Sunday, March 18, 2012

Creating a Farmhouse Kitchen... a cookie-cutter house. As regular readers know by now, I am trying to introduce lots of vintage farmhouse touches in my home.

Because we are getting ready to put the house on the market, I don't want to do anything really permanent that a potential buyer might not like. But I also know that this house could be on the market for quite some time and I really want to be happy while I am still living here. So I have started adding some things here and there. This is still a work in progress, but I am happy to share what I have done so far.
Here are a couple before pictures, just for fun.

The beadboard backsplash is the most permanent thing I have done, and it has had such a big impact.
Just yesterday I was looking at my kitchen and thinking, "I wish I would have gotten that done sooner because I love it so very much!" This has brightened up my kitchen 500%. It looks clean and crisp and adds so much charm!

I love how it looks with my Mason jars and cutting board.

I added the glass tile backsplash behind my stove recently as well. This doesn't necessarily scream vintage farmhouse, but I think it will hold great appeal for a potential buyer. I have corbels to install on each side of the tile which will look a bit more farmhouse.

When you think of a vintage farmhouse sink, I'm sure, just like me, you see a beautiful apron sink. My next home will have one. But for now, the other thing I envision when I think about the sink, is a skirt. I decided to sew a couple curtain panels from burlap and vintage fabric. I just removed the cabinet doors (easy to pop back on for resale) and added a curtain rod inside to hang the curtains from. Easy peasy.

I have a couple other things up my sleeve. Something I'm very excited about involves this vintage cake carrier I bought at the barn sale here in town. Any guesses what my plans might be?

I'm linking up to the Show Us Your House Party at Thrifty Decor Chick

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Farmhouse Bunting

Back in my post about transforming my dining room, I mentioned a few details I am working on. I showed you the quilt top I've made to give you an idea about the fabric and colors I want to bring in to the room.

If anyone follows me on Pinterest, you know I am absolutely in love with bunting. I just had to make one to liven up this space.

The white fabric with little flowers on it is one of my Mom's old maternity shirts. The blue gingham and the red calico are fun vintage farmhouse style fabrics.

I'd like to keep doing some cute, fun projects like this, but we are trying to get our house ready to put on the market and there are lots of other things that should probably be done first. I am currently working on the master bedroom. It needed to have the window sashes and cases scrubbed and painted and a new paint color on the walls. I hope to have that wrapped up this week and I'll share it here.

We are still plugging away at the room in the basement. We have a door to install down there as well. The entire house needs a good scrubbing and the playroom/craft room/dungeon needs to be completely gone through and piles of stuff need to be completely removed from it. I guess my fun projects will have to wait. (Furniture waiting to be painted, a chair to be upholstered, a rug to be crocheted, etc etc.) My current thought is to just get all the mundane things out of the way as quickly as possible so I can start doing the fun stuff.

Know anyone that wants to buy a house in Wisconsin? Send them my way!

***Edit- We are not planning to leave the area. We are just hoping to sell our house in town (close to schools! close to Lands End Corporate office! great neighborhood!) to move out to the country. We'd like some acreage and some horses.)

Young Women's Values Cake

Last week I made a cake for an event at church (New Beginnings). I was excited about the chance because I've been wanting to do a many layered cake with different colored layers. This was the perfect event for it. New Beginnings is a special night for the girls aged 12-18, the Young Women. In the Young Women program the girls focus on setting and working toward goals in 8 value areas- Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability,Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue. Each value has a corresponding color. You see where I'm going with this, right? This was a lot of fun. The pictures aren't great. I felt a little dorky stepping in to take a picture of my cake at the site, so I didn't push it to get the perfect picture. But I think you'll get the idea. It was a real hit with the girls, just like I thought it would be.

Before buttercream:

I'm also a bit obsessed with bunting lately, so I had to make one for the cake. The theme for the evening was "Arise and Shine Forth", which is also the Young Women theme for this year. That's what the bunting says.

(My talented friend Jen made the beautiful cake with swirl roses. It was lemon with a blueberry filling- absolutely delicious, not to mention gorgeous!)

First slice out:

A couple more after it's been cut some more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

I've been meaning to share this recipe I found via (what else?), Pinterest. We all really liked these babies. I made them with the streusel topping, but I'd like to try the lemon sugar topping next time because...yum.

With cooking some of the blueberries into a syrup, this isn't a very quick recipe. I think I will try it with just the fresh berries next time to see how they turn out.

