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Archive for January, 2010

 

 

What Do I Put on Top of Kitchen Cabinets

by Aggi Stevenson

Some one wants to know what they can put on top of their kitchen cabinets. Let me explain what I have on top of my kitchen cabinets and then give suggestions for things you may want to put on top of yours.

In hind sight, I wish I would have had over the cabinet lighting put in when the house was built. Since I didn’t, I improvise. I have greenery (fake) that stays on top of my cabinets year-round. During Christmas I pull the greenery to the front of the cabinets and highlight it. After Christmas, I push it back to let my serving pieces show.

I like the large serving pieces on top of the cabinet because it serves two purposes.  (1) The serving pieces are displayed in their metal racks. Otherwise, I would have to find space for the large pieces and the racks separately. They take up less room if they are stored together. Putting them on top of the cabinet frees up space in the lower cabinets. (2) The serving pieces are nice to look at and fills the space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling.

If you look closely at the picture, you will notice the soft glow of lighting on top of the cabinet. This is white Christmas lights stretched out along the top which makes beautiful lighting in the evenings. I ran the cord between the wall and the cabinet and plugged it in behind the refrigerator. You usually have a plug  behind the refrigerator to accommodate two items. The fact it is impossible to access comfortably usually renders the second plug useless.  However, it is perfect for over the cabinet lighting.

The question became: Do I leave the lights on constantly and replace them when they burn out? Do I try to pull the frig out and back in each time I want light on top of the cabinets? Neither of those ideas are acceptable. You can buy cords (designed for Christmas trees and lights) that have a button you can operate with your foot. Instead of unplugging and plugging in your lights and tree over and over, you just click the red button for the off and on switch, allowing everything to remain plugged in.

This is what controls the lights on top of my kitchen cabinets. I pulled it out from behind the frig to show you. Mount a stick on hook to the back of your frig and loop the cord around it. Adjust the cord to position the on and off button in an easy to reach place. I just reach behind the edge of the frig to turn the lights off and on. No one knows the cord is there. From outward appearances, the top of the cabinets are pre-lit. Only you and I know the truth.

The opposite side of the kitchen was more challenging. I had two other sets of fancy serving dishes I wanted to display when not in use. I put the same greenery and white lights on top of the cabinet. However, there was no place to run the cord between the wall and the cabinet. Inside the cabinet over the microwave is an outlet. The microwave is plugged into one side and the other was perfect for my over the cabinet lighting. The trick was to hide the cord. It would be easy to drill a hole in the top of the cabinet and feed the cord through. Maybe I will do that some time this year.

Look closely and you will notice a sprig of greenery hanging over the edge. That one piece hides the cord coming from the top to the inside of the cabinet where it’s plugged in. This side is a lot more trouble. I am 5′ 3″ and my kitchen had 9 foot ceilings. I have to climb on a kitchen step stool to plug in and unplug the lights. The cord system on the other side of the kitchen didn’t work here. I had to come up with some other creative way to do it. I could have ran the cord down the right side of the cabinet but the cord would be exposed and I didn’t like that.

(Pulled greenery back to show cord)

Things to remember when decorating the top of your cabinets:

(1) Put items on top of  kitchen cabinets that are not often or never used. I use my large serving dishes maybe three to four times a year. I could put cookbooks on top of my cabinets because I just have them around to make people think I can cook. I never use them. For a real cook to store cookbooks on top of the cabinet would be insane. Everyone will choose something different. There are no wrong items to display. Most people keep the items kitcheny. (is that a word?) But it is your home and you can display whatever you like.

(2) Keep it clean. The items on top of our kitchen cabinets become dust catchers. Kitchen oil and dust will accumulate causing the items to lose their shine and look dirty. (because they are) What ever it is, it must be cleaned ever so often.  If we see cobwebs, we know cleaning is past due.  🙂 That’s why I like using serving dishes. I ‘m forced to get them down and wash them before and after using them. 

(3) Display a collection.  Wonderful space to exhibit a collection. Remember. It only takes three items to be a collection. If we display something with colored glass, the light shining through the glass is beautiful. (you may not be a lighting freak like me and don’t care about lighting the tops of your cabinets.)

(4) Pre-lit Garland. There is nothing easier than simply laying a strand of pre-lit or plain garland across the tops of our cabinets.

(5) Don’t over do it. If we place too many items on top of our cabinets, it gives the whole kitchen a cluttered look, and actually makes the kitchen appear too small for all our belongings, Therefore,  we crammed the tops of the cabinets full of stuff.  Think odd numbers, such as 3 or 5.

(6) Basically, we can put anything we want, on top of our kitchen cabinets. If it is something we enjoy looking at and want to display, that is all the criteria we need. Most likely, if it is something we enjoy, others will too. And if they don’t…they can go home. 🙂

Ideas:

Old soft drink bottles, tea pots, dishes on stands, tins, coffee pots, candle holders, antique toys, crocks and pottery, trays, glassware, vases, vines and flowers, baskets, clocks, antique cooking items, wine bottles, empty interesting bottles…or anything else your heart desires. Now…go have fun and put whatever it is you want on top of your kitchen cabinets.

