Kitchen Storage and Another Old Window

Time to get caught up on sharing with you all the projects we worked on this summer.  Today I want to show you the latest updates in the kitchen. Before I do I thought you might like a peek into my day so far.  First thing this morning little guy arrived with his mom to drop off some supplies I needed and their dog – they are taking a weekend trip.

Little guy found the last of this year’s strawberries. This bed was planted just for the children and it’s a good thing because I might have had a dozen berries all summer from this bed – when they were willing to share with me.  🙂

Little guy and strawberries

Once they left I got to work finishing a table I was refinishing and painting the ramps and stairs to complete the deck project. I’ll get that written up and share it in a day or two.  Taking a break to write this I brought Elsa in with me and gave her newest toy hoping she would let me work. This is what I looked up to find less than five minutes after we settled in. (please ignore the drying laundry behind her)


Back to the kitchen. The awkward empty space is no longer awkward or empty.


The shelves are a bit empty at the moment as many of my jars are washed and ready to be refilled next week when I visit the bulk food store and stock up for winter.

This is my new pantry and a window we found under the porch repurposed as art and storage for cups.

This corner was perfect for a six in deep shelf which left the door casing exposed so the shelf didn’t overpower the doorway. The space was 49.5 inches wide and was just screaming to be used instead of sitting empty. The top two shelves are perfectly sized to hold quart canning jars while the bottom two are generous enough to hold the gallon sized jars I store my dried beans and staples in.


The pantry isn’t quite finished but that will involve another trip to the store.  When I picked up the pine boards I held my grandson while his mom loaded the boards into the cart. I was positive I told her to grab seven of them but when I began the project I found there were only six.  I went ahead and cut down the boards and assembled what I could on a warm sunny day.

I need to pick up one more board to add a top then find some fabric, knowing me I’ll use a piece of a drop cloth and some ring hooks to add a curtain.

The back of the shelf I added eight cedar boards I found under the shed, I have a ninth one ready but need it cut in half before attaching.  I had thought the cedar fence boards would fit perfectly with no extra cutting because the one I measured was 5.5 inches wide. Unfortunately, I found out they are not all the same width when I was trimming them down.  Anyway, to dress up the back I used the last of my chalkboard paint to paint them and make it pop.

Some of you may be asking why I bothered to add a back to this and the simple answer is that because of the length of the shelves, four feet, and the fact that I used soft pine boards that are just shy of an inch thick (1X6) I wanted to be sure they wouldn’t begin to sag over time holding all those jars.

Originally, I had planned to paint the pine boards with white milk paint to give it that old, antique look but milk paint isn’t carried at any of the stores I’ve checked in the area.  Ordering it online a small packet of milk paint would cost me $10 plus another $10 for shipping. Not worth the cost in my view.

Total cost for the shelf (including the last pine board) was $20.93.

An Old Window

I love old windows, they have so much more character than the replacement windows we find available today. When I had my family members help me clean out the trash on the small porch and under it we found a few of the original windows shoved under it.  I was so excited I asked that they be placed in the shed until I had time to work with them.

I have one window in the living room that I cleaned up and added a poster behind for a good-sized art piece. But I wanted one in the kitchen that would hold favorite pictures and be a place to hang my cups from.


I cleaned all the old chipping paint off the window but left much of the original paint around the glass panes to keep that “old” look.   I love everything about how this window looks.  But it’s not just how it looks that makes me smile, everything added to the window mean something.  While I had the window cleaned up, I waited until my grandchildren came down in June so they could help me add the pictures.  Let me show you the details.


This is a close up of the top row.  All pictures were added to the back of the glass using Modge Podge glue, and it was this step the children did with me.  Starting on the left is a twenty-eight year old photo of my sons.  In the picture they are one and four.  On the far right is a post card my youngest granddaughter brought back to me from her vacation last summer. And in the middle is a picture I clipped a while back out of a magazine.


The only item I knew had to be in the window was the one in the middle. This is the front of a card my son and his wife gave me for Mother’s Day this year.  As soon as I opened the card and saw the tea cup and tea bag I knew it was one of the pieces I needed to complete this window.  The photos on either side were chosen by the grand children out of a folder of images I saved from magazines passed to me over the years that were too pretty to toss out.


