Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dare to DIY, Week 3....EAT COOKIES!!!

Guess what time it is! Time for another installment of the Dare to DIY party over at the NewlyWoodwards! I hang my head in shame....I missed last week's party. My table was covered in everything EXCEPT beautiful place I just couldn't be there....but there were SO many wonderful ideas.

This week's dare is......DARE TO EAT COOKIES. Frankly I don't need anything remotely resembling a dare to eat a cookie....but after this Thanksgiving's feasting I really should. Phew.

For my cookie I decided on the "Fudge Filled Sandies". YUMMO.
New recipe, super simple, looks fancy. Love that.

Just a few ingredients, but very cute for the holidays.

You have now experienced the ONLY holiday decorations in my entire house. ACK!
Now hiring:
Personal assistant to completely neurotic
woman with far too many irons
in far too many fires.

This is the wonderful cookie book I got my recipe from. It's a must-buy for anyone on your list who likes to bake. Every page is filled with AWESOME looking recipes.
(It just so happens that the Clarence Friends of the Library are selling these right now! $9.99 each, $5 of which goes directly to upgrades for the library!!)
Fudge-Filled Sandies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
additional confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. light corn syrup
1 T. water
1 T. shortening
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and pecans; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll into 1" balls. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, made an indentation in the center of each. Bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. In a microwave or double boiler melt chips, stir in remaining filling ingredients until smooth. Spoon into cooled cookies. Yield: 4 dozen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Beautious Sink

First, on Saturday I was blessed with a countertop. THEN, on Sunday I was quadruple blessed with a sink....and running water....and a garbage disposer....and a spigot dedicated solely to FILTERED water. I've gone to plumbing heaven. My dad put in....oh....roughly 24 straight hours of toiling, backbreaking, icky, dirty, headache-inducing work to make that blessing happen however. I am forever indebted. (for many more reasons than just plumbing)
First of all, that pretty gleaming white piece of cast iron up there weighed more than I do.
I'm pretty sure...okay, well I did eat some Halloween candy today....maybe we'll say it weighed a vaguely similar amount to me. ;-)

Did you know this goes on the sink first? It's called plumber's putty. I had no idea. You learn somethin' new everyday, huh?

Then it got squished down by Dad.

Once the faucet was in place we lifted that behemoth into the hole in the countertop. Not an easy task while trying to avoid the caulk around the ring of the sink....and not scratch the countertop....and not just drop the whole show because it's like lifting a car up by one of it's hubcaps.

Dad fixed the weirdo plumbing in the basement. Originally the kitchen sink drained into a pipe that ran straight across the top there, then fell straight down. In fact it ACTUALLY ran UPHILL for a ways. UP.HILL. Add one wimpy Badger 1 and an uphill battle in the plumbing...well you get the picture. Dad fixed it it goes slaloming down into the sewer. Praise be.

The finished product. Wow. Wowwy. WOWZER.

This pretty girl sat in a box, in my basement, for six years. Uh-huh. SIX.YEARS. She deserved better for all her chromey beautifulness.....
SO, in conclusion......MY DAD ROCKS. Thanks go take a nap.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Counter Is in

The counter is in. I.LOVE.IT.

Jim worked SO hard all morning making everything just so.

Look at that was long.

Jamie and I stood around most of the time chatting.....trying to be helpful when we could.

The sink has a home.

Then we wrestled the beast into place. I must point out, this countertop goes from the west wall ALL THE WAY to the east wall. It had to be perfect...and it is. You couldn't wedge a piece of paper on either side. AH-MAY-ZING. It weighed about as much as a small sedan....and was a bit of a challenge to squeeze into place, but we did it!

Oh goodness, look at that gorgeous gorgeous thing. I may just sleep out there tonight and caress it's beautifulness. ;-)

ALL the way to the west.

ALL the way to the east.
One more check mark, complete. THANKS JIM AND JAMIE!!!!
Now, on to the sink tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Snowball is Rolling Faster

HYPERVENTILATING....HYPERVENTILATING....HYPERVENTILATING. I am in love with this stuff!!!! Isn't it pretty? Rustic Slate is its name, countertops are its game.
Two weeks ago I picked out a new laminate sheet...under pressure...with a less than helpful "associate" at the Dome Hepot. (hey I'm not getting sued by them for defamation!) He, the associate, was not aware there were different grades of laminate. I informed him that, yes, indeed there were and I wanted a specific grade. He argued. I told him again there were different grades. To which he promptly spun his chair around, picked up the phone and called Formica (to be able to say neener neener to me). To which, he had to spin that little chair back around, with his tail between his legs, and say that, yes, indeed, I was correct. :-P I just love it when that happens. he he he.
That order was in preparation for what would happen this week.....and will continue to happen through the weekend.