Find the recipe here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dining Room Progress

My dining room area has been a work in progress since we moved in. Other than the great windows that let in beautiful afternoon sunshine and pleasant breezes, I'm not a big fan of this space. It's just too small to really accommodate a family of seven and my hutch. There is only one wall to put the hutch on, and it doesn't leave enough room to center the table under the light fixture, which is centered on the window. This annoys the heck out of me. My other complaint it that with the open floor plan, which I am not a big fan of either, by the way, the dining room didn't have anything to set it apart from the rest of the living area.

This is what the dining area looked like when we first moved in.

Lots of reds and yellows and greens. Dark, heavy curtains. Crackle finish hutch. Tan walls. Heavy, boxy table.

I started working on lightening the room. I hung some breezy curtains, filled my hutch with white dishes, installed a lighter feeling chandelier.

But I knew that I was just getting started. Here's where we're at today:

I have some finishing touches I'm working on, but I've been anxious to share the progress I've made so far.
I love that the new chair rail defines this space and sets it apart just a bit. The table was a Craig's List find a couple years ago. It opens up to comfortably seat 10. I just recently refinished the table top in a red mahogany. The covering on the table is a quilt top that I started making seven years ago when I was pregnant with my second to youngest. I pulled it out recently, determined to finally finish it. It is made from vintage fabrics that were once my mother's maternity tops. And for good measure, there are pieces from one of my father's shirts he wore back in his college days and on into my youth. It's the only quilt I've ever attempted and despite the fact that the baby I was making it for is almost 7 now, it will remain baby-sized. I put it on there to give you an idea of the feel I will be going for in this room. I am working on adding some vintage farmhouse touches and will be creating a piece out of more of the same fabric remnants.

On top of the hutch you can see my great grandmother's bread pail, my big enamel pitcher, and my vintage kitchen scale. That area needs to be reworked a bit, but it's a good start.

I am very happy with the feel of the room and the direction it is moving in. Doesn't it feel so much less oppressive? It's a much brighter and happier room. I can't wait to finish up some of the details and share a final reveal!
One last look:

Linking to the March Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I've had a few requests for the granola bar recipe I used to make highly addictive granola bars a few days ago. I actually found the recipe via Pinterest, and I am just going to send you directly to the blog I got it from.

This is not my picture, but my granola bars looked just like this because I used the same mix-ins. Click here to get the recipe.

I used natural peanut butter (because that's what I had), sunflower seeds, almonds, and craisins. My kids found them to be too salty so next time I will not use salted sunflower seeds and almonds. I personally think they are a nice combo of salty and sweet. You know your tastes, make these accordingly. Obviously you can get creative with what you want to add in as far as nuts and dried fruits.


Friday, March 2, 2012

More Bathroom

Today I want to share another bit of the bathroom with you. This project included more barn wood and some Mason jars. Actually I think they are Ball jars, but you know what I mean. I saw this idea on Pinterest. The picture I pinned was so cute, but I knew it would have to be changed up a bit to work in our bathroom.

(click for source)
We don't have a lot of available wall space---other than over the toilet. Who wants to hang their toothbrush right over the toilet? Not me! So I knew I couldn't make a bunch of these side by side for the kids. Our toothbrush storage solution up to this point has been a plastic bathroom caddy. They just toss them in there, half the time without rinsing them very well. The entire caddy is always covered in toothpaste. It is absolutely disgusting and I will spare you the before picture. This seemed like a good solution. Everyone has their own jar and they are very easy to slide out and wash. So here is what I did.

I used another barn board and five of my wide mouth canning jars to make one long storage board. This has to be crammed in under the towel bar and the outlet, just off the counter. I needed it to be low enough that my youngest could reach it easily. It makes the counter a bit cluttered, but I like that it works with the new barn board frame.

Another look:

I'm having lots of fun with this!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Farmhouse Bathroom

I am working on transforming the kids'/guest bathroom. I hate that the kids' bathroom is also the guest bathroom. I wonder if we'll ever get around to finishing a bathroom in the basement? That would be nice. But I digress...

A while ago I painted the bathroom and installed board and batten, but I never got a round to the finishing touches because, well, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Enter my new-found realization of my love of the farmhouse look. I have known for a long long time that I wanted to frame out the builder grade mirror, but I haven't known how to attack it. I have been worried about the mirror clips. I just wasn't sure how to work around them. But then I got the idea to use some of the reclaimed barn boards I have. It worked out well because the boards are tongue and groove. That meant that I had a little piece of the board sticking out, creating a lip to cover the mirror clips.

So today I bring you the mirror.



I love it. And I'm not as afraid of those mirror clips anymore, so maybe I can tackle the mirror in the master bath.

Linking up to Meet Me Monday!