Finally the cups.   The three cups with the autumn leaves were a present from my daughter-in-law while she was still dating my son.  I thought it was impressive that she had only known me two years (while I lived in Arizona) but still knew how much I loved autumn colors. The other cup is one my other son bought and gave me when he was stationed in Washington D.C. with the Honor Guard when he was active military.  The image is of the White House and when you put hot liquids in the cup fireworks behind the White House show up.

Total cost for the window project: $7.12  I already had everything but the wire to hang the window securely on the wall and the large cup hooks.

One final note about the window, my daughter-in-law has decided this is her to a T and keeps telling me she wants it. If I ever need to pass it on I know where it will go. 🙂



  1. What a charming use for an old window. And you are right. It has such character. I think the open pantry is a nice idea as well. Wouldn’t work well in my place because my husband would bump into it or knock things over while looking for things. It is funny how you learn to ‘see’ things through his lack of sight. But I have always felt that jars for storage were functional and appealing to look at. In fact I have about 8 large jars in my enclosed pantry – pushed to the back so they don’t fall to the floor (with help – smile.)


    • Your husband and my grandson would get along well. I had a tall Ikea cabinet with glass doors that after seeing him run into with hands outstretched I knew the glass had to go. As soon as his mother saw the open shelves she informed me he would remove all the jars. Sure enough it took him seconds to begin carrying jars around and even though he doesn’t try to open them just seeing the food inside brings it to me and tells me to eat. It’s become a play kitchen of sorts for him now. Luckily, those canning jars aren’t easily breakable. 🙂


  2. Your grandson picking the strawberry is so cute. Mine used to love them, too. Something special about picking your own berries right out of the garden.
    Your shelves are very practical and look nice, too. I like having things one layer deep as it makes it easy to see what you have and get to them. Not like in a cupboard where things get pushed to the back. I can see why you haven’t been blogging — you’ve been accomplishing all these things to blog about!


    • He reminds me so much of his older cousin who would climb right in the strawberry bed and much away, he’s doing the same.

      I too hate a deep cupboard for the same reason. Something that holds one to three jars deep is all the depth I like to have. For this shelf it was all about using wasted space. How fortunate I was to measure and find those six inches that worked so well.

      And yes, I’ve been so busy this summer trying to make up for a short summer last year.


  3. You have been busy. The little one is adorable. The dog is doing what dogs do when the are anxious. You are braver than I to build your own cupboard. But I LOVE the window. I keep looking for one that’s free to do the same thing with. So many ideas, so little time and not enough walls. 🙂 Life is good.


    • Elsa may be little but she loves to tear her toys apart no matter where she is.

      Here’s another reason why we should live closer. I have a few more windows to work with and would gladly give you one, or more, freely. I love the windows but I don’t want a window in every room of the house. At some point, when I have time I’ll clean the rest up and repair them where needed then pass them on to others who want them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can actually hang them outside as well. I’d put one on the side/front porch. I’m sure I’ll run across one when the timing is right. It’s not like I have nothing to do. I was in the middle of cutting out quilt squares when the feet started to gripe. It’s time for some soup and back at it. 🙂 Most dogs love to chew things up. Mine didn’t. I don’t think she was ever really well. I still miss her though.


        • I do hope your feet are feeling better. For me it’s my left knee. Have to move it frequently or it pains me so.

          I’ve thought about putting one outside along the deck or ramps. That’s the side of the house that faces the street but I have no windows on that side making the house feel wrong. What I really want is a large barn quilt on that side of the house. Like you waiting for your window I’m waiting for a barn quilt to pop up in my world.

          Liked by 1 person

          • No I wasn’t going to have it painted on because I’m not sure if the next person to live here would like it. There are a few people who sell them on etsy but they are pricey. There is a guy here in town that has a wood working business and I thought I’d see what he would charge to make one for me. One day….

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think the making would be much easier than the hanging. I’ll have to investigate this now. I have a metal quilt square on the front of my house. Got it for $20 but now I want something that says a reader lives here too. I would put out a little free library but the restrictions here are just not allowing it. Now, I’m really thinking. We are going to have 85 on Monday then Autumn will be in full force.


