Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ultimate old school... ice box conversions

I got a few questions on the coverted ice box I want, so I thought, why not post pics, right? My blog is dying while I am in Denver anyway!

We picked up a 1936 (or was it 32?) Detroit Jewel gas stove. It has the look of a 50s stove, but with little bitty feet on the bottom instead of it being flat to the ground. It is really beautiful. I decided I wanted a 'fridge to match. I researched a bit on Ice Box Conversions. Basically, they take an antique ice box, add a condenser, compressor and fan motor. The outside is cleaned up, if neccessary, and the inside gets stainless stain, an evaporator, temp controls, lights and R-12. We thought about DIYing it, but we'll get back to you on that. (We have too many projects anyway!)

Here are a few pictures I found to give you an idea:
1930 Kelvinator ice box, photo: antiqueappliances.com

Converted ice box (the extras are hidden in the "base" they built below the doors), photo: antiquevintageapplicances.com.

Soo perfect to go with the stove. I will ask Steven to take a picture of the stove and post it up this week. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

going to the zoo zoozoo, you can come too too too

Even with my super busy schedule, we want to be sure that our boys don't feel too abandoned. This means presents (bribes) and little mini-vacations. We took a trip to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, a free petting zoo in Olathe, KS and the boys had a blast. Prying Bowie off the tractors was a challenge!

Bowie gets a hand from Daddy to bottlefeed some goats.

Dane gives a goat a big hug!

Emery taking the time to smell the flowers. The gardens are amazing there!

All 4 of my boys! L-R, Satchel, Emery, Dane and Bowie.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

our kitchen: a work in progress

We have been busy working on the kitchen since we moved in. The kitchen before was pretty much awful to look at. I'm not one for white walls, green sponge paint splats, and red and green country-style wallpaper borders.

We are making great progress in the arena... but even so, the layout of the kitchen is really bad for cooking. There is no "work triangle." You must go across the entire kitchen if you want to take a hot pot from the cook top island thing to the sink. (I usually yell "head up, hot hot hot" and shoo people at of the way while I run through the kitchen!)

The island is at an angle and makes it so if you walk by it, you risk someone coming in the back door and smacking you with the door.

Furthermore, I want to ditch the cooktop island, the double wall ovens and modern fridge for vintage appliances. We picked up a 1930s Detroit Jewel gas stove. We are on the hunt for a 1930s ice box that we can covert to modern. Still searching for the perfect farmhouse sink.

We have the light fixtures bought... after we paint the dining room, we will begin tearing out the sheetrock on the ceiling to bring the ceiling up to the original height, about 18" higher.

I have been busy sketching out (not to scale) my plans for Steven to work from. I think it helps him visualize what is in my head when I tell him I want to move the stove, move cabinets around, etc. Here is what I have cooked up so far:

The Lighting Scheme
We will be adding a schoolhouse pendant above the sink, two "natural iron" finish ceiling fans with schoolhouse globes and two industrial pendants.

Layout - Before
We are lucky to have a huge kitchen, even by today's standards. It actually was two rooms that were combined, probably in the early 80s. The layout is a real problem.

Layout After
By moving some cabinets out, we gain room to add a gas stove on the far right, near the ice box and the sink. Removing the island and cooktop area makes room for a new table and chairs. We plan to build a rolling island for additional seating and workspace. The wall ovens will become a built-in china cabinet.

Oven Wall -Before
Here is what we started with on this wall. Really cheap cabinets, laminate counters, vinyl peel and stick floor, aging wall ovens, etc.

Oven Wall - After
Here is my plan for sprucing everything up. Remove wall ovens and create a built-in china cabinet with glass fronts. Replace cheapo cabinet doors for homemade Shaker-style doors. Replace hardware with black icebox latches and bin pulls. Replace laminate countertops with sugar pine butcher block. Build up cabinets with 1x6s and crown moulding. (Cabinets used to go all the way to the ceiling.) Beadboard backsplashes. Wide plank hardwood flooring.

It is all ambitious, but I decided to ditch the idea of having an "interim" kitchen until we had a dream kitchen. Our dream kitchen is within reach. Once we snagged the antique gas oven, I decided it was attainable. I took a closer look at the cabinets and decided with re-arranging and new doors, they were fine. No need to scrap them for new cabinets.
I think sometimes we flip through magazines or watch HGTV and see these super-fancy kitchens and it feels rather unrealistic. People drop $75,000 on a kitchen remodel and act like it is just an every day thing. I don't know about you all, but that just isn't realistic for me. Somehow, I realized that you can do a lot with what you already have if you can just be creative.

Monday, September 21, 2009

dining room is humming along

Steven has been working in the dining room, sanding off the old texture paint that only covered a strip of the wall, leaving the rest of the wall smooth... I had already repaired most of the plaster so he just has a couple ceiling cracks to do. He's primed. We bought the base paint and already have the wall color. Hopefully Steven is snapping in-progress pictures so we can share this week!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

your positive thoughts worked!!

Guess who decided to grace us with his presence?

I suggested to Steven that we should leave the back gate open and set out a bowl of food. We are happy to report that Baby Nash was in the backyard this morning, acting as though nothing happened.
I wonder where he went on his big adventure.... I am thinking the Sabre Dance music was playing in his head and he was running amuck just having a good ol' time while we were worried sick!
Welcome home, Baby Nash!

