Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
cookery, organic gardening, crafts, DIYing, vintage stuff, and more...

Jun 27, 2015

Record Heat & Fire Season Starts, Kitchen Back Splash Re-do, DIY Rustic Wood Tray, Free Vintage Printables!


Record Heat & Fire Season Starts-
It's 103 right now at 9:00 p.m. and it is just too HOT! Blistering heat, with smoke in the skies. Fires are not too far off in the hills and out farther. We've had a lot of fire planes and choppers going over our house, bless them. I'm really glad for the AC! My chickens have been SO hot, but I give them cool wet treats, water their run and have a mister on. They're still laying bless their hearts! Mommies good girls. We watered the yarden a lot before it hit and now just keeping an eye on things closely. Luckily since we mulch so much with our own compost, things do pretty well, but 108 is HOT!!!

Smoke filled skies


Kitchen Back Splash Re-do- 
This is the kitchen update Part 1. First I did the prep, then I did the actual work! I'm really happy with the result!!! I used a subtle folk art type pattern in flat white Homedepot.com It was really a perfect application for this- fast, durable and simple design. It's so much brighter in the kitchen! Here's the before-


Tan laminate back splash with the icky metal edging and sheet rock above. Good place for food and hard water to get stuck in the trim :(  Yuck

About 5 minutes and main back splash off!

Anya had to inspect my work




The worrisome part was the section below the microwave. Luckily I was able to tear it out and break it off. Cut a bit off with a laminate knife and all done! 

Dry layout

First 2 sheets up! Loving it!!!

Making progress around the corner and under the window, tricky but I did it!


I asked Dave to put 2 new replacement switches and receptacles on either side of the sink. They were very worn, scratched and since he works in electrical he gets a VERY good deal on parts :) Thanks honey!!! Nice and new and white! I caulked the edges of the back splash, that made it look much more finished. I had saved some fun new, thrifted items for the updated counter, so I put them out!

Done and (mostly) decorated, some stuff to hang yet...


Sorry it's blurry, I was tired :)

Free print, thrifted frame and tea tin



Love the blue glass against the white! 

My new fave metal print, from eBay, $6.99!

Free print, thrifted frame

I jazzed up my existing blind with some blue ribbon, not sure yet if I'll keep it

It took me 2 afternoons to do the project, not counting getting everything moved out. For the back splash, adhesive and trim it was under $140.00, I think. Not bad, and worked for us!!! Part 2 will be this Wed. The plumber is coming to fix our leaky outside hose spigot, and pull our old sink, then add the new one! I also went thru kitchen things, have some going for donations, selling some vintage stuff on Craigslist...

Old almond sink, faucet, bye bye! Pretty scratched, we got our 10 years out of it, bought used...

The new white and faucet will really jazz things up! Part 3 will be painting, maybe this week, we'll see. I'm just really happy with our budget and what we were able to get...

I made this last night to add some more color to the kitchen, a lemon topiary-

Idea from- Astrollthrulife.net, total cost $12.00, with my own pot



DIY Rustic Wood Tray-
I found this fun little tray idea here Lizmarieblog.com  We bought two 1" x 3"s last night and I'll start this next week. Cute and cheap!!! I'll probably leave the handle off mine, maybe, and mine will be smaller...


Free Vintage Printables!
If you've ever loved old vintage prints, and want to do something with them, here's the place to go Thegraphicsfairy.com  She has 1,000's of free images you can use to print, transfer to furniture, crafts, etc. I'm going to try my hand at adding some images to a few things. Will post more when I do that...

Happy Summer!

Jun 22, 2015

Kitchen Makeover Prep, Old Family Quilts, Romantic Prairie Style, After Paint Job


Kitchen Makeover Prep-
Now that my little bathroom mini-makeover is done, onto the kitchen! It really needs a fresh coat of paint, after 10+ years! I went with a slightly whiter yellow, this "yogurt" from Behr-


It's a soft, buttery yellow, but with some undertones. It's more yellow on the paint chip than on the screen. Anyway, I'm taking off the old back splash tomorrow, then putting up the new back splash. Happy dance! Next week we'll have a plumber install the NEW sink, faucet and water filter, then I'll paint. Since we have the plumber coming to replace our very leaky exterior hose spigot (inside the wall) we'll have him do this too. Remove the HEAVY cast iron sink and install the new one. While Dave can do it, it's tough on the old back :) Both the old sink (bought used 10 years ago at Habitat) and faucet are on their way out. I can't keep the sink clean and finally got a new one, a Kohler, Brookfield, white, made in the USA with 80% recycled materials! 
Since our faucet was 10 years old we decided to replace it too, and this was much cheaper than replacing the big faucet we had, and I like the look better. It's a Moen (Dave knows plumbing brands!) a "Walden", tall but not huge-


Overall we're happy with the re-do, on a budget, since we're not doing the counter. We'll live with it. I've also deep cleaned my desk, on the end of the kitchen counter, and the desk drawers there. Here's the nice work I did. First I cleared off my desktop-




I also cleaned out all the old software, boxes and misc. junk out of my 3 desk drawers. I took my cookbooks off the desk top, out of the crate gave them a new home-

New home, desk drawer, easy to get to. The rest are on my bookcase

More cell phone stuff, papers, junk, time to purge!

