Some of the Best Solutions are Very Simple.

My inspiration from Swedish Interiors.

 

I fell in love with this book.

 

Same house from the kitchen photo above.

 

Some of the best solutions are very simple.  Part of the mandate of my kitchen remodel was to keep the existing lower cabinets.  However, they were construction grade, big box, off the floor cabinets that possessed neither quality or style…but I had to make them work on a budget.  One idea that crossed my mind was to mine the Internet looking for door and drawer fronts and while there were some at reasonable prices, there wasn’t anything that would fit my very modest budget.

The solution was to clad the existing door and drawer fronts with a simple bead board fascia and paint the cabinets.  A leak under the sink had bowed out the two lower cabinet doors so the budget conscious solution was to use a fabric curtain.  For continuity, the same fabric that was used for the roman blinds was also used for the sink curtains.  It took very little time and helped salvage drab cabinets and give them some character.  The cherry on the sundae were the over-sized, vintage, reproduction glass knobs.  Total cost for bead board and new knobs/pulls: $43. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Love Always,

Cindy

Before.

After.

Result.

 

 

Antique Find: The Delicate Workhorse

 

I found this lovely gem several weeks ago in Downtown McKinney and it has quickly become treasured and useful.  Engenius in its’ own way with telescoping supports that allow you to straddle it over a sink so it can do the work it was intended for, yet it stays out of the way when you want to use the sink otherwise.  My new found favorite.

The Vintage Food Strainer.

Delicious Loveliness.

The Almost Delicate Work Horse.

Let me know what you think!

Love Always,

Cindy

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Great Cottage Style: Gooseneck Bucket Light

 

I am absolutely mad for this:

From Napa Style.

Click here to get to Napa Style.

Click here to get to this lamp.

Love Always,

Cindy

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Featured In…

 

The lovely folks at Whisperwood Cottage featured my kitchen in an article about window treatments.  Click on the icon below to see:

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Love Always,

Cindy

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Spice and Extract Storage

 

Nature's Colors.

All the Spices in a Row.

I am a creature of convenience.  So when I remodeled my kitchen, I needed to store my collection of spices and extracts in a way that was easily accessible.  For years I have used tins for spice storage and kept extracts in their original packaging.

I intuitively wanted glass containers for the spices and new lab bottles in amber color for extracts and put the oft used salt and pepper in vintage squat Kerr jelly jars.  The spices themselves are in what are generally used for…wait for it…specimen jars.  Just typing that makes me chuckle.

But seriously, the jars have a certain heft and elegance about them and I like their weight and feel.  Being able to see the spices in glass jars (versus opaque tins) has a practical application, too: I know when I am running low by simply looking.

I store my measuring spoons separated by measurement because I find I use them that way.  Tucked near the spices and extract, their placement is perfect for the way I cook and bake and navigate in the kitchen.

I made the shelves to keep things neat and organized and made the labels using Kraft paper labels.

Hope you like it.

Love Always,

Cindy, Lillie and Samantha

As a post script, I am submitting this article for consideration for a feature in Cottages & Bungalos.  Stop by the blog when you have some time, there are some terrific entries already:

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It’s New to Me: www.fishseddy.com

American Glassware fishseddy.com

 

I really love this online shop.  Some whimsy mixed in with straightforward home smallwares.  I am particularly in love with their glassware section and the mixture of uniquely american styles of cakestands, bowls and serving pieces.  It’s now a bookmarked store and a new favorite.  Check it out here.

Hope you think so, too.

xoxo,

Cindy, Lillie and Samantha

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DIY Pendant Lights

Completed Lamp.

Completed Lamp.

 

Lighting had always been an issue in my kitchen but since the renovation had a strict budget…I had to be very creative.  I needed some lighting over the new peninsula and the solution seemed to be to swag the lighting over from the only ceiling junction box in the kitchen.

All the pendant lights that I looked at, even the simpler designs were budget busters…so I resorted to making my own when I came upon some hurricane globes at Michael’s.  The shape of the globes really spoke to me and I already had an idea to use some rustic, vintage, scalloped tart pans as an embellishment to hide the wiring.

Including the globe, lamp parts and wiring, each of these lamps came in at about $11 each.  I also spent $10 on a special drill bit that was used to drill the hole in the bottom of the globe.

If you want to try a project like this on your own, one thing to look for are glass vessels that don’t have super thick bases.  Thicker bases can take 30 minutes or so to drill through and they can fry your glass drill bits. If you find a beautiful glass vase or vessel that has a thick base that you simply must use…take it to the closest glass shop. They will usually drill the hole for you at a cost of $15 – $25 per hole.   It can get a bit pricey…so just a fair warning from the voice of experience!

xoxo.

Cindy, Samantha and Lillie.

As a post script, I am submitting this article for consideration for a feature in Cottages & Bungalos.  Stop by the blog when you have some time, there are some terrific entries already:

[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]

[hana-code-insert name=’Half Banner’ /]

Nature’s Rubies

Nature's Rubies

 

Dough Crossing.

 

Kneadful Things.

 

Three smaller loaves for sharing.

 

Ready for the oven.

 

Deliciously crusty and golden.

 

Heavenly.

 

I love this recipe because it can be made on the spur of the moment because it doesn’t require the pre-softening of butter or leaving eggs out in advance.  I make one substitution to the recipe below, using craisins instead of currants.

Besides cranberries (or craisins) I love this recipe because it uses orange, one of my favorite flavors.

This is an Ina Garten recipe.  As usual, she makes great impact with few ingredients.

Enjoy!

xoxo.

Cindy, Lillie and Samantha

Orange Cranberry Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried currants

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.  Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough.  It will be very wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf.  Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a baking rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.