Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Supper Club

Eighteen months ago today my daughter gave birth to identical twin boys. (7 lbs 15 oz and 7 lbs 2 oz). I cannot even tell you how excited we were to hold those little fellas!! For the first month of their lives, I had the privilege of driving the hour to their house every Sunday evening and staying until Tuesday evening when I headed home and the other grandma headed to them. Then on Thursday evening, we switched places and I went up again and stayed until Friday evening. We let the little family fend for themselves on the weekend because Daddy was home.

One Tuesday as I was heading home, my husband called and said, "Jan and Sherm want to know if we want to go out to dinner. She's been babysitting grand kids all day and she's too tired to cook. Do you want to go?" Did I want to go?!?!? Helping with newborn twins is exhausting (although fabulously fun) work!! I too was too tired to cook! And so began "The Supper Club". We decided that since I would be doing this for awhile and she babysat on Tuesdays, we should make it a weekly thing. Now a lot has changed in those 18 months - those babies have grown,

until they are half as tall as me! They can walk, run, jump, climb and keep a Grandma hopping!

My dear friend has gone through breast cancer and sometimes that meant supper was brought to their house and we ate together. But we have missed very few weeks (only when one or the other of us has been traveling!) And now we have added more people so that we have eight in our group. We take turns choosing where to eat and try to be adventurous and try new places!
. . . hmmm, something very important is being discussed. . .

Between the eight of us we've had lots of loss, sadness, joy, and sharing! And that's what friends are for! What would we do without them?

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Giveaway at Pineconeprim

Click here to visit Pineconeprim where you can enter a giveaway to win one of these darling homemade bags!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Project

I decided this weekend that my cupboard handles needed sprucing up. Two years ago when we salvaged these cabinets, they were shiny brass and I painted them platinum. They've held up well, but were starting to show some wear. And I really wanted black now. So out came the screw gun and all 27 handles (2 screws each) came off and were lined up for painting.

Ready - set - paint!

A shiny coat of black spray paint - tops, then turn so one side gets it, then turn again for the other side.

And then getting them all screwed back on!

Finished - for now. Still don't know what to
do with the floor - any ideas? I've thought about painting it - it's linoleum. That way I could "try out" some different looks before we spend the big bucks! I'm flipping between a slate look, wood floors, tile, etc.
For more Do-it-Yourself projects, go to "A Soft Place to Land" by clicking here!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Kitchen

When we moved into the Enchanted Bungalow six years ago, the kitchen was, ummm "charming", but not really useable. I do not have pictures of what it looked like then, but here it is after I added some color to the cabinets. You will notice the drawers are stuck out - they really didn't work and we could never get them totally shut. After a bit, I added the painted blue and yellow checkered backsplash. We used it that way for four years and then our friends told us their neighbors were going to remodel their kitchen and planned on taking a sledge hammer to their cabinets. EEEEKKK! Those were solid wood - sure the finish was worn and they had a definite 70s feel, but the shelves pulled out and they were solid!! We could have them for FREE if we could get them out of there within two weeks. We gathered our work force (friends are what makes the world go round!) and took them out and to our house in one day. It took us one whole month to dismantle our kitchen and put it back together.

It was amazing how the "new" cabinets fit into our floor plan and how good they looked with a coat (okay - three coats) of white paint on them. Our plan was to get new cabinet doors for them so they would go with our house, but it's been two years and that hasn't happened yet.

We kept the faux brick because we liked it and we kept the upper cabinets. When we moved in there were open shelves on one wall which I liked. However, we found the doors in our basement and I had my clever mister cut out the center panels and we replaced them with glass so that I wouldn't have to dust so much! (I'm a tiny bit lazy when it comes to dusting). The tiles for the backsplash are left overs from a project my husband did for some friends.

Ahhhh - a dishwasher!!

Yes, that is a kitty door you see on the right hand side of the picture. Before we remodeled, that was a big door that opened to a hole so you could throw your tea towels down to the laundry in the basement. I told my husband I would miss that part when we took out the door and drywalled it in. So he, being the clever man that he is, put in this kitty door so I could still throw my towels down to the laundry! So convenient!

Oops - you can see my peach cobbler cooling on the red cart - mmmmm it was delicious!

We are not totally done - we're still trying to decide what to do with the floor and I am constantly changing the counter "decor", but I love it every morning when I go in there!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Love Flowers!!

My friends gave me some "Esther" tulips for my birthday. I can't wait until they come up next spring and I can see what they are like! But for now, I'll be happy with my dahlias. I love the way flowers transform the ordinary into the "fabulous"!!

Ordinary wine bottles

Old Jars

My collection of 25c toothbrush holders from Goodwill Fourth of July bouquet



I love flowers!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Perfect Chair for roughly 20 bucks.

My daughter, Janna, and her husband and twin babies live in an urban cottage built in 1924 that she has named Knottliten Cottage (Knottliten meaning very tiny). Their living room is especially narrow and as such, their large brown recliner never really fit well. They moved the large brown recliner downstairs to the playroom and found a smaller, attractive chair at IKEA -

IKEA Tullsta Chair

The chair is white and the slip cover is cream, gray or red plaid, none of which worked for her living room, so she decided not to purchase it and keep looking. It just so happened that I had an extra IKEA Tullsta chair in my house, because I had bought two new ones from IKEA (the cream slip covers worked for me) and a few weeks later found the same chair and slipcover at a garage sale for $5. I didn't know Janna was looking at this same chair at the time. When she told me she wanted that chair, except for the color, I decided to try using dye on the slip cover. It took five packs of dye (~15.00) in my washing machine with the slip cover and small pillow, but it turned out great. The color matches her living room and she found an adorable round footstool at Home Goods for $30 to go with the chair. Because it was a used chair it already has more of a shabby, comfy look to it, which fits their cottage perfectly.

The chair in Knottliten Cottage.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yard Retreat

As you can see from the picture of the little cottage, our yard was just a tree with some very uneven "grass". When you live in the Northwest, you need all the sunshine and fresh air you can get, so we have tried to make this yard a place where we can sit and be comfy - even if it is a bit drizzly. A good friend helped with the flagstone and handy Hubbie broke out crumbling concrete and poured new. The jasmine was just an 18" plant in a pot when we moved here 6 years ago. It has now taken over the fence and blooms from spring to late summer. It was given to me by a good friend when my mom died 7 years ago and I brought it with us when we moved. It brings me memories of her and of the friend who gave it to me every time I look at it. (and it smells wonderful!!) The yard has proven to be a great place for summer potlucks, dessert buffets and hot tub parties!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How did I get here? Part 2

The Enchanted Bungalow, circa 1885.

I had a picture in my mind of the house I wanted - a 1920s cottage maybe. But there were very few houses to choose from at that time and we were hitting a deadline! So, this Bungalow was it - it wasn't exactly what I wanted, but at least you didn't have to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom - and it even had 3 bathrooms!! It was a great location and certainly had some charm. Besides, it had an adorable little cottage in the backyard! We decided we could make it work! So, that's how I got to this house. And why is it enchanted? Because I was here only a few months and it had me "wrapped around it's front porch . . .

The Cottage behind the Enchanted Bungalow, circa 1925.
I love to change things and this house has been the gracious backdrop for all my experiments. It's been cottage, craftsman, Italian villa - you name it! And it is settling into all three styles (okay, basically "eclectic") with great comfort and charm.