Monday, May 30, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Part I

We’ve been in our house now for over 10 years and we’ve made maaaaany changes to it.  We’ve finished the basement from the concrete up ourselves (only hired out the carpet), ripped out carpet and linoleum and replaced them with wood floors and tile, ripped out our master bathroom and completely remodeled it and have painted gallons upon gallons of paint and added trim and other fun detail pieces to our home.

We’ve been gearing up for the biggest change ever in the history of “Brent & Erin Remodel Something” for the last little bit and have already been busing going gung-ho on Project Kitchen.

My kitchen is not too teeny, but it’s only got one small section of countertop (we refer to it as “spot 'o’ counter top) space and the layout is kinda wonky for what we need in a kitchen. We’re pushing the kitchen wall 3 feet out into the garage (into “extra” space) and doing some reconfiguring and purchasing new custom built cabinets for our kitchen.  The dream prior to this was to add a whole new kitchen on to the garage but that is way bigger and more costly of a project than what we were willing to do.

Here’s a “before” of our kitchen when we very first moved in. 

IMG_1565web    IMG_1567web

It was nice, but VERY anemic…. So then 5 years later we decided paint would be a good thing… ok, well *I* finally figured out what I wanted to paint.. haha… Brent chose the colors.

IMG_1156web  IMG_1585web

We also added some trim (4” crown moulding and a plant shelf) to the top of the 8’ wall that divides the kitchen and front room.  The trim really popped and made the walls look awesome and gave the house  a more finished feel.

IMG_1666web IMG_1667web IMG_1157web

A few years later we had the “Giant Poo Flood” (aka sewer back up in the basement) and so we went to work on redoing floors in the house… you know, “while we were at it”.. .haha!

We replaced the old, icky, holey linoleum in the kitchen and dining room with 18” tiles.  Minus the old ratty oval rug this is how my kitchen has been for the past 2.5-3 years.


And then a little over a month ago we discovered a leak in the water line to the fridge/ice maker…. it slowly dripped and flowed under the tiles in the kitchen and we had to remove about 18 tiles (we removed them until we found dry concrete backerboard) from the floor.  We cut out all the concrete backer board and let the floor sit open for several weeks to dry and while we thought about what to do…

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Then we had this bright idea to do some reconfiguring… move the fridge to where the current pantry is and some other “tweaking”… And this is where I’ve been all week and what we’ve been doing around here. 

Here are some snapshots of the work in progress. You can click the image to view larger.


We’ve made some crazy huge progress since this last photo of Brent putting up the new kitchen/garage wall.  I will be back soon with more progress reports.  I’ve gotta go help Brent move the water line.

Constructiony Smiles!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vintage Cone

I saw an idea for a vintage cone on The Graphics Fairy blog a while back and decided that I wanted to make one, too.  I’m finding myself drawn to vintagey goodness lately. Anyway, I dug out some styrofoam cones that I had stashed away in my craft closet for a Christmas project that I never got to, cut it in half, and started playing around with paper and Mod Podge.

All images are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.  If you’ve never been there you have got to stop in and take a gander and download some of her FABULOUS vintage images.  Lovely schtuff!

I had a really difficult time taking photos today and it’s been very cold and dreary today so the lighting was not all that great, so please forgive the lousy photos.  I tried taking them in my studio first and then moved upstairs to the front room in hopes of some decent light.  It was a little better. LOL!  

Overall I like how it turned out, but I think I am going to add some off-white & bluish lilac sprigs to the top part to give it more “fluff”.   This little altered cone is meant to be hung on the wall and I am still trying to decide which wall it will grace in my home…. currently I’m thinking it would really pop nicely on the chocolate brown walls in my front bathroom …. hrmmmmm…..



You can’t tell in the photo but each little vintage card (images printed from TGF onto white cardstock and aged with Tim’s distress inks) has been glittered either on the birds or the flowers/leaves. In real life they shimmer nicely!


Bird envelope pre-glittered.


I plucked this crystal heart and jewels off of a junklace that I don’t think I will be wearing any time soon…. LOVE it.



Thanks for popping by!  Inky Smiles!

PS.. the feather in my hair is hanging much nicer today since the hair got a good wash, dry, and straightening. Love it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pile O’ Loot – The Winners!

Hey friends! I’m late in the day posting the winners.  I was off having fun this afternoon getting my greys cut and covered and adding a different kind of color to my hair…

(Forgive the awful webcam pics. LOL!)

Picture 97  Picture 98

I added a couple of turquoise feather extensions to my hair! I’ve been thinking about it and decided to do it this time.  They are pretty much just like reg hair extensions, held in with a crimp bead, and you can wash, dry, curl, and straighten them. I was playing with them at the salon and they look way cool curled! So fun!  I think I might need to move mine a little farther forward.. we’ll see tomorrow when I style my hair myself. :)

So anyway… for what you really came here to read about today!

Instead of drawing names from a hat I used a great idea that Michelle Johns gave me.    I wrote everyone’s names down on a piece of paper and armed with a bag of doggie treats put them around the front room in various places with a little treat. 


