cape kitchen 2.0

mason jar pendant in the hoousss

here’s a good one. minor, yet very satisfying for us because it had been on the to-do list for over a year.
meet mr. blue mason jar pendant light:
it’s from an etsy shop (or as i like to call it, outsourced diy). i’ve had it since last winter, but we couldn’t figure out how to hook it up ourselves. there used to be a really dated linear light thing up here, so the wires weren’t centered and there was no box to connect it to.
we finally threw in the towel and hired an electrician who connected it in about 7 minutes.

this is a rare, awesome, occasion where the reality is even better than my idea of it in my head. i’m obsessed with this light; the color, vibe, everything is perfect for the kitchen. 

so i dug up those old progress pictures and thought it would be fun to run through them again with the addition of the pendant. i wish i knew how to get the lighting better, it would make this much more dramatic- but nonetheless, here is the full transformation: 

those pulls too – the pulls on the drawers are new.
dare i say the kitchen is done? done for now.
we are in the car on the way to brewster & martha’s vineyard as we speak. happy memorial day! a post full of family fun coming at you next week!

some brewster business

this is from dane’s inaugural photography session with the dsl.. he had a little help, but not bad, really, don’t you think?

but about that business – the latest business in brewster involved the kitchen, some sand paper, and a quart of minwax polycrylic protective finish. this project ran me about 2 full nap times and change, but i feel really good knowing that all our hard cabinet painting work is sealed up.

yet again, for most of the weekend, the kitchen looked like we had been robbed. i sanded down some of the edges to give the cabinets that antiqued look. just enough for some of the wood to show through. i think they needed this treatment to look more authentic and not just like cabinets painted white, if that makes any sense (?)

i think we captured the kitchen robber on film.. he is about 2.5 feet tall with very bulbous cheeks and a lightening mcqueen tattoo on his right hand. call the police if you see a man fitting this description.

the antiquing and sealing effect was subtle, but i was pleased with the result. the polycrylic gives them a glossy sheen. you should be able to see the difference below -
b e f o r e :
a f t e r :

b e f o r e :

a f t e r :


pay no mind to the pint of ben & jerry’s on the counter, the robbers must have left it…

and finally, a reminder of the pre-fatzified kitchen:

while i was at it, it covered the desk with the polycrylic as well. its really quick & easy to slap on and pretty dummy proof.

i have another little update to share before the long weekend.
 peace out!

cape kitchen 2.0 // done.

a few octobers ago, we came to look at this house in brewster, massachusetts. we had no idea what we were doing. but we wanted a cape cod get-away.
and we decided this place was pretty perfect…

yup… perfect.

so we moved in.

it was just the three of us. we were over the moon.

time went by and we wanted to make it ours… make it feel like vacation…

so we painted.

and again we were happy, proud, content… it was perfect.

more time went by and i got ideas, inspiration… i saw the potential. 
so we got to planning…
then we got to doing…

after some blood, sweat, tears, late nights, sore backs and a modest budget…

ombre paint chip art

by no means an original concept, but i put my own spin on it.

would you consider taking paint chips by the handful stealing? because i felt really awkward and guilty about it. it took me 3 or 4 visits to the hardware store to collect a decent stack because i tried to be all natural and stealth… i considered having dane grab some (paint chip robbing monkey-style) … i slipped some up my sleeve one time. in the end i had just enough shades of teal and blue to pull this off..


martha stewart flower-ish shaped punch

2 ikea ribba frames
navy blue craft paper
paint color samples
wood glue (because it was the only form of glue i had in brewster over the weekend)

all i had to actually buy were the 20×20 frames, so $40 was the total damage..

i made a fish and a wave. no, not being very subtle with the whole nautical theme.

and here they are on the wall:

the kitchen is done… for my next post i’m planning to do the big reveal(!!) i can’t fancy things up like a real blogger, because the week is just too busy, but i’m dying to get the final pics posted. i’ve been waiting for this since february!

but first, do you want to watch my baby grow before your very eyes?

summer 2012:


s i g h……

i don’t know where he got this from – we call it the sexy dance:

open-fronting the corner cabinet

we just arrived back to ole cape cod for the long weekend (wooohoo). a quick one for you before we dive into another weekend of finishing touches to cape kitchen 2.0!

