Archive for January, 2011

Kitchen Cabinets (Part 2)

January 29, 2011

So I have removed all the upper cabinets’ doors, and removed the panels out of them.  Well, I have now painted the upper cabinets.  There was no real science to it.  I prepped the cabinets by cleaning and sanding them.  Then I primed and painted two coats, sanding between coats with a fine (220 grit) sandpaper.  The inside of the cabinets I painted white because I was afraid that the frosted glass would show differently if some were darker on the inside.  I painted two coats of white but that didn’t quite cover it completely.  I’m not too worried though because it IS the inside of the cabinet.  If I decide to get anal about it later I can always add another coat.  Anyway, they turned out nice! I am happy with it.

Kitchen Cabinets (Part 1)

January 25, 2011

This is the first installment of many for my Green without a lot of Green Kitchen Makeover.  I am currently in the process of renovating my kitchen.  I appreciate the “Going Green” trend and I will try to incorporate as much green into my kitchen as possible.

First of all here is a couple of before pictures of my kitchen.

Don’t mind the mess.  So far my plans include refinishing the kitchen cabinets.  Now I figured that being green involved salvaging these hideous cabinets and turning them into something good.  For some time, I have thought about painting them.  I wanted to paint them black but my wife had other plans.  So we compromised…she picked brown.  It is fine with me, because I am cutting out the center panel and replacing it with frosted glass.  I prefer opalescent because my dishes are a bit of an eye sore and I think that the glass will serve a dual purpose: very decorative yet covers the ugly dishes. 

Furthermore, I added a few cabinets.  To the left of the oven I added an 18 inch upper and lower cabinets, as well as a cabinet over the refrigerator.  The over-the-fridge cabinet and upper, 18-inch cabinet were donated to me by a friend of mine because he completely renovated his kitchen.  Instead of going to a landfill they are going to my kitchen.  As for the lower, 18-inch cabinet, I tried to salvage one from a local thrift store and didn’t have any luck. It was just too nasty.  The wood was beginning to rot on the bottom.  So I was forced to purchase one at Menards.  It was on sale for only $55, but it was totally worth it.

Last weekend I removed the center panels from the doors on the upper cabinets (the lower cabinet doors will just be painted).  Basically I used a 1/4-inch router bit and a router to removed the inside lip of the groove that the panel rested in.  Once it was removed the panel just popped right out. 

I first made a rest that the router ran along (see below).  I then clamped the door to the worktable to ensure that it didn’t move. 

I finished all four sides.  There were a few staples that held the panel in place, but other than that it just popped right out. 

I felt this was a very easy project.  I tried to be a lackidaisical and quick as possible, and I didn’t screw anything up.  One thing I did learn was to let the router cut the wood for you.  I tried to rush it a few times and it nearly split the wood frame in places where it shouldn’t be split.  I nearly ruined the door.  Just take your time and you’ll do just fine. I had 8 doors and it only took me about and hour and a half to get all the panels out.

Next on the agenda for the cabinets is to prep them for paint.  To be continued…

Ravelry.com

January 21, 2011

I have recently joined the ranks of a website called Ravelry.  It came as a result of me trying to knit a pair of gloves.  I was having major problems with the knitting technique.  After all I am new to this art.  So I solicited the help of my friend Brandy who is a knitting guru.  She is amazing! Anyway, I shouted out to her on Facebook and she replied literally within 5 minutes with links to videos and other website.  She later directed me to Ravelry where I became a member. 

Now.  With all that said, I joined Ravelry which a website dedicated to crochet and knit art.  There are tons of patterns, forums and tips for you to hone your skills in the craft of yarn.  I am also a member of lion brand’s  website which is great for learning the arts with helpful videos and articles.  The only problem I have with lion brand is that their patterns are generaly lame and old fashioned.  Ravelry offers patterns that are up-to-date and more modern. 

Also, the interface is very user friendly.  It is easy to navigate.  You can easily find the pattern that you looking for in no time.  Unlike other websites where you have to read endless numbers of links before you find the one you’re looking for, this site allows you to narrow your search with criteria such as garment type, knit or crochet, whether the pattern is free or you have to pay for it and whether the pattern has photo with it.  Finally the best part of the site is it is completely free. 

