Monday, June 22, 2015

From My Mom

I have been having so much fun with flowers this year, and it's all because of two of my favorite people: my Husband and my Mom.

My Mother, among the many wonderful things she did for her children, always encouraged and facilitated the Trying of New Things. If we had an interest, she was ready to help us pursue it. And she loved to introduce us to new experiences!

(Peonies, iris, daisies, forget-me-not, something that looks like lacecap hydrangea, and vine-y weeds, all gathered from the yard while visiting my Mom.)

I don't know if I ever would have thought of flower arranging as something I could do, had my Mom not set up a class for myself and some friends. It was just a one time class when I was about 13, very basic and the flowers were nothing fancy - daisy, carnations, ferns.

 But it was so fun and satisfying, and it moved flower arranging from the mental category of "something florists do" to "something I can do." Isn't it funny, how we categorize things in our minds like that?

Thanks, Mom, for opening up so many possibilities (and for letting me play with your flowers)!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Kitchen: After-ish

So, we're not quite up to "After" in the kitchen. "After" implies finished, right? But while there are still a fair number of little projects to go, everything is useable, brighter, and far removed from the Very Scary Between! Happy sigh.

You may (or may not) have notice that the cabinet handles changed from oil rubbled bronze to silver. Well, that was the DIY that didn't. Someone on the web mentioned spray painting her hardware, and I decided to give it a try since I wanted silver handles to go with my lighten-and-brighten goals. It doesn't look bad in pictures, thankfully, but in person they look very fake, feel a little funny, and the silver is slowly chipping off. DIY fail. But for $12 it was worth a try. It will do until I get fed up and save up enough to replace them.

On to happier topics. Look at those lights! I LOVE them. They don't take up visual space or endanger our foreheads, and the light goes up, down and all around! It makes such a difference, especially at night.

I also love this curtain fabric! It was the first purchase I made for the house after we closed, because it was just so perfect. (Good thing too, I can't find it anywhere now!)  I like to have a mix of old and new. The rest of the house has history oozing from it's walls and woodwork and will probably get more modern fabrics and furnishings, but the kitchen already feels pretty modern. So I loved the stylized, almost colonial feel of the flower pattern, to bring in some "old".

But I also liked the modern color scheme. It ties in perfectly with the counter top, the teal flowers give me a starting point for the future island color, and it adds a hit of cheery yellow. I made the faux roman shade from the tutorial found here.

Ahh, those walls! So fresh, so smooth, so clean! The textured wallpaper I purchased for them, thinking that would be the only way to cover all the lumpy wallpaper remnants, turned out to be too thin and, ahem, cheap to use. (Hey, at least I didn't loose much moolah on it!) But the ladies who were going to hang it for me encouraged us to go ahead and smooth out the walls with some drywall mud and paint them. Since this was the look I really wanted, I was thrilled when my Hubby made it happen! (The mudding, not the painting. I tackled the paint with help from a wonderful friend.)

In the interests of honesty, I will hereby disclose that flowering greenery is a perfectly normal thing to see in our kitchen. Spotlessly clean and clutter free counters are not.

Projects still to be tackled include:
  • putting handles on the drawers
  • new silver handles for all the cabinets
  • putting up some baseboard
  • putting trim on the back of the island to cover the cabinet join
  • painting the island
  • getting stools for the island
We're getting there, but for now, everything is much brighter, cleaner and Me-er (I know, I know, it's not a word. But it should be.) Most importantly, the kitchen functions beautifully no matter how many cooks and helpers we have at work!

One more set of pictures, just for comparison. The Before:

And the After. 

Well . .  the After-ish. ;-)