Monday, February 24, 2014

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

This is a non crafty post about why I've been MIA.

So, this kitchen remodel has taken over my life.  *LOL*  I am SUPER blessed that we are getting a beautiful new kitchen.  It's awesome that we get to select each and every design element.  It's also insanely stressful.  I've been without a full working kitchen for over 2 months.

The old kitchen.  Note the spaceship like light fixture, plain white laminate, and tons of wasted space above the upper cabinets.  We also weren't feeling the breakfast nook, it caused constant traffic jams at the kitchen entrance.  We've used it for over 3 years, and spent every day wishing we could re-do it.
My handy husband is doing all of this himself.  He's our plumber, our electrician, the whole deal.  He does excellent work and takes great pride in each step.  It just takes him much longer than a professional crew.  He's one man working full time and doing this kitchen on nights and weekends.  Plus, he often stops to think about all his potential options and select what he feels is the very best one.  I can be one heck of a perfectionist, but he gives me a run for my money when it comes to remodeling.   The big disadvantage to this is the amount of time it takes.  However it's saving us thousands and thousands of dollars and he can have each step done the way he prefers it.  Frankly if he weren't doing it himself there is no way we could afford this new kitchen. There just isn't. 

There's our favorite handy man hard at work.
Although the other side of the floor isn't finished, just check out this amazing curved edge on our tile!  He hand drew a curve and was able to execute it perfectly.  Take that professional tilers, my hubby has mad skills.  *LOL*
We've been surviving with a makeshift temporary kitchen in our family room.  Ah the adventures!  The fridge hogs a lot of power, so if I have more than one other small appliance running with it the breaker trips.  So I can't run the hot plate and the rice cooker at the same time.  I've gotten creative and I'll use the rice cooker on the floor of the living room and then the hot plate in the temporary makeshift kitchen. 

Our temporary kitchen with our old cabinets set up in the family room.

More of our temporary kitchen.

I've got some good basic appliances to use.  A microwave, a toaster oven, a hot plate I ordered just for the remodel, an electric kettle, a rice cooker, a crock pot, and of course a coffee maker. I cook all our meals at home.  Hardly ever eating out.  It can be done, but it's exhausting.  It can take me 2 hours just to make a simple batch of fajitas with my one little hot plate.  We have certainly eaten a lot more junk food than normal for snacks, but have not resorted all the way to TV dinners as they are so expensive and I know my husband would eat at least 3 of them before we was full. 

I have been buying an abundance of paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils.  This way I have fewer dishes.  Still there are plenty to wash with the knives, cutting boards, having to use regular plates for things like thawing meat, the crock pot, etc.  I take dirty dishes downstairs to the basement utility sink, often using a laundry basket to carry them.  I also fill gallons of water and pitchers down there.  If I just need a little water for the coffee maker or kettle I use the bathroom sink.

The whole house is totally taken over by this.  Of course the family room is invaded with the makeshift kitchen.  The dining room has stacks of back splash packages, and lots of boxes of things that belong in the kitchen.  For 2 weeks after our new cabinets arrived and were not installed we had them all stacked in the living room and dining room.  It was so bad we had to skip homeschooling for those 2 weeks because I couldn't even get to the kids' supplies.  I basically hid in the basement and tried to pretend that none of this was happening.  *LOL*

Where's the school desk?  Behind all these cabinet boxes.
Here's the view from the other side, more cabinet boxes.
To top it all off since Archiver's closed I just HAD to go buy a big fixture right.  So awesome!  Except now it's in my house and we can't get it in the basement with all the stuff in the way, so now it's living in my poor dining room too!  *LOL*  Perfect timing, right?  It will be wonderful when we finally figure out how to take it apart to get it downstairs, and hopefully re-assemble it without totally killing the poor thing.  Oh fingers crossed.

This past week I got a cold that no one else in the family got.  I just KNOW it's because I'm such a control freak and a perfectionist.  Having my house all messed up and feeling like I can't clean properly and I don't know where things are or can't access them.

I'm seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.  The cabinets are installed.  Of course that means they are off the floor, so that's a huge plus.  I've also been able to put some things in some of them.  I can't load the top drawers of the lower cabinets without a counter top in place, but some is way better than none.  My husband has gotten most of the wiring for the main lights, and our fancy new under cabinet lights done. 

Here's the kitchen today.  Starting to look like the space of my dreams.
The best part is that yesterday we finally picked out our granite.  It will be installed in about a month.  In the meantime I hope my husband can set up the water for the new fridge location and move the gas line for the stove.  Then after the granite is installed he will just finish the plumbing for the sink and dishwasher.  That's not something to do now because we need to see how the sink sits in the cabinet. 

So, in about a month I will have a fully functioning kitchen.  Not all the cosmetic components will be finished, but the kitchen will work and I'll be able to use it.  Then he can fiddle around and take his time painting, installing the crown molding, and installing the back splash we're doing throughout the entire kitchen, and adding hardware to the cabinets. 