          • I’d considered building a free library for the end of my drive but no one around here reads so it would be a waste. Talking to the town’s librarian I wonder how they stay a float because they have few people who borrow books any more either.

            If I had a barn quilt it would have to be screwed in to the framing of the house to keep it secure and then caulked to keep wasps from building nests behind it.

            Speaking of insects. How are the stinkbugs this year? I have only seen a couple here, not sure why but I’m not going to complain.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The stink bugs showed up in force yesterday and today. The last of the warm days. By the weekend, we will be well into fall . Yay!!! 🙂 I don’t borrow from the library either. It takes me to long to read a book. Our library just increased to twice it’s size. They will hopefully be reopen Oct sometime. That might increase the draw a bit. It was an old building and it will be updated with lots more light. I like to go and just browse the magazines.


          • I spotted my fourth stinkbug of the season today when I hung out my laundry. Not bad at all. Now my neighbors are complaining bitterly about them and say they are all through their homes. They can have them this year. I’m glad you had a longer break from them this year and hope they don’t stick around long.

            Yay for libraries increasing in size, hopefully they increased the amount of books and magazines as well. The library where I used to live built a new building to expand the size of the library but when we visited we found they had fewer books but a larger computer area. I was very disappointed.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m sure that’s what I’ll find as well. More computers. Maybe more seating to sit and browse. The old building has so little. Quite a few bugs right now. Spiders are more dense too. Weather is all off. 😦 still not as bad as last year. 🙂


          • I can’t imagine anything worse than you had last year. We’ve been finding bugs we’ve never seen before including new types of spiders so yes, things are off here in many ways.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing your updates…Love them all. Long admired old frames, and your pantry shelves seem perfect for their use. (too often I’ve seen shelves / cupboards which are much too deep or such.)


    • Thank you. The pantry shelves will work perfectly for me as I prepare meals because I can easily see the staples I want without having to dig for them.


      • yes, exactly…what a huge amount of commonsene to have shelves/cupboards where one can
        easily see what is there
        easily reach what is there.

        many yrs back, I was have a cupboard made for the kitchen. The “helpful” and kind (yes he had good intentions) who was making them, was astonished and very disbelieving when I insisted they be no wider than my dinner plates (on the inside of cupboard)..I think about eleven inches…. That was the widest thing I planned to put in, and still would give me PLENTY of room for jars/storage etc. Also, I insisted there not be an over amount of space “inbetween” shelves…Say just slightly more than my tallest jars I used for storage. I have never done well “stacking” things, where jars/dishes etc.. I usually end up knocking them over/out..(sigh…)..So, this way I had easy access, and many shelves.

        Most kitchen cupboards, on the bottom, are ridiculous. Have always thought so. to get out what is at the back, you must pull out what is in front, etc..Stupid, annoying, etc.. Once I visited a friend who was renting a house for a few months, which had been personally built by a carpenter for him and his wife (rather short folks…),,,The carpenter had been so proud to show off these BIG DEEP cupboards he had made for his wife, and spoke of how much she loved them (golly…I think she just loved him a lot…)..They had to move into something easier to care for. Anyway, my friend laughed as she told me, and had me look in her cupboard…Holly Molly, ……My six foot four son would not have been able to reach the back of the cupboards…DEEP..As I say, that man’s wife was a treasure…She must have used a cane to yank stuff out of the back

        At the risk of repeating myself, (grin), I really like your shelves for storage.

