Monday, November 19, 2012

still working on the kitchen

While my family's visit was short,
we were able to do a little more work in the kitchen before their departure.
we covered the edges and seams of the upper cabinets addition with molding.

While it still looks very patchy,
it is much improved over the original!

Here is what we started with, and the midpoint:

The kitchen update was inspired by this tutorial by Remodelando la casa.
We used another one of Cristina's idea to improve the bottom of the cabinets.

We attached 1 X 2 at the bottom of the cabinets,
and hid the seams with the same molding that we used on the top,
but up-side-down.
This accomplishes a few goals:
- it makes the cabinets look a lot more finished
- it repeats the molding, making it symmetrical
- it creates some space under cabinets to add lighting
-it aligns the microwave with the cabinets

So here it is, prettier
but still with a lot of work to be done...

it will just happen slowly,
probably one week end at a time!

Happy day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a simple shoe bag

 My sister's Birthday was a few days ago,
and as usual I sewed her something for all of her travels.
This year new addition: 2 shoe bags.

here is the high heel version

and here is the sneaker version, together they are perfect for traveling,
keeping everything nice and organized.

Previously I made her 2 different versions of lingerie bags (here and here),
2 different versions of make-up bags (here and here)
and a laundry bag.

Let's not forget the lunch bag, the little basket and the little dumpling!
What can I say, I like sewing for my little sister!
and she likes my stuff, a perfect world...

And considering what she did for me this week end,
I feel like I will be owing her:
She picked up the perfect Christmas present for me
and got it signed, here is the proof:

I will get John and Sherry's book!
She spent hours waiting in line for me,
yep I am a lucky girl.

Bon anniversaire, ma soeur!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

updating the kitchen part II

Not only did my parents help me with the upper cabinets in the kitchen,
they also helped me with the island.
It is a nice size, at almost 60" wide,
but the front was very plain.
Besides the countertop, it is the largest surface in the kitchen,
it is pretty much the first thing you see when you enter the room.
So we thought of ways to dress it up.
Once again after finding images from blogs,
especially this tutorial from KrisKraft,
we were set to go, with my mom as the design consultant, my dad as the wood expert 
and me as the helper/translator!
Here is what we came up with:

I know, right now it looks like an old station wagon wood paneling part,
but once it is patched up, sanded, caulked, primed and painted,
it should be quite a statement for the kitchen!
Here is what we started with:

There was no baseboard, just a quarter round,
and some poorly attached corner pieces (not made of wood)
that did not match in color the stained plywood.

So we started by taking everything off, and we renailed the back to the island.
Then we glued and nailed some proper baseboard, we kept it simple,
I like straight line, simple design.
We installed some corner trim, wider than the original, with a little design detail.

After that, we used 1 3/4" wide lattice that we glued and nailed to the island 
to form a square and rectangle pattern.

A similar design was used on the sides of the island except there is no square,
just rectangles since we could not keep the same spacing on the sides!

The after is still missing one piece of wood on the side,
there was a mistake at the store, one piece was 1 1/2" instead of 1 3/4".

So now that I am left on my own, I need to finish all the details.
Working alone might take longer, especially with the help of the puppy,
everything is just so interesting to her,
she will probably gain some more white on her black and white coat!
This will not be the last time!

Happy day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a visit and kitchen update

It had been 4 years since my parents visited us last.
While I was working for some of the time of their visit,
I did get to take them around a few times,
we went downtown DC of course, to Mount Vernon (Washington's house),
to Antietam and Gettysburg (civil war) and to Georgetown.

No family visit would be complete without some building and/or sewing!
My mom helped me finished some curtains (I truly dislike hemming curtains),
somehow she has been doing it for me in all my houses...
I know, it is very bad, I am a little ashamed,
but she told me she has been doing it since she was a kid.
She did it for my grandmother who was a country seamstress,
my mom hemmed for her pants, dresses and curtains!
Thanks again Maman!

My dad helped carry out my vision for updating the kitchen.
I showed him some pictures and ideas,
and we went to work, with my mom as the design consultant, a family affair!
I think it is going to be great, once I finished all the details!
My dad did most of the building, I was just the helper,
it was interesting to see someone with experience working,
I learned a few things, and it also confirmed my ideas
 that the most important part is to get started and
not to always look for perfection!
Now they are gone and I need to feel in the holes,
to caulk the edges, to prime and paint.
Yes it is going to take a while, but it is totally worth it!
Wanna see what we worked on?

Yes it is going to be good!

Happy day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

it was a fun Halloween

Halloween turned out nicely,
even after a week end of getting ready for the storm,
and waiting 2 days wondering how things would turn out.
Well there was a leak in the roof and the sump pump got tired (and the basement moist!),
but we kept our power and no tree felt down,
so we did OK, I guess having a few trees cut earlier in the fall paid off!

The kids were able to enjoy their trick-or-treating outing,
Brick master went for the first time with his friends without any adult,
he is growing up!

He wore his favorite knight costume.
At the renaissance fair this year, he purchased a new wooden sword,
he is now fully equipped with a dagger, a sword, a shield and a helmet,
all of them purchased at renaissance fair, one item at a time!
If you are wondering, yes we are those kind of people
and yes he has a passion for History and weapons, of course!
I made his "flag" a few year ago before redoing his costume
and switching his color!

Earlier, while I posted the dolls'Halloween,
I mentioned that Miss C. wanted a werewolf costume.
I made her a warm one piece costume out of fleece and faux-fur
using pattern McCall 6106, I had used it before for her Kangaroo costume.
With her dad, she worked hard on making a mask.
Mon Cheri enjoys working with leather, so they chose that medium for the mask,
it looked really good until the puppy got hold of it and ate it!

There were a lot of tears, it was unfixable and we did not have enough time
to make a new one.
So Miss C. decided to go as Katniss, the heroine of the Hunger games.
(it must be a cultural phenomena as she has not read the book or watched the movie!)

Luckily we had pretty much all we needed to dress up,
a good thing since we had no time left (the dog ate the mask Halloween morning!)
She wore her boots, black leggings and shirt,
her brother's jacket inside out and his belt,
and I braided her hair on the side, I printed out a picture of the mocking jay pin.
She used her own little wood knife, Mon Cheri made her a bow using a stick from the back yard.
Her outfit was complete, it must have worked,
people knew who she was!

Oh she was fierce!

Happy day!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...