Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kitchen shelf and a spot of tea

Over Thanksgiving weekend we finally got around to installing the shelf in the kitchen that I've been dying to have since we moved in. I know I may seem a little over-excited about something as simple as shelving, but... well, that's just how I work I suppose.

One of the main reasons I wanted this shelf, was because I have some really cute antique tea cups and saucers that have been hiding in storage for years. I wanted a way to finally display them without having to get a hutch (there's not enough space in our tiny kitchen for a hutch) and to keep them out of reach from dogs/children.

Our glass tea set that my friends Pam and Rick gave us for our wedding is up there too, along with our cookbooks.

I love tea, and really, all warm beverages. There's just something about drinking a warm cup of something that just makes everything feel "right" with the world. It's one of those few moments when I'm not freaking out about something.

Antiques are something that I've started to appreciate more and more over the years - and drinking tea out of an actual tea cup (instead of a mug) is something really special and almost luxurious.

Ceremonies are written around tea; how to prepare, serve and drink it. It is sacred in it's simplicity and complexity. Tea is a part of my heritage and I'm hoping to pass that down to my children too. That it's not just about drinking it out of a little froufrou cup with a few cookies and finger sandwiches - that it's a whole lot more than that.

I have plans to "pretty-up" the space a little more. I'm working on some artwork to hang over the chalkboard, and we'll have something under the shelving too, I'm just not sure what. I think some antique molds would be cool - something with a low profile so when we walk by we don't run into it, but for now, I just have a few little things on there...

All I know is that the very long, barren wall is starting to come to life - and that makes me happy.
I also managed to sort through (some) of the crazy paper pile and file it away in our very large filing cabinet. I got a lot of my scrapbooking supplies (which definitely needs to be used for something!) sorted and the paper filed away. I think I'm going to end up donating a lot of it to the school (what elementary teacher doesn't love stickers?) and working on some projects to either sell, or give as gifts. I just have to have the ambition to do it...

My desk is still a nightmare. I really think once we get a properly-sized book shelf in the room, I can move the books there and then figure out how to organize all of my stuff. Problem is, I haven't gone through all of it yet to decide how it should be stored so I know what kind of containers to store it in, except for our acrylic paints... they look pretty...

This, of course, means getting ALL of my stuff from the attic, sorting through it (which is a good thing), throwing out or donating everything that I know I'm not going to use, and then deciding what to store everything else in.

I'm thinking of using a mix of wire, woven and cloth baskets along with metal and glass canisters. I've been saving the cans from all of our canned goods we've been using so I'm hoping that some of them will be useful. Maybe covering them with twine would be pretty.

The ultimate goal is to be able to get everything out of my big plastic storage bins that they've been in for years, get rid of what I know I'm not going to use, and actually start making things again. I'll admit, I'm not the best crafter out there, but I think I'm good enough that at least my friends/family/dog will be okay with it. Not sure what we'll do with the plastic bins (they're super helpful for lots of things, so we won't get rid of them) but having all of my crafting stuff "out" and where I can easily get to it will be helpful.

Let there be (bathroom) light and shelves!

Remember when I painted the bathroom... like... over the summer? We had to take down the vanity light and in the process it broke. As in, needed to be replaced.

I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up a third bracket for my kitchen shelf project (for added stability, more on that later) and I decided that having a vanity light would be a good thing since it's dark most of the time I'm home now and I'd like to be able to see my own face on the mornings I put makeup on.

The cheapest light I found was actually a sconce light, but it was the right size for the space so I thought we could give it a go. If we didn't like it, or it just plain didn't work, we could always return it and get something else. I could have gotten the same fixture we had for the same price, but it was really boring and plain. Sometimes that's good, but right now our little bathroom needs some "oomph!"

I really like it actually. It's different from most of the other vanity lights out there and it provides plenty of light to do what I need it to do. For now it's fine the way it is and looks really nice. Once we have a better idea of where we're going with the bathroom's color palette it will be easier.

I've also been thinking more about things we can do to "work with what we have" and make our lives more organized in the process. One option we talked about for quite some time was to try and have the plumbing re-routed so we could move it to the alcove area and make the area it's in now a double sink. I realize that the cost of that would be, well, a lot. Not to mention there would be no place for the cat litter box (very important!) and it would be incredibly expensive.

So, my thought (now) is to take our old vanity out (it's one of the cheap ones and the top is cracked really bad) and install a really nice pedestal sink (which is about the same price as replacing the vanity top). In the weird little cubby area, I'd like to build a built-in linen cabinet that has space under it for the cat box. This would be super helpful because it would store our towels, washcloths and other bathroom supplies.

We also put together some shelves in the bathroom (see I told you it was going to become an obsession!) and overall it looks really nice.

I think I might add two more shelves because that middle shelf looks a bit crowded and I'd like to add some decorative stuff too. I also need some storage baskets too... (I think some wire ones with either burlap or white fabric would be nice)

There is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done in there too (crown molding/trim, and the eventual replacement of the tub and a complete redo of the surround that involves actual sheetrock, along with fixing the subfloor and installing new tile), but that will take a lot of time/money and right now it's not a really something to think/worry about. Little things like storage, lighting and artwork are a little more our speed now.