        Did I understand you to say you will be covering them with a curtain? wasn’t sure…Only thing I was going to suggest, since you often have little ones visiting, is a curtain is quite attractive for them to be grabbing and pulling…Little ones just seem to like this sort of thing.

        was going to mention
        “I was positive I told her to grab seven of them but when I began the project I found there were only six”

        did you check the bill to see what was charged for?
        reason I ask, is we have had quite a run, past three yrs or so, of stores “making mistakes” and charging for more than what is on the counter, not putting what we have purchased in the bag/cart/etc….Sadly, we have come to the conclusion these are not “genuine” mistakes, but some technique for the store managers to up their profit. After all, if they were “genuine” mistakes, wouldn’t the mistake sometime be “in our favor”? This has happened so often to us, that we try very hard to have one of us watching the till while the other unloads..Can you imagine? But everytime we don’t, we seem to end up with one of these situations. a grocery store we used to shop at, there was one nasty cashier..Truly she must have been an unhappy miserable person in her life, but still…She was always nasty in some way, and often (somehow) something seemed to go missing from our order. (it was so bad the “box boy”..- an older gentleman who did carry out, had been requested by the manager to sound customers out to see if they would make a written complaint. I would not, as …well one really does not know what she was dealing with at home..but…)

        Usually I shopped, and would often get home with something missing. Got to the point I had my husband go through, as I thought I was getting confused or something (took me a while to realise, sigh), but same with him.. Got so, if he/we got up to the till and she was the only cashier available, we would make a couple turns around the isle, and if that didn’t work, leave the cart and go.


        • Oh my, I hate the base cabinets, especially the ones in the corner because I can never reach anything down there. That woman was a better woman that I am because I would have made that man build me pull out shelves or something to make better use of that space.

          Sorry to hear about your nasty cashier. I had a good experience the day I picked up the wood. They had a sale where every thing you could fit in a pail was 20% off. At the checkout my cashier took pity on me and piled all the gallons of paint (for the deck I was buying) on top of the thing in the pail and gave me the discount on everything. As for the wood. My daughter-in-law insists I only asked her to get six boards and since we never took the wood out of the cart it was definitely a mistake on my part.

          Excellent point on the curtain. Little guy likes to hide behind curtains and doors and so yes he would be pulling on any curtain I put on that shelf. Plus at this point I think he would be offended. His favorite thing to do now when he comes inside is to stare at the shelf a bit then head over and rearrange all the jars.. Once that is accomplished then he plays with me or heads in to find a toy, but those shelves have to be organized before we can play. 🙂


          • that is interesting, that Little Guy (shall we say LG for short?, grin)
            heads first to re arrange your shelves with jars.

            I am curious, is there any rhyme or reason to his actions?
            -does he put them back how he had the previously?
            -does he put them in some order.. color of contents/level of contents in jar, color of lids. size of jars?
            -does he re arrange them from one shelf to another, or just rearrange jars on each shelf?

            I bet he has some reason. When he gets enough words, maybe you can ask him why…


          • I haven’t given much thought to what he’s thinking but now you have me wondering. So far what he’s done is try to move all the jars to the bottom shelf and when he can’t fit any more on that shelf works on the one just above it. He does seem to want all the dried beans on one shelf instead of separated by jar size the way I had placed them.

            I like LG. For a long time now I’ve tried to come up with some sort of nickname for my family members but worry about using their first initials as some initials have only so many names associated with them and I want to at least keep their identity (name) private. Maybe I should let you and the other readers suggest nicknames. 🙂


          • well, it would be fun for us all to suggest nicknames,
            but, from a personal experience, maybe Little Guy (aka LG) might not be best..

            we have friends who had a daughter when my son was about four, or so….
            well, to him, she was the baby (of course..and we then lived close so we saw lots of each other)
            well, we started (or I think he did actually)
            always calling her Baby ______ (her name)..

            that was all fine then. After a few yrs we moved, but through the yrs (yes even now) we (our family) ALWAYS refer to her (now a young Mother herself) as Baby _____. My gosh, I remember when she was a young teen and one of us slipped up and called her Baby ______. It was NOT well thought of by the young lady..And we felt really bad. We by no means meant to call a young teen a baby. She took it well enough, but we were extra careful. However at our home she is STILL Baby _____

            Moral of this story is, those nicknames STICK….

            so, my first suggestion ..
            he seems like a sturdy little fellow, one who is adventurous and a bit tough…

            how about


            something which would still be “dignified”, and possibly acceptable, if it should stick into adulthood..?


          • I like bear. I recently stopped referring to him as the baby now that he’s two and calling him Little Guy, bear because he’s adventurous and a bit tough is the perfect definition of his personality. So I may go with that.

