Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Stained Glass and New Counters

I only worked a half day today, so that I could be home in the morning for a visit from the plumber. 
He was here for 3.5 hours, and then I walked to work for the afternoon. I picked an easy outfit that I've worn before. Nothing wrong with an old favourite!

  • Baby blue blouse - no label, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here in March with a fine skirt
  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last seen here in February before the VFF Gala
  • Shoes - Half Truth Veda, Fluevog; last worn here in April with a lovely skirt

As always when I wear this dress, I get comments like, "Partridge Family bus! Stained glass! A painter!" [they mean Piet Mondrian]
I've always called it my stained glass dress. It's a sheer black silk organza with all of those squares of silk shantung sewn on individually.

It's really quite amazing - I have had it for years!
I bought it in 2011 for $42.00 at The Velvet Crease and I've worn it 13 times (this is the 3rd time with this blouse!), so my cost-per-wear is going well at just over $3 per outing.

Today, I discovered a rip in the black silk right where my hand is, below, on my hip.
 This would be a good instance where iron-on interfacing could save it from tearing further - it would be invisible once mended, so I'll definitely be doing that. It's sad when clothes start to wear out!

The stuff:
Speaking of wearing out, these shoes have taken a beating in the 5 years that I've had them. I've worn them a LOT. They'll be replaced eventually, when I find another pair of amazing black kitten heels!

  • Earrings - Stella & Dot, consignment, Vancouver
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes

So! L and I have been in a state of renovation for just over a week - and it's been very stressful. Other people do massive renos, but we do fairly little ones, as both of us hate having our space disrupted and our routines discombobulated.

When we bought our condo - which was built in the mid-70s - it was painted blackboard green throughout, with thick white/cream carpet. Instead of tile in the hall/kitchen/bathroom, it had carpet with patches of ugly, original laminated flooring.

I found this very old picture of L (from back when I hid his face!) feeding our first kitty Othello some tuna:
The counters were yellow, we had glitter "stone" floors, the original brown wood cupboards were pale yellow with giant original hardware. The kitchen walls were covered with puffy wallpaper. It was truly...hideous.

We lived with it for a few years, and then painted the cupboards bright orange, put in malachite green laminate countertops, and scraped all the wallpaper off and painted the walls terra cotta. What can I say? It was the early 00s. We thought it looked great at the time!

We last did renos to our kitchen about 15 years ago, when we replaced our cupboard and drawer fronts and hardware, trimmed out the swoopy wood over the sink, and painted all but the facing walls cream to match the new fronts. It's not as yellow as it looks here - it's all cream.
"Why do you keep taking pictures of the kitchen? I'm right here!"

We couldn't afford to do the counters, so again, we just lived with them, until this year, when we'd saved up enough to replace the counters and the old, not-working-properly taps (our cat-sitting friends Cat and Ross were ready to rebel!).

Last Friday, we were all set to have our new counters installed...except the guy who measured it all, and noted that the long counter on the right wouldn't fit in our building's elevator...forgot to note that to the guys who cut the counter. This was the state of our kitchen.
Fridge in the dining room, sink gone. No counter. Unhappy L and Sheila!

The stove was in the dining room too.
Good thing we don't have a dining room table. We've been eating out a lot this past week!

We had to wait till Monday to have the 500 lb slab cut, and then it was all installed yesterday:
Look at our lovely creamy-white counters! The sink/faucet is still not hooked up, though - that had to wait till today.

We opted for quartz countertops, and chose a cream to match the cupboards/walls, with a slight brown fleck/veining in it.
It lasts forever, doesn't have to be sealed and doesn't stain. Perfect for us!

So pretty! The piece of wood with the clamp is to hold the slab in place until all the adhesives/caulking are fully dry.
They definitely make our kitchen look bigger, until we cram all our crap back onto the counters, heh heh. 

Our big issue was with the sink. We'd ordered an "over-mount" sink, which sits on top of the counter, but due to some (more) mix-ups, we got under-mount. Not a terrible thing - it does look really nice - but the extra depth (modern sinks are really deep), it didn't line up with our drain pipe! 

We were terrified we'd be without a kitchen sink (it's been a pain only having our bathroom sink), or that we'd have to tear a hole in the common area stairwell to reposition our ancient plumbing, but this morning, our awesome plumber was able to make it work.  
Tah-dah! What a nice sink! And a faucet that works! Ooh...swanky!

We are cautiously optimistic that there won't be any leaks, and that the dishwasher will run properly. Please send good vibes!


  1. I hope you can fix the dress, it's so pretty and looks great on you!

    Your new kitchen looks so nice and worth the hassle - good luck connecting up the dishwasher! After we moved in here I'd been loading up the dishwasher and eventually tried to start it, only to find out it wouldn't turn on...when it was full of dirty dishes, argh! Thankfully we figured it out, turned out there was a hidden switch we had to turn on first...I hope your kitchen setup is a lot smoother!

