Monday, June 11, 2018

Grain Sack Kitchen Valance

Now that the kitchen is looking more rustic with the completion of the Ikea Stenstorp kitchen island enclosure, I wanted to add a new valance to our window. I've gone back and forth (like most kitchen decisions) on what I wanted to do in this space. I thought about framing the windows with rustic wood, adding sliding barn doors to the top of the window, adding shutters, adding a rustic piece of wood across the top, but kept coming back to some type of curtain.

I combed Pinterest, farmhouse sites, DIY sites, etc., before saving a bunch of vintage grain sacks on Etsy. It was hard to find a grain sack with horizontal lettering. Most grain sacks and burlap sacks have vertical lettering. So when I came across this one (at $25, way below what I was originally willing to spend), I emailed the owner for dimensions and ordered it right away.

I was also going to build my own industrial pipe rod, but why bother when it's already assembled and readily available for $18 at Target? The biggest pain was having to reposition our pendant light so it didn't hang so low that it covered up most of the grain sack lettering. I enlisted my husband to raise the pendant and both of us had choice words during the project. This light fixture was originally a recessed light.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. All total, this project cost me under $60. Not too shabby (<-- see what I did there?).

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kitchen Updates

I haven't posted on here in quite a while, but wanted to share some updates to the kitchen. The plan is to replace kitchen cabinets and countertops next year. This year I tackled the kitchen island. We've had our Ikea Stenstorp island for 10 years.

Ikea Stenstorp

Three years ago I took off the butcher block countertop (it now sits on my washer and dryer as a make-shift shelf), and added a custom marble piece. I painted the island (not an easy task given its slick surface), added a towel rack, and called it done.

Over the last three years, I've repainted it with chalk paint, flat paint, etc. I've had it vary in shades of light to dark gray. This year, I wanted a new kitchen island as I was tired of the cats lounging all over the shelves, which meant I could never put anything food-worthy on the shelves. It became wasted space but cat lover's dream. My one criteria with a new kitchen island - I had to keep my marble and it had to fit. So I combed the Internet trying to find suitable replacements but couldn't find anything where I didn't have an overhang with my current marble top. Fed up, I enlisted the help of my husband and we enclosed the sides of the Stenstorp with beadboard and framed it with pine boards.

I had the beadboard cut to size by Lowe's.  I also built doors. I've never built doors before. I basically just used the beadboard and pine to build them, just like the sides. I grabbed hinges that I knew I could work with (no special drilling on the back, etc.) and wood pulls from Hobby Lobby. However, when we hung the doors, they didn't stay closed. Off to Lowe's again for cabinet catches/latches that we screwed into place on the inside of the door and on the inside of the Stenstorp. Now when we close the doors, they lock into place.

Buying a new kitchen island would have cost me over $500. Enclosing it myself took a couple weekends and about $150 in supplies. With the savings, I was able to scour Facebook Market for my Boos Butcher Block kitchen prep table ($250), four barstools ($185), and Old Time Pottery wood orbs with remote controlled candles (Orbs - $100, candles - $17). So all total - about $700 to completely redo this part of the kitchen. And I absolutely love it!

My cat is not happy about the enclosure

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fancy Flea Shabby Chic Festival

The Fancy Flea Shabby Chic Festival rolls into town twice a year. Once in the fall and then again in late spring. I went last year and have had the spring date on my calendar for a few months now.

Luckily, I was able to convince hubby to come along. And I'm so glad I did. We ended up with two great pieces that I would not have been able to get if it weren't for him coming along. Oh and in case you're wondering, we bought the pieces with our lottery winnings. Last week, hubby went out to lunch and picked up some lottery tickets and a $25 scratch off for me. I'm not a gambler by any means. Doesn't interest me and I think it's a waste of money. But I do like me some scratch off tickets every now and then. And wouldn't you know, we hit every single number on that scratch off netting us $375 in winnings. 

