The Ever Evolving Shelves Of Kitschen Glory #3

I have lots of blog posts planned to publish. I just need to actually write them first!

For the next few weeks my blog will be a bit higgledy piggledy, as I publish whatever is on my mind and floating my boat. There will be no schedule (is there ever on my blog?) and no connection from one post to the other. One minute I will be talking vintage, the next cycling, the next personal, and then there might even be another room tour!

Yes, we are in the middle of decorating right now. After a bit of a hiatus, we* are tackling the hallway and landing. We have ordered some new flooring which is being fitted next month and Rob is sanding up a storm preparing all the woodwork on the skirting boards, doorframes and stair bannisters ready for glossing. So things are a little chaotic and dusty right now, but it will all be worth it in the end!

I guess if you have followed my blog for a while, you probably won’t notice any difference! After all I have never really had any consistency on here, lets be honest!

And now, true to form, its time to talk Pyrex!

After acquiring my latest cinderella bowls, I had to have a little reshuffle in the kitchen. Here is a photo of how things look right now –shelves 3

I think this is the happiest I have ever been with the arrangement on my kitchen shelves!

For the previous shelves of kitschen glory posts see part 2 here and part 1 here.

*By we, I mean Rob, of course. As always!

The Ever Evolving Shelves Of Kitschen Glory #2

So I got my (fake) milk glass cake stand. I admired it. Took photos of it. Blogged about it. Thought about making a epic chocolate cake to display on it. But then stashed it away in a kitchen cupboard, only to come out again on special occasions.

No, I thought to myself, its far too pretty to be hidden away. So it was time to rearrange the ever evolving shelves of kitschen glory!

Before on 03/03/15 –kitchen shelves3.5 hours later on 03/03/15 –shelves afterPhew, is all I can say! I often try not to snigger when I see people describe themselves as stylists. I think how hard can it be to arrange a few nik-naks and hang a few decorations up? And people actually pay them money to do this?

But after hours of indecisiveness and faffing around, I finally settled on the current arrangement of vintage Pyrex goodness, kitschy animals, soup cans and knock off cake stand above. I am not 100% happy with the set up, but it will do for now. And most importantly, I will no longer be a mean girl rolling my eyes at stylists and now give them the respect they deserve!

The Ever Evolving Shelves of Kitschen Glory

I like to mix things up and restyle our tat objet d’art from time to time.

Here is how my kitchen shelves currently look…

kitchen shelves 3

With lots of Pyrex, my kitschy animal collection, three retro Andy Warhol soup tins (only 50p each in Morrisons!) and a Lord Nelson sugar canister. I would like to collect the full set. Only it might take a while as they are so expensive!

Here is the previous incarnation…shelvesAnd before that….new kitchen 1I think I might need a third shelf!

A Kitchen Helper

Last year I purchased an item that I hoped would make my life easier. I bought myself a magnetic blackboard for the kitchen.

Not exactly a revolutionary purchase I will admit. But wait until you read what I had planned to use it for, its a game changer!

My plan was to attach it to the side of our fridge and write on it exactly what I had stashed away inside our freezer.

Like most people, I am terrible at remembering what I have in my freezer. When I am food shopping I buy things that I have already stockpiled. Plus I am forever forgetting to get meat out of the freezer in advance for our meals, so often make a mad dash to my local supermarket to buy some fresh chicken breasts or sausages etc when I already have some in the freezer.

How stupid is that eh? Nevermind that I only live a ten minute walk from my local supermarket chain (so handy!) The whole point is that I am needlessly spending money each month on things I already have. And because of my disorganisation, food stuffs stay in my freezer for much longer than is recommended. I have a ready meal lasagne that has been lurking in the bottom of the freezer for around two years. Oppsy! Its slowly getting freezer burn and less and less appetising. And now that I have mentioned it on my blog, I am never going to get Rob to eat it!

What a waste of a crappy lasagne. I hate wasting food. And I really hate ready meals.

I cannot claim that the freezer chalkboard list is my idea. I totally copied Hannah from Seeds and Stitches. I saw on her blog, or was it her house tour on Apartment Therapy, or on her Instagram account? (OMG I have made myself sound like such a stalker in that sentence!!) She had sanded down her fridge freezer and painted it with chalkboard paint to write her meal planning lists and what she had inside her freezer on it.

Image from apartmenttherapy.com

Image from apartmenttherapy.com

What a simple, but genius idea! So I got my thinking cap on and started making plans to make my own version. For about 10 seconds I considered painting our fridge freezer, then I came to my senses and started Googling for an easier alternative. I am far too inept and lazy for all that sanding and painting! Plus a black fridge freezer would look a bit pugly in our kitchen.

While researching for lazy girl alternatives I did consider sticking a sheet of chalkboard vinyl to the front of our unit, but in the end I bought a plain magnetic chalkboard from Amazon and stuck it to the side of our fridge.ff 2So far, so good. This list is really helping both Rob and I plan meals better, and I am finally denting my frost bitten meat stash!