Let me see what you have done! Send me pictures at aggithegreat@embarqmail.com

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                             Before

                                   After

This redo is so easy. All you need is a paint technique, a stenciling design, supplies and a little time on your hands. 

Apply the first coat of paint and allow to dry.  Make any design you please with painters tape. I chose a diamond pattern. I made the diamonds pattern smaller around the tub and vanities and much larger on the other walls. The smaller design creates more accent to those areas but is left very sparse on the other walls to keep from making the room appear busy.

Paint over the painters tape with one shade darker on the paint chip. The lighter subtle diamond pattern appears as the tape is removed. I use flat enamel in the bathroom. 

After the second layer of paint is dry and the tape removed, the metal bracket to hold the fountain is installed. I chose the diamond pattern because I had a french design in mind. I applied it everywhere the diamond pattern connects with another.

I inserted white cup hooks into the ceiling to hold the king size mosquito net that will billow around the tub.

Tie the excess fabric hanging down in the middle in a knot and attached to the hook in the middle of the space above the tub. Tie the four corners back.

I attached the lion head fountain to the wall. The cord runs between the tile and the edge of the tub to an outlet near the tub. The fountain has lights in the top and bottom sections giving a soft glow to a dimly lit room.

This is actually a small wreath holder but works great in the bath to hold the bath sponge and mittens.

To keep the room from too appearing busy, the diamond shapes are large. The stenciled pattern is sparse. I stenciled the design only where the diamond design crosses.

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                                       Before                                                       After

January – Bath/Powder Rooms

by Aggi Stevenson

This tiny powder room is approximately 5′ x 5′.  It had a poorly installed pedestal sink  with shabby sheet rock work visible behind it. (a little of it is in the picture) We decided it was time to replace it. Then the domino effect began.  Any time you tackle an update or redo, brace yourself for the unexpected. Usually, when one job leads to another, it needed done anyway. While the room is under construction, make those long-awaited changes.

After pulling the sink, we decided it was a perfect time to replace a couple of pieces of broken marble. Removing those, damaged adjoining tiles. Instead of replacing two pieces, we replaced seven.

The larger sink caused the light fixture to hang off-center. It was removed and another opening cut to center the new fixture. Since we never liked the old fixture, we decided to get another one.

Old fixture

While we were shopping for the vanity light, we saw a beautiful small chandelier that would be perfect for the ceiling.  We removed the old ceiling light and fan combo. The large opening was  patched which resulted in the ceiling requiring new paint.

Old ceiling light and fan combo

When examining the ceiling, I noticed that burning a candle in the bathroom had blackened the wall and crown molding above the shelf it sat on. Obviously everything required new paint. The painting was completed before the lights were hung or the new sink installed.

The powder room has nine foot ceilings. I taped off a top section and a bottom section, painting them a khaki tone in semi-gloss flat.

I then painted the center a bright green called Lettuce Alone B68-3 at Lowes.

While at Lowes, I worked out a paint technique using their paint chips, cutting and placing them the way I wanted the color applied to the wall. I taped the sample to the commode for reference as I painted.

I used the same white ceiling paint to do the white strips. Clean painters tape was applied with each stripe.

The white stripe.

Preparing to do the chocolate-brown stripe. It’s Pumpernickel D18-6 at Lowes.

The last stripe. I removed the painters tape and…wahla… the painting is finished.

 Lights were hung before the vanity installation, allowing room to use a ladder in the small space. 

The new vanity fixture added character to the small space.

The ceiling chandelier was hung last.

The new chandelier added elegance to the small space.

Wall hangings go up next.

Center and hang vanity mirror after sink and faucet installation.

Wall hangings go up. 

It’s Finished! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avery Sparks and Amelia Dawn

It’s CELEBRATION time at the home of my friends Patrick and Diane Sparks.  Look what they got for Christmas! A baby girl…Amelia Dawn.

Their son Avery is holding his new sister. Diane says he is such the proud big brother. How adorable they are.

God bless my sweet friends and their family.

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My devotion for children, The Sick Girl is featured on Devo-Kids today.  It is based on the story of a 12-year-old girl in scripture, who  is gravely ill. All children can relate to being sick.  The Sick Girl is a source of encouragement when children are sick. Click on Devo-Kids on the bar to the right or  http://www.devokids.com/devotions.html  I hope you will share it with your children or grandchildren.

I am standing because He is holding me up…..Aggi

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 Kate and the Candy House

by Kaily H.

     One day a little girl named Kate was walking to her Nana’s house. On the side of the path, she saw a big house made of candy. She walked over and broke off a piece of the chocolate window. “Yummy.” She said. As she crunched it all up, she heard a voice saying, “Who is eating my house?”

     An old woman opened the door. She seemed quite friendly. Smiling down at Kate, the woman said, “You’re a pretty little girl. What’s your name?”

