Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kitchen, part 3

We're still making progress on the kitchen. In fact, it's almost finished! I'm tempted to jump to the end and show you how amazing it looks, but I'm going to get some blog mileage out of this and string you along as much as possible.

It took Mike most of December and January to modify all of the cabinets. That was partly due to the amount of work it took, and partly due to the fact that he started having severe Migraine headaches in December. He had 5 of them in December. We thought there might be something wrong with the furnace that was causing it to leak carbon monoxide into the garage where he was working, so he limited his time out there until we had the furnace replaced on New Year's Eve. We know how to live it up, I tell 'ya. For a reminder of what we've accomplished up to this point click here and here.

Here's a quick before picture.
Here's how things looked after Mike got all of the cabinets extended.

Here's a close-up of the cabinets on the far wall. If you look closely at the "before" picture, you can see that we also moved the microwave up so the bottom is flush with the cabinets. I love that there's more room above the stove now.

And now for the real "WOW!" transformation. Here's a look at the breakfast nook "before".

Then I stripped all of the wallpaper and took down the valances. Here's the "after" without the wallpaper.
A little stark, but wait until you see how it looks now! Are you ready??

Quite a transformation, huh? It's taken me a little time to get used to the color. It's really out of my comfort zone, but the more I live with it the more I like it and WAIT until you see how it looks with the cabinets white! It's amazing. Oh, and please ignore the mess and the guy on the floor. He's fine. Nothing to see here. Move on. That's my painter. He's working on some touch-ups. :O)

I promise to be back soon with the cabinet paint transformation. The backsplash tile is scheduled for this week and then the big stuff is done. All that's left is drapes and light fixtures. I'd love to know what you think!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Holy Tryptic

Another place I regularly turn for inspiration is a wonderful site called Stampin' Addicts. It was created within the last year and has become one of my favorite online stamping communities. I saw this card in the gallery and had to recreate it.

I stamped the image from Holy Tryptic in Basic Grey onto Whisper White card stock and then lightly watercolored it with Rich Razzleberry ink. It's important to use a light touch on the Whisper White card stock as it will easily pill when you add water if you rub it too much with the brush. I stamped the Merry Christmas sentiment in Basic Grey and then added some Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the image on the halos and the star. Be sure to check out the Stampin' Addicts website. It's a Stampin' Up! friendly place for stampers to gather. You can search their galleries by stamp set and they have regular challenges to get you stamping!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lovely As A Tree Christmas

I really do think that if the Lovely As A Tree stamp set ever retires I'll have to go into mourning for a while. I love this set. I don't use it a ton, but at Christmas I want to use it on every card. I've seen so many amazing Christmas cards using this set and I never tire of them. This card was inspired by Leslie Miller. I saw a card on her blog that used stamps from a different company, but knew immediately that I could do something similar with Stampin' Up! products.

For this card I started with a whisper white base and created a mask using the large scalloped oval die for the Big Shot. I stamped the trees inside the mask using Versamark and embossed them with silver embossing powder. Then I sponged Bashful Blue ink over the trees and stamped the sentiment from All Holidays in Night of Navy. I added the scalloped oval in vellum back over the stamped image and a knot of satin organza ribbon. I really can't get enough of this stamp set. Somehow I resisted using it too much this year. Thanks for indulging me!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vellum Tag Punch Star

I got the idea from this card from Dawn Griffith. Are you seeing a trend in these last few cards? I know I've told you before, but I absolutely do not believe in re-inventing the wheel. I search other people's blogs for my project ideas. A lot. I love seeing all of the amazing projects people create and I'm so glad when someone gains inspiration from something I create.

I had seen this technique done before and made a note to try it sometime. You create it using the tag punch. It's fun to do and creates an amazing star pattern. On this card I created two layered stars and added dazzling diamonds glitter to the top one with my 2-way glue pen. Again, I used the Christmas Cocoa paper on this one and the snowflake stamp from the Patterned Pines hostess stamp set from the Holiday Mini Catalog. The Merry Christmas sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set. I still have a few more Christmas cards to share with you. Thanks for your patience while I get through the backlog of projects. That's what I get for not posting for months on end! I've been saving all of these pictures and am glad to get them all on here where you can see them! Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Delightful Decorations

This is another card I copied from Andrea Walford. I loved the simplicity of this card and the fun bling she added on the ornament image with Crystal Effects and chunky glitter.