Brent kept Sadie in the kitchen while I laid everything out.  When I was ready he let her in and I followed her with my camera. (I’m not sure what happened to the bottom left photo.. it must have been in gif format when I dragged it into the collage, weird.)


ANYWAY… here are the winners in order of being chosen/gobbled by our sweet Sadie…

IMG_4729 IMG_4730 IMG_4731




Congratulations to our winners: 

1) Judith #1
2) Robin #2
3) Regina #14

Looks like we have some candy traveling overseas!  I will put “gift” on the customs labels and declare the value $1 so you won’t get charged horribly in fees.

Please email me with your mailing addresses by Monday, May 23rd.  Please put “Pile of Stamps Winner” in the subject line so I don’t miss your email!

Inky Smiles!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

IMPORTANT: Please read

UPDATED: It appears that the previous post has been restored but no comments.  ARGH!  Let’s hang in there and see if the comments come back. If they don’t by the end of the day I will start the giveaway over.  There were so many comments that were lost and I am beyond frustrated.

Dear friends,

Blogger has been DOWN for the past couple of days. I am sure many of you who are bloggers and who read blogs have noticed this.  Because of this issue with Blogger my last post has disappeared along with all the comments.  I am so frustrated with this.  

I am going to wait a couple of days for Blogger to try to restore my post and the associated comments.   Hopefully they will get their acts together and figure out what went wrong and make the necessary repairs.

If Blogger does not restore the prev post and associated comments I will repost it and we will try to find some winners again.

If I could, this would be the face I’d make at them. 

I am so sorry for this inconvenience.


(PS. This is “J”, my friend’s one year old – photo taken while trying to take his 1 yr photos.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

501-th Blog Post Giveaway – A Big Pile of Goodies!

I’ve been sitting (well not literally) on these goodies for a long time now waiting for just the right time to do a giveaway… I wanted to do it last post, but my Archiver’s projects for NSD took over.  I’m not sure when National Stamping Month is, though this would be the perfect give away for that, but I don’t want to wait….

SOOOoOOOoO dear crafty friends… would you like to win some of these fabulous red rubber stamps?  I have a huge pile of unmounted red rubber stamps that I am splitting up between THREE lucky Inky friends!! 


I ordered these online from My Sentiments Exactly and picked out my favorites and piled up the rest… Look at all these red rubber goodies! They have a sticky foam back on them already.. it’s not permanent, but it’s also not “cling”.  You can remove the stamps easily from various types of blocks.

You can read
this post about using cling mount/red rubber with acrylic blocks or watch a video here.

I have TONS left to share… wanna see? Can you guess how many are in the pile?


Do you want part of this pile of goodies? I’d love to send some to you… here’s what you have to do to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post – tell me what your favorite post in the last couple of years has been on this blog. (It should not be this post. :P)

2) For an extra entry share this post on your blog or facebook page. (leave a link to your blog, please) and leave another comment on this post.

3) For 3 additional entries make a purchase from my Bargain Basement.  I’ll add your name to the hat 3 more times. You must email me to purchase anything.

You may do one or all three options for a total of 5 chances to win. 

I will leave this giveaway open until Tuesday, May 17th.  I will post the winners on Wednesday, May 17th.  Winners will be chosen by drawing names from a hat. 

* Please email me to claim your prizes by Monday, May 23rd or new winners may be chosen.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy {belated} National Scrapbooking Day & 500th Post!

Yes, belated again. LOL!  I was too busy actually PLAYING on NSD too blog about my crafty projects (not to mention my laptop has died and needs a new motherboard so I didn’t bring it with me) so I’m going to blog about the day’s festivities today!  And how fitting that a post about National Scrapbooking Day on a crafty blog is my FIVE HUNDREDTH POST!!!! YAY ME! 

A while back I went to an Archiver’s customer appreciation crop and met some neat people, including my friend, Terri.  Well, long story short Terri invited me to go to the Archiver’s NSD all day crop this past weekend and we had so much fun!  I’m really enjoying the Archiver’s crops and visiting with fellow crafters while we create our own little works of art.  Usually the “big” crop days at A’s include some sort of project in addition to the free make n takes in the store.  This crop included a neat little altered frame and the store had a two page 12x12 layout to make.

Here’s the super cool frame we made:


You can also turn it vertical!  Love my vintage doll peeking out from behind!


Those of you who know me know that I can’t seem to follow the instructions/sketch/sample of any project.. tee hee!  I traced the frame out onto the really cool My Mind’s eye paper and adhered it to the frame, mitering the corners on the inside of the frame to give it a nice finished edge.  I also traced the sides and used my fingertip craft knife to cut out strips from the reverse side of the MME paper for a nice contrast.



I made the flowers as they mostly suggested but laid it all out my own way.  I added some extra petals to the lily and used an additional rose in lieu of a lace/button flower.  I used the lace as an accent and gathered it while hot gluing it down to the frame.  (They had this super cool hot glue gun that did NOT burn me!  Gonna have to look into that and procure that little treasure! So if any of you reading this know what I’m talking about please leave me a comment on where I can find it!)  I also added some green Kaisercraft rhinestones and bits of ribbon (that was originally intended to hang the frame with) to the frame and some Kaisercraft pearls to the centers of the flowers. I used diamond Stickles on the stamens of the lily.



