Jan 21 2010


So, I really wanted to wait until the kitchen was completely, totally done to do a before-and-after…and I’m still going to.  But, due to extreme peer pressure, I have been compelled to show you the kitchen as it is now (without the shock-and-awe value of before pictures), which I would consider to be 98% finished.

We still need pulls on the pantry doors, a trim piece, baseboards in some spots and a vent cover — minor finishing touches.  The biggest missing element you will notice is hooks for the pot rack — which is why there are pots sitting on the baking center underneath where they will eventually hang.

And yes, I will completely clean off my refrigerator before we show the house.

Now, I took quite a few pictures, and couldn’t decide which ones were the best, so I’m including almost all of them here.

Please note that the backsplash is less blue and the counter more brown in real life.

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Okay — I’m starving!!  I couldn’t eat anything until I finished scrubbing the kitchen and getting the pictures taken and posted.

Guess I’ll go mess it all up now…sigh.

Nov 6 2009

Not Quite So Ugly

We know we’re not going to blow anyone’s minds with the transformation of the exterior of our house, but we’re trying to do little things to make it not quite so ugly.

Remember the lovely, rusty mason jar light?

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Well, it’s gone.

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And has been replaced with these little beauties.  (The ones I really wanted were $149 each, but I found these that I liked too for $25 each.)  Did you just see that??  I found something I liked that wasn’t the most expensive item in the store!!  I just did “the look for less!”  ::pats self on back::)

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Thanks, Kev, for putting them in for us!!

Nov 5 2009

Oprah’s Not the Only One

Other people can have really cool favorite things too.  So, here is a quick edition of

Caroline’s Favorite Things

…or thing, really, because I do believe what I’m about to show you is my favorite thing in our whole house.

Here you see a picture of our master bedroom closet.  Pretty sad and ugly.  It has always really bothered me that the builder of the addition on our house (who I affectionately refer to as, “that stupid man!”) completely wasted this space.  That whole wall is closet, but with that little door opening, you really don’t have access to at least a third of the potential storage space.  And, as you all know, we need every precious bit of that that we can get!

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So, we widened the door opening to almost the size of the entire wall.

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Ah…there we go…MUCH better.

Well, obviously, we then had to make much bigger doors.

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Which we then stained.

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Since these doors are so much bigger, they are also much heavier.  And, naturally, there was no stud that we could screw our rail in to.  So, Ryan rigged up a support system out of these metal brackets that he found in a junk pile.  I am now no longer allowed to call such items “junk,” but must instead refer to them as “stuff” since he DOES use them.

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Then we hung them, and they didn’t crash down!  So, we were good to go.

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Then we cut and ironed duck fabric, glued them onto the unstained side of wood panels, and inserted them into the doors.

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And the result is…

Well, I think it speaks for itself.

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Sep 25 2009

Our Last Valiant Attempt

Today was our self-imposed last chance at working on the kitchen before we leave for the Feast.  After this, it’s all Feast prep and whatever isn’t done, has to wait till we get back.  So, here’s where we stand…

We’ve got the living room and kitchen walls painted.

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We have baseboards, cut and painted and, in a few certain spots, installed.

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We’ve got new switches and outlets and and plates installed.

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And  — for the first time since we’ve lived here — we have a vent cover on this cold air return.

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Here’s how the dishwasher cabinet looks — still needs some touch-ups, but pretty much finished.

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Here are the upper cabinets which I just finished about 10 minutes ago.

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And here’s the kitchen overall.

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And, even though our house is in the filthiest state it has ever — and I do repeat ever — been in to date, it’s all going to stay just how it is until we get back.  I’ve let it all go — if I don’t, I’ll lose my health, my mind and my will to carry on.  And a clean house just isn’t worth that.

See — I’m growing.

Shocking, I know.

Sep 17 2009

A Misnomer

Know what I hate about finish work?  Well, everything.  But mainly, more than the sum of all the disagreeable, tedious tasks that fit into that neat little category, the thing that really gets to me, is that the name is so misleading!  Finish work should indicate that when you get to that point, you are about to wrap things up — that your work is almost – a stretch, I know – finished. When in fact, “finish work,” from my experience, appears to be never ending!

However, I do have some small proof that, perhaps, all hope is not lost, though I’m still not going to hold my breath.

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Now, I know — it seems like well big whoopie-ding-a-ling.  You painted the doors and drawers.  But this took days of work!  First, I had to sand them all.  Then fill them all.  Then sand them again.  Then fill them again.  Then sand them.  Then prime them.  Then paint them.  Three times.  And on the doors I had to do that on the front AND the back — think of the drying time!

Now, I know that, even with all of that, they still look, well, imperfect.  But, they are 50 years old!  Your skin probably looked better when you were new than it does now too — and your maker certainly did a better job with you than their maker did with them.

But, there they are.  And, except for the addition of the hardware (see, I told you) they are “finished.”

Let’s just hope we can get to that point on all of the other little tasks we’re working on.  But, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Finish work indeed.