Monday, November 30, 2015

TONIGHT on Early Work Mercantile...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Here's my last offering for 2015.

"Folk Art Christmas Goose"

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Be sure to stop by and see all the wonderful offerings in this talented group of artists.
Click on the banner below to go directly to my page.

It's also beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the ol' Countryfolk homestead. Although I am a little behind. I usually start Christmas decorating on Black Friday. But didn't start until yesterday.

This is my view as I sit at my computer and type.

"Well hello there, Gentlemen. Fancy seeing you here."

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Happy Cyber Monday, all!

:> )

Saturday, November 28, 2015

It is truly amazing how...

cabinet hardware can inexpensively change the look of your kitchen.

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The knobs are plain but have just a bit of old fashioned personality. I really like the depth especially for my "man hands."

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As far as the bin or cup pulls go, I decided to go with a (longer and narrower) Shaker style. I feel they have more of an authentic look. But it's basically personal preference.

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I kept all the original hinges. I removed them and spray painted them satin black.

I would have preferred to spray them matte black, but I could not find matte black spray paint anywhere and I mean anywhere.
I thought that was very odd. But hey... lots of things are very odd to me these days.
Have you watched the news lately??

I must give a plug to the gal I purchased the hardware from. I've bought all the knobs and pulls from her for my last three kitchen updates. She has quality products, is professional and is the faster shipper out there!! Click on the logo below to go directly to her site.

Last but not least... I'm waiting on the new gas cooktop and trim kit
(don't ask) and this kitchen will be complete. That is... for now.

Happy Saturday.

:> )

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The day before Thanksgiving I am...

cooking, cleaning, removing all kitchen cabinet hinges and spray painting them, (Yeah, I know. I really need therapy) mopping floors, loading firewood, vacuuming, baking, dusting...

And so begins the holidays.


:> )

Monday, November 23, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

What time is it??

I like wall clocks. I like wrist watches too.
I like to have a wall clock in every room. Sure, most carry a "smart" phone
(that's practically an extension of their body) so they always know the time.
Not me. I'm old school.

It just so happened I had two wall clocks finally cr*p out. They were nothing fancy. Just regular ol' wall clocks. I grabbed a plain, wood one locally, but I wanted something different for the kitchen.

So I hopped on the internet and starting looking for one. I'll tell you what... I couldn't find one!
Scratch that. I couldn't find one I really liked.

The pocket watch clocks are cute. But every one I saw either had "Paris" or "London" written on it. Well, this old farmhouse is red, white and blue and I mean that quite literally.
(Have you seen my decor?) As lovely as Paris and London truly are, it wasn't going to work.

So I was on a mission to find an Americana looking clock. I found some that had an American flag on it, but I wanted something a little more unusual.

Then I found it!
Thank you, Amazon .com!

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Kellogg's Corn flakes? Patented in the late 1880's? This is an 1800's farmhouse? Yessiree, that's about as Americana as I'm going to get. The colors are perfect too.

So not only do I love it, I now know when it's time to have a bowl of cereal... Or better yet, a cookie.

Happy Friday, all.

:> )

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Yesterday, November 18, 2015 I did something that is absolutely unheard of in these parts...

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I mowed!

Sure, most might pooh-pooh this. But when you live in the northeast, this is a big deal!!
We're usually shoveling snow right about now!

It's all about the little things in life...

Happy Thursday!

:> )

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kitchen cabinet hardware...

When I was repainting my kitchen cabinets I was undecided whether to have white cabinets with contrasting black hardware. Or white cabinets with satin nickel hardware. I decided to match them with my kitchen faucet and go with the satin nickel.
I also wanted the bin pulls for the drawers, but my sweet hubs talked me out of it. I don't know why I listened to him because I love the look of bin (cup) pulls.

Well today I was rummaging through some boxes and came across 4 black knobs I had for another piece of furniture. So for sh*ts and giggles I pulled off a few of the satin nickel knobs and replaced them with the black to get a visual.

What do you think? Is it too much contrast and I should leave them be?
(The hinges would be black too)

OR should I run as fast as I can to Home Depot to get spray primer and black matte spray paint??