We got to the Fancy Flea about 10:30am and my hubby, who was a bit reluctant to go at first thinking it was a girl thing, really got into it. The promised "we'll only stay for an hour or two max" turned into a four hour ordeal.  I think I was ready to go before he was as it was about 90 degrees here on Saturday.

And here are the pieces we bought. We both feel in love with these old wood theatre seats and knew we wanted them in our foyer. The woman selling them had them marked down from $225 to $195 and we managed to get them for $160. They are in great condition!

And here's how they look in our foyer. Aren't they fantastic?!

The next piece we spotted was a little further down and almost at the end of the festival. This nice older couple didn't want to load up the piece and bring it back to Ruskin. Turns out it's over 50 years old and belonged to her mother. I just love all the details. Except for the sides, it's all solid wood (the sides are veneer). It needs a couple repairs that hubby will help me with before I sand it down and paint it a medium gray. She offered it to us for $85 and even delivered it for $10 extra. Sold! Once the festival was over and they delivered the piece, I brought her in to show her where it would live in the dining room. She was thrilled that I was going to paint it and just loved all the details in our house. She even offered to paint a picture for me! I love when I meet people like that who are so thrilled and grateful that their heirloom pieces will live on for another 20+ years.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why I'm Buying Lilly Pulitzer for Target on eBay

So I posted about my experience standing in line and getting a few things from the Lilly Pulitzer line for Target. I couldn't get anything online as we all know Target's website is not capable of handling a multitude of e-commerce transactions at once. C'mon, Target. E-commerce has been around for 20 years. Get with it!

And as the days go by and KC and the Sunshine Band keep playing "Keep it Comin' Love" in my head and on Spotify, I'm getting more angry about how this whole thing went down. Sure, there are Facebook resale pages (but they charge almost as much of a markup as eBay) and of course we all know that you will pay double or triple for a coveted piece on eBay. And that seems to be the hot topic. Thousands of items popping up on eBay. Target said it's only 1.5% of their total inventory that is on eBay. I'm gonna call bullshit on that. I was in the store on Sunday. There was one rack of clothing for 200 people.

But here's the thing that I've seen very few Internet articles on and no one has mentioned it on the news: Lilly doesn't go past size 14. So if you are a bigger lady, tough luck! People are sending out social media requests to boycott buying any Lilly for Target items on eBay. And I bet you those are the people that wear a size 6. Well I don't. The shift dresses made for Target are cut small. For those of us curvy gals, we have to size up. And that means going past size 14. Which in turns means we can't shop at any retail brick and mortar or online sites for regular Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses.

So what is the going rate on eBay for a Lilly for Target shift dress in sizes 16 and up? About $70-80. And what would it cost me if I could squeeze my curves into a regular Lilly dress in the store? $198. So even if I buy two Lilly for Target dresses on eBay in my size, paying twice what they sold for in the store, I'm still coming out ahead of what I would have spent in the store on just one regular Lilly dress. Again, no one has mentioned this point on the news or in their social media boycott messages.

Hello cute summer dresses that will be arriving in my mailbox soon. Can't wait to wear ya!

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Lilly Pulitzer for Target Experience

Did you have a frustrating experience with the Target launch of Lilly Pulitzer? I think most consumers did. The website fiaco is all over the news and as usual, I think Target did a piss poor job with this designer launch.  C'mon! Mr. Big was in the commercials. You know the women will flock. 

I always admired Lilly Pulitzer clothing and even had a special fondness knowing it is a Florida-based designer. But I've never owned anything as I felt it was a bit too preppy and expensive for my taste. So like tons of women across the US, I was pretty excited to see the commercial (I'm still humming the song) and thought, "I'll stay up Saturday night and get a few things." Yeah, that wasn't gonna happen. I tried at midnight, 1am, 3:15, and 5am and just gave up. I showed up at the brick and mortar store at 7:15am in Brandon, FL. I would estimate there were about 30-40 people in line ahead of me and at least 80 people behind me. Luckily, I got some stuff; even a shift dress!

