Sunday, December 20, 2009


Kitchn Cure

Well, our AT Kitchn Cure is done. The countertops have since gotten messy again, but we finished painting, installing the shelf for the toasters, installing another shelf for my decorative kitchen-y things, and de-cluttering the cabinets.
We also removed the door to the foyer and are thinking of hanging a picture on the back of the basement door, though there is still some disagreement on this. As you can see in the second picture, choosing a color for the foyer is still in progress. I'm thinking, forget the green and go Down Pipe instead?
This shelf will hold cute kitchen stuff that is still yet to be unpacked. That's a project for another day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Our kitchen is no longer yellow! I'd give you a sneak peak, but apparently I'm a bit dumb and can't seem to find either the spare battery or the charger for my camera. Smart huh? We still have to do a few touch-ups this morning and need to install the shelf for the toasters, hopefully by the time that's done I can actually take a picture to show you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving this morning, while it's still morning. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day enjoying time with friends and family and food! We'll be making a short trip upstate to escape the black friday madness tomorrow and enjoy some quiet time. See you when we get back!

btw, the fellow above resides at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown and not on an actual farm so I think he is thankful today as well!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miscellaneous Weekend Updates

I hope no one is expecting any sort of theme or common thread for this post because, there isn't one.

Above is the extent of our carrot harvest for this year. We planted them late in the season and didn't really care for them in any way except for watering them so I guess we really shouldn't have expected any better. We wanted to leave them in as long as we could so they would have a chance to grow but it's starting to get chilly and we figured they weren't going to grow much more at this point. The colors sure are pretty, though.
I got this shelf at a yard sale a few weeks ago and I've been trying to decide what to do with it. I was thinking off painting it white and hanging it in the kitchen with some of the cute kitchen stuff I used to have on display at the old place. I'm generally in the "don't paint it" crowd, but the detail seems to get a bit lost in the darkness and the shelves are a bit banged up around the edges. I'm afraid to do it though, because you can't really undo it. I don't think it's valuable but it does look a bit tramp art or folk art-y. I don't know, maybe I'll just let it sit on the floor of my kitchen for a few more weeks. I'll probably do that anyway.
And finally, here's my tablecloth. For now at least. I gave up and bought the sheet at Ikea for $5 and hemmed it. It works fine for now. I might stencil a pattern on it if I can decide on one, but until then it does its job.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Why are cool tablecloths so hard to find? For the summer I used a white lace tablecloth in the dining room because I wanted to lighten the room up a little. With leaves on the trees outside the windows and dark-ish walls and furniture, things became a little gloomy. I like the look of the lace, but it's not very practical and not very cozy feeling for the winter.

A lot of people tend to leave the table bare when not in use and only put a tablecloth on when they use the table. I understand the logic behind this, you can show off the table most of the time and have a "cleaner" look, then protect it when you use it. My problem is that I have a tendency to not use things if they require too much effort and so far, our dining room hasn't gotten much use except for when we have people over. I'd really like to use it more.

While I don't like having to treat furniture as precious, I don't want to wreck a perfectly good mid century table that's held up pretty well to this point. What I'd like is a fun, modern tablecloth that I can leave on most of the time that I don't have to be afraid of staining (ie. dark color or busy pattern). Apparently these are not easy to come by. Those at the top of this post are from Crate and Barrel and Ikea. Apparently CB@ and West Elm don't believe in table cloths. The C&B ones are too expensive for something you can easily spill red wine on, and the Ikea one is a bit uninspiring.

