Thursday, May 28, 2015

Farmhouse Kitchen: Updates

Well, as promised I here is the post on the kitchen updates.  There are still a very few things left for us to do - the floor being the biggest, but that's not scheduled to happen until the rest of the floors throughout the house are done and ready for refinishing (maybe next spring).

Remember how the kitchen used to look when we closed on the house?

Then we started the remodel...

This is the kitchen as it is right now...

I loved the hutch that was in here (LOVED IT!), but it wasn't functional.  I was always concerned about water ruining the finish as dishes were being put away or worried about the family slamming the doors to hard and breaking that wonderful bowed glass.  As a replacement we decided to go with another bank of cabinets and I have to say... I am SO glad this is what we did.  It provides more space and buffet dinners are well-served with this extra counter space.  I upper two (middle) cabinet doors are going to be glass sometime in the near future.  I have the glass - I just need to devote the time to find someone who will do it.  In the meantime this is what the east wall of the kitchen looks like.

The other side of the the kitchen I opted for open shelving.  I wanted to hone in on the more utilitarian decorative side.  Everything you see is used, almost daily.

I'm on the hunt for a self-standing (old-looking) cabinet for the left side of the stove, but I haven't found the perfect thing yet.  I found a bar of Ikea hooks at the thrift store for $.29 that I had Daniel mount on the end of the island.  I really didn't think about the location, but it works per-fect-ly for dish towels because there's a vent right below it so when there's air moving - it dries the towels quickly (aka - no mildew smells)

And of course there are a few extra hooks for a couple antique, embroidered towels and wisk brooms :o)

The stools for the breakfast bar were a steal from Craigslist.  Four of them for a song.  The three here are going to be painted and the fourth sits next to a bed elsewhere in the house as a night stand.  The great hardware tray was imported from Iowa... it was part of my birthday gift!

The sink that I thought I would be forever satisfied with... I'm not so satisfied with.  But neither is Daniel so that makes it ok :o)  Plans are to get another sink and faucet in the future sometime.

This upcoming week we have our first annual Spring Fling.  Hope to be back next Thursday, Lord willing, to share how it turns out.  Until then ;o)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Whole House Fan & Our Bedroom

So I promised some interior pictures this week, so here they are.  

Since we've been married, Daniel has talked about having a "whole house fan" like his friend's aunt had.  I hadn't seen one before, but I could tell just by the description it wouldn't be ANYthing decorative or aesthetic.  I was right in my presumption.  However, my husband doesn't say no to anything that I want to do around the house (within reason) so the one, single thing he requests I dare not say no to.

Last year we found a fan on Craigslist, but sadly (for him) that fan was too large and it would have taken a LOT of engineering and time to get it to work in our house.  But as (his) luck would have it... he found another on Craigslist just a couple months ago for a song and it was just the right size (yay!).  He, of course, snatched it up.  This past Saturday he didn't have to work his half-day and the weather seemed to be cooperating so installation of the fan was on the agenda.

First came the enormous hole in the ceiling.  A bit unnerving, I admit.  He didn't want to take down anymore drywall than had to come down so he beefed up the support on the joists on both sides with some drywall screws.  He was very careful to cut a very precise square that JUST fit the inner dimensions of the fan cover.  While up in the attic he noticed the reason for our creaky floors (and the drywall tape coming loose just past the fan opening)... the house has settled quite a lot and things aren't as they should be.  Next big thing... a beam underneath the house with a few jacks.

Looking straight up into the attic area.

I was doing gardening so I didn't get pictures of the next step which was a huge fan assemble sitting up top.  

The louvers have been cleaned, but not yet painted.
...but they work!!!!

Daniel pulled a wire though, inside the laundry closet for a switch that turns this bad boy on.  When it's on it pulls all the louvers open and all the stale, warm air from inside the house up through the roof venting and pulls cool outside air in.  I have to admit it's really been a nice addition.  I think I learn to overlook how visually unattractive it is.  We're going for an A/C free summer.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Now on to something a bit... prettier. Our bedroom.
It was my plan to share the kitchen this week, but I'm working on the finish of the new butcher block counter top right now...

From the living room this is what you see... I must preface with this: it's not finished.  To be honest, I don't think anything that has begun in our house is COMPLETELY finished.  For one of several reasons... either time, money, or just the right thing hasn't been found.

The floors are still not finished.  Mainly because they are currently functional and there are things through the rest of the house that has to be finished in a certain time frame and isn't functional.  But our room is, at least, free of the debris that it once had.  I wanted to stay light, but not all white.  My original plan was to paint everything WHITE.  I love white, but I've found that I don't need white to equal bright.  I found a Valspar paint from Lowe's that is called Quail Egg.  I love it!!!  We painted the trim in Ben Moore's (Advance) Simply White.  The Advance series is suppose to be a latex version of oil base paints as far as durability.  I cheapy roller blind is only a temporary solution - the blind I would really like is just too costly right now.  I'm looking for a headboard, but one that is very specific.  Until then... the bed will stay head-board-LESS.  All the linens have been found at thrift stores along the way.  The quilt is an old one that my mother had... it's actually baby pink and blue on the other side ;o)

The dresser was a Goodwill find.  It's lovingly referred to as "monster" around the house because it's just so large.  But I loved it and we needed a dresser.  1 + 1 = 2 right?  I had some white and tan paint left over so I mixed my own bone color to paint it with.  The chair just hasn't gotten painted yet.

