If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kitchen Projects

During these bleak, wet, grey, shivery winter months I have tackled a few simple projects.  The first one started with Mike getting one of his wishes.
Nope, this wasn't what he said he was wishing for but...
(Doesn't Toby look like is is asking me if I can believe the size of that thing?)

Since we have lived here together, Mike has wanted a television in the kitchen.  He wanted it so that he could see the morning news while we are preparing and eating breakfast.  (He probably also wanted it in the mornings for company beyond my grumbly grunts.  I've never claimed to be a morning person.)  He also likes to have the TV on while we are cooking dinner to get the evening news.  Lately, he has been propped up between the chair back and the island to watch programs we have recorded and doze.  (He has been working long hours and 6-7 days per week and is tired when he comes in the door and collapses into a chair.)

I like having the news in the morning - especially the weather prediction.  I enjoy having the food channel on when I'm cooking dinner, too.  It was also great to have when we hosted the Super Bowl gathering.  Some of the crowd could graze the snacks and keep up with the play action.

When we first starting talking about having a TV in the kitchen, I envisioned a small one on the wall between the counter top and upper cabinets.  I saw something small and unobtrusive.  I thought it would be like a little picture on the wall.  Mike's vision was of something angled in the corner between the window and the china cupboard.  He saw something rather large hovering on an arm extending from the ceiling.  We fussed argued rationally discussed our concepts.  Then, one day Mike sought out Bryan and Jessica's advice - thinking Bryan would have a similar mindset to his and would be a strong influence over me.  Without hesitation - I mean, barely after Mike posed the question, Jessica suggested a thirty-two-inch mounted on the wall almost exactly where Mike wanted it.  I really don't even think she broke stride in her eating!  So much for gender support and girls sticking together and all that jazz.

So, we wound up buying a new (larger) television for the den and moving the one in that room to the kitchen.  See that reasonably sized television 32-inch screen television set sitting atop the antique dresser at the end of the room?  Well it was replaced by one that is more than ten inches larger in size that was in the photo at the opening of this post.  Major differences were made in both rooms of our house!

Where did the television pictured above wind up?  See the end wall in the picture below?  That became the home for it.

Interestingly, one of Mike's concerns was that he wanted to keep the decorative plates on the wall somehow.  So, there were a few little decorative moves that had to take place. 


 After the television was mounted, I decided I needed a large piece of artwork on the other side of the china cupboard to balance things out.  So, I trekked out to the local Goodwill, antique, and consignment shops in search of something large but fitting.  I could find nothing that was within my budget, blended with the rest of the country farmhouse kitchen decor, and fit into my spot.  (I know - that is a tough set of criterion to meet!)  I did get an idea or two, though.  I saw a couple of tin signs that would have worked but were a bit pricey.  I also saw a couple of pastoral prints that would have worked but were not within my budget.  I saw a few things that didn't seem to fit the spot.  The idea propelled me home to concoct my own solution.

Last summer my friend, Angela, and I stumbled across a wonderful clearance area in her local Hobby Lobby - some things were 90% off!  I got a couple of frames - one had a nice print and glass and one was just a bare frame with the thin wood back piece.  The empty frame came in handy for my new project. 

I dug around in my sewing room and found an old flour sack that I had been given years ago when I was still just a girl.  It was the year the Opryland Hotel first opened for business (when it was right beside the theme park Opryland).  Our state Holstein Association was serving as hosts for the national convention.  I was one of the folks who was responsible for working with the hotel to coordinate things like banquets.  So, at the end of one of those long days when I was winding through the innards of the hotel and working out some updates with the chef for one of the next day's banquets, he handed me an empty flour sack.  After all these years, it has become a beautiful art piece in my kitchen!

It seems to balance out the wall and it provides quite a conversation piece.  It required a bit of work for me to get it into the frame and looking like a piece of art work.  (That will be the topic for a future post.)  I'm also wondering if I should put a piece of glass over it to protect it...

Here is how the finished end wall of the kitchen looks now:

If you are wondering what happened to the other plates, well they are still hanging out.  I'll show their new roost in a future post!  What do you think?  Do the two sides of the wall look balanced?