Sunday, January 27, 2013

Native American Wisdom

Indian Creek, Calhoun County, Illinois

"Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

Indian Creek is an area near French Hollow. The creek is not visible in this photo. I'm posting this because there is a big empty spot in my heart today that seriously needs a fix of Mother Nature.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kitchen Makeover Update - Savings - $3,275 so far!

My kitchen upgrade is coming along nicely. I've priced having it done vs. DIY and I'm amazed at how much cash a little hard work can save. I used can of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and Rustoleum's kitchen cabinet makeover kit and saved a bundle. Here is what I've done so far:

Their Oil Rubbed Bronze Pendant - $110

My Oil Rubbed Bronze Pendant 

Their Oil Rubbed Bronze Flush Mount $90

My Oil Rubbed Bronze Flush Mount Lighting 
Brass Cabinet Knobs Before
My DIY lighting and knobs - $7.00

Cabinet Refacing - $3,200.00 - DIY - $148.00
DIY Remodel Almost Done!
I’m still searching for just the right window treatment. I can’t wait to finish and show you the completed kitchen!

Thanks for visiting!

Blessings, Linda

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Kitchen Makeover Update - with Banana Pancakes!

Banana Pancake Ingredients

All home improvements are better when they involve food. This is especially true if you want Rock Star to help you! So last weekend, before beginning Phase Two of my Rustoleum cabinet refinish, I made some delicious banana pecan pancakes from my modified version of a wonderful recipe that originally came from a 1970s issue of Mother Earth magazine.


½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 T honey
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
¼ t vanilla
2 T  butter, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed
¼ cup chopped pecans

Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients except pecans. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until mixed. If batter is too thick, add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Stir in pecans.

Pour 1/3 cup per pancake onto lightly oiled 350 degree griddle and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Makes 6 five inch pancakes.   

After breakfast, we began the cleaning and deglossing process. It took a couple of hours just to remove the doors and hardware. Then the kitchen looked like this:

Kitchen Makeover  Step One - Door and Hardware Removal
The directions told us to use two coats of the base (white) finish, but it took three. Darn that Murphy! Since it had to dry for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours between each coat, and then the final sealer had to dry for at least 8 hours, the framework was all we were able to finish.

Step Two looks like this:

Kitchen Makeover Step Two - Painted Frames
I replaced everything in the cabinets so that we could still use the kitchen. It made life easier since we can only work on weekends and evenings. This is going to take a LOT longer than I planned - that pesky day job is getting in the way of progress, but I'm very excited about how it is starting to look! 

Thanks for dropping by and stayed tuned for more "fun". 

Blessings, Linda

Friday, January 11, 2013

Still No Photos :>(

I tried Google Chrome - worked once. I tried Picasa and it was way too much work and way too much sharing (I'm quite certain no one is interested in seeing every photo of every item I ever listed on Etsy, etc. I really don't have the time or inclination to learn a whole new program, or two. I'm quite frustrated with Google Blogger right now and I wonder how the rest of you are managing to upload your lovely photos?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

DIY Kitchen Makeover

Happy New Year Everyone! I was going to make my first post on the actual first day of the year, but I got sidetracked – OOHH SHINY!!! 
Stone and Rose Kitchen Inspiration

I’ve been ogling gorgeous white kitchens for many months now - in magazines, on Pinterest, on HGTV.  Inspirations like this one from 

Original Kitchen Redo - 13 years ago

When Rock Star and I moved into our little ranch, it was only four years old but the original owners had no pride of ownership. They had installed absolutely the cheapest surfaces and appliances available. And then they didn’t take care of them. We found burn holes in both the floors and countertops and a half inch layer of grease had to be scraped out from under stove burners, above the cabinets and off the oven floor – after only four years!! I will spare you more gross visuals. I changed the lighting in the kitchen to match the breakfast room chandelier (this chandelier has since appeared in at least three different kitchen episodes on HGTV – you know,  “get rid of the dated lighting” episodes, but I’m saving lighting for another time.   I added a wallpaper backsplash, new fridge, replaced the burned tile flooring and made new window treatments. 

New Countertops - Granite Transformation
A few years later, we made our builder grade cabinets look a little more custom by adding some crown moldings and trim. I could not get the stain to match so I painted the trim black to go with the new countertops we had Granite Transformations install. It is actually crushed granite in some kind of polymer. It look and acts exactly like solid granite, but it doesn’t have to be sealed every couple of years or polished nearly as often. I love it. At this point I removed the wallpaper and added a row of tumbled marble tiles as a backsplash (they're not in this photo). 

Kitchen Before - 2013
My golden oak cabinets are structurally sound but dated, and new cabinets are simply not in the budget. In order to retain my crown as a Queen of DIY (at least at my house), my first project for 2013 is a cabinet redo. I’ve decided to use Rustoleum’s cabinet kit from Lowes and do it myself. Follow me and find out who falls apart first, me or my trusty Purdy paint brush. By the way, if you've done this before, I'm open to suggestions!