We got rid of this. Nice, huh? It hasn't worked in...oh....six months.

And this. My faux leather countertop.

And the weirdo snap-together switch/outlet cover combo thingy under the cabinet.

Dad disconnected all the plumbing from the underside of the sink. (Thank the lord for dads)

Have you ever wondered what the inside of your kitchen drain looks like? You can thank me later. And yes, it smelled as nice as it looks. EEEWWWWW.

Dad got rid of this...the garbage disposal from h-e-double-hockey-sticks. Do you know what the "Badger 1" does to food when you put it down the drain? Basically slaps it around a little and wishes it luck getting through the plumbing. Before retiring, my dad worked for a plumbing and electrical wholesaler, where, in fact, the lowest of the low end disposer they sold was the "Badger 5". Are you picking up what I'm putting down?
The new disposer could chew up 2x4's...I can't wait.

Bye bye weirdo sink with the teeny useless second basin and gross hard water faucet.

Hello new water shut off valves. There were none before. I know, my kitchen rocked.
Again, aren't dads the best thing in the whole wide world?

And more work by Dad. He also tore out the countertop.

Which was a whole other story. The kitchen mastermind that installed our countertop originally decided it would be AWESOME to attach the backsplash DIRECTLY TO THE BACK OF THE COUNTERTOP. Then, install it. Do you know what that means? There's no way to get the backsplash off without taking the entire countertop off first. Not only did they attach it to the back of the countertop....they did it with no less than SIXTY SIX nails and screws. And that was just on the back. There were more down the sides. Let's keep in mind that my kitchen is not as long as an aircraft carrier....just a normal kitchen. SIXTY SIX. They were approximately every inch...some closer. We're not talking any skinny minny nails either, no siree.
These were big, honkin', scary, rusty, ready-to-give-you-tetanus-at-any-moment, nails.

Okay, enough about the nails. Dad did manage to get the whole thing off, backsplash included. This is not the way I intended to reveal my cabinet paint job and new hardware...but there it is, have a look. I give my cabinets a big hug every morning now.
Now, no counter and no sink make meal preparations a tad difficult. I'm not complaing AT ALL...just sayin'.

Waffles to the rescue!

Okay, now the hyperventilating shall ensue. My dear friend Jamie and her dear father Jim (countertop guru) just showed up with my NEW COUNTERTOP!!!! Okay, it's not quite a counter yet, more like pieces, but it will be by the end of the day tomorrow!!!!!
Again, a little applause for the papas please!

More tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Ceiling? I was kinda getting used to this ;-)

Praise goodness....I almost have a finished kitchen. At least that's the one I'm going with. ;-) Trust me friends, you have never seen a grown woman so excited about insulation. EVER. The horrendous holes in the ceiling have all been patched and the insulation is up. My husband even screwed in a few drywall screws (while cussing under his breath) as I held those bugger sheets up there against the original ceiling. DIY is NOT the highlight of his life....but I just couldn't do that alone.
The drywall contractor has been called....a ceiling is imminent. I feel it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dare to DIY, Week One

Dare to DIY

This is week one of The NewlyWoodwards' Dare to Do it Yourself blog party! This week's theme is Dare to Be Thankful....Thanksgiving projects shall ensue!
This is what I did last year for the party.
This year I obviously have less energy. ;-) I needed a project that was quick and made from things I already trips to the big city for me this weekend.
Let's pretend my neverending kitchen project is finished and I'm ready to decorate....
this is a good start. ;-)

Meet Mr. Turkey and his little sign.

This is where it all began. Scrap wood in my basement...a chippy, dirty, nicely aged, painted board.

I cut two pieces off...and a few smaller scrappy boards to nail to the back to hold the two pieces together.

Fine craftsmanship, huh? ;-)

Next I needed a turkey. Making a turkey from wire is easier than you might think.

Here he we need to connect his beak.

Poor broken beak turkey.

Just hold him underneath your tea mug and solder his beak together.

Paint the words on the boards.

Sand the words back off.

Attach Mr. Turkey with a few tiny nails and there you go.

Easy peasy funky Thanksgiving art.

Feeling right at home in my kitchen.

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