Soon it will all be over.  It will all be worth it, I hope!  *LOL*  It's expensive, it's exhausting, it's a kitchen remodel.  As frazzled as I am I also feel truly blessed we are able to do this.  To get to pick all the colors and details is pretty special.  I love our new cabinets.  The color is lovely and I even got some great built in organizing features, just a few, but they make a big difference to me.  It's a dream come true in so many ways.  I'm just looking forward to getting past this part of the process.

Thanks for reading about my adventure.  I'm pretty frazzled and stressed, but what a wonderful result it will be.  Seeing the progress at this point is amazing.  The kitchen feels SO much bigger with the new layout and the lighter cabinets that go up higher.  Once the crown molding is in it will touch the ceiling.

I love you all dearly.  I will try and catch up on your fabulous blogs again soon :)

Hugs and crafty best wishes!

Amber

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Smile Brush Strokes Card




This card was HEAVILY inspired by a card from Papercrafts Magazine's Stamp It! Techniques, Volume 2.  You can see this card in a post here.

For the stamped images I used Hero Arts Brush Strokes and Stampin' Up ink colors So Saffron, Gable Green, Pink Passion, and Tempting Turquoise.

Instead of masking (like the original) I made this a separate panel up on pop dots.  This gave me cleaner edges than the masking technique.  I also changed the sequins to just a few in black for a more dramatic effect.  Another thing I did differently was paint on some splashes of Creatology brand glitter using a small paint brush.

I also decided to add faux stitching lines all around the card to give it a different edge.  I just used a Stampin' Up marker in black to do this.

My sentiment comes from a stamp set by Hampton Art and KI Memories called Click Click.

So, although the card is certainly a copy of sorts I put my own spin on it.  I just couldn't resist making this one as I'm excited to have recently acquired this fun stamp set and LOVED the bright colors used in this design.

Thanks for visiting!

Amber


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You Are My Sunshine Banner Card




The card is a standard A2 size.  With a full size yellow layer on the card front.

The grey layer is 4 1/8 by 5 and 3/8.  It's embossed with a Stampin' Up Cloudy Day folder.

The sentiment is from Close to My Heart's set Treasures.  I stamped it using Stampin' Up's Summer Sun ink.  I hand cut a banner shape and sponged using the same ink color.

The twine is from The Twinery.

The little banners were all punched using Stampin' Up's banner punch that's available this Sale-A-Bration.  I used papers from the 6 by 6 pad Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic from American Crafts.

This was quick and simple to put together.  The hardest part was attaching the twine without getting a globby mess of extra glue.

Have a wonderful and very crafty day!

Amber

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Betsy's Blossoms Card




I used a couple of Stampin' Up sets to create this feminine card.

The main set I used was Betsy's Blossoms.  I used Stampin' Up colors Melon Mambo, Pink Passion, Pixie Pink, Pretty in Pink, and Blush Blossom.  The set comes with a lot of great floral images and I mixed and matched them in the different colors to create a little depth and some interest.

The strip across the front was cut to 1 1/2 inches wide.  The beautiful sentiment is from the Stampin' Up set Perfectly Penned.  I stamped it in Melon Mambo.  I inked around the white piece in Pixie Pink.  The whole layer is up on pop dots.

I rounded 2 of the corners on a 1/4 inch setting on my Corner Chomper.

As a finishing touch I used several gems by Irock for a bit of bling.

Thanks for visiting!

Amber

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rose Swing Bracket Card




Here's a very feminine card.  I decided to use this for a birthday card, but with a different sentiment I think it would make a great thank you card too.

I cut the flip card from my Silhouette.  It's design #28771.

The papers are from the Simple Stories Vintage Bliss 6 by 6 pad.

The gorgeous image is from Papertrey Ink's The Sweet Life set.  The rose has 3 layers stamped in Blush Blossom, Pretty In Pink, and Regal Rose all from Stampin' Up.  The leaves have 2 layers that are in Old Olive and Always Artichoke from Stampin' Up.  I created a mask for the flower so I could stamp the leaves the way I wanted.

Around the frame I added some faux stitching with an Always Artichoke marker from Stampin' Up.  The little pink dots are Liquid Pearls in Petal Pink.  I just LOVE Liquid Pearls.

Here's the inside.


I simple used a Close to Cocoa Stampin' Up marker to do the faux stitching.  Then I stamped a sentiment from Stampin' Up's Elementary Elegance using Regal Rose ink.

I really appreciate you stopping by :)

Amber

Friday, January 31, 2014

Butterflies Card




The first thing I need to mention is that this design was originally done by the talented Anya over at My Creative Corner.  Here is her original post.

Since I was looking at her lovely card most of the designing was already done for me.  I'll list the products I used :)

Silhouette with Echo Park Butterfly #39307

Yellow Papers: Here & Now 6 by 6 pad Lori Whitlock & Echo Park

Butterflies embellished with Bisque colored Liquid Pearls and Yellow Stickles.  To make sure the wings will stay up and dimensional I attached the center of the butterflies with mini glue dots, and then used pop dots on both sides of the centers.  This means the wings won't get pushed flat.  It also means I couldn't put it in a regular envelope and mail it or the wings would easily become bend and smashed.