This is an exact copy of the card she created on her blog. The card I created for my Ladies' Night Out group is below.

Although I loved the idea Andrea had to punch out the center of the ornament, I didn't feel like it added that much to the finished card, so on the card I re-created for my Ladies' Night Out, we just did a single layer on the ornament. It made the process of adding Crystal Effects and glitter much easier. I also switched the ribbon to the white organza ribbon. The greeting is from the Grateful Greetings set from the Holiday Mini and the green flourish is from Baroque Motifs. This is another fun and simple Christmas card. I know I can always turn to Andrea's blog for amazing inspiration!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Christmas Cocoa Snowflake

Another blog I love for its inspiring ideas is Andrea Walford's blog, Sunny Stampin'. Not only does she provide amazing projects, but she sells workshop planners for demonstrators that are amazing! They take all of the work out of workshops!

Andrea posted this card on her blog and I just new I had to CASE it. The gorgeous flocked Christmas Cocoa paper makes this a super simple card with the addition of a stamped sentiment, a corduroy button, and a knot of stitched ribbon. That's all it took to put this together. I was sorry after I made this that I couldn't buy just the flocked snowflake paper by itself. This was so easy I could have actually mass produced these for my Christmas cards!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Friends 24-7 Christmas

I copied this card idea from Silke Ledlow. You can see her card here.

I loved how her card looked and immediately thought of using it as a Christmas card. I used the flourish stamp from the Friends 24-7 stamp set and created the scalloped rectangle with my scalloped edge punch from SU! The stamp coordinates perfectly with the flocked red and white Christmas Cocoa DSP and I added the sentiment from All Holidays and finished it off with some of the super yummy white satin ribbon. I punched the sentiment out with the 1 3/4" circle punch and created the red mat with my Circle Scissors Plus. If you click on the picture for a closer view, you can see that I scored the top of the card for some added interest. A big thanks to Silke for all of her amazing inspiration. I just love her blog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Autumn Splendor Shimmer

It's been so long since I posted stamping projects that I keep worrying that I've already posted these projects! If I have, please forgive me and move on, but I've searched and can't find this in my blog history, so here goes. I got the idea for this card on the SU! website and modified it just a teensy bit. I LOVED this Autumn Meadows DSP. The colors were so rich and yummy! And I was lucky enough to get this Autumn Splendor stamp set and the Grateful Greetings set as a gift from SU! for FREE!!*

For this card I inked the leaves in Champagne Shimmer Paint and stamped it on the paper with the grid. Then I inked the same stamp with Taken With Teal and Really Rust and stamped off once and then inked the edges with the same Champagne Shimmer Paint and stamped them onto Very Vanilla card stock. It gave the leaves a really nice shimmer around the edges. I cut out two of the leaves - one in each color and mounted them onto the DSP with Dimensionals. The sentiment was stamped in Chocolate Chip and then I added a strip of the striped pattern under the torn edge at the top and a strip of the teal pattern at the bottom. An antique brass library clip and a small piece of hemp twine finished off the focal point. I used the spritzer tool to add some interest to the base of the card. I love how this turned out. The shimmer paint really made a big difference.

*Speaking of which, if you'd like to earn stamp sets for FREE and get 20% off of everything you buy from Stampin' Up! now is a terrific time to sign up as a demonstrator. Why? I'm glad you asked! From now until the end of March, the Stampin' Up! Starter Kit is on sale for $169. Even at $199, this kit is an amazing value that includes products worth more than $330, so it's always a surprise to me when SU! offers it at a discount. You also have the choice of the Digital Starter Kit for just $157 and you can add the Stampin' Memories kit to either Starter Kit for just $50!

