Thursday, August 15, 2013

over-cabinet decorating and other random things...

One of the main reasons I wanted to update the kitchen was to get rid of the soffits.  Me no likey soffits.  I think I'd be OK with cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, but those big empty boxes that are up there for no reason, Nope.

I've always been intrigued to see how other people choose to decorate above their cabinets and now that we all have Pinterest, stealing ideas was never easier :D

I made a board and spent some time looking at what other people have pinned or liked and added things to my board.

Some ideas were right up my alley and others fell short.

I was cleaning up the basement last night and I thought I'd throw together some items that I could use above the wall of cabinets.  Not sure they will all stay, but it's a good start.

So, let me explain my items.

A few years ago, Jerome and I had our front entry rebuilt.  The only things we kept from the original were the door and the lower half of the side lights.  We kept the lower half because it had an integrated shelf on either side, which I really liked.  Good for holiday decorating, otherwise they are left empty.

When the woodworker pulled off the old side lights, I kept them, of course.  I've had them in the basement all of these years, leaning up against a support pole.  Well, I was hoping that I could use one of them as a background for my vignette.  I wasn't sure it was going to fit, but it did!  Just barely.  Then the decision of whether to use the side that was painted white or the side that was painted pea green.  So, for now I've chosen the pea green side.  Pea green was the trim color that the previous owners had on the house.


The item closest to us is a metal basket that we found at Jerome's grandmother's house in Fulvy, France.  Jerome's grandmother hadn't lived at the house for a long time, but it is still in the family.  The basket was sitting on top of a pile of (most likely) stuff to be thrown away, in a shed in the back of the property.  I GRABBED IT!  And asked my husband if he thought it would be OK to take it.  He thought it would be fine and so I did.  When we showed it to his parents, I think they scratched their heads.  Later during the trip, my Father-in-law asked if I wanted him to use a wire brush to clean it up.  That was nice and I agreed.  

This type of basket is sometimes thought of as an egg basket, maybe even used as one but my In-laws said it actually is a salad spinner.

For the last couple of years, I've had it as a decoration in the living room but thought it might be better served on display up here.  Inside I have some dried hydrangea blooms from my garden and I have a fabric ribbon around the handle that also came from France.

Next up is the cast iron naked lady.  This was the property of the previous owners.  They left it behind with many other treasures.  All these years, I've had it in the exact same spot as they had it; at the entry of the back door.  A little surprising and shocking for some people coming to visit - to be greeted by a naked lady with her legs splayed.  Well, come to find out, this is a boot remover.  You stand on her face and use her legs to take off your boots. It's called a Naughty Nelly Boot Jack and one just sold on eBay for $150!  I think I'll keep her.

Then I have a bunch of vintage glass bottles, some that I've found at one of the houses and others that I've purchased at garage/estate sales or antique type shops.



This is one of those terracotta Romertopf roasters, you soak it in water and then you cook your chicken or pork and the water steams what you are cooking and I guess it is supposed to be pretty good.  This was my mother's and it has never been used - to my knowledge.

Finally, a little metal wine bottle holder, holding a bottle of wine in the shape of a cat.  The metal baskety holder was a gift from my Mother-in-law.  The cat wine, I think this was something that was on sale at our local grocery store.


This is another display over a different cupboard.  Most are my mother's items and some come from my grandma DeYonker.  When grandma died, anything that I took from her cupboards, I marked with "C" for Clara.  That way whenever I used the item, I would see the "C" and think of her.  It works.

So, what do we have here?  Back left is a flour sifter, back middle is an old Clabber Girl Baking Powder container, back right is an Androck nut grinder/chopper ~ mostly my mother's stuff.

In the front (left) we have a butter box that I got for free at The Lamb's Tail Antique Shop in Armada, MI.  A couple of years ago, the owner put out a table of things that wouldn't sell so that people could just take them.  I thought it was cute.  I tried selling it on etsy, but later I thought that I'd rather keep it.  Middle front is, you guessed it!, from my grandma - a spice tin of Thyme from Frank's spices and right next to it is a small bottle of yellow food coloring.  This is most likely my mom's since it doesn't have a "C".


As with any renovation, you find stuff that was not yours.  These items were found between the refrigerator cabinet and the lower cabinet to the left of the fridge.  I believe many, if not all of these items are from the family who reno'd the kitchen the last time.  They would be the Stone's.  Everything here seems to be from the early 90's.


There was one other item that we found in the walls.  It's a small hand tool with a red handle and a curved blade.  A scraper of some sort.  This would have been from when they first built the house in 1947.  We actually used it while we worked on this remodel.

Oh yeah, we also found a ton of wooden matchsticks that were used.  They were embedded in between the slats of the original wood floor.  Not sure if they were there because the workers were chain smokers or if they were being used to fill in the gap of the slats.  As I think I've mentioned before, a friend of ours said that he can tell by the amount of burn on the end of the matchstick that it was not cigarettes that the guy was smoking.  Rather, it was most likely a pipe.

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