September 22nd, 2011
So I have been on a quest…. a quest for backsplash tile. It has been a discouraging quest at times, but today I think I found what I’m looking for! I have been looking for a tile similar to this one:
A subway tile with a lot of aqua and taupe tones with depth to the color. I thought it was a frosted glass tile, so that’s what I’ve been searching for. But today I went to a an awesome local shop and found this:
Why, hello beautiful! The color variation is a bit different than the inspiration photo, but it has that same warm feel without being tuscan or modern. And its quite a bit more unique than white subway tile. The cool thing about these tiles is that each color that you buy (this sample shows two) has a lot of variation within one box. So if you mix 2 or 3 colors of tile together, it’s going to look like you have 10 or more subtle shades going on. I absolutely love it and am so excited to pick out the colors and get it ordered!
September 8th, 2011
YAY!!! the kitchen cabinets on the sink side are pretty much complete! They are looking so so so beautiful, I really want ya’ll to stop by so you can see how beautiful they really are! We’ve been working hard on them this week, and by we, I mean Mr. Project and his very lazy (ready busy taking care of a baby and trying to get a product line done) assistant Jen Allyson. Mr. Project finished installing all the cabinets (on the window wall) Saturday night. I used wood-filler on all the nail holes , dings, and seams, then we started painting on Monday night and finished Tuesday night. Here is a shot of the cabinets after the first coat of primer:
The process went something like this: Putty, tape, prime, sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint. But the result is glorious! Mr. Project wanted to put a clear varnish coat, but after much discussion, we decided to not do it, mostly because I don’t like the sheen in the varnish. The paint that we used is an acrylic laytex paint that is made for cabinets and trim it’s called ProClassic by Sherwin Williams. I actually really liked this paint, though It still is showing some roller texture, but it could still even out. The satin finish on it is gorgeous, it’s just a velvety luxurious feel that seems to also be super durable. Here is a shot from this morning, they are completely painted:
I could hardly wait to see the drawers in the cabinet, but Mr. Project had to finish painting them. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long, only a few hours to let them dry. Then they went in, smooth like butter! And I almost died at how awesome they looked:
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, We put the 8″ pulls on it!
It is times like these where I really wish I were a great photographer, because these photos do not do these cabinets justice. They are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. They are absolutely perfect in every way. Basically I would marry them if it were legal. I’ll have to get some shots in the daylight, that should help a little bit. SO the sink cabinet drawers should be finished being painted tomorrow, and the dishwasher panels will be painted once the dishwasher is actually installed. The panels are made, but slightly over-sized just waiting for their final dimensions.
As far as the countertops go, Mr. Project is going on a business trip, so he’s got to take a few days off of cabinet & countertop building, so he estimates that this side will be all finished (minus the backsplash) by next friday. Lucky for me my folks are coming to visit, so I won’t be alone! Unlucky for me, I still won’t have a working kitchen for my houseguests. But lucky for me because I’m going to have the most gorgeous kitchen ever! Okay I’m going to go and stare at the cabinets for 20 minutes before going to bed.
August 26th, 2011
Mr. Project is hard at work on the new kitchen cabinets (sink side). He says that they’ll be installed by Wednesday, though they’ll still have to be painted. But we’re getting so close I can almost taste it! So as a review, here is what we started with:
And the “during” when the two walls were removed:
And then when the new windows were installed:
And what it looks like now:
I love my wall of windows! This is the side that will be installed next week, right now we use it for prep and storage.
The other side houses the microwave, the new stove, the really really old stove and the new fridge. This is the most unfinished part of the house, and I can’t wait until its ripped out and finished!
So thats what we’re living with right now. Mr Project estimates that it will all be finished by the end of October, but there will be some great progress points along the way that give us a workable kitchen and show the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll update in about a week!
March 5th, 2009
I have the cutest little pantry in my kitchen. It is about 4.5 feet tall and has a little glass door and a nice wide ledge. Ever since I moved here, I have been wanting some fabulous and large glass canisters to put on top. I was so happy a few weeks ago, when I found these beautiful 2.5 gallon canisters at Amazon:
My birthday just happened to be this week, and I asked for three of these puppies (I put a few more on my wedding registry because I love them so much. I want to do one for Rice and one for Bread Flour).
As soon as I got them, I filled them up with flour, sugar, and rolled oats. But what I really couldn’t wait to do, was to make labels for them! Here they are looking adorable on my pantry:
The glass on these jars is a little wavy and imperfect, and I love the dark lids – they definitely have an antique feel. So I made some cute distressed labels (available for download at the end of this post). I printed and cut them out and they were super cute…
… but I really wanted them to have an older feel than just flat printed paper. So I pulled out some supplies:
> a moist/wet paper towel
> distressing ink – Tim Holtz Antique Linen & vintage photo
> emry board – fine sand paper will do
> A flat clean work surface that can get wet/messy.
I printed my labels on regular bond paper. I recommend testing your distressing process on some test paper before going at the printed items. Also if you get water on an inkjet print, it will run, so if you want to get really down and dirty, print your labels with a laser printer. I didn’t worry about the ink running on the lighter parts of the design, but I did try and keep the paper away from the letters since they are so dark.