this corner was my little pet project.

aside from ripping out the row of cabinets to replace with the banquet seating, there weren’t any structural changes to our cabinets during this kitchen makeover, aside from this corner. we removed the breadbox thing from below the corner cabinet and left the door off the top. sure, i would love to have a custom glass door, but this is a much simpler, (free) way of achieving the same open effect..

we didn’t paint the inside of any of the other cabinets. so i spent the better part of a full weekend sanding, priming, and painting the inside and the 2 shelves of this corner. the running joke was that i didn’t leave the corner for days. it was sorta true. 

i painted the inside wall the same gypsy teal that’s in the living room and other side of the kitchen. it took two solid coats to cover sufficiently (think a couple hours of awkward kneeling on the counter to get into all of these deep corners).
and here it is all back together with the shelves and some of our prettier glassware…

there will definitely be updates to the “styling” of these shelves, but i think the open corner is a nice touch.

in related news – the corner below.. the lazy susan.. NOT supposed to be open. we broke the door and have been having trouble replacing it. its killing me. mike bought something at lowes that he thinks might be a fix, so fingers crossed we can remedy this tomorrow.

and there are definitely a few other finishes touches that are begging for our attention, but we are just going see what we have time for without killing ourselves this weekend. a little off-white clash never killed anyone…

happy memorial day weekend!

fabric covered ‘c’s.. not to be confused with seas…

you know… like for cape cod.

most of my crafty projects are 100% unoriginal and copied directly from pinterest, another blog, etsy, etc, etc. but this method for the ‘c’s i dreamt up myself. so please don’t direct me to 40 other people who had the same idea, it would crush me… i swear it was all mine and i was so proud when it actually worked. unlike this project:
i swear this actually happened last weekend. this is a diy project gone TERRIBLY WRONG. have you ever seen anything go more terribly wrong than this? like ever? i won’t even get into it. pretend this never happened.
so after hitting rock bottom, i picked myself back up in hopes of having a little more luck making a fabric covered ‘cc’ to adorn the wall above the new banquet.
i made the letters using 18″ white styrofoam wreaths. i just cut a chunk out of them and voila:

the pictures can probably do the best job explaining the rest for anyone in the market for a couple pretty little c’s (i’m looking at you candance cameronchris cook, and captain crunch fanatics…) (and i’m using the two ‘c’s/fabric patterns interchangeably in this series of pictures, so don’t get confused). 
first, i traced the c on the back of the fabric and cut the middle into pizza pie slices.. i had a yard each of the dots and zig zag patterns… they were another jo-anns purchase for $5ish/yard.
i then wrapped each slice around the back of the c and secured with pins (the kind with the little ball at the end).

then the fabric on the outside of the c, i sort of haphazardly wrapped, snipped and pinned as needed to best cover the styrofoam.. and the ends i did my best to wrap like a present.
don’t worry, i’m not done yet…
for the last step i cut 2 or 3 long, imperfect strips to wrap around the whole letter, securing the ends on the back with pins…

i was so relieved this actually worked. i think they are pretty awesome errr crazy cool.

so i hung them right up, and mike got to work taking down the ugly lights.

so i’m pretty excited about this wall. remember what it looked like not too long ago?

so much crisper…

now – the latest state-of-the-kitchen:

and finally – my handsome bulldog:

enough with the scallops already

1.5 hours, 2.5 glasses of wine and one summer shandy after we arrived in brewster friday night, i had these babies hanging in all their no-sew glory.

but lets take a step back…
we took a more relaxed approach to the weekend. we had a bunch of little things we needed/wanted to accomplish in brewster, but we also wanted to enjoy ourselves and have some down-time – unlike our last few trips. we even spent some time playing in the neighborhood before we hit the road friday night. 
i don’t know why i ever put this kid in clothes. i think he’ll wear a diaper and red sox hat for the duration of the summer.

here is the scene friday night before i made the curtains. i found these red & white striped panels laying around, so i threw them up for our guests who visited last weekend. they weren’t right, but better than nothing.

