Tuesday, July 29, 2014

T Tuesday-Kitchen Light

Hi Everyone! Tuesday means it is time to link up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for a T stands for Tuesday post.

This Tuesday finds me doing touch ups in my completed kitchen and getting back to a little art.  As I hinted last week, the next "big" job to tackle was this old, crummy, recessed light fixture that has a mind of its own....
This house was built in the late 1960s by a friend of my husband, and while I am sure this was the style back then, I have hated  disliked this fixture for some time now.  Especially since every time the weather is a little humid you can flip the switch as much as you want, and nothing but a little glow at each end of the two fluorescent tubes happens. I'll spare you the photo of the empty hole, but will tell you it is 2 feet (60 cm) long by 8 inches (20 cm) wide with just the electrical wires hanging down.
The first step was to install an electrical box to hold up the new fixture and enclose the rest of the hole with a new piece of sheet rock.  It was a little challenging because of the small working space, but I was satisfied that the end result was as perfect smooth as I could get it. The blue painter's tape is on the window frame because my "last" task (is there ever a last task?) was to stain the window frame to perk it up. After painting the ceiling, we installed the new track lighting fixture:
Even changed out the switch because this fixture could be used with a dimmer switch:
I'd say I deserve this cool drink of strawberry basil iced tea with a sprig of my homegrown basil.
I happened to get this as a free sample-it is probably not a flavor I would have bought. Fortunately, it had more of an aroma of basil than a taste and just an undercurrent of strawberry.

That ends my major home improvement jobs for this summer, and now I can get back to the more important or at least pleasurable "job" of crafting.  Starting small and slowly with beading since I have been having some issues with my hands and elbows (unrelated to all the work I've been doing), but all is slowly improving.
So what are you up to this Tuesday?  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

T Tuesday-Kitchen Reveal!

Hi Everyone! Tuesday has rolled around once again, and that means it is time to check in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth and see what everyone is doing this Tea Tuesday! I'm here early today so I will share my breakfast with you...

a sesame seed bagel and a cup of English Breakfast tea with Vanilla Soy Milk-a new favorite of mine.
In case you may have forgotten....above you will see the "before" start of the project.  See the grungy cabinets.  Not for lack of cleaning by the way.  See the stain color worn away under the old, outdated handles.  See all the scuffs and scraps, dings and just places that would not clean up any better. See how carefully I labeled everything? That is because there are 22 cabinets equaling 40 doors, 9 drawers, and 2 insert pieces. I took my time with this process of deglossing (a fancy word for scrubbing with a very concentrated soap solution), painting each side of the doors, drawer fronts and cabinet frames with two coats of color, followed by staining and a top coat.

After all was dry and cured for a few days we were ready to re-attach the hinges-all 80 of them with all 800 screws-which my DH did most of because I have a torn tendon and a pinched nerve in my elbow-but that is another post. Our house was built in the 1960s if I remember correctly, so all the measurements were standard then but not know.  Which means we had to use the same hinges that I was fortunately able to clean up, and the selection of new handles was limited.  I chose a satin nickel finish which I am happy with. Here are a couple of "after" photos:
The floor is actually red oak (we put this down ourselves also) and looks much lighter in this photo. The contrast is not that severe.
The top photo I used a flash & they look a little washed out, but the second photo is truer.  Of course, the first thing you will notice is the color is not all that different.  I love this darker color which is complimented by the tiled backsplash that has a maroon stripe. Here is one more close up, but the cabinets are not this red in person.
Now that phase 2 is complete (phase 1 was painting the walls & ceiling), I am on to phase 3 which is to replace the light over the sink.  Stay tuned and Happy T Day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Craft Barn Challenge 14 Imagination and Logic

Hi Everyone! Well, here we are on the 14th week of the Craft Barn Quotes and Lyric Challenge.  The words this fortnight are Imagination and/or Logic.   Go here to visit the beautiful samples by the DT and participants.

As soon as I came across this quote from George Bernard Shaw, I knew it was the one I was going to use.  The quote touched me so deeply that I did not want anything to compete with the words.  I did a very quick watercolor wash and used some rub on designs that jumped out of a drawer.
Thanks for stopping by!  I'm off to visit as many people as I can this week!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ladybug, Butterfly, and Lilies

Hi Everyone!  The weather is beautiful here in upstate New York. Warm days and cool nights are just the best! I've been taking advantage of the low humidity days to get the kitchen finished--I think I've spent more time waiting for paint to dry lately than actually doing anything.  In between the challenges I have been participating in, I have managed to complete a few beaded projects.
This is the time of year when our orange Day Lilies bloom and I can never resist making them in beads! This is an arrangement of five in which I took a little liberty and added tortoise shell colors for the stamen tips.
I made a lavender and gray lily for the third week of Summer of Color when the colors were lavender, gray and a pop of plum.  I liked this combination so much that I made two more flowers for a small, simple arrangement. 

After making a ladybug suncatcher as a custom order, a couple of people suggested I make ladybug plant sticks, so I gave it a try:
I am happy with the way it turned out and will keep this new design in the inventory of my shop.

Thanks for visiting! Have a happy creative weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SOC 4 Week 6

Six weeks of creative inspiration prompts from Kristin's Summer of Color Challenge are at an end.  I have had so much fun, a bit frantic at times when I could not come up with a suitable project, but I am proud of myself that in the end, I did.

