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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brush On --- Wipe Off ---- AHHHHHHHHHH

Bet you wonder what that title means?  LOL

Right now, I am doing the final "frosting on the cake" ... the fun part of redoing the kitchen cabinets!   After all the work and prep and sanding, now I get to see the glorious wood come alive with STAIN!

We were shopping last week at Fleet Farm (for our food safe paint for the interior of the cabinets) and Steve saw some reddish mahogany colored stain in gallon buckets on clearance.  FIVE BUCKS a gallon!

We weren't sure if it was the right color or not till we could get it home and touch a dab on the backside of a cabinet door.  But we had to decide to buy one gallon (enough for the cabinets) or buy all four gallons because it was such a great deal?   Muphy's Law would cause all the remaining gallons to be bought up by the time we came back for them.

Steve was thinking I was crazy to want to buy all four, but I reasoned with him:

Well, when we rip up the linoleum floor of the kitchen, we are not sure what condition the hardwood flooring is underneath it.  If it needs refinishing, then we will have the extra stain to put on the floor.  All the flooring in the three upstairs bedrooms is this color, and the closet on the main floor is this color, so we are figuring in all probability the kitchen will be same color too.  Steve even pulled up a corner of the dining room carpet to see if there was hardwood in there, and yes, it was and it's the same color.

Thus---  all four gallons were put in our cart, and I am sure happy we did, because it matches what I wanted.

It's a "wiping stain" so it has to be brushed on liberally ... wait 15-20 minutes....

and then wipe it off with a cloth! 

(the flash seems to make them look uneven, but they are all the same) 

Not sure if I am going to do a second coat or not.  Going to look at it in good light today to decide.

I also got some of the smaller cabinet doors done too. 

Got five more doors, 2 bins, 8 drawers and the cabinet frames to work on today.  This is really FUN!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Let There Be Light!

After a busy weekend of Steve visiting with his mom and then we had lunch out with his dad and all of the siblings... which was a VERY emotional day....  We needed a bit of reprieve   We stopped on up to Birnamwood, WI to check out some old lamps a lady had on Craigslist.  Wheeeeee  We got some lovely bargains!  I think we are all set now in planning for the new house's lamps and lighting.

These are either for our bedroom, or on our buffet in the diningroom
I don't think these are the original glass globes,
so I think I will put tall clear chimneys on them instead.

One of these can go on a little table in the foyer,
and the other two maybe in our bedroom

This tall lamp is Steve's choice.  It's for behind his mission recliner chair
in the livingroom.  We will get him a different shade.....

We got them for great prices, most only $5 each.   The  tall lamp was a bit more.

After loading the lamps up in the car, we trekked on over to Wausau where our good friends Mel and Paula were waiting for us.  They had a lovely dinner all set, and we spent the evening laughing and letting go, talking about this and that, the motorhomes, the house, quilting and admiring Paula's new treadle sewing machine she got for an early Christmas Present!  Paula had some fabric for me, and we all watched a video tour of our house-to-be.  They are soon taking off for the winter in their motorhome, going down to Texas.  We hope to meet up with them sometime during our vacation down there later this winter. We drove home feeling much more relaxed and comfortable after a long, long emotional day.

Oh, this is the rest of the lighting we have for the house:

I bought these three lamps last week at TJ Maxx,  on sale too.   The two tall ones are for the livingroom on the end tables, and the center one matches very well with the guest room comforter bed set (burgundy with gold metallic swirls)  so that lamp will go in there.

And watching the sales last week, I was able to get this for our dining room! 
(someone had custom ordered it and never picked it up, so I reaped the rewards by getting it for almost half price!) 
I might take the little shades off... not sure yet. 

This next one is for our foyer.  I bought it already at full price, because we knew we wanted it.
But I am watching for it go on sale so I can go back in and get my price adjusted on the sales slip.

I spent most of the day today sanding my cabinets... I am almost ready to stain!!
Steve watched football most of the day, but came out from time to time to check on my progress... LOL
It's MY project, but he comes out to help me move the cabinets on and off the sawhorses.

Now it's 7:15 and time for Sunday Night Football! 
The Packers are playing the Giants, 
and time to tune in......