            Funny story about calling one Baby. Since her birth I’ve called my first granddaughter Baby Girl. This summer I caught myself and mentioned to her that I should probably stop calling her that now that she was turning eight. She was shocked and told me I should still call her Baby Girl. Some kids don’t want to grow up too fast. Not sure how long she will appreciate the nickname but I’ll let her determine when enough is enough.


          • “Baby Girl”…is sweet…And, I think when Grandma has a nickname it may be a bit different than “family friends”..

            but also, I think you may be correct about her not wanting to grow up too fast. There is so much in this world for kids to cope with, I suspect it is re assuring to have Grandma use a familiar/personal/intimate nickname.


          • Yes, she’s my girl, has been from the day she was born. I’ll play it by ear and let go of the nickname when she’s ready.


  5. I’ve seen old windows used in various ways. My nephew used them at his wedding for signs. For example, one large one had the seating arrangements for the reception tables written on the panes. However, I especially like how you added the cups to the bottom of yours.


    • What a great idea to use windows that way. I’ve never seen that use before. The only mistake I made with the window was using picture wire to hang it. I have to make sure I don’t leave just one cup on the end hanging or the window shifts from the weight.


    • Wendy, it is so funny to watch him with the strawberries now because it took until about two weeks ago for him to agree to try one. His sister would pick all the ripe ones and share them equally with everyone but he would refuse. Then that one day he finally picked one and his face lit up and now he climbs in and gets every ripe berry he can find. Sad the season has come to an end just when he realized what a treat they are.

      I hope you find some downtime when you can pick up one of your windows. You are so creative, if you do send me a picture of what you do with them and give me some more ideas. 🙂


  6. Hi Lois! Nice to see you are still sharing ideas to create wonderful things inexpensively! I LOVE the window frame as a cup holder. I’ve seen it done a couple of different ways but yours is perfect. And the pantry shelves are wonderful. You don’t need to put a cover on it unless you really like it because I think it looks great open like it is. You have such an awesome imagination. Thanks for continuing to share it with all of us! ~Kathy


    • Thank you, Kathy. Just finishing that corner has helped to make the home feel closer to being done and showcasing my personality. I’m rethinking the idea of a curtain after having it pointed out that it might not be a great idea with the little ones.


    • Thanks, Christy. The children and I had fun with the window and they love seeing their dad and uncle when they were so young. The pantry is working out amazingly well except for the little guy rearranging all my jars every time he visits. On the other hand, he’s learning the names of all the beans and staples. 🙂


  7. Hi Lois!
    This is lovely – I would do that, too, if I had old windows hanging around 🙂 I first saw the idea at the home of one of my daughters’ friends 20 years ago and have never forgotten about it though I did not keep in contact with the family. Some Swiss farmhouses have this kind of attractive multipaned window (as do in my washhouse I but mine aren’t quite as old, having been replaced in the late 80s before we came here!) and along with a stripped pine wardrobe it seems to be a popular souvenir – many Swiss people are only one generation away from having been farmers and are still attached to the old place; you may also see an aerial view photograph of that farmstead in a number of homes (there is one in the apartment we stay at in the mountains each year!), and then the rest of the interior is often really modern as a contrast. Traditional buildings tend to be very pretty so it’s a nice memory to have, too. Also, maybe selling the farmland is what has enabled more recent generations to accumulate a good standard of living?! LOL
    Sorry I have not commented for a while. I got to spend 7 weeks in Brittany this summer and am off to England next week, so just a short breather to catch up inbetween unpacking and repacking… I’m looking forward (hopefully!) to a calm autumn where I will be doing my version of “hygge” once I return – I just read the Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (great name for a Dane!!)… you might enjoy it if you can get hold of it!


    • Please don’t apologize, I too have been crazy busy this summer, and still busy today, so I’ve been online very little in the past few months. I’m trying to get caught up but it’s hard.

      I love old buildings and homes but know what we call old here in the US is new compared to what is available in Europe. I’d love to have the opportunity one day to travel through Europe and see what a truly old building looks and feels like. And I hope one day you find an old window to incorporate into your wash house they do add personality to a room.


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