Restyling the Kitchen & a little Coffee Bar

Ever since my kitchen reno began, I've been dreaming of ways to improve the way I've styled the top of the fridge, area around the sink and my sideboard.  I kept changing it up, but nothing really felt right.

Last week I decided that my coffee pot takes up too much valuable counter space - not to mention all the mugs I have in my limited number of cupboards.  I read a blog post on creating a coffee bar in your kitchen and then the wheels began turning...

I moved the coffee pot onto my sideboard right away and with the coffee pot came the mugs I use most.  Then the containers for coffee and sugar.  I like to use paper filters as well as my gold filter (easier cleanup!) and I had a spare matching canister, so the filters were promptly "decanted".  I made clay tags for the containers, brought in an old fruit crate (another garage sale find) that I scrubbed with Murphy's Oil Soap and then oiled with baby oil to give the wood a bit of a sheen.

I used the extra hooks from my pot rack to hang the cups on and moved things around on my shelf.  I LOVE it!!

Tin Tales

I've had this little tin for years.  I found it in a kitchen cupboard when I moved into my very first apartment,  left behind by a former tenant.  I'm not sure why I've carried it around with me for so many years, maybe as a reminder of that milestone of coming of age...  I kind of liked it and kind of didn't but, at any rate, it has stayed with me (usually hidden away somewhere in a cupboard).

Fabulous Freebie from the Dump

It's so amazing how many times this year I've stumbled across something that has been discarded that is exactly what I've been searching for.  And sometimes I don't even realize it's exactly what I've been looking for until it has been put in its rightful place.

Over the past year I've been replacing all the light fixtures in my house with ones that are more to my taste.  In the case of my dining room, I wanted a nice chandelier for over the table.  My dining room is a repurposed room since this house didn't have a designated dining room.  When the house was built, it was a 600 sq ft one-bedroom house (eek!).  The previous owners built a 600 sq ft addition to create 3 bedrooms and a bathroom so I turned the original bedroom into my dining room.  Naturally, there wasn't a chandelier in the room but being a 1930s home, there was a ceiling fixture in the center of the room and the fixture someone had installed there was a 24" 4-blade, white ceiling fan with gold trim.  Hmmm, sooooo ugly!  

I have been searching for a chandelier that I like in a price point I'm willing to pay for over a year.  Nothing has appealed to me.  Last weekend on a trip to the dump, I stopped into our Re-Use It Center (a place where people can leave stuff they don't want that is still in good condition).  I could see something that looked like white glass shades on the top shelf tucked away into the corner, so I climbed up to see if they were something that I could use and this is what I found:

Holy crap!!!  Somebody didn't want or like this pretty Art Deco style chandelier and I absolutely loved it.  According to the sticker, it was manufactured in 2003 so the wiring wasn't going to be an issue.  It was dusty but in perfect condition.

After playing around with it, I found an extra 12" down rod tucked inside that would lower this fixture to a better height for hanging over my dining room table.

I am so happy :).  All it took was a little patience and exactly what I wanted fell right in my lap and for free to boot.  Life is sweet!

Happy dumpster diving!

Gorgeous Pumpkin Paintings

Tonya at Pumpkin, Pie, Painter decorated some faux pumpkins - my fave is the Autumn Geese:

I need to start painting pumpkins!  Check out Tonya's blog - she has so many lovely ideas  Pumpkin, Pie, Painter


Autumn Storm over Farmer's Field

I love autumn the best of all seasons.  A few weeks ago, I was totally inspired by a photograph of a brightly coloured red barn with a stormy sky brewing behind it.  Here is my depiction:

11x14 Acrylic on canvas

I decided to paint a black border around it and add the black corners - just like the old photo corners my mom used to use to keep photos in her albums.

I totally love this painting, sometimes I can't believe how well my vision translates onto canvas.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

Have a great week.