Main Pattern: Amy Tangerine Sketchbook 6 by 6 pad.  This layer is up on pop dots.  The plain yellow is flat to the card base.

Faux stitching done with Bordering Blue marker from Stampin' Up.

I used washi tape on both sides.

Thanks for visiting!

Amber

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Love You More Than Cupcakes




I think this card would be great for a young girl.  Yes, it's honestly a little "much" and perhaps even a bit tacky - but I like that sometimes :)  It's FUN!

The cool die cut card front comes from my Silhouette and it's design ID #38523.

I used the BasicGrey RSVP 6 by 6 papers.  I also used the same paper stack in yesterday's card for a VERY different look.  It has lots of versatility.

The cupcakes all come from the Hero Arts set Cupcakes.  I stamped them all using Rich Razzleberry Ink from Stampin' Up.  I stamped 3 times on each pattern I wanted to use and then fussy cut them all out.  After I attached all the layers I used some Stickles.  From top to bottom the colors are Fruit Punch, Cotton Candy, and Icicle.  I like that the Cotton Candy color doesn't really have the sparkle so it helps tone it down just a tad and reminds me more of frosting.

Here's the inside.


Very simple, but I think it's fun.  I loved this cupcake paper and originally wanted to use it on the outside of the card instead of the stamps, but it just wasn't working the way I wanted so I stuck a bit on the inside and am happy with the results.

Thanks for visiting me today!  Life is super crazy and to be honest I'm completely stressed, but I'm really trying to make my blogging and crafting a priority again.

Amber

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Your Day Masculine Card




I decided to add a masculine card to my stash today.  I think this could work for either a birthday or a congrats card.

The patterned papers are all from BasicGrey's RSVP 6 by 6 pad.  Oddly enough I started with a couple of the papers I didn't like very well and started challenging myself to work with them.  I love the end result with them.  I thought the yellow paper in the back was a little bleh, but it works well for this.  The green strips I liked, but on the whole 6 inch sheet they looked very busy and I was puzzled on how to best use them.

The card is a standard A2 size, just top folding.  The card base is a vanilla color.  All corners throughout are rounded on a 1/4 inch setting on my Corner Chomper.

The yellow layer is 3 3/4 by 5.

The red layer is 3 by 4.

I created circle and scalloped circle shapes using my Nestabilities.

To create the green pieces I used the pattern as my guide and trimmed strips with my paper trimmer.  Then I followed the lines with my scissors.

The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink's Star Prints and is stamped with Ruby Red Stampin' Up ink.

The faux stitching was done with an Old Olive Stampin' Up marker.

The whole shape is up on pop dots, with 2 layers of pop dots near the centers of the ribbon tails to give additional dimension.

Hope you enjoyed!  I know I always love masculine ideas because they can be tricky :)

Amber

Monday, January 27, 2014

Balloons Card




For this card I used the standard A2 size, but I had it fold from the top the long way.

I rounded the top 2 corners on a 1/2 inch setting using my Corner Chomper.

The faux stitching was done with a Gelly Roll pen.

To create the balloons I started by making my own "patterned paper" of sorts.  I stamped Hero Arts Magical Background in Versamark and embossed it with some clear embossing powder.  The one I use is Recollections Detail Embossing Powder.  After I heat set it and let it cool I began to sponge on color.

 I used Stampin' Up ink colors Pink Passion, Ballet Blue (although there was green on my sponge so it came out a different color) and Perfect Plum.  I softly sponged these colors all over the paper.  When I was done I realized I wanted a much softer effect, so to soften the colors and give them a more faded appearance I went over the whole thing with Colorbox Chalk Ink in Popcorn (it's white.)  I actually applied the pad directly to the colored paper to get a good thick coat.

Now that my custom paper was done being created I went ahead and die cut the balloons from it using my Silhouette.  I used Design ID #30178.

I taped some twine to the back of the balloons, and also used a dab of Crystal Effects right at the bottom to keep the twine from shifting.  Then I used pop dots and adhered the balloons to the card base.  The twine was custom dyed in a swap so it doesn't have an official company color name.

I cut the ends of the twine.  Then I added a mini glue dot to hold them together where I wanted to add the bow.  I tied the bow separately, and then adhered it with another mini glue dot.

The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink's Mega Mixed Messages.  I used the same Versamark and clear embossing powder.  The bling was from  the Michaels bargain bin area.

Hope you love it!

Big hugs to everyone :)

Amber

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In This Very Moment Layout




Here's a simple layout I put together.

The patterned paper was from Stampin' Up last year during Sale-a-bration.

The wood veneer pieces are all by Studio Calico.

The buttons are from Papertrey Ink (kraft colored) and Stampin' Up (other 2)

The stickers are all from the Simple Stories I Heart Summer line.

The brads were just from my stash.  I generally purchase them at Michael's but sort them by color and various brands mix together.

All I did was mat the photo on kraft and then play around with scattering embellishments trying to keep the rule of 3's in mind.  I liked that this didn't take any planning at all.  I basically sat and played with pretty things until it looked right.  That's my idea of a pleasant crafting experience :)

Have a fabulous and very crafty day!

Amber