Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Kitchen

My kitchen is… well, let’s just say my kitchen needs work.  It is original to the house, which was built in 1964.  The kitchen, dining room, and some other areas of the house are a natural ash.  It is a very unique look; I’ve never seen any quite like it.  It is not what I would have chosen had I had been the one doing the choosing, but over the years, I grew to love it.  There have been too many of those years though and the time has really come to paint over the whole thing over.  And replace the cabinets.  And the counter.  Unfortunately, I am not really in a position to do so.

Between financial concerns and disability issues, I really can’t do a lot to it right now.  Replacing the cabinets is just not a feasible option, but I would love to paint them.  We have talked about maybe just painting the cabinet doors and drawers fronts.  I think that would be a significant improvement.  I think I might like the two tone, paint against wood effect.  I don’t think the cost for doing that would not be too prohibitive.  The biggest concern is the actual doing it part.  There has been talk of some of my daughter’s friends helping, but trying to coordinate everyone’s busy schedules is not easy, so it has been on the back burner, so to speak.

Lovely, isn't it? 
(As you can see I used all of my HGTV learned expertise to carefully stage this shot. 
Oh wait, never mind, this is in the "keeping it real" category.")

On the upside, all of my real burners work.  ;)  When my cook top went down to one working burner – a small one in the back, at that – we bit the bullet and replaced it last year.  I kinda love it now.  We have actually replaced all of the appliances (except the vent-a-hood) in about the last five years, so we are in pretty good shape there.  The main kitchen issues are the cabinets and the countertops.

         Here is the cook top, in all her shiny new glory.

 We replaced several of the appliances in 2006, when were doing repairs after Hurricane Rita.  When I was choosing what I wanted, I considered stainless, but everything I read at the time said the stainless trend was on its way out.  Ha!  So I went ahead and went with Almond/Bisque/whatever they call that color these days.  Which I like, but I am always annoyed when I am watching HGTV (I love me some HGTV) and they diss anything that is not stainless.  Oh well.

The counter is, well, let’s just say, the counter makes the cabinets look pretty good.  White Formica, circa 1964.  It has 47 years of nicks, scratches, and wear and several bad spots.  Not pretty.  I have looked at a number of online tutorials on painting countertops, but I am concerned about durability.  Some of them look pretty good, but if it didn’t hold up, would I have just made the problem worse than ever?  There is even at least one countertop paint “kit” sort of thing you can buy, but I have read it takes days to dry and has a very strong odor.  What would we do in the meantime?  Would the cats get up and walk across the wet counter and leave paw prints and fur in the finish?  (They aren’t allowed on the counter, but they believe that rule to be ridiculous and do not always comply with such silly human requests.)

You can see a bit of the nicks and scratches in this shot. 
This is, by far, not the worst spot on the counter.

And then there is always that Gulf Coast thing, where we have to decide, “Hmmmm, do I want to repaint now, or should I just wait until after the next hurricane and see whether we need a remodel anyway…?” 

So, I work with what I have, and cutesy it up all I can, and just try to kinda turn a blind eye to the rest until I am able to do something about it.  But who knows, maybe one of these days you will get to read blog posts chronicling my kitchen transformation.  Let’s hope!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting to know me...

I decided that if I am going to do this blog thing, I should tell you a bit more about myself.  Hmmm…  I am a 51 year old widow.  I live on the Texas Gulf Coast, with my two adult children and our five cats.

The house I live in has been in my family since it was built in 1964.  Four generations of my family have lived here at various times.  I have actually lived in it several times over the years and it has been my home since 1993.   

I am pretty much a homebody these days due to disability issues.  I have a mobility impairment.  Most days I can get around pretty well with various accommodations I have in my home.  Getting out and about in the world is difficult though and I usually only do so when necessary.

Through most of my life, I have been a rather uncrafty person.  Almost laughably so.  Then about a year ago, I started getting kind of a crafty yearning sort of thing.  I just wanted to make stuff.  I decided to learn to crochet, but let’s just say the results were not so pretty. 

After that, I found loom knitting, which went much better and is pretty fun!  I am certainly no expert at it, but let’s just say I have made a lot of hats.  And a few scarves.  And a couple of other things.  I learned most of what I know about loom knitting from Mikey at The Crochet Crowd.  His videos are great.  You can find him here:  http://thecrochetcrowd.com/  I kinda love Mikey.  :)

In addition to loom knitting, I've added in a bit of other craftiness.  Some of which has come out pretty well.  Others, not so much.  I've found I enjoy painting, primarily “folk painting.”  I love the style, but I also think I have a better chance with it than with something more realistic.

I have also upcycled a few things.  I enjoy that; I think it is cool to take something and refresh it to give it new life, whether it had just seen better days or just started out kinda, well, ugly.

So, that’s a bit about me.  Any questions?  Feel free to ask.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


I love vintage things and I thought I would share a few pics of some of the vintage items I have in my Etsy shop. 
First up is a creamy white seashell shaped bowl.  It's ceramic, with a matte finish. It is likely from the 1950s. I remember it sitting on my grandmother's buffet when I was a small child. 

