Tag: kitchen

We Sold the House

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to say. Or if I even wanted to say anything… We sold our house… let me re-phrase Matt sold our house. I hadn’t lived there for 6 months. It’s a very bittersweet end, on one hand I’m glad it’s gone and we both needed the money to fund new projects, new lives… but I worked so hard to make that house beautiful. So many projects done, so many projects in progress. Below is about as far as I got with the kitchen cabinets, I hung a couple more doors before I left. Sanded, stained, sealed, new veneer, handles and hinges, the interiors all painted teal and lined with cork. They looked fantastic.


New tub, new tile, new vanity, all the walls painted, the wall we torn out, so much cleaning, so much painting. All gone. When I first moved out, I was so upset and sad but I’ve realized over the last few months, I’ve left many rentals before and I worked hard to make them beautiful knowing I would leave. I can and will make anywhere I live just as wonderful, I just never entertained the notion that I would have to leave this house:

House Front

I think that’s been the hardest part of this transition, trying to re-imagine and redefine who you are to yourself and then presenting that to others. I’m not a happy married woman living with her husband in our beautiful home… but I hadn’t been that person for years. That was the image of myself I kept in my mind, that’s what I told people. I’m separated, I’m living with my parents again, and I’m very happy there. I’m working full-time, I go to yoga, I try to drink enough water, and get enough sleep… In short I’m taking care of myself. Endings are always sad and I will miss all the things I’m leaving behind, but I know I’m on the path to a much brighter future for the first time in a long time. I hope Matt is doing the same.

Lory State Park Me

My First Kitchen Table

When Matt and I moved into our first apartment almost three years ago, we had very little furniture and very little money. We bought a sofa set soon there after, and ate every meal on it, so buying a table fell by the wayside. The next year we moved into a new house and the previous renters had left a table set. It was a terrible thing, unfinished on top, sponge painted green and black on the bottom. However, since it was usable, we never ended up purchasing a table of our own. Fast forward another year or so and we were in a new townhouse, without a dining room table or chairs and very tired of eating on sofas. Not anymore!

Here are the chairs we found at Goodwill and really liked:

It took us a few months to figure out what kind of table would look good with these chairs. Matt and I decided that, we wanted a circle table, and we wanted it to be white. That left us very few options, so we bought the very budget friendly, albeit fairly cliché white tulip table (Docksta) from IKEA.

I really like the way the table plays off the white in the artwork and the bright colors of the walls. I love the chairs’ streamlined look and dark brown wood. The server… although I love him very much doesn’t really fit with any of this.

One day I will re-finish the server, and change out the hardware to go with the kitchen’s mix of modern design and earthy colors and textures. Until then, he is just too useful as storage space to move out of the kitchen. Here are a couple more shots of the kitchen, including my woefully uninspired cabinets.

As you can see we also bought a jute rug (Tarnby) from IKEA. I had mixed feelings about it at first, since the color looks kinda odd with our reddish flooring but it’s very nice to have something warm under your feet when sitting at the table. Plus I love the texture:

So there you have it almost three years of marriage, and we finally got around to buying a kitchen table. Give it another three years and I might finish our wedding album.

The Adventure of the Tea Storage Jars

As I shared in this post, it has been a huge trend for people to tint their own mason jars. I thought I would jump on the bandwagon, and tint some jars for storing tea. Almost all of the tutorials I founds online were tinting their jars the aqua color of old style Ball jars. For my red and orange kitchen though, I thought amber would be a better option.

I bought 5 wide mouth Kerr jars for about $5 at ARC. Here is my ridiculous cat exploring the bag:

The basic idea is to take a decoupage medium such as Mod Podge, add food coloring and paint the jars. The Mod Podge will dry clear, leaving the food coloring tinting the glass. All the blogs posts I read warned that some experimentation is needed to perfect the color and your technique. I however, became quickly frustrated when I couldn’t get a good amber color, and the jars were covered in steaks. Plus I was wasting a ton of decoupage medium, and food coloring trying to get it right. I tried a number of colors and methods and here are the lovely results:

Yuck, I should have known that if everyone has to re-do their jars it wasn’t going to be easy. For the last one on the right I tried an aqua color and that turned out better, but still streaky and uneven. Luckily this stuff is water-soluble. I soaked the jars in soapy water, and peeled all their “tinting” off.

I decided not to try tinting them again, but I still wanted to add some interest to my jars. I turned to the internet, and it presented me with these: (click the pictures to visit their origin site)

I bought a roll of jute twine for a dollar or so at Wal-Mart. It was between 100% and 110% easier than trying to tint the darn things. I just hot glued the first line of twine to the jar, then wrapped it tightly to the bottom and glued the end to the back.

I also made labels for the jars with my new rubber stamp printing kit.

I love my printing kit, but I bought it second-hand and it turns out it has no capital m’s or u’s. The m’s aren’t a big deal since I just use w’s. I didn’t know about the u’s until I tried printing PREMIUM, I had already printed the rest of the letters in all caps, so I had to settle for a small u.

Here are my finished jars, with their tea:

I think they are going to look great in my kitchen along my other open storage jars.

In Progress: Kitchen Storage

Since Matt and I moved into our townhouse last August, we have been struggling to make the kitchen work. It’s small, it’s got exactly one, really useable conveniently placed cabinet, and it’s ugly. To stretch our poor cabinet space, I bought a server to sit in the kitchen and house appliances and little used dish-ware. Here it is right after I brought it home:

Even with the server, the storage in the kitchen still lacked. So we decided to put up some shelving. We used two 4 feet by 12 inch boards, stained them and hung them with utility brackets.

The storage jars are from IKEA, you can see my labeling project here. We also added hooks under the shelves for mug storage:

Here is the mugs on the upper shelf, which I added later:

For now seldom used glassware on the top shelf, dry goods in the middle with the glasses and baking goods in jars on top of the server. All the plates are in the server and the bowls are on top. I’d like to do some more rearranging to this system, but for now it works great. I love having dry goods out to see, so much easier to plan meals and snacks.

Hand Stamped Labels for Ikea Jars

While checking out the dusty junk aisles of ARC yesterday I came across a little rubber stamp printing kit. It was $3.99 and taped shut, worried that it would only have Qs and Xs, I looked around for any employees and sliced through the tape with my car key. It looked like the last owner used it to stamp the same account info over and over and nothing else. Almost all the others letters had never been touched. So I brought it home.

I didn’t buy it for any particular purpose, but I quickly thought of a great project. Lovely little labels for the generic looking IKEA jars in my kitchen. It was pretty simple to do, but it was time consuming. It wouldn’t take nearly as long to arrange the stamp if it was easier to get at the right letters. I’m going to look out for a small divided box at thrift stores, the organizing tray it comes with isn’t much help.

If you want to copy my method, it’s really simple. If you have a similar stamp kit use that or just print out your labels in a cool font. Cut out the labels and affix to your jars with a piece of clear contact paper cut slightly bigger than the paper.

Some of my labels before contact paper:

Something look off? Yeah I know I spelled roasted wrong. I’m terrible at spelling correctly when it’s during a project. When I do lettering or calligraphy I have to spell out the text on scrap paper and reference it before I do each letter. I noticed I’d spelled roasted wrong after I had cleaned up everything so I just cut off the “rosted” part and labeled the jar almonds.

I did this in the middle of the night so it was necessary to take the pictures in my light box. My kitchen is red and orange and it’s impossible to take a decent picture in it at night. Anyway we are moving to a whole open storage system for the kitchen dry goods and I love having all the plain jars labeled. I’ll post pictures of my sweet kitchen setup as soon as I remember to take them when the lighting is good!