     “My name is Kate.”

     Would you like to make a cake?”

     “Could we make a chocolate one?” Said Kate.

     “Yes.” The nice lady said, opening the door wide so Kate could come in.

     Just  before  they finished mixing  the batter,  the old woman said, “Kate will you get the oven ready so I can put you in?”

     “What!” Said Kate.

    “Oh, I meant… so I can put the cake in.”

     Kate knew how to fix the oven, but she was too scared. She thought they were going to bake a cake but she was the one that was going to be baked. She watched as the woman heated the oven.

     As the woman started to put the cake in, she laid it to the side and grabbed Kate instead and tried to push her into the oven. 

     Kate fought so hard. The woman turned into a witch as they were fighting. Kate accidently pushed the witch into the oven and she began to melt immediately. Kate ran from the house. When she looked back, the house had turned into a house of bones.

     She ran to her Nana’s house. After telling her Nana what had happened, they made their own chocolate cake and enjoyed it very much!

The End 

Kaily is a free lance writer residing in Surry Co. with her parents, brother and sister. She is in the second grade.  Kaily has completed two years of dance and is now in her second year of cheerleading for Upward Basketball. She attends EVBC and her favorite things are, writing, watching Hannah Montana on TV, webkinz, Bella Sara, cheerleading and playing games on the computer.

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by Aggi Stevenson

I get emails from God all the time. I would dare say,  probably on a daily basis. Don’t you?  Sometimes the email will boast of angels watching my every move and rooting for me to make the right decision to forward. To forward or not to forward? That is the question. I was recently voted the friend less likely to forward. Thanks. I appreciate that. Even though I know it was not an honor of any sort, I choose to take it that way.

Some of the  beautiful emails are filled with the most gorgeous photography known to man. I am amazed at the scenes and enjoy the religious message very much. Until. I get to the end. Then I am faced with a presentation of guilt to assure my forwarding this beautiful email to at least ten people in a few seconds or I will miss a blessing or prove that I don’t love God. If I was a TRUE Christian, I would forward it to everyone in my address book quickly. Do it for God. Feel good about it. Prove your love for God. Be among the small percentage of people who will show their love for God by forwarding this beautiful email. Or, be struck dead, be in an accident, or suffer an assortment of losses. My failure to forward, shows I do not love God and worse than that, I am ashamed of Him.

Some of the emails promise a long-awaited blessing, if I will just forward the email in a few seconds or minutes. After I hit the send button, I will receive that miracle I have been praying for. Or, some totally unexpected happening will occur (in so many hours) that will bring me great joy. It may be something I had wanted for so long but have given up on. However, I must forward to at least a specific number of people in the alloted time or the blessing is null and void. So to brag about my belief in God and expectancy of a grand gift in my life, I must forward the I GOT MY TEN…NOW YOU GET YOURS!

Searching from whence these things come, I check the email list and am sad to see so many good people, pastors and well-meaning Christians that actually forward these emails.

The friendship emails are much tougher than the “Godly” ones. If you are a TRUE friend, you will send this to all your other friends (at least ten) and back to me too. You know. To prove I am really their friend. I guess our time together is not enough. I must be faking. If they could just get a forward back from me declaring I am their true friend…all would be hunky dory in buddy land.

I have a confession to make. I rarely forward emails. The friendship ones, that says if you are a TRUE friend you will send this to ten people and back to me too, I forward it back to that friend only. Just a couple of times (that should be enough for a lifetime) and then they go on my list of kooky friends that send out such emails. Afterwards, I delete them as soon as they pop up on my screen. Why? The email is not to me…it is at me. Big difference.

Let me explain: I don’t think anyone has the power to promise blessings or curses. Nobody should try to put a guilt trip on another person to coerce them to forward an email. I have lived a life time overcoming guilt. Our God is not the Father of guilt. But there is another that is. Before we hit the SEND button,we should ask ourselves if we are only forwarding to rid ourselfves of guilt or fear of something bad happening to us. Do you really think God gives those sending out these emails that kind of power? Isn’t that God’s job? Are these emails from Him? If not, be careful what you forward. These preaching to the choir emails do little to edify the saints and no, I will not send them to my unsaved friends. They need us. Not some glorious religious email that will then guilt them or curse them into sending it to someone else. That is not TRUE Christianity.

Don’t get me wrong. I love humorous and patriotic emails. I don’t need to be told to forward anything. I am intelligent enough to make those decisions on my own. One thing for sure, if the email has a hint of guilt or coercion in it, it won’t be forwarded by me. I have members in my address book that I sit up and take notice if I get a forward from them because they just don’t forward. It is always a good forward. It contains information I am glad to receive and I will most likely pass it along. These are rare.

Then there are those that use forwards as a means of keeping in touch when they really don’t have anything to say. Never a personal word of friendship, edification or humor. Never a note of encouragement or an invitation to lunch. Just forwards. They don’t have time to write or spend time with me but they fill my mailbox with forwards. Probably guilted  into it…

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