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And Then She Finished It

Was the kitchen-curtain-anticipation killing you? I’m sure it was. Sorry about that! Continuing:

After I pinned all the seams, I sewed them! I used a sewing machine, since sewing them by hand would have taken me ten years and resulted in very messy stitches. Sewing machines are surprisingly easy to use, even for a novice like me.

sewing

My seam isn’t even that wonky! (Try not to look at all the cat hair. There is a price to pay for Toby’s help.)

not so bad

Once all four edges were seamed, I measured the curtain rod (2 inches in diameter), and cut a three-inch strip of fabric to sew onto the back of the curtain for the curtain rod to slip through. I gave myself an extra inch so I could seam the edges and still have room for the rod to slip through.

Why does that sound dirty?

After I seamed the edges on the strip of fabric, I pinned it to the back of the curtain.

for the curtain rod

Then I sewed it all together! And then I realized that somehow I managed to make it a quarter of inch wider than the curtain itself.

oops

A bummer, but very easily remedied by folding and hand sewing the extra length into itself. I tried to take a picture of that, but couldn’t get the camera to focus in. But who cares, right? It’s fixed! No one will ever know I f*&%ed it up.

And that was it! That was the end! The curtain was finished! And also too narrow for the window. (Apparently width is not over-rated.)

kitchen curtain

I’d been aiming for a much more gathered look, which, as I discovered later when I googled “how to sew a kitchen curtain,” can only be obtained when your curtain is at least twice the width of your window. Unfortunately, mine is only about six inches wider than my window. I was super disappointed when I realized my error, but it’s started to grow on me. Mike and I aren’t really very ruffle-y people anyway.

I DIY’d it.

did it

I re-covered the kitchen chairs. Finally.

I adore them.

Kitchen = Love

So I lied about having unpacked our last four boxes this past weekend. I didn’t lie about unpacking four boxes, I really did that, but the other day I found a fifth box hiding away in the kitchen cabinets. There were five boxes, not four. And actually, there might be a few more hiding around here somewhere, I have no idea. Mike says if we find boxes we didn’t even know were missing we shouldn’t bother to keep the stuff in them, but I say he should not speak poorly of our beloved … items. Whatever they are. Anyway. That’s not what this post is about. This post is a kitchen update!

Remember when I said I wanted to start a collection of vintage everyday dishware for the shelf over my kitchen window? Ask and ye shall receive!

vintagey

Oh, can you not see all the way up there? Here. Let me show you a close-up:

collection

I know! I know! Isn’t it cute?? I love it so much that when I see it I squeal like a girl. I have my mother to thank for practically everything up there. Each item is either vintage or antique, and almost all of it has sentimental value. If you click over to my flickr page and mouse over the photos, you’ll see I put notes over everything for anyone who might be into that sort of thing. Mike’s priority task for this week is to put a lip on that shelf so when we get a good ol’ California shaker we won’t lose all of those pretty things to the inevitable nasty fall.

kitchen

I love our kitchen. I really do. These photos don’t do it justice at all. For one thing, it looks way more cluttered in the photo than it does in real life. The photo sort of looks like a mess, but in person it just looks cozy and wonderful. And all of the items sitting out are things we use on an every day basis, so it’s nice that they are so easily accesible. See?

cute not cluttered

Not cluttered! Cute!

Here’s a photo of what the kitchen looked like the last time I posted. The changes since then have been small ones, but we think they’ve made a big difference:

sideboard

There is so much that we would love to do to this kitchen if we owned this place. For one thing, we’d replace all the cabinets. I don’t know what we’d put in, but it wouldn’t be that. Then we’d paint the walls and of course we’d put in new counters. But I think the first thing we’d do, before we did anything to the ktichen or any other room, is rip out the carpeting and put in hardwood floors.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate our carpeting? (It’s awful.) But I love our kitchen!

Continuing Efforts

Before we get started I would just like to say, for the record, that I loathe and despise flash photography. At least the flash photography that is the fruit of my Olympus Stylus 600‘s loins. So I no longer use the flash, but instead choose the “available light” setting, which allows me to take grainy, furry photos that sort of capture a slightly more realistic, warmly-lit appearance. At least I think so.

Moving on.

Here’s our eat-in kitchen as of tonight:

sideboard

You may remember it from these photos, which were taken three weeks ago. Sort of a big improvement, no? There are still things out of place, but it’s coming along. The shelf over the kitchen window, for example. It’s really too high for our cook books, which is what we started putting there. I think we might start a collection of vintage everyday dishware and display it up there. Not sure yet.

The counters look really messy in this photo, but that’s only because Mike made me fresh lemonade (a current obsession of mine) and I didn’t bother to clean up before I took the picture.

You can see we added a sideboard behind the table! I love it. This has been Mike’s room to decorate, and he went and picked that baby out all by hisself. I married a man with good taste, I did. I think there’s too much stuff on top of it, as well on the wood shelf above. Alot of it is stuff we’re going to hang on the walls, so maybe once that’s done I won’t feel so claustrophbic about those shelves, but we’ll see.

On the  lower right of the photo you can see the plastic bin under the sideboard where we keep clean rags. I want to get two really nice baskets to replace the bin. One for clean rags and one for dirty. Something a little more attractive than a clear plastic bin.

They’re not pictured here, but the seats on the chairs need to be recovered, and Mike wants to buy enough fabric so that I can make a matching curtain for the kitchen window. We’re thinking yellow stripes? Blue stripes? Yellow and blue stripes? (Mike has his heart set on something stripey.) Do you have any ideas?

Sidenote: The yellow straw pear-shaped placemats that hang above the sideboard belonged to my mother’s sister, my namesake, Patricia Frost. They are straight out of the sixties. The copper canisters and the copper pans all came from the house my family lived in when I was born. The table and chair set were given to my mother by my father’s father’s girlfriend, before he remarried my father’s mother. It’s been in my parent’s home, my cousin’s home, my brother’s home, and now it’s in mine.

Here’s the utility side of the kitchen. It’s pretty much done:

stovetop

The red spice tins in the spice rack to the right were my grandfathers. They’re over sixty years old and so are the spices inside them! The trivet over the spice rack hung on the wall in the kitchen of the house I was born in. The tea towel hanging on the bottom of the spice rack is a vintage Florida souvenir tea towel my mother gave me. It’s sprinkled with the names of all the cities in Florida. It’s fabulous.

Our little kitchen is a collection of treasures and relics.