Step 1: Crinkle your labels. I recommend bigger, deeper folds and creases. As long as the paper is dry, you can be pretty rough with it. I bent and tore and creased quite a bit so that the ink would have a lot of fun detail to hold onto:
Step 2: Wet your labels. I used a wet paper towel to dab water around the edges. You definitely want the paper soaked, but not so much that it tears or bleeds into the center. You have to work fast at this point because it needs to be pretty wet for the next step. You may want to do step 2 & step 3 to one side at a time to keep your paper from drying too fast.
Step 3: Once you have a wet edge, go ahead and use the lighter ink on the wet parts. The ink should bleed as soon as it hits the water and create a “dying” effect as opposed to an “inking” effect. This will make it look aged and not just inked. After a little light inking, I applied just a tiny bit of dark inking on some of the edges:
At this point your paper will be pretty wet and your wrinkles will have disappeared, but they will come back. Just finish each label and set them aside to dry. I let mine dry about 30 minutes. Here is how they looked after I let them sit for a bit:
I love how aged they look and how stiff they feel after drying. I will definitely use this technique on more projects in the future.
If I had printed them on a laser printer, I would have made the entire label more “dyed” looking, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
Attaching the labels was really easy, I used a large glue-dot in each corner. I don’t recommend this if you have a lot of people accessing your canisters, but I know its enough adhesive for my uses with the upside being that I can change them out pretty easy when I get bored of the look. You could use spray adhesive or run them through a larger xyron after they have dryed completely. If you printed on a laser printer, I imagine you could use Mod Podge, just test it on the glass first to see if it drys clear enough.
Here is a before & after shot. I really should have taken a before shot when the pantry was covered in half-empty flour and sugar bags, paper plates & food boxes.
I love how they look, how big the labels are, and just the overall vintage styling with the large black lids + the aged labels. So yummy.
You can really see the variety in the glass from this photo. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!
As promised, here is the label file. I did have to make it just a smidge smaller than the one I used in order to fit all the labels on one 8.5×11.
Download this label file and enjoy (for personal use only ). Please tell your friends to come visit the site and download their own labels. I would love a comment if you do download!
Each of these files are a 8.5″x11″ PDF. Use Acrobat Reader to open the file and print as many as you like! Happy project-ing!
If you are another blog or crafting site and would like to link this project to your site, please contact me. Thanks!
xoxo Jen Allyson
February 11th, 2009
Today I got a bread maker! That definitely calls for a blog post. I wasn’t really in the market for a bread maker. I did make rolls the other day and was thinking how nice it would be to make all my own bread, but since my mother always made her bread the hard way, I didn’t really think about the possibility of getting a bread maker to do the task for me.
However, all this changed while I was wasting time on the Two Peas in a Bucket message boards. A fellow pea mentioned that she was looking for a bread maker and was hoping for some recommendations and general advice. Well this got my wheels turning and I thought, gee it would be nice to have a bread maker, but they are so expensive, maybe one day. And then as more people posted to the thread, many ladies were telling the original poster to get hers second hand either from goodwill or craigslist. Of course since I had my very own internet handy, I went right over to craigslist to check things out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I promptly found a beautiful stainless steel Cuisinart bread machine for sale!
It was listed as only used twice, purchased for $130 and sellnig for $50. Not too shabby, I offered $40, cause well it is craigslist and you’re supposed to haggle a bit. The guy still had it and was home all day. So Mr. Project took care of the whole thing, correspondance, atm, money/product exchange at one shady apartment building in downtown San Francisco. The whole deal. A few hours later, I was a proud owner of a bread maker! Happy Valentine’s day to me.
Of course I had to make bread immediately, so after a quick run to the grocery store to pick up a few key ingredients. I decided to start with classic cinnamon-raisin swirl bread. Yum-o!
The whole process was very quick – which I do believe is the point. I cleared off some counter space, grabbed the recipe and all the ingredients. The cinnamon swirl take a bit more effort since it has “Mix-Ins.” The first step on the recipe was to mix sugar, cinnamon, and a whole lot of raisins in a small bowl.
Once that was mixed, I put it aside and got down to business! Putting the remainder of the ingredients, very carefully in order and according to directions, into the bread maker’s bread pan. This was a basic white bread recipe, all the expected ingredients, sugar, salt, egg, butter, bread flour, yeast.
Then I just let it do its thing. Since it was my first time with a bread maker, I watched for quite awhile and even gave it a name. Henceforth the Bread maker shall be referred to as “Gina the Bread Machine-a”. Or just Gina for short. Once Gina was finished kneeding the bread, an alarm went off and it was time to add the raisin mixture. I pulled out the smoooooth dough and plopped it on my cleaned and floured counter and then rolled it out. After rolling it out, I spread the rasen mixture on like so:
Next, I rolled it up, yes this is just like cinnamon rolls, super easy.
Finally, I pinched all the edges – top and sides – and placed it ever-so-gently back in the bread maker for rising and baking.
I realize now that I probably should have put the bread in upside down — making the completely smooth underbelly face up instead of the pinched top, but It still looked yummy! After replacing the bread pan, I pressed start again (it had been paused). and then just sat back and let Gina do all the work. About 2.5 hours, I had this beautiful loaf of yummy, warm, and practically perfect raisin bread to show for!
YUM! it was seriously so good and a great late night snack for this super late night blogger. The moral of the story: craigslist is awesome.
I have a batch of ingredients in the bread maker which has a timer on (so cool) to have a loaf of honey whole wheat bread all kneaded and baked by the time I wake up tomorrow. Yeah, I’m living the dream. Now I really have to find my running shoes.