Winter work

When the wind blows cold, and the garden sleeps, the only thing that can get me outside is my critters!  I have to let them out, feed them, change water, clean out their hutches and sleeping quarters, and this week I’ve been thawing out their water troughs and founts!   We’re just barely breaking freezing during the daylight hours!   It is a bittersweet job.

While I know the chickens and geese stay healthy for my having done all this work, and I am sure on some level they appreciate it, it is none the less a dreary job in winter temperatures and/or the rain.

So, once my duties to flock are done I then come in to do house work and special projects.  This winter my special projects are:

  1. Redo the pantries (yes, curiously, there are two of them)
  2. Paint the bathrooms
  3. Work on my Etsy items
  4. Research historical facts for my book!!!  (I am very excited about this!)

The first project on the list is actually pretty easy, although making the trim was very time-consuming.   I wanted to add a trim of some sort like they used to do in the 40’s and 50’s but there are none to be had because they are no longer made.  Too bad I say, but I won’t let it hold me back.  I found a place with instructions to make my own, but then I ended up doing it entirely differently!  I pinch pleated and sewed them all down… That   took   a    v – e – r – y        l – o – n –  g        t – i – m – e.  Then I sewed on the Swiss Dot Red Grosgrain ribbon.

Here is what I was up against… as in literally.





Crammed and packed in two layers, It was hard for me to get into the back to reach anything because it is over a three-foot reach!  The solution?  Remove the front boards off of each of the lower levels,  which then gave me about a two foot wide access.  To replace the lost shelf space, we then mounted a demi-shelf at eye level, and added new shelving across the bottom.


Carpentry Done and first coat of paint applied



NOTE:  Plumbing panel to the bathroom tub is not blocked.  The shelf is braced on the panel, but not nailed in place to allow for easy access.  Light items only here.


Now that I am done painting, I’m waiting for the paint to dry for 48 hours (so the cans won’t stick into it).  I am resisting the urge to just throw it all back in because I can’t stand the mess in my kitchen and dining rooms.  Ech!



Skirting stapled into place…

OK, Done!



Total cost to paint and skirt two pantries:  Under $15:00.

I’m happy!


9 thoughts on “Winter work

  1. Rich Fletcher says:

    Looks great Lynda! I esp. like the small shelf for the lttle cans, Ive been thinking about adding one of those. Now that i see it, Ill have to get on it. :)) Its funny you post this today , as I spent all day reorganizing my kitchen and pantry. I didnt even think about b4 and after shots lol .

    • pixilated2 says:

      LOL! Normally I don’t think about it until I’m done. I was about halfway into emptying the shelves when I remembered.

      Oh… Hey Rich, don’t forget to take pictures when you are done!

  2. deadlydad says:

    I hear your pain about the pleats. I always hated making them. Fortunately, there’s a few tricks to make your life easier the next time.

    If you are doing single pleats (like I *think* you did there), first cut a piece of laminate or other thin, stiff material the width of your pleat. For each pleat, make a loose loop of fabric, slip the laminate strip inside the loop, tight against the previous pleat and at a right angle to the shelf edge, tighten the fabric around the strip and staple it at the base, sandwiching the strip between the two halves of the fabric loop, then slip the loop out, fold the new pleat over, and staple the edge.

    For a double pleat, it is done almost the same way, except you also have a strip that is half the width of your pleat (I just cut a piece out of my first strip instead of making another one). Also cut a slot about a third of the pleat width wide, up the center of the wide end of the strip. You first lay the narrow strip down beside your previous pleat to measure the center of the pleat, staple the fabric to the shelf edge, make a sandwich and staple like the single pleat, then twist the strip 90 degrees, center the slot, and staple the center. (Making the slot wider than your staples is handy.) Done!

    Double-check my method before you try it, as it has been over a quarter-century since I did my mom’s cupboards, and I may have forgotten something.

  3. deadlydad says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention some other shelving tricks.

    1. If you mount your shelves at an angle and put a barrier at the front, everything will slide as far forward as it can, so you won’t have to reach anything at the back.

    2. For lower shelves, drawer slides and a barrier at the back mean not having to bend over *and* reach back; you can just grab a drawer pull on the front of the shelf and pull it out.

    3. Under the bottom shelves, you can have boxes on non-swivelling casters.

    4. Optionally, you can make the bottom couple of shelves a short kitchen cart, where you can store your large cutting boards, knife holder, appliances, etc.

    5. You can mount a single-level spice rack on a hinge on the side of your pantry, just under a shelf, so you can swing it out as needed. If it is sturdy enough, you can daisy-chain them together with oppositely facing hinges, so a 3 foot spice rack will collapse into a foot of space.

    6. The bottom of shelves are also good places to store large, flat things, like cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc. Strips of plywood in a ‘T’ or ‘L’ acts as a lip to hold them in place.

    7. Aluminum foil/parchment paper/etc. can all mount on dowels mounted to the side of the shelf, and hang, one behind the other, under a shelf. They can all be fed over a piece of wire coat hanger near the front, and a hacksaw blade screwed to the front edge of the shelf (cutting edge hanging below the bottom edge) will cut off whichever is pulled through, quite handily.

    8. Individual LED shelf lights are inexpensive and provide plenty of illumination. These ( ) look to be a good match, as not only do they include the 110 power supply/driver, but the strip itself is intended to be able to be cut in multiples of 3 lights, making mounting individual sections a simple matter of cutting it 5-6 lengths at the dots then soldering wires to join them back together.

    That’s all I can think of for now…

  4. Lindy says:

    Lynda, This is great. 😀 I should also have taken pics. but I could just use yours. LOL!! My kitchen/dining table looked just like yours for a couple of days while I painted our pantry. I’m beginning to wonder if there is some kind of a FB pantry virus going on since 3 of us have redone our pantries recently? Your trim really puts a spark into the entire pantry. Perhaps you should find a manufacturer and start producing shelf trim again? 😀

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thanks Lindy!

      It’s a fall/winter spruce up job. What else are you going to do when the sun hides its face and you can’t get out in the garden! I like the fabric because IF I ever needed to, I can pop the staples and soak it clean, hang to dry, press it and then rehang it. (theoretically) LOL! The whole time I was doing this I kept thinking the color scheme reminded me of Mary Engelbreit’s style. I’m thinking of adding some red/black (?) pegs in there to hang aprons and such. 😀

  5. Anke says:

    It has been unseasonably cold here, hasn’t it? Hopefully it’ll warm up a bit by this weekend (and doesn’t rain) since the Twickenham Historic Preservation Association is hosting “the spirit of Christmas past” homes tour this Saturday. Some friends and I are going and I’d hate to do this when it’s freezing and raining. Have you ever gone?
    Your pantry turned out really nice, the trim adds a little something extra to it. Very pretty! We redid our pantry/laundry room not too long ago, and my dining room table and guest room bed were a mess for a week. Argh… I don’t do well with chaos like that…
    Have a great day and stay warm!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Anke!

      I have never been, but I have heard of the Twickenham Historic Preservation Association’s “Spirit of Christmas Past.” Thanks for reminding me of this event, because I sure wasn’t thinking about it, and I need to go. Maybe we’ll run into each other. Who knows? 🙂

  6. Lindy says:

    I really like the changes. The first thing I noticed was how much easier to read this one is. Also, colors appear more true to your descriptions. And, finally, it’s snowing. 😀 Great job, Lynda. I know how much work it takes to work through just one blog entry + pics. This must have taken you the better part of the day.

    I like 😀

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