Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Color Drunk Kitchen, Crochet Obsession, and a Killer Peanut Butter Cookie!

Sitting area in my kitchen
I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen.  I live in a 1952 ranch style home.  Nothing particularly lovely about the structure.  We bought the house for the amazing property upon which it is nestled...a veritable Old Florida oasis.   I have learned to love my home but it sure didn't start out that way.  The architecture is awkward....clearly designed before Feng Shui was introduced into popular vernacular.  Awkwardly placed entry ways dogged my efforts at furniture placement.  Poorly situated windows limited choices...there is only one spot to place the TV, the couch, the bed, and so on, and so on.  Fortunately, over the years I have been largely able to beat it into submission. 

...except for the kitchen. 

The kitchen was a nightmare!  Truly, it was a dark and unpleasant hovel of a room....the brown cypress wood cabinets and cypress wood walls made me claustrophobic.  The white tile counter tops and white tile floor were stark and lacking in character.  Living with the kitchen "as is" was  difficult for Color Lovin' me, and plans were eventually made for an Elaborate Remodel.

....and then the Tech Industry collapsed and our finances followed suit.

Plans for the Elaborate Remodel were immediately scuttled.  I painted the walls yellow  and life went on.  Yellow became Green and the contrast with the white tile actually worked.     In fact, when finances improved and there was again talk of a remodel, I realized that I didn't want another kitchen... My kitchen was just dandy, thank you very much!

Beamer and Hubby
....and then I got my first black lab, Beamer.

Dumb name, long story, but a heck of a great dog.  Beamer likes to swim.  We have a lake in our back yard so there is ample opportunity to swim.  Beamer has taught my other three dogs to appreciate the benefits of a daily recreational swim.    Yes, indeed, they  swim all of the least when they are not digging holes or eating furniture.   I have white tile in the kitchen, in the laundry room and on my back porch.  A sea of white tile and four muddy dogs.  Need I say more?

My hobby for the last year and a half has been mopping my white tile floor.  I do it at least once a day, usually twice.    Keeping the dogs out of the lake is an exercise in futility, so I mop...again...and again...and again!  Most of the time I do it with a smile because I really  like my little kitchen now.  My dark cypress cabinets are wonderful against the green walls and bright white counter tops.  It is warm,  colorful, and cozy. 

Broken tile is an EYESORE!
...and then my counter tile started to chip off..

 I can deal with relentless mopping, but I CANNOT deal with gaping holes and exposed plywood.  What to do?  What to do?

Game Room Floor
I have decided to mosaic the floor using yellow, red and green tiles.    I did something similar in a game room and it withstood messy teenagers for years.  The busy bursts of color will definitely hide muddy paw prints better than the white.   I looked for counter tops that would complement such a floor but kept coming back to tile.  I know it is not fashionable or trendy, but I love my tile counter!  I can cut on it, put hot pots and pans on it, and pretty much abuse it.   Accordingly, I picked out a pretty red to complement the floor.    

Although I am excited to get started, I do have some trepidation.  I tiled the game room floor twelve years ago.  My back and hands hurt at 38...I can only imagine how it will feel at 50!  I figure that I will be popping Tylenol and working fewer hours each day.  The project may drag on for the entire month of April, but I am only going to do what I can reasonably do.

This will be the color of my cabinets
Too Much Color?
The really scary kitchen is still dark and getting rid of the white tile will make it even darker.  The only thing that I can think to do in an effort to achieve some balance is to lighten the dark wood cabinets that I have grown to love.  My pretty natural cypress cabinets are scheduled to get a coat of Ochre paint before they are lightly distressed to allow some wood to peak through.  I am usually fearless regarding color but this endeavor has me more than a little bit nervous.  Is there such a thing as too much color?

What the hell..I am gonna JUMP!  Wish me luck....

Kinda sad, but functional
Early in December I picked up a great brass floor lamp at a garage sale for only three bucks.  As referenced above, my house is REALLY dark and I am always on the prowl for interesting lighting.  This particular lamp was definitely NOT interesting, but it was cheap.  I kept it in the studio while I noodled around a reincarnation.  Finally, I felted a lampshade and added lots of felted flowers and Swarovski Crystal sew on  and hot fix stones.  Life got busy and I ignored the project until inspiration struck again last week.  I went into a crochet frenzy and finished it off... and I am tickled with the results.  I had to do a fair amount of problem solving along the way and my next project, a chandelier for the dining room table, will be a bit better finessed, but I was pleased.  The folk arty lamp is a nice addition to my color drunk kitchen, don't you think?

In the Kitchen:

My kids will be coming home soon and in my house, that means PEANUT BUTTER SNICKERS COOKIES!  This no flour recipe is always a hit:

Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies
  • 2 cups peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Bite Sized Snickers candy
  • Small bowl of white sugar.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together peanut butter and sugar until combined well. In a small bowl lightly beat egg and beat into peanut butter mixture with baking soda until combined well.
Wrap dough totally around a bite sized Snickers bar and then roll the ball in sugar. M’mmm M’mmm….it’s gonna be good!

Place the little balls of goodness 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until puffed and pale golden, about 10 minutes.

WARNING:  These cookies are totally addictive.  Your friends and family will think you are amazing but your jeans might get a little tight.  Not that I know anything about that sort of thing.....


  1. You yarn bombed your lamp! I love it!!!

    Color is good, color is fun, I think I'll add another one. That's my kind of decorating. Chinese Red kitchen, chocolate brown bedroom, periwinkle master bath, sage green with harlequin motif living room. Yep, love me some color.

    Quick question.... the floor covering in the first photo... where would someone who is absolutely over the moon for harlequin motifs find something like it?

    btw, I'm deliberately NOT reading your cookie recipe, and my jeans are thanking me. I'll make a mental note of it the next time I need a cookie fix.

  2. Carol:

    OOOH! You need to post some pictures of YOUR living space! The colors sound wonderful.

    Congrats on the weight loss! You are smart to stay away from the cookie recipe! I haven't and now I am on day three of Weight Watchers....I think I am ready to get back on the wagon. Sigh!

    The floor covering is a canvas floor cloth...inexpensive and long lasting! I found this on Ebay ...the seller is still there but I can't remember her name. I have several of her pieces and you will find her easily by a quick search for "floor cloth."

  3. Oh Pat soo much color and fun!!!!!!

  4. Ha! Ha! Thanks Kristen...from one color junkie to another!