Monday, May 30, 2011

Ta Dah! Kitchen Remodel - Post 1...

By the time I've finished with several blog postings about our kitchen remodel, it will be all done.  By Tuesday, or Wednesday, the contractors will have removed all their tools from our garage, their trailer from our driveway and their cheerful 'can do' attitudes from our home.  All in all, our experience with this disruption to our lives has been very positive.  I might leave you with some hard won advice.  The very first and most important task I urge you to do is IMMEDIATELY after you fall in love with a material, make sure it will be available to you.  I found this amazing glacier water colored 1" glass back splash tile at Lowes.  It was on a 12.5" x 12.5" mesh backing and was the exact color of the water in rivers and streams that come from snow melt and glaciers.  It's a hard color to describe, more green than blue.  We bought a sheet of it, matched it with some 4" x 2" accent tiles and I carried those pieces everywhere with me.  We based our cabinet color on them, our counter top on them, our flooring on them.  I even purchased a drapery panel of stripped watered silk for a valance that was the exact color of the 1" tile.  After we'd ordered everything, scheduled our contractor and started to purchase materials, we discovered that tile was going to be discontinued, it was not being reordered and our local Lowes did not have enough in stock for the job.  I have to admit, I almost cried.  We would have to start all over with a different color and I was heartbroken.  After arriving back home, we decided to check other Lowes in the area for their stock.  This was something that the associate at Lowes could have offered to do for us, but did not.  We found bits and pieces of both the 4" x 2" and the 1" tile at six different Lowes in Central Illinois.  My husband took a half day off of work and we took a road trip.  We bought pieces at Peoria, East Peoria, Champaign, Decatur, Springfield and Galesburg.  We now know where all the nearest Lowes are near our home.  So, unless you really want a tour of home improvement stores where you live, check first.

The second piece of advice I might offer is plan for longer than you think it might take and realize it will cost more than you thought.  Even when we had purchased everything we thought we would need, we still had to purchase more.  I knew I would want pretty new plates to cover the electric plugs and switches.  Our old ones were wood and ugly.  I ordered some beautiful ones on line (home improvement stores have a very limited selection and don't usually include the cable and phone jack covers), but I forgot to purchase new actual switches and plugs.  They deteriorate over time and get really dirty.  We also did not purchase grout for the back splash (I assumed the contractor would do this).  We didn't realize all the types of paint we would need.  A paint to match the cabinet color for the sides of the cabinets that were not refaced because the stove or fridge was there, a good primer, wall paint, ceiling paint, semi-gloss and eggshell finishes.  We ordered beautiful brushed nickel for the faucet, sink and cabinet handles but had dirty gold finishes on the pantry and garage doors.  Mixing the two metals looked awful, so we had to buy new hardware for the two doors.  We needed a new white vent cover for the heating; the old cover was dark and ugly.  We kept piling up the receipts in a folder and still do not have a total.  Our contractor will be the last receipt and we won't get his bill until next week.

The following pictures show our kitchen the day after we talked to the contractor.  Our remodel was done by several companies.  We contacted Wood Front Kitchens to have our cabinets refaced.  This involved new doors and covering our existing boxes with new material.  I elected to have our cabinets painted a light cream color, the doors design was kept simple.  If you look in the lower right corner of the first picture, you will see a trash masher that we don't use.  I requested a pull out spice rack just that size.  Our upper and lower cabinets and our counter top end at the trash masher.  I requested new upper and lower cabinets all the way to the door you see in the next to last picture.  Our old lower cabinets were to be retrofitted with roll out drawers for appliances and pots and pans.  The hood (which does not hold an exhaust fan) over the stove was to be removed and we would purchase a range hood with a light and exhaust fan.  Since we planned to install a new ceramic floor which would raise our fridge, the cabinet over the fridge would be removed, cut down, refaced and reinstalled so the fridge would fit under it.  Our microwave cabinet was too tall for our microwave so Dave suggested taking that entire cabinet down, making a new box to actually fit our microwave, and installing it.  This would raise the cabinet giving us more room under it.  In the second picture, you can see the microwave.  We stored all of our snacks on top of it since there was so much room left in that cabinet.  Stay tuned, next post I'll show you the cabinets and talk about our contractor.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Magnolia Stamp Lover's Dry Emboss Background Challenge

So much has happened here and is still happening.  First, I haven't posted since I got back from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I attended several classes taught by Cindy Echtinaw of and both a beginner/intermediate and an advanced Copic class from Suzanne Dean.  Awesome classes.  I met half of the design team I've been working with for a year so that was a great treat.  I have to admit I am no longer a fan of air travel.  The flights were fine going to Michigan and from Michigan to Chicago.  With only twenty minutes at O'Hare to connect with my flight home, we were directed to four different gates.  My suitcases were much lighter on the outbound trip.  After shopping at Cindy's, they were much heavier.  And I had to schlepp them from gate to gate to gate to gate.  After that, our plane was only 30 minutes late landing in Peoria, but I was still breathing hard when we landed.  I gave my husband a HUGE hug.  I was so happy to get home.  Kitchen remodel is winding down, pictures start Monday in between new challenges.