and this is the fabric i got at jo-anns. yup, more scallops. but i love it. the colors are perfect. both navy and teal! it was 30% off and cost less than $6/yard. i got three (and ended up having a bunch left over). I used the red & white curtains as a gauge for how long to cut the pieces for the two panels and used the full width.. i wanted the scallops upright and not sideways.. 
at first i thought i’d need to make 4 strips – two for each half of the window area –  but thankfully got away with just using two which saved a ton of time. 

my working area was on the floor, on top of a table cloth. i first iron-hemmed each side an inch or so, then the top  – leaving a good 3 or 4 inch gap for the rod to go through. i didn’t measure anything (i have a strict no measuring after 11pm policy). i just held them side-by-side to attempt to get the lengths to match as close as possible. i hemmed the bottom last.

for anyone who doesn’t know what ‘iron-hemmed’ means… i used stitch-witchery which is a “bonding web” that can be ironed in between fabric for a super quick and easy hem. there are a million no-sew tutorials out there if you care to give it a google. its sorta been a game-changer for me. i use it to hem my pants too!

here are my curtains! quite complex looking wouldn’t you say?

the last weekend i was here, i spray painted this curtain rod which used to be in the tv room. (we have since replaced with way better, sturdier rods.. hopefully i’ll explain that process at some point as well).  so these curtains basically cost the 12 or so bucks the couple yards of fabric cost (i have an aggressive stock of the bonding tape).

here it is in daylight. 

i used twine to pucker up the middle of each panel because it just looked better. love twine. looove the twine. twine is soo fine… (i need help or sleep mostly).

i am dying to replace this terrible light with a pendant. that might happen next weekend.
much better, right?  

so that’s that. i’m so glad i busted it out friday night, because saturday my favorite thing happened.. we had visitors!

like our vip guest for the night, baby dylan. the cutest little munchkin ever.
and now i have added our recent work to the progression series. i literally can’t remember the kitchen looking all wood and yuck colored. its funny to look outside the window, too… you can see the seasons change!
crazy difference between those last two.. we are so close!
i left sunday feeling like we were finally in good shape. there is one major issue we need to deal with (not sure if you noticed the missing door to the lazy susan in the corner there… yah, its not good). and a handful of smaller issues (some electric work, vent covers, maybe some more non-crucial painting). so we’ll do some of this stuff next weekend, and then we’ll wrap it up for the season for better or for worse!
we decided to stay late sunday and leave after the bruins game. the weather was perfect and we did squeeze in a little bit of lounging. 

there a few more little projects from the weekend to share so i’ll hopefully check back in a couple more times this week. is it friday yet?

shopping for pretty fabric

this is a pretty long post about fabric by someone who doesn’t know how to sew or own a machine… or a sewing needle. ok, i have one needle but i swear i can’t remember the last time i used it. at any rate, here we go…
i don’t think this window needs a curtain – the natural light is welcome. but across from all this neutral is a big wall of gypsy teal- so something colorful above the sink will help balance things out. its also a little dicey up there since we ripped off that wavy piece of trim. so i’m planning a very simple, no-sew, valance-type of window treatment to add color and hide some ugliness. something teal or navy.

(the view across the room):

which brings me to reflect on my favorite online sources for fabric. i spent 20 minutes searching for bold or geometric patterns in teal or navy and had the most luck with these online fabric vendors: :






i can’t remember where these are from… i saved them to my camera roll but didn’t jot down the site. oops. i like this top print a lot. the dandelions below it are cute, and can definitely be found at a number of other fabric vendors (such as here and here) and then the I. print is just meh.



i love this first aqua, wood grain pattern. it totally reminds me of dane’s fondant ‘one‘. this would be really cool to use to cover a box or cork board or something (fabric covered cork board added to mental to-do list… i.e. i will forget all about it in 7 minutes)…


L. :
my all-round favorite:

my second favorite:


etsy is another place to find good fabric.. i’ve had luck here in the past.  this shop has some cute stuff..
after all this, i ended up going to jo-ann fabric and buying a few different patterns at the store (i hate paying for shipping… i hate waiting for shipping even more). i really want to order that peony print (M) along with the wavy teal below it (N) and the bluey-teal (that’s a color) wood grain print (J),  i just don’t have a specific use in mind so i’m going to hold off.
major tgif feelings over here… off to brewster to no-sew some curtains!