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Great Turkey Day....

In spite of all the illness and sadness going around our family, we still gathered for a nice celebration of Thanks with Steve's family down near Milwaukee.  His Aunt Nancy and Uncle Gordy hosted a family gathering at their church hall, with a wonderful meal catered in.  A special prayer was held before the meal, with everyone bowing their heads in thoughts of love for those of the family too ill to attend.

The food was great, and there was plenty to choose from.  The wee tots all ate up their goodies.

A special play area was furnished with toys for all the toddlers... who made the most of all fun stuff to discover and play with.

After the meal was over, it was time to celebrate Steve's dad's birthday!  Paul, the patriarch of the family has turned 80!   Aunt Nancy led the kids and family in a rousing chorus of "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"  

All of the little great grandkids sure enjoyed their piece of that birthday cake!!!

JAMESON                                             CHELSEA

LUCAS                                                     CLAYTON 


We enjoyed visiting and sharing stories, while I held the video camera for a while to make a film to bring to Steve's mom tomorrow.  She can watch the dvd over and over and see the family gathered in love and thankfulness.

Aunt Nancy sent me home with a pumpkin pie!   I have had 2 pieces already, and plan to have more yet today I am sure.  LOL

Our drive home was lovely on a fall day of temps in the mid 60's  blue skies and sunshine... but overnight the temps dropped drastically down to the mid 20's.  Brrrrrrr    Today it's all dark heavy clouds, high blasting winds, and feels like snow in the air.  The wind chills are in the teens, and it sure feels like winter!

Today we avoided the Black Friday rush crowd, so we spent the morning in our warehouse space.  I am touching up little nicks here and there in the dining furniture we bought... and now all of the seats are recovered in the new paisley fabric I bought.  I had enough left over to cover a sweet little foot stool too.

If the weather were nicer, I would open the big door and work on the finish sanding and staining of the cabinets.  No go, as long as the temps are low and the winds do blow.... oh well,  I can rhyme it a little?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A day of cabinets

I would first like to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog readers... may you have a lovely day surrounded by those you love, giving thanks for all you have been blessed with.  

We are heading down to Milwaukee to spend the day with Steve's family.  110 miles each way on jammed packed highways should be an adventure?   Two of our three kids are coming, along with their spouses and some of the grandtots for me to hug and hold and play with.

Yesterday I got a LOT done on my cabinet project.  If you recall, last week we bought a set of 1920's oak kitchen cabinets that came out of a mansion down in Fond Du Lac.  Here is the seller with the un-restored cabinets.

I have been sanding and removing the latches, hinges and door pulls.  Yesterday I bought some "food safe" paint that is designed for painting milk houses at dairy farms.  Only in Wisconsin can you walk into a store and buy a gallon of paint off the shelf made for this!  LOL
The little flat sticks are made for shelf supports that go in jagged teeth along each side of the upper cabinets.  On each of those sticks goes a shelf plank, that are just made of pine, not oak.  I think I am going to cover each wooden shelf with an old fashioned printed shelf liner. 

This photo below is the main bottom cabinet base, resting on it's back behind the motorhome.  I still have a little more sanding to do on the bottom edge after the paint dries.   We think we are going to omit the drawer section and put in our dishwasher in that space.  I have four more drawers along the bottom of the upper cabinets where they rest on the countertop.  Not sure yet, but Steve is re-figuring the measurements once we get the cabinet base into the house.  It's either that or put the dishwasher in the next section to the right between the drawers and the bins. 

I coated the insides of all of the cabinets and also the two pull out bins.  (I think we are going to use one for taters and onions, the other for a big bag of dog food)    I know nobody really sees the insides of the cabinets once the doors are back on.  But it will be good to start out with fresh clean surfaces for our dishes and food.

The back sides of the cabinet doors were a bit rough, so I stripped off their finish too.  You can see the backsides just to the right of the bins in the pics below.  Then I can stain both sides of each door to look pleasant when open or shut.  If I didn't do the inside surfaces of the doors, I just know every time I would look at them and say to myself: "Dang, why didn't I do the insides when I had the chance?"