During Sale-a-Bration, you can also choose ANY stamp set (up to $47.95) FREE in addition to everything in your starter kit! AND there's more! You get a 30% discount on your first order and a 20% discount on every order after that. AND since it's Sale-a-Bration, if your first order is more than $300, you earn an extra stamp set. If you're doing the math along with me, that's SEVEN FREE STAMP SETS! AND if you're the hostess for your first order, you will also qualify for hostess benefits which will add a Level 1 or Level 2 stamp set AND $35 in free merchandise! Seriously! Why would you not want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity? You could earn EIGHT FREE STAMP SETS AND $35 IN FREE MERCHANDISE!!! It's crazy! I know! Think it over and call or email me if you have any questions. I'd be thrilled for you to join my little group of demonstrators, and you're still invited to all of my events, usually at a discount!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kitchen, part 2

If you'd like to read about the beginning of our kitchen renovation saga, just click here

Once Mike decided he was going to do the cabinet extension himself, things took off pretty quickly. First, he removed the remaining crown molding, which quickly took our kitchen from this:
To this:

Next came the serious demolition. He started with the smallest cabinet, which also happens to be one that is  separate from all the rest. That turned out to be good on a number of levels. Here is how things looked when he took down the first cabinet.

Oh, and do you notice anything else? The wallpaper is mostly gone. Here's how the wallpaper looked in the nook before.

Not terrible, but it's definitely time for an update. Wow! Look at how green the lawn was! Now I'm wishing for spring!  

Here's how the wallpaper removal project went. 

Pretty big difference, huh? Things have looked pretty bare since we got all of that down. Some friends of ours recently did a major renovation in their kitchen (with the help of a small water leak!) and they recommended an architect who had helped them out. He came out and gave us some great ideas including paint colors and suggestions for a lot of the finishing touches including the tile and light fixtures. I'm SUPER excited to see how those things look when we get it all finished, because oh, yes, we are still in progress.  

It's interesting, the things you learn about how things were done when you start tearing things apart. One good example is how the cabinets were hung. Apparently the cabinet guys don't own a stud finder. If I'd known this when we built our house I'd have purchased one for them as a gift. This became readily apparent when we took the cabinets down and found this:

Can you see all of those holes? Really? That's just crazy. And it's even crazier because the walls look like that behind every. single. cabinet. You would think that professional cabinet installers would have a better system, but I guess trying over and over to hit a stud is the best they could do. 

In this picture you can see that the wallpaper border is still there. It took me about a month after this was taken to get to that. Fortunately, it also took Mike about that same amount of time to get the cabinets done, so no one was waiting around on me getting the wallpaper border down. 

Well, just so I don't leave you completely hanging with no hope for our kitchen at all, here's how the first cabinet looked when it went back up. 

Doesn't it look amazing!! Mike did a terrific job and they're turning out to far exceed my expectations. Oh, and don't forget to admire the crown molding that he carefully removed and re-installed without any problems AT ALL!  

He added onto each cabinet box by just adding about 9 inches onto the top. On the pictures above you can see the seam on the inside of the cabinet. Each cabinet will have an additional shelf that will cover that seam and the new end panels on each cabinet cover up the seams on the outside. A nice little fix that saved us about $7,000!!  

We did put most of the cabinet doors back on when they were done. They look a little silly, but they keep the dishes safe and, more importantly, they keep the doors safe and out of the way. 

I'm absolutely thrilled with how the cabinets have all turned out (Mike just finished the last one last weekend.) The painter is scheduled for a week from tomorrow and then everything is going to look completely different. 

One of my faithful blog readers and friends, Leslie, left a comment asking why we didn't just leave them wood. It did cross my mind after we got into the project that they might look just fine if we left them how they are, but it actually is more expensive because they have to make the doors out of solid maple rather than the paint-grade doors we're going to get. Also, when we built our house, white cabinets were an option and I was really tempted to get them, but the cabinets they were using then were thermofoil (sp?) which basically means that the entire cabinet is melamine. Although they looked okay right after installation, I didn't like the thermofoil option as well as the maple. Later, I had several neighbors who had chosen the white and were unhappy because they yellowed over time. The company we've chosen to paint our cabinets gives us a 10-year warrantee against chipping and yellowing. That was probably WAY more information than any of you were interested in. Sorry for rambling. I'll share more pictures of our progress in the next week or two and I can't wait to show you all how it looks when the cabinets are completely painted. That step is scheduled for completion on Feb. 12th. The only thing left after that is painting the walls and tiling the backsplash. I can't wait!! 

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