It was basically a grab-for-all once you got in the store. You just grabbed what you could as the whole experience lasted about 2 minutes. That's right. The entire section of purses, clothes, shoes (I never even saw the shoes or the full size bags) were gone in 2 minutes! And I was on the tail end of getting stuff. You should have seen the disappointment in the women's faces when it was entirely picked through and they weren't far enough ahead in the line. 

I then headed to the back of the store where they had all the home accessories. Good timing on my part because two store associates were pulling carts out from the back with pillows. I grabbed one of the pillows, a blanket, and was later given the poof by a customer that didn't want it.

And I couldn't even really look through my things and debate my purchases in the store because of the vultures. "Anything you don't want in your cart?" Jesus! I'm just looking over what I managed to grab, lady.

So after about 30 minutes of rummaging around in the store and picking up a few grocery items, I got tired of the stares from desperate zombie women with no sleep and decided it was time to check out and go assess my damage.

So here's what I'm keeping. The giraffy dress is a keeper and looks really cute on. I just need to have someone take in the armholes as they are too big (Mom?). I had 2 of these dresses in my hand and one woman said, "Are you really buying both?" in a nasty huff. And I said, "Just give me a sec and I'll give you one." Wow! And when I got it home, being the dipstick that I am, I was wearing it backwards. Yeah, I'm a dork.

And here's what I'm going to sell. I already sold the makeup case for the price I got it at to a woman on a Facebook message board. And after learning there would be no replenishment, I'm going to take to eBay to sell most of the other items.

I thought I was going to keep the pink blanket. Had it all sprawled out on my bed but then I snagged a nail on it last night and thought, "If my nail snagged, those bastard cats will have a field day." So it's going back to the store.

And the tank top is definitely not made for women with big chests. The seam doesn't even cover everything. Shame. Cause it's cute.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Keeping Kitties out of Pantry

Do any of you have this issue? Defiant bastard cat that refuses to listen to anything you say. Mr. Fender insisted on reaching as far back as possible to get to whatever pet food bags and snacks we had on the lower part of of our pantry. We keep the heavier pet bags on the bottom because they take up space in our tiny pantry. Of course I guess we could have saved $10 and just rearranged some things and put the pet food at the very top but that would take more time than I'm willing to put into things right now. I know, third world lazy problem.

So instead, we bought one of these latches from Home Depot, which my husband installed about two weeks ago.

Kitty is annoyed. That means it works!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kitchen Phase III has begun

Although I can't afford the new kitchen countertops just yet (surgery and taxes have set us back a bit), I have been able to get a new sink and faucet for bargain prices. 

Of course my dream sink is a farmhouse sink but since I'm not updating the lower cabinets and I really am not up for the challenge of retrofitting, I was able to score a very nice cast iron sink to replace the horribly stained one we currently have. I've never shown that sink in any of my posts and I really am debating showing y'all when hubby removes it.

I paid $50 for my new/used sink and drove 2 hours round trip for it. This isn't our sink but it's the same shape and material as the one I bought. When I got to the guy's house, I was so stoked to find out it was cast iron as he didn't mention that in the ad.

I wanted to make installation easy so although the right basin is bigger than our current cruddy sink, it's the same size and has the same 4-holes as the current sink. 

Hubby noticed that our faucet was leaking and it's a pain in the ass to turn on and off. It's either wiggle the faucet handle until it finally turns on or yank on it and get sprayed. So I've been looking in big box stores for faucets and realized the ones I like were $200+.  I knew I could do better. And I did!

I bought a no-name industrial chrome faucet off eBay for $87! $87, people! 

So for $137, we're gonna have a new, modern sink and faucet and I'm super thrilled to have it installed. I'm still recovering from my wrist surgery. Stitches were removed last week and I'm in a wrist brace for another week. It's been a semi-painful recovery and I can't lift anything for another few weeks. So although we have our sink and faucet, hubby is going to need help lifting the sink and I just can't do it yet. But I,m on the mend and hope to get back to posting more than once a week very soon.