The weather here has been rough, but after seeing news coverage of Joplin, Missouri, we can't complain.  Cold, wet, windy, but so far no damage.  We read in the paper that one of our favorite places in Southern Illinois, Horseshoe Lake, is completely underwater.  All 12,000 acres.  I hope the weather where ever you are is pleasant.

This challenge is for a dry embossed background.  I just obtained this new Sizzix embossing folder (actually, I whined so long that Cindy sold me the only one she had).  We've all been dividing our folders like this, haven't we?  I like to combine the long slender ones with the A2 sized ones.  It's kind of a pain to get them just right.  This folder has already done that for me.  There is a lovely flourish in the middle combined with the dotted swiss that's the backbone of all the embossing folders.  On Core'dinations Black Magic paper, the blue underneath (with a little sanding), looks wonderful.  This is a paper I've 'saved'; which means I've had it for years but not used it.  My New Year's Resolution this year was to stop hoarding.  This new Tilda image is going to become one of my favs.  I have so many friends who garden, she's going to make an appearance often.

Paper:  Core'dinations Black Magic, Cryogen, Bazzill; Stamps: Magnolia Tilda w/Flower Pot, Frou Frou Stamps; Ribbon: Stash; Stickles: Yellow, Waterfall; Spellbinder Labels 4; Sizzix Flourish, Dots & Ribbons Embossing Folder; Copics: [Background BG000][Skin E00, E11, R20][Coat/Dress B95, B91, B93][Hair E30, E21, E33][Shoes E41, E43, E42][Pot E99, E19][Flowers/Tag E40, R85, R81, Y35, Y38, YG05,][Ground W3]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Magnolia Stamp Lovers Challenge: Graduation

I have been making lots of size 10 cards lately.  I love the bigger area they give me for designs.  The Cricut cartridge Stretch Your Imagination is wonderful for doing cards this size.  That cartridge has a card feature on it that cuts out a design in the center of the front of your card.  If you back the cut-out with vellum, it makes a really pretty card.  This card, however, was just cut using my paper cutter.  Cut your card 9 1/4" high by 8" wide and score at the 4" mark.  You can purchase a box of envelopes (size 10 business envelopes) almost everywhere; I get mine at Krogers.  On this card, the black panel (Spellbinder's Labels Large) was popped up with foam dots.  The numbers were cut out using the Cricut Cartridge Base Camp and glitter paper from the DCWV Latte Matstack.  Tilda was masked.  I used a Stamp-a-ma-jig to place Edwin behind her (everyone knows that Tilda is the star).  I don't know anyone who is graduating in 2011, guess this card will just take up space; perhaps I can change a 1 to a 2 and use it next year.  To enter this challenge, please check out the Magnolia Stamp Lover's Challenge Blog.

Paper: DCWV Black & White Prints, DCWV Latte Cardstock Matstack; Magnolia Graduate Tilda, Magnolia Graduate Edwin, Cornish Heritage Farms Sentiment; Spellbinder Labels Large, Spellbinder Labels Small; Circuit Base Camp for numbers; Crystal, Waterfall, Eucalyptus Stickles; Copics: [skin E000, E00, E11, R20][Hair [Y18, Y19, Y00][E34, E31]][Diploma N0][Robe [YG17, YG11, YG13][B41, B45, B37]][Pants C5, C7][Shoes [C9, C7][E40, E41]][Outline N0, N1]

Monday, May 16, 2011

SSCC Birthday Challenge

It looks like Marci is baking up a birthday cake just for you.  Don't you love La-La Land Stamps?  They're so easy to color and they cut out so easily if you like your images to pop.  This little beauty was cut out and popped up on a Tri-Shutter card with a Martha Stewart border in the background.  The cake was covered with 3D Crystal Lacquer and Fruit Punch Stickles.  I-Rock Rhinestones are the buttons on her jacket.  I am addicted to the new XL Sizzix Dies; this one was a new release at CHA in January that Cindy Echtinaw of ordered for me.  They are a little pricey but if you plan to use it a lot, can become cost effective.  I hate cutting cards like this so I was really pleased they made a die to do it for me.  You still have lots of time to enter this challenge, so go to Stamping Scrapping Challenge Central today.

