Tuesday, February 19, 2013

reclaimed cabinet upgrade

As I sit to write this post I realize it involves some back story, I'll try to be brief. 

Our kitchen cabinets are original to this 1985 house. Back when it was really fancy to have a oven/microwave combo installed IN your cabinets. Thankfully, someone before us replaced the oven.

 However, we were left with a gaping hole above it in our cupboards, apparently meant for a microwave but that seemed ridiculous to us. I'm barely 5'3", I don't think retrieving hot soup from over my head is an awesome idea. We have been filling the unsightly space with cookbooks, and um, open bottles of wine.

Dana actually got the jump on me with this project and removed the pieced-together-wood-framing part of the cupboard before I could show you it's nastiness. So this is a before-ish picture.

Here is a pic from Thanksgiving, if you look above Desmond's head you can see the extra wood pieces outlined by WOOD GLUE. 
Pay no attention to my mother, she may kill me for appearing here...I love you mom, you are lovely.

Totally usable, but not super classy. 

Then, during our bar demolition, I had a spectacular idea.

Would any of these cupboard doors fit our hole above the oven?
 A quick measure and, oh happy day, these middle guys would work perfectly...

...IF I could remove all of the serious ick on them. Good thing we never actually used these cabinets.

Nothing my friends Mr. Clean and D.White Vinegar couldn't handle. I swear they are our nicest looking cabinet doors now, and if you were wondering, they smell good too. 

Now let's get back to the upgrade!

Dana took the vertical center beam from the bar as well and fit it right into the cabinet. Since it was a cabinet of sorts once in it's life it was already notched out at the top center. That microwave outlet was sure handy when it came time to drill too.

And while I distracted Desmond in another room, the cabinet doors went on and it was like a whole new kitchen. Well, as new as it's getting for a while.

You know I love a free upgrade. It may have taken Dana away from working on the nook for a day but I think we both agree it was worth it. 

Let's have another look at our before-ish picture.

And After.

I guess when you aim to fail spectacularly you reap little victories along the way. YAY!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

nook update

We are now a little over a month into our New Year's Home Project Resolutions, let's see how that's going, shall we?

This is where we left off after a little help from our holiday guests (family) removing the bar. You can check out that endeavor here if you missed it.

We're on our own for the rest of the nook demo, most of which is happening one small task at a time in the evenings.

Goodbye totally dysfunctional wine rack.

How can something that looks so rickety be so well anchored to the wall? With GIANT screws!!! 
Yes, some drywall was damaged in the process.

Dana tackled the top, it was time for me to tear out the bottom.

Which I found the energy to do at 9pm on a weeknight. It was dark and cold and Dana was not going to the shed to get me the crowbar. The sink and countertop came out easy, they were barely attached, but this small strip of molding gave me trouble.

Apparently, I didn't really need the stinking crowbar. I may look small, but watch out.

Note the plastic toolbox, Desmond was "helping."

And our wood floor miracle continues...yay!!!
Granted it doesn't exactly reach the wall but it's a much easier, and cheaper, fix than putting in a whole chunk of floor.

Now we are getting somewhere!
Just some plumbing, and drywall, and electrical...

Clearly Dana needs one more person to point out the drywall issues.
At least this little guy is cute.

So this is where we are. Cross your fingers, the plumbing is already seeming to be easier than it appears here. 
The drywall? Let's just say that Dana will be an expert by the time this project is done.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


How does getting a stash of almost free stuff make my to-do list longer? Does this happen to you? 

This past weekend was the annual local Craft Swap. A day I look forward to for months in advance.

 I stayed on track this year and came home with less than I brought, which is a good thing. 3 bags swapped in, 1 bag + 1 box swapped out.

Let's take a look at my loot:

Embroidery floss. This stash has already been put to work on the new infant hats I'm working on for The Cloth Diaper Project.

Early on I found this. It's Amazing! 12 quilt pieces ready to be made into an actual quilt.

 Ohhhhh, how this makes me so happy. I can't wait to pick a backing fabric and get started. Hmmmmm, where to fit this guy in the list, he's gonna take some time.

I grabbed these fabric pieces too. The purple-ish one on the far left is feeling like a great summer dress to me.

2 tiny scraps of this fabric made my day...really. I already have a piece of this awaiting a project but it isn't enough, this small amount is just perfect.

Speaking of my many projects, here is the box I came home with tucked under my arm and yet another task added to the list.

I pounced when I saw it though. I love an old wood box.

Luckily the box didn't smell, but it was pretty dirty on the inside with harden clumps of shoe polish, not unexpected from a shoe-shine box.

After I cleaned it out and removed the lid I pondered ways to clean up the bottom. None of them seemed quick or easy and I honestly didn't want this project to sit around for a year.

So I did what I always do and headed to my fabric stash.

Aha! Easy Peasy! And done in under an hour. 

Time to load it up with some homeless supplies and sewing machine manuals.

Oh, that Jute! I ran out right before xmas and then some magically appeared in my stocking. Proof that my husband really does listen...sometimes.

So another Craft Swap has passed with great swapping success. 
And I may have only added 5 projects to the list...sure. 

But hey, I've completed one already. Yay me!

What about you? What projects are you whipping up with some swapped or free goodies?

Friday, February 1, 2013

anthropological dig

I have a special talent. 
I can spot an Anthropologie garment in a crowded thrift store at 100 feet.
This talent does not equal a closet full of anthro on the cheap. Just because I can find it doesn't mean it fits and sometimes it's just plain unwearable.

But oh lucky day!!! The thrifting gods were good to me this week, I scored this one for just 2 bucks!

The funky pattern caught my eye and I knew I had a winner.
Double bonus for it being stain-free AND marked half off.

She just needed a little tweaking.

Other than one bust dart coming unstictched it was in perfect condition but... 

...I just wasn't crazy about the collar. I'm more of a collar-less type of girl.
Hmmm, such an easy fix, how could I say no to a little alteration.

And done. This was so simple it didn't warrant any step-by-step photos.
A little seam ripping, more seam ripping, then reassembling.

I could have just removed the collar and been done but I am smitten with that robin's egg blue piping  and had to salvage it too.

Oh, and I'm so glad I did! Hurry up Spring so I can show off my new love.

So let's recap shall we: thrifted Anthropologie top for $2, loosey goosey dart sewn up in 2 seconds, collar removed and piping refitted to new collar all during, dun da da daaaah, nap time. 

Ah yes, this is what my thrifty refashion dreams ARE made of.