Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wrensday: Checking Out The Chickens

One of the things I love about living at Brown Wren Acres is opportunity to teach my grandlittles about nature. 

Our first little grandgal is fascinated by the newest group of chickens we raised from peeps.  She's not quite sure if she likes them, but she can't take her eyes off of them.  They are in our portable chicken coop that we move around the yard. 

These Buff Orpingtons are almost ready to go into the big pen with the older hens.  They should be laying eggs in a week or two. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Playhouse Story

Once upon a time a family bought a house that came with a wonderful little playhouse attached to the deck. 

The youngest daughter in the family was married in the backyard of the home and used the playhouse as a backdrop for some of her wedding photos.  Read all about the wedding here.

Alas, the family's children were already grown,  so the playhouse was used as a storage shed for all of the grown children's old toys.  You should also know that the mother of the family (aka "Honey")  had a tendency to hoard sentimental things.  She could not help herself but she is much improved now.

It also housed folding chairs and Papa's  hammock - anything that didn't have a home somewhere else.

It was dark, crowded, and spidery.

So one day Honey had a great plan - have all of the grown children come over (dinner was promised) and insist they go through all of their old toys and get rid of any they didn't want to keep for their own children.

The plan worked and even provided time for some grandlittle interaction. 

The grandfellas always wore their boots when visiting in case running around in the mud was on the schedule.  They had a great time checking out all of the toys that their mother had played with as a child

As it started to get dark, all that was left to go through was the mountain of Barbie stuff.  The event was moved into the house.

The grandfellas wondered what all of the pink stuff was about.

The next day, with everything out of the playhouse, the family could see what the building was all about.

Honey took one look at the ceiling and shouted to her son, "Son, get me a crowbar!"  Being a wise son, he suggested that maybe a cordless screwdriver might be a better solution.  And he was right.  And he did all of the work.

Little by little, the drop ceiling came down along with insulation that was full of ant nests, spiders, and all kinds of bug poo.  Yuck.

After the gross stuff was cleared out, Honey got out her amazing vintage paint sprayer and started spraying the entire interior of the playhouse.  She was especially happy to be using up all of the half used cans of paint from the garage - simply mixed together in a 5 gallon paint bucket.  Honey loves free!

As the last two walls were getting their first coat, Honey was disappointed to find that she had burnt up the motor of her vintage paint sprayer.  Bummer.  The process had to be finished by hand.

After a second coat of paint, Honey put only the favorite toys back into the playhouse.

A shelf made by Papa many years ago held toys and bins.

The large bins in the corners held wooden blocks and matchbox cars with car ramps - all necessities of grandfella playtime.

The family's three generations were happy with the improvements and the youngest ones played happily ever after.

* Papa plans on putting in an additional window to let in more light and a play rug is ready to be installed. The table and chairs will be transformed with paint and fabric, and a few additional storage options will be added.   Updated pics will soon follow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Finished Kitchen Remodel

Yes, we survived the kitchen remodel and I'm back to blogging again - I hope.  The kitchen has been done for about 6 weeks now but between my camera breaking and some glitches with loading photos into blogger, I've been an absentee blogger.  A big thanks to those of you who were concerned about me and checked in on me.  

So. . . do you want a tour of the new space?

A few months ago, my kitchen looked like this. . .

And this. . .

And this. . .

And there was a window looking down from our upstairs bedroom. . .

Then we decided to remodel and went through this for awhile. . .

And some of this. . . 

The room was finally starting to take shape.  

And then we had this!!

I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the island.  I really liked the functionality of the piece, but it was too busy and too white.  My new cabinets are a vanilla color and the white island was just stark.  

I'm very happy with the beams now that I've adjusted to them being different than the picture in my head.  It pays to listen to the pros.  The board and batten walls are wonderful - no more popcorn ceiling/walls in my kitchen.  Also notice that there is no longer a window looking down from my bedroom into the kitchen.  It's closed up on both sides.

 After much thought, primer, and paint I'm happy with my decision to keep the island but make it fit the kitchen.  I removed the fold out counter and all of the extra hooks and towel holders attached to the island.  I patched the holes and primed everything with an oil based primer/stain block.  Then I painted it with 3 coats of my favorite black paint and added matching hardware.  I also sanded down the counter top and stained it darker.  I'm on the look out for an old table top that I can replace it with, but for now it works fine with a beeswax finish.  

I'm very happy with the end result.  All of my dishes fit into my kitchen!!

The built in hutch is what you see when you first walk into our home from the foyer.  I wanted it to be a welcoming site.

I really like the punch of color that my favorite green stool adds.  

I have a vintage door in the garage that I am refinishing to replace the hollow core door leading to the utility room.  Speaking of utility rooms, it needs a remodel.  Yes, you know how it is, one remodeled room instantly makes the rest of the house look bad and leads to more remodeling.  It took us 7 1/2 years to get to the kitchen. . . I wonder how long it will take us to get to the utility room.

  Shhh. . . I have a plan. . . don't tell Hubs!