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Happy Wednesday!
:> )

I don't have that many drawers so I think I'll grab a few bin pulls and swap 'em out. He'll probably never notice. Shhhh...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In the mood for some delicious Polish comfort food...

like golumbki but you don't have the time?

You know what I'm talking about. Those little rolled cabbage leaves stuffed with tasty goodness. Heck, even if you're not Polish, most love golumbki.
Note: Everyone spells it differently. This is how we spell it.

Well, I am going to share with you my mama's "lazy" version. It's more of a casserole.
Being 100% Polish, I was raised on this stuff.

So get your pen and paper ready. Or now it's more like get ready to cut and paste this delicious recipe because I whipped up a batch today.

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Lazy Golumbki

1 small head of cabbage (cored)
1/2 lb. ~ ground hamburger
1/2 lb. ~ ground pork
(or in a pinch, you can use 1 lb. ground hamburger)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 C ~ white rice
2 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup (undiluted)
(Since I am anti high fructose corn syrup, I prefer to make my own using tomato sauce and tomato paste. Seasoning it with garlic powder, and a bit of sugar. But hey, the canned soup works just fine.)
4 Tbs ~ butter
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the white rice as directed and set aside.
Brown the ground hamburg/pork with the onion.
(I drain off the grease) Set aside.
Slice the small head of cabbage into thin slices.

In a large bowl add your hamburger/pork, white rice and canned tomato soup. Mix thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 11x13 casserole dish alternate a layer of sliced cabbage, then a layer of hamburger mix, then another layer of sliced cabbage then another layer hamburger mix...

"Dot" around the top with butter.
I like to dot it all over with about 1/2 Tbs with each dot.
Cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour and ta-dah!!! Delicious Lazy Golumbki.

Ummm... Depending on how you "react" to eating cabbage, you may want to keep the windows open afterward. ((giggle))


:> )

Be The Light...

because there will always be darkness.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cows and cooktops...

First... the cows.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was waiting on another cow print (from another talented artist) to hang in my "new" kitchen.

Well she arrived today.

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She is totally me. Right down to her expression.

In case anyone forgot, this one definitely has my sweet hub's expression. ((hee hee))

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Now for the cooktops.

Today I took a ride into town to find the only dealer who carries Jenn-Air downdraft cooktops.
I was quite pleased with the quality of the unit, right down to the grills and knobs. The photos on their site make them look chinzy and don't do them justice.
It has a 17,000 BTU which I know nothing about since I've never cooked with gas. But from what I read, the BTU is good for a high output burner.

Since I have all stainless steel appliances (which I love), I thought a stainless steel cooktop would be wise. BUT the more I thought about it, I decided it's really not that wise. At least for me. I tend to "over clean" my stainless steel. Especially the first cooktop we had which was stainless.
"over clean" = accidentally scratch the h*ll out of it by trying to clean it

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The other choices are (porcelain) white or black. White is out of the question. As lovely as it would look in my countertop, trying to keep it shiny/clean will make me absolutely nuts. So I think it's best to pass on the white.

That leaves me with black.

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Hmmmm... I'd never think to buy a black cooktop. Then again the cooktop I have now is black. But for the amazing deal I got on it, it could have been purple for all I care.
Okay, that's a lie. I wouldn't put a purple cooktop in my kitchen.

Anyway, since my other stainless steel appliances have black accents and my kitchen in general has lots of black accents, I think black is the way to go.

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Now, if anyone out there has a black gas cooktop and hates it, please speak now or forever hold your peace. ((giggle))

Thanks in advance.

Happy Monday, all!!

:> )

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Electric vs. Gas (propane) cooktops...

Opinions please.

As often as we lose power in these parts, I've been kicking around the idea of replacing my electric cooktop with a gas cooktop. For us
no electricity = no cooking.

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Since we have no natural gas line out here in the sticks, it would have to be propane.
Truth be told, I've never cooked with gas. Well, I do use an outdoor grill, but I've never "cooked" with gas.

I've been researching them. Since I have a downdraft electric cooktop now, I'd like to stick with a downdraft gas cooktop. But was wondering if affects the flame and cooking time by a lot when in use. I priced the fancier individual downdraft vent hoods. Since my countertop area is small (having only a 30" cooktop), I don't have the room for it. I also don't have the room for an overhead hood vent.

