moist, chewy perfection.
I let then sit on the silpat for a couple more minutes as they go from puffed up to a more leveled off and crackled appearance, then transfer to wire cooling rack.

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Hugs,

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Non Potato Hashbrowns

So last Sunday I fixed a big breakfast, bacon, eggs and “hash-browns”. I wasn’t thinking about sharing them at that time, but they turned out so good I figured why not?

I had bought 3 large rutabagas at a farmers market. Oh they were big, I wish I would have taken a photo of them. They were the size of large grapefruit. Anyway I trimmed the ends and peeled them, cut them into quarters and ran them through the food processor to grate them.
After each one was shredded I placed them into a large zippered freezer bag. The last one I heated my large cast iron skillet up, added my coconut oil and then my shredded rutabaga. These cook pretty well no snappin or popping like potatoes do.

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Love my old cast iron! I turned them a couple of times so they were even browned, and tender. While I was doing all of this my wonderful bacon was on the parchment paper in the over cooking away.

When the hash-brown were just about there, I heated up my egg pan and cooked my eggs.

Everything came together perfect, so I dished it up and added a little chopped cilantro to the top!

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Yummy! They have a different flavor than potatoes, in fact that is the great thing they have flavor. I try to follow a Paleo diet, but I’m not strict.

Just looking at this photo, I can’t wait for another morning to have those hash-browns again.

Hugs,

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A quick Goodwill stop pays off

So I ran an errand today, and got my haircut. It had been a while, I try to keep it shorter now. Not as long as it was in the past. Today it doesn’t touch my shoulders.

On my way I had time to stop at our local Goodwill. Today it was 1/2 price Blue day. I’m not sure where you live if Goodwill changes their colors on what days. I haven’t tracked the color changes to know what the rotation is. Maybe I like the surprise of it when I go in!

It seems I always find a treasure, a brand new muffin tin, a mini whip for milk paint, a piece of something I can use, collect, or pass on to someone. Once in a while I find a piece of furniture to remake. When that happens I am happy. I become even happier when said piece is very reasonable! (Cheap)

Today that happened. My treasure had an Orange tag, not discounted. But it was ok I was happy with what I got. And left with 3 treasures.
I have a new obsession, it is with chairs. More on my chair addiction in another post, anyway here is my haul from today.

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This lovely thing with its odor came home with me for a makeover. The price was right! You will see the after shots when it is finished. I can’t decide what to upholsterer it in any ideas? The crushed blue velvet has to go.

These came home too.

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Sorry about the hand, but wanted someone to see how many corks were in this bag  it is full, I have a couple of projects lined up to use them with. Plus I will gift some these.

My last purchase was this old liquor bottle. It made me laugh that it said
“Federal law forbids sale or re-use of this bottle”

Said bottle was 1/2 price.

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Who get into trouble for selling it?

So I have a new, or I guess a few more projects to work on, guess it keeps me out of trouble.

Hugs

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