I am loving the chalk marker pen too, its much better than traditional chalk, which I always manage to snap when I use it!ff 3So the moral of this unnecessarily long blog post is – if you are as disorganised as I am when it comes to food in your freezer, get yourself a chalkboard! And read Hannah’s blog, its great!

A Pink Stove

Wowzers! This is a dreamy appliance.

Remember when I got really boring on here and wrote in far too much detail about ovens and how I would love a range cooker?

Well scrap that, I want one of these babies instead! A pink retro stove! Holy moly!

OK back to reality now, this is only available in America, costs over $4K before shipping, and is gas (I prefer cooking with electric, gas scares me!) and probably a larger oven than I would ever need. But when something is this pretty, you can forgive its flaws!bigchill_3q_pinklemonade-378x578

Image from here.

How The Kitchen Went Up

Now I have shown the before and after pictures, I might as well show some of the inbetween pictures of the work that went into the new(ish) kitchen. All pictures were taken between the beginning of February to the end of May 2012.

yuckAbove is an IPhone snap of the start of ripping out the old kitchen. When we took up the flooring we found three layers of old lino and floor tiles. There was some old stagnant water between one of the layers from a leak that one of the previous owners of the house must have caused. Who knows how long that had been there for? Eww, and yes it stank!

yuck2stairway to hellholeWe also discovered that the stairs were unsupported structurally, thanks once again to previous “improvements” from a past owner of the house. They had removed the original pantry cupboards walls that supported the stairs and moved the back door to another wall. I wish they had not bothered. As shown in the two photos above.stairsdodgybetter

We sorted the structural problems (not with the piece of wood, we did it properly!) and plaster boarded the stairs.messwiringThe wiring issues were fixed and the cooker switch was moved.messmessy doorthresholdWe put new doorframes on.plaster1plaster2plaster3We had the room plastered. Then once it dried we could start painting and fitting the units.paint 1 paint2paint 4paint 5paint 6paint 7

Finally – Our New Kitchen Is Revealed!

I apologise for the time it has taken me to publish my big kitchen reveal post. It’s because it has taken me a very long time to get around to taking the “after” pictures. Meaning that I have been waiting for the right lighting conditions and then on a day where there is no mess or washing up cluttering the worktops (hint – never). In the end I gave up waiting for that magical day, so this is the best I can offer!

It took an age to decorate this room. We had to fit the renovations into our free weekends. It took from roughly from the end of February until mid June 2012 to finish.

BTW when I say finished, we still need to put sealant on the edges of the flooring and sort out some blinds for the window and back door (I got a made to measure quote recently from a company for almost £300 – eek!) But it was worth the wait! I love it so much, and hopefully I will have many happy years of cooking ahead of me in this lovely room!

Lets start with some pics from before we started, all taken between March ’10 and February ’12, and the usual poor quality you expect from me.

BEFORE

old kitchen 1old kitchen 2old kitchen 3old kitchen 4old kitchen 5old kitchen 5old kitchen 7old kitchen 8Admittedly it does not look too bad in the before pictures (if you ignore the washing up pile!), but believe me it was grim. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling in horrible tiles with filthy grouting, which no amount of scrubbing could get hygienic.

The units were falling to pieces and the kitchen had electrical issues. I had three plug sockets fail on me in two years, leaving me with just three working sockets for the kettle, toaster and radio. If I wanted to use my slow cooker or another kitchen gadget, I had to play musical plug socket chairs! Oh, and I almost forgot – the old yucky, greasy extractor fan (not shown in the before photos) gave Rob an electric shock! So it was just for show for a few years! And if I used the hob, grill and oven together, the electrics would short! Oh dear!

AFTER

new kitchen 1new kitchen 2new kitchen 3See those storage boxes at the end of the oven by the door? I keep my spices in them, and it is so handy. Its an odd sized space and there was no unit available to fit it, so we were just going to box it in, but the nice lady at Ikea suggested we put some shelves into the space and I am glad we did. We even made it back to Ikea to buy some more storage boxes after I melted the first set!
New kitchen 4new kitchen 5new kitchen 6new kitchen 7old kitchen 8The interior door will be replaced eventually. I hate the chintzy glass pattern. Plus I don’t know if you can see it in the photo, but I ruined the etching by cleaning it with white vinegar. Not on purpose, honest!new kitchen 9new kitchen 10 Much better! I have tried to take them in the same sequence/order as the before pictures so you see the full 360° of the room and can compare them.

One of the biggest challenges I found cooking in the old kitchen was the relative lack of worktop space. So we sacrificed the larder cupboard by the fridge to gain more worktop space over that side of the kitchen.

