Posted by: Brenda Kula | August 6, 2008

Morning Coffee & Blog Awards


This is really my favorite part of the day. Having my morning coffee. I haven’t always been a coffee drinker. Just in the past few years.

Above is my coffee bar, as I refer to it. It’s really just a put-it-together yourself (though I can’t claim to have done this particular job) red distressed cabinet from JC Penneys I ordered online a few years ago. Whole thing was under $200. And so worth it. It has two doors below where I store coffee paraphernalia.

I give a little salute to Chat Noir above, remind myself to "simplify" as per the sign, take a look at the time on my cat clock with the pendulum tail. And I’m off to the computer to check up on all you guys! What a way to start the morning!

Can’t beat a favorite candle surrounded by coffee beans.


My rather colorful kitchen, below. I really need to wallpaper the back of this plain shelf. But I tried that once, and the wallpaper fell off. Any suggestions on how to get it to stick better? Should I sand the back before I apply the wallpaper? I’m thinking a nice red and cream toile design…


If you ever come drink coffee with me one day, you’ll likely wonder why I have a potting bench in my kitchen area. Well, I bought it at the consignment shop to put in my garden. But it didn’t seem to hold up well in the elements. Drawer kept falling apart. So I patched it back up and dragged it inside. Figured it was a good spot to hang some pots and pans. And store my little solid-color teapot collection.


Yesterday morning, I went to my favorite haunt. The antique mall in downtown Tyler. I think it’s over on Locust Street should you ever come to town. I’m in absolute heaven in that place. I seem to be on a "glass" binge. I bought these two glass canisters to put snacks in atop the potting bench.


This is my kitchen wall of tablecloths I’ve collected. And various vintage linens I’ve picked up on the cheap over the years.


Now we’re in the garden room next to the kitchen. My hangout. I also, in the past weeks, purchased all this transferware at the antique mall. I don’t think I paid more than around $6 per plate.


I’ve always had a red and blue theme going, but decided I needed some green. Due to the fact that I’m an avid gardener. Symbolic, you know.


And all this sits atop what I refer to as my "photograph table." I almost took the photos off and pitched this rather ugly piece of furniture recently, as I really don’t have room for everything I’ve got. And not much storage to rotate things. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d assembled all these photos of my family, pets and the garden. (I wouldn’t have pitched the photos!) I had a piece of glass cut to insert down in the lip of the table to protect the photos. What I really need to do is paint this piece of furniture. But I’m reluctant. I see all the beautiful paint jobs you gals do. But I’m kind of piss-poor in the painting department. I tried to do the crackle-paint redo on it once, but it didn’t turn out too good. So now I’m stuck with this rather dull table with precious photos on top. Any ideas for this one?


Below it is an old bench I spray painted red a few years ago. I can manage to use spray paint, but I get a lot on myself even then. Just don’t have the painting gene. Alex, come on and visit me and paint this table!


Now I’ve got an award to hand out. Laura, from My Little Orange Kitchen served this one up to me. Thanks, Laura! She’s a sweetie. Creative, talented, sews the most beautiful wallets. And cute as a bug’s ear. That girl has some good information on her blog. Always coming up with interesting stuff I need to know, and just didn’t realize it.

This is the Brilliant Blog Award


(For some reason, I’m having trouble copying images this morning. So if this one isn’t bright enough for you, feel free to go to Laura’s blog and copy hers. I’m kind of a nitwit at this copying images stuff.)

Anyway, you can put it in your sidebar if you so choose. It is actually part of the rules of the award, but I always was the odd man out. You’re to add a link to the person who awarded you (you gals I’m about to award this to). And then nominate some other blogs you feel are worthy of this recommendation. Add links to those blogs on your blog. Still there? Then leave a message for your nominees on their blog.

Okay, the tag is as follows: Name five things you want to do within a year:

1. I want to finish up a personal project I began last month. More on that later…

2. Lose another ten pounds (I know; I always say that…boring.) I could certainly stand to lose 20-30 pounds, but I’m a practical sort. And I know that’s not going to happen.

3. Get my house finished, as it’s still in the remodeling stage. And I’m sick of cement floors and stripped walls. And everything shoved into closets where I can’t find them.

