Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Delights 2013

Here is a little Christmas cheer that is going on around our house. 

Christmas Tree via foobella.blogspot.com

Gingerbread house via foobella.blogspot.com

Jason decorated Gingerbread house. I approved. =)

Christmas Tree via foobella.blogspot.com

Christmas  via foobella.blogspot.com

I spy a little village peeking in the mirror.

Dickens Christmas Village via foobella.blogspot.com

This year's Dickens Christmas Village setup. 
Jason made a starry night sky background that I am in love with. 

Dickens Christmas Village via foobella.blogspot.com

Dickens Christmas Village via foobella.blogspot.com

Vintage Christmas Santa via foobella.blogspot.com

I love our tree, but I felt like something was missing. Something from my childhood.

Vintage Christmas Santa via foobella.blogspot.com

Then it hit me. Tinsel! I love tinsel. 

Christmas Tree via foobella.blogspot.com

Tinsel. Everywhere. 
I know I'm probably in the minority these days on the tinsel, but then I also love the big old fashioned colored lights on my tree, too. 

Christmas Tree via foobella.blogspot.com

Christmas hanky via foobella.blogspot.com

A sweet little Christmas handkerchief my sister included in her homemade Christmas card. 

Gingerbread house and Poinsettias via foobella.blogspot.com

I love poinsettias, and Jason found some at Lowe's last week for 0.62 cent a piece. 

Poinsettias via foobella.blogspot.com

Christmas presents via foobella.blogspot.com

pumpkin pie via foobella.blogspot.com

There is nothing better than the smell of pumpkin pie. 

Christmas baking via foobella.blogspot.com

I don't even mind the cleanup. As long as Jason is doing the baking. =)

Christmas tree via foobella.blogspot.com

Christmas tree via foobella.blogspot.com

I hope everyone has a wonderful and peaceful Christmas this year. 

For those going through hard times, be it health, family, money; I pray for better times for you and yours. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dickens Village Christmas 2013 And New Holiday Blog Banner

Here is a snapshot Jason took of our Dickens Village setup this year. 

Dickens Village setup Christmas 2013 via foobella.blogspot.com

So cute. 

For those following me in a reader, here is a peek at my new Christmas blog banner that I whipped up in photoshop. I love making banners for all occasions. It satisfies my basic creative urges. 

bella + blackstone Christmas blog banner via foobella.blogspot.com

This weekend I will post about our hallway flooring project. =)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brushed Nickel Knobs On My Newly Painted Laminate Cabinets


I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was full of great food and wonderful family and friends. 

Today I wanted to show you my painted laminate cabinets with their finishing touches, the brushed nickel knobs. And, wow, what a difference this makes. 
(Read more info on the painting process here.)

painted laminate cabinets with brushed nickel knobs via foobella.blogspot.com

painted laminate cabinets with brushed nickel knobs via foobella.blogspot.com

I thought the cabinets looked great before, but this just brings everything up a level and really makes the kitchen look complete. Unfortunately, I could not put knobs on the two doors on either side of the stove because they need to open completely to allow the small drawers inside to be pulled out. 
It really bothers me, but it is what it is. 

painted laminate cabinets with brushed nickel knobs via foobella.blogspot.com

painted laminate cabinets with brushed nickel knobs via foobella.blogspot.com


Kitchen before and after. 

bathroom laminate cabinets painted via foobella.blogspot.com

We also painted both bathrooms with the same color as the kitchen (Eiffel Tower by Olympic) and installed the same brushed nickel knobs.

peel and stick flooring redo via foobella.blogspot.com

And here is our next project. The hall floor. If you've followed me long enough you might remember a little incident with my water heater going kaput and water everywhere. 

hallway redo via foobella.blogspot.com

Of course, I learned after the fact, from my brother-in-law, that I really didn't need to pull up the carpet, and that it would have dried out just fine, but I'm glad I did anyway. This will be a nice little update to the condo. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Painting Laminate Kitchen Cabinets. Done!


We did it! We finished painting the kitchen cabinets and it looks great.

painted kitchen cabinets

The color is Eiffel Tower by Olympic.
Read more about the process here.

Remember what we started with 
painted laminate kitchen cabinets

and in progress 
painting kitchen cabinets

and now 
painted kitchen cabinets

painted kitchen cabinets

painted kitchen cabinets
painted kitchen cabinets 

Next up. Install the door knobs, and then onto the next project. The hall floor. 

(Update: see the completed cabinets with knobs here. )

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013 and a Spooky Story by Emily Carroll

Spooky Halloween from foobella

Just a little spooky fun with photoshop using only the tools available within the program. 

I miss decorating for, and scaring the trick-or-treaters.
We don't get any here in the sticks, so I don't do much for the occasion.
Though, I do have some candy just in case the few kids in the neighborhood come by.

Halloween Collage

I also wanted to share a web comic with you from the amazingly talented Emily Carroll, called Out of Skin.
I love everything she creates. Her illustrations are amazing, as is her storytelling.  Click the image below to read the story. It's wonderfully dark and gruesome, and a perfect Halloween treat.

Out of Skin by Emily Carroll

A safe and Happy Halloween night to you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Painting Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 

We are finally getting around to fixing up what needs to be fixed up in my condo, starting with the kitchen cabinets.

When I first moved into my condo a few years ago, this is what the kitchen looked like (above). Laminate cabinet doors with solid wood "handles". No knobs or pulls. I hate them, as do probably most people. 

laminate kitchen cabinets

The first thing I did when I moved in was to tear off the laminate surface, which is just a thin layer of off-white plastic. I hinted about it here. I would rather look at the particle board surface than the white laminate doors on wood cabinet bases. And I lived with that for far too long. 

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

This is what we did this weekend. We took down all the doors and started painting the cabinets, and I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It is so much easier than I thought. Well, Jason may not feel that way, but I do.

I dreaded the idea of sanding the cabinets, so instead, we bought some liquid deglosser from Lowe's and I just wiped it on the cabinet bases and then wiped it off with a damp cloth. So easy, and no worries about removing everything from in the cabinets and getting dust all over the place.  This product takes the shine off the surface so the paint will adhere. Jason started sanding all the doors outside. Since they had the laminate on top of them, which I had peeled off, they had a texture from the adhesive, otherwise, we would have used the deglosser on the doors as well. 


I waited about 30 minutes after deglossing, and then I painted my first coat of Olympic self-priming semi-gloss paint in Eiffel Tower. Jason says "it's gray" and blah, but I love it, and it was the second paint chip I looked at. I liked it, and that was that. I wasn't about to waste time looking at colors, hemming and hawing. It's nice and neutral, yet warm.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see from the false drawer front under the sink what the particle board fronts looked like without the plastic laminate. Jason has yet to sand this board, that's why it is not yet painted.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see the "handle" of the door to the right in the picture above. I actually bought some brushed silver knobs to add to all the doors and drawers because I so dislike those "handles".  This is not my ideal upgrade. I'd love to replace the doors completely, but we are going for the least expensive fix with the most impact, and paint it is. I have no doubt it will look 100% better than before, so I am not sweating it. (Yep, I still have a tube TV. And I have a record player and cassette player, too. What can I say? I'm a child of the 80's and I just can't part with any of them.)

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

I painted the first coat on the upper cabinets Saturday and the second coat Sunday. The bottom cabinets so far only have one coat. I think the trick is to let it dry completely overnight. I know people get antsy (as I usually do) to wait a short while and then put on the second coat the same day, but I think waiting overnight, at the very least, really helps it to adhere to the surface.  

Also, I found that using a brush on the cabinet bases worked best, while Jason used a small foam roller for the doors. We used the cheapest we could find and it worked well for us.

For the smallest spaces and to get the inside edges of the cabinet bases, I used a small flat artist brush.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

Jason put one door back up so we could get an idea of how it will look. Not bad. I can't wait to get them all done and put the new knobs on. We are also using this color in both bathrooms, which have one coat of paint so far. Jason sanded and painted all the doors. So, just one more coat on the bottom kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and all the doors. Then, attach the knobs and on to the next project; the kitchen and hall floors.  

I must say, getting started on a project like this is the hardest part. Once you get going, the momentum just carries you along, and I found I actually enjoyed it. A lot. I found it very relaxing, and I was excited to get back the next day to continue painting.  At least that's the way I feel. Jason might have another opinion. ;)

Of course, I'll be back with more pictures when it's done. 

(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 
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