While working, I had the door of the workshop area wide open... this paint is oil based and has fumes that are gassing off as the paint cures and hardens.  I worked for about 4 hours and called it a day.  Whew!   I still have to coat a few of box insides of the drawers.   Soon I can start staining the entire set of cabinets, then a few coats of polyurethane  and putting on the new latches, hinges and drawer pulls.

Let's hope this warm weather holds out so I can get these done and cured to a strong finish before we have to move them over to the new house. It's a lot of work, but I think they will be worth it, and be well-fitting for our turn-of-the-century home.

Everyone, please have a safe holiday....  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sanding Cabinets and a NEW LOOM!

Our lives have been concentrated on getting things ready for the "new-to-us" house.

A few blogs back, I mentioned some super duper 1920's cabinets we bought from Fond Du Lac, WI.  The seller had bought them from a mansion that was being dismantled or redone.  He tried to use them in his house, but they would not work without cutting them apart.  So instead he sold them.   To us!

They do come apart into three big pieces to haul, but he would have had to cut them apart into even smaller parts to work them around his configurations in his kitchen to put them on 2 or 3 different walls. He just couldn't do that to them.

For us, they will work all in one row along one wall.  Even our window is where the opening is.  We might cut out the drawer section and slide over the 2 cabinets on the left to put them under the sink area and fit in a dishwasher on the far left.  Will see once we get them into the house if we need to do that or not.  But most of their integrity will remain intact as much as possible. At least all on one wall.

The weather has been amazingly warm here in Wisconsin.  I started to refinish the cabinets over the weekend.  I was prepared tackle the ugly task of stripping them down by buying stripper, gloves and plastic putty knives.  Steve said this was "my job" because he wanted to get NEW cabinets.  But these are more fitting to the house and style and I fell in love with them.  So I was prepared to work and put effort into refinishing them.

But I also bought a cute little electric sander for $14.   I thought I would try that first.   OH MY!  The old varnish just sanded right off with very little effort!    Amazing how the old stuff crumbled right off.
(door in the foreground is original, and one with the dusting brush is in the sanded down state) 

Here are two of the drawer fronts. It only took about 2 or 3 minutes to get that much done per drawer front. I am just tickled pink at how easy this is going to be to get them ready for new stain to match our woodwork in the house, and then poly coat them to last.
In just a few hours of work, I got all of the drawers done, most of the cabinet doors, and one of the cabinet bases completed.  The four largest doors has some kind of Butcher's Wax or newer coating of varnish on them, so they are taking a bit more work and more sanding pads to get them done.

The sun was shining and I had the big door open of the workshop space and did them out in the open air of the parking lot.  I bought two nice new sawhorses to hold each piece up at working height.  I was happy as a lark, buzzing away that old varnish to reveal the lovely woodwork and grain.  From time to time I would just take off my glasses, mask and gloves...   and feel the smooth clean wood.  Ahhhhhhhh  only a woodwork-loving person would understand that!

Well, our warehouse space is getting quite full!   I am going to finish up the dining chair recovering this afternoon as it's kinda damp, hazy and foggy here today.  No big door open today.

In the middle of all this refinishing and redoing, we are gathering more items and holding them here at the workshop space till the big move the end of next month to the house when we close on the deal.  Glad we have enough room in here, plus it's heated, clean and free of dampness or bugs or mice like some storage spaces.

I have my sewing machine set up on the dining table to work on quilting, my sock knitting machine set up, and have a rug loom ready to weave when I come into the workshop space to get things done.  Gotta have something to keep myself busy during the next 6 weeks of waiting.

Speaking of looms.... well.....  Steve was looking on Craigslist again.....

He found a Newcomb Studio Loom for sale nearby!   We had to go look last night after the Packer Game was over.  Although I have my 2 harness Union Rug Loom, and my 8 harness Tools of the Trade table loom, the only looms I really regret selling off last spring were my 2 Newcomb Studio Looms!

(this is the one he found for me)  

These type of looms are too big to take along in the motorhome, so I sold off the two Newcombs that I had.  They both went to friends where I could buy them back if I wanted to.  But I also knew I could get another one pretty easily as they are common around the midwest.   Lo and behold, this one was in great shape at a great price.   Yes, we dismantled it and packed it in the trunk and back seat of the car in no time flat!

