26 April, 2009

Spiritual Sunday - 90 Minutes in Heaven

I am reading the book by Don Piper, 90 Minutes in Heaven. Please watch this video of his interview.

I only wish that he had spent more time talking about this visit to heaven. Most of the book is about his medical treatment and recovery. However, it is still a must-read.

Thank you Ginger and Charlotte for hosting Spiritual Sundays. Visit their blog for other spiritual inspirations.

25 April, 2009

My New Kitchen Renovation

You have seen peeks of my new kitchen in other posts, but here it is in detail. I have also just posted it on RMS. Click the link to visit. I know it's not one of those expensive designer dream show room kitchens, but we are very pleased with it. It was a complete gut job remodel on a budget, using the same footprint as the old kitchen.

The cabinets are 42" high, with crown molding, painted white with a brown glaze. They are custom made. I know custom and budget sound like a contradiction, but because the kitchen is so very small, only 9'x11'4", we didn't need that many cabinets and we got more function than from stock cabinets.

The bank of drawers and the sink are actually one cabinet. If it were stock, there wouldn't have been room for a cabinet of drawers, only one of those skinny cabinets to hold trays and cookie sheets.

Both upper and lower corner cabinets are lazy susans. The base cabinet has a stationary shelf, so the lazy susan doesn't need a post.
Are you ready for the before? Here it is:

There was no dishwasher. The cook top hardly worked. The refaced plastic on the old cabinets was peeling. And it just looked small and old. The worst, was that there was only 18" of prep space on the counter back in the corner. The first thing we did when we moved in, was purchased the portable island from Lowes.

The refrigerator is relatively new and we purchased our other appliances to match in stainless steel.
My GE range has two ovens. We use the small upper oven most of the time. It preheats quickly and uses less electric to cook our food because of the small capacity. The large bottom oven is a convection oven. When we roast meat, there is a probe we can insert into our roast and the internal temperature of the meat is displayed on the back panel of the range. Of course, the glass cook top is easy to clean. The GE over-the-range microwave frees up counter space.
Over to the left of the refrigerator is the Bosch dishwasher. We purchased last year's floor model at a big savings. The only thing I would have done differently, would have been to get a dishwasher with a cabinet front panel.

My back splash is filled travertine that my wonderful son-in-law (Wait... did I just put that in writing? OK, I'll go with it...) my wonderful son-in-law installed. The 4" tile was purchased at Lowes. The accent tile was purchased at Carpet Mart. It is hand made in Spain and a little pricey, but I didn't need much. I still need to grout it.

Opposite the window is this built in cabinet. I designed it to look like a hutch. To accommodate the traffic flow, the cabinet is only 13" deep. Glass doors show off my pitchers, tea pots and tureen. I have puck tap lights in the upper cabinet. Bead board is used as the back splash here to go along with the hutch look. I keep my small appliances in the bottom. I wanted a counter to use for things like a place to charge our cell phones. I have a little rooster lamp I found at Cracker Barrel and a rooster candy jar from Ross. Up on the top I'm displaying wooden ducks and a wooden chicken.

This is the door to my laundry room and then to the garage. I painted and glazed it to match the cabinets. The black panel hides an old cat door and has chalk board paint on it. I trimmed the panel with molding and then glazed it. The memo board helps keep me organized.

This is the door before:

Over the refrigerator is this cabinet with vertical dividers to hold trays, cookie sheets, our griddle, etc.

One of the design solutions I came up with was this bookcase. I didn't want the metal side of the range showing, and it came right up to the edge of the kitchen floor. There was also a baseboard heater there. I thought to put a bookcase in the dining room, up against the range. It is elevated so it isn't interfering with the heater. I think it works. The sliding patio door is just to the left and we keep doggy treats and small binoculars to watch the birds on the top shelf. My cookbooks are on the bottom shelf.

I painted the island cart black and sanded the corners to distress it. I changed out the wooden knobs to brushed nickel knobs. I removed a wooden towel bar and replaced it with a paper towel holder. I love the hidden spice rack on the end.

We reduced the width of the window to accommodate another cabinet. The window is very energy efficient. Being green is important to us. The pendant light matches the ceiling light and the DR light. Of course, with CFL bulbs.
The floor is a floating laminate floor and another green product. It is made out of recycled material. The manufacturer is Alloc. The pattern is travertine. It is easy to clean, easy on your feet and not cold like tile. We didn't go with the wood-look laminate, because it is adjacent to a real hardwood floor.

Jen from Sanctuary Arts at Home is hosting Make-Over Open House. Check out the fab dresser she made over and other make overs.

21 April, 2009

Bloggers Garden Party at Longwood Gardens

I have two people to thank. Susan from A Southern Daydreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Check out other OW posts.

