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October 2013
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December 2013

4 posts from November 2013

my birthday presents

I bought myself some birthday presents...minis for the English Cottage Kitchen.  I decided to decorate for Christmas, since the deadline is in December, and though I've decided not to meet the deadline and enter the contest, the thought of Christmas remains.  

There is no better way to create an English Christmas than to buy from English craftswomen...these are from the very talented Lucy and Gillian at abasketof...except for the trees and wreath, I picked those up at JoAnne's. 


I haven't decided yet if I'll keep the table as is, make it a bit taller and paint the base gray, or remove the items and relocate them onto a marble topped island I had planned to build for the kitchen.




The turkey was a gift with my time I build a stove I'll have to place the turkey inside and light the oven to show it off.

I had hoped to be done with the stones by now, but I had some kind of stomach flu last week.  I missed a day of work, didn't go to the gym, and didn't work on the house.  Yesterday I spent the day in front of my television because it was The Day of the Doctor...I couldn't miss that!  I was thinking I'd get back to the stones today, but I am, quite frankly, bored with egg cartons.  I'm going to sit the house aside and play with decorating the tree or making Christmas candy instead, I think.  Besides which, Ester isn't ready to give me the egg cartons my mom dropped off for me, she's been lounging in them.


progress report

I'm still working away at the English Cottage Kitchen.  Putting the egg carton stones on is more time consuming than I expected.  Each row, inside and out, takes almost two hours.


I haven't done much work on it the past couple of weeks, I've made some lifestyle changes that are resetting my clock, so to speak.

After I got back from my trip to St. Louis it took me days to legs were far more sore from walking around the city sightseeing than I felt they should have been at my age.  I decided it was finally time to stop tossing around the "I should join a gym to get back in shape" spiel and actually do something about it.  Additionally, the pear shape my formerly lean body has settled into over the last decade is really bothering me...I used to feel sexy, now I feel dumpy...I'd like to feel sexy again.

I stopped eating processed sugar (there was a very good article in National Geographic in August) and started working with a personal trainer in a functional fitness program.  I work out three mornings a week, before I go to the office.  I love it and hate it.  I have more energy, my mood has improved, and I feel stronger already, but I hurt....I really huuuuurt.  I spent last weekend on my couch, moaning....I watched the first season of Dexter (you're right, Susan, I like it) and napped a lot....found this on my camera this morning when I downloaded the house update pic.


I'm not as sore right now as I was this time last week, so unless this morning's workout is exceptionally difficult I anticipate being active this weekend.  I'd like to get a few more rows of stones on the house...and I need to get the dead foliage in my garden cleaned up, it started to snow already this past week.

Because I am redirecting so much time and energy into me I decided not to enter the Creatin' Contest this year.  I am going to finish the English Cottage Kitchen at a relaxed pace, have fun, and enjoy the build, instead of rushing to meet the deadline, which is only a month away.

Cedar Kitchen close-ups


I wish I had better close-up pictures...I broke my little camera, and I can't fit my big camera inside the kitchen.


The apron on the back of the door was made by LugartPetit, and the apples in the basket by Little Time Wasters.  I made the sink by painting the back of a piece of plastic packaging, and insetting a grommet for the drain.  The dishrag is from my best friend Susan.

I made the spice rack and the little jars of spices.  The pepper shaker, and the accompanying salt shaker, which is on the counter, were made by CountryMini.  The other bottles are mass produced pieces, picked up at miniatures shows.

The cucumber and tomato slices were made by Little Time Wasters, I only canned them; the bowl of potatoes on the back corner of the counter were also purchased there.  The utensils were picked up at miniatures shows.  The coq qu vin prep board came from Abasketof.

the Cedar Kitchen

These first three photos are the ones I entered in the contest...

CK A 2013

CK B 2013

CK C 2013

The exterior is clad in real stone and wood shingles, stained with Zar brand, cherry, because it was the closest thing I could find to cedar.  The windows are made from 1/8" thick plexiglass, and the open side has hinged plexiglass doors, to keep the dust out.  To accomodate the thickness of the windows and both the screen and storm door, the house was constructed with two kits to double the thickness of the walls...the wiring and the hinges sit between the two layers.

CK D 2013

The kitchen has a gas range, lit range hood, french door refrigerator, wine cooler, porcelain sink, custom cabinetry, built in dishwasher and open shelves.  I built them all.  None of the appliances, cabinet doors nor drawers open, all display is on the visible surfaces.

CK E 2013

The table and bench are refinished antiques (they were in poor shape when I bought them), I built the odd shelving and window seat.

The walls are papered with scrapbook paper; the window shades, pelments, bench cushions, fabric basket and punchneedle rug were all make from the same fabric, which mostly color matches the words on the wallpaper.  The floor is made from reclaimed oak strips, donated by my brother in law the builder, which I stained cherry to match the exterior, and left slightly uneven, to enhance the reclaimed look and feel.  The ceiling is painted white, with wooden beam's my favorite part of the kitchen.

CK F 2013

Though the lights were on in all those pictures it's impossible to tell, they didn't photograph in the sunlight.  There are 15 LED lights, placed to light the display shelves; they are powered by a 9 volt battery tucked inside the end cabinet....this makes the kitchen portable, as it doesn't have to be tethered to an electrical outlet.

CK G 2013

CK H 2013

The 15th light, in case you were counting, is the porch light, which I didn't photograph separately.

This weekend I'll post some close-up pictures and credit the artisans who made accessories.