The nicest part of the loom-buying evening was meeting the gal who was selling the loom.  She has a fiber farm and woolen mill processing business, only about 15 miles away from Chilton where we are moving to!   She has a cute little shop with yarns, roving, supplies and finished products. Her farm is called http://www.hiddenvalleyfarmwoolenmill.com   and the BEST part?? She invited me to join their fiber guild!  They have a meeting once a month at her shop, and everyone brings a wheel to spin or a loom or whatever to work on.  How great is that?

We got the loom back to the warehouse and unloaded and stacked in pieces behind the big dining table.  I am not going to go through the effort to set it up, just to dismantle it again in 6 weeks.  Although I would love to get it going right away.  I have the Union loom set up and that can be moved easily through doorways with the removal of just one front beam.   So now I have one of each:  2 harness, 4 harness and 8 harness looms!   Should be all set to move them into my new Loom Room.  It's a large room that faces south with big windows on the main floor.   In the upstairs of the new house, there is a small room that was the maid's quarters,  and that is where I am going to store all my totes and supplies.  It will feel good to have my things within hand's reach instead of running to our son's garage attic in Green Bay for totes of fabric, yarn and supplies.

Thanksgiving is coming up this week.  We are trekking down to Milwaukee area to have a celebration with Steve's family.  Sadly, my ill mom-in-law is not going to be able to attend. Cancer has taken it's toll on her now, and she tires easily.  We will go over there on the weekend to meet up with some of the family to spend a little special time with her.  It is breaking our hearts.

Well, the day is getting on here, and I gotta get some things done...  never a quiet moment around here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flurry flurry flurry~

Nope, not snow flurries... at least not yet.  

Just a flurry of activity in preparation for the big move into the house.  We won't be closing till the end of December, but since we have time and the empty space to store things in advance at our storage building.  Might as well go shopping, eh?

I am not a shopper, and really don't enjoy it.  But we are carefully watching the budget and finding good sales and deals and bargains.  Plus watching the ads for things that go on sale AFTER we buy it, so we can go back and adjust the price too.  I keep going out to the stores during the day, and finding interesting stuff, snapping photos of it.  Then I show Steve after he gets home from work, and we go back and buy it or find something else instead.  Works pretty well for us.

We have found a few used things on Craigslist, like my last blog post about the beautiful old kitchen cabinets and the gas log fireplace.  There are terrific bargains out there if you look, and much less $$$ than if we bought it new.

This week we found a kitchen island unit as a work surface height table and four stools, with cabinets on each end.  It will work as a great center island.  It's not "old" but will match nicely once I get all the cabinets stained to match.  There are four sturdy solid stools with wrought iron bases that slide underneath out of the way.  It's pretty big, about 3x6, and will work great in our kitchen space.  When the stools are pushed in, then it's a center work island.  These pics were from the seller's ad.

 (I can see the grandtots bellied up on the stools to the island and helping me bake cookies, can't you?)

Speaking of the cabinets----  because we saved so much in our budget by buying the old cabinets to restore instead of new ones, Steve and I decided to go ahead and order the sink of my dreams.... a copper sink!   We only have about a 30" space to work with between the two upper cabinets, so we ordered a 25 inch sink.  I think with the patterned countertop (kinda marble looking) that we are ordering, with this sink it will look very cool.

Then I ordered some new cabinet hardware for the kitchen cabinets.  The present ones on there were in rough shape, some broken and some not matching the others.  I also ordered extra pieces for changing out the ones on the cabinet that is in the kitchen right now.  I am going to refinish that later and move into the butler's pantry and would like it all to match.

Steveio is a person who loves to vacuum.  He won't admit to many, but I will tell about it on here.  Yes, he is compulsive about it and has to make the vacuum cleaner cover each and every inch of the rug, even making perfect lines in the carpeting.  And I am NOT complaining in the least.  Have at it, guy!  

Soooo he needed a new vac cleaner for the new house.  We got him some super duper model Eureka one.. it even has a fluffy fiber type of feather duster that you can pull out of a vacuum tube to use, then stuff back in the tube on the side, and the vac cleaner machine sucks the dust outta the duster! Oh my....  So of course he had to try his vac cleaner out in the motorhome tonight.
Whatever makes him happy, eh?