I'm not sure of the age of this Pyrex refrigerator lid, but it belonged to my grandmother. I am guessing it is 1960s or before.  (Sold)
This Corning Ware tray also belonged to my grandmother. I think it is from the 1960s. It is in great shape and just a lovely piece of Cornflower Blue.   
I have had this little Corning Ware Spice of Life "Le Persil" skillet since 1977.  

I am not sure how old this glass juicer is, but I am estimating it is from the 60s or 70s.

This round Pyrex lid is unusual.  I have never seen another with handles quite like this.  (Sold)

I am not sure how old this beautiful vintage flower frog is, but I think it is pre-70s. I remember it being around my grandmother's house for a long time.  The pictures don't do it justice. It was freshly washed when I was taking the pictures and I had a very difficult time photographing it due to the glare from its sparkle. :) 
This gloriously chippy pitcher belonged to my grandmother.  It is a blue and white Erphila pitcher that is probably from the 1940s or earlier. It's wonderfully chippy and shabby chic. it cracked in two sometime in its history and has yellowed ancient glue where it was repaired. It has gorgeous crazing through out. I think this is the most "favorited" piece in my Etsy shop! 
Another delightfully shabby chic piece is this beautiful Valmont platter in the Gendale pattern.

Oh, how I wish I still had more pieces of this set! My mom collected these dishes as a supermarket premium from Weingarten's grocery store in Galveston, Texas when she was a newlywed in the late 1950s. Some of my earliest childhood memories included these dishes.

Over the years the set was whittled down due to breakage and Mom passed down the few remaining pieces to me after I married. Now another 30 years has passed and there is just one lonely little lid left. So sad! (Sold)
This Taylor Smith Taylor Boutonniere bread plate is a creamy white and with blue flowers. It doesn't have a mark and I am not sure how old it is, but the internet tells me that this pattern was discontinued in 1962.

This Independence Ironstone platter was part of my mother's dishes back in the 60s. It has aged beautifully and has lots of lovely crazing, with one chippy corner. 
I have had this Spice of Life Corning Ware "Le The'" 6 cup tea pot since 1977.  I love me some Spice of Life! 

Such a cool piece! It's tiny, just 1.5 inch X 1.5 inch. It is labeled "1935-1960 Navy Wives Clubs of America 25th Anniversary" on one side. (above) The other side contains a perpetual calendar for 1960 - 1987. (below) To operate, you turn the disk, lining up each month and year. It's a nifty little find.
Well, that brings us to the end of today's tour.  ;)  I hope you enjoyed it.  I'm proud of myself for getting back and blogging again so soon.  Hopefully I can keep it up! 

'Til next time,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Pics!

Here are a few more pics of some of the crafty things I have done.

The Swing

Three Apples and a Pear

 A Shabby Pair

A Single Pear                       
             Sweet Little Bird Silhouette
Pretty Little Pig                        

Ceramic Roosters, choice of four colors

Renewed Vintage Candle Stick          
    Antiqued Gold Ceramic Urn

Contrary to all evidence otherwise...

...this blog has not been abandoned.  I really am still here; I haven't done such in the way of crafty stuff in the past few months though.  Basically, I have had some health problems that have not left me with the energy to do much extra.  Nothing major, no life threatening illnesses or injuries, just stuff that has made me feel like crap and put a crimp in just about everything I have going on.  Enough whining though.
To update things, I have sold several things out of my Etsy shop, including three of the flower pots shown in the last post.  The red one sold several months ago, the the white one with purple flowers and the green one with the white rim sold just a few days ago.  I have also sold a few of my vintage items.  Interestingly, the three vintage things I have sold have all been unmatched lids.  Two of them were to pieces of Pyrex and the other was a piece of of Daisy and Dot Mar-Crest.  I need to keep an eye out for stray lids when I go to the resale shops - apparently they sell!  

I have a number of other things that I need to list on Etsy too.  I need to take pictures before I can do it though.  I found instructions online for a DIY light box to help take better pictures.  I have gotten all the supplies I need to make one, but I just haven't put it all together yet.  Once I can bite the bullet and get that done, I will have a good set-up to take more pics, put up more listings, etc.

I have also talked with my mom about going over to her house and helping her go through her cabinets to see what vintage things she would like to put in my shop.  When I was first telling her about Etsy and the policy that anything over twenty years old counts as vintage, her response was, "Everything in my house is at least twenty years old!"  Lol, she does have a few things around that are newer, but she also has an enormous amount that is from the 70s and 80s - and earlier.  My parents have lived in the same house since 1965 and I am sure there are some things that have been sitting in the back of cabinets or closets for almost that long that she has no idea she even has and really has no interest in keeping.  I've sold her on the idea that she would have so much more space if she let me list these things on Etsy.  The hard part is just the going though it all...  Hopefully it will happen soon, because I am sure she has things that would add a lot of interest to my shop.

The main goal right now is to get that light box built.  And blog about it.  So, we shall see how that goes... 

Until next time...