Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Furniture Makeover

On today's show, we are featuring a fantastic new makeover.

I would like to introduce you to my gorgeous new cabinet. We'll call him "Hutch". He is the cabinet of my dreams! Ok, he doesn't look so dreamy in the "before" photos, but wait til you see him "after"!

I found Hutch at my church rummage sale. $35 for both pieces ($15 for the top-and $20 for the bottom-the pieces had been separated and placed at different ends of the hallway, so I had do to a little detective work to find both parts, it was the slatted doors that were the giveaway).

When I found him--I called my mom and told her that I had found the hutch of my dreams! I had been looking for Hutch for quite some time.

Some background.....

In this photo above from the archives--circa 2007--you can see that I have a wall next to our dining room table. (Since we don't have a table in the kitchen, "dining room table" is really a misnomer, it is our: eat-every-meal, crafting, homework, baste quilts, etc. table). For years, the wall was the home for the high chair. See:

But after the high chair graduated to the attic a few years ago, this spot has been bare. There's not a ton of space, the wall is only 36" wide, but I felt it was full of possibility.

We have a lot of Big Dinners with the extended family and I had always thought that a pretty hutch would be just the thing to handle all the extra stuff that you have on the table when you have a Big Dinner. Not to mention that a cabinet would be handy for storage of all the homework papers and crafting paraphernalia that gets strewn around. I had big plans. It was just a matter of finding it.

Enter: flea market, thrift stores, and rummage sales. I looked at a lot of cabinets. I had my tape measure in my purse so that I could be sure it was perfect. I wanted: shelves on the top to display dishes and pottery, doors down below to hide away papers and messes, a counter top to hold serving dishes for afore mentioned Big Dinners, and finally, it had to be less than 36", which I discovered is really the kicker, as size was the deal breaker with most of the cabinets I saw.

And finally last October I found it. Baker Memorial United Methodist Church Rummage Sale: I love you so much!

First, I removed all the doors and hardware, primed and painted three coats. Benjamin Moore 2057 Blue Flower. High gloss. I left the door on the top part of the cabinet off. (So I filled and sanded the holes left from the hardware before I painted.) Originally I had hoped to replace the slatted doors with glass or possibly a fabric curtain but that idea was scrapped because those doors are really solid and I couldn't remove the slats.

I kept the original hinges and replaced the door knobs and drawer pulls. Knobs: Anthropologie, drawer pulls, Target.

Pretty! I love you Anthropologie!

One nice surprise was how the paneling in the back of the cabinet mimicked the paneling in the sunroom. Because I did the painting in the garage, I didn't notice that until Hutch was in place.

Ready for the big reveal?

Ta da! I don't think I have ever been so cheered by a piece of furniture. It is making me very happy and I'm glad it is a new addition to the room we use most.

Thank you for joining me today--I hope you enjoyed our little makeover show!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Color, Color

I've spoken before about my love for semi-solids. Especially playing around with them and making up color combinations. I could just monkey around with a big bin of yarn playing with combinations all day long. If only! Dye and wool are my big-girl versions of Crayolas and paper. And then I get to wear it!

I saw this pattern on Ravelry last fall on the front page under "Jess's selection" and it was one of those Gotta-Buy-It-Now-And-Start-Knitting-Tonight moments. It was delicious knitting, with that main course of garter stitch and a lace border for dessert.
I made it bigger than the pattern by knitting the main section with my entire skein (350 yds) and then, surprisingly, the feather and fan border took almost a complete skein too. I used Sophie's Toes Midnight Sky and Favorite Jeans. The big square shape with a deep vee is super cozy and wrappable.
So I loved knitting Ruffle My Feathers, (above) and I was officially sucked into the Shawl Vortex. Next up: Flamboyan.
Here it is not yet blocked. I am in love with Stephen West's designs, so clean and modern. This one in Sophie's Toes colors Blackberry and Cranberry. Superfantastic detail in the border ribbing that resembles pleats.
It's a triangle, but instead of a straight-across top, the edges curve up making a nice "vee" shape that stays around the neck better. I have noticed this in many new patterns and it is a most excellent trend. I especially recommend this vee shape for the mom (who is trying to hold a couple of small hands and cross the street to get into church while wearing high heels in snow and keep her shawl from falling off)- crowd.

In progress: Aestlight by the talented designer Gudrun Johnston. I am using two greens that are double dyes (Sophie's Toes Layers of Color collection). The colors are a little washed out in this photo, but it is blocking as we speak, so I'll get a better, finished and modeled shot soon. I know the photo above isn't very exciting but I believe this might be my favorite of all. A person can never have too many green shawls! That's my motto.
I will leave you with those words of wisdom. If you don't have a green shawl, I highly recommend it.
And since I'm not ready to leave the Shawl Vortex any time soon...I'd love suggestions for other patterns. I'm eyeing Whippoorwill and Chadwick. Then there's this beauty, Roma. (Although, three colors! That might seriously put me over the edge!)