Tag Archives: kitchen

18 Jan

Put A Lid On It

Plastic Pantry

As I was rummaging around in the pantry muttering about the builder’s stupidity for not installing any lighting in there my son was busy putting away the dishes. Over my own complaining I could sort of hear him whining about having too much Tupperware and not enough cabinet space.

I’m pretty sure he was complaining more about me and the way I insist things be put away just so but since he was smart enough to ‘whisper-gripe’ I couldn’t be certain.

As I slammed the door and flung outdated food on the counter he looked at me and said “Why don’t we put the food in the cabinet and the dishes in there?” pointing to the pantry. Being the logical and responsible parent I responded with “Because.” Read More

13 Jan

DIY Dumpster Dive

Cabinet Organized

I <3 trash. But, I try hard not to be the one putting things on the curb for others to pilfer. I’ve been known to hang on to soup cans, spaghetti jars, cardboard (sorry Mom – I know you’re shuddering as Dad reads this to you!), plastic & paper bags, fabric & wallpaper scraps – you name it, I save it. You just never know when you’ll need it. But – not in a hoarder kinda way. I have no sentimental connection to anything. I just *like* to keep as much money in my pocket as possible by keeping very little from hitting the curbside.

So, when I was hating on the trash can frame I built for my Hide & Seek Garbage project it was easy to grab some cardboard and wallpaper and pretty her right up. I didn’t have to look far for a pull knob since I have about 40 of them to choose from. Read More

10 Jan

It’s (hide and seek) Trash Day!

Black & Decker jigsaw

We have been up to our ears in germs around these parts of late. What with the hubs’ swine flu and Mr. Lou’s allergies to life my kitchen counter looks like an Osco pharmacy. (We don’t even have Osco’s in these parts, I’m paying homage to my Chicagoland roots – holla!) I’m certain we’ve gone through 1,000 tissues and paper towels in the last week alone. So of course the first task to knock off this year’s Domestic Bucket List had to be the under cabinet trash can. Read More

10 Dec

‘Tis the {Craft Fair} Season

DIY painted dishes

Is it seriously Monday again already??

These last days of the year are whipping by and I wish I could say I’m lounging around lazily enjoying lattes and foot massages but I most certainly am not. Instead, I am going freakin’ crazy {my fave state of mind btw} preparing for a craft show this weekend.

Back when I schlep’d Tupperware I participated in a few of these but the preparation was so simple: 1. Set up a table. 2. Pull out the plastic. 3. Drink coffee. Now? Yeah, not quite that easy. I sorta forgot that *making* my own products would need to be factored into the planning timetable. Whoops!

Anyhow, I’m running at full steam whipping out uber awesome things. I’m not quite ready to post them but I will give you a few sneak peeks and update later this week with the full reveal. (how’s that for tossing out a meatbone of anticipation ~ I’m learning, I’m learning!)

What I will share are the ho-hum GoodWill plates that got doctored up for last Saturday’s Women’s Brunch at church.

Now, I’m going to be as honest as possible with this tutorial because, while I’ve seen similar posts all over Pinterest, not one of them tells you that it is a PITA project. Seriously. It isn’t as easy peasy as *they’d* have you believe and I’m here to shatter that facade.

To start, I picked up an array of somewhat similar plates ~ the most expensive being $0.99 ~ and some paint pens from HobLob (don’t forget your coupon!)

I did some research on the toxicity of the pens and determined that since no one was going to be guzzling a pint of the paint, they were no less safe than any preservatives added to the food that would sit on top of them and went with it.

(Elmers has a non-toxic version & HobLob carries it. So if you’re really concerned I would recommend that as an alternative.)

After trying quite unsuccessfully to use a stencil & spray adhesive (bleed city) I freehanded the design and let it sit (all over the kitchen table and counters) for 24 hours to dry.

Then I popped the plates into a cool oven set at 350 degrees for 30 mins (or so, I’m horrible at remembering what time I start anything). The baking process made the house stink, I’m not gonna lie.

When the time was up, I cracked the oven door (and the windows) to let the plates cool in place. Then I pulled them out to oggle the fruits of my labor (get it?)

Now, remember I had a good 30′ish minutes to kill so I continued to survey other blogs for project tips.

I came across this awesome post about using a liquid cleanser (intended for the kitchen & bath) to remove scuffs from ceramic and just happened to have some under the counter.

So I eyed the *COMPLETELY FINISHED* plates sitting on the countertop. I walked over and gave them a once over noticing the scuffs & scratches.

….and then proceeded to soak & scrub each and every one of them.

I am happy to report, though, that most of the plates survived the initial scrubdown and the knife marks were gone. Win, win!

But me being insane me, I repainted every. single. one., let them dry & recooked ‘em.

I’m not kidding when I say I do everything twice.

During the (initial) cooking process the design stayed in tact but the color lost some oomph. See how the red turned orange and some of the branches disappeared? No good.

The entire process gave new meaning to ‘lather, rinse & repeat’.

Flash forward to Friday night.

As I was setting up my table, many of the other ladies were already scoping out the competition. (I kid, this is all done in love.) One of them asked where I purchased the plates and it wasn’t until someone else said they’d “never seen a complete set of dishes” at The Will that I caught the compliment. They didn’t believe I had created a one of a kind dinnerware set (for under $20!).

The look on their faces when I (humbly, I hope) set the record straight was heartwarming. This post is dedicated to them for making me feel accomplished. (Thank you, thank you!)

While I am *SO FAR* from being legit in this DIY small business, it elated my soul to know that I am at least headed down the right path. Finally. But I can’t take credit…

Anyhow, the church event was magnificent and filled me with the Christmas spirit.

Oh just so we’re clear, there were no cases of (human) lead poisoning and everyone (of  the ceramic kind) made it through the final rinse cycle unscathed! I wish I could say the same for my dining room table. Did you know that it’s not a suitable ironing board substitute? Sigh – guess refinishing the top will go on the 2013 Bucket List.

The rest of the table decor is now hanging out on my mantle.

Next week, I’m hoping to tackle a few of the crazy cool projects I’ve seen posted on millions of blogs recently (like this one) and get the tree up. I’ll be hosting our care group’s Christmas party soon so my house will actually be cleaned! (yes, I promise to take an obscene amount of photos for proof)

For now, I’m busily creating the craft fair items. Hopefully, someone will think they are good enough to wrap up and put under the tree for someone special.

If not, guess what you’re getting from me?? (insert evil laugh here)

I hope you are having an equally productive day. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the plates, my messy kitchen table or life in general.

Linking up to MetMonday and these other fine folks. (be sure to check them out too!)

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