Then I figured I'd just go ahead and make one. It's just a big sheet, right? Even my limited sewing skills can handle that, but most fabric is 54-55" wide which would make for a somewhat narrow tablecloth. I was hoping to not have to do anything as fussy as attaching a border around the edge to lengthen it, though I may have to. I measured the one that is there now and it is 60" wide. I recently discovered that Ikea fabrics are wider than standard American fabrics due to the good ole metric system. Their fabrics are 59" wide, which after hemming the edges would produce roughly a 57 1/2" wide table cloth. I could be okay with that. I browsed through their various options online and narrowed it down a bit. First there is the Kajastina fabric in gray. I like it, but it may be a bit too "high style" for our house.Then there is the Cecilia fabrics, but I'm afraid the light color may get stained too easily.I like the food-like pattern of the Majken fabric,My favorite (for the moment) is the Gunilla prints. I like the bold, woodland-esque pattern. The black may be a bit dark, bit it will be forgiving. This last Gunilla print I think can work the best, the pattern is smaller and less likely to overwhelm the room, plus with the busier pattern and less black, it will hide stains without being too dark.None of them have colors that match our dining room really well. Do you think they can work anyway? Or will they clash too much? Is there somewhere else I could just buy a cool tablecloth that doesn't cost too much? If I could save myself the effort of making one I'd be happy, there is no shortage of projects around here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

We've got ourselves a chalkboard wall!

I love the way it turned out. Nice and smudgy. I think I may go with a light gray for the rest of the walls which will help tie it in a bit. I had plans for where I could put some chalkboard paint when we re-do our kitchen, but I realized that it was going to be a long way off and I didn't want to wait! My fiance painted it one day while I was at work then we had to wait three days before we could condition it and write on it. That was a long three days. It seems to work pretty well. Considering that we didn't really do any prep work (we probably should have scraped and sanded the wall first) the surface isn't too bad. It's not smooth, but you can write on it fairly well and it erases well enough- not perfectly, but I like it better that way.Here it is pre-conditioning. The matte black is also a really cool look. I never thought that I could get behind black walls, but they are really growing on me. I'd like to install a shelf up by the ceiling to display my vintage toasters, but I haven't fully decided where. One option is to put it over the two doors to the left of this picture in that little niche, the other is straight across the top of the black wall. I like the idea of putting it at the top of the black wall so they can stand out with a black background. I'd like to paint the shelf black to match the wall so that it blends in and looks more modern. My fiance would rather it be stained to match the wood paneling below. I don't know how I feel about that. I think it may draw too much attention to both the shelf and the paneling. It's going to support it with a pair of vintage cast iron brackets that I have that won't stand out too much, but they will be visible. What do you think? Black, natural wood, no shelf at all?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Style Quizzes

Glamorous Eclectic I think

Many of you may have already seen this on AT, but there are a couple of fun style quizzes out there on the interwebs. I just took Home Goods Style Scope and Sproost quizzes and they are pretty good. I think the Sproost one hit the nail on the head a bit more than the Style Scope According to Style Scope I'm "Glamorous Eclectic." I agree with the eclectic part and with their recommendations for creating an outdoor room and my need to organize, not so sure about the glamorous part. Though I do tend to be drawn to very elegant rooms (not neccessarily furnishings) with high ceilings, panel mouldings on the walls and tall windows.

According to Sproost I'm:
"44% Vintage Modern
33% Cottage Chic
23% Rustic Revival"
Vintage Modern
I think that's pretty spot on. Also shows how I'm not overwhelmingly one style. If I were 90% of any style I think I'd have an easier time avoiding collecting things that don't really go or that I don't really need. Oh well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Revolutionary Costume

I don't ever wear this in East Hampton.
Here's how my Little Edie costume turned out. Pretty well I think. I even gave myself sun damage on my skin from 50 years of sunbathing without sunscreen and penciled in eyebrows, though I don't think anyone could see that in the dim light of the Halloween party. I tied for the "peoples choice award" with Braveheart. I was surprised that many people knew who I was!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Yard Sale-ing

I wasn't expecting there to be any, but we found a bunch of yard sales on Halloween! I found these cool brass candlesticks that are sort of glam but look a little spooky in this picture.
I also found a cute little elephant and a vintage train set which isn't quite as photogenic.Of course I couldn't take any photos in the sunny spot of the house without our kitty getting involved. Here she is posing with the candlesticks.

In sadder news, our local thrift store Northern Thrift is closing. I was there yesterday picking up a few last items for my halloween costume and the store was half empty and everything was 50% off. Picked up some shoes for my Little Edie costume and a cute 70s pillowcase for $4 total. I'll post costume pictures later.
I forgot to mention that I had won a contest on Renovation Therapy! Awesome, huh? I hardly ever win stuff. Thanks Jean for the Julia Child book and the adorable little paper cutouts. I'm going to have fun with those!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend Yard Sale Finds

Remember how I said I've actually added to my kitchen clutter instead of removing it? yeah, well here it is. Ain't she a beauty? I in no way needed another cast iron enameled pot (I have a few) but she was so pumpkin-y I had to get her. I also found another vintage toaster to add to my collection. I am going to install a shelf in the kitchen to display them soon...hopefully.
Here are the two paintings I mentioned. My mom found the first one at a sale on Sunday. It's from the 1950's, I'm not sure where.
This one I found at the back of a table at another yard sale. There isn't any information on it at all.
Price for each painting? $1. Now I just need to find them a home.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miscellaneous weekend progress

Even though I was supposed to be decluttering my kitchen cabinets this weekend for the Kitchn cure, I wound up spending most of my time rearranging the living room. Even worse, I added to my kitchen clutter- more on that in another post. The living room is still not done yet - these are just progress shots, but it's looking much better. The issue of paint color is still out there, but in the mean time I'm trying to get the furniture to work. I moved the mustard colored chair from the office into the living room to replace the little chrome and white leather one which required the couch to slide down a couple of feet to make room. The wacky green table went into the corner and all the artwork got moved around.
In the opposite corner, I replaced the small bookshelf with a larger bookcase with glass doors that fills the space better. I haven't finished filling it up yet. I have to go into the basement to dig up some of the stuff I have that I haven't unpacked yet due to a lack of anywhere to put it. I'll probably drive myself nuts trying to "style" it, but that's okay, I don't have to worry about that yet. The shelf itself is pretty wonky, it's actually the top half of a dining room hutch that someone attached legs to. It's not at all square, but I'll fix that at another time.

Here is my garbage picked chair all cleaned up. I bought some danish oil, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. My afghan is covering all the tears in the vinyl on the ottoman. I looked into the problem of it leaning too far back on hte internet saturday morning and discovered that it's a pretty common problem. I guess these mechanisms aren't meant to last for 60 years. There are replacement parts out there, but in the mean time I'm just going to cut a piece of wood and wedge it in there to stop it from tipping. Right now it's leaning against the wall.Here's one of several cool yard sale finds my mom and I found recently. I'll post more once I've photographed them. This is a cool dish, made in Finland that goes remarkably well with the Portuguese lace tablecloth below it. I also found a lamp for next to the green chair and two vintage oil or acrylic paintings (can't tell which). I'll try to post them tomorrow once I can get a photo with some decent light.

And completely unrelated to anything else in this post, I went to see Handmade Nation this weekend at our local independant cinema. The director was there and there was also a craft fair. It was good to meet some local crafters, I even got some crochet tips!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not Again

Hello, my name is Elissa and I have a chair addiction, and I'm a garbage picker.

Hi Elissa.

Yeah, I did it again. I was driving back to the office yesterday and saw this awesome chair on the side of the road. Of course I pulled over and picked it up. Since I drive a mini, it didn't exactly fit too well, one guy walked by and commented "you need a pick up!" yeah, no kidding. So I drive back to the office with my hatchback open, hoping I don't get pulled over. Luckily I didn't and made it back to the office where I found some rope to tie down the back of my car. It needs work (of course) and my fiance has told me that this project is "all me." -as if I didn't know that.

I have no idea what sort of chair it is since the label from the bottom has been removed- anyone have any ideas? I need to fix or tighten the part that connects the chair itself to the base. Either that or I can only use it in the "reclined" position. I hope it's fixable. It also needs to be reupholstered which is a shame because it's currently a really cool green vinyl that I'll probably never be able to find again. The chair doesn't look to bad, but the footrest is pretty shot.

A friend at work told me my house is going to become the chair house. It's true, I have more chairs than I really have places to put them. I have a pair of butterfly chairs that live in the garage (just the frames, not the slings) because I have no where to put them in the house. There is also an Eames plywood chair in my basement that had been pretty horribly "repaired" by a previous owner ( they drilled bolts through the seat back to reattach it to the frame). Other than that it still looks good, but it's kind of low to the ground and I can't find a good place for it.

Yeah, I have a problem. Are there any cures for it?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kitchen Ideas

I have quite a few pictures in my inspiration folder of beautiful white kitchens with subway tile, marble countertops, butcher block and other stuff that would require a complete gut renovation of our kitchen to accomplish. I also have a bunch that I have saved because they showed some sort of unique way to give a kitchen style when your cabinets are less than beautiful and your countertop is laminate. I pulled together a number of them here to see if any of these ideas could be applied to my kitchen. I'd like to have our kitchen feel a bit more warm and personal and not like we just moved in without spending a great deal of money.

This kitchen from which was all over the web for a while almost borders on the first sort of kitchen I described, with new white cabinets and new appliances. But what I like about it, besides that they have the same windows as our house, is the open storage and the way they have very kitchy retro stuff displayed in a more sophisticated way, plus the chalkboard wall. I have a large collection of kitchy kitchen stuff from forties and fifties, but I don't want my kitchen to look like some sort of 1955 time capsule with matching red and white ruffled curtains and checkerboard floor. I love how this kitchen has moderns stuff mixed with the vintage items so that it isn't too sweet.
Here I like the warm color for one, and also how there is a mix of items on the shelves so that it doesn't look too forced, but adds some interest and color.
I love the warm black wall in this one and the use of art. Plus the high shelf over the door has given me an idea on how to display my vintage toasters.
Chalkboard wall again. I like them even better when they are messy. They have a depth and richness without having to resort to some sort of faux finish. The variation is natural.
Love, love love the yummy wall color in this kitchen, and the art on the walls, and the mostly neutral palette with the bold fuchsia window shade. Like the crisp white cabinets and the irregular glossy black floor (though I have a feeling in real life that floor would drive me nuts).
I believe this was an entry in an Apartment Therapy contest. I like how the crisp paint job and nicely framed are make up for a rather plain cabinet and countertop.
Love the vintagey-ness of this one. Somehow yellow walls work much better in this kitchen than my own. I don't know how well some of these ideas can work together, or work in our kitchen, but we'll see what happens.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kitchen Therapy

I haven't shown pictures of the kitchen in our new house, well... because we haven't really done anything with it since we moved in. I mean, we've filled all the cabinets and cook in there most nights a week, but we haven't really personalized it except for a few decorative items on the counters and my old italian restaurant menu on the wall. It has a bizarre layout where you have to walk around a peninsula to get to the fridge and there isn't nearly enough drawer space. The walls are a pastel yellow, the cabinets are a yellowy colored wood and the vinyl flooring has a creamy tan pattern on it yet the room doesn't feel warm. You'd think with all that yellow, there would be an element of coziness.

Starting this week The Kitchn over at Apartment Therapy is starting a mini four week kitchen cure while the rest of AT is doing the full on 8 week cure. I signed up because I'd like to get our kitchen to be a little more personal and attractive (and efficient) while we are saving up to do a real renovation (which doesn't appear to be happening any time soon). Plus, I have a hard time making it to the end of the 8 week cures.

Here are my "before" pictures showing the current condition of the kitchen and the inside of the cabinets. They aren't too terrible, but I feel like they could be arranged more efficiently. Also, I'd like to have a better stocked pantry so that it's easier to spontaneously cook something with out having to go shopping first.
down below is the pots and pans cabinet that is a pain to get things in and out ofmost of those dishes are cleanmy tea cabinetspices and "pantry" cabinetcookbooks and pyrexbaking stuff, small appliances etc.the table we rarely eat at
Well this is what we have to start with. I'd like to spruce it up a bit. Nothing major, maybe just a little paint and decoration. I'll see what sort of inspiration pics I can pull together.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Light!

This weekend, in a rare burst of productivity, my parents and I managed to install a new vintage lamp in our foyer. I found it a few months ago at a yard sale and they also had a version in a reddish orange, but I thought the green would go best in our house. It looks vastly better than the hideous industrial looking thing that was there before. There was a fair amount of weird old house wiring stuff to deal with, but I'll spare you the details of that. Next step, scraping all of that flaking paint and picking a paint color.
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