the kitchenening: side quest complete

An empty room with hardwood floor, dark wood trimmed windows, white ceiling, and green walls.

We’ve had a few days of rest in the kitchen work, waiting for appliances and the last bits of cabinet, so I was finally able to get the living room painted. We’ve lived with someone else’s joy killing beige in this room for 20 years while waiting to have the ceiling repaired, but we’re looking forward to spending the next 20 snuggled down in this cozy room with its dreamy green. The wall to the left is closest to the actual colour and I can’t wait to see how my new quilt is going to look in here.

Now to start drawing up plans for the built in shelving we’re planning for the wall that used to have a doorway through it.


A red hibiscus flower in bloom indoors.

We had a few lovely days last week in which this red hibiscus shrub, inherited last month from a neighbour who has sold their home to move out of province, flowered in our dining room for the first time. They’re fleeting but oh, so lovely.

Yes, the fallen blossoms are now in my freezer, waiting to become a dye bath.

blue sketchbook, pages 6-7


A horned hotdog person talking about a surprise party.

Ballpoint pen, Sharpie marker, other markers, white gel pen, gesso.

Yes, I know that “partie” doesn’t mean “party”. I got this phrase off the back of a record sleeve, one of the records we bought at a charity yard sale (might have been Saint Vincent de Paul Society?) held in the funeral home parking lot, at which we scored a whole bunch of French records in mint condition that had been removed from the collection of the local French CBC radio station. Anyway I did initially think “party” and thought it was the funniest phrase. When I started posting my little two-panel drawings of cartoon birds saying things that I overheard in public onto my studio website (link: Surprise Party in the Snow) I lifted the phrase for a title. Only one person has ever pointed out to me the error, which tells me that either everyone else thinks I don’t know and is embarrassed for me, or they don’t know themselves, or not many people have actually seen the thing (most likely option). Ah, well. Anyway this sketchbook contains many, many mentions of a sorpresa fiesta en la nieve. It really does sound like a lovely thing, doesn’t it?

the kitchenening, part nine

Lots happening this week. Our cabinets are almost fully installed. Our countertops came early. They tried a bonkers thing to fix the old oak floorboards that were bowing up so that every step across the high traffic part of the room sounded like babow-babow: sawing a line between two floorboards to give it space to relax. It worked okay but not perfectly, but it’s a 112 year old floor so perfect isn’t really in the list of options. It’s noticeably better, though.

The corner of a room with a doorway through to an unfinished kitchen on the left, three mannequins in front of a plant-filled window in the centre, and a gutted piano stacked with bar glasses and bottles on the right.

They took down the plastic sheeting and plywood panel from across the wide doorway between the dining room and the new kitchen, so we can finally get a sense of how the spaces feel together. It’s strange seeing that mustardy yellow (“maize”, according to the chip) against the pale chartreuse of the dining room, but I think once the green backsplash is installed it’ll be less strange.

An unfinished kitchen with yellow and wood tone cabinets, hardwood floor, white wall, and a window opening into a room beyond which is painted green and has a tall window in the centre.

Here’s the view into the room from that doorway. That shelf above the passthrough is the last bit of cabinet still to be finished.

You can see through the passthrough that we’ve started painting the living room a lush, mossy green. Yes, this means the entire main floor of our house is green and yellow now: chartreuse dining room, yellow and green kitchen, green living room, and the front room has two walls baby blue, the wall along the stairs buttery yellow, and the wall leading into that green living room is a beautiful ivory-and-green experiment I haven’t shown you yet. Maybe once we get the old kitchen converted into a bathroom we’ll do it in a warmer colour, but to be honest it’ll probably wind up green.

An unfinished kitchen with yellow and wood tone cabinets and white walls with an older style window trimmed with dark wood in the centre.

The trim has been reattached to our original window and door. I nearly had a panic attack watching one of the contractors going at it on my century old wood with the nail gun but it all went fine and looks great.

That drawer with no handle is the wrong colour and is going to be replaced with a better match so, no need to point out to me that it doesn’t match, hah. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

There’s just so much counter space in here. I keep going in and standing in front of the passthrough and rubbing my hands over the counter in a pantomime of kneading bread. I can’t wait to knead bread here.

Close up of a grey and white quartz countertop with unfinished backsplash and matching quartz sill above it.

Here’s a closeup of my bread kneading spot. We chose this quartz countertop because it looks like terrazzo.