I was busy this evening working on my dining room chairs.  The original white damask fabric is in pretty nice shape on most of the chairs, but a few spots and dark areas made me decide that if MY grandtots eat on them, we need to have a change of fabric.

Off to the fabric stores I went, armed with my gift cards and coupons.  Wheeeee found some lovely stuff in rich paisley upholstery fabric that is soft and pretty.   I even had to buy a staple gun to get the job done.

There is enough of the fabric left to cover a cute little footstool I found at Goodwill, and maybe some to quilt into coasters too.

We are looking forward to the next step, the next adventure, the next project....  I think this weekend will be spent in the storage unit sorting and stacking and probably some more shopping.   I am keeping track of things on a spread sheet...  things we bought, things we need, and things we think of out of the blue...   trying to keep up with costs, budgets and stretching the dollar to get things the way we would like them as we go along.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gathering "stuff"

Ohhheeeeeeeewwwheeeee what fun today was! 

Steve found a few things on Craigslist that we had to go check out.   It was going to be a rainy icky day, so we might as well head out and look at stuff we might be interested in.

First we stopped by some folks who had bought a Heat N Glo gas log fireplace.  They started to hook it up, and got about half way through.  The wife didn't care for that one and wanted a different (larger) one.   They didn't even put together the oak mantle or surround yet, so those were left unfinished.  YAY for us so we can stain it to match the woodwork in the house.  

The existing fireplace in the house right now is an electric "faux fireplace"  
but we will see if we can salvage some of the original tiles to put around the new one. 
 (p.s. that console tv just HAS to go! ) 

Our next stop was a place down in Fond Du Lac.  These oak cabinets were taken out of a mansion in town, probably from a butler's pantry.  This gentleman was going to make them work in his turn of the century victorian house, but they didn't line up right on his walls or windows without cutting them apart or scabbing them up.  So he and his wife decided on some other cabinets and sold us these all in one set!  They were also very kind to show us around their newly restored home and gave us a LOT of ideas!

He has already soaked and cleaned up all the original hardware, and has most of the old finish stripped off the wood.  We will restain and seal these to match, and give a fresh coat of paint to the interior shelving to ward off any lead base paint that might remain inside.  They will fit right on our big kitchen wall, and the window frame is within one inch of the opening by our calculations! 

I think we are going to add a "farm house sink" to the center and sacrifice the use of 2 drawers, and shorten the other two lower drawer boxes to clear the plumbing.  We will see.  I think they are going to be stunning.  There is still room at the end of the wall to the left for the stove, and I am thinking the two bins on the right will be for potatoes/onions in one and dog food in the other! LOL

So this week we will go back with the trailer and Tracker and haul this stuff to the warehouse to store till after we close on the house.  We will get around to doing the kitchen in the house sometime this winter, in the meantime we can use the existing kitchen area in the butler's pantry for meals.  Once the great old cabinets are in place, we can rip out the butler's pantry, sell those newer modern cabinets on Craigslist, and make that space into a first floor laundry.  What fun with all the plans! 

On our way back from our "gathering stuff" run, we drove past the house.   We just HAD to, ya know!

The neighbors to the rear were out in their yard, Laurie and R.C., we had met them on our last trip there while looking at the house.  We chatted with them a bit and told them we were the new owners in 7 weeks! They welcomed us to the neighborhood and are happy to see someone in that house again. 

It turned out to be a nice day after all, and no rain, so we were thinking of going to buy a couple lawn rakes and get the leaves up before the snow falls.  The neighbors offered to run over with their rear leaf scoop bagger on their lawnmower and scoop them up for us!  How nice of them to do that!   They said it also keeps the leaves from blowing over into their yard.  Technically, it's not our yard yet, but waiting till Dec 31 will mean snow on top of all those leaves, and a mushy mess come spring time.  

This back yard has a LOT of leaves.... 

So that was the extent of our "Gathering Stuff" today.  Next installment will be the recovering of the dining room chairs... wait till you see the great fabric I picked out!