Friday, January 20, 2012

getting the counter in

   With just a few days before classes start, a fundraising gala to attend, and various children's activities to watch, taxi  kids to, etc, we are getting the counter in.

We bought a cabinet.
After several tests, my husband found the stain which matches the current cabinets the best.  
When pulling off the current counter top, we discovered that the kitchen was a custom job, so the measurements are a little off from the current standards.  This has made leveling the plywood and backer board a trick.  We are finding the need for  measurements like 9/32 of an inch.  Standard measurements need not apply. 

It is a family project with everyone helping in one form or another.  Because of the archway between the nook and the  main kitchen (the nook was an extension added by previous owners) my husband put in a 6 bottle wine rack/cubby to fill the space. 

you can see the various stain color tests
After much cursing and several  trips to the lumber store for various  supplies, we are almost ready for the tile to go in. 
The  backer board is cut.  The backsplash from behind the stove  as been removed.  We may actually get tile on this weekend.  I have tried to photograph the tile, but it looks muddy.  It is not flashy - sort of a soft, rosy beige with brown, gold, white and pink veining.  The photo just looks tan and brown.  Oh well. 
Cutting and fitting the marble is going to be the trickiest part.  There are weaknesses in marble along some of the veins, so we are expecting some unexpected cracks.  Keep your fingers crossed and wish us luck!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lest you think the 52 Project was dropped

   There have been things I have been finishing up, or starting with  materials I already own, so the 52 Project continues.  Some needed to be given to their recipients before publishing.  Here are a few examples.

A scarf in rainbow yarn chosen by my youngest son.
He adores bright colours!
Here are a few cuff bracelets I stitched together for my niece for Christmas.
   I am still working on two quilts which I have been stitching on and off for over two years.  The experience has taught me that I am not a quilter - but has given me a great respect for those who are.  I am also in the middle of knitting an afghan for my niece.  She asked for it for Christmas, but gave me less than a month to do it.  I looked in the book 7 Day Afghans, and have adapted a pattern for this  blanket.  I do not know how many hours a day the author has to knit, but I may be done is April!
I have a whole bunch of this yarn - I think  It was originally intended for sweaters for the boys - but it is a nice colour for an afghan.


     So we have been living in this house for longer than we have ever been in any place.  (Did I ever mention that we have moved around a lot?) Since we are not planning on moving soon - after all, my husband just got tenure - we are changing the house some more.
     Last summer we fixed the front steps - not aesthetically changing things, just getting rid of the insect riddled wood. We re-did the dining room, finally stripping off the old lady wall paper and putting some  paint  on the walls.  We have ripped up  the living room carpet to discover the disaster floors the previous owners were hiding (they were good at hiding things).  Now we move onto greater things.
     In the Spring we are getting the foundation fixed - a good deal of the surface cement is flaking off the cinderblock which supports the house. We are also getting the  drainage fixed (two contractors are working up estimates) so - hopefully - we will be able to turn the big room in the basement into the studio space we thought it could be, instead of the wet, nasty, "storage for all the junk we do not know what to do with" space it currently is! This will involve a backhoe and tearing up all the foundation plantings along the front of the house come spring, as well as re-grading the front lawn. Which means I will be spending some time at the nursery looking for shrubs I actually like for out front.  (Have you ever tried to walk through a barberry bush and an evergreen to turn on your hose?  A very prickly experience).
    So what are we doing NOW?  Tearing up the kitchen! We have decided that the lack of counter space is getting a bit frustrating, and the breakfast nook has become a pseudo office, so the kitchen table is not being used for anything but sewing.  In order to  streamline things, we are tearing up the flooring; a nasty vinyl which is old, with cracking and curling along the edges.

We are redoing the floor - probably in a strand bamboo.  We are adding about four feet of extra counter which will wrap around into the breakfast nook, and have about a 10 - 12 inch overhang so we can eat at it.  We will get rid of the stained cream coloured Formica countertops and replace them with (insert marble, porcelain or granite here when we finally make the decision).
    To start things off, my husband and I spent far too long at the Lumber Liquidators website, and walking the flooring aisle at Home Depot deciding what type of flooring we wanted. Yesterday my husband and daughter painted the nook the same colour as the rest of the kitchen. (Yeah, that was one of those things that never quite got finished last year).

     So today we are off to pick up the base cabinet for the foundation of the counter.  Since the counter will be bridging the archway into the nook (part of a load bearing wall, not to be messed with) my brilliant husband has decided to fill the space in between the two base cabinets by building a wine rack.  (Have I mentioned before how clever he is?  I was thinking storage for the dustpan!)