So get off your tails and sign up for Ravelry!

Kitchen Update

January 17, 2011

I am planning on redesigning my kitchen.  I enjoy the thought of a “green” kitchen and I am trying to do it on a budget.  With a one-year-old and a limited income, I definitely have to consider using my money to the max.  I plan to do all the work myself.  I am researching every project from the internet to books from the library, and I feel that this will cut costs big time.  I don’t have a set budget because I will simply work as I can afford supplies.  Also, my father has a large shop that is full of useful tools and gadgets that are at my disposal.  The only thing is I probably have to sit and visit a while if I come over and stake claim on half his tools.  No problem!

Some of the biggest changes are going to be categorized into four major projects.  The first project is the cabinets.  Currently I have ugly oak cabinets that are builder grade.  Nothing fancy.  First I am going to add a few cabinets between the stove and refrigerator.  Also, I have decided to paint them a chocolate brown color.  I am planning to remove the center panel out of the upper cabinets and replacing it with frosted glass.  Actually I thought about inserting plexiglass.  Plexiglass is light durable and easy to cut on a table saw.  If you sand the plexiglass with a very course sand paper and an electric sander you get a simulated frosted glass look.  Lastly, I will replace the hardware with brushed nickel pulls.  These cabinets will definitely give a modern touch to my kitchen. 

The second major project is the countertops.  I have always wanted concrete countertops.  I think they are so original and they look so sleek.  Plus, they are so customizable.  I will experiment on the 18-inch cabinet between the fridge and stove, then I can hopefully move up to the rest of the countertop.  This idea is still in its infancy.  I know that this is a feat in itself so if it doesn’t work then I will simply have to fork out the dough for a new countertop.  It is worth a try though.  Plus, the one that we have now simply will not work…period.

The third major project would be the wood floors.  I would like to put cork floors in but I think that would be a little too expensive.  I actually found on Craigslist and man was giving away 500 sq. ft. of wood flooring that came of the old Indiana Pacers gym when they were still in the ABA.  How cool would that have been! I didn’t get to them in time.  Someone else gobbled then up.  I want to put wood flooring in the adjacent living room and will probably just continue that to the kitchen.  Until then, I will continue to look for Indiana Pacers ABA gym flooring for free!

The last major project will be the back splash.  I actually have been considering making my own glass tile out of green glass beer bottles.  Basically, I would remove the top and bottom of the bottle, leaving just a glass cylinder.  Then I would cut it vertically into fourths.  And, Viola! 1″x3″ tiles.  I figured that I would need 12 six packs of Dos Equis to do this project, which is well worth it to me.

Finally, I plan to replace light fixtures, paint the walls a taupe color, and install a lighted pot rack over the kitchen sink.  I think this is going to make the kitchen look great and I hope that you join me in my journey.  Also, if you have any comments, please let me know.  I would love to hear what you have to say.

New Patches

January 10, 2011

So I thought that I would stop the patch-making business because they are so tedious.  Plus, my fingers hurt after ever session of embroidery.  However, I made two more patches.  I made a Honda patch for my brother for Christmas this past year and I just had to have one myself.  In 2007, I bought a brand new 2006 Honda VTX1300C.  I immediately called him and told him.  Then about two hours later I was heading down the road and I saw him on a motorcycle.  Turns out he had gone to the same dealer and bought a 2006 Honda VTX1300C in charcola grey.  Mine was burnt orange.  So, we have that kind of bond.  We both love motorcycles and riding them.  Fast forward to 2011, he still has his bike.  He has put several new updates to it: exhaust, air intake, mirrors, saddle bags, etc.  I sold mine in 2009 so that I could pay for my house that I live in now.  Long story short, I love Honda motorcycles, and I wanted my own patch.  I also made another patch with a duck on it, and it says “the Flying V’s.”  This signifies my last name which starts with a “V” and ducks fly in a V pattern.  You might remember the old Disney Movie D2: The Might Ducks.  Anyway, these are my patches and I am planning on making a few more.  I was thinking along the lines of a duck riding a motorcycle.  We’ll see.