    1. I think it will fix well with some iron-on interfacing, Mica. Thank you!

      Thanks! We ran the dishwasher last night and all went well. Phew! Oh no, a hidden switch? How bizarre!

  2. Great kitchen renovation! I am crossing my fingers for the final steps to work! We redid our kitchen COMPLETELY (or nearly so--the floor still needs replacing) and it has been such a delight to love that space finally. I hope you will have years of pleasure from your remodel.

    1. Thank you, Linda! The dishwasher worked, so we are both heaving great sighs of relief. Glad your own space is giving you joy!

  3. Your kitchen is beautiful! And I am coveting the countertops!

  4. The reno looks great! Wonderful counter choice. And I really hope you can fix your dress. It's one of my very favorite pieces of yours!

    1. Thank you, Charlotte! We're just happy to have the kitchen done!

      I think I can fix it, no worries. It's one of my favourites too!

  5. Can you lay a patch of matching silk over top and use some iron on fabric fuser (I forget what its called). That is such a lovely dress, I can see your hot pink kitten heels with this baby. Your new counter tops look great!

    1. Dar, I'm going to use some iron-on interfacing on the back-side of it (the dress is lined, so on the back of the silk organza, between the lining). I think it will make it stronger, and won't be noticeable.

      Oh, good call with the pink pumps - they will look great with this.

      Thank you! So glad that's over!

  6. Yea for new countertops and a new tap! I know how nice it can be to have lighter colors and functional utilities. And I am hoping (x10) that this post takes, as once again, since whenever my last comment was made on your blog, Safari is not taking my comments (or maybe it's blogger?) Ah well, fingers crossed!

    1. Hi, Laurie! It's so nice to have it all finished for now.

      FYI, you can comment anonymously (so, not logged into any profile) - that might make it easier? Just sign your name so I know it's you. :) Good luck!

  7. You're looking fabulous and ready to take on anything the day throws at you, Sheila. I hope you're able to mend the tear. As for your counter tops and new sink, what a difference they make! We should take a leaf out of your book and do something about our kitchen, but like you we do have renovation phobia. xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann - clothing as armour for the win! I hope I can mend that as well - it's easier than the Helmut Lang top, for sure.

      I really hate any kind of renos, even simple things like painting. Ugh.

  8. Sending good vibes for no leakages.
    I prefer an under-mount sink over an over-mount sink as you collect dirt at the edges of the latter.
    Looks really good. Can't believe you lived with a not working tap for so long. It would drive me nuts.
    Now for the dress: love it! Shape, length, colours, everything.

    1. Good so far! We chose over-mount because of the depth issues, but yes, it does look much nicer! It drove us nuts, believe me!

      Thank you, my dear!

  9. Oh wow this looks really good :) What a difference, it even looks bigger !

    1. It does! Well, until we cram all our crap back onto the counters, hee hee. Thanks, Lorena!

  10. I've always loved your stained-glass dress. So colorful and cute. Sorry 'bout the renovation disruption; it's hard to live through that. I know from experience.

    1. It's a beauty, for sure.

      Thanks, Ally - it's been just one of a million stresses right now.

  11. Ooo I GASPED at the sight of your stained glass dress- what a unique and beautiful piece.
    I love seeing inside people’s houses and the new cream counters brighten up the kitchen so much! X

    1. Isn't it amazing, Jess? Thank you so much!

      It's a big difference! Thanks!

  12. What a difference! Your kitchen looks so much bigger and brighter. So glad it all came together in the end. That must be a huge weight off your shoulders.
    Love that stained glass dress - the blue blouse is brilliant beneath. xxx

    1. Yes, it's such a relief to have it done, and nothing gone terribly wrong (or overly expensive).

      Thanks, Vix!

  13. I've always thought of that dress as the Partridge Family Bus dress too! As I've always been a renter, I've never had to worry about renovations unless the landlord wants to do major ones, and then I get evicted (which happened at my last apartment). If I had the choice, I would go for an under mounted sink just because of all the gunk that collects at the edges of an over mount (like Greetje mentioned)

    1. It resonates as that for a lot of people! I'm always surprised.

      Ugh, they are the worst - so disruptive. We see a lot of "reno-victions" here in Victoria - it's quite a problem.

      We chose over-mount originally due to the depth issues.

  14. I'm loving your 'stained glass dress' and glad that it can be fixed easily!, it's so beautiful and the colorful silk pieces are so stunning!.
    I agree that it's sad when a favourite piece starts to wear out!
    Your new countertops look fab and make your kitchen look bigger actually!. Having to deal with plumbers and stuff makes me feel too annoyed, I'm very fond of my routine!

    1. It's one of my treasures, truly. I will be sad when it finally wears out.

      Thank you! I really love how bright they make it. I hate dealing with this kind of stuff! Arg!


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