It took a long time to decide on the new layout and admittedly it has not changed a great deal. The biggest challenge was where to put the oven etc as we have three doorways into this room – the back door, dining room doorway and the door from the hallway. When we were viewing properties to move here, we looked at lots of houses in the area that were built in the same style, and saw that many houses had blocked in one of these doorways. We decided against doing so as we love the “flow” of our house. Blimey – I feel a little daft saying that! But who wants a dead-end hallway or have to walk from the kitchen, all the way down the hallway and through the lounge carrying plates to get to the dining room?

We also had to factor in that the opening of the oven door was not going to interfere with the passing traffic through said doorways for safety and practical reasons. I think in the end the layout we settled on makes the best of the rooms limitations.kitchen picsnik naks

We had the walls and ceiling plastered and sorted out the wiring issues using tradesmen, but plumbed it in, tiled and fit it ourselves (OK – Rob did. I just passed the hammer etc to him).

We now have lots more storage space, another thing it was lacking before, thanks to the tall Ikea wall cabinets. I love them! I just need to grow an extra foot or two! In the mean time I have invested in a sturdy stepladder or if I am being lazy I get Rob to reach me down various items!

Initially I was unsure of the wall colour I had chosen, as it dried a lot darker than I expected, and is quite a similar colour to what we have painted our bathroom (tour coming soon), but I love pink and turquoise and I can happily live with it!

Big thanks to Rob for working so hard on my our lovely kitchen!

Resource list
Units, handles and worktops – Ikea.
Flooring – Vinyl from a local independent carpet shop.
Tiles – Tile Giant.
Oven – Samsung via Appliances online.
Sink – Ikea.
Tap – Screwfix.
Extractor fan – Wickes.
Integral dishwasher & Induction hob – Ikea.
Fridge/freezer & washing machine – We kept our previous white goods which are now 7.5 years old, but have been looked after and work fine.
Prints – Etsy & Showler & Showler.
Picture frames – Wilkinsons.
Nick nacks on shelves – Collected over the years from boot fairs, eBay, charity shops etc.
Kettle – Argos.
Pink Le Cruset pot – TK Maxx 2nds. It holds our teabags. We drink a lot of tea.
Kitchenaid – Gift from Rob
Roberts Radio – Gift from Rob about 5 years ago.
Bread bin – An Ebay kind of bargin. Read about it here.
Blender – Gift from Mum. She got it free when she bought her K-mix mixer a few years back. But did not use it, so gave it to me
Toaster – I treated myself to it. I have wanted one for years!
Soda Stream – A gift from me to Rob that is used loads.
Dog door stop – I have had this for as long as I can remember, my cousin got it for me (I think).
Light – An eco one from Wickes.

Spinderella Gets Messy

I don’t have a self imposed blogging schedule that I adhere to. I just blog when I feel like it and when inspiration strikes. Today I feel I need to check in here, its been nearly a week since my last post, and I must explain my short absence from Usingmyloaf.

Its because lately I have kind of lost my cooking and baking mojo! The last few things I have excitedly made and baked, with my camera at the ready, have all turned into unphotogenic, Pinstrosity messes!

Hot damn, the creator of this blog understands my pain!

Opps! I should of used the cover maybe?

Introducing Spinderella.

Finally the kitchen is finished. I promise the big reveal post is coming soon, I just need to take some decent pictures.

But for now I can formally introduce you to my dream machine – my pink Kitchenaid mixer!

Rob completely surprised me with my amazing birthday present this year! Is it possible to be in love with a mechanical object? (Umm, don’t answer that one ladies!) Because I have fallen for her big time!

So far I have made a disastrous marble cake, x 2 cupcakes, a chocolate buttercream cake and tomorrow I plan to bake some chocolate chip cookies. Basically, I am never going to be a size 10-12 again, farewell diet plans!!

Inspired by Tracy calling her Kitchenaid Sir Mixalot, and many others out there in blogland and beyond naming their machines, I have decided to name her Spinderella!

Yep I got a little carried away on Picmonkey!

Sigh, isn’t she photogenic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IljogO9Cpf8
I love a bit of old skool hip hop!

Pink Baking

Pink baking

As part of my blogging to do list, I added “Compile one of these wish-list thingies” as something I wanted to learn.

I can do Etsy Treasurys no problem. I just typed Etsy treasury list into the google and found a site with a code generator to do so. Easy. I just got to figure out how to turn the dollars into pounds now!

But these wish list collages have alluded me. I have been typing all sorts into the google (yes I call it the google!) and found nothing helpful. Luckily the other day I discovered Polyvore! By discovered I mean clicked on the link on someone else’s blog.

So I had a little play around and made this collage above. I just clicked on random things with a vague baking theme as you can see. But I think I can tick off #12 now! Whoop!

Kitchen update – We are nearly there, I am cleaning it up between working two jobs. I’m slowly finding homes for my rubbish essentials. In a week or so (and once I get a nice sunny day!) I can take some snaps to share on here! Double whoop!