Sunday, March 24, 2013

Our Great Wall Of China!

The next room I would like to invite you to is the dinning room.  (Although there have been changes in the eat in part of the kitchen since our last visit!)   Not a lot of organizing tips in here to share but I can show you how I can mange to keep all the dishes I love and not appear too cluttered. You may feel otherwise but it works for us.  To start with I will have to tell you how the color scheme as well as the huge built in cupboard came to be.
   When I was a little girl at the age of 8 I told my Non Non I loved her pretty blue dishes and asked when I grew up could I have them. (  I told you how I inherited my love for dishes from her in an earlier post. )  Now bear in mind that these were her everyday dishes that we were eating off at that time.      She packed them away that day and and gave them to me as a wedding gift!  I cannot tell you how much they mean to me.  All the more shocking is that they are still my taste!  (I wouldn't want to use a lot of the things I loved as a child!)  But these dishes sparked a passion for collecting in me.  I get a warm fuzzy looking at them remembering meals eaten from them at my Grandmothers table. She was an awesome cook!  They are blue and white Staffordshire transfer ware by Clarice Cliff.  I added to the original set over the years but know the ones that came from Non Non's house.  I planned the whole dinning room with them being the star!  Choosing the color for the walls and cupboard  to compliment them.   When I asked Mike to build the big cupboard, he  asked this big?  I would reply " bigger!" Until he built it as big as would fit.  His brother saw it and teased us calling it the "great wall of china!!"

 This is a room all about family, from Non Non's dishes to all of the meals we share there.  We will cram as many chairs as we possibly can squeeze around the table so that we can eat and pray together.  Making memories for my family!   I hope Mollie, my gran daughter, say's to me someday......Nonny, I love your dishes!

 Good storage for other antique china!

 The corner cupboard is the oldest antique we own circa 1790 and houses another problem, I mean collection!
This little jelly cupboard is a cherry reproduction built by the same man we commissioned to build our bed.   It holds my Grandchildren Mollie and Andrew's snacks.

Thanks for coming back and allowing me to share what keeps my heart in home!  Be it ever so humble there truly is no place else like it!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kitchen Contentment 2!

 I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to the kitchen so to speak.  Only in the blog world though because it feels like I have physically been in  it a lot lately!  My daughter and her husband were in for a visit from Illinois and we had several family dinners here.  She and her sister also took a girls week end getaway to New York so we were babysitting as well.  All the kind of things that make this mother happy! (But tired too!)
 Mike and I have taken on another do it yourself project  of enclosing the small back porch of our dinning room. And we started this endeavor on the very same week! (Crazy aren't we?)

  I am going to try to share more ways that I have made our love of antiques and collectables function better in our home.  (I say try, as I have already posted one blog today and somehow me or blogger did not save it properly and I lost it! ugh)
 Although the eat end side of the kitchen is not full of clever ideals of storage an organization it works to hide all the things that I need today to prepare meals but maintain the colonial/prim decor that I so love.

I love this old walnut 2 board farm table.  It has one drawer and part of its original blue paint. The splits and old nails do not bother Mike and me a bit, we eat here most often when it is only the two of us.  My son teases that you have to find the perfect spot for your plate not to rock, but the splits are handy to hold your steak knife! lol

The walnut corner cabinet is the newest addition to our home.  It is from upper East Tennessee and stayed in the same family until the dealer we got it from acquired it.  When all the doors are closed (like in the picture with the table)  the kitchen appears uncluttered and tidy. 
 It holds or hides ( depending on how you want to look at it) another obsession of mine....dishes!   Another inherited trait from my Non Non!  I will share more about this love another visit.  One door open on the corner cabinet gives a peak at my transfer ware if I want to see it on any given day with out over whelming the eyes with all of them open.

 The pine one door piece was once a built in from New England and is home to most of my small appliances.  The walnut church pew is where everyone sits and visits with me during meal preps.  I love that!  Although the bench has changed through out the years, I have always had one in my kitchen.