Friday, September 18, 2009

good thoughts needed!

Please think happy thoughts for our dog Nash.

Nash went missing this morning. We have been searching Baldwin City for him, putting up signs, the whole bit. No luck in finding our pup so far. We are hopeful that because he is such a BIG goofy dog, he will be easier to spot, and less likely to be ran over. But he is still just a pup, even though he is a giant, and very shy, so we are really worried.

Please make a wish for Nash tonight!

~~~ come home, Nash, come home ~~~

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ikea? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone going to Ikea?

Tammy @ Yarborough House was kind enough to pick up a few things at Ikea for me, since the nearest one to me is, oh, 10 hours away.

I had a friend in Seattle offer to pick some stuff up for me, so I let Tammy off easy and only asked for a couple things. Guess what? Now that friend can't make the trip for me so... yeah... I need someone who would be kind enough to pick up curtains for me. I need quite a few, so even if I could split them between two people that might be good. I don't want to stick anyone with $100 in stuff and putting them out while they wait for me to mail them back a check.

So... anyone going to Ikea anytime soon? I know several people mentioned early that they had a trip coming up. :)

utensil rack made from plumbing fixtures!

Steven finished another one of my little kitchen projects and I am so excited to share it with you! It turned out so nice, a vast improvement over the "before" kitchen, and it makes it a lot more tolerable to live with until we can do the big overhaul. (Steven is into vintage radios now, in case you are wondering about the radio. It works! He has a collection going.)

Ta da!!!!

In case you can't remember how horrible it looked when we moved in... Here is the kitchen as we were priming the cabinets. The doors are off everything here. I really didn't like the little hole in the wall looking into the dining room, or the wine rack. Aren't the sponge painting and the borders the best?


A close-up of the area Steven fixed. I only have this picture, we happened to snap it as our little guy was having a snack. He is now 2. Big boy!!!
Infinitely better, right? After he did the beadboard backsplashes, Steven took out the wine rack and put in the shelf. I decided the area beneath the shelf needed a utensil rack. I wasn't finding one I liked, so I asked Steven to make me one. I got the brass valves, copper pipe and flanges in the plumbing section of Home Depot. Steven warns not to solder the components together because it discolored the copper pipe. He drilled holes and used little brass screws on the back, they look nice but you can't even see them! The vintage utensils were bought on the cheap at Good Ju Ju in Kansas City.

Close-up of the shelf & rack:

And the rack:

How lucky am I to have such a handy guy around the house? :)

Plumbing fixtures, lumber: Home Depot
Blue french oven: & kitchen timer: Martha Stewart, Macy's
Duck platter & cow creamer: Fishs Eddy
Squash jam pot & colorful spoons: Anthropologie
Wine bottle: a guest left it at our house
Eiffel Tower: Hobby Lobby
Utensils: vintage, Good Ju Ju
Radio: vintage, Craigslist

Friday, September 4, 2009

a little reward for my new job

The first week in Denver went great. I had forgotten how tiring flying is, especially since my flight there leaves at 7, which means I get up at 4 a.m. The flight home is jam packed as well... so... but I enjoy my new co-workers and love that my hotel is right by the mall. I walked into the mall, and Anthropologie, PB Kids, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrel are all on the same corner. It is like a little beam of light shown down on my head and I could here angels singing...

Anyway... It will be a busy (holiday) weekend for me. All my lights came in so the kitchen will be a construction site. Steven snagged a gorgeous 1936 Detroit Jewel gas stove off Craigslist for us. Really, the design is more modern than I thought. Stoves that old usually have those long spindle legs and the tower on the right. This one is so cute, and in perfect shape. It will live in the basement until we can redo the entire kitchen, including cabinets.

As a little reward for myself, besides a couple pieces of bling from Nordstroms, I ordered this chair for the bedroom from Overstock:

I can't wait to rock the baby to sleep and read stories to the boys. I plan to put it, space permitting, in front of the window, in front of the built-ins. So pretty. A little more "mod" than I usually go for, but the clean lines drew me in.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

my latest adventure

Don't send out search parties... I haven't gone missing. I accepted a job in Denver. Well, Englewood, Colorado. I fly out Monday and return home to Kansas Thursday nights. Work from home Friday, and then teach college courses Friday night.

This means I am a busy girl. But employed, which is so important since Steven quit his job to go back to school full-time. (And once he finished his degree, maybe the roles can reverse and I will have a Sugar Daddy!)

I have been checking in each night and the boys are doing well. I am not sure how much home work Steven gets done with the 4 boys. But I did put the boys in a new daycare, so he does get *some* quiet time.

I am told that at daycare today, while playing outside, Bowie told Gina (new daycare lady) Bug! Bug! Not sure what he meant at first, she soon spotted a big bumblebee in his hair. She managed to shoo the bee out of his hair. His daily note said he was very brave. That's my boy!

Friday, I hope to work a bit on my Queen Anne chairs in the living room, sew a few pillows and develop a plan of attack for the sofa slipcover. The pendant lights for the kitchen will arrive anytime now, and we picked up half of the wood for the ceiling - so I expect some progress in the kitchen this weekend!