I'm undecided on a brand too. There are not a lot of downdraft cooktops to choose from. When we moved in, there was an old (coil cartridge) Jenn-air cooktop. Even though it was a dinosaur, it worked fine until the fan STB. They certainly don't make 'em like they used to.

I replaced it with a newer Jenn Air ceramic cooktop. But as I'm researching gas cooktops, I am reading horror stories about them.
I am not a fan of any GE products so I'd prefer to stay away from them. I see Kitchen Aid has some downdraft cooktops too.

I would truly LOVE a high end Wolf gas professional stovetop. But I am a realist and I don't think it's going to happen. At least not in this lifetime. ((giggle))

So I would truly appreciate any advice you have regarding this subject. Especially the products themselves.

Thanks in advance!!

Happy Sunday!

:> )

Saturday, November 14, 2015

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

My sweet hubs can attest...

I had this exact same look about an hour ago when he decided to have a bowl of cereal.

:> )

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I'm done!

Okay, not really. I still need to swap out two more light switches. But it's close enough to being done.

Changing out the outlets and light switches were a big pain in the "you know where." I totally understand now why electricians get paid what they do.

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I am EXTREMELY happy with my Formica Soapstone Sequoia laminate countertop! The finish is fantastic and is a breeze to clean! YaY!!

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Here's the one seam. It's definitely not as noticeable as I thought it would be.

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Here's those pretty listello tiles and my new cast iron sink. I absolutely LOVE my new sink!!

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I have to admit it... This Kohler sink rack is the best 70 bucks I've ever spent.
Yes, I b*tched and moaned about spending the money on a rack. Hey I'm frugal, what can I say! ((hee-hee))

If you don't have one for your sink, you must get one!
Go ahead, I'll wait right here for you to come back. But make it snappy.

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As I looked around my kitchen, I couldn't help but think about all the changes I've made.
Come take a stroll with me... Here is how the ol' Countryfolk kitchen has looked over these past 15 years.

When we first moved in I immediately painted over the light mint green walls with a more neutral color...

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Then I decided to paint the cabinets barn red and darken the walls.
As much as I loved this look, over time I felt it to be a bit too dark and somewhat gloomy. So I had to lighten everything up.

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That I did! Next, I used the Rustoleum Countertop and Cabinets Transformations kits.
I also painted that 1776 Americana flag on my peninsula. It's still there. I couldn't bring myself to paint over it so I covered it with beadboard.

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Then I decided I wanted a white kitchen for more of a timeless, farmhouse kitchen look...

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Ooooh, I can't forget about beadboard wallpaper on bi-fold doors project and the tintile ceiling project too...

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But when the countertop transformation kit I applied started to wear, it was time for a new countertop.

That's where Formica's Soapstone Sequoia laminate countertop comes in!

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Man, over these past 15 years I've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this kitchen. But if I had to do it all over again, I would.
(And as often as I change my mind, I'm sure it will happen again. But we'll keep that between you and me)
I'm so glad my sweet hubs doesn't read my blog.

Happy Saturday, all.

:> )

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Only a little more left to do...

So no "big" reveal just yet. ((hee hee))
But here's a little something to share.

I love this new cow print. I told my sweet hubs her expression reminds me of him.
Especially when I tell him I'm starting a new DIY home remodel project. ((giggle))
I'm waiting for another cow print and the expression on her face is definitely me. I can't wait for her arrival!

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I have dubbed myself "The Queen of Caulk." When you have an 1800's farmhouse, it really comes in handy when putting up trim. Makes everything look smooth and even.
I'm thinking about using it to fill in the lines on my face and knees. ((giggle))

I still have to swap out the outlets and light switches. At the moment they are almond. They don't look right in a white kitchen so they have to go. I look forward to my sweet hubs teaching me how. When I mentioned it to him... Let's just say his expression was like the cow above.

So I hope to have it all done by the weekend. Yippee!!!!

Happy Wednesday!!

:> )

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Today is Election Day...

Rules are rules.
Now go vote.

:> )

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