Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Out with the Old, In with the Old" Week Recap and Playing with Blocks

Baltimore,


It has been a very exciting week!  

My hubby was interviewed for his pit beef knowledge for Rachael Ray's Every Day Magazine.  I believe the article hits newstands in July, so I really hope he hasn't given away our famous dry rub seasoning recipe or I'll have to stop putting people though to his private line.  I suppose we will have to wait and see.

The Etsy Recycler's Guild Team is growing rapidly. I'm so pleased that more and more wonderful Etsians care about promoting green, selling vintage, and repurposing items into art.  I believe my team has doubled in size in just the few months I've taken it over.  I really love it and met some great people.  On my team I have such talented people, including great artists, fab vintage sellers, book authors, and even a one famous fashion model! 

I picked up this wonderful set of vintage blocks from Sushipot on Etsy, in her parts store.  I love her she is amazing.  Not only is her art so wonderful and innovative (check out her new collage pendants) but you wonder where she finds all this super cool stuff.  You don't see full sets like this come along too often.  I should really STOP shopping and playing and get back to work.



I've also been practicing my little girlie drawings after taking Suzi Blu's class.  Trying to teach an assemblage artist to paint and draw is like putting a bull in a china cabinet, but I'm trying and getting pretty creative.  I have to work on the uneven eyes though. Hey, I used to draw blobs now I just draw scary faces, it's a step up!


The kitchen....FINALLY !!!!!!! Mr. Taco, my friend and painter keeps saying, "Out with the Old and in with the Old" because he knows I'm trying to be totally green when doing renovations around the house.  With that said, we finally completed the kitchen. 

We took out everything, cleaned it, painted, and put everything back.  Cost:  Time, existing cleaners.

Now, I really wanted the Amana Green Tea (Energy Saver) Fridge (RIGHT) but you can't order it until April and it's going to be a wee bit expensive.  (I was on a quest for a retro fridge until I saw those funky old lookalike the 50's fridges by Big Chill that average around $3000 and I am not spending that much on a fridge!!!)

I was so happy when I found out my local Lowe's had Amana's in fashion colors on sale for $599 (there is a maroon red, fashion blue, silver, etc.)  The sale price is the average cost of a new fridge.  My fridge is from 1987, (LEFT) and deep freezes everything. Not to mention how much energy am I wasting?  Because I think the Green Tea (RIGHT) is going to be priced much higher than the sales price of the other colors I decided to paint my fridge and wait it out.  (Yes, you can paint the front of an old fridge,)  Okay, so it's NOT as cool as the GREEN TEA but at least it's GREEN!

The second-to-hardest part was scraping 50+ years and 5 layers of paint off the kitchen cupboard handles. That took forever and there were a lot of them.  I had spare handles but of course, the holes weren't in the same place, go figure.   They were still shiny silver underneath so I was pleased.  Cost: patience


I sold some appliances I never used to help a friend in need.  I then gave away some free overstock clutter (extra dishes, mugs, cups) on my local Freecycle, making the cupboards nearly bare but less clutter. Cost : Made $$ for my friend, nothing like doing a good deed to help another.

We used a light green throughout the entire house, to brighten it and set it off but a daker color inside to draw your eye away from the imperfections that exist.   Cost: paint from freecycle.


As for decorations, I used what I had, and the fact that we will use these bowls in every day cooking, (except the uranium orange Fiesta) this will keep them moving, and washed all the time, keeping down the dust and forcing me to dust those hard to reach places.  I did manage to sneak in some of my block collection around to spruce up the kitchen.  Woo hoo.   Cost: zero


Also hubby didn't say anything about my wonderful Tinkerbell meets Marilyn Monroe display.  The ivy was from the dollar store and the stove was the top of an old bulk trash stove found in Baltimore City.  I was in love with the clock and of course meant to get it out of there, but couldn't.  Marilyn was given to me by one of my good friends Patrick, she was a thrift store find. The scale I bought long ago at an antique shop, I love it.



Sales from my vintage shop on Etsy helped me get this wonderful butcher block island from Ikea to go into the hole in our kitchen.  I was a wee bit alarmed when I was walking through the marketplace area and saw what appeared to be real animal skin rugs.  I kept looking at them thinking, no, it can't be, NOT IN IKEA, or PETA would be all over this place protesting.  They were $249 each and I can't find them on their website to see if they were or weren't.  Mr. Taco thinks they were some kind of faux fur but I'm telling you they felt like horsehair or calf fur.  Since I'm not a vegetarian I can't complain, though I would think it be odd f it was real fur you know?  Has anyone seen these rugs in Ikea?

So, for some reason, the 'ol kitchen was built without adequate prep room, (maybe in the 20's they didn't eat much) but now we have it so I'm glad.  Unfortunately, both Mr. Taco and I ended up spending 8 hours trying to put it together and worked into the wee hours of the night.  Thus, the hardest part of the re-do.

The Ikea book was written in 12 languages but all pictures and no words.  After we put it together the first time, we had to take it all apart because the vertical drawer face boards were backwards. In the book there is little man scratching his head and calling Ikea.  That is exactly what we wanted to do but they were closed by that time.

Then, after putting it back together again, we almost cried when the top counter butcher block part would not fit.  We had to take it to my husband's workshop and have him chop the butcher block by 2" because we measured wrong.  To make matters worse, my husband chopped it down crooked, (still not sure how that happened) so we had to sand an edge down to get it to wedge in.  After I thought I sanded enough, I wedged it in.  Needless to say it is stuck and it's never coming out.  Whoever gets this house is getting this piece of furniture :)   Cost: $$$, lots of frustration, tears, time, and some consumption of alcoholic beverages which led to slight hangover (the alcohol was fermented because it had been in the kitchen so long, but at least  I could finally read the directions and at least laugh at the little man scratching his head.)

Hubby is happy with the new colors and cleanliness and lack of clutter.  I'm happy I got to keep some of my old antiques--we are now working on other parts of the house.   Here are some teasers.



Old blow-mold rocking horse was out for bulk trash in Baltimore City, a dog gnawed up it's legs.  I had to have him.  He was free and probably would still be sitting in a landfill. He is a keeper and blends in well with the fancy dining room, suprisingly.

Strange bannister, baluster, what? Does anyone know?  I love it though. Definately chippy paint.   Wrapped in an old art deco belt wtih rhinestones, and donning an old horsehoe, I just love it and have perched my indoor birdhouse above it.

Needless to say, I'm offing all my other great stuff like this cool tin horse head and old dress form on Etsy soon.


Exciting news, I'm working on a new site called Design-Swag. Check it out! http://Design-Swag.com
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