Happy 2011

 Happy New Years Eve Day everyone!  I am planning on spending New Years Day the exact same way I spent today... doing nothing.  The hubby has this entire week off, and you know what that means for mama I HAVE THE ENTIRE WEEK OFF!  Sorta anyway, so I will be watching football, eating way to much food and debating whether to take down the Christmas stuff or not.  

So, keeping with the theme rather than do anything real productive today I learned {relative word here} how to use Photoshop.  I know that I probably should have waited to do any changes until I know what my new header {here} from House09 is going to look like, but I couldn't stop myself.  Did ya check out my cool new background?  Doesn't it resemble my entry way wall?!  I also fine.al.ly created a button, so pretty please grab them up. 

To go with it I have a new signature at the bottom of my posts:


 At the bottom of House of Ficek is now this great quote:

and there you have it, that was mostly my day.  I ran out of time to look into creating sidebar tags and adding better font, but there is always tomorrow so stay tuned ;)

Happy New Year's to all of you great, inspiring and amazing women!


DIY Play Kitchen

Remember this guy?   

Over the past two weeks I have been diligently working to make this tv cabinet that I purchased at a furniture resale store into the {this is my bias coming out folks} cutest play kitchen of all time!  We had been planning on purchasing a play kitchen all finished, but my discriminating taste kicked in.  The plastic kitchens are fine, but lets be honest they aren't the prettiest things ever.  This is going to be in our kitchen for a few years, and I want it to look good.  So on to the wood kitchens.  Ugh, most are pink and for girls.  REALLY?!  I'm sorry, but boys like to get into cabinets and bang the pots and pans around too!

After being inspired by the wood kitchens my exact statement to hubby was "oh, I could make one of those.  It would be cuter too!".  So off to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Antique Square, and finally a furniture resale store with that little guy for $15.  Done and Done!

Step 1:  This piece of furniture was a laminate tv cabinet.  I knew in order to make it last with a destructive little guy I was going to have to do some good prep work.  Before painting, the cabinet was transported over to a good friends home where I conned the hole for the sink was cut out.  The cabinet was sanded all over, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted two more times and two good coats of polyurethane were added {do NOT skip this step, it really makes everything so much more durable for persons who aren't careful i.e. children}.  I already had all of the paint in the garage, which determined the color scheme.

Step 2:  Anything that was going to have a silver base coat got spray painted {sorry for the pictures, most were done at night in the garage}.

Step 3:  Two coats of chalkboard paint were directly applied to the laminate side.  Using a tip from the brilliant Janell over at  Isabella & Max Rooms, chalk was applied to the entire side after it had dried and then erased.   It really does help not getting a lasting image of previous drawings on it.  
Step 4:  Using some scrap wood we had in the garage a frame was made to go around the chalkboard wall.  I put it together and painted it prior to attaching it to the cabinet so that I wouldn't have to trim it out at all.  Then I just touched up the areas where the nails were covered.

Step 5:  After searching for a faucet to use, I decided to not invest the $30+ price tag of an actual faucet and become inventive.  I found this little "J-trap" in the plumbing isle.  It came with that base/washer.  After spraying it with a good coat of silver paint, a metal washer was dropped into the base and screwed into the cabinet.  The actual "J-trap" was then screwed onto the base.  Not only does this allow for durability, but the "faucet head" is able to turn like a real faucet would.
Step 6:  Actually this came after the base coats of paint, but prior to the polyurethane.  Black paint was applied to create the "stove top".  
Step 7:  Holes were drilled for the knobs being used as faucet handles as well as stove knobs. 

Step 8:  I found some scrap fabric at Hobby Lobby that coordinated with the colors of paint I was using {I didn't purchase any new paint, but used what I already had in the garage}.  Using stitch witchery I made a no sew curtain to the opening size.

Step 9:  The only type of curtain rod that I could find to fit this opening was a tension rod.  I know my son, and this would become a fun game to tear that curtain off.  Instead I cut down a dowel rod to slightly smaller than the opening.  I drilled small holes into the center of each end on the dowel rod.  Holes were then drilled through the cabinet so that a screw could attach the dowel rod to the side of the cabinet {fabric was already on rod before being hung}.

Step 10:  I drew an outline on the cabinet doors of what I wanted it to look like {this came in handy, because I didn't like how the oven and microwave were and repainted them}.  Then the appropriate paint colors were added.  Finally, a few stickers were attached for the fridge "big chill" logo and the microwaves buttons.

