Friday, May 28, 2010

Pat's Pals Party - Celebrating 15 Years

My mother has 3 major accomplishments in her life, raising my brother, raising me and surviving breast cancer. Next weekend, I've arrange for her sisters to come to DC to celebrate her 15 year anniversary with us, we'll participating in the Race for the Cure and then having a victory party.

I've made this logo to put on the sleeves of our shirts:

I've got a few ideas for the victory party but I know there are some pretty amazing party planners out there so if anyone has any suggestions - I'd love to hear what you come up with.

So far, here is what I know we're doing:
  • Scrapbook celebrating all that she survived to see, the weddings, the grandchildren, the friends, the trips...
  • A collage of those pictures framed
  • A "Survivor Sash" for her to wear during the Race for the Cure
  • Pink decorations
  • Pink M&M's
  • Pink Ribbon cookies (made by my very talented friend Christin.)
Anyone have any other ideas???

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cutting Laminate Counter Tops

First, my apologies for being out of touch. In addition to being all consumed by this kitchen project, we also had the wedding of my husbands little brother and next weekend a party for my mom... more on that next week.

For now I wanted to share how we cut the laminate counter tops for our kitchen renovation. By going with standard Ikea counter tops rather than custom cut ones we were able to save a boat load.  Like $300 vs. $900. We even got one quote for $2100. For Laminate!!!

But cutting laminate is a bit tricky, here is what we did.

First, plan to do this outside or in a garage, cutting laminate counter tops is MESSY.

Next, apply masking/painters tape over the good side of the laminate, measure and mark where you want to cut. The tape will help prevent the the laminate from chipping too much. It won't prevent it completely, but it will help a lot.

Then using clamps attach a long level or other straight edge to the counter tops so that you have a guide to cut against. And then cut the counter tops using a circular saw. Another tip to prevent chipping - CUT SLOW. Don't rush it.

The Ikea counter tops come with a strip that you glue on to hid the cut... but that doesn't help with any chipping you've had to the top... but stay with me here.

After you install the counter tops I discovered a great way to hide the chipping, see that light edge there between the stone and the flecked counter top?

Well, just take a sharpie and a paper towel.

Simply color the raw edge with the sharpie, but only about 12 inches at a time:

Bear with me, I know that looks awful, why would anyone want to do THAT???

Well, here is why... with the marker still wet, rub with the paper towel and the marker will come off the counter top and soak into raw edge.

And here is what you end up with:
A perfect edge!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kitchen Renovation - Section 2 COMPLETE!!!

We've completed section 2 of the kitchen, when we get to the after pictures here, you'll notice it might not look quite finished, but the finish work is going to come later. When removing the back splash, as we expected the wall sustained damage, rather than repairing it now, we are going to wait 'till we tackle section 3 and remove the remaining back splash then repair it all at the same time.

Also, we haven't added the trim, that will go on after the floor, or the hardware, that will be later so hardware for all 3 sections is done at the same time.

Ready to see the progression?


We removed the doors and drawers, they were sanded, primed and painted with a sprayer out in the garage:

In order to keep things moving as fast as possible, I put push pins on the back of the doors, so that the back could be painted, then the doors could be put right side up without the back touching the cardboard while wet.

Meanwhile, the frames were sanded, primed and painted with a roller inside, we decided to extend the white up onto the soffits to give the illusion that the cabinets were taller.

Also, I spray painted the hinges black:

We then replaced the counter top with the Ikea counter top, same as we used on section 1. I can't believe this entire section only cost $69!!!

Here is the after:

We still have a lot to do, but pulling this section together really makes so much of a difference!!!

I'll post some other details of this section in the next couple of days.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just playing...

I'm playing around with different blog templates and configurations...

Feel free to ignore me over here for the next few days. I wasn't feeling the old blog template, it wasn't me... not sure when I'll settle on something that will, hopefully soon.

: )

Trendy Blog Award

Jan from The Simpler Life was sweet enough to name Generally Creative as one of her top 10 Trendy blogs. Thanks Jen! (After I already started this post, Carrie at Dittle Dattle was kind enough to do the same, I'm flattered!)

Now it is my turn to feature my Top 10 Trendy Blogs:

  1. Tara @ Sassy Inspirations
  2.  Katherine @ Sevi Designs
  3. The sisters @ Roots and Wings
  4. Chelsea @ Room to Inspire
  5. Shannon @ Posh Pieces
  6. Megan @ Polish the Stars
  7. Carolyn @ My Back Yard Eden
  8. Janice @ Moderate, Interrupted
  9. JHill @ Mad in Crafts
  10. Jeannine @ Creative Juice Studios

Thanks for inspiring and entertaining me! 