We also made a cool 2 page 12x12 layout.  I don’t do a lot of paper scrapping lately, but this was way cool and used a method of paper scrapping that I have been thinking about for a while now.

Here’s the first page… a traditional paper layout.

I left it in the plastic sheet, sorry for the glare.  I really like the notebook paper punch that we used on the green ledger/graph sheet and I love the big huge die cut “negative” frame.  I just need to find and resize some photos to put in there with a larger family pic.  I am thinking I might redo the large butterflies.. trace them onto some solid red paper and hand cut them. I’m not  digging the pattern on pattern… it’s almost too dizzying for me.

I do really love the funky ruffled button flower that we made using a new product called Glubers… which are basically a round, super sticky, giant glue dot.  I am hooked.



The second page of the layout was a super simple, “my kind of paper scrapping” layout.  I’ve been liking the idea of making a few really special “traditional” layouts with my digital stuff and then intermixing some “pocket pages” into the whole thing.   We made a “pocket page” layout at Archivers for the second page.  The idea is that you make some “mini” layouts/embellishments/journaling spots and drop them into pocket pages and fill the pockets with photos. I LOVE THIS.

Here’s what we made.  I dropped a few 4x6 photos that I had on my desk into the pockets just for the overall idea. 

Here’s the page w/out photos. Fast little 4x6 mini pages for either journaling or extra photos…



And here it is with some photos dropped in.


This sure would be a great and fast way to  get caught up on all my photos… all the many THOUSANDS of them… especially old –pre digital – photos that are already printed and needing new permanent homes and a GREAT way to use up small scraps of paper!  I think I’m going to do it!

One of the highlights of the night was meeting a group of girls from Provo Craft.  I was chit chatting with them about some cool projects they were making.  One of them, Shannon, was showing me a couple of new Cricut cartridges, Damask Decor and Martha Stewart Cake.  Martha Stewart cake has all of the Martha Stewart punches as borders that you can cut with your Cricut.. how awesome is that?? And Damask Decor is choc full of gorgeous damask designs… and while I was standing there oogling and drooling over the Damask Designs… Shannon GAVE it to me…  I was floored!  So Miss Shannon, if you are reading this… THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart :)  I am cleaning up my desk so I can pull out my Cricut and play with this cartridge this week!

My National Scrapbooking Day was awesome and I had so much fun! I hope you all did something fun and scrappy, too! 

Inky Smiles!

PS.. coming very soon (like in a couple of days) to celebrate 500 posts… a really fun giveaway! Stay tuned!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy {belated} Cinco de Mayo & a recipe!

Hey friends!  We’re just chugging along here enjoying this spring weather we’re having here in Utah this week. It’s been so freezing cold and this week we’ve finally had some warmer weather! It’s been in the 70’s the past couple of days! That sure beats the 40’s and 50’s!

Anyway… Brent and I took the opportunity to do a little grilling last night and “celebrated” Cinco de Mayo.  We marinated some chicken Weber’s Tequila Lime marinade and then tossed it on the grill.  I’ve got to figure out how to make this marinade without the use of a “packet”.  This chicken is out of this world delicious and we like to eat it in salads and on “street tacos” which is what we made for our dinner. You can read about street tacos here. I love getting carnitas street tacos from the little Mexican cafes here in town.  They are sooo yummy!


For our version of a street taco I lightly fried eight (reserving 4 for leftovers for lunches on Friday) corn tortillas.. cooking them just enough to make them soft and then set them out on paper towels.  We sliced up some red peppers and white onions into strips and put them in our basket on the grill and let them cook while the chicken was cooking.

To make our tacos we just piled up a few slices of chicken, some grilled veggies, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce (well, Brent did on his), chopped cilantro and drizzled some homemade blender salsa over it.  You top the taco with some fresh lime juice.. MmmMMm! Be careful, these are very juicy!


I’ve been wanting to make Cilantro Lime Rice for the last couple of weeks and it went perfectly with last night’s main course.  I created this recipe (it’s pretty basic) by combining a plain jane CLR rice recipe with parts of a delicious Spanish Rice recipe and it worked out perfectly.  The onions, garlic, and chicken broth give it a nice savory flavor (not just white rice with lime poured over it).


Cilantro Lime Rice
from the kitchen of Erin Grotegut

2 Cups rice (I used Calrose)
3 Cups chicken broth
1/4 C white onion, finely diced
3 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 Tbs lime juice
1/4 C cilantro, finely chopped

1) Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a stock pot, add rice and onions and coat rice with melted butter, saute for a few mins until onions are near translucent, but not brown.  Add in garlic and saute until it smells very aromatic, being careful not to burn the garlic.

2) Add salt, 2 Tbs lime juice, and chicken broth to pan.  Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 mins.   Let sit covered for 5 mins.

3) Just before serving add in the remaining 2 Tbs of lime juice and the cilantro.. toss together and serve hot.


There you go! A super easy and  perfect “I want summer here” dinner. Enjoy!

Tip Junkie handmade projects