The wheels/casters will come off, but my husband INSISTED they remain on until I find Monster's final position in the room because it's so heavy.  I love old baskets.  The one underneath holds extra blankets for cold nights.

A couple months ago I learned of a year-round flea market about an hour from us.  So... we took a drive.  I found this hutch top at one vendor that was displaying all of his own knick-knacks on it and asked if it was for sale too.  You never know unless you ask.  We bargained a little bit and I brought it home with me.  I knew exactly where it was going and what it would hold when I saw it.

The rocking duck under it was an impulse buy at an antique store.  My justification in buying it?  "It will be great for our grandchildren, honey...".  Love her!

Little table by the bed came from another little thrift store I happen every now an again.  It had another table that went with it and I kick myself now for not getting both.  The pet rock Ali's (our oldest daughter) first preschool craft.  

The pitcher came from an online auction.  I ended up getting thirteen different pitchers for $1.50 - I only kept four.  The berries... are the same berries I had on my dining table at Christmas.  They're from our property.

I'm in search of a much smaller mirror, but I haven't found the perfect one for the right price (cheap) yet.

This is what we see when we look out our back door.  The wire you see is the only (semi-tasteful) form of fencing that our pup, Nickerson respects.  It's electrified and it bites!

This is still my favorite spot right now.  It's where I do my morning bible reading.  It's where I find shade and a quart mason jar full of ice cold water during an intensive gardening day.  It's where the girls will occasionally find me napping ;o)

I know chives are for eating, but I just love their pouffy flowers.

This picture is not the greatest because it was raining, but I wanted to share my current project.  The table and chairs I got for free on Craigslist.  I'm planning to paint it... I don't know yet, but the little area just to the left of the table you can kind of see a cleared spot?  I'm working on clearing that area out for my "secret place".  It's so shady, quiet and peaceful down there.  I want to hang a hammock and chandelier surrounded by beautiful shade-loving hydrangeas.  It's slow coming right now as everything else takes priority, but maybe by this time next year it will look like what I want it to look like.

Hope you've had a great week and hope you have a wonderful upcoming weekend...
I'll be back again next Thursday.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Things We've Been Busy With Outside

My dear friend from Colorado Nebraska has been after me to post some recent pictures to the blog so she can see what we've been up to.  I realized that I hadn't posted any updates of the place for a very long time so I figured it was about time...

The dogwoods have been in full bloom here...  I love them and plan to add more the property (maybe next year).

And for the first time in a very long time I've been able to see what I planted come up for a second season.  The perennial garden around the house is doing very well.

I finally have my lilac...  this one is still a baby, but lilacs are cheaper when they're a baby.

A friend/neighbor of mine gave me some old fashioned white hydrangeas that I planted around the back deck.  They haven't yet bloomed, but I am looking forward to it!

A few more little things on the back porch - 

...from our church on mother's day...

The front porch is finally starting to look like a front porch instead of a work shop and storage building.

I have my porch swing... and the quilt over the back is an old thing I scored from a garage sale for $3.  However, I still have a pile of extra mouldings on the floor behind the swing because it's the only place we have to keep them that's dry and out of the way.  OH!  And by the way... see that screen door on the front there?  That was my mother's day gift from my hubby.  It will be painted later, but for now - the bugs can't forage freely in our house!

On the other end of the porch I have a few old, rustic things that I found and put together.

The property itself is beginning to shape up.

We've planted our very own little orchard; 3 apple, two peach, and two plum trees...

We lost all our Buff Orpingtons and our wonderful rooster over the winter.  We think it was a family of hungry fox, but we're not sure.  So this spring we bought another straight run of what we thought were Buffs, but it seems they may be Red Sex Links... not quite sure yet.

We also bought four Leghorn pullets - we'll have green, blue, brown, and white eggs now :o)

However... being close to the house I got tired of the smell and noise, so Daniel put wheels under it and converted our chicken coop into a very heavy chicken tractor and moved it out further in the property!

And the garden...

So far I have (that you can't quite see) planted lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, onions, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, spaghetti squash, and lots of herbs.

The west side of the garden my hubby built me an arbor with bench.  It's almost done - soon I'll actually be able to sit on it.  It was going to be for kiwi which is planted elsewhere now, but I bought a couple clematis to climb it.  The raised bed you see is strawberries.  There is a matching bed that will also be strawberries (next year).

This is the east side of the garden.  Just out of the camera's view is a row of blueberries.  Winter was pretty hard on them so we'll see how a good, strong growing season does them.  Maybe we'll actually get berries!  In this picture you can see the red romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and onions.

Now... on the north side of the garden we have raspberry bushes.

Hope you have enjoyed a tour of what we've been doing outside of our home.  Hopefully (keeping my fingers crossed) next week I'll share what we've accomplished on the inside...


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