Saturday, May 31, 2008

Memorial Day projects & Dove Update

The kitchen has been a very busy & exciting place for many reasons since last weekend. First, my roommate & I decided to fix up the kitchen, instead of the back bathroom which had been our original plan. We initially wanted to get a better way to hold our spices, so we bought a shelf divider for them and moved them to a shelf over our sink. After cleaning the spices out, we realized that we should clean off our baker's rack (that is in desparate need of sanding and a clear-coat finish). It holds our microwave, toaster, toaster oven, spices, cookbooks, knives, and some decorative stuff. We got rid of a bunch of junk and cleared off the entire botteom shelf. As these things usually go, we realized that we both hated to look at the open shelves all the time; so we transformed some tab-top curtains that my parents gave me for Christmas into cute little cafe curtains to cover up part of the shelf.

After realizing that the curtain really transformed the kitchen, we decided that we should use the fabric in other places, too. See, I was initially hesitant to use the curtains because they really didn't seem to work--the shape & color were just a little off. But after using them in one place, we realized that they had serious style potential.
So it went on from there: we painted the kitchen chairs black (totally dramatic for me 'cause I really like things painted white & airy) & recovered the seat cushions with the curtain fabric. Then we put up the two existing valances over one window with a black curtain rod. In order to make the third window coordinate, we cut off the top part of another curtain, sewed up a hem, and put it up with a matching curtain rod. But we didn't stop there! My roommate turned the remaining curtain parts into a table cloth for our little breakfast table & a napkin to line the former spice basket. It is so totally chic!
The next project in the works is a decorative shelf to go over the stove that will fit our spice shelf. We've started this by cutting a 1x6 board down to fit the length of our shelf (this was left over from the shelves in my room) & painting it with black paint left over from our family room trim. Then we're going to mount it using brushed silver shelf brackets. It's going to be mounted upside-down because the brackets won't fit behind the stove because we cut the board too small. In order to make it sturdier, we'll put nuts & washers on the underside of the board to hold it in place.

I love our kitchen now! Future project: painting the pantry red & dressing up the pantry doors with chalkboard paint & trim. :-)

Update on the doves:
The two eggs hatched about 3 weeks ago (at the time of this post). We didn't notice it for a while; but since they got too big to conceal, we've been watching them grow and develop. They flew out of the next on Wednesday, I think. sigh...I feel like a proud parent. I still see them around the yard; one of them might be making a nest in our other planter. Go figure. Mr. and Mrs. Dove have returned to their nest after leaving it alone for several days. They were making repairs and improvements this morning after last night's major storm. I'm looking forward to more wee doves!

Additionally, over Memorial Day, I was finally able to plant some wildflower seeds and morning glories. We also cleared out a garden space for part-sun & part-shade plants, such as a fern, coleus, & some lilies of the valley. I hope that they will grow up to hide our gas meter & air conditioner, at least somewhat. Ok, well, got to go. The pictures of the doves aren't too great, but I'll put up some of the kitchen soon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gardens & Doves

Gardening is hard work...and I've only been at it for less than a month. But my roommate's dad helped us rototill the plot, which saved us energy and money. And we started many seeds indoors early this spring, so it's helped speed the process up a bit.
Right now, we've got a tidy little vegetable garden with the following hopefuls in place: 2 rows of potatoes, 2 rows of green beans, 2 rows of peas, 1 row of spinach, 1 row of lettuce, three small rows of 2 different types of onions, and a little space for tomatoes, green peppers, and a cucumber, eventually.

My roomie and I were going to get all sorts of work done around the house and garden this weekend, but decided to kick back, relax, and talk about stuff instead. It was wonderful! We discovered that each of our main love language is quality time, which is why we often get into fights about petty little things when we haven't been around one another much (I recommend discovering your own main love language via Dr. Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages for Singles; there are other versions for children and couples, too. It can really help families, couples, parents, and friends understand each other better.). Oh, and we discovered that our local Marsh store is about a mile away from our house and that her pedometer is WAAAAY off (by half a mile), which explains why we can't run there in five minutes. I can hardly wait for the exercise we will get while grocery shopping!

In the process of putz-ing around the house & eating our meals outside, we discovered that a sweet mourning dove family has taken up residence in our hanging ivy planter on the back porch. It's a protected spot, safe from the reach of our vicious kittycats, so I guess that Mr. & Mrs. Dove thought it'd be perfect for their nest. The last time I checked, there were two eggs. Mrs. sits on it so faithfully, still and quiet so noone would suspect her being there. She's flown off a couple times when someone comes outside, and Mr. has tried to pull the "Pay no attention to that dove in the planter--chase me around the yard!" bit. But I think that both the humans and the fauna are getting used to each other.

I think that God is using these quiet days I've had lately to bring me back to the simplicity of a relationship with Him. I fully believe that He is willing to answer my questions and doubts if I just take the time to be still and communicate with him.

Be still and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10
~Amy >^..^<

Pictures of the house and garden soon, I promise!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Fever

I don't know about anyone else, but it's taken me a while to feel the refreshing rush of springtime. I LOVE winter...Christmas, snow, crocheting blankets, bundling up & reading magazines, and imagining spring and summer projects while pretending that I was a home improvment expert. Yes, I was clinging onto winter's slow-down, laid-back aspects like a blankie. Winter protected me from having to do any projects around the house, or so I thought. I enjoyed hibernating in many ways this past year, but the winter blues had really start to set in during February. Even when Easter decorations started to pop up in stores (late February!), I wasn't buying it yet. But now, on April 24, I'm in the midst of truly enjoying spring! I still am hesitant to believe that we're not going to get another sudden frost before May, but I'm willing to embrace each sun-soaked minute so far. Oh, and I am relishing those chills that come from a quick breeze tickling my un-scarf-covered neck. My back is killing me from picking out grass clumps from our newly tilled garden plot, but I am so excited about planting my first ever garden! Both my roommate and I have helped our parents garden in the past, but this will be my first attempt at providing large quantities of food for myself. Photos to appear later. They will just be pictures of dirt, but there will be pictures. (We did start some seeds last month, so I guess there will be some seedlings, which is probably the cutest word ever, but other than that--good old American dirt).

Oh, and in a totally separate vein: the Roloff's from Little People Big World are going to be on Oprah. I love LPBW and I really want to visit their farm someday. And the Portland area, mostly due to the burgeoning crafting scene out there. Everything seems so cater to the creative types out there.

And additionally, I'm helping my good friend/coworker with her wedding reception this Saturday. I'm trying to be superorganized and prepared for anything (think "Wedding Planner" movie), which is somewhat unlike me. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A short post... let the world know that I am still around & still working to fix up my house (which I love & is perfect for me!). This house has been a bit of a money sponge and has caused some friction in my time, but it has been a total God-thing. I can't imagine a more perfect house for me right now. yay! I will post some pictures later on. :-)