This week we were presented with raspberry, tangerine, and a pop of lemon.  Beautiful fruit or sherbert colors! I, however, saw butterflies.....
Thanks for your visits and very encouraging comments--It has meant a lot to me! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

T Stands For Tuesday Anniversary

T stands for Tuesday is one today!  Big thanks go to Elizabeth (and Bleubeard, of course) for organizing, inspiring, and encouraging me along the way. This week she has requested we dig back into our old posts and re-post a favorite.  I now see the benefit of (a) either putting more in the title or  (b) remembering to tag, neither of which I've done. However, I know that my favorites have been those where I try something new.  So here is mine, originally posted August 27, 2013...

Hi Everyone! It's time to join Elizabeth and Bluebeard our wonderful hosts for T Tuesday!  As you may have figured out by now, you do not have to drink tea to join in the fun.  Just talk about or show anything you'd like, include any beverage in your photo, link up, and have fun visiting all the other participants.  Here is the link for this week's post.

I was inspired by posts on Scrap Happens Here and Bastelmania to create something I had never tried before...Twinchies!  If you don't already know these two talented artists, trust me, a visit will be well worth your time.  I did some research on Twinchies and found that the only criteria is that they measure 2" x 2".  I decided to make a collection with an animal theme, again using just what I have on hand.  Here are my first three along with my afternoon cup of Darjeeling tea:
 A little closer up:
I cut 2 x 2 inch pieces from the back of a watercolor tablet and added some scraps of paper. The little hedgehog was in an advertisement that I saved from the trash. I used a gold paint pen to darken the edges.
For this one, I wiped, then swiped the card on an orange ink pad so it bled onto the paper.  I added a feather mane and some orange sparkle glue, and the gem on the top left is a matching bright orange (gifted to me by Bastelmania).
This solid pink background was actually the reverse side of a patterned piece of paper. I like it for its texture which is hard to see in the photo, but not really for the color.  I added some washi tape and a decorative corner.  By the time I backed the bear and added his flower crown, most of the background was covered up so I liked it better.   Now I have to do a little more research to figure out how I might bind these or create some sort of folder.  Thanks Annette and Valerie for the inspiration!
Thanks for joining me for T on Tuesday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

SOC 4 Week 5

Hi Everyone!  It is hard to believe this is the 5th week of Summer of Color hosted by Kristen of Twinkle Twinkle.  She has done a great job of inspiring us every Monday with a new color combination!  This week it is red, royal blue, and a pop of light blue.  It took me all week to come up with this simple, silly idea.  When stuck, I always return to my favorite theme...the sea!
I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but I basecoated the mermaid's tail with light blue before I added the sequins. I gave Mr. Starfish a light blue sign, too!

Thanks for visiting! Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Craft Barn Challenge 13 Path and Horizon

Hi Everyone! Today I am linking up with the Craft Barn's quotes & lyrics challenge using path and/or horizon.  I had no trouble coming up with a quote I liked; only with how I was going to illustrate it....and then it came to me! The quote I used was one from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  Here is my ATC, the format I have chosen for this challenge:
Just a quick sketch, some watercolors and some black Sakura Pigma pen.

Thanks so much to the Craft Barn and DT for hosting this challenge and pushing me beyond my comfort zone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

T(ea) Stands For Tuesday

Hi Everyone! It's T(ea) time again, or as the latest page in my altered book states, "It's always tea time"! 
I have been hoarding saving these Alice in Wonderland Tea envelopes/tags that my daughter brought home from when she studied in Oxford a few summers ago until I felt I could do them justice.  I came across the other images in an old children's book that I found at a library book sale. The lovely British flag banner came on a package from my friend, Valerie.
Antique linen and Vintage photo distress inks were used for the background to achieve a tea color.  I was going to try real tea bags, but a quick trial with this mornings blend (English Breakfast) was not dark enough.
I stamped in the light (antique linen) circles with a clear stamp I found tucked away in a drawer--it's amazing what I come across!  The ink is black, even though it looks more purple--in real life, too.  That is not a bad thing! On the other side of an extra tea tag I cut out the Mad Hatter's hat & added it to this guy stirring the cup.  The quote is, of course, the Mad Hatter's also.
Here is the White Rabbit checking the time, although we all know, "It is always tea time"!
Last, but not least....

A slightly evil-looking Cheshire Cat.  Thanks for stopping by today to see my tea post.  If you would like to visit Elizabeth and all the other wonderful artists, here is this week's link. Elizabeth has some fun planned for next week--but you'll have to visit her for the details.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SOC 4 Week 4

It would have been so easy to just bead up a flower for this week's luscious SOC color prompt.  I mean, Pink, Apple Green and a splash of Dark Green are natural flower colors, right?  But, I really wanted to challenge myself and do something that I may not do so often, or even well for that matter.
I  drew a simple fantasy tree and used my pan watercolors to color it in.  I had hoped the quote would smear or fade out a little more to give a more ethereal look, but I chickened out and let the watercolor card dry out too much for this effect, because I didn't want to ruin it.  The quote is my own.

If you have a chance, stop by and see all the wonderful art created this week.

Tomorrow is a holiday in the USA, so Happy 4th to all my American friends.  Have a happy creative weekend and stay safe if traveling!