4. Grow and eat my own veggies. (I’m wont to take the easy way out and open a can of organic black beans at mealtime. And sit down with a box of crackers. But I so envy you bloggers who post photos of your own mouth-watering produce you grew in your very own yard. Got the yard made into a certified wildlife habitat. Now I’ve got to feed myself!)

5. Read more of the books I keep stocking on the shelves. It seems like it’s all I can do to keep up on the magazines I subscribe to. Hey, ya gotta know what’s going on in politics and such! And there’s my weakness for the weekly People magazine. I really don’t need to know what those celebrities are up to. But it’s such wicked fun! However, those book spines just keep glaring at me, telling me there’s a reason I put them there in the first place…

And now the nominations for this category go to:

Jill, of Bailiwick Designs. I met Jill when she happened to win my 100th blog post gift certificate giveaway a few months back. Jill has a beautifully designed blog, and creates incredible handmade items she sells at her Etsy shop. Go over and see what this woman manages to come up with! I don’t know how on earth you get so much done, Jill. But you do, and if I wore a  hat I’d be tipping it your way, per the Texas honor code.

Gretchen, of Bird Nest Cottage. Gretchen and I became pals just recently, but find we have a lot in common. We’ve both been remodeling bathrooms. We have the same basic decorating style. And we’re both grandmas. And Gretchen, I love to read your blog for many reasons. I like what you have to say, of course. I like your photographs. And I like that you use a font that’s large, so’s folks like me can read it without having to enlarge our zoom level. Very important if you don’t like to squint. I’m blind enough as it is. So this makes me a happy camper!

Nola, of Alamo North. Nola and I are the same age, and live within two hours of one another, we found. We email back and forth and get things off our chests. Bitch about the stuff women bitch about. And just speak the same language in general. Nola, I hope you don’t mind my sharing this little tidbit, but I’ve been laughing about it since yesterday. So I just can’t resist. She came up with a phrase I hadn’t heard of, and I just can’t wait until I have an opportunity to use it myself. She was a little put-out with someone once, she related, and said, "I wouldn’t piss in their ear if their brains were on fire." Now I found that a real hoot. And it sends me off into gales of laughter once again. Naw, we’re not prissy sorts. We tell it like it is!

Alex, of My Quill And Pen. Alex, I see you have dressed up your blog! It’s looking mighty good. And I’m proud of you. More than that, I truly like you. Alex has been having a lot of medical problems of late, and we’ve all been terribly worried about her. But she’s a trooper, and a wonderful artist who transforms herself through her art. We’re here whenever you need us, Alex! Just holler!

And Connie, of Casa Maria. I haven’t known Connie very long. And she’s relatively new to blogging. She’s a sweet, thoughtful lady. I love her blog banner. So different and colorful! And she’s a lady of many fine talents. She finds a lot to post about: gardening and cooking and all sorts of things I find interesting to read and see. And she’s one heck of a decorator too, I don’t mind saying.

So go look these gals up and tell them Brenda says howdy. And on a final note, today is Abigail’s second birthday. Smile for the camera, Abi!




  1. Good morning, Brenda! I just love your solid color teapot collection. Hmmm…I’ll have to keep an eye out for you. 😉

    And thank you for the blog award. That was very sweet of you.


  2. Hi Brenda,
    Lots of people are putting scrapbook paper in the back of their shelves, and sticking it up with double sided tape. It’s not very permanant…but cheap!

    There are lots of pretty sheets at craft stores like Michaels and I saw some that I liked the other day at TJ Maxx…

    I love the photo table top!

  3. Happy Birthday Abi! (woof woof woof!) Tell Mama Brenda to give you kisses from me and my kitties!
    For the back of that shelf, how about photocopying some of those vintage tablecloths,or other linens, then using double sided tape to adhere it? Or do more photos, like the table top? Oh,no, wait, I’ve GOT IT! Photocopy old ads or labels from kitchen products in sepiatone!
    Thanks for the award, it will take a bit to figure it out..

  4. Hey Brenda. Cheesehead knows his pints and sundry products, he sold it for several years as a matter of fact. I asked him and he said that you should prime the panelling to make the wallpaper stick better. Good luck!