brewster kitchen and deck – mini update

as i alluded to in my last post, this past weekend in brewster was the busiest yet. this weekend we have family using the house for a few nights, so we had to get everything ready. it didn’t have to be “rental ready” (thank goodness), but we wanted it in the best shape possible for our family & their friends to enjoy. they won’t be enjoying outlet covers in the kitchen, but here’s to hoping it won’t spoil their stay..

i didn’t even know what to expect when i loaded all the pictures from my camera… i was so busy with the clean-up and dane-chasing on sunday that i hardly have any pictures of what the place looked like when we left..

it was all-hands-on-deck starting bright and early saturday morning…

my sister – who is our gardener extraordinaire- came from the vineyard (martha’s) with her.. boyfriendish man-friend (?).. to resuscitate what used to be a beautiful landscape until we neglected it for about 2 years.

the deck-building crew – two of mike’s old friends & very talented construction people- were also here for a long day saturday finishing the re-boarding of the deck.

i haven’t talked about the deck much because its not very exciting for me… if it were being reconfigured in a new, interesting way it would be a different story. but this was just one of those maintenance things where the boards were old and splintery and just needed to be replaced. it definitely is so much nicer with new boards and because mike and his friends did all the labor we saved thousands of dollars.

we ran around crazy doing a million other side projects and finishing the cabinets and bench. here is a peak of random shots around the house that i hope to get to in a more organized manner next week!

…sneaking this one in… 😉

and this is the most complete picture i have from later in the day sunday.. things are looking bright, don’t you think!?

more, including much better pictures to come later!

happy weekend!!!

UPDATE: the kitchen is done! check it out here:

brewster kitchen – the putting back together begins

mike was the star of the weekend.

he worked non-stop hanging these cabinet doors and installing the new knobs… barely sitting down to enjoy any of the masters (tho it was constantly on the tv). you can see the progress in the background. this basically took all day. it was frustrating work lining up all the hinges and knobs so everything hung perfectly level. if you are off just a quarter of an inch, it looks totally sloppy and wrong. there was a lot of swearing throughout the day. a lot.

he used one of these combination square contraptions to mark where to drill the knob hole. definitely easier than dealing with two holes for a pull (for which you probably want to get one of these template things) but still required a lot of patience and precision. mike can deal with this sort of thing.. i can not. i like to “eye ball”. which is why i stick to the “creative” and he handles the “execution”.  
(together we are a dream team (?))
and if that wasn’t enough work – he had to saw off each end of the super long knob screws. *tip: bring these to a hardware store & have them cut them down for you. our local little true value didn’t have a tool for this, so we resorted to the trusty hand saw.

after dane went down for the night, i began my little experimental project which was “scalloping” the newly painted, formerly laminate, backsplash.

i used martha stewart metallic paint in ‘hard frost’, one of these brushes (pictured below) from home depot, and a half circle – traced using a cocktail plate – cut out from some sandpaper packaging, then a cheerios box, then some regular paper (for some of the corners and places where the stencil needed to bend)… this was a very unglamorous process… but i made it work!

true to form, my method was very imperfect. i didnt measure or plan much – i just went for it. its a very hand-painted look.

i did this for maybe 2 hours saturday night. oh and this picture captures pretty much everything i ate/drank the whole day:
this is where i left off after day (night) 1:
and this is me in a crazy, diy stupor before collapsing into bed:

sunday morning (after reheating our very large coffees a couple times) mike removed the microwave.

which was secured by many large, hidden bolts..

see how awful the laminate is where the microwave used to be? fingers c r o s s e d the new microwave covers this entire area!

after another hour of scalloping, i was done. and i think it looks pretty cool. the metallic silver really picks up the silver specks in the granite, the mercury glass knobs, and should look great with our new stainless steal appliances.

so here is the evolution with the latest progress:

that’s a wrap! off to st. maarten tomorrow morning & peacing out of blogville for a week or so! don’t miss us too much…