Little boxes without topses*

My horoscope for this week:

Your past experiences may help you to see beyond the immediate tasks at hand. You need to use your positive energy to promote more change on the homefront.

So, instead of bemoaning all the things that are going wrong, I’ll focus on what’s going right … and actually, there’s quite a lot. I bet you’re glad to hear that.

I’ll start with the simplest thing: We moved the two bulky base cabinet carcasses back into position. (No. 1 had been up on saw horses in the breakfast room for face frame painting, and No. 2 was in the middle of the kitchen while we fiddle-farted around with the upper cabinet doors.) Just moving them out of the way was such a relief! Suddenly we can maneuver around the kitchen again–it feels almost normal. And we don’t have to stumble over poor Duke and say “‘Scuse me, Duke—MOVE!!” every few minutes. Duke’s happy, the cats are happy, we’re happy … but still far, far from done.

We’re still unsure what’s binding on the upper cabinet doors. It occurred to us that the original left door never closed, either. Hmm … I always attributed that to its ten coats of multicolor paint, but maybe, just maybe … it’s the house!  Eric did some research online and found he’d used too small a bit when he predrilled for the latch screws (he also found plenty of complaints about cheap screws). He couldn’t drill the broken screws out of the doors, so he simply filled the holes and moved the latch slightly higher. It covered the previous holes perfectly .The latches look fabulous. I’m a bit worried that the left and center doors, still wanting to pop open, are putting too much pressure on those little latches, but dang, this small part of the room is looking almost finished! I had to put a few pieces of Fiestaware on the shelves, just to see the effect.


With the “paint room” free once more, I started sanding and polyurethaning the drawer boxes. Stacked in the basement shop, they reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin III lamp.

little boxes without topses


I could look at these sweet dovetail joints all day. Eric did such a beautiful job of constructing them! Here they are, all finished, waiting to have their faces applied … kind of like me in the morning (only smoother and better rested).


TA DA!! Here it is at last, our first functioning drawer, presented by Lacy! Unlike some of our other camera-shy kitties, Lacy loves to pose. She tells me her dream job is to model next to a concept car at the International Auto Show, so I’m helping her assemble a portfolio.

Lacy and drawer

Not to be outdone, Duke wanted to be featured on the blog, too. Even though Eric has to tweak the self-closing drawer glides a little, I’ve already loaded it with silverware. For the first time in months, we won’t have to rifle through boxes in the dining room when we want forks!

Duke and drawer2

*If you’re wondering about the title of this post …

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Lived a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter, Clementine.
Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine.
Little boxes without topses
Sandals were for Clementine.



8 thoughts on “Little boxes without topses*

  1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    I’m so excited that you found a solution for the upper doors that did not require a ton of work. Everything is coming together nicely.

    You were right about Lacy and Creme being look alikes. Lacy is just missing the white tip on her tail. It is funny that Lacy is your cat that likes photos because Creme loves to be in pictures as you could probably tell from my blog!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Hi Jessica! I love seeing peoples’ pets in their photos … they are so much part of the action (even when it’s not so convenient!) Our fur kids, especially our dog Duke, are always trying to help, bless their hearts.

  2. Stacey

    The glass door on the cabinets look wonderful! I have to sympathize and agree about the cheap screws (that sounded awful!) … but seriously… it’s the most frustrating thing EVER! We’ve had to putty over and move on so many times.

    Those dove tail joints are GORGEOUS! So your husband is a cabinet maker/woodworker? Lucky you! He did a wonderful job. I love your hardware too! No home or project is complete without our pets. Lacy looks like she might like to get curled up in that pretty drawer and take a nap. HA HA! Cute pictures!

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Thanks, Stacey! Yes, Eric is doing an amazing carpentry job. He’s built furniture before, but never kitchen cabinets. He’s learning a lot as he goes along. He’s running into lots of tricky fit and hardware challenges, and sometimes it takes a while to figure it out, but he’s a great problem-solver. The next section of cabinets on the other side of the room should go faster (he says) because he’s already learned so much. Here’s hoping …

      I actually tried to pose Lacy IN the drawer, but she wasn’t going for that!

  3. cb

    D’Arcy! You and Eric are doing a FABulous job. 😀 Great work done by both of you. Your diligence pays off! I really love what you’ve done, and I can’t wait to see the end results.

  4. Pingback: Trying to be Creative | Cape of Dreams

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