I also want to thank Becky from Hospitality Lane, who is being very hospitable and inviting all bloggers to join her for a day trip to beautiful Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, a suburb of Philadelphia.

I have been there only once before and it is a very beautiful place.
It encompasses 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands, lakes, and meadows.

There are more fountains than any other garden in the US.

There is a large conservatory hosting 20 different indoor gardens.

Click here for details, if you are interested in joining us at Longwood Gardens.

Second Time Around - April 21

Diane, at A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words is hosting 2nd Time Around. If you love yard sales, antique shops, or thrift stores, you will love visiting her blog. Click on the link and check out all the wonderful things we bloggers have found.

You can't tell from the photo, but this little tea pot is quite small. It's about the size of a tea cup, measuring a little over 3 inches tall and a little over 5 inches wide. I thought It was so cute when I saw it in the thrift store. When I saw they were asking only $1.00 for it, I brought it home.

This oval vase is my newest acquisition. I have a lot of blue and yellow. When I saw it, my heart skipped a beat and I snatched it up for under $5.00.
I use the little tray as a candle dish. When not holding a candle, we can play tick-tack-toe. This was under a dollar.

16 April, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - Easter

I'm back after being to busy to post. I work for an accounting firm and this past week has been very hectic. Now that the craziness is over, I can get back to my blog. Sorry if I haven't been keeping up with what all you have been doing.

I want to thank Susan from Between Naps on the porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday. I'm sharing my table set for Easter. Check out her site to see other tablescapes.

I wanted a pink tablecloth. On Saturday, I found one at Bed Bath and Beyond. However, they were picked over and didn't have any left in the size I needed, only very large sizes. They also had matching napkins. Then a light bulb went off. I purchased the very large size. I plan to cut the length down and use the extra fabric as napkins. As you can see, I haven't gotten around to that yet. I used my white napkins edged in eyelet lace and inserted them in assorted napkin rings.
I used the china I inherited it from my aunt. It it Franciscan ware, the pattern is Dessert Rose. I love the pink dogwood flowers. It really says spring.
I just purchased my first chargers from Wegman's supermarket for 97 cents each. They were an ugly blackish, brownish-red. A can of white spray paint took care of that.

I don't know what pattern the goblets are. I've had them for decades. The flatware is my everyday Oneida 18/8 that wears like iron and still looks great. I purchased it with a gift certificate my women's club friends gave me for a wedding gift.
I got the bunny planter at the thrift store last week. I spray painted him white, too. I added some paper straw and a votive cup with M&Ms that look like eggs.

Target bird salt & pepper shakers, and another little bunny added to the decorations.

My DH surprised me with flowers. I put them in an antique milk pitcher that's been in my family as long as I can remember. I showed you the thrift store candlesticks I purchased and spray painted in another post before. So all I needed was a couple of pretty pink candles to complete the tablescape.

08 April, 2009

Maundy Thursday Tablescape

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting Tablescape Thursday. Click here to see other Tablescapes.

Today is Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Christ's last supper. What is a more fitting tablescape on this Holy day, than the communion table.

Everyone have a blessed and Happy Easter.

07 April, 2009

Hershey Gardens

Susan at A Southern Dreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Thank you Susan. Be sure to check out her site and view the other outdoor posts.

Join me on our tour of Hershey Gardens. Hershey Gardens was created by Milton Hershey in 1937 for his wife. The gardens covers 23 acres and includes magnificent theme gardens.

The Rose Garden is a favorite. Enjoy the fragrances of 7,000 gorgeous roses, consisting of 275 varieties. That's the Hershey Hotel in the background.

The Seasonal Garden offers 100 varieties of 30,000 tulips.
This is the Perennial Garden.

In the Children's Garden is the Butterfly House, their most popular attraction! You can explore the wonders of butterflies as you observe and learn about their lifecycle from egg to adult butterfly. You walk amidst 300 North American butterflies, as they flutter amongst their host and nectar plants.

The Japanese Garden: The Rock Garden:The Hotel and Gardens overlook the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania and the Hershey Factories.
You can smell chocolate in the air.

OK, so it's not in the garden, but it's so much a part of the town, I had to include this picture. All of the street lamps are shaped like a Hershey Kiss. Some even have the little paper tag.

06 April, 2009

Watering Can Turned Spring Decor

I am sharing my kitchen island decorated for Easter/Spring. I used silk flowers, a old watering can, bunnies and the little ceramic bird shakers. I am dual posting. Click on the Metamorphosis Monday button, hosted by Susan, from Between Naps on the Porch.

This watering can is my real one that I use in the garden. See the rust, or should I say patina.