Linking to:

Homemaker on a Dime
Between Naps on the Front Porch
Coastal Charm
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Cherished Bliss
Not Just a Housewife
A Bowlful of Lemons
A Beach Cottage
Saavy Southern Style
DIY By Design
Clean & Scentsible
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Thrifty Decorating
The Artsy Girl Connection
The Vintage Farmhouse
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
From My Front Porch to Yours
Brambleberry Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
LaurieAnna's Vintage Home
At the Picket Fence
The Shabby Nest
Days of Chalk & Chocolate
My Romantic Home
My Repurposed Life
My Simple Home Life
Paint Party Friday
aka Design
Funky Junk Interiors

Super Simple Christmas Sign

I found a folk art Christmas scene on Pinterest and I had to have it!!  I decided to make a sign with it:

These are the tools I used together with a printout of the picture (laser printer!):


The board was stained with a light oak stain on one side.  I painted the modpodge on both the wood and the face of the image, pasted them together and let it sit overnight.  The next morning I washed the paper off in the sink and rubbed off the leftover glue with my fingers until I couldn't feel anything on the surface anymore.
Then I printed "Let it Snow" and drew the snowflake with a big chiseled Sharpie.

I really like the effect I got and I plan to make a few more of these to give as hostess gifts this year.

With a couple of holes drilled near the top and a ribbon threaded through them, this becomes a wall hanging or something to hang on a doorknob:

Linking to:
Redhead Can Decorate
DIY Showoff
Cherished Bliss
My Uncommon Slice of Surburbia
Not Just a Housewife
Bowlful of Lemons
Saavy Southern Style
DIY by Design
a Beach Cottage
Clean & Scentsible
Thrifty Decorating
The Artsy Girl Connection
The Brambleberry Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
From My Front Porch to Yours
Finding Fabulous
The Shabby Nest
My Romantic Home
A Little Knickknack
Designer Garden
My Simple Home Life
Funky Junk Interiors
Mod Vintage Life
My Repurposed Life

Autumn Wreath & Fresh Salsa, too!

This wreath is super easy, all you need is a few flowers of a single type (I chose silk flowers so my wreath would last for more than just this season), a few yards of ribbon, a wreath of your choice (I chose a pre-made grapevine wreath) and a glue gun.

Wrap the ribbon around your wreath, secure the ends to the back of your wreath with glue.  Cluster your flowers in the lower right hand section, as many or as few as you like.  Tie a really simple bow in the upper right hand section and VOILA!   Easy, peasy wreath for your front door.

I also have a recipe for you to try out.  This is a biggie cause usually I just throw together everything I have on hand willy-nilly without paying much attention to what I've done.  For this batch, I actually wrote down what I did here - OMG!!   Good thing I did, this one is a recipe I'd like to repeat.

I had a great tomato harvest on my single tomato plant this year.  As most of the tomatoes reached the ripe stage at the same time,  I did my trusty spaghetti sauce recipe (that is always different because I don't follow any instructions...) and then I came across a Salsa recipe from An Oregon Cottage that started me on a Google quest for the perfect recipe for me.

I combined a bunch of ingredients from different recipes that I found to come up with my personal favourite, chunky, tasty and mildly spiced salsa that isn't runny.

Salsa It Up

8 large tomatoes, cored & chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 jalapeƱos (add more for spicier salsa) chopped finely
1 clove garlic, squashed with a knife & minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3/4 can of Herb Tomato Paste (the littlest can!)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tsp Greek herb mix
1 tsp gourmet pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Throw everything in a pot and cook over medium heat stirring often, until boiling, then simmer for 30 minutes or so - keep stirring!!  Cool & serve.  Makes 3 cups.  I made a triple batch of this, put it in one-cup mason jars and froze it so I don't have to can (I'm such a lazy cook!).

Fresh is so much YUMMIER.  Serve with sea salt rice chips or tortilla chips.


Stylish Storage for the Front Entry

Ever since I first moved into my house last year, I've been challenged by my 5 1/2' x 6' entry foyer/porch. There is no closet in it or even near it.  The previous homeowners had a row of hooks on the wall and a sofa table against the opposite wall and that was it.  I tried my best to live with it like this for a little while: