Saturday, 23 March 2013

Thumbprint tree guestbook for a birthday

In between working on my kitchen, going to work and all the others tasks I juggle, I am working on planning my mum’s 75th birthday party next weekend.

I’ve long adored the thumbprint wedding guest books and decided to adapt it for a birthday. There is a free template online at One Fab Day that I used as inspiration.There are also instructions on how to modify the names/dates and print it out. Rather than printing it, I wanted it on a canvas. The organic shape lends itself well to those of us with no natural artistic talent :) I added  few ready-to-go thumbprints because some people just don’t feel comfortable leaving theirs.

thumbprint tree at

We are expecting 60-75 people, so it will be a nice full tree once everyone signs. The canvas is 16”x20” and was $5, two green ink pads and a sharpie for a few bucks and this frugal craft was only about $10.  I used my cricut and black vinyl to cut out the lettering; there was no way I was going to free hand it with my shaky paws.

I am cutting the last piece of the counter tops today. There have been a few hiccups in the install on the sink side of the kitchen because the new counter tops are a lot thicker than the old ones. The drain pipes are lower now and the faucet downpipe just barely fits the thickness of the new counter, yikes. Of course I didn’t even consider this when I bought these counters. There’s always something :)

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Sharing at:

PhotobucketChic on a Shoestring Decorating

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Kitchen progress – flooring is installed

Yipee!  I hope you aren’t all bored with my kitchen project just yet because it’s starting to come together. I have installed the flooring, the new cabinets and counter top on one side. The counters on the opposite side are a little more involved with having to cut out the sink opening, so I’m leaving that for another day next week.


The past week has been hellish because I had to remove not one, not two, but three more layers of flooring until I got down to the floorboards. In total I have removed five layers of flooring: porcelain tile, cement backer board, vinyl tile, linoleum and sub floor.

New sub floor was installed and then the Allure vinyl strip flooring in hickory. The process was time consuming and my knees are raw, but it wasn’t difficult. I used a utility knife to score the tile and it snapped easily. I had read from others that installed it how difficult it was to cut the pieces, but I found it easy and didn’t have to change my blade once.


There was about 10% waste that has to be factored in and I over quessed on how many boo boos I would make. I’m left with an entire box and 3/4 of left over. The test of time will determine if I will continue the flooring in to my dining room. I’ve heard that some people have an issue with the tiles lifting, I sure hope I did it right and that doesn’t happen to me.

I used my circular saw to cut through the Ikea Pragel countertops and didn’t have any issues at all. Now that I have the one side of counter tops in, I’m not so sure I want to go with the white subway tile.  The truth is that I’m not a fan of tiled backsplashes at all, but a kitchen looks unfinished without them. I’m not sure which direction I will go in just yet.

I can’t decide on a paint colour for the walls. I’m leaning towards a greige so that there is some continuity between the rooms. I want to be sure that there are no pink undertones and I don’t want it too grey either. Here are some colours I am considering.

BM (that’s Benjamin Moore, not bowel movement) Clay Beige


BM Natural Linen

natural linen

Or maybe I will go with a blue grey. I’m not sure why I’m obsessing over this, I’m a long way off of actually painting. 

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Spring is almost here, yay!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Kitchen progress–new cabinets

Things have to get ugly before they get pretty, so I’ve got some “in the middle of reno’s” ugly for you :)

In order to make my very small kitchen more functional, I decided to move my fridge next to the pantry. I don’t feel bad about losing this space, as no one ever sat at the desk that was there. I still have a work triangle, it’s just a much bigger triangle now.   The greatest benefit to moving the fridge is that I am going to have an entire 8 foot expanse of uninterrupted counter space. Visually it opens up the narrow area. It’s a construction zone, don’t judge LOL

One thing of course leads to another and I had this big gaping hold above the cabinet. I made a shelf that I attached to the existing cabinet using L brackets. I moved my diy herb crates off of the wall and put them in this cupboard to store my herbs, spices and frequently used items.  The shelf still needs to be painted.

I bought my counter tops and decided on the ika pragel counters in stone effect. Cost was the most obvious reason for choosing these, but also because I like that there is not a return at the back, nothing reads 1970’s kitchen like my old counters.
PRÄGEL Countertop IKEA 25-year Limited Warranty. Read about the terms in the Limited Warranty brochure.
My microwave has been installed!  I am having the electric outlet that was for the fridge moved up so that it is at counter height. Until then I can’t screw in the new cabinets or install the counters.

The new cabinet doesn’t match my old cabinets, but it’s not too horrible of a difference, I think? :0) The two bottom doors will be getting a little bling with some crystal knobs, once I am able to install the doors evenly.

And what’s been occupying most of my time this week? Tearing out the ceramic floor and cement backer board.  What a mess!  There is a coat of dust throughout my entire house! This is my coffee table in the living room.

Tearing up the floor was back breaking work. I came home from work on Tuesday and decided that today was the day. I got about half way through that night and had the day off of work on Wednesday to tear up the rest. There is nothing like hard labour to remind me that I’m fifty and out of shape; I could barely move afterwards. After I got the flooring and cement board up, I had to remove what felt like a bajillion 3” screws, the reality is that it was probably closer to 200!  The heads were filled with cement so I had to clean each one out with a small screwdriver before I could use my drill to remove the screws.

I’m going to be installing 1/4 plywood over top of the existing floor before I can start the new flooring. What I have there now is two very compressed layers of vinyl and lino, fortunately it’s been screwed, nailed and hammered in and is not going anywhere.

There is still lots more to do and slowly I am getting it done.
Have a great week.