Peg's Crayon Box

Join me in my journey to live a more artful and colorful life every day. Come read about my projects, things I've discovered or learned from others, and ponderings on what it means to listen to the inner muse.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Life for Old Piece

Inspired by the kitchen re-do I decided to get serious about perking up the dining room. I needed a piece of furniture that would hold napkins, candles, etc., plus store all that "stuff" on the kitchen counter that served as my desk- files, pencils and pens, envelopes and such.
As luck would have it I found the perfect piece in a little clothes/used furniture shop in town. It didn't look like much at first glance, but I saw POTENTIAL!!
Here are 2 shots just as I started to sand off the varnish on the veneer. Fortunately the thin veneer was over good hard wood. The grooved details were a little tricky to clean out but I persevered.
Voila! I used semi-gloss red paint from another project to paint sides and polyurethened the top (even though it is a veneer it was well done with a good wood base so it almost looks solid). The knobs are recycled from my old kitchen - I love them.

This piece is absolutely perfect in our dining area- the drawers hold all that office-type stuff, appliance manuals, placemats, etc. and one cabinet holds a wine rack and the other some vertical files. The top is a great space for displaying favorite pottery and other treasures. I love the color contrasts between the red cabinet, yellow wall, and teal stairway behind.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Husky Hugging in Maine

In early February I had the honor and pleasure of accompanying my friend Lidia on a mushing weekend. She was competing in a 30-mile race in Greenville, Maine, with her team of freight dogs (not the small Siberians but BIG dogs - 8 of them!). My starting assignment was to be the "husky hugger" but I was able to learn the routine of taking dogs in and out of the truck, feeding and caring, etc, so I was promoted to assistant handler :)
It was an all around great weekend meeting wonderful fellow mushers, getting to know Lidia's dogs, and learning more about her passion. And the 5-hour long trip each way was filled with conversation, yummy treats, and laughs.

The best part of the weekend was being trusted to take the dogs into the starting shute and hold them until "take-off" and then meeting them at the finish to lead them back to the truck. The photo above made it into the Bangor newspaper!
Here's the team crossing the finish line, ready to go another 30 miles!
Check out more photos and details at Lidia's mushing blog  Angels in Fur Coats

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where or Where Have I Been?

Whoa, a whole month has gone by with no news. Crashed laptop + major kitchen renovation + lots going on at work = no blogging. I got so used to the convenience of sitting at my kitchen counter to write that any other computing options (like the PC on the third floor loft) just didn't work for me. Still waiting on the laptop recovery, but will try to provide updates on my projects.

A major goal this year was to focus on the home, making it more soul-full and welcoming. Well, the kitchen re-do was a huge step in that direction. Out went the laminated cabinets and countertops, circa 1980, and in came beautiful natural oak cabinets and granite countertops. The new goes so well with the old we kept- lovely mexican tile backsplash, butcherblock peninsula and quarry tile floor. And I have tons more storage, pull out shelves, drawers galore - yahoo! I've been cooking up a storm with new and favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Vegetarian Times websites.

It took 2.5 weeks from demolition to completion - no glitches, no major problems. Really good vibes in this heart of my home.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm Smitten!

Elizabeth sent me a bean soup recipe from the Smitten Kitchen, and now I'm hooked! I signed right up for updates and have not been disappointed with the great photos, yummy dishes, and upbeat writing by Deb. Even though she isn't vegan, many of her dishes are, or can be easily adapted by me. Here's my first try at her Smashed Chickpea Salad/Sandwich Spread. The lemon and olive oil give a fresh zing, a nice change from my usual vinagrette.

As I'm stuck at home during a rain/ice storm I had to use what was on hand, so I used dehydrated parley and my new best friend, dried red bell pepper flakes from Penzeys Spices. I confess, fresh parsley enhance this salad, but I actually like the dried red pepper add  a sweet/hot touch. The red pepper is my tweaking of the recipe as I'm using this dish as a salad not for sandwiches (Deb suggested garlicky pickled red peppers as a sandwich addition).
Easy dish, delish, a new favorite!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Embrace the Winter Season

It would be so easy to hunker down and "suffer" through the winter months - stay inside, complain about the cold, wish I was somewhere warm. But a better way is to embrace the season with friends. Here we are out for a ladies walk in the woods. Lots of laughs as we did a little slipping and sliding, and the exercise and comraderie put us all in good moods.

What goes down must go up,

 then down again as we navigated a small stream. Yahoo - no one fell in!

What a treat at the end to find a welcoming snowman made by other hearty souls!
So, bundle up, go outside, and then enjoy that cup of something warm on your return, gathered around the fire with great friends.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Projects- Satisfaction!

It doesn't look very glamorous and "arty" but I dug in and cleaned out the storage space off my sewing studio. Check out the before and after- here is my new, lean and mean storage area.

Where did it all go? Well, 2 huge bags went to the dumpster and a large cardboard box filled with paper went to recycling; another box full lots of pillows, unused frames, a flagpole, and odds 'n ends is headed to our local charity shop while a laundry basket full of paints, canvas, brushes, etc. is headed to my "wet" studio in a diffferent location; two plastic crates will serve me well in my office at Squam Art Workshops- perfect to file all those registrations that will be coming in February. I actually have some unused space on one shelf, and the toilet and shower are now accessible.

 I was surprised that it only took half a day to do (lesson learned- don't procrastinate on the nasty jobs), but amazed at what I had saved and buried....half-finished projects, bits and pieces of batting and fabric too small to really be of any use...and what I found, like a glue gun with lots of sticks that I didn't even remember having!
Ahh, such satisfaction to complete a project so early in 2010 - let's here it for "De-Clutter"!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can This Space Be Saved?!?

A lot of bloggers are choosing a word for the year - Kathy picked "Delicious" and Mary Beth chose "Spread" ....well, my word would be "Clutter" or rather "De-Clutter"!
Since summer I've been struck by urge to clean out, pare down, simplify my home and space. I've cleaned closets, sorted through the cupboards in my kitchen, tried to organize the paper that comes into the house via the mail (letting magazine subscriptions lapse, shifting to automatic bills and statements, recycling catalogs immediately). But one area I have neglected is my sewing space. I've just kept piling up the stuff until it has overwhelmed me.

Well, thanks to a challenge in the January AARP magazine, I'm ready to tackle this black hole.

What you see is a small bathroom/closet on our third floor that has become my storage area- you may just be able to make out the toilet under a pile of burlap and stuffing! And see the 3 layers of plastic bins blocking the shower?

We don't use this bathroom unless overflowing with company so ....well....I kinda took it over.
So, stay tuned for a makeover which no doubt will entail lots of trips to the trash bin and secnd hand shop.