Step 11:  Pretty it up - All of the accessories that made his kitchen extra unique were added including {to hubby's dismay} all 95 pieces of food.  I really liked that "F" hood, but if I had it to do again I would get a shorter hook.

Adding up the Cost:
cabinet - $15
supplies - $9.65
knobs - $12.36
replacement of broken knob - $3.99
fabric - $3.67
storage - $7.99
accessories - $22.98

Total - Priceless $75.74

and drum roll please...

Alright, before I let you all get back to your lives here are some pictures of the little man playing in his kitchen all.day.long!
{I know his outfit doesn't match, it was early on Christmas morning and we had to grab a sweater to keep the little guy warm!}

The Lettered Cottage


New Year's Eve Party Anyone?

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. -Hal Borland

The years keep slipping by me.  A few months ago I realized I was actually a year older than I had thought! {I am blaming that one on my son who took over my birthday}.  It is almost 2011, and of course Martha never fails with her  great party ideas!  I am loving this bubble wrap idea.  isn't this a great way to let the kiddos have some fun without the mess of confetti {my body tenses up all over at the sight of that stuff, ugh what a mess!}, and with all of the Christmas packages there is sure to be an abundance laying around. 


I am cheap love using what you've got laying around why not turn that beautiful wrapping paper into decorations {except if they come from my Grandma who got a good deal on wrapping about forty years ago, and is still using the stuff}.

For the older kiddos this would be a great way to keep them out of your hair entertained.  They seem pretty simple to make, and ahh seriously I can't get enough of pretty paper!

again, why didn't I think of that?

Most years we are in Colorado ringing in the new year with our family.  We stayed home this Christmas though, and in all honesty the Christmas decorations are probably going to double as New Year's decorations.

Merry Christmas!

Thank you to each and every one of my followers!  It has been a pleasure to meet this great group of people from all over the country world who share the same passion that I do.  The last few months since I started this little blog of mine have been amazing, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know y'all {I'm not a native Texan, but I can pretend}. 



Anthropology Style Knobs

I have been obsessed with the cabinet knobs from Hobby Lobby.  They have a great Anthropology look, and have a great Hobby Lobby price tag {especially if you wait for their 50% off sale}.  I re-did a dresser last year using some of these knobs, and I am planning on putting some on the closet doors {here}.

Remember that huge project Christmas gift {here} I was inspired to begin working on about a week and a half ago?  Well I am using each and every one of these cute knobs on it :)  I just couldn't help myself!

 ...and I have to give a BIG shout out to Centsational Girl for her photography tips she posted on this week {here}.  Are these photos not a serious improvement?!  I was instantly inspired to go around my home and re-shoot photos of my home.


'Tis the Season to Be Jolly... & I WON, I WON!!

fa la la la la, la la la la

This weekend has really put me in the Christmas mood.  We had my husbands annual work party on Friday night, and guess what... it was at the aquarium.  It was pretty cool to walk into the aquarium after hours and have free rein of the place, it was also a little bit creepy.  The lights were dimmed way down, and it felt like we were the only people in the entire place.   I wish I had taken my camera, but it didn't go with my cute dress ;)  Here are a few pictures from other sources that should give you an idea of how cool this place is.


We ate lots of gingerbread men, chocolate macaroons and overall just a ton of food.  Hey, that's what New Years resolutions are for right?!  Then we had the Christmas services at church.  Some of the kids got all dressed up in snow gear and were dancing on stage, VERY CUTE!  Not to mention that I won my very first giveaway!!  What's Up Whimsy was giving away a blog header from House 09, and I am so excited to have won.  Merry Christmas to ME :)

So, look forward to a new look for house of ficek in 2011.  As you all know, starting a blog is a learning process.  It has been so wonderful to get all kinds of help from you fellow bloggers the last few months since I started this little blog of mine.  I am so grateful to each and everyone of you who devote time out of your busy schedules to listen to my rantings.  In a nutshell {told you I am feeling the Christmas spirit}, that is why I have been in the Christmas mood this weekend, and browsing the internet starring at all these gorgeous Christmas decorations.  Here are a few of my favorites  today.


What did I get myself into?

Seriously, I don't know why I am taking on this project so late in the game!  Can you guess what I'm up to now?

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