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Staged Shelves

    Things with the kitchen renovation have been moving slower than I had hoped, a mix of lack of proper motivation, time and help.

    But I think I've almost got the items on the shelves arranged the way I want and I thought I'd share that little victory with you.

    I picked up this bowl from a local artisan guild, it has me dreaming of leaning to throw pottery... that and pop corn, it is the perfect pop corn bowl so it also has me dreaming of pop corn a lot.

    And I present - the original inspiration for the shelves, I needed a place to display these (the cook books not the creamer and sugar bowl):

    You know how people talk about what they would take from their house in the event of fire, well these are on my list. And not because they are cookbooks, while I like cooking, I don't like it enough to get all jazzed up over a cookbook. I love them because of this:

    And this:

    See the 2nd line there? "The WGBH-TV Crew..." My dad was a part of that crew. The autographs above were to my parents, Pat is my mom, Mark, my dad. I didn't really know my dad, he died when I was 3, so having these cookbooks, this part of his career, means so much to me.

    I'm so happy to have a place to display them know, they bring a smile to my face each time I see them.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Custom Trash/Recycling Bins

    As part of the Kitchen Renovation we lost the space where we had our trash can: See that shinny thing over there...

    Yeah, that. It didn't have a home in the new plan of the kitchen since we were putting in almost 8 linear feet of cabinets on a wall that was just over 8 feet didn't leave any room for a trash can. And in reality there wasn't really any other place to put one. We could have limited the amount of cabinets we were putting in, but I really didn't want to do that.

    Then, the perfect solution presented it self when we found the cabinets... one of the base cabinets came without drawers and doors:

    I remembered seeing a Trash/Recycling piece over at Knock-off-wood. I figured I could modify those plans to suit our needs.

    So, without further rambling here is what I started with:

    • Base cabinet
    • 2 trash cans the fit (harder to find than I thought, but not impossible)
    • Left over 1x10" pine from another project
    • Left over 1/2" plywood
    • 1/2" "L" molding. I don't know if that is what it is really called, that is what I'm calling it
    • Piano hinges
    • Wood glue
    • Nails
    • Clamps
    • Jig saw or hand saw
    • Compound miter saw or miter box
    • Palm sander or sand paper
    • Wood filler
    • Primer
    • Paint
    • Cup hooks 
    • Chain
    To start, I needed to cut the cross piece off the base cabinet that would have separated the drawer from the door with a jig saw:

    This allowed for the trash cans to be able to fit and tilt out:

    To construct the tilting door, I took a piece of the plywood that I had cut to the width I wanted for the door and attached it to a piece of 1x10" for the base using wood glue and then nails. You'll see the door and base are different widths. This allowed the door to extend past the width of the opening while the base fit inside... it also allowed me to use reclaimed wood that we already had on hand, rather than spending money on new.

    Additional support was needed for the structure so I miter cut a 3" wide section of the plywood:

    The supports were attached to the outside of the base and the back of the door using by applying wood glue, securing with clamps and following up with nails.

    The problem with using left over materials... they often look like left over materials. The plywood edges were raw and that is putting it mild.

    That is where the "L" molding came in, I miter cut the "L" molding to fit around the edges of the doors. Those were secured with wood glue while things were clamped I nailed them in.

    See the difference - the trimmed door on the right, the untrimmed door on the left.

    This was as far as I could take the building of the unit until the base cabinet was installed. Which meant it was time for painting. Prior to painting the seams around the molding were filled with wood filler on the door and everything was sanded and sanded and sanded.

    With the base cabinet installed in the kitchen, but BEFORE (very important) the counter top was on, I attached the piano hinge to the bottom of the door and then while very carefully standing IN the base cabinet the other half of the hinge was attached to the opening of the base cabinet.

    And then the counter top went on.

    Then it was time for the support hinge, something that Ana at knock off wood used. Well, I tried to find the exact same support hinge at a variety of stores here, and I couldn't. The guys at Ace suggested "Friction Lid Support" hinges:

    We tried them. They didn't work - the return of the hinge kept the door from completely closing.

    So I went back, returned the support hinges and went pretty basic, safety cup hooks and chain:

    I cut the chain into a length that would allow the door to open, but keep it from falling all the way open. Cup hooks were attached to the inside of the base cabinet and the back of the door and the chain attached to each:

    Still with me??? We're almost done!

    Last: Hardware!

    And now, we've got the perfect Trash/Recycling bins.

    In some ways I wish I'd gone with new materials, but it feels good to have saved money and saved items from landfills. And we've gotten exactly what we needed and wanted.
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