    Sounds like you’ve go a lot going on today. Love the teapot collection!

    Congrats on the award.

  5. I just love seeing your decorating. I smile to see the old fan– I adore old fans. Thanks for the inspiration of what I ‘might’ do ‘someday’ in the decorating department. 🙂

  6. Love your tablecloths and linens. Happy Birthday Abi!

  7. Ooh, Brenda, I am so honored! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I always find your blog fascinating.

    You have good taste, you know! I love your vintage linens collection.

    For the bookshelf, you need to “size” it if you want wallpaper to stick to it.
    For the table, easy fix is a table runner or just suck it up – pick up a brush and paint over it.

    I’ll do the tag this week.


  8. Oooops, I forgot about Abi. Happy B-day, girl! Wooof..woooff.

  9. Brenda, your kitchen is wonderful. I love your tablecloths. I am also a big fan of Laura over at little orange kitchen. Oh, we have so much in common…and I never thought of perching a candle in with coffee beans..totally cool idea. I am off to check on the blogs that you awarded. Susan

  10. Thinking of you today…you’ve been quiet lately. I hope you’re OK.

  11. Brenda, you always make me laugh! I knew I would connect when I saw your profile photo. Coffee with you would be ‘a hoot’ … I love lots … Starbucks French Roast my fave that I grind and drink all day long (hot then iced on hot days). No advice … I’m simply enjoying the tour!

  12. Your kitchen and garden room are cozy!

  13. Very warm looking space/ I started coffee drinking in my thirties and love it!

    I also need to lose some weight!

  14. First, that is the sweetest dog I have ever seen. I actually have a pic of him, stored on my computer to show people.

    I love your coffee corner. You are a very creative person. I think it is great that you turned your yard into a wildlife habitat. You can always buy fresh veggies at a farmer’s market. But those little darlings might not have a place to live, if you didn’t provide it. You are one of the good guys.

  15. I’m not very good with paint either. But there is a blog that I read & the lady is wonderful. I will e-mail the link to you. At one point, she said something about coming up with a step by step video she was planning on selling. xoxo, Joanna

  16. Love the coffee bar idea-a great way to start the day!
    Happy Birthday to the cute puppy!


  18. Look at that precious little Abi – what an adorable little face! Congrats on your awards – you’re the bestest! And, I love your pretties. I see so many things I would love to have. I could pick a couple of those old tablecloths.
    Thanks for popping in!
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia 😉

  19. Hi Brenda! Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate it and it means alot to me to those who take the time to come by my place. I hope you had a good day.

  20. That is one dang cute birthday doggie! Happy Birthday *arf*arf*!

  21. Happy Birthday precious Abi!! Here’s to many many more!!
    Brenda your pictures are gorgeous! I love your kitchen and how creative to bring a potting bench in!! I LOVE IT!!! I also ADORE your coffee bar! Everything about it- I want to do one now!!
    Thanks for stopping by. miss you!
    -Cinderella 🙂

  22. I’ve always thought that potting benches of the type you have would work well in a kitchn. Hadn’t thought of hanging the pots and pans but that’s a great idea.

    Your coffee area is very attractive. My tea area just looks like a big mess on my counter. Maybe I need to work on it.

  23. Brenda, I LOVE your decorating style, both out in the garden, and inside the house!

    The coffee bar is so cute, it makes me wish I had a place for my own little coffee bar.

    I’m off to check out your friends links! 🙂

  24. Happy Birthday, Abi! What a cutie pie! Brenda, I love your kitchen & esp. your coffee bar! It might even inspire me to make a tea bar (as I don’t drink cofee, but love tea!)! An idea for the back of your shelf unit: Cut cardboard (from large boxes) the size of the back of each section. Staple a layer of quilt batting around the cardboard. Cover it with fabric (you can just staple the fabric in the back or tape it in the back—it won’t show). Pop the fabric-covered-cardboard into the shelf unit and push into place. My Mom helped me do the back of my armoire in my kitchen that way and I leave the doors open & use it to display stuff. It’s a great way to get some beautiful fabric into a room! My fabric is now out-of-date & I need to re-do it; hey, that might be a good blog post! Patti

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