All better! I can see what I have now, the rest is stored with like-wise items


Old Family Quilts-
Empress Anya loves to sleep in her bedroom during the day, when it's hot out. While we have AC it's cooler and she can hear the birds outside the window-


I was looking at my Grandma Marshall's quilts she made in that bedroom. I never knew her, but I love her design style and the colors she used! I can just see her on a snowy Nebraska night sewing away! I'm sure some of these were made from flour sacks-








Romantic Prairie Style-
My new FAVORITE BLOG is Cottage Of Vinnord. She has the best design style, I love it! She mentioned this book, Romantic Prairie Style so I checked it out at my library. It has some great ideas! While I am INCREDIBLY BORED with the all-white rooms, roses and burlap EVERYWHERE-look I do like the vintage twists. I think the whole chippy paint, fake shabby chic thing is on it's way out, but that's OK. I have loved old things my whole life and some of this fits me. Since I love Scandinavian & French country, with American vintage thrown in, it's a nice visual treat. Read all about it if you like! Here's a few of my fave shots-


Love the lemon yellow and blue! I would never have thought to paint the back of a cabinet a dark color, brilliant! This shot inspired me to make a lemon topiary, more later on that :) 

More yellow, how cheery! Similar to my old kitchen color but more intense, lemony

Love the blue and the mirror, wish I had a double window!

Nice idea with the hooks and jars with flowers


"After"
After Paint Job-
I bought this nice print about 15 years ago, and the blue wood stain was all faded-

The "before"

I bought a can of satin spray paint and tried to match the blue in the print, and did a pretty good job! Really makes the blue in the print pop, a good $4.00 fix!!! Ironically it's probably a "French country" print but I didn't know that at the time. I just liked it!


Jun 18, 2015

Frugal Mini-Bathroom Makeover, Refreshing Picture Frames, Summer Stuff, Thrifting Score

The "before"counter

Frugal Mini-Bathroom Makeover-
I just finished a mini-bathroom makeover for our small bathroom! I added a new back splash to our "master bath", which is actually a 1/2 bath. The main bathroom is down the hall and we remodeled it last year. Sadly "my" bathroom ( Dave uses the big one) was pretty sad looking in comparison. The main thing I HATED about the counter (as in the kitchen) was the back splash with the icky metal trim. It's really bad in the kitchen, a great place for food to get stuck in. While I'm not a fan of beige laminate, I can live with it a few more years until we get a solid counter top. Or till it dies. I still like the paint color, a very white blue, keeping with my faded, beachy theme. Since I was super careful removing the back splash I didn't need to re-paint. Glory be!!! I also add a few new or recycled accessories and I'm done! Well, maybe some new towels :) I first added new knobs on the cabinet, which remind me of sea glass -

Hobby Lobby, $4.99!

I spent a full month researching what I could do for a new back splash, that would be fast, low cost and durable. I looked at tile, wood, stone, glass, you name it. Here's what I came up with, a good compromise for now-- Nexus Tiles Wedge Blue


First I removed the old back splash removed, easy!

Then I spackled to even things out

I did the full install today, including caulking the bottom edge. I used optional adhesive to really lock them into place-



Elephant hanger is gone, off to donation

all dressed up!

My fave vintage jar full of seashells

another vintage jar

My print from the old bathroom, moved it, now I can see it! Was above the toilet before...

New clock from Home Depot, $7.00!

The total for the whole job was about $50.00, not bad! The kitchen is next, with a different back splash and full paint job :)

Thrifted Prim Mirror- before

Re-Painting Frames-
I noticed a while back I had some nice frames that needed a spruce up/upgrade, the one above and this-


The sunflower print is is in really great shape but the blue stain is very faded. Time for some paint! Here's the process for the prim birdhouse mirror, which didn't go with anything else color-wise-

Used free post its to cover the mirror and "roof", removed moss from hole 

New paint, just need to put the moss back in the hole

I'll do the sunflower frame next and then a few more projects. Here's the colors I'm using, a range of blues-





Summer Stuff-
I found this FREE, gorgeous 16" x 20" shell poster on the link above. I had it printed for $7.00 and found a thrifted frame for $4.00. What a deal! I was going to paint the frame but the pale blue, distressed finish grew on me :) Perfect bit of beachy summer in the living room!

Great detail in the poster

More summer stuff, I made the chunky prim flag :)

My "sea table", reminds me of the Oregon coast, and mostly thrifted!

Posie hanging out in the cool raised bed :)


Thrifting Score-
I got the 2 above items, new, at Goodwill for $1.99 each! Perfect for my kitchen after I put my new white back splash in. I also got the teal clock shown above from Home Depot, $7.00. It was a good day :) I also bought 2 of these on eBay-


It's a standard size galvanized lid and soap/lotion pump for canning jars. I'll put one in my bathroom and one in the kitchen after I re-paint. I know where I can find some blue/green vintage jars for them hopefully. I'll use clear glass for now. At $4.99 each they were cheaper than trying to make my own. They had LOTS of finishes, but I liked these eBay.com



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