Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pantry Love

Last September this was an anniversary gift from dear hubby. Considering I have very little fondness for floral shop bouquets and even less of an interest in adorning myself in silver or gold this was absolutely perfect. However did he know exactly what to get me to make my heart swoon? It was quite simple really considering our long standing tradition of dinner and a shopping spree in which we each select our own gift. Most often we find ourselves in a bookstore on our special day, quite appropriate considering they have been a favorite date night destination throughout the entire twenty-five years we have known each other. This year was no different and so while I purchased a stinky old set of books on Russian history he paid for this little gem!

For months now I have drooled over the pages of The Pantry, wishing ever so much our little house had one of it's own. Catherine Seiberling Pond does an amazing job detailing all the glorious attributes of this architectural element of domestic order. There are numerous photos of butler's pantries, storerooms, larders, farmhouse butt'ries, Hoosiers, and "secret cupboards" where old closets with shelves have been outfitted as makeshift pantries. . . . . hold on one moment there....closets with shelves? Makeshift pantries? After numerous rereadings of the book, inspiration finally hit with my realization that I had a closet. . . . . old. . . with shelves. . . centrally located to the kitchen. I dashed down the hall and swung open the door to reveal. . . . .

. . . . .this. UGH! Luckily my stint with the bathroom redo had my confidence level peaking and so I dug in.

First things first, I removed the door which did a lot to brighten up the cubby and open up a new space for Stormy to explore. Although a bit concerned to discover his dog food had also been removed he didn't linger long since I'd decided the wire shelves had to go and that was not a pretty scene.

Each of the five shelves had five support brackets containing two screw anchors. Now I'm sure there's a tool out there specifically designed to remove unwanted screw anchors but I stubbornly tackled all 50 with pliers, several assorted screw drivers, and a drill. Needless to say a good amount of a wall putty was required to repair the damage but after several coats of paint it looked good as new.

I have to thank my dad for the installation of some "real" shelves and believe me this was no easy feat either!

Since the edges of the shelves had a rough cut to them I decided to finish them off a bit. I found Home Depot had a whole assortment of wooden trims to choose from which were easily cut to size and tacked on with a few finishing nails. A bit more painting followed by several days of drying and it was ready to go. . . . .

Canned goods, dry goods, fruits and vegetables all found a new home.
While crisp, clean, and a huge improvement over its previous state of existence, it's nowhere near as charming or nostalgic as those pictured in Pond's book. I've now set my mind on remedying the situation.
While contemplating what elements could be added Stormy returned to check on the status of his food storage. He was quite relieved to find it located second shelf from the bottom but it seemed another little soul was in distress. A wee whimpering could be heard in the distance and when followed lead me directly to . . . . .

. . . . . Bogg's Cottage. Upon first glance it was quite evident something was awry. My knocks went unnoticed, most likely due to the steady sobbing heard from within. After several calls up to little Lucy's window a faint response to let myself in was finally heard.

At the top of the stairs I found her, engulfed in a sea of fabric. "Oh I've ruined everything," she cried. "I was so excited to make something special for Lily Red that when I returned home from the store I couldn't wait to get started. But it seems once I began, I couldn't stop. I've gone absolutely scissor crazy and cut all the fabric into shreds and now there's not a single piece left big enough to make a bed cover out of. Whatever am I to do now with this mess?"
The poor thing! It truly was a mess, and a big one at that. But it's not as if I haven't tackled a mess or two in my time (remember my pre-pantry photo?) I actually had a glimmer of an idea but needed a bit of time to work out the details and Lucy needed a spell to calm down.
"It's going to be alright," I told her. "I got a plan and I think you'll be quite pleased in the end. For now lets gather up these scraps. I'll take them away while you dry you eyes and when I return we'll sit down with a pot of tea and have a chat."


  1. The pantry is wonderful! Way to go!
    I hope all works out with Lucy!

  2. Fell in love with your pincushion Lilies in the newest Art Doll Quarterly. They're darling! Been checking out your blog too... also charming.

    I've been working on a big ole scrap quilt but you've got me wanting to make another doll quilt! Does Lucy need any help with the one she's trying to put together? :- )