 The pine cupboard will be moved to the new room when it is finished but will maintain its same purpose.
It holds almost all of my small appliances as well as mixing bowls.  I put simple cup hooks on the back of the door to hold all of the measuring tools.  Keeping them handy with the mixers and bowls.
This stack of firkins hides all of the kitchen decor such as fake fruits that I am not using at the time.  Easily found when I want to change what is on the table.
Although all of my butter molds and treen ware is out in plain sight grouped together on the shelf makes it look good to me.  The shelf over the window holds my copper kettle collection in the same fashion.

Lastly, I will share Mollies cabinet.  I rarely neaten it as I get a "warm fuzzy" seeing it as she left it!  My Dad built all of his gran-daughters one. (They all still have them.)  Mike patterned one from it and built one for our house.  I cannot begin to tell you how many cups of tea and coffee she has prepared for us here!

 Thanks so much for coming!!  I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my kitchen and that you drew a bit of inspiration from my sharing how living with antiques keeps my heart in  our home.   Be it ever so humble there truly is no place else like it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kitchen Contentment!

  I am so glad you have came back!  I want to take you to the kitchen and share some of my "work smarter not harder"  makeover.  I am sorry that I do not have before pictures. ( Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be sharing this journey publicly!!)  But I am sure it is not hard to imagine, you know....ever so slowly opening the cabinet door so the plastic containers do not fall out?  Well, that was how it was here anyway.  I remember one time in particular hosting a church dinner and thinking I was on top of it because I had put out a couple of pie servers before hand.  Imagine my surprise as well as embarrassment as I squeezed into my small kitchen filled with guest going thru what seemed like a sea of drawers looking for more pie and cake servers when much more desserts showed up needing them  than I was thinking.
  I started with going thru and getting rid of things that I did not use that much.  Some I donated and some I trashed.  There were a few things like Moms turquoise mixing bowls that I knew Amanda was eying so I passed them on to her.  Once again I thought of the things worth the splurge to help my kitchen work better for me.  And tried being resourceful in solutions.
  Sure I would love a huge dream kitchen that had all of the bells and whistles that you see on tv but alas I live in the real world where doing things yourself and on a budget is the norm. I am blessed with a sweet husband who is very handy and if he can (with in reason) will try to build what I come up with.  But since regaining order,  I can truly share that I am contented in my small kitchen and it works just fine for me now!

 This is the cooking side of my kitchen.  Our cabinets are married some from the house being built and some added in remodels over the years.  We used paint and trim to fool the eye.  There is a tutorial that Country Sampler published on how to do this when our home was featured in the Christmas 2011 issue.

 The black cabinets on the counter Mike built to resemble Antique spice drawers.....

Hide the microwave and coffee pot.

The pantry boxes stacked on top keep things like tea bags and splenda easily at hand.

This is an antique bobbin box that makes a great place to store our knives.

The pots and pans rack were a bit of a splurge at Lowes but so worth it.  I have them in almost all of my lower cabinets and they work great!  It is a lot less expensive than buying new cabinets made like this!:)
 Love the under the sink caddy, on the other side is a matching trash can rack.

I got my grandmothers corningware off of the top shelf and put it where I can get to it easily.  Somethings cannot be improved on....oven proof, dishwasher safe, straight from the fridge to the microwave!
I found this expandable silverware drawer very reasonable at Marshalls
Just an example of how every drawer in the kitchen functions now.

One of my favorite organizers is this spice one from Walmart made by Rubbermaid .(It was only around $14.00.)
Being vertically challenged the pull down function is awesome!
Another use for mason jars as well as a carpenters box tray.  Don't judge us too harshly, we are the spoiling kind of grandparents here!  You could easily put healthy treats in place of the candy!  You may not get the big smiles and hugs we get how ever!!lol
A five dollar piece of sheet metal glued onto the back of a cabinet door keeps things tidier on the outside.
A  great chocolate box Mike found me one day at the flea market keeps some of my wooden bowls from looking too cluttered

This is the back side and shows how I keep all of the salt and pepper shakers in an old cheap cheese box.  I cant stand how the pepper grinder leaves pepper every time you set it down, this way it stays contained to the box.

     I will share the other side of the kitchen next time if you are interested.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing my contented little kitchen and found something useful to take with you. Thanks again for visiting  our it ever so humble, there truly is no place like it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Taking Control!

  The last six years have been a roller coaster ride in the Jenkins home to say the least.  Some great events and others extremely hard for us. Our first grandchild  Andrew was born in September! By the following summer Dad got so bad he had to go into a nursing home.  The next two years brought graduations for our son Curt and our daughter Beth as well as her wedding to a young man we loved!   It also brought three miscarriages for our daughter Amanda.  The sudden heart aneurism suffered by my Mother N Law with a fourteen day vigil in ICU left us all shocked at her passing. Amanda got pregnant again and had a very hard but successful pregnancy.  ( The result was Mollie!)  But during the pregnancy my  Father N Law, who had never been sick a day in his life, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  All of his four children and their spouses shared staying with him, taking care of him and seeing to the needs that this awful disease encounters.  He held on long enough to hold Mollie who was born the 2nd of November and  losing his battle on Dec.11th.
    Less than a year after Buddy died Amanda (as many of you know) was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and a very aggressive kind.  One of the hardest things this mother ever heard.  The whole year was a struggle, seeing her go thru chemo every two weeks. The doctors felt as aggressive as her tumor was she needed an equally aggressive treatment.  Several surgeries all the while a mother herself with two little ones at home.
     She had hair just in time for Curt's wedding to our sweet daughter in law this past July!
 I do not share all this with you to get your sympathy.  We serve a loving Father who showered us with much more Grace than sufficient to get thru it all.  And He made sure to rain down the Blessings as well!!
    I tell you because there are so many big things in all of our lives that we have no control of.  I started reflecting on what I could do to regain some in my life.  Believe it or not it started in the bathroom!  Don't worry ,not my reflection, just the starting place of regaining control!
    Our home had accumulated so much stuff!  To the world it may had looked tidy enough but I knew too well the secrets hidden under the bed,behind closet doors,and the dreaded basement!                                     We both love antiques and collecting, that along with a small antique business that we quit had left us strangled with stuff.  Not to mention children growing up leaving the nest and wanting to store their things here!  Did I mention our love of antiques and collecting?!!          
    I have a passion for jewelry as well. It is not all my fault, Mom says I get that from my Non Non, her mother. (Yes, that's my story and I am sticking to it! lol)  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I did not bother to wear a certain piece because I did not have the time or want to to look for it.

     So one day I decided enough was enough, there had to be way to combine a love for antiques and things of old with a new purpose to restore order in our home, and I have!  I can now tell you where every piece of jewelry I own is as well as all the make up it takes to be me can be found. I do not care if you peek in the drawers or behind cabinet doors! I will even show you starting with the pie safe that once belong to Mike's mother!

 Some things I felt were worth the splurge such as the acrylic boxes that I got from Amazon where I can see everything.  Other things such as the inexpensive stack able food containers work great!

 This   is an antique hanging tool box that I talked Mike out of.
Inside what was once meant for hammers,screwdrivers,and such makes a great storage for bathroom needful items!
A carpenters tote and old canning jars I thought was a pretty way to have my soaps and bath salts handy!
A prim table with a stool,another carrier with the jars hold cotton balls,q-tips,and makeup pads. (This is where the magic happens, I sit here to put on my face!)
 The shelves I made using old drawers my fil gave me from a job he did refurbishing an old building in Clinton.  I also try to put towel rods and hooks any where I can get by with it.
 I kept with carpenter theme and used an old saw box to store hand towels.

The sink vanity everything has a place.  (Simple enough that even Michael puts things back!)

 The shelf over the tub may not look great but the curtain hides it from view from the bedroom, it holds everything we need for bath time.
More needful s  have a hiding place in the bottom of the corner cabinet.
I put things that are alright to see behind the glass doors.
 (In case you have noticed all the soap in back up, yes I am a bit obsessed with that too!)

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of our master bath, because it really started the organizing ball rolling here at our house. Making life easier and a lot less stressful for me.  Maybe you too can get inspired and figure out something you can regain control of.  I will be sharing more of making our home work better for us, if you are so inclined,  please come back.  Be it ever so humble, there truly is no place like it.