Martha Stewart Playful Pink Paper Pad; La-La Land Chef Marci, StampingScrapping Fancy Accents and Label Accents; Sizzix Tri-Shutter Card Die; I-Rock Rhinestones; 3D Crystal Lacquer Peach; Martha Stewart Deep Punch Linked Trim; Copics: [Clothes/Hat YG23, 0, Y32][Hair E35, E25, E27][Skin E000, E00, R20][Cake V91, V95, G24, YR000, Stickles Fruit Punch, 3D Crystal Lacquer][Shoes E43, E41]

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Product Showcase-JustRite Stampers

Welcome to the StampingScrapping Design Team blog hop featuring JustRite Stampers. Hop along with our talented team of designers to see what they have created using various JustRite products.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank JustRite for being one of our Creative Partners and for their generous donations to our team.  We are very excited to work with JustRite and use their great products to design with!

I have always been a fan of JustRite stamps; I have a huge collection of them.  So, when I heard we were going to hop with JustRite stamps, I couldn't wait.  It was just a matter of which stamp to use.  I love the new ones with flowers and a butterfly.  I used the largest Spellbinder Grand Label 11 to create this shaped card.  I cut it out and folded it in half.  I used a large piece of Michael's lace around the front of the card.  Two Spellbinder Lacey Circles, one stamped with a new JustRite stamp finished it off and both were popped up on foam dots.  I think it's simple and elegant and I love the green color.

Spellbinder Lacey Circles, Spellbinder Grand Labels 11, DCWV Cotton Bloom Stack, JustRite Butterfly Garden Stamps

Leave a comment using the Inlinkz button on each design team members blog for a chance to win this stamp set.

If you came from Billie's blog, you are where you're supposed to be.  If not, please start at Cindy's blog.

Cindy Echtinaw
Anary Baumgarth
Billie St. Clair
Cindy Close (you are here)
Dawn Saenz de Viteri
Janine Blackwelder
Karen Stark
Leanne Garner
Sheri Willshire
Stephanie Hester
Wini Bell

Saturday, May 7, 2011

SSCC Anything Goes Challenge

This is in my top ten all time favorite cards.  It came together quickly and I was satisfied with it right away.  I didn't play with other colors, papers, stamps, embellishments.  And I'm growing so fond of these La-La Land Stamps; they are a delight to color.  I used my Grand Calibur to cut a shaped card, scored it in half and folded it.  I used the next size down to cut my designer paper, cut it in half and cut off another 1/8" from the top.  I used the other half on the inside of the card.  The ribbon was in my stash, I've had it for years and it was just waiting for this card.  I adhered a white prima rose that had been inked with Pearlescent Beige and touched up with Stickles Fruit Punch to a hat pin.  Unfortunately before I really thought it out, I then adhered the whole hat pin to the card.  If I were to do this again, I would leave the adhesive off so the recipient could wear the hat pin if they wanted to.

Paper: Wausau Kraft Cardstock, DCWV Linen Closet; Stamps: La-La Land Marci with Rose, Waltzing Mouse Label 4 Stamps, Papertrey Just the Ticket; Spellbinder Grand Labels 4; Prima Rose; Ink: Pearlescent Beige; Stickles Fruit Punch, Crystal; Copics: [Skin E000, R20, E11, E0000][Clothes E42, E41, E43][Roses R81, R83, R85, G24][Hair Y18, Y11, Y19]

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Magnolia Stamp Lover's Challenge - Flowers

This challenge was right up my alley.  DH and I have - count 'em - 13 official flower beds and 1 'holding' bed where we nurse new perennials.  And we've just finished trimming, weeding and mulching almost all of them.  We have a 28' by 6' annual bed where I plant sunflowers, zinnias, tobacco flowers, cosmos - almost anything and everything that butterflies and hummingbirds love.  We plant dill just for the butterflies whose caterpillars eat the dill right down to a single stalk.  In August, the Peoria Camera Club will come to our place for tea and snacks and spend most of the day rearranging our garden art and taking pictures of the flowers.  I usually have a greenhouse up and running by now filled with perennials and annuals that I start from seed, but I am excited to say, I will be taking a trip to Grand Rapids next week in order to attend Copic classes with Suzanne Dean and several classes offered by Cindy Echtinaw of  So, with no one to watch the greenhouse, we've decided to buy seeds and plant directly into the annual bed.  I will share pictures of my garden soon.
I was very pleased with this card when it was finished.  I like the shape and the colors.  I'm not always happy with every card I create, so it's always a pleasant surprise when it turns out to be something I would like to receive myself.

Paper: DCWV Nana's Nursery Baby Girl; Spellbinder Grand Circles; Stamps: Whipper Snapper Sentiment, OTC Sun Stamp, Magnolia Tilda w/bunny, Peachy Keen Face Stamp; McGill Flower Punch, Yellow Stickles, Martha Stewart Leaf Punch; Copics: [Skin E000, E00, E11, R20][Hair E30, E21, E33][Rabbit N1][Clothes/Hat R27, R21, R22, YG03, YG06][Shoes E42, E43]

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just in time for Mother's Day

We have been so busy lately with the kitchen, gardening and getting ready for the sale that I haven't had any time to create cards.  But late last night I found a few minutes to answer a request from a friend for some Mother's Day sentiments and here they are: