Friday, May 15, 2015

From Point A to Point B

I have been stalling a little hoping one thing or another would come together for a post.  That has not exactly happened as of yet.  Not for lack of trying, mind you!  So, let's talk about that.  On high priority right now is the island.  Since I talked about it in this previous post, I have hopped all over the place with possibilities.

 Dan suggested using one of the large tool boxes.  I liked the smooth gliding drawers and the ability to separate all those kitchen utensils in such an organized fashion.  I scoped them out on line and everywhere else that carries them from Harbor Freight to Mennard's.

This was actually my favorite.  One problem is that I wanted to add a counter top and they were already a little taller than I would have liked.  Removing the casters was an option, but that took away some of the charm.  OK, maybe charm is a bit of a reach for this item.  How about quirkiness?

FYI:  The color selection is a little unusual for a kitchen.  There is this one and they also come in cobalt blue.  Then there is bright red and caution yellow.  After some serious deliberation, I nixed this idea.

I also considered using a piece of furniture as an island.  The drawers on this one would not have held up to daily use and there was no easy way to fix that.

I considered using this piece just for the drawers and taking the legs off to put a shelf below.  But my brother convinced me there was an easier way to get what I wanted.

I also thought about just using the bottom of this piece,

I would have gained some great storage.

It was a super good price at the Miriam Trading Post but it measured 72 inches long and 68" is really my max for this kitchen.

I finally came around to just finding some parts and having my brother assemble them to make an island.  I decided I would go for the industrial look so I searched the salvage yards and even some businesses I thought might have something I could use.

 I thought I might find some metal with great patina and I did.  It just wasn't easy to modify for my purposes.
Something like this would be cool somewhere bigger than my space.

I also considered making the island with pipes and fittings.  

I checked that idea out by searching google images and Pinterest.

This was one of the cuter ones, but I continued to explore my options.

I checked out Shapiro for inspiration.

Filed these for future reference.

One day I came across these radiator panels at Quintessential Antiques.  They were connected and are fairly heavy.  I was pretty sure Dan would figure a way to pull them apart so I bought them.  This was part #1 of the island.

While they were still in my van, Ron pried them apart.

You can get a better look at the design here.  These will be the end panels for the island.

Because I wanted these pieces up off the floor, I needed some feet on the corners.  Dan, Ron and I brainstormed and come up with some very interesting ideas but in the end this is what won out.

Iron castors from Junque down at the Lemp Brewery.  They really are perfect.  I'm delighted with parts 1 & 2.

  All along I had planned for a solid surface counter top for the island that looked a bit like concrete.  Actually that is the name given to it by Caesarstone.  The one on the right is named  Sleek Concrete. 

But after pricing the other counter tops, I decided maybe a laminate top might be fine for the island.

 Then, quite unexpectedly, I came upon pallets and pallets of soapstone at ReFab.   This is a not-for-profit recycle yard.  All the soapstone was scrap and most of the pieces were end cuts.  It took four visits for me to find a piece big enough for my island that did not have a sink cutout or faucet holes drilled through it.  Actually it was a bit of a miracle they even had a piece that big, and a bigger miracle that I was able to find it.  There were several layers piled on top of it.  Rose, a gal that works there, graciously moved the heavy pieces piled on top of the one I wanted.  I moved the small scraps and for a few it took both of us.  We had measured length and width from the sides of the pile and now we were holding our breath in hopes that there would be no cut outs or huge scratches on it.

 If we had had any energy left we both would have jumped for joy.  This slab was in near perfect condition.  Two of the corners are messed up but it is a couple inches wider than I need it to be, so those can be cut away.  (the cutting part we haven't quite figured out yet.  From what I understand it ain't gonna be easy.)  If you are still counting, this makes part #3.

The next part had to be something I could use for a shelf near the floor.  I was thinking metal but then as I started to gather the parts, I decided maybe wood would be nice.  I drove up and down the alleys looking for scrap piles in the people's backyards.  I thought if I saw something I would just knock on the door and see if they wanted to part with it.  (I have done this before so I have experience.  They look at you like you are a little crazy but they give their permission.)  I also went through my older brother's stash and bugged my neighbors and friends.

Yesterday I came home to find this piece propped up on my deck.  It's about 6" short but I can figure out a way to make it work.  My neighbor, Rich, alley shops too so he's a good source.  Part 4 is now in the lineup.

My idea is to use this bed frame along the sides of the shelf so the wood drops down onto one section of the frame and the other section covers the side of the shelf.  I bought these at a yard sale a few years ago and then put them on my sale when I decided not to use them after all.  Obviously, they did not sell which worked out well for me. Now they will be part #5.

I am planning to have three drawers directly under the counter top and Dan is going to construct those.  Obviously we have to consider how this is all going to be held together but that's enough for this post.  Can you picture it yet?  Getting from point A to point B is never a straight line in this kind of work.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's raining, It's pouring.

The past several days we have gotten some pretty heavy downpours.  Those spring rains are necessary and generally welcomed, but the peonies, oh, how they suffer.

Those tightly packed buds on the end of some very long stems just can't remain upright.  And the blossoms that have unfurled soak up so much water, they too bend and droop until the thin stems crease at the bend.

These pictures were taken before the rain hit.  This dark pink bush always flowers first so the lighter pink one was still in the bud stage when the rain hit.

It's nice to have the "before" shots.  I didn't take pictures during the rain, but I did go out during the rain and rescue some of these beauties.

 I prefer to enjoy my flowers uncut, but when that doesn't pan out, I will take them inside.


And on a rainy day they do add cheer to the indoors.

 I have one gladiola in this color.

It hit the ground during the second round of heavy rain so it too came inside.

I tried getting some pictures of the gorgeous coloring and when the sun popped out,

I took it outside for better lighting.

It seems the rain has now moved on and the additional stakes I added have saved some of the spindly stems.

So these buds still have a chance to burst forth in the sunshine.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Doin' the Two-Step

We've all done that dance.  A-one, a-two, backslide one.  A-one, a-two, backslide one.  It's normally referred to as two steps forward, one step back.  And that's not dancing, that's called frustrating.  But, even at the pace of two steps forward and one step back, we are still making progress.  The appliances arrived.  Well sort of...

Refrigerator, check.

Stove, check.

Dishwasher, OOPS.  It was damaged in shipping and the appliance store let me know it would take a few extra days to get another one. Those few extra days turned into twelve.

Finally, it was delivered ....with the backside dented and damaged through to the tub!!!  Another one has been ordered.  Dan was able to use this one as a place holder so that this row of cabinets could be set and the proper filler strip constructed against the wall on the right.

Yes, some of the cabinets arrived and as you saw above, two of them are in place.  More on that later.

This week the pantry cabinet arrived too. It was the two steps forward we all needed.

It fit perfectly!  Dan will be making a shelf for over the refrigerator and applying the toe kick and....I was able to ....

relieve an over crowded dining room of a few items.

 I did pitch one item. Can't remember when I last used this anyway.

My daughter will be rolling her eyes when she  sees the expiration date.

Oh, and one more thing.  Here's the backslide that follows those two steps forward.

  I got an email this week saying the faucet I want is now available.  I was elated only to be quickly deflated.  It is available, true, in polished brass, chrome, and oil rubbed bronze.  How cruel is that?  No polished nickel??  Really??  I was told it has been discontinued.  I have contacted the manufacturer begging them to find one somewhere, and I have checked every other source I can think of.  Finding this identical faucet somewhere would put the dip in the end of dance.

PS: Just received an email from the company.  It's not a graceful dip but at least we are still dancing.  They are looking at 90 days away due to production delay.  That's not the same as discontinued, so at this point there is still hope.